Alcohol abuse is a major problem in Sri Lanka. Alcohol policies cannot be based on religious views, political expediency or tax revenue. Pitfalls in following policies followed in developed societies without regard to the local conditions abound. A sufficient body of evidence based knowledge exists today in the medical literature to help formulate a rational alcohol policy that suits Sri Lanka. The public and private sector agencies along with the medical profession should play an active role in formulating and enacting such a policy. The need to promote local research into alcohol related problems is also emphasized.