Sri Lanka Tea Storm Swirls around President Aoun

The presidency said 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.” W140

President Michel Aoun has come under fire after reports and activists said that tea donated by Sri Lanka for victims of the Beirut blast was distributed instead to families of his presidential guards.

But the press office of the Presidency hit back on Wednesday, noting that an official memo sent by Sri Lanka to Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry had mentioned that “1,675 kilograms of Ceylon tea” were “a donation to His Excellency the President, General Michel Aoun, as a gesture of solidarity and friendship between Sri Lanka and Lebanon.”