by Gamini Seneviratne
Over 50 years ago in the aftermath of what is miscalled a six-day “war” through which the heavily armed Israeli armed forces slaughtered tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians and appropriated vast tracts of their land, I wrote “Draft for a Lyrical Ballad” (1968) part of which is given below. It was also a period marked by Robert Kennedy’s battles against Lyndon Johnson and the assassination of that Kennedy as well. It also refers to the twin agitations that shake the world and confront the West today.
America, you’re like me, a tired balloon
Looking up into the sky
On a clear, cold night
Waiting for all human sounds to die.
With the unremitting aid of the principal war mongers on this planet, the USA, Israel has acquired and used against unarmed people a whole array of the most obscene weaponry developed by Man (the caps serves to distinguish that entity from humankind)
In his essay of December 26, 2009, (Information Clearing House) “And What Rough Beast Slouches Towards Gaza? Operation Cast Lead and the Dismembering of a People”, Vincent Di Stefano places before the world some particulars of Israel’s criminal attacks on the people of Palestine. A few particulars follow:
Twelwe years ago Israel already had 180,000 heavily armed regular troops in their “defence” forces, 140,000 conscripts, 4,300 impenetrable Merkava battle tanks, 10,000 light tanks and armoured cars, 500 missile-laden fighter jets, 1,340 helicopters, three submarines, three destroyers and smaller warships. And the full might of Israeli military force was projected into the tiny space of Gaza during the three-week period from December 27, 2008 to January 18, 2009. (Further details of what the so-called Israeli-Arab ‘wars’ have meant for the people of Palestine were included in my note of 2006 that follows below).
And right now in the midst of (or, perish the thought, in support of?) the carnage being visited on the Palestinians, US President Biden has offered them over $700 million worth of military hardware. Oh, and yes, he has also offered via USAID, a sum of $ 10 million to Palestine. To be channeled through Israel. Naturally. Biden, in whom people located hopes for humanitarian governance has, after all, done no more than confirm that America has no shame.
Let us look at what the engagement of the rulers of America (its military-industrial coalition) with Israel translates into. In February 2009, investigative journalist Conn Hallinan was to describe Gaza as “Death’s Laboratory.” Israel’s new weapons had caused injuries never before seen in the hospitals of Gaza. Many of these were the result of the widespread use of a new class of weapons called Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME). These were initially developed by the US Air Force and scientists from the University of California’s Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in 2000.
DIME weapons consist of a high explosive core around which is wrapped powdered tungsten alloy in a carbon fibre container. On detonation, the tungsten sprays out explosively over a ten-meter radius shredding everything in its field. The resultant injuries are truly shocking. Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert commented: “The muscles are sort of split from the bones, hanging loose, and you also have quite severe burns. . . . Those inside the perimeter of this weapon’s power zone will be torn completely apart. We have seen numerous amputations that we suspect have been caused by this.”
Here follows my note of 15 years ago on The Holocaust in Palestine.
In his Foreword to “The Little Drummer Girl”, John Le Carre reports that in Israel he was repeatedly assured that the “Palestinians are not a people.” What were they then? “A leftover rabble of peasants and layabouts whose only task for two thousand years was to keep the Jewish homeland ticking over until its rightful owners returned.”
That such was far from being the case may be gathered from the following: These are the words of the best-known British explorer of Arabia, Wilfred Thesiger. He was writing in the 1940s, around the time the Zionist ‘state’ was being set up: “I went to the ‘Empty Quarter’ with a belief in my own racial superiority, but in their tents I felt like an uncouth, inarticulate barbarian, an intruder from a shoddy and materialistic world”. How many in the White House, the State Department, the US Congress would understand such words, grasp such realities?
In a thumbnail account of how Israel has acted in that enterprise in the 1970s, Le Carre writes, “Israeli jets bombed the crowded Palestinian quarter in Beirut on the pretext that it was intended ‘to destroy the leadership’, – “though there were no leaders at all among the several hundred dead, unless, of course, there were future leaders among the many children killed.”
They obviously feel that they can get away with this savage treatment of the inhabitants of Palestine in their own land. Israel, in short, is a rogue state built on a violent process of encroachment into Palestine. ‘Legitimacy’ for its operations is traced to a sanction received from yet other intruders: the British and the French. One must begin the story of Israel with a look at the legitimacy of those who ‘sanctioned’ its creation. The so-called ‘Balfour Declaration’ (the caps there, some may think, give it some kind of legality) was no more than a personal letter of one paragraph from Balfour to his friend and creditor, Rothschild.
The most generous account by a Lankan of the Jewish intrusion into Palestine, now a totally unbridled invasion, was published 70 years ago in the ‘Ceylon Daily News’ by its Editor-in-Chief, H A J Hulugalle, an experienced and even-handed commentator. The substance of his report was that “The Jews of the world are concentrating on the gradual buying up of Palestine”. One such purchase, of 16,000 acres of a swamp that yields the water for agriculture in the Huleh valley, was made despite the protests of the Palestinians. It was bought for 200,000 English pounds off a young ‘absentee landlord’ domiciled in Syria, whose interest in the land was not in his fellow Arabs but in the waterfowl for his table. The ‘compromise’ imposed by the British occupiers of Palestine required the Jews to drain the land and render it malaria free; ‘in return’, the Palestinians were to have their land reduced by two-thirds of it! Those were relatively early days.
When Jewish immigration began in earnest in the late 19th century, (long before ‘the holocaust’ they keep talking about), there were only about 15,000 Jews in Palestine. In 1893 the Arabs comprised roughly 95 percent of the population. Even when Israel was founded, over fifty years later, Jews were only about 35 percent of Palestine’s population and owned seven percent of the land. ‘The Palestinian Problem’ today, as it has been for many decades, is that the Jews want as much of the land as they can lay their hands on, the ports, the sites sacred to Christianity and Islam – plus, of course, ALL the water that over the centuries had sustained the people of Palestine and Jordan.
Ben-Gurion wrote in 1941 that “It is impossible to imagine general evacuation [of the Arab population] without compulsion, and brutal compulsion.” In 1947-48, when Jewish forces drove up to 700,000 Palestinians into exile, Ben-Gurion had told Nahum Goldmann, president of the World Jewish Congress, “If I were an Arab leader I would never make terms with Israel. That is natural: we have taken their country. . . . We come from Israel, but two thousand years ago, and what is that to them? There has been anti-Semitism, the Nazis, Hitler, Auschwitz, but was that their fault? They only see one thing: we have come here and stolen their country. Why should they accept that?”
The current (i.e. in 2006) Zionist leader, Ehud Olmert, came to power on an explicit promise to unilaterally set Israel’s “permanent borders”. The ‘package’ that he took to Washington included, in return for $10 billion he asked for (and received), a plan for the Zionists to withdraw from many smaller settlements – at least 17 in the first phase – in the West Bank and move most of the people in them to larger blocks that they ‘expect to annex’. The man also made it clear that “It will be only a civilian disengagement, not a military disengagement,” The Israeli army will remain in the bits of land the settlers are being moved out of.
Let us look, very briefly indeed, that history being so extensive – at just what the Zionists did. What they continue to do, under cover of the government of the USA, and therefore with apparent impunity is a ‘breaking story’ that may soon explode in their collective face.
The creation of Israel in 1947-48 involved explicit acts of ethnic cleansing, including executions, massacres, and rapes by Jews The Israeli Defence Force (IDF) also murdered hundreds of Egyptian prisoners-of-war in both the 1956 and 1967 “wars”. In 1967, it expelled between 100,000 and 260,000 Palestinians from the newly conquered West Bank and drove 80,000 Syrians from the Golan Heights. Following its invasion of Lebanon in 1982 it also directed the massacre of 700 innocent Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. During the First Intifida (1987-1991), the IDF distributed truncheons to its troops and encouraged them to break the bones of Palestinian protestors. The Swedish “Save the Children” organization estimated that “23,600 to 29,900 children required medical treatment for their beating injuries in the first two years of the Intifida,” with nearly one-third sustaining broken bones. The same proportion of the beaten children were aged ten and under.” Israel’s response to the Second Intifida (2000-2005) was even more violent: The IDF fired one million bullets in the first days of the uprising. Future Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir openly argued that, “Neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat”.
After the victory of Hamas, in an open general election, in late January, Israel withheld $50 million a month in Palestinian customs and tax receipts, though it continues to pay Israeli companies $5.5 million a month from those receipts for the water and electricity used by the Palestinians.
Israelis are often touted as being the epitome of bravery (almost on par with George W Bush – seen, once, in dim light on an aircraft carrier hundreds of miles away on his ‘visit to the troops in Iraq’; the George Bush who, for the two days he spent in India and Pakistan, hunkered down, respectively, in a fort off Delhi and in Islamabad in the US Ambassador’s residence, heavily guarded within a vast expanse of streets emptied of people).
What do the Israelis in fact do? Israel is using men who have been conscripted to slaughter the Palestinians. Such men aren’t out there ‘fighting for Israel’s right to exist’. Their heart is not in butchering innocents; – their energies are focused on remaining unhurt themselves, no matter how many innocents they murder. Hence the commanders of the Israeli army are committed to guaranteeing that none of the conscripts will be in danger of injury, much less death.
In “Hiding Behind Civilians’ (New York Times, 22 June, 2006), Haim Watzman, who had served as an Israeli infantry reservist in the West Bank in the 1980’s and 90’s, and authored “Company C: An American’s Life as a Citizen-Soldier in Israel”, wrote, “Soldiers who had to raid a house or patrol a dangerous stretch of road would grab a nearby civilian and place him in front of them. This civilian had no function other than to protect Israeli soldiers.” Though Watzman says that he has “Never met a soldier who thinks armies ought to be able to maim and kill civilians with impunity,” and that “The practice was not a grassroots initiative. It was an army policy, handed down to soldiers by their superior officers,” he also points out that when the Israeli Supreme Court banned the use of such human shields, (just nine months ago), “many in the army felt they had been robbed of a tool that made their jobs safer, and which helped the commanders protect the lives of their soldiers.”(! ! !)
What have the great warriors of Israel put in its place? Bulldozers. Instead of entering a house behind a human shield, Israeli soldiers turn the house into rubble. Watzman concludes: “Morality in combat is not just an abstract principle. It is an element of an army’s strength. If the safety of soldiers becomes the standard according to which an army designs its missions, an army that does not take risks will be easily beaten by an opponent that does. It’s essential for a society to demand that its army observe moral standards, even if the price to be paid is that more soldiers will be killed.” Tell that to Olmert, – who has “vehemently denied that there was any Palestinian “humanitarian crisis”, adding that, “We wouldn’t allow one baby to suffer one night because of a lack of dialysis,” – or tell it to the marines.
Let’s take a look at them ‘in action’. After warplanes knocked out half of Gaza’s electricity and pounded sonic booms over houses, Israeli tanks, hunkered down inside southern Gaza at the airport on Wednesday, (last week) reported the New York Times.
The impact of this, presumably humanitarian assault (which continues as you read this), is that: “Repeated sonic booms are wreaking the havoc they have wrought before: repeated sonic booms are smashing windows, sending children screaming into the arms of terrified adults, old people collapsing with heart failure, pregnant women collapsing with spontaneous abortions. Mass terror, despair, desperate hoarding of food and water. And no radios, television, cell phones, and no way to get news of how long this nightmare might go on.”
That is from Virginia Tilley’s latest report, as are the following.
“As food in the refrigerators spoils, the only remaining food is grains. Most people cook with gas, but with the borders sealed, soon there will be no gas. When family-kitchen propane tanks run out, there will be no cooking. No cooked lentils or beans, no humus, no bread – the staple Palestinian foods, the only food for the poor. (And there is no firewood or coal in dry, overcrowded Gaza.)
“And, a grimmer fact: no water. Gaza’s public water supply is pumped by electricity. The taps, too, are dry. No sewage system. Word is that the electricity is out for at least six months. The Gaza aquifer is already contaminated with sea water and sewage, due to over-pumping (partly by those now-abandoned Israeli settlements) and the grossly inadequate sewage system. To be drinkable, well water is purified through machinery run by electricity. Otherwise, the brackish water must at least be boiled before it can be consumed, but this requires electricity or gas. And people will soon have neither.
“If cholera breaks out, it will spread like wildfire in a population so densely packed and lacking fuel or water for sanitation.” Over a million people, – yes, people like you and me, – are trapped in that Gaza that the Zionists salivate for. “They are hunkered in their homes listening to Israeli shells, while facing the awful prospect, within days or weeks, of having to give toxic water to their children that may consign them to quick but agonizing deaths.”
That is the Israel that has the effrontery to demand its “right to defend itself”.
Form-ation of Higher Education in Sri Lanka
By Hasini Lecamwasam
Improving higher education in Sri Lanka is not only important, but essential and long overdue. However, seeking to achieve higher ‘quality’ by ‘form-ising’ the performance of teachers (or the practice of forcing the entire teaching-learning exercise into forms designed to communicate exactly what and what transpires in a classroom) may not be able to bring about the desired change. A new set of four forms introduced recently to this end requires, among other things, drawing up a minutely detailed plan of each and every lesson to be delivered in class, aligned with the Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs), in turn, to be aligned with the Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs), which should all then be tied to the graduate profile, or the kind of graduate we seek to ‘produce’ at the end of it all. This may, on the surface of it, sound reasonable enough and not encourage serious debate or resistance because, after all, it is only some forms that need to be filled.
Form by tedious form, however, the teaching-learning process at state universities is becoming increasingly constricted, fragmented, monitored, controlled. In this piece, I wish to briefly ponder on the implications of these requirements and the larger trends they signal, while also attempting to reflect on what instead we may do to ensure ‘quality’ in the delivery of higher education.
The problem with form-ation
The larger ‘Quality Assurance’ (QA) landscape in which these developments take place was discussed in detail in an earlier Kuppi Talk by Kaushalya Perera. In a nutshell, QA seeks to standardise education such that study programmes can be assessed against each other, assigned numbers, and ranked accordingly. The deployment of overarching yardsticks for programmes with hugely varying mandates, methods, and content has been the subject of much critique lately the world over, not the least due to its rather warped understanding of ‘quality’ as something that can be objectively established through metrics and audits.
While I do not question the bona fide motives behind the initiative taken with the aforementioned forms, I do think serious reflection on where these developments push us in the longer term is needed. My primary reservation here has to do with the impact of this lesson-wise breakdown on the creative and democratic exercise that the teaching-learning process is supposed to entail. When each topic is broken down into such fine detail prior to the actual occurrence of the ‘lesson’ (for want of a better word), outcomes are foreclosed rather than collectively and organically evolving in the course of the ‘lesson’, which is particularly important to many of the subjects offered in the Arts Faculties. Exactly how many of us are actually quite so democratic in our classrooms is a valid question in this regard, and one I will return to. The point for me here, however, is that for those who do have a sincere commitment to such a democratic classroom environment, such forms and the limiting of the teaching-learning experience they constitute, may be tantamount to strangulation.
Even if the majority of us admit to being very controlling in our classrooms anyway, does that justify going one step further with these forms and institutionalising such control? Should not our commitment be to the emancipatory ideal, rather than simply what most are on board with? There should be meaningful space for creative, organic, and democratic teaching-learning processes to unfold for teachers who wish to make that choice, and for students to explore and think beyond the teacher’s frame of thinking. Micromanaging beyond the general content of a course (laid down in enough detail in the course syllabus) is inimical to even a possibility of democracy existing in the classroom and within the larger university space.
This complete subservience of the teaching-learning process to red tape signals a larger and troubling trend of corporatisation. Corporatisation may be defined as the restructuring of a publicly owned institution to be managed as a business place would be, with a view to privatising in the long term. In state universities, this shift is couched in the supposedly ‘progressive’ language of student-centered approaches and interactive classrooms, hijacked from the democratic pedagogy of the likes of Paulo Freire, but bereft of any of the emancipatory politics within which these methods assume meaning. Despite the use of these catch-phrases, however, such minutely detailed forms signal a return to an extremely teacher-centered model due to the absence of the possibility for students to meaningfully influence the outcome of a lesson, as it is predetermined for them.
The result, as the Kannangara report worried with remarkable foresight some 80 years ago, is students “with much knowledge and little understanding. They have not read books; they have “studied” texts. They cannot write, they produce essays after a set style. They can answer questions but not question answers … Their imagination has been stunted, their originality suppressed, their capacity for thought undeveloped, their emotions inhibited.”
What alternative can we propose?
A valid question countering what little resistance there is to form-ation asks how we can ensure the education we currently deliver is of an acceptable standard, and that everybody observes such. There seems to prevail tacit and widespread agreement that the ‘democratic nonsense’ within universities is what has allowed many to hide behind debates, deliberations, appeals to creative freedom, and so on, without actually doing their work.
In my view, this is an arbitrary causation to draw. Blaming internal democracy for negligence of duties fails to take into account the highly anti-democratic practices at universities that may better explain such behaviour.
Specifically, I think it is the rigidly entrenched hierarchy within universities that blocks the possibility of even dialogue, let alone debate, particularly when it comes to holding those higher-up in the ladder accountable for their actions (or the lack thereof, as the case may be). Hierarchy is why, among many other things, students cannot question the content or the methods chosen by their teachers. As previous Kuppi Talks have endeavoured to show, hierarchy is silently, and therefore very effectively, observed at every level, ensuring the trumping of students by teachers, juniors by seniors, women by men, minorities by the majority, and originality by tradition. It impedes questioning, stifles dissent, and smothers alternative thinking altogether. The problem, therefore, is not that we have too much democracy in universities, but too little of it.
We must make a sincere and sustained effort to radically democratise the university space by relaxing the classroom to allow open and honest exchange between students and teachers; changing the relations of power between seniors and juniors, starting with undoing the practice of deferential treatment; refusing to tolerate snide and not-so-subtle references to ways of dressing and similar gendered remarks; questioning the exclusive use of the majority language in official communications, as a starting point. In doing so, we would be subverting the crippling hierarchy that inhibits thought and practice within the university. Such a radical change geared towards improved quality through mutual accountability, for me, is the only acceptable way of introducing accountability to a space that, admittedly, sorely lacks it.
(Hasini Lecamwasam is attached to the Department of Political Science, University of Peradeniya)
Kuppi is a politics and pedagogy happening on the margins of the lecture hall that parodies, subverts, and simultaneously reaffirms social hierarchies.
THE LOGIC OF PRESIDENT’S PLEDGES IN NEW YORK
by Jehan Perera
The significance of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s speech at the UN General Assembly, in New York, last week, was his use of the time allocated to him to provide an outline of the government’s policies towards the main challenges besetting the country. The President covered the main issues that confront the world with his focus on Sri Lanka. These included measures to contain the Covid pandemic, the economic crisis, environmental degradation and violence. In the final section of his well-crafted speech, the President went into some depth regarding the government’s approach to national reconciliation. However, the response within the country, has been muted and for good reason. Those who voted for the government, on an entirely different platform, which emphasised ethnic majority nationalism and anti-international sentiments, are quite probably at a loss.
It is only recently that the government has started to speak in terms of reconciliation and obtaining international support for it. At the two elections that brought this government to power, the Easter Sunday bombing and the consequent threat to national security, took centre stage. The majority, who voted for the government, did so to protect it from a variety of security threats they were told of, both within and outside the country. The wretched failure of the previous government to prevent the bombing, the first terrorist act of any magnitude since the war ended a decade earlier, was attributed to the personal weakness of the then government leaders. It was also attributed to the 19th Amendment which sought to give state institutions protection from use for partisan reasons by government politicians and to consequent disintegration of the system of command and control.
A second theme, at the two elections, was depiction of ethnic and religious minorities as potential security threats. This stemmed from the country’s experience of three decades of internal warfare with the armed Tamil separatist movements. This was followed by the Easter bombings by extremists from the Muslim community, who were feared to be having a vast support base both internally within the country and also externally. In these circumstances, the re-centralisation of power within the government hierarchy and greater role given to the security forces, received public acceptance as being part of the government’s democratic mandate. At the same time, by denying the equally legitimate concerns of the ethnic and religious minorities, the electoral results demonstrated the existence of an acute polarisation, and wound, in the body politic that continues to fester to the point of bringing in involuntary and imposed international interventions.
The challenge for the government is to represent the interests of all communities and not only the majority who voted it into power. The problem is that the government’s mandate comes, by and large, from the vote of the ethnic and religious majority in a country that has been polarised on ethnic and religious lines, for many decades. An ugly part of this reality is that in the prisons are several hundreds of Tamils and Muslims for the most part who are in custody for periods ranging from a few months to many years without trial. They are being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, ostensibly until the security forces find adequate evidence to put them before the courts of law. This contradicts the rule of law and the presumption in our legal system that we are innocent until proven guilty can have negative consequences.
In June this year, the EU parliament passed a resolution that the GSP Plus tariff privileges, made available to Sri Lanka should be withdrawn unless the government fulfilled its obligations in regard to the upholding of human rights. The resolution, expressing “deep concern over Sri Lanka’s alarming path towards the recurrence of grave human rights violations”, and makes specific reference to the use of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The resolution notes the “continuing discrimination” against and violence towards religious and ethnic minorities, while voicing “serious concern” about the 20th Amendment passed in 2020, and the “resulting decline in judiciary independence, the reduction of parliamentary control, and the excessive accumulation of power with the presidency”. It also highlights “accelerating militarisation” of civilian government functions in Sri Lanka.
A delegation from the EU is currently in Sri Lanka to meet with members of the government, Opposition and civil society, to ascertain whether the country is fulfilling its obligations to be a beneficiary of EU trade benefits. It is likely that the delegation will be provided with evidence of human rights violations and acts of impunity. There are hundreds of persons languishing in prisons without being put on trial, many of whom are Tamils, suspected to be LTTE members, and more of them are Muslims, suspected of having links with the Easter bombings. When questioned in parliament about the latter, the minister in charge justified those detentions on the grounds that Muslim youth, including the Muslim parliamentarian who had questioned him, could contain Islamic State ideology in their heads and therefore be security threats.
At the last elections, the most potent theme was the failure of the then government to act effectively to protect the country from the Easter suicide bombings and the pressures from human rights actors in Geneva. Among the issues that loomed large at the last election was also the charge that the previous government was giving in too much to the Muslim community within the country. The fact that the Easter attacks were by Muslim suicide bombers added force to this charge. The prioritisation of national security in the election campaign had popular support. The influential religious clergy, associations of professionals and mass media also joined the battle in earnest and their messages reinforced one another. The recent debate in Parliament suggests the government’s thinking continues to be in sync with the mandate it received at those elections.
However, in his speech in New York, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has shown signs of diverging from the politics of the past. The President said “Fostering greater accountability, restorative justice, and meaningful reconciliation through domestic institutions is essential to achieve lasting peace. So too is ensuring more equitable participation in the fruits of economic development. It is my Government’s firm intention to build a prosperous, stable and secure future for all Sri Lankans, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or gender. We are ready to engage with all domestic stakeholders, and to obtain the support of our international partners and the United Nations, in this process.” However, the President’s speech continues to be at variance with the ground realities at the present time and the general manner of governance since the President took office in November 2019.
So far the pledge of a new direction is articulated in words. The time for the government to make the President’s words real and act accordingly is now. This will help to overcome the deep and dark cynicism that has enveloped the country regarding promises made by politicians. The first step would be to apply the logic of the Justice Minister in Parliament. Replying to an Opposition Parliamentarian who called for the arrest of Minister Lohan Ratwatte who stands accused of entering a prison and threatening prisoners with his gun, the justice minister said that everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. This also applies to the hundreds of Tamils and Muslims in jail without evidence to charge them in a court of law. The better way to deal with the threats to national security is to win the confidence of all the communities in the Sri Lanka by treating them without discrimination, as children of one mother, as our national anthem proclaims.
Face shields, sans masks, on TV shows!
Covid-19 has claimed many lives, in our part of the world. Quite a few musicians, too, have had to face the music, where this deadly virus is concerned.
However, one is perturbed with the setup seen on some of our TV shows, especially where musicians are concerned.
The Covid-19 guidelines are never adhered to – no masks, no social distancing, etc.
There were reality shows held, post pandemic, where judges were seen even hugging their favourite contestants – with no masks.
With the virus turning deadly, some of the judges took to only wearing face shields. And, we now know the results of their stupidity.
By their irresponsible behaviour (wearing only face shields), they seem to be setting a trend for others to follow.
The question being asked is what are the health authorities doing? Why haven’t such folks been taken to task!
If the man on the street is arrested for not wearing a mask, how come these law-breakers go scot-free!
If wearing a mask is a hassle in an air conditioned setup, then such shows should be put on hold, or held virtual…live stream, zoom, from home, etc., and not with the participation of several artistes, in a studio.
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