eTN Ambassador speaks on Sri Lanka’s tourism and wildlife



Date Published

eTN Ambassador Srilal Miththapala has long been a supporter of
protecting Sri Lanka’s wildlife. He has a particular soft spot for the
elephants, and gives talks about both all around the world.

During a recent visit to Canberra, Australia, Srilal Miththapala, eTN
ambassador for Sri Lanka, made two presentations, one on “Sri Lankan
Elephant, Wild Life & Tourism” to the Sri Lankan High Commission, and
the other entitled “Wildlife and Elephants of Sri Lanka” to the
curators of the National Zoo & Aquarium Canberra.

The presentation at the Sri Lankan High Commission was organized by
the High Commissioner, HE S. Skandakumar, and his Deputy, Ms. Himalee
Arunatilake, at the High Commission premises on March 17, 2017.

After tea and refreshments, the presentation got underway around 6:00
pm with an introduction by the High Commissioner. About 60 interested
invitees, both Australian and Sri Lankan, listened attentively as
Srilal outlined the wide and diverse wildlife prevalent in Sri Lanka,
with special emphasis on elephants and their abundance in Sri Lanka.
He touched on the complex problem of the “Human Elephant Conflict,”
and the ongoing efforts to try and mitigate the problem. He also gave
an overview of Sri Lanka Tourism and the promoting of wildlife as an
important component of the product offering for a tourist.

The talk ended with a lively Q & A session, after which there was
further fellowship in the foyer area of the High Commission with HE
Skandakumar and his enthusiastic staff being gracious hosts.

Earlier in the day, Srilal visited the National Zoo and Aquarium in
Canberra at the invitation of the Education Officer and gave a
presentation on Sri Lankan elephants to a small group of curators of
the zoo. The National Zoo does not have elephants in captivity, and as
such Srilal focused more about the anatomy, behavior, and conservation
of Sri Lankan elephants in the wild. He also gave an overview of the
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, Elephant Transit Home, and the zoos in
Sri Lanka.

After a brief Q & A session, Srilal went on a guided tour of the zoo
“behind the scenes.” He was very impressed at the level of interest
and commitment of the staff of the zoo and the extent of care shown
for the animals. He had some discussions of exploring ways and means
he could help link the National Zoo with its Sri Lankan counterparts
for interchange of ideas and information.