Jumbos on the decline!

The recent vicious and cold-blooded murder of the “Dalapoottuva”, the joint-trunk elephant king of Galgamuwa, poses the question of whether the jumbo population in Sri Lanka is fast declining. News items appearing daily in the media indicate that they are headed for extinction, although it should be mentioned clearly that this reference is to the four-legged variety, and not to the two legged political animals.

The talk of the town is why this inhuman treatment is meted out to what John Donne called “nature’s great masterpiece”. Unsullied Greed influence the minds of these criminal elements to harm these lovable pachyderms. The value of  their tusks, of their precious Gajamuthu (elephant pearls), and of the hairs attached to their tails is the main reason for these, unending killings.

While condemning these criminal activities and also berating the authorities and naturalists for not taking drastic action to arrest this inhuman trend, we move onto the plight of the two-legged political animals who are also facing extinction at present.

With the so-called “birth of the new nation” in 1948 the leaders of the pack were like the  members  of the splendid four- legged species, a force to be reckoned with, worth their salt and eminently suitable to take over the running of state affairs. They probably used the elephant as their symbol because they saw their own similarity to the four-legged species. Like the four-legged ones, the two-legged individuals possessed precious Gajamuthu—their magnanimity, their  unfailing honesty and also their concern for the development of the living conditions of the pack. They were honourable to their core and led exemplary lives.

With the changes that occurred after the so-called liberation of the economy, corrupt elements who were merely hangers-on earlier, sans good breeding, crept into the forefront. Thus the honourable clan lost its prestigious integrity,  the valuable symbol causing even their erstwhile enemies to respect them. The  decline actually started with the assault on the judges who refused to tow their line and with the untimely and mysterious deaths of up and coming leaders.

Who was responsible? No one knew and no one dared to find out!

The honourable and respectable elephant clan was taken over slowly and silently by corrupt and criminal elements who were capable of indulging in any kind of dastardly acts.

Now the respectable and decent supporters of the Elephant clan are in a quandary – whether to tow the criminal and corrupt line or mind their own business and refrain from accepting them. In other words, former respectable hardcore supporters  of the Green clan, who had great loyalty towards the ancient leaders of the clan, seem to have decided not to get involved in political activity this time. They seem to be ashamed of the present day two-legged creatures who are mostly dishonest and selfish characters.

What was once a respectable clan, possessing the fine character of the elephant pearl, is now not worthy of comparison to elephant dung. After all, the latter can at least be made use of to make paper, whereas this lot are totally useless .This seem to be the opinion prevalent among the respected green giants of the society.

By Vijaya Ariyarathna


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