New Year’s Eve celebrations at hotels and restaurants this year will be a ‘dry’ affair as Duruthu Full Moon Poya falls on December 31,which prohibits the purchase and consumption of alcohol in public places.
According to the Commissioner of Revenue and the Acting Commissioner General at the Excise Department, L.K.G. Gunawardena, hotels and restaurants will not be allowed to serve alcohol to their customers.
“Alcohol is prohibited on Poya days,” Mr. Gunawardena told the Sunday Times FT. “Restaurants cannot serve alcohol to their customers until midnight which is January 1, 2010.”
Mr. Gunawardena added that there have been no hotels or restaurants that have requested for special licences to serve alcohol to guests on that day.
Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism George Michael also told the Sunday Times FT this week that there have been no worries from the hotel side. “There have been no inquires so far from the hotels to take up the matter with the Excise Department,” he said.
When contacted about New Year’s Eve events at hotels, several five star establishments said plans are being drawn up for parties at their restaurants but that alcohol can only be served after midnight. (NG)