The British High Commissioner Dr. John Rankin during his two-day official visit to Nuwara Eliya from Thursday unveiled the James Taylor Monument at St. Clair Tea Castle, Talawakele on the invitation of Mlesna Tea Company. The 16-feet tall monument was made by sculptor, Dr. Sarath Chandrajeewa.
Born in Scotland, James Taylor arrived in Sri Lanka in 1852 and is considered as the person who introduced tea cultivation to Sri Lanka, then Ceylon. In 1875 he sent the first shipment of Ceylon Tea to the London Tea Auction.In his speech, the British High Commissioner said, “I am aware that all those engaged in the tea industry today – the tea estate companies, smallholders and tea estate workers – face challenges. I am optimistic that ways can be found both to address those challenges and allow all those involved to prosper. Ceylon Tea remains to this day, the finest tea in the world, which I am pleased to enjoy every morning.”The High Commissioner also visited the InterFashion garment factory in Nuwara Eliya, which provides 1,300 jobs to the local people across all ethnic groups. InterFashion exports 98% of the production to UK companies.
Together with the Managing Director of Courtaulds, Charles Jackson, the High Commissioner planted a tree at the factory premises to mark his visit. He said “InterFashion is a top class example of the commercial links between UK and Sri Lanka, helping the economies of both countries.”The following day the High Commissioner attended the 25th anniversary celebration of MENCAFEP, a program for children and young people with learning disabilities.MENCAFEP was founded by a Briton Chris Stubbs MBE, and his wife Ranji Stubbs. It provides non-institutionalised care for special needs/intellectually challenged children and young people, through caring for them in their own communities while they live with their families. The High Commissioner said, “I am pleased to salute the work of MENCAFEP in Sri Lanka.You have provided help and support where none was available. MENCAFEP is an example of dedicated social work which is making a real difference in the community. I am proud of its work and its links with the UK.”
Source : http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2013/01/27/new40.asp