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Sri Lanka's Alcohol Ban on Women: Bottoms Up and Then Back Down in Just a Week

Sri Lanka's Alcohol Ban on Women: Bottoms Up and Then Back Down in Just a Week

(Sergey Galushko/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 15 January 2018 11:29 AM

Sri Lanka re-imposed an alcohol ban for women just a week after the finance minister had lifted 38-year-old legislation which prohibited women from buying alcohol or working in places that sold liquor, ABC News reported.

President Maithripala Sirisena ordered the 1979 ban reinstated on Monday after it was revoked by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera last week, Reuters noted.

Regulations affecting liquor outlets’ trading hours had also been amended to allow for businesses to stay open an hour later, until 10 p.m., but according to ABC News, that was also reversed by the president.

Sirisena said he only became aware of the move after reading about it in local newspapers and immediately ordered the government to withdraw the reform, the BBC reported.

While ministry spokesman Ali Hassen said the decision to lift the ban was in a bid to restore gender neutrality, the National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection called for intervention, stating that the move encouraged drinking.

A senior official at the finance ministry, who spoke under anonymity, said per ABC News that the initial decision to revoke the ban came after numerous requests from the tourism industry.

Sirisena received backlash from critics who feel he was contradicting himself, encouraging more women to play an active role in politics but then implementing legislation that many felt compromised basic gender equality, BBC noted.

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Sri Lanka re-imposed an alcohol ban for women just a week after the finance minister had lifted 38-year-old legislation which prohibited women from buying alcohol or working in places that sold liquor.
sri lanka, alcohol, ban, women
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2018-29-15
Monday, 15 January 2018 11:29 AM
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