The elephant the biggest mammal is threatened.
The big mammoth went into extinction due to two reasons.
One is it was considered to be food for the prehistoric man. They were hunted down to extinction.
The second more probable reason is they acquired a variant of human disease, the killer tuberculosis.
It was not due to deforestation.
The story about the Sri-Lankan elephant is no different.
They were hunted for ivory.
They were domesticated by kings for the war machines.
Then it was the symbol of a party.
It was the prized possession of the wealthy and was their hired heavy labour.
Latest was the merchandise of ill repute.
Politicians with power started dealing with illegal capture and transfer of baby elephants.
By selective genetic extermination by the Sri-Lankan hunters, the percentage of tusked animals went below five percent.
So they went in for the real kill.
Kill the mother (she) elephant and hunt the baby elephant as a merchandise.
Buddhist (corrupt) monks were the beneficiary
This went on in broad day light after the war.
Even, LTTE never mixed up their politics with elephant trade.
The end of the war came and the political masters without the terrorist threat went for the bounty.
Sri-Lankan media it was ‘mums the word’ since rulers and the political henchmen were in this big business.
Then added to this deforestation and location of sugar cane and banana plantation in their migration path way.
From 1960s (CP. De Silvas time) for politicians elephant was a merchandise and they used the bogus claim of damage to poor farmers plots.
They were not poor farmer but hashish (ganja) growers and some politicians were involved in this hashish trade.
They in fact come to the parliament to protect their illegal trading interests.
Parallel with these development their is a ‘Flora and Fauna Act’ with a director to oversee the enactment of these laws.
But he becomes part of the problem and the elephant register disappears and duplicate registers are introduced.
He is paid a salary and a pension for all of his inaction.
None of these were elephant friendly actions.
Their population has gone down to 2000 and the official figured are ‘cooked up’ figures.
Who believes their statistics when our children’s malnutrition is reported as 20% percent when actual ground level malnutrition is double of it nearing 40%, especially in the war torn areas.
Would you expect our forest officers to go to the forest and count them every day.
Most of them are in their homes and go to the base to collect the monthly salary.
They are only targeting which one is their next prized kill.
This is how we achieved our miracle progress.