JUSTICE FOR ANIMALS AND NATURE  (JAN) PROPOSED WORK PLAN
Posted on August 1st, 2022

Senaka Weeraratna

1. Animal Welfare Bill – Lobby strongly for the enactment of the Animal Welfare Bill which is long overdue since its release by the Law Commission in 2006

2. Animal Protection Education in Schools – Promote animal protection education and see it take root in Sri Lanka’s system of school education beginning from the kindergarten.

3. Animal Law as a subject in the Law Faculty – Campaign for introduction of ‘Animal Law ’as part of legal studies in high schools and tertiary education i.e., Law Faculty.

4. Legal Proceedings – JAN will issue legal proceedings and enter public litigation when required to save lives or defend the interests of innocent defenseless animals in our courts.

5. Legal circles for JAN – Establish Panels of Lawyers in different areas, who are familiar with the existing animal protection and welfare laws and the Rights of Nature including laws relating to the protection of forests. These Panels will provide their services for a nominal fee, by covering work in all courts located in the island. An initial training will be given by legal experts working with JAN.

6. Introduce Laws – Campaign to prohibit animal sacrifice and ritual slaughter of animals, horse races, cock fights, pigeon races, elephant races, cattle cart races etc. in Sri Lanka.

4. Blacklist animal abusers – Maintain a list of convicted animal abusers to prevent such abusers from owning / possessing domestic animals that can be subjected to further abuse or cruelty.

5.  Prohibit firecrackers and fireworks – These items cause serious pollution to the environment and are hazardous to all living beings and therefore should be banned.  Manufacture of local firecrackers and import of gunpowder lead to the production of Hakka Patas” killing 100s of elephants and other animals during a year.

‘Hakka Patas’ is the name given to an improvised small explosive device which contains black gun powder, lead and iron made into a ball of a firecracker shape that is used illegally to keep the wild animals away from crops and to kill small animals. But they are often swallowed by elephants with very harmful results. 

‘Hakka Patas’ are inserted inside a cucumber or a pumpkin which are favourite delicacies of wild animals.  What happens next is a destroyed mouth cavity and painful agonizing death which can take up to two weeks as the animal becomes incapacitated from an inability to chew and swallow food.

6. Unauthorized, illegal encroachment of lands – Encroachment by illegal settlers. Cases must be filed against such encroachers, with a view to regaining the title to the ownership of the lands either by the Department of Wildlife or the Department of Forests. Failing to enforce the law by proceeding against encroachers is tantamount to a violation of the rights of all citizens in the country including its wildlife.

7.  Responsible sterilization – Lobbythe government to make rules and regulations requiring sterilizationof domestic dogs and cats at each home to prevent rapid increase of population of stray animals.  Non – compliance to be punished with fines. Licensed breeding places should be monitored, sterilization carried out where necessary and pet shops should also be closely monitored. The monitoring can be carried out by the PHI/ Municipal Council. The responsible sterilization programs are meant to prevent the unmanageable increase in stray animals, reduce animal cruelty and abuse, and to stop deadly diseases from spreading to humans and other animals.

8. Mechanical Elephant Project – Plan, design and manufacture an artificial mechanical elephant to take the place of real elephant(s) and thereby avoid causing suffering to the elephants that are used regularly in processions (‘Pereheras’). The Vice Chancellor and the Professors of the Engineering Faculty at the University of Moratuwa, have agreed to devise an initial prototype of the mechanical elephant using their combined expertise.

The above project is intended to be a turning point in the cultural ethos of this country, resulting in not only preventing the abuse of sentient beings but containing the negative feedback and ostracizing of Buddhist monks and temples carried out by various vested interests that use ‘elephants in perahera’ as a pretext for their extremist activities to denigrate the image of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

This proposed move is not meant to be interpreted in any way as a withdrawal of support for processions (Pereheras) which are part and parcel of the traditional Buddhist cultural activities of the country.

9.  Elephant Joy Rides – Stop and prevent elephant joy rides completely, because it involves abuse and cruelty to captive elephants in Sri Lanka.

 10. Ceremonial burial for elephants – a Pansakula’’ ceremony to be held to invoke blessings for the dead elephant. A ceremonial procession to be conducted for the dead elephant prior to burial in the presence of school children and villagers from that area. A Wildlife expert/ Conservationist will be invited to deliver a talk to the mourners on the importance of peaceful coexistence between humans and elephants. By doing so the younger generation will learn to respect and protect the life of an elephant rather than seeing it as a threat to the community that should be destroyed.

11.  Drug stores and Chemists that provide veterinary medicine – Proposed entities can provide both imported / local medicine, medical equipment that are useful for all animals and these can be sold at a reasonable price. Promote locally manufactured wheelchairs for disabled animals, so that JAN can be a supplier to the Wildlife Department, Livestock Ministry, and local government. While this is an income to local entrepreneurs, a minimal fee can be charged by JAN for its contribution and this amount can be retained for animal welfare.

12.  Close down ‘Dehiwala Zoo’ – Lobby to close the Jailhouse for animals euphemistically called a ‘Zoo’ at Dehiwala and strive to have these hitherto caged animals relocated to the Ridiyagama Safari Park. Thereafter redesign and transform the ‘Dehiwala Zoo’ land area to function as a metropolitan/ city jungle, which will provide clean air and much needed green space to one of the most polluted metropolitan areas in the country.

13. Asia’s largest meat factory – Work towards closing this established meat factory where its work has been carried out without proper approval granted by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA). Having such factories will tempt many farmers to start more and more animal-based agriculture businesses by giving up traditional crop cultivation. 

 14. Cattle Slaughter – Lobby the government to stop cattle slaughter in Sri Lanka by further pressuring it to keep up with its pledges and to implement the initial steps agreed by the government so that we could end the inhumane cattle slaughter in Sri Lanka.

 15. The concept of one lakh Jack trees –  Carry forward the Bathgasa ideology/ movement of Arthur V. Dias also known as Kos Mama”. 

 16. Reforestation – Obtain vacant lands from the government and plant indigenous plants and trees suitable to the ecosystem, throughout Sri Lanka.

 17. Office for JAN – Need to establish a small liaison office for JAN, with the following equipment: Laptop (Nos.2) with high capacity, color printer, scanner, photocopy machine, video camera, table mic stand, pedestal mic stand, podium, internet connection.

A multimedia projector and a white screen was donated by a member Ven. Pagoda Janthawansa Thero.

18. Staff/coordinators – Recruit 2 staff members to the JAN liaison office to carry out JAN project work.

19. Printing and publication of books Spread ideas enshrining compassion to animals, veganism, vegetarianism, global warming, and related subjects. Find authors to write on the above subjects that are suitable for various ages. Organize seminars.

 20. Release songs – In order to promote kindness and care towards animals and nature, ten songs written by Ven. Dr. Omalpe Sobitha Thero and Mr. Maithri Pannagoda, Attorney-at-Law, will be released to the electronic and social media.

21. Charity Shop – Raise funds for the JAN organization where people can donate new and used items in good condition, i.e., furniture, clothes, etc. which will be sold for a nominal amount to the public. JAN will need to hire a space to put up a temporary shop and hire two employees.

22. Maintain JAN donation collection boxes – Place and maintain donation collection boxes in public places like airports, banks, post – offices, supermarkets, grocery stores etc.

23.  A Vegan day during every week – Lobby the government to declare a vegan/vegetarian day on the weekend. This can be promoted in universities, schools, military and police establishments, prisons, hospitals etc. Both the government and private sector can serve only vegetarian/ vegan food during Vegan day. The suggested day could be a Friday. By promoting such a day, we can educate the public about its positive impact on global warming and on human health.

 24. Vegan Vesak – Promote a Vegan Vesak week in respect to the teachings of Lord Buddha to practice ahimsa and cruelty free approach towards the voiceless during the month of May. This can be practiced throughout Sri Lanka and to be carried to the rest of the world.

25. World Vegan Day – Organize an annual march on World Vegan Day which falls on 1st November. Invite the public to take part in this march, including school children, clergy, government institutions, tri-forces and the Police Department to take part under their own banners.

Sticker campaigns on the importance of veganism can be promoted Proud to be a Vegan”.

26. Vegan Supermarket/department store– Establish a Vegan supermarket. Need to find an investor (a foreign chain of supermarkets will be appropriate). JAN can help them establish and earn a small share of profit, so that revenue can be utilized for JAN projects. In vegan supermarkets, a vegan food court can be set up to promote veganism.

27. Vegan Fair – Conduct food stalls consisting of vegan/vegetarian dishes, especially during Christmas and Ramadan seasons (where meat consumption is very high). Also introduce stalls containing animal free products such as shoes, clothes, bags, and other similar goods.

 28. Vegan Certification – Establish an organization affiliated to JAN, to issue vegan certification for products (same as for halal products).

29. Vegan/Vegetarian Weddings – Promote young people to conduct their weddings using cruelty-free methods by serving vegan/ vegetarian dishes to all guests. A well-known person or celebrity will hand-over a certificate and plaque sponsored by JAN, on the day of the wedding and bless the couple.

30, Seminars –For schools, dhamma schools, universities, academies to lecture on veganism, vegetarianism, the importance of protecting wildlife, water resources, forests, environment, and spreading kindness to cohabitants, other living beings, harmful effects of global warming and animal agriculture.

31.  Promote kindness/care to animals and nature- Promote/campaign and instill kindness, care and interest in the general public by displaying large paintings, murals, banners and pictures of animals, oceans, wildlife, nature and the environment  by depicting the importance of conservation, protection and each and every citizen’s responsibility and commitment. These can be displayed in schools, buses, trains, and places where communities gather.

32. Act against animal cruelty in the world – JAN to lobby and present appeals to foreign embassies in Sri Lanka, to prohibit bull fights, horse racing, cobra-mongoose fights, cock fights, dog fights, dog races, hunting, trophy hunting in these countries, as these are medieval and inhumane cultural practices that are repugnant to current day morality and ethical standards of modern civilization.

 33. Foreign Volunteers – Invite foreign volunteers (where it is mandatory at their universities to do social service/work ) to visit and work at the Bodhiraja Foundation Cattle Sanctuary and in other projects/work carried out by the same organization. A certificate can be issued to the volunteers at the end of the duration.

34. Animal Welfare Societies in Schools to be established using the model in Taiwan as a term of reference

See ‘ ‘THE IMPORTANCE OF INTRODUCING ANIMAL PROTECTION EDUCATION INTO SCHOOLS IN SRI LANKA’   – https://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/10/06/the-importance-of-introducing-animal-protection-education-into-schools-in-sri-lanka/

35.  Promote ‘Right Livelihood’ in the country 

36.  Campaign to stop export of live animals and flesh foods from Sri Lanka

 37. JAN Chapters – Expand our organization JAN into other countries as branches to spread our message and the work of our mission among them.

Justice for Animals and Nature (JAN)

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