Noncommercial alcohol as a problem
The International Center for Alcohol Policies recently released a report, Noncommercial Alcohol in Three Regions, that looks at central and eastern Europe (such as Belarus and Ukraine), subsaharan Africa (such as Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Zimbabwe), and South Asia (such as Sri Lanka). For more, see here. The report defines noncommercial alcohol as "traditional beverages produced for home consumption or limited local trade and counterfeit or unregistered products."
Illegal liquor in Sri Lanka (book)
Michele Ruth Gamburd, Breaking the Ashes: The Culture of Illicit Liquor in Sri Lanka (Cornell University Press, forthcoming November 2008). As Buddhist norms crumble, more Sri Lankans drink, especially the local moonshine called kasippu.
Tea planter in Sri Lanka [Ceylon] (book)
Derrick Nugawela, Tea and sympathy: memoirs of a tea planter, army officer, and banker (Kurunegala : International Book House, 2008).
From coffee to tea in Ceylon, 1880-1900 (book)
Roland Wenzlhuemer, From Coffee to Tea Cultivation in Ceylon, 1880-1900: An Economic and Social History (Brill's Indological Library) (Bill, forthcoming January 2008).
Kenya: world's largest tea exporter
Based on the first seven months of 2007, Kenya has become the world's largest tea exporter, surpassing China and Sri Lanka. For details, see here.
Sri Lankan resort's $14,500 chocolate dessert
A resort in Sri Lanka has created the world's most expensive dessert, costing $14,500. It includes a chocolate sculpture. For more, including a picture of the confection, see here. As of yet, nobody has ordered the pricey sweet.
Sri Lanka’s celebrity elephant, Raja, has fallen ill after eating too many sweets and chocolates given to him as gifts in part of the Buddhist new year celebrations.
Kenya is Now Number One in World's Tea Exports
The Nation (Nairobi) reports (18 April 2005) that Kenya is now the world's largest exporter of tea, the Kenya Tea Development Agency has said. Managing director Lerionka Tiampati said the country had overtaken Sri Lanka after exporting 123 million kilos of the leaf last year. Find the full story here.
A cup of tea fit for a king
The Star Online reports (6 March 2005) that, inspired by a French perfumer and egged on by an English aficionado, a Sri Lankan master tea maker has revived a centuries-old Chinese tradition to make a brew that few but an emperor could afford. Connoisseurs will have to pay through the nose for the “white” tea – the price is a staggering US$1,250 (RM4,750) a kilogram, or 750 times more than the average price of high-quality pure Ceylon tea. Find the full story here.
India's opium poppy comes under global glare
The Deccan Herald reports (3 March 2005) that illicit cultivation of the opium poppy on the outskirts of Bangalore is causing concern both in India and abroad, according to officials in New Delhi and at the Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). The seeds of the opium poppy are popular as a spice supplement throughout south India, but its illicit cultivation could tempt growers to tap the opium gum and use it for the production of heroin. Find the full story here.