Thousands of students of the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) staged a massive protest march today demanding the immediate removal of the Sri Jayawardenapura University Vice Chancellor. The demonstration caused hours-long traffic congestions along the High Level Road and Galle Road.
The protest march started from the Sri Jayawardenapura University at 10.00 a.m. and preceded towards the Temple Trees to handover a letter to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Earlier in the day a minor explosion damaged a monument known as ‘Sisu Viru Smarakaya’ which was put up to remember the student activists who were killed during the unrest in 1971, 1988 and 1989.
Police media spokesman Ajith Rohana said the incident at the Sri Jayawardenapura University was reported between 2.30 and 3.00 am. “A loud noise had been heard but we are yet to confirm whether the monument was attacked or a small bomb was thrown at it,” he said.
Students said that they believed that a petrol bomb was thrown at the monument by a group which was opposed to the policies of the IUSF. The students were first seen heading to the University Grants Commission (UGC) building at Ward Place but later turned towards the Galle Road at Thunmulla Junction.
Police personnel including squads of riot police were placed at strategic to quell the protest marches. The students then sat down on the road while student leaders addressed the crowds for nearly two hours before dispersing peacefully. The students did not attempt to remove the barricades placed by the police.
The Special Task Force (STF) was also deployed to maintain law and order and prevent the students approaching the Temple Trees. IUSF convener Sanjeewa Bandara said for two years the Vice Chancellor had been causing unwanted problems which have now affected allmost every student in the university.
“If he is taken out, we will be able to live without being terrorized inside the university. Due to his policies security firms were brought in and several students were suspended for opposing his policies,” he said.
“This is not the first time we are asking him to be removed but the authorities are keeping silent on this matter,” he added. When the students neared the Kollupitiya Junction, the authorities agreed to discuss the problems with 15 student representatives.
But the students refused to go in for discussions as their intention was to show their anger, disappointment and the need to remove the Vice Chancellor. (Supun Dias)
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PREM Thursday, 05 January 2012 07:30 AM
where will they be tear gassed
sxhabeeb Thursday, 05 January 2012 07:37 AM
what is there demand ?
pasha Thursday, 05 January 2012 07:40 AM
why did not court order to stop this protest as they did for peradeniya protest.
Abdul Thursday, 05 January 2012 07:40 AM
Feel for the people stuck in the buses in this heavy traffic, its very humid too
kaman Thursday, 05 January 2012 07:45 AM
I was wondering where these students were. Hail it ! Yes you need to show this to the government. There cant be any party than students who can influence a government. You need to go & see SB & Co. Students have made revolutions. We want you to make a revolution in this country against the suppression & oppression you have been put under..
Dee Thursday, 05 January 2012 11:13 AM
Oh yes! all this at the expense of us tax payers. Good for all non tax paying 'citizens'
lovesri Thursday, 05 January 2012 11:34 AM
Educational hub of South Asia
Esala Thursday, 05 January 2012 02:15 PM
Main problem IUSF. (JVP). Future generation destroying this movement from the 1971 up to now.
Imran Hussein Thursday, 05 January 2012 02:25 PM
Where were you when the tax payers money spent in millions on MEGA tours and on other MEGA works?
Mind Thursday, 05 January 2012 02:41 PM
Students can bring in their views; not at the expense of 100s of man hours.
hakka Thursday, 05 January 2012 05:10 PM
Only remady for thi is to close down the art faculty for ever. That degree is useless and that would help idiots come to universities and destroy the whole system.
# samdhi Thursday, 05 January 2012 05:37 PM
Having looked at some I am dissapointed so much to realize that some lacks the basic understand behind this protest. It it very clear cut. Surpression, Oppresion &
Ben Thursday, 05 January 2012 06:12 PM
This Vice Chancellor is a puppet of the govt, and is corrupt. He deserves to be kicked out
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