Sri Lanka President bans beer ads

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 02 March 2004, 18:01 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s President Chandrika Kumaratunga Tuesday banned all beer ads in state media which are under her control, according to a press note from her office Tuesday evening. The ban was imposed after several representations had been made to her by religious organisations regarding the deleterious effects of the beer ads, particularly on TV during international cricket matches played in Sri Lanka.

Sinhala Buddhist nationalist groups have been agitating in recent months against what they call excessive western cultural influence in Sri Lanka.

A concerted campaign by them last month discouraged Valentine’s Day expressions in the city. President Chandrika and her Marxist ally, the JVP, blame Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government for letting “unbridled western decadence pollute” Sinhala Buddhist culture.

"The ban on beer ads has been declared with an eye on the Sinhala Buddhist vote," said a columnist for a Sinhala political weekly.


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