SLMA concerned over Finance Ministry's approval of online sale of liquor

Rebecca Pavey | Published: 5:26 PM Jun 16 2021
Local SLMA concerned over Finance Ministry's approval of online sale of liquor

The Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) expressed their grave concern over the Finance Ministry's recent decision to permit the online sale of liquor, issuing a statement pertaining to the matter today (16).

The SLMA noted that the online advertising or promotion of alcohol was prohibited by the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act (NATA), adding that allowing of such sales would overlook the age and place restrictions mandated for alcohol sales in Sri Lanka. 

The statement went on to address the Deputy Commissioner of Excise , Kapila Kumarasinghe's claim that the production and sale of illicit alcohol has risen significantly over the past two weeks, for which concrete evidence, such as the volumes, locations and the harm caused by such illicit alcohol, is yet to be given, the SLMA noted. 

Responding to Kumarasinghe's claim, the SLMA explained that the primary task of the Excise Department and its spokesman is to enforce the laws in relation to alcohol, and not instead, issue statements to the press that are both helpful to the alcohol industry.

'Therefore, we earnestly request the government not to provide permission for internet sales of alcohol which will make matters worse for all Sri Lankans already suffering from many hardships due to Covid-19 pandemic. As it is well known that alcohol use is associated with poverty, violence against women, injuries, suicides and many illnesses, providing easy access to alcohol will amplify these problems at a time which is difficult for both the government and the people', the statement concluded.

Rebecca Pavey | Published: 5:26 PM Jun 16 2021

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