The Yahapalana government is no better than its predecessor, Opposition Leader R. Sampanthan said while condemning Thursday’s police crackdown on a group of students who were demonstrating at Ward Place over several demands related to their education last Thursday.
Images of Police personnel attacking students with batons and sticks went viral in the media generating widespread condemnation.
Speaking in parliament today Sampanthan blamed both the government and the Police for the brutal attack.
The TNA leader Sampanthan queried from the government as to why the Police attacked students who were leaving after engaging in a peaceful protest.
Making a scathing attack Sampanthan questioned whether President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe were following in the foot steps of the previous regime which used brute force to quell student protests.
The Opposition leader said that with barricades blocking their way and with water cannons been hurled at them the students had not gone forward but retreated. He questioned the logic behind attacking a group of students who were retreating.
He demanded the Government to hold a proper and comprehensive inquiry into the attack and take action against those responsible.
Meanwhile for the first time since Ranil-Sirisena government came into power the widely split opposition acted as a cohesive unit to condemn the government over the attack on students.
Led by Sampanthan the opposition protested while displaying posters and banners inside the Parliament over the attack on the Higher National Diplomas in Accountancy (HNDA) students in Colombo on Thursday.
Meanwhile the Inter University Students’ Federation (IUSF), commenced a protest march from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura to the University Grants Commission (UGC) premises where the previous attack occurred.
Severe traffic congestion was reported along High-level Road due to the protest march by the university students.