NBFwants DN Dela to make public apology

The National Bhikkhu Front yesterday demanded a public apology from the Diyawadana Nilame of the Sri Dalada Maligawa Nilanga Dela and others who had insulted Buddhism by abducting two baby elephants from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage on Saturday. They had taken the baby tuskers to be offered to the Dalada Maligawa, but there is no tradition to steal something to be offered to the Buddha.

General Secretary of the NBF, Professor Attanayale Samitha thera said that Mahanayaka theros of Malwatta and Asgiriya Chapters should order Dela to make a public apology.

Despite protests by some officials at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, after hours of battle, two baby tuskers were forcibly separated from their mothers on Saturday (25) night. Diyawadana Nilame Pradeep Nilanga Dela, with the support of nearly 50 persons managed to take the two baby elephants to Kandy.

According to the sources of the Pinnawala orphanage, Dela had to wait from 6.00 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. to accomplish his mission.

The two baby elephants were taken to Diyawadana Nilame Dela’s residence and were kept in a garage, where one tusker had broken a tusk. The other had also injured itself.

Samitha thera said that the abductors had got the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers for their deed and also used President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s name to succeed.

"We don’t oppose taking tuskers or elephants to religious institutions. But, these two elephants are too small and they are still breast feeding. The two of them haven’t completed three years yet. What is the hurry to take them to the Dalada Maligawa at this time? We also demand a high level inquiry against these abductors," Samitha thera said adding that this was a black mark on the Malwatta and Asgiriya temples and Dalada Maligawa.

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