13 April, 2024


Ranil Blames Akila Over Kuliyapitiya HIV Controversy

Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam has come under severe flak from Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over his failure to curb the Kuliyapitiya incident from getting out of hand and making a highly serophobic comment.

Kariyawasam, it is learnt had complained about MP Ranjan Ramanayake visiting Kuliyapitiya to meet the 6 year old child who was deprived from attending school as it was rumoured that he was HIV+.

Ranjan and Akila

*File photo

The education minister had said that Ramanayake had messed things up by going to Kuliyapitiya. However instead of siding with Kariyawasam, Wickremesinghe had blamed him and his failure to sort things out before it got out of hand and also his anti-HIV comments, including his statement where he said that he will get a court order to separate the child from the mother.

Ramanayake is reported to have visited the boy and his mother on the instructions of President Maithripala Sirisena. It is also learnt that Wickremesinghe has called and thanked Ramanayake for visiting the child and his mother.

Meanwhile, issuing a statement on Sunday Kariyawasam said that the media had distorted his statement, and had once again tried to make a circus out of the situation.

“It is saddening to note that some have twisted my statement,” he said.

Kariyawasam also said that while the child should not be deprived of his mother’s love, but at least for a few days the child must be given over to probationary services, which will give confidence to everyone that the child is safe and not infected with HIV, which will allow authorities to find him a school.

“It is our duty to safeguard the child, specially amidst belief that the mother also is infected with HIV,” he said. However, it was Kariyawasam himself who claimed on Saturday that the mother was in fact HIV+.

Meanwhile, Kariyawasam has gone on record assuring that he will provide a school for the child. “I have already held discussions with a school in Colombo with this regard, and have also spoken to a private firm who is willing to bear all the expenses for the child until he completes his education, which will also include providing a house for him and his mother to live if they have to move,” today he told the BBC.

But on Saturday speaking to the media soon after visiting Malvathu Viharaya, Kariyawasam said that the Zonal Education Director has confirmed that the child’s father had died from HIV, and even the child’s mother is HIV+.

“This is a tropical country and there are ways the child can contract it as he sleeps next to his mother. So we have requested the mother to hand over the child to probationary services, but if she doesn’t then we will get a court order and take him away,” he said. He had also threatened to take a court order and separate the child from the mother, because as Sri Lanka is a tropical country and as the child sleeps next to the mother, he too can contract HIV.

Maithree Wickramasingha, wife of Premier Wickremesinghe, who is a Professor and specializes in gender and women’s studies has been a key speaker on HIV/AIDS and other gender sensitive issues.

The Colombo Telegraph wishes to keep on record that it at no point distorted the education minister’s statement, but also included the unedited audio of his statement which was carried along with the story titled ‘Audio: Education Minister Akila Viraj Suffering From HIV Phobia; Threatens To Separate Kuliyapitiya Mother From Child’ which was published on March 6.

We publish below Karayawasam’s earlier statement again:

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Latest comments

  • 0

    What did Akila tell Ranjan in that photo? …Any guesses.

    I have been looking at Ranjan’s face a few times to work out what that facial expression means.

    And to work out how it compares with young Akila’s.

    And to sum up both, with that of our handsome PM , Batalanda Ranil..

  • 5

    come on Minister ..you do not report to the PM or to the cabinet .your report card is given by the voters ..Voters of Kuliyapitiya elected you , but you as Minister either stand by what you said earlier or resign because you failed the nation ..be a Man be contrite by your actions not mere words …it is the sovereignity of the people that matters not your skipper !

  • 5

    This man is not only foolish, he is also insensitive. He says he wants to hand-over the child (he is just six years old!!) to the Child Welfare in order to “safeguard the child) He is the man who said a few months ago that Napolean was responsible for winning the First World War! Why do we have to have people like this as ministers, specially in education? What are his qualifications?

  • 5

    Mr. Prime Minister,

    How come you have square pegs in round holes. Akila Viraj may win votes but he is an idiot and should not be involved even with Kindergarten education, let alone be Minister of Education. Mohanlal Grero is another education racketeer in charge of Higher Education. Anyone checked the standards of education at his schools and how his staff are treated?

  • 5

    Is that zonal directer of education a HIV specialist? May be a treble guy.

  • 5

    ranil should have sacked this pompous piece of dirt instead of pussy footing and talking BS.
    the guy is an embarrasement anda liability.

  • 5

    what a bloody idiot, calling for the child to be handed over to probationery services. does the mutt not realise that it is not a crime to be struck down by an illness. i am sure this mutt has had infections in the past so has his children if he has any. may be he has no children that is why he seems to not understand family dynamics. it has to be social services if that not probationery services. this mutt can not understand the difference. shows what sort of calibre these ministers are. god help sri lanka if these are the idiots who run the country.
    yahapalanaya has failed us my3. get your act together man.

  • 3

    Where did the concept of sleeping next to a positive person in a tropical country makes one infected with AIDS? The minister of education ought to go to school or be another unschooled citizen of ‘Kuliyapitiya’ shouting and screaming with other ignorant there. The child who already lost the father should and can stay with the mother even if she is positive without any harm without putting him to more agony. The minister at least should know that only transfusion of body fluids makes one infected, not even kissing. Simply this minister of education should be replaced with one with education and capable of reasoning.

  • 0

    Minister Akila is correct.This child is already been exposed and should be sent to a school of special education.If he is sent even to Colombo Royal (Hon PM”s school) he will be harassed no sooner.Psychologists please come out to help this child

  • 2

    Akila idiot should be sacked from his ministerial portfolio immediately. If Ranil is serious about the messy handling of this sorry saga he should replace this inadequate man with someone who has a better understanding and sensitivity.

  • 1

    Can someone with absolute proof please confirm this idiots level of education. It would be great for our citizenry to be aware of the qualifications of this minister. Does he have a completes secondary education ? Does he have at the minimum a bachelors degree ? What is this country coming to ? Any mee haraka from country bumpkin land who is able to secure some votes is eligible to hold office. Unbelievable.

  • 0

    Send the education minister back to kindergarten. He needs some serious kids lessons.

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