Of Elephants, Priests and Conspiracies…!

I have been reading quite a bit of news items and blog post recently about the on-going drama surrounding the abduction (Not in a white van tho) of two baby elephants from the orphanage, but a couple of news items today just took the cake!

It seems that certain prominent Buddhist clergy members have taken upon themselves to publicly defend the forced abduction of these elephants. I guess they have the right to their own opinion, but the manner in which they seek to justify these events just seems a bit mind boggling to me.

Apparently, the statement issued by them accuses the members of the public who raised their voices in protest, to be hypocrites who are not worried at all about the many killings of elephants in the wild. Now my confusion starts here, what exactly are they trying to say here? Is it that all animal lovers should immediately invade the wild life parks and hold protests about the killings?

It seems rather that these senior clergy members are saying that since lots of elephants are being killed off in the wild anyway, it’s perfectly OK for them to forcibly separate 2 baby elephants from their mothers even before being properly weaned!

But what really prompted me to write a post after quite a few weeks is the even bigger accusation being made by them. They’ve actually gone to the extent of saying that all the people who have protested are part of a foreign NGO conspiracy to wipe all traditional Buddhist festivals from Sri Lanka…!!!

Please excuse me while I sit here speechless for a few moments…

How in the hell can these people actually believe something as stupid as this? I mean it has to take a really twisted and paranoid mindset to see a huge anti-Buddhist conspiracy in the outrage expressed by Sri Lankans from every religion! To my limited knowledge, not a single protest was made with the intent of stopping the annual Perahara, rather every single article, post and comment I’ve seen has simply spoken out against an act of cruelty that these elephants have been subjected to.

I guess these clergy members too have seen the wisdom of jumping on the hysterically nationalistic Sinhala Buddhist band wagon in order to justify their actions. After all, anyone who has the balls to speak against them has to be a traitorous, NGO loving, bastard ya?

So, the next time you see someone throwing a stone at a dog, be careful of chastising them. You may run the risk of being accused of trying to destroy Buddhism in this lovely paradise isle of ours!!!

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8 Responses to “Of Elephants, Priests and Conspiracies…!”

  1. Sigma Delta Says:

    Actually I think that the next step will be to classify anyone disagreeing with them disagreeing as trying to destroy Buddhism – which is quite ironic considering that the monks themselves seem to be doing a darn good job of it without our help.

  2. Ni Says:

    I think they are the ones who stole the baby elephants. Where else would they get elephants to go in their perahera in the years to come? I am a buddhist too, but I hate people going about displaying themselves as buddhists. It’s not the Buddhist thing to do.

  3. Sigma Delta Says:

    Just to add something in all fairness. There is a shortage of elephants for use in Perehera’s etc. due to an aging population of captive animals. In fact at one time, the more ‘active’ members of the Captive Elephant Owners Association even mooted the argument of importing elephants from Thailand! A more rational suggestion was the existing owners be allowed to raise the orphans from Pinnewella there by easing the over crowding which is another issue altogether. Even in such enlightened times though I guess its too much to expect people, usually drunk on a case of self importance to adjust to the fact that Sri Lanka is in fact fast loosing its elephants and that we should adjust accordingly. At the last count we boast less than 3000 animals in the wild of which 150 – 200 die every year, a majority victims of the human activity, shot at, run over by trains and lorries, electrocuted, starved to death in pits and wells.

  4. sam Says:

    I already commented about this in few blogs. But I think even though this is a single incident, in the big picture this is an important event. So here I’m writing again. The new generation, the one grow up with internet and science fictions, some call it Generation Z, Generation Millenia or whatever, and have deferent set of values. And traditional leaders (religion/politics) not used to/ready for that. (My father thinks it is cool to clean up the yard and cut down all the trees and bushes, but my brothers and I think it is cool to have lot of green all around). In this conflicting situation, they use “anti-western/pro-tradition” platform to distract the new generation, so they can hold on to their power bit longer. It works short-term. But it is not a long term solution they can keep on using. (Look at Iran or any other society runs on anti-western platform). They have to replace that with a suitable substance.

    Pope, who understood this conflict, refocused on environment, poverty and things like that that Generation Millenia also is interested in. He even went on facebook. But our executive monks are not that smart. Even though it is a wonderful sight those elephants in Perehera are, we do not like see animals been ill treated, even for cultural reasons. Those monks didn’t get it. They don’t get the new generation at all. They had a chance to be the bigger one by reuniting mothers and babies, but instead they decided to be arrogant and used the tradition card. And guess what, we don’t like it.

  5. Queen Says:

    I think it is these ‘guardians of Buddhism’ in SL that does more harm to Buddhism than the rest of the world put together.

    Wait and watch – we will soon put the Taliban to shame.

  6. Andre Says:

    Sam, well said.

    I just don’t get it. Fine culture and tradition is amazing and wonderful to have as part of our lives. But the truth is, considering everything else thats REALLY and painfully OBVIOUS in the world, with humans encroaching and pushing the animal kingdom to the limit, animal cruelty and improper management of sterilization and such, there comes a point when we as humans (supposedly higher beings) really need to stop and just think a bit.

    Are we really doing this world a favor? Are we really making it a better place, for ALL life?

    We’re a such self centered hypocritical beings. Who think our ‘man made’ bullshit supersedes the lives of other living beings who have every right if not more to live in peace.

    Hearing and seeing such instances of this kind of human behavior makes me sick and sad to be human, in existence with such people.

    I don’t care who you are. Buddhist monks, ministers or even the effing president. NO ONE has the right to decide what animals need/should do for OUR pathetic want.

  7. eyelinerandme Says:

    foreign NGO conspiracy to wipe all traditional Buddhist festivals from Sri Lanka…!!! – sigh. This is so embarrasing.

  8. DD Says:

    http://viceunversa.blogspot.com/2009/09/love-is.html

    Tagged you!

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