(File photo: Student of a police attack)
Several students were injured and three others had to be hospitalized due to police baton charging and attacking with tear gas and water cannon a peaceful agitation held by medical students in Fort area in Colombo yesterday (28th). We condemn the move by the government to deploy police to attack the peaceful agitation held by students of medical faculties to draw the attention of authorities for their just demands.
Students of medical faculties in 6 universities are carrying out a continuous ‘Sathyagraha’ for more than 3 months. They have commenced the ‘Sathyagraha’ on behalf of protecting free education, stop privatization of education and demanding to abolish Malabe private medical school. However, government authorities follow a policy of disregarding the issue. Yesterday (28th) was the 100th day of the continuous ‘Sathyagraha’ of the medical students and they organized an agitation in Colombo Fort to draw the attention of authorities to get a just solution for their issues. They intended going to Presidential Secretariat to present their issue. The government, instead of paying attention to the issues confronted by students and attempting to find just solutions, has as usual, unleashed suppression. Police were deployed to attack the students. Deploying police to attack agitations of university students has become a trend of the government.
The government that called its party cadres to Lipton Circus recently and held agitations and demonstrations with police protection deploying police to attack a peaceful agitation by students is ridiculous on one hand and on the other it is a tragedy. Such moves show that the present government has no other path to go other than the path trodden by Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.
However, the moves of the government, that intentionally takes steps to abolish free education, is carrying out to suppress the students movement, that struggles to protect the right of free education for future generation, should be defeated. We vehemently condemn the government for deploying police to attack the just agitation of Medical Faculty Students and demand the government to stop suppression of students, listen to their just demands and take measures to solve them.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.