The knowledge we gain every day, and we are still learning, about the behavior and social habits of Elephants in the wild, have convinced us beyond reasonable doubt that it is plain WRONG to capture baby elephants in the wild FOR WHATEVER REASON. Orphans sans mothers, found must be rehabilitated!
I do not believe there should be a debate about that simple fact anymore, no matter who you represent.
Then we come to the question of the illegally captured elephants, perhaps 55 of them currently identified, that have had false licenses given, and transactions made with many wealthy buyers, knowingly or not (as to them being illegally captured) purchasing them for millions. As I write, Thilina Gamage, a Magistrate with a questionable reputation, is being questioned about the legitimacy of an elephant found in his possession, which he maintains was purchased on an arm’s length transaction, along with all the required paperwork.
Then we come to the decision of Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya of the Hulftsdorp Court No 1, who permitted a RETURN of these very same illegally captured, and then found with false papers, and confiscated Elephants, back to their former owners, on the hilarious argument of the Lawyer representing the buyers, that they are needed for Pereharas around the Country!
Elephants are NOT chattels you play political football with! So a stay order of this decision was made, on the grounds that the order itself was plain wrong, but Mr Pilapitiya is sticking by it, as he seems to have the backing of Temples for his ruling, and he can hide under their cloaks, and obtain PIN for his actions.
In this melee, the Director of Wildlife Conservation, an elephant expert himself, unable to stomach these politically motivated actions, is threatening to resign, putting in jeopardy the whole wildlife conservation, and welfare and treatment of animals in Sri Lanka, which he has undertaken to protect. It is believed that ONLY he can stand up for the rights, over objections that don’t stand up in a Court of Law or in the Court of Morality. Only he has the knowledge, and his will cannot be traded for PIN money.
The President, fearing he may offend the Buddhist Clergy, is vacillating on this issue, and making even more absurd statements such as bringing down elephants from Myanmar to fill the shortage of them in Temples, a complete mockery of the principles being implemented.
This has given more blessings to Gihan Pilapitiya’s actions, making Dr Sumith Pilapitiya the Director General of Wildlife Conservation, red-faced and ready to throw in the towel!
I purposely avoided calling this the BATTLE OF THE PILAPITIYAS