The British Govt. has a moral responsibility to help the save the Elephants of Sri Lanka.
Posted on May 7th, 2022

Senaka Weeraratna

The British decimated the elephants and their habitats to plant cash crops and made resounding profits at the expense of the local Kandyan Sinhalese and the wild animals.

The wild animals especially the Elephants who were well protected by the Sinhalese Rulers in their natural habitat in the hill country of Ceylon, were hunted down as game by Professional hunters like Samuel Baker, and the British Settlers. More than 10, 000 wild elephants were killed and their natural habitat destroyed by the British. 

Today the dwindling elephant population in shrinking reserves invade human settlements. Every year more than 400 elephants die in the human elephant conflict. There will come a time sooner than later that only elephants in the Zoo or Replicas of Elephants in the Museum will be there to remind visitors how elephants in Sri Lanka looked like.

The British Govt. must also take responsibility for making destitute the Kandyan Sinhala peasantry whose lands were grabbed under unjust waste lands laws (based on Enclosure laws in England) and denied employment by the import of thousands of Indentured labour from South India to work in tea and coffee plantations of the British.

Many of the Kandyan Sinhalese died out of hunger when their traditional lands used for Chena cultivation were unlawfully appropriated by the British for Coffee and later Tea planting, without payment of adequate compensation.

The British Govt. must address this issue as a matter of moral obligation, with funds to sustain the remaining elephant population of Sri Lanka.

Without accounting for its wrongdoing during colonial rule in British occupied Ceylon and paying compensation, it is sad to see the British Govt. adopting a vicious policy to hound Sri Lanka and table Motions against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva. 

There must be a Catharsis and a sincere effort to help save the Elephants in Sri Lanka which are dying at a rapid rate.

Posterity will hold Britain responsible for the destruction of the natural habitat of the Elephants that has led to the sad plight of the Elephants with no homeland to freely roam in modern day Sri Lanka.

Senaka Weeraratna

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