student protesters storm suwasiripaya

Published : 8:53 am  June 22, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 

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By Thilanka Kanakarathna   
Yesterday’s protest of the Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) went violent with over 85 students being hospitalized after the police used battons, teargas and water cannons to disperse the students who surrounded and took over the Health Ministry building.  

 

The university students forcibly entered the Health Ministry building at Maradana in violation of the court order issued by the Colombo Chief Magistrate.  Earlier yesterday, the Magistrate issued an order preventing IUSF students from forcibly entering state institutions and causing a public nuisance during their protest.  The protesting students renewed their demand to abolish the private medical faculty at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM).   


The protestors were also able to cover the ministry’s sign board reading ‘Suwasiripaya’ with one of their banners which demanded the private medical faculty be abolished.   


Meanwhile, a ceremony which was scheduled to be held at the Ministry to present appointment letters to 52 matrons was cancelled due to the protest.   


However, most of the matrons arrived at the ministry to collect their letters, and they were sent away by the police owing to the tense situation.   


Hundreds of students of the IUSF entered the premises through the back gate of the ministry, against the court order..   


Eventually, they took over the ministry premises and shouted slogans urging the abolishment of the SAITM. The panicking employees of the ministry were allowed to walk out of the building, by the protestors.   


It was reported that Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne and other top officials who were at the Ministry, had left a short while before the protestors crashed in.  

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