Deputy Minister of Buddha Sasana and Religious Affairs M.K.D.S. Gunawardane said in Parliament yesterday that the government could not ban alcohol consumption in the country. He said it could only be controlled through the government’s ‘Matata Tita’ policy.
The Deputy Minister was responding to United National Party (UNP) MP Ajith P. Perera. Mr. Perera in his question placed on the Order Paper, asked whether liquor consumption would be banned in Sri Lanka since it was against the Buddhist teaching.
Mr. Gunawardane replied, “It cannot be banned. It can only be controlled.”
Then Mr. Perera asked how the consumption of both foreign and local liquor varieties had increased in recent years, despite the much hyped ‘Matata Tita’ policy.
The Deputy Minister replied, “It is because people drink more and more.”
Mr. Perera asked: “Does it mean that the government’s policy has failed? It has been reported to this Parliament that alocoholism is on the rise.
The Deputy Minister responded: “You can interpret it in any way you wish.” (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)