Attorney Nagananda Kodituwakku today filed a writ petition before the Court of Appeal, calling for Myan Kumara, a baby elephant at the Bellanwila Rajamaha Vihara to be released. The petition has named the Director-General of Wildlife Chandana Suriyabandara, the IGP and the Chief Incumbent of the Bellanvila Rajamaha Vihara Dhammarathana Thera as respondents.
Myan Kumara had been gifted to the temple in 2013 by the government of Myanmar. Since then many videos showing the baby elephant being harassed and abused have made its way to social media platforms drawing widespread criticism. According to Nagananda, this is a serious blow to the reputation of Sri Lanka as a Buddhist country.
Therefore in the petition Nagananda has requested the CA to issue an interim order, giving instructions for the elephant to be taken to the custody of the Department of Wildlife and to also give a mandamus order allowing for the elephant to spend the rest of its life in a better environment such as the Ridiyagama Safari Park, the Udawalawe Elephant Half Way Home or any other location as the court may deem fit.