My friend Lionel Leanage has highlighted the monkey menace in Ambalangoda many a time. radeshiya Sabha members, agricultural authorities and other officials claim that there is no such problem. They should visit the Kiri Vehera to see how the offerings of the pilgrims are virtually snatched out of their hands by monkeys -- some probable rabies carriers. Soon they will start biting people.
In India, where monkeys are regarded sacred, they are caught and released into jungles. They also use a different type of aggressive monkey on a tether under the control of a handler to scare off the grey monkeys. In our dry zone they are utilized (secretly) to produce gona karawala (dried sambhur meat).
In the absence of such methods, in Sri Lanka, people use sky rockets or ahas kooru to drive them away. If these ahas koorus are fired at dusk into the trees where the monkeys rest at night, they will avoid the area.
People cannot drive away the monkeys on a regular basis. The local councils, instead of indulging in tamashas at public expense, should step in to combat this menace of potential rabies carriers.
Upali C. Wijesuriya,