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Sri Lankan tea kicks up a storm in Lebanon

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Tea donated for blast victims was distributed to households of presidential guards.

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun has come beneath fireplace after it emerged that tea donated by Sri Lanka for victims of the Beirut blast was distributed as a substitute to households of his presidential guards.

Critics see it as yet one more instance of official corruption in a nation reeling from the August four explosion that killed greater than 190 folks, wounded hundreds and ravaged central Beirut.

Sri Lanka, a lot of whose expat neighborhood in Lebanon work as housemaids, was one among a number of nations that rushed to indicate assist in the wake of Lebanon’s worst peace-time catastrophe.

The President’s workplace on August 24 launched a image of Mr. Aoun receiving the Sri Lankan Ambassador, and quoted her as saying Colombo had “donated 1,675 kg of Ceylon tea to those affected by the Beirut blast”.

After Lebanese media and social media requested what occurred to the donation, it issued a second assertion on Tuesday.

‘A gift of Ceylon tea’

The presidency mentioned Mr. Aoun had written to his Sri Lankan counterpart to thank him for “a gift of Ceylon tea that had been received by the Army… and distributed to the families of soldiers in the presidential guard”.

Social media erupted in criticism, with the hashtags “tea thief” and “Ceylon tea” trending on Twitter.

“The tea was sent to the Lebanese, particularly those affected by the explosion. Of course it wasn’t a present for those who don’t need it,” wrote Paula Yacoubian, a former MP who resigned after the blast many blame on official neglect.

“Distributing the aid to your entourage is shameful,” she wrote.

Another person quipped: “The excuse that it was a present for the president is even worse than the sin itself.”

Beside the tea controversy, social media customers have additionally been up in arms over the destiny of 12 tonnes of fish that Mauritania despatched in mid-August.

Food support

After widespread calls to know its whereabouts, the Army mentioned on Monday it had obtained the fish and “stored it according to public safety standards”.

It was speaking to a number of associations getting ready meals for these in want “to cook it and distribute it to those affected by the port blast”.

On Twitter, yet one more person made gentle of the meals support controversy.

“The presidential palace, or the palace of the people, invites you to a free lunch on Sunday,” she wrote.

“Open buffet on Mauritanian fish, and open bar on Ceylon tea.”

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