Filing a motion before Colombo Chief Magistrate’s Court, lawyers and environmental organizations today requested to revoke previous court order to release 14 tamed elephants back to their original claimants.

Senior Counsel Ravindranath Dabare with counsel Nilmal Wickremasinghe and Samadhi Rajapksha appearing for Centre for Environmental Justice submitted to Court that the decision to release 14 captive elephants who were kept under the custody of the Department of National Zoological is contrary to the laws.

Taking into consideration the facts, the Colombo Chief Magistrate Buddhika Sri Ragalaannounced that the matter would be referred to Magistrate who originally heard the case, to be taken up on September 16.

Meanwhile, the Court today refrained from issuing an order releasing an elephant named ‘Sujeewa‘ to the claimant following the objections raised by the counsel appearing on behalf of the environmental organizations. The Court was informed that an elephant named Sujeewa has recently given birth to a baby elephant and her separation would adversely affect the well-being of the baby elephant.

In a letter of demand, the Centre for Environmental Justice had recently urged the Attorney General to take immediate actions to rectify the injustice caused by releasing captive elephants who were kept under the custody of the Department of National Zoological Gardens.

The CEJ maintained that any advice provided by the Attorney General’s Department for the release of elephants is contrary to the laws and an erosion of the Rule of Law in the country.

Prosecutors had filed a facts report before Colombo Chief Magistrate’s court alleging that over 40 illegally caught wild elephants have been taken into Wildlife Department custody following CID investigations into a racket where illegally caught wild elephant calves were sold to third parties.



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