Monk accuses BBS of assault

The monk said that he had had to return a house at Kalapaluwawa he had on rent and as a result the children there were stranded. Disappointed over the move the monk attempted to stage a protest outside the Bodu Bala Sena headquarters but was prevented from doing so by the BBS general secretary, ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara thero.The venerable Malawwe Kalyana Dhamma thero claimed that he was verbally abused by the venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara thero and also later assaulted.The thero claimed that eyewitnesses had said that he was unconscious for approximately 10 minutes following the assault. He had then made a request from the Bodu Bala Sena for a place and the Bodu Bala Sena had initially given a positive response.The venerable Malawwe Kalyana Dhamma thero however said that the Bodu Bala Sena had then reneged on its commitment. A Buddhist monk has accused the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) of violating his right to freedom of expression and assaulting him.The venerable Malawwe Kalyana Dhamma thero said that members of the Bodu Bala Sena verbally abused and then assaulted him when he attempted to stage a peaceful protest outside the Bodu Bala Sena headquarters at Thunmulla last Wednesday. He said that the protest was over a request he had made to the BBS for a house to keep several orphans under his care. He was then taken away by the police and he later lodged a complaint with the police over the assault. The venerable Malawwe Kalyana Dhamma thero said that he had every right to stage a peaceful demonstration and that right was violated. read more

New branding product to help UNbacked Global Fund combat AIDS TB malaria

A portion of revenue from specially branded American Express cards, Gap T-shirts, Giorgio Armani sunglasses and Converse sneakers will soon be contributed to the United Nations-backed Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, officials announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland today.The goods by four of the world’s leading companies will be sold under the Product RED brand name as part of an innovative fundraising scheme, which will generate resources for the Global Fund’s activities on behalf of African women and children coping with AIDS.“By making socially responsible consumption appealing to consumers and profitable for companies, RED is pioneering a sustainable model for the involvement of the private sector in the fight against disease and poverty,” said Dr. Richard Feachem, Executive Director of the Global Fund.Proposed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2001, the Global Fund is a unique international public-private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing funds to fight the three diseases by strengthening health systems and paying for drugs, diagnostics, mosquito nets and other commodities. The partnership of governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents a new approach to international health financing.Rock Star Bono and Bobby Shriver, Chief Executive Officer of Product RED, announced the initiative today at the World Economic Forum, a four-day gathering of top global business and government leaders. The RED products designed by the launch partners – American Express, Converse, Gap and Giorgio Armani – will be available on 1 March.Mr. Shriver said less than 1 per cent of the Global Fund’s resource needs now come from the private sector. The Global Fund is seeking an additional $3 billion for 2006 and 2007 in order to fully finance its programmes. At a replenishment conference chaired by Mr. Annan in London last September, the Fund received pledges of nearly $4 billion for 2006 and 2007.Dr. Carol Jacobs, Chair of the Global Fund Board, voiced enthusiastic appreciation for the Red initiative. She said the Fund recognises the efforts of the CEOs and teams of partner companies as well as Bono and Bobby Shriver of the Debt, AIDS, Trade, Africa (DATA) organization.To date, the Global Fund has committed 1.4 billion to HIV/AIDS programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. These programmes have already used the funding to provide life-extending antiretroviral medications to 270,000 people living with AIDS and reached millions more with effective messages and tools to prevent infection with HIV. Half a million orphans have been reached with food, care and education. read more