MATARA, Sri Lanka: President Mahinda Rajapakse led celebrations at a major victory parade on Sunday to mark the fifth anniversary of the end of Sri Lanka’s Tamil separatist war, as commemorations for its victims were blocked. As most top envoys of Western nations stayed away from the parade, a defiant Rajapakse insisted he would not bow to pressure from foreign critics who are pushing him to investigate claims that tens of thousands of people died in the final stages of the conflict. “Some governments are blind, deaf and dumb. They are opposed to our celebrating this victory,” Rajapakse said in a televised speech from Matara, his birthplace in the Sinhalese heartland of the island’s south. The 37-year conflict effectively ended on May 18, 2009, when troops killed the Tamil Tiger rebels’ supremo Velupillai Prabhakaran in a brutal assault on the northern town of Mullaittivu. The United Nations has estimated that at least 100,000 people died in the entire conflict, about 40,000 of them in the final months of fighting.