(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the Secretary to the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious and Cultural Affairs Prof. Kapila Gunawardena to name the deceased tusker Nadungamuwe Raja who carried the casket containing the Sacred Tooth Relic, as a National Treasure.
The President also instructed to preserve the body of the Nadungamuwa Raja for future generations to witness.
A team of officials from the National Museum has visited Nadungamuwa, Weliweriya in Gampaha where the tusker was living in.
Nadungamuwe Raja, the Ceremonial Tusker carrying the sacred Tooth Relic casket at the Esala Perahera died at around 5.30 yesterday morning (7).
The tusker, who was 69 years old at the time of his death, had carried the casket 13 times in the Dalada Perahera and the last time the casket was carried was last year.
The 69-year-old elephant was considered to be the largest elephant in Asia and was taken on foot every year on the 90 kilometer journey from his home in Nadungamuwe to Kandy for the Perahera for his safety.