The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) today condemned the manner in which the police handled the demonstration by students of the Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) where several students were injured.
The IUSF said President Maithripala Sirisena’s governance was no different to that of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa when considering the manner in which they were handling student agitation.
IUSF convener Lahiru Weerasekara said they had no problems with the police and the police behaved in an unruly manner not because they wanted to but because they were ordered to do so by the education authorities.
“For his political campaign, President Sirisena had used the photographs and video footage of our members being beaten by the police during the Rajapaksa regime. He had even appeared in advertisements promising to end the brutal and aggressive manner in which the police acted towards students. We don't see any difference between the two presidents. When we inquired from Western Province Senior DIG Pujitha Jayasundara he said he was not aware as to what happened. The President is likely to tell the people that he too was unaware of what happened. This is how the so-called 'Yahapalanaya' is functioning after pledging to protect free education and students rights,” Mr. Weerasekara said.
The HNDA students began their protest march from the Fort Railway Station supported by the IUSF and IUBF (Inter-University Bikkhu Federation) demanding that the the diploma be similarly recognised as the Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Equal recognition was granted in 1990 but the Mahinda Rajapaksa government issued a circular cancelling the degree status provided to it.
Mr. Weerasekara said the police and the anti riot squad had unleashed a brutal attack on the students including girls and Buddhist monks by firing tear gas, using water cannons and baton charging them. He said they would complain against this inhuman act to the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission and continue their struggle till these matters have been resolved.
Police Media Spokesperson Ruwan Gunasekara rejected the allegations made against the police and said they were only performing their duty to maintain law and order.
Meanwhile, the 39 students who were arrested on Thursday were granted bail by the Colombo Chief Magistrate today.
The IUSF said eight students were still under treatment at the Colombo National Hospital.(Piyumi Fonseka)
Comments - 3
ANTON Saturday, 31 October 2015 12:58 PM
NONSENSE, MR IS WERING SAATAKAYA, MS IS WEARING A JACKET.
Harith Saturday, 31 October 2015 01:43 PM
We have an independent police commission. So no politician will be responsible for what ever happens. Politicians will also get to know what had happened only through news. Great to hear this.
Dee Sunday, 01 November 2015 07:45 AM
Even if god comes into power you guys will be protesting. You will only stop the day your parents have to pay for your education.
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