Sri Lanka will launch an immediate probe into serious concerns raised by Myanmar after it appealed to Sri Lankan authorities to stop the abuse of the elephant it donated to a Buddhist temple six years ago.
Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told Daily Mirror that a thorough probe would be conducted into the concerns raised by the Myanmar Foreign Ministry and the matter would be discussed with the Environment and Wildlife Ministry and the Buddha Sasana Ministry as well.
"We will get a response from the relevant temple and launch an immediate investigation. We will then compile a report and hand it over to the Myanmar Ambassador in Colombo," Gunawardena said.
The Buddha Sasana Ministry has launched a separate investigation into the complaint, the Daily Mirror learns.
The Myanmar Foreign Affairs Ministry said yesterday the Myanmar Embassy in Colombo had asked the Sri Lanka authorities to punish those who persecuted the elephant as seen in videos uploaded in the social media.
The elephant, which was named Myan Kumara, was donated by the Myanmar government to the Bellanwila Temple in 2013.
A few days ago, news and videos of Myan Kumara being abused by the elephant keeper appeared on social media in both Sri Lanka and Myanmar, triggering public condemnation.
Myanmar’s ambassador to Sri Lanka was scheduled to visit the elephant yesterday, the Myanmar Times reported.(Jamila Husain)