Police Use Teargas, Water Cannons Against University Students

Police today used teargas and water cannons against students affiliated with the Inter University Students Federation who marched from Nelum Pokuna to Parliament demanding immediate solutions to their problems. 

The protest was organized to force the government consider nine demands, including raising the Mahapola allowance to Rs 5000, Allocating 6% of the budget for education and stop suppression of university students. Other demands included closure of private universities,  end militarization of universities.

More than 3000 students representing various universities took part in the protest. 

Due to the protest, a heavy traffic was reported in and around Colombo this afternoon. 

As the protesters reached Parliament entrance road, Police closed off the roads in the area and anti-riot squads prevented them from proceeding. They erected barricades but when they were pushed down, police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the students and as a result, a tense situation occurred in the area.

After the situation became calm, the students sat on the road and the Convener of IUSF Najith Indika spoke to them. He criticized the government for attacking them although they have marched in defense of free education.

IUSF has said that seven students were injured as a result of the police attack.