President Ranil Wickremesinghe reiterated the government’s commitment to maximizing the contribution of agriculture to the country’s economic advancement. He highlighted the implementation of programs aimed at popularizing cinnamon cultivation, a significant export crop in the country’s history, as part of the agricultural modernization initiative.


President Wickremesinghe made these observations while attending the “Dilmah Cinnamon” launching ceremony heldat the Galle Face Hotel in Colombo.

The “Dilmah” brand, renowned for elevating “Ceylon Tea” in the global market, has ventured into the Sri Lankan cinnamon industry by expanding its domestic exports through the company, introducing high-quality cinnamon products to the global market.

Expressing appreciation for the resurrecting of “Ceylon Cinnamon” akin to Dilmah’s success with “Ceylon Tea,” the President expressed confidence that this initiative would mark the inception of a new era in the country’s economy. The President further said; “What you don’t realize is that cinnamon is a part of our history. When the Polonnaruwa kingdom collapsed and we moved into the southwest wet zone, the only thing that kept the economy going was cinnamon. If we had no cinnamon, we wouldn’t have had the kingdoms of Dambadeniya or Yapahuwa or Gampola or Raigama or Kotte. That’s how closely tied cinnamon is to our history.”

The President said that as cinnamon gave way to coffee and tea, when the price of cinnamon came down, the whole situation changed. But now we see that Sri Lankan cinnamon is still the best in the world. 

“And thank you, Dilmah, for resurrecting the name “Ceylon tea”, just as you have resurrected the name “Ceylon cinnamon”.”

“The government has also decided that if we are to go ahead with economic transformation, why don’t we make use of agriculture? From the time of the Sinhala kings until the British left us in 1948, agriculture was our mainstay. I am not saying to do away with others; all that is essential. But we forgot about agriculture. So the whole plan for modernization is being discussed.” 

“New legislation is being brought in. But it has to be a beneficiary-centric process in which the government and the private sector join together. So as far as cinnamon is concerned, I think you’ve set the way, and we are here to help you.”

Prof. Maithree Wickramasinghe, Minister of Health and Industries Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayaka, high commissioners and ambassadors, Chairman of the Dilmah Group Dilhan Fernando and the family including a gathering graced the occasion.