Sri Lanka re-imposes liquor ban on women

Photo Courtesy: thejournal

For more than four decades, the women in Sri Lanka have been banned from buying alcohol and working in bars and liquor stores. For much to the delight of the travel community, the government has recently lifted the ban only to re-impose it in a couple of days’ time. The government lifted the ban, only to reverse its decision less than a week later. Just days after the finance minister Mangala Samaraweera revoked the 1979 ban, Sri Lanka’s president Maithripala Sirisena, re-imposed the ban.

The ban was lifted after repeated requests from the tourism industry to extend bar hours and allow female tourists to buy alcohol, according to an official statement. The move was criticized by opposition parliamentarians who said it would damage Sri Lanka’s Buddhist values.

According to the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), over 2.11 million people visited the island nation in 2017, a 3.2 per cent growth compared to the previous year. Indians continue to be the largest number of people that visits Sri Lanka, with 384,628 tourists coming in 2017. Tourists from China and the UK make up the top three.