|“Sri Lanka –Conserving the Wild Elephant”|
|Thursday, 12 June 2008|
“Sri Lanka has been a pioneer in the rehabilitation of wild elephants and our captive breeding programme has gained recognition around the world” said Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Kohona while making the introductory remarks at the seminar titled “Sri Lanka Conserving the Wild Elephant” which held today (12) at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations & Strategic Studies.
Full text of Dr. Kohona's introductory remarks;
One young calf who had lost its mother had literally followed a villager to his house. Another orphaned elephant calf was mixing around with a herd of buffaloes pretending to be one. But eventually, due care and attention and dedication of our wildlife staff, they were given a new lease of life and are now ready to be released back to the jungle to live as they should – in freedom.
We must thank those who have dedicated themselves to saving these wonderful animals – the veterinaries, the keepers and well-wishers who funded this project. I must also add here that Sri Lanka has been a pioneer in the rehabilitation of wild elephants and our captive breeding programme has gained recognition around the world. There are well established organisations in other countries which are very interested in this programme.
Wild Elephants in Sri Lanka
This development in Sri Lanka is not surprising given that the connection between man and elephant in Sri Lanka goes back thousands of years. Rock carvings in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa clearly illustrate the closeness between this majestic beast and our ancestors. Our literature is full of references to elephants; so is our folklore. Not only did we tame and use elephants for a range of purposes, including warfare, we also developed a pharmacopoeia for different elephant illnesses. One of my priced possessions is an Ola Leaf manuscript detailing remedies for various elephant illnesses. Our ancient civilization developed in such a way that elephants and humans could coexist. The village, the tank and the jungle beyond was the ideal environment, the ideal setting, for both man and beast.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
12 June 2008
|Last Updated ( Monday, 02 February 2009 )|
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