Dr Chris Nonis, Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner wins “Diplomat of the Year” for Asia, at London Diplomatic Awards 2012
24 April 2012
The Sri Lankan High Commissioner for the UK, His Excellency Dr Chris Nonis, was awarded the “Diplomat of the Year” for Asia, at the Annual Diplomat Awards Ceremony at the Langham Hotel in London last night, in the presence of the Diplomatic Community. This is the first time a Sri Lankan High Commissioner has won this award, which is chosen from the 164 Embassies and Diplomatic Missions in London.
Hugo De Blocq Van Kuffeler in his introduction to the Diplomat Awards ceremony stated that
“Yet another year has passed us, leaving us at an extraordinary time in world history, more complex and challenging trials for its citizens to cope with, and for its Diplomats to resolve. In a year that has seen dramatic shifts in International power, it appears that the modern Diplomat needs to be an expert in conflict resolution, poverty alleviation, climate change as well as government PR and Nation branding. The scale of global challenges facing us today, economic, social, environmental, and security weigh upon us all. There has been more states in conflict in the past 12 months since the 2nd World war, and yet Diplomacy is more important than ever. Governments must believe that diplomacy should displace defence at the core of International policy, and so the role of the diplomat is as important as ever. Despite the conveniences of modern technology, the tact, persuasiveness, influence and guile, of a great Diplomat is far more effective than an email or letter. Diplomacy is the brain of a Nation. It is been said that the quality of a Nation’s diplomacy is its direction and weight, and so it is important that we appreciate the great conductors of Diplomacy this evening. Already dealing with one of the most intense workloads in 2012, Diplomats posted in London will face a year when almost every country will have a delegation visiting the capital for Her Majesty's the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and London's 2012 Olympics.
Dr. Chris Nonis assumes office as new Sri Lankan envoy to
Great Britain & Northern Ireland
01 September 2011
Dr. Chris Nonis assumed office as High Commissioner for Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom today, 01st September 2011, at the Sri Lanka High Commission in London. Dr. Nonis will also be concurrently accredited to Ireland. He succeeds Justice Nihal Jayasinghe.
He has lived and worked in both countries, in the public health sector in the UK, academia, international and civil society organisations, and the private sector. He was appointed as the Deputy Chairman of the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) in 2008, and is the first Sri Lankan to hold this office in the RCS’ 140-year old history. At the time of his being chosen as the Sri Lankan envoy to the UK and Ireland, Dr. Nonis was functioning as the Chairman of the Mackwoods Group of Companies, which was established in 1841.
Welcoming the new High Commissioner, Mr. P.M. Amza, the Deputy High Commissioner said that Dr. Nonis would bring in a wealth of experience, gathered over the years working in different areas ranging from international business to international affairs. He recalled Dr. Nonis’ long- term association with the Royal Commonwealth Society, and expressed confidence that his broad experience in multiple sectors in both countries will be of immense help in furthering Sri Lanka – UK bilateral relations at this important juncture.
Upon assumption of duties, High Commissioner Dr. Nonis said he would be committed to further enhance and strengthen the bonds between the two countries, building on their shared commonality of values. He commented that his diverse background developed in him an understanding and respect for the dignity and diversity of people irrespective of their background, and that it has also taught him a degree of empathy and sensitivity and a broader perspective of life.
Making specific reference to the conducive macroeconomic environment and emerging opportunities in post-conflict Sri Lanka, he said he would also attach importance to economic diplomacy while working closely with the host government towards greater collaboration and cooperation in all other areas of mutual interest.
Multi-faith religious observances by the Buddhist, Hindu, Islam and Christian priests were conducted to invoke blessings for the New High Commissioner and for peace and prosperity in Sri Lanka.
With a plethora of experiences from diverse sectors ranging from medicine to international affairs to business, Dr Chris Nonis has worked and lived in both Sri Lanka and Britain, and as such he is ideally placed to take up the position as the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Britain. Currently the Chairman of the Mackwoods Group, the lessons he has learnt from his parents and grandparents have enabled him to acquire multifaceted skills and knowledge Through constructive dialogue and discussion with diverse personalities he has learnt to be
non-judgmental of people and believes that Sri Lankans have the responsibility to utilise this hard earned peace to respect pluralism and diversity, where selflessness is more important, and where one should think more about others rather than just “I”. - Dr Chris Nonis
English language can further build Sri Lanka as part of global business and cultural community – British HC
The Island - 13 August 2011
John Rankin, British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and Dr. Chris Nonis, Sri Lankan High Commissioner-designate to Britain recently joined together to open an ICT and English Literacy Centre for plantation youth. The event recognised the value of education in uniting rural communities whilst symbolizing the forging of the UK-Sri Lanka relationship.
At the opening ceremony, Rankin spoke about the substantial role that education plays in the development of any individual on a personal basis, and, in addition, in bridging the urban-rural divide. He said that the English language, which has a huge value in this country, can be a link language between the different communities in this country, as well as helping to further build Sri Lanka as part of the global business and cultural community. He also commented that "just as English is a modern language, Information Technology too is a modern language, and teaching that skill to youth will help them in the future development of Sri Lanka.
Dr. Nonis reiterated that the English language is a powerful unifier across communities, and initiatives such as this, however small, are enablers for the development of the Nation. Rural ICT and English Literacy Centres enable us to harness the potential of hitherto untapped and latent rural talent, and provide rural youth with the opportunity of being globally employable. The provision of a broad and contemporary education at youth level will serve to expand the reach of understanding and reason, and it is at this young age that the mind is most open to enquiry and debate.
This initiative is in consonance with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision of creating a knowledge economy by improving IT and English Literacy, and indeed 2009 was made the Year of English and IT in Sri Lanka. Having achieved a significant increase in IT literacy, the country now aims to achieve a 75% IT Literacy rate by 2016.
For all our communities to join together and rebuild our nation: What Sri Lanka needs now is to be given graciousness of heart and generosity of spirit - Dr. Chris Nonis
The Island - 16 July 2011
Dr. Chris Nonis with Lord Howell of Guildford,
Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office
at Rhodes House, Oxford
Dr. Chris Nonis, Trustee of the Ramphal Centre for Commonwealth Policy Studies, an independent think tank on policy issues for the Commonwealth and its member states, addressed the Ramphal Centre Commission on Migration and Development at Rhodes House, Oxford last week. Patrons of the Ramphal Centre include Lee Kuan Yew, Malcolm Fraser, Vincent Cable MP, Brian Mulroney, Lord Patten, and. PJ Patterson.
Dr. Nonis spoke about the role of the migrant Diaspora as agents of development for Sri Lanka and the manner in which their potential could be -
- harnessed to assist Sri Lanka’s programme of development in the post-conflict era. He articulated the principles of the "Mahinda Chintana" and President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s vision of achieving growth with equity, and the imperative of bridging the urban-rural divide.
Dr. Chris Nonis presents prizes at the Jaffna International Trade Fair 2011
Presentation of prizes by
Dr.Chris Nonis and the Mackwoods Team,
Jaffna International Trade Fair 2011
Mackwoods Childrens Competition at the Jaffna International Trade Fair 2011
Mackwoods Childrens Competition at the Jaffna International Trade Fair 2011
Helplanka and Mackwoods host Christmas Programme for Deaf and Blind Children in Jaffna
30 December 2010
Equipped with 55 analogue hearing aids donated by St Helier Hospital in Carshalton Surrey UK, Sam Goonetillake and the Helplanka Team arranged a Christmas party with a difference at The Nuffield School for Deaf and Blind in Jaffna Northern Sri Lanka on December 9th 2010. Funded by donations from UK donors and supported by UK MPs Tom Brake and Stephen Hammond the Charity also gave out 250 caps generously donated by Mackwoods.
Commenting on this special programme, Sam Goonetillake Chief Executive of Helplanka said: “I would like to thank Dr Chris Nonis CEO of Mackwoods for their generous contribution all the children loved their caps! This was a very special Christmas celebration made possible by the hard work and generosity of UK donors and St Helier Hospital, The Sri Lanka Helplanka Team and the work of Stephen and Tom. Indeed their contribution has made a valuable long term difference in the lives of these children and we hope that we can continue to support these projects in the future We will be asking all Hospital Trusts in the UK to donate any unwanted hearing aids to Helplanka and will be writing to the UK Health Minister and to David Cameron urging their support in this campaign.”
SriLankan Airlines' role in country's future reaffirmed
Daily News - 10 September 2010
Director Manilal Fernando, Director Dr Chris Nonis,
Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe,
MP Namal Rajapaksa,
Ports and Aviation Deputy Minister Dayashritha Tissera at the event.
The Sri Lankan Government reaffirmed the important role that SriLankan Airlines will play in the nation's future, as the national carrier celebrated its 31st anniversary.
MP Namal Rajapaksa speaking at the airline's anniversary celebration in Katunayake on September 3, said: "SriLankan Airlines has faced numerous challenges during its 31-year history, and must now step up and play its part in the Government's vision to transform Sri Lanka into a hub for tourism and aviation."
With the scourge of terrorism eradicated forever, the Government has now invested a considerable sum to bring the entire ownership of SriLankan Airlines back to Sri Lanka, and clear the way for the airline to expand rapidly according to the detailed plan that has been drawn up.
Top business leaders and professionals Manilal Fernando and Dr.Chris Nonis have been appointed to the Board to Directors of the national carrier Sri Lankan Airlines. The new appointments are a part of what the carrier said President Mahinda Rajapaksa's efforts to strengthen the Board of Directors as it prepares to take on a leading role in the expansion of Sri lanka's post-war economic boom.
Sri Lankan Airlnes Prepares for the Future Under Strengthened Board
Daily Mirror - 10 June 2010
President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, has strengthened the Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines, as the National Carrier prepares to take on a leading role in the expansion of Sri Lanka's post-war economic boom.
Mr. Nishantha Wickremasinghe has been re-appointed Chairman. With him on the Board are Mr. Nihal Jayamanne, PC, Mr. Kapila Chandrasena, and Mr. Shameendra Rajapaksa, all of whom have been re-appointed. Joining them on the Board are Mr. Manilal Fernando and Dr. Chris Nonis. Chairman Nishantha Wickremasinghe said: "SriLankan Airlines intends to be an important player in the post-war growth of Sri Lanka's economy, including tourism, air cargo exports, aircraft engineering, airline training, in-flight catering, and supporting airport infrastructure development. We have drawn up a new five-year plan, which is targeted towards bringing the National Carrier to profitability while at the same time acting as the catalyst for growth." Mr. Wickremasinghe has been the Chairman of SriLankan Airlines since June 2009, prior to which he served the airline as its Acting Chairman, Executive Director, and Director. He has served on the Board since January 2006.
Mackwoods Hosts Children from IDP Centre, Vavuniya, at Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre, Nuwara-Eliya
Dr. Chris Nonis, Chairman, Mr. Lalith Fonseka, Director, Mr. R.T. de Sylva, Director,
Mr. Devendra, Director with the Children
from IDP Centre, Vavuniya
at Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre.
Mackwoods hosts children from IDP Centre, Vavuniya at Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre, Nuwara-Eliya.
Dr. Chris Nonis at the Opening of the Noragalla Tea Factory
Dr. Chris Nonis and Mackwoods Team at the opening of the Noragalla Tea Factory and Rest Room for plantation workers at Noragalla Estate
Donation of an Ambulance to the Frotoft Estate community
Donation of an Ambulance for the healthcare of the Frotoft Estate Community
Lessons of "Malaysian Magic" for Sri Lanka
Daily FT - 10 June 2010
Giving resonance to Malaysia's former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohomad's key note address at the Business Leaders' Forum organised by the Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council yesterday, key officials in the form of Deputy Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama, Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Dilog Telekom Group CEO, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya and Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council Vice-President, Dr. Chris Nonis, chaired the panel discussion to analyse the priority challenges for an emerging Sri Lanka.
Dr. Chris Nonis at the Opening of Rest Room for Factory Workers at Labookellie Estate
Dr. Chris Nonis and Mackwoods Team at the opening of rest room for factory workers at Labookellie Estate
Lessons of "Malaysian Magic" for Sri Lanka
Daily News - 10 June 2010
Seated Left to Right: Dialog Telekom Group CEO, Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, Deputy Finance Minister Dr Sarath Amunugama,
SLMBC Vice President and Mackwoods Chairman Dr.Chris Nonis Chairman of the Business Leaders' Forum
Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia
Dr. Mahathir Mohomed, SLMBC President Kevin de Silva
and Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal at the Meeting.
With new opportunities opened in Sri Lanka due to the Government's accelerated development program there is tremendous scope for foreign investments and public-private partnership, Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne said.
The first Internationa Business Council Leaders' Forum organised by the Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council was held yesterday.
Dr. Chris Nonis opens the Rural ICT Literacy Center at Frotoft Estate
PRESS PLAY TO VIEW VIDEO
Dr. Chris Nonis addresses the parents and children at the opening of the "ICT & English Literacy Centre" in Frotoft Estate, Nuwaraeliya in partnership with
Mackwoods Infotec, Mackwoods I.T and the Mackwoods Research Foundation on Frotoft Estate.
Need of the hour to confront economic challenges and concentrate on rapid development – Prof. Peiris
Sunday Island - February 2010
Prof.Peiris opening an Agro Products Factory during his visit to the Galle district. Anil Koswatte, Chairman, EDB, Ms. Rehka Hewaliyanage, Director, EDB and Chris Nonis, Chairman, Mackwoods are also in the picture. Also in attendance were Ms. Sujatha Weerakoon, Director-General, EDB, Prasad Daluwatte and Regional Director, Southern Province.
Mackwoods Ladies Strokeplay Golf Championship from June 25
The Island - 18 June 2010
Victoria Golf and Country Club in Kandy is to host the Mackwoods Ladies Strokeplay Golf Championship 2010 from June 25 to 27.
The tournament was inaugurated in 1974 and since then it was sponsored by Mackwoods Limited over the years in memory of the first Sri Lankan Chairman of the company, Mr. N. S. O. Mendis.
Since then the tradition has been followed by his daughter late Mrs. Sriyani Nonis and the grandchildren. Presently, Dr. Chris Nonis, Chairman and Mrs. Nirmalee Samaratunge, Co-Chairman and Jt. Managing Director, continue to support the Sri Lanka Golf Union in their long-standing sponsorship of this event.
An exciting weekend of golf is set to get underway at the picturesque Victoria Golf and Country Club, Digana Kandy commencing today, when the ladies are billed to feature in competitive golf for the Mackwoods Challenge Trophy.
The Championship was inaugurated in 1974 and has since been sponsored by Mackwoods Limited over the years in memory of its first Sri Lankan Chairman N.S.O Mendis. The tradition has been followed by his daughter the late Sriyani Nonis and grandchildren. Presently, Dr Chris Nonis, Chairman and Nirmalee Samaratunge, the Co-Chairman and Joint Managing Director continue to support the Sri Lanka Golf Union with their long standing sponsorship of the event. The Mackwoods Stoke Play Golf Championship is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the ladies golfing calendar and much participation and enthusiasm is rest assured. The event is organized by the Sri Lanka Golf Union, the governing body for golf in Sri Lanka.
Holistic Early Childhood Care & Development Programme
Holistic Early Childhood Care & Development Programme organised at Mackwoods Labookellie Estate.
Science seminar for University & Research Scientists at Taprospa.
Science seminar for University & Research Scientists on "Applications of PCR Gene Technology", at Taprospa "Footprints" Resort.
Sri Lanka's Mackwoods Builds on its Reputation as Tea Pioneer
Tea & Coffee Journal - by Larry Luxner
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — With annual sales of $60 million, Mackwoods Ltd. makes everything from medical equipment to mango juice, and has interests in a variety of business sectors ranging from software development to swanky beach hotels.
But tea is what made Mackwoods famous. Established in 1841 by William Mackwood, this privately owned empire ranks as the second-oldest company in Sri Lanka.
"Mackwoods is one of the pioneers of the tea industry," said Mackwoods' 43-year-old chairman, Chris Nonis. My grandfather, N.S.O. Mendis, bought the company from the Mackwood family in 1956," he told The Tea & Coffee Trade Journal during an interview in Colombo.
"He was the first Sri Lankan to make a successful takeover bid in the City of London. Since then, Mackwoods has remained in our family."
Nonis said that his mother, Sriyani Nonis, "was the only female in Sri Lanka to head a plantation company." When she died in 2005, Nonis — who had spent 28 years in England — returned to take over leadership of Mackwoods.
Some 20 companies currently fall under the Mackwoods umbrella, which consists of five sectors: healthcare (pharmaceuticals, medical and scientific equipment); agribusiness (tea, rubber and oil palm); import/export (industrial chemicals, essential oils, organic food products and fibers); IT and computer software, and finally leisure tourism.
H.E. Dato Rosil Ismail, Malaysian High Commissioner Providing Gifts to the Underpriviledge Children at Taprospa "Footprints" Resort
H.E. Dato Rosli Ismail, Malaysian High Commissioner providing gifts to the underprivileged children
from Bethlehem Creche, Wanathamulla,
at Taprospa ‘Footprints”
programmes at Mackwoods estates
Health education, prevention & screening
programme organised by Mackwoods at Kiriwanaketiya estate for the plantation workers
Oil Palm investments by RPCs showing high returns
Daily News - May, 2010
The Planter’s Association of Ceylon says diversification by Regional Plantation Companies (RPCs) in to non traditional areas such as palm oil cultivation & processing, is showing good results.
The AEN palm oil processing mill, a joint venture with the Agalawatte, Elpitiya and Namunukula Plantations, is one such project that has shown impressive results in terms of high productivity, improved value addition & export capability and higher ROIs for the plantation companies while also benefiting domestic consumers.
Dr. Chris Nonis opens the Rural I.C.T Training Centre for Rural Youth on Niriella Estate
Opening of the “Rural ICT Training Centre” for estate youth, in partnership with
Mackwoods Infotec and the Mackwoods Research Foundation on Niriella Estate.
Celebrating World Womens' Day at Labookellie Estate
Most Respected Entities in Sri Lanka - The Top 100
Q: What are your Company's key strengths - and weakness, if any?
A: A defining strength of Mackwoods lies in its 167-year-old heritage - which reflects stability, integrity and resilience in the face of adversity - underpinned by a consistent strategy of selective diversification within our areas of expertise; our continues drive towards expansion of international trade; and pursuit of value creation and innovation-led growth, therby ensuring our long-term sustainability.
In addition, Mackwoods epitomises a unique corporate model of positive growth spanning the 19th, 20th, 21st centuries - and, today, is a conglomerate of several comapnies engaged in key sectors of the Sri Lankan economy: namely Healthcare (Pharmaceuticals, Medical Equipment, Scientific & Laboratory Equipment); Agribusiness & Plantations (Tea, Rubber & Oil Palm); ICT Education and Software Development; Imports & Exports; Industrial Machinery & Equipment; Industrial Chemicals; Energy Sector; Leisure Sector; and Manufacturing Sector. We provide empolyment to nearly 9,500 individuals and manage a land base of over 27,000 acres.
Being a family-owned company, Mackwoods has been led by successive generations who have all been professionals in their own right, and have consistently preserved the principles and family values of the group. This is also borne out by the commitment and dedication of our employees at all levels, who have played a pivotal role in our progress.
“End of Year” ICT
Exams at the Rural ICT Literacy Centre
Rural youth sitting their “End of Year” ICT
Exams at the Rural ICT Literacy centre, Clyde Estate.
Agalawatte records best ever performance in 2007
Daily News - 6 March 2008
Agalawatte Plantations PLC (APL), the Mackwoods Group Plantation company has recorded a turnover of Rs. 1.88 billion and a net profit of Rs. 165.3 million in 2007, both of which are the highest in its history.
Commenting on the results, Chairman of Agalawatte Plantations, and Chairman of the Mackwoods Group, Dr. Chris Nonis, said this profit, which translates to a record EPS of 6.6 and an increase of 88% on last year, is commendable, considering the unexpected wage increase granted to the workers in November 2007, the escalation of input costs and the negative impact of the previous year's strike.
Visit by MBA Graduates from INSEAD Business School, France
Visit of MBA Graduates from INSEAD Business School, France to
Mackwoods ICT Literacy Centre,
for rural Tamil, Sinhalese & Muslim youth at Clyde Estate.
Visit by MBA Graduates from INSEAD Business School, France
Visit of MBA Graduates from INSEAD Business School, France to
Mackwoods ICT Literacy Centre,
for rural Tamil, Sinhalese & Muslim youth at Culloden Estate.
Agalawatte plantations records 1.88 billion revenue in 2007
Daily Mirror - 6 March 2008
Agalawatte Plantations PLC (APL), a subsidiary of the Mackwoods Group Plantation company has recorded a turnover of Rs.1.88 Billion and a net profit of Rs. 165.3 Million in 2007.Agalawatte Plantations Chairman and also Chairman of the Mackwoods Group, Dr. Chris Nonis said that this profit, which translates to a record EPS of Rs 6.6 and an increase of 88% on last year, is commendable.
Launch of Trilingual I.C.T syllabus in Sinhala, Tamil & English for Rural Youth
In concert with the National Policy on ICT and English Literacy, a pioneering multilingual (Sinhala, Tamil & English) syllabus was developed and launched by Mackwoods Infotech and Mackwoods IT, supported by the Mackwoods Research Foundation on ICT and English Literacy, aimed at equipping our rural youth with global skills and providing future international job opportunities
Mackwoods Tea at the Export Promotion display and Sales Centre of EDB at Bandaranaike Intertational Airport
2 Febuary 2008
Minister of Export Development and International Trade,
Prof. G. L. Peiris
opening the new EDB Stall at Bandaranaike International Airport,
with Mr. Angunawela, Chairman, EDB, Mr. Ranugge, Secretary to the ministry,
and Mr. Rasaputra, Chairman, AASL
A Mackwoods Fine Tea Shop was opened to add to our existing Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre. Our Single Estate Fine Ceylon teas are now showcased in the Export Development Board display and sales centre at the Departure Terminal of the BIA, Katunayake. This new Export initiative was opened in February 2008 by Prof. G.L. Pieris, Minister of Export Development and International Trade.
Dr. Chris Nonis with the Children during the New Year Festivities at Labookellie Estate
Dr. Chris Nonis with the children during the Sinhala & Tamil New Year Festivities at Labookellie Estate, Nuwara-Eliya.
The "Sriyani Nonis Challenge Trophy" 2007 Winners
The "Sriyani Nonis Challenge Trophy" for the Best Overall Social & Welfare Programme, awarded to Ajith Kobbekaduwa and P.A. Lakshman of
We remember with utmost gratitude, the invaluable contribution made to the Plantation Industry by our former Chairperson, the Late Mrs. Sriyani Nonis. She had the unique distinction of being the only Sri Lankan female to head a Plantation Company and her vision was for APL to be the benchmark among Plantation Companies. She cared deeply for the community and always maintained a strong commitment to the Social Development and Welfare of the Plantation community.
As a tribute to the substantial contribution made by the late Mrs. Nonis in social development and upliftment of the estate community, and in concert with her passion for excellence, “The Sriyani Nonis Challenge Trophies” were presented to those who achieved excellence during the year. The first such award was for Social and Community Programmes in the plantations, whilst the other two were for the Best Performance in the Rubber and Tea Sectors.
Hearing Impaired Children Performing at the Mackwoods' 165th Anniversary
Children from the 'St.Joseph's school for the Hearing Impaired' performing at the 165th Anniversary of the Mackwoods Group.
H.R.H. Prince Charles
His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, with Dr. Chris Nonis, Chairman Mackwoods Group of Companies.
Another Agalawatte Plantations Initiative
Dail Mirror - 9 August 2007
Agalawatte Plantations held an Award Ceremony recently for bought leaf suppliers of tea in the Ratnapura Region, a press release said. This ceremony was the first of its kind to be organized by a Plantation Company, and is recognition of the contribution made by suppliers at all levels, towards the industry.
Celebrating World Children's Day on Culloden Estate
Sriyani Nonis – she was always there like a beacon
Daily Mirror - 5 July 2007
Mrs. Sriyani Nonis
A true and sincere friend is a gift from God. A very close, caring, sharing and an enduring friendship is, indeed, a very special blessing. I was very fortunate in being so blessed for more than half a century, immersed in a wonderful association with Sriyani, my dearest and best friend since we were little school children.
I pen this tribute on a very personal note to my friend, Sriyani, with a great deal of sadness and a deep sense of loss. It is two years since you left us. Or, is it that long? I’m confused. No, you have not left us for I feel your presence very much among us in spirit.
Afternoon Tea at Westminister House to Celebrate Queen's Birthday
HI MAGAZINE - 27June 2007
The British High Commissioner Dominick Chilcott invited guests to an Afternoon Tea at the Westminister House, to celebrate the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was also an opportunity to view 'Quest', an exhibition by Anoma Wijewardene. Cool cottos reigned the day, when the stylish ladies of Colombo donned floral dresses to suit the occasion! Cool too, in both senses of the world was the delicious Iced Tea served courtesy Mackwoods!
Salute to a true and sincere friendship over the years
The Sunday Times - 10 June 2007
A true and sincere friend is a gift from God. A close, caring, sharing and enduring friendship is, indeed, a special blessing. I was fortunate in being so blessed for more than half a century, immersed in a wonderful association with Sriyani, my dearest and best friend since we were little schoolchildren. I pen this tribute on a personal note to my friend, Sriyani, with a lot of sadness and deep sense of loss. It is two years since you left us. Or, is it that long? I’m confused. No, you have not left us; I feel your presence among us in spirit.
Agalawatte Plantations posted its highest ever turnover of Rs.1.32 billion and a net profit of Rs.90.3 million for 2006 which is a near three fold increase compared to 2005. Chairman Dr. Chris Nonis, in his annual statement, attributed this to the company's focus on product quality and strict financial discipline, while noting that the results would have been much better, if not for the cumulative adverse impact of the island-wide plantation sector‘go slow’ campaign and strike; increased wages which came into effect in November; removal of the fertilizer subsidy; and escalating input costs.
Lankan heavyweights set up joint palm oil mill worth Rs 250 million
Financial Times - 25 February 2007
AEN Board Members
The joint venture Crude Palm Oil (CPO) mill AEN Palm Oil Processing (Pvt) Ltd. set up by Agalawatte Plantations Ltd. Elpitiya Plantations Ltd. and Namunukula Plantations Ltd. owned Mackwoods, Aitken Spence and Richard Pieris under the company (AENP) commenced commercial production recently.
Dr. Chris Nonis with the Estate community at Frotoft Estate
Mr. Lalith Fonseka & Dr. Chris Nonis with the Estate community at Labookellie Estate
Mackwoods celebrate 165 years of success
Tuesday, December 12, 2006 - Financial Times
Mackwoods Ltd Board Members
Mackwoods Limited celebrated its 165th Anniversary with a reception recently.
This landmark event was attended by a large cross-section of individuals from the Political, Diplomatic, Mercantile, and Professional sectors spanning the breadth of Mackwoods Group’s diverse business activities and marking the significant contribution made by Mackwoods in the development of the national economy. This historic occasion was also attended by Sir Michael McWilliam, K.C.M.G, who proposed the Toast and also saw a performance by the children from St. Joseph’s School for the Hearing Impaired, Kuliyapitiya.
Agalawatte Plantations wins Gold at National Business Excellence Awards
Friday, November 24, 2006 - Daily Mirror
Chairman of the Mackwoods Group, together with Jt. Managing Director Mackwoods, and other members of the Senior Management Team of APL at the Awards Ceremony.
Agalawatte Plantations Limited (APL) – a member of the Mackwoods Group, was adjudged the winner of the National Business Excellence Award for the Agriculture & Plantations Sector at the recently concluded National Business Excellence Awards 2006 organised by the National Chamber of Commerce.
Training, Development &
Fostering Education of Estate Children
Annual Report 2006
Dr. Chris Nonis with the Estate community
at Frotoft Estate.
Training programmes for capacity building of employees at all levels of were conducted with the assistance of the Rubber Research Institute. Tea Research Institute, the Planters’ Association and the National Institute of Plantation Management.
Tourist get a taste of tea plucking at Mackwoods Labookelle Estate
Annual Report 2006
Tourist getting ready for the Tea Plucking Competition
It was a noel experience for both local and foreign visitors who were present at Labookelle Estate in Nuwara Eliya recently when the estate organized a tea plucking competition. For the foreign tourists, expecially those from the United Kingdom, it was a brew they had enjoyed for generations but had never had the opportunity to see how it was produced. But on that day they saw it all, from the moment the raw green leaves were plucked from the bush to the stage when if finally came to your home in the form of golden brown tea leaves ready for that invigorating brew...
Agalawatte Plantations is planning to set up a crude palm oil processing plant at the company’s Mohamedi estate in Kalutara district together with Elpitiya and Namunukula plantations.
It is also looking at expanding its leisure sector portfolio in an aggressive diversification drive.
Dr. Chris Nonis, Chairman, Agalawatte Plantations – reporting the company’s highest turnover to date with Rs.1.129 billion for 2005, three percent above 2004 in the latest annual report -- said that construction work of the plant will be commissioned by mid 2006.
Presentation of Ambulances by the Plantation Development Trust (PHDT)
January 1, 2006 - The Island
Presentation of the Ambulances
Five ambulances were provide by the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT) of Nuwara Eliya for the benefit of estate workers recently. Pictured here is Mackwoods Chairman, Dr. Chris Nonis presenting the keys of an ambulance to Lal Perera, Deputy General Manager, Labookelle Plantations.
Lalith Fonseka a member of the Developing Nations Committee
January 2006 - IFACC
Lalith Fonseka became a member of the Developing Nations Committee in January 2006. He was nominated by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). Mr. Fonseka has over 25 years experience in finance and business. He is currently the joint managing director of Mackwoods Limited and managing director of Mackwoods Plantations (Pvt) Limited. He is also a director of several companies within the Mackwoods Group.
Agalawatte Plantations Ltd. (APL) has completed its programme of planting 1,000 hectares with oil palm and has begun harvesting the crop with a palm oil mill expected to be commissioned later this year.
The company's chairperson N.S.O. Nonis has told shareholders that rubber and tea prices are expected to remain strong owing to improved and steady demand.
Agalawatte Plantations went in for a three crop plantation with oil palm being an alternative crop to reduce its reliance on tea and rubber whose fortunes have fluctuated over the years. The company recorded a profit before tax of Rs. 50 million for the year 2004 compared to Rs. 52 million the year before.
Director of Mackwoods Ltd., with J.Middleborough
at Buckingham Palace, London
Mackwoods 160th Anniversary Blend presented to the
Mayor of Lewisham by Chairperson, Mackwoods Ltd., Sriyani Nonis
at the Mackwoods Tea Marquee, World Tea Party, in London
The name Mackwoods is synonymous with high quality Ceylon tea, as the company has been associated with tea almost since its inception.
Jonathan Swift said that “Tea is water bewitched”. This describes the refreshing flavour of Mackwoods Labookellie tea centre, surrounded by the lush green tea plantations of Labookellie estate enroute to Nuwara-Eliya. This is a warm and welcome sight for many a traveler, both local and international. Over the years, the Mackwoods Labookellie tea centre has refreshed and rejuvenated the young and old from across the globe, with its freshly brewed ‘cuppa’ and its mouth-watering chocolate cake.
Visitors are given an invaluable insight in to the process by which the ‘two leaves and bud’ so deftly plucked by nimble tea pluckers are transformed into the aromatic tea which is served at this center.
The Mackwoods Tea marquee at the world tea Party, hosted by the Horniman Museum in London famed for its association with the tea trade. Provided the opportunity for many to enjoy the special flavour of Mackwoods tea marquee offered visitors a delectable rang of Ceylon teas including flavoured teas such as chamomile and mint.
Different grades of single estate Labookellie tea to satisfy all plates. As well as special blends such as the unique Mackwoods 160th anniversary blend for the discerning tea connoisseur.
Mackwoods directors were accorded the unique privilege of presenting the Mackwoods ‘Queens Golden Jubilee Blend’ at Buckingham Palace, London. This connoisseur’s blend, which carried the official Golden Jubilee Logo, was specially created to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Throughout its philosophy of commitment to quality. Mackwoods established in 1841. Continues this tradition of excellence in Ceylon tea internationally.
Agalawatte Plantations pre-tax profit increases to Rs.52 million from Rs.4 million in 2002
Monday, 26 April 2004 - Daily News
Agalawatte Plantations (Pvt) Ltd, a member of the Mackwoods Group has recorded a Rs. 52 million profit before tax for the year 2003 compared to a profit of Rs. 4 million in 2002. The company attributes improved rubber prices, the manufacturing of quality products in both tea and rubber, productivity gains and strict control of expenses as contributory factors for the growth in profit. The company's tea turnover has increased by 5% to Rs. 513 million with the production increase offsetting the marginal decline in the NSAs. With improved revenue from both rubber and tea, the overall company turnover has grown to a record of Rs. 929, a 23% increase over 2002.
Die Teefabrik von Mackwoods gehört zu denen, die trotz Angst vor Werksspionage auch heute noch besichtigt werden kann. Fotografieren ist jedoch in weiten Teilen der Anlage verboten, nachdem US-Amerikaner ein paar Blätter auf dem Boden fotografiert haben und der Fabrik anschließend in einer Fernsehsendung unhygienische Verarbeitungsweisen vorgeworfen wurden.
Ceylon, as such, ceased to exist in 1972, when the name of the country as changed to Sri Lanka, but ”Ceylon” tea persists as the embodiment of one of the worlds’s finest beverages, and indelibly associated in international circles with Ceylon tea is the name Mackwoods. Cercle Diplomatique et Economique International looked into the reason for this long-standing link and found the answer in a interview with Mrs. Sriyani Nonis, Chairperson of Mackwoods.
Founded in 1841 by the British “Merchant & Agent” Captain William Mackwood, Mackwoods Limited has the distinction of being the second oldest company in Sri Lanka. Surviving two world wars, the Compant remained with the Mackwoods family until 1956 when the ownership passed into the hands of the visionary Sri Lankan entrepreneur N.S.O.Mendis. Under his inspired leadership the company expanded into many areas, and today, Mackwoods is a conglomerate of several companies engaged in such diverse activities as Agribusiness and Plantations, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Information Technology and Import/Export Trading. The present Chairperson of the company is the daughter of N.S.O. Mendis, Mrs. Sriyani Nonis, and in the third generation her daughter Mrs. Nirmali Samaratunga, and her son, Dr. Chris Nonis, are on the Board of Directors.
Chairperson Mackwood Ltd
Sriyani nonis, Anne de Lasta and
H.E. Faisz Mustapha
Almost 350 years after tea was first sold in England (i.e. in 1657) an elite gathering was hosted to an event - the first of it's kind where those present went through the motions of fine tea tasting and opera, in exclusive venues in London in June 2002. Along with this unique event was live Opera on hand to entertain the guests on a warm summer afternoon - and the whole exercise turned out to be an outright success with encores for more.
Unique is how one could describe such an event - for after all, when have we even heard of fine tea tasting and an opera going hand in hand? But this is exactly what happened when Sri Lanka's second oldest company - Mackwoods Ltd.
Mackwoods Teas… Rich in Tradition, Richer in Taste
August 2003 - Explore Sri Lanka
Nestled amidst the picturesque hills along the road from Kandy to Nuwara-Eliya lies the charming Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre. Natasha Akolawala dropped in to try a ‘cuppa’.
The Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre is popular for a freshly brewed premium cup of tea from the misty hills, enjoyed with a piece of rich home-made chocolate cake beside a magical view. The Centre offers true ‘tea culture’ with an instructive tour around the tea factory to understand the finer points in tea production and its proud heritage. The staff is able to converse in English, French and German. A variety of events such as tea plucking competitions and tea tasting which are enjoyed by -
multitude of international and local visitors rank high in popularity whilst the Vesak lantern festival is an example of an event organized for a special occasion.
At the Tea Centre a selection of the finest quality aromatic graded Mackwoods teas are available; ranging from blended high grown to single estate teas like the Mackwoods Labookellie, Weddamulla and Frotoft estate teas. What makes the Tea Centre refreshingly unique is that it’s a place where fragrant teas are hand-plucked, packed and sold garden fresh right where it is grown.
The Mackwoods Gift Teas selection offers something for everyone and is presented in a wide range of pack sizes and designs, with tea flavoured with lemon, Earl Grey, strawberry, mint, cinnamon etc, and exclusive collections of gift teas packed in exquisitely crafted ceramic, delicate porcelain, terra cotta and wood containers, soft-toys and intricately carved brass and silver-plated tea chests and tea canisters
Courageous re-engineering leads to turnaround at Weddemulle
Thursday, 28 August 2003 - Financial Times
Restructuring, re-engineering and change management are buzz words in business today. Management gurus are brought in to analyse companies that are under-performing and invariably, re-engineering is proposed as the solution. But often, this process deals with changing the structures of management, modifying the chain of command and rationalizing manpower resources and core business areas. It is far less common for products and production processes to undergo change.
The Weddemulle estate managed by Agalawatte Plantations of the Mackwoods Group is a classic case of farsighted and courageous re-engineering at the grassroots. Among the first estates to take the drastic step of switching from high grown rotorvane tea production to pure orthodox low grown type of leafy grades, Weddemulle has been followed by many others today, with noteworthy results.
Tea and New Year fun at the "Mackwoods Labookellie" Tea Centre
Daily News, 2003
Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre
Surrounded by lush green tea plantations on the Kandy/Nuwara Eliya route, nestling amidst the Central Hills is the warm and welcome sight for many a traveller; the, "Mackwoods Labookellie" tea centre.
Over the Years the "Mackwoods Labookellie" tea Centre has refresh and rejuvenated thousands of people young and old from across the globe, with its freshly brewed "cuppa" and its hallmark mouthwatering chocolate cake.
Sriyani Nonis, Chairperson Mackwoods Group of Companies, speaks of their role in the Plantatons sector in an interview with "Business Toady"
When and how did Mackwoods begin operations?
This business was founded in 1841 by Captain Mackwoods. He commenced business as merchant and agent under the name of W.M.Mackwoods. His family members who succeeded him thereafter developed the business into a partnership and in 1953 incorporated the business as a limited liability company. In 1956 its ownership was passed on to N.S.O.Mendis. In the post independence Mackwoods held sawy as a leading establishment in the new Ceylonese economy.
What are your main linew of business?
Mackwoods Group is a conglomerate of several companies engaged in diverse activities such as trading, manufacturing, travel services and plantation management. We are also involved in the manufacturing and marketing of pharmaceuticals through a joint venture with SmithKline Beecham of UK.