According to the Associated Press, 24 people have been injured and 83 arrested in three days of protesting in Sri Lanka. The spark for the protest? A government move to require that fruit and vegetables be transported in plastic baskets instead of bags. The Daily News in Colombo, Sri Lanka, meanwhile is reporting that the riots weren't a complete surprise. In one report prior to the Dec. 11 implementation of the law, Co-operatives and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando told the newspaper: "Several parties of the country who do not like to see the development of the country are trying to sabotage this effort. They want to create negative views about this among farmers with the aim of discouraging them." The newspaper reported that the government distributed around 350,000 plastic crates for farmers and another 400,000 crates for stores and economic centers. The crate regulation is aimed at reducing wasted food, which the government blames on inefficient transportation and packaging.
Riots in Sri Lanka over plastic produce basket regulation
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