Education sector trade unions in Sri Lanka oppose leadership training for university students

May 17, Colombo: The leadership training programme, proposed for new entrants to universities by the government, has come under fire from the education sector trade unions.

Students unions affiliated to universities have already objected to the proposed leadership training programme to be held for university students in military camps. The Inter University Students Federation (IUSF) has already threatened legal action against the move.

Meanwhile, the Ceylon Teachers’ Union (CTU) has said that most new entrants to universities were wary about the government’s decision to make them undergo leadership training at military camps.

General Secretary of the CTU, Joseph Stalin has told the media that the Higher Education Ministry or the University Grants Commission (UGC) had the authority to introduce such compulsory programmes to university students.

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  1. Armenia has compulsory military service for two years for males from 18 to 27 years old. Austria has mandatory military service for fit male citizens from 18 to 35 years of age. Belarus has mandatory military service for all fit men from eighteen to twenty-seven years of age. Bermuda, although an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, still maintains conscription for its local force. Males between the age of eighteen and thirty-two are drawn by lottery to serve in The Bermuda Regiment for a period of thirty-eight months. Males in Brazil are required to serve 12 months of military service upon their 18th birthday.
    The Burmese junta requires able bodied persons aged 18 and over to register with local authorities. Conscription has existed in theory since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949; however, because of China’s huge population and therefore the large number of individuals who volunteer to join the regular armed forces, a draft has never been enforced.
    Conscription is enshrined in Article 55 of the Constitution, which states: “It is a sacred duty of every citizen of the People’s Republic of China to defend his or her motherland and resist invasion. It is an honored obligation of the citizens of the People’s Republic of China to perform military service and to join the militia forces.”. Colombia has 18 months compulsory military service for males. 18–24 years of age. Cyprus has compulsory military service for all Greek Cypriot men between the ages of eighteen and fifty. Denmark has mandatory service for all able men. Normal service is four months, and is normally served by men in the age of eighteen to twenty-seven. Egypt has a mandatory military service program for males between the ages of eighteen and thirty. Conscription is regularly postponed for students until the end of their studies, as long as they apply before they turn twenty-eight years of age. Finland has mandatory military service for men of a minimum duration of six months, depending on the assigned position: those trained as officers or NCOs serve for twelve months, specialist troops serve for twelve months, while rank and file serve for the minimum period. Unarmed service is also possible, and lasts nine months. The obligation to enter into service begins at the age of 19, and may be postponed to the age of 29, when it becomes either mandatory, or the conscript is exempted. Greece has mandatory military service of nine months for men. Iran has a mandatory military service for men which starts at the age of 18. Duration of military service is dependent on some conditions and circumstances. There is an 20 month military service for general, 18 months for destitute areas and 16 months for boundary areas, there is two months for military education. There are exceptions for those who cannot serve because of physical or mental health problems or disabilities. Students are exempt as long as they are attending school. The higher the education of a man, the higher his rank will be in the military service. Israel has mandatory military service for both men and women. All Israeli citizens are conscripted at age 18. South Korea has mandatory military service of 21 months for all males. In Mexico all males reaching eighteen years of age must register for military service (Servicio Militar Nacional, or SMN) for one year. Norway has mandatory military service of nineteen months for men between the ages of 18(17 with parental consent) and 44 (55 in case of war). The Russian Federation has a mandatory 12 months draft. In Singapore, the NS (Amendment) Act was passed on 14 March 1967, under which all able-bodied male citizens of 18 – 21 years of age were required to serve 24 months of compulsory national service in the Singapore Armed Forces, the Singapore Police Force, or the Singapore Civil Defence Force. Military service for Swiss men is obligatory according to the Federal Constitution, and includes 18 or 21 weeks of basic training (depending on troop category) as well as annual 3-week-refresher courses until a number of service days which increases with rank (260 days for privates) is reached. The Republic of China has had mandatory military service for all males since 1949. In Turkey, compulsory military service applies to all male citizens from twenty to forty-one years of age. In Ukraine,the options are either reserve officer training for two years (offered in universities as a part of a program which means not having to join the army), or one year regular service.

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