Scrap Fake Debts, Reject Rogue UN, Ban iNGOs
Published (updated: ) in Uncategorized. Tags: Advocata, Anagarika Dharmapala, Bandung, Capital Media, Chandrika Kumaratunga, CSTO, D. J. Wimalasurendra, Debt, Edmund Hewavitarane, Frantz Fanon, G.V.S. de Silva, Hela Clothing, Henry Pedris, John D'Oyly, Made-in-Sri-Lanka, Mitsubishi, Myanmar, Neeliya Malavige, New Zealand, Patrice Lumumba, Philip Gunawardena, Quad, S.B.D. de silva, Sanasa Development Bank, Saranankara, Sarvodaya, SCO, SDF, Singapore, Sirimavo Bandaranaike, SLFP, Sri Lanka Debt, Standard Chartered Bank, United Nations Human Rights Committee, US-funded Advocata, Vidyalankara, Vidyodaya, W.D. Lakshman, William de Silva.
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
e-Con e-News 12-18 September 2021
In reality the UN is the legal card used by imperialist interests when brute force has failed.
The sharing, the mixed, controlled joint-committees under guardianship are
international means of torture to break the will of the people, cultivating anarchy, banditry and misery.
– Frantz Fanon, ‘On the Murder of Patrice Lumumba’, 1964
Anagarika Dharmapala’s 157th birth anniversary fell on September 17. The English and their Wijewardena and Senanayake allies drove him away from Sri Lanka. After the English murder of his brother Edmund in a Jaffna prison, and of Henry Pedris in Welikada jail, Dharmapala remained in exile until his death in 1933. Dharmapala’s saga, which gave rise to the SLFP, also refutes the lie that there was no struggle for independence in the 20th century (see ee Focus, SLFP – What Fate Awaits).
Dharmapala’s rudimentary attempts at industrial renaissance, based on Japan’s rise (or at least what aspects they divulged to him) were taken forward by engineer DJ Wimalasurendra, political leaders Philip Gunawardena and William de Silva, and economists GVS de Silva and SBD de Silva. Yet they too suffered similar isolation and vilification for attempting to serve, midst sabotage, assassination, and terrorism.
When budding politicians taught at ‘Big Schools’, talk nonsense about ‘Made-in-Sri-Lanka’ as assembly and manufacture: Peasants and workers themselves must prioritize our own history proving that modern machine-making industry is the pivotal basis for national power everywhere.
This ee provides fascinating insight: the so-called ‘Father of the Nation’ DS Senanayake once supported, but later opposed, industrialization due to fear of an organized working class! (Focus, Opportunities Lost). Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s ‘largest NGO’ Sarvodaya’s bank SDF (which claims not to steal from rural areas and enrich Colombo like other banks, and yet ‘leases’ them machinery exorbitantly imported thru Colombo) – has entered into the deeper embrace of the stock market and US government.
• Prof Neelika Malavige and Deshamanya WD Lakshman complained about the media distorting their words (last ee). The media conitnues that fine English tradition by which Dharmapala’s legacy was poisoned by his enemies, and reduced by ‘honorable’ biographers. This still dominant English trashing can be traced to the very beginnings of English rule itself. Indeed ‘Dharmapala was the most passionate defender of Sri Vikrama [the last king of Sinhale] in colonial times’. The many lies about Sri Vikrama spread by the English spy and ‘writer’ John D’Oyly have even crept into textbooks and lore (ee Media).
Central Bank Governor Lakshman noted in his farewell: Sri Lanka was called ‘developing’ when he was a student, and is still called so. Unable to install even a much-needed development bank, Lakshman, at least, stood steadfast against the IMF, which demands we devalue our rupee even more, sell off national assets, and reduce the ability of the state to protect citizen’s labor rights, health, education, etc. The Covid onslaught rather should be used to go beyond the capitalist game inherited.
The rise of foreign government-funded NGOs & multinationals – the business media overflows with their ‘generous’ donations to prevent local production – links to this anarchocapitalist strategy of restricting the state.
Meanwhile US embassy & US-funded-thinktank Advocata’s press releases, advocating selling national assets, are reproduced immaculately & extensively in a supine media (ee Economists).
If the now-multinational-linked merchants and moneylenders whom Dharmapala denounced are still able to overturn another popular government, this time in the 21stC, do we need another century to take on who clearly blocks our advance?
• So watch their chatterati wailing US ‘defeat’ in Afghanistan, while whites have elsewhere declared a so-called ‘people’s defensive war’ on Myanmar. This week the whites were still refusing Myanmar their rightful seat at the UN.
At the same time, USAID & other funds are targeting Sri Lanka AND Myanmar together in various guises, to aid ‘peace-building’, ‘reconciliation’, ‘pluralism’, ‘women’s empowerment’, ‘religious diversity’, ‘conflict sensitivity’, flowing into ‘sensitive’ coastal communities (eg Puttalam, Mannar, Trincomalee, Batticaloa) where they’re rousing ‘inclusive’ chaos (Random Notes, NGOs).
• On 1 September 2021, the US upped their published war budget (for the Pentagon alone) for 2022 to at least $800billion. Weapons corporations publicly paid at least $57million to members of the US Congress in the first half of 2021, to direct investment towards their favorite projects. The whites need no ‘lobbying’ to maintain their machineries of mass murder:
Our mistake… is to have forgotten that the enemy never backs down sincerely.
He never understands. He surrenders, but is not converted.
Our mistake is to have believed that the enemy had lost its militancy and its harmfulness.
Here Fanon recalls the whites’ murder of Patrice Lumumba and his mistake of depending on the UN who aided in his murder (ee Sovereignty, Lumumba). This is vital to remember, as freshly minted ‘green toilet paper’ comes raining down unaccounted, to finance destabilization, under the various guises of ‘liberalism’ and ‘inclusive democracy’. This is vital to remember when their media is falsely bemoaning a US defeat in Afghanistan. They fail to understand the white man – Theirs is no defeat. They have bequeathed further chaos to yet another region in the world (Random Notes, NGOs).
• To counter the US promoting further chaos in Central Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO, of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) met on Sept 17, where Chinese President Xi Jinping called on participants to have confidence in our own traditions, ‘and refuse sanctimonious preaching from those who feel they have the right to lecture us’. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO, of Russia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) also met in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, to oppose the extension of terrorism.
The white Quad’s maiden summit in Washington is scheduled for Sept 24. The Indo-US love affair is set to include attacks on Afghanistan, or rather threaten them. This will in turn further inflame border disputes, enabling further interference in India, and justify India’s interference in our world, etc, etc. The ‘global’ Catholic Church rather than acting coy could surely name who was behind the April 2019 terror.
• US-funded thinktank Advocata is calling for a ‘freeze’ on paying back foreign debt. They repeat the oppositional gospel ever since this popular government was elected, that ‘default’ is imminent (ee Economists, Default). While this incessant naysaying is meant to undermine the ruling coalition, why not simply ‘cancel’ this debt? Instead, they want to sell-off national assets (Random Notes).
These debts were and are incurred to feed the wasteful lifestyle of the oligarchy? Washington’s IMF and World Bank, however, say ‘Supporters of 100% debt cancellation must be honest about the costs… It would ‘undermine the confidence of existing and potential investors whose funds are vital for the long-term development of the low-income countries’ (ee Economists, Debt). Phew! What is this ‘long-term development’ investors have sunk their money into? No such animal!
A ‘freeze’ will bring on further IMF ‘conditions’. No economist simply states: modern industrial production is the best route to not just paying back debts, but to advance the people of the country. They will never state: ‘State-led investment in technology, skilled labor and common prosperity’ is the key (ee Economists, China).
• Besides their refusal to cancel the fake debts piled on us, the World Bank (in order to hide their absolutely scandalous blocking of vaccine production in our world, alongside the profiteering off the pandemic) has an obsequious media emblazon World Bank ‘aid’ for women and youth education, the environment (no word about organic fertilizer tho), water, transport, urban development, health, etc.
Such fake largesse is accompanied by the benign face of its director WB Country Director for SL Faris Hadad-Zervos etc. while English banks like Standard Chartered unashamedly give themselves awards for partnering the Japanese-controlled Asian Development Bank to finance imports of vaccines, further adding to ‘our’ foreign debt!(see ee Business).
• So back we go to our favorite ee topic: Who prevents making of machines in Sri Lanka! Industrialization is not assembly & manufacture! Also, people who make money through money and rent, or sew faster by hand or with imported sewing machines, cannot be called ‘entrepreneurs’!
The link between importers and leasers of vehicles (& machinery) and the proliferation of finance companies was inadvertently highlighted this week by the infamous Fitch ratings agency. Fitch laments the constraints on vehicle imports is challenging the finance and leasing companies.
Fitch is linked to Capital Media, publishers of Echelon business magazine & web portal economynext. Capital Media’s chairman Channa de Silva, is also chairman of Sarvodaya Development Finance, and Vice-President of the Sarvodaya movement. SDF, this week, announced it will enter into the deep embrace of the capital market by listing on the Colombo Stock Exchange.
Here is why USA’s Fitch is so concerned about finance companies and import restrictions: These finance companies have white development banks from the US, Europe, England, Canada, Japan, India behind them. These ‘development’ banks are selling their industrial and consumer machinery (farming machinery, tractors, harvesters, 2wheelers, 3wheelers, and other 4wheelers) putting people into unpayable debt cycles. So why hasn’t Sarvodaya invested in making tractors here? The zillion rupee question!
A1. Reader Comments –
• Sinhala Suicide in New Zealand • What Lakshman Did Not Do? • Hela Clothing Fails to Invest in Hela • Johnny K at Bandung
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Selling off the Country Confidently • US Only Joins UN Groups it Commands • 15,000 Drone Strikes on Innocents • Anglo-Saxon Blood Lust • BBC Recipes for ‘Color Revolutions’ • Singapore’s Well-Greased Politicians • State Investment in Technology, Skilled Labor & Common Prosperity • African Puppets Prefer Whites • NYTimes Can’t Name US Torture
A3. Random Notes –
• NZ’s Highest Youth Suicide Rate • US-IMF Demands Sell National Assets • India Shuts down NGOs • Singapore Blocks Social Media • Civil Society is another name for USA • Making & Tracking Fake Videos • Sarvodaya Sells Indian & US Tractors • Colombo Banks Rob Rural • Mitsubishi, Machinery & Debt
B. ee Focus
B1. SLFP: What Fate Awaits It – Gunadasa Amarasekera
B2. Opportunities Lost & Narrow Escapes – Sugath Kulatunga
B3. An End to the Crisis? The IMF’s $650bn Special Drawing Rights Stimulus –Toussaint & Rivié
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
• ‘What’s with Sinhala diaspora youth committing suicide in New Zealand? Surprising! Most web articles say it is among the happiest countries!’
• ‘Central Bank Governor Lakshman should answer, what he would have done differently if he had known the impediments, and what we must do now, what will happen to his promise of a development bank, and what will happen if a development bank is not enacted?’
• ‘Hela Clothing is praising itself for opening plants in Africa. Could ee explain whether SL gains any financial benefits by these companies, opening up plants and investing overseas? Granted they probably go overseas for various factors like being closer to their home markets, cheapened labour, cheaper energy costs etc. But does the Mother Country gain any benefits from such investments? All headlines give a very impressive picture of this particular company and its performance.’
[One answer: They are stealing from us and should be investing their profits made here, right here. They’re using such moves to threaten the state and workers by saying if we don’t behave they will shift. The garments refuse to make a pin, needle, or thread here. Plantation companies did the same with tea, moved profits over to Africa. Plantation companies refused to invest capital derived here in capital-intensive production, mechanizing tea plucking. They just want to use ‘competition’ to drive us down. They must be exposed. But who will?]
• ‘What ee fails to explain about Kotelawala’s performance at Bandung was his manipulation of local anxieties about great Indian chauvinism, embodied in his claim Nehru wished to censor his comments, and the whites’ need to both limit Nehru’s agenda, so as to attack the socialist countries. Nehru was also worried about Pakistan’s membership in the 2 Anglo-American military alliances of SEATO and the Baghdad Pact.’
• ‘Enjoyed this week’s ee and grateful as usual.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘While the government along with the Central Bank is working on some stop-gap measures to shore up the country’s foreign-exchange reserves, which recovered to $3.55bn in August, some have floated the idea of selling non-strategic State-owned assets which have the capacity to rake in a couple of billion dollars, as such inflows could infuse the market with much-needed confidence to its participants, restoring stability’ – see ee Economy, Net Seller
• ‘US refuses to join the International Court, or any international organization in which it does not have veto power. And it simply withdraws from international treaties and agreements it has signed if its vested interests believe these no longer serve their interests. This always has been US policy, from the many treaties with Native American tribes broken… “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.” To impose this reality on other countries, US “intelligence” is selected, invented or censored to give the appearance of whatever reality is deemed to serve US interests at any given moment of time.’ – ee Economists, Hudson
• ‘Expert analysis of the deadly US drone strike’s aftermath in Kabul suggests no evidence of explosives in targeted vehicle. 10 innocent persons, including 7 children, were killed in that strike. I applaud those reports. But there have been some 15,000 other drone strikes since 2007. Most of those have hit innocent people but there was little reporting about them.’ ee Sovereignty, 9/11
• ‘Haven’t these Anglo-Saxons had their fill of human blood in modern history? The US is so vengeful that they won’t even allow Afghans to spend their own money.’ – ee Sovereignty, Reflections 16
• ‘The BBC’s build-up over Afghanistan has an eerie similarity with what it attempted a few months ago to orchestrate in Myanmar and Belarus — a ‘color revolution’ via the skilful use of social media to overthrow regimes on China and Russia’s underbelly and encircle them with an arc of hostile power centres. The weaponization of the human rights issues comes easy for the West.’ – ee Sovereignty, Reflections 16
• ‘How much money does it take to keep a government minister in Singapore happy? The Government says a million dollars is not enough, and on Monday it announced a 60% increase in ministers’ salaries, to an average of SGD1.9million, or about $1.3mn, by next year. PM Lee Hsien Loong’s pay will jump to about $2mn – 5 times the $400,000 earned by President Bush.’ – ee Politics, Monkeys
• ‘It is the capitalist sector in China that is in trouble and threatens China’s future prosperity. China’s capitalist sector is suffering (as it is in the major capitalist economies). Profitability has fallen, reducing the ability or willingness of China’s capitalists to invest productively. That is why speculation in unproductive investment has become ‘uncontrolled’ in China too. Far from the need to reduce the role of the state, China’s future growth through a rise in productivity of labor as the total workforce shrinks in size will depend on state-led investment in technology, skilled labor and ‘common prosperity’.’ – ee Economists, China
• ‘The great success of the enemies of Africa is to have corrupted the Africans themselves. It is true that these Africans had a vested interest in the murder of Lumumba. Heads of puppet governments, in a fake independence, faced everyday by massive opposition from their peoples, it did not take long to convince themselves that the real independence of the Congo would put them personally at risk. And there were other Africans, a little less puppet, but who get frightened when it comes to disengaging Africa from the West. It seems as if these African Heads of State are still afraid to face Africa.’ – ee Sovereignty, Lumumba
• ‘Remember the drone strikes, the kill lists, the Abu Ghraib torture, and the Guantanamo Bay prison where men still languish after 20 years. Remember that the rush to war in 2001 was followed by the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Remember that Secretary of State Colin Powell lied at the UN about non-existent weapons of mass destruction. Remember that even our popular culture has been impacted, and film makers are given access to classified documents if they agree to produce pro-torture propaganda. The New York Times wouldn’t even print the word ‘torture’ if the US was the perpetrator. “Harsh interrogation techniques” and other such euphemisms were substitutes for the truth.’ – ee Sovereignty, New York Times
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• New Zealand has the highest rate of youth suicide in the ‘developed’ world. Their practice of locking mental-health patients alone in rooms – isolation (which their spin doctors sweetly call “seclusion”) has grown significantly. Isolation is easier than investing profits in better care. Māori are 5 times more likely to be locked up in isolation than other New Zealanders, and their suicide rate is more than double the white rate. Lankans ranked 3rd highest after Indians & Chinese in the Asian category of suicides. But the overall lack of transparency and accountability is only matched by the propaganda that people are fed, about what a fine place a white-settler state is, and how wonderful spin doctors parading as a no-makeup made-up leaders can be.
• Will the Sri Lankan government follow the US-IMF demand that the country sell off its national resources, already monopolized by the private sector?
‘Independent’ FNGO thinktank Advocata, gets generous funding from the US government’s Atlas Foundation and National Endowment for Democracy (NED, set up by US President Reagan to fund former CIA projects) – not to mention petty cash collected from private corporations.
Advocata believes, ‘Poor policy and governance are at the root of our problems.’ For them, only public sector governance frustrates our development. Yet private sector corruption is over the top!
Advocata’s raison d’etre is State-owned Enterprises (SoEs): ‘a major area of research’. They do not wish to improve SoEs, but grab these assets for private liquidation. Their only practical criticism is corrupt management, and lack of parliamentary oversight. Releasing such assets to an even more corrupt private sector, will not strengthen democratic control. (avocadocollectiveblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/what-kinky-neoliberals-they-are)
• Attack of the GNGOs – India and Singapore are moving fast to check the ongoing assault on their sovereignty by white countries, who claim to do good under the guise of ‘Social Media’ or as NGOs, which really should be called FGNGOs – Foreign Governmental NonGovernmental Organizations.
13,000 NGO licenses have been cancelled by India’s Home Ministry since PM Modi came to power. Amnesty International was forced to shut its India offices last year after the Enforcement Directorate froze its accounts. While England-based Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) has gone to court to seek permission to use 25% of its foreign contributions, and receive donations from outside India.
In Singapore, the newly proposed Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Act ‘will empower the authorities to restrict online content, stop the distribution of mobile apps, or cripple sources of funding if they are deemed to be part of a hostile information campaign’.
Politically significant persons, such as politicians, will also be subject to closer scrutiny for foreign influence. ‘Singapore’s security comes first. Singapore’s domestic affairs are for Singaporeans only’. They will be rooting out fake accounts that pretend to be Singaporean and stir trouble online.
In Colombo, meanwhile, the newly formed Civil Society Platform (CSP) & Sri Lankan Collective for Consensus (SLCC) was set up to coincide with the attack on the SL government in Geneva. As the Island noted, their ‘litany sounds only too familiar and the chorus is the same. They have packaged themselves under the new name SLCC, but being backed by the West, have been pushing the same agenda for decades. The CSP is no different.’
Meanwhile green dollars are flowing into the country, unaccounted for and unchecked by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in different guises, all proclaiming to do good:
Take this advertisement from Chrysalis, part of US-based CARE International. It claims to be a ‘Sri Lankan organization’…to empower women and youth by fostering inclusive growth. With 50 staff in 4 locations, they say they’re ‘focused on creating inclusive businesses, promoting inclusive governance, addressing gender-based violence, and preparing communities to face emergencies, and disaster risk reduction’. All fine sounding. They will ‘produce social media content, digital posters, brochures, Facebook memes, picture satires and social media posts. And for what? To promote solid waste management, conflict resolution, peace building… actively mitigate or prevent community tensions and/or triggers that create tensions… promote women’s equality & women’s leadership…, gender, conflict sensitivity.’ And where do they do this: Muslim coastal areas, Mannar & Puttalam!
Then there’s US-based Internews, which once included as director, Susan Rice, the US National Security Advisor: Internews has the catchy slogan: ‘Local Voices, Global Change’. It’s latest ‘Vacancy announcement’ calls for ‘a project officer in Sri Lanka to support the country rep and project manager’ under a Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development-funded project: ‘Building a Culture of Peaceful Pluralism in Myanmar & SL’ which seeks ‘to influence public opinion on religious freedom and ethnic diversity issues, support peaceful pluralism through support to civil service organizations and journalists’!
Readers may have been told to use the US Navy’s TOR Network, an ‘Internet communication method for enabling online anonymity’ as Wiki calls it. Yet, Internews was an early financial supporter of The Tor Project, which included the US International Broadcasting Bureau, Human Rights Watch, University of Cambridge, Google, and Netherlands-based Stichting NLnet, and then funded by the US government.
Tor was developed by scientists under the US Navy. Wikipedia: ‘The core principle of Tor, “onion routing”, was developed in the mid-1990s by US Naval Research Laboratory employees’ to protect ‘US intelligence communications online. Onion routing was further developed by DARPA in 1997… In 2004, the Naval Research Laboratory released the code for Tor under a free license, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation acted as The Tor Project’s fiscal sponsor in its early years.’
Internews is also part of the ‘whole arsenal of US foundations’: Soros’ National Endowment for Democracy, International Republic Institute, International Foundation for Election Systems, Eurasia Foundation, among others, which fuel opposition movements in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan. Practically everything that passes for civil society in those countries was financed by these US foundations, or by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). In Kyrgyzstan, at least 170 NGOs charged with development or promotion of democracy were created or sponsored by the USA. “The US State Department operated its own independent printing house in from 2002 – which meant printing at least 60 different titles, including a bunch of fiery opposition newspapers. USAID invested at least $2million prior to the Kyrgyz elections – quite something in a country where the average salary is $30 a month.’
• Ever wonder where these proliferating and misleading videos and memes come from? Many of them simply track their movement to unearth networks. USAID’s Rooted in Trust project claims it ‘combats Covid-19 rumors and misinformation in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Brazil, Mali, DRC, Sudan and South Sudan… to create impact at the local level and inform approaches to rumor management at the global level… supported by a Global Technical Advisory team made up of media, humanitarian, data science, and information management experts. We collected more than 19,000 rumors in 14 languages and supported more than 30 local trusted information providers… to listen & respond to the information challenges faced by vulnerable groups in humanitarian contexts, encouraging… more collaborative partnerships between information providers (such as local media).’
• Sarvodaya Development Finance (SDF) is a branch of Sri Lanka’s largest NGO, the Sarvodaya (Lanka Jathika Sarvodaya Shramadana) movement ‘founded’ by Rockefeller-linked Dr AT Ariyaratne in 1958. They proudly proclaim that 80% of SDF’s over-Rs8billion portfolio is lent (unlike the big banks) outside the Western province.
Of this Rs8bn loan portfolio, over a billion are leases funding tractors. They note: ‘None of its tractor loans [are] in the non-performing category’. This includes harvesters too?
SDF’s deals are with foreign ‘machinery retailers’ – mainly Indian industrial fronts for imperialist industrial companies: (Mahindra, Swaraj, TAFE, Massey Ferguson, etc.) that ‘allow farmers to access modern farming machinery, such as tractors and harvesters… Leasing solutions are available for 2wheelers, 3wheelers, and other 4wheelers to enhance individual lifestyles.’
Massey Ferguson is among several brands produced and marketed by US industrial conglomerate AGCO Corporation, an agricultural machinery manufacturer based in Duluth, Georgia. AGCO is ‘a major seller in international markets around the world’.
TAFE – Tractors and Farm Equipment – is an Indian tractor manufacturer in Chennai. It is the third-largest tractor manufacturer in the world. TAFE is also a major shareholder in US AGCO. TAFE sells 4 tractor brands – Massey Ferguson, TAFE, IMT, Eicher. Eicher Motors, an Indian multinational automotive company that manufactures motorcycles and commercial vehicles, is the parent company of Royal Enfield middleweight motorcycles maker, and has a joint venture with Sweden’s Volvo Trucks – VE Commercial Vehicles. In 1948, Goodearth Company was established to distribute and service imported tractors. In 1959, Eicher Tractor Corp. of India was set up with German tractor manufacturer, Eicher. In 1982, they linked with Mitsubishi to make light commercial vehicles, and set up Eicher Motors. In 2005, Eicher Motors sold their tractors and engines business to TAFE Tractors…
Notes: In 1986, just before the great murderous war on the South began, Sarvodaya Economic Enterprise Development Services (SEEDS, a microcredit division of Sarvodaya) was licensed as Sarvodaya Development Finance. The Sarvodaya movement owns almost 80% of SDF’s equity. The rest are owned by investors ‘from Sri Lanka and overseas’(Japan’s Gentosha Total Consulting, with origins in sexy Manga magazines!)
This is most interesting: “Sri Lanka’s banks, even the state-owned ones, raise a significant portion of their deposits at low cost from rural and economically disadvantaged areas and grant the most loans in Colombo, to large businesses and the government. Banks fund up to 90% of their business through such rural customer deposits. Shareholders only fund around 10%.”
Channa de Silva, SDF Chairman is also Founder Chairman of Capital Media, publishers of Echelon business magazine and web portal economynext.com. He previously served as Managing Director of Summit Finance as well as Group Managing Director of Delmege. He was also Board Director of Pan Asia Bank PLC. He was Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) SL and Executive Director of the Board of Investments (BOI) SL.
The US embassy this week also grandly announced they’re providing $40million in financing to once-Sarvodaya-related Sanasa Development Bank ‘to bolster Sri Lanka’s Small and Medium sized Enterprise (SME) sector and assist women entrepreneurs’. They say the loan is part of $265mn provided by US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to SL banks, including SDB Bank, DFCC Bank, NDB Bank. Now we know who is behind the active sabotaging of efforts to set up a development bank, which is what the DFCC and NDB were supposed to be… no wonder they got rid of CB Governor Lakshman before he could implement his promise for a development bank by September 2021!
• An ‘executive’ of Mitsubishi has tabulated the foreign ‘debts’ Sri Lanka has to pay and when (see below). But this executive may not wish to tabulate how much money Mitsubishi taken from SL in the last 100 years, etc. How many machines and parts has it sold? Or tell us why Mitsubishi has failed to invest some of that money in modern capital-intensive production here to make those parts or machines. All this constant talk of ‘our’ debt is useless without simply stating that it has mainly been incurred to maintain the wasteful consumption and orgy of the oligarchs. Can they state that modern production can easily resolve this debt? Will Mitsubishi increasingly set up modern capital-intensive production here in restitution for the underdevelopment it has promoted? Mitsubishi may insist they cannot because SL is too small a market for them. They may ask, what kind of modern production or what products we are looking at that will take SL out of this debt scenario?
First, we are NOT a small market! We should examine how Japan, Bangladesh, Thailand maintain their industry via protecting their own home market. We need a national conversation.
“A brief Q&A on SL’s Debt Situation” (supposedly based on CBSL Sources) put together by a Manager at Mitsubishi Corp, for employees who “get asked about this topic by your boss, colleagues or friends”:
• What is SL’s Total Debt right now? – LKR16.7Trillion ($83.8Bn) as at July 2021
• What are the main categories of Debt? 1) Government Debt – Debt held by Central Government of SL, 2) Public Debt – Sum of Government Debt + Debt held by State Owned Entities (SOEs)
• What is SL’s official target on Debt? Reduce Debt to GDP ratio to 70% by 2025
• What is the current Debt to GDP Ratio as at end 2020? 1) Total Govt Debt to GDP ratio is 101%,
2) Total Public Debt to GDP ratio is 109.7%
• What is the Debt Composition of SL as at end June 2021? 1) Domestic Debt LKR9.9Trillion, 2) Foreign Debt LKR6.6Trillion
• What is the Debt Composition of Domestic Debt in SL as at end 2020? 1) Treasury Bonds 63%, 2) Treasury Bills 18%, 3) SL Dev Bonds 5%, 4) International Sovereign Bonds by Residents 5%, 5) Other 4%, 6) Offshore Banking Units 4%, 7) CBSL Provisional Advances 2%
• What is the Composition of Foreign Debt in SL as at end 2020? 1) Non-Concessional 51% (includes ISBs 30%), 2) Concessional 49% (includes debt by Multilateral 24% & Bilateral 25%)
• How much of Central Govt Debt is owned by the Central Bank of SL? 1) CBSL owns 5.8% of Central Govt Debt: LKR877Million
• What’s the value of SL’s gross official reserves at end Aug 2021? – $3.6Bn (equal to 3 months imports)
• What are the Foreign Debt repayments to be made by the Central Govt (principal + interest)? – 2022 $4.47Billion • 2023 $4.23bn • 2024 $4.39bn • 2025 $5.04bn • 2026 $3.68bn • 2027 $3.81bn
• What are the outstanding Int’l Sovereign Bond (ISB) maturities falling due?
– Jan 2022 $500Million • Jul 2022 $1Billion • Apr 2023 $1.25bn • Mar 2024 $1bn • Jun 2024 $500Million • Jun 2025 $650mn • Nov 2025 $1.5bn • July 2026 $1bn • May 2027 $1.5bn • Apr 2028 $1.25bn • Mar 2029 $1.4bn • Mar 2030 $1.5bn
• What are the outstanding SL Development Bond (SLDB) maturities falling due? • Jan 2022 $429Million • Feb 2022 $35mn • Mar 2022 $474mn • May 2022 $259mn • Aug 2022 $153mn • Jan 2023 $194mn • Mar 2023 $171mn • May 2023 $241mn • Apr 2024 $1mn • May 2024 $205mn • Jan 2025 $21mn • Jul 2026 $6mn
• What is the Trade Balance from Jan to June 2021? – Trade Balance $4.3Billion
• What are the expected inflows to boost SL’s reserves in 2021? 1) $200Million from Forex markets (Aug-Oct 2021?), 2) $1Billion swap (under negotn with Reserve bank of India), 3) $300Million from ISB re-investments by local banks, 4) $400mn from utilization of underutilized assets (Aug-Oct 2021?), 5) Refinancing SLDBs | FCBU loans maturing in 2021, 6) Increased remittances?
B. Special Focus_
B1. SLFP: What Fate Awaits It – Gunadasa Amarasekera, 15 September, 2021/09/15
The reason for SLFP leaders to celebrate its 70th birth Anniversary, I believe, was promoted by a desire to make a comeback out of the depths to which it has sunk in recent times. Despite the desire to come back, has it the vitality, the elan left to do so? This is a question to be asked not only by SLFPers themselves, but by the vast majority that happens to be the children of ’56 and also by all those who are interested in the well-being of the country – the nation. To answer this question, one needs at least a brief analysis of its genesis, its history and its past performance.
The biggest misfortune the SLFP has faced and is facing even today is its inability to identify itself, understand why it came into being. Except for a discerning few, most of the present generation including our so-called intellectuals and even those who have undertaken to lead the Party, lack this understanding.
For many, even today, it is a quirk of fate; for some elitist groups it’s the result of a demagogy spawned by a disgruntled few. Very few have addressed their minds to find an answer. GC Mendis was one among the few who sought to delve deep to seek an answer. He saw it as a lapse on the part of the main civilised political stream, which allowed the barbaric tide languishing at the periphery to overtake it!
However, die-hard SLFPers see it as nothing but the creation of its great leader SWRD Bandaranaike, who with his slogan of ‘Sinhala in 24 hours’ was able to sway the masses, achieve victory and create history. Little do they realise that it is not the leaders that create history; instead it is history that creates leaders. Bandaranaike did not create a new party as such; he only delivered what was created by history, and played the role of the midwife or the obstetrician. This historical perspective has eluded those devotees of Bandaranaike.
The SLFP is a party that is different from all other parties that have emerged after Independence. The UNP was founded on the liberal ideology of the West, the Socialist parties were founded on Marxism, which once again was a product of the West. The SLFP, on the contrary, has its origins in the soil; it is rooted in the Sinhala Buddhist civilisation, which has nourished this nation over the centuries. This can be ascertained from the historical background that gave birth to this party.
After the Uva-Vellassa rebellion, the national liberation movement gave up the armed struggle and opted for a non-violent path. By then the renaissance movement initiated by Asarana Sarana Saranankara, during the Dutch period, had permeated to the rest of the country, especially to Ruhuna. It produced the intelligentsia, the educated Sangha community who were to spearhead the movement. Two great seats of learning – Vidyodaya and Vidyalankara were established by the pupils of Saranankara. It was this background that made Anagarika Dharmapala emerge by the end of the 19th century. It was he who took the message to the masses with a number of cultural movements. In his travels across the country, he realised that those villagers, the peasants, though living in poverty, had retained a civilisational consciousness inherited from a past; he also realised that this civilisational consciousness which lay dormant could be awakened in his fight against imperialist forces. By the beginning of the twentieth century the English ruler realised the threat imposed by Anagarika. The IGP said there was a likelihood of Anagarika surrounding Colombo one morning with ‘his barbaric hordes’. The rulers with the help of the comprador class and the deracinated members of the National Congress groomed by them were determined to take Anagarika off the stage, silence him and destroy his movement. They succeeded in doing so, but failed to destroy the seeds sown by him in the minds of the vast masses. Those seeds took root and flourished unnoticed with the passage of time, the nourishment needed was produced by the indigenous intelligentsia, the writers, novelists and poets of the time – sanga-veda-guru – the forces of ’56, came out of that milieu.
Except the young Bandaranaike, who had returned from England, no other leader was aware of the silent revolution initiated by Anagarika. It was that awareness that made Bandaranaike establish the Sinhala Maha Sabha in 1934.The SMS produced the blueprint needed for the formation of the SLFP in 1951. The SMS has suffered great injustice being labelled a chauvinistic Sinhala caucus. The truth is far from it. The SMS envisaged a political organisation that would not only look after the economic needs but also the cultural aspirations of the people who had suffered at the hands of the colonials. It addressed its mind to the unity of different communities and as a prerequisite to that unity it emphasised the need to unite the Sinhalese who were divided by political affiliations, by religion, caste and creed. It maintained that; it is only then, that other groups could be brought in as stake holders, participating in a common civilisation. This is possible when there is a non- antagonistic symbiotic relationship between these cultures and civilisations. (I think this a point Huntington missed when he considered / assumed culture and civilization as one and the same.) This, I believe was the state of affairs in this country prior to the advent of the foreigner. This is so, even today at the village peasantry level, and this is what prompted President DB Wijetunge, a great villager himself, to make that most misunderstood statement – comparing the Sinhala nation to a tree around which the other ethnic groups should wind themselves for their survival. I believe this vision of the Sinhala Maha Sabha is more relevant today when so-called reconciliation at the expense of the major community has failed miserably. It was a mistake on the part of Bandaranaike to have dissolved the SMS when he joined the UNP; ironically what made Bandaranaike form the SLFP was the rejection of the proposals of the SMS at the Madampe sessions by the UNP.
The great victory achieved by the SLFP in ’56 was not one that was anticipated by many. I don’t think that even Bandaranaike anticipated it; his close friend and founder member of the Party, Bernard Aluwihare left the party on the eve of the elections saying that he was not prepared to carry the coffin. There is a story I have heard from a reliable source that is symbolic of the situation and the quandary faced by the great leader and the nation. Bandaranaike, after a hectic election campaign had retired early to bed, the night, the election results were to be announced. He had told the family members, not to put him up; the family members though overjoyed by the results, had remained silent till the following morning. When they heard his footsteps coming down the stairs they rushed to announce the victory – Bandaranaike had stopped coming down and sat on the steps, silent, wrapped in deep thought for a long period.
I think this premature victory had its ill-effects on the party; it had the vision, but lacked the political structures, institutions, and the economic policies that were needed to translate the vision into praxis. Though it spoke of a nebulous middle path, a socialism of its own, there were no concrete plans to achieve those ends. I believe Bandaranaike had the vision, the intellect, to translate that vision. His death – a result of a conspiracy still unraveled––denied him that opportunity.
Sirimavo Bandaranaike was able to implement some of the policies that were envisaged by her husband. But she had no holistic agenda. The Marxists who were with her, were partly responsible for it; they were interested not in a nationalist plan but a Marxist agenda. Some of the results were horrendous, such as taking away the lands of the locals; indiscriminate nationalisation followed by corruption, discouraging local entrepreneurship, austere measures – hal polu, miris polu and bread queues – that made life impossible for the middle class, and the poor.
The situation was seized by the old fox JR to present the coalition as an adharmista evil force. What was ironical is that he was able to use the same lingo, the same terms dharmista which formed the core moral and ethical values of the SLFP. But this debacle suffered by the SLFP was temporary, it was no threat to its survival.
However, it was Chandrika Kumaratunga who assumed the leadership of the Party, who was capable of thwarting its survival. It was Chandrika Kumaratunga who was able to destroy for the first time, the Sinhala Buddhist cultural foundation on which the SLFP was built. It was no longer the Party of the Sinhala majority – the backbone of the SLFP. It was turned into a multiethnic, multiracial, multireligious, multicultural party. Having transformed it, she was prepared to hand over the North and East to Prabhakaran for 10 years; invited the Norwegians to divide the country in the name of reconciliation, and was ready to execute the P-Toms together with Prabhakaran. She confessed later that the decision she made to dissolve Parliament was a mistake, which action was what allowed the war to be continued.
In all these, Chandrika Kumaratunga was ably supported by Mangala Samaraweera, with his thavalam and sudu nelum campaigns. I do not wish to believe that she extended her blessings to Samaraweera to co-sponsor the traitorous resolution by the US against our country.
The greatest harm inflicted on the SLFP was the derailing and destroying the economic policies followed by it from its inception. Though they may have not been clearly defined, they were always anti-imperialist, pro nationalist and pro socialist. Sirimavo Bandaranaike was always guided by her civilisational consciousness, she never allowed imperialist powers to exploit this country, she was fearless and bold enough to nationalise the US oil companies in spite of the threats of that super power. Her government cleared all the debts we had accumulated, JR Jayewardene reversed all this with his open economy – a euphuism for neo colonialism.
Chandrika never tried to get back to the economic policies of the SLFP, she was happy with the neoliberal policies of JRJ. Under the pretext of giving a human face, she embraced them gladly. However, what is most disappointing and damaging was that Mahinda Rajapakse who followed her also continued with the same policies when he had the opportunity to change them.
The result of these contradictory, harmful trends was the loss of vision, direction and loss of ideology, resulting ultimately in the loss of confidence of the people. The SLFP became a headless body – a kawandaya. No attempt was made to recover the lost head; what was attempted was to graft the heads of liberal donkeys and heads of Marxist horses, adding insult to injury. (In my address at the Bandaranaike Commemoration I pointed this out.)
It was left to President Sirisena to complete the task and finish off the Party. He did so by doing the very opposite of what the founder of the Party did 70 years ago, by making the SLFP an appendage of the UNP, and taking it back to the folds of the UNP. The last supper (of hoppers) at the Temple Trees was followed by the crucifixion of the kawandaya.
This was the fate of the SLFP; the fate that awaits it today, cannot be much different. What is really worrying is not so much the demise of the kawandaya, but its repercussions. Ranil Wickremasinghe may have thought that it was a superb strategy on his part to embrace Sirisena. He would have thought embracing Sirisena means destroying his opponent the SLFP for good. Little did he realize that it was the embrace of death, that it would kill his party as well as himself. He had ultimately secured a dishonorable grave for his grand old party after 75 years. In spite of all these repercussions, one would say that not everything is lost. The two main parties in their death throes have thrown up two saplings; the Pohottuwa and the Telephone which would carry on their mission. It would be extremely naive to believe in such a fantasy. The Pohottuwa will wither away before it blossoms, and the telephone will be dead before it answers the call.
Ultimately, we are left with a political desert, a wasteland with no hope and nothing in sight as visualised by the poet – “What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow out of this this stony rubbish,”. All signs are there, that we are fast approaching that stage. (On the other hand the poet may be wrong where this resplendent isle of ours is concerned… that stony rubbish can produce heroes out of clowns and comedians as well as politicians to lead us.)
However, let me not end what I have to say only with this dismal picture to the children of ‘56, who had pinned their faith on this party and now feel betrayed and let down. There is no need to lose faith. The SLFP as a party may be dead, but not the ideology that gave it birth, it’s alive. It’s that ideology that made 6,900,000 of you to vote Gotabaya to power. That ideology founded on our centuries-old civilisation, as old as Chinese civilisation, will die only with the death of our civilisation. That it has not suffered such an untimely death is proved beyond all doubt by the victory of Gotabaya.
In 1959, 3 years after ’56, I wrote an article to that prestigious – now obsolete – journal Sanskrithi; I made the observation – that you the children of ’56 are the ones who would come to power and redeem this country. As you know that has not come to pass, it has remained a dream. The blame lies with you. You, living through dark times, especially after ’77, did not realise that what is needed is an enlightened dialogue, an intellectual engagement to prepare you for such a task. As a matter of fact, there had not been such a dialogue since Independence for you to get ‘connected to it’. What was there, was the despicable politics of power-hungry politicians to which you too became a prey. You thought the answer was in the barrel of the gun which wiped out a whole generation of you – that should have been a lesson to you.
I hope this present discussion on ‘the role of the children of ‘56’ would open your eyes to the need for such an intellectual engagement and an enlightened dialogue based on the civilizational ideology and the civilizational consciousness that it has generated, which you have not lost. It is only then, and then only that you can claim to seek power. (From: ‘On the Role of the Children of 56’) – island.lk/slfp-what-fate-awaits-it/
B2. Opportunities Lost & Narrow Escapes (Excerpts) – Sugath Kulatunga
1. In 1944, the State Council resolved to launch a “State Project of Industrialization in Ceylon”. In the same year there was the Industrial Corporation Bill. The concept of socialist industrialization was keenly advocated by the Marxist parties which believed that full employment could be achieved only through industrialization. In the same year, JR Jayawardene moved a motion in the State Council for the “preparation of a complete plan for industrialization”. There was a firm bipartisan consensus on industrialization with a different emphasis on ownership. DS Senanayake was a prime mover of the ‘plan for industrialization.’
At the general election of 1947 the UNP fell short of a majority, and had to form a government in coalition with the All Ceylon Tamil Congress. The success of the Left parties at the 1947 election alarmed DS, who was an astute politician: He was aware that the Left could build a mass base with industrialization.
DS also had a staunch commitment to the development of agriculture through colonization. But his prime motive was to create a pool of peasant farmers who would be a strong base for the UNP. The project had both a nationalistic and political flavour, and was vigorously pursued in the face of criticism from the Left parties.
But for the political bias, DS could have steered a 2-pronged strategy for the development of the country leading to food security and full employment. We had the funds, human resources, and the infrastructure to venture into manufacture. But politics prevailed. This was the most important opportunity missed by independent Sri Lanka for an early start in a manufacturing-based economy.
2. DS denied SWRD Bandaranayake, at the time the leader of the House, his due place, and maneuvered to get his son Dudley Senanyake to succeed him as Prime Minister. This manoeuvre also kept JR, the best brain in the party, out in the cold. If JR succeeded DS, he who believed in planned industrialization could have introduced industries with modern technology with the help of the Japanese who were under obligation to him for his open support to Japan at the war reparation conference at San Francisco in 1951, where he rejected reparations… The wrong choice of the successor by DS was the next missed opportunity.
3. The creation of a new party by SWRD resulted in both positive and negative consequences… SWRD believed in planning and development based on nationalism and state ownership. He established a Planning Secretariat which formulated a 10-year plan in consultation with renowned development economists such as Gunnar Myrdal, Joan Robinson, Kenneth Galbraith, Nicholas Kaldor. It is reported, Myrdal recommended the invitation of foreign investors on a Build Operate and Transfer basis. The period of foreign operation was to be limited to 20 years. (The Prima investment during the time of JR was on this basis.) The ascent of SWRD was supported by the Pancha Bala Vegaya led by leading Buddhist clergy, some of which acted as kingmakers. The assassination of SWRD by the same kingmakers terminated the planned development in the country. The danger of depending on assumed kingmakers is a lesson for all national leaders. The proposals and the 10-year plan of SWRD were not implemented by subsequent governments. This was a big miss.
4. On the demise of SWRD, Philip Gunawardena, the most dynamic and experienced minister in the MEP government was denied the PM’s position. That prevented the continuation of the 10-year plan. At the same time the country lost the opportunity of realizing the best of the Left parties which had the talent and the energy. It was also partly due to the misplaced ideological stance of the Left. Left politics had its origins in the Suriya Mal Movement and was politically entrenched in the coastal and the Kelani Valley Districts. But they believed in a permanent revolution achieved with the support of the plantation population and the trade unions, and neglected the rural population. Left politics was also fragmented on theoretical trivialities…
The Left movement had the opportunity to support SWRD who was getting alienated with the rightist groups in the SLFP. Had they joined the MEP, the hand of SWRD and Philip would have been strengthened and the reactionary elements eliminated. Even after SWRD, the Left elements in the MEP would have continued to rule. This was a lost opportunity.
5. The 1962 military coup attempt & the 1971 JVP adventure saw the emergence of the strongman Felix Dias Bandaranayake in the SLFP, who opposed the smooth operation of the coalition between the SLFP and the Left in the 1970 government. This denied the country of the continuing services of intellectuals like NM and Colvin. Felix was smart but arrogant and had an aversion to socialism….
6. The 1977 JR regime missed many opportunities under fortuitous circumstances and also made more self-inflicted blunders and evaded emerging opportunities. The regime established new institutions like GCEC and EDB for investment and export development (which had origins in the previous regime) but introduced a wide-ranging package of neoliberal policies. The government removed all import controls and opened the floodgates to imports. These free-market policies destroyed many nascent domestic and import substituting industries and had a severe adverse effect on domestic agriculture.
Import liberalization diverted most of human & financial resources into import-related activities. Although the government was keen to encourage exports the sector was starved of finance which went to meet the incessant demand for imports, and construction activities that carried minimal risk. The Banks were more than happy to finance these activities which involved low risks. Import finance was recoverable in a short time. Finance for exports and investments in export projects carried interest rates as high as 25%. The 1977 regime went into a frenzy of unwarranted and unplanned privatization of state enterprises. This was contrary to the successful development model of Singapore, which ‘adhered to the basic principles of a free market economy, but never shied away from state planning or state ownership where deemed important’.
The JR regime did not focus on economic restructuring other than dismantling existing institutions like the Marketing Dept & the Paddy Marketing Board which were the connecting links between the producer & consumers of food products. The adverse impact of this policy is felt even today. Unlike Sri Lanka, in 1979, the Singapore Government started a program of economic restructuring. This was achieved by modifying education policies, expanding technology and computer education, offering financial incentives to industrial enterprises and launching a productivity campaign’. SL Government had no innovative policies. Even today the SL education system is not producing manpower to fit the needs of skills & knowledge for now and the future.
7. …In June ’87 the UNP government made a firm decision to wipe out the LTTE from the Jaffna peninsula and bring an end to the terrorist menace. The SL army launched a full-scale operation in May/June ’87 in Jaffna peninsula named the Vadamarachchi Operation, using over 8,000 troops. When our troops were about to capture the LTTE leadership, India intervened with a show of force and JR backed out. JR, known as the Fox, was outfoxed by then Indian High Commissioner Dixit, who was an obtrusive, obnoxious bully. If that did not happen the war would have been over 30 years before Nandikadal. India did not stop there. India bludgeoned Sri Lanka to enter into an Accord and an amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka for the establishment of Provincial Councils with powers more than enjoyed by the States of India providing a steppingstone to a future Federal Sri Lanka. In a dubious procedure of letters exchanged, India dictated terms on our foreign policy, use of our harbors and airports, Trincomalee Oil farm, and broadcasting. With this, development opportunities were stymied for over three long decades.
The JVP too was indirectly responsible for the IPKF intervention. JR, who was more worried of the JVP than of the LTTE, was forced to invite the IPKF as he did not have the resources and the confidence to fight on two fronts. At this time (1987) the JVP had launched a major insurrection in the South. Even with SL troops moved to the South, in this conflict the country lost over 60,000 youth killed by the JVP and state agencies. By November 1988, Sri Lanka experienced near total anarchy. JVP organized strikes that affected all public services. The economic damage committed by JVP sabotage was colossal. In addition, the society was traumatized, and violence became the norm.
8. 1989 Premadasa Regime. The 1989 election was one where there was the lowest percentage of voting due to the JVP threat. Premadasa won the Presidential election with a narrow margin. His first blunder was not considering the two most talented and senior members of the party, Lalith Athulathmudali and Gamini Dissanayake for the post of PM. This vindictive decision led to an attempted vote of no confidence on the President and a split in the party. This mistake had a severe damaging effect on the development process and the battle against the LTTE. He was left with only one efficient minister in Ranjan Wijeratne, whose advice was not sought even on vital issues like demanding the withdrawal of the IPKF precipitously. Premadasa’s main emphasis was on poverty reduction & housing. These did not make much of an impact on the overall development of the country in comparison with rapid development that took place in other Asian countries during the same time.
His contribution to export development was the 200 garment factories project. This too was more for boosting rural employment. The concept has been extolled by many economists. The writer, who was very familiar with the garment industry of that time, holds a different view. This was a time when there was no lack of demand in the market. But there was fierce price competition from other developing countries. There were also issues of quality assurance and tight delivery schedules. To meet these constraints, the existing manufacturing exporters had developed an efficient subcontract production system. Rather than spreading garment factories all over the country and forcing exporters to go into remote rural areas, the objective of increasing employment while maintaining quality, delivery schedules and competitive pricing could have been better achieved by supporting the subcontract system. It must also be noted, locating production in rural areas did not give any cost advantage to the exporters. On the contrary, starting in a new rural factory increased costs in new investment, transport of raw materials and finished goods, training of new workers. It is noted, many of the new factories (185) started under this program have now closed down. It is also revealed, 65% of all new garment factories are located in Colombo & Gampaha districts, and the top 10% of exporters accounted for more than 70% of total garment exports. Out of this 10% – 39 exporters (top 3.9%) supplied 50% of total garments exports. The bitter truth is the original project has not realized its objectives.
The Project had been conceived without the identification of the real needs of the sector. An urgent requirement was for the industry to go up market which required investment in modern equipment and technology. The factories that were able to do that have survived and prospered.
From the point of grasping opportunities, the energy and the funds directed at the 200 garment factories could have been used far better in encouraging and supporting a few business leaders and entrepreneurs to venture into high-technology industries. Most of the big garment factories were owned by large business houses which could have been given this option. This was the successful strategy adopted by Asian Tigers like South Korea, where the Chaebols were supported by the government to go into high-tech industries. This was a major opportunity lost.
9. The experience of the Ranil Wickremasinghe regime was a case of falling into traps rather than grasping opportunities. RW signed a Ceasefire Agreement with the LTTE in February 2002 sponsored by Norway. The result was, the LTTE used the Agreement to build up its own strength, with massive importation of weapons… The situation was becoming so unacceptable that President CBK sacked the UNP government in Feb 2004. The JVP deserves credit for bringing pressure on CBK to sack Ranil. This was a narrow escape.
10. In 2005 Chandrika signed the PTOMS agreement in June 2005 which came with an aid package of USD3billion. The PTOMS agreement was criticized inter alia in that it did not accept the sovereignty of the Sri Lanka government. It conferred financial powers, which is an exclusive right of the Parliament. The powers of the PTOMS went beyond operational functions to formulation of policies. The area to be covered extended to all areas affected by the Tsunami. Fortunately the country escaped this trap as the Supreme Court rejected it. Here again it was the threat of withdrawing from the government by the JVP compelled CBK to annul the MOU. This again was another narrow escape.
What one can gather from the above episodes is that the narrow party politics or dogma of the party leader have been the obstacle to rational decision making for national development….
B3. An End to the Crisis? The IMF’s $650bn Special Drawing Rights Stimulus
– Éric Toussaint & Milan Rivié, 12 September 2021
CADTM: In late August 2021 the IMF announced, it would supply the global economy with US$650billion to meet urgent needs, achieved through an increase in Special Drawing Rights. What exactly does that mean?
Milan Rivié (MR) & Éric Toussaint (ÉT): The 190 countries that are members of the IMF are entitled to allowances in strong currencies which they do not have to pay back. This device is called Special Drawing Rights (SDR). To this we must add loans that the IMF can grant to a country calling for help. Loans must be repaid with interest and are tied to conditions that reinforce neoliberal policies.
On 23 August 2021, Kristalina Georgieva, IMF Managing Director, stated: “The largest allocation of Special Drawing Rights in history about $650billion (US) comes into effect today. The allocation is a significant shot in the arm for the world and, if used wisely, a unique opportunity to combat this unprecedented crisis.” She added, the allocation of SDRs “will provide additional liquidity to the global economic system – supplementing countries’ foreign exchange reserves and reducing their reliance on more expensive domestic or external debt. Countries can use the space provided by the SDR allocation to support their economies and step up their fight against the crisis.”
When it announced an additional $650billion in SDRs, the IMF made it known that member countries could draw on this amount but have to be aware that they cannot claim more than what is allowed by their economic and political weight represented by their quota-shares in the IMF. Eg, the US has quota-shares of 17.43 while the Democratic Republic of the Congo has only 0.22 quota-shares, ie, 80 times less. However, the DRC has some 100 million inhabitants and the USA only around 330 million.
CADTM: Are the SDRs a debt toward the IMF?
MR & ÉT: The SDRs are an international reserve asset designed to supplement the official reserves of the 190 IMF member countries and provide liquidity in the event of a balance of payments crisis, ie, when a government no longer has sufficient financial resources available in foreign currency to meet its financial commitments outside its borders, including debt service.
As such they are not a debt toward the IMF either. SDRs are not a currency: you cannot carry out any transaction with them. Their value is determined by a basket of currencies consisting of the US Dollar, Euro, Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen, and British Pound. SDRs, on the other hand, can be traded against one or more foreign currencies through central banks. In this instance SDRs become a debt, not toward the IMF, but toward the institution with which they were traded. SDRs are not a gift.
To put it in other words, a country that does not have sufficient reserves in one or more foreign currencies to repay its external public debt to one or more of its creditors will be able to use all or part of the SDRs allocated to it to make debt service payments.
CADTM: For the IMF, this increase is of course a “landmark.” While the SDR allocation is not new, its amount is unprecedented. In what way can this allocation benefit the concerned countries?
MR and ÉT: To go along with the IMF, we could say that this SDR allocation is free of policy conditionalities and is not directly counted by the IMF as a debt. But while this allocation may at first sight represent a breath of fresh air for the countries of the South, the reality is quite different.
CADTM: What do you mean? Is this a deceptive kind of help?
MR and ÉT: Absolutely! We can point to at least 4 limitations to this allocation.
We can start with the distribution of those $650billion. As mentioned above, SDRs “are being distributed to countries in proportion to their quota shares in the IMF.” Consequently, among the 190 member countries, the 135 developing countries share $275bn, i.e. hardly 40% of the allocation, while the 55 rich countries will receive some $375bn. Moreover, there are strong income inequalities among developing countries, which reinforce inequalities in the distribution of the allocation.
The 29 low-income or poor countries, with 700 million inhabitants, receive less than $21billion. This is a paltry amount compared with the $450bn they need to help their economies over the next 5 years, according to the IMF.
So the allocated amount is questionable. Those $275billion represent less than 8% of the external public debt and 25% of developing countries’ external public debt servicing from 2020-22. Compared with the thousands of billions of euros and US dollars, respectively, released since the beginning of the pandemic by the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve, and with the actual needs of the countries of the South, the allocation of $275billion is derisory.
Another element that must not be forgotten is the political consequences of this allocation. Since the global crisis of 2007-8, the IMF has once again become inescapable and is present in a majority of countries in the South. To use this allocation is to reinforce the central position of an institution that has constantly failed since its creation, both because of its anti-democratic functioning and its deadly neoliberal ideology. The situation is similar for the 55 richest countries. Negotiations are already underway to redistribute part of the $375billion they have received to the countries of the South. But note that the proposal that is currently dominating the debate is a fool’s game. The rich countries would demand interest on a share of the SDRs that were allocated to them for free. Not to mention the very likely strategic and trade agreements signed under the table with the governments of the South, who have their hands tied given their critical situation.
Last but not least, we must be aware of what the allocation will be used for. Currently over 25% of countries of the South dedicate more resources to debt servicing than to healthcare expenditure. At the same time, neither the initiative to suspend debt servicing, nor the Common Debt Framework or the Disaster Response and Assistance Trust Fund established in 2020 can meet the demand. Moreover, private creditors, who are a large majority, have not yet granted any relief or cancellation of their debts. In such circumstances, the allocation is likely to be used first to directly or indirectly repay private creditors. The current dominating logic for countries of the South is to preserve their trustworthiness on financial markets and with investors. As they give in to the blackmail of creditors and rating agencies States are clearly undermining international law, human rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For instance, the president of Mexico has already announced that he would use SDRs to repay the country’s external debt instead of using them to fight the impact of the pandemic. Yet there have been more than 260,000 deaths in Mexico due to covid.
CADTM: Your observation seems implacable. But what other solutions do countries of the South have?
MR & ÉT: What’s obvious is, in spite of the unprecedented nature of the crisis and of successive alarming statements, no current international institution has been able to implement unconditional debt cancellation.
Nothing has changed over the years for countries of the South & their populations. They have nothing to expect from international financial institutions like IMF and World Bank. They have to take sovereign measures, which is perfectly possible. Under international law, there are strong legal arguments that can support a unilateral decision to suspend payment, including state of necessity and fundamental change of circumstances. When a state invokes these arguments, it does not matter whether the debt is legitimate or not. Even if the debt claimed is legitimate, this does not prevent the country from suspending payment. With the help of the people and international solidarity, this is the only way to end the crisis.
– Éric Toussaint is the President of Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM) Belgium. Milan Rivié is a member of CADTM (@RivieMilan).
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.
• SLFP – What fate awaits it
‘The greatest harm inflicted on the SLFP was the derailing and destroying of the economic policies followed by it from its inception. Though they may have not been clearly defined, they were always anti-imperialist, pro nationalist and pro socialist.’
• Is the USA and their Acolytes Attempting to Frogmarch Mahinda to Walk the Plank?
• UN was quiet when own workers were taken prisoner and beaten by the LTTE
• New Study proves BBC Channel 4 TV’s ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ documentary is full of lies;
• Attempt to Turn Trincomalee into a little Indian colony
‘Dixit, who was acting like a Satrap, had prevailed on the SL Govt. to permit Indian officials and even Indian Service personnel to enter SL sans visas.’
• China opposes external interference in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs
• European Commission delegation to arrive in SL to assess ground situation for GSP +
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 19 B1
‘The government did not initiate action against the TNA for its active involvement with the LTTE’
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 19 B2
‘TNA supported Sarath Fonseka in the 2010 Presidential election’
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 19C
‘more than 150 Tamil schools in Europe are used to inculcate Tamil nationalist sentiments and hatred toward Sinhalese in the mind of the younger generation of Tamils…’
• Objection against collecting info of private land in Jaffna under armed forces’ occupation
• 20-year war swelled arms industry coffers – Zuhair
• Big seizures at sea: Indian agencies suspect drug smugglers-LTTE link
• UNHRC, NGOs, etc.
‘The Human Rights Council holds no fewer than three regular sessions a year, for a total of at least ten weeks. They take place in March (four weeks), June (three weeks) and September (three weeks).’
• Newly formed Civil Society Platform (CSP) & Sri Lankan Collective for Consensus (SLCC)
‘The above litany, however, sounds only too familiar and the chorus is the same. They have packaged themselves under the new name SLCC, but being backed by the West, have been pushing the same agenda for decades. The CSP is no different.’
• Continued UNHRC scrutiny of Sri Lanka’s human rights record crucial: HRW
‘Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch… In August, Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickramaratne said that 311 people were in custody for the deadly 2019 Easter bombings, many of them for over two years..’
• Private Devils & Not-So Social Media
‘NATO countries are pouring in dollars to spread disinformation through so-called social media.’
• Govt. urged to stop foreign scholarships awarded on basis of ethnicity
• Charting a New Trajectory in India-Sri Lanka Relations:
• A neutral foreign policy in current context
• Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-15
‘heads of intelligence agencies of Russia, China, Iran and Tajikistan met in Islamabad’
• Reflections on Events in Afghanistan -16
‘Russias’s Patrushev is actually the third security czar in a row to drop by within the week — after Richard Moore, the head of the England’s Secret Intelligence Service or MI6, and William Burns, the chief of the US Central Intelligence Agency.’
• Foreign Devils on the Silk Road
‘India has common interest with China, Iran and Russia in regard of counterterrorism as but their threat perceptions and approaches vary.’
• Support Ahmad Massoud and the Afghan Resistance – Sunday Times
‘Kamal Alam is a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’
• SCO members should reject ‘condescending lecturing,’ keep future in our own hands: Xi
• Afghanistan developments highlight radicalisation problem: Modi at SCO
• Biden Doctrine abates China tensions
‘the seething rivalry with rising China and the obsession with weakening the ‘strategic rival’ on one side and the acute need for China’s help and cooperation on the other side. Reconciling this contradiction becomes the litmus test of the Biden Doctrine.’
• Saudi Arabia & US: Why are relations between the two historic allies deteriorating so badly?
• Biden Doctrine appears in Persian Gulf
‘Although the FBI document does not draw any direct links between 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi Arabian government as a whole, it validates the arguments in that direction… Russia is helping Iran’s plans to emerge as a hub in regional connectivity between the Persian Gulf, Africa & South Asia with Afghanistan & Central Asia & Eurasia in general…. the new Russian-Saudi military cooperation agreement in Moscow on August 24 could be Riyadh signalling willingness to diversify its defence’
• What Was Biden’s Diktat The Saudis Are So Furious About?
• Lumumba’s death: Could we (Africans) have acted differently?
• Rwanda’s Military is the French Proxy on African Soil
• First Africa-Caribbean Summit
• Manufacturing Dissent: US Imperialism and the Uses of Racism Against Cuba
• Racial Prejudice in Cuba
‘The Mohawk Institute in Brantford, founded by an Anglican minister, was a model for the residential school system… the New England Company, a missionary society dedicated to spreading Christianity among, in its words, “heathen natives.”’
• To Protect Itself From U.S. Hostility Australia Decides To Buy U.S. Submarines
‘Australia will use US and English technology to configure its next submarine fleet’
• How Jack Sullivan Screwed Up US Relations With France
• Some Thoughts On 9/11
• In 2020, the US accounted for 39% of global military expenditures…at least..
• New York Times wouldn’t even print the word torture if the U.S. was the perpetrator.
• Durban and 9/11: The Implications for a New Politics of Resistance
‘World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) that took place in Durban, South Africa between August 31, and September 8, 2001. The George W. Bush administration walked out of that meeting and the Obama administration boycotted the 10th anniversary’
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.
• Health Ministry officials preventing state-run medical laboratories to line their pockets
• Deletion of computer database of NMRA could be an act of drug mafia: AG
• Waiver of registration questioned: Import of covid-related products shrouded in controversy
• Hotel quarantine racket brought to the attention of the President (Video)
• Rotary joins hands with GAVI and COVAX
• Lanka lucky to get Sinopharm, but paying for following failed playbook of US, England
• Brief history of plagues and pandemics
• Jamiyyathul Ulama displeased at Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act
• NZ grants refugee status for man over Easter bombings funding accusations
• Lieutenant Colonel Sunil Peiris set up forerunner to the ‘Special Forces’ of the Army
• Prevention of Corruption: The system fails
• Funding of 10 More NGOs in India Slashed
‘US, Australian and European entities placed on the ‘Prior Reference Category’ list, says RBI’
• “Gorgon Stare” wide angle surveillance planes, used in Iraq and Afghanistan, now in urban US
• CNN broadcasts False Information on Cuban vaccines and the World Health Organization
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.
• Early retirement due to “painful incidents” of past week, says CB Governor
• Sri Lanka CB chief Lakshman yearns for stable rupee amid money printing
‘“I am personally not in favour of continuous depreciation of the currency based on our own past experience…Also based on my own studies of the historical experience of other countries”…. especially after 1978, Sri Lanka had depreciated the rupee, apparently on International Monetary Fund advice. Except for short periods, Sri Lanka’s rupee has continuously fallen. “What did we achieve from depreciation?…Economic theory tells us that depreciation helps us. Nothing of that sort has happened. Our trade deficit has continued to weaken. I can go on talking about it. My perception is that if we can we must try and maintain a stable exchange rate. If we can.”’
• Whither the Sri Lankan Economy? – Karunaratne
‘Professor Lakshman could only curtail imports of non-essential items but had no further action taken either to collect all the foreign exchange that entered the country or to get things produced locally like what Premier Sirimavo did when she created a separate Ministry of Plan Implementation and head hunted the most eminent economist of the time Professor HAdeS Gunasekera and came forth with the Divisional Development Councils Programme to create employment and production.’
• Sri Lanka Central Bank Preparing Economic Stability Roadmap, Ease Asset Purchases?
• Sri Lanka to reduce ‘vulnerable’ international sovereign bond holdings: Jayasundera
• Underworld and money laundering contributes to ‘economic growth’
• Central Bank and its FOREX mismanagement – Sunday Times
• Policy changes vital for export growth in a challenging environment – Sanderatne
‘Sri Lanka has been, is and will be an export-import economy’
• The maligned Lakshman shock: Patient will die unless the new Governor diffuses it forthwith – Wijewardena
• IMF programme within 3Q2021 is now more likely than not: First Capital
• Bitter policy dose after vaccines – Abeyratne
• Distancing the Central Bank from politics vital for economic stability – Colombage
‘Unquestionably, CB Idependence is essential to achieve price stability, which is the sole objective of modern central banks.’
• Banks and NBFIs must stay relevant to all stakeholders in this pandemic – Weerakkody
‘The country badly needs a fully-fledged national development bank to ensure a long-term robust credit supply to facilitate the recovery. The privatisation of the development banks was a costly mistake of the reform agenda.’
• Government should understand it is in a war situation – Advocata
‘Advocata’s Murtaza Jafferjee, Rajapatirana, Dhananath Fernando, Advocata and key advisors Rohan Samarajiva, Suri Ratnapala – Queensland, Anarkali Moonesinghe, Lankan Angel Network, Sujata Gamage, LIRNEASIA, Nishan De Mel Verité Research, Prema-Chandra Athokorala, ANU, spoke…’
• Debt default likely in next 12 months: Advocata Chair
• Economic crisis in Sri Lanka: What can we learn from other countries? – Ekanayake
• Stashing away dollars overseas and mispricing aggravated current account deficit
• Non-essential and non-urgent, according to the Government
• Solution to economic downfall is not changing portfolios: Maithri
• How Sri Lanka’s IMF-backed ‘Young Plan’ fired a foreign debt death spiral: Echelon
• SL national Sharmini Coorey retiring as Director of IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development
• Sovereign is the ‘overarching constraint’ on banks’ ratings: Fitch
• Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange reserves are still low, a credit negative – Moody’s
• Sri Lanka Is Running Out of Money for Imports as Delta Rages – Bloomberg
‘Nivedita Sunil, senior analyst for Emerging Markets at Lombard Odier, Singapore: “If you see where the bonds are trading, they are clearly telling you that they are no longer taking a longer term view.”’
• Could Poverty be Eliminated?
• IMF Chief Risks Undermined Authority After China-Linked Probe
‘By tradition under an unwritten transatlantic agreement, Europe has selected the managing directors of the IMF while the US chooses presidents of the World Bank.’
• An End to the Crisis? The IMF’s $650bn Special Drawing Rights Stimulus
• US money printing to fund deficit poses major risk for 2021, says ex-China central bank official
• China and Common Prosperity – Roberts
• The Vocabulary of Neoliberal Diplomacy in Today’s New Cold War – Hudson
• Economic Emergency in SL & Rajapaksa’s Mao Zedong Act Leads to Ruin – Shekhar Gupta
• 100% debt cancellation will undermine the confidence of existing and potential investors
‘Funds are vital for the long-term development of the low-income countries.’
• The Atlas of Economic Complexity
‘ Harvard Growth Lab’s research and data visualization tool used to understand the economic dynamics and new growth opportunities for every country worldwide’
• 2021 G20 Heads of State and Government Summit in Rome on October 30-31
‘emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) cannot finance deficits as easily as can Europe and the USA (with its “exorbitant privilege” conferred by the dollar’s global dominance)’
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.
• GL highlights need for WB ‘debt forgiveness’ in current emergency situation
• Public Asset sale could take much sting out of ailing foreign exchange market, says NDB banker
• SL Economy grew by 12.3% in the 2Q 2021
• Sri Lanka imports soar to 17-month high in July 2021 amid money printing, exports
• Govt. seeks Rs.73 b funding for unforeseen spending
• Sri Lanka prints Rs29bn as price controls undermine bill auction
• Sri Lanka spends US$225.5mn to defend non-credible peg in July
• Central Bank becomes net seller of forex in August ending six-month streak amid tight liquidity
‘As remittances from those who work abroad have seen some easing during the last couple of months – suspecting grey market activities, which exchange foreign currency at much higher rates than the official rates – the authorities raised key interest rates on August 19 to bridge part of that gap prevalent in the formal and informal channels.’
• Sri Lanka lifts price control on T-bills in key stability move
• Sri Lanka exchanges IMF special drawing rights for US dollars
• First Capital says ‘reasonable chance’ for income tax to be increased with or without IMF
• Sri Lanka forex reserves rise to US$3,550mn after IMF SDR flow
• Pension with arrears for Cabraal; lifetime pension for Lakshman
• US$ 500m sought from WB for road and agri projects
• Austerity and Mass Murder: A US Pastime
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
• Patient care at Narahenpita Army Hospital at risk: GMOA
• Government Medical Officers’ Association MoU with Ministries of Defence and Health
• Trade Unions differ on ports authority land costs
• Labour minister rescinds EPF gazette that lacked parliamentary approval
• Agrahara Insurance scheme benefit cuts for 600,000 pensioners
• Salaries of government employees and pensions account for 80% of government revenue
‘Cost of maintaining our overseas resident missions for 2021 is Rs. 11 billion’
• Govt has three days to present a solution: Joseph Stalin
• CID seeks info on demos: Teachers say Govt. wants to teach them a lesson
• Ceylon Teachers Union: ‘Grant demands of principals and teachers before school reopening’
• Sri Lanka’s apparel sector prioritizes worker safety, while ensuring industry’s sustenance
‘webinar organized by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM) featuring Hirdaramani Group Director – Aroon Hirdaramani, MAS Holdings Executive Director – Shirendra Lawrence, Brandix Group’s subsidiary Moose Clothing Co’s Executive Director – Hasib Omar and Star Garments Group Senior Manager, Jeevith Senaratne, moderated by AMCHAM President – Presantha Jayamaha.’
• Migrant workers take ‘wait-and-see’ approach to repatriate moneys amid currency uncertainty
• The Oath of Kannangara
• Training period of 60,000 graduate recruits to be extended
• Militarising Education
• In the beginning, all universities were City Universities
• Why Does Bonded Labour Still Persist in India?
• New Zealand mental health crisis has worsened under Labour, data shows
‘the highest rate of youth suicide in the developed world’… Māori 5 times more likely to be locked up’
• What Was Primitive Accumulation? Reconstructing the Origin of a Critical Concept (2017)
• Task for 21st Century Socialism Lies in Grasping Basics of Democracy, Autocracy, Capitalism
• Workers in struggle do not spontaneously generate links between struggles – Lebowitz
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.
• Sri Lanka state agency hikes paddy buying price by 10-pct after emergency raids
• Strengthen competition to arrest price hikes
‘The Paddy Marketing Board (PMB)’s total capacity is 500,000 Metric Tons. But the annual paddy production stands at around 5 million metric tons. Hence the current crisis is inevitable, even if the PMB has sufficient funds to purchase paddy.’
• Presidential spokesman issues statement clarifying misconceptions on rice supply
• Sri Lanka seizes rice from private traders after broken deal
• Paddy Marketing Board Chairman resigns in disgust
• Harvest goal fails, smuggled turmeric crops up in Sathosa at Rs 1,800 a kilo
• Why are there food queues in this Indian Ocean island?
• Milk Powder Combos Put Customers in a Fix
‘retailers have forced them to buy other products in order to be ‘eligible’ to buy milk powder’
• Sri Lanka explores green bonds for renewable energy, organic fertilizers: Jayasundera
• SJB alleges agro-chemical supply disrupted for plans to create monopoly in lucrative market
• Organic farming should not be an article of faith
• Rajapaksa’s experiment with organic farming is a warning to developing countries
• ‘Erwinia’ pathogen detected in ‘Unofficial’ Chinese Organic Fertilizer Sample
• Seaweed farming offers a boost for Sri Lanka’s ‘blue economy’ ambitions
• Rubber Research Institute talking to global institutions over leaf disease
• Discontent brews among tea exporters hit by double whammy
• Tea leaf crosses district borders
• Tea exports up in August and first 8 months
• Govt. obtains additional financing of USD 40 mn from World Bank for water supply
‘The project operates in Kegalle, Ratnapura, Moneragala, Badulla, Nuwara Eliya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. Septage treatment plants are planned in two additional districts – Galle and Kurunegala…. There are 18 active WB projects including transport, urban, water, education, & health.’
• Realistic master plan for SL’s forest sector critical: WB
‘several million people live near and inside forests and use its resources directly or indirectly’
• Ravaging trail left by X-Press Pearl: Part 1
• Mawella revisited
‘Coastal fishermen of Mawella have seen a decline in their yield steadily over the years.’
• A farm in the US that hired only white South Africans is being sued by black locals
‘South Africans were formally hired as “agricultural equipment operators” between roughly February and November every year, with duties that included driving tractors and repairing farm equipment.’
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.
• Govt. to maximise productive use of mineral resources – Weerawansa
‘SL’s valuable mineral resources come under four categories: energy minerals; ferrous and ferroalloy family; non-ferrous minerals and minerals under non-metal minerals. Lanka Mineral Sands and Kahatagaha Graphite Lanka excavate, refine and export the minerals, namely ilmenite, zircon, rutile and graphite plus the National Gem and Jewellery Authority & Research Centre’
• Rs. 44 Bn defaulted bills; CEB is unable to extend relief period anymore: Lokuge
• Govt. rules out fuel shortage, says no need for panic or speculation
• JVP alleges govt. move to sell Kerawalapitya power plant to US company
• CEB union shocked over Finance Ministry’s move to procure LNG out of the bidding process
‘unsolicited proposal from the US-based New Fortress Energy (NFE) to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to West Coast Power Plant (WCPP)’
• Flouting of competitive bidding process adopted for solar and wind power projects feared
• Govt. to negotiate US$ 2.5 billion loan to pay for fuel import bill
• RIL Property now owns 74% of Panasian Power (PAP)
‘Major sellers of PAP in the early July deal included Dilanka Jinadasa who held 27% and Emerald Sri Lanka Fund which held 20% and Senthilverl Holdings (14.4%) along with related party holdings.’
• Stochastic and interruptible electricity sources – David
‘“Germans fall out of love with wind power”… large swings are endemic to I-word generators’
• Generating more power from renewable energy resources
• WindForce to acquire Sky Solar owned by Sunshine Energy
‘Sky Solar currently owns and operates rooftop solar at eight factories in Colombo. WindForce has established 27 plants across Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Uganda, and Ukraine…’
• Sri Lanka to host mega global intellectual meeting on lightning protection
‘Dialog Axiata has joined hands with SLPRD to be the network partner for the event’
• Lanka to set up fifth seismic station with Chinese assistance
• Hambantota Port moving at speed despite gloomy market
• KCI Metro Link Korea and GBK Consortium sign for Negombo-Colombo LRT feasibility
• Sri Lanka to seek consultant for China DBFOT elevated expressway
• Decline in New Orders and Production contribute to decrease in manufacturing PMI
• Industrial production recovers in July
• Sri Lanka’s Tess Agro eyes funds from Swiss firm IPEK to make tin cans
• New financial support to boost value-added industrial exports
‘exporters of apparel, rubber products, diamonds, gems and jewellery, boat building, light engineering products, footwear and leather products, plastics, chemicals and petroleum products, mineral based products and automobile components.’
• Hela Clothing heralds more growth with Egypt entry
• ICTA launches ‘10,000 IDEAS’ to foster NextGen tech entrepreneurs
• ASEAN luminaries call for inclusive digital trade ecosystem: Nikkei-ISEAS forum
• Why Cars Aren’t Selling in India
‘India’s car market is saturated, because its small middle-class has become smaller and its buying power has shrunk.’
• Huawei’s HarmonyOS brings IoT power to coal mines
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.
• US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) funds SDB, DFCC, and NDB Banks
‘The U.S. remains Sri Lanka’s largest single export market ‘
• Sarvodaya embraces capital market
‘NDB Investment Bank promoted the IPO as a 19% discount. Sarvodaya Economic Enterprises Development Services (Gte), owns 51.85% stake in SDF and post-IPO will hold 36%. Japan’s Gentosha Total Consulting and T. Senthilerl will reduce their stakes.’
• Sri Lanka finance companies hit by import controls: Fitch
• Standard Chartered wins award for partnering ADB to finance import of 15.4 million vaccine
• ComBank & Council for Business with Britain promote export opportunities
‘Thana Sivasambu – the founder and CEO of RUCI Foods, Irfan Thaseem, CEO of Oceanpick and Chinn Perera, Director of Universal Supply, Universal Europe Suppliers BVT shared experiences’
• Banks watchful of foreign currency transactions via cards
• HNB Finance New Chairman from Asian Bankers Association (Taiwan)
‘Currently Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer at Hatton National Bank and holding Board positions in HNB Assurance, Guardian Acuity Management, Lanka Financial Services Bureau Ltd and Credit Information Bureau, and on the councils of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) and Asian Bankers Association (Taiwan) – the latter as Chairman Policy Advocacy Committee.’
• Panic selling wipes off Rs. 146 b in value at CSE
• SEC Act has section on ‘misleading information’
• Fitch Affirms People’s Leasing and Finance PLC at A+ (lka), Outlook Stable
‘leader in Non-Bank Finance & subsidiary of state sector banking giant People’s Bank,’
• TISL moots enhanced scrutiny in operation of tax amnesty
• Sri Lanka’s LB Finance ‘A-(lka)’ rating confirmed
• Sri Lanka’s Senkadagala Finance ‘BBB+(lka)’ rating confirmed, outlook stable
• Sarvodaya-Fusion & HSBC to educate Sri Lankan women on Personal Financial Literacy
‘the country’s financial literacy rate measures at just 35%.’
• Capital Alliance enters Bangladesh
‘Partnering in frontier brokering with Auerbach Grayson, EFG Hermes, StoneX, Maybank Kim Eng and Edelweiss etc, CAL is one of the largest brokers of foreign institutional investors into Sri Lanka.’
• 9/11 Launched the First of the Unaccountable Bailouts by the Fed to Wall Street
‘On September 10, 2001, the day before the attacks, the Nasdaq stock market was already in the midst of a full-scale implosion, having lost 66% of its market value and wiping out $4 trillion of wealth.’
• US Senate Banking Committee hearing on “Oversight of Securities & Exchange Commission.”
• The Latest US Outrage Over Fed Presidents Trading Stocks Is Just the Tip of the Iceberg
• Fed using QE to buy $120billion a month in Treasuries & Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities
• Bloomberg News Bashes Wells Fargo and Ignores 5-Count Felon JPMorgan Chase
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’
• BoardPAC appointed Strategic Partner of Commonwealth’s Business Network – CWEIC
• Esufally family further strengthens controlling stake in Hemas
‘Ruffer Investment’s LF Ruffer Pacific and Emerging Markets Fund was the most likely seller…. The fund had already divested holdings in several firms, including Commercial Bank and Cargills Ceylon’
• Insurance regulator orders halt to insurance hawking through mobile service providers
• Nestlé parent buys more stake for Rs. 354 m in Lankan entity
• Sri Lanka Retailers Association announces, Sri Lanka Retail Forum 2021
‘Niroshini Sivagananathan, Manager Events CCC, Gillian Nugara, Senior Assistant Secretary General CCC, Infiyaz Ali, Chief Executive Officer – Healthguard Pharmacy (Vice Chairman SLRA), Charitha Subasinghe, President – Retail, John Keells Holdings (Vice Chairman SLRA).’
• Chartered Professional Managers discussion on ‘Budget 2022: My wish list’
‘Experts from Sri Lanka Export Development Board Chairman and Chief Executive Suresh De Mel, Jetwing Travels Chairman Shiromal Cooray, CPM Sri Lanka President Lakshman R. Watawala, Brandix Finance Director Hasitha Premaratne and Agripreneurs’ Forum Chairman Rizvi Zaheed’
• MillenniumIT ESP gears for global expansion with new office in Singapore
• Ambeon Holdings sells South Asia Textiles to Hayleys Fabric PLC
‘Ambeon’s subsidiaries are Millennium Information Technology, Dankotuwa Porcelain and Royal Fernwood, Taprobane Capital Plus, Colombo City Holdings PLC…Parent company Ambeon Capital is jointly controlled by Galle Face Hotel Group, Hirdaramani Group and Navitas Holdings, and Almas’
• Annual demand for luxury units is estimated to be approximately 1,700 units
‘Country’s requirement of housing units remains at around 100,000 units at a given time’
• Thornton Engineering acquires Dane Engineering for Rs 350 million
‘’Among its numerous infrastructure projects are one of the largest domestic water supply projects in the North Eastern region, the Gabion wall of the Beira Lake, a World Bank-funded road development project in Sabaragamuwa Province and several bridges in the Central Province…Board of Directors of Thornton and Dane will comprise of Messrs Deepthi Perera (Managing Director), Piyal Hennayake (CEO), Dinesh Schaffter, Sivasothy Sitharthan and Eng. K. P. I. U. Dharmapala.’
• S&T Interiors, a joint venture of the Hayleys group and S&T Oman to fix Hilton
• Bohra Community continues its ‘Project Rise’ to distribute food in Sri Lanka
• In 1958, Tao commenced dealing in commodities and shipping with Ceylon Food Commissioner
• Story of Japan-funded Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital
• China applies to join key Asia-Pacific trade pact
‘The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), was created by the US to counter China’s influence.’
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.
• Sri Lanka’s Ambassador retires 9 months after US posting
‘On 10 September at a farewell meeting with Ervin Massinga, Senior Advisor, South and Central Asian Affairs of the State Department, the Ambassador conveyed SL views on the HRC-related matters.’
• New Exec. Director of Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations
• Keeping Our Promises: Sri Lanka and Human Rights Council
‘While a critique of western double standards is necessary, it should not prevent Sri Lanka from engaging in global systems.’
• Samaraweera, though a horrible Finance Minister, was a very adept diplomat
‘The UNP though antecedent of the Ceylon National Congress was behind much of the racial tension in Sri Lankan history. Through extremely divisive policies the UNP created both the JVP and LTTE.’
• Of monkeys and peanuts
‘Lee Kwan Yew, the much-idolised former Prime Minister of Singapore, said ministers and bureaucrats in public service should be paid handsome salaries, because “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”.’
• Govt. passing decisions without Cabinet papers: AKD
• Former President Sirisena urges to strengthen UPFA
• UNP at 75, SLFP at 70 – Jayatilleka
• Geneva and the GR revolution – Jayatilleka
• Upgrading Museum Garden Govt’s priority shift towards development questioned
• Reflections on South Asia
‘K. M. Panikkar claimed that the Indian Ocean should remain Indian, the entire area, extending to the corners of the Horn of Africa and the Seychelles, has become trapped in a security quagmire.’
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.
• Wijeya Newspapers speeds up multimedia content delivery online with Oracle Cloud
‘Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. (WNL), Sri Lanka’s largest private news publisher, has boosted the user experience for the growing reader base of its 25 online publications…Lexicon Tech, a member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN), implemented the project for WNL.’
• Fake information programs on social media perhaps are part of a well-organized movement
• Anagarika Dharmapala’s contribution to restoration of Buddha Sasana in India
• Piyadasa Sirisena Vimarshana: Recreating the life of a legend
• Kohomba Kankariya – The Sociology of a Kandyan Ritual
• Some reflections on Sri Lanka’s political “memers”
‘Henry McCallum’s argument, made in 1910: Sri Lankans were as yet not ready for self-government’
• Susil Sirivardena: an incomparable friend
• ‘Self-reform and financial transparency in India’s media, need of the hour’
‘Over 1,15,000 registered publications with more than 17,500 in the newspaper category’
• COVID-19: Study Says India Top Source of Social Media Misinformation
• High court rules Australian media maybe liable for defamatory comments on Facebook