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Sunday, 11 October 2009

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Ensuring the rights of animals, a priority

Addressing a recent press briefing arranged by the Sri Lanka Animal Protection Association (SLAPA) at the Cinnamon Grand to mark the World Animal Day, president of SLAPA Iranganie De Silva emphasized the necessity to strengthen the laws and create public awareness in order to ensure the welfare of animals. "We cannot be satisfied at all about the condition of animal welfare in Sri lanka. In the recent past we came across quite a few heart-rending incidents. Though there are several animal welfare societies most of them are based in Colombo. "In fact that was the reason which made us establish this organization" She said.

From left: Ven.Athuraliye Rathana Thera, Prof. Chandana Jayarathna, Ms. Otara Gunawardena, Ms. Iranganie De Silva ,Chris Quyn (representing the Cinnamon Grand), Dr. Nalinika Obeysekera, Gamini W and Ms. Nishani Dissanayake- founder member of SLAPA
Pix by Kavindra Perera

The conference also had the participation of Ven.Athuraliye Rathana thera, Prof. Chandana Jayarathna, Ms. Otara Gunawardena, Chris Quyn (representing the Cinnamon Grand), Dr. Nalinika Obeysekera, Gamini W and Ms. Nishani Dissanayake- founder member of SLAPA.

As further noted by the president of SLAPA, until very recently laws related to cattle slaughter remained unchanged since its enactment in 1907, except for a minor amendment made in 1958. But under the initiative of former Attorney General C.R.De. Silva (also with the help of Ven. Athuraliye Rathana thera) the age-old law was amended. "That was a victory for all who wish for the welfare of animals. But we cannot rest on our laurels," She cautioned. "What we have not achieved is greater than what we had." She commended the efforts made by Ven. Omalpe Sobitha thera to establish a cattle orphanage in order to house cattle saved from slaughter.

Ven. Athualiye Rathana thera highlighted the importance of promoting environment friendly cultivation methods."

Over 25,000 insects are killed during the process of making rice.. Latest technological methods, pesticides and fertilizers are responsible for that destruction." Current cultivation methods would adversely affect the earth and the natural ecological balance."

While commenting on the inhuman methods that were being used to slaughter animals in Sri Lanka, the thera also made a humble request to everyone including media to take necessary steps to expedite the enactment of the latest Animal Welfare bill presented to Parliament by him.

Quoting from Sir.Arthur C.Clark's literature, Prof. Chandana Jayarathna said that the entire human beings would become vegetarians towards the end of this century.

"This would not be a decision which was taken inspired by any religion, but as human mind develops they will gradually understand that incurring pain on animals and depending on animal flesh would not fit in their superior status.'

 

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