Trade Bankers Strangle Sri Lanka’s Economy
Published (updated: ) in Uncategorized. Tags: Access Engineering, Ambani, AUKUS, Binara Poya, Bombay Dyeing, Exxon, GSP, Isuzu, Itochu, Kidney Disease, Kumagai Gumi, Maha Season, Maharaja, Mahiyangana, Mannar Basin, Marubeni, Moon Festival, Reliance, Sangha, Sathosa, Sathosa Motors, Senake Bibile, Sirasa, Southern Expressway, Trade Finance Association of Bankers, Vaedhi Perahera, Vassana, Wadia, WTO, Yugadanavi.
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
3rd Anniversary Issue
e-Con e-News 19-25 September 2021
Binara Poya rose just before the autumn equinox of the northern hemisphere this year, auguring the drip drip drip of October’s intermonsoonal showers. Midst the Vassana retreat of the Sangha, the onset of the Maha rice season signals new life & new growth.
Binara Full Moon recalls the inauguration of the Bhikkhuni Sasanaya, and the annual celebration of the Vaedhi Perahara by the Mahiyangana Stupa – marker of the Buddha’s first visit to Lanka. Vaedha hunters lay down their weapons this season as animals tend their new born.
The historic role of the Sangha and the Vaedha people in the resistance to imperialist invasion is being erased. So is the English genocide of the Sinhala, of the Vaedha people in particular, the assault on the Sangha’s leadership, and robbery of the temple lands. Mahiyangana-Bintänna-Alutnuvara – once considered among Asia’s great city complexes – was plundered and destroyed by English troops. It is on those ruins that the merchants and moneylenders of today rule the roost in all their ugly decrepitude. On those graves, the bankers play….
Binara, the 6th full moon in the Sinhala calendar, also marks the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival where millions of families reunite after harvest. Such continent-wide festivities, ancient and widespread, evoke little delight in our merchant media. Yet they’ll no doubt soon celebrate victories of the white-settler states, as recalled in the imperialist North Atlantic’s Halloween and Thanksgiving antics, clouding more deadly trillion-dollar military budgets awarded to drive wars against our world.
Last week, the US and English gifted billions to their war industries to provide Australia’s navy with nuclear submarines, to also scour and rob the vast resources of the Indian Ocean (see ee Quotes).
• ee was launched 3 years ago, on 21 September 2018, as a one-page tract. The news then eerily echoes today. The first issue led with ruling Yahapalana officials welcoming a US government MCC delegation promising to ‘invest’ in transport and land. Also, the Yahapalana government had just imposed a 100% margin requirement to import vehicles while warning of ‘further depreciation’ of the rupee. Rather familiar, no? Of course the use of passive voice: ‘further depreciation’ does not state exactly who depreciates the currency. Welcome, then, to the Trade Finance Association of Bankers! It’s on their behalf, these mercenary economists of the media keep crying out for import, imports, imports, exports, exports, exports, balance of payments, debt, debt, debt….
• Holding Sri Lanka’s Economy Hostage – The media and their economists will not expose this Trade Finance Association of Bankers. They help multinationals steal dollars. Their local merchants and moneylenders refuse to invest in modern industrialization. They fleece rural depositors, sucking out their money and wasting it on luxury consumption in Colombo, failing to reinvest in modern agricultural development (Random Notes).
• This brings us to the ongoing sabotage of Sathosa (Cooperative Wholesale Establishment, CWE), the oldest national corporation, set up to control prices of essential consumer goods. Intended to be the largest ‘state’ retailer, it could have been the main competitor to the powerful multinational Unilever, whose tentacles stretch across the country, undermining the rural home market, which should be the solid basis for modern industrialization.
Sathosa has been taking goods from the Colombo port, to sell to private suppliers
and repurchase at higher prices, at the expense of state coffers and consumers, for a long time…
no public official can carry out mega rackets without political backing.
– ee Agriculture, Den of Thieves
In 2016, then-PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and now-imprisoned Rishad Bathiudeen, then Minister of Industries, entrapped Sathosa into the deeper embrace of the Unilever Corporation, calling it a Private-Public Partnership.
Sri Lanka’s Fast-Moving Consumer goods (FMCG) sector is monopolized by multinationals, proclaiming “local brands.” But none of these “local brands” use local supplies or make any machinery or parts locally. Their imports of chemicals and machines are financed by these “trade” bankers, who park their profits outside the country!
Sathosa’s more profitable arm, Sathosa Motors (SM, importing Japan’s Isuzu vehicles) had earlier been ‘people-ized’ (errr…privatized) in 1992. Most of its shares were sold to Japan’s Itochu Corporation, whose international arm became Marubeni (of garment biz fame). Itochu’s shares in SM were then bought by Japan’s Kumagai Gumi-linked Access Engineering, with profits squeezed from the Southern Expressway project, etc. (Random Notes).
• The EU promoted the Andean drug trade and related police states through its so-called GSP+. Yet all our economists, the dollarized thinktanks, the UN and Human Rights Watch, etc., are vociferously promoting GSP+, when it’s clearly a fraud, and worse, aided and abetted criminal impunity! (ee Focus, WTO)
This ee Focus continues to explore links between media, police, politicians, petroleum and industrial policy: the rise of India’s Gujerati Ambani’s Reliance Corporation and their battle with the Parsi Wadia Group.
• The UN still won’t thunder loudly about the great vaccine scandal? A powerful anti-vaccine clamour dominates social media, singing falsetto to press releases singing the goodwill of pharmaceutical corporation importers, who with the World Bank, IMF and WTO block local vaccine production. Very few recall the murder of Senake Bibile to privatize pharma policy in Sri Lanka. Hail Hemas!
• The news is instead full of capitalist philanthropy: ‘Commercial Bank provides Covid support to 4 more hospitals, taking total to 24 hospitals’, donating ‘essential medical equipment.’ No media asks who usually supplies this ‘essential’ medical equipment, and who sells the parts when such equipment breaks down?
Recall: when one ship brings second-hand Japanese cars, 20 ships bring parts: This is why Panchigavatte, is the most expensive real estate in the country! And yes, Sathosa Motors has a kaday there!
•Hundreds of South Asia’s farmers die every year from spraying chemicals, and the environmental ‘movement’ maintains an ear-drum-bursting silence. The media instead amplifies agricultural professors and experts against organic policy. Chemical importer Maharaja’s Sirasa TV led the attack on those making links between chemicals and kidney disease, subjecting activists to all kinds of threats. Yet they’re all great ‘democrats’! Over to you, MTV!
The main funders of the environmental ‘lobby (led by IUCN, World Wildlife, etc) are the petrol multinationals and the Rockefeller & Ford Foundations. Assembly of Imported Gods’ Harsha de Silva is crying that Energy minister Gammanpilla is inviting Rockefeller’s Exxon to grab the Mannar Basin. Selling the Yugadanavi Power Plant to the JP Morgan Bank will help silence the US Human Rights choir (see ee Quotes).
A1. Reader Comments –
• Gunadasa Making History • Sarvodaya’s Fleecing • Ravaya, MIRJE & Prema • Anti-Missile Missiles • Israel Ditches US Defenses • Two Thieves
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Dismantling Machines • JP Morgan Buying up Energy Assets Worldwide • Ananda Wickremaratne • AUKUS & Indian Ocean Robbery • Assassination for Good Governance
A3. Random Notes –
• ee at 3 • Maharaja Led 1st Attacks on Environmentalists • Multinationals Fund Anti-Organic Campaign • US Funding Opposed Agricultural Self-reliance • Ban Licensed Tea Export Firms • Mechanizing Tea • Importing vs Making Drugs • Privatizing Sathosa Motors • Unilever Grabs Sathosa • MNCs & the FMCG Game • Unilever, Unions & 3rd-Party Workers • Unilever & Customs Fraud • MNC & US Thinktank Press Releases • EconomyNext Gets Free Trade Wrong • Hiding Export $s • Trade Finance Association of Bankers
B. ee Focus
B1. EU’s Warning on WTO Rules: Another perspective – Gomi Senadhira,
B2. How to Buy a News Editor (2) – Become a Media Baron
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who share articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news sent, or your comments, with any e-link. Email: email@example.com
• ‘Gunadasa Amarasekera comments about the SLFP, that people don’t make history – may be true. But our history has been made by foreigners more than the culture he talks of. The resurrection of what he calls the national spirit under Sirimavo was also killed by foreigners. They created[/built up?] the JVP for this purpose.’
• ‘I was amazed at the details about the finances and actions of Sarvodaya. The general view is that it is a poor grassroots organization and friend of the poor.’
• ‘Sarvodaya provided its printing press for Ravaya to print its weekly tabloid, on a pay-later basis. Ravaya appeared with the attempted impeachment of President Premadasa. Ravaya was always one of the instruments used by our white masters, so it was able to do its thing despite limited circulation and ads, which would have made any other papers collapse, unless funded ‘under the table’.
At the same time, Canadian and other European donors funded the Movement for Inter-Racial Justice & Education’s Sinhala tabloid Yukthiya, and Tamil tabloi, Sarnihar.
The Empire hated Premadasa more than the Rajapakses. He ordered the English ambassador out of the country for their clandestine support to the JVP virulence at the time. India and the Empire were hand in glove even then.’
• Is pulling out of patriot missiles from Saudi Arabia, a strategic move to focus on China, or something else? The hyped US defence missile systems could not protect the Saudis even from Yemeni Houthi home-made rockets and Iranian drones. And it was necessary to remove the alleged protection before it became even more obvious they don’t work. US tech only enriches private companies and allow them to cut corners and produce whatever for maximal profit. Most US defence is a facade to keep money flowing to Lockheed et al – not really to enhance their nation’s defence (or even offensive) capacity. The only time these anti-missile missiles were put to the test they failed. The face-saving withdrawal was made before the lid was fully blown?
India quietly ditched reliance on US-made defence equipment and changed to Russia. India appears to think Israeli stuff is reliable too? Israel seems to be desperate to push the US to ensure no country will ever have the capacity to put to the test its ‘iron-dome’. Maybe it is as much a mirage as the US defence system? Or they aren’t confident. Talking up one’s capacity helps. No worries as long as the money keeps rolling in, to contractors.’
• ‘The news is all about a split in the US military establishment… It is the fight between 2 thieves: the older ones saying we’ve robbed enough and may go over the edge; the younger others saying no, no, not enough.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘During a Gama Samaga Pilisandarak meeting in a far-flung area, when a female student requested President Rajapaksa to provide her school with a new computer as the old one had conked out, the President, while undertaking to grant her request, asked whether the students had dismantled the faulty machine to see what had gone wrong. The answer was in the negative. The significance of the President’s question unfortunately was lost on education policymakers, and the media.’ – ee Industry, Children
• SL’s US Energy Agreement? ‘Someone Is Buying up Power Plants & Critical Infrastructure worldwide: The Trail Leads to JPMorgan Asset Management buying up energy and infrastructure assets including solar power plants, wind farms, airports, water companies’– wallstreetonparade.com/2021/07/someone-is-buying-up-power-plants-and-critical-infrastructure-in-22-countries-the-trail-leads-to-jpmorgan-a-bank-repeatedly-charged-with-rigging-markets/
• Ananda Wickremaratne has passed. He analyzed ‘the fluctuating fortunes of that 20-year period [1865-85] – social destabilization caused by the process of dispossession of vast extents of land from Buddhist temples and shrines (vihāragam, dēvālagam) in the enforcement of the Temple Lands Ordinance of 1856, the accelerated growth of coffee plantations in the highlands followed by the spectacular collapse of the coffee enterprise from about the late 1870s, the advent of rail transport and intensification of the road network, the discriminatory educational reforms, and the changes in the modalities of taxation of the those engaged in paddy production.’ – ee Media, Homage
• ‘Nuclear submarines could operate completely submerged at high speed almost indefinitely. They can equip Australia with the capability to provide security for the exploitation of the vast ocean beds of the western Pacific and South China and East China Seas – and the Indian Ocean – in a timeline of the next 10-20 years with the futuristic tools of Artificial Intelligence.’ – ee Sovereignty, SCO
• ‘The CIA assassinated Congo’s first popular leader, Patrice Lumumba, and installed a dictatorship there for the next 30 years so that the Glencore Corporation and others Western firms could suck out cobalt from Congo without paying taxes. Yet the West would cheekily ask the people of the exploited countries: “Why don’t you govern properly?”’ – ee Economists, Data Manipulation
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
ee is 3 Years Old! brought to you as a dedication to the work of SBD de Silva, endured through constitutional upheavals, terrorist attacks, elections, naysaying, sectarian jibes, heartaches and other hallucinations.
The very first e-Con e-News of 21 September 2018 headlined:
• A delegation from the US Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) met top officials, including PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera, et al, discussing “constraints that are holding back private investment and growth”
• The Central Bank directed commercial banks to impose a 100% margin deposit requirement against letters of credit (LCs) for the importation of motor vehicles …based on recent developments “which, if not addressed, could threaten macroeconomic stability.”
• Mangala warns of further depreciation of rupee: “There was an influx of vehicles below 1000cc during the recent past. New cash margin requirement for LCs would reduce the import of vehicles at this juncture. India has imposed regulations on non-essential luxury items as well.”
• Chemical importer Maharaja’s SirasaTV was the first to attack the links made between chemicals and kidney disease discovered by the Universities of Kelaniya and Rajarata. Those who wrote about the links were subject to attacks in their workplaces, with hate mail sent to their colleagues and superiors. Maharaja is linked to chemical importers Harrison’s and Unilever.
Vociferous media attacks against organic fertilizer is funded by such multinationals as Unilever, Ceylon Tobacco Co, Baur, etc, who are major importers of chemicals. Then there are oil companies, of which chemical fertilizers are a byproduct.
• “The addiction to pesticides is a deep psychological game created by Sri Lanka’s advertising culture with their sales & marketing hype. This hype has led farmers to think of agrochemicals as ‘indispensable’. Excessive use of agrochemicals worldwide is driven by the politics of multinationals. The top 10 private multinationals based in imperialist countries control 90% of the global pesticide market. The 6 major companies are Syngenta AG (Switzerland); Bayer, BASF SE (Germany); Dow Agro, FMC (US); Adama (Israel). BASF SE acquired Monsanto, the controversial US company.
There are also 10 pesticide companies that dominate the 50 markets targeted for the production and marketing of agro-seeds globally. The global food chain is integrated by the domination of a handful of multinational corporations, due to the close alliance between governments and pesticide MNCs. It’s a revolving door: many former executives, lawyers, scientists in the agrochemical industry in countries such as the US have worked in government agencies, working to protect the agrochemical industry. In addition, MNCs have established a large number of lobbyists and brokers in Washington, and elsewhere.
Every year, agrochemical companies spend more than $100million to lobby US politicians and maintain control of the state machinery. They formulate and implement favorable government policies to strengthen their industry and maintain global dominance. This impact is reflected in bilateral agreements signed between imperialist countries and countries such as Sri Lanka, as well as in development programs launched by international NGOs. However, the purchase of pesticides produced in imperialist countries is included in the subtle terms of these agreements. International organizations promoting export agriculture set aside large sums of money to buy and sell pesticides in Asia, Africa, and the non-Anglo Americas. In the past, pesticides were manufactured entirely in imperialist countries, but today their subsidiaries produce pesticides in developing countries. A handful of local companies in SL and their affiliates supply chemicals to the local market. Local companies such as Hayleys, Harrisons Chemicals, CIC Crop Guard Syngenta Bayer, BASF / Monsanto, FMC.”
• ‘Until the 1970s, our country pursued an agricultural development policy based on the self-reliance of farmers. Land reform was seen as a political necessity, and post-independence governments took various measures to protect the rights of farmers. However, while Sri Lankan policymakers and scientists were developing environment-friendly alternatives to revive agriculture in SL, large US organizations such as international NGOS and the Rockefeller Foundation cunningly promoted another vision of agricultural development globally, especially in Asian countries. This was mainly due to the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that was spreading in China at the time. The US wanted to prevent other Asian countries from following in China’s footsteps. The US saw the need to link agriculture and the livelihoods of people in rural areas to the Global Capitalist Circuit as a step towards stabilizing the newly independent countries of Asia. The process was initiated by Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, USAID, and the World Bank. The marketing slogan of the US government and its companies was to ‘liberate Third World agriculture’ from the shackles of the past by introducing a modern, intensive farming system. At a time when the Sri Lankan government wanted to develop agriculture, agrochemicals produced by Western agrochemical companies had a severe impact on third world countries.’ – epaper.aruna.lk/Home/ShareArticle?OrgId=be37d2b9&imageview=0
• ‘Capital in Sri Lanka’s plantation sector exists in the form of commodity capital and not in machinery or land in a significant way. Power therefore rests with those who acquire commodity capital and not capital in the form of means of production. Hence, workers’ demands should not be the appropriation of means of production, but entrusting the right to purchase the output of RPCs on a workers’ collective and revoke the legal rights of the Licensed Export Firms to purchase from auctions. The production relations should then be reorganized in an egalitarian framework. Initial capital required for the council to purchase RPCs’ output should be provided by the state in the form of an advance that will be repaid with interest. Reinvestment of the surpluses should initially flow into mechanization of the harvesting process and shifting the surplus labour into producing such machinery and other ancillary inputs of the tea industry (a similar movement was formed in China’s Yunnan Province prior to the revolution). This would enable a phenomenal rise of real wages, while the industry remains price competitive in world markets, as the surpluses siphoned away from the sector since its inception 2 centuries ago will then reverse its flow back into the system. The movement has the possibility of emerging as a nucleus of regional emancipation, and its success will provide a model that could spread beyond its initial limits. Devotion to the ruling ideology cannot be defied while its material basis remains unchanged.’ (ee 22 June 2019)
• ‘Prices of drugs in SL are the “cheapest in the region” and the main reason for this is the zero duty on importing them’, according to Chandra Jayaratne, Chairman of Citihealth Imports, called “the fastest growing pharmaceutical company in Sri Lanka”.
Pharmaceutical importer and distributor Citihealth Imports was set up in 1996. Their main principal company supplier is Indian multinational Cipla. Most of their drugs manufactured in India are sold cheaper in Sri Lanka, because Indian pharmaceutical companies have local agreements not to reduce their price margins. However, when it comes to exports there is competition, which results in cheaper prices. Some drugs imported from India are at least 30 times cheaper than the same product “manufactured” in SL, claimed Citihealth. Another advantage Indian companies enjoy is the availability of raw materials. “The Indian manufacturers have the power to bargain while in SL they have to call for tenders which takes time and makes the cost higher”: This they claim is “one of the main reasons” that Indian Pharma companies are “reluctant to set up factories in SL”.
Most leading medical consultants in Sri Lanka refuse to prescribe Indian drugs, saying the quality is questionable. Yet Cipla supplies “pharmaceuticals and surgical consumables to the State Pharmaceutical Corporation and to all government hospitals in the country.”
• The so-called corruption of Sathosa’s FMCG division was long foretold in the tale of Sathosa Motors. This goes back to 1962, when the Sathosa (Co-operative Wholesale Establishment – CWE) got the agency to import Japan’s Isuzu vehicles. The first agreement was signed between Isuzu Motors (manufacturer), Itoch & Co (distributor) and CWE (franchise holder). The demand for Japanese vehicles, specially commercial vehicles, was not encouraged in the 1960s, early 1970s, but after JR’s ‘liberalization of imports in 1978’, Isuzu became the ‘most sought after vehicle by fleet owners, government officials, politicians, etc.’
In 1985, the Ministry of Trade and Commerce converted the CWE’s New Vehicles & Machinery Department, which handled Isuzu vehicles and spare parts imports and sales, into a fully owned CWE subsidiary company – ‘Sathosa Motors Ltd’, competing with other vehicle importers.
In 1992, Sathosa Motors was ‘peoplized’ with distributor, Japan’s Itochu Corp taking 60% of issued capital. SM then became the franchise holder for Isuzu vehicles and spare parts manufactured by Isuzu, and Opel passenger Cars and Opel Spare Parts manufactured by Adam Opel AG of Germany and marketed by the US General Motors Overseas Distributors Corporation.
Isuzu vehicles ranged from Double Cab Pickup Trucks, Light & Heavy Duty Commercial Vehicles, Luxury Passenger Coaches and Special Purpose Vehicles such as Fire Trucks, Logging Trucks, Dump Trucks, Water & Fuel Bowsers to building-construction and goods-distribution vehicles, and Opel passenger cars and jeeps.
In 1998, Sumal Joseph Perera, founder of the Access Group, joined the Board of Sathosa Motors. Access Trading, set up in the early 1990s by Perera, Ranjan Gomez and Christopher Joshua, was linked to Japan’s Kumagai Gumi, which through Japan’s ‘aid’ agencies, JAICA, etc., was awarded contracts without tender. The Rs33-billion foreign-funded Southern Expressway, planned by the Road Development Authority in 1990 and launched April 2003, was ‘constructed’ by Kumagai Gumi, and SL subcontractors Maga and ICC, using 2,000 workers and 40 Japanese experts.
In 2007, Tilak Gunasekera joined SM’s Board: he was part of the Ceylon Motor Traders
Association of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC). Nimal Perera joined SM’s Board in 2009, when he was Deputy Chairman of Pan Asia Banking Corp, LB Finance, Vallibel Finance, etc.
In 2012, Itochu sold control of Sathosa Motors to Access Engineering, with Ajita de Zoysa, previously AMW Chairman, made Sathosa’s new Non-Executive Chairman…
• Unilever Grabs Sathosa: In 2011, a court ruled Unilever’s Astra margarine was not suitable for children. But then a Unilever PR executive accused a Sathosa official of demanding a bribe for Sathosa to stock Astra on its shelves. SL’s leading media refused to publicize the court order, fearing Unilever would withhold advertising from them. (Astra margarine is one molecule away from being plastic, sharing 27 ingredients with paint!)
In 2013, the US-controlled Commercial Bank tied up with Sathosa Motors to lease Japan’s Isuzu lorries and buses. This was the 6th joint promotion between the Commercial Bank and SM.
In June 2015, a former deputy general manager (operations) of Lak Sathosa resigned after getting advertising done by Unilever and a Unilever-related ad agency, costing Rs150 million, and also personally profiting off local potato and big onion produce. He was then reappointed as deputy general manager (procurements) by then Commerce and Industries Minister Rishard Bathiudeen.
In January 2016, Sathosa chairman Dr Rohantha Athukorala announced plans to tie up ‘with top corporates and SME sector companies, to target ‘middle-income consumers who account for almost 70% of the population, to increase coverage while ensuring the availability of these companies’ goods in Sathosa outlets’.
‘Every month we are looking at a tie-up with a top corporate or SME sector entity to launch their products at Lanka Sathosa outlets island wide.’ He announced ‘a landmark turnaround’ after Sathosa joined ‘global household giant Unilever’ to launch a new Sunlight soap.
He said, as per ‘the third-generation economic reform statement’ by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe: ‘We are practising strong private-public partnerships by starting new business arrangements with top corporates and discerning SMEs in the country… The loss-making Sathosa would be turned around in 6 months… the institution is running losses… due to bad planning and positioning.’ Within the next 3 months all Sathosa outlets were to ‘receive a facelift, with the basic infrastructure corrected in lighting, freezer facilities and retail staff, so it can ensure that the total basket of goods for a housewife can be bought at a Sathosa outlet.’
In June 2016, Unilever joined forces with Sathosa, ‘the largest state owned FMCG network’, in SL’s first ever ‘land sweepstakes’, having ‘succeeded in steadily reducing its losses in a few months – almost 12-fold!”
‘It gives me great pleasure to promote FMCG items with a global multinational such as Unilever SL’ declared Minister of Industry & Commerce Bathiudeen. Sathosa had ‘reduced its monthly losses from Rs844 million to Rs68mn, by “streamlining operations and network expansion.”
Chairman Athukorala added, ‘Sathosa is now emerging as a ‘profit-making FMCG giant’ from its previous state of a ‘loss-making public entity.’
Unilever, Nestlé, Danone, Procter&Gamble, L’Oréal and Coca-Cola are the top-6 FMCG multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in Asia in 2014. In 2016, ‘a third of Nestlé and P&G’s global sales growth 2008-14 came from emerging Asia’. Targeting household consumption was driving the majority of FMCG sales due to ‘a growing urban middle class with rising disposable incomes and changing consumer preferences for traditionally Western products.’ ‘Emerging market consumers’ made up ‘less than one-third of global revenue for the 15 largest multinational FMCG manufacturers. However, consumer spending in these markets [was] expected to grow about 3 times as quickly as that in developed economies. By 2020, spending was expected to “reach $6 trillion and account for nearly half of total consumer spending.”
‘Sri Lanka’s packaged food sales – the largest categories being dairy, bakery, fats and oils reached $1.9bn in 2013, expecting almost $3bn in 2018. Plus increased demand for packaged food sales, 2009-13 Sri Lanka’s expanding middle class also created a rising demand for tissues, hygiene and other FMCG products, with escalating beauty and personal-care sales.
With ‘significant growth in terms of sales volume in the FMCG segment… Lankan consumers were allocating more disposable income to lifestyle products, especially food and durable products for the home.’
A ranking of the top-10 FMCG brands, included SL for the first time in 2016, noting that “’local brands” commanded the bulk of shopper choices when it came to buying FMCGs, with brands such as Munchee, Sunlight, Maliban, Lifebuoy, Anchor, Signal, Vim, Nestomalt, Ratthi and Diva occupying the top-10 places for SL in 2015.’ Yet none of these “local brands” use local supplies or make any machinery or parts locally, and their imports and exports are financed by so-called ‘trade’ bankers.
When ‘state-controlled wholesale giant, the CWE re-entered the domestic FMCG market in April 2016 after exiting the wholesale market & FMCG sector in 2003′, it was noted, Sathosa set up in 1949, was SL’s oldest state-owned corporation, ‘the main government corporation with the ability to intervene in the control of prices of essential consumer items, the CWE can also import & distribute commodities to stabilise prices’. But this function had been severely undermined.
Sathosa had ‘launched’ SL’s self-service supermarket culture in 1978. Indeed, Sathosa, the country’s largest state-owned retail chain, was formerly the CWE’s retail arm. CWE was then ‘restructured’, to ‘have its own customer base as a result and former glory’, announced Minister Bathiudeen, ‘CWE is ready to import FMCGs and essentials to stabilise prices and meet sudden market demands. CWE’s northern wholesale centre in Vavuniya will distribute FMCGs to the entire Northern Province. Regional CWE hubs will then be opened in Badulla, Kurunegala, Colombo and Kandy.’
In mid-2016 Sathosa partnered with FMCG giant Unilever to promote FMCG items. The government planned for the Sathosa network to grow from 312 to 500 branches by 2017.
The FMCG ‘industry’ is monopolized by Unilever, Proctor & Gamble (Hayleys), Nestles, Cargills, Nawaloka Holdings, Sunshine Holdings, Lanka Canneries, Shaw Wallace, and Hemas (which indirectly exports products through the SL Export Development Board). In 2016, Ceylon Cold Stores partnered with an England-based bottling facility to enter EU markets…
For multinational FMCG retailers, developed markets had become saturated and remained ‘very challenging… FMCGs were continuing to invest in emerging Asia markets because those markets’ returns on investment and business cases continue to outperform those of developed markets, and were expected to reap long-term benefits’. Domestic firms ‘are closer to their customers, better acquainted with their buying preferences & habits.
In October 2016 Minister Bathiudeen claimed ‘Sathosa now stands as SL’s largest retail shopping chain’. PM Wickremesinghe claimed, ‘Sathosa is playing the great role of lowest price setter in local retail market, and helps government in its consumer support role.’ Bathiudeen thanked Unilever SL for the support given to create the first mega model outlet. Unilever SL Chairman Carl Cruz (who says the SL Western Province’s home market is more profitable than Thailand’s entire market!) also spoke at the event.
Sathosa planned 8,000 franchised outlets partnering with privately owned MSME shops across the country.
In November 2016 Unilever SL partnered with Sathosa, to pioneer a ‘life changing land sale promotion’s through a raffle draw, where ‘shoppers had to purchase Unilever nominated brands.
In January 2017 Minister Bathiudeen insisted, ‘The ministry is transforming Lanka Sathosa from a loss-making service institute to a marketing-based profit-oriented model so that it can serve consumers without being a burden to public funds.’
• In 2019, Unilever, the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations, and the IndustriALL Global Union (merger of the International Metalworkers’ Federation, International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine &General Workers’ Unions, International Textile, Garment & Leather Workers’ Federation) signed an agreement to limit the use of temporary workers and protect permanent jobs in Unilever factories. The agreement applied to workers in over 300 Unilever factories in 69 countries, whether employed directly by Unilever or through a third-party provider.
• In February 2021, Unilever was accused of Rs1,500mn excise duty fraud by Customs trade unions blaming high Customs officials for evading policy. Unilever had altered the name of the imported product and had brought in Palm Oil Fatty Acid into the country.
In October 2018, Ministry of Finance imposed a 25% customs duty on importing palm oil fatty acids. Unilever was then accused of using a devious tactic to avoid paying the new customs duty. Instead of the usual import of palm oil as fatty acids, they imported it under a non-taxable category, evading customs duties of ~Rs570 million.
In February 2019, Cosmetics Manufacturers Association of SL complained about the fraud. But SL Customs did not collect the fines nor excise duties owed by Unilever.
Sunday Lankadeepa reported the fraud but didn’t disclose Unilever’s name. Palm oil is one of the main ingredients imported to manufacture soaps and bathing bars. 2000-18, Unilever imported palm oil fatty acids duty-free under the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement. The tax breaks received by Unilever ranged from Rs650-800 million per annum while additional profit from tax breaks for 18 years was around Rs12 billion.
Only Unilever is entitled to such large tax deductions, while local soap makers have to pay 30% as customs duties for raw materials.
Rampant misinformation and disinformation dominate the media. Yet World Bank, Unilever and US thinktank Advocata’s press releases are published verbatim, with no nasty comments attached.
• ‘Before free trade came to England and it became a major industrial power’, claims Capital’s Media’s EconomyNext, getting history upside down (see ee Economists, Cronies). In fact, free trade was proclaimed by England AFTER it became an industrial power (ee 11 Sept 2021, Who’s Afraid of Protectionism?)
• Exporters like MAS, and MNCs like Unilever, are parking several billion dollars outside the country, denying the country revenues and tax income. Tax magicians (accountants) will not divulge their secrets. The unnamed depreciation mafia is led by the multinationals, with their unchecked ‘transfer pricing’ game to avoid taxes, etc., as they use the latest tech to keep shifting profits to low or no-tax jurisdictions. So what is the role the banks play in these games? Are these the creatures who undermined the last Central Bank Governor, who dared ask them to consider national interests, which the Wijeya Group’s Financial Times labelled ‘Immoral Suasion’?
• Trade Finance Association of Bankers held their AGM for 2021/2 this week. TFAB was formed in 1997, with members from almost all commercial banks in Sri Lanka. The Association’s Advisory Committee comprise 4 senior bankers and past TFAB Presidents: A Kathiravelupillai (Inaugural President of TFAB, former DGM International, Bank of Ceylon), Michael Peiris (former Head of Trade, Union Bank), Nilam Jumat (former AGM – International, Hatton National Bank), Thushy David (former Director, Head Global Subsidiary Coverage, Head of Trade & Cash Management Sales, Deutsche Bank).
Incumbent President – Lawrian Somanader (Head of Exports at Commercial Bank of Ceylon), Senior VP Rochelle Fernando (Trade Services, Bank of Ceylon) VP Shyam de Silva (Centralized Trade Processing, HNB), Secretary General KR Naguleswaran (Correspondent Banking & Remittances, DFCC Bank), Treasurer Kasun Muthukuda (Trade & Supply Chain Finance, Nations Trust Bank), Assistant Secretary Indika Liyanage (Trade Services, Pan Asia Banking Corp), Assistant Treasurer Kanchana de Silva (Trade Operations Union Bank), Council Members: Gaya Manamperi (formerly Sampath Bank), Manjula Gunawardana (NDB Bank), Neil Handapangoda (CitiBank NA), Susantha Weerasinghe (People’s Bank), Tharinda Amarasinghe (Sampath Bank), Niranjan Dabare (Deutsche Bank), KK Susantha (Bank of Ceylon), Saroja Pathirana (Sampath), Thilanke Weerasinghe (HSBC), Dilan Wijegoonawardena (Seylan Bank), Shehani Peter (Standard Chartered Bank), Malithi Maheeka (Cargills Bank), Eranda Weerakoon (Doha Bank). Immediate Past President ASM W Kumarasiri (Trade Finance, People’s Bank) – see ee Economy, Trade Finance
B. Special Focus_
B1. EU’s warning on WTO rules: Another perspective – Gomi Senadhira, 21 Sept 2021
I was surprised when I read in your newspaper about the call on Sri Lanka by European Union Ambassador Denis Chaibi to respect international trade rules (‘EU asks SL to respect WTO rules; urges not to put country’s exports at risk’, Daily Mirror, 10 Sept).
The EU envoy had selected well the venue to deliver the warning, a seminar organised by a Colombo-based free-market thinktank. After all, it’s easy to preach to the converted. But then why was I surprised?
How the EU respects WTO rules – In 2004 the Sutherland Committee, which looked into the institutional challenges to the international trading system, succinctly summarized how the EU respects the WTO rules as follows: ‘At the heart of the GATT was the principle of non-discrimination, characterized by the most-favoured-nation (MFN) clause… The MFN clause was regarded as the central organizing rule of the GATT, and the world trading system of rules it constituted. It required that the best tariff and non-tariff conditions extended to any contracting party of the GATT had to be automatically and unconditionally extended to every other contracting party… nearly 5 decades after founding of GATT, MFN is no longer the rule… Certainly the term might now be better be defined as LFN, Least-Favoured-Nation treatment… This is best illustrated by reference to the EU which now has its MFN tariff fully applicable to only 9 trading partners, albeit including the US and Japan. All other trading partners are granted concessional market access under Article XXIV, the Enabling Clause, GSP schemes, ‘Everything but Arms’ and other relationships.’ (The Future of the WTO, 2004 by WTO).
The 8-member Southerland committee was chaired by Peter Southerland, the first Director-General of the WTO and a former European Commissioner responsible for Competition Policy. Other eminent scholars in the committee included Prof Jagdish Bagawathi and Prof John Jackson. In essence, what these eminent people underlined was how the EU had treated the most important WTO rule, the principle of non-discrimination, during the last 60 years, with utter disrespect.
‘So what? SL too receives GSP and better treatment than MFN. It is a gift given by the EU. Be careful what you say. They can take it away if they want,’ the trade policy pundits in Sri Lanka’s NGO community and some of the officials in the trade and foreign ministries may say in response.
GSP is not a gift – The GSP was created by the United Nations (UNCTAD) in 1968, as a part of the international trade rules, mainly to end the EU’s discriminatory preferential arrangement which violated MFN, the most important principle of the multilateral trade law.
But since GSP too necessarily puts some countries in a better position than others and was an outright breach of the MFN, GATT Member States adopted a decision, known as the Enabling Clause, giving an exception from Article I of GATT to allow developed countries to provide tariff concessions to developing countries. However, the Enabling Clause dictates that tariff concessions can be provided only in a generalized, non-reciprocal and non-discriminatory manner.
The EU GSP, launched in 1971, during its early years provided concessions in a generalized, non-reciprocal and non-discriminatory manner, as required under the international trade law, and was available to all developing countries, other than high-income developing countries.
At the same time, the EU continued with other discriminatory preferential arrangements and continued to provide better tariff concessions to the ACP (formerly Organization of African, Caribbean & Pacific States, OACPS) countries in total disregard to the MFN and non-discrimination. The objective was very clear, to divide the developing countries, in the WTO and in UNCTAD. But the developing countries, for the sake of unity, agreed to provide a temporary waiver, for the ACP preferences.
Then, in 1990 the EU started to make a mockery of the GSP scheme as well and began to discriminate between the developing countries. First, an outrageous arrangement called ‘GSP Drug’ was introduced.
In the guise of a special incentive arrangement for countries that were in the fight against drug trafficking, GSP Drugs provided duty-free market access to the EU, for the Andean and the Central American countries only and not others. In other words, the countries, like Colombia, which cultivated and exported cannabis, coca, and the opium poppy very efficiently, were rewarded by the EU deal makers.
These concessions were not extended to those countries which combated drug trafficking more successfully, like Thailand or India. Sri Lanka too could have cultivated and exported cannabis (perhaps coca and opium) if required. But we had successfully fought against it.
So we were not rewarded. In other words, law-abiding countries were penalized and violators were rewarded by the EU. In 1999, 2 other special incentive arrangements were added, one linked to certain international labour standards (GSP labour) and the other linked to the protection of rainforests (GSP Environment). These arrangements, according to the EU’s own reports, were little used as the ‘beneficiary countries have preferred not to have the content and implementation of their social legislation subjected to the rigours of scrutiny’. Then came the ‘Everything but Arms (EBA)’ which extended duty-free treatment to Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
EU- SL trade – What was given under the GSP to Sri Lanka by the EU in 1970, was nullified through other discriminatory trade arrangements and discriminatory Rules of Origin enforced by the EU. These were clear violation of the WTO principle of non-discrimination.
As a result, at the beginning of this century, SL paid in the EU higher average tariff than any other country and this was highlighted in an Oxfam briefing paper published before Cancun WTO ministerial: ‘the available evidence suggests that the EU’s Common External Tariff is fundamentally anti-poor.’
Here too the principle of perverse graduation applies. In England, ‘tax rates on imports of goods from India are around 4 times higher than for the USA, rising to over 8 times higher for countries such as SL.’ (Running into the Sand – Oxfam England, Aug 2003). So, during the beginning of this century, Sri Lanka received less than the Least-Favoured-Nation treatment in the EU market, even with the GSP!
When the EU was confronted with these facts by the SL mission in Brussels in 2002 (with our own studies, before Southerland report and Oxfam study were released), GSP (Labour), that little-used facility because the countries preferred not to subject the content and implementation of their social legislations to the rigours of scrutiny, was presented as a way out this discriminatory treatment, and Sri Lanka became the first developing country to get that facility (Moldova had earlier obtained the facility under less rigorous terms).
Why EU created GSP Plus? After the 9/11 attack in the US, in Jan 2002 Pakistan was added to the list of GSP ‘drugs arrangement’ beneficiaries! No reasons were given. Perhaps, a reward for supporting Taliban.
Then India challenged the legal validity of GSP Drugs under the WTO law: claimed the drug arrangement breached GATT Article I and could not be justified under the Enabling Clause as it distinguished in an arbitrary way between different developing countries, and therefore violated its non-discrimination requirement.
The WTO endorsed India’s claim. as the Enabling Clause did not allow for a different treatment of developing countries and hence the EU violated the MFN Clause. So the rules governing the GSP were very clear; No Discrimination.
As a result of the WTO decision, the EU was forced to discontinue GSP Drugs. In 2005, all beneficiaries, other than Pakistan, of the GSP Drugs, Labour and Environment arrangements (and 2 new applicants for GSP Labour), were selected for enhanced preferences under GSP ‘Human Rights and Good Governance Clause’ (GSP+). All they had to do was send a simple application.
GSP+ & SL – EU’s double standards: Even with GSP Plus, due to discriminatory rules of origin, the market access provided to SL by the EU still remains less than what the non-discrimination rule requires. In addition, content and implementation of Sri Lanka’s social legislations were subjected to more rigours of scrutiny than other countries in an extremely arbitrary way and enforced in a discriminatory manner. SL was singled out and penalized. The Andean and Central American countries were not subjected to such scrutiny. There are many studies (other than reports by SL’s then Director General of Commerce) on this subject.
For example, this is how Franz Christian Ebert, of Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg who’s written extensively on these issues, explains these double standards: ‘A striking example for this inconsistency is the case of Colombia with regard to which ILO supervisory bodies have been criticizing the permanent state of insecurity and impunity that gave rise to numerous politically motivated murders and other acts of violence against trade union members & leaders… also a number of elements of the Colombian labour legislation are in conflict with ILO Convention No.87. While the Colombian government has made certain progress in terms of remedying the situation, it is clear from the ILO Committee of Experts that the situation in Colombia cannot yet be considered in line with the ILO Conventions.’
Similar problems exist with regard to Guatemala, where the ILO supervisory bodies pointed to the permanent climate of violence & impunity coupled with inefficiency of the judiciary, and requested the government to ‘take the necessary measures to guarantee full respect for the human rights of trade unionists’ under ILO Convention No.87. Serious problems in this regard can also be identified in the case of Georgia (‘Between Political Goodwill & WTO-Law: Human Rights Conditionality in the Community’s New Scheme of Generalised Tariff Preferences (GSP)’, Ebert, 2009).
It is clear from the above, in selecting and removing beneficiary countries from the GSP Plus arrangement the EU distinguished in an arbitrary way between different developing countries, and therefore violated the non-discrimination requirement of the Enabling Clause. This certainly applied to Sri Lanka when the GSP Plus concessions were withdrawn.
But SL must respect WTO rules – Notwithstanding the EU’s total disrespect to most important WTO rules and the international rules governing the GSP, Ambassador Denis Chaibi had warned SL about violating WTO rules. Why? Because SL had temporally suspended the import of very few products, mainly motor vehicles, to save foreign exchange during this difficult period. So no more shiny new BMWs and Mercedes cars imported from the EU.
Perhaps, Ambassador Chaibi thinks Sri Lanka needs BMWs more than AstraZeneca vaccines and that was why they even refused to sell vaccines to us. What is noteworthy is no other country that exports motor vehicles to Sri Lanka had protested. Japan even donated us AstraZeneca vaccines.
However, once Ambassador Chaibi and other EU ambassadors along with our free-market thinktanks, luxury products importers and fellow travellers, start their campaign with the help of some of our officials, other countries would join in at the WTO to censure us.
So, SL should act fast and carefully develop WTO compatible trade-restrictive measures to limit the import of luxury products. Why? Because the international rules the ambassador is referring to only apply to the weak. The rules don’t apply to powerful nations. It is also not difficult to craft WTO compatible trade-restrictive measures to limit the import of luxury products and Sri Lanka would be better off which[/with?] such rules.
(the writer: former chairman of WTO Committee on Trade & Development, Minister Commercial at SL Mission to EU in Brussels. firstname.lastname@example.org) – dailymirror.lk/features/The-EUs-warning-on-WTO-rules-Another-perspective/185-220787
B2. How to Buy a News Editor (2) – Media Barons & Industrial Policy
Dhirubhai Ambani wished to attain the indefinable status of a media baron, according to Hamish McDonald’s The Polyester Prince. Ambani set up advertising agency Mudra Communication, which was ranked 5th in India by annual advertising billings. Mudra also started an Institute of Communications Ahmedabad, purportedly India’s first academic institution dedicated to communications and advertising studies.
Mudra Ahmedabad was founded in 1980 as an offshoot of Ambani’s Reliance Industries advertising division. In 1990 Mudra signed up with DDB Needham Worldwide. In 2011 ADA Reliance sold its majority of stocks to Omnicom, parent of DDB… DDB Mudra Group’s clients include Ashok Leyland, Baxter, Castrol, Cipla, Colgate, Gillette India, Godrej, Gulf Oil, HDFC Bank, HPCL, Hindustan Unilever, HP, IDBI Bank Group, ITC, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Novartis, PepsiCo, Philips Healthcare, Reebok, Sab Miller, Shell, Star India, Standard Chartered Bank, Tata Communications, Tourism Australia, UNICEF, Union Bank of India, Volkswagen, Western Union, etc.]
Mudra helped pressure editors, but Ambani wanted his own editorial voice. He had earlier bought a controlling interest in the pro-Congress newspaper, The Patriot, which made vitriolic attacks on textile rival Nusli Wadia in response to the Indian Express campaigns. At the end of 1988, his son-in-law Raj Salgaocar bought the Bombay weekly Commerce, which had a useful business and economic research bureau, and Ambani agreed to transform it into a mainstream daily business paper modeled on London Financial Times.
As editor he hired Prem Shankar Jha, former editor of The Hindu, son of a former foreign secretary and government economist, and academic writer on India’s political economy. Jha hired nearly 60 of India’s best journalists, paying salaries that set a new benchmark for Indian newspapers…
His legal problems were also pushed aside. The director of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, Mohan Katre was not keen on investigating the allegations raised by the Indian Express. Early in 1987, the anti-corruption agency’s additional director, Radhakrishna Nair had recommended prosecution over backdating of letters of credit for PTA imports in May 1985, but Katre had effectively sent the file on a bureaucratic wild goose chase by referring it to Finance Secretary S Venkitarainanan, who in turn referred it to the Law Ministry. In 1987 Katre had been a prominent guest in the VIP box at the World Series cricket tournament, sponsored that year by Reliance. The venue for the New Delhi games was a stadium at a convenient walking distance from the office complex housing India’s security and intelligence agencies. Nair volunteered for early retirement in 1988.
On 25 November 1988, junior finance minister Eduardo Faleiro told parliament, the CBI’s report had been examined ‘in consultation with the RBI and no further action is contemplated for the matter’.
The battle with Nusil Wadia’s Bombay Dyeing moved upstream in the petroleum product chain from PTA and DMT to their common input paraxylene. Once again with spare funds, Reliance was getting its long-delayed PTA plant into operation over 1988 and achieved commercial production in the last quarter. The PTA plant included its own paraxylene-producing unit which used napththa as feedstock. Bombay Dyeing’s DMT plant continued to use paraxylene, which it needed to import for lack of domestic supply.
In March 1988 the government raised the customs duty on paraxylene from 85% to 120%, even though world market price for the feedstock had recently moved up from around US$400 a ton to $685. Bombay Dyeing was the only Indian importer of paraxylene, and now received a double hit from the world price and the duty hike.
Reliance also received another benefit for its Patalganga paraxylene plant. In July 1988 the Finance Ministry granted it the status of a refinery, ahead of some 20 other naptha-based industries also seeking the same ruling, including National Peroxide, associated with Bombay Dyeing. The meant that Reliance could get its naptha from domestic refineries at the concessional price of Rs30,000 a ton instead of Rs100,000. The loss of government excise meant a massive private subsidy.
On 1 March 1989 the government cut the duty back to 90%, but transferred paraxylene imports from the open general list to the ‘canalised’ category, with government-owned Indian Petrochemicals Ltd as the importing agency. This meant that Bombay Dyeing’s independent sourcing of the vital feedstock was throttled back. Reliance effectively took over the profitable paraxylene business from the government’s own Bharat Refineries, using its naptha. Meanwhile Indian Petrochemicals was keeping Bombay Dyeing on a hand-to-mouth supply line for its paraxylene; the company ran out of the vital feedstock twice in this period.
Street protests and court actions against the government’s preference for Reliance made little progress, though they kept the allegations against the company alive. However, the CBI showed ‘extraordinary zeal’ in prosecuting trivial offences by those who had exposed alleged illegalities by Reliance.
Bombay Dyeing’s lobbying got it nowhere. Ambani was counted as a major backer of Congress for the general elections due at the end of 1989. Rajiv was turning back the clock in an effort to recapture the dynastic magic. In early March, his mother’s former political manager, RK Dhawan, returned to the PM’s office as an officer on special duty. Rajiv had set aside his ‘preppy disdain’ for the ‘oily-haired Punjabi babu’ clerk and returned to Indira’s style of functioning. Ambani had his own contact back in court.
By November 1989 Indian Petrochemicals cut off the supply of imported paraxylene altogether, while the government dropped excise on domestic supplies. Nusli Wadia was compelled to buy 4,000 tons from Reliance, paying Rs22,000/ton, which still left Ambani a fat profit margin on his sale. By that time he had many other worries, but he must have savoured this humiliation of Wadia, at the end of this second phase of the Great Polyester War. – From The Polyester Prince: the Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani, Hamish McDonald)
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.
• Fifteen Countries Ask UN Human Rights Chief To Leave Sri Lanka Alone – OpEd
• UNHRC/BASL – What about the Human Rights of CJ Mohan Pieris?
• Post-war reconciliation: Lanka ready to accept support of int’l partners – President
• Opposition, particularly minority, parties urged by USAID’s NPC to support President’s initiative
‘USAID’s National Peace Council (NPC) is represented at the Sri Lanka Collective for Consensus (SLCC) engaged in a dialogue with the government’
• UN targeting Sri Lanka: GL tells Australia
• SL-India relations must not revolve around one issue – Jaishankar Tells GL
• “Govt to introduce fresh legislations to supervise NGOs, INGOs” – Raja Goonaratne –
‘A huge number of NGOs and NPOs operate without any monitoring or supervision…over 37000 registered NGOs (both local and foreign) operating in various parts of the country’
• Australia seeks intelligence cooperation with Sri Lanka
• Application of SL Emergency Regulations now on UNHRC radar
• SL President to address UN General Assembly on Sept 22, Food Systems Summit on Sept 23
• Vital to transform global food systems to be more sustainable: President
• Lankans protest in New York demanding justice for the victims of the Easter attack.
• Govt. uses various factions to incite racism and extremism again: JVP charge
• Nippon Foundation provides food relief to 1,800 families
‘to Seva Lanka backed by ITN …begun at Samodagama in the Hambantota District.,and also in Nuwara-Eliya, Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Jaffna, and Mannar Districts…’
• US Attempt to Force Their way into Sri Lanka Through the Backdoor
• EU should give timeline on human rights and GSP trade benefits, says HRW
• The Jaffna Public Library Part 3&4
‘Jaffna Library was set on fire by the LTTE.’
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 19 B3, B5
‘TNA has continuous contact with the US and England’s governments’
• ‘Russia and SL’s role in Regional Security’ at Moscow Conference on International Security
• Coming together of Southern states increasing South-South cooperation could be of some help
• Pakistani diplomacy is on a roll
‘A joint Russian-Chinese-Pakistani diplomatic mission to Kabul on September 21-22 has held talks with the acting Taliban officials’
• Pakistan Isolated After Bid To Get Taliban Included In SAARC Meet
• Bangladesh as a Gateway Between ASEAN and SAARC
• China & North Korea warn about new arms race in region after AUKUS submarine deal.
• How China-Pakistan Economic Corridor matters for Afghanistan?
• Shanghai Cooperation Organisation won’t be subaltern to Quad – Bhadrakumar
‘On the sidelines of the SCO summit, four member countries already put their heads together to plough an independent furrow — China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran.’
• Drone killed civilians and children in Kabul
• The Shocking Crimes of Imperialism
‘Developments in Afghanistan show how liberal narratives depoliticise discourses on freedom, civil rights and democracy to justify imperialism’
• US-NATO counter attacks more catastrophic than 9/11
‘The top five US arms manufacturers who benefitted from the fruits of 9/11 are Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.’
• Iran takes good look at Taliban rulers – Bhadrakumar
‘Taliban rulers seek a “regional-international alliance” to help them attain international legitimacy –an alliance comprising Iran, China, India, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan but excluding Saudi Arabia and Western powers.’
• Iran’s SCO membership is a big deal
‘the US, England and other western countries too will wet their toes sooner rather than later to access Afghanistan’s trillion-dollar worth mineral reserves. ‘
• “What Happens When China Becomes Number One?”
• China & Africa, W. E. B. Du Bois, 1959
‘China after long centuries has arisen to her feet and leapt forward. Africa arise, and stand straight, speak and think! Act! Turn from the West and your slavery and humiliation for the last 500 years and face the rising sun.’
• Biden Threatens Sweeping Sanctions on Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Responds
‘The U.S. is once again attempting to overthrow a legitimate head of state in Africa, this time in Ethiopia, where they want to put their old puppet, the TPLF, or a new one, in power.’
• Russian security chief warns of US & Atlantic allies becoming more Erratic & Belligerent
• NY Times Acknowledges U.S. Failure In Russia – Adds More To What Caused It
‘Communist Party gains in elections’
• The European Union’s New Security Policy
‘The panicked withdrawal from Afghanistan, the US assembling the new trilateral AUKUS military alliance with Australia & England, & US withdrawal of its Patriot missile systems from Saudi Arabia’ – globalresearch.ca/events-afghanistan-australia-saudi-arabia-influence-eu-security-policy/5756123
• Between Chinese dragon and US eagle: Is an Asian NATO imminent?
• Ruckus over AUKUS: Australia becomes US hitman in the Indo-Pacific region
• Ruckus over AUKUS isn’t an edifying sight
‘this was “English-speaking countries” who are “very belligerent” forming an alliance against China, and these were the same nations who took the lead in invading Afghanistan and Iraq — “And we all know the results.”’
• The Fallout From The AUKUS Deal
‘Australia also wants to make sure that at least 60% of the price flows back to Australian manufacturing… Indonesia and Malaysia have come out strongly against Australia’s plan to acquire a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines with the help of the US and England. Even Singapore, Australia’s most reliable ally in the region…
• Cuba at UN: rich nations, elites & pharmaceutical transnational have continued to profit
‘Over 80% of vaccines applied in middle or high income countries, accounting for much less than one half of the world’s population’
Biden Administration’s Order to Deport Haitians is Illegal and Racist
• Biden follows Trump on foreign policy, this time in Haiti
• Latin American and Caribbean Leaders Approve Historic Agreement at CELAC Summit
‘the strategy against COVID-19 and climate change and took a stand against the blockade on Cuba’
• Racism Denies Common Prosperity in the United States
• Biden’s DOJ Sleight of Hand on Police Reform
• Samuel Moyn’s Unprincipled Attack on Human Rights Giant Michael Ratner is Shameful
• Biden & Top Pentagon officials demand Deputy Assistant Secretary of War to resign
• Clinton lawyer’s indictment reveals ‘bag of tricks’ to implicate Russia, etc.
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.
• 4 engineers of Epic Lanka that manage the NMRA’s database, have access
‘among records deleted were foreign manufacturing sites’ approval for medicines (143 files), medical devices (909 files), and sample import licences for medicines (462 files). ‘
• TRC issues guidelines to protect consumers from mobile operator malpractices
• Internet users hoodwinked through so-called night time data
• Colombo’s REC Campus sues YouTube, dubious channel for defamation
• LTTE plans to capture Trincomalee harbour
• Rhetoric & Pretensions – Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act
• “Cradle of Helicopter Pilots” – No 7 Helicopter Squadron marks 27 years
• US Civilian Control of the Military Increasingly Shaky?
‘a seasoned bureaucratic infighter, climbing the slippery yet ultimately very lucrative rungs of Washington’s military-media-think tank-war industry complex’
• US Covid Funds Spent on Police and Prisons
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.
• China Didn’t Copy Capitalism, They Developed Something Else – Samarajiva
‘China learned from everyone, but they ultimately developed themselves. That’s the most vital lesson the developing world must learn.’
• Sri Lanka’s foreign debt payment challenges in ’22
• Rightwing economics or centre-left Opposition? – Jayatilleka
‘JR+Shenoy (actually JR+Esmond+Shenoy) platform squarely targeted the genuinely liberal-welfarist economics of the PM Dudley Senanayake and his Planning Ministry tzar, Dr Gamini Corea’
• Breaking the cycles of Lanka’s extremist economic policies – Jayatilleka
‘in the UNP/para-UNP set, you do however read and hear the hysterical trashing of every leader or thinker who ever made progressive economic policy, ranging from Roosevelt to Raul Prebisch, while the names mentioned approvingly, those of antediluvian rightwing thinkers…’
• Assistant Governor Karunaratne replaces Dalugala as new Monetary Board Secretary
• Lower motor vehicle imports help narrow 2020 trade deficit by approx. USD 2 billion
• Adopting a policy framework conducive to export competitiveness – Sanderatne
• Economics of power generation – Abeyratne
‘Poor electricity usage from high-price and low-quality electricity supply and income poverty’
• A child’s guide to the behavioural pattern behind ‘Menike Magé Hithé’ – Wijewardena
• Sri Lanka new CB Governor earns cautious approval from Wijewardena
• Revenue generation a must to overcome macroeconomic stress: Ex-CB Gov Coomaraswamy
• Central Bank likely to continue money expansion, direct controls – Colombage
• Continuing with unconventional policy package could adversely affect economy: Wignaraja
• IMF “more likely than not” as external liquidity conditions tighten: First Capital Research
• Pathfinder webinar on ‘COVID-19 and the Economy: Which Way Now for Sri Lanka?’
‘co-chaired by Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Pathfinder Foundation and former Governor of the Central Bank, Colombo Professor of Economics Sirimal Abeyratne. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Overseas Development Institute, London and PF, Dileni Gunewardena, Professor of Economics, Peradeniya, & Nihal Fonseka, John Keells Holdings…’
• Sri Lanka cronies profiting from import controls, SMEs battered: Advocata’s Samarajiva
‘Samarajiva as SL’s telecom regulator was responsible for de-regulation that made international calls cheap for Middle Eastern workers, and the outsourcing industry, the spread of fixed and mobile telephony into an everyday product …a key driver of South Asian aviation de-regulation which unleashed private budget carriers and de-regulating visas that made India the biggest source of tourists benefiting both small operators and high end hotels.’
• Reform or perish, it’s not too late – Advocata’s K.D.D.B Vimanga & Naqiya Shiraz
‘First, the persistent fiscal deficit – the gap between government expenditure and income. Second, the external current account deficit – the gap between total exports and imports.’
• A Tropical Paradise Is Brewing a Storm in a Tea Cup
• Current & capital account controls aimed at fixing BOP could backfire: ICRA Lanka
• Daily FT-ICCSL high profile webinar today on debt sustainability
‘discussion featuring former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India Duvvuri Subbarao, former Senior Deputy Governor of the Central Bank Nandalal Weerasinghe, OECD Head of the Asia Desk Kensuke Tanaka, United Nations Economics and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Acting Section Chief Financing for Development Alberto Isgut, former Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India R. Subramaniam Gandhi, University of Rotterdam Netherlands Senior Lecturer in Economics and ISS Associate Professor Howard Nicholas, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka Executive Director Dushni Weerakoon, National University of Singapore Non-Resident Senior Fellow and a former Director of Research of the ADB Institute in Japan Ganeshan Wignaraja and Lanka Rating Agency CEO Adrian Perera, moderated by Daily FT Editor Nisthar Cassim and ICCSL Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody’
• South Asia including Sri Lanka can follow the ‘Economic Rise of Bangladesh Model’
• ADB lowers GDP growth forecast for SL and rest of developing Asia
• Raj Rajaratnam’s book: Why I fought the good fight
‘isolated only me, its CEO… one of the few immigrants on Wall Street to be identified as a billionaire’
• Evergrande Group, second largest property developer in China, teetering on bankruptcy
‘the basic contradiction of China’s economy is not between investment and consumption, orbetween growth and debt; it is between profitability and productivity’
• Data manipulation by World Bank is symptomatic of big power hegemony
• Canada: no change, economy shaky – Roberts
‘25% of Canada’s publicly traded companies are zombie firms ie. they persistently do not earn enough revenue to cover interest payments on their outstanding debts.’
• The US Fed, Interest Rates & Stagflation – Roberts
‘for capitalism, profitability is the real benchmark and that can be hit by wage rises on the one hand and interest rises on the other. If it is, that is the basis for a new slump.’
• The Austrian School is a classic example of crank science
‘…the explosion of far-right think tanks in the last 20 years, funded by such conservative and libertarian donors as the Bradley, Coors and Koch family foundations. These foundations have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the creation of an “alternate academia” of right-wing think tanks’
• 2021 IMF Annual Meetings Youth Fellowships open for application
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.
• Trade Finance Association of Bankers holds AGM for year 2021/2022
• Essential Food Importers Association claims banks have no dollars
‘We are unable to get the containers released’
• Govt. takes measures to ease cost of living, essential items shortage
‘PM, Cabinet Ministers Aluthgamage & Devananda, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, State Minister Janaka Wakkumbura, Treasury Secretary S. R. Attygalle, Trade Ministry Secretary J. M. B. Jayawardana, Prime Minister’s Additional Secretary Chaminda Kularatne, Essential Services Commissioner General Major General M. D. S. P. Niwunhella, Customs Director General Major General (Retd.) Vijitha Ravipriya, Food Commissioner J. Krishnamoorthy, CWE Chairman Rear Admiral (Retd.) Ananda Peiris, & Secretaries of Ministries, Additional Secretaries, Heads of Departments, & representatives of Essential Food Commodities Importers & Traders Association (EFCITA).’
• Sri Lanka focuses on investments, bilateral ties in New York
• Sri Lanka latest import restrictions should be revisited: Jayasundara
• Newly appointed Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal ended price controls last week
‘Fingers crossed that Sri Lanka’s failed bill auctions which ravaged rupee will end’
• Business exploiting misery, profiteering from the pandemic
• Food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased marginally
• IMF has a role in Sri Lanka after framework decided: Jayasundera
• Consumer Affairs Authority Executive Director Resigns
• AOG’s Eran says Govt.’s ‘Vistas of Prosperity’ now vistas of corruption, negligence
• Forced exporters’ proceeds conversions on the cards
• CB issues new directive on impairment ratios
• Central Bank import restrictions explained
• 2022 Budget: Import restrictions, local production by private sector
• International bank clients buying foreign currency exceed selling foreign currency into LKR
• Sri Lanka extends deadline for foreign currency loan
• Sri Lanka central bank Treasuries stock tops Rs1.3 trillion amid reserve losses
• Sri Lanka to raise borrowing limit by Rs400bn for 2021
• Government raises appropriation credit limit amidst declining revenue
• Sri Lanka exports soar 12-pct, banks limit overseas credit card transactions
• Sri Lanka market up with improved turnover; investors cautiously buy amid risk of rate rise
• Sri Lanka parliament follows Emperor Diocletian after printing money
• Bangladesh completes $200m bailout fund disbursement to Sri Lanka
• Unmasking Sri Lanka’s Pyramid Parasites
‘Best Life Company has been maintaining bank accounts in many commercial banks in Sri Lanka. But, Sampath Bank has been their bank for several main accounts.’
• People’s Bank of China tells payment firms to cut ties to other business lines
‘the possibility of “cross-sector risk contagion”, as payment giants in China aggressively expand operations into insurance, credit, fund management and other financial..’
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
• Engineers insist Lanka’s energy security in danger
• Minister Sarath Weerasekera refutes allegations he orders CID probe on protesting teachers
• Give teachers and principals their due
• Junior health workers protest outside hospitals
• Freeze on State sector hiring could push workers into private sector: EDB Head
‘private sector has a big labour shortage’
• State Minister Fernandopulle calls for formulating national policy on gender equality
• Employed women decreased by 189,148 in 2019-20
‘Females account for 64% of that increase in economically inactive persons’
• What it’s like being a woman tuk-tuk driver in Sri Lanka
• Swedish tech company pioneering equal parental leave in Sri Lanka
• Labour Department prohibits 20 more job categories for children
• What makes a ‘knowledge centre’?
‘In Peradeniya in the 1950s…4 teachers in economics (Das Gupta, Sarkar, Oliver Henry and Eiteman) were from overseas…’
• Tokyo court rules deportation by immigration authorities was unconstitutional
• Seylan Bank partners with South Korea’s STAREMIT facilitate remittances
‘Seylan’s many inward remittance partners including Seycash, RIA, Western Union, Transfast, Instant Cash, Unistream, Cash Express, Speed Send, Intel Express, Placid Express…’
• UN Women and US Chrysalis in Puttalam and Mannar
• New National Labour Helpline to Serve India’s Informal Workers
• The United States has cut off channels for sending worker remittances to Cuba
• Black and Asian American Workers Falling Behind in Getting Back Jobs
• Unilever and global unions sign agreement to restrict temporary jobs
‘The agreement applies to workers in over 300 Unilever factories in 69 countries, whether employed directly by Unilever or through a third-party provider.’
• Hybrid Learning Is Not Learning: Cuts, and Educational Inequalities
‘It is a cheap cover-up for the fact that this government abandoned students in their time of need.’
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.
• ‘Agrochemicals smuggled from India a danger’
• Every year, hundreds of farmers die spraying chemicals in farms.
• Pesticides Making Buffalo Sick
• Sri Lanka seeks technical assistance for long-term organic agriculture: President
• ‘Sathosa bosses brazenly manipulate Cabinet directive’
• Of that den of thieves
• Govt. to buy essential commodities for Sathosa from selected suppliers
• “Mahaweli’s ultimate gift can unite this nation”
• Slim chances major earthquakes in Sri Lanka: Professors of Geology
‘Sri Lanka is located closer to the centre of the Indo-Australian plateau’
• GSMB to shut all limestone quarries within 100m radius of Victoria Reservoir overflow level
• Is Ceylon Tea auctioning away Sri Lanka’s development?
‘Today, all major tea-producing countries except China operate an auction system which provides cheap tea for developing countries to process.’
• JVP: Govt. using brawn, not brains
‘“In purchasing paddy the government introduced a controlled price instead of a certified price”’
• Wild jumbos destroy houses in search of newly harvested paddy
• The ‘food emergency’ in Sri Lanka explained
• SL imports 1 million MT of chemical fertiliser annually thru 5-6 companies and 2 state agencies
‘400,000 MT each for Yala and Maha (totalling 800,000 MT) seasons and 200,000 MT for non-paddy needs like tea, rubber, coconut and other smaller crops. Of the total imports, the private sector imports roughly 550,000 MT, while the two state agencies account for the balance.’
• Government allowed import of Nitrogenous chemical fertilisers and phosphatic: JVP
• Supporting smallholder farmers transition to more sustainable agriculture: Rainforest Alliance
• Economic crisis in Sri Lanka shows organic farming doesn’t happen overnight
• State-controlled BCC alliance with private LHSP Natural Food Products
• Puttalam’s betel cultivation severely affected by black fungul disease
• Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Tea exports up 15-pct in July 2021, Iraq top buyer
• Irregular taxes, insider information led to sugar crisis
• Sri Lanka shortage-creating agency may allow milk powder supplies to resume
‘Lakshman Weerasuriya, a member of an association representing milk powder importers…’
• Fresh milk costlier than milk powder: Importers
• State-sponsored elephant racket in the works
• FAO ready to follow up on UN Food System Summit and transform agri-food systems together
• Sri Lanka, World Bank Sign Agreement to Strengthen Climate Resilience
• Worshiping the moon in Mid-Autumn on September 21st
• How an Ancient Aztec Irrigation Method is Making Life Sustainable in US Southwest
• 7,700 sq. miles of Brazil’s Amazon deforested, mostly by fires by cattle and logging industries
‘Indigenous people blame multinational corporations like Cargill, the United States’ largest privately held company, for their role in driving environmental destruction to produce soy.’
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.
• Children must be trained to disassemble and reassemble basic machines
• Sri Lanka splits oil blocks to fire demand, England’s BellGeospace to give data
• Sri Lanka in talks with India for $500mn credit line for oil: Jayasundera
‘Ceylon Petroleum Corporation owes nearly 3.3 billion US dollars to the two main state banks, almost equal to SL’s current foreign exchange reserves over loans taken when there was pressure on the currency. The state oil distributors imports crude from the Middle East and refined products from other areas including Singapore. A unit of Indian Oil Corporation also imports and distributes refined oil.’
• Mannar Basin resources: Energy Minister in Dubai for talks with Exxon Mobil
• GL follows up Udaya’s initiative, negotiates concessionary crude oil supplies with UAE
• Govt.’s secret deal with US company affects Lanka’s sovereignty
‘The government gave to China Harbour, and Yugadanavi filed a case against the government over its decision. In 2020 President Gotabaya Rajapaksa cancelled the tender given to China Harbour and gave the right to Yugadanavi, which at that time looked good. However there was a conspiracy, Yugadanavi signed an agreement with the US based energy company New Fortress Energy. With this MoU 40% of the company shares will be given to the US company,”
• Government’s firm agreement for regasification terminal with US-based New Fortress Energy
• Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE)
‘with regard to the Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), Ceylon Electricity Board, the Petroleum Corporation and Litro Gas’
• Don’t allow Litro to become a sinking SOE: Watchdog
• New state company enters LPG business; Litro Gas and Laugfs Gas Pto lose oligopoly status ‘Laugfs is totally private, Litro is owned by state insurer Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation’
• LNG prices continue to soar in Asia as buying ahead of winter starts
• Sand, soil, gravel transportation permits to be issued online from Sept. 30: Amaraweera
‘1,000-2,000 people visit GSMB regional offices every day to obtain transport permits. The number of transport licenses issued annually exceeds one million.’
• Cabinet nod to float fresh tenders to develop Port of Galle as PPP project
• Challenging times ahead for shipping industry
• Sri Lanka a dumping ground for toxic burnt oil from ship engines !
‘Central Environmental Authority (CEA) officials permitting more than 20 individuals to collect waste burnt out oil from ships without having facilities to purify it.’
• 20,000 private buses and 5,000 SLTB buses in the country
• India delivers 20 ‘State of the Art’ rail passenger coaches to Lanka
• Steam-powered train to run between Fort-Ambepussa symbolising first train service: GMR
• DHL Express ups rates by 4.9% from 2022 in Sri Lanka
• Agriculture, industrial sectors seek higher R&D allowance for tax from impending budget
• Sri Lanka seeks 100mn US supplementary loan from World Bank for COVID-19
‘or the purchase 14 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine,’
• Sri Lanka seeks $100 million assistance from IMF for COVID-19 vaccination (PTI)
• Exports exceed a billion US dollars for the 3rd consecutive month
• Hambantota Port signs MOU with Xiamen King Long United Automotive for bus assembly
• Strategic initiative by BDO & Industry Development Forum towards a manufacturing economy
• US AFI Corp & Malcam to transform manufacturing industry in Sri Lanka
• ACL: Largest cable manufacturer resorts to upfront cash only sales to sustain production
‘ACL Cables has a 45% share of the local cable market and ACL Group of Companies collectively holds a 70% share of the country’s cable market. Further, it supplies around 80% of the cable requirements of duty-free projects owned by foreign investors registered under Board of Investment.’
• First Lankan assembled 4G smartphone to market in December
“engineers will be stationed in SL and will import machinery and commence manifesting locally.”
• Xi says China will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad
• China’s crypto crackdown speeds shift to central Asia, North America mining
‘A crackdown by Beijing is rapidly accelerating a shift in focus by makers of machines that ‘mine’ cryptocurrencies like bitcoin from China to North America and Central Asia as Chinese clients face an uncertain future….Bitcoin miners use increasingly powerful, specially-designed computer equipment, known as “rigs”, to verify bitcoin transactions in a process which produces newly minted bitcoins.’
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.
• Asanga Seneviratne elected to Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) Baord
‘a Founder/Director of Asia Capital, the largest investment bank, Managing Director of Asia Securities. He pioneered online trading in Sri Lanka through Investor Access Asia , and restructured Nation Lanka Finance and is presently Chairman of Nation Lanka Equities, Managing Director of Asia Fort Asset Management, Anilana Hotels & Properties, and Investor Access Equities, and served as Director CSE, Chairman of NatWealth Securities, Director of Nation Lanka Finance and Chairman of the Stock Brokers’
• ComBank debenture draws applications worth Rs. 8.6 b
• HNB offers higher returns for foreign currencies with FC Advantage
• Sivashanth Sundararajee joins CT CLSA Securities Services as COO
‘Prior to joining CT CLSA, he served HSBC Securities Service… CLSA is one of Asia’s largest investment groups and a fully owned subsidiary of CITIC Securities, China’s largest investment bank’
• LCB Finance appoints a new Board Member Mahesh Katulanda
‘…currently a Commissioner of the Office on Missing Persons…’
• Colombo Stock Exchange and University Canada West discuss Financial Market & Pandemic
• DFCC Bank’s Ranwarama pawning facility lends a helping hand to urgent cash requirements
• China declares all crypto-currency transactions illegal
• Exposer of Wall Street Mega Banks’ Physical Commodities Nominated as Top Bank Regulator
• US Fed Unfit to supervise mega banks, Attacks Wells Fargo, goes easy on JPMorgan Chase
• Dallas Fed President Traded S&P 500 Futures, Shorted Market During 2020 Pandemic Crisis
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’
• Sanasa Life Insurance gets new COO
• Lankan Angel Network & Angel Fund’s First Female Chairperson Chandi Dharmaratne
‘she has held positions in SLASSCOM, ICTA, AMCHAM, Association of Human Resource Professionals, USAID and AISEC…. LAN Board Members are: Anarkali Moonesinghe, CIMB; Prajeeth Balasubramanium, BOV Capital; Dumindra Ratnayake, Martin & George; Adil Mansoor, Promo Lanka; Kasturi Wilson, Hemas Holdings; Nathan Sivaganathan, Hatch; Jeevan Gnanam, Hatch; Lahiru Pathmalal, Takas.lk; and Sharhan Muhseen, H2O ONE, Platinum Advisors (Singapore). 2021/2022 Board Members for its Rs. 100 million Angel Fund, Moonesinghe, Mano Sekaram, Prajeeth Balasubramanium, Dumindra Ratnayake, Suren Pinto, Wavenet Group, and Channa Manoharan, PwC.
• Commercial Bank provides COVID support to 4 more hospitals, taking total to 24 hospitals
‘received essential medical equipment and personal protective gear’
• Construction and real estate activities continue to add more heft defying pandemic
‘Imported building materials and cement…’
• Three more lands in Colombo to be leased for 99 years
• Property Prices in Sri Lanka Remain Positive
• Developer furious over Darley Road land grab involving Germany
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.
• Links between suicide bombers & political parties
• On the proposed new Constitution – 2
• “Tamil Progressive Alliance won’t rule out working with others if SJB fails”
‘Out of the about 400 plus Pradeshiya Sabhas or Divisional Secretariat areas only about 30 to 40 are recognised as bilingual divisions’
• PM Ranasinghe Premadasa, 1980, New York, UN
• High-voltage Uttar Pradesh election around the corner
‘how to balance between the electoral requirements of raising the bogey of Taliban to harvest the Hindu votes yet at the same time to play the role of an honest broker at the UNSC high table’
• Charles Mills (1951-2021), critical philosopher of race, ethics, and Marxist thought
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.
• Cultural Shepherds of the 19th Century – Dharmapala & Sumangala
• Dharmapala’s interactions with Mahatma during struggle to restore India’s Buddhist heritage
• Panadura Vadaya: A Socio-historical Sketch
‘without state patronage monastic education, which was the mainstay of local knowledge and intelligence, waned drastically’
• Homage to Scholarly Excellence – Ananda Wickremaratne
• Conversion is meaningless in a Buddhist context
• Reflections on the SLFP
• Contagion in Ceylon: Two case studies
‘medicine soon came to be monopolised by the upper middle class, predominantly Burgher and Tamil’
• 280 characters or less could be in the palms of tens of thousands in seconds
• The Cities of Sri Lanka – What’s Behind a Name?
• Tracing the history of cinema halls in Sri Lanka
• Chinese and Sri Lankan workers celebrate their moon festivals together
• Sri Lanka urges protection of Afghan Buddhist heritage