The present government has mastered the art of selling family silver.
Deputy Minister Karunaratne Paranavithana has gone a step ahead. He has said the solution to the human-elephant conflict is to sell wild jumbos to foreigners! He says there are 6,000 elephants in the country at present though our forests can accommodate only 4,000 of them. So, he wants as many as 2,000 wild jumbos exported! We hope the government won’t set up a separate ministry for selling elephants as part of its regaining Sri Lankan programme.
The yahapalana politicians seem to have taken leave of their senses if their inane utterances are anything to go by. It is popularly said that ‘bale thiyanakota mole ne, mole thiyanakota bale ne, [when one has power one has no brains and when one has some brains one has no power].
True, the country’s forest cover is shrinking rapidly and the attendant problems are numerous.
The solution, however, is not to sell elephants to other countries, but to take urgent action to tackle the issue of deforestation by cracking down on illicit fellers and launching a comprehensive reforestation campaign while short-term measures are adopted to de-escalate the human-elephant conflict.
A few weeks ago two elephants were found struggling to remain afloat in the choppy seas off the eastern coast; the Navy had to fight quite a battle to save them. During the war, the Navy fought Sea Tigers. Thereafter, it was tasked with seizing Australia bound human smuggling vessels. Now, it has had to save jumbos! Is it that the elephants have also given up hope and are trying to flee the country, fed up with yahapalana politicians?
Now that the yahapalana pundits have sought to deal with what they call an increase in the number of elephants by selling some of the animals to foreigners, what will be the government’s solution to the issue of increasing human population? Will it legalise and promote the sale of babies to foreigners by way of population control?
The newly ratified amendments to the local government election laws are bound to lead to a massive increase in the number of local councillors. There are also too many ministers, most of whom are without any work and making silly statements. Is there any possibility of selling these useless politicians to foreigners maybe for a few dollars each?