Sunday, 03 March 2013 – The Ananda-Nalanda big match ended with a clash between rival supporters and forced the local police authorities to use tear gas to disperse the unruly crowd. Police used tear gas to control a clash between two groups of the Ananda and Nalanda Colleges in Colombo during their big match at the SSC ground, a short while ago, police said. They said following the tear gas, students started to disperse peacefully. Security has been tightened in the area, police said. On Saturday, the Police Headquarters announced that legal action will be taken against students and other groups who behave indecently during the ongoing big match season.
Police Spokesman SSP P.M. H. B. Siriwardena issuing a statement on Saturday said special teams have been deployed in Colombo and other major cities to look into violations of traffic laws and harassment of school students by the big-match supporters. Elder statemen of the two schools were appalled at the rowdy behaviour of present day schoolboys. A group of seniors hope to talk to both principals of Ananda and Nalanda next month and see what they could do in the future to stop erratic behaviour such as what they witnessed on Sunday.
Ugly end to 'Battle of Maroons'
March 4, 2013, 7:11 am
By Roshen Steelman
An ugly clash took place between supporters of the Ananda and Nalanda Colleges at the 84th Battle of the Maroons, Big match, at SSC yesterday. During the latter part of the day, some supporters of the two colleges ran into the ground with their flags and interrupted play, dancing on the field and as a result the game was delayed. After a delay of almost 30 minutes play resumed but only three balls were possible as spectators from the two colleges invaded the ground once again. After a while another wave of spectators invaded the grounds with chairs and attacked those who were on the ground at that time. Police and security officials tried to control the situation but things turned worse with bottles and chairs being hurled into the middle of the ground. After a while Police were forced to fire teargas to control the situation.
Big match brawl
By Binoy Suriyaarachchi Courtesy: Ceylon Today 04/03/2013
Rivalry took an ugly turn last afternoon when two groups of supporters from Ananda and Nalanda Colleges, clashed in the midst of the big match being played at the SSC grounds, Maitland Crescent, Colombo 7. More than 15 spectators who were injured were rushed to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL). Two people have been taken into custody by the Cinnamon Garden Police. This was the 84th encounter between Ananda College and Nalanda College, better known as the Battle of the Maroons.
As tension mounted, the Cinnamon Gardens Police and the Riot Squad who were called in, used tear gas to contain the violence and disperse the spectators. Several were baton-charged in a bid to bring the situation under control, police said. The incident had transpired at the final stage of the two-day match, when an argument between two groups of old boys from both colleges turned violent. Reportedly they had abused one another in foul language before resorting to physical assault.
However, following the use of tear gas, the situation was brought under control.
A few minutes later, students and the old boys of both schools left the SSC ground peacefully. The Cinnamon Garden Police said several people sustained minor injuries following the clash. Sources from the Cinnamon Garden Police confirmed to Ceylon Today that two people who are suspected to have been involved in the clash had been taken into custody.
Meanwhile, police warned on Saturday that they would take legal action against supporters of schools who violate the law during the ongoing big match season. Police Spokesman G.M.H.B. Siriwardena told Ceylon Today, the police had received several complaints in the past few years stating that young schoolboys tend to break the law while participating in street parades, as well as at the venue of the matches.
The police had alerted school authorities, parents and guardians to advise their children on the need to obey road rules and respect others on the streets when celebrating the big-match season.