What About An Economic History of Sri Lanka?
Published (updated: ) in Uncategorized. Tags: . Zambia, Channa Jayasumana, Communist Party of China, Communist Party of Sri Lanka, COVAX, CPSL, Daintee, Ford Foundation, Glaxo, GSP, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, International Finance Corporation, Jane Goodall, K.M. de Silva, Kenya, Kenya land & Freedom Party, Leakey, LSSP, Mau Mau Rebellion, Nimal Sanderatne, Operation Legacy, Oxford University Press, Pfizer, S.B.D. de silva, Tissa Vitarana, Toyota, Unilever, WTO.
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
e-Con e-News 13-19 June 2021
If you know your history, then you’d know where I’m coming from,
Then you wouldn’t have to ask me, who the hell do you think I am?
– Bob Marley, Buffalo Soldier
This ee’s special focus is on S.B.D. de Silva, whose passing 3 years ago inspired this newsweekly. SB was once sued by the author of the Oxford University Press’ A History of Sri Lanka (1981). A Lanka Guardian article had insinuated the Oxford history author, University of Ceylon History Prof Kingsley Muthumuni (KM) de Silva had plagiarized the work of others, including SB’s published articles due out in 1982 in his The Political Economy of Underdevelopment.
KM de Silva later ‘founded’ and led the Ford Foundation’s International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Sri Lanka. Cold irony indeed, that a foundation named after Henry Ford who famously declared, ‘History is bunk’, ended up reproducing so many dubious ‘ethnic’ histories about Lanka, claiming to fill in the gaps. Yet we still do not have an economic history of the country, as SB once lamented… (see ee Focus)
• Environmentalist primates (& related tourist operators) here were seen flaunting their white dentures in awe and waving their forelimbs, jumping their delighted rumps up and down, on hearing from chimpanzee sexpert Jane Goodall, imported by the colonial Wildlife & Nature Protection Society (linked to Exxon Rockerfeller’s oily foundation).
Goodall worked with the anthropologist Leakeys who were intimate in the vicious 1950s English war on Kenya, using their linguistic expertise to translate ‘confessions’ while Kenyans were being tortured, castrated, imprisoned, and murdered. A war the BBC mocked as a ‘Mau Mau Rebellion’ – their moniker to distort the demands and struggles of Kenya’s Land & Freedom Party. The Leakeys are better known for insisting we all came out of Africa, and descended from monkeys. Not us. We from right here!
People so concerned about fate of sentient beings, apes, trees, etc., (tho strangely quiet about supporting a chemical pesticide/fertilizer ban) should have asked that great white ape-mother Goodall about the real ‘anthropology’ that matters – English mass murder.
We share an ocean with Kenya, with both countries enjoying the thrills of being exploited by Unilever, hence we’re not allowed to know much about each other. And we may never know unless we link to real Kenyans, instead of patronizing do-good-alls. England’s Operation Legacy claims to have burned all their colonial records (ee Quotes).
• The dominant media here should change their names to: The Daily Import, The Import Mirror, Imports1st, Sunday Import, Import Times, Import Today, ImportNext, Import Television Network, etc.
• An ongoing show trial of a blogger in England’s courts exposes how their governments pay trolls & influencers to swamp so-called social media. ee earlier showed how Exxon, Unilever, etc., also flood social-media platforms. This may explain the sheer tsunami of mis-dis-information on hot topics: to divert from multinationals preventing vaccinations in our world, and the weed-like proliferation of agriculture professors opposing the fertilizer ban, etc. (ee Media)
• Negotiations are just concluding in the US right now to break the ruling coalition, and to hand over more resources to the MNCs. They will indulge in the usual bribery, assassination, coup, terror. But none can stop the time. A state takeover, led by cultivators & workers, is inevitable, sooner or later – if Sri Lanka is to prevail as a vibrant independent nation.
• The massive disinformation campaign about Covid was exposed by Minister Channa Jayasumana on ITN. LSSP leader Tissa Vitarana also recalled this week of the role played by Pharmaceutical multinationals in the sabotage of the 1970-77 coalition government, that heralded the advent of the ‘robber barons’ in 1977.
Marx quipped, ‘History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.’ So, are we in for a rerun of the 1970s? Another media diversion was a supposed split in the ranks of the ruling ‘Bud’ coalition over fuel prices. The expulsion of the Left after 1975 was financed by white governments on the urging of Pharma MNCs led by Pfizer, Glaxo et al. So what’s behind the massive increases in fuel/food prices? (Random Notes)
• The real reasons for vaccine delays? The whites, their governments, banks and multinationals, are clearly opposing vaccine access for the rest of the world. Continuing their deadly history of wiping out entire continents of original peoples through disease. The ghost of Senaka Bibile, who was murdered, reminds of the sabotage of pharmaceutical research and production in Sri Lanka, let alone the elimination and expulsion of progressive leaders (ee Focus, NM).
One brilliant media headline claims ‘COVAX may donate 264,000 doses of AstraZeneca to SL subject to conditions.’ But not one single line explains exactly what these ‘conditions’ are. What an irresponsible gang of media owners we have!
Here’s why: Two-thirds of members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) are demanding a waiver of vaccine patents. Yet the WTO is dragging its feet, claiming ‘multilateral negotiations’ are needed to waive patents etc. – entangling the demand in a bureaucratic maze. The Council of Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) met June 9 & 17; now we’re told we must await the WTO’s General Council meeting July 21-22.
The whites are ignoring millions of people petitioning the WTO for universal access to affordable Covid-19 vaccines. In October 2020, India and South Africa requested temporary waivers, then submitted a revised proposal May 25. On June 4 the EU was still insisting on a compulsory license from patent holders, preventing large-scale generic production. On June 9 the UN Human Rights Council feebly requested G7 leaders ‘not to allow the profit motive to undermine global health and equity’. Yet, the World Bank opposesthe TRIPS waiver proposal. Yet (see last ee) our media instead announced the WB was generously offering funds to buy vaccines!
‘How the West was Won’ (more like ‘Stolen’) recalls the widespread use of diseases, smallpox, etc., to destroy the resistance to white invasion of the western Atlantic and the eastern Pacific. With the provision of vaccines only to those who accepted white rule and their white religion, etc.
• This same criminal World Bank, preventing vaccine access, was insisting at the recent investors’ forum on private-sector leadership and ‘charting a new FDI path for Sri Lanka’! FDI for what!? To import lavish luxuries, foreign machineries and goods!
The constant media megaphoning for foreign investment, more exports, selling off public enterprises, removal of import restrictions, crying ‘pay the debt, pay the debt, pay the debt’, must be ignored. We must move away from IMF conditions that demand further liberalization, deregulation and privatization, that escalated terrorism and left our health system vulnerable.
• Which bring us to yet another great media diversion this week: the European Union’s so-great concern for ‘human rights‘, that they’ll withdraw certain ‘privileges’ given to our wasteful garment hoax. Yet this hallowed GSP+ is anyway set to expire in December 2023.
Oh! The weeping and the wailing. This EU threat comes after warning they would (or did they?) haul us up before the WTO for bans on imports.
How is it that the EU, US and Canada still give lectures to Sri Lanka, as the media here acts a messenger peon for their pronouncements and judgements? Who created this economy, so dependent on the whims and fancies of white tourists and foreign markets, EU largesse and related white hectoring…
Has the so-called garment farce explored how theyll free themselves of this dependency? Have they invested surpluses in ensuring less dependence on imports and foreign markets, by investing in other industry? Further, being classified as a ‘middle-income’ country, disqualifies us for such largesse? Well, never ever let on to the rice cultivator or the construction worker that we’re a middle-income country! (see Focus)
A1. Reader Comments –
• China Socialist? • Keen on ee • ee Needs Short Stories • Make ee Accessible
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Unilever Large Landowner in SL • Medicine Mafia • SL is 80% Rural • Sri Lanka Socialists Celebrate China’s Communist Party Centenary • Non-Chemical Farming a Priority • Control Tech Companies • China & Capitalism • England Erases Bad Memories
A3. Random Notes
• MNCs Control Investment • Why Fuel & Food Price Hikes • Massive Alcohol Profits & Health Deficits • Toyota, HSBC & Car Imports • Europe Stealing Africa • World Bank taking over Local Banks & NBFIs
B. ee Focus
B1. ‘No one has yet written an economic history of Sri Lanka’ – SBD de Silva (1926-2018)
B2. SBD’s Last Chapter & the Mahavamsa
B3. Echoes of NM’s dismissal may have an impact on present crisis – Tissa Vitarana
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news sent, or your comments, and place any e-link at the end. Email: email@example.com
• ‘Thank you for the powerful ee weekly. China is referred to as ‘socialist’ no? Whatever that means.’ (see ee Quotes)
• ‘Your articles are very interesting and I am keen on it.’
• Most people initially do not like to spend time to read this whole thing. ee may be able to disseminate these news more effectively by maintaining a social media account and publishing short stories.’
• ‘We understand that a national conversation is needed to flesh out these issues, and economics is not exactly made popular in the media, but ee should try to be more accessible.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Lever Brothers, an English multinational, owns significant land parcels in Grandpass…’ (see ee Sovereignty, Gift Horse)
• Medicine Mafia – ‘Organised groups made massive profits at taxpayers’ expense through overpricing and excess orders… those in authority manipulated the procurement, storage and distribution systems for their advantage… waste, corruption and irregularities had been taking place with impunity for a long time, it would not be an easy task remedy it… unscrupulous persons working in unison with those in the public sector created artificial shortages for their benefit…Prof Jayasumana explained how the regulatory process was manipulated to enable the market to be flooded with extremely poor-quality items… some doctors, too, contributed to corrupt practices. Without naming former Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne, Jayasumana flayed the medical administration during the Yahapalana government, with the focus on how cancer patients and their families had been brazenly fleeced… instances where what could be purchased for Rs10,000 marked up as much as Rs135-140,000 the state minister said, claiming one questionable transaction alone was estimated at Rs840mn.’
• ‘The 2017 UN Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food concluded that moving away from pesticide-reliant industrial agriculture to non-chemical farming methods should now be a political priority in all countries globally… the agro-chemical industry has continued to falsely maintain that damage will be caused to agriculture and food production if pesticides are not used. The report stated “The assertion promoted by the agrochemical industry that pesticides are necessary to achieve food security is not only inaccurate, but dangerously misleading. In principle, there is adequate food to feed the world; inequitable production and distribution systems present major blockages that prevent those in need from accessing it.” In fact… a huge amount of food is wasted every year. One England report found that as much as half of all worldwide food produced ends up as waste, which is a whopping 2bn tons every year!’
• ‘80% of Sri Lanka’s 21.6 million people live in rural areas, the largest share in South Asia. Most rural households in the dry zone depend on small tank-based irrigated farming for their livelihoods. Smallholder farmers cultivating under these village irrigation systems are poorer and more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change than dry zone farmers with access to major irrigation.’ (ee Agriculture, IFAD)
• ‘Communist Party of Sri Lanka veteran and former General Secretary DEW Gunasekara conveyed revolutionary greetings to the CPC’s leadership and its nearly 92 million members. He said that the formation of the CPC in 1921, four years after the Russian Revolution, was a milestone in the entry of Marxism into Asia. Gunasekera praised the CPC for its 28-year-long struggle which culminated in the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. “In applying Marxism to the concrete conditions of China, the CPC successfully brought about an alliance of anti-imperialist and anti-feudal democratic forces,” he said. Gunasekara said that China had embarked on its first five-year plan amidst embargos, sanctions and continued military aggression in Asia’ (see, ee Politics)
• ‘The wave of antitrust activity in China had come partly in response to public anger over the enormous power of some tech companies, such as online grocery platforms & food delivery companies, which became essential utilities during the pandemic, but had not shared the proceeds with their overworked delivery drivers.’ (ee Industry, China)
• On whether China is a capitalist country – ‘We don’t have capitalism. We have a market economy, we do have capital and we have people like me who manage capital. A market economy means, you manage capital in a way that it generates efficient returns, you allocate resources efficiently. Capitalism to me means the interests of capital rise above the interests of the society as a whole. And capitalists capture the political system for their own benefits. And that we don’t want in this country.’ (ee Economists, Eric Li)
• ‘Operation Legacy, a Foreign Office program to destroy files throws light on the horrors of the empire. If England’s colonial history was something to be proud of, as 44% of England’s people said in 2016, then why did special branch officers feel the need to rid the world of documents that might give an insight into how racist the English empire was, how brutal? Were these people proud of the Bengal famine, the Amritsar massacre, partition, slavery, the forced castration of Mau Mau rebels?
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
Many decisions once considered the province of the nation-state are now being made by externally based multinationals, particularly in such matters as the nature, location & timing of investment. These decisions may affect the employment level, the rate of economic growth, the balance of payments, or whether a given natural resource is developed. – SBD de Silva, Political Economy of Underdevelopment
• ee financial mavens tell us: Skyrocketing increases in fuel and basic commodities worldwide are linked to US President Biden’s policies of printing money, which are exporting inflation, devaluing our currencies. The need to delink from the power of the US dollar becomes more urgent day by day. China has already stopped US bond purchases. While the EU has blocked JPMorgan, Citigroup & Bank of America from participating in their bond offering, they are stil allowed to buy Sri Lanka’s bonds. (see ee Finance)
The hiking of commodity prices are also linked to supply-chain disruptions, commodity speculation, and yes, the massive liquidity pumped into the system. The main problem remains that the country’s resources and government machinery are still monopolized by capitalist multinationals, with no investment allowed in modern production.
How do we change the lending priorities of the capitalists led by private bankers who rule this country? They refuse to invest in the long term. The government must take over the distribution of food and fuel – and most importantly, take over finance to invest in modern production.
Despite the large profits private banks are proclaiming (see ee Finance), there’s no question the Central Bank must take over commercial banks now. This would be the only way to ensure better lending practices. And by better, we mean investment in modern industrial production. Some ee financial advisors suggest the CBSL must quickly transition to digital currency, so as to increase monitoring of capital flows in and out of the country. The government must restructure its fiscal policy (using government revenue) and create a plan to profit from an industrial base. They should also require that all ministries play the leading role in the market, by initiating and advancing modern industrial production. And do not sabotage public enterprises any more.
• The Excise Department reports they used to get Rs600 million a day from alcohol taxes. But we get no information on how much revenue and profits the companies selling alcohol get. Cigarettes, liquor, fuel, bus licenses have long been part of the patronage system, promoted by multinationals, merchants and moneylenders, for MPs to dish out to maintain vote and violence banks? While excise revenues reported may be high, the health & economic losses incurred from cigarette & alcohol consumption far exceeded any revenue. (see adicsrilanka.org/alcohol-fact-sheet-2020/)
• One interesting revelation from the media diversion to MPs’ luxury car imports is the involvement of Japan’s Toyota Corp, England’s HSBC, and Singapore. Japanese corporations have robbed Sri Lanka blind for at least 50 years now, and they must have some nerve to demand ‘damages of Rs5.8bn from Sri Lanka after LRT deal scrapped’ (ee Industry, Luxury).
• Kenneth Kaunda, former leader of Zambia died this week. Lankans recall having to memorize his name in school as part of world geography. Check out the video Stealing Africa (ee Sovereignty) about a village in Switzerland grown rich from the robbery of Zambia’s mines by the multinational Glencore. It’s curious none of our many award-winning artists describe those parts of England made wealthy by Unilever and Ceylon Tobacco’s robbery of Sri Lanka.
Then again, SBD de Silva would say, our bourgeoisie and their ‘artistes’ have no interest in capital accumulation either and would fritter it away on importing Swiss cheese made from happy cows, or playing rock’n’roll!
• While pointing fingers at China claiming ‘colonization’, more and more information is dribbling out on the far greater power that white multinationals wield in Sri Lanka. See how the World Bank’s International Finance Corp & various white ‘Development’ banks are slowly taking over finance companies. These companies mainly finance the buying of imported machinery.
This week IFC also increased control over confection distributor Daintee, with almost 100,000 outlets across the country. Milk-powder importers (mainly from Australia, New Zealand) this week claimed 150,000 outlets (kadays etc). Like sugar, milk and tea, there’s no doubt this game leads to Unilever.
Further: All this nonaligned talk, makes out as if somehow there’s a competition between ‘superpowers’… The truth is, the US is the sole superpower with over 1,000 war-making military bases around the world, with many a running dog yipping and yapping. Social media indeed!
B. Special Focus_
B1. ‘No one has yet written an economic history of Sri Lanka’ – SBD de Silva (1926-2018)
‘We know so little of ourselves, of our own history,’ SB lamented, ‘Even worse, no one has yet written an economic history of Sri Lanka’.
It is 72 years after the English promised to leave us alone and yet still refuse to do so. It is 3 years after SB made his final transformation. Yet we still do not have such an economic history, nor have we enacted our version of Brexit – SLexit from England, or is it Sexit!
Meanwhile, we get fake-memory syndrome in the dominant media, e.g.: ‘Most of the country’s post-independent economic history has been dictated by pandering to populism rather than responding to economic imperatives.’ So claimed the weekly economics columnist in Wijeya Group’s Sunday Times – Nimal Sanderatne. Sanderatne was recently hailed by a recent apostle of NATO’s war liberalism, as Sri Lanka’s ‘most-senior’ economist, and ‘specialist’ in agrarian economics,
In response to Sanderatne, SB asked: ‘Was it populism that has retained the import-export plantation system?… Was it populism that allowed English banks and companies to withdraw capital after independence in 1948?’ Withdraw the surpluses the English had accumulated from the country for a century and half, and were allowed to keep stealing even after independence?
SBD further inquired of such assertions: ‘Is it populism that has prevented a modern industrial strategy?’ And is it populism that prevents investment in such a strategy?
As ee pointed out last week, SBD’s opus was dedicated to examining the powerful forces that prevent such investment. More importantly, we need to understand why local forces are so opposed to developing the country.
‘We lack a social and political history of the character of the local bourgeoisie, of the absence of nationalism and of the role of the bourgeois’ – there’s no such account.
SB added: KM de Silva wrote of the grant of the franchise, and the opposition of the local bourgeoisie to the Donoughmore Commission. Governor Henry McCallum hacked the unprogressive nature of the local bourgeoisie, saying they were unconcerned about the rural masses, and only concerned about their private interests.
Our local bourgeoisie also have no comparison to the rise of the Indonesian elite who were nationalist, or to the Kenyan or the Indian bourgeoisie. Our local bourgeoisie opposed the franchise, played politics based on caste, were collaborationist, despite Kumari Jayawardena’s claims of their role in the independence movement.
‘It was not in the character of such a bourgeois, they were not one bit radical,’ concluded SB. ‘The Left, the LSSP, was quite overconfident about the anti-imperialism of the masses, and its leadership. Outside the ranks of the Left, the bourgeoisie politically, were rentiers & traders, refusing to make concessions to the masses. They were also caste-ridden. So-called patriots like Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan informed London he would change his political stance if he and his family were photographed with the queen.’
The economist Sanderatne’s supposed agricultural expertise is recalled, because he like all media economists, unrelentingly oppose the import ban on chemical fertilizer. They’re all, these professors of agriculture, sprouting like weeds from hitherto unheard of and undisturbed presumably fertile academic nooks and crannies, all presumably dedicated to ensuring dependence on foreign capitalists. ee again requests readers to take a walk in Peradeniya and note the many offices dedicated to agriculture, with not a goviya in an amuday in sight!
These agricultural profs, almost to a man (very few women), only proffer agronomic (yield per acre) rather than technical (yield per worker) advice to the local cultivator.
Our historians also mislead: SB recalled KM de Silva praised English Governor Henry Ward’s efforts at reorganizing agriculture, saying Ward had ‘good reason to be proud’. But, SB noted, later English officials had recorded the total collapse of the old village system under colonial rule.
It’s these professors who are manufacturing historians and economists: ‘Our brilliant economics students full of opinions are apparently not being taught there is a difference between a consumer culture of ‘wine, women and song’, and a production culture of making machines. Modern production culture also does not mean “assembling” garments, where thread, needle, and textile are made elsewhere. Or that modern industry doesn’t mean just assembly.’
To SBD de Silva, as with GVS de Silva, industrialization is intimately connected to a rural renaissance. The revitalization of the irrigation system is paramount to ensure the equal sharing of water as before. Agriculture’s resuscitation requires changing the relations of production through land reform, to protect the cultivator from the fangs of moneylenders (finance companies) and merchants (Unilever et al), that steal profits to Colombo, and then sends them to London.
Rural surpluses have to be used to enrich the village. Monetization and commercialization at the village level is vital for establishing a rural home market to develop rural industrialization. A most important aspect is not just the skilled employment of rural workers during agricultural off-seasons, but also building rural electrification that’s not dependent on fuel imports!
The Scandal of Statistics: Those acting so shocked at the President’s admission of lockdown decisions based on inaccurate statistics, may have been living in another world. The World Bank on behalf of the capitalists have prevented such endeavours, let alone the clear stating of a national plan. Statistics are perhaps being collected, but they are not used to benefit the country.
There are no solid statistics of where and how people work, how people make their living, how people reproduce themselves every day.
SB, if recalled correctly, taught statistics to Central Bankers and government officials. His The Political Economy of Underdevelopment recalled compliments paid by Marx to England’s factory inspectors, and also the importance of compiling vital statistics. Marx ridiculed: ‘The social statistics of Germany and the rest of Continental Western Europe are, in comparison with those of England, quite wretched.’ (Capital I)
Marx noted, Europeans would be ‘appalled at our own circumstances if, as in England, our governments and parliaments periodically appointed commissions of inquiry into economic conditions; if these commissions were armed with the same plenary powers to get at the truth; if it were possible to find for this purpose men as competent, as free from partisanship and respect of persons as are England’s factory inspectors, her medical reporters on public health, her commissioners of inquiry into the exploitation of women and children, into conditions of housing and nourishment, and so on.’
SBD once asked: ‘If, as our brilliant economists state and restate, the English left us “a prosperous plantation economy”, why didn’t we make the entire country one big plantation after independence?’
The truth is that the English left us with the most impoverished peasantry in Asia, and certainly impoverished plantation workers.
‘Don’t then tell a worker in the bakery or a worker in a tea or rubber plantation, he quipped, that we’re now a ‘middle-income country’. If they found out, they may ask for a middle-income wage, and not the pittance they get. If they do get Rs5,000 a day instead of the Rs500 they do get – why, those plantations would collapse overnight!’
They would collapse for the simple reason, these plantations are so backward – neither modern or technologically advanced or even capitalist – they simply cannot afford such wage increases. Besides, the profits the plantations suck out are not invested in technical advances.
‘And don’t tell the tea plucker that that her middle-income Japanese counterpart drives a car to work, and the Japanese workers’ old car is then sold ‘reconditioned’ to the ‘rich’ tea plantation manager in Sri Lanka. In fact, a Japanese tea plucker earns more than a tea estate manager in Sri Lanka.’
‘Don’t tell the rubber tapper that her counterpart, the rubber worker in Germany also drives a car to work. Or that they don’t sit on the ground to work the latex! Why is it our economists never compare our condition to even other Asian economies? If our economy is so great and Europe and East Asia so backward compared to us, why do our workers want to go and work over there?’ Thus SB always asked.
Which returns us to such magical indices as GDP. Even if the GDP were 1,000 times higher, it’d have no effect on the wages people get, because wages are not determined by GDP, but by other factors.
So, let’s examine the vital role of the state in transforming our economy into a modern industrial society, just like the countries our rich send their cash to be stashed (see ee Economists, Swiss Banks). These are countries they look up to, but refuse to emulate.
PS: As to KM de Silva’s lawsuit, the Press Council apparently concluded it was moot if there had indeed been such plagiarism, but ruled the Lanka Guardian had to publish their judgement. The judgment noted, SBD de Silva had been ‘scrupulous’ in his testimony.
This episode as well as tribute to SB is based on conversations with him over almost 20 years, and we’d gladly be corrected, and certainly reproduce the actual sequence of any events misrepresented.
B2. SBD’s Last Chapter & the Mahavamsa
The last ee noted, like the Mahavamsa, SBD’s The Political Economy of Underdevelopment (1982) should also be regularly updated to record what’s going on in the economy.
The last chapter of SBD’s book examines the rise of multinationals and ‘conglomerates of conglomerates’, e.g., the Asian Development Bank and the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (World Bank). Here, ee paraphrases some of the most important points at the tail end of PEU’s last chapter:
‘Imperialist countries design tariff policies, along with massive non-tariff measures, to prevent underdeveloped countries from utilizing their own raw materials, which they traditionally have had to export, which they can use to promote local manufacturing industry.
The imperialists meanwhile levy punitive tariffs on imports of low-priced semi-processed goods, like steel, aluminium, copper and their alloys, etc., entering their countries.
The mechanisms of underdevelopment relate to the forces which underlie and reproduce such a division of labour. They constitute external elements to enforce unequal exchange as well as those internal elements in underdeveloped countries, such as classes, institutions, ideology, etc.
The existing division of labour is rooted in the dialectic of international relations and class relations within an underdeveloping country.
Industrialization of our countries would impart a relative viability to even the smallest territorial and demographic units, encouraging them to secede from larger national entities.
Yet development now has to instead depend on “the global interests of the multinational corporations” subordinating our countries – and leads to a “virtual abdication of sovereignty”.
“A government which has conditioned the economy to foreign capital cannot risk a confrontation with the MNCs without jeopardizing its political prospects.” MNCs are powerful because they operate in several countries and can move at will, damaging economies by doing so. Hence the need for a united front with progressive Asian, African and real American countries.
The power of foreign firms dominates their dealings with the local bureaucracy. They also develop close contacts with influential politicians and bureaucrats, by recruiting local executive ‘insiders’. These executives are white-brained, urban-based and affluent and are ‘cosmopolitan’, belonging everywhere and nowhere.
If at the imperialist centre, the MNCs have outgrown the framework of their own nation-states, their operations are far more incompatible with the sovereignty of our countries.
Many decisions once considered the province of the nation-state are now being made by externally based MNCs, particularly in such matters as the nature, location and timing of investment. These decisions may affect the employment level, the rate of economic growth, the balance of payments, or whether a given natural resource is developed.
The functional nature of the activities of multinationals in a foreign territory excludes geographical space as the basis of their jurisdiction. Their hegemony rests on a monopoly of technology and markets and an ability to influence capital inflows including the lending policies of governments of the imperialist centre, and even of supranational agencies such as the IMF and the World Bank.
SB’s book ‘discussed exhaustively’, the repercussions on our countries of the expansion of world capitalism, and of attempts to contain its contradictions. The effects of the imperialist-colony relations on the growth of productive forces must be seen, however, in the context of ‘a class structure which is still widely dominated by merchant capital and by landlord and usurer capital’.
‘Though capitalist production with its increasing application of fixed capital would yield a bigger surplus, a precapitalist class, left to itself or in the absence of social pressures, would not effect the change to capitalism; and the economic interests and goals of this class determine the prevailing pattern of surplus extraction and ‘development’. This is not a question of rationality versus irrationality. The relation of this class to the productive process makes the existing mode of production, with its corresponding system of surplus extraction, perfectly rational from its own standpoint – the activities which pay off best are not necessarily those which promote development.’
We have to fully understand the real forces that determine underdevelopment in any specific situation: though external factors matter, it’s internal factors, such as class structures, and how the dominant class responds to entrepreneurial opportunities or restraints.
The ‘complexity and specificity’ of each country causes uneven development on a world scale: England so dependent on industry in Europe, and on Dutch investment, still ‘made the transition to capitalism earlier than those countries’.
The seclusion of Japan from the world was important only because it undermined the role of merchant capital. Furthermore, our countries need to unite against the white forces represented by MNCs and their local import agents. White colonies like Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea subject the more marginalized countries to a centre-periphery relation, exporting capital to the Free Trade Zones of Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh.
External forces are important in how they condition the internal class structure, strengthening or weakening the barriers to development: ‘The necessity to probe these internal forces and to bring them into focus with the external ones leaves a vacuum to be filled. This task needs more research and understanding before there could emerge a sharper and more effective instrument of analysis than the paradigms in vogue.’
B2. Echoes of NM’s dismissal may have an impact on present crisis – Tissa Vitarana
‘N. M. Perera was born on June 6, 1905’
“…The crisis that NM faced as the Minister of Finance in the SLFP/LSSP/CP Coalition Government in 1972 was far worse than what confronts us today. In 1972 there was the perennial crisis of over production that dogs the capitalist economic system. But in addition the fossil fuel price went up seven times due to the getting together of the oil producing countries to form a cartel, OPEC. The worst global drought in 30 years led to a severe food crisis, with thousands of deaths worldwide. As a result, due to the traditional import dependent policies of the UNP Governments, our people were in grave danger (e.g. the price of a ton of imported sugar went up from $40 to $600).
NM explained to the people the magnitude of the crisis and called upon the people to tighten belts, stop the import based luxury lifestyle, and develop an import substitution national economy, producing our food and developing value added industry (his budget allocation for science and technology was increased four times). The bulk of the burden should not be passed on to the people but borne by government and the rich. The direct personal tax on the rich was raised to a maximum of 75% (today it is only14%). He managed to balance the budget and in one year in office earn more than the loss. The strict import restrictions reduced the foreign trade deficit and helped to cut down foreign borrowing. The foreign debt was reduced to the lowest in our history.
Today the biggest problem is the high cost of living, mainly due to huge profits made by rapacious middlemen (big mill owners, local money lenders to farmers such as traders etc.). To end this, NM and the coalition developed the producer cooperatives (such as farmers) and the consumer cooperatives as genuine peoples’ organizations. By direct dealings between the two he wiped out the profiteering of the middlemen. The cooperatives were so successful that NM brought down the price of essentials to affordable levels, and even gave a measure of rice free. The result was that no one died of starvation unlike in other parts of the world. Due to the opposition of the traders, outsourcing to them was not possible. The result was long queues at the co-ops. This and the other shortcomings were exploited by the media controlled by the rich to lay the blame on the government. They hid the global nature of the problem, but blamed the government.
Besides food shortages a major problem was the shortage of medicine in government hospitals and the high cost of medicines in private pharmacies. Prof. Senaka Bibile, a member of the LSSP, came up with his Medicinal Drug Policy, which was accepted by WHO. NM strongly supported it and it was implemented. The outcome was that medicines for practically every disease was available in all government hospitals free of charge. The shortages were overcome, unlike the situation that prevails today. The foreign drug companies got their governments to intervene and promise a large sum of money to the government to overcome the crisis, provided the NM and the LSSP was expelled. The finance portfolio was taken away from him, and he was given a minor post which he refused and the LSSP was forced out of the Government.
The CP left the next year and the SLFP suffered a major defeat in the 1977 general election. The UNP led by JR Jayewardene came to power in 1977 and opened the door for the commencement of the process of change referred to as neoliberalism. This ideology led by the USA reached its zenith throughout the capitalist world, most of all in America. But it was a failure. It was rejected by the Sri Lankan people at the last presidential and general election…’ (see ee Politics, Echoes)
C. News Index______________________________________________
• ee News Index provides headlines and links to gain a sense of the weekly focus of published English ‘business news’ mainly to expose the backwardness of a multinationally controlled ‘local media’:
(ee is pro-politics, pro-politician, pro-nation-state, anti-corporatist, anti-expert, anti-NGO)
ee Sovereignty news emphasizes sovereignty as economic sovereignty – a strong nation is built on modern industrialization fueled by a producer culture.
• Port City on the Beira: looking a gift horse through its derriere – Somasunderam
‘The Rice-Rubber agreement has lasted 70 years with no adverse repercussions. It was renewed periodically by every government, irrespective of ideology. The same anti-China arguments offered then, were now dusted and re-presented. But the international situation has changed…’
• Lanka’s Ambassador in Myanmar questions Indian interference in Lanka’s domestic affairs
• Port City: India tells SL to be “mindful”
• India rejects claims that its Navy attacked Sri Lankan Fishermen
• Mysterious Indian fishing boats wash up on Puttlam coast
• Two Lankan refugees ‘hacked’ in Tamilnadu
• TNA meets Indian HC: Supports devolution
• New US Korea-born envoy has bloody record in Iraq & Colombia: “I’m a real American diplomat”
‘Seoul-born Julie Jiyoon Chung, joined the Foreign Service with the very first cohort of the Pickering Fellowship (originally called the Woodrow Wilson Foreign Affairs Fellowship), currently Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, previously Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs, Deputy Chief of Mission in Phnom Penh, Cambodia & Economic Counsellor in Bangkok, Thailand, Chief of Staff to Transition Coordinator in Baghdad, Iraq & served in Colombia, Vietnam, Japan & Guangzhou, China….Julianne Smith, who served as Biden’s acting national security adviser when Biden was vice president, tapped as the top U.S. diplomat to NATO.’
• If GSP+ concession is withdrawn Sri Lanka faces danger: Colombo Economics Professor
‘“GSP+ is given to eight countries and according to the eligibility criteria, these nations should be vulnerable, developing countries with low level of exports to EU countries. This means it has to be a poor country because the term vulnerable means it can’t stand against external shocks,….The second criterion is that Sri Lanka should ratify certain international conventions’
• FM regrets EU adopting one-sided resolution on Sri Lanka
‘President Duterte had referred to EU officials as “stupid European Union guys,” and had even threatened to expel all European diplomats within 24 hours…co-sponsor of the EU’s anti-Pakistan resolution was a member of a party that the Swedish PM Stefan Lofven referred to as ‘a neo-fascist single-issue party’ with ‘Nazi and racist roots’, “’
• 745-strong French naval group sails after incident-free tour to SL
• Govt.’s political witch-hunts threatening economic security, warns Thalatha
‘The Government’s political vendettas were threatening to derail Sri Lanka’s GSP+ import concessions that gave the country’s exports a competitive edge in the single European market’
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 18D Pt 4D & Part 20 C1&2
• Sri Lanka’s Dismal Ignorance Of The U.S. System & The Mindset Of U.S. Policymakers
• Tamils who return after war fight for their seized land
‘15,000 households or 10% of the population of the Jaffna District were absolutely landless…To this day, a majority of our land is owned by the state, a legacy of English colonial appropriation as crown lands.’
• Canada slips and slides on genocide
• Govt. will have to talk to TNA due to international pressure – Sampanthan
• Sri Lanka’s 2009 envoy in Geneva reached quid pro quo deal with India
• NATO political pushback coincides with the national interest of Sri Lanka – Jayatilleka
• Mobilizing the traditional pillars of our friendship-with-all foreign policy – Ex-UN Rep
• Renewed dialogue between govt. and minority political parties necessary – USAID NPC
‘NPC welcomes government dialogue with USAID’
• Harsha Navaratne named as Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to Canada.
• Set Up Eelam in Manitoba, Canada
• Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 17
‘Federalism and State Autonomy May Become Key Issues: DMK leaders & ministers are intentionally using the term ‘Union government’ instead of ‘central government’, both in Tamil and English’
• The Maldives has been elected UN General Assembly President
• G7 has behaved unabashedly as an exclusive white club
‘60% of European companies plan to expand their businesses in China this year, an increase of nearly 10%… Europeans are savvy enough to know that politicisation of China-EU economic ties will be detrimental to their long term interests.’
• Can Asia guide Biden on China?”– Prof. Kishore Mahbubani
• US accent is on bilateral track to China
‘the cost of the trade war for the US was around 0.5% of GDP in 2018-2019, an estimated 245,000 jobs and $88 billion in real household income.’.. State Secretary Antony Blinken called China’s top official on foreign affairs Yang Jiechi on June 11, on the eve of the G7 summit in Cornwall…last Thursday, in the run-up to the G7 summit, China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo had a “candid and pragmatic” exchange of views…
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a virtual meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on June 2 and Liu also held a phone call with US Trade Representative Katherine Tai on May 27. Indeed, John Kerry, Biden’s climate envoy, met with Xie Zhenhua, China’s special envoy, during his visit to Shanghai (April 14-17.)… Last Thursday, China’s top legislature passed the Anti-Foreign Sanction Law, the first one of its kind, providing strong legal support and guarantees for China against unilateral and discriminatory measures imposed by other countries.’
• NATO declares China as global security challenge
‘Beijing’s military spending stood at $209 billion in comparison with the alliance’s $1.17 trillion, which is over half of the entire global military expenditure and 5.6 times that of China…. NATO will go through the charade of a dialogue for a while to calm Chinese nerves before taking the gloves off within 2-3 years at the most.’
• US Realises Importance of Bringing China-US Economic Trade Ties Back on Track
‘The G7 communique’s formulation on the Taiwan question confirms that the US wants to maintain flexibility in its handling of China-US relationship.’
• China cautions G7: ‘Small’ groups don’t rule the world
• Biden’s goal is to head off the creation of a Sino-Russian bloc
• US Wages Cold War Against China Because US Can’t Compete
• New Zionist prime minister-designate no less extreme than Netanyahu
• USA, England Information Warfare Behind Regime Change Drive In Belarus
‘National Endowment for Democracy (NED) founded in November 1983, then-U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director William Casey was central to its creation… NED allocated millions of dollars to “civic opposition” entities—including La Prensa, the country’s primary anti-Sandinista newspaper… the NED funded at least 159 civil society initiatives in Belarus, costing $7,690,689, from 2016 to 2020 alone.’
• Putin Teaching A Journalist And Other New Bits Around Ryanair Flight 4978
• Putin-Biden summit in Geneva seem to be thin
‘Ambassadors recalled from Washington & Moscow to return to their posts. New expert rounds about cybersecurity. Possible talks on exchange of prisoners. New rounds about strategic nuclear weapons.’
• Prelude to War? The US/NATO, Egypt, and Ethiopian Sovereignty
“The primary issue is Ethiopian sovereignty vs. US/NATO military hegemony.”
• Women’s Uprising: first major challenge to English colonial power in Nigeria & West Africa
‘English colonial officials turned their guns on women in two Nigerian towns in the 1920s, to put down protests against “head” taxes and levies on market stalls, killing scores.’
• Gerald Horne: Haiti and African Liberation in the Americas
‘“Abolitionist Haiti was the main campaigner against enslavement of Africans before 1888, when the enslavement process came to a kind of halt in Brazil.”’
• Billion-$ Foundations Fund NGOs to Manipulate US Foreign Policy: Case Study from Nicaragua
• The Coup That is Taking Place in Peru
‘a racist lawfare strategy; their entire game has been to invalidate the votes that are at the core of Castillo’s support base, namely the Indigenous communities of Peru.’
• Breaking the Stasis: The Left Writes a New Chapter in Peru
‘Fujimori – using the pattern followed by the political Right in Latin America – has raised allegations of irregularities and fraud in the electoral process. Her attempts to overturn the legitimate results are borne out of personal necessity. Fujimori is facing a potential 30 years sentence, mainly for receiving illegal campaign money from some of the most powerful local business tycoons, including top bankers.’
• How Not to Celebrate Juneteenth – Fake Celebrations
‘Juneteenth has become the latest iteration of liberal capture of Black politics, opportunistic virtue signaling, and the intentional misrepresentation of US history’
• US seen as a bigger threat to democracy than Russia or China, global poll finds
• Sander helped lead opposition to US-China trade agreement
C2. Security (the state beyond ‘a pair of handcuffs’, monopolies of legitimate violence)
ee Security section focuses on the state (a pair of handcuffs, which sposedly has the monopoly of legitimate violence), and how the ‘national security’ doctrine is undermined by private interests, with no interest in divulging or fighting the real enemy, whose chief aim is to prevent an industrial renaissance as the basis of a truly independent nation.
• State Minister admits difficulty in tackling ‘Medicine Mafia’
• Inaccurate figures on Covid death toll on June 11 led to extension of travel restrictions: Prez
• Security on high alert in Tamil Nadu after infiltration threats of an armed group from SL.
‘police stepped up vigil in the towns of Kanyakumari, Toothukudi, Rameswaram, and Chennai…who are the armed persons trying to reach India by boat?’
• April Attacks: Uncertain if Sarah is dead or alive; says Minister
• Former Secretary Defence & Army Chief, General Cyril Ranatunga (Retd) Passes Away
‘He stepped down as Defence Secretary in April 1993’
• On a day like this 35 years ago INTAKE 20 was Commissioned
• STF’s “Pioneer Warrior” SSP Tuan
“About 30,000 Sri Lanka Police officers will retire in the next 2 years, but it will take some time to fill these vacancies, due to lack of qualified trainers.”
• Rape at the Ambepussa Rest House
• Cyber-espionage and Ransomware Wars
• Community Control of Public Safety: Building a Transitional Program for Power
C3. Economists (Study the Economists before you study the Economics)
ee Economists shows how paid capitalist/academic ‘professionals’ confuse (misdefinitions, etc) and divert (with false indices, etc) from the steps needed to achieve an industrial country.
• Pandemic’s new normal has changed the toolkit of bank regulators – Wijewardena
‘In Sri Lanka, the money multiplier stands at about 10 at present and hence, every rupee created by the central bank as reserve money will eventually increase the money supply by about 10 rupees.’
• Exports threatened by resurgence of COVID – Sanderatne
‘The reduction in exports together with increased import expenditure on fuel food and other essentials are likely to widen the trade deficit and strain the balance of payments this year.’
• Swap from Bangladesh: A loan or an investment? – Colombage
‘Bangladesh, which was ridiculed as a “bottomless basket” by the US State Secretary, Henry Kissinger in 1971, today holds a large foreign reserve stock of $ 45 billion, 10 times of Sri Lanka’s reserves’
• Urgent economic reforms needed to overhaul the economy
‘SL economy has to be strengthened through exports and attracting foreign investment to the country.’
• FDIs energize tropical islands elsewhere, can we be one? – Mahika Ming
• Foreign Investment Can Help Sri Lanka Build Back Better – World Bank at Investor Forum
‘Higher levels of FDI would also strengthen exports, foster growth and assist the country to put its debt on a more sustainable footing.’
• Eric Li on the continuity between Mao-era and reform-era China
• EU & Corporate Corruption
• Myth of “Black Wall Street” is Deployed to Bolster Black Capitalism
“most Greenwood Blacks worked for white businesses, and 95 percent lived in substandard housing.”
• Profits call the tune – Roberts
‘what we can see now in the expansion of ‘fictitious capital’ at the expense of productive investment’
• Most well-known US billionaires have paid no income taxes
‘Wall Street’s mega banks are using tricked up derivatives to hide from the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission the stock trading of U.S. billionaires.’
• Biggest banks on Wall Street went into a sharp swoon on Thursday
‘if the banks were rolling in liquidity they wouldn’t have needed those trillions of dollars in cumulative repo loans from the Fed beginning on September 17, 2019 – months before there were any reports of COVID-19 anywhere in the world’
• Denying the public the knowledge of the true owners of stock positions
‘it allowed the banks to avoid the Volcker Rule that bans them from owning a hedge fund while still letting them loan out their balance sheet to a hedge fund and collect lucrative fees along the way’
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how the economy is usually measured by false indices like GDP, etc, and in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, while calling for privatization and deregulation, their constant moaning about debt and balance of payments without stating the need for industrial production to overcome such issues, etc.
• Extraordinary gazette issued on essential services – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa
‘services provided by certain state institutions, Local Authorities and Co-operative Societies such as the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, supply and distribution of all fuels, including petroleum products and liquefied gas, all services in connection with the discharge, carriage, landing, storage, delivery and removal of oil or fuel from vessels within any port….’
• Trade deficit widens further in April
‘Central Bank said the major contributory factors for this outcome were sharp rise in value of fuel imports, machinery and equipment, textiles and textile articles, chemical products and plastics and articles thereof.’
• State of national economy, scandalous SUV order and fuel price hikes
• Price hikes sought for LPG, milk powder and others not granted yet: Govt.
• Global supply chain’s cost has increased imports by 300%.
• Sri Lanka minister warns of financial terror, mystery deepens over fuel stabilization fund
‘Neither remittances nor export revenues belong to the government. The government gets taxes when remittances and exports are spent on imports or domestic products.’
• “Remove PB or else,” warns Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero
• Prices of essential commodities gone out of control: JVP blames Govt.
• Central Bank informed Ministry of Finance that Petroleum Corp loans endanger banking
• Prime Minister meets CBSL officials; Discusses COVID related financial issues
‘debtors have become unable to repay their loans due to having to pay interest on installments first, and the importance of devising a methodology to pay interest as well as the loan amount was discussed.’
• Standard Chartered financed import of 4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses
‘for the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation by facilitating a trade loan to the Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank…When the first wave hit Sri Lanka last year, Standard Chartered made a much-needed donation of USD500,000 to the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society to support emergency relief activities’
• Central Bank says large appreciation of exchange rate in April ‘temporary’
• Sri Lanka Investment Forum woos FDI: Presents big bets on SL growth story
‘Selendiva, styled after Singapore’s Temasek, formed an SPV, Selendiva Leisure to consolidate the Grand Hyatt, Grant Oriental, Hilton, and several other prime properties’
• Excise Department grapples with billions of rupees in lost tax revenue
‘“We have been deprived of around Rs. 600 million per day in excise duties”’
• Hiking cigarette prices would make more sense: Economist Nishan de Mel
‘estimated loss incurred by not implementing cigarettes tax formulae in 2020 was Rs. 20 billion, and that the country is set to lose another Rs. 20 billion in 2021.
• 14.1% of gross domestic product deficit
• Income tax revenue falls to unexpected level
• Low tax regime made meaningless as people confront soaring prices.
‘Food inflation hovering near 10% and likely to go further up with fuel price increase. Economists point out inflation is type of a tax on people. They point out tax cuts by govt. have become pointless with surge in consumer prices. Supply-side delays due to COVID-19-related restrictions identified as main reason for price surges’
• World Bank wants more imports for Sri Lanka
‘“While there is no right or wrong policy, look at the role of imports; when does it help exports and domestic industry. Let’s get them in”’
• CB cuts growth below 5% for this year as economy on precipitous path
‘Out of the 8.5 million labour force, 2.5 million get a pay check at the end of the month but six million have to work their tail off daily to earn a living and the restrictions strangle them to death, throwing them out of business and throwing them out on the street.’
• CB makes ‘Recovery Plans’ mandatory for banks
• CB grants leeway for banks to invest in Sri Lanka issued int’l sovereign bonds
‘By December 2020, the five largest private sector LCBs alone had nearly half a trillion rupee equivalent invested in dollar denominated bonds and the figure could run much higher if the holdings by the two State banks and the NSB were included.’
• Sri Lanka targets year end forex reserves of US$4.0-4.5bn: Central Bank
• Central Bank hopeful of resurrecting Indian swap-line as buffers run thin
• ICRA flags looming external sector crisis
‘Tea prices crash in May adding to existing woes while SL already has a lot on its plate. Says US$1bn ISB, due for settlement in July, likely to come from already depleted reserves’
• Fitch affirms Sri Lanka rating at ‘CCC’
‘ Reiterates challenging foreign currency sovereign external debt repayment burden. Projects economy to grow by 3.8% in 2021…’
• Cabinet reviews progress of large-scale development projects
‘284 large-scale development projects thru 41 ministries with Rs. 692.5 billion. 53 projects are pertaining to ‘Drinking Water for All’ and ‘Development of Road Network of 100,000 kilometres’.’
• USA confident SL facilitation for US investors – Martin Kelly, US Charge d’ Affairs
• Sri Lanka fails to sell 60-pct of Treasury bills at price ceiling
• India – Inflation Shocker: High Prices Could Hamper Recovery
• G-7 Offers Crumbs from its Table to ‘Developing’ Countries – Prabhat Patnaik
‘the total unvaccinated population in the world numbers 6.8 billion. The one billion doses promised amounts to mere 7.4% of this requirement.’
• COVID-19 Vaccines: Inching Towards Text-based Negotiations on TRIPS Waiver Proposal – Anything Concrete?
‘The TRIPS council next meets in an informal meeting on June 17 to assess how textual discussions can move forward towards the General Council meeting of the WTO scheduled on July 21-22. ‘
• COVAX may donate 264,000 doses of AstraZeneca to Sri Lanka subject to conditions
• Why US Trade Representative Put Off Retaliatory Action Against India’s Equalisation Levy on E-commerce Firms
‘The major reason is the expedited discussions among the major economies to introduce a common framework to ensure that companies in the digital sector pay their fair share of taxes in jurisdictions in which they have activities, and they earn their profits from.’
• Who Bought the $4.7 Trillion of Treasury Securities Added Since March 2020 to the Incredibly Spiking US National Debt?
C5. Workers (Inadequate Stats, Wasteful Transport, Unmodern Plantations, Services)
ee Workers attempts to correct the massive gaps and disinformation about workers, urban and rural and their representatives (trade unions, etc), and to highlight the need for organized worker power
• Last year’s lockdowns alone pushed over half a million into poverty – Finance Ministry
‘4.5 million people out of a workforce of 8.5 million in Sri Lanka make a living out of daily incomes. Another half a million in the leisure sector are out of jobs for over a year now…’
• Sri Lanka faces triple-burden malnutrition: minister
‘SL’s Food System Dialogue is part of a series of national and provincial dialogues conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture ahead of the 2021 UN Food System Summit in New York later this year’
• Sri Lanka’s income inequality worsens in 2020: World Bank
‘Mobility restrictions created unequal opportunities favouring higher income earners. Poverty levels estimated to have increased from 9.2% in 2019 to 11.7% in 2020. People living extreme poverty doubled in 2020 to 1.2 percent of the population…According to the household income and expenditure survey 2016, Sri Lanka’s richest 20 percent enjoyed over half the total household income of the country, while the poorest 20 percent got only 5 percent.’
• Joint Health Workers Union (JHWU) protests highlighting various demands
• Garment workers in the claws of Covid-19 virus
‘Trade unions allege factories are concerned more with export targets than with workers’ health, demand priority in vaccination programme. PHIs say garment factories are no-go zones for them; no way of monitoring adherence to health guidelines within factories; northern workers complain of intimidation by security forces. Labour officials deny irregularities in factories, but minister yet to receive report on why hundreds of garment factory workers have become vulnerable to the virus. Factories kept running to ensure that export orders are delivered on time’
• Health Ministry urged not to reduce PCR testing during lookdowns
• Apparel TUs to enter MOU with JAAF
• Bus transporting garment workers attacked in Vavuniya
• Cabinet nod for 25% salary hike for CEB employees
• 8,000 more workers needed, say Railway Engine Drivers’
• Compensation, salaries due paid to family members of deceased Sri Lankan migrant workers
• Engaging the Sri Lankan diaspora in US, EU and Australia: Policy options
‘SL diaspora in the USA is generally educated and affluent, earning a median income of $74,000. The report also ranked the SL diaspora as the third most successful Asian American group in the USA.’
• Korea ambassador to smoothen out Covid bottlenecks holding up employment of SL youth
• Eligibility age for recruiting children raised to 16 years
‘offence under criminal law to engage children in street trading, to make money from circus and other recreational activities, to sell drugs and alcohol to children, and to use children in prostitution.’
• Sri Lanka estate females suffering violence, child sex abuse: action needed: study
‘Around a third of Sri Lanka’s female estate workers have suffered violence and sexual abuse as adults and had also been childhood sex victims with male dominance, close living quarters and isolation from mainstream society contributing’ the report by charities Oxfam and Adventist Development and Relief Agency International said.’
• Lockdown has resulted in an increase in domestic violence in Sri Lanka
• Why do we need feminism in Sri Lanka?
‘In the lead up to the 30 June to 2 July Generation Equality Forum in Paris, which is a major global inflection point for gender equality, the Ambassador of France to Sri Lanka, United Nations (UN) Women Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific and UN Women Sri Lanka Country Focal Point spoke about the importance of feminism. ‘
• Fred Engst: Born and raised in China
‘In the US, my mother was working under a scholarship from the US navy. But she quit, knowing her work would be used in the war. And decided instead to dedicate the rest of her life to modernizing agriculture in China.’
• Medicine, the Pandemic and Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara
‘It is critical to understand why the poor become victims of any disease or outbreak. Social medicine in Latin America, Guevara’s legacy, provides some answers.’
• Commune or Nothing: New Laws Reignite Old Debates Over Communal Power in Venezuela
• US Universities Have Turned Into Rapacious Capitalist Machines
‘US higher education is a relentless gentrifyer that spreads police terror and low wages…Black and brown neighborhoods were targeted for displacement’
• There Is No Labour Shortage, Only Labour Exploitation
‘“The so-called labour shortage needs to be understood as the result of tremendous employment reorganization, including the collapse of industries and companies.”’
C6. Agriculture (Robbery of rural home market; Machines, if used, mainly imported)
ee Agriculture emphasizes the failure to industrialize on an agriculture that keeps the cultivator impoverished under moneylender and merchant, and the need to protect the rural home market. Also, importation of agricultural machinery, lack of rural monetization and commercialization, etc.
• All 7 agriculture institutes teach how farming is done with chemical fertilizers.
• Chemical fertiliser usage in Sri Lanka has risen by 300% within four years.
• The role of extension officers was taken over by the agrochemical companies
• 30 ‘Scientists’ oppose President’s fertiliser ban
• 103 Agriculture Academics Insist They are not Paid off by Fertilizer Multinationals
• Of 27 licensed domestic organic fertiliser producers, 10 could supply 224,000 hectares
‘Cabinet decision to import required carbonic fertiliser and natural mineral through the government owned fertiliser company for 500,000 hectares of paddy cultivation for 2021/2022 Maha Season.’
• Global Organic Farming – Balachandran
‘in 2016, organic agriculture accounted for only 1.2% of the total agricultural land worldwide.’
• Accelerated program launched to manufacture organic fertilizer in Mahaweli Zones
• MONLAR complains of another project to help govt. cronies
‘to start 35 compost making projects in 25 Divisional Secretariat areas in the North Western Province… “We think the initiative should be farmer-led. The project also needs to integrate animal husbandry. There should also be a mechanism to ensure that the lands will be used sustainably.”’
• Sarath Fernando, of the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR)
‘was the first theorist in Sri Lanka to advocate for organic farming’
• Tea is now fertilizer dependent
‘Most soil where tea is grown in Sri Lanka is eroded and the organic matter in the soil is so poor’
• New COO at Ceylon Tea Brokers: Dinesh Fernando as the Chief Operating Officer.
‘Affiliate member of England’s Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, and Association of Business Executives, and was a Senior Manager at Mercantile Produce Brokers’
• At present, only tea and garment industries able to earn foreign exchange: Ranil
• Tea exports rise extends to May
• Spice exports up, but industry worried over fertiliser shift
‘Export earnings from spices and essential oils increased to $137 million…mainly seen in export of pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. We also have noticed a 25% increase in prices…’
• Magnitude 1.94 minor tremor close to Victoria Dam; No threat – GSMB
• Rs.1Bn worth of Micro Leases disbursed by HNB to 400+ Agri MSMEs to buy imported tech
• Information and Communication Technology Agency spearheads ‘AgTech Showcase’
‘increase awareness and adoption of technology in agriculture sector… From Germany, Enpact Managing Director Jan Lachenmayer shared insights’
• International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to reduce poverty
• Importers made billions in profit, reluctant to provide sugar at lower prices for three months
‘3 gazette notifications issued on Friday instructing individuals who stock corn, sugar, powdered milk, paddy and rice to register with Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) with the stock details within 7 days.
• Prices of bakery products, excluding bread increased
• Prices of confectionary items to increase by 8-10% this week
• Confectionery prices to go up by 3-15% by next week
‘The confectionery industry is worth Rs. 150 billion and comprises the formal local manufacturing industry worth Rs. 85 billion, with SMEs chipping in a further Rs. 10-15 billion. Separately, Sri Lanka exports $ 150-200 million (between Rs. 30-40 billion). There are around 1.5 million people engaged in the baking industry, with 500,000 directly employed and another one million engaged indirectly….the rising cost of commodities, logistics, packaging, foreign exchange and levies.’
• Egg prices likely to go up, faces danger of collapse: All Island Egg Producers Association
• Full cream milk powder importers await nod for critical price hike
‘Imports satisfy 80% of Sri Lanka’s Full Cream Milk Powder (FCMP) demand as well as over 65% of Sri Lanka’s total dairy requirement. Imports are mainly sourced from New Zealand & Australia…. FCMP contributes closer to 18%-20% of the revenue of over 150,000 retailers islandwide and also a key ingredient in over 20,000 tea boutiques and used by the bakery industry as well…90,000 ton of FCMP imported annually’
• Livelihoods of fishermen sink deep in troubled waters
‘Prices of deep sea fish such as tuna, snapper, seer fish (thora), paraw, thalapath (sailfish) continue to soar due to short supply and increased demand while smaller fish such as herrings, sardines, small mullet, prawns, crabs and other crustaceans are seeing a price drop.’
• Fishermen in Thalawila protest over increase in fuel prices
• Fisherfolks lament; find difficult to make ends meet
‘nearly 300 fishing families in Dehiwela. …D.A.Mahinda Silva, Secretary Divers Society has been diving for ornamental fish… 75 divers live in the area.
• Bottom-trawling Indian poachers protest against sinking of old buses’
• Norway’s IMR and NARA sign MoU to study marine resources management in Sri Lanka
• China allows Sri Lankan fish imports
‘China is one of Sri Lanka’s key export markets for fisheries. Sri Lanka has exported at least US$ 5.2 million worth of edible fish products to China in 2020.’
• Indian hospital waste found on northern beaches
• Norway offers remote assistance to address sea pollution
• Vavuniya tusker’s Demise & Elephant Games
• Leopard killed in high-speed road accident in Jaffna: Third one in six months
• The Yala-Maha Seasons and their impact on the Solar Festival
• Legendary conservationist to speak to Lankans on June 17 under WNPS & Nations Trust Bank
• Prof. Mohan Munasinghe to receive Asahi Glass Foundation Green award
• Corporates will have to embrace green technology in future progress
‘Victoria Burrows, Director Advancing Net Zero, World Green Building Council, said that the World Building Council is a global network…’
C7. Industry (False definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc)
ee Industry notes the ignorance about industrialization (versus handicraft and manufacture), the dependence on importing foreign machinery, the need to make machines that make machines, build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound, and the need for a holistic political, economic and military strategy to overcome the domination by merchants and moneylenders.
• Daya Ratnayake, Industries Ministry Secretary, Nihal Keppetipola, Chairman, Ports Authority
‘Capt. Keppetipola is also the Chairman of the Ceylon Fishery Harbours Corporation.’
• Oil Spill Response Lts. – English company managing disasters, with shareholders from major oil companies
‘The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation and Oil Spill Response Ltd are the ship owners and insurance companies. Our Marine Environment is administered and governed by the Agency named The ‘Marine Environment Protection Authority’ [MEPA]… ITOPF is financed by over 6100 tanker owners and associates who operate about 10,800 tankers, barges, and carriers.’
• Latest petroleum sector liberalisation set to break CPC monopoly
‘to liberalise the fuel refining, selling and distributing petroleum products’
• Global oil prices continue uptrend with refined petroleum closing in on US$ 80 a barrel
‘Sri Lanka spends more on refined petroleum compared crude oil, according to the Central Bank data. Out of the US$347.2 million spent on oil imports in March 2021, US$310.5 million was spent on refined petroleum, up over 100% from the same month in 2020.’
• Cabinet Sub-Committee on Cost of Living decides on fuel prices
‘Sub-Committee consisted of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Namal Rajapaksa, State Minister of Finance Ajith Nivard Cabraal, and State Minister of Consumer Affairs Lasantha Alagiyawanna in addition to Gammanpila, as the Minister of Energy.’
• Sri Lanka fuel price stabilization account Rs26bn in the red
• Under-fire President justifies fuel hike
‘continuous rise in global crude oil prices over the past few months… Sri Lanka has become a country that not only spends a large amount of foreign exchange for fuel imports, but also a country where its transport services, power generation and the function of some of the factories are based on these imports. In 2019 alone, the foreign exchange spent on oil imports was $ 3.6 billion. CPC owes Rs 652bn, and CEB owed Rs 85bn to the Bank of Ceylon & the People’s Bank’
• Hambantota port to become strategic energy center for SL
• Diesel deal goes to Petrochina S’pore, crude oil to Conscio of Nigeria
• LPG price hike inevitable after fuel jolt
‘The Bakery Owners Association yesterday sought permission to increase prices of bakery products, because of the increase in transport charges and the price hike of palm oil. Private Bus Owners Association President Gemunu Wijeratne said they would be severely affected by the diesel price increases and would be forced to cut down their services, pending a revision of the fares. Three-wheel associations are due to meet next week soon after travel restrictions are lifted to discuss a revision of fares’
– sundaytimes.lk/210613/news/gas-companies-also-seek-price-hike-col-likely-to-soar-446483.html ‘
• Inland oil leak nearly made capital run dry
• “Butane and propane composition in cooking gas should be regulated for public safety”
• Is Litro Gas above the regulator?
• Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to build new storage facility at Hambantota Intl. Port
‘CPC, the State entity which provides the majority of petroleum products to local consumers… CPC currently imports refined petroleum products to cater to, approximately, 70% of the country’s demand via the Colombo Port and suburbs.’
• Chevron Lubricants Lanka, pre-eminent marketer of lubricant in Sri Lanka
‘global brands such as Caltex, Havoline, Delo along with Lanka Lubricants a local brand. Chevron provides engine oils including passenger car lubricants, motorcycle oils, diesel engine lubricants, industrial lubricants…’
• Tittawella, Withana join LAUGFS Gas Board
‘Tittawella was member of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Committee on Company Reforms (1993), SL-Swedish joint legal team to devise new Arbitration Act of Sri Lanka (1994-97), Legal Consultant to Airport and Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka (1994-97), Securities and Exchange Commission, 2000-02 and Insurance Board 2001-02. He is an independent non elective director with Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC and Orient Finance PLC (as Chairman)… Withana has worked with Brandix Group, Ernst & Young, Amsterdam Rotterdam (Amro) Bank, IBM World Trade, Corporation and Carson Cumberbatch, Ceylon Tea Services and Yamaha (USA). He is CFO, Sri Lankan Airline and CEO, SriLankan catering, director of Agility consulting services, and previously director of Bank of Ceylon, Dankotuwa Porcelain, Merchant Bank, Ceylease and Seylan Bank, Commissioner of the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission. LAUGFS Gas board comprises W.K.H. Wegapitiya (Chairman), U.K.T.N. De Silva (Executive Vice Chairman), P. Kudabalage (Group CEO/MD), C.D. Ediriwickrama (CEO/Executive Director), T.K. Bandaranayake, N.M. Prakash, S.P.P. Amaratunge, A. Tittawella and L. Withana.
• Vidullanka successfully raises Rs. 253 m via Rights Issue of non-voting shares
‘power plant portfolio with an installed capacity of 36MW, comprised of hydro, dendro and solar power plants located in SL and in Uganda….and a joint venture with Windforce Ltd. and HiEnergy Services Ltd. for the development of a 10MW solar power plant in eastern Sri Lanka.’
• Sri Lanka cabinet clears Windforce plant in high-wind Mannar
‘Windforce will get a 20 year power purchase agreement from sCeylon Electricity Board…Other locations: Trincomalee (10MW), Madampe (10MW), Bolawatte (10MW) and Kappalthurai (15MW)’
• 100 MW Access Mannar Wind Power Plant project nears completion
‘contract awarded to Vestas Asia Pacific A/S, a subsidiary of Vestas Wind Systems, a world-renowned Danish wind turbine manufacturer.’
• Sweden-based Tundra fund doubles stake in renewable energy giant WindForce
‘Existing major shareholders Akbar and Hirdaramani too pick up more quantities as original shareholder Star Pack Investments exits with tidy profit’
• Sampath Bank concludes Rs.750 mn structuring & invests in LVL Energy Fund
• SL gets US $ 100mn Indian credit line via the Exim Import Bank for solar power generation
• Lankem’s Rs. 677 m Rights Issue goes undersubscribed
‘Major shareholders are The Colombo Fort Land and Building (44.3%) and related party E.B. Creasy and Company (32.4%).’
• Container transport charges up by 15% from July 1: AIUCTOA
‘Due to an increase in vehicle spare parts and the recent fuel price hike, the All Island United Container Transport Owners’ Association (AIUCTOA)… “Prices of spare parts, such as tyres, tubes, batteries and lubricants, have shot up by 50%. Every spare part vendor sells at a different price range, and there is no fixed price for to them,”
• Sea-Me-We 6 submarine cable to carry telecom between Southeast Asia, Middle East, & Western Europe
• Why Sri Lanka needs to move beyond being a transshipment hub
• Asia is home to many ‘dinosaurs’: huge, bloated national airlines
‘that haven’t been profitable for decades, saddled with legacy costs, inappropriate fleets, venal unions and corrupt managers’
• Emirates Group Claims 2020-21 Losses
‘annual loss of AED 22.1 billion (US$ 6.0 billion)… Group revenue of AED 35.6 billion (US$ 9.7 billion)…Ends year with solid cash balance of AED 19.8 billion (US$ 5.4 billion)
• Japan firm claims damages of Rs5.8bn from Sri Lanka after LRT deal scrapped
• Army Workshops Make Unused Vehicles Motorable
• Luxury vehicle import plan for “fieldwork” suspended – not cancelled
‘the Sri Lanka Government is one of Toyota’s biggest customers and the company was unlikely to compromise the relationship.’
• High import expenditure on motor vehicle imports – US$1-1.5 billion per year
‘Import expenditure of fuel for transport – US$ 1.38 billion in 2020’
• CMTA Says 216 LCs worth Rs.5.2bn opened by its members prior to import ban in March
• Bank of Ceylon asks HSBC (Singapore) to cancel LCs on controversial vehicle imports
• JAAF appeals to apparel buyers for fair treatment, saddened by “lack of partnership”
• MTI advises medical tech importer Analytical Instruments on family business strategy
‘Operating since 1989, Analytical Instruments represents some of the world’s leading healthcare equipment companies and cutting-edge technologies – serving Sri Lanka’s healthcare industry.’
• Pharmaceutical zone Hambantota: Environment disaster in making
‘But the initiative comes with a large number of dangers, the detailed EIA by Skills International’
• Peradeniya Scientists discover method using graphite to remove chemicals, oil from sea
• Five digital parks to expose youth talent to world: Namal
• Axiata says Malaysian merger with Norway’s Telenor to be sealed
• England Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) to help cleanup
• Ship en-route from Colombo Port to Haldia, West Bengal spills oil in Bay of Bengal
• X-Press Pearl Disaster Offers Lessons for Moving Chemicals on India’s Waterways
‘chemicals comprise 99% of the cargo composition of freight traffic along National Waterways 3 (NW-3). This is a 205-km stretch in Kerala from Kollam to Kottapuram. The majority of cargo comprises liquified ammonia gas, rock phosphate, sulphur and phosphoric acid….Along NW-73 in Gujarat along the Narmada…90% of cargo comprises Ethylene…the route is mostly run by private entities.’
• USAID LAN and GBAN promote Sri Lankan startups via Entrepreneurship World Cup
‘The EWC online platform also offers…access to more than $25,000 in perks from partners such as Google Cloud, Hubspot, Stripe and more.
• How China is targeting Big Tech
‘… the wave of antitrust activity had come partly in response to public anger over the enormous power of some tech companies’
• U.S. Excluded China From International Space Projects – It Built Its Own
‘In May 2011 Congress banned scientific cooperation with China’
• Stealing Africa – Why Poverty?
‘Rüschlikon in Switzerland has a very low tax rate and very wealthy residents… it receives more tax revenue than it can use…thanks to one resident – Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore, whose copper mines in Zambia do not generate a large bounty tax revenue for Zambians. Zambia has the 3rd largest copper reserves in the world, but 60% of population live on less than $1 a day, 80% are unemployed’
• Cuba’s COVID-19 Vaccines: A Journey of Collaboration and Revolutionary Solidarity
• The cost per patient per year for the US Alzheimer drug will be some $56,000.
‘There are some 6 million US people with Alzheimer’s. Medicare and Medicaid, which will have to pay for the drug because it is FDA approved, will have to bear the costs. The company which makes the drug, Biogen, will gain ginormous profits from it. As will physicians who prescribe the drug, administer the infusions and bill 6% of the drug’s price for it.’
C8. Finance (Making money from money, banks, lack of investment in modernity)
ee Finance tracks the effects of financialization, the curious role of ratings agencies, false indices, etc., and the rule of moneylenders.
• Four new state-owned businesses to be listed in the CSE
‘Selendiva Investments Pvt Ltd, Sahasya Investments, Centre for Robotics (CERA) Pvt Ltd and SL Biotechnology (SLIBTEC) Pvt Ltd with foreign or local investor ownership jointly with the state….Out of the 287 SOEs, 52 SOEs have been identified as strategically important state enterprises that play a catalytic role in transforming the country’s economy to a high growth trajectory.’
Out of the 287 SOEs, 52 SOEs have been identified as strategically important state enterprises that play a catalytic role in transforming the country’s economy to a high growth trajectory.
• Difficulties faced by the borrowers of Non-Banking Financial Institutions (NBFIs)
• People’s Leasing to raise Rs. 8 b via debentures
• National Savings Bank’s total asset base grew by 17.8% to Rs. 1.4 trillion in 2020
• Nations Trust Bank to raise up to Rs.4bn via unlisted debt
• M Power Capital Concludes 3Bn Rated Securitization for Commercial Leasing & Finance PLC
• LOLC Development Finance leads market activity, analysts taken by surprise
• CSE Records tumble as listed firms’ earnings top Rs. 100 b milestone
• Fuel hike drags down investor sentiment at CSE
• India mercilessly hiking taxes on petrol & diesel to rob from people and boost its resources
• Funds Held by Indians in Swiss Banks Swell Over Rs 20,700 Crore in 2020; Highest in 13 Years
‘there were 243 banks in Switzerland at the end of 2020’
• Bezos Has Dumped Over $16.6 Billion of Amazon Stock
• JPMorgan Chase Is the Riskiest Bank in the United States
• Wall Street’s Mega Banks Are Bleeding Market Cap
• JPMorgan, Citigroup & BofA Ruled Not “Fit” to Participate in Huge European Bond Offering
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business aka ee Rentier focuses on diversions of the oligarchy, the domination by a merchant mafia, making money from unproductive land sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of press releases disguised as ‘news’
• World Bank IFC’s Investment in Sunshine Holding
‘With the urban population accounting for only about 19% of the national total—and the consumer demand shifting toward branded and quality packaged food products—increasing market inclusion will be key to enhancing the sector’s competitiveness. Domestic spending on FMCG at $5.5 billion, out of which modern retailers represent only around 15%… With 50 years of operations in Sri Lanka, IFC’s active portfolio in the country currently stands at $486 million.
• Sunshine Holdings donates Multipara Monitors to Army Hospital
Gulam Chatoor, veteran spices exporter retires after 70 years of service
‘Gulam Chatoor, the present Chairman of Saboor Chatoor, set up Spices & Allied Products Producers & Traders’ Association in 1984, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce from 1986-89…’
• Devaka Cooray named United Motors Chairman from end-July
‘Managing Director of Management Systems Ltd, worked with Ernst & Young for over 40 years and
sits on the Boards of HNB, Life Insurance Corporation, HVA Foods, JAT Holdings, MSL Kandy Properties, Lanka Tours and Trades, Secretarial Services, Colombo Medical and General Company, MSL Management Audit Services and MSL Audits. The Board of UML comprises Sunil Wijesinha (Chairman), Devaka Cooray (Chairman designate), C. Yatawara (Group Executive Director and CEO), A.W. Atukorala, R.H. Yaseen, A.H. Fernando, K.A.M.K. Ranasinghe, S.A. Chapman, M.C. Pietersz and J. Takami.’
• Delivery services: Moves to break Uber and Pickme monopoly
• John Keells’ Union Assurance Honours Over 1 Billion Claims In Q1
• Kelsey Homes records revenue of over Rs. 320mn
• Adani shares trim losses after group denies reports of foreign funds freeze
‘News that India’s National Securities Depository (NSDL) had frozen the accounts of 3 foreign funds (Albula Investment Fund, Cresta Fund and APMS Investment Fund) that are among the top stakeholders in the firms were erroneous….’
C10. Politics (Anti-parliament discourse, unelected constitution)
ee Politics points to the constant media diversions and the mercantile and financial forces behind the political actors, of policy taken over by private interests minus public oversight.
• Echoes of NM’s dismissal may have an impact on present crisis
• Top SL business leaders panelist at UN Global Compact Summit 2021
‘Other high-level Summit speakers include Manish Bapta, Interim President and CEO, World Resources Institute; Can Çaka, CEO, Anadolu Efes; Li Zhenguo, Founder & President, LONGi Green Energy Technology Co; Marjorie Yang, Chairman and CEO, Esquel Group; Victoria Yarmoshchuku, CEO and Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation’
• LSSP and CPSL felicitate Communist Party of China on 100th anniversary
• Sri Lankan political parties mark Communist Party of China centenary
‘11 political parties, including the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna and its allies, jointly issued a statement at the conference praising the CPC’s domestic and international accomplishments.’
• Dinesh extends greetings to Communist Party of China on its centenary
• China, the most powerful country in the world under Communist leadership: Ranil
• Vietnam treasures ties with Sri Lanka: Communist Party of Vietnam chief
• Remembering Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara on his 93rd Birth Anniversary
‘by the 1950s, when the US became the leader of the so-called free world and the foremost champion of the “free market”, it controlled 40% of Cuba’s sugar production, 90% of its telephone and electrical services, 50% of the railways, 90% of its cattle ranches, and 25% of its bank deposits.’
• Withering of State Identical to Dictatorship of Proletariat: Aijaz Ahmad
‘Prof. Aijaz Ahmad and Vijay Prashad discuss Marx’s The Civil War in France’
• ‘A Moment in the Progression of Marxist Thought’: Aijaz Ahmad
‘Vijay Prashad discusses the first part of the manuscript ‘The German Ideology’ by Marx and Engels.’
• Lessons from Eldridge Cleaver and the Black Panther Party
‘Cleaver’s underdeveloped political consciousness led the Panthers into an unsustainable position of confrontation against the U.S. government with nothing close to the capacity to engage that position.’
• Today, the self is the battlefield of politics. Blame Michel Foucault
‘The rise of confessional politics has its origins in the Left’s post-60s turn away from structures and towards the individual’
C11. Media (Mis/Coverage of economics, technology, science and art)
ee Media shows how corporate media monopoly determines what is news, art, culture, etc. The media is part of the public relations (corporate propaganda) industry. The failure to highlight our priorities, the need to read between the lines. To set new perspectives and priorities.
• England’s governments pay for trolling and media influence programmes
• Centre for Banking Studies (CBS) educate journalists on interpreting economic data
• Sustainability Rankings: Goodness Corporates Can Buy
‘Scorecards, rankings, ratings and social labels ultimately benefit corporates and markets. Now, even governments use them to create inherently unfair competitions.’
• Politically motivated mud-brigades in action?
‘Divaina editorial dated 6th June 2021 under the title ‘overthrowing governments and overthrowing toilet buckets’ too, quite rightly exposed some of the individuals (by name and giving examples)…’
• Police could misuse “fake news” allegations to stifle free speech: Sri Lanka Bar Association
• Sinophobia is a distraction: Here’s why – Devapriya
• X-Press Pearl disaster and contrived confabulations
‘The ship’s disaster is a case study on how social media works and how a multitude of sources can auto correct, a story line that interested parties were trying control’. If not autocorrect, they can make it really hard to change the trajectory of the story.
• Social media under scrutiny: Boom or gloom amidst a pandemic
‘more than 10 million SL internet users… 71% of the world’s internet users are youth aged 15-24.’
• Cinema business wants patron capacity increase to 50% from 25%
‘entertainment sector of C T Holdings, the owners of the Cargills group of businesses, suffered losses amounting to Rs.155.4 million for the year ended on March 31, 2021.’
• TULF Leader Anandasangaree dared to defy the LTTE – Jeyaraj
• Laki’s landscapes of the mind
‘His father, Reginald Vincent, a Trotskyist planter, was imprisoned by the British and later died as a consequence. His mother, Florence, needed to support their six children and became the first woman coconut estate manager, in Madampe near Chilaw in 1944. After the death of her husband she came to Colombo to contest the Kiriella seat in the general election in 1949.’
• When DRW swayed life at Lake House
• Secret of the “Universe Gate” in the Holy City
‘I think Sakwala Chakraya is the blueprint for a complex project that is similar to the huge towers that were being built at that time,” she says. I tend to think it was a factory of Sigiriya.”’
• The Homes in Ward Place in its early days, When it was known as the Harley Street of Ceylon
‘home of J Tyagarajah, member of the Monetary Board, and a Director of the Central Bank….’
• Walter Rodney’s Death Records to be Amended and Children’s Books Placed in Schools
‘the government would amending Dr. Rodney’s death certificate from death by misadventure to assassination.’
• An address by Ahmadiyya Head at UNESCO HQ
‘Since it was founded in 1889, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has always promoted education amongst its members. ‘
• Cristiano Ronaldo’s removal of 2 Coca-Cola bottles caused $4 billion drop in the market value
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