The prospect of peace after 30 years of war brought Sri Lankans out onto the streets in celebration. In an outpouring of relief and patriotic fervour they moved through the capital Colombo waving the national flag and handing out sweets.
One man heaped praise on the government and the army. “Now we, and the next generation, can live happily because we know for certain there’ll be no more war,” he said. The ultimate defeat of the Tamil Tigers had seemed inevitable in recent weeks, but no one could be sure when the last shot would be fired. The president is expected to declare May 22 a national holiday.