Members of the Excise Department have reportedly been travelling to supermarkets and taverns around the city seeking to enforce a previously unenforced law, which prevents the sale of liquor to women.
According to the Nawala Keells branch manager, Camella Balasuriya, two members of the Excise Department had visited the store recently. They had reprimanded the sales attendant at the liquor counter when she attempted to sell alcohol to a lady.
According to the Excise Act, Section 11.2, it is prohibited for a tavern to sell alcohol to personnel in uniform, underage people, people who are under the influence of alcohol, and women.
Balasuriya explained she will have to write a letter to the Excise Department clarifying Keells is not classified as a tavern and as such does not come under this law.
However, Commissioner General of the Excise Department, D.G.M.V. Hapuarachchi, denied any knowledge of such a law. “No, there is no law preventing the sale of liquor to women. If an establishment wishes to do so, they may do so at their own discretion.”
When asked about the alleged actions of the excise officers, he responded he would investigate the claims.
By Dinouk Colombage