Was there a Direct Link between Spread of Alcohol Intake and Violence during British Colonial Period in Sri Lanka An Analysis Based on Poetry Written in the 19th Century in Sri Lanka

Olaganwatte Chandasiri Thera


Campaign to spread the use of alcohol was seen by the Colonial rulers as thepath to enrichment, who strove to popularize it at every opportunity. This approachresulted in increasing number of workers wanting more and more alcohol to drink. Theprofit from these ventures enriched a section of the indigenous population. Whilstfleecing the last penny seemed to be the foundation on which the colonials based theireconomic policy. As was traditional amongst the colonial elite, alcohol, beer and thesubstances were served at celebratory functions. Some groups in society and socialworkers were opposed to the increasing use of alcohol amongst the populat ion andmade public protests. The government however, saw this as a source of increasedrevenue. Spread in popularity of alcohol would lead steadily to disastrous socialconsequences. The objective of the study is to find whether there is a straight linkbetween alcoholism and violence and to prove that, for this research primary andsecondary sources have been used from original booklets written on the subject in SriLankan Museum Library, National Archives in Sri Lanka and London British library.Data analysis and the other information collected revealed that there was a direct linkbetween expansion in alcohol use and violence, which led to a radical change in society.

Key words: Alcohol, Violence, Printing, poet


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