Yingluck can seize global spotlight to help stop elephant slaughter
The world will be watching as Bangkok hosts CITES delegates from 177 nations who stand in solidarity with an international chorus calling for Yingluck Shinawatra to ban the domestic ivory trade
Ever since Thai kings rode them into battle to defend the nation from invasion centuries ago, elephants have been an important symbol for Thailand _ a part of its culture, its economy and its pride. Now, as she plays host to a global summit on the illegal trade of endangered species, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has an opportunity to do something important for elephants _and for Thailand's international image.
CRUEL CONTRABAND: Confiscated elephant tusks are displayed during a press conference at the customs office of Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok.
The stakes are high as delegates from 177 nations gather in Bangkok for a major meeting of Cites_the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Intent on shedding its image as an international marketplace for the sale of exotic and endangered animal products, Thailand is rightly proud to be hosting this year's meeting. But that image will be hard to shed as long as Thailand remains second only to China as the largest destination in the world for illegally poached ivory.
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