Sri Lankan police apologize for dog wedding


| Zoom

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) - Sri Lankan police apologized Tuesday for holding a group wedding for dogs trained to detect explosives and drugs after the country's culture minister condemned the event and demanded an investigation.

Nine pairs of police sniffer dogs dressed in shawls, hats and socks were placed on a decorated platform like those used in traditional Buddhist weddings in the ceremony Monday in the central town of Kandy.

Their marriages were registered by an official in the presence of a crowd of veterinary surgeons, medical doctors, top police officers and the public.

Local television showed the dog couples later being driven away in a decorated police jeep for their "honeymoons."

The ceremony received wide publicity, and strong criticism from cultural officials.

Culture and Arts Minister T.B. Ekananayake said it undermined traditional wedding rituals and should be strongly condemned. He called for an investigation.

Police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena apologized for any damage to the country's cultural heritage, saying the goal was to breed sniffer dogs domestically.

"This program is aimed at breeding dogs accustomed to local weather and food, thereby saving money," Siriwardena said in a statement, adding that in 2011 the police department spent $500,000 importing such dogs from the Netherlands.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Seahawks Schedule
    The Seahawks have released the 2014 regular-season schedule

  • Save the Buses?
    A group is gathering signatures to save transit, but Michael Medved has another solution

  • 21 and Over
    If 21 is the legal age for alcohol and marijuana, why not cigarettes?
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.