Comments /2486 Views / Wednesday, 23 January 2013 00:01
In January, Sri Lanka Customs received a directive from your office, to release the contraband blood ivory consisting of 359 tusks to the Presidential Secretariat for distribution to Buddhist temples.
This illegal shipment is the result of the cruel slaughter of 179 African elephants. Ivory poachers shoot the adults and young animals in an elephant herd, and hack off the tusks. The babies are left to starve. Soaked in the blood of elephants that died in agony, the tusks are known as blood ivory.
To place blood ivory for veneration in temples that extoll the greatest philosophy of ahimsa, is sacrilegious, and will taint the noble cause and name of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, especially because of the global attention that blood ivory has received.
A recent article in National Geographic Magazine [October 2012] highlighted the horror of blood ivory. As you know, the National Geographic Society has given Sri Lanka excellent reviews as one of the world’s top destinations, but the adverse publicity if this ivory is distributed to temples will surely tarnish this image.
The release of this contraband blood ivory to temples will also validate the killing of elephants for ivory, encouraging poaching in Sri Lanka and putting the last few tuskers in our country at great risk.
We appeal to you as the leader of this Buddhist nation and the primary custodian of Sri Lanka’s wildlife, to review the decision to distribute ivory to temples.
We appeal to you to follow the global practice of destroying this blood ivory by publicly burning it, and send a strong message as the leader of this Buddhist country to discourage the slaughter of more elephants.
With trust in your leadership,
The Federation of Environmental Organizations.
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