Police disperse again student protesters

Police in Colombo cracked down on a protest organized by university students, who were marching to Temple Trees to handover a petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa this afternoon (Aug. 14th).

The over 5000 university students, representing all universities, who set out from the Jayawardenapura University on a protest march this afternoon at about 2 pm to hand over a 100 meter-long petition to President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the Temple Trees encountered iron-barriers and tear gas attacks when they reached Kollupitiya at about 5:30 p.m.

High drama and pandemonium prevailed for nearly two hours when the students forced themselves to enter the rear access road to the to Temple Trees, pushing the iron barriers, guarded by armed policemen. The student protesters were finally dispersed after many on both sides were injured and eight students were arrested .

The student protesters under the banner of the Inter-University Students Union (IUSU) primarily demanded that the government should drop its plans to levy fees for courses in state universities , to give permission to business-oriented private universities paving the way for ‘degree shops’ and the elimination of the present free education system which culminates in higher education.

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