TEA CULTIVATION IN SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka is one the world’s largest producers of tea and tea is Sri Lanka's largest export crop, earning the country about US$1.5 billion a year. According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, tea accounted for 12 percent of the total foreign income earned by Sri Lanka in 2018 and the tea sector employed 10 percent of the country’s total population in 2018. Tea covers 11 percent of the total cultivated land in Sri Lanka. In 2018, Sri Lanka exported 96 percent of its made tea. In 2019, 60 percent of the tea was exported to 10 destinations, with six of them being in the Middle East and North Africa: namely Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Libya. [Source: Chamila Pilapitiya“Tea-Based Radical Innovations in Sri Lanka and the Promise They Offer for Economic Growth and Modernization”, 2020]
Tea plants, originally imported from Assam in India, are grown in the wet zone at low, middle, and high altitudes, and produce a high-grade black tea. The higher altitudes produce the best tea, and terracing is used to eke out the limited area of upper altitude land. Tea cultivation is meticulous and time consuming, requiring the constant and skilled attention of two or three workers per hectare. Because of this requirement, tea is most efficiently grown on estates, based on large capital investment and having a highly organized and disciplined management and labor supply. [Source: Russell R. Ross and Andrea Matles Savada, Library of Congress, 1988 *]
Tea production in 2004 was 303,000 tons. Tea is the main crop of the plantation sector. It grows in many parts of the wet zone, and in particular in the central hill country. Sri Lanka is famous for its high quality black tea, and for a long time was world’s largest supplier. In 1999, 269.3 million kilograms of tea (95 percent of total tea production) was exported, earning US$621 million. The United Kingdom, Russia, and the Middle East were the main export markets. [Source: “Worldmark Encyclopedia of National Economies”, The Gale Group Inc., 2002; “Junior Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations”, 2007]
Because working and living on estates was not attractive to Sinhalese peasants, the labor supply for the tea industry from its inception was provided by Indian Tamil immigrants who lived on the estates. Since independence the number of Sinhalese workers has increased, but in the late 1980s Tamils still dominated this sector.*
The performance of the tea industry was disappointing in the 1970s and early 1980s, because of poor producer prices and low productivity. Tea production was 211 million kilograms in 1986, down from 220 million kilograms in 1969. The fundamental problem of the tea estates was the advanced age of the tea bushes. In 1987 their average age was around sixty years and only 15 percent of the total area under tea had been replanted with high-yielding varieties. Replanting had been neglected in the 1960s and 1970s partly because low tea prices and high export duties meant that profit margins were not high enough to make it a profitable enterprise. Between 1972 and 1974, the growing risk of nationalization also discouraged investment.*
See Separate Articles TEA CULTIVATION AND PRODUCTION factsanddetails.com and TEA: ITS HISTORY, HEALTH AND DIFFERENT KINDS OF TEA factsanddetails.com
Tea and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is known for producing some of the world’s best teas. International blends of teas typically use cheaper Kenyan and Indonesian varieties of body, Indian tea for appearance and Sri Lankan teas for character and taste. Tea in Sri Lanka comes in variety of grades and kinds. Some is flavored with mint, lemon or strawberry. Broken Orange Pekoe (B.O.P.) is regarded as the best tea.
Sri Lanka is known for black teas. The best quality tea is exported. Black teas (or red teas) are highly processed and oxidized. After picking the leaves are exposed to air, then crushed and stored in a temperature- and moisture-controlled room, where they oxidize, or ferment, which turns the leaves deep brown and intensifies their flavor. Grown primarily in India and Sri Lanka, these are teas most familiar to Westerners and are the mostly widely consumed in Europe, North America, Russia and the Middle East Black teas are made in a slightly larger pot with fully boiling water.
Sri Lankans are big tea drinkers and they favor tea with heated cow or buffalo milk and lots of sugar. Tea is consumed all times of the day and is fixture of business meetings. It sometimes seems like Sri Lankan men spend half their day drinking tea. Tea breaks are taken throughout the day. Vendors often invite customers in share for a cup of tea.
Tea in Sri Lanka is associated most the country’s southern and central highland. Teas grown at elevations as high as 2,800 meters (6,000 feet) thrive in crisp, cool air and often misty hills. The flavor of tea differs according to the altitude and area or region where it is grown. Each tea has its own unique character and bouquet. The high-grown teas are considered the best, but even the low-grown green teas have their special appeal. Iced tea is a great thirst quencher. Teas flavoured with fruits, spices and ginger are available.
Annual tea consumption per capita: .4 kilograms (2014, compared to 3.2 kilograms in Turkey; .23 kilograms in the United States and .57 kilograms in China) [Source: World Tea News]
Sri Lanka as a Tea Producer
Sri Lanka produces over a million pounds of tea every day in more than a hundred varieties. Tea is country's largest earner of hard currency, at one time provided Sri Lanka with 65 percent its foreign exchange. In 2000, tea accounted for about 14 percent of exports. That year Sri Lanka produced 280 million kilograms of tea, up from 258.4 million kilos in 1996, up from 245.96 million kilos in 1995. The bumper crop coincided with rise in world tea prices, bringing in much needed foreign revenues into Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka competes with India, China and Kenya for the rank of the No. 1 tea producer. China produces lots of tea but much it is consumed domestically. In 1992, Sri Lanka displaced India as the world's largest tea exporter. In 1996, Sri Lanka was displaced by Kenya as the world's leading tea producer by one million kilos. In recent years India has regained the No. 1 position. In 2019, Sri Lanka was the third largest tea exporter in the world, accounting for 15 percent of total global tea exports.
Sri Lanka exports tea to more than 100 countries. The main markets the Middle East and Russia. Since 1996, Sri Lanka has maintained the rank of the No. 1 exporter of black tea. As of 2004, it held a 21 percent market share of the global tea export market and a 10 percent share of the global tea production and was the third largest tea producer in the world after of China and India.
The worlds top producers of tea in 1988 were: 1) India, 2) China, 3) Sri Lanka, 4), Kenya, 5) Turkey, 6) Indonesia, 7) the USSR, 8) Japan, 9) Argentina, 10) Bangladesh. The worlds top exporters of tea in 1988: 1) India, 2) Sri Lanka, 3) China, 4), Kenya, 5) Indonesia, 6) Malawi, 7) Argentina, 8) Bangladesh, 9) Tanzania and 10) Vietnam. Kenya and Sri Lanka were the world's largest tea exporters in 2006, each selling 314 million kilograms ahead of India, which sold 204 million kilograms. In 2008 Kenya was the leading tea exporter.
Top Tea Producing Countries: (Production, US$1000; Production, metric tons in 2008, FAO): 1) China, 1380615 , 1275384; 2) India, 871615 , 805180; 3) Kenya, 374331 , 345800; 4) Sri Lanka, 344995 , 318700; 5) Turkey, 214386 , 198046; 6) Viet Nam, 189331 , 174900; 7) Indonesia, 163297 , 150851; 8) Japan, 104462 , 96500; 9) Argentina, 82270 , 76000; 10) Thailand, 66636 , 61557; 11) Bangladesh, 63868 , 59000; 12) Malawi, 52112 , 48140; 13) Uganda, 46340 , 42808; 14) Iran (Islamic Republic of), 45842 , 42348; 15) United Republic of Tanzania, 37671 , 34800; 16) Myanmar, 28686 , 26500; 17) Zimbabwe, 24139 , 22300; 18) Rwanda, 21612 , 19965; 19) Mozambique, 18257 , 16866; 20) Nepal, 17493 , 16160;
Largest tea exporters in dollar value worth of tea during 2018: 1) China: US$1.8 billion (25.7 percent of total tea exports); 2) Kenya: US$1.1 billion (16.2 percent); 3) India: US$763.2 million (11 percent); 4) Sri Lanka: US$721.6 million (10.4 percent); 5) Germany: US$252 million (3.6 percent); 6) Poland: US$202.3 million (2.9 percent); 7) Japan: US$142.2 million (2 percent); 8) United Kingdom: US$140.7 million (2 percent); 9) United States: US$124 million (1.8 percent); 10) Vietnam: US$116.8 million (1.7 percent); 11) Taiwan: US$111.9 million (1.6 percent); 12) Indonesia: US$108.4 million (1.6 percent); 13) Russia: US$97.9 million (1.4 percent); 14) Argentina: US$94 million (1.4 percent); 15) Netherlands: US$93.5 million (1.3 percent).
History of Tea in Sri Lanka
Tea is not indigenous to Sri Lanka. It was brought to the island by Scotsman James Taylor, who planted the first tea bush, Camellia Sinensis, in 1849. The first Sri Lankan tea exported to Britain was grown in 1867 on Loolecondera estate, near Kandy. The first large British estates were created in the early 19th century on land that was formerly occupied by peasant farms and jungle. The estate owners first grew coffee but switched to tea after a major blight.At one time there were 2,000 British landowners managing tea and rubber plantations. The last ones left when the government nationalized the plantations. The British tea farmer Charles Armstrong is credited with putting Ceylon on the map as a maker of fine tea in the 1970s. Many Brits are still fond of Ceylon tea. Some say the quality of Sri Lanka tea is declining. In 1980s when the price of tea nose-dived a number of growers planted lower quality bushes to save money.
From latter half of the 19th century to the first half of 20th century, the Sri Lankan black tea sector enjoyed the comparative advantages over other black tea producing countries (e.g. Kenya and India) due it cheap labor supply and favorable climate. But this is no longer the case. Ali, Choudhry and Lister (1997) studied the competitiveness of primary black tea manufacturing in Sri Lanka and said that Sri Lanka’s competitiveness in the 1990s was low compared to other major tea producers in the world such Kenya. [Source: Chamila Pilapitiya“Tea-Based Radical Innovations in Sri Lanka and the Promise They Offer for Economic Growth and Modernization”, 2020]
In order to remain competitive, Sri Lanka made a strategic change by investing in incremental innovations (such as packaging in 1962 and bagging in 1976). Along with this, Sri Lanka started producing instant tea in 1962. Production of non-bulk-tea products has increased gradually and now make up a significant portion of exports (tea packets were 41 percent of and tea bags: were 6 percent of total tea exports in 2020) but green tea and instant tea each made up only 1 percent of exports in 2018.
Sri Lanka’s Reliance on Bulk Tea Exports
Sri Lanka mainly exports black tea as a primary processed product in bulk form. Nearly 60 percent of the tea exported in 2019 was in bulk form. Black tea in bulk form is sold at lower prices than value-added tea forms such as packaged, flavored, bagged, or instant teas.In 2018, the average price of Sri Lankan bulk tea was US$4.01 per kilogram, while the average prices for Sri Lankan green tea and instant tea were US$11.23 per kilogram and US$7.67 per kilogram respectively (Sri Lanka Tea Board, 2018). During the last five years (2015-2019) Sri Lanka on average earned only US$4.82 per kilogram from tea exports. Apart from beverage type teas, there are hardly any non-beverage products made from tea in Sri Lanka that exported, robbing the country of potential revenues sources. [Source: Chamila Pilapitiya“Tea-Based Radical Innovations in Sri Lanka and the Promise They Offer for Economic Growth and Modernization”, 2020]
In contrast to Sri Lanka, countries like Japan, which accounts for only 2 percent of total global tea exports, earn substantially higher amount of revenue from its tea exports e don a per kilogram basis. Japan earned an average of US$25.30 per kilogram during 2015-2019.. It produces a large number of tea-based products (about 25 types of beverage teas and hundreds of non-beverage tea-based products such as confectionaries, tea wine, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics) from the same tea (Camellia sinensis) plant that Sri Lanka gets its bulk black tea from.
Large tea importing countries such as the UK, Germany and Poland (the 3rd, 10th and 12th largest tea importers respectively in 2018) also produce tea-based non-beverage products, primary using processed tea imported from tea producing countries such as Sri Lanka (Koch et al., 2019). The fact these countries earn money from tea products and they don’t even grow tea demonstrates a lost opportunity for tea producing countries like Sri Lanka where “tea” plays a major role in the economy in terms of earning foreign income and generating employment. Sri Lanka is facing more competition in the global black tea market as more producers enter into it. This affects Sri Lanka in two ways: 1) increased competition for market share; and 2) low prices for bulk tea.
Tea Industry in Sri Lanka
Tea cultivation in Sri Lanka is divided into two main subsectors: 1) the smallholdings sector (with land holdings of less than 20.2 hectares (ha)) and 2) the estate sector (with land holdings of 20.2 ha or more) (TSHDA, 2016). In 2018, the tea smallholding sector held 61 percent of Sri Lanka’s tea-producing areas (122,448 ha) and produced 75 percent of Sri Lanka’s made tea (228.1 million kilograms). In 2018, there were approximately 400,000 smallholders in Sri Lanka. Their main function is cultivating tea and supplying green leaf to processing factories (manufacturers). The estates usually have their own processing factories that convert green leaves into made tea. There were 689 tea factories in Sri Lanka in 2018. [Source: Chamila Pilapitiya“Tea-Based Radical Innovations in Sri Lanka and the Promise They Offer for Economic Growth and Modernization”, 2020]
Much of the eat in Sri Lanka is grown on tea plantations on terraced mountain sides, using tea pickers to harvest the tea. Ninety eight percent of the primary processed made tea is sold at the weekly Colombo tea auction. There are about 250 registered tea exporters in Sri Lanka but only around 180 are active (Sir Lanka Tea Board, 2019). Tea exporters buy this made tea from the auction and export it directly as bulk tea or process it by means of incremental innovations—flavoring, blending, packaging. This secondary processing — i.e. flavoring, blending and packaging — takes place in the secondary processing factories.
Nearly 60 percent of the tea that is exported in Sri Lanka is exported in primary processed bulk form. Bulk tea refers to the primary tea type which is produced at primary processing factories and sold at tea auctions. The remained 40 percent is exported in incremental innovation forms (i.e. flavored, packaged and blended teas). Black tea accounts for 98 percent of Sri Lanka’s total tea production. Out of the top ten tea-exporting firms, six export more than 50 percent of their volume in bulk form. This bulk tea is converted into products with higher added value in international tea processing centers established out of the country (e.g. Dubai, Hamburg, London etc.) (Kelegama, 2018).
Tea production costs per kilogram: 1) India (US$1.62); 2) Sri Lanka (US$1.16); 3) Kenya and Malawi (US$0.84). Costs are higher in India in part because of laws that estates must provide workers with education and medical care and drinking water.
Tea Pickers in Sri Lanka
Tea is almost exclusively hand picked. In most parts of the world the work is done by women. Tea leaves have to be picked carefully. If they are too big they are too tough; if they are too small they are not economically viable. Most of the work in Sri Lanka is done by sari-clad women, many with gold bangles hanging from their wrists, who are descendants of Tamils brought from India by the British to work on the plantations in the 19th century.
The tea pickers pluck new and tender "flush" (two leaves and a bud) and fling them over their shoulder into baskets strapped onto their heads and backs. The pickers are paid very little but they usually live in free housing in crude dormitories on the estate where they work, and they are given free medical care and education. A typical tea pickers picks 15 kilograms of tea a day and for that is paid the equivalent of a few dollars.
The British imported Tamil-speaking laborers from southern India to work their estates. Many the women cover their heads with wide white head scarves that protect them against the sun and help them support the straps of the collecting baskets they wear on their backs. The straps are supported by their foreheads.
Tea Business in Sri Lanka
The tea export market in Sri Lanka exhibits an oligopolistic market structure where a small number of firms control the market. As revealed by the tea exporters statistics in 2019, the top 10 exporters exported nearly half (46 percent) of the total tea export volume. The fact that Sri Lanka exports the bulk of its tea to relatively few countries indicates low market diversification in tea exports. [Source: Chamila Pilapitiya“Tea-Based Radical Innovations in Sri Lanka and the Promise They Offer for Economic Growth and Modernization”, 2020 +++]
Amal Jayasinghe of AFP wrote: “Sri Lanka also conducts the world's largest weekly tea auction where five to six million kilos (10 to 13 million pounds) change hands. But the island may soon be reaching its maximum production capacity after exporting nearly 320 million kilos in 2012. Tea purists want to guard Sri Lanka's reputation as a maker of clean tea — product that is free of pesticide residue and other contaminants — promote more high-end varieties rather than the traditional export of cheap bulk products. “We need to re-brand tea," he said. "We have the potential to increase our tea income four-fold." [Source: Amal Jayasinghe, AFP, May 12, 2013]
In the mid 2010, the Sri Lanka Tea Board embark on a major international marketing campaign for the first time in decades, promoting the health benefits of a high-end cup. “Currently only 42 to 43 percent of Ceylon is exported in packets of less than three kilos each, but the target is to raise this to 60 percent in the next five years, board director Hasitha de Alwis said. Anil Cooke, head of Sri Lankan tea broking firm Asia Siyaka Commodities, agreed that Ceylon — known by the country's colonial name — should be "re-positioned globally" with a focus on increasing its value. “It is being done in a small way by a few companies, but it can be given a bigger boost," Cooke said.
A sample of 43 firms included 24 large tea exporting firms and 19 small and medium size firms. Only seven of the large firms (29 percent) produced products other than bulk tea. Out of the 19 small and medium size firms, 63 percent produced at least one innovative tea-based product while only one third of the large firms did. We observed that most of the tea-based innovations of large firms involved sophisticated technology for things like tea concentrate, instant tea, and tea cordial. In contrast the number of these kinds of high-tech products is low at small and medium size firms. Instead, they produce products like Ceylon matcha, compressed tea, and oolong tea which do need sophisticated technology. On this topic Avermaete et al., (2004) said that small food firms tend to produce specialized regional products that are different than those produced by large, established firms who focus on mass markets .+++
Silver Tips and Sexy Ceylon Tea
Sri Lankan ultra-expensive Silver Tips is consumed by rich Arabs and Japanese who believe that it is an aphrodisiac. Silver tips has a bland taste. On tea taster said, "Personally, I don't like it. It tastes like water." Silver Tips is the most expensive commodity produced in Sri Lanka. One kilogram sells for US$140, compared to three dollars for most teas. The tea gets its name from the fact it looks like shavings of silver. It comes from a clone of the tea plant known as 043.
Reporting from Kandana,Amal Jayasinghe of AFP wrote: A hot cup of Ceylon tea is better known as being soothing and relaxing, but Sri Lanka is now marketing its most profitable export as a luxury boost for the libido. The tea industry is increasingly plugging Ceylon's supposed aphrodisiac qualities in a bid to radically change perceptions of the brew, which manufacturers say can sell for less than water in some markets. “We are highlighting the properties of tea that can give you an edge in the bedroom," said Rohan Fernando, whose firm HVA Foods sells a small 60-gram jar of premium Ceylon for US$350. “Tea has traditionally been the poor man's drink. We want to be at the top-end of the supply chain," he said. [Source: Amal Jayasinghe, AFP May 12, 2013] Amal Jayasinghe of AFP wrote: A hot cup of Ceylon tea is better known as being soothing and relaxing, but Sri Lanka is now marketing its most profitable export as a luxury boost for the libido. The tea industry is increasingly plugging Ceylon's supposed aphrodisiac qualities in a bid to radically change perceptions of the brew, which manufacturers say can sell for less than water in some markets. “We are highlighting the properties of tea that can give you an edge in the bedroom," said Rohan Fernando, whose firm HVA Foods sells a small 60-gram jar of premium Ceylon for US$350. “Tea has traditionally been the poor man's drink. We want to be at the top-end of the supply chain," he said. [Source: Amal Jayasinghe, May 12, 2013]
“The industry may not yet have hard medical proof of Ceylon's performance-enhancing powers, but they have long been the stuff of legend among Sri Lankan tea lovers. The brews known for their potency are the top-quality white teas, known as Silver Tips and Golden Tips, which are gaining popularity among well-heeled Chinese businessmen along with rich Saudis and Japanese, Fernando said.
“Unlike orthodox teas, the white varieties are made with just the tender tea buds, which are sun-dried and carefully tended until they turn gold or silver in color. At his tea factory in Kandana town, north of the capital Colombo, Fernando held up a ceramic urn wrapped in black velvet and sealed with a gold ribbon, explaining that a cuppa is not only good for sexual health. The tea contains polyphenols, flavonoids and anti-oxidants — known to improve the immune system and blood circulation.
“Leading tea maker Herman Gunaratne is also keen to promote such qualities in his rare "virgin white" tea, so called because it is untouched by human hands in production, unlike orthodox types hand-plucked from the tea bush. The product retails at the Mariage Freres tea emporium in Paris for US$88 for a 20-gram box, the equivalent of US$4,400 per kilo. “My virgin white tea contains 10.11 percent anti-oxidants... This could be the highest level of anti-oxidants in any tea," Gunaratne told AFP. “When your overall health improves, your sexual performance automatically increases."
Gunaratne's tea plantation in the south of the island has become a key tourist attraction with a tea museum, tours and tasting sessions. Despite cutting daily tea leaf production from 20,000 to just 2,000 kilos a day, his gourmet products now sell at 10 times the average retail price of loose tea in the local market. “Since shifting to highly specialised teas... I earn double what I did before," said Gunaratne. Cooke said he was not sure if the aphrodisiac properties or the big bucks from his Ceylon had put a permanent smile on the 69-year-old tea maker's face.
Tea Production in Sri Lanka in 2018
According to Daily FT and the Ceylon Tea Brokers: In 2018 “the Sri Lankan tea industry witnessed a moderate slowdown with decline in production, averages and exports in comparison to year 2017. The industry’s export revenue continues to witness static growth when compared to previous years. The fundamental challenge being the intrinsic volatility in the industry stemming from fluctuations in supply and demand, currencies, political climate in importing countries and policy decisions. Facing these uncertainties the industry must develop a resilient strategy to mitigate these risks. [Source: Daily FT, Ceylon Tea Brokers PLC February 8, 2019]
The total tea production of Sri Lankan tea for the year 2018 recorded 303.84 meters kg in comparison to 307.72m kg for the same period in 2017 (-3.88 million kilograms). The CTC mediums shows a substantial increase in 2018 in comparison to 2017 whereas most of the other orthodox and CTC elevational volumes shows a decline. Though production decreased by 3.8 million kilograms, exports have decreased by 6.6 million kilograms compared to the same period in 2017.
The total national average of teas sold for the year 2018 was Rs. 582.55 (US$3.59) per kilo in comparison to Rs. 618.14 (US$4.05) (-Rs.35.59) for the same period in 2017. Low Growns having the largest market share with 63.2 percent of the production recorded a decrease of (-Rs. 36.61) with Mid Growns recording a decline of (Rs. -41.68) and High Growns recording a decrease of (-Rs. 29.42) when compared to 2017. Low Growns averaged Rs. 600.79, Mid Growns recorded Rs. 521.86 with High Growns at Rs. 571.51 for the cumulative period of January to December 2018.
Sri Lankan tea exports for the period January to December 2018 amounted to 282.36 million kilograms. A decrease of (-6.62) million kilograms compared with the same period in 2017. The FOB average price per kilo for this period stood at Rs. 820.75 in contrast to Rs. 807.44 (Rs. + 13.31) when compared to year 2017. The FOB value of Tea Bags has moved up in comparison to the same period in 2017. The FOB value in Tea Bags recorded Rs. 1392.04 per kilogram for the year 2018 vis-à-vis Rs. 1321.19 per kilogram in 2017 (+70.85). Its export volumes show a marginal decrease. Teas in packets showed a marginal price increase YOY whilst teas in bulk remain static.
Country wise analysis of exports shows that the Iraq remains as the largest importer of Sri Lanka tea for the period of January-December 2018 followed by Turkey and Russia. However, tea exports to UAE, Iran, Russia and Turkey have dropped by 4.71 m/kg (-29.82 percent), 3.50 m/kg (-12.78 percent), 2.80 m/kg (-8.39 percent) and 2.18 m/kg (-5.77 percent) respectively compared to the previous year whilst tea exports to Iraq has increased by 3.40 m/kg (+9.71 percent). Tea exports to Syria, Libya and Saudi Arabia have increased by 2.78 m/kg (+37.58 percent), 2.08 m/kg (+17.89 percent) and 1.17 m/kg (+26.59 percent) respectively compared to the corresponding period in 2017.
In terms of the US dollar equivalent, based on the respective weighted average exchange rates, export earnings amounted to US$1.43 billion in 2018 in comparison to US$1.53 billion in 2017 with US$1.26 billion in 2016, US$1.34 billion in 2015 and US$1.63 billion in 2014. Drop in tea exports in the year 2018 was mainly due to the drop in production as well as the political and economic uncertainties globally such as economic sanctions imposed on Iran.
Image Sources: Wikimedia Commons
Text Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Lonely Planet Guides, Library of Congress, Sri Lanka Tourism (srilanka.travel), Government of Sri Lanka (www.gov.lk), The Guardian, National Geographic, Smithsonian magazine, The New Yorker, Time, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Wikipedia and various books, websites and other publications.
Last updated February 2022