Sri Lankan Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera lately introduced that the federal government is contemplating a Chinese language non-public firm’s proposal to import 100,000 “toque macaque” monkeys from Sri Lanka for 1,000 zoos in China.
However environmentalists level out that the toque macaque monkey is on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species. Sri Lanka is its pure habitat.
Campaigners for the preservation of Sri Lanka’s tradition say that the monkey has an exalted place within the mythology of Sri Lankan Hindus. The monkey god Hanuman is a key character within the Hindu epic Ramayana. As regards Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority, the final feeling is that the large-scale export of monkeys would conflict with the Buddhist idea of compassion towards all dwelling creatures. Sri Lankan Buddhists additionally venerate Hindu deities, together with Hanuman. A temple has been constructed for him in Rumassala, a Buddhist stronghold in southern Sri Lanka.
Most Sri Lankans trash Amaraweera’s declare that the 100,000 monkeys are meant for Chinese language zoos. A widespread suspicion is that the monkeys can be utilized in scientific experiments and as meals.
It’s well-known that monkeys, particularly toque macaques, are extensively traded internationally, each legally and illegally. The principle motive for the import of toque macaques by superior nations is analysis on medicine and vaccines. Toque macaques’ genetic and different similarities with people make them preferrred take a look at topics.
In response to Sri Lankan environmentalist Dr. Murali Vallipuranathan between 2000 and 2020, the US alone imported 482,000 monkeys for experimental functions
However there’s a worry in Sri Lanka that situations in Chinese language labs could possibly be particularly harsh as a result of China has little regard for animal rights. Even when the monkeys are meant for zoos, there’s a strong pattern of animal cruelty at China’s zoos and wildlife parks.
Former Sri Lankan Minister for Wildlife Navin Dissanayake described the Sri Lankan authorities’s indifference to this side as an “abomination.”
In response to Amaraweera, Sri Lanka has a inhabitants of three million toque macaque monkeys, manner too many. They’ve been inflicting monumental harm to crops, he identified.
He informed the web site Mongabay that just about 100 million coconuts are destroyed by monkeys and large squirrels annually, inflicting a lack of $19.3 million. He quoted a report of the Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Analysis and Coaching Institute in Colombo to say that the whole loss, taking all crops into consideration, can be $87.5 million.
The minister additional mentioned that efforts to curb the menace have failed, though, as per a brand new regulation, several kinds of wild creatures, together with monkeys, that harm crops, could possibly be legally killed by farmers.
Nonetheless, environmentalists warn of the deleterious penalties of indiscriminate and unscientific culling. Whereas monkeys could also be predators, they do play a helpful position in preserving the ecological steadiness, argued Vallipuranathan.
“Toque macaques are concerned in seed dispersing. A fast decline of those monkeys could have an effect on the unfold of the crops feeding these monkeys. A fast decline of macaques can result in a rise in lizards and small birds as a result of these monkeys are identified to feed on them. Alternatively, leopards, fishing cats, pythons and mugger crocodiles are identified to prey on these monkeys. A fast decline of monkeys can lead these predators to search for different prey, together with home animals,” he warned in an article in Colombo Telegraph.
Vallipuranathan additionally contested Amaraweera’s rivalry that the toque macaque monkey inhabitants in Sri Lanka is 3 million. “It can’t be above 200,000, and if from this, 100,000 are exported, the inhabitants can be halved!” he mentioned.
Conflict With Chinese language Mythology Too
Curiously, the monkey has an exalted place in Chinese language mythology additionally, identified Prof. B. R. Deepak of the Chinese language Research Middle in Jawaharlal College in New Delhi.
Chinese language students say that the Chinese language started venerating the legendary monkey Solar Wulong (often called the Monkey King) as a result of, based on legend, he offered safety to Xuan Zang throughout his perilous travels in India to gather Buddhist Sutras within the seventh century. Solar Wulong is a central character within the novel “Journey to the West” about Xuan Zang’s travels, written by Wu Cheng’en through the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).
Chinese language author Liu Anwu (1930-2018) devoted two chapters titled “Rescuing the kidnapped spouse: Rama’s story within the Journey to the West”, and “A Comparability of the Curse Mantra and different Mantras: Hindu Mythology and Journey to the West” to show his level that Solar Wulong is a “hybrid” Hindu-Chinese language Hanuman.
Liu established that numerous descriptions of Solar Wukong in “Journey to the West” are very in keeping with, or just like, the Rama story within the Buddhist sutras and the good epic Ramayana itself. In Chinese language mythology, Solar Wulong, like Hanuman, is thought for his boldness, loyalty, fast wit, and above all, monumental power. In Hindu mythology, Hanuman is immortal; so is Solar Wulong. Each can overcome adversaries or hostile circumstances by progressive strategies.
In response to Liu Anwu, through the Tang, Track, and Yuan dynasties, Guangzhou, Quanzhou, Mingzhou, Yangzhou had been the world’s busiest worldwide enterprise hubs that had been frequented by retailers, sailors, and monks from India and different components of Asia.
In consequence, a mixture of Buddhism and Hinduism was disseminated in Southeast Asia and China. The existence of Buddhist and Indian temples in Quanzhou bear testimony to the Hindu-Buddhist affect.
“The story of Rama should have been the topic of their pastime; due to this fact, it was pure for the story, together with that of Hanuman, to unfold within the southeast coast of China,” Deepak wrote in his 2020 piece in Sunday Guardian.
Solar Wukong represents the mixing of Chinese language and Indian literary photographs within the lengthy strategy of cultural exchanges between India and China. It’s a Sino-Indian hybrid. Given this cultural reality, it’s odd that China and Sri Lanka ought to ponder large-scale culling of the monkey.
Contemplating all these environmental and cultural elements, Vallipuranathan has one other reply to the monkey menace. In response to him, the extra wise manner of tackling the monkey drawback is to forestall deforestation.
Deforestation has led to the shrinking of the pure habitat of monkeys, leaving them no different however to encroach on human habitats and eat up their assets, he says.
“Sri Lanka has been present process in depth deforestation with successive political regimes destroying the forests within the title of improvement initiatives. In 2021 alone, it misplaced 13.3 kha [kilohectares] of pure forest,” Vallipuranathan identified.