Tag Archives: perahera

The Long Fight For Ganga Continues…

THE COURT ORDER for Ganga’s release into safe custody from illegal captivity by religious institutions has been openly and flagrantly defied for well over a year. The ruling in favor of moving Ganga into Protective Custody has repeatedly been ignored as her keepers not only deny her compassionate care, but also continue to exploit her in the name of religion and social status in a blatant display of political maneuvering.

NEXT COURT DATE: Ganga’s case will be heard in court, again, in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Monday, December 11th, at 10:00 AM..

WHAT YOU CAN DO: 
1. Send the consistent message, “The World Is Watching. Release Ganga into Protective Custody Now” to the following addresses:
administration@attorneygeneral.gov.lk
pm@pmoffice.gov.lk
secpm@pmoffice.gov.lk
meegasmulla@yahoo.com

2. Submit a grievance form to the President of Sri Lanka, respectfully demanding that Ganga be taken into Protective Custody per the Court Order from 2016: 
https://tell.president.gov.lk/grievance/showAddGrievance.mvc

Within the form, click:
Organization Type: Top Government
Organiztion: Presidential Secretariet 
District: Colombo

Even if you have written to the above people during our past campaigns, please write again (and again and again)over the next couple of weeks.

At great cost in all ways, the Legal Counsel from the Centre for EcoCultural Studies continue to intervene in court on Ganga’s behalf as the depth of governmental corruption continues to be revealed. Ongoing work has become dramatically more challenging as systemic corruption and invasive manipulation of court proceedings continues unabated.

Someone asked me why everyone is “doing all that work for just one elephant”. Yes she is one. One of many hundreds of Temple Elephants, all who need protection from the ways of abject cruelty. She is an innocent sentient being, worthy of kindness for no other reason than that. But if more reasons are necessary, then we see how changing the Story of One can change the Story of Many.

Outrage alone is futile. Action is Everything.


February Full Moon Brings the Nawam Maha Perahera

The February full moon in Colombo sees the return of the annual Nawam Maha Perahera. The procession of captive elephants starts at The Gangaramaya Temple, once home to Ganga, before she was moved down south, to be hidden out of sight as her court case continues, and where over 100 elephants begin their forced march through the packed city streets.  

From Feb 7 through Feb 20, an estimated 10,000 tourists will join locals to line the streets of Colombo to watch the event. The thunderous noise of the drums, the flashing lights, the burning torches, and the spinning and whirling of dancers and acrobats may seen like an exotic and spectacular cultural experience for foreigners and a mystical journey for locals. But, imagine for a moment, being one of those wild- captured  elephants systematically beaten and broken simply to take part in the parade for the enjoyment of your captors. Imagine being torn from your family, captured and confined, and forced to live your nightmare time and time again. As numerous travel companies continue to sell tickets to foreigners online and on the streets of Colombo, it’s time for tourists and locals alike to turn away from a cruel past and turn towards a kinder future, clearly communicating  that bearing witness to abuse is no cause to celebrate.

It’s past time for this practice to shift into the 21st century, as cruelty-free options to honor this long-standing festival DO exist. One only has to take a look at Sri Lankan communities around the world to to see that many now choose to celebrate using creatively constructed, beautifully decorated floats of replicated elephants, engaging in an old tradition but with a new vision of compassion.  


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