SL Police uses tear gas on demonstrating teachers

[TamilNet, Thursday, 31 July 2003, 21:22 GMT]
Sri Lanka Police Thursday used tear gas and water cannon to disperse three hundred school teachers demonstrating in front of the Education Ministry in Colombo, in protest of what they said was the denial of salary increase and promotions and the Sri Lankan government's privatization policy in education, sources said.

The demonstration was organized by the Ceylon Teachers Service Union (CTSU), which has close connections with the Jantha Vimukthi Peramuna, sources said.

The teachers started the demonstration march about 100 meters from the Education Ministry building. Shouting slogans and carrying placards, they marched to the entrance of the building and tried to enter the Ministry offices, but police officers denied permission for them to enter the building.

Thereafter, the demonstrating teachers brought down the police barrier and tried to go inside the ministry. Senior police officers then gave an order to the police to use tear gas and water cannon.

Some Buddhist monks and three teachers were admitted to the Colombo General hospital with injuries sustained in the police charge. However, CTSU secretary, Mr. Mahinda Jayasinghe, said that twenty of teachers were injured by the police charge.

After the clash between the teachers and the police, the CTSU secretary addressed the demonstrators and burned the letter he had brought to deliver to the Education minister, sources said.

Buddhist monks and teachers running to safety after tear gas and water cannon charges

Demonstrators push down the police barrier and try to enter the ministry building

Policeman throw the tear gas cannon

Policemen wash their faces after the tear gas and water cannon charges

Policemen got ready for shooting rubber bullets in case it was ordered


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