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Our Common Heritage One country – one land – one people



By Ashley de Vos

(Continued from yesterday’s Midweek Review)

It was King Senerath the Sinhala King, in the 16th C, who transported 4,000 followers of Islam from the west coast and settled them on the east coast to save them from being routed, eliminated and even annihilated by the aggressive Portuguese. The east coast Muslims share this common ancestry. The assimilation into the general cultural matrix has been stifled by a ghetto mentality that grew out of a mindset where the women felt more secure in a ghetto, while the men were out trading. This is clearly seen in Katankudi and other such areas in the coastal zone.

Five Portuguese who wished to settle in the island free from Dutch discrimination, approached the Sinhala King and requested protection from the Dutch. There were Catholic priests in the Kandy court, who helped the King to correspond with the King of Portugal in the Portuguese language, and hence access was easy. The benevolent King invited these ex- soldiers and gave them a presumably disused Buddhist monastery to settle in. Their offspring who settled in the surrounding lands are proud of this ancestry. The Siripathula votive slab from the earliest Anuradhapura period that belonged to this early monastery, was still there at the site, when it was visited in late 2005. This area referred to as Wahakotte is today a major pilgrim destination for the Catholic community.

During the British colonial occupation of the island and into independence, those inhabiting the coastal areas of the country, who had already cohabited closely with the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, had favoured access to the ownership of lands. They felt superior on learnt caste lines, and were soon encouraged to participate in new professions. Their children had easy access to an English education, facilitated by a group of committed Christian Missionaries. This helped them to gain ready admission to the prestigious British universities and professions and in turn, to corner all the prized jobs offered by the British administration.

Those who benefitted from a missionary education, even from the north of the island moved to the metropolis Colombo in search of their fortunes. They built palatial dwellings, many from the north even married Sinhala women and relegated Jaffna that far off place, as a resting place to keep their older relations. The journey to Jaffna became less frequent.

If this is one country, every citizen has the right to live and work wherever they wish, and this has been amply demonstrated in the past. Sri Lankans should be afforded the privilege to live, work and purchase property wherever they decide even if it means enacting special legislation to facilitate this process. Why the special privilege only for some?

J.T Ratnam states that “some of the wealthiest Tamils came from Manipay. Most of them left their palatial buildings untenanted or in charge of some poor relation in order to reside and work in the metropolis. They returned home finally only in their old age, this was the rule.” (Jane Russell). Most professionals from the north, totally neglected Jaffna and instead concentrated all personal development on Colombo and other centres that were conducive to their chosen line of work. Prompting R.W. Crossette-Thambiah to record that “it was the Tamils living in Colombo who had the money and the prestige to become leaders in Jaffna” (Jane Russell). Many were reinforced by dowry wealth infused by the Malaysian pensioners.

These professionals who left the north to settle in the south should take some responsibility for all that happened in the north in the past 70 years. In fact, the later youth uprising was against the severe communal caste based hierarchy, disorientation and governed by an acquired strong caste difference that was forcibly perpetrated in the north. According to Jaffna Superintendent of Police, R. Sundaralingam, it was controlled by a neo-colonial Vellahla elite. In the Maviddapuram Temple dispute it included, even at times, beating of the lower castes with heavy Palmyra walking sticks, on any attempt to enter the controlled temple premises.

One always believed that the Gods had a widespread benevolence to encompass all groups of people, irrespective of status in life, but it seems that man has changed the paradigm to suit his own narrow desires.

Having enjoyed the benefits that an English education offered them, the English educated population remained silent when the larger Sinhala population was kept down for centuries by the three colonial powers, even castigated by the newly elevated caste groups in the south, who owned lands. They enjoyed all the perks that fell off the colonial table. As many of these people were far removed from their roots, they joined in the protest, when this large silent population was given a voice.

Those who criticised the new voice were mostly those who had enjoyed a privileged English education. Another marginalised group who may or may not have enjoyed the interlude, felt cheated; they left for greener pastures to Australia, the UK and Canada. Unfortunately, this generation continues to live in a time warp centred on the 1960s, craving for the good times and feeding on the special food types they had grown up with.

The same criticism is still flaunted as the reason for the plight Sri Lanka finds itself in today although many fingers could point in many directions. Many successful countries who had and still have a pride in their own heritage and culture have survived; they learned their mother tongue well and learned the colonial tongue later in life to become world leaders in their chosen fields.

What happened in Sri Lanka? The “Kaduwa” is nothing but the affluent English speakers laughing at the down trodden majority if they were to make a mistake in the use of the colonial foreign language.

Tourism has created a new generation that is able to converse in many foreign languages; they learnt the language with the help of the tourists who corrected them if they made mistakes, and they were never ridiculed or laughed at. Whether to sing alternate verses of the national anthem, or the whole in two languages, is not a great debate.

Sri Lanka has a flag, the only one in the world that celebrates pronounced ethnic division, a precise notification with a late beginning. Should we not change and go back to the flag originally hoisted at independence, this especially, as we all share a common heritage.

Much is discussed about the persons who have disappeared during the war, this recurrent issue, this wound, is kept ever festered, by generous NGO funding and is used as a clarion call to win sympathy especially when foreign dignitaries surreptitiously or otherwise visit the North of the island. Except for this controlled group, nothing is heard of the many more Tamil politicians, civil officers, lecturers, teachers, ordinary citizens and the hundreds of Tamil youth who were eliminated by the LTTE in the north, where is the regress for them? They have mothers as well?

Less is heard of the 800 or 900 policemen who were forced by the leadership of the day to surrender to the LTTE. They all vanished into thin air, a trick Houdini would have given an arm and a leg to learn. The 1,000 odd IPKF soldiers who were killed; where are their bodies? An IPKF battalion that went astray and never came back; the 5,000 odd Sri Lankan soldiers are still missing. The hundreds who were eliminated in the “border” villages, in the North Central Province, on roads, in buses, in the numerous bomb blasts. My friend, the charismatic Cedric Martinstyne, where is he, who was responsible?

The thousands of young men and women went missing in 1971 and the thousands of young men and women tortured and burnt on the roadside in 1988 – 89. They were all human; they had families, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, and some even had children. Why is no one talking about them? Is it only fashionable to follow the International NGO gravy train?

The solution for facilitating and encouraging the sustainable development of a common heritage as a single country is simply to legislate and ban, and remove politicians or parties that survive on highlighting ethnicity, hatred and religious bias from the equation and instead introduce a new breed of specially identified benevolent technocrats chosen for their capability. Certainly not chosen from a group that has volunteered on the basis that they think, yes, they arrogantly think, they have the solutions to all the problems the country is faced with.

This will only lead to disaster, for a benevolent leadership.

The technocrats should be chosen after a careful and diligent head hunt to identify the most suitable and proven individual who is not only capable but also cares for and has a commitment to this country first. With a willingness to give all up to deliberate and run the engines of this country as patriots. But beware the arrogance of these espiocrats. They may need further education and training at a staff college on a holistic vision on where Sri Lanka would like to be in fifty years in the future.

Those representing Sri Lanka at the world stage should be focussed, well briefed, brave enough to stand tall and committed to the wellbeing of the country only, first, and should not be made up of the agenda driven dealers who are willing to compromise to be in the good books of foreigners with devious plans or to satisfy their personal ends: there are many such individuals around. These chosen technocrats with special abilities should be carefully nurtured. Running Sri Lanka, a country of twenty million, is not an insurmountable task; it requires honesty, discipline and commitment only. Across the pond, Mumbai is a city state of eighteen million run by a mayor and a council.

Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka, there are too many incongruous layers of superfluous repetition and astronomical cost escalation to satisfy mediocracy with their never ending assiduous demands and perks. It has now become a livelihood worth killing for. Much of it forced on us by the 13th Amendment, purposely introduced by India. The cunning “Big Brother Gift”, knowing full well that if implemented, Sri Lanka would never ever recover. This would always remain to the advantage of the hegemony of the subcontinent. We have witnessed the repercussions. This is where most of the support for the corruption stems from.

In the historical period, the kings did not administer the people; the village heads did and their word was respected and obeyed. No one from outside decided for the village. The responsibility of the king lay with ensuring that the unique irrigation system was protected and enhanced, secondly, there was protection for Buddhism, respect for other people and their beliefs, the continuation of the natural Sinhalisation process and most importantly, it was to ensure, the security of the people and the country from foreign invasions.

Kings who had an interest in Ayurveda planted the Aralu, Bulu, Nelli forests in the hope that someone, someday, may benefit from them. Our new guardians and extended families instead enjoy cutting the forests for personal gains, thereby, threatening the future water security of the whole nation and the biodiversity in the forests.

The holistic security of a country should always be decided only by the local security experts concerned, not by selfish emotional considerations by a group in a district, or by foreign “experts”. The security of a nation requires careful study and strategic understanding of the possible threats and with major contributions by the three forces charged with securing the country from illegal immigration and any other internal or external threats.

While there may be an argument that war technology has changed and that it calls for restricting the location of camps. The locations of the camps, even if it meant acquiring land, should be done according to a carefully studied, but strict pattern that suits the country concerned and not to suit “External War Consultants”. There are examples of a thousand bases placed by waring nations around the world in locations far removed from the countries concerned. Some through invitation, some located by way of war booty. All of them follow a single pattern.

Sri Lanka should avoid falling into providing a ready gateway to such a pattern. It should also stay away from agreeing to draconian treaties and agreements like the MCC and other related documents on the cheap, at totally discounted rates, only $90 Million a year for five years, permitting unlimited access to the use of the country under their own terms and rules. Sri Lanka is not for sale. What is implied in these documents are detrimental to the generations to come and would be regarded by them as acts of treason against an innocent people.

We the people need guidance by example; we don’t require a supercilious individual to tell us what to do, especially to interfere with the natural action of reconciliation and interaction, of coming together again, a progression that is usually built on mutual trust, an activity that the self-centred politician wilfully and constantly interfere with. From earliest times Buddhists and Hindus shared a common understanding,; this was to concretise in the 14th C after King Bhuvanakabahu introduced the shrine of God Vishnu as the protector of Buddhism into the temple complex.

Today, every Buddhist temple has a Vishnu shrine incorporated at the entrance, in a mutual respect for all. Unfortunately, fundamental Hinduism is raising its head for the first time on the island in the guise of the “Ramayana Trails” that was commenced by a desperate and irresponsible tourism industry. Will it lead to the building of a myriad of new shrines to Hindu Gods and Goddesses to commemorate events in fictitious locations is to be seen. A development that will host fundamental Hinduism, a progression this island could do without.

The people of this island, as a group of intelligent, enlightened humans, are capable of eliminating the years of induced suspicion that has been created by these self-centred politicians. The people can and will sort it out. These politicians should be kept away as they are more of an irritant, a hindrance to real reconciliation and a selfish, destructive element in nation building.

The unnatural rush, corona or no corona, to submit nominations for a future election, shows the unusual zeal in the rush to collect the spoils. Thereafter most applicants went into hibernation, to hell with the constituents. This is sensed, suffered and remarked on by the long suffering farming community who commented that they saw the people’s representatives only just before an election. These farmers should be trusted and looked after. Instead they are forced to sit on heaps of rotting vegetables and face the unscrupulous money lenders, head on.

Eventually, it is a scientific approach to agriculture that will save this country, not urbanisation and its proliferation of partner industry. If you don’t have markets, you cannot eat the products your industry will roll off the production line. But as proved by “Coronavirus” vegetables and fruit, you can.

Let reconciliation happen the way it should, a slow but sure natural process. As Sri Lanka moves forward, she deserves to be free of worthless heavy shackles. Let’s relegate them to the trash heap of history.


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Islamophobia and the threat to democratic development



There’s an ill more dangerous and pervasive than the Coronavirus that’s currently sweeping Sri Lanka. That is the fear to express one’s convictions. Across the public sector of the country in particular many persons holding high office are stringently regulating and controlling the voices of their consciences and this bodes ill for all and the country.

The corrupting impact of fear was discussed in this column a couple of weeks ago when dealing with the military coup in Myanmar. It stands to the enduring credit of ousted Myanmarese Head of Government Aung San Suu Kyi that she, perhaps for the first time in the history of modern political thought, singled out fear, and not power, as the principal cause of corruption within the individual; powerful or otherwise.

To be sure, power corrupts but the corrupting impact of fear is graver and more devastating. For instance, the fear in a person holding ministerial office or in a senior public sector official, that he would lose position and power as a result of speaking out his convictions and sincere beliefs on matters of the first importance, would lead to a country’s ills going unaddressed and uncorrected.

Besides, the individual concerned would be devaluing himself in the eyes of all irrevocably and revealing himself to be a person who would be willing to compromise his moral integrity for petty worldly gain or a ‘mess of pottage’. This happens all the while in Lankan public life. Some of those who have wielded and are wielding immense power in Sri Lanka leave very much to be desired from these standards.

It could be said that fear has prevented Sri Lanka from growing in every vital respect over the decades and has earned for itself the notoriety of being a directionless country.

All these ills and more are contained in the current controversy in Sri Lanka over the disposal of the bodies of Covid victims, for example. The Sri Lankan polity has no choice but to abide by scientific advice on this question. Since authorities of the standing of even the WHO have declared that the burial of the bodies of those dying of Covid could not prove to be injurious to the wider public, the Sri Lankan health authorities could go ahead and sanction the burying of the bodies concerned. What’s preventing the local authorities from taking this course since they claim to be on the side of science? Who or what are they fearing? This is the issue that’s crying out to be probed and answered.

Considering the need for absolute truthfulness and honesty on the part of all relevant persons and quarters in matters such as these, the latter have no choice but to resign from their positions if they are prevented from following the dictates of their consciences. If they are firmly convinced that burials could bring no harm, they are obliged to take up the position that burials should be allowed.

If any ‘higher authority’ is preventing them from allowing burials, our ministers and officials are conscience-bound to renounce their positions in protest, rather than behave compromisingly and engage in ‘double think’ and ‘double talk’. By adopting the latter course they are helping none but keeping the country in a state of chronic uncertainty, which is a handy recipe for social instabiliy and division.

In the Sri Lankan context, the failure on the part of the quarters that matter to follow scientific advice on the burials question could result in the aggravation of Islamophobia, or hatred of the practitioners of Islam, in the country. Sri Lanka could do without this latter phobia and hatred on account of its implications for national stability and development. The 30 year war against separatist forces was all about the prevention by military means of ‘nation-breaking’. The disastrous results for Sri Lanka from this war are continuing to weigh it down and are part of the international offensive against Sri Lanka in the UNHCR.

However, Islamophobia is an almost world wide phenomenon. It was greatly strengthened during Donald Trump’s presidential tenure in the US. While in office Trump resorted to the divisive ruling strategy of quite a few populist authoritarian rulers of the South. Essentially, the manoeuvre is to divide and rule by pandering to the racial prejudices of majority communities.

It has happened continually in Sri Lanka. In the initial post-independence years and for several decades after, it was a case of some populist politicians of the South whipping-up anti-Tamil sentiments. Some Tamil politicians did likewise in respect of the majority community. No doubt, both such quarters have done Sri Lanka immeasurable harm. By failing to follow scientific advice on the burial question and by not doing what is right, Sri Lanka’s current authorities are opening themselves to the charge that they are pandering to religious extremists among the majority community.

The murderous, destructive course of action adopted by some extremist sections among Muslim communities world wide, including of course Sri Lanka, has not earned the condemnation it deserves from moderate Muslims who make-up the preponderant majority in the Muslim community. It is up to moderate opinion in the latter collectivity to come out more strongly and persuasively against religious extremists in their midst. It will prove to have a cementing and unifying impact among communities.

It is not sufficiently appreciated by governments in the global South in particular that by voicing for religious and racial unity and by working consistently towards it, they would be strengthening democratic development, which is an essential condition for a country’s growth in all senses.

A ‘divided house’ is doomed to fall; this is the lesson of history. ‘National security’ cannot be had without human security and peaceful living among communities is central to the latter. There cannot be any ‘double talk’ or ‘politically correct’ opinions on this question. Truth and falsehood are the only valid categories of thought and speech.

Those in authority everywhere claiming to be democratic need to adopt a scientific outlook on this issue as well. Studies conducted on plural societies in South Asia, for example, reveal that the promotion of friendly, cordial ties among communities invariably brings about healing among estranged groups and produces social peace. This is the truth that is waiting to be acted upon.

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Pakistan’s love of Sri Lanka



By Sanjeewa Jayaweera

It was on 3rd January 1972 that our family arrived in Karachi from Moscow. Our departure from Moscow had been delayed for a few weeks due to the military confrontation between Pakistan and India. It ended on 16th December 1971. After that, international flights were not permitted for some time.

The contrast between Moscow and Karachi was unbelievable. First and foremost, Moscow’s temperature was near minus 40 degrees centigrade, while in Karachi, it was sunny and a warm 28 degrees centigrade. However, what struck us most was the extreme warmth with which the airport authorities greeted our family. As my father was a diplomat, we were quickly ushered to the airport’s VIP Lounge. We were in transit on our way to Rawalpindi, the airport serving the capital of Islamabad.

We quickly realized that the word “we are from Sri Lanka” opened all doors just as saying “open sesame” gained entry to Aladdin’s cave! The broad smile, extreme courtesy, and genuine warmth we received from the Pakistani people were unbelievable.

This was all to do with Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike’s decision to allow Pakistani aircraft to land in Colombo to refuel on the way to Dhaka in East Pakistan during the military confrontation between Pakistan and India. It was a brave decision by Mrs Bandaranaike (Mrs B), and the successive governments and Sri Lanka people are still enjoying the fruits of it. Pakistan has been a steadfast and loyal supporter of our country. They have come to our assistance time and again in times of great need when many have turned their back on us. They have indeed been an “all-weather” friend of our country.

Getting back to 1972, I was an early beneficiary of Pakistani people’s love for Sri Lankans. I failed the entrance exam to gain entry to the only English medium school in Islamabad! However, when I met the Principal, along with my father, he said, “Sanjeewa, although you failed the entrance exam, I will this time make an exception as Sri Lankans are our dear friends.” After that, the joke around the family dinner table was that I owed my education in Pakistan to Mrs B!

At school, my brother and I were extended a warm welcome and always greeted “our good friends from Sri Lanka.” I felt when playing cricket for our college; our runs were cheered more loudly than of others.

One particular incident that I remember well was when the Embassy received a telex from the Foreign inistry. It requested that our High Commissioner seek an immediate meeting with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Zulifikar Ali Bhutto (ZB), and convey a message from Mrs B. The message requested that an urgent shipment of rice be dispatched to Sri Lanka as there would be an imminent rice shortage. As the Ambassador was not in the station, the responsibility devolved on my father.

It usually takes about a week or more to get an audience with the Prime Minister (PM) of a foreign country due to their busy schedule. However, given the urgency, my father spoke to the Foreign Ministry’s Permanent Sectary, who fortunately was our neighbour and sought an urgent appointment. My father received a call from the PM’s secretary around 10 P.M asking him to come over to the PM’s residence. My father met ZB around midnight. ZB was about to retire to bed and, as such, was in his pyjamas and gown enjoying a cigar! He had greeted my father and had asked, “Mr Jayaweera, what can we do for great friend Madam Bandaranaike?. My father conveyed the message from Colombo and quietly mentioned that there would be riots in the country if there is no rice!

ZB had immediately got the Food Commissioner of Pakistan on the line and said, “I want a shipload of rice to be in Colombo within the next 72 hours!” The Food Commissioner reverted within a few minutes, saying that nothing was available and the last export shipment had left the port only a few hours ago to another country. ZB had instructed to turn the ship around and send it to Colombo. This despite protests from the Food Commissioner about terms and conditions of the Letter of Credit prohibiting non-delivery. Sri Lanka got its delivery of rice!

The next was the visit of Mrs B to Pakistan. On arrival in Rawalpindi airport, she was given a hero’s welcome, which Pakistan had previously only offered to President Gaddafi of Libya, who financially backed Pakistan with his oil money. That day, I missed school and accompanied my parents to the airport. On our way, we witnessed thousands of people had gathered by the roadside to welcome Mrs B.

When we walked to the airport’s tarmac, thousands of people were standing in temporary stands waving Sri Lanka and Pakistan flags and chanting “Sri Lanka Pakistan Zindabad.” The noise emanating from the crowd was as loud and passionate as the cheering that the Pakistani cricket team received during a test match. It was electric!

I believe she was only the second head of state given the privilege of addressing both assemblies of Parliament. The other being Gaddafi. There was genuine affection from Mrs B amongst the people of Pakistan.

I always remember the indefatigable efforts of Mr Abdul Haffez Kardar, a cabinet minister and the President of the Pakistan Cricket Board. From around 1973 onwards, he passionately championed Sri Lanka’s cause to be admitted as a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and granted test status. Every year, he would propose at the ICC’s annual meeting, but England and Australia’s veto kept us out until 1981.

I always felt that our Cricket Board made a mistake by not inviting Pakistan to play our inaugural test match. We should have appreciated Mr Kardar and Pakistan’s efforts. In 1974 the Pakistan board invited our team for a tour involving three test matches and a few first-class games. Most of those who played in our first test match was part of that tour, and no doubt gained significant exposure playing against a highly talented Pakistani team.

Several Pakistani greats were part of the Pakistan and India team that played a match soon after the Central Bank bomb in Colombo to prove that it was safe to play cricket in Colombo. It was a magnificent gesture by both Pakistan and India. Our greatest cricket triumph was in Pakistan when we won the World Cup in 1996. I am sure the players and those who watched the match on TV will remember the passionate support our team received that night from the Pakistani crowd. It was like playing at home!

I also recall reading about how the Pakistani government air freighted several Multi Barrell artillery guns and ammunition to Sri Lanka when the A rmy camp in Jaffna was under severe threat from the LTTE. This was even more important than the shipload of rice that ZB sent. This was crucial as most other countries refused to sell arms to our country during the war.

Time and again, Pakistan has steadfastly supported our country’s cause at the UNHCR. No doubt this year, too, their diplomats will work tirelessly to assist our country.

We extend a warm welcome to Mr Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan. He is a truly inspirational individual who was undoubtedly an excellent cricketer. Since retirement from cricket, he has decided to get involved in politics, and after several years of patiently building up his support base, he won the last parliamentary elections. I hope that just as much as he galvanized Sri Lankan cricketers, his political journey would act as a catalyst for people like Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene to get involved in politics. Cricket has been called a “gentleman’s game.” Whilst politics is far from it!.

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Covid-19 health rules disregarded at entertainment venues?



Believe me, seeing certain videos, on social media, depicting action, on the dance floor, at some of these entertainment venues, got me wondering whether this Coronavirus pandemic is REAL!

To those having a good time, at these particular venues, and, I guess, the management, as well, what the world is experiencing now doesn’t seem to be their concerned.

Obviously, such irresponsible behaviour could create more problems for those who are battling to halt the spread of Covid-19, and the new viriant of Covid, in our part of the world.

The videos, on display, on social media, show certain venues, packed to capacity – with hardly anyone wearing a mask, and social distancing…only a dream..

How can one think of social distancing while gyrating, on a dance floor, that is over crowded!

If this trend continues, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Coronavirus makes its presence felt…at such venues.

And, then, what happens to the entertainment scene, and those involved in this field, especially the musicians? No work, whatsoever!

Lots of countries have closed nightclubs, and venues, where people gather, in order to curtail the spread of this deadly virus that has already claimed the lives of thousands.

Thailand did it and the country is still having lots of restrictions, where entertainment is concerned, and that is probably the reason why Thailand has been able to control the spread of the Coronavirus.

With a population of over 69 million, they have had (so far), a little over 25,000 cases, and 83 deaths, while we, with a population of around 21 million, have over 80,000 cases, and more than 450 deaths.

I’m not saying we should do away with entertainment – totally – but we need to follow a format, connected with the ‘new normal,’ where masks and social distancing are mandatory requirements at these venues. And, dancing, I believe, should be banned, at least temporarily, as one can’t maintain the required social distance, while on the dance floor, especially after drinks.

Police spokesman DIG Ajith Rohana keeps emphasising, on TV, radio, and in the newspapers, the need to adhere to the health regulations, now in force, and that those who fail to do so would be penalised.

He has also stated that plainclothes officers would move around to apprehend such offenders.

Perhaps, he should instruct his officers to pay surprise visits to some of these entertainment venues.

He would certainly have more than a bus load of offenders to be whisked off for PCR/Rapid Antigen tests!

I need to quote what Dr. H.T. Wickremasinghe said in his article, published in The Island of Tuesday, February 16th, 2021:

“…let me conclude, while emphasising the need to continue our general public health measures, such as wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding crowded gatherings, to reduce the risk of contact with an infected person.

“There is no science to beat common sense.”

But…do some of our folks have this thing called COMMON SENSE!

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