Clash between uni students, police regrettable: PMO
April 1, 2015 05:52 pm
The Prime Minister’s Office says the clash between protesting university students and police personnel was “regrettable” and that protesters refusing to allow their representatives to hand over the memorandum had resulted in yesterday’s unfortunate incident.
Several students and police officers were hospitalized with injuries following the clash which was sparked with the firing of tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd marching towards the Prime Minister’s Office in Kollupitiya.
In a statement issued today, the Prime Minister’s Office said that its attention had been drawn to news reports published regarding the protest march organized by the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF) in Colombo yesterday.
The IUSF had not given prior notice that a memorandum was to be handed over to the Prime Minister’s Office. They had only notified that a memorandum would be handed over to the University Grants Commission (UGC), the PMO said.
However, the protesters had suddenly changed course and arrived in Kollupitiya seeking to hand over a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Office. Five representatives from the students were later invited to enter the Prime Minister’s Office, however the protesters had proceeded to clash with police while disregarding the invitation thereby resulting in the situation, it said.
“The occurrence of such an unfortunate incident is regrettable.” However, if the protesters had peacefully allowed their representatives to reach the Prime Minister’s Office such a situation would have not arisen, the PMO said.
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) has condemned the tear gas and water cannon attack on the protesting university students.