Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 27 September 2015





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Towards a Revolution in Compassion

If Sri Lanka is taken to task internationally on lack of statutory recognition of animal rights than on human rights as we see happening today at UNHRC in Geneva we will have nowhere to look. The lack of political will in Sri Lanka to extend effective legislative protection to defenseless animals is unsettling to all those who care for others.

 If you teach someone to care and respect animals from a young age to prevent them from ill - treating and harming living beings, the chances are that they are less likely to hurt humans in their adult life, since many in our society start their journey in life by first hurting animals and then human beings and sometimes even engage in mass murder.

 A country where once upon a time animals lived freely with man in peaceful co-existence in line with the invaluable advice given by Arahant Mahinda to King Devanampiyatissa at Mihintale 2300 years ago “ Oh! Great King, the birds of the air and the beasts have an equal right to live and move about in any part of this land as thou.

The land belongs to the peoples and all other beings and thou art only the guardian of it”, today imports meat, slaughters animals in the most brutal manner, allows animal sacrifice despite the Buddha’s condemnation, encourages exports of fish and meat with hardly any concern for the country’s Buddhist image and religious traditions.

 Children must be given every chance to learn and practice unconditional love and respect. Animals are great ambassadors.

Animal welfare should be part of our landscape and school culture throughout the length and breadth of Sri Lanka.

 Children are the country’s future. The introduction of animal welfare as a subject into school curriculum in primary and secondary schools in Sri Lankawill be an important step in preventing animal cruelty and will help teach both current and our incoming generations of children precious skills such as Metta (loving kindness) and Karuna (compassion) that will stop deliberate cruelty to innocent creatures.

 How they are educated & trained in a wholesome manner will determine the health of the nation both in a moral and ethical sense.

 The establishment of a compassionate society in Sri Lanka is an ideal worth pursuing as it sits well with our noble Buddhist civilizational goals of peaceful co- existence between man and animal. It is an ideal path contributing to avoidance of conflict because as the Nobel Prize winner Dr. Albert Schweitzer wisely said

‘Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace’ 

Senaka Weeraratna, Attorney – at – Law and Chapter Leader of the Dharma Voices for Animals (Sri Lanka – Colombo) Chapter will deliver a talk on the topic ‘The Importance of introducing Animal Protection Education into Schools in Sri Lanka’ on World Animal Day, October 04, 2015 at 5.00 p.m. at the Dharmavijaya Foundation Auditorium, 380 / 7, Sarana Road, off Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 07.  

A Question & Answer session will follow.

An essay competition on the topic ‘ Can Zoos justify their existence in the modern day?‘ for school children will also be launched on this occasion.

All are welcome.

 For any further information, please contact Ms. Lakmali Udugampola (DVA Co - ordinator) on 0772127486 / (E:[email protected]). -Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA)



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