Aug 27, Colombo: Sri Lanka Police have come under severe criticism from cultural organizations as well as from the Minister of Culture and the Arts T. B. Ekanayake over a ceremony performed to wed police dogs.
The Police, as part of the Police Canine Breeding Program, held a wedding ceremony on a Poruwa, a structure used for traditional Sinhala weddings, yesterday at the Asgiriya Grounds in Kandy to wed pairs of police dogs belonging to the Asgiriya Police Kennels.
Nine pairs of dressed-up canines of different breeds were placed on the Poruwa and performed a ceremony after which the dogs were driven away for their "honeymoon" local media reported.
Veterinarians have presented "marriage certificates" to the dog couples certifying them suitable for breeding.
The Minister of Culture and the Arts, T.B. Ekanayake condemned the wedding ceremony as damaging to the country's culture and requested the Inspector General of Police to conduct an immediate inquiry regarding the ceremony.
Several organizations including the Sihala Ravaya organization expressed condemnation saying that it was an insult to the culture of the country.
The Police Headquarters issuing a statement apologized for the event and said the Police Department had no intention of causing any insult to the Sri Lankan culture and expressed regret regarding any harm the activities of the inauguration ceremony of Police Canine Breeding Program may have caused to any cultural heritage or if it caused any person any discomfort.
Police Spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardena told the local media the event was held to commence the new program to breed police dogs within the country to save the cost of purchasing them from other countries.