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Sri Lanka debates new capture of ceremonial elephants

14 June 2012 Last updated at 02:22 BST

A debate is under way in Sri Lanka over how to tackle an acute shortage of elephants for use in religious ceremonies.

Captive animals have played a long and illustrious ceremonial and cultural role throughout the country's history.

The island does have a much larger population of wild elephants but their capture has been illegal since the 1970s.

Pressure is now mounting for that law to change.

The BBC's Charles Haviland reports from Sri Lanka.