Alcohol ban still in place against women in Sri Lanka

Sri LankaSri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s president has overturned the government’s decision to allow women to buy, sell and produce alcohol after reading about the decision in the newspapers.


President Maithripala Sirisena said Sunday that he has ordered the government to withdraw the decision after he learned about it in the newspapers.

Last Wednesday the government announced that it would waive a 39-year-old law that has prohibited women from buying, selling or producing alcohol. The 1979 law has long been criticized for continuing the oppression of women and the government therefore found it was the time to strike over it.

“It’s time to restore gender neutrality,” said a spokesman for the finance department, Ali Hassan.

It is unclear why the ban was introduced back then, but it probably occurred on demand from conservative Buddhists. Leading Buddhist monks in the country expressed themselves critically following the government’s decision Wednesday. They claim that the decision would lead to the destruction of the country’s family culture.

Sirisena is at the forefront of an anti-alcohol campaign and has previously warned against “dramatic increase” in alcohol use among women.

The reform that the president has overturned, would have allowed women to work in bars. The reform would also have allowed alcohol to be sold from 08:00am to 22:00pm, an extension of two hours from today’s regulations.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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