“Whenever we discussed eradicating corruption during the past four years, I emphasized that there are various social forces in the country. I always said that cultural forces are stronger than political forces. Prevailing social forces such as religious forces, language forces, various customs, traditions and cultures, are very strong and comprehensive.
Most of the times, it is the cultural forces that form and defeat governments than political forces. I have said that very clearly when filing cases against Buddhist monks, especially for allegations with regard to elephants. We had to face a massive social-Buddhist-cultural objection.
I suggested very clearly that we should release these elephants and assess the legal background of this situation. I also instructed to refrain from arresting Buddhist monks over this issue. As a result, we completely lost the Buddhist monk society.”
Above is an extraction from the historical statement that you made on December 16. We believe that it is not necessary to reiterate it since we have quoted your own words.
The main accused in the abovementioned elephant racket, ‘Ali Roshan’, had made a confession during investigations. He had stated that baby elephants were stolen after killing their mothers. Stealing a baby elephant from its mother is impossible, therefore, racketeers had anesthetized mother elephants. When mother elephant wanders in search of water to quench her thirst, and becomes unconscious, the racketeers abducted baby elephants.
After that, another injection must be given for elephants to regain consciousness. Racketeers do not give the second injection, and consequently, mother elephants die of dehydration!
The Buddhist monks you mentioned about are involved in a racket that kills mother elephants to steal their babies. How appropriate is that action to the Buddhist culture? If baby elephants are given back to monks, without taking legal action against them, isn’t it tantamount to blessing Ali Roshan’s elephant racket?
It is a well-known fact that Buddhist monks did not obtain baby elephants through elephant racketeers to protect the culture through conducting peraharas; they did so merely to make their temples look like ‘elite temples’.
We are living in the 21st century. People are raising their voice against animal cruelty, and question the morality of abusing elephants citing traditional cultural events, while elephants are shackled, tortured with bullhooks, and deprived of sufficient food, water, exercise and freedom.
We believe even if you ignore those abuses, you would not go on to say that killing mother elephants and stealing their babies is our culture.
We have descriptive reports on how you interfered in investigations launched into these elephant rackets. But we still hope that you are a leader who possesses the ability to do the right thing.
Therefore, for your attention, we question again; “Dear President, is killing mother elephants to steal their babies a part of our culture?”