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COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Services at Sri Lanka’s state-run hospitals were paralyzed as government doctors went on strike demanding the government shut down a private medical university.

Union spokesman Dr. Haritha Aluthge said Friday the doctors also urged the government to take action against those who ordered police to assault students at another protest on Wednesday.

The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine is the only private university in Sri Lanka currently training medical students. Opponents fear the university could jeopardize the island nation’s free health service and tradition of state-funded education.

The issue has sparked months of demonstrations, with doctors and students urging the government to shut down the university or acquire it.

A case over the issue is pending in courts.