Sunday, 27 December 2015

Sri Lanka to start New Year with Ivory burn

Sri Lanka has made an unexpected and sudden U-turn in its resistance to destroy its ivory stockpiles. The government has announced that on 26th January it will burn a stockpile of 5,000 seized tusks to put them beyond economic use.

Sri Lanka has always resisted pressure to destroy its stocks and had announced that seized tusks and ivory would be given to temples and religious buildings. The new mandate, announced on 16th December, will see the government stockpile burned at the Holcim Cement Plant in January 26, 2016. Senior government and NGO members will be present at the burn. The tusks will also undergo a religious ceremony before the destruction.

The 5,000 tusks that will be destroyed represents the killing of at least 2,500 elephants. The tusks were seized by customs on May 14th 2012 and all come from Africa. The consignment was on route to Dubai from Kenya when the consignment was discovered.

Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said the destruction would ensure that the seized ivory would not make its way back onto the illegal market and would be in keeping with international laws to protect the survival of elephants.

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