Police had to escort the Minister of Land, Tourism and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga, when the people of the area hooted him on Saturday when he arrived to lay the foundation stone for a Tamil school at Olyyamulla in Wattala.
People showed their disapproval of the plan to put up a building for a Tamil school on a block of land that had earlier been reserved for a sports ground.
A large number of residents and several Buddhist monks demonstrated with placards at Oliyamulla Junction. Police stopped the protesters from entering the building site.
However, while the minister was speaking at the ceremony, protesters forced their way into the premises and interrupted his speech by hooting.
The minister said the building of a school was a government decision and legal. Therefore he told the protesters not to disrupt the activities as legal action could be taken against them.
The protesters burned an effigy of the minister on the road and also caused damage to a vehicle belonging to WP provincial councillor Dalton Janaka Suriyabandara who was present at the ceremony.(Sujith Hewajulige, Sarath Chinthaka and Henry Nimal)