Sri Lanka stands up and apologises for global blood Ivory trade

Sri Lanka stands up and apologises for global blood Ivory trade

Sri Lanka stands up and apologises for global blood Ivory trade

Written by Siddharth Kotian

26 Jan, 2016 | 9:47 pm

A multi-faith religious ceremony was held today, Tuesday, January 26, 2016 as Sri Lanka become only the 16th nation to destroy seized blood Ivory.

A Buddhist merit ceremony to aid the passage of the deceased to a higher realm was conducted as part of a unique apology to the creatures – Sri Lanka being the only nation in the world to officially say sorry for its part as a transit point in the global Ivory trade.

Though not the largest haul of confiscated Ivory, the shipment from Kenya seized by officials at the Colombo Port four years ago weighed in at 1.5 tons or 358 tusks of varying sizes. Assuming that all the tusks seized were matched to their corresponding pair,  a mathematical minimum of 179 dead elephants were ceremonially laid to rest by leaders of the Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian faiths.

Although DNA testing has revealed the tusks came from Tanzania the impact on elephant populations in Africa is fueled by a global demand for their tusks with the haul destroyed today having an estimated street value worth millions

Secretary General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), John E Scanlon said the destruction of the tusks “sends a very powerful message from the Sri Lankan Government and its authorities that Sri Lanka does not accept, and will not accept the illegal trade in ivory.”

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