No one rides on the lead Tusker as a mark of respect for the Relic . Two elephants accompany it on either side with men who ride the two elephants showering the casket with flowers. The families of these men have been traditionally carrying out these functions and no one else can perform them.(http://daladamaligawa.org/in-honor-of-sacred-tooth-relic-esala.htm)
The Kandy Perahera reflects the glory of the days that are no more, the days of the pomp and splendour of the Kandyan monarchy when the King personally directed the arrangements for the great event. It then served the further purpose of a royal levee, at which were present the two Adigars, (Governors of Provinces) and all the other chiefs. The King took his stand at the Octagon of the Dalada Maligawa—termed the Pattiruppuwa, and presented himself to the view of his assembled subjects in the square below, who eagerly awaited a sight of his Royal Majesty. The procession being duly formed and marshalled in the temple square, the King with all ceremony brought the Karanduwa, or the relic casket containing the Tooth Relic which he placed within the ransivige on the howdah upon the Maligawa Tusker.
The perahera was once banned under the British rule for about a decade and a severe drought befell the country. It is widely believed that the Sacred Tooth Relic has the power to bring rains to the island. After much persuasion, the British then allowed the Perahera to recommence and the country was blessed with rains.
Ayu in the Wild Safaris Sri Lanka