10 August, 2022


Education Minister To Be Sued For Breaching Patient Confidentiality

A group of lawyers are looking at the possibility of suing Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, for his unacceptable conduct where he breached ‘patient confidentiality’ when he publicly announced that the mother of the 6 year old child from Kuliyapitiya was HIV+.

Education Minister - Akila Viraj Kariyawasam

Education Minister – Akila Viraj Kariyawasam

Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that the lawyers are currently in consultation with several international organisations seeking advice to take legal action over Kariyawasam’s blatant disregard to safeguard the woman’s health condition by alleging that she was HIV+. Speaking to the media over the weekend in Kandy, the Education Minister claimed that the mother was HIV+, and thus there were chances the child can contract it from her, so he would get a court order to separate the mother from the child and hand over the child to probationary services.

Following this statement which resulted in an uproar with people taking to social media demanding Kariyawasam’s resignation, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also reprimanding him, the Education Minister extended an apology and went on to blame the Zonal Education Director as the person who informed him that the mother was HIV+.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sankalpa Marasinghe, Medical Officer of the De Soysa Hospital for Women expressed his shock and shame over the current developments in Kuliyapitiya. “What shocks me the most is not the degree of ignorance revealed at the village in Kuliyapitiya but the level of complete ignorance shown by the Minster of Education. I’m pretty sure it’s not just the Minister of Education who lacks such knowledge in the parliament,” he said.

He emphasized that the National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP) draws a five year national policy on HIV and AIDS prevention, and the current policy which concludes in 2017 rests on two main pillars, which are; patient confidentiality and non-discrimination of HIV infected patients.

Marasinghe noted that these policy decisions are taken in order to protect patients from discrimination.

According to him, it was apparent that the Minster of Education and the other officials involved in this issue keep walking deep in to the wilderness rather than out of it. “On the above context, it is certainly within the rights of the mother and child to seek justice from the court of law sighting the violation of fundamental rights and patient confidentiality,” Marasinghe added.

Interestingly none of the country’s big time NGOs, who receive foreign funding for HIV/AIDS awareness have come out condemning the minister’s statement.

Meanwhile Dr. Natasha Balendra, chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority and Dr. Deepika Udagama, chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka in a joint statement said that the health status of the boy’s parents is irrelevant and it was the government’s duty to recognize the child’s right to education.

The Human Rights Commission and the National Child Protection Authority also reiterated that no question has arisen about the proper care and custody of the child.

“The health status of the mother must be viewed as a personal matter, which therefore requires the sensitivity of all parties concerns. Just as our own medical records are confidential – so are hers. According to the National HIV AIDS Policy it is the sole duty of all political leaders, government officials and media institutions to respect this confidentiality and honour the privacy of the child and his family,” the joint statement added.

Related posts:

Education Ministry To Draw Up Guideline To Prevent HIV And Other Discriminations At Schools

Trinity College To Rescue Discriminated Kuliyapitiya Boy

Audio: Education Minister Akila Viraj Suffering From HIV Phobia; Threatens To Separate Kuliyapitiya Mother From Child

Ranil Blames Akila Over Kuliyapitiya HIV Controversy

HIV Controversy: Legal And Medical Experts Say Rights Of Mother And Child Violated

We publish below Karayawasam’s earlier statement again:

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Latest comments

  • 1

    [Edited out] Please write instead of posting links – CT

    • 2

      CT, just asking, but please would you explain, why you allow your stepson Amarasiri not only to post links, but also post links that are mostly irrelevant to the subject most of the time. Nepotism?

  • 16

    This guy is the thick skinned type of buffoon. He is such a buffoon, that if he is told he is to be sued in court he might be the under the illusion that he is to be given a award.
    Not only should he be sued in court but publicly shamed and disgraced and then exiled to the deep wilderness away from society to feed his pea sized brain on grass and leaves.
    Yahapalanaya govt is a shame to the country and there are ominious signs in the making that Yahapalanaya & company wont last for long.
    Very soon they will run into bankruptcy and have to close down the factory.
    Thank you RW,MS,& Co: we expected a lot but have been given bugger all in return.
    Welcome back MR, GR, BR, NR, YR, RR, & Co: a known devil is better than a unknown devil.

    • 4

      You should know both devils by now, and be able to pick the ‘better’ devil?

    • 2

      But still that is not a high crime. He may have exposed it – that should match with lanken society since it is not fully civlized world.
      At the time, Maharaja et al – did various kind of crimes on daylight you the hooos stayed as if you were fed with kirimati (clay). Today, thank to My3 AND Ranil they have a created an enviroment almost everyone can be crticised. No matter what it is. Be it first or second citizen whatever the failure he may have gone is being read immediately on the tabloid. In the days of pulligona governed the country, you the ilk had no choice than to pay a smile to please the bugger et al. So did Journos for petty gifts. Journos inclu harwad educated MS was tamed by Rajapakshes even today. Our people many of them would do anything for money. This is common to Dayan Jayathilaka to Malina Senaratne to anyone else who enjoyed the life under the illegal reign of Rajaakshe.

      I think just public apology would be enough for this matter. There are numbers of people across the country are being condemend by lanken society for no reasons, some times their lands have been grabed by illegal men and women worked with Nortars or other corrupted men -sure HIV issue is a sensitive one – and the society is still not knowledgeble on the issues – with professionals at Unis are still at their slumber-each and everyone should join hand to build up and new society that will safegaurd respect and dignity.. this can only be done by introducing new laws that respect not only SINHALAYA (us) but also anyone including animals that face all kind of harm by so called some buddhists (not forgetting the way how some buddhists attacked stray dogs).

  • 11

    Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam,

    RE: Education Minister To Be Sued For Breaching Patient Confidentiality

    Yes. This is a Problem for the child.

    Can he be sued for stupidity as well. Is stupidity a crime or a misdemeanor for a Minister?

  • 13

    The ignoramus must be fired or forced to resign before (hopefully) the lawyers sue him and embarrass the government even further for many of their dismal performances so far.

    Time to appoint more suitable ministers instead of the total misfits who are occupying these positions due to some sort of hidden agendas by the leaders.

    A major cleanup is long overdue!

    • 7

      “Time to appoint more suitable ministers”

      From where can we find such politicians? It is a rare species in Sri Lanka.

  • 2

    Civil proceeding on the violation of the mother’s privacy of her health conditions should be on one side. Other side jeopardising the mother’s and the child’s physical safety must be dealt under criminal negligent.

    This is the school sacked the child reasoning parents of the other children are protesting against keeping the child in the school. The Photo on the media shows the mother and the child were sitting in front of the school without any safety precaution. If the schools’ story was true, I am sure many of the protested parents passed this pair on their way “to and from” school. In the West, many times, when the ID of AIDS patients were left open, they have been attacked. It was a close call for the physical safety of this pair. It was the duty of the school to inform the dangerous situation emerging in front of it to police and it was the Kuliyapitiya’s police duty to place a guard there to ensure the mother’s and the child’ safety. The lack of guard at that place is the responsibility of a criminal negligence of the principal and Kuliyapitiya police. They both have to be investigated by the Colombo offices.

  • 14

    Take this idiot talking about getting aids from being close to an infected person through sweat, a president talking about stingray tail punishment and Mr. Volkswagon spluttering away incoherently at security guards at Independence Square.. oh and that Ranjan Ramanayake saying he will infect himself with the poor boys blood.. and we have a comedy show!! WOW.. Pusweddilla. You are out of business!!!

    • 6

      @words – you’re spot on with your comment.

      I just wonder why you never ever have (or even had) such incisive comments about those Rajapakses whom you never tire of either defending or ignoring their many excesses?

      Shouldn’t that sauce you serve be good for both the gander, as well as for the goose?

      Now please don’t come back with that “hearsay” shite that you fall back on when at a loss for objectivity.

  • 0

    Media should take responsibility for blowing this up and the minister said was right if you follow the whole clip carefully.

    • 4

      Minister and officials did nothing until media gave publicity for this. Even until today they have’t done anything but making discriminatory statements. I don’t know if there is a law to sue someone for being stupid.

  • 2

    If this ever go to courts it would be a miracle. If the miracle ever happens story will changed and evidence will come to hand that the minister innocent humanitarian who risk his life and limbs to save the kid. It worked for Kudu Duminda, Hirunka,Rajapaksa clan. Arajuna Mahendran, and latest been Champika he may use the defense that he did not at the wheel of the vehicle because it was a a Google self drive so he is not responsible.

  • 1

    What a brilliant bloke our Yahapalana suckers have been endowed with, to guide their children and the grand children to prosperity with a well rounded, modern Education.

    HIV which is another name for AIDS is prevalent among the gay community.

    Women and children acquire AIDS through blood transfusions in the main.

    With a small fraction contracting it from partners who play on both sides.

    One would have thought that the United National Party in particular would have had a well developed AIDS awareness program in place, before they started giving us Yahapalanaya.

    Looks like this Education Minister hasn’t had any such training or orientation, before he was assigned this all important portfolio.

    May I suggest that the Yahapalana PM send the Minister for a crash course or hold one at Sirikotha ASAP with the help of the Foreign Minister, before the Yahapalana financiers in the West demand the sacking of the Minister.

    Because Western Countries give top priority to look after their Gay communities and protect them against this deadly virus.

    They wouldn’t tolerate their agent, the Yahapalanan PM having an ignorant idiot holding a ministerial position in the Government in which they invested a lot in terms of money and time.

    • 1

      KASmaalam KA Sumanasekera

      “HIV which is another name for AIDS is prevalent among the gay community. Women and children acquire AIDS through blood transfusions in the main. With a small fraction contracting it from partners who play on both sides.”

      Now it seems you have transformed yourself from an Internationally acclaimed Vellala bashing economist to a specialist who is concerned with public health.

      Here is something that you should have read before you started knocking on the keyboard:



      You do not need to worry about contracting sexually transmitted diseases for one needs a partner (paid or unpaid)

      • 0

        Dear Native,

        Well rounded, unlike your Yahapalana Education Minister.Right mate..

        Just imagine if my poor old man had the dosh to send me to a school..

        You lot don’t have to worry about your kids and grand kids going to get Akila’ and Ranil’s Yahapalana Education.

        Plus you get good health cover as well, all free of charge unlike our Dalits in both North and South.

  • 5

    The rights of the patient has been breached here. NO DOCTOR IS ALLOWED TO PASS ON ANY INFO OF HIS PATIENTS TO NO ONE: This is the law. PERIOD. I am not sure if it is a law in SL. If so, then he can be sued.

  • 3

    This is typical example of the poor quality of ministry of education. Sri Lanka is only country where any fool can run education ministry. Most of the education administrative officers are not much educated in the ministry. Can you find a person with doctorate degree in this ministry? What a shame.

    Prime minister take this ministry and make changes. Recruit professors and doctoral people in education for policy decisions and other education administrative matters like ugc.

    A theory in education. Check if I am wrong…..
    students are more knowledgeable than teachers
    Teachers are more knowledgeable than Directors of Education
    Directors are more knowledgeable than Zonal Director of Education
    Zonal Directors are more knowledgeable than Secretary of ministry of education
    Secretary of ministry of education is more knowledgeable than minister of education

    Over to PM and Srisena

  • 0

    No,Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, the top honcho in this blessed Sinhala Buddhist country does not believe he can be sued.

    This is a tropical country and Ministers can be sued only in lands with temperate climates.

  • 1

    This fool of a minister, opened his mouth and put his foot in it.

    He did not have even an inkling of consulting professionals who knew much more than himself about HIV/AIDS, and rights of a child, before expressing opinions on a situation with which, he was not familiar.

    This appears to be the calibre of many ministers.

    Politics, like medicine, is an ever expanding field, and ministers are expected to probe all aspects of any unfamiliar situation before expressing opinion on it.

    He should be sued, if only to teach correct responses to all of our politicians.

  • 0

    I don’t think you can sue these idiotic creatures (ministers) of the SL cabinet. They just utter things as if they are still on the Opposition. They think they can still continue to lie to the Public.
    About patients’ confidentiality: This guy (Akila) would say he never said so but his driver would have probably done the uttering. He would deny the fact that he was even at the meeting. If you question about the video or audio recording or CCTV video footage, he would say now anything can be ‘doctored’ today.
    Then the whole herd comes to his rescue and they would put the blame on the Rajapaksas for having introduced or improved the CCTV camera system and other modern communication recording systems to SL.
    When I read some of CT articles and Yahapalana henchmen’s comments I feel sorry about what happened in Sri Lanka.
    I strongly believe that someday in the near future these so-called ministers will understand that every action has a reaction and this time that reaction will be harder than they would expect.

  • 0

    The government has to be careful regarding those MR lawyers wanting to tarnish the image of the government! Although idiotic statements are better than mega corruption deals,Yahapaalanaya also includes responsible statements with accountability. Why give room for a stupid bunch of MR lawyers help him to come back into power..? aided and abetted by the media. One should see those who have already tarnished their image?? Rajitha, Wijedasa, Champika, My3 (on nepotism of bro, Daham and Daughter), John A on manliness (? Real or slander). The strategy would be to target one by one on sometimes trivial but at other times idiotic issues etc. Ranil and My3 take note also attempts to divide and rule by pitting My3 and Ranil!! I suppose Ranil is mature enough but I am not sure about MY3 common sense as opposed to maturity, insecurity and vulnerability!! It is also true that RW is trying to divide and rule the UPFA? ??

  • 0

    As always, anyone would leave their two cts worth not considering the era we just passed.

    I think Minister of Educ has done a greater mistake. But he is no means a supporter to Corruptions that MR regime carried out in public. We the human make mistakes – so just apology would be enough not haging on the issue, as if we have no other grivances to address in this poverty driven coutnry.

    Alone media has to take the blame to hve spread this that far. These are sensitve issues as no other since schools and the family met with the incident will have to leave in the same society that is no better to some parts of pakistan.
    Any myth or a lie can outreach masses easily and become perception.

  • 0

    I think its a our morale duty to safeguard the image of Sri Lanka in the outside world. Minister is totally wrong and he must pay the price for making such horrific statement against this HIV Patient. I was listening to an interview in Lanka E News taken with a Grama Sevaka in that village and it was purposely trying to expose by the Media by insulting that mother’s private life as if you listen to the way the journalist trying to asking question from the govt officer is very clear.

    I think that news blog lost their reputation for having that interview. Just the way he questioning the Grama Seva, it is like you already scripted the program before the interview.

    Minister must be resigned or he should be sacked by the Prime Minister.

    • 0

      Man what are u bubbling.. ? I grew up in the country until I left for Europe.
      I know it very well – in srilanka the society is so uncivilized specially focusing on some diseases – TB patients were attacked no other. Those patients were called or named after by derogatory terms. We talk about us being buddhists, but majority folks behave as if their religion is pro violations. Today having read somewhere how a Eagle had been tortured for their spice, I felt my god, is this the country we call the predominant buddhist nation: If they want to abuse, they go beyond all margins.
      Dont you know guys, they harm not only fellow citizen but also animals – like monkeys, thalagoyas and tortoises and all – these people are born cruelsome ones. I really dont know why they do so.

      • 1

        Very true, especially about the eagle. I remember an anecdote told me by a tourist guide about how a man was keeping a monitor lizard by the road to show tourists and make some cash. After a while someone noticed that the animal just squirming about and not trying to run away, and on closer examination they saw that all four limbs of the lizard had been broken, for ease of handling.

  • 0

    Good News. This will teach a good lesson to all the Politicians who think that they can get away even with murder. This is a Grand Strategy to DISCIPLINE all those rogues who have hoodwinked the people and got into Parliament. If the people cannot elect disciplined and honourable representatives, let the law abiding people of this country “Kick Them Out” through the Law Enforcement by legal means. That CLEAN UP has become a NEED and a MUST.

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