Tourism and Sports Deputy Minister Wasantha Senanayake said yesterday that it was illegal for any president to make grants of elephants on ‘Sannas Pathraya’ as no legal provisions had been vested in them by the constitution to do so.
Mr. Senanayake said he had sought advice from the Attorney General on whether a President were empowered to make grants of elephants in terms of Article 33(D) of the constitution, and that he had been told by him that the President was not given such powers to make any grants and dispositions either by the constitution or in the Flora and Fauna Ordinance.
Mr. Senanayake said he had informed President Maithripala Sirisena in written about the matter. “So many elephants have been granted by former presidents starting from President J.R. Jayawardene in 1978 and ending with Mahinda Rajapaksa. They may have done it without having knowledge of the legal provisions to do so as no one had pointed it out before. In terms of Article 33(D) of the constitution, a President can only make grants of lands and immobile properties. Nowhere in the constitution has the granting of elephants being mentioned, he said.
When asked whether he was going to take action against the grants of elephants that had been made by previous Presidents, minister Senanayake said he was not going to cancel them because it was not practical since it had been done since 1978 and added that he would make sure that the incumbent president would do no such a thing.
Mr. Senanayake said the ministry would not register any elephants that had been granted by any President in the future whereas it had been done in the past.
Mr. Senanayake said he was against the export of elephants to foreign countries as the elephant density was dwindling in the country and added that the practice should be banned. “We should stop exporting elephants as the elephant density in the country is dwindling and it is difficult to find elephants even for cultural events today. India had already banned elephant exports,’ he said. (Ajith Siriwardana)
To say that the executive President did not have the power to grant elephants is ridiculous and shows what a novice the Minister is in politics. The President need not have all his powers spelt out. Just imagine a Gazette notification stating that the President has the power to grant animals! We would gave to list all the animals he could grant. Pity the poor Government Printer!
ANTON Thursday, 19 March 2015 09:58 AM
BUT THE FLOCK OF ELEPHANTS ARE DANCING UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF PRESIDENT.
andycap Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:14 AM
Flock of Elephants???!! Herd Anton.
Premalal Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:24 AM
We know that. Just tell us what you have done about it. ?
SP Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:39 AM
Mr. Minister, Could please give as to whom the elephants were given by the respective Prime Ministers/Presidents since 1948, especially to their owm family members,
Aruna Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:08 AM
Bring some productive action or talk to SL with wide propaganda, we can then support your government. These stories make no sense to daily life of any citizen of the country.
ranga Thursday, 19 March 2015 07:13 PM
Dear Sir...you forgetting your portfolio or conveniently ignoring it...DM of Sports
Cobra Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:08 PM
But any king can and ours did just that!!!
johan Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:26 PM
Elephants came to power under yahapalanaya mustkeep its promises unlike MR Govt.not mess up things andmake it worse
upali Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:51 PM
Since your appointment as a depty minister you are harping on Elephants. All individuals who are poseessing elephants feed those elephants better than in jungles.Moreover due to colonization of wild land they have no where to habitat.
Prem Nath Thursday, 19 March 2015 01:07 PM
Only R.W can.
kamal Thursday, 19 March 2015 01:08 PM
This is not joke, please take back the elephants who are not cared enough, specially you can not have elephants in a small space, so implement some standards to follow for the owners at least if you can not take them back. These animals can not tell you how they suffer physically.
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