Over 350 elephant tusks worth Rs. 4 billion confiscated by the Sri Lanka Customs will be destroyed at Galle Face today in conformity with international norms and practices.
This stock pile of African elephant tusks will be disposed of, by crushing and burning in public after performing religious rites in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Secretary General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora John E. Scanlon will also be present on the occasion.
According to Customs Spokesman Leslie Gamini, the Central Intelligence Division of Sri Lanka Customs detained a container in transit through the Port of Colombo on May 12, 2012. Upon examination, 359 pieces of elephant weighing 1,528 Kgs were found.
This stockpile of elephant tusks lay secured in the Customs for over three years.
Meanwhile, Wildlife and Sustainable Development Minister Gamini Jayawickrema Perera said that Sri Lanka as a signatory of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora popularly known as the Washington Convention of 1979 should destroy these elephant tusks worth Rs.4.2 billion.
Minister Perera said the international media has queried as to why Sri Lanka has failed to destroy this stock pile of elephant tusks.
“The country’s failure to destroy the elephant tasks in keeping with international norms and practices brought the country into disrepute,” he said.
Photo courtesy:Madusha Lakmal