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Sri Lanka lifts ban on women buying, selling alcohol

The ban had been in force since 1979,but many businesses had employed women to sell and serve alcohol and sold alcohol to them.

world Updated: Jan 12, 2018 14:25 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Colombo
Sri Lanka,Alcohol,Women
A liquor store displaying bottles and cans with price tags in the window.(AFP/Representative image)

Sri Lanka has revoked a 38-year ban on selling alcohol to women and employing them in places where the brews are produced and sold.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera signed the notification revoking the ban to restore gender equality and promote tourism, a government statement said.

The ban had been in force since 1979, the early years of Sri Lanka embracing an open market economy. But many businesses had employed women to sell and serve alcohol and sold alcohol to them in spite of the ban.

The government also allowed liquor outlets to stay open an hour later, until 10 p.m.

The decision could become politically sensitive with clergy in the predominantly Buddhist nation being against liberalizing alcohol consumption. However, most Sri Lankans consume alcohol.

First Published: Jan 12, 2018 14:25 IST