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A generation of Tea Inspired Knowledge From Dilmah Tea & its History of Ceylon Tea initiative

Teamaking is an ancient art, framed in science, yet equally demanding of passion and expertise. The Wisdom in the Leaf is a publication that aims to harness the art, science, and knowledge that will inspire tea drinkers and guide Teamakers, through a unique collaboration with the men and women whose passion is a significant component in the reputation of Ceylon Tea. The project was initiated as a tribute to Sri Lanka’s global ‘Teamaker’, Merrill J. Fernando, and to the tea planters who make Ceylon Tea. It is published by Dilmah Tea in celebration of its Founder’s 70th year in tea.

Curated by a committee of tea industry veterans and scientists, ‘Wisdom in the Leaf’ captures the tacit knowledge that is only acquired through experience. The contributors each share their expertise in a seminal work that is an invaluable resource for tea planters of the present and future.

The History of Ceylon Tea project was launched in August 2003 with the objective of sharing ‘One of the greatest stories that has ever been told.’ Dilmah Founder Merrill J. Fernando explained his family’s vision in undertaking the project, “‘Dilmah gained consumer recognition globally on the strength of the finest Ceylon Tea, and it is only logical therefore that we should reciprocate, by giving future generations of Sri Lankans the opportunity to study and understand the heritage of one of the world’s greatest plantation industries. The Sri Lanka Tea Industry is today the lifeblood of this nation and Sri Lanka is best known in many countries for ‘Ceylon Tea’.”

Received with great acclaim by scientists and authors including Dr. S. D. G. Jayawardena (former Chairman of the Tea Research Institute), Jane Pettigrew (tea historian and author of 17 books on tea), Dr Nalini C. Gnanapragasam Sivapalan (former Deputy Director Research at the TRI) amongst others, Wisdom in the Leaf is the most comprehensive compendium of knowledge of Ceylon Tea that has been produced in the past five decades.

20 veteran planters with a collective experience of more than 500 years, contributed their knowledge while eminent scientists including Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda, Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda, Dr. Tissa Amarakoon, and Daya Wickramatunga add critical scientific context.

The content spans agricultural, factory and manufacturing practices, the fundamentals of plantation management and important sustainability themes including rainwater harvesting, climate change and the environment. These topics are presented in an engaging style to make the book as readable for tea drinkers with an interest in the provenance of their cuppa, as for researchers and tea planters.

Topics covered include Personnel Development, Human Resources, Forestry and Conservation, Water Resource Management, Diversification, Buildings and Housing, Financial Accounting and Control, Transport, and Climate Change Adaptation.

The final chapter – “From the World of Science” – comprises contributions from reputed names in the scientific community, and cover topics such as Climate Change and Tea, Rainwater Harvesting, Mechanised Harvesting, Biochar, and the Health Benefits of Tea.

The concept for this publication was conceived by Dilhan C. Fernando, CEO of Dilmah Tea, and with his father Merrill J. Fernando’s blessing, this idea evolved into a tribute to tea planters and workers, the stewards of Ceylon Tea. The entire proceeds from the sale of each book will go to the MJF Foundation’s Vocational Training Scholarships for Plantation Youth.

The publication is a by-product of Dilmah’s History of Ceylon Tea (HOCT) project, whose Editor David Colin-Thomé was the Project Leader and Editor-in-Chief of ‘Wisdom of the Leaf’. The 336-page, hard-cover book is a mix of easy-to-read information interspersed with technical data and contemporary and historical photography. The latter includes a selection of never-before published historical images received from private family collections.

The Publication Committee comprised Jayantissa Ratwatte, Vernon Tissera, Bhatiya Jayaratne, Jivaka Atapattu, Kavi Seneviratne, Anura Gunasekera, and Monte Holsinger as the Technical Editor, with David Colin-Thomé as Editor-in-Chief. The contributors are Monte Holsinger, Vige Bede-Johnpillai, Dyan Seneviratne, Vernon Tissera, Jivaka Atapattu, Bhatiya Jayaratne, S.K. Seneviratne, Ernie Daniels, Bernard Holsinger, Saman Munasinghe, Jayantha Jayawardene, Anura Gunasekera, Malin Goonetileke, Sarath Imbuldeniya, Russell Tennekoon, Ryle Perera, Steve Morrell and Nimal Amerasekera. From the world of science, the contributors are Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda Ph.D, Dr. Rohan Pethiyagoda B.Sc, Dr. Tissa Amarakoon Ph.D, and Daya Wickramatunga M.Sc.


I am confident that this book is destined to become the Bible of the future planters, University students and many others.

Dr. S.D.G. Jayawardena – Former Chairman Tea Research Institute (2006 to 2015) and former Director General, Department of Agriculture.

I was pleased to see the names of veteran planters, many of whom I have had a close association with at some time or other during the time I was at the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka. Who else other than such experienced men are suited to write a compendium of this sort?  Interacting with men of such calibre and imbibing their practical knowledge had helped many of us scientists in designing our field experiments to suit different agro-climatic zones.

Dr Nalini C. Gnanapragasam Sivapalan – Agricultural Consultant & Research Adviser and former Deputy Director, Research at the Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka

What is truly remarkable is that information which might appear rather dry and academic in an ordinary textbook is brought to life on these pages through the clever use of typeface, page layout, the division of the text into manageable paragraphs, and illustrations that bring the story to life.

Jane Pettigrew – Tea specialist, historian, writer and consultant. Since 1983, she has been working in the UK and around the world to explain and share the fascinating world of tea.

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LOLC Al-Falaah unveils pioneering Wadi’ah Gold-Storage Facility with multiple customer benefits



Sri Lanka’s most awarded and trusted Alternate Financial services brand, LOLC Al-Falaah recently unveiled their ground-breaking new product – the Wadi’ah Gold Loan Facility. This is the 1st time a Finance company in Sri Lanka is offering this facility. Al-Falaah Wadi’ah is a unique gold storage option offered to Al-Falaah’s valued customer base. All gold articles are tested for quality and authenticity using state-of-the art equipment by the company’s experienced staff without causing any damage to the jewellery. A unique ‘Gold Storage Certificate’ with the description of articles, including weight, quality and quantity along with the market value will be issued to the customer when obtaining this facility.

Speaking about the new product, Mr. Shiraz Refai, Deputy General Manager of LOLC Al-Falaah said, “Gold is a favourite investment option at all levels within the concentrated community. The metal is usually pawned, sold or exchanged when in need of cash. As the conventional Pawning options and Gold Loan offering has limitations to cater to the specific needs, as well as contradict with certain beliefs of the community, a concept acceptable and practiced in the industry is introduced by LOLC’s Alternate Financial Services Unit to its valued customer segment”.

Accordingly, a unique feature has been introduced to the Al-Falaah Wadi’ah Gold Storage facility offering the Customer the benefit of obtaining an interest-free maximum Cash-Advance in the industry at zero mark-up against the gold storage certificate value for any emergencies. In addition, for the convenience of the customers, the Gold storage facility period is extended from 3, 6 and 12 months without any requirement for a deposit and the custodial fees are comparatively competitive. The stored gold articles will also be offered a free Takaful cover with a reassurance of highest safety and security.

The Al-Falaah Wadi’ah gold storage facility will be initially available at selected branches including Wellawatta, Akkaraipattu, Kalmunai, Pottuvil, Grandpass, Maradana, Mawanella, Matara, Nawalapitiya and Negombo. Al-Falaah aims to make the facility available across all LOLC Finance branches and dedicated Al-Falaah centers island-wide by the end of the 1st quarter of 2021.

Commenting on the new Al-Falaah Wadi’ah Gold loan facility, Nishantha Jayasekera, Chief Manager, SME Unit & Head of Gold Loan Business of LOLC Finance said, “The main aim of this facility is to give financial-access to the grass-root level clients who do not have direct access to banking & finance, but require small cash advances to develop daily businesses and self-employment. Through this product and its value added features, we hope to cover all segments of the population”.

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LANKATILES donates high-end ventilator to Colombo North Teaching Hospital



A Rs. 4.3 million ventilator has been donated to the Coronary Care Unit of the Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama, by LANKATILES, the country’s leading tile manufacturer.

The machine was described as a high-end, world-class piece of equipment suitable for all patient groups.

Present at the official hand-over were Mr Mahendra Jayasekera, Managing Director of Lanka Walltiles PLC and Lanka Tiles PLC, Dr. S. P. A. Liyanage Ranaweera, Director of Colombo North Teaching Hospital, and Dr. Sanjeewa Rajapakse, Consultant Cardiologist of the hospital.

At a time when state-of-the-art equipment is urgently needed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, LANKATILES reaffirmed its commitment to help frontline hospital staff in their efforts at reducing the spread of the virus and easing patient numbers.

The company said this was a commitment it is ready to stand by at all times in the interests of the country.



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Sampath Bank hosts Central Bank’s ‘MatarataQR’ event to promote QR code use



Matara, April 3rd, 2021: Sampath Bank PLC recently hosted the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL) MatarataQR event, in a bid to drive awareness and increase acceptance and usage of LANKAQR, the common Quick Response (QR) code standard for the country that was introduced in 2020.

Encouraging consumers to adopt the use of QR codes in their day-to-day transactions, the event was held at the Sanath Jayasuriya Grounds in Matara under the patronage of the Chief Guest, Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Power and Guest of Honour, D. Kumaratunga, Director – Payments and Settlements, Central Bank of Sri Lanka; along with senior officials from the CBSL, other commercial banks and financial institutions. Sampath Bank was represented by Nanda Fernando – Managing Director; Tharaka Ranwala – Senior DGM – Operations / Group Chief Marketing Officer and Ajith Salgado – Group Chief Information Officer.

At the event, the Bank actively promoted its ‘WePay’ mobile wallet which helped attract more customers while also onboarding new merchants. A 25% cash back was on offer for payments at over 200 merchants in Matara on the day, made via the LANKAQR enabled WePay digital mobile payment app.

“We are very proud to partner with the Central Bank to host this event that will highlight the safety, convenience and speed of getting onboard the LANKAQR payment standard to the people of Matara. These benefits, coupled with the advanced digital banking solutions offered by Sampath Bank, make it a simple choice to migrate to digital payment technology and we warmly invite the merchants in Matara to come experience the benefits of adopting this new method of payments,” said Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC.

Sampath Bank is a 100% local bank that has deeply rooted itself in the lives of the people of Sri Lanka. Established in 1987, the bank has become a state-of-the-art financial institution that continues to be a market leader today thanks to its constant innovation and customer focused approach to business. It has introduced many firsts to the Sri Lankan banking sector including introducing ATMs to Sri Lanka, extended banking hours and slip-less banking to name a few. The Bank is steadily transforming itself into a ‘tech company engaged in banking,’ from the traditional approach of a bank engaged in technology.

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