The Court of Appeal has directed the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department to visit the place where the elephant ‘Myan Kumara’ is kept and submit a report to the Court with regard to the prevailing state and the well-being of the elephant. The baby elephant Myan Kumara (Myan Prinve) was donated to the Ballanwila Rajamaha Viharaya by the Myanmar government in 2013.
The Court of Appeal’s two-judge bench, comprising Justices Sobhitha Rajakaruna and Dhammika Ganepola, made this order consequent to a writ petition filed by Attorney-at-Law Nagananda Kodituwakku seeking an order directing the authorities to release the baby elephant named “Myan Kumara” to Ridiyagama Safari Park from the Bellanwila Temple until he is released back to the wild. The petitioner said the elephant calf lives a chained life tightly attached to a tree, and a video has recently surfaced of him being beaten by his mahout in a cruel manner.
The Court of Appeal observed that the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department when reporting to court can get the assistance of a suitable veterinary surgeon from a Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences affiliated with a local university or a government institution to confirm the prevailing health condition of the elephant. Accordingly, the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department was directed to submit a report to the Attorney General within five weeks. Meanwhile, the court decided to issue formal notice to the respondent. However, the Court refused to issue an interim relief at this stage.
This petition had been filed by attorney-at-law Nagananda Kodituwakku, naming the director general of the Wildlife Conservation Department, the IGP, and the chief incumbent of the Bellanwila Temple as respondents. The petitioner further sought a writ of prohibition preventing the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department from issuing licenses enabling the Chief Incumbent of Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya to possess elephants.
The petitioner said that the second respondent IGP has failed to perform his duties over a complaint urging to take necessary legal action under Sections 2 and 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ordinance.
The petitioner stated that on or around January 2020, the government of Myanmar had appealed to Sri Lanka to stop the abuse of this elephant.
The Myanmar Embassy in Colombo also asked the Sri Lankan authorities to punish those who persecuted the elephant, as seen in videos uploaded to social media, the petitioner further added.


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