Friday, March 11, 2016
Ignorance of the law of the land is NOT AN EXCUSE – Baby Elephant!
The Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera was arrested on account of a criminal breach of the Flora and Fauna Law, for keeping an unregistered elephant in his custody.
The AGs department after a thorough investigation, was able to convince a Magistrate that there was sufficient evidence of a crime, and arrested the Venerable Thero.
It is a wake-up call to all who would in future wish to get hold of an elephant, and to know the legal means of so doing. Of course all this was done under the lawless regime where everyone was permitted to take the law into their own hands on the proviso, that you were a Govt. supporter.
I can’t remember the Ven. Thero’s politics, but though he was a JHU MP at one time, his allegiance changed with the winds of power, or so it seems.
While it may sound rather harsh, and could be perceived as part of a revenge against the excesses of the Previous Govt. it is only by taking high profile suspects into custody, that a Nation can remind the people that NO ONE is safe from prosecution if they break the law of the land.
Buddhist Priests in any case receive preferential treatment whilst on remand, and I am sure this incident will be used by the Ven. Thero for his own advantage, as I am sure the young Rajapakse boy is also of the same view. Until Sri Lanka stops venerating criminals, people will want to be criminals, and I don’t know who is going to teach them right from wrong, as clearly their parents did not know what was right, in both these cases.
I also know that the team entrusted with finding all 55 baby elephants, who were captured in the last 4 years with Ali Roshan being a major player in this scam, are doing a painstaking job to find, identify, and prosecute the culprits, and there is still a way to go. However I am convinced that this action, has sent a CLEAR message to the Country, that picking out abandoned babies from the wild, however it is done, is not right. This no matter how much money you have to give the elephant the best care in the world.
We now must consider the plight of Pinnawala Elephants, and how elephants can be bred in captivity to be used for perehara’s under strict supervision.