In Sri Lanka Women May Not Be Allowed To Buy Alcohol, But They Can — And Have Been — President Or Prime Minister.

by Anura Guruge

Click image to access ABC News original.

Click to access the UK “Daily Mail” original.

I did not know about this ban — or its reinstatement — until a friend e-mailed me a link Monday morning. It was all news to I. I never knew that there was such a ban — primarily because I have never tried to buy alcohol in Sri Lanka.

Anywho … anybody who thinks that this ban reflects badly on Sri Lanka’s treatment of women obviously is not familiar with what makes Sri Lanka truly GREAT.

The World’s first democratically elected female Head of State (i.e., Prime Minister)
— in 1960. My aunty Bandaranaike.

Got that. FIRST female Prime Minister in the World.

We have also had a female President.

I am sure Hillary Clinton would have gladly forgone her right to buy alcohol if she could have been President. {Smile}

Something else to consider. This ban is said to have been instituted in 1979 — by Sri Lanka’s increasingly rabid Buddhists.

OK. Since then there have been two female Heads of State (albeit mother and daughter). They obviously did not see this as a major women’s issue — i.e., being precluded from buying alcohol.

Yes, Sri Lankans are funny — real funny — about everything to do with alcohol.

It is a Buddhist thing — though all that Buddhism asks from you is that you TRY and refrain from partaking in intoxicating substances.

Growing up in Ceylon (the prior name of Sri Lanka) in the 1950s and 1960s, alcohol was a taboo subject among middle- and upper-class Sinhala buddhists (such as my adoptive family).

My adoptive parents (and grandparents) were genuine teetotalers. Alcohol was never served at our house — even when my adoptive father was an Ambassador in Paris (France) and Washington D.C. My parents really frowned upon those that drank and had a hard time coming to terms that I was basically a hopeless wino.

Some of my uncles drank — and we all knew of their penchant for drink. But, they drank in private! It was a crazy society.

Yes, women not being allowed to serve or make alcohol is a problem.

But, not being able to buy alcohol should not really be a problem. For all of our faults, Sri Lankan males tend to be a gallant, chivalrous and RANDY bunch of buggers. We would never dream of letting a female buy a drink. We would always get them one. {Smile}

So …

Not good, BUT not the end of the world.

Yes, Sri Lankan Buddhists are a dangerous bunch. I have said that before.

But, do NOT extrapolate this to mean that women are downtrodden in Sri Lanka.

Just remember. Just remember: Sirimavo Bandaranaike — the World’s first female prime minister.

Related posts:
Search ‘Queen’.

by Anura Guruge

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

About Anura Guruge

See 'The Blogger' on my blog.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: