The Sri Lanka Customs on International Customs Day (January 26) will destroy more than 350 African elephant tusks (Blood Ivory) in their custody, following religious observances at Galle Face Green in the presence of the President, Prime Minister, ministers, Diplomatic Corps and the public. According to Customs Spokesman Lesly Gamini this symbolic act of destroying more than Rs. 387 million worth of ivory seeks to "crush any hopes by poachers that they will profit by killing elephants."
The illegal tusks were seized in May 2012 from a ship en route to the Middle East from Kenya. They are believed to stem from hundreds of butchered elephants, including calves, in Africa.
Gamini said the religious ceremony would be held in honour of the elephants killed.
A ceremony to bury the remains will also be held. This will be attended by religious dignitaries of all faiths. "I don't believe that Sri Lankans who revere elephants would ever condone the brutal killing of elephants for ivory. This ceremony will signify that our nation will not tolerate such atrocities," Gamini said.
He said Customs officers remain highly vigilant to curb the illegal ivory trade.