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Minister urges workers to eat rice flour as wheat prices rise

A Sri Lankan government minister has told estate workers to eat rice flour items instead of using wheat flour, as the price of wheat continued to rise.

The Sunday Times reports that Agriculture Minister Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said estate workers should avoid eating roti, traditionally made from wheat flour, proposing subsidised rice flour be provided instead.

His remarks come as the Sri Lankan government introduced a hotline for consumers to call and complain about retailers who are charging higher than the government controlled price for rice. The Consumer Affairs Authority has so far raided 400 vendors who had sold goods at higher than the set limit, reports ColomboPage.

The government had earlier banned wheat products from various public institutions, including hospital, prison and school canteens, with Sinhala nationalists labelling wheat as part of an international conspiracy against the country.

See more in our earlier posts:

‘Banning its roti and eating it too’ (11 January 2012)

Government’s plan to ban wheat will affect Tamils – UNP MP (09 Dec 2011)

SL Prime Minister calls for wheat and fruit import ban
 (07 Dec 2011)

44 million extremely poor suffer as food prices soar (19 Feb 2011)

Food for thought (04 Nov 2010)

Sri Lanka wages war on ‘wheat terror’ (10 November 2010)