Lanka troops sell vegetables at low prices

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 8.01.11
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Colombo, Jan. 7 (Agencies): Sri Lanka’s army opened a chain of food stores today that will sell produce at low prices and will be manned by troops formerly deployed in the island nation’s civil war.

Fifteen unnamed shops will offer low-priced produce bought directly from provincial farms in a move designed to cut out middlemen and lower costs for consumers.

Vegetable prices have climbed in Sri Lanka since October after a freakish spell of heavy rains disrupted supplies and destroyed crops, forcing the country to rely on imports to meet shortfalls.

“It is a community assistance project to sell low-priced vegetables to consumers and to assist the government to bring down the cost of living," Major General Ubaya Medawala said.

The government information department said the move was aimed at eliminating “middlemen and the black market mafia”.

Ferry service

India and Sri Lanka have signed an agreement to restart sea ferry services shut down for nearly 30 years, the latest sign of resurgent economic ties since the end of Sri Lanka’s quarter-century-old civil war. The two nations gave no immediate timeframe but said the service should start shortly.