In May 2012 Sri Lanka Customs seized a shipment of 359 elephant tusks en route to Dubai. The tusks which had been poached in Kenya were from the slaughter of more than 150 African elephants, with mothers and young being slaughtered and orphaned babies left to die of starvation.
As a Buddhist nation Sri Lanka should be ashamed to add value to this Blood Ivory by gifting it to Buddhist temples as objects to be valued and venerated. As custodians of the greatest philosophy on ahimsa Buddhist monks across the nation should reject this Blood Ivory as it will stain the sacred grounds of their temples.
Further by gifting this Blood Ivory to temples the Sri Lankan government is legalizing this contraband. Thereby a precedent will be set allowing ivory to be acquired within the country. This will endanger all Sri Lankan tuskers by providing incentive for poaching in Sri Lanka, sounding the death knell for the last few tuskers left in Sri Lanka.
Mr Karl Karugaba, the acting director of the Nairobi-based Lusaka Agreement said, “This is highly irregular. International regulations are quite clear on what to do with contraband ivory. It should be returned to the originating country unless such a country is not interested in recovering the product.
In any case, they should have the courtesy of consulting Kenya, which had alerted them of the products,” Kenyans commenting on the report [http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Sri-Lanka-on-the-spot-over-ivory-/-/1056/1416398/-/bpr9gkz/-/index.html] state, Buddhists never kill even a mosquito when it bite, instead they let it suck and go.’ Is a means of survival’, they claim. How comes they want to have tusks that left more than 150 elephants dead to decorate their temples, what a shame and hypocrisy the to a religion.
The FEO hopes that the Presidential Secretariat and custodians of Buddhism will act with responsibility to both international regulations [Sri Lanka is a signatory to CITES since 1979] and up hold the dignity of our claim as the ‘Land of the Buddha’.