Colombo, (News 1st) : Several civil society organisations including the Inter-University Students' Federation, civil activists and trade unions staged a protest against state oppression in front of the UN office earlier today.
The protest was staged against the use of tear gas to disperse crowds at protests, the cinnamon stick army, the use of tear gas on school students and the forced entry by police into universities.
Speaking at the protest, IUSF Convener Wasantha Mudalige blamed the government for using expired tear gas canisters as chemical weapons to oppress people.
Protesters claimed that three people have succumbed to tear gas attacks on three occassions including the Jathika Jana Balawegaya protest on February 26, the protest near the Colombo University on March 7 and during a protest near Parliament sometime ago.
The protesters therefore demanded the UN to expedite an international investigation into the use of expired tear gas munitions.
During the protest Ceylon Teachers' Union General Secretary Joseph Stalin questioned the state on firing tear gas at children. "The UN must look at these gross human rights violations. There has to be an end to the deployment of the police and army to crackdown on dissent."