– by Shenali D Waduge –
In an age when editorials are irrelevant as information is electronically available within seconds of events happening, the role of editors need to transform into one of championing causes, bringing people together and not dividing them and working towards the integrity and sovereignty of the nation. The Daily Mirror Editor has led the way by its 30th May editorial calling for all communities in Sri Lanka to unite in solidarity against cattle slaughter. It is a magnanimous gesture and one that needs to give the editor applause.
The calls for people to seriously review the issue of cattle slaughter and animal welfare was triggered with the self-immolation of Ven. Bowatte Indrarathana Thero though neither the media nor the Government were sensitive to the cause that forced the Thero to take his life.
His death should not go in vain. The issue of cattle slaughter has been championed by numerous people and institutes over a long period of time. It was not simply the religious element and as the Daily Mirror editor says the health of Sri Lankans gives further impetus for people to move away from eating meat. Nutritionists are confident that the nutrition of children will not suffer by not eating beef.
The Daily Mirror editor says “The Catholic and Christian community in Sri Lanka also needs to seriously consider the need to avoid cattle slaughter as a first step to move towards vegetarianism as an act of unity with the Buddhist and Hindu people”. The editor goes on to urge the Catholic Bishops Conference to consider possibility of supporting a ban on cattle slaughter as a first step to stopping the killing of any animal for human consumption.
We commend the Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo who appealed to Christians to avoid meat eating during the Vesak season.
No Buddhist, Hindu or modern day Christian would oppose legislation to provide environment for the better treatment of animals and if this number more than 89% the Government has to listen to the majority voice and immediately ENACT THE ANIMAL WELFARE BILL.
We need a new culture of compassion, good morals and values and schools in particular must encourage children to treat animals with compassion.
Once again, we say well done to the Daily Mirror Editor, who has shown that editorials need to give good messages and bring communities together.