President wants easy liquor Gazettes withdrawn

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena attends the Commonwealth Observance Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

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President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday he had instructed the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister to cancel the Gazette notifications issued revoking the prohibition of the sale of liquor to females and instituting time extensions at liquor shops.

Addressing a public meeting in Agalawatte, he stated that he was informed about the two Gazette notifications issued allowing the sale of liquor to females and female employment in liquor shops and time extensions via the media.

President Sirisena said as Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera was away from the country both the Gazette notifications would be cancelled upon his arrival.

“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,” President said in a Twitter post.

Samaraweera, under the Excise Ordinance, revoked the ban on the sale of liquor to females and employing females in places where liquor was manufactured or sold on 10 January.

In a separate Special Gazette Notification issued on 11 January, the business hours of licensed establishments selling liquor was extended from 11.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.

Excise Notification No. 666 of the Gazette Extraordinary had imposed a ban on selling liquor to women and employing women in liquor-related fields.

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