SBD de Silva & the Central Bank


SBD de Silva & the Central Bank

e-Con e-News 9-15 June 2019


This ee begins with a series of anecdotes about SBD de Silva’s life and work. A small part of this has already been excerpted (bowdlerized…errr, mcCarthy-ized) for the newspapers

• It has been one year since the last of our first generation of ‘independent’ economists, SBD de Silva transited to ash and smoke. Yet his spirit lives on in those who learned from him. It’s also almost 9 months since ee began in his honour, on the day of the equinox, 21 September 2018 – in lieu of a traditional almsgiving – to do what he always wished critical thinkers would do: Analyze the bourgeois press, their economists, so as to go beyond them. And what a 9 months it has been! Then again, the 515-year beat goes on!

One Thing Leads to Another Memories of a Great Guru II

Why is ee still writing in English? Why did SBD de Silva not write in Sinhala? He certainly could, as attested by his extensive contacts in the rural peasantry and urban working classes. Is it because he was an elitist, as his postmodern critics claimed? The English still control our economy. How did/do they do this? The English came here and still rule us because they gained supremacy through an Industrial Revolution over their predatory rivals and us. If we wrote nonsense in English (see, ee Notes, Gratiaen) people may have given us awards. Yet that we clearly write against capitalism and imperialism, upsets not just the Colombots and their prize-givers. Even those who do know our more important languages better still fail to pick up what we say and translate this information, focusing on the effects rather than causes. We wonder why?

The English of the English Department here, let alone of the Economics Department, is not the English of the Industrial Revolution. The English of our English Departments is in fact the English of those English who were opposed to Industrial Revolution. The Economics Department is awash in the orgasms of mercantilism (‘Balance of Trade’, ‘Balance of Payments’, retail boycotts, etc.).

Further, the education we have received is not a producer education, how to make things…but a consumer education…how to appreciate the fine things in life…without making them, as advertized by that mist corrupt business – the advertising industry, the largest employer of writers, artists, musicians, etc., that sells us on imports!

The basic material of the ruling oligarchy – the corporate boardrooms, the dictat of international financial institutions, the courts, higher education – is still in English, and there are scores to be settled. But how far will this cause be furthered by keeping this information in English? Does not writing in English merely telegraph our plans to our enemies? But they have interpreters (hence origin of the English & Sinhala Departments)!

SB felt one of the biggest problems is that the vast majority of the people did not have access to this information, because the English Department has a stranglehold on the Sinhala Department (whose professors’ and graduates’ children immediately join the English Dept at the first opportunity), which has failed to translate into Sinhala the most important texts of science and technology, as was done in Japanese, Hebrew, Tamil starting over a century ago! Let those who understand both English and Sinhala then carry this message out of the prison that scholarship finds itself locked in… (Continued in ee Focus)


Excerpts from a Century Ago

1916: ‘A rich and prosperous capitalist proprietor is always desirable in any land’ – The Kandyan Associationjournal.

Chilaw and Puttalam linked by train.

Nakarattar Chettiars lenders and firms in Ceylon increased, 1870-1916, from 150 to 700.• England transferred surplus from South Asia: £65.3mn, 1911-16, much larger than worldwide English foreign investments, which were still much less than the surplus extracted from the poorest countries of the world. South Asia, meanwhile, was suffering some of the worst famines in history.

• Government of India set up Thomas Holland Industrial Commission to control India’s limited industrial development to support England at war.

• Jinnah became Muslim League president in Lucknow, and arranged Lucknow Pact between Congress and League. All India Home Rule League also set up with Tilak, Jinnah, and Annie Besant.

• English planters and Rubber Growers’ Association in London prevented US Rubber Co. from purchasing rubber land in the Federated Malay States, to check intrusion of US capital into what they called “British industry”, and to retain “maximum control of rubber as a strategic commodity”.

1917: October Revolution Soviet of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies called for “immediate peace without annexations (i.e., without seizure of foreign lands, without forcible incorporation of foreign nations) and without indemnities”. Communist leader Vladimir Lenin’s Decree on Peace got Russia to withdraw from WWI. Fear of spreading communist revolution led to rapid end of ‘world war’. Whites and their allies then invaded the USSR from all sides.

Rubber Lands Enactment prohibited sale over 50 acres to ‘non-Empire’ interests. Stevenson Rubber Restriction Scheme made rubber industry an ‘Imperial’ concern. Political separation of raw materials producers (English) from manufacturers (USA) aggravated ‘metropolitan conflicts’.

• Under English, Bandaranayakas said they amassed 11,723 acres; Senanayakas claimed 6,317 acres.

• Ponnambalam Arunachalam and others set up the Ceylon Reform League. December: CRL and Ceylon National Association held Public Conference on Constitutional Reform. 1919: Members of the CRL set up the Ceylon National Congress.

• Visakha Vidyalaya, Buddhist Girls’ School opened in Colombo.

• Liquor-producing division of the Excise Department of Ceylon set up.

Jataka Vessantara dramatized, and Danno Budunge sung for the first time under playwright Proctor John de Silva at the Tower Hall in Maradana…

1918: Young Men’s Buddhist Association (YMBA) launched.

• Ceylon Reform League and Ceylon National Association held 2nd Public Conference on Constitutional Reform.

• Mackinnon Mackenzie & Co., who engineered 1914 merger of British India Steam Navigation Co. and Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (P&O), took over US slave-owning Delmege Forsyth & Co. in Colombo.

• Continuous Bombay textile workers strikes, 1918-47.

• Gandhi joined in Gujarat Kheda and Champaran satyagrahas.

• Indian army fought in Sinai & Palestine Campaign (Battle of Megiddo).

• English managing agency Burn & Co floated Indian Iron & Steel Co (IISCo), as 2nd steel plant in colonial India after war disrupted iron and steel supplies from Europe.

1919: With 21 million wounded and 18 mn killed: Treaty of Versailles set up the League of Nations, International Labor Organization (ILO); Permanent Central Opium Board, Slavery Commission, Commission for Refugees, Committee for the Study of the Legal Status of Women. League set up Mandates in former German and Ottoman empires, South-West Africa and certain South Pacific Islands, with 14 mandate territories divided up among 6 Mandatory Powers of England, France, Belgium, New Zealand, Australia, Japan. The US Senate refused to ratify Treaty of Versailles, and USA did not join the League. (1949: 12 white nations signed North Atlantic Treaty to set up NATO to wage war on the world) • English ‘Dominions’ separately signed June Treaty of Versailles negotiated by English-led united Empire delegation, becoming distinct members of the League of Nations.

• After WW1, the price of rubber fell, and rubber and tea profits in Lanka suffered from competition with the Dutch East Indies, which agreed to restrict production.

• Alongside spread of 8-hour movement among government workers in Lanka, the Government Clerical Services Union was formed secretly. Agitation among workers made Railway, Harbour Engineers’ Department and the Government Factory adopt the 8-hour day and 45-hour workweek, as well as form Labor Advisory Committee to counter discontent among urban workers.

• London’s Government of India (GoI) Act, aka Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, enlarged provincial and Imperial legislative councils and repealed GoI’s recourse to the “official majority” in unfavorable votes. Allowing direct representation for Indian business interests, the Imperial Legislative Assembly turned into bicameral parliament with a new Imperial Legislative Assembly as the lower house, and a new Council of State as upper house, reviewing any crucial ‘disloyal’ legislation.

• The 1917 Montagu Declaration inspired formation of Ceylon National Congress, with Ceylon Reform League’s ‘Sir’ Ponnambalam Arunachalam as President, calling not for independence, but for ‘more’ representation, wider franchise rights, elected legislature. The CNC linked to the Ceylon Planters’ Association formed by local planters (1882), was very conservative. Except for union leader AE Goonesinha, CNC leaders also opposed universal suffrage, reflecting narrow class interests. Governor William Manning (1919-25) easily divided the CNC by 1922 into Tamil and Sinhala, Upcountry and Maritime.

• Ceylon Workers’ Welfare League & the Ceylon Labor Union called for implementation of the Versailles Peace Treaty (signed to end WWI) concerning workers’ rights. The resolution called for repeal of Ceylon Labor Ordinance’s penal clauses (allowing colonial employers to have workers imprisoned & tortured), abolition of child labor, fixing of minimum wages, regulation of working hours & working conditions, granting of maternity benefits, and recognition of the right of association.

• Ceylon National Congress set up the Sinhala Mahajana Sabha to form a network of local Mahajana Sabhas with farmers, linking them with ayurveda doctors, teachers, and traders.

• English refused to grant state funds or expertise to the Minneriya Development Co. set up by (by capitalists in) the CNC, to develop agriculture in Polonnaruva.

Kelani Valley Railway extended to Opanayake.

• English colonial army under General Dyer massacred almost 500 unarmed Indians at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar, India.

Khilafat Movement (1919-24) launched in South Asia to protect Ottoman Empire, after military occupation of Istanbul and Treaty of Versailles (1919), became part of wider Indian independence movement.

1.5 million Indians had served in England’s armed services by 1919. India had provided £146mn in revenue for WW1…

• Amanullah Khan became Amir of Afghanistan and attacked English troops in India, beginning 3rd Anglo-Afghan War, after which the English fled (only returning in 2001!).

• White people refused to remove shoes upon entering Buddhist temples in Myanmar (Burma). At Eindawya Pagoda in Mandalay, Buddhist monks evicted shoe-wearing English. Monks’ leader sentenced to life for ‘attempted’ murder. Monk-martyr U Visara died in prison after 166-day hunger strike to protest ban on wearing Buddhist robes while imprisoned.

Versailles Treaty gave Germany’s concessions (Shandong Province) in China to Japan, causing major opposition, and led to May 4th Student Movement and rise of Communist Party of China. May 4: 3,000 students gathered in Tiananmen Square, to “fight for national rights and punish traitors”.

– Excerpts from A Very Personal Ingrisi History of the World, Krisantha Sri Bhaggiyadatta

A. Random Notes

• Infinite War, Total War, Endless War, Humanitarian War & the End of US-led Globalization

• Gratiaen Award & the Enduring Coup Against Sri Lanka’s Independence

• Ravana as Satellite

• Shh!

B. ee Focus

B1. One Thing Leads to Another – Memories of a Great Guru II

B2. ACSA backer SL diplomat Kariyawasam now a paid employee of US government

B3. GSP as ‘bait’, Pompeo in Sri Lanka to push the (SOFA) military deal – Gamage

B4.  Semiotics of a Crime: ‘Pivot to Asia’ & a Call to Decolonize the Indian Ocean –    Rajasingham-Senanayake

B5. Central Bank Facilitating Money Laundering

B6. B5. Korea and Black American Soldiers

C. News Index


A1. Random Notes ______________________________________________________

• Infinite War, Total War, Endless War, Humanitarian War & the End of US-led Globalization

The GSP+ talks next week in Colombo “is a ‘dress rehearsal’ to Secretary Pompeo’s ‘real display’ on June 27” (see, ee Focus, GSP). With the ocean around us also renamed “Indo-Pacific”, the stage is set for further destabilization of the country, which can only be defeated by the unity of the people, particularly the rural peasantry and urban working class. While US trade wars with India (see, ee Economy) may also be dissimulation, with each playing to their own gallery, ee also wonders why our economists are so eager to beg for the US and EU market even as they hand over our own markets to Europe and its killer-settler satellites, let alone that the Asian market is surely the largest in the world!

Last ee noted the US war machine’s constant striving to establish global hegemony, with both threat as well as punitive displays (see, ee Focus, Semiotics), aiming to establish pliant states. This is not a feature of the US Republicans only, the US Democrats too have pushed the boundaries with ‘humanitarian’ wars. The further they stretch, of course, sets themselves up for united resistance, and multiple points of weakness, set to bring Humpty Dumpty down from its high horse…

• The Gratiaen Award & the Enduring Coup Against Sri Lanka’s Independence

 The Gratiaen Prize awarded this week, as usual projects ‘private matters’ that ain’t so private. ee Media carries a Sunday Times link to an interview last week with Michael Ondaatje, the philanthropic benefactor of the prize – with money from his Booker award (named after the sugary multinational that stole land in Moneragala). The interview was largely a friendly match, and asks not why, after decades in Canada, Ondaatje doesn’t narrate the horrific genocide on that vast soil, which now grows the parippu (lentils) we eat (a rather long carbon footprint to our mouths, vut?). 

           The Gratiaen, named after his mother’s maiden name, dings other bells, which perhaps epitomizes Burgher, if not English resentiment, if not white mischief… Mike’s ma Doris’ brother was EFN Gratiaen, “very friendly” with the convicted felons involved in the (Christian & Tamil, well, let’s be more precise, capitalist) coup d’état against Sirimavo Bandaranaike in 1962, which saw the US Peace Corps and the English military bases thrown out of the country (but guess vut? they’re back!).

            Now the Gratiaens always served imperialism well. EFN was Counsel for Philip Norton Banks, Inspector General of Police in the infamous Bracegirdle Inquiry. Bracegirdle was a Communist English ‘planter’, deported for supporting plantation workers. In 1947 the white Gov-Gen “appointed” Gratiaen as a member of the Ceylon House of Representatives, to represent “important interests which were not represented or inadequately represented in the House” – i.e., of the whites. In 1948 he was appointed a Supreme Court Justice. In 1956-57 he was made Ceylon Attorney General. After (early!) retirement  he fled to England and joined Sir Arthur Dingle-Foot’s ‘Chambers’, in whose closets he later crafted the 1962 coup-plotters’ appeal to the Privy Council (PC), which overturned the Supreme Court judgement against them – why the 1970 United Front government got rid of the PC. Doubt any English prize would be awarded for speaking of such matters, privy to but a few!

• The name Ravana is very popular among certain ‘nationalists’, oft pseudo, perhaps earnest. Why, there’s even a Ravana satellite ‘designed’ by Sri Lankans, but made in Japan and launched by the US (see, ee Security). The ‘Ravana’ legend was imposed on us by the 15thC Vijayanagar Empire based in Karnataka, perhaps why no temples or shrines here are dedicated to Ravana. Yet, there are shrines to Vibishana, the brother who betrayed Ravana. Vibishana is the appropriate deity to worship, that Empire insisted – an appropriate symbol of a genuflective foreign policy. Some superficially think we should remain within the metanarrative and re-appropriate Ravana from this ancient Bollywood Valmiki-scripted teledrama. But it signifies a failure of the intelligence and memory. Why is there no satellite called Anagarika, or those many many martyrs who have fought off imperial onslaught? Last week’s ee noted, the whites don’t take to Voodoo. That’s cos the Haitians defeated 3 white armies, and whites unable to explain such military prowess accused them of ‘Black Magic’. And yet they ‘love’ Buddhism and Hinduism, for its spiritualism, but not ‘Sinhala Buddhism’, which is totally taboo, or is it ‘Black Magic’? Ever wonder why?

• A new video program has been launched called Shh! about taboos. As ee is an economic site, let’s insist the greatest taboo is the word and the act – “industrialization”!


B. Special Focus


B1. One Thing Leads to Another

• SBD de Silva at 92 acted like he would live forever. To the very end he kept drafting in almost imperceptible scribble – with pen or pencil, whatever being handy, glasses falling off his nose, peering over some text or daily/weekly newspaper – filling an A4 until no blank space was left, and then, so as not to break his concentration or the sentence, without looking, reach for another blank…

Like Scheherazade of the 1001 Nights who had to keep narrating to save her life until each dawn, so did SB, by day and by night, keep writing as if fresh insights expressed in perfect words would keep him immortal. Yet, ambushed he was by impermanence. But such dedication to his craft and to the country was a sheer dream to witness, let alone to hope to emulate, yet must be upheld as a beacon of scholarship for future generations.

 The purpose of studying economics is not to acquire a set of readymade answers to economic questions, but to learn how to avoid being deceived by economists.” – Joan Robinson

To learn economics, study the economists first, SB always reminded. Do they wish to prolong underdevelopment dragging us deeper to an even more untenable repressive system? – or transform the economy to fully enrich the masses?

To learn economics, SB recommended, “Take a walk along the pavement, and see what’s being sold and always ask where things are made”. This was SB’s simple repeated question, while sensible countries around us are forging ahead industrially: “Why do we not manufacture even a pin?”   

A pin is of course a famous point in political economy. Making a pin was famously described by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations, to illustrate how through the division of labour, England overtook Germany in productivity.

A pin also symbolizes the sheer idiocy of calling the ‘garment’ sector here an ‘industry’, let alone an ‘export industry’. We make not pin, needle, thread or textile – much of the capital goes out to pay for these even before they come in. SB thus pinpointed the need to define words clearly: what we called ‘industry’, was in fact pre-industrial, simple assembly and manufacture. Who we call ‘Entrepreneurs’ just because they make money, are their opposite – ‘rentiers’ – people who don’t enlarge the economy but grab larger slices of existing wealth, making money from money as they sleep, like landlords.

Those who do say we need industrialization, say we need it to resolve balance-of-payments crises, or for foreign exchange. But forex can be gotten by pimping young women and men to tourists or other countries out west; by gambling, prostitution, heroin (as luxury cars on the road visibly attest to).

Modern industry, SB concluded, is not a salve but a holistic political, economic and military strategy. Industrialization has its own logic, and is measured not in forex but in inward investment, the spread of technology, skills, and the division of labour.

Just as the economists are the scientific representatives of the bourgeois class, so the socialists and communists are the theoreticians of the proletarian class.” – Marx

Every morning SB would survey the steady output of those economists seen every day-in day-out of the business sections of our newspapers and media – the Kelegamas, Sanderatnes, Abeyratnes, Harsha de Silvas, RMB Senanayakes, Wijewardenes, Salleys, etc.

SB would note how so much eerily they all sound alike, a choir singing karaoke off a teleprompter, parroting the shibboleths and tropes handed down from the US Treasury, via the World Bank (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Trade Organization (WTO), etc.

Summarizing their sermons: ‘Privatize State Corporations! Deregulate! Eliminate Welfare (but not for the rich)! Oppose capital controls, import substitution, industrialization, tariffs, etc.! Yearn for FDI! Complain about balance of payments (but don’t call for banning imports)! Denounce ‘lazy’ workers, strikes and demonstrations! Play the EPF on the stock market! Cite false indices like GDP, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

Most of our economists, SB said, write un-analytical descriptive jargon: “lotus-eaters” in craven subservience to private banks or capitalists they serve, praying for appointment to some UN or World-Bank thinktank (or related US pension plan), where colonized intellectuals valet-park their superannuated sphincters. Their work contains “not a single retrievable or viable idea that could be utilized, publishing classroom stuff with the usual hack scholarship”.

These economists repeat the idiocies of white exploiters: proclaiming the English bestowed on us a “prosperous plantation economy”, with sterling balances, they hide “We inherited the most impoverished peasantry in Asia! The country’s most exploited have worked on plantations – They have lived by one repetitive movement of the hand for over 150 years!”

Just as economists are the scientific representatives of the bourgeois class, so the socialists and communists are the theoreticians of the proletarian class.” – Marx

SB was indeed different from this rat pack of squeakers, as a senior scholar, part of (what economist Kelegama once described as “almost defunct”) first generation of ‘post-independence’ economists. Despite such adverting of apparent extinction at that time, SB was fortunately (sadly to some) very much alive and kicking then. He remained fastidious in his craft to the end. He recounted many an enlightening and amusing anecdote about Sri Lankan economics, economists and their conceits

The former deputy-head of the central bank, DR Wijewardene (a regular columnist waxing more on how inadequately inured we are to the “rule of law” and other gospel truths of the World Bank) in describing the state of the economy recently used the analogy of a car driven faster than the engine can handle. But this is not true: we are being driven into a blind alley. They say we lost our way – but just where were they trying to go?

The many SL Economists Association’s conferences appeared to SB like the proverbial blind brahmins branding a behemoth. They praise Singapore for rule of law (while hiding Mahendran), want state corporations sold (while in Singapore, 20 years ago, government-linked corporations accounted for 60% of GDP). As to curtailing welfare, SB would recall that charity is “the penance the rich pay for NOT developing the economy”.

When speakers at such Economists’ Conferences, pronounce our problems lie in decreasing investment in education, or another, that we lack Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and yet another that we do not export enough, it is clear they suspect something amiss in the economy, especially in regard to zooming indebtedness to foreign banks. They all agree we should export more, but studiously avoid any plan for modern production, for their ‘exports’ turn out to be made of expensive imports, and watch how they beg the whites for access to their markets while handing over our own markets to them!

SB would also criticize the superficial if not diversionary (romantic, utopian, anarchic, nihilistic, petit-bourgeois, feudal, conservative, religious) analyses of the oppositions and Left, and lament their ignorance, not just of economics, but also of what was lacking in what has been attempted so far to transform the economy.

Quitting the University of Peradeniya in disgust, SB early foretold our intellectuals selling out: “Research in the social sciences in underdeveloped countries has, of late, metamorphosed into a variety of big business. Institutes and research agencies flourish in rich profusion, with virtually a business interest in staging seminars, symposia and workshops and in sponsoring publications. In contrast, concerned activity committed to exposing the real roots of social disarray is, remarkably, absent.” (PEU)

Yet SB kept surveying and writing, not to make himself known, but, as he said, “To know!” – “We know so little about the country, about ourselves.” New knowledge was what he sought. There is no real economic history of the country. Many non-economic histories – narrowly social and cultural – are written and widely promoted, about our undergarments and foibles. Very few x-ray the body to examine skeleton and organs to excise the clots preventing us from going where we should go.

SB’s style was not of the permanent dictum. He would look for the contradictions. The exceptions that proved the rule. He would be the first to admit if he was wrong, though not without a fight. For as he noted in PEU, science advances through contention and debate! 

So it came to be that SBD de Silva is one of the few people on this earth who rejected his own PhD thesis! Oxford had offered to publish it, but he held them off, to the point where the publisher in exasperation cried out, “But in this world, there’s nothing that’s perfect…”

In an imperfect world, with imperfect materials, perfect is what SB aspired to. His book was eventually published, almost 10 years later – his most famous offering to the world: The Political Economy of Underdevelopment (PEU, Routledge, 1982), which refuted his PhD! He realized the plantation sector, with its non-resident investors, was not modern or capitalist at all, dependent on trapped unfree plantation labor, with no positive effect on the peasantry.

SB had uncovered a flaw in his PhD. It had to do with the nature of the plantations that continue to dominate the economy. He had decided that they were not modern, not even capitalist – they were labor-intensive, and workers not free, with plantations having no positive impulses to impart to the economy, let alone draw people from the presumably backward subsistence rice-cultivating peasant sector.

Colonies were supposed to have a dual economy, a modern and a backward sector, with the plantations as the modern part. Such was its hallowed place in economics, that a major promulgator of this notion, St Lucia’s Arthur Lewis, had been awarded a Nobel Prize, and even knighted by the Queen of England.

There is an irony in this “Lewis Model” of course. The Caribbean, after all, is where we got the plantations. The Caribbean, which we know as the West Indies, of the Americas, was the home of Columbian genocide, chattel and indentured slavery.

With its origins in the enslaved plantations of the Americas, in sugar and cotton, it ensured we had no class dedicated to capital accumulation (skills, science, technology). Within the genocidal white settler colonies (US, Canada, etc.), however, their permanently domiciled investors turned wheat into bread and cakes. milk into cheese, etc. This is called ‘staple base dynamism’. For with industrialization, “One thing lead to another…”, he’d say.

Yet not a day passes without a paean to the ‘great’ plantation system the English bestowed on us. In fact, as SB always pointed us, we inherited from colonialism, the most impoverished peasantry in Asia.

He linked the high price of workers here to seasonal work in rice cultivation, tourism, fisheries, etc., and the need to use industry (like in Japan) to fill those gaps in their work schedule. He said if the country was turned into a hotel or plantation, we would not need schools or universities.

SB once quipped, if that tsunami had struck Colombo instead, the country would have developed overnight! Colombo, he said, was a parasite on the country, with the rural market still hostage to imports.

Perhaps perfect he was to a fault. After PEU there would be no other publication, outside of a few essays published in sundry journals.

SB sometimes called me daily saying: “I’m just scribbling…trying to draft a sentence. I need to consult you. It’s tough, we know so little. So much we don’t know. One answer leads to ten other questions…”

One thing leads to another” – would be a fine title for a biography of one of our greatest unsung economists.

(To be continued… for a shorter version of this:


B2.  ACSA backer SL diplomat Kariyawasam now a paid employee of US government

A former Sri Lanka diplomat and Foreign Secretary who allegedly pressurized the Defence Ministry to rush through the Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement (ACSA) between Sri Lanka and the United States is now a US federal government employee.

            Prasad Kariyawasam is employed by the US federal government-backed Agency for International Development (USAID), a federal entity. The agency’s Colombo office has placed him as an Advisor to Parliament of Sri Lanka. Erroneously, sometimes Kariyawasam’s appointment has been referred to as Advisor to the Speaker. The USAID has been periodically providing experts to help Parliamentary Oversight Committees.

            As reported in the Sunday Times last week, SL’s Ambassador in Germany, engineer Karunasena Hettiaratchchi, former Defence Secretary, told President Sirisena on the telephone that Kariyawasam pressurized him to expedite the ACSA by obtaining Cabinet approval. The ACSA was signed on August 4, 2017. This was when he was awaiting observations from the armed forces commanders at that time expressing strong reservations. Another who mounted pressure on him, Hettiaratchchi told President Sirisena, was then Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

            By virtue of his new USAID appointment, Kariyawasam has found his name in the guest lists of most western diplomatic missions in Colombo. Last month, he attended a dinner at Jefferson House, the official residence of the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka, for former envoy Robert O’Blake.

            In terms of the ACSA, a large number of US defence and military establishments have been granted access to Sri Lanka, as exclusively revealed in the Sunday Times (Political Commentary) of May 19.


B3.  GSP as ‘bait’, Pompeo in Sri Lanka to push the (SOFA) military deal – Daya Gamage

“Washington – quite obviously to fulfil one of its foreign policy objectives in the Indo-Pacific Region – is sending a high-level delegation next week to Sri Lanka to discuss the ‘continuation’ of the US Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) with the government when the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to visit Colombo in the following week on June 27 at a time Sri Lanka has expressed some skepticism of several (highly questionable) terms of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) the US wants Sri Lanka to accept.

     This is a typical Washington strategy holding the current lucrative US market for Sri Lanka’s exports under the March-2018-renewed GSP which is expected to lapse in December 2020 as a bait to bring pressure to agree to the conditions laid out in the Colombo US Embassy classified Diplomatic Note to SL Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) which the Asian Tribune got hold of.

     The leaked ‘classified’ Diplomatic Note to the MFA dated 28 August 2018 to which the Asian Tribune had the opportunity of accessing was used in our report titled ‘US troops in Sri Lanka: Classified US Dip Note reveals’ – – in which we commented (Quote) Following the discussions between the representatives of the United States Government and the Foreign Ministry of the Government of Sri Lanka, the Embassy of the USA in Sri Lanka in a ‘Confidential’ note addressing the Foreign Ministry dated 28 August 2018 recalls the agreement between the two governments, and reiterates the mutually-agreed upon clauses that are incorporated in the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which Asian Tribune construed as inimical to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

     The ‘Asian Tribune’ is in a position to disclose what Washington endeavors to achieve at the expense of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty providing a reading of this ‘classified’ document it has possessed through its investigative endeavor, the total repulsive nature of the ‘contents’ of the SOFA now under discussion between the two governments. (End Quote)….

…A similar tactic was used by Washington in mid-1980s…

(For full article see:


B4.   Semiotics of a Crime: ‘Pivot to Asia’ & a Call to De-Colonize the Indian Ocean – Rajasingham-Senanayake

….Six weeks after the Easter Sunday crime in Sri Lanka, it is an open secret among Colombo’s diplomatic community and intelligentsia that Saudi Arabia funded and had prior notice, while the United States had prime motive to stage the Hollywood-style “shock and awe” suicide attacks, mysteriously claimed by the Islamic State two days later.  Sri Lanka is a 70% Buddhist county with around 10% each of Hindus, Muslims and Christians, and hence the Euro-American, Christian-Islam “Clash of civilizations” narrative has little traction in the island – a detail that seems to have confounded the masterminds of the attacks on selected churches and luxury hotels in a carefully planned logistics operation.

            …While many countries have lifted travel warnings, seemingly confident that no more attacks are forthcoming 6 weeks later, in the streets of Colombo heightened anti-US sentiment is apparent: There is a sense that larger global forces are circling, playing and preying on the country. Thus, the English-language Island newspaper quoted award-winning Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine: the rise of Disaster Capitalism”, describing how CIA-tested economic and environmental “shocks” are administered to bend societies to the will of the US Empire and related business and security interests.

     …Trump’s Pivot to Asia and a Pattern of Mysterious Attacks – On the last day of 2018 President Donald Trump signed legislation designed to strengthen USA’s role in the recently invented “Indo-Pacific”. The airily titled Asia Reassurance Initiative Act (ARIA) is the most comprehensive statement in a generation of US regional interests. It authorizes expenditures of $1.5billion annually through 2023 to enhance US military, diplomatic and economic engagement with East and Southeast Asian allies such as Japan, India, South Korea, and Taiwan.

     …Retrospectively, the IS-claimed attacks in Sri Lanka appear as part of a larger pattern of mysteriously triggered attacks and political unrest the South and Southeast Asian region at this time: 1) On February 15 there was an outbreak of near-war in Pulwama on the India-Pakistan Kashmir border during the run-up to elections in India; 2) on April 21 Easter Sunday turned into a mysterious bloodbath in Sri Lanka and; 3) in May 22  post-election violence was unleashed in Jakarta, Indonesia, although popular President Joko Widodo was re-elected with a wide margin; 4) unrest is ongoing in Hong Kong at this time. As elections loom later this year in Sri Lanka there would certainly be more externally orchestrated attempts to promote Muslim-Buddhist dissention to de-stabilize the country and maintain the US-backed (neo)liberal Prime Minister and his network in power.

            Indonesia’s economy is Southeast Asia’s largest.  By 2050 it is expected to be the fourth largest economy in the world, after China, India and the US, according to PwC. According to BBC’s Karishma Waswani, police suspected that behind the post-election violence in Jakarta was an attempt to incite anti-Chinese violence, as Chinese investment had become a contentious election issue as Widodo had been courting Beijing to invest in much-needed infrastructure in the country….

(For full article and footnotes, see –


B5.  Central Bank Facilitating Money Laundering

“Terrorism is facilitated by money laundering and the trade in illicit drugs being made easier (i) by the new Foreign Exchange Act No. 12 of 2017 effective from 20 Nov 2017 which repealed the Exchange Control Act No. 24 of 1953, (ii) corruption in high places, (iii) nexus between those dealing in money laundering and illicit drugs with key sections of the political leadership, intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies and financial regulatory agencies.

It has been plausibly argued that the new Foreign Exchange Act No. 12 of 2017 has the potential to encourage and legitimize money laundering.

A precursor to this dangerous Foreign Exchange Act is the ‘invitation’ issued by then Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake through India’s prestigious publication ‘The Hindu’ of 5 October 2015 to “Sri Lankans and Indians who had to take back their deposits from banks in Switzerland to place their funds in Sri Lanka”. He had further assured that “No questions would be asked”!….

…Mano Tittawella former Chairman, EAP Group is currently Senior Adviser to the Minister of Finance under which falls the CBSL.  This is the ground reality in Sri Lanka.

….On the subject of PEPs (Politically Exposed Persons)  where else in the world would (i) a Senior Deputy Governor of the Central Bank soon after retirement be appointed a Director of a leading bank? (ii) a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court soon after retirement be appointed  a Director of a leading bank? (iii) a highly connected PEP previously Chairman of a leading bank be currently Chairman of a competitor bank?

(For full article, see:  –


B6. Korea and Black American Soldiers (US War of Korea, 1950-53)

• Immediately after Chnia’s liberation, the US military (with the usual poodles in attendance, England, Canada, etc) invaded and terrorized the people of Korea in the early 1950s. The Korean and Chinese People’s Armies then reached out to Black soldiers in the invading army:

“Did you ever stop to think why you should be in Korea, fighting other colored people, while lynchings, murders and insults pile up against the Negro people at home?”

Half of Korea was already occupied by the US. And in the other half, carpet bombing campaigns killed millions of people, including Korean civilians and children. The Koreans however, under the leadership of comrade Kim Il Sung, never wavered in their commitment to revolutionary socialist internationalism.

They spoke TO the Black soldiers, whom they understood were also oppressed by the white supremacist US invading force: “We are not trying to turn you against the white soldiers. They are in the same boat as you. They are sent here to be killed for the Big Money, for Big Business profits like you are. We think that you, having been oppressed, can understand this more quickly than they do. But many of them are beginning to understand it too.…Americans, black and white, unite and fight for peace!

The Chinese and Koreans are fighting for their own homes and borders. We didn’t come five thousand miles across the sea to fight. We didn’t come to America with guns and bombs and we never will. Don’t risk your lives here. Ask to go home where you can fight for your own rights as a human being. Leave us at peace in our homes here.

“Your friends, The Korean People’s Army; The Chinese People’s Volunteers”


C. News Index__________________________________________________________

01. Sovereignty (Pro-political, pro-politico, pro-nation-state, anti-corporatist, anti-expert, anti-NGO)

• GSP as a ‘bait’, Pompeo in Sri Lanka to push the (SOFA) military deal

The GSP-PLUS talks next week is a ‘dress rehearsal’ to Secretary Pompeo’s ‘real display’ on June 27 in Colombo.

• Semiotics Of A Crime: ‘Pivot To Asia’ & A Call To Decolonize The Indian Ocean

The US “pivot to Asia” seems intended to stymie the rise of Asia at this time. The pivot is principally targeting China, but also South and Southeast Asia, and the rise of Asia’s 3 economic giants, China, India, and Indonesia, by any and all means

• The Caliphate Project, Made in America. Declassified US Documents Confirm the US Supported the Creation of ISIS

•  US $30 million for “Bay of Bengal” security

The Trump administration has sought $30 million for what it has described as “Bay of Bengal” security initiative to provide foreign military financing to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives.

• US government requests extra funds from its congress for security affairs in South Asia

Alice G. Wells, Senior Bureau Official for South and Central Asian Affairs, is currently testifying before subcommittees on Fiscal Year 2020 budget request for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and South Asia.

• US hypocrisy in South Asia exposed

• US Secy’s visit could lay platform for US Military in SL: Wimal

• US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to visit Sri Lanka

…to advance their  shared goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific

• Counterterrorism to feature in talks between RW and Pompeo

• US’ FBI assisted CID in analysing evidence: US official

• US wants future SL governments to respect yahapalana foreign deals

• Amcham conducts workshop on effective security measures for corporates

.. organized by US embassy with Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) and conducted by Evan Pickford, Assistant Regional Security Officer, U.S. embassy…

• Political parties manoeuvered by the US, India: JVP–India:-JVP/108-169237

• Indo-American aggression for Geopolitical Control in Sri Lanka

“It is now very clear beyond any doubt that the US government is contemplating a military intervention in Sri Lanka…”

• ‘Ravana 1’ to be released into orbit on Monday

Japan JAXA and USA NASA involved…

• PM’s Office clarifies issues over MCC and land lease

“The Government of Sri Lanka, with the help of the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University, conducted a constraints analysis (CA) to identify constrains which hampered the economic growth in the country and identified three binding constraints; i.e. 1. access to land; 2. weakness in transport and logistics infrastructure and planning; and 3. policy instability.”

• MCC or foreigners cannot be given Sri Lanka’s land without rule of law laid down by Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court

Sri Lanka’s sovereignty & territorial integrity is being questioned by a secretive deal between US & the Ranil Wickremasinghe Government pertaining to the Millennium Challenge Corporation & an ‘economic corridor” that will create a railway line from Colombo to Trincomalee leasing 1.2m acres of land for 200 years. This agreement is taking place together with a series of drastic legislative changes that include privatizing of all state land and the ability of foreigners to buy an unlimited number of land in Sri Lanka.

• Legality of agreements with foreign countries

•  Sri Lanka’s Land Bank faces tough choices in computerisation

• EU finding fault with reportage of Easter Sunday attacks irks Wimal’s party

• Friday Forum calls upon Prez, PM to resign paving way for interim govt. headed by Speaker

“In this desperate national environment we as citizens must recognise the serious risks we face in becoming a failed State due to the refusal of the President and Prime Minister to work together in the governance of the country…”

• Visiting Lankan academic says spirit of security forces has been crushed

Gunaratna also proposed a national security Act, criminalising hate speech, regulating religious space among other things.

• Not even the cabinet knew of the agreement to sell the Eastern Container Terminal

• Govt. defends ECT agreement with India, Japan

… Gov’t avoids parliamentary oversight…

•  CASA optimistic about proposed new terminal

• SL-India to develop regional airports in Jaffna and Batti: PM

 PM requests India to work closely with local security forces…–PM/44-679788

• Indian help to develop three airports

Sri Lanka will seek the services of the Indian Satellite Air Navigation System (Gagan) for the development of its three proposed regional airports – Palaly, Batticaloa and Ratmalana – senior officials said.


• Shameful to see PM take position of protocol minister-Kalyananda Thiranagama

…on Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka …India’s involvement over the course of history had harmed the identity and the integrity of Sri Lanka.

• Modi, Ranil discuss expanding bilateral economic ties

• Modi meets top SL leadership; describes terrorism as a ‘joint threat’

Under Modi the bilateral ties between India and Sri Lanka have touched a new high, including in the areas of security co-operation, trade, and cultural ties.

• Modi offers goodies to Lanka

Investments by Sri Lankan companies in India are also surging… Brandix (about US$ 1,000 million to set up a garment city in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh), MAS holdings, Damro, LTL Holdings, and freight servicing and logistics sector. ..At least one thousand Indians and Sri Lankans fly between New Delhi and Colombo every day.

• India’s High Commissioner Sandhu lecture at the Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute (BIDTI)

 “Our relationship with Sri Lanka is without any caveats and riders. It is open and genuine. India is not interested in capturing Sri Lanka’s assets, resources or markets. We are only interested in seeing a united, peaceful, strong, sovereign and prosperous Sri Lanka…”

• Rathana Thera’s fast and President Sirisena’s angst

“… this whole thing was engineered by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe in order to avert a crisis within the government. The government could not afford to allow the no-confidence motion against Baithudeen to be debated much less voted on given the prevailing situation….”

• Rathana Thero Blackmailing government

“The government would do well to develop a strategy to handle any future death fasts, now that a precedent has been set.”

• Rathana Thero denied entry to Sharia University

• Sinhala-Buddhist extremism the gravest threat –Kumar David

• TNA tells UN: Govt. action inhibits reconciliation

• Zaharan backed Sirisena, LTTE backed TNA

• Muslim leaders advance their rallying call to global arena

“We will be meeting with the United Nations (UN) Resident Representative in Sri Lanka and also the powerful Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world’s second largest inter-governmental organization after the UN”, said Rishad Bathiudeen.

• Hakeem visits Tamil Nadu, meets DMK leader–meets-DMK-leader/56-679732

• Pathfinder Foundation sets up Hafez Centre for Cultural Understanding–Cultural-Understanding/56-679733

• St. Vincent elected to UN Security Council

• The End of the World As We Know It

• Why US embassy in Honduras was set on fire

 “Ten years ago, the democratically elected center-left Honduran President, Manuel Zelaya, was whisked away from his residence in a brazen military raid supported by the USA…/why-hondurans-set-fire-to-th…/amp/

• ‘Genocide’ is a loaded word in Canada

The final report of Canada’s Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous women dropped the word “genocide” and that became the headline.


02. Security (The state beyond ‘a pair of handcuffs’, monopolies of violence)

• UNP oblivious to their damage of defence and security establishment

Sirisena cautioned if PSC hearings not stopped, he would not preside at Cabinet meetings… Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) wanted PSC to continue and absentee witnesses charged with contempt. Who will arrest them? The Police Department is under President Sirisena….

• This is no ‘system failure’ but Sri Lanka’s ‘animal farm’ charades

The IGP testified that the Director State Intelligence Service (SIS) had called to inform him that ‘ tomorrow will be dangerous, something can happen.” This warning was repeated on the morning of that Sunday itself.

• Civil society groups urge Speaker to ensure uninterrupted functioning of PSC

Evidence before the Parliamentary Select Committee, which is open to the media, has not been favourable to the President, after the testimonies of former top security officials suggested that the President, who is Minister of Defence as well as Law and Order, failed to take action on advance warnings of the attacks.

• They knew the attack was coming, but they could not avert it

This was revealed this week during the hearing by the Parliamentary Select Committee probing the attack.

• Indian Intel shares with numbers of five Lankans linked to IS

• NIA raids seven spots in TN over IS links with blasts in Sri Lanka

• Lanka Easter blasts: India’s NIA raids seven locations in Coimbatore

• India arrests man ‘linked to Easter Sunday bomber’


• Lanka to give effect to UN Security Council resolutions to counter terrorism and violent extremism

• India to carry out its first simulated space war exercise next month

• Pakistan & Sino-US cold war

A hybrid war is being waged against Pakistan. Apart from the arms buildup, ceasefire violations across the LoC and opposition to Kashmiri freedom, ethnic agitation in ex-Fata and TTP and BLA terrorism has been openly sponsored by India, along with a hostile media campaign with Western characteristics. FATF’s threats to put Pakistan on its black list and the opposition to CPEC are being orchestrated by the US and India. The US has also delayed the IMF package for Pakistan by objecting to repayment of Chinese loans from the bailout.

• In a first, India votes for Israel at UN against Palestine human rights body


03. Economists (Study the Economists before you study the Economics)

•  One Thing Leads to Another – Memories of a Great Guru II

It’s one year since SBD de Silva made the transition


• Foreign Investments And Exports: Is It The Therapy For Sri Lanka’s Underdevelopment? – Pathirana

• How the Central Bank Facilitates Money Laundering?

• Foreign debt repayment manageable, reserves adequate, economic recovery likely – Sanderatne

• Salary that goes with age – Abeyratne

Why did Japanese academics’ salaries overtake Sri Lankan’s?…Sri Lanka’s service exports amount to about $8 billion, and foreign direct investment to little over $1 billion.

• Nationalism helps democracy to survive, but only up to a limit – Wijewardene–but-only-up-to-a-limit/4-679641

• Achcharu country

While Singapore, which has no resources but nevertheless is rich, has a per capita (average per person) income of US$55,600, Sri Lanka’s per capita is $4,073 and categorised as a lower middle-income country.

• A primer on conduct of monetary policy & central banking: Past, present & future

The purpose of this note by the Economic Research Department of the Central Bank is to educate the general public on the Central Bank’s intended move to a flexible inflation targeting framework for the conduct of monetary policy by the year 2020–Past–present-and-future/22-679664

• China to work with Lanka to oppose US “trade bullying”

• Evo Morales: Economy is Now in the Hands of the People, Not IMF


04. Economy (usually reported in monetary terms)

• Economic sentiment continues to decline: Survey

50% and 67% expecting sales volumes to decline in the long and short terms respectively.–Survey/44-679708

• Sri Lanka Government Signs Statement of Corporate Intent with Ten State Owned Enterprises

• State-Owned Enterprises’ losses double–losses-double/26-679833

A fast unlike no other

“Wouldn’t it be quite fascinating, hamuduruwaney… we would then stop getting our oil exports from the Middle East and would have to revert to the era of bullock carts. Thousands of housemaids would also have to return from those countries, instead of working there!”

• US$ 20mn foreign outflow from Sri Lanka’s bonds after CBSL cuts rates

• Govt. pow-wow on tourism relief package

• India to slap tariffs on 28 US products on Sunday – statement


05. Workers (Inadequate Stats, Wasteful Transport, Unmodern Plantations, Services)

• Labour costs expected to grow at faster rate over next 3 months, the central bank said,_production_shows_recovery-3-14808-1.html

• Employee group opposes alleged privatisation of profitable Litro Gas

• Education Minister with communication dysfunction

Tension was simmering between school administrations and parents over parents’ role in school security, the Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) alleged yesterday.

• Teacher shortage affects 188 schools

• 40,000 children working as child labourers

• To be a child is to be a dreamer

One in a hundred! That is how many children in Sri Lanka are in child labour, skipping out on regular schooling.

• 1000 Movement takes up estate workers’ daily wage issue, while others shun the subject

…they would expose a conspiracy by big companies, the estate sector unions and the government to hide the exorbitant profits made by plantation companies and their affiliates.

• Protesters demand govt. to immediately takeover NFTH

 The Inter-Company Employees Union staged a protest outside the Health Ministry in Colombo–to-immediately-takeover-NFTH/110-169255

• Cancer drug ‘Herticad’ used despite complaints by oncologists—Herticad%E2%80%99-used-despite-complaints-by-oncologists/108-169264

• SLTB workers’ union to engage in strike from midnight

• SLTB JSS workers to engage in island-wide strike action from tonight

• 5,000 illegal SLTB promotions for JSS men since Dec 2018-ministry

• Rs.25,000 fine – Countrywide bus strike if imposed: LPBOA—Countrywide-bus-strike-if-imposed:-LPBOA/108-169104

• Overcoming the maternity stage, a major challenge for women to get back into the workforce

“The gender parity in Sri Lanka doesn’t match up. In the Sri Lankan context 25 per cent of households are headed by women which is a very large number….”

• SLFPers denied Samurdhi under the expanded scheme: Party to move court

• Recruitment to RDA unlawful – Ministry official tells PCoI—Ministry-official-tells-PCoI/108-169189

•  The State as toilet-seat and toilet-paper for the capitalist class

What was the ‘free economy’ about?  Who benefited?  The investors came to a Paradise. Paradise?  Yes, Paradise.  Paradise had a province called ‘Tax Free’. It had another called ‘No labour rights’.  There was more: dirty cheap water, dirty cheap electricity, free land.  Capitalists in this country have had a ball.

• Lankan refugee in ‘hellish’ conditions on Manus Island appeals to settle in UK

• Walter Rodney and the question of power – CLR James

• Hong Kong and CPC

‘The CPC still can’t touch Hong Kong’s oligarchs. and that the extradition law being protested against in HK has exemptions for white collar crime’.

• Swiss women to strike in call for equal pay and rights


• My Mother and the Failed Experiment of Yugoslavia

It has become fashionable to hate the late Yugoslavia…

• Ken Loach 1970 film about the Pilkington strike (Pilkington makes mammoties, the English don’t use! – ee)


06. Agriculture (Robbery of rural home market; Machines, if used, mainly imported)

• New agriculture policy to be introduced

 …the European Union (EU) will provide technical assistance for the process with the participation of local and foreign experts.

• New Zealand Cattle Deal causes disease on small farms

“The recent New Zealand-Sri Lanka deal, which saw the import of two thousand head of cattle so far, has resulted in many small farms being over-burdened by debt as a result of disease and poor milk production affecting the newly imported cows,” Sunshine Holdings said in its annual report.

• COP higher than coconut sale price

The main reason he attributed was due to the excessive import of crude edible oil despite the high yield and production locally.

• ERP to take Sathosa out of the woods

Lanka Sathosa has signed a 4 year contract with USAID on staff training and development on training the trainer basis. Lanka Sathosa currently functioning under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce is facing allegations of financial misappropriation in importing 257,000 metric tonnes of rice during 2014/15.

• Lack of quarantine equipment prevents fruits being exported to Japan, China

• NDB supporting vehicle requirements in agri-sector with 13.5% leasing rate

• Jinasena together with KAMICO South Korea to assemble agricultural machinery in Sri Lanka

They will work closely with the Farm Machinery Research Center (FMRC), the sole national level training institute for farm machinery in Sri Lanka, to develop agricultural machinery products that are best suited…

• Makes Sense – Geneva is where predators roam freely



07. Industry (false definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc.)

• William de Silva revolutionised Industry and fisheries

P. H. William de Silva, who as the Minister of Industries and Fisheries in the 1956-59 regime, brought about revolutionary changes in both industries and fisheries…

• Carpentry industry goes into panic mode

 Although Sri Lanka’s forest cover is said to be 28% of the land area, the actual percentage is estimated to be about 17%…“We as carpenters do not get fixed salaries unlike government servants… We have to sweat to earn the daily wage of Rs. 1000,”–panic-mode/352-169112

• Carpenters protest, threaten to go on hunger strike over President’s decision

• JVP worried over possible coffin shortage

    Says President’s decision to ban timber mills could have unforeseen consequences

• Sri Lanka Auditor General bares Rs186bn ‘contingent liability’ fiddle on RDA loans

• Deals and deals: behind procuring emergency power

Why did five-member Ministerial Committee headed by PM on April 10, 2019 to announce an emergency situation in the country and give permission to the Ceylon Electricity Board to procure emergency power…

• MMBL-Pathfinder pilot project in electric mobility using solar power

• ‘Micro, small and medium industry sector is the worst hit’


• SMEs get national credit guarantee for prosperity and sustenance

The German International Cooperation (GIZ) has been selected as the consultant for this assignment

• SL’s shipping industry suffering 10-15 percent business downturn’

• Hambantota a well-known historic port, but to the world now it is new

• IEEE lifts restrictions on editorial and peer review activities by Huawei?


08. Finance (Making money from money, banks, lack of investment in modernity) ________

• Sri Lanka bank bad loans surge after 2018 monetary instability

• CSE turnover exceeds Rs. 1 billion mark

…foreign investors continued exiting the market’s  risky assets and the rupee edged lower on importers’ dollar demand, market analysts said.

• Stock market bullish, anticipating political change

• Companies unfair by shareholders and proxy holders

• New bureaucratic visa procedures irk investors

New procedures to issue resident visas for those foreigners employed at factories operated under BoI status has displeased investors.


09. Business  (Rentierism: making money via real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)

• Value of moratorium sought by tourism biz tops Rs. 60 b


• HRC on LGs preventing Muslim business

 …. in certain areas members of the Muslim Community who are lawfully engaged in commercial activities have been banned from using public premises… Economic uncertainty slows Softlogic Group expansion

There are over 10,000 staff employed in over 50 Softlogic companies in Sri Lanka and Australia.

• Ceylon Chamber session June 21 on Exporting to the United States under the US GSP

The U.S. is Sri Lanka’s largest single export destination, accounting for 26% of total exports in 2018. The session will be led by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Trade Policy and Economic Edward Gresser.


10. Politics (Anti-parliament discourse, unelected constitution)

• JO calls for early Presidential Elections

• One-man show collapsing amid contradiction after contradiction

… UNP group also working with Sirisena to make Sajith the candidate…Priest’s fast and Muslim Ministers’ resignation put off fall of government… Gotabaya Rajapaksa had open heart surgery… and still awaiting official certification from US government relinquishing US citizenship… SLFP branch organisations have virtually collapsed…

• SLPP sweeps Education Employees Co-op Society election

•  Ravi seeks jobs for 27 project coordinators, even for non-existent power plants


11. Media (Mis/Coverage of economics, technology, science and art)______________

• Strictures on Media Freedom and Right to Know

• Arun Welandawe-Prematilleke wins Gratiaen Prize 2018

• Michael Ondaatje speaks about his evolution as a poet novelist…

• How the CIA Funded ‘Creative’ Writing

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, funded by the CIA, promoted a style of creative writing that emphasized personal experience and sensory perceptions rather than ideas and symbolism. Writers following this method focused on the feeling instead of the thinking. So this CIA-funded writing style focuses on individualism and personal experience instead of making statements about society. Show what your characters are perceiving and feeling, don’t tell what your characters are thinking and what you the author are trying to get across…

• What is History? Nobody gave a Deeper Answer than Hegel?


ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. To make it easier, 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 if you send them as email.

ee’s new format provides headlines and links. It’s strongly recommended readers scan carefully the ee News Index to gain a sense of the weekly focus of published English ‘business news’.

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Published by ee ink.

This site was inspired by the dedicated scholarship and work of S.B.D. de Silva, author of "The Political Economy of Underdevelopment"

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