Sri Lankan would-be SMU student, 20, likely killed himself in Hotel Grand Pacific 13th floor room while serving SHN

He was believed to have been worried about breaching his SHN stipulations.

Belmont Lay | February 17, 2021, 12:19 AM

A 20-year-old man from Sri Lanka was found hanging in the 13th floor room of Hotel Grand Pacific along Victoria Street on Aug. 12, 2020, while serving out his stay-home notice period, The Straits Times reported.

The man, Nishad Manilka De Fonseka, was here in Singapore to undergo higher education studies as a student at the Singapore Management University.

However, he is believed to have taken his own life after he repeatedly breached his quarantine by leaving his room last August.

An inquiry into De Fonseka's death was held on Feb. 16.

An investigation officer told State Coroner Kamala Ponnampalam that it is "strongly suggested" that De Fonseka had killed himself as he had been worried about the implications of breaching SHN.

What happened

De Fonseka left his room to visit a female friend who was also serving her SHN on the same floor to watch Netflix together.

He was caught on Aug. 10.

A security officer found his room empty and the door left open.

De Fonseka had arrived in Singapore on Aug 1 last year.

Video footage from the hotel showed De Fonseka leaving his room.

After De Fonseka was discovered by a security guard to not be in his room, the door was closed, effectively locking the room's occupant out as he was not given access to enter the room.

Video footage showed the Sri Lankan pacing along the corridor after he left his female friend's room at 11:22pm.

The female friend alerted the hotel staff and De Fonseka was allowed back in.

SMU found out

A SMU senior assistant director of student conduct wrote to De Fonseka via email and asked for a written explanation to find out what happened.

Two days after the breach was discovered, tragedy struck.

De Fonseka's friend alerted the hotel after she could not contact him on Aug. 12.

A hotel duty manager found the "do not disturb" light on outside De Fonseka's room at around 1pm.

Upon entering, De Fonseka's motionless body was found hanging in the room.

The state coroner will issue her findings at a later date.


National Care Hotline: 1800-202-6868

Samaritans of Singapore: 1800-221-4444

Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019

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