Friday, June 29, 2007


I have simply been shocked at the extent of alcohol abuse by males in Sri Lankan villages. People in my village are often seen quite inebriated after 5 pm. Their wives suffer mental and physical abuse, their children are malnourished, as their fathers spend their income on drink.

I have rarely seen this matter addressed in the media or by the politicians as it almost seems to be a taboo subject. The general impression is that there is nothing that can be done about it. This is simply unacceptable as the society does not discourage alcoholism and the young people are simply shown the way by the elders.

Only volunteers try to do something about it but their efforts are insignificant to tackle such a big issue. A Buddhist country that closes taverns and bars on Poya days is still unable to prevent a greater level of consumption on that day. So laws are not the answer, some serious soul searching and a real plan to encourage abstinence, supported by the temple is the answer. The social costs are too great to ignore and this cannot be left to a later a date.

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