High Commission of Sri Lanka in India

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On the directions and the guidance given by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Tea Board, the Chambers of Commerce, the Sri Lanka High Commission in New Delhi organized the Global Ceylon Tea Party on 06th July 2017 at 5.00 p.m. at the High Commission premises. The focus of the event was to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ceylon tea and to promote Ceylon tea in India. Ms. Rita Teotia, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry was the Chief Guest at the event.

The inaugural speech was delivered by High Commissioner Chitranganee Wagiswara who spoke on the history of the tea, the common British heritage of India and Sri Lanka and the tea industry, the unique global recognition of Ceylon tea, and, the importance of tea as a health drink. The Commerce Secretary Rita Teotia in her speech, emphasized that there could be cooperation on the tea sector between India & Sri Lanka and the need to work together with global regulatory bodies on some of the tea regulatory issues on global standards. Both countries could focus on generic promotion, and the impact of climate change on the tea industry. She said that Climate change affected the quality and profitability of the tea industry of India. Referring to organic tea she spoke of educating the public on the need to work on common certification of organic tea. She referred to the International Tea Producers Forum and the need to revive this forum with a view to address common concerns and common agenda of tea producing countries. The Commerce Secretary also referred to a meeting at FAO in October 2015, where there had been a proposal to have an International Tea Day as an annual event which is a timely requirement to promote and develop the global tea industry. 

Mr. Sumedha Ponnamperuma, Minister Counsellor (Commercial) did a comprehensive presentation on the history of tea plantation in Sri Lanka, and on the varieties of tea and introduced the seven prime tea growing regions and the variations due to the climatic conditions. He also referred to the standard & the quality of tea and the uniqueness of Ceylon tea which is maintained by the Sri Lanka Tea Board.

Mr. Manoj Sharma, Country Manager of M/s. Dimah Tea demonstrated a tea tasting session to the audience and invited the audience to taste five kinds of tea. Dr. Ritu Chattwal, founder of M/s. Beyond Passe Ltd, distributor of M/s. Vintage Ceylon Teas Limited  made a presentation on “How to make a good cup of tea”. Two short video films sent by the Sri Lanka Tea Board were screened. The last item included a video on the famous song “Udarata Kandukara Siriya Paradana”. 

Approximately one hundred visitors participated in the event including Ambassadors and members of the diplomatic Corps from major tea importing countries, officials from the Ministry of External Affairs of India, representatives from trade chambers, tea importers & other businessman and journalists.  

Following the formal event, refreshments and Pure Ceylon tea was served by the High Commission and by Dilmah and Vintage Ceylon Teas who set up stalls. The reception gave a further opportunity to the participants to network and learn more about tea.

Sri Lanka High Commission New Delhi, India

07th July 2017