Connect with us





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.


First registered undergraduate of BCI Campus inducted by President



President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa paid a special visit to BCI Campus, Negombo (Benedict XVI Catholic Institute) on Jan.15 on the invitation of Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, the Archbishop of Colombo.

The event was conducted under strict health protocols and was attended by a limited audience among which were the Archbishop of Colombo , Rector of BCI ; Rev. Fr. Quintus Fernando ,Professor G L Peiris, Minister of Education , Prasanna Ranatunga, Minister of Tourism,(Dr.) Nalaka Godahewa, State Minister – Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Waste Disposal, and Public Sanitation, Dr Sudharshini Fernandopulle, State Minister of Primary Health Care, Epidemics and COVID Disease Control, Nimal Lanza, State Minister – Rural Roads and other Infrastructure Development, Chief Air Marshal Roshan Gunatileke, Governor of the Western Province, Prof Kapila Perera, Secretary to the Ministry of Education, Prof Sampath Amaratunga, chairman of the University Grants Commission and Prof Sudantha Liyanage, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri, chairman/Director – Board of Management, Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM) and member of BCI Academic Council along with several other dignitaries.

Welcoming the gathering Rev. Father Quintus Fernando; Rector of BCI, said ‘BCI Campus was established 6 years ago with a holistic and unique approach to higher education. Our emphasis is not limited to developing graduates that are industry ready, armed with knowledge and skill, but we aspire to make BCI Campus a breeding ground for well-disciplined, humanely nurtured, and responsible citizens. We ‘Aspire to Inspire’ our students to become professionals who possess academic knowledge and skill sets, whilst also mentoring them to assert their dignity and integrity as true human beings”. The reverend father also drew special attention to the invaluable support President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has rendered to BCI, over the years. Special mention was made to President is involvement in expediting the reconstruction and renovation work of BCI in 2015 as the campus prepared to welcome Pope Francis who visited BCI during his visit to Sri Lanka.

Speaking at the event, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith who drew attention to the innumerable efforts of the Catholic Church to provide a sound Education to children and youth the world over, stated that ‘education today is not just a matter of mastering science and technology only, but also, and much more, a matter of assisting a young person to master life itself. So, Institutes of higher learning should not be so much profit making as much as academies of moral and spiritual formation for the youth’.

Continue Reading


‘India leads from the front’



Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the all-India rollout of COVID-19 vaccination drive on January 16 via video conferencing.  Considered to be the world’s largest vaccination program, it covers 30 million health care and frontline programme workers across India in the first phase. The endeavor is to cover 300 million in the second phase. Elderly population and those with serious illness would be the focus groups in this phase.

A total of 3006 session sites were virtually connected during the launch with around 100 beneficiaries being vaccinated at each session site on the inaugural day. The massive vaccination programme is powered by Co-WIN, an indigenously developed online digital platform, which will facilitate real time information of vaccine stocks, storage temperature and individualized tracking of beneficiaries. A dedicated 24×7 call centre  has also been established to deal with all issues pertaining to administration of the vaccines.

Speaking at the launch, Prime Minister Modi highlighted various steps undertaken by government of India in combating COVD-19. India released its first COVID-19 advisory on January 17, 2020 and was among the first countries to start screening passengers at its airports. Specifically on vaccines, he said that Indian vaccines were built on tried and tested technology in India and added that these vaccines will give a decisive victory to India in fighting the pandemic.

(Indian HC)

Continue Reading


Hayleys Group drives bullish market



By Hiran H.Senewiratne 

CSE activities were positive and bullish  throughout the day and they were mainly  driven by the Hayleys Group headed by Dhammika Perera, which saw a subdivision of all 14 listed Hayleys companies’ shares to enhance the Group’s market capitalisation, stock market analysts said.  

It is said that Hayleys share prices appreciated by 32 percent or  Rs. 187.50. Its shares started trading at Rs. 577.50 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 764. Dipped Products’ shares moved up by 31 percent or Rs. 138. Its shares started trading at Rs. 441 and at the end of the day they moved up to Rs. 579. This sub division would not increase the stated capital of any company, but would increase the liquidity of the shares as the number of existing shares increases. Confirming this, all these companies recorded huge price increases yesterday.

LOLC share prices appreciated by 24 percent or Rs. 56. Its shares started trading at Rs. 232 and at the end of the day they moved to Rs. 282.

Amid those developments both indices moved upwards. All Share Price Index went up by 246.60 points and S and P SL20 went up by 100.38 points. It is said that the All Share Price Index surpassed 8000 points for the first time in history, which closed at 8.184 points at the end of trading. Meanwhile, the S&P SL20 index, which includes the 20 largest and most liquid stocks also increased by 100.38 points (3.24%) to close at 3,196.73.

Turnover stood at Rs. 14.2 billion with ten crossings. Those crossings were reported in Sampath Bank, which crossed 3.1 million shares to the tune of Rs. 526 million and its shares traded at Rs. 170, HNB (Non Voting) 1.4 million shares crossed for Rs. 172 million its shares traded at Rs. 118, Dipped Products 292,000 shares crossed for Rs. 160.7 million and its shares traded at Rs. 550, CIC two million shares crossed for Rs. 137 million, its shares traded at Rs. 68. Meanwhile, DFCC’s 825,000 shares crossed for Rs. 61 million, its shares trading at Rs. 74, JKH 300,000 shares crossed for Rs. 35 million, its shares traded at Rs. 160, Aitken Spence 500,000 shares crossed for Rs. 35 million, its shares fetching Rs. 70, Tokyo (Non Voting) 3.56 million shares crossed for Rs. 27.3 million, its shares traded at Rs. 76.80, HNB Assurance 400,000 shares crossed for Rs. 24 million, its shares traded at Rs. 60 and Vallibel One 420,000 shares crossed for Rs. 20 million, its shares trading at Rs. 48.

In the retail market top five contributors to the turnover were, Dipped Products Rs. 1.8 billion (3.2 million shares traded), Hayleys Rs. 1.3 billion (1.8 million shares traded), Vallibel One Rs. 856 million (15.3 million shares traded), LOLC Rs. 797 million (three million shares traded) and JKH Rs.0.7 million (3.7 million shares traded). During the day 377.7 million share volumes changed hands in 66574 transactions.

Sri Lanka’s rupee was quoted around 197.50/198.50 to the US dollar in the one-month forwards market on Thursday while bond yields were steady, dealers said. Rupee last closed around 196.00/198.00 in the spot-next market on Wednesday against the greenback. The Central Bank’s indicative spot rate was 194.7980 on January 19, up from 193.6458.

Continue Reading