Town Hall and Viharamahadevi Park turned into a mini-battlefield yesterday when the police attempted to prevent the Inter-University Students’ Federation protest approaching the University Grants Commission, with over 21 students admitted to hospital and another 10 arrested following the clash.
The IUSF was protesting the Government’s inaction on their demand to take the controversial private medical faculty, the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) under State control.
The protest march proceeded while an attempt by the police to obtain a stay order against the march was turned down by the Colombo Magistrate’s Court. Wending its way through police barricades and teargas, the student march ended up at Viharamahadevi Park.
Despite teargas being repeatedly fired, police were unable to bring the situation under control, with students finally congregating in front of the public library for a demonstration.