20 School Children Tested HIV Positive
By Indika Sri Aravinda
As Sri Lanka joins the world to observe World AIDS Day tomorrow, statistics have revealed that several children have been tested positive for HIV in Sri Lanka. The National STD/AIDS Control Programme said that 20 children had been identified this year as being HIV positive. Director of the programme, Sisira Liyanage told The Sunday Leader that a survey had found that some school children had contracted HIV as a result of having unsafe sex.
He said that other ways in which the deadly disease had been transmitted to children was by way of mothers who are HIV positive. Overall, in Sri Lanka between 1997 and September 2014 health officials have identified 2,014 people with HIV of which 331 patients had died.
The survey had also found that there are between 15,000 – 20,000 prostitutes in Sri Lanka who are another cause for the spread of AIDS. December 1 is commemorated as World AIDS Day and the theme for this year is ‘Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free Generation.’
Police are yet to make headway in last week’s election violence, as one of those injured still remains in a critical condition at the Colombo National Hospital.
With under two months for the Presidential election, violence is widespread islandwide. The most brutal of these cases is reported from Maggona, where a United National Party (UNP) supporter was shot and critically injured. The victim was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Colombo National Hospital and remains in a critical condition.
Police say they have identified the car used for the shooting and investigations are under way to arrest those involved.
Police spokesperson SSP Ajith Rohana admitted that in the recent election related violence nobody has been arrested, but they have taken sufficient security measures to ensure a violence free election.
Meanwhile, raising concerns to the Election Commissioner, UNP Leadership Council Chairman, Karu Jayasuriya said this week that more UNP supporters and members are being targeted in these election violence.
“People behind the shooting incident in Maggona are roaming free in the area. Police are not taking any action to arrest them because they are Government supporters,” he said.
With the announcement of a Presidential election, a series of attacks targeting Opposition party supporters are taking place.
Chamila Ranasinghe, a loyal UNP supporter in Maggona, was shot twice in the head at Maggona Junction, by unidentified persons, while lighting firecrackers in Beruwala with his supporters, soon after the common Opposition candidate was announced.
In addition to this, two shooting incidents again targeting UNP supporters, were reported from Madampe and Puttalam.
Gunshots were fired at the houses of Mr Milton and Mr Sudeh Priyankara from Medagama, Madampe .Mr. Milton claimed that a group of people on motorcycles arrived at his house and fired shots.
Campaign for Free & Fair Elections (CaFFE) said that police have failed to ensure a violence free election.
“Both men were targeted because they lit firecrackers after the former SLFP Secretary was announced as the common Opposition candidate.” said CaFFE Executive Director, Keerthi Thennakon.
He said police are not willing to take action, though there is solid evidence such as the vehicle used to carry out the shooting and related CCTV footage.
Following the common Opposition candidate’s visit to Kandy, gunshots were fired at the office of UNP MP M.M.A. Halim, at Mawilmada, Kandy, damaging its windows and walls.
Halim told the Sunday Times he suspects the ruling party being behind the shooting, because he organised the visit of Maithripala Sirisena to Kandy, after he declared his candidacy. He has been actively promoting Mr Sirisena and was the facilitator of his visit to the mosque in Kandy.
Details of Northern Province voters resident abroad for a long time are being collected from each Pradeshiya Sabha, by the military, Provincial sources said.