No Media, No Map, No Plan?
Published in Uncategorized. Tags: Bhadrakumar, Casa Da India, China-Russia Alliance, Dom Manoel, Entrepreneurs, Esper, Financial Times, Illanperuma, Machine Tools, Mahinda, MarCom, Modi, Quad, Radhika Coomaraswamy, Rajapakse, Self-Determination, Slave Trade, Subaltern, SWRD Bandaranaike, UNHRC, Wei Pan.
ee archive: eesrilanka.wordpress.com
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
2nd Anniversary Issue:
No Media, No Map, No Plan?
e-Con e-News 20-26 September 2020
Murder, Modi & Mahinda • SWRD Assassins still Unexposed • China-Russia Alliance
Is it mere coincidence that India’s PM Modi called Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister on the 61st anniversary of the murder of PM SWRD Bandaranaike in 1959? The call comes after the US War Secretary’s recent buzzing of the SL President’s ear; as rogue UN bureaucrats attempt to destroy the UN’s most loyal membership, with a so-called CORE Group, led by a revanchist colonial England, a white-settler puppet Canada, and a rapidly reNazifying Germany; as foreign-funded local NGO and separatists ululate on cue; and the business press wails against feeble import control.
White media memories of the SWRD murder refuse to go beyond the coverup, yet the real suspects still dominate today. As Philip Gunawardena exposed: the murder was planned at the US Ambassador’s residence and well-known watering holes (Atlanta Club, etc.) of kalusuddha Kolombots led by the bloodstained de Zoysa family, with the US Ambassador meeting SWRD an hour before the assassination. All of this in a backdrop of preventing a development bank, etc., for SL to escape the imperialist stranglehold by merchants and moneylenders. None of this is allowed broadcast, even 61 years later, while the same hound dogs still bark.
ee highly recommends articles on this supposed ‘rules-based international order’, as well as on a rising China-Russia alliance, providing a refreshing counterpoint to imperialism’s death-agonies. (see ee Sovereignty)
It’s in this atmosphere, ee asks, in counterpoint to the 1983 ‘postcolonial’ academic diversion, Can the Subaltern Speak? – Can Sri Lanka Make a Plan?
Portugal Erased Map to Lanka • Hiding Industrial Power
The Portuguese king Dom Manoel issued a decree in 1504, banning the insertion on maps of any routes beyond the Congo. References to these routes were even erased on all maps drawn earlier.
Yet, the conquistadors were already at our door, casing the ocean around us. In 1497, Vasco Da Gama had rounded the Cape of White Hope by South Africa and begun attacking Kerala.
Our fullybright bulbs still argue about when the first Europeans exactly invaded: 1505? 1518? Yet, in 1505 Portugal set up a royal monopoly for spice import, to extort tribute through military means, with a royal department Casa da India (like England’s later India House), empowered to control the entire commerce between Portugal and Asia.
Even today European maps of the world don’t show everything, even while appearing to do. Of course they centre Europe in all world maps, and why not? It’s their maps!
Public maps of countries and cities still leave out important details, for strategic reasons, military and economic. Just as many industrial countries also don’t publicize the paths they’ve taken, or the paths they intend to go. They don’t boast of their economic power/dominance, especially industrial strengths. Nor do they publicize their powerful protection of their own home markets.
No National Media
England, Europe, USA instead advertise their supposed ‘permissiveness’ and ‘openness’ to ‘free trade’, focusing on the import-export business, claiming how open their markets are. They instead point fingers at other countries for being unfairly ‘autarkist’ and ‘closed’. They, also, like the US Ambassador just stated, only wish us to think small and know our place, not to consider how they became industrialized via heavy industry (see ee Industry).
Yet what’s worst is when ‘our’ media work on their behalf, and refuse to expose the path we’ve taken, and the paths we really should be going on. The advertising industry of the multinationals like Unilever control our media and home market, and their maps constantly mislead. Sri Lanka’s media is forbidden from discussing the true state of the economy. What is presented as ‘news’ is neither news nor new. The media sings the same old import-export plantation song, whose main aim is to drown out any attempt at modern machine production in the country. (see ee Focus, Machine Tools)
This ee reproduces a brief from one of its first issues, on how a modern economy is really measured. Something our media acts as if they know nothing of. Worse, it’s probably not an act, and even worse, they don’t give a damn. The multinational advertising/media industry is minting gold by selling us foreign-made goods (see ee Media, MarCom claims to be top earner) and will do their damnedest to prevent renaissance.
Industry Beyond Balance of Payments
A media-induced mental-retardation: The news makes it appear that, while there’s some talk of “local production”, the government is apologizing for restrictions on imports etc. Industrialization should be carried out as a positive means to transform the country, and not be just about ‘balance of payments’, unemployment, and collapse. The economy has long collapsed. What we have is the living dead that oppose final cremation.
When ee points out that countries with much smaller populations and markets than us are machine-making industrial powers, challenging readers want proof that ‘countries’ like Singapore are indeed ‘industrial’.
Then we realize, many don’t even know what ‘industry’ means. They still think it is ‘assembly’ and ‘manufacture’, which is how most of our ‘exports’ are made, with expensive imports, controlled by multinational corporations. Then there’s false usage of terms like ‘entrepreneur’. (see Random Notes)
Autumn’s Jokers & Warmongers & Human Rights • Killing Farmers not Traders
• This is their season when war budgets are publicly declared in those countries where all the leaves begin falling off the trees, and those without a roof know a death sentence by ice awaits, passed by no judge or jury, but by actually existing logic of privatized capitalist existence, which has used Covid as an excuse to cull the working class.
This season is also when rogue elements who wish to reduce the UN to absurdity, make threats against member countries, backed of course by those countries with bulging war budgets, who cover up their bloody day-to-day reality by claiming to know about ‘human rights’.
So it’s in this season of the fiasco that’s now the UNHRC in autumn, our week’s most hilarious news item goes to the Wijeya Group’s Financial Times, where an “international human rights activist” says the government is “killing traders” thru import-restrictions, in order to “save” farmers:
“Int’l human rights activist says killing traders via import curbs to save farmers ill-advised”
How did this joker managed to get an audience with an obliging Imports and Exports Controller? Perhaps it was arranged by the FT and their major sponsor, the Essential Food Commodities Importers & Traders Association (EFCITA), who reside in the inner bowels of the Independent Merchant Republic of the Pettah. But there he is in the Controller’s office, complete with FT photographer, 2 ceramic cups of tea, and some bright plastic flowers. What exactly makes him ‘international’ we do not know, but his twitter describes himself as “Loyal activist of UK Conservative Party, International Political Lobbyist and Strategist. Actively interest in Human Rights, Women Rights and Child Rights”. As one ironic response blared: “Killing farmers to save traders is ok. No human rights issues there.”
It’s therefore fitting this ee continues our history of such traders’ impoverishment of our cultivators – the real human rights story of the last few centuries. ee also continues revelations of the real rural transformation behind China’s rise. It’s not what the Colombot media claim!
ee also highlights a query why many so-called leftists – more appropriately called liberals and anarchists – demand the constitution be accountable to NGOs, and not cultivators and workers?
A1. Reader Comments
• China Revelations • Rational Economic Plan Needed? • Entrepreneur Bull
A2. Quotes of the Week
• DS Senanayake’s Greatest Contribution • Why US War Secretary Called Gota? • Fake ‘Rules-based International Order’ • Neoliberalism Still Dominates Central Banks • Multilateral Debt rules Africa & Sri Lanka • Slave Traders Were Top ‘Humanitarians’ • England & Spies • Single Language & Nationhood
A3. Random Notes
• Elections Too Democratic for NGOs • Splitting the Rajapakses • Financial Times’ Illiteracy on Entrepreneurs • NonAlignment & Leftish Opportunism
B1. Economics Not Taught – the Extraordinary Culture of Machine Tools
B2. What is the Left’s Defense of 19th Amendment? – Illanperuma
B3. Plantations & Stratification of the Village Community – Pathirana & Aluthge
B4. Most Solid Fortress for a Socialist Rural Economy: the Yangtze River Delta – Wei Pan
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
• ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any article sent, or your comments, and place the e-link at the end. It’s better to email.
• “The Wei Pan revelations on China’s real rural industrial economy is great.”
• “ee should address the failure of the current regime to recognize and develop a rational economic development strategic plan based on analysis of SL’s valuable mineral and ocean resources?
• “Invention or innovation is when people in those respective fields experience Shock & Awe or Disbelief… It’s a waste of time explaining who a real entrepreneur! We have real problems …”
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• “The agitation which went on since 1927 culminated in the Land Development Ordinance under the late DS Senanayake. His great contribution to the land policy of this country, I say a very great contribution, in that he put a stop to the alienation of land to private individuals and private companies, whether foreign or local. From that time on the policy of the government has been that the land belongs to the people, to the nation.” – Philip Gunawardena
• “That was indeed an extraordinary phone call – the first in living memory from a US defence chief to a Sri Lankan president. Esper made the call while on a visit to Guam on yet another Quad mission to counter China. Colombo has kept mum about the real purpose of Esper’s call. The point is, the US expects Colombo to finalize a Status of Forces Agreement with the US, the handing over of Colombo Port’s Eastern Terminal to India, and a $US480mn grant agreement with the MCC (an instrument of US foreign policy). Washington is insisting on an immediate response so that US-SL defence cooperation can be integrated into the Quad strategies in the Indian Ocean region.” (ee Sovereignty, Bhadrakumar)
• “That the ‘rules-based international order’ is supposed to include vague concepts of ‘democracy’, ‘human rights’, ‘fundamental freedoms’, ‘diversity’ and more makes it easy to claim that this or that violation of the ‘rules-based international order’ has occurred. Such violations can then be used to impose punishment in the form of sanctions or war. The above definition was given by a minority of a few rich nations…” (see ee Sovereignty, Rules)
• “People who hold alternative views to neoliberalism are now a minority in the world economics profession. In the 1980-90s neoliberalism really captured the dominating position in academia and almost all Central Banks. Therefore, the concept of the state guiding markets is not accepted by these theoreticians, though in practice it happens in industrialized countries all the time” (ee Economists, Lakshman)
• “The African continent continues to be weighed down by the debt to multilateral institutions that are propped up by a policy regime that comes from the USA and Europe, and as such, it’s not tuned for the conditions of the African continent and for a development trajectory that supports ordinary people and equal development.” (see ee Sovereignty, Peace)
• “‘The slave traders were among the leading humanitarians of their age.’ The most prominent enslavers in Liverpool include Bryan Blundell and Foster Cunliffe who both contributed large amounts to the establishment of the Bluecoat Hospital, a charity school for poor children.” (ee Workers, Williams)
• ‘England has essentially kept the same military doctrine it adopted by necessity in 1945, which is: attach itself to the USA, focus on intelligence, punch above your weight. Ideologically, they rationalize that by attributing to themselves the role of the cultured province of the USA; “Greece to the USA’s Rome”. The English were always fascinated with intelligence/paramilitary forces. In their vision, it gives you (a nation) an air of sophistication, a civilizing aspect to the nation that wages this kind of warfare. After the Suez fiasco of 1956, the English gave up direct interventions in the Middle East. It now only intervenes there under the skirt of the USA. Of course, whenever they can, they do that with their weapon of choice, which is intelligence.’ (ee Sovereignty, Syria)
• “Throughout the world, the period of the final victory of capitalism over feudalism has been linked up with national movements. For the complete victory of commodity production, the bourgeoisie must capture the home market, and there must be politically united territories whose population speak a single language, with all obstacles to the development of that language and to its consolidation in literature eliminated. Therein is the economic foundation of national movements. Language is the most important means of human intercourse. Unity and unimpeded development of language are the most important conditions for genuinely free and extensive commerce on a scale commensurate with modern capitalism, for a free and broad grouping of the population in all its various classes and, lastly, for the establishment of a close connection between the market and each and every proprietor, big or little, and between seller and buyer.” (VI Lenin, The Right of Nations to Self-Determination, 1914)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• The media is agog with tirades against the 20th amendment by the usual US-funded suspects, a rogues gallery most evident in the Financial Times’ daily list of columnists. They act as if there was no recent election where the people consented enmasse to what the present government made clear they would do. Now those who have made big money by claiming to be for ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ wish to steal the people’s mandate. “The Legislature [is] often the site of unwieldy prejudices”, declares Radhika Coomaraswamy, another unelected UN ‘human rights’ advocate. This recalls US Secretary of State Kissinger’s justification of the murderous coup against Chile in 1974: “The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.” Radhika, a corporate conglomerate Keells director quickly retired immediately after the current President was elected. She was on the unelected 2015 Constitutional Council that sought to prevent his election. ee Focus looks at why so-called Leftists are being dragged by the nose to promote corporate rule.
• The powers that aim to continue to be, are working overtime to split the Rajapakse family. As ee goes to bed, Modi hath spoken to Mahinda, on this the 61st anniversary of the murder of PM SWRD Bandaranaike. Last week saw the celebration of 166th birth anniversary of Anagarika Dharmapala on Sept 17. There was also the uncelebrated 146th birth anniversary of DJ Wimalasurendra also on Sept 17, who is the real yet still-born “founder of the nation”, not DS Senanayake, on whom The Island recently had an unashamed hagiography calling him Abraham Lincoln (who was responsible for one of the worst mass hangings of Original Americans). This ee carries a link about the 1915 English murder of Henry Pedris, where the story goes his bloodstained shirt was shown to DS, to make him toe the line.
• A favorite ee pastime is to challenge the capitalist media’s foolish tropes, like ‘entrepreneurs’. Wijeya Group economist WA Wijewardene, whose weekly Financial Times column describes him as “a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of SL, congratulates himself on his 500th weekly column, and has begun a series on “entrepreneurs”. (see ee Economists). An ee correspondent asked to evaluate the essay found the claims by WAW preposterous, and at first refused to respond. Then, on further egging, spluttered out (forgive the obscenities):
“First of all, a single person can’t do shit. I can tell you that using myself, or the SL President, as an example. We’re only as good as the people who execute the work we ask them to do. It’s a joke to say Apple or Microsoft got where they are because of fucking Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. There are 10,000s of damn even more intelligent people working for them who did not have the opportunities they had. Without educated (or the braindrain system feeding the USA) masses of people, you cannot build a nation!! Idiots, I tell you, the damn FT is stupid. Who cares if you can find what banks provide what service!!?? How the fuck is that an innovation or invention? Just because you can get QR codes working or connect banks using existing APIs, it’s not an innovation or invention, it’s the next logical fucking thing forward. Invention or innovation is when people in those respective fields experience Shock & Awe or Disbelief…”
• ee points out again and again: There’s no kachcheri where one can register as a ‘Marxist’, a socialist or a communist, let alone as a poet. There’s no official poetic license, either. Though one can always win an award, as there are more awards and festivals than films and poets (ha ha).
The self-proclaimed Marxist and LSSPer, Peradeniya Professor Sumanasiri Liyanage is echoing the imperialist line on China (see ee Focus). This mimicry is ascribed to “stubborn myths”, which endure due to persistent repetition and saturation by the media monopolies. Many vital issues need to be discussed about Sri Lanka’s relationship with China, such as why we do not take more concrete steps to learn from China’s model of machine industrialization, instead of playing the natural-resources-exchanged-for-manufactured-goods game, with them as well. It’s our choice?
Various types of Leftists mechanically apply loaded terms such as ‘colonialism’, ‘imperialism’ to the People’s Republic, which itself has long been under siege. These very same leftists claim to support Cuba, Venezuela, etc, countries which have great relations with China,
This ‘nonaligned’ line may be traced to the opportunistic decision taken, to criticize a 22-year-old USSR still under imperialist and fascist siege, leading to suicidal splits in the Left. Few remember that in 1938, France and England were pursuing a policy of appeasing Hitler, forcing the USSR to steal a march on them, making a temporary pact with Germany to postpone war while developing their defenses. This Leftist non-aligned line was somewhat amended when those leaders realized that socialist countries were the only states who would help modernize Lanka.
Are these leftists, really romantics and anarchists, tho they called themselves ‘Marxists’? By 1958, Philip Gunawardena was pointing out that the Left parties did not have an economic plan, let alone a program for capturing the home market, let alone for machine production. In 1970, H.A. de S. Gunasekera Secretary to the Ministry of Planning and Employment was unable to fully implement a Five Year Plan 1972-76, supposedly due to a lack of resources. The plan was to curtail imports through domestic production and initiate industries that would use less imported raw materials, but this plan too did not grasp the need for modern machine production. Familiar?
B. Special Focus_
B1. Economics Not Taught – The Extraordinary Culture of Machine Tools
Here is the economics not taught us. Here are the questions a national media would need to ask: A Plan requires a political, economic and military strategy, which will first assess the worker power, land (including natural resources), and capital, the nation possesses, and the time needed to transform these powers into material reality:
Here is ee’sIndex of a Real Economy:
1. The index of a strong economy is modern industry.
2. The index of modern industry is the production of machines.
3. Machine tools (MT) are the most important of all machines.
4. MT is needed for huge diversified metal fabricating industries (auto, electrical etc)
5. MT is essential for production of machines for all other industries.
6. Full data on machinery production is needed.
7. What portion of our machinery needs are supplied by machines built in Sri Lanka?
8. What is the trend? Are we producing more or less than we did before?
9. Data on imports and exports of machinery is needed (shipments of MTs & other Industrial Machinery)
10. MT production vs imports, must include: Mining and Metallurgical Machinery, Pulp and Paper Machinery, Textile Machinery, Woodworking Machinery, Logging Machinery, Sawmill Machinery, Office and Business Machines.
Instead, we get a type if literate illiteracy promoted at the highest levels, as is evident in the news items ee culls from the corporate onslaught. (from ee 23 Dec 2018)
B2. What is the Left’s Defense of the 19th Amendment? – Shiran Illanperuma
The Left has always been in the business of institution building. But the difference between the Old Left and New Left’s approach to “independence” and “depoliticization” is stark…
There’s a lot of talk about amendments these days: 13th, 18th, 19th and 20th. A cynic could argue that it’s all the same for the toiling masses. From the paddy field to the plantation to the factory floor, nothing really changes.
The 19A was hailed as a step forward for democracy, thanks to the introduction of “checks and balances”, “independent commissions”, and “civil society representation”. These words sound good. They need unpacking.
Who is doing the checking and balancing? Who or what are the commissions independent of? Who or what is meant by ‘civil society’? More on this later.
The 20th amendment will undo the 19th. The tele-phant, house, bicycle, compass, and sledgehammer, are united in their opposition to it. For some, it is about defending ‘democracy’ from ‘dictatorship’, for others, it’s about defending ‘minorities’ from the majority.
The question for pro-19A comrades, whose red has faded to magenta: what is their leftist defense of the 19A? Specifically, in what way, shape or form do the constitutional council and independent commissions advance the cause of workers and peasants?
Firstly, 19A provides for “5 persons appointed by the President, on the nomination of both the PM and the Leader of the Opposition,” and “one MP nominated by agreement of the majority of the MPs belonging to political parties or independent groups”, to sit in the constitutional council.
Is it desirable to force an elected majority government into an accommodation with an opposition party representing fewer votes? Is it desirable for minor parties with little to no electoral pull, to be given a token seat in the council? Does it not contradict with the principle of one person one vote?
Secondly, 19A provides for 3 individuals who “shall be persons of eminence and integrity who have distinguished themselves in public or professional life and who are not members of any political party,” to be appointed to the constitutional council.
Is it desirable for unelected individuals to sit on one of the country’s highest decision-making bodies? Is it desirable for their selection to be based on professional or public eminence, and not capacity to mobilize and represent the masses?
Finally, 19A features 9 independent commissions appointed by the constitutional council. These commissions are for Elections, the Public Service, Police, Human Rights, Bribery or Corruption, Finance, Delimitation, National Procurement, and the Audit Service.
Most of these commissions are in the domain of what the Left traditionally called, ‘bourgeois democracy’. Some of their functions could be served by existing Ministries. At best, they seek to streamline and secularize a system already based on underdevelopment and exploitation.
The Left has always been in the business of institution building. Councils, committees, and commissions are the bread and butter of Marxist-Leninist organizing. But the difference between the Old Left and New Left’s approach to “independence” and “depoliticization” is stark.
In the 1950s, the MEP created Cultivation Committees to organize tenant farmers, and Multi-purpose Cooperatives to provide credit to rural producers, and buy and distribute their products. In the 1960s the LSSP formed Employees Councils to democratize state-owned enterprises, and in the 1970s they created People’s Committees to devolve power to villages communities.
Comparatively, the New Left has allowed itself to be led by policy agendas set by a civil society elite who pose as a “third sector,” despite solely relying on funding from state or market entities for their existence.
Their commissions are independent of elected officials. Their checks and balances are conducted by unelected appointees. Workers and peasants have been abandoned in favor of artists and intellectuals.
B3. Plantations & Stratification of the Village Community – Pathirana & Aluthge
ee excerpts D Pathirana and C Aluthge’s A History of Underdevelopment & the Political Economy of Inflation in SL: Chapter 3 explores: “the historical conditions which assisted the rise of an exploitative merchant-cum-usurer class in the rural economy, causing rural stratification along with the rise of Sri Lanka’s commercial bourgeoisie…”
“The rise of the merchant-cum-usurer class within the paddy economy was the most significant social transformation which led to the replacement of owner-cultivators by sharecropping or the ande system. The share or the ande increased as the number of landless tenants seeking land increased and vice-versa. The absentee landlords were at the same time merchant-cum-usurers and shopkeepers. They acquired land through distressed selling of peasants who defaulted on the paddy tax (Wesumpura 1969) and who forfeited their lands due to non-repayment of debt.
The introduction of the exploitative system of the paddy tax, hand in hand with the expansion of coffee plantations in the 1830s encroaching chena and forest land previously held and used by the peasantry, altered both production forces and relations in a way that facilitated the rise of a merchant-cum-usurer class within the peasantry.
It solidified a precapitalist form of social organisation that militated against transition to real subsumption of labour to capital establishing the role of relative surplus value in surplus labour extortion. ‘[In] certain intermediate forms, surplus labour is not extorted by direct compulsion from the producer, nor the producer himself yet formally subjected to capital. Predominance of this form of exploitation, excludes the capitalist mode of production’ (Marx).
The push to encroach on traditional lands dedicated to peasant cultivation was not limited to the expansion of coffee plantations. The English in 1832 even prohibited the cultivation of privately held land together with chena lands if cinnamon plants were propagated in such land through purely natural means. Further, the disruption of cultivation activities of the Chaliya caste by the English administration as a means of diverting their labour ‘to gather and peel cinnamon led to the neglect of both vatu (garden cultivation) and kumburu (paddy cultivation)… This resumption divested the chaliyas of all the fields, vatu, and hena, and made them a landless peasantry completely dependent on outside (both local and foreign) sources for their food supply’.
Trespassing of cattle on cinnamon lands was made a highly punishable crime. Given that the majority of the cinnamon plantations were unprotected, a person needed to be employed to make sure the cattle did not trespass. This was far beyond the means of the peasants. As a result the cattle had to be disposed of, which in turn greatly reduced the extent of paddy cultivation by reducing both the vital animal power needed for land preparation, and threshing the paddy, and manure for fertilizing. Even the water sources previously utilised by the peasantry for paddy cultivation was diverted away and were polluted by coffee pulp.
‘A number of irrigation channels having their sources in forests were lost to the villagers when they became estate property.’ This in turn cut off the peasantry from access to water for paddy cultivation while nearly half of the acquired land by coffee plantations were left uncultivated and were held merely for speculation purposes. Further, the establishment of private property in land ruled out the natural expansion of the village through acquiring forest land when population increased. This in turn gave rise to the land subdivision problem as a result of population pressure in the villages.
The consequent decline of the domestic food supply increased the internal price level which in turn further fuelled the dependency of the already impoverished peasant on cash advances from the usurer-cum-merchant to acquire daily means of subsistence. Prohibition of chena cultivation by the English administration in 1840 and forcible acquisition of chena land which led to the collapse of Purana village system during English rule therefore created the necessary lacuna in the mode of production for an exploitative merchant cum usurer class relations to emerge and dominate the control of paddy surplus solidifying a precapitalist mode of production in the agrarian system.
‘All other avenues being closed to the peasantry, they naturally became the victims of money-lenders and traders, which in turn created a predominant feature in the agriculture of the 20thC Ceylon – absentee landlordism.’ Further, the stratification which emerged through the collapse of centrally controlled system of paddy cultivation through village councils, which distributed available water evenly among the peasants, and controlled the extent of cultivated land based on availability of irrigated water, [had?] prevented unevenness in wealth accumulation among individual cultivators.
The accumulation of surpluses took the form of a social or communal capital that materialised mainly in the form of irrigation works. Encroachment of the chena lands by plantations played the crucial role in disintegrating the internal coherence of the Purana village system. Receipts from the paddy tax were largely redeployed in the expansion process of plantations, and hence the paddy tax should be considered as an integral tool in the overall effort of the English administration to set up plantations in Sri Lanka.
The extraordinarily exploitative Commutation System of paddy tax introduced by the English initiated the disintegration of the peasantry and its contribution towards this end was by no means insignificant. The paddy tax was to be ‘the grand source of future revenue’ of the colonial government and its share increased during economic downturns as the government did not hesitate to offset the decline in tax revenue from other sources by raising the paddy tax. ‘Until its abolition in 1892, the paddy tax provided the largest amount of revenue from tax farming’ and ‘many 20thC elites began their rise to prominence as renters of paddy tax’.
Moreover, the anxious need to increase government’s revenue impelled it to over-assess the paddy tax, which made it even harder for the peasants to make the assigned payments. ‘The grain tax collected had steadily increased between 1840 and 1876 by more than 150%.’
Distressed selling of paddy lands to avoid default was the inevitable outcome, and the lands were sold well below their real value indicating the destitution of peasantry at the time. Further, a Grain Commissioner of the colonial administration held, ‘while the fields of the peasants were overvalued and over-assessed those of the rich and the influential class [the native chiefs] were undervalued and under-assessed’ indicating the deliberate effort of the colonial administration hand in hand with the local elites to alienate the peasantry of their traditional lands through a seemingly legitimate scheme which impelled the peasantry to lay the blame on itself for the loss of lands rather than on their oppressors.
Hence, thereby the colonial administration attempted to accelerate the rate of land dispossession without causing a threat to the status-quo by a disintegrated peasantry. Further, it was a usual feature that lands were held in common ownership with shareholders having varying degrees of ownership of an individual land unit.
In this backdrop even if one shareholder was unable to pay the paddy tax the entire field was sold not limiting to the defaulter’s interest. ‘…the rich shareholder withholds payment of the tax, and watches the opportunity of the sale of the entire land at the instance of the Crown, and purchases the whole extent for a mere trifle, and thus deprives his poorer co-shares of what was perhaps their only possession in the world’.
A large number of land sales were forced by this means by the bigger shareholders hand in hand with the village headmen who among the Moors and Chettiars ended up owning the land that was previously held by the poor peasantry by paying fraction of its real value….”
B4. The Most Solid Fortress for a Socialist Rural Economy: the Yangtze River Delta – Wei Pan
The Yangtze River Delta covers southern Jiangsu Province and northern Zhejiang Province. The region is seen as wealthy for several reasons, including “a well-watered place where fish and rice are abundant,” “profound cultural grounding,” an “earlier growth of a capitalist market,” and “convenient transportation to both inland and overseas.” But these broad explanations seem also suited to many other places in China…
While Jiang-Zhe (JZ, short for Jiangsu and Zhejiang) is the birthplace of China’s modern capitalist economy, it is today the most solid fortress for a socialist rural economy, and it was also the base for agricultural radicalism during the Cultural Revolution.
Historically, Jiang-Zhe was not always the region in China of most abundance, and since the late Qing Dynasty it was not always in the general lead in terms. In the early stages of the People’s Republic of China, the brilliance of the Northeast (3 provinces of Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang) was much greater than JZ, and when reform first began, it was Sichuan and Anhui that gained great fame and repute. China has a vast territory. All the regions compete intensely, and each takes the lead for only some years. Hence, to explain JZ’s flourishing, I prefer more detailed political-economic explanations, even though the broad ‘cultural’ explanations are not without some sense.
Township & Village Enterprises (TVEs) in the Yangtze River Delta formed alliances with rural grassroots authorities. This developmental model dominating the JZ region is called the “Sunan model,” and the social results it brought about are unique.
In the Su-Xi-Chang (Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou) area, rural industries were highly integrated with local collectives. Village enterprises, as “modern,” “shareholding corporations,” were created, owned and managed by their village collectives. The village Party secretary had the final say in the village corporation, whose board of directors usually consisted of major village cadres. At the township level, TEs were coordinated by the town corporation, of which the town’s Party secretary was often the chair of the board of directors, similar to the directing and coordinating role of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in the 1960-70s. Some TEs grew large enough to become independent of local authorities. But the relatively loose ties between large TEs and local authorities did not produce the type of corruption seen elsewhere, partly because of the collective nature of the enterprises and partly because the hierarchical Party organs effectively regulated and indoctrinated their cadres.
In the mid-1990s, TVEs in the Yangtze River Delta were vigorous. The entrepreneurs attached importance to the quality of products and enterprise cohesion, aiming at long-term market share, rather than short-term benefit. There were successful combinations of socialist collective and capitalist market, of a ‘modern’ corporate system and indigenous human relationships, and local entrepreneurs and huge-scale Western capitalists. Educational and cultural development in this Delta progressed far ahead of other regions in rural China. Rural cadres here demonstrated much higher qualifications than their counterparts elsewhere; it seemed there was nothing in the world they could not do. Moreover, there were no signs of political instability in the region, even after such profound economic and social changes. Given that the Yangtze River Delta is the most densely populated region in China, its success is worth serious contemplation.
In the mid-1990s, Huaxi-like villages were common in the Su-Xi-Chang area, and many village cadres enjoyed pointing out their particular aspects of superiority over Huaxi, such as housing conditions, the amount of per-capita savings in banks, the quality of their schools, and the degree of automated farming. Some of the collectives adopted a dual-land system, while the rest had removed household land used for growing food crops, leaving farmers with no land to farm.
The strong collective economy resulted in heavy and rapid investment in infrastructure and drastic improvement in education facilities, as well as higher general educational levels. Its high-quality infrastructure, higher-education levels, motivated entrepreneurs, law-abiding environment and stable society with very low crime rates, all provided a fairly ideal ground for extensive foreign investment from the West. In contrast, speculative smaller amounts of capital from overseas Chinese [which was as the actual majority of the new outside investment in China] had little chance there.
Wuxi County had an area of 1,115 sq.km, an urban and rural population of 1 million, and 526 villages under 35 towns. From 1981, the county’s TVE revenue began to top all counties in China. More than 60% of its farmland was controlled under its 800 or so collective farms. Its agricultural mechanization level was close to that of developed countries – with only 2.5% of the population working as actual farmers. Foreign investment was heavy, with 20% of the local enterprises being owned partly or completely by foreign capital by the mid-1990s. The county’s exports amounted to 10bn yuan yearly.
There was a library in every township under Wuxi County. In 1994, the rural libraries had nearly 200 professional librarians. Luoshe Town, which in 1994 achieved nearly 5 billion yuan in revenue, had a library of 220,000 books. By the end of 1994, it recorded more than 1 million visits since the library had been set up in 1985. It opened on evenings and weekends, and even hosted “weekend evening readings” in the community. The Yangshi town library, in its 5-story “Rural Culture Palace,” not only had a children’s reading room, but also regularly held competitions of many types to promote cultural development, such as playing musical instruments, drawing, calligraphy, speech, writing competitions, and so forth. Yangshi Town was known as China’s “first running-water town” in 1981. It achieved industrial revenues of 192 million yuan in 1985, increasing to 1.65 billion yuan in 1994. 1986-94, Yangshi invested 400mn yuan in infrastructure. More famous than its library was the town’s Xishan Middle School, a provincial zhongdian (elite) middle and high school
Dongsheng Village had 344 households, 1,266 residents, and 813 mu of farmland. It was a model brigade, in the “Learn from Dazhai” movement. In 1983, the village centralized the use of all 150,000 yuan of the team and brigade savings from agricultural revenues and built an electronics-parts factory with 27 peasant-workers. 10 years later in 1993, the village factories achieved an annual revenue of 150 million yuan. There were no family-held food-crop lands in Dongsheng. 1990-93, the village invested 3.6mn yuan to improve farmland, with an additional 10mn yuan to be invested by the year of 2000. The new village housing program had saved the village 300 mu of additional farmland. Also during those 3 years, the village spent 38mn yuan on the collective’s infrastructure and welfare. The village had a “tongle yuan”(garden of shared happiness) – a base for inculcating “spiritual enlightenmen,t” following Huaxi’s theme park. Like renowned Huaxi, Dongsheng also had an official slogan: “Love, Build, Beautify and Enrich Dongsheng”. The village received many honors from the Jiangsu provincial government, including “Industrial Star Village,” “Model Village for Agriculture,” “Model Village of New Rural China,” “Advanced Rural Party Branch,” “Advanced Clean and Green Unit,” “Advanced Cultural Development,” and so forth.
Cadre in southern Jiangsu were known for devotion and sacrifice. Few well-known high-income communities did not have “model” titles during the “Learn from Dazhai” campaign. It was common to find old village Party secretaries who had been in their posts since the 1960s or even since the early 1950s land reform movement. Xue Zhenkang, the Party secretary of Weixing Village, Huangdai Township, Suzhou City, was born in 1935 and became Party Secretary in 1963. In 1963 he led the villagers to level village farmland and brought together villagers in 89 original villages into one large village.
The village became a “model brigade” in the “Learn from Dazhai” campaign. In 1994, this village of 2,430 mu of farmland and 3,200 residents achieved a revenue of 260mn yuan. While 90% of villagers moved into the new large houses, Xue and his daughter’s family remained in his old house.
In 1994 Xue got the villagers to build a village hospital, and he was the first to personally donate 20,000 yuan. It took only a month to collect 1.02 million yuan for the hospital. Xue had rejected a high salary arranged by the township government, taking only one-third of it. He proposed to retire many times, but village Party members would vote only for him.
In the Su-Xi-Chang area, every county had its own famous features. Jiangyin City in the mid-1990s had 890,000 residents, 650,000 mu of farmland, and nearly 4,000 TVEs. Its per-capita net income was 120 yuan in 1978, increasing to 3,385 yuan in 1994 due to its 45 billion yuan in TVE revenue. It featured fully mechanized farming, rural housing of an average per-capita living area of 47 sq.m, in addition to its famed Huaxi Village.
Replicating the ambitions of Secretary Wu Renbao in Huaxi, Jiangyin was the home of TVEs of a very large size: 8 of these produced 14% of all the revenues of Jiangyin TVEs. Yanshan Village invested 700mn yuan to build a single factory and 5mn yuan for an institute of steel-rolling technology. The village also set up a fulltime technical college run jointly with Beijing Institute of Technology. Jiangyin’s adult education was highly developed – 90% of all TVE workers received training from adult training centers, and more than 40,000 peasant-workers obtained technician certificates through adult education by 1996.
Education was so developed that the city started a “1-2-3 Movement” among villagers, calling for “1 bookshelf, 2 newspapers, 300 books” for every Jiangyin family. Shen Yongxing was a peasant who became a public figure in 1995 because he collected 8,000 books in his home. Jiangyin also built 5 industrial parks, including renowned Europe, Japan and Singapore Parks. Jiangyin peasants started investing in foreign countries in 1984.
By 1994, there were already 43 Jiangyin enterprises in 11 countries on all 5 continents. Jiangyin had China’s first “color-TV village,” first “car village,” first “phone village,” and first “air-conditioner village.” By the early 21stc, Jiangyin had many enterprises listed on the stock market in China, and its capacity to raise funds was stronger than even some provinces.
Yet none of this should be surprising. Respect one’s own history, history repays; reject one’s own history, and history retaliates. Those intellectuals always talking ‘revolution’ should first take some time for self-examination…
(from: Behind China’s Economic Miracle – the Coalition of Rural Collective Industries & Grassroots Authorities, Wei Pan, Beijing, FLP, 2015)
C. News Index______________________________________________________________________
• ee News Index provides headlines and links to gain a sense of the weekly focus of published English ‘business news’ mainly to expose the backwardness of a multinationally controlled ‘local media’:
(ee is pro-politics, pro-politician, pro-nation-state, anti-corporatist, anti-expert, anti-NGO)
ee Sovereignty news emphasizes sovereignty as economic sovereignty – a strong nation is built on modern industrialization fueled by a producer culture.
• Intl. human rights activist says killing traders via import curbs to save farmers ill-advised
• Political witch hunts through questionable motives against Member States, need to be halted: President tells UN
• Sri Lanka’s India First security policy encouraging: India’s Deputy HC
• Indira doctrine dictating to India’s neighbours drives US alliances
‘They cannot seek the intervention of a foreign country to sort out a domestic issue unless such a request is first made to India.’
• What will India do when US creates Eelam with Greater Tamil Nadu & separates Kashmir from India?
• Dual Citizens & 20A: Diverting attention to Basil neglects scenario of LTTE Dual Citizens creating Tamil Eelam & South India Eelam
• LTTE Thileepan: When did UN start getting orders to commemorate dead terrorists?
• India’s Quad Dilemma in Sri Lanka – Bhadrakumar
• Genealogy of Concept and Genesis of 13th Amendment – A Reply
‘Keerawella attempts to show that the 13th A was not something forced on us by India…’
• Dinesh leads Lankan delegation to informal meeting of SAARC Council of Ministers
• Professionals’ National Front (PNF) stands firm against land policy liberalisation
‘The PNF noted that there were also elements of the 20th amendment that helped the MCC.’
• Bim Saviya with MCC – A Government without Land & Legal professionals unable to adjudicate our Land Rights
• Cabinet nod for land data infrastructure and information services system with Korean funding – ft.lk/front-page/Cabinet-nod-for-land-data-infrastructure-and-information-services-system/44-706468
• Govt. revokes Gazette on issue of legal documents to those occupying State lands
• MR, Modi holds bilateral talks this Saturday
‘The summit could be right on the heels of Modi’s address to the UN General Assembly, which will be delivered virtually this year, during the UN’s high-level segment which begins this week.’
• High Commissioner of Pakistan met with Leader of Opposition
• Single Citizens Stll Rule Sri Lanka
‘This country has been and is still being run by people holding single-citizenship — in other countries. Single-Citizens who ‘run’ Sri Lanka:IMF Chairwoman Kristaline Georgieva (Bulgaria), World Bank President David R Malpass (USA), UNHRC Chief Michelle Bachelet (Chile), US Ambassador Alaina B Teplitz (USA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi (India)’
• Can secrets of the cabinet be protected? Will foreign spies be appointed to our cabinet?
• Pursuing political agendas at the expense of national security
‘Gunaratne criticized Wickremesinghe over leaking of intelligence reports by way of a weekly column in the ‘Sunday Observer’ as well as opening up regular sensitive intelligence meetings, to a foreigner, at the expense of national security’
• English Human Rights Core Group: SL’s domestic mechanisms insufficient to tackle impunity
• President wants UN to place due emphasis on non-interference in domestic affairs
• US absence from UNHRC makes passing resolution against Sri Lanka problematic
• Withdrawing from UNHRC?
• Transferring president’s powers to “unelected” NGO constitutional council undemocratic: GL
• Tense situation in Jaffna University between students and Security forces
• Point Pedro Magistrate Courts issue order against token fast to commemorate Thileepan
• Are Gota and Basil Conspiring with US to Set-up Eelam Where Prabhakaran Failed? – Sri Lanka Study Circle
• Appointment Of Asoka Milinda Moragoda As The High Commissioner For The Republic Of India With Special Cabinet Rank – National Joint Commission
• The Constitutional Council should go
• Former CJ Peiris to NY, Chandraprema to Geneva UN offices
• SLFP to commemorate S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s 61st death anniversary
• The Killing of Edward Henry Pedris
• Northern MPs want to erect statue of Thileepan
• US Peace Council: Strong Government must be disciplined and deliver development
• Wigneswaran a serious threat to peace and reconciliation
• Erasing The Eelam Victory Part 17 – C 9, 10, 11, & 12
• SL refugee detained by Australia for 11 years despite government ruling he’s owed protection
• Opposition now playing ’race card’ like SLPP did earlier: Mangala
• Dr. Raghavan relinquished Canadian citizenship to enter parliament
• Murder most foul – Assassination of Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike – DBS coverup
• SWRD Bandaranaike; Victim of sordid politics and unmitigated avarice
• Sirisena claims he was a victim of Ultra-Right Wing forces like SWRD
• Early political attempts by Lankan Muslims to voice their concerns
‘Under Mrs.Sirima Bandaranaike’s harshly socialist government between 1970 and 1977, the new property laws went against the Muslims. According to Amit, there were 16 clashes between the Sinhalese and Muslims at various places in which three Muslims were killed. No wonder, in the 1977 elections, 99% of Muslims supported the UNP… The centers of Muslim politics are now where the Muslims are either in a majority or are a substantial section of the population. And these are mostly in the North and East.’
• All clear for Bohra Chief and entourage to come to Sri Lanka
• National Interest, Our Top Priority – Former Communist Party Secretary D.E.W. Gunasekera
‘We are 55 billion US dollars in foreign debt, and 15 trillion rupees in domestic debt. We have a big shortfall in revenue. Exports have come down. We have no rupees, no dollars, and no FDI coming in. The world is in crisis, and there is no one to lend money. The only country which can at least provide some assistance is China. That is the reality.’
• Lakshman Ratnapala – “Old China hand” – The oldest living Sri Lankan to have visited China
• Mohan Peiris appointed Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York
‘Chairman of Seylan Bank in 2012.’
• Afghan peace effort enters new qualitative phase
‘Afghanistan’s strategic and sensitive location in the Southwest Asian region..at the intersection of West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia’
• Colombo Port City set to boost Sri Lanka’s economic growth
‘SL has the advantage of being within a 4-hour flight radius of major cities in South Asia & East Asia’
• Hànyu Services expands to address growing SL interest in Chinese language services
• The Sino-Russian Alliance Comes of age, Parts 1, 2 & 3
• International Peace Forum Opposes US-Led New Cold War on China
• US Funds Thai Demos against Royalty and called for a monarchy change, with
• Sinophobia Inc: Understanding the Anti-China Industrial Complex
• Xinjiang: An In-Depth Analysis and Resource Compilation
• CIA Intercepts Suggest U.S. Lied About Biological Weapon Use During Its War On Korea
• Japan’s geopolitical balancing act just got harder
‘With over $38 billion invested directly in China and nearly 14,000 firms there, Japan would find it practically difficult, economically ruinous, and diplomatically costly to comply in full with US sanctions against China.’
• New Documents Reveal Secret English Efforts To Arm, Assist And Propagandize ‘Moderate Rebels’ in Syria
• Who is to blame for Zimbabwe’s land reform disaster?
‘Under English colonial rule, Africans could not occupy or buy land freely. The 1930 Land Apportionment Act, passed by the Southern Rhodesian legislature that year and accepted by the imperial English government in 1931, made it illegal for Black Africans to own land outside of established “native reserves”. These “native purchase areas” comprised some 22 percent of the country’s least arable land, while the white people living in Southern Rhodesia, who constituted 4.5 percent of the country’s population, gained access to around 51 percent of the country’s most arable land.’
• South Africa Debunks Politico Fakenews Of Iran Threats Against US Ambassador
• The pitfalls of symbolic decolonization
‘Rename streets, but also struggle for economic justice—that means calling for redistribution of wealth.’
• The culture wars are a distraction
‘The EFF’s biggest problem isn’t that capitalism concentrates wealth in the hands of the few, but that this few are predominantly foreign, white or Indian.’
• Barbados plan to drop Queen as head of state ‘driven by Chinese interference’, MP claims
• US & Guyana Unveil Joint Military Patrols on Oil-Rich Venezuela Border
‘US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo completed a whirlwind tour of Surinam, Guyana, Brazil and Colombia to boost anti-Venezuela efforts… The decision comes amid increased oil exploration in the territorial waters of the Essequibo strip by US multinational Exxon Mobil, which is looking to exploit the estimated 15 billion barrels of oil recently discovered there’
• Genocide, Indian Policy, and Legislated Elimination of Indians in Canada – Palmater
• Germany Ready to Go to War: Minister
“We are an army. We are armed. When in doubt, soldiers must also kill… Today, dangerous foreign missions are common. Those who join the Bundeswehr (armed forces) know that. That is also part of what I understand by a well-fortified democracy and a strong Europe.”
• The End Of The ‘Rules Based International Order’
• UN lacks Parity: Gender, Geography…
• Why Rebel?
‘Chinese leftist blog Jiliu investigates recent Black Lives Matter protests through a Marxist, data-driven lens that offers a dialectical approach to the question of race and class often missing in Western left-leaning debates.’
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.
• Get ’Sara’ deported from India for vital info: Mujibur Rahman
• Hemasiri: TID attempt to arrest Zahran thwarted
‘“In 2018, the TID looked for Zahran. This operation was stopped. Otherwise, the TID might have arrested him.”’
• PC Colombo Crimes Division — developed a nexus with drug smugglers
“Pradeep Kumar Bandara is the most wanted person in the Sri Lankan police department”
• Direct and indirect costs of tobacco amounted to 6.1% of Sri Lanka’s government revenue
‘It is a lesser amount than the government revenue from tobacco taxes in the same year (5.5%).’
• Temperance Association criticises cannabis legalisation propaganda
• Firearms license renewal from Oct 1 to Dec 31
• Sinhale organization calls for committee to prosecute victims of fabricated evidence (Video)
• UDA awaiting PM’s approval to review existing multi-storey buildings
• Residents in houses on hill sides instructed to seek technical advice to avoid disaster
• Nigerian government deports seven Sri-Lankans convicted of oil theft
C3. Economists (Study the Economists before you study the Economics)
ee Economists shows how paid capitalist/academic ‘professionals’ confuse (misdefinitions, etc) and divert (with false indices, etc) from the steps needed to achieve an industrial country.
• State-guided development needed for post-COVID-19 recovery – WD Lakshman
‘The modern banking system in this country was started to support its emerging export economy, coffee to begin with and tea and rubber later. Banks have, from the beginning, been geared towards supporting trade activity, short term finance, and working capital requirements. That was the accepted role of commercial banks set up here.’
• “Longer term solution to balance of payments problem: increasing exports” – Sanderatne
• Japan Money Printing & QE – Reductio Ad Abeyratnum
• Profiling young entrepreneurs – Wijewardena
• Nihal Perera on Social Production of Space
“Why do Sri Lankans build the way that they build?… Colombo created Ceylon, and not the other way around.
• How did China’s economy rebound so fast?
‘The answer is clear: the socialist character of the economy. Xi Jinping said, “The foundation of China’s political economy can only be a Marxist political economy, and not be based on other economic theories.” The main principles of this are “people-centered development thinking.” This was the foundation of the government’s response to the pandemic and the economy in its context.’
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how the economy is usually measured by false indices like GDP, etc, and in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, while calling for privatization and deregulation, etc.
• President-led first Export Development Council kicks off new initiatives
‘Removes para tariffs on industrial raw materials to make exports more competitive’
• Cabinet approves forex-risk-free foreign investments in Govt. bonds
‘Special benefit only if investments are held to maturity…’
• Inflows to Sri Lanka rupee bonds will have wide positive effects: Minister Cabraal
• Rupee will appreciate with SWAP deals: Cabraal
“Does the Central Bank have the capacity to bear such a burden?” Dr. de Silva asked, adding that there is going to be hedging involved in this process.’
• CB issues directions on SWAP deal
‘CBSL has a right to withdraw the SWAP Scheme without any notice, in advance’
• Sri Lanka fails to sell 50-pct of Treasuries at auction
• National inflation in August edges up to 6.2% on higher food prices
‘increases in the prices of vegetables, turmeric, coconuts, big onions, fresh fruits, eggs and a few others outweighed the price declines in coconut oil, limes, red onions, potatoes, rice, fresh fish, dry fish and a few other categories.’
• Appropriation Bill for 2021in Parliament in the second week of October
‘Government revenue Rs.2.1 trillion in 2021 compared to Rs. 1.5 trillion in 2020…State expenditure Rs.3.59 trillion compared to Rs.2.8 trillion in 2020…Recurrent expenditure Rs.2.72 trillion and capital expenditure will be Rs.867.79 billion in 2021…Budget deficit of Rs.1.49 trillion will be financed via 37-40% of foreign financing, with the remainder financed domestically’
• Sri Lanka’s non-concessional debts lack expected concessions – US Verite
‘In Sri Lanka’s case, 13 of the 28 projects funded by tied loans originated as unsolicited proposals’
• SL seeks more budgetary support from China
• China State Construction Engineering Corporation development report for Sri Lanka
• BRI a functional machinery in global economic recovery: Sri Lankan expert
• Exports ‘Positive’ But Export Market Not Diverse
‘Coconut-based products, electrical and electronic components, spices and essential oils and food and beverages recorded positive growth…export product and market diversification seriously lacking’
• Government requests suppliers to register with e-GP procurement system promptly
• Govt. says investments picking up, targets 1% economic growth by year’s end
‘After debate on seven Orders under the Finance Act, two Regulations and three Orders under the Foreign Exchange Act and 31 Orders under the Special Commodity Levy Act…in Parliament’
• Rs.858mn foreign inflow from Government Securities in a week
• Sri Lankan economy on a steady recovery path: Central Bank
• Sri Lanka to showcase its rebound at top JP Morgan virtual conference today
‘Its presence in Sri Lanka dates back to 1985, when it began serving clients through a correspondent banking relationship. In 2015, JP Morgan opened a representative office…It has been operating in Asia Pacific since 1872, and today is present across 17 markets in the region.’
• China diverts infrastructure funds for $30bn injection into weak banks
• China’s export machine picks up
‘China’s share of global exports compared with other large exporters leapt to more than 18% in April, before falling back slightly to 15.9% in July.’
• China’s early success story through education
‘If Chairman Deng Xiaoping’s market reforms earned him the reputation as the “Architect of Modern China”, then the oil that set the wheels in motion was undoubtedly the early work of Professor Ratnatunga and Dixon.’
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
• Government warns to take over estates if daily wages for workers are not increased
• Minimum employment age upped from 14 to 16
• Man dies in fire at a firecracker factory in Katana
• Unsuccessful suicide attempts remain high in Sri Lanka: expert
‘suicide mortality rate (per 100,000 population) in Sri Lanka was reported at 14.6 per cent in 2016.’
• Time Keeper arrested for soliciting Rs. 100/- as a bribe
• EPF’s listed equity portfolio up by Rs.8.6bn at end of June quarter 2020
‘As of 30 June 2020, the EPF has invested Rs.84.19 billion in 83 listed equities. During that period the market value was reported Rs. 53.58 billion.’
• SJB to form its own trade union wing
‘form its own trade union wing instead of trying to gain control of the UNP trade union wing Jathika Sewaka Sangamaya (JSS)… there would be a shortage of essential goods by the turn of the year as a result of the curtailing of importation’
• New EFC Chief Govindasamy calls for a new era of sustainability, resilience for employers
‘Takes over from Overseas Realty Group Chief Executive Officer Pravir Samarasinghe…
• Cabinet approves proposals on 2021 population and housing census
‘Conducted from January to May of the year 2021, counting from June to November 2021, dissemination of the census from November 2021 to May 2022, and post survey in 2022’.
• Sri Lanka plantation wages do not reward productivity, output, workers lost
‘An existing wage deal with unions of Sri Lanka’s large plantations do not reward the most productive workers unlike smallholders, while the sector is losing output and workers and is looking to mechanize, an industry official said.’
• George Floyd, African-Americans, and Sri Lanka’s Estate Tamils (Part II)
• State-job rejects’ appeals to be evaluated, as unemployed grads plan more protests
• Minister says will end the racket of sending migrant workers for employment on tourist visa
• Foreign employment agencies Crying for Govt. Bailout
‘Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies facilitate 90-95 percent of the country’s labour migration while directly employing 10,000 employees and further 90,000 persons indirectly.’
• Korean ambassador meets Sri Lankan migrant workers
‘23,000 Sri Lankan workers are employed in Korea…since the MOU was signed between SL & the Republic of Korea in 2004, almost 100,000 SLs have benefitted from the Employment Permit System’
• Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) supports estate communities
‘600 households are provided with essential food kits which consist of rice, curry, sugar, flour, tea, and powdered milk, COVID-19 prevention guidebooks, face masks, and soaps.’
• SriLankan faces two more sex harassment cases in India
• Foreign medical graduates held hostage by a failed system
• Foreign qualified medical students protest
• Highest priority of the government is education, President emphasizes
• Building a Value Education Structure Based on Australian Values
• SLMC tainted by trade unionism, alleges specialists’ association
• Railway workers conduct Shramadana campaign along Kelani Valley Line
‘About 800 railway employees took part in the campaign, which saw them paint train stations, repair sign boards, and clean the area on either side of the rail tracks.’
• Sri Lanka: An argument for cancelling the household debt
“Household income of the poorest 50% have stagnated over the last decade. Debt has bridged the gap between stagnating income and rising expenditure.’
• Stubborn myths about Sri Lanka, China and the BRI
• SriLankan statement on New Delhi court case
• Xi Push to End Poverty Helps Anchor Party Support in Rural China
• How Your Banks Made Money From Slavery | Empires of Dirt
• Eric Williams’ Foundational Work on Slavery, Industry, and Wealth
• “Caste, Class, and Race” @70
‘The 70th anniversary of Trinidadian American sociologist Oliver Cromwell Cox’s Caste, Class, and Race: A Study in Social Dynamics’
• Isabel Wilkerson’s Caste: A failed comparison and a deeply flawed book
• The End of the University
‘School from the Greek word scholé means free time, suspension, contemplation, and delay…. I felt as if I’d arrived in the future that highly paid tech pundits have long claimed was inevitable—a dystopia where instruction takes place solely online and traditional college is obsolete….At around 40 of the country’s top colleges, more students are now admitted from the top 1 percent of the income ladder than the bottom 60 percent;’
C6. Agriculture (Robbery of rural home market; Machines, if used, mainly imported)
ee Agriculture emphasizes the failure to industrialize on an agriculture that keeps the cultivator impoverished under moneylender and merchant, and the need to protect the rural home market. Also, importation of agricultural machinery, lack of rural monetization and commercialization, etc.
• Killing farmers ok, ok?
‘Trader-friendly policies have for decades killed farmers. Activists didn’t give a hoot.’
• Tense situation amidst moves to halt Manabharana wewa construction
• “Sapiri Gamak” program completes 10,717 projects
• Rice imports only in case of a shortage: Bandula
“Mill owners and traders will not be allowed to jack up rice prices.”
• Wheat to be imported as a substitute for corn
• Onion prices to surge on India’s export ban
‘At present Sri Lanka imports about 10,000 MT of onions from India which is cheaper in price and is faster to access as it takes only three days to import it….Sri Lanka’s onion prices as a result will go up as importers will have to shift purchases from India to Pakistan, Egypt, China and Holland: Importers and Traders Association of Essential Food Commodities President G. Rajendran.’
• ‘Pol’ @ Rs.100
• Government sets maximum retail price for coconuts
• Damage caused to the export sector due to re-export is formidable – President
• President to meet people at village level
‘“Issues pertaining to livelihood, shortage of lands and houses, unavailability of undisputed deeds for lands, inadequate health and transportation facilities, shortages in school and other educational issues, inaccessibility to drinking and farming water, elephant intrusions, difficulty in selling their produce were some of the major difficulties identified.”’
• Bamboo: An untapped goldmine
‘Mahaweli authority of Sri Lanka has the technology for mass scale production of bamboo by tissue culture and an output of nearly 200,000 plants per year.’
• Government launches program to cultivate 2.4 million home gardens
• Common mechanism to resolve water woes
‘Floods in the Western Province have become an annual occurrence causing more than $300 million in damages… there was no shortage of water in the country and only 50% of the total water supply was being utilized while the rest was wasted.’
• Sri Lanka participates in 2nd International Forum on Spice Route in indonesia
‘Malay influence on culture in Sri Lanka includes Batik, Rattan weaving and Lace making, as well as making influence in the rich tapestry of cuisine enjoyed in Sri Lanka. Food such as ‘kokis,’ ‘kavum’ and ‘achcharu’ originated from Indonesia.’
• Customs seize Italian goods worth millions sent by SL expats
• 3,000 farmers receive agricultural support from Coconut Cultivation Board & Nestlé
‘Started in 2016, the Nestlé Coconut Plan has provided 3,000 farming families 19,000 coconut plantlets of a special hybrid variety that is more resilient to adverse weather and crop disease’
• Unilever Sri Lanka announces entry into Health Foods Drinks
‘With the regional merger between Hindustan Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare. Unilever Sri Lanka takes over ownership for marketing and distributing Horlicks and Viva in SL.’
• Sri Lanka PM to raise fishery poaching issue with India’s Modi at virtual summit
• News on harmful prawn farms in Puttalam false: National Aquaculture Development Authority
• Norway funds fishery master plan for Sri Lanka
“A top level Norwegian delegation led by Minister of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Seafood Odd Emil Ingebrigtsen…Ambassador Cooray has also requested Norway to explore the possibility of deploying the research vessel RV Dr.Fridjof Nansan to conduct marine resource surveying every three years, in addition to strengthening capacities of NARA RV Samudrika vessel for conducting marine surveys.’
• Substandard canned fish imported by 28 companies
‘Before 2015, there was a plan to start local canned fish factories. But the Good Governance Government stopped that and reduced the custom duties on canned fish…’
• 4,540 kg of illegally harvested sea cucumber detained at Kudawella fishery harbour
• Raw rubber prices set to gain amid import ban
‘Annual demand for both Latex and RSS categories is 150,000 metric tonnes, the local production is only 77,000 metric tonnes, forcing the rubber-based manufacturers to import the shortfall’
• CEAT Kelani boosts earnings of local rubber industry
• ‘Business as usual’ for SL’s tea industry
‘Forex earned from tea amounted to around US$ 1.5 billion. The industry is directly responsible for the employment of about one million people. Additionally, those indirectly in employment and dependent on the industry also numbers about one million, In effect, two million persons, or about 10 percent of the population are dependent on tea, he outlined.’
• Planters Association new Chairman Bhathiya Bulumulla
‘Salary revision of plantation workers early next year…’
• Sri Lanka plantations sitting on Rs300mn in oil palm seedlings amid ban
• Sri Lanka to export cinnamon to Brazil in bark form
• Saaraketha modernizing Sri Lankan agriculture through Agri Tech
• The President’s fading ‘greenness’
• SLPP MP arrested over alleged illegal clearance of Anawilundawa Wildlife Sanctuary
• Land acquisitions in Hanthana and Knuckles Mountain ranges
• 405 elephant deaths; 121 human deaths: 2019
• Puttalam land grab: Dig deep
• Forest cover in Sri Lanka 30% today
‘Forest cover has dropped from 80 percent in 1900 to 60 percent in 1960 to 30 percent today’
• Rules a mockery in Ramsar wetlands, report finds
• CME Group, World’s Largest Futures Exchange, is Coming as US West Burns
‘Wall Street is about to start trading futures contracts on the state’s water supply’
C7. Industry (False definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc)
ee Industry section notes the ignorance about industrialization, the buying of foreign machinery, the need to make machines that make machines, build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound.
• US wants Sri Lanka to focus on ‘Mid-Market Enterprises”
‘U.S. companies have invested over $300 million in Sri Lanka over the past several decades,’
• Udaya questions why CPC prevented from entering LPG market
• Renewable energy share in power generation – President misled by advisers
• SL to manufacture LPG: Gammanpila
‘There was a large gas deposit in Sri Lanka and the gas manufactured could be used to produce electricity, for domestic use, as vehicle fuel and for other industrial purposes.’
• LRT terminated as it is not a cost-effective solution for Colombo; Japan Today
• $2.2 b Japan LRT project suspended with immediate effect
• Treasury to begin talks with JICA to revoke light-rail loan deal
‘The Government’s priorities have shifted from mega projects to micro-level initiatives such as irrigation, agriculture, the 100,000km road project and 150,000 household water connections’
• SL technological capacity in ship building highlighted at meeting with the Suez Canal Authority
• Any clandestine attempt to remove KKS Cement Corporation steel will be foiled – Army Commander
• ComBank joins Sri Lanka Army ‘Thuru Mithuru’ project to import farm machinery
‘The funds donated by Commercial Bank CSR Trust will go towards the purchase of agricultural machinery and equipment including hand tractors, mini cultivators, mini rotary slashers, and a tine tiller; irrigation facilities such as ten 1000-litre water tanks and nine water pumps and 620 kgs of carrot, bean and maize seeds.’
• Danusha Marine’s Rs 300 mn boatyard commissioned
• Mahawillachchiya Illuk to make paper, alleviate poverty and also to save foreign exchange
‘Machinery imported toValachenai to make paper was intended to use illuk grass. What did happen was that illuk grass was consumed fast and the machinery lay idle. Then it was our engineers and scientists who for the first time found out that straw could be used for making paper.’
• Rs.369 billion spent on paper imports during the past five years
• Govt. mulls over curtailing expenditure on imported paper
• Import ban on fabric imposed by the President revised due to pressure of “powerful entities”
• Govt. will ease imports restrictions gradually, but priority to local industry: Cabraal
• President emphasizes seeking international investors to promote local productions
• We will definitely start local businesses that will manufacture motorcycles in Sri Lanka
• Motorcycle import ban greatly affects middle-class Sri Lankans: Opp. Leader Sajith
‘government will periodically loosen the restrictions in a way that will not exert pressure on foreign exchange rates at once, subject to strategies which will empower the local economy.“We have to balance the economy, we have to balance the different competing interests. In that sense we have to make sure that certain temporary measures are taken to take the economy forward in a very clear manner,” Cabraal added
• Jatinder Biala re-elected Free Trade Zone Manufactures’ Association chairman
‘FTZMA is the sole trade chamber that represents over 280 enterprises in all 13 BOI zones and three more zones in Mirrijjawila (Pharma), Bingiriya and Eravur… FTZMA is a founding organization of the apex body – Joint Apparel Associations Forum (JAAF) which is the umbrella body for apparel trade of the country… The Secretariat of FTZMA is run by Secretary General Vasantha Dias, established at unit18, Plaza Complex, Free Trade Zone, Katunayake.
• President appoints ex-Goldman Sachs Jayamin Pelpola to BOI Board
‘BOI Act provides for 5 board members: Chairman Susantha Ratnayake (Ex-John Keells Holdings Chairman), expert on commercial law Dr. Harsha Cabral PC, tech-entrepreneur and investor Dr. Harsha Subasinghe, founder, President and CEO of CodeGen Group of Companies, and CFA Charterholder and Lynear Wealth Management Director Dr. Sanjay Kulathunga’
• Transhipment volumes recover to pre-pandemic levels at Colombo Port
‘70% of Colombo Port’s transhipments come from India’
• Bingiriya EPZ attracts $ 45 m investment
‘Apparel, fruit processing, animal feed, pharmaceutical manufacturers have begun setting up operations…Sri Lanka currently has 12 EPZs in four provinces.’
• BOI opens new Administration building at Horana Export Processing Zone
‘Horana Export processing Zone was established in 1999..they provide direct employment of 3375 people and the indirect employment would be doubled….There are 21 enterprises in commercial operation at the Horana EPZ involved in the manufacture of Apparel & accessories, Food, Wooden, Consumer, Steel & Aluminum and Plastic products.’
• Raddella Holdings launches first biotech insulin manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka
‘a joint venture between the Premium International Injectable Company Ltd., a subsidiary of Raddella Holdings and the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC).’
• Local tyre producers request Govt. not to import motorbike and three-wheeler tyres
• BOI forays into import-substitution
• EconomyNext opposes Tyre import ban
• ‘Attempts of Batticaloa Entrepreneurship’ expo held
‘To enhance the economic status of low-income families and upgrade the quality of handicrafts’
• Unusual price increase in local vehicle market: VIASL
• Govt. can’t control second-hand vehicle market: Transport State Minister
• Sri Lanka lacks expertise in analytics and AI – US IBM
• Technical Evaluation Committee erred during Sri Lanka Railways evaluation process
‘Awarding tender for the ticketing and seat reservation procurement’
• Sri Lanka has worst possible building regulatory and compliance mechanisms
• Sri Lanka issues Rs9.6bn contractor bills for payment arrears
‘Sri Lanka’s finance ministry said 9.6 billion rupees of bills certifying payment arrears had been issued to contractors, who can use them as collateral to get money from banks. 303 suppliers had been issued with the certification letters…Of that 116 related to the education ministry and 109 were to suppliers and contractors of the highways ministry. Letter had also been related to sports, fisheries, agriculture, labor and Sri Lanka Police. The letters had been issued to the licensed commercial bank named by the contractor who has to be open a separate account.’
• Access Engineering commends Govt. measures to support construction industry
‘The construction industry contribute about 9% to the GDP, employing about 600,000. In recent years, the total annual construction turnover is about Rs. 800 billion.’
• Boustead Whitewash
• Big economies may be struggling but their appetite for Chinese electronics is growing
• China’s advanced manufacturing industry in mushroom growth
• China Ghost cities are now alive and filled with 300 million people -What is going on?
• Cuban innovation to reduce the nickel industry’s reliance on imports
‘Given the high cost of importing needed parts to maintain facilities at smelters, the Comandante Gustavo Machín Nickel Enterprise has been called upon to find innovative Cuban solutions’
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.
•Look for investors to promote innovations-President instructs officials
• Finance Ministry to limit obtaining direct loans from international banks and countries
‘priority given to local banks and concessionary loans offered by international donor organisations
• “Banks, should have more flexible lending policies”
‘“I have never seen a country where industries can be developed by paying high prices for electricity such as Sri Lanka… in the first four months of this year that there were three banks that made a net profit of over Rs 3 billion.’
• Financial institutions under pressure to lend: A dangerous trend
‘Sri Lanka’s largest state bank, the Bank of Ceylon reported a loss of Rs. 300 Mn for the quarter ended June 2020. Sampath Bank saw its profits drop by 36% for that same quarter. Cargills Bank made a 64 Mn loss in Q2 2019 and the June 2020 quarter also saw non-performing loans (NPL) increase to 5.3% of total loans industry wide…The Minister also stated that the banks in Sri Lanka were less interested in lending to industries. What he perhaps meant to say was that lending on industrial projects was restricted. However, economists agree that many of Sri Lanka’s major industries; tourist hotels, hydro-power, garments and other manufacturing related projects have all been heavily backed by bank finance. He went on to say that the CBSL “has developed a lot of monetary policy for the benefit of the bankers and not for the benefit of the clients…’
• CBSL Governor presents new Rs. 1,000 note to Finance Minister
• Committee receives over 100 complaints on malpractices, irregularities at State banks
• Central Bank takes stern action against Eyon Lanka Investment for illicit finance business
• Minister Weerawansa important to transform the Central Bank to suit modern trends.
‘small and medium scale enterprises contribute to nearly 52 percent of the country’s economy’
• Prime lending rate hits 5-year low
‘The prime lending rate or the rate at which loans to prime customers of banks are priced, touched its lowest level last week, breaking its previous lowest five years ago.’
• Leaked documents identify SL as high risk jurisdiction for money laundering
‘Suspicious Activity Reports in the FinCEN Files were mostly filed by a few large banks: Deutsche Bank (982), Bank of New York Mellon (325), Standard Chartered Bank (232), JP Morgan Chase (107), Barclays (104) and HSBC Bank (73). Together they filed more than 85% of all SARs in the leak.’
• ICRA Lanka explains possible reasons for anaemic private credit growth
‘Companies may be trading existing loans with new loans to take advantage of low borrowing costs’
• DFCC Bank supports Watawala Tea’s acquisition financing of Daintee
• Singapore-based Gazelle to buy Carsons Cumberbatch’s Guardian Capital Partners
‘Gazelle is an asset management company incorporated in Singapore in 2010 and is unrelated to Carson Cumberbatch Group of Bukit Darah PLC.’
• A ‘phygital’ experience at HSBC Premier Centre in Pelawatte
‘With the demographic equation changing and the mass affluent customers now choosing to live in the suburbs…declared open by Mark Prothero, CEO for HSBC Sri Lanka…Senaratne, Country Head of Wealth & Personal Banking: “HSBC has established a long history of 128 years in SL.”’
• Investments on the rise: BOI
‘The main role of the BOI is to uplift the economy of the country, while attracting foreign direct investments’
• CSE turnover hits Rs. 3 billion for third consecutive day
• CSE market cap gets Rs. 123 b boost; up by a whopping Rs. 442 b since early May
• SEC completes six probes, 28 more to go
• CT CLSA facilitates FII engagement for State Minister Cabraal
‘CT CLSA is backed by the strength of listed conglomerate CT Holdings PLC and CITIC CLSA, Asia’s leading and longest-running independent brokerage and investment group (a part of CITIC Securities Co., Ltd of China).’
• HSBC marks silver year of golf sponsorships with weekend at RCGC
• Sri Lanka rupee ends firmer, gilt yields steady (S 23)
• Sri Lanka rupee quoted firmer, gilt yields down (S 23)
• Sri Lanka rupee opens strong, bond yields stable (S 25)
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business aka ee Rentier focuses on diversions of the oligarchy, making money from unproductive land sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of press releases disguised as ‘news’
• Senior business leader Hussein Cassim passes away
‘He was the first President of the Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Council, an affiliate of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.’
• Niro Cooke appointed to Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council Board
‘Niro Cook, Group Director on the Main Board of The Capital Maharaja Organization, Sri Lanka’s largest privately-owned conglomerate….developing large scale government infrastructure and energy projects in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The CWEIC Board includes Lord Marland, Chairman of the CWEIC and formerly the Minister for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and Trade Envoy for Prime Minister David Cameron from 2011-2014, Deputy Chairman Sir Hugo Swire, KCMG served in David Cameron’s first Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. CEO Samantha Cohen (CVO) was formerly Assistant and Deputy Private Secretary to Her Majesty the Queen for eight years, after serving as her Press Secretary. They are joined by Chairman of Inclusive Ventures Mohammed Amersi, Chair of the Malta International Art Space Phyllis Muscat, and Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Helios Investment Partners Babatunde Soyoye…CWEIC will host the Commonwealth Business Forum next year alongside the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda…in late September will host a webinar of the garment and textiles industry with key representatives from the region.’
• International Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka to hold 54th AGM on Friday
‘ICC Paris is led by Chairman Ajay Banga – President and CEO of MasterCard and Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO.’
• Shamal Perera appointed to Access Engineering Board
‘Board of Directors of Access Engineering Plc comprises of Chairman Sumal Perera, J.C. Joshua (Managing Director), R.J.S. Gomez, D.A.R. Fernando, S.H.S. Mendis, S.D. Munasinghe, K.M.A.K. Ranasinghe, N.D. Gunaratne, S.D. Perera, D.S. Weerakkody and Shamal Perera’
• Finco enters Hayleys; share price up by Rs. 10.50
‘LOLC with 1.7 million shares or 2.27% stake was the fourth largest shareholder at business leader Dhammika Perera-controlled Hayleys whilst LOLC group entity Commercial Leasing and Finance held near 1% stake.’
• Alex Lovell quits EAP and Ben Holdings
… quit all executive positions at Ben Holdings and its subsidiaries including EAP Broadcastings which owns ‘Swarnavahini’ and three radio stations…instrumental in bringing large investments into the country including the landmark TPG acquisition of Union Bank PLC. As per records of the Registrar of Companies, Ben Holdings was Lovelle’s personal company and had sold his entire stake to Pettigo Comercio Internacional Lda., registered in Portugal, an investment arm of Lyca Mobile Group of UK. Ben Holdings held 60% stake in EAP Group companies (except finance companies) whilst Pettigo via Blue Summit Capital Management Pte of Singapore held the balance.
• JKH increases stake in Vauxhall Land Development
• Mushrooming boutiques invade residents’ privacy
• Three arrested over major land grab racket in Marawila
• Access gets Rs. 9.37 b contract for 400-unit housing project in Borella
• Maga Engineering gets Rs. 1 b contract for Sabaragamuwa Uni. building
• Low interest rates an enticer for apartment buyers
• Govt. working on $100m loan from ADB to assist SMEs in tourism sector
• RAISE the ‘service’ to the domestic tourists
• Travel agents literally “work from home”
‘At least 90% of the outbound travel industry companies are managed by sole proprietors’
C10. Politics (Anti-parliament discourse, unelected constitution)
ee Politics points to the constant media diversions and the mercantile and financial forces behind the political actors, of policy taken over by private interests minus public oversight.
• Consider all verbal orders as circulars or face consequences: President
• Gevindu insists on abolishing provincial councils under new Constitution
• President & Sangha
‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa, first executive head of government since independence to consult with the Maha Sangha as a monolithic entity through non-political, non-sectarian interaction. He appointed a board of monks called the Bauddha Upadeshaka Sabhawa (the Buddhist Advisory Council) to advise him and had its first meeting on April 24, 2020’
• The ‘Pohottuwa’ Government Of Sri Lanka Part 1
• Mahendran was not a dual citizen.
‘He was a Singaporean not holding any kind of Sri Lankan citizenship’
• Dual Citizens
‘Over a million Sinhala dual citizens live in western countries.’
• Should President Surrender to Gevindu Kumaratunga, Premaratne Dolawatte, Vasudeva, Wimal, Dayasiri And Few Buddhist Monks?
• Strong executive presidency needed for rapid development – GL
• Empowering President at the Expense of the PM Helps Rajapaksa Rivals in the Long Run
• Six Fundamental Rights petitions challenging the proposed amendment.
‘An independent lawyer, the Centre for Policy Alternatives with Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu as petitioner, the Samagi Jana Balavegaya with party General Secretary Ranjith Madduma Bandara as petitioner, the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi with R Sampanthan as petitioner and two others. The United National Party and the True Patriot Organisation led by former Minister Mangala Samaraweera are due to file petitions tomorrow.’
• 20th Amendment: End to Sri Lanka’s Democracy: Shouldn’t it be Resisted? – Uyangoda
• The 20th Amendment should not pass – US-funded CPA Pakiasothy
• The President’s ‘shock and awe’ 20th Amendment – Jayatilleka
• Several SJB Leaders Absent During 20A Protest
‘3 of the SJB Party Leaders who had been absent during the protest had been the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader Rauff Hakeem, the All Ceylon Makkal Congress Leader Rishad Bathiudeen and the Jathika Hela Urumaya Leader Patali Champika Ranawaka’
• FSP raises concerns over 20th amendment
‘Draft 20th amendment reduces the number of days given to citizens to challenge an Act in court’
• The 20A juggernaut
‘State auditors point out that as many as 120 state controlled enterprises including the debt-ridden SriLankan Airlines, Sathosa, Sri Lanka Insurance, Litro Gas and Lanka Coal, are excluded from the scrutiny of the Auditor General. Retired judges have raised issue over senior judges being appointed by the President and the media have pointed out to the power of an Election Commission appointed by the President having overriding power over them at a time of election.’
• President JR introduced tradition allowing parliamentarians to so business with Government
• Remembering Rajani: Framing Democracy for our times
• Legislature often the site of unwieldy prejudices – Radhika Coomaraswamy
• Will Parliament willingly kill democracy in Sri Lanka and itself in the process? – Sakuntala Kadirgamar
• Lucian Rajakarunanayake’s Lament on the fall of democracy.
• Devinuwara Devalaya Basnayake Dishan Gunasekera elected Kataragama Basnayake Nilame
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.
• MarCom Collective Pressures Prime Minister, Highlights Sector’s Contribution to the Nation
‘The industry generates an annual net revenue Rs.151 billion which accounts for 1% of the country’s GDP…employs over 100,000 people with another 200,000 dependents…The sector yields a revenue of Rs.1.510 million per employee considerably higher than other key sectors such as Tea, (Rs. 232,000 mn ), Textile and Garments (Rs.444,444 mn), Rubber (Rs.452,308mn) and Tourism (Rs.1.068 mn) in spite of these sectors earning their revenue in foreign exchange….‘Roshani Fernando, President – Market Research Society of Sri Lanka; Mario Nesaduray, President – Association for Outdoor Advertising Agencies (AOAA); Rohan Rajaratnam, Convener, MarCom Collective; Bathiya Jayakody, Member, Video and Film Production Association (VAFPA); Santhush Weeraman, President, VAFPA; Tharaka Ranwala, President – International Advertising Association (IAA), Sri Lanka Chapter; Delan Silva, President, Sri Lanka Association of Printers (SLAP); Thayalan Bartlett, Convener, MarCom Collective; Roshan Wijeyaratne, President – Event Management Association of Sri Lanka; Sugibun Sathiyamoorthi, President – Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4As), Sri Lankan Chapter; Arjuna Herath, Senior Partner and Head of Consulting, Ernst & Young, and Sulaiman Nishtar, Partner – Tax Services, Ernst & Young..
• 19A was the handiwork of some NGOs (Non-Governmental Organisations).
‘He, however, failed to mention that these NGOs were egged on by their financiers, some western embassies. Such embassies also miscalculated the outcome of last year’s presidential and this year’s parliamentary elections by believing SLPP would not win. That too after doling out funds for different groups, even one by young journalists, to “monitor elections.”’
• 20A undermines free speech, democratic institutions, say professional media groups
‘The statement has been issued by the Sri Lanka Press Institute, the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka, The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, the Free Media Movement of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Working Journalists’ Association, the Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Unions, the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, the Tamil Media Alliance and the South Asia Free Media Association.’
• Capital Maharaja Organisation, News First, Dawasa, Satana, Face the Nation have their own notion of democracy
• New Obscene Publications Prohibition Bill to be drafted
• Reflection on literary sociology and sociological literature
• A 1000-year-old friendship refreshed
‘From the Jin Dynasty of China… in the written stories of famous Chinese buddhist monk Faxian, who travelled to Sri Lanka between 410-415’
• Guinea Bissau’s militant educators
‘To be a materialist means to participate in the struggle to change reality. In our historical moment, materialism seems to have been captured by “left” academics and the university project, such that it exists and is understood primarily as a lens or a mode of interpretation. ‘
• Facebook Journalism Project partners Centre for Investigative Reporting on digital literacy
‘300 Sri Lankan journalists to be trained in 2020’
• Redefining Anti-Semitism on Facebook
.The objective is to force Facebook to alter its hate speech definition so that its own “detection algorithm” will characterize any criticism of Israel as hate speech and automatically remove the pertinent content from the platform.’
• The CIA Book Publishing Operations
‘dozens of news stories revealed CIA front operations: from the funding of labor unions, judicial organizations, professional associations, to publishers and organizations like the International Conference of the Boy Scouts Movement.’