Even diplomats talk about Mali
The Sri Lankan foreign minister who is currently in town for a four-day visit has been given an update on the condition of Mali, the elephant that came from Sri Lanka as a gift to the Philippines in the 1970s, which animal welfare activists want released from Manila Zoo.
External Affairs Minister Gamini Laksman Peiris “expressed satisfaction” with Mali’s condition, according to a statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs on Friday.
Peiris and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario agreed that Mali was a “symbol of the longstanding friendship between the Philippines and Sri Lanka,” the DFA said.
The statement was silent, however, on whether the two diplomats talked about the mounting calls by the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta) to have Mali transferred to a nature sanctuary in Thailand. The Peta campaign has earned endorsements from local and international celebrities, including British music icon Paul McCartney and Filipino rocker Ely Buendia.
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and some local veterinarians have opposed the transfer, citing Mali’s age and the possible harm of sending her on a long trip overseas.
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