11 August, 2020

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Eleven Women File FR Petition To Retain Right To Purchase Alcohol And Work In Liquor-Selling Establishments

Eleven women have petitioned the Supreme Court invoking fundamental rights enshrined in Articles 12(1 & 2) and 14(1)(g) of the Constitution to protect Excise Notification 02/2018 of January 10, 2018 from amendment and/or revoking.

The said Notification which turned back the Excise Notification No 666 of 1979, permits women to purchase alcohol and to work in places where alcohol is sold. Following the issuing of the Notification, President Maithripala Sirisena announced that he would revoke it. Yesterday the cabinet of ministers unanimously decided to withdraw the Gazette notification on extending business hours of liquor shops and allowing females to buy or sell liquor.

The petition filed by Nishanthi Bandaranayake, MDJB Fernando, Samanalee Fonseka, M.D. Chandima Ravini Jinadasa, Deepanjalie Abeywardana, Sabrina Esufally, Sharanya Sekaram, Randhula de Silva, Meneka Galgamuwa, Sujatha Gamage and Visakha Tillekeratne can be read here

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  • 37
    2

    I don’t drink and I don’t buy alcohol from bars or any other place, but I believe I have every right to chose what I eat, what I buy and what I drink. No one should dominate me. If anyone concern this about protecting our cultural values then I am asking is it woman only safe guard our cultural values or whole society including men must do that? If so this rule must apply to everyone in the country otherwise it is a serious discrimination towards women.

    • 13
      2

      Very ture… well said!!! Culture againt discrimination!

    • 3
      3

      It is obvious that Govt can’t impose a ban on men now. Let men and women, or men only destroy the cultural values is the choice.

  • 13
    33

    Its funny how these ‘educated Colombo women’ think retaining the right to purchase alcohol is their pathway to enforce equality in Sri Lanka. If anything, they should be seeking to impose this ban on men too rather than lifting it for women!!! Afterall we are talking about alcohol!!! Wonder how many of these women have children at home and an intoxicated husband coming home late every night. These Colombo women need to step out and see how dire the situation is especially in estate sector. This is still with the ban in place. Just because 11 women in Colombo thinks that they should also be able buy alcohol from the counter just like their husband or boyfriend, it doesnt mean a Sri Lanka as a nation is pursuing equality in all fronts. Unlike western cultures, Sri Lankan culture relies heavily on woman’s ability to nuture and care for the family and look after kids. If equality is the topic, they should also fight that men too should be allowed to stay at home during a child birth and spend time with family. Instead these women thought, to bring equality to Sri Lanka we should fight for our right to buy alcohol!!! Just hilarious!!!! This is only a publicity stunt to pursue their own agendas and not in the interest of the country.

    • 18
      4

      It is pretty ironic that this kind of comment has to come from “Johnny Walker”. Maybe you should refrain from Labeling people.

    • 17
      2

      Johnny Walker,

      Your line of reasoning is all twisted. And your arguments won’t go well in a court of law. If you don’t believe me get the opinion of a good lawyer on the points you have raised.
      By the way, spell your name correctly as Johnnie Walker!

    • 1
      0

      JW.
      Sure.”not in the interest of the country”. These are Sri Lankan Politicians; nothing new; their own interests is what matters; hell with the country.

    • 2
      0

      Johnny: You really need to fight to have the Constitution corrected -for as it currently stands, it seems to reflect Colombo only values.

    • 2
      0

      Jhonny Walker, have you experienced anal penetration by a sodomist.There are many reported cases of sodomists being found in Temples.Based on your argument anal ( in place of vaginal penetration) should be O.K.

    • 1
      0

      Just because there’s a law allowing women to drink they are not suddenly going to storm the bars. Those who drink will do so and those that didn’t won’t. Don’t confuse issues. The FR is about the right to choose in all areas. To stop such archaic thinking in it’s tracks. If you want to stay home after a child’s birth then find a few men and file a FR, don’t ask women to fight for your rights.

  • 0
    2

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out] We are sorry, the comment language is English – CT

  • 17
    3

    Congratulations to the brave women. We have come very far from Gamarala Yugaya. Our rulers should understand that. Imagine a situation where a woman wanting to have a drink having to employ a man to fetch one. This could lead to further problem for women.

  • 15
    1

    Sirs and Madams, I am Rajagiriye Samantha, boss of Rajagiriya bajar. Sorry but my English very bad. That why me not write too much. But I read your comments to get better English. This very interest talk for me. To you Sirs and Madams I tell you this useless rule. You give Whattsap call to me and come and see. But must be night. I take you to many places. They sell arakku. Many come sad with face like crying because many problems everywhere. Drink glass and forget all trouble. Go back home happy. Wife unhappy but man happy.

    Sirs it is not only arakku glass. Every place nice lady working there. Without the lady no happy even drink one gallon. Customer, make joke, laugh and may be touch hand a little and he happy. Forget wife wait at home ready to fight when return. Him like in Divya Loka for a few hours. That important no sirs?

    Man work too much on too much difficult job. They come look for little happiness and get that. Is that bad sirs? I don’t think so. Also work lady happy. Get salary, get tips, get little drink. Me Rajagitiye Samantha also happy. Every place give me daily cut. Me not tell how much. But not too much. For protection Sir.

    Customer happy, lady happy, Mudalali happy, Me happy. What more you want sirs and Madams?

    • 6
      0

      Rajagiriye Samantha, well said mate! Keep up the good work.

      • 5
        1

        Thank you sir. I hope my English improve. Please tell me sir if better or more bad.

        You know Sir, my girl friend’s brother went England. Him very good support man of Maninda Mahattaya. Him there for 2 week visit. Ticket everything from Mahinda Mahattaya. Him said, English people too much smart. May be try to fool me but he say, even very small children very smart and speak English like water. And me? me now 32 and my English hopeless. Bad luck Sir.

        Also him tell me many Pub there. Sir, Pub mean like bar here. Nice Englishman and ladys all come to drink beer before go home. Him said, always there many girls work. Serve beer to customer. Very beautiful girls he said. Like Barbie doll. White body, gold hair. But no bad thing with customer. May be hug only if good customer.

        I think, English people smart because they drink beer in Pub service by Barbie dolls. I think all English people do good Karma and be birth like in heaven. Sir, what I cannot understand, our leaders want country like England. But no arrack service by lady? I think our country finish. Cannot control simple Udgoshana making problems for poor people like us but want to control Barbie dolls in bar? We like Bangladesh if this rule put.

        My Massina say we need Mahinda Mahattaya again. (Don’t be angry with me Sir. That is Massinage idea).

        • 1
          0

          Eureka…. now we know who your Massina is. How many new liquor licenses were issued during Mahinda’s time?

          • 4
            0

            I am sorry Madam Champa. Me not know how many Mahinda Mahattaya issue. But Madam problem not how many. Problem why only men? That is problem.

  • 2
    12

    Ladies

    The gazette notification introduced without the prior knowledge of the government or civil society was aimed at extending operating hours of liquor outlets, and enabling women to buy liquor at and work in such places. Today , ordinary women of Sri Lanka face many more critical issues , which are probably unknown to posh Colombo socialites like yourselves .

    They lack access to education and meaningful employment – resulting in many of them having to seek jobs in “spas” and brothels, and become sex objects of the affluent . Women are often abused and raped by alcohol induced men including family members. They are also quite often groped in offices and while using public transport , and are the subject of lewd remarks and verbal abuse when walking on streets and in public places . There are hundreds of government schools which do not have proper toilets for girls .

    It is a pity that the Harvard educated young heiress among the petitioners does not better use her resources and education to agitate for the improvement of the lives of fellow women particularly those in the plantation sector , and those affected by the relatively recent introduction of archaic religious dictates which enforce the covering of the body and face , and adolescent marriage.

    Go out and have fun ladies, you know better than most that there are absolutely no restrictions on drinking and partying in Sri Lanka . There are many civic minded ladies quietly working behind the scenes with thousands of abused and traumatised women who will tell you that liberalising alcohol is not the need of the hour , it will only help exacerbate an existing problem of humongous proportions .

    • 2
      0

      Dear “The Oracle”,

      A number of comments here are tongue in cheek. Yours may not be.

      I, too, identify with the poor, and call myself a villager. However, you are attacking the wrong people. I clicked on that “here” again; it indicates the background of these petitioners.

      There is no contradiction between being concerned for the poor, and fighting fighting this particular manifestation of misogyny. We’ll never get any rights ensured, never counter injustice the way you look at things.

      A more obvious example is how when one of the Rajapaksa era murders starts getting investigation, people ask why start with that, instead of another. Often people have at the back of their minds the ethnicity, religion, and in your case, the social background of the persons involved.

      Please don’t drag these red herrings across the paths of the investigators.

  • 12
    0

    I offer my services free of charge to any woman who wants to buy liquor as they cannot buy over the counter. I wonder how the 5 star hotels and restaurents manage if a woman orders a drink.

    • 8
      0

      Upali,
      Can you please publish your phone number as I wish to make use of your services?
      I am too shy to go to the tavern and my husband won’t oblige.

    • 2
      0

      And I wonder what happens when a man is refused. Those who wear the ‘sarong’ like our parliamentarians are at advantage for they can prove it quick and easy.
      Soma

    • 5
      0

      Where is Equal Rights, Fundamental Rights and Human Rights.
      Is Maitri afraid that women will drink and attack him for his ‘Impotency’ in politics?
      What about 25% of women contesting elections. How can they get men’s support without Liquor? Very unfair election Commissioner.

  • 9
    2

    Probably, most of the women rights champions do not aware that this particular law has enforced by Sudda – their role model. (Just a bethink to them!) And, I have observed 2 things in this. MOST of the women (and men) who mercilessly attack MS with vituperative words in social media for the removal of the particular gazette notification are those who wanted to go to the heaven with hanging onto MS’s tail at 2015 regime change. And, MOST of them, in their personal lives are either heavy boozers and because of the same reason, had been divorced or separated from their hubbies or the social haters or the cigars and grass smokers, or the multi-men ladies or the haters of the concept of the ‘family’ etc., Anyway, ‘The No women to Bars’ topic had been able to gather like minded women and men. Bravo ladies. Cheers!

    • 6
      2

      max

      When women have husbands/partners like you they don’t really want to stay sober.
      Don’t you think you are a moron?

  • 1
    3

    It is not a human right to drink or smoke. Both alcohol and cigarettes should be preferably banned or sold under strict regulated quota conditions. The damage these substances do to the individuals who consume them, and the society is enormous. In some western countries alcohol is sold only in special strictly govt regulated shops. Here we can get them in the supermarkets. It is time to at least make it more expensive and harder to get.

     

    Banning of selling alcohol only to women doesn’t look so nice, although it could be a measure to protect women getting abused. Hopefully the president will change his mind.

    • 3
      4

      In countries like England. Alcohol is part of their culture and life style. They go to the pub every evening or specially at friday nights and get drunk while enjoying the nice company of their friends. In Sri Lanka however, we have grown up among entirely different set of customs. It bars us from being drunkards altogether. I think our policy makers should understand this difference. Not every western ethic is suitable for our country. We should be open to make exceptions.

  • 7
    3

    max moron

    There is a strict rule in this island.
    Kill the Veddah, Rob the Buddha and Blame the Sudda.
    Since you are strictly complying with the rule you have successfully proved your credential. No one can challenge your authenticity, a solid Sinhala/Buddhist Aryan Fascist.
    Congratulation.

    • 5
      0

      hahahaha…. NV, I was waiting for your response! Don’t you have any other ammunition other than leveling “kokatath thailaya” – “Sinhala Buddhist Aryan Fascist” blah blah blah?? Bdw, when you booze with your wify (if you have any) put a 50ml on me bro! I will do the same – put a 50 for you – today evening itself! Cheers!

      • 1
        1

        max

        You foolishly think more Sinhala/Buddhist fascism is panacea for all ills of the island on the contrary it causes all ills in this country. Like you it has produced loads of killers, stupids, looters, ………… war criminals, …rapists and people who cannot see beyond their nose. And it has produced people who has no sense of worth and cannot explain what Sinhala/Buddhism means to them and rest of their believers.

        Thanks for the offer of drinks. I am a tea toddler.

        • 0
          0

          Native, there’s NO S/B fascism in any part of Sri Lanka but a strong Tamil chauvinism which deny Sinhala Buddhist icon in this soil! If you do not know or do not want to know to understand what is Sinhala Buddhism, that is your problem. Do you think, in any part the world, there is such thing called “pure” Buddhism? Every country, that the Buddhists are predominant, it has its own Buddhism. I have explained you, at numerous instances, as much as possible to me, what is Sinhala Buddhism and what is Sinhala Buddhist culture is. I am not saying S/Bs’ are greater than any other culture or race but they were the pillars in this country’s glorious past. Luckily Prabha and the gang were not “killers”, “stupids”, “looters”, “war criminals”, “rapists” and “people who cannot see beyond their nose”. Only S/B’s have such tags in the society. So, be happy Native Vedda! And, good to know your a tea toddler. My salute. (bdw, one more thing. My intention is not to safe guard all the stupidness of nowadays S/B’s, who have no clue of past, present or future of this country).

          • 1
            0

            max

            You are determined to remain very very very stupid. I can’t help you once you have made up your empty racist mind.

            ” I am not saying S/Bs’ are greater than any other culture or race but they were the pillars in this country’s glorious past.”

            When did the Sinhala speaking people first start identified themselves as Sinhala/Buddhist using as a new brand?
            Tell us what was the glorious past if at all there was one.
            When you say they were the pillars, what exactly do you mean?
            Can you tell us about the numerous wars fought among numerous petty kings?

            “” ” Luckily Prabha and the gang were not “killers”, “stupids”, “looters”, “war criminals”, “rapists” and “people who cannot see beyond their nose”.”””

            Stupid man re-read my earlier comment “Like you it has produced loads of killers, stupids, looters, ………… war criminals, …rapists and people who cannot see beyond their nose.”

            There is no exceptions.
            Lets face it, Sinhala/Buddhist Fascism was elevated to prominent place by the public racist Annagarika Aryan Homeless Dharmapala.
            Read – Return to Righteousness (A Collection of Speeches, Essays, and Letters of the Anagarika Dharmapala) Paperback – 1991- Edited by Ananda W. P. Guruge
            If you haven’t got a copy you are lost on this earth.

  • 1
    1

    Now the penny drops……this Govt is a good governance of women govt?

  • 2
    0

    Rajagiriye Samantha

    your way of writing made me happy this morning. Great Malli, continue it and make us happy often.

    • 2
      0

      Thank you Sir. Your comment also made me very happy. Only problem Sir my English hopeless. I want to make it hopeful like your English by too much writing. First I am shy. May be people laugh. But I write many article. Send to many news paper. Send to many internet places like Colombo Telegraph. But nothing printed or put in internet. Me not blame Sir. I know my English hopeless.

      Only the Sirs of Colombo Telegraph sorry for me. They put my comment. Thank you sirs of Colombo Telegraph and Thank you MR Sir. As they say in movies. You made my day.

  • 5
    1

    Bars and Women: Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy. (Frank Sinatra) And I say that alcohol and women make a much worse enemy that one can love much more.

    I agree completely with Rajagiriye Samantha. I work in Saudi and live in Bahrain. Why? Because Bahrain is a free country where they tolerate things like alcohol and other things considered as un-Islamic while Saudi is very strict on these.

    Do we have bars and night clubs in Bahrain? Bars were plenty until some idiot politicians like in our country forced the ban on places less than 4 star. Who benefits? It is the 4 star and above hotels. Night clubs are also found in these.

    I sometimes go to these places and have a beer, listen to music by highly talented bands, dance a little, eat dinner and relax. Here you find many girls, some serving you food and drinks and some who will sit with you, talk with you and dance with you. It is good clean fun and if one wants, one can go further and make it dirty. But being an old person with mild tastes, I do not go to that level.
    What I want to say is that this is the situation in an Islamic country in the Middle East. They earn a lot of money from weekend visitors from Saudi and other countries. Now places like Dubai are competing with Bahrain in this field.
    So, I think this ban that has been imposed on women in Sri Lanka is stupid and will not stop anything. I am completely against it.

  • 2
    3

    In Christian countries, sale of liquor on Sundays (Sabbath Day) is prohibited. That means they don’t sell liquor 4 days a month. In our country selling liquor is banned only one day – Poya Day. In the USA, selling liquor on Christmas Day and Sundays is prohibited even in private facilities. In Ireland selling liquor on Christmas Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Good Friday is prohibited. Even our fellows who live in these countries follow those rules.
    Being a country where the majority is Buddhists, why do we have to change our values, our rules and our traditions to suit a few women presumably lured by the government to file a rights case allowing sale of liquor and bar tending?
    I wish we could ban sale of liquor entirely on public places.

    • 3
      1

      Barring women from Bars: Robin Williams said: If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days. Robin William’s thinking stopped there but mine goes further. As it is now, if the ‘28 th day negotiations’ fail, we men could have gone to a bar and found solace in wine, women and a song. But if this stupid rule is implemented then you will get wine and song only in bars. (F… the songs. If we want songs why go to a bar? We can turn on the radio). What I worry about is the second item – women. And remember it is going to be every day, not every 28 th day. Not every Poya day or as Champa says on the Guy Fawkes Day only. What are we men going to do? Can’t you guys see? This is a major disaster for us men.

      The purists among us may say, try to resist temptations at least once every 28 days and the Guy Fawkes Day as Champa (a purist if ever there was one) says. I can do that on Guy Fawkes Day because that is the day we have a different kind of fireworks and anyway it is only once a year. But every 28? come on that is silly. The root of the problem however is not the period (or is it?) but the fact that I can resist everything except temptation.

  • 3
    0

    This is not only the first time this happened. Earlier in 2017 Sri Lankan medical authorities made recommendation on changes to be done on abortion laws in Sri Lanka which is absolutely essential right now. However after the serious protest made by Archbishop lead Masculine driven religious leadership in Sri Lanka, subject amendment didn’t work out.What is the right that males have to take such decisions even without discussion with women or ministry of women affairs. Even country like Saudi has now decided to give more freedom to women, after they have made serious changes in their legal system in recent past.
    These outdated laws should need to be changed immediately. In Sri Lanka most of the people think “Culture” is something should not to be changed but it is not. Culture is something should need to be changed over the period of time depend on the development of the people and country. If someone says this change required only for couple of women in Colombo I have to point out women in outside Colombo are taking alcohol more than Colombo women. And out of that most of them are taking illegal liquor like “Kassippu”. It is understood Alcohol is harmful to everyone irrespective of the gender. If government is so much concerned about citizen health and culture they should ban this to everyone.(Because our so called culture does not allow men to drink also) And the other fact that most of them doesn’t know that caption law was imposed by British on their colonial period however in Britain there are no restrictions for women like that at present.
    I think women in Sri Lanka should come up with more organized manner and win their demands which discriminated them due to their gender.
    .

    • 0
      0

      Nilochana, my be the Archbishop is a sodomist like the B/ monks.

  • 3
    1

    If this is implemented, are we going to implement it uniformly and fairy covering all places from the way side bar to 5 star hotels? I am sure that be the death knell of our tourist industry and we will become the laughing stock of other countries.

    Secondly, what are the other countries that have implemented similar rules applicable to women only?

    Can someone please clarify?

    • 2
      0

      To answer my own question look in Wikipedia under countries with alcohol prohibition: Sri Lanka (Purchasing and possessing liquor is prohibited for women)

      Sri Lanka is the only country with such a prohibition involving women only. Looks like our country is on a unique moral high ground. With purists like Champa, I am not surprised.

  • 3
    0

    president is going to appoint a bonda {drink}commision to inquire into how liquor laws have been flouted from jan 2015.those who have made money illegally will have to give it back or face prison.

  • 1
    1

    Rajagiriye Samantha

    Your English is good. Very good. Don’t worry about others . Don’t be shy. You are superb. Uditha and Dayan are bad, useless, no one can understand their English. They write only to show off. While reading and after reading I am happy, my wife is happy, children are happy and my friends too. Our lives are bored in this foreign land. Please continue and make us happy.

    In CT two other persons make me happy. One is Native Veda and the other one is Kanthaiya Anna. But your style is different and no one could copy you. Vare Vaa!

    • 0
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

      • 1
        0

        Thank you Sir, I try to be better.

  • 4
    0

    Every citizen can expect NOT to be treated as second class citizens. This is a human right.
    If and when the petition is heard, the SC has to decide whether rescinding the ministerial directive of this alcohol thingy is gender biased.
    This will open several human rights challenges.

    • 5
      0

      KP:
      Even after over a hundred post this is what some people are failing to understand. Although this case is based on Alcohol this has little to do with alcohol and a lot to do with discrimination and human rights.

      • 7
        0

        Exactly Burt.

        Welcome, Sri Lanka, to the Dark Ages.
        Caution Ladies! Next might be the veiling of women.

        The danger of alcohol is a separate question, but how is it possible, that a government can simply overrule its own constitution and thereby officially ignore granted human rights? (Constitution-Fundamental Rights § 12, (1) and (2)).

        Is this new regulation valid for foreigners also? If so, good bye tourism development.

  • 1
    5

    I am NOT a misogynist – If Olympics maintain 2 different sets of each game. If public places anywhere in the world have 2 restrooms, 1 for men and another for women. If medicines have different effects and recommended dosage differently for men and women. If emotion and perceptions of pain differ between men and women, and this list can go on, and on, and on.

    Why can’t these women accept that they can’t be equal with men, while it has got nothing to say that men are better than women or vice-versa? Why can’t they understand that humanity depends on these gifted differences and they are part of the design?

    If nature creates this difference for furtherness of human-being and well being, why shouldn’t human have set of rules to suit the gender, if it does not suppress either of the genders? This is just an inferiority complex and/or a false notion of equality being propagated through out the world today

    • 4
      0

      As currently stated in the Sri Lanka Constitution:

      “Right to equality
      12.
      (1) All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.
      (2) No citizen shall be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, language, caste, sex, political opinion, place of birth or any such grounds: “

      • 0
        1

        Burt, so that was their concern? Poor women, having no idea why Tamils became LTTE..

    • 3
      0

      Nevertheless women are humans like men, or are they not, Richard?! No one denies gender differences and no one states that women are like men. But these differences do not imply any differences in value, and I am sorry to correct you, women are equal to men what human rights are concerned.

      • 0
        0

        Shocked to see you getting that doubt if women are human, when we are debating if those 11 women did was correct:-) I just opined that there should not be gender inequality, but it must be understood that society views and expects different things from both sexes.

  • 2
    0

    Alcohol is not a morally accepted drink. If our fair sex wish go immoral just because the men are, then in the spirit of love we should welcome their desire to pull the cork out and fill their mouths without any hindrance. After all, it’s unfair the rich and plumb ladies to go in for a cheap drink like kasippu.

    Let us booze freely 24×7 without discrimination .

  • 0
    5

    Simply those eleven women are not of marrying quality. there are women good for fun and not good for marriage.
    A man never would go and marry a known prostitute or if looks like a prostitute. It is like that.

    • 5
      0

      Dear Jim Softy,

      I don’t accept your view of morality. It is very sexist. If a woman is good for fun, then she should also be good for marrying.


      As for liquor. If it is deemed unhealthy like LSD, cocaine, or whatever (I don’t know); I’ve never taken them. Then ban liquor for all humans (and even animals), and have done with it.


      If it is allowed for men, allow for women as well. I have tasted some kinds of liquor; never been drunk. I don’t touch the stuff now – not for at least ten years. Ah, no; had a bit of communion wine yesterday – don’t know if that counts.

      Religion – opium of the masses. For some of my experiences of it, please google: Thomian Pharisees. I’ve written three articles. Been further persecuted for them.

      I don’t know those eleven ladies. Wish I did, since Jim the connoisseur says they are fun. Let me have fun, rather than tears. I hope that those ladies, too, are merely exercising their RIGHT to purchase and consume it, rather than getting inebriated.

  • 0
    1

    Jim, have you ever had sex after alcohol. It is very pleasurable.

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