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.


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by Anura Guruge


“Paddington 2” Movie (2018) — Best Of British Whimsicality Epitomized.

by Anura Guruge




Click image to access IMDb.com listing for movie.


Of course it did not disappoint. That would have been impossible. This is an immaculately crafted movie — as you would expect.

It is exactly what a family movie of this genre is meant to be: sloppily sentimental, clever, funny, cute, dramatic in parts and captivating at multiple levels.

To use a good ol’ British expression very much in keeping with this movie — it warms the cockles of your heart.

Enjoyed it very much — though it brought tears to my eyes a couple of times.

Yes, it is a movie about a very intelligent, talking bear. So, one cannot be too fussy about inconsistencies in ‘reality’. Based on the very tall skyscraper, the contemporary Volvo and police cars, the story would appear to be set in the 21st century (early 21st century may be it) — but there are a lot of telephone booths and no cell phones. All adds to the charm.

Of course, I recommend it highly. Can’t wait to see it again. Have seen the first ‘Paddington‘ twice. So, this won’t be any different.

I only have one criticism and that might have to do with the projection equipment at the Portsmouth (NH) Cinemagic. While the color of spot-on and vivid in all close-ups, it looked washed out and foggy in the wide-angle shots. It was OK. It was just that the colors did not pop. Looked like it was in low-resolution, but w know that that was not the case.

So, having been foiled on Friday, by a leaky roof at the ‘Regal Concord 10‘, from seeing it on opening night, we went to Portsmouth to see it on Sunday — at the Cinemagic. That is a much nicer cinema — despite my concerns about the color.




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by Anura Guruge

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