Sri Lanka lifts, then reimposes women alcohol ban

Sri Lanka reimposed a law banning the selling of alcohol to women and preventing them from working in liquor stores on Monday – just days after it was lifted. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera revoked the 1979 ban last week. The return of the ban was announced by President Maithripala Sirisena at an election rally on Sunday. The government’s main coalition partners, the center-left Sri Lanka Freedom Party and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s center-right United National Party, are campaigning for long-delayed local elections. The ban was lifted after repeated requests from the tourism industry to extend bar hours and allow female tourists to buy alcohol, according to officials at the Finance Ministry. The move was criticized by opposition parliamentarians who said it would damage Sri Lanka’s Buddhist values.