Prelates assure Bellanwila tusker Myan Kumara is hale and hearty | Daily News


Prelates assure Bellanwila tusker Myan Kumara is hale and hearty

A senior Viharadhikari Buddhist monk at the Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara Temple yesterday assured that their temple’s tusker Myan Kumara is in good health despite every which way that a certain video uploaded to social media had cast a gloom over its well-being.

The content of the video in question allegedly forced the Government of Myanmar, which donated the pachyderm to Sri Lanka in 2013, to communicate its claims of the abuse of the animal. Myanmar’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has urged the government of Sri Lanka to punish those who harmed the animal as shown in the social media footage.

The senior monk said that the Ambassador of Myanmar had visited the temple and had seen Myan Kumara (the tusker) about two weeks ago.

The Daily News contacted Myanmar’s ambassador to Sri Lanka, Han Thu yesterday and asked his comments of the condition of the animal. Han Thu said,” I have seen the animal. But I can give you no comments about the animal yet, so no comments about the animal.”

Asked whether he was happy to see the animal, Han replied,, “no comments.”

Asked if he could say anything about what the Foreign Relations Ministry has been doing since the Government of Myanmar expressed its claims of abuse of Myan Kumara, Han said, “I can say that the Foreign Relations Ministry is doing its best in this regard.” Meanwhile, Foreign Relations Ministry sources told the Daily News that they had instructed the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) to conduct an inquiry into allegations of abuse committed on Myan Kumara last Friday.

The ministry expects a full report on the issue of Myan Kumara on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry officials told the Daily News.

Asked if that video is proof of Myan Kumara’s ill-treatment by its keepers, a senior temple prelate asked, “We’ve been taking care of this tusker Kumara for the past six years, have we not?

“A doctor comes once a month to see Kumara’s health. We have taken care or of Kumara in sickness, fed him bathed him and loved him. Many people have seen him indulging in his favorite Kithul leaves ,” he explained.

“What can this isolated video footage represent in terms of what is being done to the overall well-being of this magnificent animal,” he said.

“The video shows how during his bath time one of the men used a cane on Kumara. Whoever captured that video must have done it out of what he might have felt at the time, because he wanted to see more of that tusker bathing in the temple tank than he’s taken out of his shower, “he said.

He said the Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya’s Nayaka Thera will hold a press conference in the near future to update the media on how it looked after Myan Kumara, including the doctors ‘ reports very soon.


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