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* Kelaniya liquor sales remain halted following Minister's orders
Tue, Apr 20, 2010, 12:23 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 19, Colombo: Thirty seven licensed liquor establishments remain closed in Kelaniya electorate in Sri Lanka due to an order imposed by ruling party Minister Mervyn Silva.

The closed establishments include liquor outlets in super markets, beer gardens, bars in restaurants and licensed liquor shops.

The shops were closed due to a public announcement made by the ruling party Minister imposing an unofficial ban on liquor sales. The announcement was made via loudspeakers on April 16.

Speaking to the Ada Derana today the Minister said he made a request not an order to close the liquor shops considering the ill effects of alcohol on the families of the consumers. He said he is more concerned about the human rights of the family members not of the liquor shop owners or the drinkers.

The liquor shop owners say that around 100 persons are likely to lose jobs in addition to the loss of revenue to the government due to this situation and they urge the government to mediate immediately to prevent the unofficial ban disrupting normalcy in the area.

Reportedly the Excise General Wasantha Hapuarachchi is due to discuss the local ban with the Presidential Secretariat and the Finance Ministry today.

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