Sri Lankan students protest private medical university

Thousands of students from state-run universities in Sri Lanka have joined a march across the island nation demanding the government shut a private medical university that they say could jeopardize the country's tradition of state-funded education.

The five-day march ended Friday in the capital, Colombo. Trade union and rights activists and opposition politicians also joined the protest.

The issue has sparked months of demonstrations, with doctors and students urging the government close the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine, the only private university training medical students.

Students at state-run schools say the private school does not meet the country's educational standards, which the private school denies.

Students also say the existence of the private school could jeopardize the country's decades-long tradition of free education and health care.