“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
How to Bribe a Sri Lankan Economist
e-Con e-News 01-07 December 2019
“The US Federal Reserve acted quickly in 2007 to ensure that banks all over the world had access to an adequate amount of dollar holdings to meet their obligations… For all the talk about the need for financial transparency, these loans were concealed for fear that they would further undermine market confidence and stir up domestic populist resentments (they would only be revealed by a court order in April 2011, almost 4 years later).” – The Making of Global Capitalism, The Political Economy of American Empire
This ee investigates the widespread media rhetoric against state involvement in the economy, which bolsters the imperialist agenda to divide the people and country. Also, how almost all these anti-state media economists insist on the country taking in the US govt’s MCC largesse. What makes them lockstep and sing in such fine unison on another state’s interference in the economy?
• ee forgot to add to last week’s list of occurrences ‘coincidental’ to GR’s election as President – Swiss Crakas, releasing Gandhi killers, derailing a Jaffna train, etc., – the sudden discovery of further Zahran followers in India…
• A Spate of Media Hype on Sri Lanka and China – The Prime Minister also described a recent spate of media hyping of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s remarks on Hambantota Port deal as “quoting out of context….The President didn’t mean there is any problem about sovereignity. What the President meant was that our government, unlike the previous one, has a principle of not privatizing assets.”
A1. Random Notes
How are Bribes Paid to Economists? • US Treasury Fistful of $s • Free Capital Movements • Free Trade • Capitalist Competition, Contradictions, Class Conflicts • Why MNCs love Supine Nation-States • Exxon & State Dept – Rule 1504 • No MCC $$$ until US Access • Zahran & Modi • Obama wears Blackface • State Bailing out Capitalists Everywhere • Rating Agents • Financialization • The 2007 Crash, Housing & ‘American Dream’ • How G7 became G20 • Do the English know English? The Freudian Comma • Canada’s Labor Party affirms NATO & Israel
A2. Reader Comments
• ee on Social Media • Diaspora Coconuts • Market Minorities • Who decided Minorities? • What happened to the Burgher seat? • What hap in Negombo?
A3. Quotes of the Week
• Sri Lanka makes MCC offer for Florida? • USA only External Nuclear Navy in Indian Ocean • Swiss Official Well Enough to Entertain Rajitha • Biznezmen not professionals to govern us for good, again?
B. ee Focus
B1. Susantha Ratnayake, Keells & Ceylon Tobacco & Stealing Public Resources
B2. India’s National Security Threatened by SL’s MCC Compact – the Military Study Circle
B3. Is Sri Lanka’s Govt Ready to Face International Challenges? – Shenali Waduge
B4. ee Words of Week – ‘American & British’ or US & English?
C. News Index
A1. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_________________
Economists & allied thinktanks harangue about the corruption of public officials & state corporations. Yet there’s less talk about the corruption of economists and other professionals. While, ee does not waste time going on this corruption business – for it’s capitalism that needs to be gone beyond – the numbers of academics & economists piping up for the MCC in unison & in chorus is indeed curious…
Notice how many ‘influential’ people have come out to bat for the MCC? Notice also the confidence with which the US insists Sri Lanka will accede to their MCC demands.
Is it a coincidence how innumerable economists (Wijewardene, Abeyratne, etal), academics (see ee Sovereignty, esp those who start off claiming to be “neutral”), university Economics depts, media sites (esp FT, economyNext, Times, Daily Mirror, some even in Island, etc) and their columnists, not to mention the ‘independent’ (ie US-funded) thinktanks (IPS, LKI, Verite, Advocata, Pathfinder, etc) have been popping out of the woodwork to insist we not miss this opportunity to gain yankee largesse.
So how are these bribes being paid to economists & media? They come in various forms: cash, shares, land, visas, tuition, etc, but most of all, the promise of fresh, lucrative pastures overseas on retirement… which brings us back to the need for economists to disclose their assets before they ask others to do so.
But it is more than just the MCC. These parrots mimic and echo the wish lists and talking points (BOP, FDI, Privatize – euphemized as “broadbasing” or Private-Public Partnerships/PPP), Deregulate, Export, Export, Export) of the IMF, World Bank, WTO and other international financial institutions (IFIs). These IFIs in turn are fronts for the US Treasury & Federal Reserve.
It was from “a briefcase stuffed with bills printed by the Federal Reserve or US Treasury for such occasions”, that in exchange for handing over national resources, Bolivian generals were paid $1million each, with lower-ranking police officials paid $100,000 each, by CIA officials” (see ee Sovereignty)
The special role of the US Treasury & Federal Reserve, beyond the Pentagon & CIA, is to promote ‘free’ capital movements & ‘free’ trade, while trying to contain global capitalism’s international economic crises.
Such crises continually arise due to competition & contradictions in & between capitalist states, and class conflicts within those states, and ultimately due to the reduction of the rate of profit.
While it’s common to hear the nation-state is a thing of the past, multinational corporations (MNCs), with US MNCs in the lead, still need capitalist states to maintain property rights, oversee contracts, stabilize currencies, reproduce class relations, and contain crises, while their economists and academics promote capitalist markets, capitalist values & capitalist social relationships supervised by supranational, undemocratic corporate institutions, e.g. WB, IMF, WTO, ADB, European Commission.
Yet, we must remind that Trump’s first Secretary of State Tillerson only agreed to take his job in 2017 if bribery of foreign officials did not have to be disclosed in the US.
Rockefeller’s Exxon, with CEO Tillerson, had funnelled 100s of millions via a Washington bank, to a head of state, the longest ruling President in the world (no US-funded civil society calling for term limits there!) and the ruling families.
Under US law, it is no longer required to disclose bribes:
“US Pres Donald Trump’s first Sec’y of State Rex Tillerson was a Rockefeller Exxon CEO. Senate investigators found Exxon was using Washington’s Riggs Bank to funnel 100s of millions of $s to the head of Equatorial Guinea, with its enormous gas and oil reserves. Exxon also paid for the children of high-ranking EG govt officials to study in the US. In 2010, Congress included new disclosure regulation, Rule 1504, in the Dodd-Frank legislative reforms on banks. Exxon CEO Tillerson argued against it, but it was approved. On Feb 1, 2017, Exxon lobbyists got Congress & Senate to rescind Rule 1504. Almost exactly an hour later, Tillerson was confirmed as US Sec’y of State.” –https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/16/rex-tillerson-at-the-breaking-point (ee 22 Sept)
Tillerson also stated, no MCC bribes will be paid until economic changes are made:
In a March 2018 speech on US-Africa relations, then US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson described the coercive essence of MCC that goes far above and beyond the particular project targeted. Referring to a $524mn compact signed with Cote d’Ivoire to improve its education & transport sectors, Tillerson declared, “This was only possible after the country had implemented policies to strengthen economic freedom, democratic principles, human rights, and to fight corruption. Spurring reforms before a dollar of US taxpayer money is even spent is the MCC’s model.” (see ee 3 Nov, Kunanayagam).
• Finance capitalism, when about to experience a severe downturn, resorts to installing ‘social democratic’ governments who apply first aid to deep-seated structural malignancy, and then fail, resulting in the return of their usual puppets?
So when the US economy crashed under Bush Jr, Obama in blackface was brought in to rescue the system. Once his role was played in saving the banks, Trump took over blaring he was going to make the US great again… Yet the US role as the leading economic and military power never changed, despite the claims it’s an empire in decline. By way of comparison, England continued to project its strategic power strongly, long after it had been overtaken as an economic power, by virtue of its unmatched military strength. The “Amethyst Incident” during China’s revolution in 1949 saw the swansong of British gunboat diplomacy, but by then England’s terminal decline was evident.
• Capitalist economists bluster aloud in the media against the govt ‘intervening’ in the economy, yet white militaries (dipping into ample state budgets) not just intervene but invade and plunder the economies of other countries, whenever they can.
These economists happily ignore how with each capitalist crisis, recurring with ever increasing rapidity, these state-non-interference sermons are quickly abandoned, as their states resort to quick solutions to keep capitalism afloat, making the next crisis even worse.
From market crashes, over the last 4 decades, in Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Argentina (whose govt was forced by popular revolt to reject the IMF’s medicines to deepen “structural adjustment” and prioritize debt repayment), to the 1997 ‘Asian Contagion’, the US Nobel-Prize-Winning LTCM’s collapse, to Brazil, to the NASDAQ dot.com crash that crashed Enron (“outright fraud”), and one of the top 5 global accounting firms, Arthur Andersen, to 2007, etc…
In each case they applied the white paint of superficial reform (more ‘accurate’ financial statements needed, CEO salaries too high, etc) while ignoring “insider” privileges to information that conjures ginormous profits, leading to greater disasters, with our economies rescuing the US economy, by funding US mortgages and consumer credit.
The ratings agencies (Fitch, Moody’s/now Acuity, S&P, etc, which now judge us daily) had given those “derivative and securitized instruments” that caused the 2007 crash, “Triple-A status”, and involved big New York investment banks, the largest US and also European commercial banks, as well as the largest insurance company in the world, AIG! They used a “shadow banking system” to create “special investment vehicles” (SIVs) to avoid the Federal Reserve’s regulations on reserves, etc.
By 2007, the financial sector’s share of total profits hit 33% (over double its share in 1980), much of it from banks trading in these SIVs rather than underwriting industrial production. Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Citigroup, all indulged in borrowing at low interest to purchase high-yield assets. Financial market actors, incentivized by “compensation scheme” (salaries linked to quick profits) produced quick incomes but exposed the system to further risks.
Housing finance was one attractive theatre, which sucked in rich and poor, selling privatized dreams. Workers, whose wages were stagnating, also got played, first by allowing their pension funds (think of ETF!) onto the stock market, allowing use of their only possessions, their homes, to increase consumption by taking out second-mortgages on bubble-inflated valuations.
This game itself was linked to the terrible situation in US cities, so the state promoted the use of private funds to build adequate “low-income” housing, creating “entrepreneurs” whose only ability was to sell mortgaged homes to working people. The big banks created and used a class of loan sharks (“brokers”) to profit off homes in places the banks originally called “slums”, etc (hail megapolis!), putting more working people into debt by giving them home “ownership”.
The private commercial banks, backed by the US govt’s privatized home loan agencies (Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, though still “govt sponsored”, hence guaranteed those loans), then gambled with these debts. These “subprime loans”, by 2004, were 20% of all US mortgages.
All this was paraded as the “American Dream”, as capitalism’s triumphant march, with workers being given ‘early financial literacy’, tho it was the “brokers” and their respectable bankers who were making wild profits.
So again, when their very existence was on the line, as in the 2007 meltdown, the US Treasury and Federal Reserve immediately intervened, abandoning decades of sermons that still continue today (through their IPSs, Advocatas, etc) about laissez-faire, etc.. The US govt acted as the ‘lender of last resort’ to their domestic banks (deemed “too big to fail”) but also to foreign banks.
The G7 became the G20! They strengthened the international regulatory regime. In 2007, the US Treasury Secretary told the IMF, the rules for banks had fallen behind market ‘innovations’, and rules were necessary to make the US and financial system stronger, taking their allies with them. The “largest peacetime fiscal stimulus in history” followed, plus the monetary policy of “quantitative easing”. With the G20, they all rushed to hold US Treasury bonds for safety… (cont’d next week)
• Do the English know English, or is it the old Game? The English Conservative Party has now denied they wish to divide Sri Lanka. While the Oxford comma adds commas to an entire list of 3 or more items, perhaps this is a new grammatical device, the Freudian Comma, the absence of which reveals true intentions! –
“We will continue to support international initiatives to achieve reconciliation, stability and justice across the world, and in current or former conflict zones such as Cyprus, Sri Lanka and the Middle East, where we maintain our support for a 2-state solution. – England’s Conservative Party manifesto
• “Canada’s New Democrats have appointed Jack Harris, a NATO Committee Parliamentary group vice-chair, as Foreign Policy critic. Harris vocally supported the bombing of Libya and has criticized the Conservatives and Liberals in the past for not spending enough on the military. The NDP’s Foreign Policy remains committed to the Canadian imperialist project and the larger imperialist project of NATO, which has brought so much misery to the peoples of the world. Anti-Palestinian NDP MP and chair of the Canada-Israeli Interparliamentary Group Randall Garrison remains the Defense Critic. These are utterly shameful postings: betraying both the many NDP members who worked against war and unilateral violence committed by the Canadian govt, and of the Canadian peace movement.” – Yves Engler
A2. Reader Comments
• “I summarize excerpts from ee for my social media posts, it gets people excited!”
• “People wonder what happened in Negombo. ‘Why did people vote for Sajith?’, ask SLPP supporters, ‘Did they forget about Easter Sunday?’ They also fall into the ‘ethnic’ trap. In actual fact, the voting patterns in majority Sinhala electorates reflect the class composition of the electorates. Colombo city, home to the elite, voted for Sajith. The lower-middle class and working-class suburbs voted for Gota. The same pattern can be seen in Negombo city, where the richer middle class and upper class live. The poorer urbs, such as Wennappuwa, voted for Gota.”
• “Re: Majoritarian, do you think white people love Tamils or Muslims, or Sinhala? The children of the so-called diaspora (from Jewish mythology) in Canada, Europe, US are all growing up as coconuts – brown on the outside, white on the inside, learning the majority language, English…”
… “At Independence, Northern Tamils made up 60% of the civil service. As late as 1970, 35% of entrants to university medical, engineering & science faculties were Northern Tamil. The media-wise standardization and district-basis, which some claim led to the separatist insurrection, actually benefited non-Jaffna Tamils, Estate Tamils & Muslims.
The Tamil Congress demanded 50% of seats in Parliament and 50% of govt employment in the 1930s. The FP merely split from the TC. They are both communal parties, with no following among the estate workers.
Discord existed from the time the English decided to undermine the loyalty Northern Tamils felt for Sinhale (Kandy) by concentrating missionary schools in the Jaffna peninsula – US missionaries were not allowed to venture out. From the beginning of their suzerainty, the English attempted divide and rule, giving the monopoly over rice supply to Muslim and Nadar trader/moneylenders, over opium to Chetty merchant/moneylenders, and attempting to import a stratum of medium landowners from among Christian South Indians and Chinese in Malaysia.
The central problem in Sri Lanka has never been language, religion or nationality (SL Tamils are quite happy in England, where Anglicanism is the state religion & English is the state language, where they’re very much a minority). It has been economic underdevelopment. We are still very much a colonial economy, in which rentiers rule the roost. I think you have to realize neither the Tamil Diaspora nor the LTTE have that much clout. The long-term imperialist aim has always been to divide Sri Lanka. Don’t forget that Balasingham worked at the English High Commission…”
• Re: Minorities, Who decides who is a Minority & who is not? It’s insensitive we’re told to consider the bourgeosie as the only minority. How have ‘minorities’ been manufactured throughout our history? The English once considered the Burghers sufficiently important as to be considered representatives of the people: “They have risen to eminence at the Bar and occupied the highest positions on the Bench. They are largely engaged in mercantile pursuits, and as writers and clerks they fill places of trust in every administrative establishment from the Dept of the Colonial Secretary to the humblest Police Court. It is not possible to speak too highly of this meritorious body of men by whom the whole machinery of Government is put into action. They may fairly be described in the language of Sir Robert Peel as the brazen wheels of the executive which keep the golden hands in motion.” (Emerson Tennent, Colonial Sec’y on Dutch Burghers, 1860)
A3. Quotes of the Week_____________________________________
• “We propose that Sri Lanka make a financial offer to the US, based on the very same terms and conditions as the MCC has proposed to SL. Our focus of interest is a Corridor of 500 miles running from Jacksonville to New Orleans. Outlining the proposal in broad terms, Sri Lanka shall be investing US$800mn in the project involving land, transportation, food. Pivoting to Jacksonville with SL, we hope, will be our friends, India, China, Iran & Cuba.” (see ee Focus B2, Military Circle)
• “The USA has become the only external naval superpower with widespread naval wherewithal in the Indian Ocean, including the full-fledged Diego Garcia naval facility.” (ee Security, Keerawella)
• “She has already made statements to the Swiss Embassy officials, and even some politicians like UNF MP Rajitha Senaratne are privy to what she has said about her alleged abduction. This can be considered sufficient proof that she is in a position to talk. Senaratne has told the media that her abductors thrust the barrel of a pistol into her mouth to intimidate her… The manner in which the Swiss Embassy has chosen to act in respect of the alleged abduction is a foretaste of what is to come in case of the implementation of the Status of Forces Agreement between SL and the US with US troops being stationed here. Sri Lanka already finds itself in such a situation that its police cannot even record a statement from a Sri Lankan citizen working for a foreign mission; how helpless the police would be in the event of offences being committed by foreign troops here with legal immunity is not difficult to imagine. – http://island.lk/index.php?page_cat=news-section&page=news-section&code_title=55
• “They are appointing businessmen & not professionals as Chairmen of public corporations. What a shame. They will lose support before the elections.” (see ee Focus B1, Ratnayake)
B. Special Focus____________________________________________
B1. Susantha Ratnayake, Keells & Ceylon Tobacco and Stealing Public Resources
Susantha Chaminda Ratnayake, recently appointed to oversee public corporations, was appointed Chairman of the Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC) in March 2013. According to Bloomberg.com, database on executive profiles, he’s “connected to 46 board members in 9 different organisations across 13 different industries”.
Ratnayake went to school in Trinity College Kandy and Royal College Colombo, even though he did not complete his secondary education. He joined John Keells Holdings PLC (JKH) in 1978, becoming chairman in 2006.
JKH engages in a wide range of ‘industries’ including Hospitality, Retail, Food, Financial services, Plantation services, Transportation, Real Estate. Ratnayake is the Chairman of all the subsidiary companies of the group. Ratnayake was reportedly mentored by Ken Balendra, Ratnayake’s predecessor in both CTC and JKH.
Employment History with the Tobacco Industry
Ratnayake functioned as a non-Executive Director in the Board of Directors of the CTC from
Oct 2006… appointed Chairman March 2013.
Local media published several adverse reports on Ratnayake and his family members during the period as reflected by the following examples:
Ratnayake was accused by media in 2015 on his involvement in a controversial deal on a casino licence (also see ee 16 Nov, JKH Bunkering Scandal). The accusation was based on a reported declaration made to the CID of SL Police by a former MP, Sajin Vaas Gunawardena.
Ratnayake’s daughter Anitra was among the 12 consultants in Commonwealth Heads of Govt Meeting held in SL in 2013. Reportedly those consultants were recruited by the Minister SV Gunawardena under non-transparent recruitment criteria.
Ratnayake’s name was mentioned in the media reports on controversial privatising of the SL Maritime Services in 2002. Allegations were based on an appeal to the Supreme Court by MP Vasudeva Nanayakkara.
As of 2017, Ratnayake was the only member of the CTC Board of Directors holding company shares under his or his family members’ name.
Ratnayake retired from…the Board…31 July 2018, after completion of his 5year period as Chairman.
Positions in Government Institutions Held Simultaneously
Ratnayake held the following positions in govt or affiliated institutions while holding a CTC post:
Member, Tourism Sovereign Rating & Investment Promotion Clusters of the National Council of Economic Development (from 2008)
Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board (2010-11)
Director, Sri Lankan Airlines (2011-15)
Director, Waters Edge (2011)
Positions in Govt Institutions Held Prior to or After Tobacco Industry Employment:
2019 Nov – Member of 6-Member Committee of Professionals appointed by the President to “make recommendations on the appointment of competent personnel to the Boards of Public Enterprises, Statutory Agencies and State-owned Commercial Businesses”.
Positions Held in Other (Non-Govt) Institutions:
Majority of Ratnayake’s managerial career is within the John Keells Holdings Group… Chairman from 2006. The complete list of JKH positions as of 2017 can be found in Bloomberg Executive Profile.
The other institutions in which he held governing positions:
Employers Federation of Ceylon – Chairman
Ceylon Chamber of Commerce – Chairman
Sri Lankan Airlines Catering Ltd – Director
Nations Trust Bank PLC – Director
Union Assurance Ltd – Director
B2. India’s National Security Threatened by SL’s MCC Compact – the Military Study Circle, SL
“Reliable intelligence sources indicate that India was blindsided when details of the MCC work plan for Sri Lanka leaked out into the public domain.
Until then Alaina Teplitz glibly lied to the public that the MCC money was simply a ‘Grant’ to Sri Lanka, that SL did not have to pay back a Cent, that the Compact would not affect SL’s bank balance.
But, what Teplitz did not say, amongst many other things, was that although Sri Lanka did not have to pay back a ‘cent’, SL had, in lieu of monetary payments, to accommodate the US by making available special land corridors which the US was insisting on, to repeal local land laws and make new land laws to make all Sri Lankan land available for outright purchase by the US, to replace SL Laws with US laws in all land areas owned by the US, to make the MCC the supreme body (over the Govt of Sri Lanka) in making land policy, doing land research and disbursing Sri Lankan funds, in contravention of the SL Constitution.
And, Teplitz also did not say that a large sum of the US$480mn pledged had already been spent, paid to US contractors for work that Sri Lanka is required to do before the Compact is signed.
Unfortunately for Teplitz, MCC’s Steve Dobrilovic unwittingly leaked out, into the public domain, the gist of the MCC Compact, in the form of a work plan made by the MCC. (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rmhfN6_NaTnz9IriymMxQrlpy6fL7rlV/view?usp=sharing)
The MCC work plan included the map of SL in 2050 and the focus of US’s interest: The Economic Corridor from TCO to CBO, the electrified railway line between these 2 locations, intervention in Colombo’s transport problem, a specially outlined niche (with access to the Bay of Bengal) in the East of the Island where Zaharan cadres are located, an International Airport in Polonnaruwa and a clear pictorial statement that the Ministry of Lands is subordinate to the MCC; also subordinate to the MCC is SL’s Ministry of Finance which Constitutionally is tasked to manage and control SL’s funds.
Confronted with these documents, the MCC Country Director Edelman went red in the face and was nonplussed; she mumbled that Steve had mistakenly given the wrong map.
The writing on the wall is very clear. The Americans are attempting to take over Sri Lanka in line with their pivot to Asia policy and Sri Lanka is key to that policy.
Sri Lanka will be their hub. It would serve as their military, terrorist & narcotic hub which would destabilise the littoral states & shipping in the Bay of Bengal.
There are several indicators to substantiate this construct.
In 2017 the US military, lingually erased the Indian Ocean and renamed it the ‘Indo-Pacific Ocean’.
In the same year the Pacific Command of the US Army was renamed the Indo-Pacific Command and its responsibility was extended beyond the Pacific to the Indian Ocean.
Japan is the anchor of US Military strategy in the East. To accommodate the new strategic vision of the US, Abe passed legislation in the National Diet that removed the restriction on Japanese military expansion and enabled the Japanese to move their military into the Indian Ocean.
Japan is playing a key role in the MCC plans. To justify Japanese presence in Colombo, Karunanayake on instructions from Washington, gridlocked Colombo traffic from 24 KPH to 6 KPH.
Will the Japanese monorail gives respite to traffic congestion, artificially created, which the Japanese have justified their access to Colombo and to key intersections in the road highway network.
The electrified railway from Trinco to Colombo (given in the MCC Map) is being constructed by the Japanese, giving them access to the TCO Harbour as well as to the CBO Harbour.
Furthermore, the Japanese are attempting to ensure that India walks in lockstep with them, selling India much needed submarines.
There are more indicators that go to make the drawing on the wall, clearer. The Indo-Pacific Command, with their funds, built 7 barracks in areas that included Nintavur, Soodaikkudah, Adalachenai, Sainthamaruthu; the barracks could accommodate a Division of US troops in the designated caliphate in the East of the Island. The cost of the barracks was $US1mn apiece…all built, by their Pakistan contractor, Maqbool Engineering Consultants, under high security conditions.
These barracks are located in the caliphate area of the MCC Map, as are Hizbullah’s Shariya ‘University’ and the Zaharan terrorist stronghold. The US boots on ground would have eyeball supervision of these caliphate terrorists, the TCO harbour & TCO Oil Tanks.
It is significant that the Caliphate area interfaces the Bay of Bengal and provides maritime access to the Eastern Seaboard of India, to the littoral States in the Bay and to International shipping traffic.
There is credible intelligence that the US Embassy in Colombo was predominantly involved in the Easter Bomb attacks. Teplitz suggested that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s ISIS terror group may have been involved.
Trump, President of the US, says emphatically that Obama is the founder of the ISIS & Hillary Clinton its co-founder. He has reconfirmed this many times
In US political circles, Teplitz is regarded as a Hillary-Clintonphile.
With the Pivot to Asia, the US has transferred 60% of its Naval Assets into the ‘Indo-Pacific Ocean’ and pivoting along with the US into Colombo are US’s Military Allies that include Japan, Singapore, Australia; Sri Lanka has signed, in secret, Treaties with these countries.
In recent times the Bay of Bengal has got increasingly militarised, with the US conducting trilateral and multilateral military exercises. Never before have Foreign military forces got in such close geographical proximity to India.
Showing the Chinese bogey & preying on India’s concerns with China, the US military has inveigled itself to come within touching distance of India, a geopolitical non-event in years gone by. It is our considered view that the US poses a direct military threat to India.
Indeed, the US will be in an enviable position if it were allowed to pivot to Colombo. It then has the option of prioritizing the Enemy it would engage, China, Iran or India. And this option will remain always because they would never de-pivot from Sri Lanka.
When the US map of Sri Lanka (2050) came out into the public domain and when the Easter bombings took place our sources indicate that Delhi was concerned. Upto that time any fears India may have harboured, had been allayed by granting certain concessions like Sampur, Colombo Port etc.
But with the turn of events, India was concerned. To placate them, the US took it upon themselves to virtually give Palaly Airport to India and to make it an International Airport. Yet not entirely satisfied, the US were compelled to make further concessions to the Indians, in Kashmir.
All these concessions however have not diminished, in any way, the dangers posed to India by the US Pivoting to Colombo.
One of the intrinsic faultlines of India’s Defence is that Indian Naval Assets have to move South of SL to meet any threats posed to its Eastern or Western Coastline. Between the E&W Coastline of India would now be juxtaposed, the Americans and the Chinese (& of course US military allies like Japan).
Whether US aligns itself with India to engage China or whether US aligns itself with China to balkanize India would be US’s prerogative
A very simplistic but possible scenario that the US could always script, is to hold India by its nose in the East; when Indian naval units have moved East (from the West) in support, the US could then rub India’s butt in the West and prevent or impede movement of naval units sailing West in support.
Unwittingly, India has allowed itself to be surrounded and possibly choked by a potential Enemy, the US, which believes that India needs to be balkanized.
SL has a good grasp of geopolitical reality. China, like India, has been a good friend and Sri Lanka sincerely believes that the 2 friendships are not mutually exclusive.
SL, like India, is a Founding member of the Non-Alignment movement and committed to Non-Alignment based on the principles adopted in Bandung. That has been our strength and our defence too.
Here, Aryasinhe, the controversial Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, needs to be rapped on his knuckles. Sri Lanka is not a Neutral Country; it is a Non-Aligned country. It is his duty to brief his hierarchy, on the nuances of the two terms. It is not a case of semantics.
In 1971, Sri Lanka initiated a resolution at the 26th UN General Assembly that the Indian Ocean be declared a Zone of Peace. The resolution was adopted…
In this paper we reject outright the MCC Compact. it is unconstitutional and destructive to the Nation State of Sri Lanka.
We propose that we reaffirm our faith in the Indian Ocean being a Zone of Peace.
We further propose that Sri Lanka be designated as the hub of the Non-Alignment Movement.
And in conclusion, we propose that Sri Lanka make a financial offer to the US, based on the very same terms and conditions as the MCC has proposed to SL. Our focus of interest is a Corridor of 500 miles running from Jacksonville to New Orleans.
Outlining the proposal in broad terms, Sri Lanka shall be investing US$800mn in the project involving land, transportation and food. Pivoting to Jacksonville with SL, we hope, will be our friends, India, China, Iran & Cuba. The US would give us access to all their Land registries and records and make all State Lands available for purchase by SL. The US would need to change their Constitution and SL shall be in control of the US ‘land Ministry’ and the US Finance Ministry (their equivalent). SL Laws shall apply in all areas owned by SL. Some of these conditions must be done by the US prior to SL releasing the funds.
And the US does not have to pay us back a Cent. It is an outright gift and will not affect their Bank balance.
B3. Is SL’s Govt Ready to Face International Challenges? – Shenali Waduge
“Sri Lanka has elected a new President. The victory is nothing that the international community are too gaga over as seen by the manner they have chosen not to even extend congratulations as common courtesy & diplomacy dictates. The surge in popularity of the new leader increasing among those who did not vote for him must be also a thorn to digest to these destabilizing elements. Do the new policy makers understand the threats that exist as well as the new threats likely to increase using every apparatus the international community have under their control? What are the weapons that the international community have under their control? How will they use them and what strategies can SL adopt are some of the challenges SL, its leaders and even its citizens will immediately have to address.
The US is on a pivot to Asia having besieged all other continents round the world. The military apparatus of the US is now engulfing the seas with marine presence, while it is using its other soft weapons both covertly & overtly. Transnational corporations have entered the scene & produced the MCC project with a carrot of developing SL’s road & rail a camouflage to entice and market it via a $480mn grant already spent on numerous legislative changes rolled out as part of the proposals’ pre-conditions. The ACSA & SOFA compliment the MCC and anyone promoting it should well study the impact of implementing all 3 together with the US Peace Corps presence to realize the likelihood of Sri Lanka being transformed into the next Diego Garcia in Asia. This danger should be read with the verdict demanding UK hand over Diego Garcia to the Chagosians and UK’s main political parties carrying opposing views simply as a smokescreen to fool the masses. This US pivot is impacting other countries of Asia too. Has SL taken stock of the US pivots taking place in other countries of Asia? Are the issues faced by these countries similar? How far does India realize who is a bigger threat eventually – US or China? What risks are India taking that will impact entire Asia? How else will these destabilizing elements try to upset SL’s governance? Have we taken stock of the players and the likely scenarios to be launched as well as the likely baits to be used? Have SL’s leaders placed these risks and dangers likely to impact SL as well as in South Asia, regionally and across entire continent? Do we want to end up like Middle East?
Handling India – Has India’s demands changed since 1970s (using Tamils/LTTE/Indo-Lanka Accord/13a/Trade Agreements etc)? Does India foresee that some of the elements India initially used to its advantage are now working hand-in-glove with the West (LTTE diaspora/Eelam) in such a scenario what is the disadvantage to India do encouraging these elements play? Has SL presented these dangers or is India simply pretending not to foresee dangers in an attempt to exert its own influence in SL? Does Sri Lanka have a policy on India-US-China and other Asian nations as well as against EU-OIC nations etc? Have we not used our soft power tools to our own advantage? What is the real role of the foreign ministry and the nation’s think tank in this exercise?
Have policymakers devised means to guard SL’s sovereignty, territorial integrity – our seas, land, resources, assets & our people, our heritage/history from international/external threats & incursions?
The media and NGO network/‘civic society’ together with a plethora of faith-based organizations all of which are funded by western foreign govts are tasked to do what at one time the CIA did. Many of the locals co-opted into these units are not completely aware of the exact nature of their roles for they are simply asked to handle a seemingly innocent task as gathering information data (ex: a village – age groups/professions/religion/economic status etc) these put into a database and covering entire SL will enable the foreign mischief makers on what type of destabilizing program can be launched in these areas to which the foreign-govt-funded organizations will be sent to do ‘community-development’ work while using that as a pretext and a cover the real plan gets slowly laid out. These plans are not something done over a month-year-or even years – these are well planned out generally to be effective during an election. It is the same groups of individuals who converge for candlelit vigils, carrying placards, carrying out well funded social media programs and well organized country-wide initiatives.
Media has been used to carry out numerous tarnishing campaigns internationally spreading false stories and rarely apologizing or correcting distorted versions and then repeating them during some international conference or session or adding the same distorted version as disclaimers to any story they write on Sri Lanka.
NGOs all being paid in $ and loyal to their paymasters are ever ready to carry out and be mouthpiece for any initiative to discredit Sri Lanka or its rulers. At present they are making dossiers of threats to their lives and probably will create scenarios to justify these ‘threats’ and have them sent to UN or key foreign countries with the intent of using these documents to show SL is a threat to free media – media outlets & NGOs. Why go to all this trouble – please give asylum to every person hating Sri Lanka. They would be happier and SL would be happy without the headache of having to deal with their lies and the negative aura they pollute the country with.
Closer to Geneva we are likely to see these two mischief makers carry out well-planned and executed kidnappings – threats and whatever else their fertile imaginations can come out with, have these videoed, coached to cry and have all documented and electronically archived and sent to the UNHRC to be produced and have the GoSL held responsible and become victim of another UN investigation or sanctions. Are these theatrics like the Swiss affair not drama enacted for Geneva with the foresight to use against SL as a threat of sanctions unless elements of the UNHRC resolution or MCC are signed. Have SL’s policymakers laid out these threats and challenges and drawn up political and diplomatic strategies to overcome them? Watch out for new youth movements and trends engulfing our youth too – all these have sinister plans too.
Do we know who among the media-NGOs-civil society are aligned to destabilizing Sri Lanka?
LTTE Diaspora/ Tamil grievance – We all know that the LTTE diaspora or foreign govts or for that matter India doesn’t care two hoots about the Tamils or their grievances but given that Tamils are a minority and that Tamils played a key role throughout colonial British divide&rule policy, the Tamils are perfect pawn in a ‘you scratch my back, I will scratch yours’ type scenario against successive SL Govts. How else can LTTE diaspora fronts function with a carte blanche when LTTE is banned in 32 countries and terrorism financing is a criminal offence in these countries. Therefore, it is very clear that these elements are a complimentary feature to West’s and India’s political and diplomatic pressure for their geopolitical advances. Has Sri Lanka developed a counter strategy to this?
Do we know who amongst the Tamils are aligned to this project?
Islamic fundamentalism – Wherever US goes the Islamic jihadis follow is nothing we can be naïve not to acknowledge. All of the Islamic terrorist groups banned by the West are all funded and trained by western govts and their agents. The 21st April Islamic terror didn’t happen without a plan and it is no coincidence that immediately after the attack the $480mn ‘grant’ was announced as a ‘gift’. How prepared is Sri Lanka to handle the latest US pivot pawn in SL and how far this element has bought over Muslim politicians, lawyers and others into their fold manipulating the ‘Islamic religion’ as a key strategy for allegiance.
Do we know who amongst the Muslims are secretly aligned to this project?
‘Invisible’ insider traitors – More harmful than any of the above pawns and puppets used by West/India is the possibility of many others implanted by them to be ‘innocent’ and harmless inner group functioning within close ranks of the decision makers to subtly push through the plans innocently with leaders overlooking the dangers or not been shown the dangers. These are the most dangerous of players which the current leadership will need to be watchful of…
How equipped is Sri Lanka’s President and new Govt is something we will have to see. We sincerely hope that we can surprise these destabilizing elements with some surprises of our own.
B4. eeWords of Week – ‘American & British’ or US & English?
ee does not use ‘America’ when we mean the USA. The Americas stretch from the Beaufort Sea to Tierra del Fuego. If there is an American as such, are not the original people, or Cubans, Venezuelans, more deserving than the insistently white settlers? Also ee does not use ‘British’, when it really is the ‘English’, no? The Irish, Scottish and Welsh when they participated in the colonial game under the flag of the Union Joke (err…Jack), murdered and robbed us, used English over us, no?
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.
• US has a “lily pad” military base in Sri Lanka?
• India’s National Security Threatened by SL MCC Compact – Military Study Circle
• The Swiss conspiracy: Need for precautionary measures – Jayaweera
“The identity of the supposedly abducted Sri Lankan employee of the Swiss Embassy in Colombo is now in the public domain… She is said to be Ganiya Danister Francis residing in Maligawatte.”
• Is SL’s Govt ready to face international challenges? – Waduge
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 6 – Pieris
“Soon after the defeat, in Eelam War IV, the separatist forces went into its next phase of attack, which was UN action against SL. Sri Lanka was to be punished for defeating the LTTE and the LTTE was to be exonerated, using the farce of “Human rights””
• President GR: 13A cannot be fully implemented against wishes of majority
• Tamil Tigers acquitted in Switzerland
• Swiss court rules Tamil Tigers not a criminal organization, acquits 12 suspected fundraisers
“According to the court, those who procured money for the LTTE in Switzerland at that time could not assume that they would later violate the law. Even if it had carried out terrorist attacks, the LTTE’s primary objective was to be recognised as an independent ethnic community.”
• DMK leader ‘shocked’ by SL President’s views
• Prez faces danger from LTTE faithful, unable to attend court
• Wiggy asks for Indian help to get federalism
• Sampanthan-Teplitz discuss post-prez poll developments
• Repeal of Sections 13 & 19 should be top priority
• SL, China agree to renegotiate without harming bilateral ties
• SL, China to draw up ‘new blueprint’ for future cooperation
• Alleged detention of a Swiss embassy employee staged to disrepute govt: Weerawansa
• Swiss ambassador’s claim not true – govt
‘CCTV footage, Uber and telephone records, GSP data prove allegation wrong’
• [Alleged?] Swiss Embassy Employee Abduction Shakes New Govt
• JC asks govt to consider whether Switzerland is a friend
“The National Joint Committee yesterday said that the government had to decide whether it could any longer consider Switzerland as a friendly nation…”
• Cries, Lies & Swiss Embassy Stonewalling?
“An Official Statement from the Public Diplomacy Division of the Present Govt… Update on the alleged incident relating to Swiss Embassy staff member…”
• Alleged victim slapped with ’unofficial’ overseas travel ban
• Swiss jolted by GR govt response – Alleged abduction of embassy employee:
“One-time US Ambassador in Colombo Robert O Blake and several other international organizations and a section of the media accused the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) of killing Kathiravelu Thayapararajah. The DMI was accused of torturing and killing Thayapararajah in Sept 2009. Allegations persisted though Thayapararajah’s body was never found. Accusations continued until Thayapararajah was taken into custody in May 2014 after entering Tamil Nadu illegally.”
• Cries, Lies & Swiss Embassy Stonewalling?
• FM unaware of 10mn Pound investment – Project to neutralize overseas threats to UK interests
“Would it be possible to name the state institutions, civil society groups, NGOs and INGOs chosen to receive funding, in accordance with the 3-year project funded by the UK”
• Britain & Post (sic) Colonial Skullduggery
“But then again, they’re refusing the return the Chagos Islands to Mauritius despite an advisory opinion issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The archipelago is now the site of the US military base in Diego Garcia. And the USA, which just the other day threatened to arrest and sanction judges and other officials of the International Criminal Court if it moves to charge with war crimes any US citizen who served in Afghanistan, would probably thumb its nose at the ICJ if it ‘tried to be funny’.”
• Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said, ‘If the SL govt continues to reject key tenets of a UN Human Rights Council resolution on accountability then “clearly something has to be done in another direction”.’
• England’s Conservative Party says will not support 2-state solution in SL
• SL studying MCC deal, reviewing others: Minister
“SL ’s new administration is studying a draft agreement with US’s Millennium Challenge Corporation for grant funding and is also reviewing all other agreements signed by the last few years, State Minister for Investments Promotions Keheliya Rambukwella said.”
• MCC Sri Lanka Land Compact: Avoid it being a ‘Grant Trap’
“a number of reviews are beginning to appear, on public websites on its benefits (some organized by pro-US think tank, Advocata Institute) as well as those on likely disadvantageous, or detrimental impacts… The MCC has a past record of suspending or terminating threshold programs in Yemen (2005) and Niger (2009) due to deteriorating selection criteria performance, and in Mauritania (2008) after a coup triggered automatic aid prohibitions. Compacts in Nicaragua and Honduras were each partially terminated due to governance concerns, and the Armenia compact was also put on hold for similar reasons in 2008, though the Board did not suspend it. Coups in Madagascar (2009) and Mali (2012) each led to in wholesale termination. SL need to be mindful of what happened in these country contexts. Independent evaluations on these are available on the web to take lessons from their failures.”
• Sira, House & MCC
“In an affidavit, submitted to the EC, Maj Prasanna called for immediate EC intervention on the basis that the Cabinet had granted approval for the then Pres Sirisena to retain the President’s House in return for the Cabinet nod for the finalization of the MCC agreement with the US. Maj Prasanna alleged that the Pres & the UNP had reached mutual consensus on President’s House and the MCC.”
• Analysis of the MCC with the govt of SL – Prof Srilal M Perera
“It would be seriously inimical to the economic development of SL , if the Compact is jettisoned…”
• US donates landslide monitoring instruments
“The equipment, installations, and the research exchange were supported through the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of the US Agency for International Development. Since 2018, USGS & USAID/OFDA have worked with National Building Research Organization”
• US envoy assures to boost SL’s competitiveness
“Speaking at ICES International Women’s Conference 2019, US Ambassador Alaina B Teplitz yesterday assured support to be part of SL’s rising tide, particularly in the areas of partnerships, regulatory consistency, political stability, and rule of law, to boost SL’s competitiveness. .. However she noted that an accelerated growth rate is dependent on extensive partnerships, consistent regulatory policy, stable politics, and the rule of …”
• USA’s Imperialist Advances by Stealth? Goodness Gracious Me! – Roberts
‘US envoy James Spain told SL’s Foreign Minister not to refuse India’s Indo-Lanka Agreement (Izeth Hussein).” B2 = “We were hounded & intimidated by the US to stop the war against the LTTE” (envoy N Godage)’
• Excess! Tamil Death Toll Magnified in Course of British Interventions in SL’s Pres Election
“The assessments of the last stages of Eelam War IV embracing 2008/9 have been bedevilled by the verdicts of intellectuals and officials encased in drawing rooms located within an ivory tower. The hoary verdicts in the past have resurfaced today in the vociferous campaign aimed at influencing events in SL – with the Shadow Chancellor of the Labour Party and such HR activists as Alan Keenan, Fred Carver and Richard Gowing participating in this grandstanding work.”
• Deep Throats behind Blackening Campaigns: The Chinese Dragon & Gota
“the overwhelming body of Aussie writing on China is ideologically driven… this corpus of writing depends at times on leaks from ‘govt sources’ which he believes emanate from a secret backroom body of boffins… with the intent of painting China as a demonic force and potential threat.”
• Adding insult to injury:
“Certain powerful Muslim politicians are under suspicion regarding their alleged close relations with the April 21 bombers and their local leaders, who are trying to radicalize sections of the Muslim youth in SL through their fundamentalist Islamic religious ideology. These politicos were prominent members of the previous UNP/Yahapalana rump govt, with the kingmaking power that the quirks of an abused parliamentary democratic system conferred on minorities. It was an open secret that the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to look into the bombings was most probably intended to exonerate those Muslim politicians from charges of sponsoring terrorists.”
• Geopolitics, India & the People – Kadirgamar
“The need of the hour is a democratic movement for rebuilding inter-ethnic relations that engages the people in the North and the South ahead of the parliamentary elections.”
• Sinhala Buddhist nationalism & marginalization of minorities – Andradi
“The results of the presidential election indicate that the Sinhala Buddhist nationalism of the national bourgeoisie is not acceptable to the minorities. This may have many medium and short term ramifications for the country. One such scenario would be where the marginalized ethnoreligious minorities are, as in the case of Malaysia, driven to accept Sinhala Buddhist domination as a fait accompli. This would be accompanied by considerable Sinhalization and Buddhistifiction of minorities. Given the size, influence and territorial possessions of minorities, this is very unlikely to happen without significant resistance. This would especially be applicable in the Tamil-dominated Northern Province, which is in close proximity to the Tamil-dominated South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.”
• Does Religion Define a Citizen?
“India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, recently passed in the Lok Sabha updates the existing Citizenship Act, 1955, to provide Indian citizenship to minority communities fleeing persecution from neighbouring countries. Specifically, the amended bill states that Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan shall not be treated as illegal immigrants.”
• Why doesn’t Singapore pick sides between China & the US?
• MCC to prevail over Nepal’s Laws
“Nepal Compact, an agreement signed between the US agency and the Nepal government in 2017, comes with a prerequisite that it must be endorsed by Parliament and will prevail over domestic laws.”
• MCC privatizing land in Benin
“Few people in Benin know that Stewart International, the company guiding the reworking of Benin’s land policy for MCA-Benin, is a major multinational corporation with a direct interest in commodifying African lands. It is one of the largest title insurance and mortgage service companies in the US and in recent years it has been aggressively expanding globally. Advising govts such as Benin’s on land and real estate polices is a side business for the company’s international division, albeit a growing one. It also sells the technology for cadastral systems and land record systems, and the core of its business is selling title insurance.”
• How to Bribe a General
“As with the US coup effort in Venezuela, reports are emerging that various generals and police officials were secretly offered US bribes to defect. The price of a Bolivian general, according to these reports, was said to be $1mn, while lower ranking police officials were said to be had for $100,000 – both sums a mere pittance to be paid by CIA officials via a briefcase stuffed with bills printed by the Federal Reserve or US Treasury for such occasions! But the heads of Bolivia’s police and military are no strangers to political intrigue. Defecting commander-in-chief of Bolivia’s police, Vladimir Yuri Calderon, served as military attaché at Bolivia’s embassy in Washington, DC until Dec 2018. Defecting Williams Kaliman, who heads Bolivia’s armed forces, held the same position 2013-16.”
• US Exceptionalism Is Killing the Planet
‘Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, wants to end regime-change wars, but is otherwise a self-professed hawk on the subject of the war on terror. Another, Senator Bernie Sanders, vows to end “endless wars” but is careful to express strong support for Israel and the ultra-expensive F-35 fighter jet. The other dozen or so tend to make vague sounds about cutting defense spending or gradually withdrawing US troops from various wars, but none of them even consider openly speaking of peace.’
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.
• Changing Geopolitics and Geo-strategies, Repositioning S Asia in the Indo-Pacific Region 1: Gamini Keerawella, Regional Centre for Strategic Studies, Colombo
“Since the geo-strategic concept of Indian Ocean (IO) took its present form in the 16th century, the centrality of South Asia remained a conspicuous feature. Architecturally speaking, the IO is a huge bay, surrounded by the Afro-Asian landmass and islands on 3 sides. The S Asian peninsula penetrates into the IO basin centrally, linking the western and the eastern flanks of the water column. At present, the IO as a geopolitical concept is being overshadowed by the new construct of the Indo-Pacific region”
• Changing Geopolitics & Geo-strategies 2 –Keerawella
“The Indian Ocean after 1945 – The changes that took place in world politics after WWII did not have immediate impact on the IO. The British naval supremacy in the ‘East of Suez’ was more or less re-established with some modifications and the US also pursued a policy of acting under the British naval umbrella in the Indian Ocean. The Soviet Union was not technically in a position to challenge the British naval power in the IO. However, after the ‘transfer of power’ in her S Asian colonies, the British lost the S Asian hub in its IO defence architecture. In the early Cold War phase, the strategic primacy of S Asia in the IO naval strategic architecture was diminished. The US Collective Defence Alliances, SEATO & CENTO focused mainly the SE Asia and West Asia where the Soviet intrusions were predicted. The S Asian countries were also offered the membership of these Defence alliances. PM Nehru of India forthrightly refused to join them, as he believed that it contravenes his avowed policy of ‘neutrality’. After a period of vacillation, the SL PM John Kotelawela also followed the Indian line. Pakistan was the only S Asian country to join the US-led Collective Defence Alliances networks by accepting the membership of CENTO.”
• Changing Geopolitics & Geo-strategies 3
“The rapid economic growth witnessed by China and India and the acquisition of near blue-water naval capabilities along with other power projection competence by these powers has ushered a new politico-strategic environment in the Indian Ocean.”
• Destroying the CID – Chandraprema
“On Jan 2, 2018, one of the key witnesses of the CID, BM Vijeyakanth, the former LTTE cadre turned navy intelligence operative told Colombo Fort Magistrate Lanka Jayaratne it was officer Chrishantha Welagedara who had taken him into the Navy. One day, Welagedara had introduced him to 2 men one of whom he later learnt was Inspector Nishantha de Silva. The 2 men had shown Vijeyakanth 12 photos & took down his details and got him to sign a statement. As he was leaving after giving the statement, Vijeyakanth told the men he did not know the people in the 12 photos. Once he had left, Welagedara accosted him and said he had said he did not know the people in the photos and sent him right back to tell the CID officers he did know the people in the 12 photos… In 2011… a scandal where the Head of Political Affairs of the US Embassy in Colombo, Dr Paul Carter, had tried to bribe the former Army Spokesman Major Gen Prasad Samarasinghe with permanent residency in that country for him and his entire family in exchange for a false statement implicating members of the Mahinda Rajapaksa govt in war crimes. Samarasinghe had rejected the offer and reported the incident to the then Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa… in his turn had asked the then US Ambassador Patricia Butenis… explanation described as follows In Gota’s War: “Butenis had tried to explain it away by saying that it was all a big misunderstanding. What she told Gota, was undoubtedly the strangest and most convoluted story ever to be told in the annals of SL foreign relations. She explained that what Dr Carter had actually meant was that in the future, there would be some more US embassy documents put out by Wikileaks and that among the leaked documents will be a cable from the US embassy in Colombo to the State Dept saying that Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe had revealed to the US Embassy that Gota Rajapaksa and the navy had been responsible for certain incidents. The US ambassador told Gota that Samarasinghe had not in fact provided that information to the embassy but that his name had been mentioned in the embassy communiqué by ‘mistake’. The Ambassador said Dr Carter’s concern was that when this information comes out in Wikileaks, the govt will punish Samarasinghe and since he will be penalized for a mistake made by the US Embassy, Dr Carter had told Samarasinghe not to worry and that they will look after him, and take him to the USA…” That was the American method. It appears that IP Silva was operating according to the highest levels of American jurisprudence as applied to third world countries. It seems obvious that Silva was carrying out the wishes of various foreign parties while he was in the CID and has now flown off to claim his reward.”
• The Shani Abeysekera tragedy
“However, I have noticed that in later times the CID investigation technique has undergone some change. They seem to arrest the suspects first and then commence with their interrogation to elicit the necessary evidence from them. This may be to show quick results.”
• Some officials may have forged docs to cover up failure led to Easter attack: PCoI to Gota
“Other members of the Commission are Court of Appeal Judge Nissanka Bandula Karunaratne, Retired Court of Appeal Judge Nihal Sunil Rajapaksha, retired HC Judge Bandula Kumara Atapattu and former Secretary to the Ministry of Justice WMM Adikari.”
• SL president appoints minority govt & puts security forces on alert
“Gunaratne warned, however, that the police were responsible for maintaining law and order and that a special task force and security forces would be deployed if any situation became uncontrollable.”
• Whitewashing the past
“One of the eyebrow-raising issues, however, was the order to transfer a key investigator from the CID to ‘Siberia’ as it were, and then to ban 700 CID officers from leaving the country…”
• India detains suspects linked to IS; some followed Zahran
• More raids in Tamil Nadu for supporters of Easter attack mastermind
• CID informs court probe underway
“It was investigating the allegations made by Anthony Douglas Fernando and Athula Sanjeewa Madanayake at a press conference organized by former Health Minister, Rajitha Senaratne on Nov 10… claimed they had been aware of of assassinations, abductions, disappearances, robberies and transport of the 7000 tonnes of gold seized from the LTTE during the Mahinda Rajapaksa administration. The CID said that it was a criminal offence not to inform the police of criminal activities, under Article 102, 113 & 119 of the Penal Code.
• SL Uber driver released on bail after aggravated assault on passenger
Uber users have complained on social that there is no customer service office or number in SL to contact and make complaints, tho the firm has been operating in the island for many years. Unlike some other taxi services in SL where the telephone no of the driver is given to the passenger, Uber users have complained that drivers are protected from direct contact and users cannot even ask for items forgotten in the taxi.
• Indian Navy drives away suspicious Chinese vessel from its waters
• Behind the Coup
“We examine the forces who have seized power in the coup, and address their motivations and social makeup. We also delve into prospects for Bolivia after the coup, what useful solidarity work can be done now, and the background of the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS) experience in govt, including debates about Bolivia among the left, such as criticism centring on women’s rights and the controversy surrounding the Potosí mine deal.” – https://socialistproject.ca/?p=2646
• Where in the World Is the US Military?
• Mikhail Kalashnikov, Creator of AK-47, Dies at 94
“It cemented its place in martial history in the 1960s in Vietnam. There, a new American rifle, the M-16, experienced problems with corrosion and jamming in the jungles, while Kalashnikovs, carried by Vietcong guerrillas and North Vietnamese soldiers, worked almost flawlessly.”
• 100s Attend London Meeting to Demand Freedom for Julian Assange
“The pursuit of Julian Assange is not about rape. It’s the US govt weaponising and distorting rape in order to punish him for the WikiLeaks exposés of war crimes, rape and torture.”
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.
• On the economic outlook for 2020 & recent fiscal policy thought process – de Zilwa
• Stimulus should not undermine debt sustainability: CB Chief
“Govt. to announce economic framework, will hold talks with IMF in coming days’
• SL needs monetary discipline to avoid further downgrades: Bellwether
‘SL will face credit downgrades and possible sovereign default of dollar debt unless the highly unstable discretionary ‘flexible exchange rate’ is restrained and some monetary discipline is brought in. Next year will be a critical year as budget deficits are set to expand and the credit system will also go through a cyclical recovery, leading to an expansion in private credit.”
• Radhika Coomaraswamy resigns from JKH board
“sister of Central Bank Gov Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy, a man in the driving seat of the SL economy”
• Country of millionaires – Abeyeratne
“University of Economics, was another thing that impressed me… in HCMC teaches all Economics-related subject areas including Public Administration and Business Administration. Vietnam has another university specialising in Economics, which is located in its northern capital Hanoi… China is another country which has established many universities to specialise in Economics… With US$2,560 per capita GDP (2018), Vietnam is still poorer than SL which has over $4,000 per capita GDP.”
• Higher BOP surplus crucial to reduce external financial vulnerability – Sanderatne
“The only means of reducing the country’s foreign debt and external financial vulnerability is by generating a higher balance of payments surplus and minimising foreign borrowing. Increased exports, higher earnings from services and much higher FDI are 3 of the crucial needs. A larger balance of payments would enable the repayment of debt and meeting debt servicing costs with the country’s external reserves rather than resort to further foreign borrowing….”
• Pleasing the masses
• The Role of Applied Statisticians in a Digitalized World – Wijewardena
• CinnamonLife to host exclusive forum with legendary investor Mobius (World Robber)
“Mobius is considered by most experts to be the founder of the emerging markets asset class… Mobius was at Franklin Templeton Investments for more than 30 years, most recently as Executive Chairman of the Templeton Emerging Markets Group. During his tenure, the group expanded Assets Under Management from $100mn to over $40bn and launched a number of emerging market and frontier funds focusing on Asia, Latin America, Africa,Eastern Europe… Mobius is a member of the Economic Advisory Board of the Int’l Finance Corp. Since 2010 also served as a member of the supervisory board of OMV Petrom in Romania… previously a Director on the Board of Russian oil firm, Lukoil.”
• Pathetic State of the Economy: Modi Govt Hides Data – Patnaik
“The National Statistical Office has decided not to release the quinquennial survey data on consumer expenditure for 2017-8. This is because these data, leaked by The Business Standard (Nov15) show a drop of 3.7% in real per capita consumer expenditure between 2011-2 and 2017-8, from Rs1,501 per month to Rs1,446 per month (at 2009-10 prices). An actual drop in per capita consumer expenditure is an extremely serious matter. Such a drop has occurred for the first time in over four decades.”
• Meet the Economist Behind the 1%’s Stealth Takeover of America
“Nobel laureate James Buchanan is the intellectual linchpin of the Koch-funded attack on democratic institutions…”
• Inflation is losing its meaning as an economic indicator
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’s new administration to renegotiate IMF deal
“We would not abrogate it,” Nivard Cabraal, senior economic advisor to the PM who is also the finance minister said. “We would only re-negotiate the terms of the agreement to suit the new policy framework.”
• Govt sets plans for prosperity in motion
The framework, titled “Vistas of prosperity & splendour” will give effect to the economic policies laid down in the election manifesto of Pres GR, Cabinet Spokesman Min Bandula Gunawardana said.
• Tax cuts aim to spur economic growth
“Wijewardena told the Business Times that these concessions will result in a loss in revenue of about Rs650-700bn or about a third of the govt revenue while the adjustment should lead to a compensatory cut in govt spending.”
• Monetary policy becomes more accommodative in view of bleak global economic outlook
“Headline inflation, as measured by the year-on-year changes in Colombo Consumer Price Index as well as National Consumer Price Index, accelerated recently due to increased food prices driven by domestic supply disruptions. These transitory supply side disruptions are expected to cause continued volatility in inflation in the near term together with tax revisions and possible revisions to administratively determined prices… The Monetary Board, at its meeting held on 28 Nov, was of the view that the policy measures adopted by the Central Bank in recent months are being transmitted to the economy through the financial market with market lending rates declining as envisaged…”
• PBJ Known for Ruthless Implementation of IMF Demands
“Jaysundara, a former Central Bank economist and finance ministry secretary under various govts during the 1990s and 2014, is notorious for his ruthless implementation of the IMF’s… Notwithstanding these appointments, the newly-elected president and his SLPP minority govt is weak. Facing an acute financial crisis, it will be compelled to implement the austerity measures demanded by international finance capital. However the ruthless attacks on the living and social conditions of millions of Sri Lankan workers will, sooner rather than later, ignite major class battles.”
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
• Union demands permanent principals for 247 national schools
“The new government should take steps to appoint principals to all 247 national schools which currently had acting principals, Ceylon Teachers Union, Gen Sec’y, Joseph Stalin said”
• Teachers’ union teaches basics to new Higher Education Minister
“Ceylon Teachers Union (CTU) yesterday criticised the Minister of Higher Education, Bandula Gunawardena’s statement that the government had decided to recruit 50,000 teaching assistants. General Secretary of the CTU, Joseph Stalin said that it was not only a violation of the Sri Lanka Teachers’ Service Minute but would also lead to a drop in the quality of teaching.”
• Railways Dept asked to provide report on shortage of staff
“Railways Dept consists of some 13,000 employees although requirement for at least 21,000 workers”
• Planning manpower on the path to prosperity – Hemachandra
“The Labour Demand Survey conducted by Census & Statistics Dept in 2017 estimated there are half a million vacancies in the country and there are about 128,000 unfilled vacancies… there are about 420,000 unemployed… Sri Lanka has 16 state universities, 19 private universities, 11 government and private vocational training institutions to supply manpower.”
• Minister denies rumour about Muslim girls being barred from exam centre
• The pseudo-left and trade unions, who politically disarmed workers during the election, helped create the conditions that brought Gotabhaya Rajapakse to power by promoting the right-wing UNP, which also has a long history of anti-democratic methods of rule. In this election, the fake left Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP), which functions as an appendage of the UNP government, called for a vote for UNP candidate Sajith Premadasa claiming this would to stop the “fascist” Gotabhaya. Similarly, the United Socialist Party (USP) indirectly backed Premadasa declaring that the main task is stopping “fascist Gotabhaya.” During the recent wave of strikes and protests by Sri Lankan workers over wages and conditions, the trade unions backed the UNP-led government. Another fake left outfit, the Frontline Socialist Party limited and politically isolated workers struggles, claiming the industrial action could pressure the government and the companies to grant concessions.
• US & Brain Drain
“12% of Mexico’s population and 75% of Jamaica, with higher education, are in the US. 12% of the total labour force of Mexico is in the US and 30% of those who are with PhDs… Not only are the students from India and China but also those from the UK likely to stay over. Canada loses their people to the States. From 1997 to 2003, 15% – 40% of their graduates were lost to the US”
• Honduras: 7 Men Get up to 50 years for Activist Murder
A Honduran corporate executive, the corporation’s security chief and an army officer along with 4 “material authors” i.e., the murderers, were tried, convicted and sentenced to long prison terms for murdering Honduran environmental leader Berta Caceres and attempting to murder Mexican activist Gustavo Castro. [But it ignores the main culprits: Camilo Atala, founder and executive president of the FICOHSA Financial Group, and one of the most powerful people in Honduras with Camosa being his strength… Pedro Atala owns Camosa, the official distributor of John Deere in Honduras]
• The Meaning of ‘Neutralize’
‘An early COINTELPRO target was Martin Luther King, a religious advocate of non-violence and integration. In 1964 FBI operatives mailed King a letter saying “your end is approaching… You are finished… There is but one way out for you.” King’s colleagues understood the letter as an unsubtle invitation to commit suicide.’
• 7-part animated video about Karl Marx “and his controversial love for Jenny, his almost-missed friendship with Engels, the evolution of his philosophy, his world-changing thoughts about political economy and his contribution for working class revolution.”
• French Police Fire Tear Gas at Workers Protesting Macron Reform
“Around 806,000 protesters took to the streets in nationwide protests in France on Thurs, according to the Interior Ministry. Police fired tear gas at protesters in the center of Paris on Thursday and public transport ground to a near halt in one of the biggest strikes in France for decades, aimed at forcing President Emmanuel Macron to ditch a planned reform of pensions.”
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.
• More than Rs289.5bn spent to import agricultural products last year – GR
“A huge amount of foreign exchange would not have to be spent if these products had been cultivated locally,”…more than Rs54bn had been spent to import milk powder last year. Sugar too had been imported at a cost of Rs40.3bn. Vegetables, fruits, and pulses had also been imported at costs amounting to billions last year….encouraging local farmers could help establish food security in the country and assist in exporting products to the global market… the President’s Office called on the relevant stakeholders to uplift local farmers as the ‘Maha’ Harvesting Season as begun.”
• Rural Farmer Suicides
“We can see daily that many properties that were mortgaged are being auctioned, as people are unable to repay the loans. This is affecting the rural farmer, the small and medium sector businesses, as well as the big businesses. Some have been driven to suicide because of their inability to repay the loans. Many are having sleepless nights over this issue,” the Minister said.
• Govt bans import of several spices
“Among the spices which would be banned are areca nut, pepper, tamarind, cinnamon, mace, nutmeg, and …In addition, kites, firecrackers and vesak lanterns will be imported under strict regulation…”
• Waste dumping poses threat to Kelani Ganga
“Wetlands still cover some 20sq.km of the Colombo Metropolitan Region (CMR) and are approximately 15.4%t of the total CMR land area. But the current rate of wetland loss in the CMR is approximately 1.2% per annum as 60% of paddy lands across the wetlands of CMR may have been converted to non-wetland use since 1980.”
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.
• Controversy over Lanka Mineral Sands limonite tender
Lanka Mineral Sands Ltd (LMSL) that had mined mineral sands over the past 61 years is operating without making targeted revenue from mineral exports due to violation of tender…”
• Ceramics affected by ban on mining activity for raw material – Noritake
“Banning of mining activity… has forced all ceramic manufacturers including Noritake to import raw material from abroad, according to the Deputy Chairman/ Managing Director of Noritake Lanka Porcelain (Pvt) Ltd, Hidenori Tanaka.”
• Oil price formula not any more: PM
• President commends SriLankan Airlines
• HIPG partners Lloyds at Hong Kong Maritime Week
Hambantota International Port Group participated in the prestigious HK Maritime week…Lloyds of London organised the ‘Maritime Business Forum’ held at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum…Two high powered panel discussions were held, chaired and moderated by Lloyd’s List China Editor Cichen Shen and Lloyd’s List Asia News Editor Vincent Wee, with industry specialists Luis Benito, Director of Innovation and Co-creation, Marine and Offshore, Lloyd’s Register; Arthur Bowring, former MD of HKOSA; Bjorn Hojgaard, CEO, Anglo-Eastern Univan Group; Shah Irani, CTO, Fleet Management; Joseph Law, Senior Director, LNG bunkering; Christophe Letelier, Head of Business Development, International Supply Chain, Asia Pacific, Kuehne+Nagel; Lionel Louie, Chief Commercial Officer, CargoSmart; Guy Platten, Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping…”
• Batticaloa picked for new fabric processing zone
“Under GSP+, it is only from India & Pakistan that we can use fabric. We can’t use Chinese or any other fabric,” Cooray stated, “When it comes to cotton woven industries, India is the world leader.”
• Sri Lanka plans fabric processing zone in East, targets China
“Plan for a fabric processing park in Eravur, Batticaloa in the East of the island, to draw investors from countries like China in a bid to cut lead times and reduce input costs… the Joint Apparel Association is working with the BOI on setting up the industrial zone. “Foreign textile manufacturers will be invited to set up factories…” he said on the sidelines of the Sustainable Financing for Responsible Fashion organized by HSBC the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Chinese apparel makers, who are looking to relocate over a trade war with the US would be one of the target groups. SL imports more than 50% of its fabric from China along with other countries like India. A shipment takes about a month to reach SL from China, included clearing processes.”
• HSBC & IUCN project to support strategy development for greener apparel industry
‘The strategy to transition into a low carbon development will help Sri Lanka’s largest export industry to embrace the global mandate of “Responsible Fashion”. HSBC and International Union for Conservation of Nature SL Country Office announced the launch… at the HSBC SL Head Office in Colombo 01. The strategy will be developed in partnership with the Joint Apparel Association Forum of SL, National Cleaner Production Centre & BOI based on research conducted by IUCN.’
• DCS kicks off first-ever survey on IT & BPM in SL
“The Dept of Census and Statistics yesterday kicked off an IT & Business Process Management Services Survey to capture the real economic contribution of IT industry to the GDP of the country.”
• Magnificent iron maidens of the Ceylon Railway
‘Today these glorious queens are not seen often… They live in semi-retirement at the Dematagoda Hydraulic Locomotive Shed. Under the care of Supervisory Manager KAS Thennekoon these locomotives are maintained in operating condition… Joining me were engineers Sanath Wickramaratne the locomotive specialist with 30 years of experience and Sandun Wimalasena… I was stunned when a tall Englishman suddenly jumped down from the locomotive and said “Good morning I am Aaron Homewood.” Was he an illusion from the colonial era, no Aaron is a British locomotive engineer who had volunteered his time to help with the routine repair.’
• World Bank Arbitrators, Pakistan & mining contracts
• Indians shall not Govern
”If petroleum is the lifeblood of today’s economies, lithium is the lifeblood of the future economy: batteries to power digital technology, AI… Petroleum and lithium may not be in the hands of democracy, of popular govts, of dark people that dare question corporations’ rights to their natural resources. So the greed of corporations and the racism of Bolivia’s upper classes came together in perfect harmony to destroy Bolivia’s Constitutional order.”
• Apple’s new Mac Pro will be made in Austin, not China
“According to the chamber, about 62,000 people work in the manufacturing industry in the Austin area”
• From Uberization to Enhanced Public Mobility for All
“We have shown that the defense, improvement and expansion of public transport is essential if we are to help control and then reduce transport-related emissions. We have also shown how the current neoliberal policy framework must be rejected in order for public transport is to fulfill its true potential. This applies to both transport policy specifically (and the obvious shortcomings of the public-private partnership approach, alongside pressures to privatize part or all of public transport systems) and it applies at the level of macroeconomic management. The neoliberal framework has failed to impede the rise of emissions and will continue to do so until it is completely rescinded.”
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.
• SL Bonds slammed by new Govt’s aggressive tax cuts
‘SL’s benchmark govt bonds slumped to their worst-ever week, after the new Govt’s move to immediately slash value-added tax (VAT) and other major taxes stoked worries about the cost of plans.”
• Govt to reintroduce tax concessions for FDIs
“Singapore FTA, H’tota Port deal, ETCA and MCC on cards for renegotiation after General Election”
• Foreign outflow continues despite CSE boom – Acuity
“In contrast to overall local investor sentiments, foreign investors continued to exit domestic equities for a 5th consecutive week to record a net foreign outflow of Rs1.4Bn vs Rs1.6Bn a week earlier, thus pushing the YTD net outflow from the Colombo bourse to Rs10.8Bn (cf Rs9.3Bn previous week) as foreign outflows for Nov totaled Rs6.4Bn, the highest monthly net outflow recorded so far this year.”
• Financial research & analytics giant Acuity Knowledge Partners to expand in SL
“European mid-market private equity investor Equistone Partners acquires control of former Moody’s subsidiary… With 270 analysts Colombo operation is most profitable and fastest growing..Last month, Moody’s Analytics Knowledge Services (formerly Amba Research) announced its rebranding as Acuity Knowledge Partners.”
• Foreign investors evincing some interest in CSE
• Sri Lanka not keen to enact draft monetary law
• Failure to remove WHT on dividends irks investors
“Rajapaksa also pledged to scrap Pay As You Earn (PAYE), but that, too, was not fulfilled.”
• Deputy Treasury Secretary Deshapriya appointed as SEC Chairman
AR Deshapriya was appointed as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)… He has previously served in the capacity of Regional Development Bank Director, and also as the National Budget Department’s Director General.
• Economist Dr Jim Walker to speak at Asia Securities Investment Conference
‘Macroeconomist and internationally renowned emerging markets investment expert Dr Jim Walker will deliver the keynote address “Global Growth and Geopolitics – More Pain or Progress at the 3rd Annual Sri Lanka Investment Conference, hosted by Asia Securities, next week. Walker is Founder and Chief Economist of Asianomics Group, and the Chief Economist at Aletheia Capital. Prior to establishing Asianomics, Walker was the Chief Economist at CLSA Asia Pacific Markets…’
• Drugdealer HSBC USA recognizes DFCC Bank for US$ STP Excellence Award
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’
• Hotels for sale, industry awaits promos
“Most of the 2&3 star hotels are on sale around the country outside of Colombo,” City Hotels Association Pres Shanthikumar said… over 10,000 direct staff and more indirect jobs will be lost due to this issue”
• Managing Urbanization in SL:
“Sri Lanka and Nepal have comparatively low proportions of urban populations. There is however a real possibility that Sri Lanka’s and Nepal’s urban populations have been underestimated due to the official geographic delineation of urban areas in the two countries.”
• Access Motors & Council for Business with Britain fundraiser felicitates Kumar Sangakkara
“Access Motors, together with The Council for Business with Britain, which is part of the Chamber of Commerce, hosted… graced by the presence of the newly-appointed British High Commissioner to SL Sarah Hulton… Formerly known as SML Frontier Automotive, AM is part of the Access Group, one of SL’s fastest-growing conglomerates. Renowned for being the Sole Agent for the Land Rover brand for 16 years in SL, Access Motors was awarded the Jaguar agency in 2016, coinciding with the opening of the state-of-the-art showroom in Colombo 7. Softlogic took part as the second Platinum Sponsor while the Event Sponsors were HSBC, JKeells Properties, Finlays, International Distillers, Norfolk Foods.”
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.
• President prorogues Parliament
“Rajapaksa is heading a minority Government with the UPFA which has 95 MPs. The UNP has 106 MP, ITAK has 16 MPs, JVP 6 MPs, and the EPDP and SLMC one MP each in the 225 legislatures.”
• Proroguing Parliament may cause several problems: UNP
“UNP MPs today claimed that proroguing Parliament till January 3, 2020 was bound to create several issues and also suspicion about political deals.”
• TNA, JVP unhappy with prorogation
• Country moving towards dictatorship – JVP
“Soon after being inaugurated, the President issued a gazette authorising the mobilisation of the army. Such a thing should not have happened as the country is peaceful. Then the government started suppressing social media. It sent its law enforcement personnel to raid social media offices. Some journalists were summoned to the CID and grilled…”
• Parlt Prorogation Prevents Examining Bond Scam Forensic Report
• Handunnetti puts lid on forensic audits relating to bond scams
• A Treasure Trove of Information on Deals
PM Mahinda Rajapaksa has stumbled on a treasure trove of information on deals by Cabinet Ministers of the previous Sirisena-Wickremesinghe govt… Helpers cleaning up the premises for occupation by the Mahinda Rajapaksa family found a neatly packed set of files. Did then Premier Wickremesinghe forget to take it along? To find out what it contained; they opened the package. They were files on some ministers and contained details of “various transactions” they have promoted or engaged in. There was one file for each minister. For example, if it was a tender, the names of the parties including local agents, their addresses and contact phone numbers were there. The sums involved in the tenders too have been listed.
• EC erupts over private software company role in releasing polls results
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.
• Veera Keppitipola & Vilbawe: Heroes of the 1818 rebellion
“This attempts to give a more rounded account of the other ‘rebel’ Vilbawe, whom the earlier writer casually dismisses as ‘one Doraisamy’. This name was probably an item of ‘fake news’ spread by the English, to demean the commoner from the village of Vilbawe who dared to foment rebellion against the invader… Was Vilbawe the last, and only, King of Tri Sinhalay to be crowned amidst the acclamation of the multitude?”
• The Ambalangoda I saw
• The rise of the Sri Lankan petty bourgeoisie
• Romesh Gunesekera’s latest novel Suncatcher is brought to life by death
““Their story is set in 1964 Ceylon, a time when there is no school, the government is in “slight disarray” and the religious right are beginning to flex their muscles”
• Jeanne Thwaites: “Their father had been in the Ceylon Civil Service and retired as Govt Agent, Colombo. She was conscious of the discrimination he had encountered as a Ceylonese under the colonial administration and she contributed to the history of public administration here a scholarly account of the qualifications and the career path of her father and that of Leonard Woolf.”
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