COLOMBO -- Braving the scorching afternoon sun, 64-year-old K. Piyasena walks along the sidewalk adjoining the sprawling ocean park in Colombo known as Galle Face Green, not far from Sri Lanka's Presidential Secretariat. "Annasi!" he shouts as he desperately tries to sell freshly cut pineapple halves doused in salt and chili.
"Since morning I have only sold around seven pieces. About a year ago, I would finish selling the entire lot by 2 p.m. and go home. But now most people choose not to waste money on these snacks even if they are hungry, because of the cost of living," he said.