- CMEV writes to Elections Commission urging them to intervene
- DilFoods says packing consists of art work done 13 years ago
- Lanka Sathosa says it is a lotus flower, not a bud
By Jamila Husain
Lanka Sathosa, the state run retail chain, has said that its spices which were packed with a design of a lotus flower on it, will not be removed from shelves, despite concerns raised by the Centre for Monitoring Election Violence who has written to the National Elections Commission raising serious concerns of polls violation over it.
The Daily Mirror learns that many Lanka Sathosa outlets have these spices on their shelves leading the matter to be discussed on social media in recent days, at a time when the Parliament remains dissolved.
Chairman of Lanka Sathosa Nushad Perera said that the concerns raised by some parties over the packaging was not a reason for the company to remove spices off its shelves at a time of a national crisis as this would lead to a shortage in the market.
Perera further said that the packaging was done by a company named DilFoods Pvt. Ltd. who had been providing these packages to Sathosa for the past 15 years. “The quality of the packing is really good so we have no cause for concern as it’s not a lotus bud but a lotus flower instead,” Perera said.
“If the argument is that this is an election violation, then even elephant house can be seen as a UNP propaganda. The Centre for Monitoring Elections Violence (CMEV), however has raised the alarm over the packaging calling on the National Elections Commission to intervene and remove these products off shelves as this was a serious election violation. National Coordinator, Manjula Gajanayake said the CMEV had written to the Lanka Sathosa Management as well, urging the products to be taken off immediately.
“We have to protect the integrity of the Elections,” he said adding that this request was not an attempt to hinder the government’s ongoing efforts towards the national crisis.
The Daily Mirror learns that after concerns were raised by the CMEV, DilFoods have been contacted by members from the ruling party who have told them to stop using this packaging and the company will use fresh packaging from tomorrow. When contacted, DilFoods Owner, Rohitha Wijesingha said this art work came into existence in 2007, long before the Pohottuwa was formed but this packaging had been stopped since Monday due to the election period.
Three million packs which have already been printed will not be used further, during the polls period.