A tea set gifted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa was among the items left behind by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair when he resigned last month, the Associated Press reported yesterday.According to the report British government records released on Wednesday show that an iPod gifted by popular Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger, coins from the Emir of Kuwait and a tea set from the president of Sri Lanka were among the gifts left behind by Mr. Blair.
Mr. Blair received the presents between April 2006 and March 2007. Other gifts include rugs from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, glassware from Austria and wine from Saudi Arabia, where alcohol is banned.
Government ministers in Britain must declare any gift valued at more than 140 pounds and either buy them or hand them over to the department for display or storage before leaving office.
Mr. Blair received more than 180 presents above this threshold between 2001 and March 2007 _ most of which, including the iPod, he chose to relinquish.
Other notable presents over the last decade included an iron statue of a horse once owned by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, given to him by Russian President Vladimir Putin, 18 watches from Italy`s government and even a foal offered by French legislators. The foal was donated to a local family.