Government Members Sharply Divided Over Alcohol Ban On Women: Harsha Says It's Gender-Based Discrimination
2018-Jan-18 | By News Admin

Sharp differences of opinion are visible within the government camp over President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to reenact a 60 year old law banning women from buying alcohol. 

Several prominent government members have expressed their opposition to the decision. They have backed the gazette notification signed by Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera revising the alcohol ban, last week. 

"I do not agree with laws that discriminate based on gender or race or any such group," said Police Planning and Economic Affairs Deputy Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva.

"If women can fly planes or work in steel plants why can’t they work in restaurants and serve wine? And, who am I to bring laws to say that a woman will be punished if she attempts to buy a glass of wine? What hypocrisy is this? This is more than just an alcohol ban. We must move away from gender based discrimination," he added. 

Similar views have already been expressed by former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, now a member of the Cabinet.

The Cabinet, last morning, unanimously decided to revoke the gazette notification signed by Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera permitting women to legally purchase alcohol and work in bars. 

The decision was made following a statement made by the President, on the same matter, on Sunday. The President said he instructed authorities to revoke the gazette notification signed by Samaraweera, saying he only got to know about it "from the press". 

Sources : asianmirror