20 October, 2021


Defence Ministry’s Leadership Training Claims Another Life

Another student died while undergoing the Defence Ministry’s programme to carry out “Leadership Training” for all university students. The student, identified as Mudiyanselage Lahiru Sandaruwan Rathnayake was undergoing leadership training at the Peradeniya Gannoruwa Army Camp and was admitted to the Peradeniya Hospital on 26 January, due to a sudden ailment, passed away yesterday, The Ceylon Today reported.

University Leadership Training Sri Lanka 22Selected to the University of Jaffna, upon successfully sitting the GCE Advanced Level Examination in the commerce stream from the Nochchiyagama Vidyadarshi College, Lahiru Sandaruwan was 21 years old at the time of his demise.

Military Spokesperson Brigadier Ruwan Wanigasooriya said according to the father of the deceased, the student had been receiving treatment for an ailment from which he had been suffering since his infancy. Asked whether students were subject to a fitness test, prior to their enrolment in the leadership training programme, Brigadier Wanigasooriya said, “No. That is not our responsibility. It is the Ministry of Higher Education which is tasked with obtaining their fitness reports.”

Compulsory leadership training for undergraduates  is a mandatory programme introduced in 2011 by the  Government for all students selected State universities. The residential three week leadership training and “positive thinking development” training camps under the Defence Ministry  has claimed at least two lives so far. In   2011 a student died during the leadership program for undergraduates, while a principal who was part of a similar leadership training program died in 2013.

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Latest comments

  • 5

    As usual the buck will be passed as to who is to blame for this death, whilst some poor family’s hopes and dreams dashed thanks to some idiosyncrasy of a particular individual. Rest in Peace, brother.

  • 2

    When will these crazy Jokers realize their stupidity and stop these unwanted killings?

  • 8

    What an imbecilic comment from Brigadier Wanigasooriya who said, “No. That is not our responsibility. It is the Ministry of Higher Education which is tasked with obtaining their fitness reports.”

    May be Min. of Higher Education is tasked to get fitness test, and may be Medical staff are tasked to conduct the test. But it is the Army that needs to make sure that the fitness test has been completed and the trainee’s fitness is ascertained before giving any training. If they did not do that, then it is Army’s responsibility for allowing the candidate into the training program without the necessary clearance.

    What exactly is “leadership” if you don’t know how to take resonsibilty?

    Given the pathetic respnose from the Brigadier, I will let the readers decide who exactly needs “leadership” training.

    Now that the Brigadier has said this, I hope a more detailed investigation is done, and in the future, no traning is approved without ensuring that all pre-testing is done and documented and then verified by the officer in charge before admitting for training.

    Please grow up!

  • 0

    some people have weak hearts or holes in heart.

    So, it is not a problem of the training.

    It is a problem of the Medical that he went through. they should have identified him in advance for heart problems.

    they should have identified his weak heart.

    so, accuse the medical practitioners doing a poor job.

  • 0

    All would be university entrants who had successfully acquired required marks for selection were first examined by a univsersity medical officer before confirmation of fitness for entry,from the days of the University of Ceylon,and even later.
    The few unfit candidates were sent to hospitals for assessment/treatment.
    Similar medical examinations were also mandatory for entry to public service.
    In the recent past too,physically unfit candidates had become ill and even died during this farce known as “leadership training”.
    It is reported elsewhere that that this student had a ‘diaphragmatic hernia’ – a potentially disabling and even fatal condition amenable in some to surgical treatment.
    This amounts to unintentional fatality due to negligence of basic rquirements for higher education.

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