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President calls North to stop consuming alcohol

24 January 2016 04:29 pm - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In his continuing campaign for abstinence, President Maithripala Sirisena called upon the residents of the Northern Province to stop consuming alcohol.

“There is more alcohol distributed here in the North than elsewhere in the country. Alcohol is worse than weapons of war. It destroys lives,” he said, at the ceremonial opening of the Hirdaramani Group’s latest apparel factory in Puthukudiyiruppu, Mullaitivu.

Noting that a majority of the factory workers were young, he had a directed his words at the young people.

“Young minds get distracted fast by one thing or another. But the solution to that is not alcohol,” he said.

He said the government had undertaken many programmes in the North to curtail alcohol distribution.

The leading liquor manufacturers in the country had repeatedly complained to the government that illicit liquor was being distributed in the Northern Province -- much of it with the patronage of government officials.

The warnings had been ignored until today. However, the president is also targeting legally manufactured liquor in his campaign to eradicate alcohol and drug consumption.

Excise duty, manufacturing licences and retail licences for liquor constitute a major portion of the state revenue.

Liquor sales contribute greatly towards propping up the ailing economy. The liquor industry is now resigned to a tax hike annually (in October or November). The additional income is used to shore up the budget.

The result of the constantly rising alcohol prices has been that a major proportion of the population have opted to consume illicit liquor, thus endangering their health and denying the government of revenue.

However, the president had said recently that the excise duty on liquor would not be included in the national budget from 2020 onwards -- thus reducing the government’s dependence on the income from alcohol -- as he would make the country’s taxation schemes stronger and end alcohol consumption. (Chandeepa Wettasinghe)

  Comments - 18

  • onlooker Monday, 25 January 2016 10:23 AM

    Preach, preach nothing else, the only fact is that the dollar is climbing up very steeply.

    Dutchy Sunday, 24 January 2016 10:24 PM

    "Talking the walk "

    NotPoliticallyCorrect Monday, 25 January 2016 11:54 AM

    yup. Prez we know you care a lot about the north. to hell with the rest of the country eh? protect the north. they are your friends...will be your only friends pretty soon.

    Premalal Sunday, 24 January 2016 10:40 PM

    Mr President, please practice what you preach even after one year of waffling. You shouted hoarse about ethanol dealers and we the voters trusted you and made you the President. What have you done to bring the crooks to justice? You are only interested in consolidating your power.

    Coconut Republic Sunday, 24 January 2016 10:57 PM

    Fix the patronising govt officials 1st. If caught take them off from the pensions

    De Silva Sunday, 24 January 2016 10:57 PM

    everyone reduce alcohol consumption and see how fast the alcohol come down.

    gayan Sunday, 24 January 2016 11:00 PM

    Oh that explains the vote for TNA.

    DHA Monday, 25 January 2016 12:11 AM

    Seems like our President these days is wining the hearts of the ladies at home.....

    mola Monday, 25 January 2016 01:06 AM

    This guy is nuts. Does he really understand what he is supposed to do as prez? He should relinquish the position of Head of State and go to work as a missionary, instead of making himself a laughing stock.

    Cheers Monday, 25 January 2016 02:50 AM

    People pay for it anyway and pay high taxes for your pockets it is not you people will make that call as it does not come out of your pocket and you have given a very bad statement jobs and economy can be at stake president

    siva Monday, 25 January 2016 03:50 AM

    please, tamil politicians, consider about this president´s speech

    Sangaralingham Thursday, 28 January 2016 11:07 AM

    Listen to the president the top individual in the nation alcohol toxic to brain heart liver brain.make you senile sooner cash poorer in shorter time. Spend your income wisely .avoid health risks

    kumaran Monday, 25 January 2016 06:18 AM

    Better concentrate on rapes, abuse, lack of education etc, as well as ending corruption. Then drinking will automatically reduce.

    Joseph Monday, 25 January 2016 06:48 AM

    Well said Mr. President, really north people consume liquor more than the water. You are a redeemer to us. God bless you Sir

    trgak silva Monday, 25 January 2016 06:58 AM

    dear presbetter than giving sermons - please cancel liquor permits given to politicians to operate taverns, lrestaurents serving liquor, wine stores, distilleries. More effective than sermons

    Janakan Monday, 25 January 2016 08:19 AM

    Thanks Mr. President for making such a good statement.As a Youth from Sri Lanka, I see lot of Liquor shops opened after the war. I think it is time for bringing restrictions for the numbers and the hours they are open.DM - Please pass this message

    bunty trailson Monday, 25 January 2016 08:24 AM

    Mr. President, clean your own backyard first it is (South) equally bad and hellish.

    Gayan Monday, 25 January 2016 08:35 AM

    Hey Mr President what about rest of the country? Are you President for only Ealam?


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