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* Sri Lankan student died during leadership training was ill, trade union holds government responsible
Sun, Feb 2, 2014, 10:25 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 02, Colombo: A trade union affiliated to Sri Lanka's education sector has said that the government should take responsibility for the death of a student who died after falling ill during the leadership training for new entrants to universities.

The Ceylon Teacher Services Union (CTSU) said the authorities should have taken steps to prevent such casualties during the leadership training programme.

The student, Lahiru Sandaruwan Rathnayake of Kudawewa, Ambagaswewa, Nochchiyagama, was undergoing the "Leadership and Personality Development" Joint Training Programme at Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SLEME) Training School of the Army at Gannoruwa.

He became ill during the program and was admitted to the Peradeniya Teaching Hospital on January 26 and subjected to an urgent laparotomy surgery on Tuesday (January 28), the Army said in a statement. Rathnayake succumbed to his illness on Saturday (February 01).

According to the medical reports, the student was diagnosed to be suffering from diaphragm-related illness and had been under treatment before he joined the Army-University Grant Commission Joint Training Programme.

Post-mortem, conducted by Dr D.P. P Senasinghe, Consultant Judicial Medical Officer at Kandy General Hospital during the inquest into his death by Kandy Magistrate, confirmed the death was due to an "Ischaemic Brain Damage, following Cardio Vascular Compression in Congenital Diaphragam Hernia".

CTSU General Secretary, Mahinda Jayasinghe said the authorities should have subjected the students participating in the leadership training programme to an examination before getting them to follow a rigorous fitness routine in a military camp.

The Army-University Grant Commission Joint Training Programme is now underway at the Army training school as the 3rd phase of the year 2013/2014 with 269 more fellow-students in the training.

Meanwhile, the Army Commander Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake has instructed the Army to organize funeral arrangements at Army's cost and promised construction of a new house to his family members soon after the funeral.

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