Sri Lanka was staging a military victory parade on Wednesday in the capital Colombo to mark the defeat of the Tamil Tiger rebels, officials said.
President Mahinda Rajapakse was presiding over the celebrations at the sea-front Galle Face promenade as security was stepped up across the already tightly guarded capital.
"This is a ceremony to symbolise the defeat of terrorism in the country," a government official said on national television.
Sri Lanka's military is due to parade its hardware and put on a fly past as part of the celebrations.
The Galle Face area had been declared off limits for traffic since Monday ahead of the ceremonies.
Sri Lankan troops last month overran the last Tamil Tiger territory and killed rebel leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, ending his decades-old fight for a separate Tamil state on the Sinhalese-majority island.