Tag Archives: Kandy

Treatment Of This 70-Year Old, Kandy Temple Elephant Is A SIN On All Sri Lankan Buddhists.

by Anura Guruge

From TODAY. Click image to access their Facebook page. They are REAL.

Click to ENLARGE. Use above link.

Click to ENLARGE. Use link from 1st picture.

Click to ENLARGE. From Wikipedia. He is no longer in charge. But, ….

Click to access my post from just a few months ago.

I do NOT think this can be dismissed as FAKE news. I am NOT there in Kandy, to go and check, but the pictures look real. [Yes, it was over 50-years ago BUT I used to visit the Temple often, have fed the elephants and, moreover, have, unlike most, had the privilege of seeing the REAL tooth relic (inside the innermost sanctum) as opposed to the replica that is on display and paraded in the perahera.]

This is distressing. There is NO excuse for this.

I am kind of surprised and puzzled. In general, ‘we’ (i.e., Sri Lankans) take good care of our elephants — despite some unnecessary stupidity like getting them to kneel to worship Buddhist statues. This is beyond the pale.

This kind of inhumane treatment has no place in any culture, let alone a culture that CLAIMS to value compassion.

I, alas, now, have ZERO contacts in Sri Lanka. I left 52-years ago — this month.

But, I ‘messaged’ Neranjan Wijeyeratne via Facebook. He was one of the many surrogate sons my parents adopted. He lived with them in Paris for years. I was living in the U.K. at the time. But, we visited Paris often and as such I knew Neranjan well. Let’s see if I hear back from him.

IF YOU have contacts in Sri Lanka — ideally with clout, PLEASE do something about this.

This is ANOTHER blot-in-the-copybook for Sri Lankan Buddhists.

Related Posts:
Check Categories ‘Religion’ & ‘Sri Lanka>>>>

by Anura Guruge

Royal Baby, George Alexander Louis. I Had A Hunch About ‘Louis’. I Am Delighted. Another Of My Heroes.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
>> The Royal Baby … — July 24, 2013.

++++ Search on ‘Royals‘ or ‘Kate‘ for all of my related posts including those of Kate topless >>>>

From my all time favorite newspaper, the one and only, the great, U.K. Daily Mail. Click to access Daily Mail original.

Click to access U.K. Daily Mail pictures and story.

I had an inkling that ‘Louis’ was going to be in there in some way.

I like the whole name, but am very gratified by the ‘Louis’ part. Yes, most Americans don’t know him though he was, of course, Supreme Allied Commander, South East Asia Command (1943-1946).

One of my heroes, alongside the likes of Churchill, Mandela, Tutu, Montgomery et. al.

Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten,
1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma,

I never met him though we both lived in the same state, Hampshire, prior to his tragic assassination by the cowardly, dastardly IRA.

There is a Ceylon connection. He moved the South East Asia Command headquarters to Ceylon (Kandy) in August 1944. 

He used to stay at this hotel, Mount Lavinia, just south of Colombo, on the coast.

He used to stay at this hotel, Mount Lavinia, just south of Colombo, on the coast.

Obviously, if you know your history, he was the Viceroy and Governor General of India during the period of Independence. He is the one who created Pakistan. Yes, it is also true (and I have never been able to reconcile this) that it was during this time that my other hero (and dinner guest at our house), Jawaharlal Nehru, was having a very open affair with his wife.

The Mountbattens with Gandhi, 1947.

The absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, Mountbatten Estate, in Romsey, Hampshire — just 4 miles from Hursley (where I worked for IBM). One of my favorite destinations.

Laconia Antique Center.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access the Website of the Laconia Antique Center.

As was the case last Sunday, when he had the delightful experience of meeting Michael Dukakis, I had to go to the Obama campaign office in Laconia yesterday. As is our wont, we all went.

On the way back, though I usually try to ignore it, we ended up going inside the ‘Laconia Antique Center‘, now in its expanded space in what was the old ‘Bloom’ building. I was somewhat familiar with them having visited them, at least once, when they were across the road.

I have to be careful going into places like that. Whereas Deanna can happily browse for hours without feeling the need to buy anything I am an impulsive and compulsive shopper with myriad interests.

I still can’t make up my mind about their prices. They are NOT outlandish. I guess they are par for retail, though I am not sure whether the par as yet been correctly calibrated for Laconia. I was not going to buy anything. With the piano, Sandwich Fair, $52 Apple Picking, Devanee’s birthday, Devanee’s Nexus 7 it had already been an expensive month and we had more events scheduled for the remainder of the month. Lincoln (link) Fornier, the owner, very nice guy, came and directed us to an aisle where everything was 20% off. That was a good start, but I was still determined to keep my powder dry.

I saw a brass compass cum sun dial plus (mini) sextant. Of late I have a thing about small, portable sun dials. I was tempted, but refrained.

Then I saw this watch, with the Lionel Train logo, with a MOVING train that acted as the second hand. I was done for. Yes, I know I have extremely strong will power, the only thing that I can’t resist being temptation. This was too much. The watch even made train noises when you pressed a second knob at the top!

Next to cricket, anything that moves is my next abiding passion. Trains are literally in my blood. My maternal grandfather was a station master. So my mother grew up alongside main railway tracks, station masters, per the British tradition, getting official houses close to their station. So my mother grew up to the sound of trains. My grandfather died, the year I was born. He was then the station master of Ceylon’s 2nd largest railway station, Kandy — the hill capital. He died off an heart-attack, early in the morning, while shaving, outside, on the veranda, watching the trains come and go. His eldest son, my uncle, started off as a train driver and eventually rose to the ranks of being an inspector railways. When I was young he would arrange for me to get rides on engines. Once when I was about 12 I spent and entire Saturday morning shoveling coal on a train that was commuting to-and-from Kandy. So … What can I say. I have all sorts of model train stuff, and even a partially working z-gauge train set. I won’t mention the number of books I have. If I look to my right as I write there are 3 shelves with model train engines.

So I got the watch and the compass thingy. I told you I was impulsive and compulsive.

I wasn’t going to look up the watch on the Web. I was petrified that I had made a mistake. Eventually around midnight I broke down and had a look. I had paid $32 for it, in the original box. That is an average price — without shipping. So, I wasn’t ripped off. That is good. If not for the 20% off, I would not have been as sanguine.

I think that that sums up the Antique Center. About par prices, especially if discounted. They did have some stuff 50% off. Deanna found a provocative nut cracker. A female nude and you cracked nuts by lifting her legs apart. She thought that I should get it. I resisted.

Yes, I will be going back again, possibly close to Christmas. Nice place. Has the CUTEST period theme ol’ style soda bar where you can order a real soda!

So, if you are in Laconia give it a try. From what Link was saying they always have sales and each item has a potential discount price marked on it — top right corner.

Elephants In Manchester, NH: There Are Here And The Next Parade …

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

  by Anura Guruge

1. The elephants are in Manchester, NH. They should be, out in the open, in the car park, behind the Verizon arena. They are hard to hide.

2. The elephants should be going back to the train, via Auburn St. and Elm St., after the last show — the question is WHEN?

3. Their next show is not until Wednesday, October 3, 2012 in Worcester, MA. I don’t know what happens in the interim. In prior years Manchester was always the last stop and they dashed off ‘home’ as soon as the last show was completed.

Related Posts:
Elephant Parade In Manchester, NH: THE Stop Press UPDATE Wednesday (Sept. 26)Sept. 26, 2012.
Elephant Parade In Manchester, NH — Free (& Gratis) Thanks To Barnum & Bailey CircusSept. 25, 2012.
The Circus Is Coming To Town; Barnum & Bailey, This Week, In Manchester, NH Sept. 24, 2012.
It’s A Girl, All of 316 Pounds — Another Ringling Brothers Circus ElephantSept. 26, 2012.

elephant parade sign Manchester, NH

From the 2008 elephant parade in Manchester, NH.

I genuinely feel bad for those that wanted to see the elephants yesterday, but missed it. I, as you can see from my updates, tried to do my best: I called the police (twice), I called the arena (twice) and even called up FELD (the parent company of the circus). I thank all of those that helped by sending me comments. About three years ago we too went mid-week to see the elephants arrive with Teischan. The train was about 90 minutes late. We saw it come in. We saw the elephants in the cars. But, we couldn’t wait for the parade because we had to get back home to meet Devanee’s school bus. But, we saw the parade on Sunday of that year.

I am in Alton. The last time I was in Manchester, actually Bedford, was a week ago. So I have no visibility as to what is happening at the Arena is real time.

I checked WMUR last night and this morning. I might have missed it but I can’t see any reports about the elephants or the circus — though one of our readers told us yesterday that she saw the WMUR van pulling up.

I also checked the Facebook page for and the Tweets from the Arena. Again I might not be seeing it. They talk about the circus being here but there is no mention of the elephants or the parade yesterday.

So here is my new druthers. The elephants might have become a new security issue. Yes, the circus is continuing to get a lot of flack about their treatment of animals. WMUR has an article about protests in Manchester against the circus. This could be why they are ALL being so evasive. Elephants, even the best trained ones, are easy to spook. So if a demonstrator did something crazy we could have a bad situation. Yes, I have experienced runaway elephants first hand, albeit this was a baby, maybe 1 year old. It was at a fair, an Expo, in Colombo in the 1960s. The elephant had been brought in as an attraction. Since it was still a baby people were not that concerned. Something happened, and it decides to take off. My parents were working a ‘stall’ (maybe it was my mother’s orphanage). It wasn’t a tent. They had long rows of storage unit like concrete enclosures. The elephants started going into each of these. It was agitated and all the commotion being made by the people was scaring it. I have never seen a bull in a china shop, but a baby elephant in a exhibition stall sure creates a stir. The poor elephant. It meant no harm. It just didn’t know what to do. I still remember this. My father, an academic, is not what anybody would call a physical, outdoor type person. But, he took a huge swipe at the elephant and whacked it on its rump to keep it from going into the stall where my mother and others were. I was impressed. I don’t think it really hurt the elephant. I think the elephant was a bit shorter than my father, and he is about 5′ 9″. So the elephant was still a baby, but of respectable size. He ran up and down those stalls, trunk in the air, tail up and squeaking. It ran by me a couple of times. I wasn’t scared. It wasn’t hurting anyone and even as kids we knew that. It was just big and knocked over everything in its path. They caught him in the end. He wasn’t punished. As I said yesterday baby elephants are like big puppies. They like to play; they just have no idea how big they are.

So, I think this is the issue. The circus, the arena and Manchester PD want to play down the presence of the elephants this year. If so, I understand. This is not Ceylon. If an elephant breaks rank on Elm St. the police will probably shoot it though you need special bullets to really fell an elephant, with one shot. Yes, elephants do get shot in Ceylon/Sri Lanka — but not that often. Yes, I remember one going rogue during the famous, annual, ‘Temple of the Tooth’ August parade when I was a child. They had to shoot the elephant, though it was the fault of the keeper. Elephants go into ‘Musk’ — a bit like ‘heat’. They tend to be excitable when in Musk. But, it is hard to miss  Musk. When it musk they secrete an unmistakable an oily liquid from glands behind their eyes. You try not to take bull elephants in Musk on parades. I haven’t checked off late. Yes, in Sri Lanka where elephants walk the roads and work the land every day, and we have parades with lots of elephants, all decked up, pulling electric generators to power up all the lights on them, quite a few times a year, a few accidents do occur.

I am assuming, I am hoping that there will be a ‘closing’ parade on Sunday, the last show in Manchester starting at 4 pm and most likely ending by 6 or 6:30 pm. In past years the elephants started their walk back about 1 hour after the end of the show. They were a bit late last year. Not sure what will happen this year. Their next show is not until Wednesday. So they might stay the night in Manchester. Maybe all day Monday as well. If I find out more I will update this post.

Elephant parade in Kandy, Sri Lanka; an annual event in August to celebrate the holy relic of the Buddha’s tooth. The elephant in the middle here, on his back, in the lit ‘pagoda’, is carrying a replica of the tooth. There were years when you would get 80 to 90, decked up elephants. There is a parade everyday for a week! Millions attend. Smaller parades take place all over the country. So these are the kinds of elephant parades I am used to.