Traditional use of elephants under threat

Traditional use of elephants under threat

Traditional use of elephants under threat

Written by Tharushan Fernando

03 Jun, 2016 | 9:26 pm

The elephant is a symbol closely tied to Sri Lankan Culture and the traditions. One cannot think of a Perahera without remembering these magnificent beasts.However a number of issued have cropped up with regard to the usage of elephants in such traditional acts .

It is an elephant that is vested with the sacred task of carrying the casket at a perahara, and a price tag can never be placed on this act. The relationship between Elephants and Humans dates back to the times of Kings in Sri Lankan History.However, according to the Diyawadana Nimale who is also the Chairperson of the Domesticated Elephant Owners’ Association, a scarcity of domesticated elephants in the country has had an adverse impact on the Perahera Culture.

Yet, due to reasons such as failure to disclose legal ownership , shortcomings in permits many domesticated elephants were detained under court orders in the recent past. According to the Department of Wildlife, 16 elephants detained under court orders are being housed at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, while another 19 have been moved to the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home.

Recently, The Colombo Chief Magistrate issued an order to temporarily release 15 elephants calves to their original owners until the 31st of August.

Following a request made by the Attorney General’s Department, on the 26th of May, the Colombo High Court suspended the order.

When the case was taken up before the Colombo Chief Magistrates Court today, the Magistrate postponed the hearing until the 15th of July as a case is being taken up in the High Court as well.

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