Sri Lanka marks end to civil war as a divided nation

Sri Lanka marks end to civil war as a divided nation
Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena attends a commemorative ceremony marking the ninth anniversary to the end of Sri Lanka's civil war at the national war heroes memorial in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (AP Photo)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka has commemorated the ninth anniversary of the end of its civil war as a divided nation, with minority Tamils calling for an international investigation into alleged wartime atrocities and the government defending soldiers from war crime allegations.

President Maithripala Sirisena presided over a war memorial ceremony Saturday in the capital, Colombo.

Sirisena said even though some accuse the military of war crimes, such allegations haven’t been formally levied by world bodies such as the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The government pledged in 2015 to carry out an impartial investigation into alleged war crimes, but has so far not taken action.

At another ceremony, C.V. Wigneswaran, chief minister of Tamil-dominated Northern Province, called for an international investigation into civilian deaths during the war.