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Sri Lanka conservationists fight elephant smuggling in court

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 16th September, 2021 04:16:49 PM
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Environmentalists in Sri Lanka are challenging a court order issued earlier this month that would allow the return of 14 illegally captured wild elephants to people accused of buying them from traffickers.

Rights groups and lawyers say the September 6 court order is based on a government decree that violates Sri Lankan environmental laws. They fear the order could encourage a resurgence of trafficking of wild elephants, putting them at risk, reports AP.

A motion filed by lawyer Ravindranath Dabare to reverse the court order is to be heard on Thursday.

Elephants are revered because they have been an essential part of religious and cultural festivals in Sri Lanka for many centuries. They are especially sacred for Buddhists, who account for 70% of the country’s 22 million people, because they are believed to be servants of Buddha and a previous incarnation of Buddha himself.