Sri Lanka tea meets SFDA specifications

From left: Nishanta Jayatilake, Dr. Sarath Abeysinghe and Hasitha De Alwis at the press briefing in Riyadh on Wednesday.
Updated 23 July 2016
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Sri Lanka tea meets SFDA specifications

RIYADH: Sri Lankan tea fulfils the specifications of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), a visiting island official, who was leading a delegation to the capital, said here on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference, Hasitha De Alwis, director of international promotions at the Sri Lanka Tea Board, told media that the SFDA told the visiting delegation that Sri Lankan tea is of high quality and it meets the specifications of both the SFDA and the Gulf Standards Organization.
The delegation met with the senior officials of the SFDA here on Tuesday. He said that the Kingdom imports some 36,000 metric tons of tea, which includes 5,000 tons from Sri Lanka. The major share of the Kingdom’s tea requirements are supplied by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through its Jebel Ali Free Zone, he added. The other members of the delegation included Nishanta Jayatilake, Sri Lanka Tea Board director for analytical services, and Dr. Sarath Abeysinghe, director of the Tea Research Institute in Colombo.
Sri Lanka’s major tea market includes Russia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and now China is an emerging market, he noted.
Sri Lankan tea, known for generations as Ceylon Tea, carries behind it a heritage and success story like no other. A product that began as a diversification experiment in 1867, spanning just 19 acres of land, has today surpassed all geographical borders to satisfy 19 percent of global demand. Reputed for its tea’s signature taste and aroma, Sri Lanka has become the world’s third largest tea exporter to the world, the country’s largest employer, and has the distinction of supplying tea to the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Ceylon Tea is also the cleanest tea in the world in terms of pesticide residues, a fact confirmed by the ISO technical committee. Sri Lanka was also the first to achieve the “Ozone Friendly Tea” label recognized under the Montreal Protocol Treaty and is the proud owner of the first Ethical Tea Brand of the World recognized by the United Nations Global Compact.
Far from being just a scenic wonder, the panoramic tea gardens of Sri Lanka provide a countless number of blends and single garden teas of premium value. Most are situated at elevations between 3,000 and 8,000 feet, which span the lush mountains of the central highlands and the fertile plains of the southern inland areas of the island. Sri Lankan tea possesses unique and specific characteristics of quality and taste attributed to geographical origin and unique manufacturing practices.
Tourists and export markets alike have access to famous unorthodox variants and health beverages from Sri Lanka such as green tea, instant tea, bio tea and flavored tea.
With the development of Sri Lankan tea exports, Green Tea has acquired a commanding position in the global market. Currently, Sri Lanka exports Green Tea to more than 40 countries. The major buyers are United Arab Emirates, the Russian Federation and Jordan.


More than 2 million pilgrims complete journey to Mount Arafat for second day of Hajj

Updated 20 August 2018
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More than 2 million pilgrims complete journey to Mount Arafat for second day of Hajj

  • Pilgrims spent the day praying and repenting and praying for personal strength in the future
  • 'We’re doing this to get closer to Allah, to be absolved'

JEDDAH: Millions of pilgrims gathered on Monday on the plains of Mount Arafat to perform the pinnacle of the Hajj pilgrimage.
On Arafat pilgrims spent the day praying and repenting and praying for personal strength in the future.
It is the most important part of the Hajj pilgrimage, during which the Khutbah (sermon) of Hajj is narrated and Dhuhr and Asr prayers are offered together.
Buses could be seen parked around the hill as workers hurriedly picked up empty water bottles near a yellow sign that read “Arafat starts here” in both English and Arabic.
Carrying brightly colored umbrellas under the blazing sun, worshippers scaled the rocky hill southeast of the holy city of Makkah.

Arms raised, pilgrims repeated “There is no God but Allah” and “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).
“The feeling is indescribable,” said Umm Ahmad, 61, who made the journey from Egypt, told AFP.
This year almost 2.4 million Muslims, from every corner of the world, left Mina headed to Arafat. The pilgrims made the journey with ease the movement of traffic was smooth, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Traffic authorities, security personnel and staff from various government and private sector organizations, in addition to 4,000 Saudi scouts, have been deployed to assist and guide the pilgrims in several languages.
The Saudi leadership ordered authorities to provide more comfort, security and tranquility for pilgrims to complete their rituals.
Some of the pilgrims — men in white seamless garments and women in loose dresses — pushed elderly relatives in wheelchairs on the second day of the Hajj.
Jai Saleem, a 37-year-old Pakistani, said he cried when he and his wife arrived on Mount Arafat, where Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad delivered his final sermon.

 


“It feels great,” he said. “I have always seen this area, since my childhood, in photographs and on television.”
After sunset prayers, pilgrims made their way down Mount Arafat to Muzdalifah, another holy site where they will sleep under the stars to prepare for the final stage of Hajj, a symbolic “stoning of the devil” ritual.
“We know that it’s a difficult task,” said Amna Khan, a 35-year-old American Muslim pilgrim.
“That’s why we are all here. We’re doing this to get closer to Allah, to be absolved.”
A hot wind blew across the hill and the surrounding plain after a downpour late Sunday. Many faithful could be seen sipping from bottles of water throughout the day.
“I knew it would be a little hard to climb Mount Arafat,” said Nigerian pilgrim Saidou Boureima.
“So I prepared for this challenge by working out. And God willing, we can see it through.”
The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, which every Muslim is required to complete at least once in their lifetime if they are healthy enough and have the means to do so.
Arafat includes an open plain and Mount Arafat, which is also called Jabal Al-Rahma (Mountain of Mercy), that is 300 meters wide and 70 meters high.
Arafat is surrounded by an arc of mountains and Wadi Arana and is located east of Makkah.
Muslims on Tuesday observe the first day of Eid Al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Hajj.
They traditionally slaughter sheep for the three-day Eid Al-Adha, a tribute to the Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice of a lamb after God spared Ishmael, his son.
They will consume some of the meat and give the rest to poor people unable to buy food.