Killing the Lights: Ruin Peasants, Export Workers
Published (updated: ) in Uncategorized. Tags: Adam Smith, Afghanistan, Alexander Lukashenko, ASEAN, Bank of England, Brandix, British Airways, Capital Media, Ceylon Tobacco Company, CVC, D. J. Wimalasurendra, Dialog, EU, Guantanamo, Hemas, IMF, John Keells, JVP, Laugfs, Laxapana, Libya, Litro, Macron, Malaysia, Marx, MAS, Ministry of Education, Myanmar, N.M. Perera, National Budget 2022, New Economic Policy, New Yorker, Pearson Plc, Profitability Crisis, Qaddafi, Royal Dutch Shell, Samsung, Slavery, Taliban, Unilever, Vietnam, Wijeya Group.
‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 28 November – 04 December 2021
“…uppermost in Wimalasurendra’s mind was the harnessing of the Laxapana waters to produce hydroelectricity and to supply ‘lakhs of lights’ as the name Laxapana implies. 9 long years later, a project based on the original proposals of Wimalasurendra but ill-advisedly modified by European engineers, was started by the English Government. Three years later it had to be abandoned after spending nearly 3.5mn rupees. Had Wimalasurendra been entrusted with the task it would have been a success. Undaunted, Wimalasurendra pressed the government of the day to resume the project, fearing it would be shelved forever or passed onto a foreign combine. With this in view, he briefed DS Senanayake of the proposed sale of a vital section to Whitehall Securities Corporation. When DS exposed this fact in the Legislative Council, the European rulers gave 24-hours’ notice to Wimalasurendra, to retire…” – see Random Notes, Shell Oil & Litro
The US farmer suicide crisis echoes a much larger farmer suicide crisis happening globally:
An Australian farmer kills themselves every 4 days;
in England, one farmer a week takes his/her own life;
in France, one farmer dies by suicide every 2 days;
in India, more than 270,000 farmers have died by suicide since 1995… – ee Agriculture, US Farmers
Australia is sponsoring agricultural workers from ASEAN countries, due to white Australian workers refusing to work on farms for low wages. Australia is promising ‘full labor rights’ to ASEAN workers. However, they will pay less wages and benefits than they pay their white workers. ASEAN countries say they’re trying to grab skilled farm workers, and have tried to prevent their workers from leaving.
Unlike the US and Europe, Australia says it’s too costly to replace their skilled white workers by whites who will not take lower-paying jobs. They see the whole exercise as attempting to undermine white-settler labor power. (ee Random Notes, Capitalism’s Profitability Crisis).
A supreme irony it shall be, if the parippu we import from Australia is grown by Sri Lankan workers there, while refusing to modernize agriculture here, further impoverishing the peasant!
• A ‘global manpower shortage’, blamed on Covid, has seen millions of rural migrant workers flee or pushed out of locked-down cities in Asia. England is claiming ‘the largest decline in its foreign-born labour force since World War II’ (ee Focus).
France’s PM Macron this week accused England of encouraging illegal migrants, telling it to ‘limit its economic attractiveness’ – an euphemism for saying, England etc promotes illegal immigration. Belarus’ President Alex Lukashenko also exposed Europe’s role in encouraging refuges while promoting wars. Worse, they promote underdevelopment in our countries, preventing investment in modern industry, creating economic refugees.
The whites will meanwhile mechanize as much of their labor-intensive work as possible. They will then depend on migrant workers, the more insecure the better, to perform work not replaced yet by machines. They will therefore encourage ‘ethnic’ and other wars in our countries, to make people want to fight or flee.
• The EU has set up secret torture centres in Libya that kidnap migrants before they reach Europe, creating ‘a shadow immigration system’, reports US NewYorker magazine. In 2011 Libya leader Qaddafi promised to turn Europe, Black. In 2012 he was murdered and Libya turned into a lucrative slave market (ee Workers, Secretive).
The US media is of course happy to expose the EU’s own ‘Guantanamo’-style houses of horror. Meanwhile the New York Times this week – headlines adorned with a photo of a pair of suntanned legs – said the US torture base in Guantanamo ‘has the trappings of small-town America and the amenities of a college campus’ (ee Sovereignty, Guantanamo).
White-settler Australia, now wishing more Asian migrants, operates an expensive detention centre for ‘illegal’ migrants on a remote Indian Ocean island. It stands symbolic guard between them and Indonesia. A former convict colony for English political prisoners and criminals, white-settler Australia ‘aids’ SL’s Navy to apprehend potential migrants. Meanwhile the UN sent a rep this week to discuss labor conditions in Sri Lanka (Random Notes).
US-led NATO forces turned Afghanistan into the world’s biggest supplier of opium and heroin, recruiting all types of terrorist groups. The US and India, sponsors of terrorism in Sri Lanka, now wish us to apprehend other terrorists and drug smugglers. Meanwhile, Japan sent warships to Colombo recently. Germany is sending warships all the way from the Baltic Sea to ensure ‘free and open shipping lanes’. What is behind all this dissimulation over ‘immigration’, speaking out of both sides of their mouths and other orifices? They wish to destabilize our countries, turning us into sources of unprotected workers.
• In 1776, Adam Smith, god of our ‘free traders’, famously credited the Bank of England as having never ceased to play the role of the ‘great engine of state’ in England’s great industrial revolution. Yet Sri Lanka’s banks, led by the Central Bank, refuse to invest in modern industry to advance workers’ skills. Instead, development banks, vital for a production economy, are forced into becoming corporate banks, playing the international money markets (ee Focus).
No wonder the IMF Asia Pacific Department’s Regional Surveillance Division, etc., tell us this week ‘Trade has historically been a powerful driver of economic growth and poverty alleviation in Asia, though the momentum of lowering trade barriers has slowed in recent years.’ It makes no mention of modern industrial production. As ee noted last week, the import-export fraud is a major source of underdevelopment. Meanwhile, the US has forced an IMF package on Pakistan based on threats to expose supposed links to money laundering and terrorism (ee Sovereignty, FATF).
ee this week continues the discussion on how Japan and China industrialized (ee Focus).
• John Keells advertized distributing 100 Samsung tablets to schoolchildren, ‘partnered by Deutsche Bank, JKeells Office Automation and Dialog Axiata’. All these banks & companies import and sell Samsung and other foreign goods. So what happens when the tabs break down? How much of the Education Department’s machinery is made in Sri Lanka? None. No wonder education curricula is determined by the World Bank, etc. Their job is to ply foreign machinery (ee Quotes).
• Those criticizing Sri Lanka’s ruling coalition for its shortcomings, will not openly divulge their own economic program. The opposition SJB is two-faced with the one mask promoting the US Treasury’s imperialist policies – submit to the IMF, sack workers en masse, sell off national resources and government corporations to their own families – while another fraction flashes this same leader as a ‘social democrat’ (who will privatize while calling it ‘people-ization’).
The JVP portrays Marx, Engels, Lenin, etc, larger than life every May Day, for the working class. Yet they will not tell us if they will promote and take control of the ‘commanding heights’ of the economy (fuel, mining, large industry, machines making machines) and the local home market. Lenin, etc, saw the commanding heights and the home market as essential building blocks for an independent country (Quotes, NEP).
• The English media in SL, like English literature, is written for the fellation and felicitation of the white man. More specifically it’s to titillate the financializers, foreign investors and related stock markets. Their graphs and charts are apparently in constant need of erectile-inducing adrenalin, as they practice meditation in highly fortified embassies and tourist hotels.
Government media has to therefore constantly appear upbeat. Like the ads for anti-depressants in corporate pharmaceutical magazines promising happy punctual workers, and constantly ‘emerging’ markets.
The job of the so-called parliamentary opposition (in white countries called the ‘loyal’ opposition), and related media monopolies (Wijeya Group, Capital Media), is to sound hysterical and negative (default, debt, retail corruption)… until they openly take over the government. The truth is they still rule, even when in opposition: these merchants and moneylenders, agents of multinational banks and corporations.
All these critics refuse to state their own economic plans for a modern society. They’re not allowed to. Our economists and universities refuse to examine how Japan and China industrialized (ee Focus).
A1. Reader Comments –
• Myanmar Signs not in English • ee should Interview Industrialists • Lockdown for Masses Only • English Quarantine Hypocrisy
A2. Quotes of the Week
• No Training for Farmers • Comprador Bourgeoisie vs National Bourgeoisie • Mung Imports from Australia • Central Bank Scholars Abound • IMF Unsustainable • No Gas Regulation • Education by the $ • Dependent Afghan Central Bank • US Bans African Travel • No Debate on War Budget • Working with Capitalists
A3. Random Notes –
• Unilever & CTC Silence on Organic • Unilever undermining Ceylon Tea Brand • UN Sends Slave Investigator • Brandix, MAS Refuse to Source Local • English Laws against Skilled Emigrants • Worker Shortages & Capitalist Profits • Preventing Hi-tech Transfer • EU Verbal Bull • Import-only Media • Undermining State Gas
B. ee Focus
B1. Sri Lanka’s Economy Needs National Planning & Political Stability Part 2 – V Gunasekara
B2. South East Asia’s Migrant Labor Dilemma – Niaz Asadullah
B3. The Forgotten Ancestors of East Asian Developmentalism Part 3 – EM Leung
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
• ‘Most signs in Myanmar are written in the Burmese language. English is rare. It is funny how the Black-whites in Sri Lanka get triggered by seeing a sign in Chinese, when the country is drowning in English.’
• ‘Why doesn’t ee interview local industrialists?’
• ‘The wealthy find it praiseworthy to know that the masses who spread Covid, like rats spreading rabies, are locked down while trucks loaded with food items are delivered daily to their doorsteps. I’ve witnessed this while living in an affluent gated community in Rajagiriya. As the wealthy do not need to attend work if they wish or take public transport, they only need to worry about the travel restrictions of foreign countries which in return treat these wealthy elites as 2nd-class citizens who spread ‘sickness’ in a ‘developed’ country. A ladder of hierarchical class of human beings, each accepting the ones above, and suppressing the ones below.’
• ‘Re: British Airways suspended flights to Hong Kong – When people are forced to quarantine etc, despite alleged resistance due to vaccination, it is lauded by the mainstream media. Unless it is China doing the quarantining.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘We’re a US$82bn economy. Our per capita is around $4,000. At the present exchange rate this per capita translates into an individual annual income of LKR800,000. Which means an income of around LKR66,666 per mensem. Hence a household of 4 will have a monthly income of around LKR266,000. This I believe is sufficient for a decent living. But why isn’t it so reflected and apparent in our society? There is a worrying income distribution disparity in the society.
Out of 5.2 million households, the main income of 2.1mn households is from agriculture. Approximately 8.4mn people dwell in these 2.1mn households. 45% of our landmass is used for agriculture. But the contribution by the agriculture sector to the economy is less than 8%. That translates into around $5.5bn. In other words, using almost half of our landmass and one third of our population we produce a value of only $5.5billion. 70% of the people in the agriculture sector have studied only up to O/L or less. Having a Ministry of Agriculture and Agri Service Centres islandwide, only 1.7% of the farmers have gone through some kind of formal training on agriculture and also is for a period of less than a month.’ – ee Politics, Social Democracy
• ‘It is a contest between comprador bourgeoisie – the capitalist class subservient to the interest of western capital, represented by the UNP-led alliance, and national bourgeoisie – the indigenous capitalist class, represented by an alliance led by the offshoot of the SLFP.’ – ee Economists, Trump Card
• ‘Sri Lanka imports 40% of our mung bean requirements from Australia’ – ee Agriculture, Technologies
• ‘Currently at the Central Bank, there are more than 30 PhD holders, more than 200 with Masters degrees in addition to being chartered accountants or lawyers and professionals from nearly every other discipline’ – CBSL Governor, ee Economy, Mounting
• ‘[NM Perera] stated, instead of building foreign exchange reserves, we have used it for the importation of goods creating a foreign reserve crisis and, thereby, seeking the support of the IMF. From the first IMF facility in 1961, successive governments have resorted to short-term assistance from the IMF, and our leaders and financial sector experts have failed in introducing a sustainable long-term program to manage our foreign reserves.’
• ‘SL does not have a gas regulatory body. Gas company officials said they have their own investigation units to conduct studies’ – economynext.com/fire-accidents-in-sri-lanka-lp-gas-leak-raise-safety-questions-88247/
• ‘Primary to tertiary education will be funded by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, OPEC Fund for International Development, the Kuwait Fund, Japan International Cooperation Agency, USAID, India, Saudi Arabia, the EU through ERASMUS funds, Korea International Cooperation Agency primarily through the Ministry of Education and indirectly through the State Ministry of Women &Child Development, Preschools, Primary Education, School Infrastructure & Education Services.’ – ee Economists, Education
• ‘Some bizarre ideas are being floated such as creating liquidity in the Afghan economy by disbursing money directly to the people via a central bank in Kabul that will be independent of the Taliban government and audited by the IMF! Taliban will never countenance such a patent Western encroachment on their country’s sovereignty!’ – ee Sovereignty, Taliban
• ‘Trump further diminished the US in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new ‘African Ban’, is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the US. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed.’ – Joe Biden, Feb 2, 2020
• ‘Biden’s $778bn War Budget Goes Unnoticed but His $170bn Social Agenda Triggers a Huge Debate’ – ee Security, Pentagon
• ‘With the New Economic Policy in 1921 in Russia, Lenin put it this way: ‘You will have capitalists beside you, including foreign capitalists, concessionaires and leaseholders. They will squeeze profits out of you amounting to 100s %; they will enrich themselves, operating alongside of you. Let them. Meanwhile you will learn from them the business of running the economy, and only when you do that will you be able to build up a communist republic.’ – ee Economists, China
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
The silence of Unilever & Ceylon Tobacco Co, in the media hysterics and fog about replacing carcinogenic fertilizers, is mucho curioso. Unilever and CTC (owned by British American Tobacco) powerfully control both media and distribution networks, a clear threat to national sovereignty. They have captured the home market through their 100,000+ kadays.
Unilever undermines Ceylon Tea – Unilever sold its ‘global tea business’ to Anglo-US CVC Capital Partners. Unileverretained its India & Indonesia ‘tea operations’ and ‘bottled tea joint venture with PepsiCo’. The sale to CVC suggests Unilever is aiming to undermine & dilute the ‘Ceylon Tea’ brand (ee Agriculture, Unilever)
CVC Capital Partners meanwhile dropped a bid for Tax Hideout Expert Intertrust (which hosts a BBC tax fraud). CVC is involved in various and dubious sports and gaming ventures.
US banking giant Citicorp set up investment arm Citicorp Venture Capital in 1968 for ‘venture capital’ investments in 1981. It set up CVC Capital Partners as its European arm to invest in early-stage businesses and then the emerging leveraged buyout business.
• A corporate-hijacked UN this week sent another Special Rapporteur to Sri Lanka, this time investigating ‘Contemporary Forms of Slavery’. Japan’s Tomoya Obokata was querying SL’s ‘progress’ (sounds like high-school counsellor talk) on ‘labor welfare’ and ‘constructive steps taken by the government to eradicate child labor’. ‘Progress…Constructive’, ee has already pointed to the patronizing usage of such terms, as ‘developing’. With every other ministry being paid dollars to have ‘development’ in their title.
Honorary ‘white’ Japanese are no doubt experts on labor, like the rest of the white devils, as is evident in their treatment of Wishma Rathnayake, and their much-advertized anguish. They, like the rest of the whites, wish to use unorganized labor ‘of color’ to threaten and undermine their own working-class power.
• A country’s workers are, along with the land, its greatest treasures. Sri Lanka’s oligarchy rather, pimps workers abroad as a more lucrative alternative than having to kill them off at home every other decade. Employing workers more gainfully here is out of the question for capitalists.
Import-export frauds, like Brandix, MAS, Hemas etc., are given awards while they keep on promising to ‘add value’ by sourcing locally. They refuse to make a pin or a thread, or a pill, let alone making the machines that make them. And the media helps cover up for them.
• English, US, etc, laws have prevented skilled workers from leaving their countries. Certain categories of workers linked to ‘national security’ are still not allowed to migrate, let alone mingle with foreigners. German economist Friedrich List recalls the sending of assassins to kill skilled migrants who fled industrializing countries, to prevent the transfer of skills.
• A Sunday Times essay this week blames a so-called ‘global labor shortage’, on Covid. The Times cannot mention this actually comes from a profitability crisis preventing capitalists from increasing wages. The crisis of profitability for capitalists comes out of the increasing costs of maintaining fixed capital (machinery etc), paying more for ‘rents’ (IPR etc) and debts rather than on workers. This will lead to:
1. More demand for disorganized a& cheapened labor. This means the West will have to destabilize and divide Asian, African and other American countries to manufacture refugees, and/or invest in vocational training in our countries (World Bank & ADB are already doing this) and provide incentives for migration.
This also links to the so-called ‘debt crisis’. Non-industrialized countries are encouraged to export more workers. Then they’re told to devalue their currencies to encourage remittances from these migrant workers, then used to cover their trade deficit and debt payments.
2. They will develop and introduce new labor-saving technologies to only be used in the white countries, reinforcing the technological divide between industrialized and non-industrialized countries.
• Those who wish to brush up on the latest in imperialist terminological bullshit should peruse: ‘EU to spend up to 300billion euros to boost sustainable links around world.’ Hoping to hide the crime of the century (the prevention of vaccine production around the world), the EU welcomes us to ‘the Global Gateway, the new European Strategy to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport, and strengthen health, education and research systems across the world’.
The faster we delink from Europe and their white-settler satellites (US, Canada, Australia), the better. All claims to an ‘Asian 21st Century’ remain pure scatology, as any proclaimed links to socialist countries are mere spectres to frighten and entice the love of the white man.
• The capitalist media like to say inmates are running the asylum, pointing at parliament, but anyone who reads the media would not just blame the insane. Yet, the media is the real mania.
ee has been recording the English media’s take on the economy and the country for almost 3 years now. The sheer misinformation, disinformation, superficiality and crass commercialism, hysterics and hypocrisy, are only exceeded by their more craftier imperial counterparts, whom they mimic and names themselves after: Times, Mirror, etc. Though they are more appropriately, The Import Times, etc.
‘ee is written mostly by amateurs. ‘Amateur’ means a person who engages in a pursuit unpaid, and can also mean someone inept. Its root comes from the Latin ‘lover’…
Amateurishness can be dangerous of course. For there are people who have deeply studied an issue. And there are those who are directly affected by an issue. Unless one is aware of the latest information, one runs the risk of being inept, love or no love.
• Is the Litro gas cylinder explosion story a diversion? The Colombo Gas & Water Company, set up 1872, owned by Royal Dutch Shell, supplied parts of the city of Colombo, up to Ratmalana. In 1895 England’s Boustead Bros set up a small commercial power station in Bristol Building, to serve a few mercantile offices, government buildings, and streets, in the Fort. The company established Electricity Ordinance No5, the first Act pertaining to the supply of electricity in the country. In 1918, DJ Wimalasurendra outlined to the Engineering Association of Ceylon, the economic viability of hydroelectricity in Ceylon. He was undermined by the English government and their agents linked to Shell Oil and Pearson’s Whitehall. Pearson now has the biggest monopoly in educational texts and examinations in the world. (see Who’s Afraid of Wimalasurendra? ee 01 Aug 2020)
There’s little media mention that the gas business is not regulated by the state (ee Quotes). The gas companies regulate themselves – deregulation being the capitalist order of the day. Like the media. Like bankers. Like pharma. Like merchants and moneylenders, etc. Out of control.
It’s not in keeping with the media narrative of loss-making state institutions to state that state-owned Litro, a subsidiary company of state-owned SL Insurance Co, is a profitable institution. Litro once announced they would be abandoning cylinders and piping gas to the country! The other gas company Laugfs, which provides 30% of gas needs, is privately owned. Laugfs owes over Rs22billion to state banks. Laugf’s majority shares are owned by WKH Wegapitiya. The government then said they would merge loss-making Laugfs Gas with the profitable state-owned Litro Gas as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). Litro workers objected. Wegapitiya then repeatedly declared there would be a gas shortage unless the government agreed to an immediate increase in gas prices. In July the CSE imposed a trading halt on the shares of Laugfs Gas, Wegapitiya denied speculation that the company was suspending imports. In August, Capital Media’s EconomyNext blamed the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) for creating a crisis in gas supplies by driving private Laugfs out of business. The CAA – that safeguards the rights of the consumers – said neither Litro nor Laugfs had obtained approvals from SL Standards Institute to change the LPG composition ratio.
The main purpose of the English media, a mouthpiece for the import mafia, is to attack any attempt at developing our own energy resources. Fuel is our largest import bill. Hail Rockefeller!
B. Special Focus_
B1. Sri Lanka’s Economy Needs National Planning & Political Stability Part 2 – V Gunasekara
(continued from last week)… Precarity of income & employment and diminishing purchasing power of the masses are further compounded by price hikes of essential goods. Sri Lanka, despite proclaiming itself as an agricultural economy, annually imports considerable volume of essential food items such as cereals, dairy, vegetables and sugar. A combination of import controls, currency depreciation and food price hikes in the world market, along with the country’s foreign-exchange shortage, is driving up the prices of food and other essential commodities. Excessive hoarding by a cartel of importers, traders and commodity-specific oligopolies (such as rice), has exacerbated this situation, putting the masses at severe risk of food insecurity.
The UNICEF/UNDP survey found, 30% of respondents were already reducing their consumption of food by early May 2020, mainly by eliminating more-nutritious food. This may well cause long-term health problems in children – such as iron deficiency, stunting or wasting – with lasting effects on child development. Government intervention to curb food inflation, which reached 11% in August 2021 (well above the general price inflation of 6.7%), has been far from successful.20 Price controls, raiding & the last resort of declaring a ‘state of emergency’ for food have only benefited a coterie of politically connected oligopolists by offering them perverse incentives. The government quickly rolled out a cash transfer program of SLR5,000 to households to support food purchases. The cash transfers were made in April-May 2020 and again in 2021. Although this program reached a large percentage of the population, continued transfers are required to minimise the severity of the recession. Already, the cost has amounted to SLR55billion (0.33% of GDP), and the government currently seems to be in a rupee crisis (in addition to a dollar crisis) without sufficient funds to continue the cash transfer program.
Produce or Perish? – At the time of writing, the Sri Lankan economy is characterised by an import-dependent pattern of consumption that is financed by borrowings. Services make up 60% of the GDP and 47% of employment, which is indicative of an economy overly dependent on non-tradables. While the import bill weighs heavily for foreign fuel, a substantial proportion is also spent on importation of seeds, fertiliser, food and pharmaceuticals, including vaccines. The current government has identified this structural issue and front-loaded economic reforms to transform Sri Lanka into a production-based economy.21 The ban on the importation of vehicles and inorganic fertiliser are cases in point. The problem, however, is timing. The ban on inorganic fertiliser, in particular, rolled out during the pandemic drew praise from some but has also been heavily criticised for being too sudden, disorganised and lacking in strategy in disseminating clear information for poor farmers’ awareness.
The production-centric approach of the current government, despite its many critics, has its merits, especially given the wakeup call during the triple crisis on the importance of reconceptualizing ‘reserves’ and extending its current fixation on foreign currency, water, food and energy. However, such a structural shift has arrived decades after Sri Lanka’s import-substitution era in the 1970s and would take at least another decade to materialize, if followed through consistently. It would also require concerted efforts by the government to allocate resources towards investment in modernising agriculture % manufacturing. Fundamentally, a long-term stable interest rate and steady exchange rate would be essential to incentivize a production economy. A stable monetary policy would restore confidence in banks to engage in long-term lending for production, particularly in agriculture and fisheries. The banking system has a minimal thrust on development banking, which is a crucial component of a production economy. Even the banks that were established for this purpose, such as Development Finance Corporate Ceylon and National Development Bank have, overtime, transformed into corporate banks that now engage with international money markets. The likes of Sanasa Bank, which emerged from the cooperative model of lending and was among the very few borrowing options for micro- and small businesses, have come under immense pressure to deviate from their original purpose. As a result, despite having the largest natural resource base in the country, agriculture and fisheries receive among the lowest proportions of credit from most banks.22
In recent months, the Central Bank has come under heavy criticism for printing money. This is not unique to Sri Lanka. Central Banks in most countries across the globe have been injecting record amounts of liquidity into the system. Though it may have been a necessary evil, the ensuing debates and fears about money printing causing hikes in inflation are not merely theoretical. Stabilising the exchange rate will be another challenge for the CB in the coming months. Since 1967 stubborn trade deficits and misguided advice from the International Monetary Fund caused the rupee to depreciate. Today, one US dollar is worth more than SLR200, compared to SLR15 in 1978. Importers and exporters alike are used to volatile exchange rates. The latter are reluctant to convert their foreign-exchange earnings and importers bring down much more goods than they need. Together these practices have aggravated the country’s foreign-exchange crisis. Currently, the government has resorted to buffering foreign-exchange reserves via currency swaps with China, India and Bangladesh, a practice that is likely to continue in the next year. The beginning of 2021 saw much speculation about SL defaulting on its foreign-debt servicing commitments. These speculations were misguided and eventually proven wrong when the country paid back US$4billion this year despite the tremendous strain on the economy due to the pandemic. Similarly, there is a sovereign bond payment due in January 2022, but the Central Bank seems confident about timely repayment.
In the National Budget 2022, it is clear that policy stability would be the top-most priority if the government were to recover from the triple crisis and continue on its production-based trajectory. In September this year, the Central Bank introduced a ‘6-month roadmap for ensuring macroeconomic and financial system stability’, which proposed a 3-pronged framework to strengthen the economy and deliver policy stability.23 The short-term focus of this framework is on creating a stable monetary policy, continued timely debt servicing, increasing foreign-exchange liquidity and supporting enterprises to recover from the pandemic effect. In the medium-term, the thrust is on the recovery of the real economy, improving the debt profile, delivering fiscal and external targets, enhancing ease of doing business and sovereign ratings. The long-term goal of this framework seems to be on strengthening macroeconomic fundamentals to absorb any shock, boosting the production economy, containing inflation as well as achieving fiscal and monetary targets.24
Expectations of the National Budget 2022 are also focused on achieving some level of macroeconomic stability. In the area of revenue, a clear, stable policy of taxes and private capital to reduce public debt and inequality would be a general expectation. On a related note, measures to increase direct taxes and reduce indirect taxes would require particular scrutiny. As far as urgent reforms are concerned, the usual targets – reforming loss-making public corporations (or state-owned enterprises), increasing efficiency, transparency and reducing political influence on public corporations – are likely to surface. Given the impact of the pandemic on the masses, provisions for social protection, fund allocations to health, wages, pensions, essential commodity prices & social security are also expected from the Budget.
The Central Bank roadmap is ambitious and has its merits; but the expectations of the National Budget are reasonable. However, for any of this to yield any meaningful results, it has to be undergirded by a comprehensive national plan. A country’s economy is not limited to engineering tweaks and manipulations in fiscal and monetary policies. It requires a broader, more holistic action that offers clarity on the country’s development journey for the next 4-5 decades. One focus of such action would be identifying the main sectors of the economy in which Sri Lanka needs to achieve self-sufficiency in production: eg, water, food, energy & communication could be considered the primary sectors for Sri Lanka to strive to achieve sovereignty without any involvement of multinational companies. Achieving sovereignty does not necessarily mean that the Sri Lankan public sector or the private sector alone needs to conduct research, make investments and reach targets. In fact, the public or the private sector in the country may not have the capacity to follow through with undertakings of that scale. Foreign private or public investments may be necessary, but they must be facilitated in ways that do not compromise Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and ensure transfer of technology and expertise so that locals are able to replicate, adapt and innovate the technology, tools, machines and other inputs.
Another outcome of a national economic plan would be to identify research, investment and market needs for specific goods and services in different sectors (eg, agriculture, light industrial goods, fintech, etc), and come up with strategies to lower the dependence on imports in multiple nodes of the production value-chain. Lastly, a comprehensive national plan would reconfigure the education policy in accordance with the state’s long-term economic plan on how to shape and reshape the market. The continuity of national policies and plans, regardless of electoral changes is vital. The existing trend is that national priorities and plans of the previous political administration would be usually disposed of, upon election of a new ruling party. On a related note, national-level plans have little synchronisation with provincial or local government-level plans. Currently, there is no dearth of plans at national, provincial or local levels of government. But they are made in silos and do not harmonise. The plans made at lower levels of government (provincial or local) do not clearly demonstrate how they mesh with national-level plans. One explanation for this issue may be that national, provincial and local levels of government have different election cycles. As a result, individual or party manifestos tend to advance ad hoc policy agendas that revolve primarily around popular or, at times, sensationalised issues. Synchronising election cycles for all levels of government may help align national priorities and plans with other levels of government.
What may be gleaned from the preceding analysis is that the Sri Lankan economy urgently needs transformation from a merchant- and finance-dominated economy to a production-based system. The eight economic ‘pathologies’ indicate that entrenchment of merchant and finance interests in the decades following colonial rule has not served the country well. The current thinking among policymakers seems to be that tweaking monetary and fiscal policies alone may resuscitate an ailing economy. However, what is needed is not simply tinkering with macroeconomic fundamentals but transforming the entire structure of the economy, to gear it towards production. Though reflected in government rhetoric, this is yet to surface through appropriate independent policy, effective action and more-even application. One major obstacle, probably the most tenacious, is the assemblage of Western multinational corporations & state actors that back the entrenched local comprador merchant & finance class that has become all too powerful. Over the decades this assemblage has established strong linkages and reciprocal arrangements not only with elected politicians but also with influential bureaucrats. This issue is not unique to Sri Lanka. It is characteristic of all decolonised countries across the world within the broader and interconnected international political economy. Interests, capital and actors (private & state) that shape the global political economy often do not allow any national government seeking to be more self-reliant. This leaves little room for crucial structural changes to fulfil people’s long-expressed but too-long-suppressed aspirations for true independence and economic development.
(footnotes, see: isas.nus.edu.sg/papers/crises-in-the-sri-lankan-economy-need-for-national-planning-and-political-stability)
B2. Southeast Asia’s Migrant Labor Dilemma – Prof M Niaz Asadullah
Kuala Lumpur – Covid-19 has disrupted labor markets around the world, causing a global manpower shortage. Lockdowns in the early months of the pandemic triggered an exodus of millions of rural migrant workers from booming megacities like New Delhi , Dhaka. In the Global North, England has experienced the largest decline in its foreign-born labor force since WWII. Countries in the Association of SE Asian Nations (ASEAN) also have been affected: Vietnam’s labor shortage recently worsened after the easing of travel restrictions in Ho Chi Minh City led to a large outflow of migrant workers.
Moreover, some high-income countries are trying to lure back foreign workers from emerging Asia as part of their national recovery plans, creating new challenges for the global governance of labor migration. In particular, ASEAN economies like Singapore and Malaysia that have large migrant labor flows now face a tricky choice; should they curb outward migration or encourage greater labor mobility?
This dilemma has come to the fore in Malaysia following the Australian government’s recent announcement of a visa scheme for ASEAN agricultural workers. Under this program – a response to Australia’s own shortage of farm labor – employers will sponsor farm workers from ASEAN countries, subject to a formal employment contract that complies with specified standards and obligations. In contrast to Australia’s earlier Seasonal Worker Program, the new initiative allows Australian farms to employ skilled, semi-/unskilled ASEAN farm workers on a longer-term basis. The first cohort is expected to arrive in Australia next month and in March 2022.
But Malaysia’s recently elected government initially ruled out the country’s participation in the Australian scheme, causing an uproar in the local media. After opposition MPs demanded that the decision be reversed, the senior human resources minister issued a statement saying that the government has no plans to restrict overseas migration by Malaysians for employment purposes.
The government’s initial opposition to Australia’s visa program reflected at least 3 considerations. First, policymakers fear a large-scale brain drain. An estimated 2 million Malaysians currently are living abroad, many in neighboring Singapore. And because the Australian program offers a possible route for ASEAN nationals to secure permanent residency and citizenship, the government is worried about losing key agricultural workers.
Second, political pressure to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign unskilled labor has increased significantly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Australian scheme competes with the Malaysian government’s plans to replace foreign plantation workers with local labor. Lastly, Malaysia’s farmers are aging rapidly, creating an agricultural workforce crisis similar to that in Australia, but young Malaysians are reluctant to work in the sector owing to its unattractive pay and conditions.
Whether developing countries like Malaysia benefit or lose out from labor migration to advanced economies depends on the institutional arrangements governing labor mobility. Work-related migration from ASEAN countries to Australia is not a new phenomenon. But in the past, many migrant workers – especially from Malaysia – lived in the country illegally, making them vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by employers. Australian’s new program will ensure that foreign nationals have full labor rights and access to social-protection provisions. Malaysian MP William Leong therefore warned, the government’s opposition to the scheme would leave Malaysians working in slave-like conditions in Australia.
For ASEAN source countries, the Australian program will also increase the potential for brain gain, provided that it contains the right mechanisms to ensure reverse migration. Building a critical mass of Malaysian farmers with overseas experience and technological know-how in areas such as precision agriculture can be crucial to ongoing efforts to boost productivity in the country’s farm sector.
The Malaysian government’s recent flip-flop on migration-control policy also highlights a deeper structural challenge; the lack of a political consensus regarding the country’s own large population of migrant workers. Malaysia is a major destination for migrants in SE Asia, and millions of undocumented foreign workers are allegedly in the country.
Yet, soon after declaring its opposition to the Australian visa scheme, the government announced that thousands of low-skilled workers from Indonesia and Bangladesh would soon arrive in Malaysia to take up plantation jobs. Senior officials justified the decision on the grounds that Malaysians are unwilling to enter the sector because of its unfavorable working conditions. The US government late last year banned imports from Malaysia’s Sime Darby Plantation, one of the world’s largest palm-oil producers, citing concerns about the use of forced labor.
Malaysian policymakers therefore need to shift from short-term coercive measures such as migration controls to long-term remedies for the country’s poor labor standards & low agricultural productivity.
Globally, cross-country differences in wages & working conditions remain the 2 most reliable predictors of international migration. Average wages in Malaysia are relatively low and declined by nearly 10% in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Most of the country’s farmers are in the bottom 40% of the income distribution, and many live in poverty. Moreover, a significant share of employers is not complying with the country’s minimum-wage legislation.
Addressing these wage & productivity issues will go a long way toward stemming Malaysia’s brain drain and encouraging skilled Malaysians working overseas to return home. Malaysia has just taken up a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. Instead of curbing citizens’ freedom to work abroad, the government should focus on improving labor standards at home.
(by Professor of Development Economics at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur)
B3. The Forgotten Ancestors of East Asian Developmentalism Part 3 – EM Leung
(continued from last week) …The Japanese Army, which operated semi-independently of the government, resented (Secretary to Japan PM Terauchi Masatake) Nishihara Kamezō’s rapprochement. When he lent some 145 million yen to China’s Beiyang Regime through Japan’s state-owned banks (the bulk of Japan’s earnings from the wartime trade boom), officers like Vice Chief of Staff Tanaka Gi’ichi felt that Japan had placed all of its eggs in one basket. Tanaka’s men had long been funding insurgents against Yuan Shikai and later Duan Qirui. Sun Yat-sen set up his base in Guangzhou and launched a war to reconquer the north, accepting vast sums of money from Germany. Civilian and military factions of the Japanese government thus attempted to turn the Chinese civil war into a proxy war amongst themselves. Duan had no choice but to squander Nishihara’s funds on a protracted war with the south, although a substantial portion also went to repay foreign debt.
Incidentally, the Central Asian Transversal Railway proposals led to a major crisis for Sino-Japanese relations and the Anfu Regime. The ‘Shandong Question,’ concerning the right to build and manage the first section of the line, exploded at the Paris Peace Conference. This led to the May 4th Movement in 1919. The Beiyang bureaucrats – who were more concerned with keeping industrial plans secret from China’s wartime enemies than with their propaganda value within China, or with the potential backlash of opinions against receiving Japanese loans – became targets of early rebellion. Cao Rulin’s mansion was burnt down and Zhang Zongxiang severely injured when he was beaten up by an angry mob of students. Nishihara’s ‘East Asian Economic League’ collapsed, becoming a lost opportunity for the 2 countries to cooperate constructively; the inability for China to return any of the loans would in future prevent Japanese politicians sympathetic to China from making financial overtures to China, which left only military solutions to continental problems. From the late-1920s onwards, opponents of the Nishihara Loans such as the military strongman Tanaka Gi’ichi would come to have the upper hand in deciding China Policy, and this led directly to the military expansionism of the 1930s onwards. Nishihara remained adamantly opposed to the Japanese invasion of China in the 1930s-40s, writing in his autobiography that he regretted his inability to prevent Japan’s slide into war and fascism.8
This was not the end of the Beiyang Regime’s engagement with State Socialism. On July 8, 2 months after the student protests, the Anfu Club held a meeting for its parliamentarians. Its chief whip Wang Yitang insisted that socialism had become a dominant political force after the Great War, and that as the governing party, the Club was responsible for the nation’s livelihood. The Club’s party newspaper published reports on social reforms in Japan including workers’ housing in Osaka, and advanced gradual social policy against communism and anarchism. That month, the cabinet’s Postwar Economic Investigation Commission (PEIC) passed a ‘Labor Protection Ordinance’9 10 which made Sundays a holiday, ordered factory owners to set up night schools, banned unsanitary and unsafe factories from hiring workers, and made workers’ insurance and pensions compulsory. This overlooked ordinance could be seen as the first Chinese official statement on labour rights. That same year, in response to the Bolshevik threat, Duan also sent his ablest lieutenant, Xu Shuzheng, to lead a Japanese-trained expeditionary army into Outer Mongolia where he proposed a St-Simonian package of railways, mines, & animal husbandry.
In 1920 the PEIC reformed itself into the Economic Investigation Bureau. Massive industrialization, hydro-electrification and motorways were planned for the Peking region. The state began to openly advocate the cooperativization of the peasantry, handicraft artisans, and industrial laborers. President Xu Shichang, also an ex-imperial bureaucrat, announced his wish to prevent ‘social class warfare.’ Under this plan, ‘Peasant-Worker Banks’ were established across the country to provide credit to farmers, allowing them to avoid usurers. In addition, a cartel of national & semi-national banks was also proposed, so as to reduce China’s dependence on foreign finance. This second wave of industrial proposals in 1920 was a substantial improvement on the first one from 1917, in its focus on domestic investment and preventative measures. All of this was to be aborted by the July 1920 civil war which toppled the Club Regime. The next year, in summer 1921, the Chinese Communist Party was formed, and the country would now follow a very different trajectory towards socialism.
State Socialism & Modern East Asia – During WWI Walther Rathenau, head of the Raw Materials Section of the German War Ministry and son of the founder of AEG, created the first planned economy in modern history. Rathenau used punch-card computers made by the German subsidiary of IBM to coordinate large amounts of data. He installed ‘War Corporations’ that coordinated state demands with each sector. And he instituted a system of collective bargaining and argued for the breaking up of landed estates for collectivized agriculture. He also resurrected the proposals for a Mitteleuropa. Conceived and instituted during wartime, these efforts were key to his vision of a collectivist society.
Nishihara Kamezō – The Japanese military translated Rathenau’s lectures and, along with other intelligence, they reached Nishihara. Having consulted the opinions of the professors who led the Association for Social Policy Studies, he began to write a manifesto for social reform. In his 1918 Strategy for Economic State-Building,11 he called for the establishment of a Controlled (ie, Planned) Economy in Japan, as a precondition to setting up the ‘East Asian Economic League,’ and to increase Japan’s per capita national income from 60 yen to 200. A single ‘Imperial Commodities Corporation’ would replace the whole retail sector with city-centre department stores, and this corporation would be linked to a collectivized agricultural and handicrafts sector. Land reform would distribute 2 hectares to each peasant family, and these would later be collectivized. Local administration would be run cooperatively, hydroelectric power stations & grids would be constructed throughout the country, and worker housing would be constructed in industrial zones using increased corporate taxes. China’s rapid industrial development, made possible by Japanese finance, was meant to be complementary to Japan’s own State Socialist transformation – it would have ushered in a new State Socialist era for all of East Asia. (To a certain degree, it was the failure to implement these reforms that cost PM Terauchi his power, when ‘rice riots’ erupted across the country in summer 1918 due to inflation.)
But an economic and social system based on Rathenau’s model would emerge first not in Japan, but in the Soviet Union. Amongst the admirers of List and Bismarck was Sergei Witte, the Tsarist Finance and PM credited for having laid the foundations of Russia’s heavy industries and later, Soviet economic power. Vladimir Lenin followed German developments closely and thought Rathenau’s system of ‘State Monopoly Capitalism,’ combined with Proletarian Soviet power, would provide all the necessary conditions for a transition to socialism.12 The Rathenau model and Witte’s industrial legacy thus became the basis of ‘War Communism’ and later, Stalinist industrialization.
Nishihara continued to advocate a Controlled Economy into the 1920s. With the onset of the Great Depression, the Stalinist model gained appeal, and Nishihara’s associates argued for a 5-Year Plan which was nearly implemented in 1932 by PM Inukai Tsuyoshi, who himself had translated the works of Henry Charles Carey. Inukai was soon murdered by army officers for refusing to recognize the Japanese occupation of Manchuria (otherwise known as Manchukuo, the puppet state they had created). It was in Manchukuo however that Japan’s Soviet-inspired ‘reform bureaucrats’ and many left-wing intellectuals fleeing from domestic repression found their chance to experiment with economic planning. Satō Daishirō, an ex-member of the Japanese Communist Youth League, spearheaded a campaign to collectivize the Manchurian peasantry, until he too was arrested and killed for his activism. From 1936 onwards the leader of the reform bureaucrats (and future Japan PM), Kishi Nobusuke, oversaw the implementation of two 5-Year Plans aimed at rapid heavy industrialization, which ironically built up the necessary industrial might for the Chinese Communists to conquer the country in the late-1940s and to end in a draw with the US-led troops in Korea in 1953.
During the 1930s Japan’s economy was gradually placed under government control and subject to Keynesian investment under the auspices of Maeda Masana’s erstwhile protégé, the Finance Minister Takahashi Korekiyo, who continued Inukai’s plan without calling it as such. In 1940 a ‘New Economic System’ was proclaimed. Under a war economy, the government attempted to assume managerial powers of privately-owned firms. After 1945, many Japanese technocrats returned from Manchuria to head postwar Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party and the leading economic departments, including the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Economic Planning Agency. The result was a highly-planned capitalist economy, which would come to influence both South Korea and China. Through a practice known as ‘amakudari,’ retired MITI bureaucrats were even inserted into the board of directors of leading enterprises, thus ensuring government direction over private businesses. This came alongside labor strikes and student protests which grew into the 1970s, reflecting the pressure of ordinary life under State Monopoly Capitalism.
Manchurian experiences also influenced both Koreas. North Korea developed the heavy industrial and hydroelectricity-based policies and the network of rural cooperatives established by the colonial government. These cooperatives had been established by Governor Ugaki Kazushige in 1932 on the advice of Nishihara and others, and had been a source of inspiration for Satō’s experimental collectives in Manchukuo. Japanese technicians who remained in North Korea after 1945 were amazed by the effect that Communist ideology had on the Korean workers’ performance compared to high-pressure colonial policies that had previously forced laborers to toil under brutal conditions. Some Japanese were even awarded ‘labor hero’ medals.
Under ex-Manchukuo bureaucrat Chong Hyon-chun and a group of US advisors, South Korea drew up a 5-Year Plan for 1949-53 but the plan was aborted due to the Korean War in 1950. Syngman Rhee later unsuccessfully proposed a 7-Year Plan. Park Chung-hee, who seized power in a 1961 military coup and became head of the junta, was a former Manchukuo officer. Under his aegis, the effectively single-party South Korean state began to implement the first of 7 Five-Year Plans, fueling a ‘forced-paced industrialization’ of the nation aimed at realizing what Park called ‘Miracle on the Han River’ and turning the country into one of the ‘4 Asian Tigers’. It has also been argued that the ‘New Village’ or ‘Saemaeul’ Movement of the 1970s, where Park Chung-hee invested in the reconstruction of a semi-collectivized rural economy, was in fact a continuation of the cooperative policy of the 1930s. Park was assassinated in 1979 amidst a wave of nationwide student and worker protests.
Nishihara died in 1954. His influence permeated the post-war period through Ikeda Hayato, head of MITI and the Finance Ministry in the late ’50s and PM by 1960. Under Ikeda, who wrote the calligraphy on Nishihara’s grave, Japan signed trade agreements with China and North Korea, and implemented a ‘National Income Doubling Plan’, realizing Nishihara’s ‘growthist’ goals from 1918. Tsushima Juichi, in 1918 a young Finance Ministry bureaucrat who helped Nishihara write his State Socialist manifesto, survived to be President until 1962 of the Japanese Olympics Committee, which oversaw the 1964 Tokyo Games. His protégé was Ōhira Masayoshi, who became PM 1978-80 under the help of Liberal Democratic Party faction leader Maeo Shigesaburo. Maeo had hailed from Nishihara’s Kyoto region and had been under his immense influence during his youth, reading the original translation of List as done in 1889 by Oshima and Tomita, as well as other books on State Socialism. Maeo and Ōhira formulated a policy to provide developmental aid funding Deng Xiaoping’s open-door reforms. Indeed, Ōhira’s choice of foreign minister was the former lead planner of the Economic Planning Agency, Ōkita Saburō, who subsequently became advisor to the Chinese government. The Finance Ministry had also set up a group to re-examine the Nishihara Loans in the 1960s and came to favourable conclusions.
Deng himself had been a product of WW1, soon after which he was chosen to study and work in France, following the example of the Chinese laborers sent there during the hostilities. He returned from France as a radical, joining the CPC as well as the Kuomintang. In 1928 the Beiyang Regime fell to KMT troops, which had received Soviet support. Despite a fall out in 1927 with the Communists and a decade-long purge of the Left, the Stalinist model also came to inspire the KMT single-party regime, which announced a 5-Year Plan in 1930 and 4-Year Plan in 1932. Both came to nothing. Regional warlords such as Yan Xishan started to propose plans for single provinces. China reclaimed the right to set its customs tariff rates in 1933. By 1934 the KMT had decided on a Planned Economy, and started a ‘National Economic Construction Movement.’ In 1935 ex-Beiyang technocrats Ding Wenjiang and Weng Wenhao were named leaders of the ‘National Resources Commission’ (NRC) which was placed in control of most of the state-owned industries. With Nazi assistance they produced in 1936 a ‘Heavy Industrial Development 5-Year Plan’ which focused on defense industries and electricity, until it too was cut short by Japanese invasion.
As early as 1946 Weng Wenhao announced, the work of the NRC was to build up state capital, conforming with international socialist tendencies. They had also inherited many of the Japanese staff, and the huge industrial complexes built by the Japanese authorities, in North China and Manchuria. The NRC thus became a leftwing bastion within the anti-Communist regime which fell in 1949. Around 90% of the NRC’s staff subsequently defected to the new Communist regime. Some remained on the frontlines of economic reform until the 1980s. One of them, Qian Changzhao even helped plan special economic zones and write Hong Kong’s Basic Law. Others went to Taiwan, and although some of them were executed for their Communist sympathies, the island ultimately blossomed under what the KMT termed a ‘Planned Free Economy’, merging state-direction with market mechanisms.
It has often been argued that China, since the reforms of the 1980s, has abandoned revolutionary socialism. There is consequently little consensus as to what China has now really embraced in its place. What the history of planning in the region suggests is that China’s model owes much to this older ideology of State Socialism. Even today, the legacy of State Socialism and the St-Simonian spirit can still be felt in the 14th 5-Year Plan, now under execution in China, and its ‘Belt & Road Initiative’ (BRI) which aims to link up the world with rapid infrastructural development. It is also instructive to note that Japan’s late-1980s economic bubble and the subsequent ‘lost decades’ coincided with the dismantling of economic planning & controls, whilst South Korea after the 1997 financial crisis has strengthened economic controls.
Yet the legacy of the East Asian variant of State Socialism, with its dedication to the cause of industrialization combined with near total neglect for social welfare, haunts the region. Worker protests continued to grow throughout the 1980-90s. Recent decades have seen the institutionalization of comprehensive systems of medical insurance, and increased resources devoted to environmental protection. Understanding the origins of East Asian developmentalism allows us to effectively situate these efforts within a broader struggle for development, and to see how East Asia, often thought of as an exception, is but an integral part of the global evolution of economic policy.
8. Nishihara, Kamezō. Keizai Rikkoku Saku (Strategy of Economic State-Building). Tōkyō: Yuhikaku. 1918.
9. Labour Protection Act, in Gongyan Bao (Fair Comment) 1919-07-21/22.
10. Ministerial Proclamation by the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce on Emphasising National Popular Livelihood, in Fair Comment 1920-03-12.
11. A 70-something year Dream –Autobiography of Nishihara Kamezō, Kitamura Hironao, ed. Tōkyō: Heibonsha, 1965, 278.
12. Roman Szporluk, Communism & Nationalism. NY: Oxford University Press, 1988; Lenin, ‘Can We Go Forward if We Fear to Advance Towards Socialism?’, in ‘The Impending Catastrophe and How to Combat It’. In Lenin’s Collected Works, vol25. Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1977.
C. News Index______________________________________________
• ee News Index provides headlines & links to make sense of the weekly focus of published English ‘business news’ to expose the backwardness of multinational, corporate 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 (machine-making) industrialization fueled by a producer culture.
• US promotes Mahesh, keeps Shavendra on blacklist
‘Let us only pray that Gen. Senanayake will not become a brown Uncle Tom to serve the vile interests of US/Britain-led West against Sri Lanka in time to come….Army Commander Senanayake’s Military Intelligence, one of the biggest spy outfits in the country, managed to claim total ignorance of what took place and got off scot free.’
• Basil lands in India for talks with Modi
‘also hold talks with his Indian counterpart Nirmala Sitharaman. Minister Rajapaksa was accompanied by Ministry Secretary S.R. Attygalle. A credit facility from India for fuel imports…’
• Finance Minister meets India’s National Security Advisor
• HC Moragoda meets India’s Deputy National Security Advisor Shri Pankaj Saran
• Chinese envoy warns ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ have been frequently manipulated
• President & Ranil to attend Indian Ocean Conference in Abu Dhabi
• Kandyan Convention of 1815 – A Convention violated and dishonoured
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 27 B2, 3 & 4
• The LTTE’s ‘Great Heroes Day’ – Jeyaraj
• Defending Sri Lanka at Geneva in 2009: Wijesinha’s New Book
• War-mongering Chelvanayakam piloted the declaration of Vadukoddai War – Part II
• TNA, GTF articulates Tamil people’s concerns; Which segment of the Tamil people?
• Does China Want an Unstable Sri Lanka? – Global Tamil Forum
• Tight security in North over LTTE Maveerar Day events
• EU Court rejects move to lift ban on LTTE
• Sri Lanka call by German warship under Indo-Pacific strategy
‘the future of international relations in the region of Indo Pacific will be shaped here in the direct neighborhood of Sri Lanka’
• Myanmar: Now The Target Should be Security Council Resolution?
• Persistent victimisation of Pakistan by Financial Action Task Force
• Taliban’s One Hundred Days of Solitude
‘Western powers are groping for a face-saving formula to engage with the authorities in Kabul’
• India, Pakistan, Taliban on the same page
• Russia, China poised to forge alliance
‘intertwining plans between Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union & China’s Belt & Road initiative’
• Showcasing Gandhara Buddhist civilization
• Turkey & Bangladesh Can Benefit From Growing Trade and Strategic Ties
• Bhutan Can Play Role In Rohingya Crisis Solution
• Nepal And Bangladesh Could Benefit From Growing Trade Ties
• As UAE embraces Iran, fizz goes pop for Abraham Accords
• Roadside bomb explosion hits U.S. military supply convoy in Syria
‘U.S. military in eastern and northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists’
• Attacks on East and South East Asians have gone up in England 300%
• France sending more security forces to Guadeloupe amid unrest
• Barbados becomes the world’s youngest republic
• Cuba supports Nicaragua’s decision to leave the Organization of American States (OAS)
• France says willing to discuss autonomy for Guadeloupe
• Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro denounces EU espionage in elections
• March for the Homeland arrives to La Paz in defense of democracy
• Guantánamo Bay: Beyond the Prison
‘With 6,000 residents and the feel of a college campus, the U.S. Navy base has some of the trappings of small-town America, and some of a police state.’
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.
• Frightening Revelation of Health Defences Against Corona Variants.
‘due to lax testing at the National Airport Katunayake the country could be vulnerable to the latest Covid Variations’
• With Vaccine Fairness China And Russia Are Beating The ‘West’
• Scotland Yard decision in keeping with overall international assessment of human rights
• Fresh troops leave for overseas deployment in the Central African Republic
• Pakistanis arrested for taking photos of Indian High Commission in Colombo
• India, Sri Lanka, Maldives maritime ops to tighten security in Indian ocean
‘Colombo Security Conclave (CSC) is a pioneering effort to collaborate efforts towards the Pillar of Maritime Security,” Indian High Commission in Colombo said’
• Excavations to retrieve gold suspected to be buried by LTTE begins in Mullaitivu
• PTA won’t be repealed – GL tells civil society
• Chief Govt. Whip urges Catholic priests to beware of Opposition’s sinister plans
• Cardinal unhappy as Easter attack trial starts
• Proscribed Muslim organisation: SC grants leave to proceed in FR petition
• EX-SIS chief insists he could not inform President Sirisena of Easter Sunday intelligence
• Azath Salley NOT Guilty, Acquitted & Released by Colombo High Court
• Lankan drug trafficker’s aide ‘confesses’ to bribing cops in India
• Lawyer feared Tinker Lasantha would be killed by police: BASL seeks IGP’s explanation
• Probe launched on two co-secretaries of cabinet who eyed gold allegedly buried by LTTE
• Listing of court cases: England versus Sri Lanka
‘A common law approach to family cases and a host of other minor cases is then but a suggestion that methods other than statutory law means may usefully be adopted’
• SL courts automation tender embroiled in controversy
• Cyber Security Summit
Speakers and panelists include Central Bank Assistant Governor D. Kumaratunga, ICTA Chairman, and TRCSL Director General Oshada Senanayake, ICTA Director and General Counsel Jayantha Fernando, SLCERT CEO Ar. Cdre (Retired) Jayasiri Amarasena, FinCSIRT Manager Loshan Wickramasekara, Visa Asia Pacific Senior Director, Corporate Strategy Aakash Degwekar, GSMA Head of Technology Asia Pacific David Turkington, NDB COO Deepal Akuretiyagama, Visa Country Manager Sri Lanka and Maldives Avanthi Colombage, SLCERT Head of Research, Policy and Projects Dr. Kanishka Karunasena, Dialog Axiata Senior General Manager – Network & Services Assurance Ruchira Yasaratne and Enterprise Risk & Information Security Jeewapadma Sandagomi. CEOs Forum keynote will be delivered by MAS Holdings Chief Digital Officer Jehan Muthalip. Global leader in payments Visa and technology giant Huawei are the Strategic Partners. Banking partner is NDB and Official payment network is LankaPay, whilst the creative partner is Triad.’
• Bill to ensure security of personal data collected by institutions
• Emergence of rogue officers in all branches of Indian government
• British Airways suspends flights to Hong Kong after crew members quarantined
• Omicron was in Netherlands day Before South Africa Flagged it
• US President Biden’s Strange Remarks on the Omicron Variant
• Why Don’t We See Headlines Touting Pentagon’s Hefty Price Tag?
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 a modern industrial country.
•Think About a Sinhala Buddhist Economy
• Sinhala Buddhist nationalism – trump card or junk bond of national bourgeoisie
• Economy Wars
• Collective of Women affected by Microfinance tell Tomoya Obokata UN Special Rapporteur
‘Economic crisis, austerity measures will worsen indebted women’s lot
• IMF (International Monetary Fund) programme is essential – Advocata
• CB chief sees negative fallouts from IMF deal
‘depreciate rupee, raise interest rates by 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent further, reduce the number of government sector employees, reduce or curtail pension benefits, and sell various state assets’
• Worst days are yet to come for Sri Lanka – PBJ at ‘Top German Brands in Sri Lanka’
• Sri Lanka should not hesitate to go to the IMF – Laksiri Fernando
‘loans and deals have been a major reason for Sri Lanka’s deteriorating foreign exchange conditions’
• Debt repayment sans IMF too is an option
‘sovereign debt owed to private creditors increased nearly three-fold during the past decade’
• Defence budget and other politically motivated expenditure enhanced – Sanderatne
• Back to inflationary times! – Abeyratne
‘short-term ups and downs in different countries can be fueled by domestic policy initiatives’
• A child’s guide to cryptos, crypto mining, and blockchain: Part V – Wijewardena
‘When CBDCs are issued, whether it would cause a ‘large scale run’ on the deposits held by banks’
• Home-grown solution deepens Sri Lanka’s economic crisis – Colombage
‘The CBSL must be independent of political pressure. ‘
• Budget 2022 Repeats Past Mistakes on Education
‘Due to bilateral and multilateral agencies providing grants for education in Sri Lanka, they decide the policies on education in the country…Over 75% of the population do not have access to internet.’
• Foreign Reserve down to $ 1.5 b, lowest in the history – Eran
• 45% of the foreign debt is in the form of international sovereign bonds
• The Tightrope Walk on Decentralised Finance and Cryptocurrencies
• Southeast Asia’s migrant labour dilemma – Prof. M. Niaz Asadullah
• Experience and future for China and its Communist party rule
• How trade can help speed Asia’s economic recovery
• Does Public Money Creation always lead to hyperinflation? It didn’t in England
• US Fed to end injections sooner, ‘retire’ transitory, Powell says as inflation rages in Sri Lanka
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how media usually measures economy by false indices like GDP, etc., in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, constantly calling for privatization, deregulation, moaning about debt & balance of payments, without stating the need for modern industrial production.
• Sri Lanka retail inflation jumps to 9.9% in Nov, near decade high
‘largely driven by food prices that escalated to 17.5% in November from 12.8% in October’
• Sri Lanka inflation hits 12-year high in Nov 2021 amid money printing
• Prices of all flour-based products increased
“Parata, rolls, egg-roti to go up by 5.00 rupees, Kottu-roti up by 10 rupees”
• Bakery owners to propose govt. to reduce standard weight of bread to reduce prices
• Wheat flour price hike has no immediate impact on confectionary industry
• Anymore restrictions would further push up prices due to potential supply constraints
‘& push many others already on the verge, out of businesses, exacerbating economic hardships’
• Govt. taps new avenues to boost forex reserves
• Finance Ministers are masters of subterfuge.
• Forex Crisis: Sri Lanka to Obtain US$ 300M Term Loan from Bank of China
• CB negotiates another currency swap from India
• Ranil calls Govt to disclose foreign reserve status
• Forex crisis will lead to power cuts, warns Ranil
• Sri Lanka targets US$3.5bn forex reserves by end 2021
• Exporters hoarded proceeds in dollars hoping to weaken the rupee against the dollar
• Sri Lanka considers medical cannabis export amid worst ever forex crisis
• Mounting debt-servicing commitments coming up
‘An USD 500 million bond in January, followed by USD one billion of debt that matures in July. The Central Bank’s foreign reserves were USD 2.7 billion last month.’
• Sri Lanka tax-payers left guessing after latest tax upheaval
• Is Sri Lanka’s pandemic debt moratorium interest free? – fact checked
• Marubeni Corporation of Japan Explores ‘Possibilities’ of Investing
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
• Countrywide power outage act of sabotage, claim TU, officials
• CEB GM surrounded by over 150 engineers in noisy protest
• CEB engineers withdraw from power restoration activities
• CEB work-to-rule: No repairs after 4:00pm
• CEB plans to divide to 8 units amidst protests
‘The CEB has 23,000 staff inclusive of over 1,400 professionals with unions continuing their agitation against the Yugadanavi LNG power project and attempts to privatise the institution under the cover of restructuring…The unbundling will also provide an opportunity for the government to get rid of the majority of staff giving them a golden handshake, the trade union leader alleged.’
• New CEB union takes a different line
• Allegations of ‘Diesel Mafia” in CEB with claims that union officers no longer in office
• Sri Lanka CEB engineers suspend work-to-rule
• Health personnel to withhold COVID-19 data from today
‘rectify overtime anomalies, give graduates their deserving appointments, and to reduce the price of medicines’
• Resolve salary anomalies…
‘The University Trade Union Joint Center staged a silent protest yesterday in front of the Open University in Nawala over salary anomalies’
• Six arrested for hijacking bus transporting apparel workers in Horowpothana
• Railway workers in distress due to non-payment of loans: Railway Trade Union Alliance
• Worker remittances decline for fifth consecutive month in October
‘Central Bank is plotting plans to get tough on the informal money exchangers who are believed to be the biggest culprits for the worrisome trend’
• CB to freeze bank accounts using unlawful money transfer methods
• Working committee to study new remittance channels for Sri Lanka
‘Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank, Sampath Bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Hatton National Bank, The Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, Cargills Bank Ltd., Dialog Axiata, Mobitel, and CBSL.’
• HNB focused on remittances as an engine for development
• CB lures ‘white’ inflows with 10-for-1 offer
• More Sri Lankans switch to Hawala as money printing drive parallel exchange rates
• Warning for foreign job seekers
• Lankan detainees in Jordan provided assistance
• Bullying and harassment at workplaces
• CEB Dy GM in hot water from CEBU over renewable energy claim
• Monthly interest rates on fixed deposits pensioners rely reduced to as low 4% and 5 %
• Provide us with suitable jobs – Unemployed graduates
‘demanding that the Ayurvedic Medical Association to recognize their degree and consider providing them with jobs’
• Life insurers seek more time to reveal stance on social security benefits for agents
• Will the future of schooling be hybrid?
• US$4m Korean International Corporation Agency grant for technical education
• John Keells Digital Learning Initiative distributes 100 Samsung tabs & data packages
‘partnered by Deutsche Bank, John Keells Office Automation & Dialog Axiata’
• Ministry of Education, Maldives & Finetech Consultancy promote Google’s Future Classroom
• Oblates, Benedictines, Good Shepherd Sisters & La Sallian brothers built Colleges & Convents
• Teen Pregnancy: A Hidden Crisis
‘in Sri Lanka as its rate was 6.5% in 2009’
• Divorce beginning not an end
• Sexual harassment at work keeps women away from the workforce
‘In 2020, only 32% of SL women were part of the labour force, in comparison to 72% of men.’
• One in five women in SL have experienced Violence by an intimate partner: UNFPA Survey
• Consultant microbiologist urges changing ‘pill popping’ culture
• GL explains to UN Special Rapporteur Lanka’s progress related to labour welfare
• ‘Ethnic’ differences
• England refuses to approve passports for adopted Lankan twins
• England Home Office U-turn on Sri Lankan scientist’s asylum claim
• How a Sri Lankan woman’s death shook Japan and pushed towards changes
• Alleged discrimination against LGBTIQ community by police: Notices to be served on IGP
• The Secretive EU Torture Prisons That Keep Black African Migrants Out of Europe
‘The E.U. has created a shadow immigration system that captures African migrants before they reach its shores, and sends them to brutal Libyan detention centers run by militias…. Qaddafi had threatened, in 2010, he would “turn Europe Black…. In 2011, Qaddafi was toppled and killed.”
• France says it will not be held hostage by English politics on migration
“If migrants are coming to Calais, Dunkirk or northern France, it’s because they are attracted by England, especially the labour market which means you can work in England without any identification…England must take its responsibility and limit its economic attractiveness.”
• The Social Basis of the Woman Question (1909) – Alexandra Kollontai
• Ontario Crisis in Long-Term Care
C6. Agriculture (Robbery of rural home market; Machines, if used, mainly imported)
ee Agriculture emphasizes the failure to industrialize an agriculture that keeps the cultivator impoverished under moneylender and merchant, and the need to develop the rural home market, monetization and commercialization, to produce, rather than import, agricultural machinery.
• Why are US farmers killing themselves? (2018)
• Notes to the People: From Industrial Agriculture to Natural Farming
• October-November seeding season for the Maha crop coming to an end
‘Hybrid varieties cannot be grown under organic agricultural conditions.’
• Committee on Public Finance meeting: one-third drop in next Yala harvest predicted
• Adverse weather threatens over 17, 000 paddy lands in Mannar
• Torrential rains wreak havoc in 15 districts
• Over 1,000 incidents of landslides, embankment collapses reported: NBRO
• Cabinet green light to import 20,000 MT of rice from Myanmar
• Food importers seek dollars to release 1000 containers held up in port
• Sri Lanka SOE given import monopoly on desiccated coconut
• Sale of Unilever’s global tea business may dilute Ceylon Tea brand
‘Ceylon Tea makes up around 30-35% in Lipton blend being dominant origin and Lipton accounts for less than 10% of Ceylon Tea exports… Ekaterra is the largest tea firm accounting for one tenth of the total global tea market.’
• Planters’ Association commends Government’s decision on agri input imports
• Whistle blower to make further revelations on garlic scam and gas cylinder
• Bread prices jacked up
• Army manufactures 91,000 kilos of organic fertilizer
• Complaint alleging fraud in importing nano nitrogen fertilizer lodged
• Success story of a farmer using organic fertilizer
• Technologies based upon local resources for low cost, eco-friendly crop production
• Import of chemical fertilisers: Finance Minister yet to sign the gazette
• Organic exercise to undo promise of free fertiliser pledged during presidential election
• State Minister Ranasinghe assures farmers using organic fertiliser compensation for losses
• Sri Lanka puts glyphosate back on banned list
• Sri Lanka lifts ban on synthetic fertilizers from Nov 30
• Sri Lanka looking to mix organic, inorganic fertilizer in hopes of higher yield: minister
• 85 persons held for engaging in illegal fishing last month
• Fishing issue: Tamil Nadu delegation expected here soon
• Cigarette price hike good for public health and state revenue
‘This is the first price increase since 2019’
• Ceylon Tobacco gets first female MD/CEO
‘Monisha Abraham’s career spans over 16 years with Heineken…Former CEO Nedal Salem takes on the next role as the Managing Director of British American Tobacco Malaysia and Singapore.
• Australia & FAO partner to improve the nutrition status of families affected by COVID-19
• Jungle adventure camping at Hendikema
• Rainforest Alliance – committed to strengthening its sustainability footprint in Sri Lanka
• Why should UDA get involved in Muthurajewela when it has no track record of conservation
• 40% of global population in 1999 would not be alive if urea fertilizer had not been invented.
• Over 70 Billion nurdles in the sea due to X-Press Pearl disaster
• Sri Lankan manager killed by mob of workers at Pakistan factory
‘Sialkot, in the heart of Pakistan’s most heavily industrialised region where much of the country’s export industry is based’
• Vijay Prashad at the recent COP 26 conference in Glasgow
• Global Warming and the Hypocrisy of Rich Countries
‘Rich countries are at it again, addressing climate change while ignoring energy justice and deferring discussions on how to finance a low carbon emission path. Their strategy is green-washed colonialism’
• COP26 Report Back: Western Climate Justice Activists Speak Out
• COP26 Gives It Up to the Capitalists
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 domination by merchants and moneylenders.
• Sri Lanka’s Jaffna peninsula may have oil: Minister
• China suspends power projects in three islands in North
• China embassy takes swipe at Sri Lanka over halting power projects near India
• Chinese firm denies reports it withdrew from green power project for northern islands
• Japanese experts with necessary equipment streamline weather forecast
‘Two Weather Radars which will be setup at Puttalam and Pottuvil under JICA grant’
• Power outage in several areas
• If rain dries out for 6 weeks we are certainly headed to a big power crisis
• Key board level resignations at BOI
• Hand over economic management to independent technocrats: SJB MP
• Monopoly on petroleum should be in hands of state for the sake of national security: JVP
• Sri Lanka CPC controversial US$2.5bn re-financing attempt fails
• Two major spot trades for coal cancelled as bids were not received
‘Country is unable to conform to the international LC with over 3 per cent interest. “We need to pay higher because of low foreign reserves and country ratings…”
• US$500 million credit line for fuel from India next week
• Sri Lanka CPC has asked for reduction of Rs42 tax on petrol: Minister
• Over four million households countrywide use LPG as cooking fuel
‘In the Colombo city – where over 30% of the country’s population resides – the inner city or slum dwellers live in 65,000 slums, 51% in under-served settlements and 21% of the children below five are undernourished.’
• Local labs not capable of testing gas quality: Laugfs Gas
• PUCSL is ready to regulate gas – PUCSL Chairman
• Windforce 2Q profits up on solar and hydropower sales
• 25% of private buses use kerosene and claim govt. imports low-quality diesel: Gammanpila
• September industrial production pulls back over lockdowns
‘broad based decline in manufacturing activities in sectors from the production of beverages, tobacco products, textiles, leather products, products made out of wood an cork, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, furniture and so on. The food products and wearing apparels expanded from the year earlier levels.’
• Geological Survey & Mines Bureau to speak on local raw materials such as quarry products, sand, gravel, clay, bricks & tiles
• Workers repair scrap machinery at premix asphalt plant at Ganepola
• ICCSL seeks state intervention to charter a subsidised feeder vessel to ease burden on exporters
‘severe congestion at the Singapore Port, which has led so many shipping lines to avoid Singapore. Some of our imports are also stuck there’
• Access-led JV bags Rs.43bn contract to construct East Container Terminal
• Sri Lanka INSEE unit cuts costs using China-run Hambantota Port
• Japan’s Golden Gate Highway
• David Pieris Group company DP Logistics launches TruckBuddy
• DIMO reigns supreme at Mercedes-Benz Regional Award Ceremony
• Dissemination of ‘real time’ meteorological information to domestic aviation community
• Bharti Airtel’s network expansion to amplify islandwide 4G coverage
• SLIIT: Generic system failure or inherent deficiencies in corporate ethics?
• SLASSCOM to host the first ever conference in Sri Lanka on Emerging Technologies
• Microsoft appoints Harsha Randeny as Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives
‘He is also a director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (AMCHAM).’
• Health Minister observes inequitable distribution of resources among hospitals
• Sri Lanka drug shortages being cleared soon, some have alternatives: Minister
• CBL ventures into spice market with Rs. 1 b investment
• Sri Lanka bought Sinopharm at US$7: State Minister
• GSK Pharmaceuticals felicitates key distribution partners in Sri Lanka
‘leading healthcare distributors like Chandrasiri Pharmaceuticals., DSN Enterprises Lanka, Kolitha Agencies, New Pharmacy & Company, The Pharmaco, Sri Lanka Pharmacy and FTC Ventures.’
• South India Powerloom Federation successfully concludes Business Visit to Sri Lanka
• Imports of textiles & textile articles $2.206 billion, clothing & accessories imports $156.8 million
• Hela Clothing over $ 8 m profit in FY22
‘Hela specialises in manufacture of underwear, sleepwear and children’s apparel. Among major clients of Hela are PVH Corp. – the parent company of fashion brands Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein’
• Global Brands and Retailers served by apparel sector
‘Victoria’s Secret, Marks & Spencer, Boss, NIKE, Calvin Klein, GAP, Levi’s, Ralph Lauren, lululemon, Calzedonia, Intimissimi and Tommy Hilfiger, etc.’
• Suspension of raw material imports: Half a million jobs at stake in footwear industry
• Illicit booze consumption up 300% laments Gayantha Karunatilaka
• Wellawatte Spinning & Weaving Mills belonged to Maharajah of Gwalior, most workers there thought it was Mr. Captain’s…
• Focusing more on yuan not enough to fulfill India’s manufacturing ambitions
‘compared to China, India lacks a critical mass of well-trained and educated workers’
• Thai PM meets Huawei CEO to collaborate on digital transformation and talent development
• China aims high in informatization, industrialization integration in 2021-2025
• Cuba’s only liquid medicine factory moving toward its full potential
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, preventing investment in modern production.
• Banks’ Chief Internal Auditors’ Forum appoints new committee for 2021/22
‘Charitha Jawawickrama Sampath Bank President, Numair Cassim (Amana Bank) Vice President, Nirosha Perera (Union Bank) Secretary. Committee includes Varuna Koggalage (Seylan Bank), Dulan Abeyratne (HSBC), Dhanjaya Dayananda (SDB), Jayan Fernando (DFCC), Kushlaini Allis (NTB) and Gamini Jayaweera (NSB). The outgoing committee included Maduwantha Liyanage BOC (Immediate Past President), John Premanath (Commercial Bank) and Chandima Samarasinghe (Cargills Bank)’
• Sri Lanka stock index hits fresh peak on export firms; foreigners exit over rupee woes
• Ponzi schemes in SL: What they are, how they work and knowing how to spot one
• National Savings Bank (NSB) highest ever profit first nine months of 2021 – Rs.20.3 billion
• Amana Takaful Life Insurance partners with Orient Finance for fixed depositor insurance
• Asian Development Bank honours Commercial Bank of Ceylon as Leading Partner
• Mastercard appoints Sandun Hapugoda as Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives
‘member of committee appointed by Technology Ministry to advise Cabinet members on digital banking, blockchain-related industries and cryptocurrency policy formulation. He is also a steering committee member for the National Science Foundation for technology research… was at Hatton National Bank, Amana Bank, ICICI Bank (Sri Lanka) and Sampath Bank’
• Mark Surgenor heads HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives
‘He was at Lloyds Banking Group’
• CVC Capital Partners drops $1.8 billion bid for Tax Hideout Expert Intertrust
• Wall Street Deployed Dirty Tricks Playbook Against Whistleblowers for Decades
• Dow Soars then Plunges in 1,000 Point Intraday Range
• Powell Delivers the Perfect Storm to a $54 Trillion Bubble Stock Market
• Wall Street Is Sweating Biden’s Nominee to Head Bank Supervision at the Fed
• Who did JPMorgan Chase hire to defend it in the Shaquala Williams case?
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business focuses on the rentier diversions of the oligarchy, the domination by a merchant mafia, making money from unproductive land sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of corporate press releases disguised as ‘news’
• Sri Lanka India Society elects Kishore Reddy as President
‘Past presidents include Tilak de Zoysa, Ken Balendra, Chandra Schafter, Uvais Ahamed, Col. Harindran, Manik Pereira, Kandaiah Neelakandan, Kumar Nadesan, T.S. Prakash, and Rohan Tudawe. President Kishore Reddy, Vice presidents Renganathan, A. Kandasamy, Jaykumar, Secretary Kailasapillai, Asst Secretary Chaturi Ranasinghe, Treasurer Saravanan Neelakandan, Asst Treasurer S. Shameer, and Editor Sumit Law.’
• Registrar of Companies, a mere filing cabinet?
• Distilleries Co. Sept. profits down on lower sales
‘DCSL, which commands 70 percent of the country’s liquor market, reported revenues of Rs.20.78 billion in the July-September quarter’
• 45 state properties to be leased to local, foreign investors
• Foreign owners of Lanka Realty trim shareholding by almost 15%
‘foreign investors had over 80 percent stake in Lanka Realty, while the biggest local shareholder is the Joint Managing Director Hardy Jamaldeen, with 15 percent stake.’
• Hotel industry wants abolition of 1% Municipality Tax by Local Government authorities
• Deeply hostile attitudes of the locals toward the hotels
• Hoteliers call for state assistance
• Oman’s Zubair Group EDC signs up with MTI Consulting
• SLID’s Women Directors’ Forum discussion on Empathetic Leadership in a Time of Crisis
‘keynote delivered by Hajar Alafifi-Chairperson, Unilever Sri Lanka. Moderated by Dilshan Rodrigo-Director/COO, Hatton National Bank, the panel consisted of Shiromal Cooray-Managing Director, Jetwing Travels, Kasthuri Chellaraja Wilson, Hemas Holdings, Lakmini Wijesundera, IronOne Technologies/BoardPac and Chamila Bandara-Mountain Hawk Express’
• Maldives And Bangladesh Can Benefit From Growing Trade Ties
• Myanmar And Bangladesh Can Benefit From Strengthening Trade And Connectivity Ties
C10. Politics (Anti-parliament discourse, unelected constitution)
ee Politics points to the constant diversions and spectacles and the mercantile and financial forces funding the political actors, of policy hijacked by private interests minus public oversight.
• Can Sajith Premadasa Champion the Cause of Social Democracy in Sri Lanka?
• Begging from Others
• Former Minister Sirisena Cooray passes away
• Arjuna quits UNP
• Demonstrators preferred to burn effigies of Agriculture Minister than President and PM
• SLFP today as politically promiscuous as the SLMC and the Ceylon Workers’ Congress
• One Country One Law
• The Sandahiru event – celebrating failure
• A Land of Zealots
‘there is little you cannot say or do from behind a Saffron coloured robe’
• JVP also has not talked of the ways to handle the ailing economy.
• Govt acts as if there is no political question to be solved – Wigneswaran
‘poverty is significantly higher in the Mullaitivu, Mannar, Batticaloa and Moneragala Districts’
• Postponement of April local polls: Democracy’s red flag
• Legislative bodies in democracies, impose standards and rules on words or phrases
• “Perspectives on Constitutional Reform in Sri Lanka”
• Sri Lanka’s ever vigilant network of NGOs and civil society organisations will spring to life
• Only Anura Kumara Dissanayake & Champika Ranawaka come close to formulating anything
• ‘43rd Brigade’ has an agenda of its own
• The need for a real Opposition has surfaced
• Majority of Sinhala voters believe Sri Lanka belongs to the Sinhala
• Diana Gamage elected President of SL – South Africa Parliamentary Friendship Association
• Biden’s Democracy Summit and Sri Lanka’s (and Cuba’s) absence – Jayatilleka
• Remembering Commandante Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz
• EU to spend up to 300 billion euros to boost sustainable links around world
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.
• Why I became a Buddhist – A.E. Buultjens
‘Lecture delivered on 25th March 1899 at the Buddhist Headquarters, Colombo’
• ‘If the media tries to prop up unpopular governments, people will be angry’ – PM
• NATO foreign ministers link arms and sing We Are The World
• Animal Instincts & Journalists
• Foolish Sinhala who Speak Without a language
• University of Peradeniya conferring Honorary Doctor of Literature on G. Amarasekera
• Public scrutiny of state ‘secrets’ about migrant workers and private energy deals
• National Media Forum tells P’ment to appoint members to Right to Information Commission
‘The NMF Steering committee comprises Mandana Ismil Abewickrema, Gagani Weerakoon, Rajgopal Yasitharan, Vikum Basnayaka, Sisira Yapa, Ajith Alahakoon, Priyantha Wedamulla, Chathura Disanayake, Shalika Wimalasena and Ravindra Pushpakumara’
• Right of Reply: Nagananda Kodituwakku
• Army denies attack on journalist in Mullaithivu; claims incident was staged
• Jaffna journalist Kanamaylnathan won awards from leading international organisations
• Little-known facts about Keppetipola’s death
• Film directors ‘fleece’ producers
‘Quite often, the award goes to a thought provoking, controversial exposure, revealing negative subjects like poverty, sex abuse and wars and sometimes to the satisfaction of NGO’s who wish to make their point.’
• Three new members appointed to PTF on Archaeological Heritage Management in East
• Obeyesekere links Kasyapa with Sinhabahu
‘Obeyesekere uses a Chinese source to argue about Kasyapa’s reign’
• The complex issue of the origin of the Moors of Sri Lanka
• Study reveals ethnic similarities among four ethnic groups : Are Sri Lankans one big family?
• Crushes on older girls went no further than carrying their school bags
• Replaced the departing English head of the Customs and Port Commission, the first Sri Lankan
• The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka opens in a new public venue
• Geneva PEC rewards journalist from India
• The ‘Missing’ Star Athlete Peng Shuai Is Not Missing At All
• How NGOs And Newspapers In Germany Propagandize Chinese ‘Querdenker’ Zhang Zhan
• Scottish independence campaigner Craig Murray criticises Nicola Sturgeon after leaving prison
• Thousands march to commemorate Spanish execution of Cuban medical students in 1871