Students protest military search at Lankan varsity
Colombo: Around 20 students were injured on Wednesday as they clashed with Sri Lankan troops and police in Jaffna to protest a military search at a university in the former LTTE stronghold.
Tamil party sources said that police and army stormed the university dormitories yesterday searching for LTTE propaganda material after students tried to mark the LTTE "heroes week", the last week of November when the Tamil Tigers used to commemorate fallen cadres.
Police spokesman Prishantha Jayakodi said the police used minimum force to prevent the students from staging an illegal march while carrying placards.
This was the first major clash since the defeat of former Tamil rebels since 2009.
Tamil parties claimed that a vehicle of a Jaffna MP was also damaged as he tried to intervene and stop the clash between the police and the students.
Jaffna, the cultural capital of the Tamils and its university was the centre of the LTTE activities during its over three-decades-long separatist campaign.
Sri Lanka lifted a state of emergency in August last year after defeating Tamil Tigers. But troops and paramilitary police units are often deployed to back police to maintain law and order.