Colombo, Jan 16 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka’s cabinet, on Tuesday unanimously decided to withdraw two gazette notifications which would enable women to buy alcohol and work in shops selling or manufacturing alcohol beverages and extending the business hours of liquor shops across the island, a minister said.
Minister of Ports and Shipping, Mahinda Samarasingha said the decision was reached when the cabinet met for its weekly meeting.
The decision comes after President Maithripala Sirisena said last week that he would call for a reversal of the two gazette notifications issued by the Finance Ministry.
The President said he had ordered the government to withdraw the reform, which would have allowed women to work in bars without a permit and also buy alcohol.
The President said he had only found out about the move from the newspapers.
Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry, last week, lifted the ban on selling alcohol to women and prohibiting women from working in places where alcohol is manufactured or sold, for the first time in nearly 60 years after it said it would amend a 1955 law.
According to the 1955 law, any alcoholic drink, including wine, could not be sold to women and women were not allowed to work in any alcoholic manufacturing outlets or retail stores.
While the previous law was not always strictly enforced, many Sri Lankan women had welcomed the change.
The Finance Ministry later announced that it would also allow liqour shops to stay open for business till 11 pm. Currently all liquor establishments in the island have to close at 10 pm.