On January 14, Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena overruled a new reform to lift a decades-old ban on women buying alcohol and working in places that sell or manufacture spirits in Sri Lanka. The ban was reimposed after the Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera, announced a reform on January 10.
"From tomorrow [Monday], the minister's order will be rescinded," Sirisena's office said in a statement.
I expressed my view on the recent revision to the regulations on alcohol control to Prime Minister and Finance Minister, and the positive outcomes of my intervention will soon be seen.— Maithripala Sirisena (@MaithripalaS) 14 января 2018 г.
But many Sri Lankan women then welcomed the change, which would have granted them the same rights as men to buy strong drinks and to work in bars without a state permit.
Sirisena's order to withdraw the motion was largely criticized on social media as "archaic" and "sexist."
In Sri Lanka, liquor distributors are also forbidden to sell booze to police or military personnel in uniform.
President of Lanka @MaithripalaS has withdrawn the govt notifications which would have allowed the women after a period of 10 years to work in bar without permit and to buy alcohol.Is it #gender bias or it violates right to equality?@IndiainSL @flysrilankan— Pradeep Rai (@pradeepraiindia) 14 января 2018 г.
Outraged by decision of the president of Sri Lanka to overrule the removal of the ban on women from buying alcohol https://t.co/m4PdTJXaSm— natalie perera (@natalieperera1) 14 января 2018 г.
According to the finance minister, this restriction only encourages a black market for spirits and deprives the government of revenue.
@MaithripalaS has revoked a new law in #SriLanka which allowed women to buy alcohol. His reasoning? It would destroy Sri Lankan family culture by getting more women addicted to alcohol. Apparently it’s all right for Sri Lankan husbands and fathers to be alcoholics, however.— Ana Hotaling (@AnaHotaling) 14 января 2018 г.
Giving birth is prob the hardest things a human being can go through, motherhood n looking after ur family is probably the hardest jobs. Women can do any job a man can n even been in space so y is this Neanderthal President of #SriLanka discriminating against women??— me (@gwbush99) 15 января 2018 г.