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Elephant calf: Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera acquitted

1 March 2019 03:01 pm - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Colombo High Court today acquitted the Ven Uduwe Dhammaloka Thera in the case filed against him on charges of possessing an elephant calf without a valid permit.

HC Judge Sampath Wijeratne observed that the prosecution had not proved the allegations beyond reasonable doubt.

He cited a precedent and said despite there being no doubt that an elephant comes under the Public Property Act, the legal question as to whether the Thera had kept that elephant without a license has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt with sufficient evidence.

Charges were filed against the Thera under the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance Act and the Public Property Act.

The Attorney General had earlier claimed that the accused had intentionally kept in his possession an elephant calf without a legal permit at the Allen Mathiniyaramaya Temple on January 28, 2015.

Meanwhile, Senior State Counsel Janaka Bandara, appearing for the prosecution, said they would file an appeal against the court ruling.

The Court directed that the elephant calf be kept in the custody of the Director General of Wildlife.

Blurb -- Despite there being no doubt that an elephant comes under the Public Property Act, the legal question as to whether the Thera had kept that elephant without a license has to be proved beyond reasonable doubt with sufficient evidence. (Shehan Chamika Silva)

Pix by Kithsiri de Mel

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  Comments - 7

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  • max Friday, 01 March 2019 03:37 PM

    Here, a chance to so called "elephant saviors" who see only temple elephants to chant against Buddhist monks.

    craig bastians Friday, 01 March 2019 03:46 PM

    The AG's office seems to be losing a lot of high profile cases. What is happening there? On many instances they have been slammed by magistrates/judges for coming to courts unprepared. Pathetic.

    ravin Friday, 01 March 2019 05:03 PM

    is this a fair decision.

    DELIVERY Friday, 01 March 2019 06:18 PM

    Who delivered the baby at the temple. Thank god it was an elephant calf.

    Mohommad Yahiya Khan Friday, 01 March 2019 06:27 PM

    So the calf was just loitering around the temple premises. Just like a stray dog or a cat. Such things happen only in Sri Lanka. Shame.

    kay Friday, 01 March 2019 06:47 PM

    Thera has no legal permit to keep the elephant. There is no doubt about that so what is the problem with the HC judge? What is there to prove beyond doubt either he had a permit or he did not. Typical srilankan judge, creating confusion to justify his order wonder what the pay back is... running to millions i assume.

    BuffaloaCitizen Friday, 01 March 2019 07:58 PM

    Law twisted by an equally twisted magistrate


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