Che Guevara in Ceylon ……………

Ernesto Che Guevara epitomizes all the romanticism attached to revolution and rebellion and remains an enduring image worlwide till today.

Nearly 54 years ago, Che Guevara visited Sri Lanka to look into the rubber planting methods adopted in the country. He visited the Yahala Kele rubber estate in Horana   and planted a Mahogany plant on August 7, 1959 which today has grown into a giant tree.

Dingiri Mahattaya, the man who served Che  and his group of visitors from Cuba with biscuits and bananas  during the visit, is still alive and likes to tell about  his close encounter with the famous man.

Here are some pictures that were taken when we visited the estate some time back.

This is also a link to a story I wrote on Che’s visit to Ceylon.

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3 thoughts on “Che Guevara in Ceylon ……………”

  1. You realise of course that Che was my hero! That explains my e-mail name! I have visited South America in search of Che or rather his principles!

  2. I think he is the hero of millions of people worldwide. I would love to travel to SA and visit places associated with him or at least to Cuba.I am a big fan too.

  3. My father James T. Rutnam of Colombo, Ceylon, imported sugar from a company called Galban Lobo Trading Company based in Havana. After the Cuban revolution, Julio Lobo fled Havana and resided in New York. Fidel Castro sent his right hand man Che Guevera to all the countries that formerly imported sugar from Cuba. Ceylon was one of them. Che Guevera and his interpreter visited my father in 1959 to persuade him to continue to import sugar from Cubazucar in Havana. I remember seeing this scruffy, unshaven man, with breakfast stains on his uniform, who was seated in our living room with his beautiful Cuban female interpreter. I didn’t pay much attention to him since he only became famous, later.
    After Che went back to Havana, the USSR said that they will purchase all the sugar from Cuba. That was the end to my father’s business deal with Che, Fidel and Cuba! Jayam Rutnam (Los Angeles)

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