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Street food vendor arrested for verbally harassing foreigner

16 April 2024 09:36 pm - 52     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Colombo, April 16 (Daily Mirror) - Following a contentious verbal exchange involving YouTuber Emeka Iwueze, a Sri Lankan street food vendor accused of charging an excessive amount for a Kottu Roti dish was apprehended by the police.

According to a video shared on Emeka Iwueze's official YouTube channel, the American visitor to Sri Lanka embarked on a culinary exploration of the country's street food scene five days prior, aiming to familiarize himself with local cuisine.

During his outings, Iwueze would stroll through the streets, sampling various dishes and engaging in friendly conversations with locals to better understand the culture and social dynamics.

After trying several food items, Iwueze entered a food stall where the vendor introduced offerings such as string hopper Kottu, seafood, and chicken Kottu. Upon selecting a spicy fish Kottu, Iwueze inquired about the price, only to be quoted Rs. 1,900 by the vendor. However, the situation escalated when the owner abruptly halted the order and brusquely instructed Iwueze to leave if he wasn't interested.

In a tense exchange, the vendor defended the pricing, invoking religious sentiments and asserting their honesty. Despite Iwueze's attempts to peacefully resolve the situation, he was ultimately forced to leave by the owner's threats.

Video courtesy to youtuber Emeka Iwueze


  Comments - 52

  • Tilak Tuesday, 16 April 2024 09:46 PM

    Very good... this will hopefully put a stop to harassment and scamming of tourists. Hats off to the authorities.

    dinesh Tuesday, 16 April 2024 10:14 PM

    is this anything new ?? this are not business men...they are thugs doing business...thats the issue...if this was not caught on camera, nothing will happen...everyone remember to film incidents...

    Pathmaranjan Perera Tuesday, 16 April 2024 10:44 PM

    These vendors should be arrested. The price should be same fir locals and foreigners.

    Ravana Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:54 AM

    Well done. This is what we should do. Same price encourages more purchases. Fair sales

    Ahmed Tuesday, 16 April 2024 10:47 PM

    Very good cheating anyone is wrong

    rubu fernando Tuesday, 16 April 2024 10:59 PM

    It is about time that discipline is instilled from TOP to bottom. Take to task and eradicate the scums of our land nurtured and cultivated by the rajapakse hoodlums. MR et al are the pariahs of SL.

    Ravana Tuesday, 16 April 2024 11:06 PM

    House of cards. Politicians harass and plunder the public, the public in turn harass and plunder the tourists. You correct the top brass, eventually bringing discipline and stability at the lower levels.

    Spartacus Tuesday, 16 April 2024 11:18 PM

    He needs to be fined and spend at least 3 months in Welikada. Others will realise and fall in line.

    Patcitz Tuesday, 16 April 2024 11:34 PM

    Unfortunately, an innocent American was caught up with the hands of an IRC.

    Jayantha Wednesday, 17 April 2024 12:17 AM

    Make it compulsory for even street food vendors to display prices. Anyway it is hightime the government invervane and create streetfood areas similar to what Singapore does. This way the food will be of good quality and price will be same for anyone. Anyway what about how government robs foreigners when they visits certain places. For example higher price for foriegners visiting sigiriya while cheap rate for local. First the government should stop robbing foreigners before asking people to stop this bad habbit. Lets start with government itself.

    Mathan Kumar Wednesday, 17 April 2024 12:30 AM

    There was a tone of racism too in the vendor's behaviour. I bet if the gentlemen was of lighter shade the reaction wouldn’t have been so blatant and agressive. Glad he is charged for his unaccetable behaviour. Srilanka has a long way to go in agressive and heard mentality behaviours.

    Ram Wednesday, 17 April 2024 01:43 AM

    How did the Police arrest this person without a complaint when always Police say there is no complaint to action any incident that is of public importance

    Trooper Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:41 AM

    You have to be fair. You can't expect the Police to know everything happening in SL and have evidence to arrest. In this case there is a video.

    Iwazaru Wednesday, 17 April 2024 02:09 AM

    Visit 3rd class countries and get 3rd class treatment. I presently in Tokyo and the place is flooded with tourist mostly from the US and Europe. No issues at all.

    John kerry Wednesday, 17 April 2024 12:06 PM

    Then why the hell you are coming to this place dude?

    Asela Wednesday, 17 April 2024 03:39 AM

    Harassment? Rs 1900 is a fair price - but these cheap food beggars are looking for free food?

    Dee Wednesday, 17 April 2024 01:06 PM

    It’s a fair price for a legit, tax paying restaurant which offers customers comfort and hygiene. NOT fair for a wayside pavement joint!

    Asela Wednesday, 17 April 2024 03:39 AM

    Harassment? Rs 1900 is a fair price - but these cheap food beggars are looking for free food?

    Sampath Wednesday, 17 April 2024 04:07 AM

    Weldone Sri Lanka. You did the right thing. This shows how serious you guys are for tourism. Make me so happy.

    Shera Wednesday, 17 April 2024 04:45 AM

    Well that's an example of how it is for those living in SL and visiting. Cheating and stealing is rampant everywhere. I am glad this guy caught in on camera. Also note when visiting SL another scam is taxi fare even in P*** M* drivers cheat the passengers if they are solo women who are tourists or seniors. Not the fault of the company but the drivers decide to change the fare when the passenger is dropped off. Very bad.

    Buddhist Wednesday, 17 April 2024 05:03 AM

    Very good move.

    Dr.Jeyaraman Devarajn Wednesday, 17 April 2024 05:06 AM

    This kind of activity not only brings a very bad image to our country but also negatively affects the country's primary source of income tourism. Always when a buyer does not know the product, or price the seller takes it as an advantage.

    Dee Wednesday, 17 April 2024 05:42 AM

    The joint is on the road- unauthorized structures. Check his assets, obviously he’s not paying taxes and probably a social benefits recipient as well. N the flip side, he must be better off than most of us!

    jp jey Wednesday, 17 April 2024 05:46 AM

    "Street food vendor arrested for verbally harassing foreigner".....yes, he should be sent to prison for giving sri lanka a bad name to the rest of the world

    Jeanne Wednesday, 17 April 2024 06:32 AM

    How can this guy be treated so badly? He is so friendly and courteous. Sri Lankan cheats are giving everyone a bad name. On behalf of well bred and honest Sri Lankans, may I wholeheartedly apologise to you. Also, he doesn't realise that beef is ultra expensive - a luxury actually - that is rarely found in street cafes here!

    Ylg Wednesday, 17 April 2024 06:48 AM

    Good! . . These vendors, bus drivers and trishaw drivers are very arrogant people. All most criminal like. Very dangerous to decent folk.

    Jumpat Wednesday, 17 April 2024 06:53 AM

    Welcome to Sri Lanka! Unfortunately this is just the tip of the lettuce berg in this banana Republic. Foreigners are ripped from top to bottom in many places. Down south is notorious with such scammers from professional beggers to doggy beach boys. These bloggers or vloggers or whatever must start filming their entire journey to give the real picture.

    Gregory Davy Wednesday, 17 April 2024 07:01 AM

    What about the other vendor who sold an ulundu vedai for Rs. 800/= a few days ago

    DHA Wednesday, 17 April 2024 07:25 AM

    Thank you for highlighting this incident these types of thieves should be put behind bars for months! Thank you authorities

    Sambo Wednesday, 17 April 2024 07:34 AM

    Anything can happen in Sri Lanka and you have experienced it your self.

    CitizenP Wednesday, 17 April 2024 07:44 AM

    Enforce maximum punishment for this unruly behavior against a person in the street.

    Xuan Ngo Wednesday, 17 April 2024 07:45 AM

    How much is a Kothu in Colombo???

    Pavi Munasinghe Wednesday, 17 April 2024 08:04 AM

    These you tubers are the biggest scammers! the vendor has the right to refuse service if They’r questioned on the price. Just because a backpacking tourist ‘probably spending only100$ for their whole stay in SL’ post a video, our police are quick to take action, isn’t there more important work for the police than to arrest a poor vendor??

    Jeanne Wednesday, 17 April 2024 10:11 AM

    And that's why tourism in Sri Lanka is still struggling. You don't like YouTubers, but you are happy to scam them and act like thugs towards them. Make up your minds you fools.

    DW Wednesday, 17 April 2024 06:46 PM

    What a dumb idiotic statement. No wonder Sri Lanka is still a poor nation because of idiotic mindsets like yours.

    Bird of the same feather Wednesday, 17 April 2024 10:42 PM

    Pavi Munasinghe, you must be a bird of the same feather. Are you bold enough to divulge your encounter with tourist/s? Just go through all the comments and you'll see just two or three are in your league. But frankly that is enough to ruin SL's reputation.

    DW Wednesday, 17 April 2024 08:15 AM

    This is happening at an alarming rate in Sri Lanka. I think it's high time that authorities impose tougher penalties especially at a time that these visitors are making a significant contribution to the economy. Secondly, who gave this idiot food vendor the right to ask the guy to leave?? He was occupying a public space. The guy was peaceful and was merely asking a question. Would he be treated in the same way if he were a white tourist?

    Totally agree Wednesday, 17 April 2024 10:43 PM

    Totally agree

    Ram Wednesday, 17 April 2024 08:44 AM

    He is a Nigerian from USA Igbo man

    Gert Jan, the Netherlands Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:21 AM

    So what?

    Fact Wednesday, 17 April 2024 09:31 AM

    The place is overrated. Health conscious people would never dine in that area.

    Alam Wednesday, 17 April 2024 10:02 AM

    Why was he arrested. Gota stole billions made a mockery, still not arrested. This is basic misunderstanding. Poor people will get arrested rich Scot free.

    DW Wednesday, 17 April 2024 06:44 PM

    Of course. That's how it is. Money makes people powerful, which can make you above the law. You would make yourself powerful too if you could but you couldn't so suck it up.

    Mohamed Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:06 AM

    That was so rude and bad. The moment he said he wasn't cheating, that's what he did. Shame on that Street Vendor, authorities should take stern action. The tourist was very friendly and all you can do is cheat the fellow.

    Bee Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:45 AM

    It is nice to see all of us United in this case. Sad we cannot do it to salvage our country due to party,

    Mahesh Silva Wednesday, 17 April 2024 12:53 PM

    Rs 1900 for spicy seafood is normal, Pillawoos in Bamba charges Rs 1800 to Rs 2000 for chicken kuthu. Tourist and locals needs to respect each other. We see lot of tourists taking advantage of the locals

    Bird of the same feather Wednesday, 17 April 2024 11:13 PM

    Have you watched the full video on YouTube? This tourist visited few other eateries in the same area. He was decent, respectful and friendly everywhere. Even at this vendor he just quizzed the vendor politely. You know, people get offended only when they are found out. Don't bring in the bull s*** example of Pillawoos. It refelect your lack of intellect. They are in a different league. Go to a 5 star or 7 star hotel and the price will be 3000 rupees. No wonder SL is suffering when it's inhabited by people like you. I wont be surprised you too had treated a tourist similarly.

    Lion Wednesday, 17 April 2024 01:00 PM

    All halal food places are like this. Avoid them.

    Tim Wednesday, 17 April 2024 01:45 PM

    This is absolute rediculous. This guy was doing videos and food tasting to make money and was wasting the time of a busy vendor. I am not sure all these pundits who have commented will do this for the rip off we go thru in other Asian Countries, Europe and Americas. I was chased by a Singaporean Vendor for asking to reduce the price and also harrased by a Bankok Vendor for retrning back something which I didnt want to buy. And we are giving more publicity to these guys and making them more fans and money tarnishing our own country. Why dont you Pundits got to Port City and see the prices they charge despite there in a Printed / Marcked Price. It's a clear officence to sell anything more than the marked price. It's time that these blogging foreighn begars arent entertained by the idotic Sri Lanans who see happiness when the country is put down by them or way of their videos.

    Ron Wednesday, 17 April 2024 02:20 PM

    The way we have been thought don't cheat don't Rob dont take if its not yours .today you don't find only very few are decent honest caring people majority are desparados ...strick law

    Gregory Wednesday, 17 April 2024 03:45 PM

    The YouTuber should be banned for hurting the sentiments of the Muslim community.

    Terrence K Wednesday, 17 April 2024 05:14 PM

    This street vendor should have tackled this matter in a more friendly manner instead of using harsh language to shoo the customer away. Also the owner should have displayed a board giving the food available and the prices for these items which at other places this was very clearly depicted to avoid any confrontation as it was clear that the employees were not conversant with the prices and these employees had to consult the owner which leads to suspicion that there are different prices for locals and another price for foreigners. Also from the video the foreigner did not seem to be abusive to the owner for this type of treatment and as Sri Lankans who value hospitality to others irrespective of colour etc. should have been cautious not to cause any adverse effects which tarnishes the whole tourism industry. !!!!!!


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