COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The government is checking all tea marked for export after the British and American embassies received warnings that arsenic had been put in some consignments, sources said here today.
Officials and the Sri Lankan Tea Board strongly denied that Tamil guerrillas had mixed arsenic powder in a shipment of tea for export but confirmed that precautions were being taken.
Official sources said that foreign embassies had been told that examination of the tea so far had shown none of it was poisoned but that the checks were continuing.
Tea is Sri Lanka's main foreign exchange earner.
In Calcutta, center for the tea trade in India, the world's largest producer and exporter, a major newspaper said guerrillas fighting for a separate Tamil state had poisoned tea exports to harm the Sri Lankan economy.