Sri Lanka’s government and Buddhist community are receiving negative attention because of Sindu and Raju, two baby elephants.
The pair were given to the Temple of the Tooth from Sri Lanka’s cabinet, as a gift that was to coincide with an annual festival in which Buddha’s tooth is paraded on the back of an elephant. The controversy here surrounds the treatment, and physical and mental condition of, both the infants and the mothers.
Animal rights groups claim that both the mother and the babies are terribly distraught, even ill, and are now acting out aggressively because of a too-early weaning, and so these groups have petitioned to the Courts. Others claim that the Sri Lankan Buddhist community is sacrificing morality for festival showboating. Both the Temple and the government seem steadfast.
Is this a matter of ritual over morals? Is it blown out of proportion? Just a misunderstanding? Here are some links to items about the controversy, to help you join the conversation: