Bay of Bengal
Bay of Bengal

Sri Lanka's government has transformed wartorn Bay of Bengal - the site of the last battle of the devastating Sri Lankan civil war - into a tourist attraction.

The site, which was at the heart of the civil war between Colombo and the the Tamil Tiger sparatistss, formally known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which raged for 26 years. It ended only in 2009 with a decisive victory by government forces.

The bay, the largest in the world, is dotted with evidence of numerous war crimes committed by government troops, including mass rape and summary executions.

Today, victory monuments lure hundreds of ethnic Sinhalese Buddhists to the site which was the final battle of the war.

"At each stop along the way, the army operates cafes selling ice cream and snacks. One has a sign for beer. Many have playgrounds set up with swings and slides.On crowded days, the atmosphere is jovial," Global Post reported.

In 2009, the government launched a major offensive against the Tigers at the expenses of many civilians. In less than half a year the Tigers were crushed and up to 40,000 civilians were killed, according to the UN.

When the war ended, the government destroyed Tamil Tiger monuments and cemeteries. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were forced into camps for internally displaced people.

"The government is building victory monuments, but the people are unable even to cry for the dead, their relatives," Ananthi Sasitharan, a prominent Tamil politician, said.

A placard on the bridge leading across the lagoon where the war ended describes how "the brave soldiers of the great army" were able to end the war "without harming innocent civilians".

There are increasing calls for investigations into alleged war crimes committed by government forces.

The United States will urge a formal war crimes inquiry into the conflict. The inquiry is also backed by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay.

Sri Lanka's government has rejected the idea, saying it gives scant or no regard to the domestic processes ongoing in Sri Lanka.