Thousands of university students protest in Colombo
[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 March 2005, 11:49 GMT]
More than five thousand university students marched through downtown Colombo Thursday demanding that the Government of Sri Lanka drop plans for privatizing higher education. The massive protest march which winded through busy and traffic congested areas of the city to the University Grants Commission around Thursday noon was organized by the powerful Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF), an arm of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the main coalition partner of President Kumaratunga.
Thousands of undergraduates, including Buddhist monks marched carrying placards and banners and shouting slogans denouncing moves by President Kumaratunga’s government to allow private universities and a medical college.
They also condemned plans by the Government of Sri Lanka to introduce reforms to the process of university admissions.
The march was led by Mr. Duminda Nagumuwa, convener of the IUSF. He is an undergraduate of the University of Peradeniya.
At the conclusion of the march IUSF representatives had discussions with the Chairman of Sri Lanka’s University Grants Commission, Prof. B. R. N. M Mendis.