Parliament erupts over attack on students

Opposition leader R. Sampanthan said that in a democracy people have a right to protest and those who gave orders for the police to assault the students must be dealt with. The joint opposition, which included Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) leader Dinesh Gunawardena and Parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara, continued to slam the Government over the incident. He said that the top brass in the police could have ordered the assault on the students to stop but that did not happen and several students were injured.Law and Order Minister Tilak Marapana said that an investigation into the incident is underway with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appointing a committee to look into the incident. A heated exchange of words took place in Parliament today over the police attack on students last week in Colombo.The joint opposition staged a protest inside Parliament over the incident after the issue was raised by opposition leader R. Sampanthan. Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the demands of the students following the Higher National Diploma in Accountancy (HNDA) had already been addressed and so there was no need for them to protest last week.However he said both he and the Prime Minister were ready to meet the students to discuss whatever concerns they still have.Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake however said that the Government response was not satisfactory. Several members of the joint opposition held placards in protest over the incident and demanded that those responsible be held accountable. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe then questioned under who the joint opposition is operating and recalled some of the violence which took place when the members of the joint opposition were in the former Government.

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