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Magistrate issues order against anti-SAITM protesters

Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) members protesting in front of the Health Ministry demanding that the SAITM University be taken over by the government confronting the Police. Picture by Sudam Gunasinghe.

University students forcibly enter Health Ministry premises:

A group of University students protesting against the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), forcibly entered the Health Ministry premises yesterday. The group of students had the Health Ministry building under their control for more than three hours.

The Fort magistrate had yesterday issued an order preventing anti-SAITM protesters from holding demonstrations disturbing the public, causing traffic and entering the Presidential Secretariat forcefully.

A team from the Special Task Force was then deployed to remove the students from the Health Ministry premises, by Law and Order and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka, until an order was issued by the court from preventing the students from entering Health Ministry building.

Eighty four students are reported to be hospitalised after they were removed from the Health Ministry premises by a team of the Special Task Force personnel.

Water cannon was used to disperse the students who had gathered near the Health Ministry premises.The Police refrained from using tear gas, as the National Eye Hospital was in the vicinity where the protesters had gathered.