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eTN ambassador flies Sri Lankan flag high in Canberra

eTN ambassador flies Sri Lankan flag high in Canberra

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.