Two weeks ago on January 4th 2013, the Hong Kong Customs seized 779 Ivory Tusks hidden in a container from Africa. They are headed for markets in the Far East where it is a prized possession!
In May of 2012, the Sri Lankan customs seized and confiscated 359 Ivory tusks hidden in a container enroute from Kenya to Dubai via Colombo, and have now decided to distribute it to temples around the Country. See link below:
So what about it? there is a huge ivory trade where African Elephants who usually all have tusks are killed and tusks sawn off and transported illegally through their ports headed for the markets of the buyers. This is a big business due to the demand for ivory amongst an increasingly affluent clientele in China and the Far East and poor Africans in the end receive only a fraction of the value of these tusks, for killing and selling it to the first buyer in the whole chain of transactions.
In effect it is tainted with the blood of elephants. Elephants are revered in Sri Lanka, though we kill our tuskers also for money. So what is the logic in giving these to adorn temple functions, and halls. To think the animal from whom this was taken was killed for the tusks, must make every dutiful, Buddhist cringe at the thought that somehow it ends up in a place of reverence!!
Is that the real reason, or is it so that another bunch of local crooks using the Temples as a disguise, or ruse are using this excuse to get hold of these tusks, and quietly spirit them to where there is a market for them, either locally or overseas, where MONEY changes hands. In short an illegal activity.
I am afraid I seriously believe that choosing whom to give a tusk and the related bribes, favors and return of favors is enough to convince any believer that it is better to crush the Ivory and burn it or in some other way destroy all of this, rather than be permitted to be distributed in a very suspicious manner, where I am willing to bet that in 12 months there will be no accounting for the whereabouts of any of these tusks, thereby confirming one’s worst suspicions.
I therefore plead with authorities, that ill gotten gains, whether seized, confiscated or impounded be destroyed in a public show in full media glow with maximum publicity, so that such activity is stopped, prevented and abhorred by the public.