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CAA raids supermarket and an online delivery service provider in Colombo

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Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) officers raided a leading supermarket in Bambalapitiya, Colombo 4, which was charging an additional Rs. 200 ‘delivery charge’ from walk-in customers making over-the-counter purchases.

Acting on a public complaint, a CAA officer posing as a customer had purchased some foodstuffs and the cashier had billed him an additional Rs. 200 for ‘delivery’ on Thursday. After he was given the receipt, he had identified himself and the other CAA officers who were outside had moved in to raid the premises and conduct an investigation.

It was found that scores of customers had been charged the ‘delivery fee’ meant for online orders despite the purchases being made and cash paid to the cashier physically.

Supermarkets are authorized to cater to online orders in terms of Covid-19 guidelines but many of them allow customers to make purchases on the basis of a limited number at a time.

“We will be filing legal action against the supermarket concerned as it is a violation of consumer protection laws to apply conditions on sales”, says Thushan Gunawardena, CAA’s Executive Director.

Based on another public complaint that foodstuffs were being sold at inflated prices, the CAA raided the stores of an online delivery service provider in Colombo 15 on Wednesday and found labels altered, pricing changed and conditions attached to sales.

Gunawardena said legal action will be instituted against the merchant for selling goods above marked prices, applying conditions for sale and erasing marked prices/descriptions.

(Suresh Perera)



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Shocking 17,500 video clips of Lankan children being sexually abused

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By Norman Palihawadane

There were over 17,500 video clips of Sri Lankan children being sexually abused, on the Internet and action had been taken to arrest those responsible, Police Spokesman Senior DIG Ajith Rohana said yesterday. The Sri Lanka Police had sought the assistance of international law enforcement agencies and the Internet service providers to track down the persons involved in uploading those video clips and child sex trafficking via internet, the SDIG said.

Crimes against children in Sri Lanka were rising at an alarming speed, the SDIG said.

The police would conduct a special awareness programme together with the National Child Protection Authority to curb the alarming trend, he said.

The first programme was held recently in Nuwara Eliya where it especially focused apprising police officers attached to that Division.

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Private buses to insist that inter-provincial commuters carry proof of vaccination?

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By Rathindra Kuruwita

A limited number of Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and National Transport Commission (NTC) buses and trains would maintain limited inter- provincial operation from 01 August, State Minister of Transport, Dilum Amunugma said.

The State Minister said that certified documents issued by the respective depot superintendents and the letters of approval by the NTC were mandatory, he added.

“The buses and trains will be permitted to operate only in the morning and in the evening for office workers,” Amunugma said.

The State Minister added that passengers should behave responsibly when using the inter-provincial transport services and understand that those services were only for commuters engaged in essential services.

“The Delta variant is spreading rapidly. If one infected passenger travels in a bus, all other commuters will contract it” he warned.

The Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association (LPBOA) has decided to make proof of vaccination compulsory for inter provincial travel from 01 August

LPBOA President Gemunu Wijeratne said they had written to the President and Transport Minister asking for permission to enforce it.

Wijeratne said that all bus operators in the Western Province should ensure they were inoculated by August 15.

 

 

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TNA Leader complains against appointing Sinhala officers to Tamil areas

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By Dinasena Ratugamage

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Leader, R. Sampanthan had written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, objecting to the appointment of Sinhala government officers to the Northern Province, former TNA MP Mavai Senathirajah told journalists on Wednesday (28.)

The President and the Prime Minister are appointing officials violating democratic principles, Senathirajah said after a meeting of party activists at Karachchi Divisional Secretariat Office, Kilinochchi.

“A lot of Sinhalese are appointed to the North and the East. They must appoint Tamils. These appointments undermine our struggle for a just language policy,” he said.

Senathirajah said that it was customary to appoint Tamil officers to Tamil majority areas. However, this tradition was being violated increasingly in recent times, the former MP said.

“The TNA has nothing against Sinhala government officers. However, appointing Sinhala state officers to majority Tamil areas is a great injustice to the people. So, our leader has written to the President and the Prime Minister asking them to stop this practice,” he said.

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