State Minister gives evidence in alleged elephant racket case | Daily News

State Minister gives evidence in alleged elephant racket case

The Colombo High Court yesterday recorded evidence from State Minister of Foreign Affairs Wasantha Senanayake in a case filed against Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid licence.

In his evidence State Minister Senanayake informed that he had received several complaints from environmentalists alleging that Dhammaloka Thera was possessing two elephants at Alan Mathiniyaramaya Temple in Polhengoda without valid licences. He said two elephants were found inside the Alan Mathiniyaramaya when he visited there while serving as the Deputy Minister of Wildlife. He further said he made complaint with CID in this regard on January 28, 2015.

High Court Judge Sampath Wijeratne fixed further trial for January 23 next year.

The Attorney General (AG) had filed an indictment against Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera on two counts for allegedly possessing a baby elephant without a valid licence.

This is the first time in Sri Lanka an accused had been indicted in the High Court by Attorney General over an offence of possessing an elephant without valid licesce following the amendments to Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance in 2009.

The indictment has been filed over two counts come under section 22 (12) of the Fauna and Flora Protection (Amendment) Act, No.22 of 2009 and section 5(3) (a) of Public Property Act. The Attorney General had named 19 persons as witnesses in the case and three documents as production items in the case.

The Attorney General maintained that Dhammaloka Thera had illegally possessed a stolen property, a baby elephant without a valid licence, an offence comes under Fauna and Flora. The Attorney General alleged that the accused had committed this offence on or around January 28, 2015 with the Colombo High Court’s jurisdiction.

Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara appeared for the Attorney General. President’s Counsel Prasantha Lal de Alwis appeared for the accused. 


 

Add new comment

Or log in with...