Sri Lanka donated four tons of Ceylon Tea to Australia yesterday, as a goodwill gesture, for the victims of the recent bushfires that devastated people’s lives in Australia, the Foreign Relations Ministry said in a statement.
President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa pledged the donation to the Australian Premier Scott Morrison during a telephone conversation, to convey his condolences and support, last month.
A symbol of Sri Lanka, Ceylon Tea is popular among Australians and this donation will be distributed to the people in the affected areas.
The handing over took place in Melbourne, the destination of the SriLankan Airlines flight that carried the consignment of tea. Consul General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne Kapila Fonseka handed over the tea to Victoria Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Management Debra Abbott and the Australian Defence Force officials.
Arrangements for the donation were made by the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Canberra and the Consulate General of Sri Lanka in Melbourne through the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Director of the Victorian State Office of the DFAT Andrew Cumpston and SriLankan Airlines Manager in Melbourne Sanjeeva Jayatileke were also present.
Sri Lanka and Australia have always stood by each other during difficult times and during the 2004 tsunami disaster, Australia extended the hand of support to Sri Lanka.