Animal rights activists have launched an online petition urging the Prime Minister and the Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka to take immediate action to save Saama – a 27 year-old elephant in desperate need of vertirinary care, that is currently owned by popular monk Uduwe Dhammaloka.
The elephant is presently being held at the Alan Mathiniyarama temple where the Dhammaloka – a Rajapaksa henchman resides. This animal was gifted to the temple three years ago by the Pinnawala elephant orphanage.
Animal rights activists point to the most recent photographs taken of Saama that very clearly indicate the deteriorating state of the animal’s health. She carries a massive boil on her leg, which they point out is most probably a result of a bullhook wound and left untreated could be infected and turn worse in no time. They point out that this animal has been deprived of proper veterinary care for a prolonged period and also expressed concern over being tortured by her mahout.
Although Saama’s sorry state has been exposed by local media outlets on several occasions and several complaints have been made to the authorities, they have continued to turn a deaf ear as the monk is well-connected.
According to sources, this is not the first elephant to be ill-treated at the hands of this mahout and the former elephant who was in his care had died prematurely as a result of neglect.
The petitioners are urging local authorities to intervene and ensure that Saama’s owner pays for proper medical treatment and also facilitate her transfer to a sanctuary where she may spend her remaining years.
They are also urging for other elephants currently held at the Alan Mathiniyarama temple to be sent to a sanctuary as well as and that the temple be banned from owning or keeping any other elephants in the future.
Local media has been repeatedly writing about widespread elephant smuggling rackets in the country where baby elephants are smuggled out of national parks under the sponsorship of powerful figures and are sold off. Certain temples are used as transit points in these rackets where the elephants are held until they are sold off to an owner, since most would not suspect an elephant held at a temple.
MirakRajbanda / October 13, 2014
This regime and the blessed monks of MaRa will even go to an extend to sell whatever it comes on their way… Their mums: Please be aware if you are still alive or will fetch a price for a Ceylon antiquity!!!
African Blood Ivory is still under the MaRa’s custody and negotiating with China for a massive price!!
Do you know where he’s hiding the massive haul of these tusks?
Nowhere else but in the temple of…..
Ben Hurling / October 13, 2014
Dhammaloka is not a monk or a Buddhist. He is a political crony.
What has elephant abuse got to do with Buddhism? What rubbish!
Use of elepahants in Buddhist ceremonies is nothing, but cruelty against helpless animals. Specially elephants and kidnapped baby elephants.
I am glad animal rights activists are focused on this abuse going on inside temples.
Bullhooks used by mahouts are nothing, but an instrumet of torture. Against the poor elephants concerned.
Elephant skin is extremely sensitive contrary to what people think. Therefore the helpless animal reacts obidiently at once.
What has this heartless cruelty got to do with Buddhism? Appalling stupidity.
Dhammaloka is an animal abusing criminal. Should be treated as such along with Gandasara.
S.Modaya / October 14, 2014
Peraheras are a good example of How Sinhala modayas have DISTORTED Buddhism and What the Buddha Taught and turned Buddhism into EMPTY RITUAL to project the power of Kings and Monks.
Greedy and power hungry non-Buddhist monks collaborate with corrupt Sinhala rulers to impress the modayas with primitive shows like the perahera which is all about caste hierarchy – a primitive show!
Ben Hurling / October 14, 2014
Despite your outbust against the Sinhalese people, though a Sinhalese myself, I agree with you.
In the interest of the larger cause we are fighting for.
sarojini / October 17, 2014
Absolutely disgraceful. Whether Buddhist monk or laymen this should be highlighted and he should be named and shamed . These majestic animals should never be treated in this manner . A court order should be given to release this animal to a sanctuary and a heavy fine imposed for animal cruelty. where have all the animal rights activists gone ??????
Dilhara / October 14, 2014
Otara from Odel should start a campaign to BAN elephants being taken in Peraheras. After all, this is cruelty to the most majestic animal of Sri Lanka.
Ben Hurling / October 14, 2014
Otara Gunewardena is already doing fantastic work for stray dogs of Sri Lanka. She cannot do the same with political and religious stray dogs in human clothing.
We cannot leave the whole thing to be sorted out by Otara alone either. Burden must be shared.
Besides, the moment Otara takes a public stand against “elephant abuse” in the name of “Perahara”, idiots will label her anti-buddhist, and anti-Sri Lankan. Gandasara will turn up with the Mob at her doorstep.
Elephant abuse is a long standing tradition in Sri Lanka. Now getting even worse due to tourism increased. Do not take elephant rides. Encourage others to stay away as well.
We need massive information campaigns to educate the public. In addition to actions such as the one agaisnt “Dhammalokaya”.
It is going to be a longhaul.
Dilhara / October 14, 2014
Somehow stray dogs are a very safe and tame cause to espouse..
Dayan, I mean Ben, Otara has played it VERY SAFE and made pots of money selling BLING.. Somewhat similar to and in the same league as Kingsbury/Blingsbury lifestyle beloved of Namal Rajapaksa and his brothers who lack class, culture and education..
Now Otara @ 50 should be the DIFFERENCE, put her money where her mouth is and take a REAL stand and stand up for a really worthwhile cause. Otherwise sorry to say she is just a pretty face into the making money in a money mad capitalist cricus…
Otara needs to do better to impress. Of course, Sinhala Modayas are a stupid bunch and impressed by the Bling-blign Diamond ads. designer brands and gold plated kitch! Sorry bunch indeed.
sarojini / October 17, 2014
A similar project is initiated by Kim Cooling A UK resident in embilipitiya Animal SOS Sri Lanka . Funded purely on donations and contributions from various events . The project has over 150 stray dogs and is lovingly restored back to health by kind volunteers. mostly UK citizens and local veterinary surgeons . it has dogs who have been abandoned and injured, and left to die on Roads. Anyone interested can google Animal SOS and donate what ever they can .
Skyrim / October 27, 2014
I can donate tons of Rabid dogs from Hunupitiya, Wattala area, for your loving care.
hikz / October 17, 2014
Damma Asoka / October 13, 2014
Elephants being taken in Peraheras is dangerous and torture to the poor animals. This practice should be banned.
Today each head monk of a temple wants to show how rich he is by having 50 or more elephants in his perahera.
The monks like Podi Hamuduruwa at Ganagarama and the Kandy Perahera have lost all sense of Buddhism and what the Buddha taught – annichcha – NON-SELF. These UN-Buddhist monks like the head of BBS Balu Sena think that they are gods.
The perahera wlaking is a cruelty and torture to elephants and should be banned.
Dinuk / October 14, 2014
True indeed, dressing up elephants in glittering robes with lights on them and heating them up and taking them in Peraheras to entertain tourists and project the wealth of the Buddhist Sangha establishment is TORTURE – cruel and degrading treatment of these majestic animals.
The Sinhala Buddhists who torture elephants are a PRIMITIVE TRIBE. Yet they think that they claim that they are superior.
Deep down the Sinhala Buddhists, particularly those who are with Balu Sena have a great big INFERIORITY COMPLEX because they know that they are stupid, IGNORANT and uneducated!
Kalupahana / October 13, 2014
The destruction of Fauna and flora because of Rajapaksa and cronies’ greed is awful. Elephants are being tortured by so-called Buddhists in Peraheras. Meanwhile, trees and forests are being cut down all over Colombo by the MILITARY since Gota the paranoid military dictator fears an attack from yakas hiding in trees.
The aincient and beautiful trees in the Colombo zoo have all been cut down and the animals are dying there too. In central Colombo too all the large old trees have been cut for their timber and replaced with small ones. When this environmental destruction in the name of development and for Namal’s road PAVING BUSINESS is reported to the environmental police they turn a blind eye! The Miracle of Modayas is an ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER IN THE MAKING – in the name of DEVELOPMENT!
Kapila / October 14, 2014
The trees are being cut by Goon Gota’s Military/private militia.
The Sri Lanka Military is heavily into the illegal timber logging business – as in other Asian countries like Indonesia and Pakistan where the military is a business complex..
Park / October 13, 2014
Where is Balu Bala Sena?
Lapatiya / October 13, 2014
At the movement BBS against only Halal, Muslims and Cattle Slaughter. They have to get Instruction from Grease Piya for this.
hikz / October 17, 2014
sleeping in your home while you are at CT forum
paul / October 13, 2014
I was in Kandy last week. About time these buggers were taken to court for cruelty to animals. They shouldn’t be allowed to own elephants and elephants should not be used in peraheras.
Mark / October 27, 2014
Does the second sentence refer to the Buggers in the first sentence.
Diogenes / October 13, 2014
Although this person pretends to be a pious Buddhist monk he is a saffron clad political stooge and a rogue who is shamelessly misleading the uneducated ignorant wealthy class – particularly the supiri upaasaka ammaas – for his own worldly advantage. Why does he want to keep a sick she elephant in the premises? Does he expect that she will carry him to nibbaana on her back? A person , a monk who causes suffering to a helpless animal can not claim to be a Buddhist. Mahaa Nayakas, BBs should intervene and disrobe this despicable rogue!
Lapatiya / October 13, 2014
in my opinion best Judge to examine this petition is Colombo District Judge Thilina Gamage.
Sarah Holter / October 13, 2014
Saama cannot be kept in these conditions…. She is in bad health & her infection on her leg will just get worse. This is not down to finances so why is she allowed to be kept & abused like this??
michelle glibbery / October 13, 2014
We cannot allow the abuse of elephants to go on! This is not normal behavior! We were made in the image of God.which means that we were made to love and be compassionate.I feel that anyone who turns their head to this kind of abuse are just as guilty as the abuser!We must raise our voices for the love of these majestic creatures!!!
Siva Sankaran Sarma / October 14, 2014
While paling in comparison to the superlative levels of barbaric animal abuse and slaughter seen in primitive Thamizh Hindu rituals, this sort of thing is still unacceptable and should be clamped down on.
Native Vedda / October 14, 2014
Wee Thamizh D: Siva Sankaran Sarma Menon
A great compassionate message to Ape Tiger and Wee Lion slayers.
Ordinary Wee Thamizh and Ape Sinhala/Buddhists should be forced to listen to your great thoughts on animal karunya.
You should invite yourself to KARUNA ANIMAL WELFARE ASSOCIATION OF KARNATAKA and spread your message.
Here is an useful We For Animals welfare website:
Gremlin / October 27, 2014
There wails dog, cat, monkey, ant and donkey lovers. But I find none of them love humankind in their cores. Shiv Shank Sharm oota, are you a one from those proscribed kind?
“Mario, what do you get when you cross an insomniac, an unwilling agnostic and a dyslexic?”
“You get someone who stays up all night torturing himself mentally over the question of whether or not there’s a dog.”
― David Foster Wallace
Bee Wilson / October 13, 2014
I always believed temple Monkslike their religion to be kind to all living creatures. Widespread reading has now along with vidios and photos that the Monks are cruel, which leaves a supposedly kind religion in tatters. Shame on you for hiding under a cloak of distrust!
Jim softy / October 13, 2014
If some one is talking for animals that is good.
But, when it is politicized, that is with sinister objective.
Orphaned African elephants are treated better, with friendship and kindness than the Sri lankan elephants who are abused heavily.
Marwan / October 16, 2014
Hey Jim, orphaned elephants in Africa why? Because their parents were KILLED for their tusks. Just wait till those orphans grow up to become bull and cow elephants with big tusks, and they too will eventually meet the same fate in the wild, at the hands of merciless poachers wanting to make a quick buck. Elephants are extremely intelligent, majestic and lovable creatures and are creation of God, and can remember people and incidents far beyond any human capability. They are very social animals and once a mother is killed for its tusks, the little orphan hangs around close by expecting their mother to wake up, as if from sleep. Eventually the agonizing part is the crying and the purring and touching with trunk that follows that is heart wrenching. It is an indication of the dawn of realization of the loss of its only hope, its mother with no hope of her return. The baby orphan is most vulnerable at this time, and with this starts its hate, fright and bitterness towards humans, which is another trauma it goes thru as it will remember it’s mother’s ordeal throughout its life, and that’s becomes a double whammy. Agony it will be forced to live with, for the rest of its natural life, if not killed before, and once more for its tusks. Animal cruelty knows no bounds. MR is in possession of such elephant tusks (referred to as Blood Ivory) confiscated by Customs, and will gift some parts to the Temples within the country, whilst the rest will be sold off for handsome prices.
Crocketypus / October 27, 2014
Idiot, the Africans kill them for their tusks, and through the transit lane, if confiscated, our monks adore them in their temple walls, if those gets vanished abetted by those unscrupulous monks, their only remains in the temple walls the painted tusks made of cheap timber, to which you most venerate say Saadu Saadu.
Surely here, you are shedding Krackodile tears.
Why aren’t there men in this country who talk/care/condemn about the plight of people abused/molested daily in their own locality, instead bestowing the best of their kindness on bestial cousins.
FYI: Do you know that an Armadillo is anti-Jain?
paul / October 13, 2014
Diaspora reborn as Westerners still feel compelled to read and comment on CT!
Petros / October 27, 2014
Santa Pavula, do you know that CT consists of non-chemical treated, thin rawhide sheepskin of the Diaspora.
Kim Laundy / October 13, 2014
The cruelty shown by monks to temple elephants is beyond belief
It is a mockery of everything Buddhism stands for. I hope these
monks receive the karma they deserve.
How is this disgusting treatment of elephants allowed ??
What is going on ???
Natalia / October 13, 2014
Bee Wilson wrote: “I always believed temple Monkslike their religion to be kind to all living creatures.” That’s what I was thinking. But now I know the truth about Tiger Temple in Thailand and my illusion gradually begins to clear.
Irene Chernenko / October 13, 2014
Thank you for reporting on the campaign to free Saama. It is time the authorities took notice and investigated the suspicious circumstances under which elephants are “gifted” to temples and other influential figures, and enforced the guarantees that must be given about proper veterinary treatment and care for these animals. An elephant is not a solitary creature by nature, but once broken and tamed it continues to suffer physical and mental abuse. How can Buddhism live with that?
If the media can put pressure on the authorities and force them to respond to these allegations, perhaps the animal welfare organisations who are currently too scared of these powerful people or just not interested in getting involved will finally stand up and speak for and about these suffering animals. Compassion for all living creatures is a noble trait. It is the sign of a small mind to count and display one’s wealth in numbers of elephants.
The public must be made to see the cover up going on in Saama’s case, the injustice of her enslavement and the poor treatment she is getting at the hands of her “owner”.
Valerie robertson / October 13, 2014
If he is responsible for allowing this he should be derobed
Groopetswartson / October 27, 2014
Subsequently appearing in virile magazines which women fondle?
Kye Sangha / October 13, 2014
The behavior of this man towards Saama is contrary in every way to Buddhas teachings. He is an embarrassment to Buddhists everywhere & should be disrobed. That he is politically powerful & his superiors are turning a blind eye shames the entire order & calls into question not just his perversion of the teachings of Buddha, but also the ethics of everyone around him who continue to allow him to represent their order. I hope that in the end it is not just him who is disrobed, but everyone above him who has allowed this to continue.
Martha Graham / October 14, 2014
Please send elephant to sanctuary
BBS Rep / October 14, 2014
What can you expect in a country where Buddhist monks are running amok intigating foolish lay people to commit murder, looting and mayhem. There is nothing humane in our society. We are all rotten to the core.
One.upon.a.time_Kandy Lamissi / October 15, 2014
Me too, agree with you BBS Rep. Very true.
But my complain is we also have too many cats, dogs, crows, mosquitoes, cockroaches and rats in our country too, that has now turned out to be a menace. Cannot you propose something to BBS to eradicate this menace (humanely of course) before it gets much worst. They disturb my dustbins by pulling out all the stale food and muck and drag it along the streets, shit in front of my house doorstep and that gets trampled accidentally and then you know the rest, whining and wringing close to my ears and trying to inject me and my family members with their deadly dengue virus, and that keeps me up with sleepless nights. Mosquito coils not effective anymore. Some come biting away at all my wooden furniture of what bare minimum I own, making holes in the corners of my wooden doors for their easy exit and entry, and I don’t know what I can do to stop them. I understand rat traps will kill them, but I don’t want to have bad karma by killing animals. I am getting desperate and feel suicidal to get away and remove myself from all that is going on around to destroy me and get rid of me, let alone saving elephants. I truly know of some countries (which I have lived) where none of these pets, sorry pests exist and have never existed, and I enjoyed my sleep and the fresh air and lived in absolute style and comfort. Help save me and my kind from disappearing from this planet too. I know, I know, we already lost all the lions in the country, and now we have it only as emblems on our flags. I truly wish the same does not happen to our majestic elephants too. I am an old lady and look forward to your consoling words of hope, comfort and assurance that humankind will not meet the same fate any time soon, and then these pests will never take over. May your Org. BBS bring peace and blessings of the Triple Gem to our motherland.
Lilian Camuthatka / October 27, 2014
Well you reminded of the aquatic bloodsuckers. Soon, there will be campaign throughout the country by BBS & Co. to eradicate mosquito repellants, fly killing machines and so on to show their solidarity with the Animal Rights Actifists.
Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam / October 14, 2014
However well connected, Uduwe Dhammaloka should be charged with cruelty to animals.
The practice of temples owning elephants should be questioned based on what we now know about the intelligence and social life of elephants. Being kept captive in a temple, prodded with hooks and deprived of ones family is slow torture – the elephant in the photos shows clear signs of being tortured (including the binding chains and the abscess from the hook).
Pachy Jamis / October 27, 2014
Not Damnaloka, but the naked mahout in the his superman’s dress nurturing the animal in the above pic should be questioned for the abscess he (allegedly) created on this poor animal.
Meanwhile, how did you trace that this particular animal has extended families, probably from the moaning CT punters above your comments?
Jesús González / October 14, 2014
No harm to any animal
George Gallager / October 14, 2014
I guess in order to succeed just as in politics, what matters most for these ‘Sharona Bottle’ types is the gift of the gab, everything else becomes secondary. At one time, I remember this monk was the Boy George of society and to his fans in this country. He was consulted and made his appearance with his Dharma Deshana for almost anything and everything. Now he seems to have been used and dumped and thereby lost much of his sheen. Now in vogue is is big, bold and amorous types, like the BBS thuggish behavior role models, who too will meet this same fate and be assigned to the dustbin of history.
Shelley Beukes / October 14, 2014
Treat the bugger the same way!
Goraka / October 14, 2014
Isn’t it funny that we abuse elephants, but gets very upset when foreigners wear tattoo of Buddha images, or “abuse” a Buddha statue made by human hands!
Statue_Maker / October 14, 2014
Hey Goraka, do you want to be crushed into ambul thiyal? What do you care how we make our statues? It is no more by hands but the latest low-tech state-of-the-art cutting edge technology using the best in materials that money can buy. Electronically Lazer guided fully automated machines, spilling out statues by the dozens (so much in demand to fill all the homes of every citizen in the country), of varying sizes from smallest to keep under the pillow and sleep, to the biggest, cut right into the rock face, so you can see it from afar. We can make even make the statue to float on water, or, send it up in a balloon and still worship it looking up into the heavens. We have built it atop the highest mountain looking down on us. We love them, we make them, our Great Teacher is with us everywhere, why should anyone else care.
Moonraker / October 27, 2014
Is it (the Great Teacher) made of Plastic, Lama or Tricalcium Silicate. You are a cheater of your own soul.
Lasantha / October 14, 2014
It is so depressing to note how such a large number of Elephants started dying and been killed during the last few years.
Even during the 30 year war there were not this number of elephant deaths occurred.
Building Airports, cricket stadiums, hotels and other construction sites in Animal and elephant habitats without doing any environmental studies first have restricted their movements and now many Wild elephants are murdered by villages when they encroach to their villages looking for food and movement.
Also we never herd before such an Elephant trade, where now it has become a lucrative business. Also Elephant cruelty is highest in Buddhist temples and in private homes.
Even in Pinnawala Elephants do not have their own freedom and free movement. Pinnawala is been run as another large Prison for Elephants. Why don’t Pinnawala release some those elephants to Jungles after habitat, at least for few months of the year to be on their own and to have their own free life.
It’s time for Sri Lankan Animal rights. animal welfare groups and Environmentalist to unite with international groups and start rescuing Elephants from Cruelty and bad treatment. At least to introduce some guide lines as to how to give them more freedom. There should be some law to implement for Elephant owners.
At the current death rate of Elephants, very soon Elephants will be history in Sri Lanka. It’s time to rescue them now.
ranjith Chandrasekera / November 29, 2015
How about Gangaramaya temple Podi Hamuduruwo for his part in having a captive elephant Ganga. That elephant is also being abused. There are no charges against him reason being that his close connection with PM Ranil Wickramasinghe