Written by Staff Writer
19 Mar, 2014 | 10:15 pm
Police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a group of protesting university students in the Colombo Fort area on Wednesday afternoon.
The protest had been organised on the basis of several demands including a solution to problems surrounding student accommodation at the Kelaniya University.
The university students commenced the demonstration near the Kelaniya University at about 9:30 on Wednesday morning. The students blocked one of the lanes on the Colombo – Kandy road.
This caused severe traffic congestion on the stretch of road from Kelaniya to Colombo.
Convenor of Inter University Students Federation, Najith Indika expressed following views,
“The Inter-University Students Federation of the Kelaniya University commenced a protest march against the suppression of students and the sale of education. This was organised together with the participation of the university students across the country.”
“This is because there needs to be solutions for the issues that have arisen within the education system and the university system. On the other hand, universities are being privatised and degrees are being sold. They bringing in new laws that benefit the private universities and destroying the school system.”
“When we are struggling against this , they are suppressing the students. We commenced this march to urge that immediate action be taken against this….”
The police say that an injunction order was obtained from the Mahara Magistrate’s Court, prohibiting the demonstration and preventing the students from staging a protest march in a manner that would inconvenience the public.
However, following the demonstration near the university, the students arrived at the Colombo Fort area, via Peliyagoda and the Technical Junction in Matara.
The Police had deployed barricades on the road near the Sambuddhaloka Viharaya in Fort, to prevent the procession from proceeding further.
Police used water cannons and tear gas in Fort at about 3:45 this afternoon to disperse the protesters. The police say these steps were taken as the students had approached the High Security Zone surrounding the Presidential Secretariat.
The students then arrived at the Lotus Junction in Fort and then dispersed.
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