Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera has labelled the reinstatement of the ban on women purchasing alcohol and working in liquor shops as a ‘tribal decision’. However, the Gazette which revoked the ban is to be cancelled respecting the need for unity within the cabinet the Minister said.
The Minister is said to have made these comments during the cabinet meeting held yesterday (16) as a response to the decision taken by the cabinet to cancel the two gazette notifications revoking the ban.
Reports claim that Ministers Rajitha Senaratne, Patali Champika Ranawaka and Dayasiri Jayasekara had highly criticized the gazettes claiming that it undermines the drugs prevention programs launched by the Yahapalana government while being unsuitable for the country’s culture.
However, responding to them Minister Samaraweera had stressed that these archaic laws regarding women were revoked through the gazette according to the policies of the yahapalana government and the constitution of the country while not with the intention to promote alcoholism.
Don't the people in the JHU eat and drink? - Deepthi
Meanwhile recently speaking to ISIS news Deepthi Kumara Gunaratne of the Sri Lanka Frontline Socialist party said the mania to look at alcohol and other related issues in a moral angle was introduced to Sri Lanka in the 90’s by the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) bringing in to question if the party members are those who do not eat and drink.
“The JHU leaders eat, drink and enjoy themselves while presenting themselves for these things in the thinking that villagers are uneducated,” he said adding that as new rulers come into power in the 21st century these ideas will be made redundant.
Is the 2017-2021 National Action plan for Human Rights a joke?
Meanwhile also sharing their views several human rights activists said the incident has brought to light many contradictions that exist within the current government. While presenting examples they especially pointed out the ‘2017-2021 National Action plan for Human Rights’ presented by President Sirisena.
The third chapter of the plan and in its pages ranging from 39 - 65 speaks of Women’s issues while promising that ‘Laws will be imposed to ensure that in all workplaces including private firms the right to work in spite of one's sex, race, sexual orientation’. However, they pointed out that the cabinet has now worked against its own policies.
Has the President forgotten?
While the President issuing a statement in this regard had promised to enforce the action plan in the Sri Lankan society to secure and develop rights of all Sri Lankans while bringing it in to force in the next five years it appears he has forgotten this the activists pointed out.
PM has also forgotten!
The PM too had said to ensure the action plans success all ministries and connected organizations should work in a timely manner and do everything possible to support the cause. However, the activists now question if the support needed by a Ministry to ensure this action plan has been supported by him.
All talk and no action
According to these activists, the government has given people verbal and written promises through such measures but has now proved that they are incapable of carrying these out.