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DateLine Sunday, 18 November 2007

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Shattered dreams

An innocent girl preparing for marriage meets untimely death in Negambo:

Negombo police have arrested a doctor in connection with the death of a woman patient who fell from an upper floor of the Negombo District Hospital last week. The suspect doctor was produced before court and was remanded pending completion of investigations.

Chamila Dissanayake (23) was an innocent girl with a radiant smile. She hailed from a rural village in Dambagalle in Moneragale district and was employed in a garment factory at the Free Trade Zone in Katunayake.

A free spirited and enterprising young woman she was fed up living at her rustic village due to abysmal poverty. She was desperately searching for a job when luck dawned upon her. Her dream came true three years ago when she got the chance to migrate to the Western province. She found a job in a garment factory at the Free Trade Zone, Katunayake.

Chamila was a beautiful woman who had fallen in love with a distant relative from her village. Her idea was to save every cent that she earned in preparation for her marriage. The talk among her colleagues at the hostel where she resided was that Chamila was to wed shortly. She came from a impoverished large family of brothers and sisters.

Chamila after moving to Katunayake found accommodation in a hostel at Andiambalama Govinna. She daily commuted to work from her hostel. Besides her there were 30 other young girls residing at the hostel.

Most of the girls were employed at garment factories in the Free Trade Zone. Chamila was a cheerful person who was immensely popular among her colleagues. She was an affable woman without any airs.

A most horrible thing happened when she visited the Negombo District hospital on 12 Monday. She apparently had gone there to attend the clinic on that day. Chamila had undergone breast surgery at the same hospital two weeks ago.

The doctor met Chamila at his clinic on the third floor of the hospital. He had told her to stay behind till his work was over. Soon afterwards Chamila had accompanied the doctor to the 6th floor.

Much later a woman cleaner at the hospital had witnessed the doctor dragging the body of a woman patient on a cardboard along the corridor of the third floor. She had paused for a moment and had inquired from the doctor whether he needed any assistance.

The doctor had flatly refused her help and had dragged the patient in to the near by room. After some time some persons who had gathered outside the Negombo District hospital had seen a woman in her underclothes falling from the upper floor of the building.

Chamila who fell on the ground sustained fatal injuries and was rushed to the Colombo National Hospital. She succumbed to her injuries on the way.

Negombo Police under the directions of DIG North Western Range Sarath Jayasundera and SSP Negombo Division, Premasiri Withana have launched an investigation into the death of Chamila Dissanayake who fell from an upper floor of the hospital.

Police said they were investigating whether the suspect doctor had physically abused her after drugging her and later pushed her from the 3rd floor. When a team of police officers visited a room on the sixth floor of the Negombo hospital they found some under clothes of the woman, a diary, and some documents relating to clinical reports, an umbrella and some slippers.

The Police said the suspect doctor (33) is a married man, who is a resident of Maradankadawala. On a previous occasion when he was attached to the Ragama hospital he was suspected of molesting his sister in law who later committed suicide by hanging herself.

While being attached to the Negombo hospital he had on an earlier occasion attempted to molest a woman after drugging her. But the woman who regained consciousness had screamed and summoned her husband to the room.

The husband had assaulted the doctor but they had come to an amicable settlement later. The suspect doctor was to assume duties at Anuradhapura hospital next month.

Negombo police when contacted on Wednesday evening at the time of filling this story said that they have not yet received the autopsy report of Chamila Dissanayake who fell to her death from the third floor of the Negombo hospital.

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