Our Health Minister puts both feet in his mouth – way to go!

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



  1. Was the minister drunk or something .. seems like it 😛 Not surprising if proven though 😀

  2. Ange – The clowns that are in parliament here don’t need to be ‘drunk’ to say or do inane and incredibly stupid things. That’s just the way they are. Now can you imagine what the rest of the majority of folk that voted them in are like???

  3. this is the same idiot who declared to a Human Rights Conference in Colombo in 2005 that Sri Lanka will never decriminalise homosexulaity because it is unnatural behaviour and against the culture of the country. what bloody culture? Bits and pieces from India and elsewhere….and lets cling on to a penal code that was introduced by the British…now THAT’s culture!!!

  4. Why should we have condoms in the conference hall? Are they going to have sex in there? If the participants want to have sex somewhere else, they can go outside and buy condoms from a pharmacy or a supermarket. Pretty silly of Malley to ask that question.

    I’m all for gay rights in Australia but I don’t think Sri Lanka is ready for that yet. The anti-gay legislation may have been introduced by the Brits, but it’s still in line with today’s community standards in Sri Lanka – sad as it is.

  5. My favorite part of this entire episode is the fact that *Mr. Pants Down De Silva* himself is lecturing the world about Sri Lankan monogamity.

    Wonder what happened to his beloved secretary.


  6. That’s an interesting insight, JavaJones 🙂 Thank you.

    Now what does it take to have the minister eat his own words and come out with a formal apology? Awareness maybe? A 24 hour blogathon? Anymore ideas, how do you Sri Lankans make noise in a peaceful manner usually.. this time for a good cause?

  7. […] Equal Ground on the Sri Lankan health minister’s remarks on homosexuality. Share This […]

  8. Awww…you know what…as far as these goonies are concerned they are only worried about what their voters say…they couldn’t care an iota about what the International community thinks nor what you and i and the ‘colombo’ types think. makes you wonder whether it is our ministers who are still swinging from the trees!! with comments such as the ones made by Nimal Siripala, no wonder the country is still in turmoil. In any other cabinet he would have gotten the sack immediately!!

  9. Dear Justmal…..when is the right time for LGBT Human Rights in Sri Lanka? If the voices in Australia lay still until the country was ‘ready’ for it, where would the LGBT community in Aussieland be today? No recognition…and no safe haven for those lucky Sri Lankans that have the means to flee to the safe places of this world!! Not putting you down or anything, but the misconception that a little adversity means that Sri Lanka is not ready for it is as silly as saying we should not give the Tamil community the rights they deserve either…
    And I do believe O’Malley’s questions about condoms being available at the conference – in most AIDS conferences and indeed Queer conferences, condoms are given out free and are readily available for those who want to take them and go somewhere else to have sex!!! He did not mean that people would be copulating at the conference! Yikes!

  10. I can totally understand where Justmal is coming from concernng questioning if Sri Lanka is ready for gay rights. The reality however is if no one makes it an issue and begins to fight for gay rights then Sri Lanka wll continue to remain in this position. If change is wanted it has to start somewhere and that somewhere is with Equal Ground who are doing a grand job and I fully support what they’re doing for the gay community as I’m sure we all do.

  11. People copulating at the conference, that would’ve been interesting 😛 Speaking of condom handouts, why can’t the international schools over there take initiative in investing in condom dispensers? Same goes for the night clubs in sri lanka

    This is just me but i don’t think it’s a question of whether sri lanka is ready for gay rights or not, it’s a question of what’s stopping those within the lgbt community from reaching out and lobbying the government/parliament on gay rights? Or rather what’s being done to lobby those in high places on gay rights. Is it just laziness and ignorance or is there something else i’m missing?

  12. Hey Ange….In 1995 the gay rights lobby approached the Justice Ministry and lobbied for decrim. So what did our wonderful ‘closeted’ Justice minister do at the time….said the law was gender biased and amended it to include women. So it could be that the movement in Sri Lanka is treading softly, softly in case they unleash another crazy reprisal. The other factor could be that the LGBT community itself is rather backward in coming forward and its up to a handful of dedicated individuals to take on the entire parliament – and we know whats in that wonderful place!! Really…as Hilary said…it takes a village….not just one or two people. So come on people! Get out there and get involved!

  13. very interesting, but I don’t agree with you

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