22 September, 2020

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Ninety Percent Of Bars Owned By Politicos

By Nishthar Idroos

Nishthar Idroos

The above, an actual caption of an article that appeared on January 29 on the online version of the Daily Mirror. Reading the piece I couldn’t but feel a kind of irritability if not a spontaneous reaction of ill-feeling, perhaps a bout of bitter nausea. What has politics come to in this country? Distribution of liquor licenses and ownership of bars revolving round politicos? The most feculent precedent a governing administration can ever set. 

Sure successive governments have been doing it but the overt religiosity of the current administration can set everything right. Rather than get into spasmodic flurry when pressured by environmental factors draft proper, effective policy to combat the scourge. What vice or drug menace are you trying to fight without firstly setting the right example. Deeds definitely speak much larger than words. Rhetoric is vacuous and action is conspicuous. Please let the hypocrisy come to a halt.

Irony of the message clear and all pervasive. Elected politicos having the dubious prerogative to own and be associated with the distribution and sale of harmful and addictive alcoholic beverages. Funnily enough a case of multi-dimensional ironies seem to characterize, contribute and control the alcohol industry of Sri Lanka. Ordinary folks seemingly on democratic overdose work hard to elect representatives. In return their elected politicos drench them with all kinds of intoxicants during election season. And on other occasions make them pay for it when their frail anatomies ravenously crave for a much needed stimulation after a hard day’s work. Its total subservience to a pernicious debasement controlled and operated by a democratically elected cabal.  Alcohol related mortality incidentally reaching epidemic levels.

President Maithripala Sirisena reiterated recently that he would implement the death penalty to drug offenders following examples set by other countries including the Philippines. “In the Philippines, the drug dealers are sent to the electric chair. India also gives death penalty to drug dealers. So does the United States. I too will do that,” Sirisena said. Great words but it does not carry much weight without setting examples and implementing policy sans fear or favor.

According to the story the Governor of the Sabaragamuwa Province Damma Dissanayake had apparently stated that out of the liquor bars opened countrywide, ninety percent belong to politicians. Dissanayake, who visited the Seevali Madhya Vidyalaya unannounced, in the midst of various programs coinciding with the Prevention of Narcotics Week, made this startling revelation. He had requested school children to present proposals, allegations regarding Narcotics Prevention Week. 

The irony is further conflated and coalesced when members of the medical profession supposed to save lives and set examples themselves act irresponsibly and contribute to the mayhem. Recently a female specialist doctor was involved in an accident at Boralesgamuwa in which an IP was killed, she was under the influence of liquor at the time. The breathalyzer test conducted by the Police following the accident had proved positive. More than 80 milligrams of liquor was found to be in her blood stream. The doctor had been attending a party prior to the accident. 

One of the students according to the article had apparently said that it was an issue when the Government was conducting awareness programs but continued to issue licenses to politicians to open and maintain liquor outlets. What a smart question? This is another irony. Another student had queried that ignoring orders made by the Executive of the country was in essence assisting the spread of drugs. He had also questioned why this Executive Power was not used to control the menace, another irony.

Global research indicate that many adolescents start to drink at a very young age. People who reported starting to drink before the age of 15 were four times more likely to also report meeting the criteria for alcohol dependence at some point in their lives. In fact, new research in the United States show that the serious drinking problems (including what is called alcoholism) typically associated with middle age actually begin to appear much earlier, during young adulthood and even adolescence.

In reply to the above questions the Governor had apparently said that if politicians stopped the sale of liquor, 90 % of these liquor outlets could be closed. He said that he believed the direct and indirect interference by the political authorities on the liquor sale business should be stopped forthwith. “The income derived from the sale of liquor is negligible when compared with the costs involved in solving the social and cultural issues that have resulted. This expenditure is creating a severe dent in economic, social, cultural and moral activities that is having a severe impact on the development of the country,” he said.

We have an acknowledgement here. A clear and realistic assessment of the whole sordid affair. Now will appropriate, meaningful action follow? This is the one billion dollar question? Most probably not. This is not an attitude of cynicism or indifference but a fairly deep-rooted and insightful understanding of Sri Lankan politics and politicians. Even if a generation is destroyed these hideous policies will continue to remain and I don’t know why.

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    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

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      “The income derived from the sale of liquor is negligible when compared with the costs involved in solving the social and cultural issues that have resulted. This expenditure is creating a severe dent in economic, social, cultural and moral activities that is having a severe impact on the development of the country,” he said.

      This shows the intellectual capacity of our so called Governors!!. GOVT officials and politicians have no clue that the entire free health system for 22 million is funded by the few hundred thousand drinkers and smokers !!!

      The entire free health bill of the country is funded by the taxes paid by the liquor companies and the cigarette companies. In 2018, DCSL and Lion Brewery and other licensed liquor companies paid Rs 80 billion in taxes. Ceylon Tobacco company is the single largest tax payer and paid taxes of Rs 85 billion. Hence the private sector has paid Rs 165 billion in taxes and duty and the total health sector budget is only Rs 150 billion !!!

      Hope the people shouting to close down the cigarette companies and liquor companies are willing to pay about 50% income tax to fund the free health sector!!! No country in the world is doing the stupid policies that we are adopting. For god sake ban the sale to anyone below 18 years but be mindful of the consequences of bringing a ban or making prices unaffordable so that the illicit trade would thrive and the GOVT gets no taxes but the politicians would benefit.

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        Mr.Perera
        I think you have no idea what is going on in the real world . How about the the abject poverty that alcoholism has brought about in the plantation sector for example ? The alcohol related violence , abuse , incest … the list goes on . We have among the highest levels of alcohol abuse in the world, and you are extolling the virtues of the taxes paid by alcohol and tobacco companies !!

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    Our politicians are drunk with Power. They want to create a nation of drunkards who would blindly vote them into Power again and again.

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      Muhandiram!
      They need cheap adulterated Liquor during their election campaign.

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    This is not news !!
    This is history !!!

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    Naturally and what is there to be surprised about that. How about the brothels aka massage parlours and drug business?
    This is what we achieved by 71 years of so-called independence and the evolution of the Great Sinhala Buddhist Refinement of the chosen land by Buddha. This is a good eye opener for the racists who ruined the country in the name of race and religion and dared to call Sinhala Buddhism as supreme and unique and original and native only to Ceylon-Thambapani. They daringly claim it is a unique race and language evolved exclusively in Ceylon more than 2500 years ago while there were no evidence of existence of Sinhala language at that time. Buddhism came later to Ceylon when its religion was Hinduism and it was part of the transient history. Neither the mythical Vijaan was a Sinhala nor a Buddhist but a Hindu according to the imagination of Mahanama Thera in Mahavamsa chronicle. Mahavamsa it self written in Pali an ancient Indo-ariyan language that only evolved in northern India. If the Sinahla race was isolated from rest of the world in its original form then how did Mahavamsa in Pali and various other inscriptions including Kiri Vihara in Kataragama in Prakirit that is unrefined form of early sanskrit in northern India that too believed to be a part of Indo-Iranian and Indo-European origin.
    Please dont take I am a racist but only trying to elicit the truth so that we could shed all these nonsense lies and live as one people and more importantly salvage Lanka from these Sinhala crooks who divide the people in the name of Buddhism and Sinhala language and divide the people. The Buddhist clergy of course most of them are a bunch of ill educated, morons who dont know the truth or biased and brain washed by their racism and utter rubbish. Enlightened clergy as usual in SL has no say.

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      “Naturally and what is there to be surprised about that. How about the brothels aka massage parlours and drug business?”

      In Sri Lanka, today there is not a single 24-Hour pharmacy, but you can find many 24-Hour Spas is very funny!!!

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    Is it true Borella Du Roi bar owned by Ruwan Wijewardane family from his wife’s side?

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    This is Sri Lanka, and greedy politicians will take every opportunity to make hay while the sun shines. Party Leaders turn a blind eye. They know that some of the ‘profits’ will trickle down. So much for safeguarding Buddhism. Nothing will happen anytime soon.

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    The author has not expressed himself clearly in this article. Leaving aside the issue of drugs, which pose a terrible threat to society and therefore ought to be dealt with very strictly, I am left confused by his observations on the topic of liquor. 1) Does he object outright to the consumption of liquor by the adult citizens who choose to do so, and therefore believe that prohibition should be imposed? 2) Or is he primarily incensed by the fact that it is mostly the politicians who are engaging in the liquor business and profiting from it? The author owes the reader a clarification, so he should provide answers to those questions!

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    Whatever said and done, one takes Shitsena’s words with a pinch of salt. This lunatic SOB, has two standards one for him, his family and his inner circles, and another for the rest of the people. He talks of corruption and environmental damages but his kits and kins are deep into it. So all free for him and his people but every rule of the law apply only to the rest. This man is a real humbug and people are now loath see or hear him for he did and doing such damage to the country and the people.

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    Nishthar Idroos guesstimates “Ninety Percent Of Bars Owned By Politicos”.
    The rest 10% are politically connected!
    .
    Except for a few, MPs who sermonise, in parliament and in public, about this evil habit own bars themselves or by proxy.
    .
    Our tourism industry revolves round casinos, brothels, alcohol, drugs.
    Should we go for ‘moral tourism’ where tourists arrive to participate in our rich culture?
    This will be a first of its kind and an example for others to follow.

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      Oh you mean spiritual tourism with plenty of spirits flowing?

      Even our clergy will rise up to this proposal.

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    Publish the names please

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    Nishthar Idroos. ,
    Is it not better for Muslims to avoid taking up a subject of this kind as it is
    a no go for Muslims and would be seen as ” trying to teach Islamic
    principles ” to Buddhists ? That’s the way trouble makers see things
    and it’s better to avoid creating such a situation . The economy we
    are in and the economy we are striving hard to achieve in the future
    have more harmful new cultures in the package , like legalised
    prostitution ! Whatever the West have, we have and will continue to
    bring in as that’s the lifestyle we are labouring to achieve at any
    cost in the name of development ! All one could do about liquor is
    to advise to be moderate in use . About liquor outlet licence, best
    option is to grant licence to all grocers . Since our politics is not
    based on strict principles , we will not eliminate corruption for
    a foreseeable future and more economic disasters will mean
    massive corruption that will make only politicos will have a
    life and they will all ask Muslims to shut up or put up !

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    Ninety Percent Of Bars Owned By Politicos

    So? What’s your problem? You want them to be owned by the Saudi Bin Laden Family? Or the family of MBS?

    Palayan do yanna.

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