Sri Lanka has given up searching for some 100 people believed to have been buried under the earth in a massive landslide last month.

Gen. Sudantha Ranasinghe, who was heading the rescue and search operations, says the effort was halted Thursday "on the request of the relatives and people in the area because they felt there is no point in further searching for the missing people."

He said soldiers found 27 bodies, out of which 21 were identified, and found 21 body parts that were not identified, and "about 100 are missing."

Buddhist religious rites were performed on site to pay the last respect to those who died.

The landslide in a central region after days of heavy rains displaced more than 1,550 villagers.