Nationwide, liquor sales have increased by 7-8% this year. This is probably a good thing.
This is not to say that booze is a good thing, or that boozing is. The Buddha says all things in moderation, but I’ve never been able to not fuck that one up. Outside any Sri Lankan school they paint murals and a classic one is booze destroying families. So why is increasing liquor sales a good thing?
“Sales of hard liquor and beer have increased by about 7-8 percent in 2011 compared with 2010, although exact figures are not yet available,” he told a news conference.
“The main reasons for the increased consumption are the re-opening of the markets in the north-east, more tourist arrivals and lower illicit alcohol consumption.”(Excise Commissioner, via LBO)
The reasons for increased sales are all good. I remember eating roti at the Medavachchiya checkpoint and seeing a Distilleries lorry go through, right after the war ended. The North and East have entered the normal Sri Lankan market, which is great. More tourists, also good, and reduced illicit alcohol consumption (kasippu) is very very good.
Kasippu consumption is more common than any other alcohol, and much more destructive. If that’s dropping and more people are getting on the legal grid, all the better.
Alcohol is a mixed bag. The downsides of alcohol (violence, bad sexuality) are actually more culturally mediated than inherent in the drug. One fact is that people like it and do it and so, God willing with moderation. The best news in these growth figures is if kasippu consumption is dropping on the other end, bringing Sri Lankan alcohol consumption into a legal and manageable culture.