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Sri Lanka cops caught with ‘Baby Austins’ after meditation

ECONOMYNEXT – Wildlife officials arrested two police officers who were on a hunting expedition inside the Wilpattu national park and seized two turtles known among hunters as "A35", or Baby Austin.

The two officers from the Puttalam division were travelling across the Wilpattu to Anuradhapura on an excursion when wildlife authorities searched them on Saturday and found the live flapshell turtles, a shot gun and live ammunition.

A senior official said it was the first arrest of police officers after Inspector-General Pujith Jayasundara ordered the 85,000-strong force to meditate for 15 minutes daily before starting their work.

It was not immediately clear if the officers were planning to turn the turtles into tasty morsels or set them free in line with the new police thrust of compassion towards all living creatures.

Hunters euphemistically refer to flapshell turtles as Baby Austin because they look like the Austin A35 car of the 1950s. It is also known as "kiri ibba" which makes a tasty bite during any spiritual journey.

Meanwhile, the effects of the meditation were seen on Monday when the officer in charge of the Ahangama police slapped a constable in a move that demonstrated great restraint after a meditation session.

A senior officer said the constable may have been shot if not for meditation that calmed the nerves of the exasperated OIC who was humanely arrested and set free on personal bail.

During a three hour sermon to the senior most officers of the service, the IGP  said the service had failed because they did not pay much attention to spiritual development (COLOMBO, Feb 21, 2017)

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