World

Tamil leaders honor Sri Lankan war dead at grounds of civil war's final battle as police watch

  • A Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil political activist observes silence near a makeshift monument, where thousands of people were killed in fierce fighting between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels, in Mullivaikkal, about 335 kilometers (208 miles) northeast of Sri Lanka, Monday, May 18, 2015. Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil politicians and a few civilians have gathered under heavy surveillance at a ceremony to pay homage to thousands of people killed in the final days of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    A Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil political activist observes silence near a makeshift monument, where thousands of people were killed in fierce fighting between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels, in Mullivaikkal, about 335 kilometers (208 miles) northeast of Sri Lanka, Monday, May 18, 2015. Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil politicians and a few civilians have gathered under heavy surveillance at a ceremony to pay homage to thousands of people killed in the final days of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sri Lanka’s ethnic Tamil political activists prepare a makeshift monument, where thousands of people were killed in fierce fighting between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels, in Mullivaikkal, about 335 kilometers (208 miles) northeast of Sri Lanka, Monday, May 18, 2015. Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil politicians and a few civilians have gathered under heavy surveillance at a ceremony to pay homage to thousands of people killed in the final days of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    Sri Lanka‚Äôs ethnic Tamil political activists prepare a makeshift monument, where thousands of people were killed in fierce fighting between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels, in Mullivaikkal, about 335 kilometers (208 miles) northeast of Sri Lanka, Monday, May 18, 2015. Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil politicians and a few civilians have gathered under heavy surveillance at a ceremony to pay homage to thousands of people killed in the final days of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

  • Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil war victims pray at a Hindu temple in Mullivaikkal, about 335 kilometers (208 miles) northeast of Sri Lanka, Monday, May 18, 2015. Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil politicians and a few civilians have gathered under heavy surveillance at a ceremony to pay homage to thousands of people killed in the final days of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil war victims pray at a Hindu temple in Mullivaikkal, about 335 kilometers (208 miles) northeast of Sri Lanka, Monday, May 18, 2015. Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil politicians and a few civilians have gathered under heavy surveillance at a ceremony to pay homage to thousands of people killed in the final days of a decades-long civil war that ended in 2009. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (The Associated Press)

Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil politicians and a few civilians have gathered under heavy surveillance at a ceremony to honor thousands of dead on the battleground of the final days of the decades-long civil war that ended in 2009.

Lawmakers and local leaders lit earthen lamps and offered flowers Monday at a makeshift memorial in Mullivaikkal village in northeastern Sri Lanka where thousands of people were killed in fierce fighting between the army and Tamil Tiger rebels.

Civilians largely kept away as several Sri Lankan intelligence agents and police were keeping a watch on those attending the ceremony.

Police had obtained a court order prohibiting any memorial that might be perceived as glorifying the dead rebels who were fighting to create a separate state for ethnic minority Tamils.