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Deniz Bensason




The Faces of Sri-Lanka

Deniz Bensason, Photographer - Sri-Lanka

Deniz Bensason, Photographer

Take the leaves of an evergreen Chinese shrub called Camellia sinensis, add boiling water and you will have brewed yourself "The Queen of all Beverages" - Tea.

The Chinese were well aware that they possessed a valuable commodity and made sure to retain a monopoly on the product. This was not to be - the British absconded with some plants and started growing tea in India.

Not far away in the Indian Ocean there was an Island - Ceylon. Populated mainly by the Sinhalese peoples, it was first conquered and ruled by the Portuguese (who built port city of Colombo - the present capital). The Dutch finally the Portuguese in 1656 and the British ousted the Dutch in 1796.

And the British brought with them; No - not only cricket, but also coffee and tea seedlings to be planted in the highlands of Ceylon. Plantations need a workforce. So the British also shipped thousands of workers from Tamil Nadu in India. These became the Tamil ethnic minority in Sri-Lanka today.

On 4 February 1948 Ceylon declared its independence from Britain. It changed its name to Sri Lanka when it became a republic in 1972.

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