In just one stroke, and in less than half-a-minute, Sri Lanka’s minister for health care and nutrition, Nimal Siripala de Silva, wiped clean all that the AIDS champions had been advocating for at the 8th ICAAP here this week — with what critics called his irresponsible and most awkward statements.
“I don’t want people to think I brought all of these people here (for the congress) to promote lesbianism and homosexuality. There are many nice women and handsome men in Sri Lanka,” he pointed out. “People in South-east Asia practice good sexual behaviour with single partners.” And then, much to the horror of all those present, he went on in the same insulting manner: “When the western world was living in jungles, we were leading a civilised life.”
But these remarks were not made out of the blue – they were his attempt at a rebuttal of the rapporteur general Jeff O’ Malley’s remarks about the absence of condoms at a conference meant to highlight ways to curb HIV and AIDS. “Where were the condoms? Don’t congress participants have sex?” Malley’s comment was completely misconstrued by the health minister, many here said.
Perhaps he had no clue that there was a higher percentage of men who have sex with men, drug users and sex workers than ever before among the 2,426 participants at the ICAAP, which ran from Aug. 19 to 23.
read full story at http://www.ipsterraviva.net/tv/colombo2007/currentNew.aspx?new=962