The Missing Children of 1956
e-Con e-News 25-31 August 2019
The assassination of SWRD Bandaranaike, 60 years ago on September 25, 1959, took place during the decades that saw the US taking over English ‘colonies’ after their WW2, accelerating the overthrow and murder of leaders and movements across Asia, Africa & the Americas, especially those promoting industrialization, those attempting to recapture our resources and home markets from colonial exploitation.
It is claimed we are now ruled by ‘Panas Hayae Dharuvo’ – the Children of 1956 – but as our last ees on the Central Bank and Industrialization show, 1956 was also about the language and culture of economic independence. So what has happened to those particular children? Some went to the Sorbonne and learned postmodernism it seems, before we got modernism. But others? Is it infanticide or media-induced mass amnesia?
• A Micro History of US Ambassadors to Lanka in the World: In memory of SWRD, we offer a list of such ‘emissaries’, and their ‘qualifications’, before and after the assassination, to place them in our world. The chronology of US ambassadors, as provided by sources such as Wikipedia, seems curiously confused:
• We start with beefy Bernard Anthony Gufler who met SWRD Bandaranaike on the day SWRD was assassinated. Was it to make sure he’d be at home? Guffler left a few minutes before SWRD was shot: Gufler was US consul in Colombo, Ceylon, 1951-53, and US ambassador Aug 1959 – March 1961. His diplomatic services were “invaluable in winning people towards realizing US Cold War imperatives.” Gufler had recommended Nazi military officials for work in the US, becoming US chief of mission in Berlin, East Germany, 1955-58 (the Nazis saw the genocidal N American settlers as their ‘elder brothers!’) Gufler later took shelter in Finland and died in West Germany.
• 1949: Felix Cole was the ‘first’ US ambassador to Ceylon Aug-Oct 1949, after being ambassador to Ethiopia from 1945. Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie had objected to Cole as a colonial agent, for the Potsdam Conference had decided “to seize German government property wherever it was found, even though on the territory of friendly states.” Cole then seized the official archives of the German legation in Addis Ababa, especially to hide US-Nazi collaboration in Africa, and left before Ethiopia declared him persona-non-grata. Cole did not last long in Ceylon.
• 1949: Joseph Charles Satterthwaite was US Ambassador to SL, Nov 1949 -July 1953, during the boom in rubber prices caused by the US war on Korea. Cole and John Exter, US governor of our Central Bank, oversaw the wastage of that ‘Korean’ booty on unbridled consumption of US and English goods, and also imposed the World Bank report demanding withdrawal of the rice subsidy. He left just before the Aug 12 Hartal caused by those policies. He became head of the US Legation at Tangier, 1953-55, overseeing violent opposition to the French and Spanish ‘protectorates’ in Morocco, leading to 1956 Moroccan ‘independence’. (1777: Morocco 1st nation to recognize USA, linking to US opium trade from Turkey to China). Satterthwaite was made US Ambassador to Burma, 1955-57, funding opposition to the popular Anti-Fascist People’s Freedom League (formed by Communist Party of Burma). He was then made first Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in 1958. Reappointed as ambassador, to South Africa, 1961-65, he and the US Ford Foundation helped to set up the kidnapping and arrest of the ANC’s Nelson Mandela & PAC’s Robert Sobukwe.
• 1953: Philip Kingsland Crowe, spy and career diplomat, worked in the Office of Strategic Services (later CIA) as the secret intelligence officer covering Ceylon, China, Burma and India during WW2. Crowe arrived just after the Aug 12 Hartal, to be US Ambassador to Ceylon Sept 1953 – Sept 1956, undermining SL’s active participation in the Bandung NonAligned Conference. He was US Ambassador to S Africa, 1959-61, preparing to arrest, kill and imprison African resistance leaders, and groom puppets. He promoted 1959 split of the African National Congress & Pan Africanist Congress.
• 1957: Maxwell Henry Gluck was US Ambassador to SL Sept 1957 – Oct 1958. When the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations asked about his qualifications: “What are the problems in Ceylon you think you can deal with?” Gluck replied: “One of the problems are the people there.” The US actively helped to destabilize the SWRD govt, which removed English naval & air bases in Trincomalee & Katunakayake, and established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China & the Soviet Union. Gluck left just after the violent 1958 ‘Emergency’.
• 1958: Mississippi’s James Lampton Berry served in Ceylon (Nov 1958 -June 1959), S Africa, Mozambique, India, Singapore. A top State Depart official on S Asian affairs, he served in India and Singapore, studied at the Army-Navy Staff College, was a member of the State Dept’s policy-planning on ‘Near Eastern, South Asian and African Affairs’. He left just before the SWRD murder, to be replaced by Gufler, US ambassador to Ceylon 1959 -61 (linked to SWRD assassination, see above).
• 1961: The US sent a woman, Frances Willis, as Ambassador to Ceylon, from May 1961- Sept 1964, to try and match Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s stature as the first woman head of govt in the world. Willis oversaw the 1962 coup attempt against Sirimavo. The US ambassador also invited all the Left leaders to lunch on the very day the coup was supposed to take place. Willis then pressed the US claim for compensation after Ceylon’s takeover of US and English oil companies, suspending US aid. She planned the funded ouster of Bandaranaike’s government before she left for Dec 1964. She had held posts in Chile, Sweden, Belgium and Spain during WW2, the US State Dept, England, Finland, Switzerland, Norway before being sent to Lanka.
• 1964: Cecil Burton Lyon, investment banker and foreign service officer, US Ambassador to Ceylon, 1964-67, during the funded ouster of Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s govt, similar to what would take place in 2015.
• 1970: Robert Strausz-Hupé oversaw the JVP uprising in 1971, during Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s government. He had set up the Foreign Policy Research Institute in 1955, advising Barry Goldwater, and also Richard Nixon, who made Strausz-Hupé US Ambassador to SL, May 1970 – Dec 1971, and then to Belgium (1972-74), Sweden (1974-76), NATO (1976-77), and Turkey (1981-89).
• 1972: A graduate from the US Naval War College, Christopher Van Hollen, US Ambassador to SL, 1972-76, helped to destabilize and split the UF govt led by SirimavonBandaranaike, 1970-77 (see last ee, Wikileaks cables), and also promoted the separatist movement in the North, opposing Bandaranaike’s Indian Ocean Peace Zone Initiative. Van Hollen’s wife Eliza was a CIA Russian studies expert, and chief analyst on Afghanistan within the Bureau of Intelligence & Research at the US State Dept. He was earlier made political officer at the US embassy in New Delhi, in 1955, when India was active in the Bandung Conference (which led to the NonAligned Movement – NAM), with postings in Calcutta, Pakistan and Turkey. He was appointed deputy assistant secretary for the Near East and South Asia in 1969.
A1. Reader Comments
A2. Random Notes
A3. Quotes of the Week
B. ee Focus
B1. Can we compare with Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, Japan? Do we wish to be?
B2. IPS and Advocata Exposed!
B3. Science Journalism and Hype
B7. History – Lanka in the World
C. News Index
D. History in the World
A1. Reader Comments
• “Really good ee on the history of industrialization. ee should get it in the media, or publish it as a booklet.”
• “Kind of depressing how vague the current presidential candidates are about economic policies.” (see ee Politics)
• “The last ee on industrialization did not mention brain drain: the skilled workers trained before 1977 were then sold off to West Asia, and the white countries… soon making remittances the biggest source of foreign exchange.”
• “Most grateful for this collection of insights…”
• “How did the transition take place from an underdeveloped colonial economy to a modern industrial economy in the ‘Asian Tiger’ countries?” – (see ee Focus, B1)
A2. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_________________
• Check ee Focus, B2 – Advocata, which opposes SOEs, is a truly state-owned enterprise, owned by the US!
• The capitalist media like to compare our economy with other Asian countries, but fail to examine the major differences … Yet also see ee Focus, B1 (and ee Economists), for the background to the ‘takeoff’ of their so-called East Asian Tigers… while this Lion is forced to limp on imported crutches…
• Exports, exports, exports, FDI, FDI, FDI also remains their incessant wail. Nothing changes in this merchant-dominated media. ee is even thinking of scrapping its ee news compendium section altogether. Most bourgeois news is so predictable, their economists unreliable, repeating the mantra of selling off state enterprises, needing foreign investments, and if manufacture, then production for export using expensive imported products to balance payments for more luxuries to be imported by the oligarchy. It is sell, sell, sell, and buy buy buy foreign… It is not only the business or economics section that is a cut-and-paste of business press releases. All their media is just: the pettiest business.
• Sometimes there is no attempt to make sense but only to fill a space. See (ee Economists) the FT article on Mahindra ‘assembling’ cars. Little detail given? Who will supply what? And on Mahindra Finance: the article uses pure babble and is full of errors. Apparently, editors do not even bother to edit. What’s new!? The English papers are the worst, when one sees how much money passes hands and how much actual important news is freely available in English.
• Politicians talking of motherhood (see ee Workers) and of the usually ignored sacrifices made by women on the battlefield (but not so much of their role in the factories, plantations or in hellholes abroad to send foreign exchange back) need to also assert policies that will strengthen and unleash the economic power of women. We recall the first acts of vandalism after the Berlin Wall came down, was to attack East German women workers, removing their rights at work, maternity leave, day care, equal pay, etc. Not a word in opposition was sounded or publicized by so-called ‘Western feminists’.
• Science journalism may be the most important literature that can enhance our lives, but we get little of it. A recent report on “Sri Lankan” astronomers in the US discovering exoplanets, made ee submit the article to a leading astrophysicist (see ee Focus, B3). We recall a supposed Ravana ‘satellite’ that some Lankans built, via NASA, Is it part of the hype of how great and fruitful our ‘cooperation’ is with the West (as opposed to the currently demonized ‘East’), even as, after 500 years, there is little to show and we do not (more like, are not allowed to) make a simple pin. Of the 500 Physics PhDs, that independent SL has produced, none work here. etc. With some exceptions, this goes for India too, tho India is an industrial country (at least some parts).
• Check ee from 11 months ago: ee 10 Oct 2018, just before the Oct rumpus: “The founder members of Leading Multinational Corporations (LMNC) have been part of the Sri Lankan business landscape for decades. They are HSBC (built on English opium money, with a global asset base of $2.5trillion & the largest bank in Europe), Mastercard (with over 500 mn customers), Unilever (a giant in FMCG & over 10 million customers in SL), Heineken (the world’s 2nd largest beer manufacturer), Lanka IOC (no.1 brand in India and first listed energy company of SL) and British American Tobacco’s Ceylon Tobacco Co, which has the highest market capitalization on the Colombo Stock Exchange.’ A group of like-minded MNCs came together in early 2018 to discuss issues & threats to continuing 100-year-long activities in the country. “We concluded that the no.1 success factor for the Sri Lankan economy and corporates within was a stable and predictable operating environment. So LMNC was formed.”
A3. Quotes of the Week_____________________________________
“When Advocata recommends an ‘independent body free of political influence to minimize corruption’ it means give it to ‘independent’ foreigners who will bribe ministers to get what they want! This is just like Sri Lanka suddenly being upgraded to ‘upper middle class’ country as MCC grants are given only to such countries!” (see ee Focus, B2, Waduge)
B. Special Focus____________________________________________
B1. “How did the transition take place from an underdeveloped colonial economy to a modern industrial economy” – Singapore, Taiwan, Korea…
• Superficial and fraught comparisons are made between SL and other economies. Last week, Vichara, an ee contributor, criticized comparisons made with Vietnam. An ee reader in transit in Singapore Changi, after noting: “It’s probably the greatest airport in the world for customer service”, asks:
“How did the transition take place from an underdeveloped colonial economy to a modern industrial economy in the ‘Asian Tiger’ countries? We know land reform and the development of a manufacturing base was done in fear of the communist upsurge in East Asia. In Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew coerced the mercantile class to become industrial. So how did imperialism achieve this in a limited space? How did Singapore – essentially Colombo without the hinterland (Malaysia in its case) – make the transition from a trader entrepot to a modern industrial power? My first introduction to Singapore had brought me face-to-face not just with Jurong industrial park, but also with their excellently designed system of storm drains. Their public housing, drawing inspiration from Bambalapitiya flats, added a ground floor dedicated to community activities, allowing slum/shanty neighbourhoods to be reproduced. My question has less to do with economics than with state power. How did these colonies manage the transition, with no national bourgeoisie? The bourgeoisie was forced into birth by the state. Hence, did the imperial power carry out this transition? Why didn’t it carry through the transition in Thailand or Indonesia? Why didn’t it even try elsewhere? Say in Iran or El Salvador?”
ee: The short answer maybe: “Indochina was seen as a “relay point’, a ‘balcony on the Far East’, for the pursuit of… economic and political ambitions in the Far East. Metropolitan firms with branches in Indochina found the South China market a tantalizing prospect.” Here are more excerpts from SBD de Silva’s classic – The Political Economy of Underdevelopment (1982) that deal with the popularized ‘dependency’ theory that tried to explain underdevelopment through trade relations, and led to such liberal panaceas as “fair trade”. SB coincidentally ended his book dealing with comparisons to such countries:
“Dependency’ does not also explain the historically uneven development of capitalism at the centre and in the periphery itself. Such unevenness is seen in the different patterns of growth in the settler colonies compared with the nonsettler colonies and, in the present day, in a few countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong & Singapore compared with the rest of the periphery. The capitalist development of these countries occurred without their disengagement from the centre.”
“Some underdeveloped countries, including Taiwan, S Korea and Singapore, have very recently come close to transforming their economies, while transferring surpluses to various metropolitan centres.”
“The structure of centre-periphery relations based on the colonial export economies, which corresponded to the prevailing development of world capitalism, was seriously weakened politically & militarily in the decade and a half following WW2. Apart from the socialist revolutions in Eastern Europe and China and the development of anti-imperialist struggles, there was pressure by the USA to open up the formerly exclusive or semi-exclusive spheres of influence. (After encouraging the decolonization movement, the USA later organized the suppression of national forces wanting a complete break in centre-periphery relations.) At this time the leading colonial powers were engaged in rehabilitating their home economies. US capital, more powerful after the war than that of any other nation, was feverishly propping up Western Europe and to a lesser extent Japan, Taiwan & S Korea, as bastions against the onrush of communism. The postwar reconstruction boom in its character, magnitude and duration was unprecedented in capitalism’s history. It was underpinned by a very high level of spending on arms and by rapid technological innovation which yielded a crop of new products and raised productivity levels in several existing branches of industry.”
“The more or less self-expanding process of accumulation in Singapore, Taiwan & S Korea was contingent upon specific elements, both historical & fortuitous. Singapore was a well-developed entrepot of regional and world trade. The smallness of the country, demographically and territorially, accentuated the dynamic impact of its relinking with the centre. It benefited in these years from the raw materials boom in Indonesia, including the oil exploration work & the vast infrastructure investments, as well as from the US involvement in the Vietnam war. Moreover, the absence of a rural hinterland did away with the problem of removing precapitalist social relations & structures. In Taiwan & S Korea, the capitalist transformation was far more complex. Their repressive political system unquestionably favoured a high rate of accumulation relative to prevailing consumption levels. A substantial saving in wage costs was also due to the mobilization of surplus rural labour within the confines of the rural economy. As in Japan, a preponderance of small enterprises in the countryside, involving a dispersal of labour, held down wages and thereby expanded the employment potential of a given marketed surplus of wage goods. Alongside an inflow of capital, inclusive of US military spending, large numbers were employed by the military; this & the setting up of pioneer export platforms helped to spread purchasing power & to upgrade technical skills.
In the dynamics of the transition to capitalism in Taiwan and South Korea only the conditioning factors have been mentioned. Though the generative forces of this transition have yet to be unravelled and stated more explicitly than has been done here, it is to the actors in the development process – and not to the factors conceived of in the abstraction of the prevailing social relations – that major importance must be attached. In both countries there was a shift of power internally from a landlord class to an emerging industrial bourgeoisie. During Japanese rule the conversion of Taiwan and Korea into a granary of Japan involved a partial reorientation of the traditional landlords from a rentier class to a predominantly entrepreneurial one; from rent and interest as a basis of income to profits. In Korea the landed aristocracy which had ‘owned most of the cultivated land and held the top positions in the administration’ was virtually destroyed and replaced by Japanese landlords. The latter in turn were expropriated by the US military government, and the process of land reform that was begun was later completed by the Korean govt. The systematic deprivation of the yangban class of its power base removed all resistance to the implementation of the reforms. The success of the land reforms was also due to the weakness of merchant and usurers’ capital in the rural districts. In many underdeveloped countries it is the dominance of merchant capital that makes the agrarian problem less amenable to a conventional land reform; landlordism, being totally functionless, is more easily eradicated than merchant capital which, though unproductive, plays a necessary role in the day-to-day functioning of the village economy.
A release of landlord capital paved the way for the growth of industrial capital. The land bonds given as compensation to the Korean landlords were redeemable in cash, and were partly used by them to acquire real estate and commercial and industrial property that was held by Japanese. The smaller landlords sold their bonds at a discount to the big businessmen. In this way scattered capital was concentrated in a few hands, later to be mobilized for investment in large-scale industrial projects such as food processing, textile & other light industries in the 1950s and early ’60s, and in the ’70s this capital was invested in heavy industries.
The existence of rural-based small industries encouraged the conversion of the redeemed land bonds into industrial assets. In Taiwan, the process of restructuring the rural economy was carried out by the migrant mainland government much more effectively. Furthermore, the virtual transformation of the agricultural sector, and an expanded national market, induced a domestically oriented investment pattern. The development of productive forces was far less lopsided, and altogether more extensive, than in South Korea.
The specific elements which underlay the process of change in Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore, and its historicity, render their experience non-transferable to the other units of the periphery. It is not conceivable that Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore could have carried out this process in a different period. The leading capitalist economies were enjoying an exceptional degree of buoyancy. The MNCs had not yet become active in the periphery. US and European capital was preoccupied in the reconstruction of Europe, and Japanese capital was rebuilding its home economy. Both in Taiwan and South Korea, indigenous capital was able to develop sufficiently in these years. The relatively late entry of US capital into Taiwan compared with South Korea gave refugee capital from the Chinese mainland even more time to become established and to expand. Countries currently embarking upon a capitalist development find their path almost blocked by the scale of investment and entrepreneurial operations needed for an internationally viable enterprise, which is beyond the capability of a fledgling bourgeoisie. The disparity in productive forces on a world scale, having widened over a long period, has acquired some qualitatively new elements. The concentration & centralization of capital on a worldwide scale blankets and controls very pervasively the development of indigenous enterprise. In a free and open economy, the growth of indigenous capitalism de novo is also affected by the decline of capitalism as a world system, in contrast to its remarkable buoyancy some years ago.
There is now a revival of protectionism in developed countries, a massive debt burden in underdeveloped countries, and the takeover by multinational corporations of their strategic raw materials, markets, manufacturing sites and cheap labour resources. The economic expansion in the periphery consequent upon its relinking retards the growth of indigenous industrial capital.”
• SBD deSilva ends his classic with this comment:
“From a position of dependence on the earliest centres of industry in Europe, and having served as a field for the investment of Dutch capital, England made the transition to capitalism earlier than those countries. In Japan, the seclusion from external influences was not decisive by itself, compared with the effect of this seclusion on internal class relations and trading structures; significantly, it undermined the role of merchant capital. Furthermore, there has been no uniformity in the periphery’s response to external forces. Recently, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea have even managed to subject the more marginalized countries to a centre-periphery relation, exporting capital to the Free Trade Zones of Malaysia, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh. Clearly the external forces as such are less important than the way in which these forces condition the internal class structure, strengthening or weakening the barriers to development. The necessity to probe these internal forces and to bring them into focus with the external ones leaves a vacuum to be filled. This task needs more research and understanding before there could emerge a sharper and more effective instrument of analysis than the paradigms in vogue.”
B2. How Foreign-Govt-Linked Neoliberal Thinktanks are Undermining SL’s Sovereignty?– Shenali Waduge
…The UNHRC resolution was used to force Sri Lanka to make unfair & legally questionable changes to penal code, constitution and demonize and weaken its military and demoralize by allegations and imprisonment. Placed within this context we wonder whether the Salawa ammunition storage was accidental?
Economic sovereignty undermined – Sri Lanka’s policy is now controlled by US officials, IMF, World Bank, Western Aid agencies, Western-corporate-backed thinktanks, transnational corporations, foreign financial firms, foreign consultancies and foreign legal experts, foreign accountancy firms. This is the reality we will have to face.
They have identified and mastered the art of manipulating the biggest weakness in politicians to the detriment of the Nation & its people.
Sri Lanka’s labor, wealth, natural resources, public institutions, state enterprises, public utilities are being auctioned to foreigners by foreigners who have been invited to do so by the state (perhaps the state is even paying these foreigners for their ‘consultations’)
Privatization – Is privatization a solution? State enterprises privatized between 1980-2009 had performed worse than public enterprises. European cities are now reclaiming public services from private sector.
A 2015 UNDP study declared there was no set model for efficiency – that meant public, private or mixed enterprise model was no solution. How an entity was managed efficiently and effectively was what mattered.
Neoliberal Project – Originates in the secret Mont Pelerin Society founded by Friedrich von Hayk & Milton Friedman & Allan Waters in 1947. Hayek’s vision was outlined in his The Road to Serfdom in 1944. The book advocates:
Elimination of constitutional nation-State & replaced with a supra National World Govt
Expanding US hegemony beyond US & across international borders (free cross border movement of goods, people & money)
States will not be able to decide price of goods
States will have no independent national legislation
States will have no control over taxation
State will have no power over its economy (deregulation & liberalization are all modus operandi to achieve this goal)
State will not control its national produce, national resources, national workforce, national currency
Friedman became Economic Advisor to US President Reagan, Waters was Chief Economic Advisor to UK PM Margaret Thatcher. You can imagine the influence they would have had on the leaders!
How Thinktanks/Universities & Media are used to control the world – The oligarchs have dumped millions into setting up thinktanks, business schools, influencing economic subject in universities to promoting neoliberal thinking – Heritage Foundation, Hoover Institute, CATO Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Centre for Policy Studies, Institute of Economic Affairs, Adam Smith Institute (UK), Soros Foundation are just a handful of names. These entities are tasked to mask the real intent in language & ideas and present as if the program is for the betterment of society.
Chile became the launch pad for the 1st neoliberal program after installing Pinochet with US backing. Mont Pelerin rolled out the project – anyone who disagreed got shot! That was neoliberal democracy! IMF & World Bank got their way. That was neoliberal economic transparency!
Media was owned by the billionaires who owned & funded the think tanks and universities. Media frames language to fool the masses on behalf of the secret societies that rule them.
Mont Pelerin Society & Objectives – Shaping economic policies by infiltrating their stooges into govt positions & controlling the govt & its laws (placing policy planning network of advisors created from the thinktanks & business schools & paid media into govt)
‘Experts’ creating proposals that are in rosy language, gullible and are promoted by their ‘agents’ in media, journalists, social leaders/activists, political ‘analysts’, business speakers etc – all who have a way of influencing the politicians & their advisors.
Holding fancy conferences & seminars with full publicity with glitz & glamour to present the notion to public that their proposals are best – note recent seminar on MCC wherein moderator himself claims Sri Lanka was rejecting a gift horse!
Shifting power from Public Institutions to Global Economic Institutes (statistics show how wealth, resources, power of the Public has been transferred to foreign corporates or local entities influenced or funded by foreign corporates) where national sovereignty is undermined by corrupting politicians and claiming corrupt politicians and political system must be replaced…
Oh yes, are we to replace corrupt politicians with the entities that corrupted them so that they could be eliminated and in place a system change of global transcorporate govt would be replaced?
• Mont Pelerin Society SL Members: PM Ranil Wickremasinghe, Prof. Razeen Sally, Prof. Suri Ratnapala
• Atlas Network – Advocata SL is a member – is part of US foreign policy and plays key role in destabilizing and regime change. Atlas Network through its associate thinktanks and NGOs discretely funded by US State Dept and National Endowment for Democracy succeeded in:
– military coup against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras,
– toppling Cristine Kirchner of Argentina using ‘corruption’ theme
– supported military against President Chavez in 2002
– diverting public anger against leading politicians in Brazil (similar to SL)
The connections are obvious – Dr Judy Shelton, sr fellow at Atlas Network is also advisor to President Trump & she chairs the NED. Atlas Network is mostly funded by Koch Foundation, ExxonMobil, MasterCard, John Templeton, Donors Trust, and the US govt. In Feb 2019, Atlas via its associate Advocata held the Asia Liberty Forum….
UK/US overthrew democratically elected Iran’s leader Mossadegh because he nationalized oil and it affected US/UK oil companies, the United Fruit Co and its exploitations in Latin America with US govt assistance is another example.
Advocata Institute (part of Atlas Network founded by Mont Pelerin Society member Anthony Fisher) – neoliberal thinktank promoting free market reforms.
Advocata is also connected to both Mont Pelerin Society & US administration. Advocata Board Member Frank Lavin, Chairman of Public Affairs Practice for Edelman Asia Pacific on behalf of companies facing issues with various foreign govts, 2005-7 US Under Secretary for International Trade at US Dept of Commerce, 2001-5 US ambassador to Singapore (negotiated landmark US-Singapore FTA), 1987-89 Director of the Office of Political Affairs in White House, worked in HK, Singapore for Cushman & Wakefield, Worked for Bank of America & Citibank, worked for George Bush Sr & Ronald Reagan in the Dept of Commerce, Dept of State, National Security Council & White House, Serves on the Board of Directors of Globe Specialty Metals (worlds largest producer of silicon metal alloys), Consistel (largest telecommunications firm in SE Asia), UOB Bank (Singapore), UTEX (Texas energy services firm). Atlas Network has been financing a variety of organizations that seek to influence the public and promote capitalist ideas.
The Asia Liberty Forum was co-hosted by the Advocata Institute & Atlas Network in Feb 2019. Speakers were Dr Nishan de Mel (Executive Director, Verite Research), Ravi Ratnasabapathy (Resident Fellow, Advocata Institute), Suresh Shah (Director, Carson Cumberbatch PLC), Thilan Wijesinghe (Chairman, National Agency for PPPs), Dr Malathy Knight (Sr Economist).
Institute for Policy Studies, SL’s Economic Policy Thinktank established by Act of Parliament in 1988, Executive Director – Dushni Weerakoon / Chairman Prof. Razeen Salley:
How far IPS is under influence of foreign-funded thinktanks & foreign control can be seen & questions how ‘independent’ these ‘government’ bodies are. What is the point in a govt thinktank being ‘independent’ from govt institutions but dependent on western govts & donors for their funding?
How ‘independent’ is IPS if it is co-financed by the Dutch Govt & run by a Resident Coordinator from Dutch Institute for Social Studies? DISS is funded by the Dutch Govt to train intellectuals and policymakers from former Dutch colonies!
How ‘independent’ is IPS’s OWN ‘Endowment Fund’ if SL state doesn’t know its funding sources?
How ‘autonomous’ is IPS, Sri Lanka’s supposed to be economic think tank if its donors are UK,, US Corporations, banks & equity funds (Hewlett Foundation/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), Netherlands, Canada and Norway? They do not give money free without some agenda!
IPS is directly connected to Mont Pelerin Society via its member Prof. Razeen Salley who is now IPS Chairman. Sally is Adjunct scholar of Cato Institute a neoliberal think tank, he is founder director of Cato-related European Centre for International Political Economy a neoconservative entity linked to CIA connected Brookings Institution.
IPS drafted Vision 2025 and organized the SL Economic Forum in 2016 that invited George Soros ‘color revolution architect & his Open Society Foundation to SL. At this forum Ricardo Hausmann of the Harvard Centre was directly associated with the PM’s office, the BOI & Ministry of Development Strategy & International Trade. This same Harvard Teams’ did the land privatization Bill.
Do we need economic experts if the only solution they give is to sell public assets and privatize all state-owned enterprises. Any idiot can suggest this – do we need economists & thinktanks for this?
The Chairman of IPS Razeen Sally is 24-7 advocating selling State enterprises and even suggested a deceitful strategy to handle countrywide opposition – first partially privatize state enterprise by putting such into a holding company (SL Airlines, Mihin Air, SLTB etc) and then gradually increase private sector stakes & work towards complete private ownership. Sally’s proposition for public utilities (petroleum, water, electricity etc) is to replace Board members of the Public Utilities Commission with ‘independent directors’ obviously foreign ones! And how ‘independent are these foreigners one wonders!
Neoliberals holding Public & Private positions in Sri Lanka since 2015:
Prof. Salley was made Sr Advisor to Finance Minister Samaraweera in July 2017.
Indrajit Coomaraswamy present Central Bank Governor is also on board of the IPS
Dr Sarath Rajapatirana, Economic Advisor to the President is also on board of the IPS is a visiting scholar of American Enterprise Institute a neoliberal thinktank & had worked for World Bank 1975-99.
MIM Rafeek – Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies & Economic Affair (Ranil’s Ministry) is on the board of Institute of Policy Studies.
SS Mudalige Director General National Planning Department is also on the Board of IPS
In April 2019 Eran Wickramaratne also took part in closed-door discussions at the Heritage Foundation in Washington
Dr Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser of Govt of India was keynote speaker at SL Economic Summit 2017. Subramanian is also Sr Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics a neoliberal US thinktank.
Radhika Coomaraswamy, sister of Governor Central Bank – Open Society Justice Initiative, Member of the Board. Served as Chair of SL Human Rights Commission 2003 during Ranil Wickremasinghe’s Govt, then served again under his govt as Constitutional Council member in 2015.
Former Foreign Minister Samaraweera addressed the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (US foreign affairs thinktank) in Feb 2015, immediately after the regime change in Janu 2015. Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam, embroiled in controversy for his salary payment by US, was also a speaker at the same thinktank in Sept 2015.
IPS & Advocata are both connected to US Govt & Mont Pelerin Society
Advocata was launched in May 2016 at the Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute together with a report “State of State Enterprises” (before Advocata was created) showcasing 55 state-owned enterprises making major losses between 2006-15 and recommended the Govt decide which to shut down, which to privatize and which the govt should continue to keep. If a report emerged before Advocata was created it should be no surprise when Advocata is quoted by Malik Samarawickrema promoting far-reaching privatization plans”
An interesting set of people make up its Board:
Fredrik Erixon – Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) thinktank co-founded with Razeen Sally in 2006. Erixon was an Adviser to the British govt.
Nishan de Mel – Verite Research agents for promoting MCC in SL, was Executive Director of the International Centre for Ethnic Studies and the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.
Rohan Samarajeewa – LirnAsia
Prof Suri Ratnapala – member of Mont Pelerin Society, appointed by PM Ranil himself a Mont Pelerin Member to advise the Steering Committee chaired by the PM drafting a new Constitution.
Advocata is promoting privatization in Sri Lanka. Advocata proposed the privatization of Sri Lankan Airlines. In June 2016 Cabinet approved PM’s proposal to hire US firm McKinsey & Co for $2.3mn to establish a Central Program Management Unit inside Temple Trees to monitor projects under new Development (Special Provisions) Bill. A foreign firm is paid to monitor Bills passed in SL!
Advocata in Nov 2016 recommended the SL Budget 2017 reactivate 987,000 acres in the Land Reform Commission. They categorized schools, govt ministries, military-occupied buildings, etc., as ‘prime real estate’ and claimed they ‘outweighed their economic value’ and wanted them shifted! So the hue & cry to downsize the military is part of this larger objective! What excuse will they give to remove schools? Is the decision to remove 25,000 slums in Colombo City by 2020 part of this bigger objective? Will they soon remove residential housing too?
When Advocata recommends an ‘independent body free of political influence to minimize corruption’ it means give it to ‘independent’ foreigners who will bribe ministers to get what they want! This is just like Sri Lanka suddenly being upgraded to ‘upper middle class’ country as MCC grants are given only to such countries!
How can a govt give access to SL’s land records to foreigners to exploit & recommend to be sold to foreigners?
So we are not surprised when the Central Bank outlined new laws and institutional reforms to establish a land bank as part of a move to remove ‘archaic’ laws and then arrives Prof. Hausmann Director of Harvard Centre… [ee – see Avocado’s response to Haussman:https://avocadocollectiveblog.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/the-know-nothing-path-to-development/]
Millennium Challenge Corporation:
MCC is a US government body. Its head is the US Secretary of State. It has an ‘office’ inside Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister’s Office. Did the MCC draft the PM’s ‘Vision 2025’? Is Sri Lanka’s strategies formulated by the foreigners working inside the PM’s office?
Why is MCC grant covering only a few provinces and selected districts if it is for all Sri Lankans? Why is MCC grant subject to conditions of privatizing all state land? How is MCC evaluating Sri Lanka? Who is evaluating Sri Lanka? Who is providing the data? How sovereign is Sri Lanka when all decisions are being drafted & wetted by foreigners?
Clearly, Sri Lanka’s governance & government has been infiltrated by foreigners and stooges of these foreigners have been placed in prominent roles.
How many in Sri Lanka have identified the enemy & understood the dangers? Should we not be devising ways to overcome and nullify the damage they are doing?
B3. Science Journalism
• Sri Lanka on an astronomical high
“Astronomers from the country have sighted two new ‘exoplanets’, or planets outside the solar system, a rare feat in the study of stars and galaxies that puts Sri Lanka in a special league….
ee asked an world-renowned astrophysicist about this piece of ‘science journalism’. ee believes science journalism to be the highest genre of journalism. So, this is what they had to say:
“The article contains enough information to easily find the (primary source) journal article on the Monthly Notice of the Royal Astronomical Society (which a UK publication, one of the main refereed journal in astronomy). The actual journal article cannot be accessed easily, but the abstract of the article may be obtained.
Without the article, people can only guess as to what was done and who did what. But what they have done is fairly standard, and they have found and verified (with additional observation from ground-based telescopes, almost certainly from the collaborators’ countries’ facilities, likely small telescopes from the European Southern Observatory), that the planet candidates found from the NASA Kepler mission are in fact real planets.
So, all this is fairly standard (as the article said, there are over 4,000 exoplanets found at this point of time). But I guess for Sri Lanka and India, it is the first time. The system they found (2 sub-Neptune planets orbiting one star) is mildly interesting, but not unique by any sense.
The news article was actually reasonably well written, as far as science reporting goes. There are just 2 points that an “insider” may quibble about. One is the Indian Space Organization saying this puts India & SL amongst the handful of countries that have discovered exoplanets. While it is great to see a number of astronomers from ‘developing’ nations getting involved with exoplanet science, this is clearly a misstatement. There must be more than a dozen such countries: e.g., US, Canada, just about all the EU countries, UK, Japan, China, and some S American countries that have astronomers involved in finding exoplanets.
The other is the statement by the lead author himself that “4,000 is just 0.5% of the data… and many more stars to go through…” This gives the wrong impression that people have only gone through 4,000 of the stars in the Kepler data. The data from the many millions of stars in Kepler have been gone through by many researchers many times, and only about 4,000 planets were found! One should not expect to find much more than 0.5% of them should have detectable planets i.e., the Kepler data is already well-mined, and may be pretty much mined out. Perhaps a small additional number will still be found using different/more clever algorithms. The reason is that while just about almost all stars have planets, the “transit” method used by Kepler (and other transit surveys) can only detect the planets whose orbits are in certain geometrical orientations with respect to the line of sight from earth (plus other conditions), which is a very small percentage of a sample of stars.
Most, if not all, science press releases come with various degrees of “hype,” as various people try to use it to further some agenda (such as funding, justification of how great things are going) not directly related with the work. There is always a sociopolitical side of science discoveries that make it to the public realm (via press releases), whether very locally (as this release is), or worldwide (e.g., the recent “imaging” of the blackhole in M87). As an insider, we usually see through all this, and judge whether it is great science, okay science, “blah” science, or even bad science. The article maybe slotted this somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd categories, and it is mostly for local consumption to boost the reputation of local institutions. (As opposed to, for example, the fierce worldwide competition to claim national – for the many countries that were involved in various degrees) credit for the M87 black hole imaging.) The less cynical part is, such science press releases, properly done, hopefully serve the purpose of sparking interests in science in the populace, especially young kids.”
C. News Index______________________________________________
C1. Sovereignty (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.
• Lanka concerned about security situation in Indian Ocean
Defence Secretary, General (Retd) Shantha Kottegoda speaking at the ‘Defence Seminar 2019’ which opened in Colombo on Thursday: ‘There is a massive development in rebel, insurgent, guerrilla and terrorist groups that have religious, political or other motives… presenting an opportunity for external global powers to get actively involved in regional security issues and to maintain a military presence and bases in the name of global security and stability.’
• Govt shelves move to abolish executive presidency
The govt has shelved fresh attempts made by it to enact the 20th Amendment to the Constitution for the abolition of the executive presidency because of objections from the main opposition a section of UNP
• 17th & 18th Amendments, 4 decades of constitutional folly & failure
The idea that key appointments in the state should not be made by elected people’s representatives but by a panel of unelected, wise, politically uninvolved men and women came to the fore with the 17th Amendment which was passed into law in Oct 2001…
• UNP hosts dinner for diplomatic heads ahead of nomination of candidate
• Ministry of Power, Energy & Business Development – National Energy Policy and Strategies of Sri Lanka – Gazette
• Why the rush just before Presidential Elections to sign these agreements? US company Bell Eco also called Bell Geo Space has also been given prospecting rights in the Mannar Basin.
• Back in 2011 there was similar hype when India’s Cairn was prospecting in Mannar
• Total & Petrobas scandal in Brazil & Oil for Food in Iraq. There is need for transparency as these resources belong to the people of Sri Lanka,
• SL to start oil production in 2023; Total, Equinor to study potential
French major Total & Norway’s Equinor are to study the hydrocarbon potential of 2 blocks, & aim to start oil production in 2023. SL does not produce oil & imports fuel – costing $4.15bn in 2018. Cairn India, a subsidiary of London-listed Cairn Energy, confirmed the first discovery of natural gas and the SL Govt says seismic data shows potential for more than 1 billion barrels of oil under the sea in a 30,000 sq.km area of the Mannar Basin, off the northwestern coast, but it did not develop the wells as gas price fell. The block is expected to be awarded by Nov.
• Submarine Data Cables & Maritime Domain Awareness
Is this LNG and oil hype in order to get access to submarine data cables and tap and monitor undersea data cables (UDCs) for hybrid maritime warfare and Cold War in the Indian Ocean, as Cairn India pulled out after investigations in Mannar Basin?
• Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and undersea data cables (UDCs) routes make Sri Lanka a geo-strategic Hotspot, which also may be reason for the play on Mannar island. Check out this map of UDCs where SL is literally smothered
• Maritime Hybrid Warfare: Foretaste for SL of what lies ahead?
Sri Lanka is increasingly the site of what may be called “Maritime Hybrid Warfare” which the US blames Russia for, although USA is the main architect of the concept and practice of maritime hybrid warfare and maritime domain awareness. As the US, French and Norwegian companies prospect in the Mannar Basin for LNG, oil and Rare Earth Minerals? There is need for transparency on what is going on in Sri Lanka’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ also to ensure that the people of Sri Lanka benefit and the environment and fisheries livelihoods not damaged. Aid from Norway and France has systematically underdeveloped the Fisheries Sector in the island for decades, while EU has been over-fishing and looting India Ocean fishery resources, and then holding CITES conference to control the terms of trade in living marine resources under the guise of environmental protection.
• Canadian-owned Ceylon Graphite given mining license
Sri Lanka’s mining regulator, the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) has granted exclusive rights to a Vancouver-based company to begin to mine, process and trade graphite mined in Karasnagala, Sri Lanka. Graphite mined in Sri Lanka is some of the purest in the world, and currently accounts for less than 1% of the world graphite production.
• Prez shoots down PM’s cabinet paper on MCC agreement
But he may resurrect it tomorrow? “The Cabinet decided to put off discussion on the Cabinet paper for two weeks. It was the fourth time that the paper on the MCC was submitted to the Cabinet”
• Sri Lanka at risk of losing US$480mn Millennium Challenge grant
“The program needs to be approved by Sri Lanka before our board meets in September,” Jenner Edelman, the Country Director for the US government owned MCC told EconomyNext. The MCC grant has come under heavy attack from a section of local and expatriate Sri Lankans, who claimed that Americans were using the program to acquire land in Sri Lanka to set up military bases.
• No hidden agendas for US govt in MCC compact: Resident Country Director
‘An extensive consultation was held..especially, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Megapolis… Verite Research’s Nishan de Mel said, ‘Sri Lanka has messed up its opportunities’
• Canadian High Commissioner meets Northern Governor
They discussed the situation of the people in the post-war Northern Prov… Project Planning Officers of the Canadian Integrated Conflict Analysis Process- Sharmala Naidoo & Vikramveer Suagh participated in the meeting held with the Canadian High Commissioner.
• Japan to grant SL Rs1.6 bn to improve Public Security & combat terrorism
• Duplimacy – “It is one thing for an assortment of UN Special Rapporteurs to fly in and out of SL & make homilies on what is happening here, but the UN Human Rights Council, the European Union & the US State Dept have taken a step further, the West’s favorite pastime of whipping this country into shape by issuing statements on who should, or should not be appointed Sri Lanka’s Army chief.”
• An English Daily frontpg banner headlines appointment of Lt General Shavindra Silva as the Commander of the Sri Lankan Army… Below that, in several hues and whimpering diatribes, were many reports of various types of Western Govts, Ambassadors & Commissioners, expressing “grave concerns”, “anxieties”, “worries”, even “apprehensions”, on this appointment. Even a local ethnic political group, a confirmed supporter of terrorism, expressed their “misgivings” on this appointment.
• UN experts say SL army chief appointment is “affront to victims”
The UN experts: Fabián Salvioli, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-repetition; Bernard Duhaime (Chair), Tae-Ung Baik (Vice Chair), Ms Houria Es-Slami, Luciano Hazanand, Henrikas Mickevičius(members) of the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances; Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture & other cruel, inhuman or degrading….
• Mahinda Rajapaksa appoints Prof. Vitarana as coordinator with Tamil leaders
Among those he has already met and are due to meet on his impending visit to the North are former Chief Minister Vigneswaran, TULF leader Ananda Sangaree, ex MP Chandrakumaran, leader of the Tamil Community Progressive Front, Democratic People’s Congress leader, Prabha Ganeshan, leader of the Tamil Socialist Party, Vartharaja Perumal & LSSP Jaffna branch leader, Kunanayakam. Meetings also scheduled with Jaffna Forum, Jaffna Teachers’ Association, Jaffna Vadamarachchi & Poonurin LSSP branches. Discussions due later with Basheer Segu Dawood, & Hasan Ali from Eastern Prov & various leaders representing upcountry Tamil people. MPs Digambaran & Mano Ganeshan of the Tamil Progressive Front have also expressed a desire to meet with Vitarana. Ashroff Aziz, leader of the Democratic Workers Congress has already had discussions with him…
• “Another criticism is regarding Minister Premadasa’s alleged lack of interest in the devolution of power. This is akin to an article of faith to the Tamil polity and essential to win their support. There are only a handful, such as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga who have been unwavering in their public support for this reform. During the past four years as housing minister Sajith Premadasa has gone along with the party leadership’s decisions. This is the team that needs to work together to meet the nationalist challenge posed by Gotabaya Rajapaksa.”
• Hakeem meets DMK leader MK Stalin
• Kshenuka Dhireni Senewiratne is new SL Permanent Rep to the UN
• Sinhala Buddhists are (not) racists
“When news of the first attack came through, the Twitterati were quick to pounce on the most obvious suspects: Sinhala Buddhists. There was no talk of the presumption of innocence unless proven otherwise. Instead Sinhala Buddhists, being obvious perpetrators, had to be singled out, with Gotabaya Rajapaksa as their orchestrator. One tweeter, who lambasted a condolence message by Mahinda and Namal, was scathing in her condemnation of the role played by the family in the rise of Buddhist extremism — until other Twitter-ers pointed out, even more scathingly, that the bombers happened to be non-Sinhala non-Buddhist Islamists.”
• Sirisena caught in Kashmir crossfire
Pakistan High Commissioner Major General Shahid Ahmed Hashmat met President Sirisena, and the Pakistan embassy issued a statement: “President Sirisena acknowledged that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory”… But the statement drew a quick rebuttal from the Presidential Secretariat.
• Xinjiang & Uyghurs: What You’re Not Being Told
• Why the CIA doesn’t spy on the UAE
The United Arab Emirates finances the military leader trying to topple a UN-recognized govt in Libya. It helps lead a coalition of nations imposing an economic blockade of Qatar, despite US calls to resolve the dispute. It hired former staffers of the US National Security Agency as elite hackers to spy in a program that included Americans as surveillance targets, a Reuters investigation found this year.
• Yemen’s Houthis attack Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport
C2. Security (the state beyond ‘a pair of handcuffs’, monopolies of violence)
ee Security section focuses on the state (a pair of handcuffs, which sposedly has the monopoly of 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.
• Former Kegalle DIG’s revelation on Easter attacks
Had former Governor of Western Prov Azath Salley handed over the suspected vandals of the Buddhist statues in Mawanella area, the Easter terror attacks could have been prevented, says the former DIG of Kegalle Palitha Siriwardhane…
• Prez, PM response to Easter carnage: MP, riled by Interpol commendation, questions whether Interpol Secy Gen. sought Lanka’s backing for re-election
• Pro-LTTE groups engage underworld to kill Gotabaya, says Tiger doctor in custody
• Cormorant Strike X-2019 joint military exercise commences on September 03
The FTX will continue until 24 Sept. 2019 covering the Eastern, Central, Western and North Central Provinces and provides a catalyst to build the capacity of Special Operations Forces of the Army. The exercise will start in Minneriya and end on Sept 23 at Kuchchaveli.
• Maj. Gen. Shavendra de Silva is 23rd Commander of SL Army
The Western (read: white) diplomatic community in Colombo reacted strongly by accusing Gen. Silva of violating human rights. Through diplomatic channels, the US had earlier warned the government that his appointment could meet with displeasure by the US. It issued a statement. The European Union followed suit together with the UN Human Rights Council.
• Emergency lifted but armed forces given powers to assist police
Under the emergency, the military had powers to search, seize and arrest and initiate legal action, but now it would have to accompany the police.
• Who created the so-called ‘homegrown’ terrorists?
The failure of government mechanisms to control the inflow of funds, goods and services and visitors into the country provided a free playing field to extremists … get Arab funds to finance their agendas
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.
• ‘Kaaka Muttai’ (The Crow’s Egg): The poor under globalization & neoliberalism?
The film reveals the despicable connections between the businessman/men, the local politicians, the area thugs and the police in no uncertain terms. [but not economists – ee]
• President throws monkey wrench at SL Central Bank reforms: Bellwether
“Buying Treasury bills with printed money has been the biggest source of instability this country has faced since 1950, when the central bank was created, ending a currency board which kept the country stable for almost three-quarters of a century, through two world wars.” [Colonialism huh? – ee]
• SLES Panel on ‘SOEs and recipe for reform’
The Sri Lanka Economic Summit (SLES) 2019 will look at charting the progress in reforming SOEs over the next 5 years… Panel discussion– Recipe for Reform, on 18 Sept. Moderated by Suresh Shah, Past Chairman of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the panel will have Eran Wickramaratne, State Minister of Finance; Dr Sarath Amunugama, Sunil Handunnetti MP, Murtaza Jafferjee, CEO, JB Securities; Thilan Wijesinghe, Chairman, National Agency for Public Private Partnership, Ministry of Finance & Media, and Dr Nalaka Godahewa, Chairman, Helicon Corporate Consultancy.
• Building a Resilient Economy at SL Economic Summit 2019
Aslam Perwaiz, Deputy Executive Director, Asian Disaster Preparedness, will be the keynote speaker at the panel providing a regional perspective. Other panelists feature Gen. Mahesh Senanayake, former Commander, SL Army; Dr Tilak Siyambalapitiya, Managing Director, Resource Management Associates; Prof. Buddhi Marambe, Director, Agriculture Education Unit at University of Peradeniya; Sanath C de Silva, CEO, National Insurance Trust Fund, SL, Kanishka Lad, Security Specialist, S Asia, Int’l SOS, moderated by neoliberal Prof Rohan Samarajiva, Founding Chair, LIRNEasia & Chair ICTA.
• SL needs an economic plan to achieve high economic growth – Lalith Samarakoon, Prof of Finance, Secretary-General & Chief Economist of the National Economic Council of SL: “Export-oriented industrial development financed by private capital, particularly foreign direct investments, is key to higher economic growth.”
• The Singapore Formula: Facts and figures to illustrate how and why it worked so well
“After establishing a firm manufacturing base, the government concentrated on developing skilled manpower base needed for the diversified industries.”
• ‘Country needs to move to technology driven high-skilled exports’ – Abeyratne
10-20 percent of the graduates seek greener pastures since there aren’t much opportunities and rewards in the country for professionals in the science and technology sectors… Investments in human and technological development must be increased to develop skills. The government alone cannot do this. The private sector has a major role to play. The government must support initiatives to develop human capital and technology,” Prof. Abeyratne said.
• Political compulsions are destabilizing the economy – Sanderatne
The most serious economic consequence …is fiscal slippage… the high fiscal deficit would increase the public debt, inflationary pressures, weakening of the country’s export competitiveness and low economic growth….They will erode price stability, increase public debt, exert pressures on exchange rate, affect external trade adversely and people’s livelihoods would be affected on top of the adversity caused by the tourist crash….The debt-to-GDP ratio at the end of 2018 was as much as about 80%….The next government would face the serious economic issues of a high foreign debt of over US$50bn… massive public debt-servicing costs absorb more than the entirety of govt revenue…
• India, bigger than the UK now – Abeyratne
“The US-China trade dispute was basically a dispute of “stealing” by China from the US: According to a study by the Economic Policy Institute, China has stolen 3.4 million American jobs during the period of 15 years from 2001-2015, and caused a massive trade deficit. How did it happen?”
• STG who became SDG of the Central Bank – Wijewardene
Dr STG Fernando, fondly known as STG, was appointed as Director of Economic Research of the Central Bank in 1979…
• SL paid dearly for its utterly ridiculous adoption of the neoliberal IMF prescription
The ‘classic’ developmental state is an ideal type derived from the East Asian – more specifically Japanese – experience between the 1950s and the 1980s.
• African girls’ pee-powered generator raises questions
The Minister of Finance had requested for proposals to be included in the proposed National Budget 2019. …This country had a well-staffed Planning Secretariat prior to 1995…
• Presidential Speech & Policy statement by Gotabaya Rajapakse
• Sajith promises Hayekian, Keynesian policy mix for SL – EconomyNext
Premadasa is perhaps the first senior level politician in SL to publicly mention Hayek… In postwar Germany, Hayekian policies were implemented by Wilehm Ropke & Ludwig Earhard for the Federal Republic’s Social Market Economy, creating the so-called German Economic Miracle overtaking UK which won the war. [EconomyNext has not heard of the massive US Marshall plan, obviously! – ee]
• “Unprecedented” Fears About the Indian Economy?
The biggest concern—and a likely factor behind slowing consumer demand—seems to be the country’s 6.1 percent unemployment rate, the highest in 45 years. An estimated 1 million Indians enter the workforce every month, and enough jobs simply aren’t being created for them. Perhaps unsurprisingly, car sales declined by 36% in July.
• Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems
The term neoliberalism was coined at a meeting in Paris in 1938. Among the delegates were two men who came to define the ideology, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek.
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.
• SL would be bankrupt in Sept: Patali
The country would be bankrupt if the Govt is unable to repay the borrowings obtained from the International Financial Market in Sept, Megapolis & Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday.
• Govt. to borrow Rs2trillion to service debt
Rs1,100 billion had to be paid as debt service; he added pointing out that there is a shortfall of Rs. 206 billion even after the debt and interest are paid off.
• Banks getting in the way of investigations?
Officers investigating bond scams and money laundering have said that they are unable to proceed with the investigations as the banks failed to provide documents pertaining to money laundering dating back to five years, though they requested the respective banks to furnish the same.
• Lankan officials’ overseas training at staggering cost
12 Treasury officials and several others from various Ministries recently embarked on a visit to London for a diploma training course in procurement at Rs1.6million each…
• Evictees compensated to tune of Rs10bn –Finance Minister
“of Rs56bn owed by the State to the people, Rs10bn had accumulated during the Rajapaksa administration… to acquire land for various development projects, particularly highways.”
• Confusing economic signals force firms to delay investment
Impending elections and lethargic government mechanism have cost companies’ bottom lines both of which have compelled many of them to set aside their growth plans…structural changes in financial markets that throw up confusing market signals are an annoying additional challenge.
• Why the Arab world is betting on China
• ADB Chief meets Modi; pledges $12bn in support of new flagship initiatives
…In May 2019, ADB made its single largest non-sovereign loan to date by committing $750mn to the Indian Railways Finance Corporation to support the electrification of existing railways tracks… India is an ADB’s founding member since 1966, now its biggest borrower. ADB has committed $39.7bn in sovereign lending and $5.7billion in non-sovereign lending and investment by June 2019.
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
• Pre-election bonanza for top public servants
More categories to get duty-free vehicle permits equivalent to Rs22million… The moves come despite the Treasury issuing strict directives to all state institutions to cut down expenses, in the wake of the cash-strapped government struggling to revive the economy
• New alert system offers lifeline to small fishing boats
While multi-day fishing trawlers are fitted with VHF radios, there is no way to contact small fishing vessels in an emergency.
• There are more than 14,000 Grama Sevakas under more than 330 Divisional Secretaries across Sri Lanka and they come under the Home Affairs Division of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Their duties… include issuing various permits, gathering statistics, maintaining the voter registry and keeping the peace by settlement of personal disputes…They also issue residence certificates (even for gun licences and when someone has to appear in court), assessment reports, recommendation for timber permits, permits for animal transportation, among others. They are also apparently responsible for keeping track of criminal activity in their area and issuing a certificate of residence and character on behalf of residents when requested by them.
• Stating that the 21stC gives prominence to intelligence, the presidential hopeful said steps would be taken to increase the facilities at universities, upgrade them to be on par with other universities in the Asian region and expand technical education.
• Must build a disciplined society that protects women’s dignity – Gotabaya
…female soldiers had sacrificed their lives during the 30-year war that plagued the island nation…
• SLPP’s policies will give prominence to motherhood – Mahinda
microfinance loans have made rural women debt-ridden, the former President added.
• Unchained is a gripping eyewitness account of Phyllis Coard, tasked in 1977 by the future leader of the Grenada Revolution (1979-83), Maurice Bishop, to organize and build from scratch a National Women’s Organization in Grenada. Led by a team of outstanding women, one-third of all Grenadian women joined well over 100 organized groups of the NWO throughout the country.
• Puerto Rico: Shift from Mass Protests to People’s Assemblies
In the wake of the massive demonstrations that forced the resignation of Puerto Rican governor Ricardo Rossello, dozens of people’s assemblies have sprouted across the island to discuss the critical next stage in the struggle for popular democracy.
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.
• “Farmers affected by drought in Anuradhapura. They have been fasting for days, seeking water. The Agriculture Minister is from that district. Yet no one is here.”
• Father poisons 2 sons, hangs himself
A 31-year-old father from Palliwasalpaduwa in Udappuwa Puttalam poisoned his 2 sons, aged 13 and 7
• Dr Hans Wijayasuriya to deliver keynote at 165th AGM of Planters’ Association
on 20 Sept at the Kings Court of the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo at 7 p.m.
A membership in excess of 180, including 23 Regional Plantation Companies, manages approx 40% of the country’s tea, rubber, palm oil & coconut lands plus management of 332 factories. The sector directly employs nearly 200,000 individuals & with indirect employment, provides livelihood of over one million Sri Lankans…
• Sri Lanka needs marketing strategies for coconut
… one of the major plantation crops in Sri Lanka which accounts for approximately 12% of all agricultural produce in the country. Sri Lanka is one of the leading countries in coconut production. We are in the fifth place on the global map with 2,520,095 tons.
• Sri Lanka to fund technology upgrades of rural dairy, agriculture and fisheries
• World Food Program supports vulnerable areas
The WFP-Sri Lanka Country Strategic Plan 2018-22 MoU was exchanged between V Sivagnanasothy, Secretary Ministry of National Policies & Brenda Barton, Representative & Country Director, World Food Program… to rehabilitate 16 Minor Irrigation Tanks, Agro wells & livelihood support to vulnerable farmer families in Thanamalwila in Moneragala, Weligamuwa in Matale, Vavunativu in Batticaloa, Thunukai in Kilinochchi and Musali in Mannar.
• Myliddy Fishing Harbour costing Rs150mn to uplift Vali-North fishermen
“Sri Lanka is the second-largest island in the Indian Ocean… We have failed to build a fishing industrial culture in this country. Most of the fishing is still coastal fishing. We have deep sea fishing too but we haven’t even thought of international fishing. In 1982, almost 42% of the fisheries production came from the North and East province particularly Northern Province…“In the last 15 years, over 10 fishing harbours were renovated from Puttalam to Pottuvil. But none were done in the north. From Pesalai to Thondamanaru, we have identified five fishing harbours.
• Wildlife Minister to remove protected status for areas from Wilpattu Park
Government plans to remove several acres of the protected Wilpattu National Park where a church is located from ‘Protected Area’ status has shocked conservationists.
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.
• Germany presses for lifting SL foreign ownership limits in logistics
German logistics companies want foreign ownership limits removed on shipping agency and freight forwarding businesses…Visiting Germany Vice-Minister, Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Germany Steffen Bilger…told the ‘German-Sri Lankan Logistic Conference 2019’ organized by the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka.
• Blame game and delaying tactics will not revive the economy’
Sales of many sectors have dropped. The production and sales of local industries, such as, garments, food, lubricants, handicrafts, soft accessories , toys, vegetables and furniture have dropped drastically… foreigners have lost confidence in local investments and sales of foreign based stocks have increased… foreigners are selling their shares and taking their money away from the country.
• Railway department to procure 5,000 rails at US$2.3mn
• CPC says can’t cut jet fuel prices to levels at Chennai airport
• For starters, let me point out the Annual Grants to 2 of our supposedly Top Institutions – The National Academy of Science and Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science – are woefully less than what it costs to have a single day’s expenses of a Parliamentary sitting (often for a brief few minutes for lack of a Quorum) and possibly less than two day’s cost of running its Canteen!
• Sri Lanka’s state run job skilling apparatus, the Technical, Vocational Education Training (TVET) is now poised to receive its largest project funding in its history as once agreements are finalised, a US$50mn facility is set to spawn a fully-fledged Ocean University in SL, Ministry of Industry & Commerce & Vocational Training announced today.“We thank the people of S Korea…” said the Minister of Industry, Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training (ICTPDPCDSDVT) Rishad Bathiudeen. Joined by his State Minister Buddhika Pathirana, former President Chandrika Bandaranike Kumaratunge, Minister of Skills Development & Vocational Training Karunatilleke Paranavithana, Minister of Transport Arjuna Ranatunga, HE S Korean Ambassador in SL Heon Lee, & Country Director of Colombo Representative Office of Korea Eximbank Daekyoo Park, Minister Bathiudeen was addressing the launch event of modernised Gampaha Technical College (GTC) in Gampaha.
• Indo-Lanka auto majors begin SUV KUV100 production locally
The Ideal Motors’ car will be an indigenous one with up to at least 35% of local value addition. The parts will be manufactured in-house or in a Vendors’ Park located near the main factory….The first vehicle was rolled out last Saturday. The local assembly operation makes use of four components such as tyres, batteries, exhausts and seating systems. While tyres will be supplied by CEAT tyres, the automotive batteries will come from the battery maker Exide, both Indian companies… Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu said, that the plant symbolises the promotion of ‘Make in Sri Lanka’ alongside ‘Make in India.’…
• Calls for electric vehicle production in Canada under public ownership
C8. Finance (Making money from money, banks, lack of investment in modernity)
ee Finance tracks the effects of financialization, pointing to the curious role of ratings agencies, again false indices, etc.
• Eran alleges banks fleecing customers, assures new Bill won’t change PB ownership
State Finance Minister Eran Wickremaratne, yesterday, flayed both state and private sector banks for fleecing customers.
• Foreign institutional bond selling spikes amid CBSL rate cuts
The foreign outflows have caused pressure on the Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR) with the currency sitting close to Rs180/US$.
• Mahindra Finance, Indian corporate conglomerate, focuses on rural and semi-urban markets, in joint venture with Welgama’s Ideal Finance, chose SL for its “vibrant financial services market”. Ideal Finance was the last finance company to be licensed by the Central Bank.
• Sri Lanka intervenes to defend rupee after liquidity injections
“He said there may be other ‘non-economic’ factors disturbing the market. Governor Coomaraswamy said there were about the equivalent of 700mn USD of rupee bonds in the hands of foreign investors some of whom have begun to sell.’ Sri Lanka had about 8.2 billion dollars of forex reserves and as a rule of thumb authorities were comfortable with 6.5 billion US dollars, he said. Analysts have called for ‘floating with excess liquidity’ to be made a criminal offence to reduce monetary instability.
• SL’s credit profile reflects ongoing liquidity & external vulnerability risks-Moody’s
Very weak public finances, large refinancing needs, remain a key credit weakness
• Moody’s forecasts Sri Lanka growth to weaken, slow recovery
More trade reliant economies will see a greater deterioration in growth through the export channel,..
• SEC indicts 4 more pump & dump era manipulators
17 probes on stock market manipulations during former SEC chairman Thilak Karunaratne’s time were closed upon his resignation by his successor Nalaka Godahewa who was appointed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Aug 2012
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 selling, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of press releases disguised as ‘news’
• Toronto tourism fair: Lanka’s rogue delegation goes missing in Canada
Tourism Minister John Amaratunga said the signature in a letter that had been sent claiming that a team was participating in the fair was not his….
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.
• Presidential poll to be announced in 2nd half of Oct
Dates for the presidential election would be announced during the second half of October, Elections Commission sources said yesterday… most probably the nominations would be called between Nov 15 & Nov 30 and the election would be held on a Saturday.
• Govt. to increase financial allocations to electorates
The government would increase financial allocations to each constituency by another Rs.100 million soon bringing the total investment to Rs. 400 million in an electorate to accelerate the growth in the country and improve the family income in the rural sector
• Sri Lanka’s king-maker Tamils weigh candidate options, lean towards reds
A constituent member of the TNA, the Democratic People’s Liberation Front (DPLF), had a one-on-one meeting with Rajapaksa recently and made it clear that it was unable to endorse his candidacy.
• JVP tars SLPP as a trap laid by CIA
• DEW is a brand: A tribute
current leader of the Communist Party of Sri Lanka…
• Sri Lanka has failed in good governance promises
Out of 225 parliamentarians only 10 have submitted their Assets and Liabilities Declaration… there are 1.4 million public servants and if the Declarations of 25,000 of them are to be investigated, the investigators would have to be highly qualified and paid accordingly…
• Sirisena’s attempt to swear in Sajith as premier fails
• The presidency and the dilemma of the Presidential Election – Ivan
“Ranil Wickremesinghe wanted to clip the powers of the presidential system not because he was disappointed about the corrupt nature of the system, but because he felt that he would not be able to contest and win an islandwide election.”
• Gotabhaya Rajapaksa: A Perspective from a Friend in the US
When Gotabhaya left Sri Lanka the Premadasa government was undergoing a “purge” of the military, and 600 Sri Lankan government policemen were killed when they were ordered to surrender to the LTTE and refused….
• Geetha, Gota & the Elections Commission
What we have is a biased Elections Commission, which is playing ball with the govt on postponing elections and manipulating the timing of elections… It’s vital for the SLPP/JO to take cognizance of who they are dealing with in the form of the Elections Commission and to take precautions accordingly.
• The Provincial Council Elections – the charade goes on
‘Everyone (with the exception of his family) advised EC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya against a resignation, saying with PE round the corner, such a resignation would be disruptive and anti-national.Convinced, he signalled that he would not be resigning.”
– http://www.ft.lk/columns/The-Provincial-Council-Elections-The-charade-goes-on/4-684419 • Anura Kumara Sahodaraya?
Do you realize that although you may not win, you may be the person deciding who our next leader will be? If you get enough votes, no one will get fifty per cent. Then, they will count your second preferences which will decide the winner. You don’t like Gota and the ‘R’ clan but will you ask voters to mark their second preferences for the son of the person who decimated your party twenty years ago, Anura Kumara sahodaraya?
• No bourgeoisie, no democracy
“The JVP has unhesitatingly arrived at the realisation that the task ahead is to bring about changes within the existing parliamentary democracy.”
• Who will deliver the 20th Amendment in the first year? – Phillips
• Advent of People’s Power: A New Dynamic – David
‘The JVP has gained popularity and the PP alliance may, for arguments sake, poll 10%. This means that either Gota or the DNFer, to clear 50%, will have to press the rival below 40%. That’s not possible; the gap is too wide.”
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.
• What ails Sri Lankan Literature?
In the coming Literary month to be followed by the Reading month, let us discuss these issues seriously, and openly in the best interest of Sri Lankan literature.
• Horror Tourism
Built in 1876 by Prisons & Police of the Colonial Govt Inspector General NR Saunders, Bogambara’s Prison’s main inspiration was the Bastille fortress in Paris. Bogambara was Sri Lanka’s second-largest prison and housed gallows, as well as serious offenders and the death row.
• Turning prisons into tourist attractions
“In the view of Director (Media) at the Board of Investment (BOI) which is trying to find foreign investors in the project, it will be difficult to convert the cells into hotel rooms’. The thick walls are difficult to break…” In 1818, chieftain Keppetipola, who had rebelled against the British in Uva, was beheaded on Bogambara grounds….Between 1876-1975, 534 prisoners were hanged at Bogambara.
• Sun directly over Sri Lanka til Sept 7
Sun will be directly over the latitudes of Sri Lanka from Aug 27 until Sept 7, 2019, as its movements begin from the Northern hemisphere to the Southern hemisphere. The sun was over the towns of Nachchikuda, Murukandi, Alankulam and Pirappuvedduvan on August 28.
• ‘Media’ barred from covering event held in support of GR – Journalists lambaste Namal
Print and electronic media representatives, yesterday, asked lawmakers Gunawardena and Semasinghe whether they endorsed the view expressed by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s son, Namal Rajapaksa, MP, at the venue, there was no issue as the event was being live telecast on the social media.
• Anamchara pioneers narrative design for leaders and brands
Narrator draws on a range of cross-disciplinary approaches, including marketing, branding, organisational development, leadership studies, sociology, anthropology, mythology, psychology, and Jungian theory. The presentation by Michel Nugawela was followed by panel with Lion Brewery CEO Suresh Shah, Ceylon Biscuits Managing Director Shea Wickramasinghe, Hettigoda Group Managing Director Asoka Hettigoda, Board PAC CEO Lakmini Wijesundera, Hemas Consumer Brands Director Marketing Excellence Ramani Samarasundera & University of Adelaide Adjunct Associate Professor in Anthropology Dr Michael Roberts.
• Sri Lanka on an astronomical high
Astronomers from the country have sighted two new ‘exoplanets’, or planets outside the solar system, a rare feat in the study of stars and galaxies that puts Sri Lanka in a special league…
• Excavations in Miniyampitiya, Rambukkana found 2 stupas belonging to Anuradhapura era
• Trump’s assistant resigns, said things that were “a little bit hurtful” – Trump
Westerhout abruptly resigned on Aug 29 after Politico reported she had said, among other things, that the president did not like being in pictures with his daughter Tiffany because he viewed her as overweight. Speaking to the media in Washington, DC Aug 30, Trump said Westerhout told him she was drinking and her comments were supposed to be off-the-record
D. A Very Personal Ingrisi History of the World____________________________________________
1870s: 20,000 Lankan women workers sorted & packed coffee.
• Competition from Brazilian coffee (& fungus of 1869) destroyed the coffee industry in Lanka. Chincona briefly replaced coffee.
• Plantations set up for cinchona trees in the highlands, as its bark made the antimalarial quinine. 1880s: Cinchona plantations were ruined due to inadequate subsoil drainage and overproduction.
•Capital exports from England boomed. Trading companies used English capital markets, and availability of limited liability, to raise finance, resulting in investment groups. 1914: Embryonic multiregional business groups had emerged.
• Control of plantation economy by merchant capital was linked to growth of absentee ownership (from 1880). In the coffee-tea transition, proprietary planters and partnerships were displaced by corporate enterprises, financed by capital markets abroad. The interests of merchant capital and productive capital differentiated. As the agent of productive capital’s absentee owners, merchant capital grabbed large sums as trading profits and commissions, and was more interested in trade than in production in the colonies. Merchant capital, though not owners of the plantations, became dominant in the colonial export economy, forming the pattern of investment and surplus utilization. The ‘expansionary momentum of international trade and shipping does not go beyond the port’.
• Australian sugar plantation owners started recruiting Sri Lankan workers for drudgery in Queensland. Initiated perhaps by George Augustus Frederick Elphinstone Dalrymple, a former coffee planter in Ceylon. Coffee planters used Sinhala labour for forest clearing, due to better physique, than immiserated and malnourished S Indian labour. Original Australians absorbed many of the Sri Lankan migrants, including the Appo, Romanis, and Wanitong (Wanigatunge) families.
•Reuters, Havas (now AFP) & Wolff (DPA) divided up the world. Reuters took exclusive rights to gather news & customers in England, Holland and their colonies, Continental Wolff took Germany, Scandinavia, Russia; while Havas took France, Italy, Spain, Portugal. Reuter and Havas both took the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, Belgium. All other countries, including US and its Associated Press, were considered neutral territories. Bombay or Colombo could now communicate with Europe by wire via Teheran and Russia; by cable via Aden, Alexandria and Malta.
• South Australia ‘explored’ importing labour from Lanka. 1870: First Sinhala Buddhists sent to work in sugarcane plantations in Queensland.
• Kandy Malabar House sold to a Madame Piachaud, who made it Queen’s Hotel for English planters, army officers and visitors.
• Sassoons cornered the opium market in India.
• The Bombay Burmah Trading Corporation (BBTC) set up by the Wallace Bros & Co. became the leading producer of teak in Burma & Siam, trading in cotton, oil exploration & shipping. 1977: Standard Bank bought Wallace Bros.
• From L19thC: Textile manufacturing became a far smaller proportion of total employment in the Indian economy – a result of deindustrialization.
• Ahmedabad’s 21 of 25 textile mills, by L19thC, were controlled by Banias and Jains.
• Brothers Jhamatmal & Thakurdas Chanrai from Sind set up operations in Mumbai, moving into the rest of India, Lanka, China, Japan and Southeast Asia, then Nigeria, Sierra Leone & Ghana, Morocco, Chile, Panama, Gibraltar, Malta, Spain. (1948: Thakurdas’s son, Ghanshamdas, & his son Kewalram set up the Kewalram Chanrai Group)
• A vast increase, 1870-93, in silver on world markets from new mines and demonetization of silver, as Germany, Scandinavia and other countries switched to gold standard. Undebased silver coinage of India and currencies of China, Japan & SE Asia ( half the world’s population) suffer unprecedented fall in value.
• Struggles between rival valleys of Paro and Trongsa in Bhutan.
•Chinese Empire, 1870s-1910, still a sovereign country, officially divided into 6 “Spheres of Influence”: Russia claimed area north of Great Wall, Germany claimed Shandong Province, Japan claimed Fujian Prov, England claimed the Yangtze River basin, France claimed southwest Chinese provinces bordering French Indochina & England/France jointly claimed Guangdong Province. Ottoman Empire was also divided by the imperialist powers around the same time.
• Opium dealer Jardine Matheson and its competitors made substantial investments from the 1870s, in joint-stock companies to serve trade. • Opium dealer Jardine Matheson & Co sold Russianoil (carried via Suez) in Shanghai. 1870: The first foreign loan, for railway construction, was floated in London by Jardine Matheson.
• Gilman and Bowman Co – agents for Lloyd’s – shipped opium to and tea from Shanghai & Foochow. 1880s: Became heavily indebted due to preference for Indian and Ceylon teas over Chinese tea.
• Japan developed domestic cotton industry, from 1870s, to replace imports of yarn and cloth draining Japan’s foreign exchange reserves. The Japanese state provided capital at below-market rates and subsidies to industry.
• Railways set up in Australia.
•Henry Morton Stanley (arranged by Edwin Arnold with the Daily Telegraph & New York Herald!) cased the Congo,1870s-1920s, under the sponsorship of king Leopold II of Belgium to make the Congo a colony. Leopold, chairman of the ‘humanitarian’ Association Internationale Africaine aka International African Society played one European rival against the other. Under this cover, the king assembled the terrorist Force Publique to force people to extract rubber and ivory.
• New unpopular taxes to avoid bankruptcy of Khedive Ismail government in Egypt burdened peasantry. Khedive’s shares in Suez sold to England. French officials oversaw Egyptian economy. New Egyptian middle class became the basis of popular nationalist movement.
• Maghrebin agriculture generated both a European bourgeoisie and proletariat. French settlers in Algeria were mostly peasants. 1896: White settlers born in Algeria began to outnumber migrants.
• Europeans settlers arrived again in Surinam, L19thC: By now freed African slaves & Indian settlers strongly competed with Dutch peasants as market gardeners and in dairy. Yet settlers succeeded despite notions: whites could not live in tropical countries, or certain ‘races’ were meant for certain climates. 1920s: White settlers ousted from farming by freed Indian plantation workers, becoming teachers, etc.
• Settler claims to Northern Ontario gave rise to jurisdictional dispute, 1870s-80s, between the federal and provincial governments to control natural resources. Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England ruled in favour of the province. • Many people in Killarney gave up or lost their legal rights as Indians, 1870s-M1900s. Some “sold their status” to the Government, using the funds to build homes. (Some Indians were allotted a life estate in land on the Reserve, while some received one per capita share of the Band’s assets.) 1871: 15,000 people lived in Northern Ontario: Over 50% were First Nations people, over 30% English and 15% French-Canadian.
• Gold rush in McDame Creek and Thibert Creek, a tributary of Dease Creek in British Columbia.1873: Cassiar Gold Rush.
• New Canadian government measures “to keep blacks out or in their place.”
• Roller mills began to supplement millstones on a large scale for flour milling.
• Eastern Canadian flour milling interests entered Manitoba as wheat farming in Ontario “was failing,” and millers needed a new source of grain. Grain trade grew, but most Winnipeg businessmen found real estate and lumber more rewarding.
• La Croix “purifier” and gradual reduction process brought about “a milling revolution,” leading to larger, lower-cost structures for wheat. Hudson’s Bay Mill, and McMillan’s City Mills also quickly converted to the new means of production.
• The mechanically automated “automatic” turret lathe was developed, 1870s-90s, using cams to automate the sliding and indexing of the turret and the opening and closing of the chuck, highly advancing mechanically “automatic” machine tools by their World War I.
• Stationary baler or hay press invented (1850s), only became popular now. Sickles were later replaced by horse-drawn mechanical reapers to harvest grain. Reapers were replaced by the reaper-binder (cuts grain and binds it in sheaves), replaced by the swather and then the combine harvester. The combine harvester headed, threshed and cleaned grain. 1936: Automatic baler invented for hay.
• Invention of rotary pressure cookers & automatic soldering, with the development of ship and rail transport, further developed the canning industry.
• US financial syndicates controlled railroads and coalfields. Coal companies began to recruit European immigrants, ‘herding’ them into freight trains to replace English-speaking miners. English-speaking miners were ‘skilled’, midst a mass of ‘unskilled’ Irish workers.
• Traveller De Tocqueville noted the “extreme separation of the sexes” among white US settlers. In midst of rising ruling-class fears of resistant ‘Indians,’ free African ‘slaves,’ and importation of workers from Europe, the castration of women in the US began on a large non-institutional scale (1870 through mid-20thC), first of rebellious Black women, later Anglo-Saxon women as well. Cliterodectomy (among the first operations to check ‘woman’s mental disorder,’ ‘invented’ by an English gynaecologist in 1858) was begun in the US. 1,000s of women, mainly Black, but later also white, fell victim. Dr. Marion Sims, the “father of gynaecology” and the “architect of the vagina,” performed 1,000s of operations especially on enslaved African women, without anaesthetic. He ‘invented’ the speculum; white people said it ‘brought light” into the womb, like Livingstone ‘exploring’ darkest Africa. Early 20thC: US, male obstetrics totally took over from female midwifery except among ‘Indians’ and Afrikans.
• Women in the US ran 480 campaigns in 33 states, 1870-1910, to put women’s suffrage before white male voters’ mercies. The campaigners came from the “new women left workless by the industrial revolution’s change in work patterns and re-enslaved as possessions of display.” Becoming more conservative, drawing away from the Black and working-class movements, the main question became: ‘Shouldn’t white women be given the vote before Black men?’
• In Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania alone, 566 miners were killed and 1,655 maimed, 1862-69.
• Santa Fe Railroad owners (Boston opium traders to China including John Murray Forbes and Thomas Jefferson Coolidge) tried to prevent rival Denver & Rio Grande Railroad from expansion.
• Major oil exploration in Pennsylvania’s Oil Creek region. 1879: Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company controlled 90% of US refining capacity, majority of rail lines between northeastern US urban centers, and many leasing companies at various oil finds. Petroleum became primary energy source in the world.
• Enslaved African Stephan accelerated curing process of Bright Leaf tobacco using charcoal from blacksmiths. • Albert Pease invented machine to chop up tobacco for cigarettes. Until 1880s, cigarettes were made by hand and expensive
• Russian revolutionary groups (until 1881) were called ‘Populists’ – the Narodniki being the most famous (sending students disguised as peasants to teach socialism in countryside).
• European Emigration peaked, 1870s-1910s.
• Since it was illegal to call for a republic, a “Free People’s State” became a programmatic demand and widely current slogan of the German social democrats. But it was an empty pompous demand (Lenin noted), because every state is not free and certainly not a ‘people’s state.’
• In France, Germany and other European countries, socialist parties and anarchists were prominent in trade unions, especially from now on.
• Average European, North American, Australian, or New Zealander outdistanced most other human beings in health and longevity, 1870s-1945.
– Excerpts from A Very Personal Ingrisi History of the World, Krisantha Sri Bhaggiyadatta _________________________________________________
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