Police fired tear gas to protesting students of Sri Jayawardenapura University a short while ago in Kollupitiya, the police said.
The students had attempted to march towards the Temple Trees when the Police fired tear gas and baton charged the students. Two students have been arrested, the Police said.
The march convened by the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) commenced at the Sri Jayawardenapura University and was to end at the Temple Trees but came to an abrupt halt at the Colpetty junction where the mob of protestors stationed themselves till their demands were met.
Four students were arrested following a clash with the police and were subsequently released after giving statements to the Colpetty Police, in accordance with the demands of the students.
“There are no discussing of matters with this government. We have tried to communicate these issues several times but they did not respond, so this is the only way to get their attention. This government is no different to the last, the only difference being that the Rajapaksa government took some time to start hitting students, but this government has no reservations as they assaulted students in the first major protest they faced” Convener of the Students Union Najith Indika said.
The students further claimed that their protest was not aimed at demanding luxuries, but rather to negotiate conditions such as unfair fee increments and stated that the indifference of the government was the reason for such a large scale protest.
Meanwhile one police inspector and six other police constables have been hospitalised during the protest.
Police said the students behaved violently though five student representatives were given the opportunity to hold discussions with the authorised persons. (Chaturanga Pradeep and Jehan Gunasekara)