ee archive: eesrilanka.wordpress.com
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
Victoria’s Dirty Secret: The Home Market
e-Con e-News 24-30 May 2020
• USAID Slush Fund Monkeys with Sri Lanka Election
The US Trump government under the guise of Covid “assistance” to Sri Lanka, is providing over one billion rupees via the US State Department and USAID to deal with “specific threats to social cohesion” and “promote US foreign-policy interests”. (see ee Sovereignty)
Can the World Bank’s Transparency International xray how much US money will ooze to their favorite white ‘free media’, how much to their ‘human rights’ NGOs, how much to fix the judiciary, and how much to politicians? The EU also last week “kicked off” a “joint counter-terror initiative in Sri Lanka”.
A Jilmart in June
• How will empire jilmart the June election? And if they cannot stall the election, how shall their will be done? What is their will ? It’s to preserve underdevelopment, maintaining Sri Lanka as a white outpost of the US Empire. (see ee Focus, Bandung Buruva Part 2)
The local oligarchy meanwhile dreams of a swift return to their orgy of consumption, with even more ruthless exploitation of the working class, while shedding fake tears for the poor daily worker.
Why Modern Industry is Indispensable
• Why is modern machine industrialization so important? None of our tear-shedders will say this clearly! It leads to a higher standard of living for everyone, higher skills, and is a self-generating mechanism, where one thing leads to another! Whereas plantations have beggared almost everyone.
Advertising & Industry
• ee’s interest is how to transform our economy and how economists help to prevent this. Our ee Focus this week shows how Japan’s sturdily blocked foreign access to their home market, while spending 100s of millions of dollars to show how “open” their economy is to foreign investment. It’s not just Japan that guards its home market, all industrialized countries do, even as they never broadcast their industrial power, and in fact, conceal it! In fact, multinationals like Unilever, who control our home market, our advertising sector and media, deliberately prevent a national conversation on true industry.
Meanwhile, the local Anglo-US media organ EconomyNext, whose ‘business’ new is carried by all other media, mechanically inserts a Goebbelsian sentence into almost every news item, complaining about the government’s imposition of import controls, despite evidence these controls are clearly inadequate!
Ration Food & Capital Now!
• It is time to ration not just food but capital also, as Japan, China, etc have done! The IMF, WB, et al, and all the minion banks, must be told if they cannot direct their investment into modern industry, then odious debt (where we are paying interest on interest) simple or compounded, simply cannot be paid!
Agent Provocateurs & the State
• The US, Canada, EU, etc, hilariously keep giving sermons, and fund their mouthpieces here to amplify their whining. Meanwhile, they are culling their own people with Covid, and US cities are on fire. These fires are set by the ruling class themselves, as firewalls to protect the status quo, provoking spontaneous rather than organized action – it’s ancient state craft, a form of vaccination, especially in an election year, harvesting fear! The breaking of shop windows setting off looting in Minneapolis was begun by a policeman! And someone tell Trump quick: “loot” is a Bangla word that entered the English language after the English invaded India in 1757! (see ee Random Notes, Victoria’s Secret)
Meanwhile, former US Secretary of War Colin Powell says: Human Rights NGOs are force multipliers for the US military! (see ee Sovereignty)
National Peace Council & the Economy
• The US-funded National Peace Council in Colombo, has all of sudden, expressed concern for the “least fortunate”. Is this their first time to link peace and the economy, after all these years? All the capitalist media are also expressing such concerns. Meanwhile in the business sections, they’re demanding “redundancies”, “retrenchment” and flexible labor.
Hypocrisy abounds as capitalism always uses its perennial crises to exacerbate exploitation! As Gunadasa Amarasekera pointed out recently, capitalism inflamed all of Sri Lanka’s wars, south and north, something the NPC deftly sidesteps! And merchant-sponsored lawmakers dance the sidestep too!
• ‘The World Bank has one primary aim, and that’s to make other countries dependent on US agriculture. This is built into its articles of agreement. It can only make foreign currency loans, so it will only make loans to countries for agricultural development, roads, if it is to promote exports… Its idea is, we’ll make Latin American, and African, and Asian countries export plantation crops , especially plantations that are foreign owned. But the primary directive of the World Bank to countries is: “You must not feed yourself; you must not grow your own grain or your own food; you must depend on the US for that. And you can pay for that by exporting plantation crops.”’ (Michael Hudson)
• “The growth of GDP has depended on internal trade, which enabled quick turnaround of capital. This, in turn, has depended on the repatriated wages of workers overseas. Essentially, private business has served as a conduit for West Asian money, out of the pockets of the workers who earned it, to the pockets of traders, banks and foreign manufacturers. What if, for instance, we had local manufacturers making the things which the traders currently import, selling to the very people to whom the traders import and sell?
What if we had local manufacturers making the raw materials, the machines and the spare parts for the machines, for making those things? We would have a local supply chain, employing local people, who would, in turn provide a greater market for local goods. We would be able to employ that excess labour now doing house work in the Middle East.
And exports? Once we refine our products within the home market, we would have a solid basis for manufacturing goods for export.” (see ee Focus. Japan)
• Australian Bull
“The government has announced plans to import 2,500 milch cows from Australia in a bid to make Sri Lanka self sufficient from milk by 2025 and also restrict importing of milk powder that costs the government Rs50billion annually. This is a laudable proposal but is loaded with very serious problems. The government can gain some lessons from the calamitous experience of some 3,000 cows from Australia and New Zealand in 2014 and increased to 20,000 around 2018. The imported animals were of poor quality, unsuited for the local areas in they were distributed, did not give the expected milk yield and worst of all carried a deadly disease. This operation costing an estimated 25mn US$ was a total failure. In fact, a Presidential Commission was appointed to report on this debacle. It was also revealed to the Commission that Ministry of Rural Economy under Minister Harrison, had not heeded repeated warnings by the Department of Animal Production and Health about highly contagious and deadly diseases carried by the imported cows from Australia. (youtu.be/1ouAoGyZYKg) http://www.dailymirror.lk/ of 29/5/2020. Also: abc.net.au/news/2019-04-04/australian-dairy-cattle-sent-to-sri-lanka-dying-malnourished/10936258, 3/5 April 2019. Continued in Random Notes…)
Google Puts ee in Gmail Jail
• This is the 113th edition of ee. We must be doing something right for we’ve been unable to group email out the last few ee immediately. We’ve offended the godheads of google who fling us into gmail jail for 24 hours at a time.
Some readers think it’s nothing personal or very very much personal: ee has excited the negative passions of the warmaking Pentagon’s algorithms. Also, criticizing prominent MNCs alerts the e-nquisitory keepers of the internet, which after all (& we should never forget it) is the Queen’s… oops… the US President’s highway.
A1. Reader Comments –
• Vitriol for Liberals • Colombo Importers Association? • Sri Lanka builds Europe • Premadasa’s Assassins • Business Hates Elections They Lose • Marxist & Nationalist Labels
A2. Quotes of the Week –
• US Navy Spread Covid? • Human Rights War Makers • Ghana’s Industry • World Bank’s One Aim!
A3. Random Notes –
• Annual Southwest Monsoon Ignored •“Jittery” • Victoria’s Dirty Secret • Stealing the Home Market • Auto Parts Fraud • Social Scientists’ Corruption vs Capitalism • Cows Fraud from Australia • Retrofit Local Tourism •
B. ee Focus
B1. How Japan Protects its Home Market
B2. The English Manufacture of the Bandung Buruva in Indonesia in 1955 (Part 2)
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any article sent, or your comments, and place the e-link at the end. It’s better if you send them as email.
• “Who are the Colombo Importers Association (CIA), so influential in getting the media to oppose even minimal import restrictions? This CIA has few citations on the internet, but is quoted by newspapers. Only one name is provided: Alshafa Yoosuf.”
• “Why does ee have such vitriol for liberals?! Why the silence about Rajapaksa corruption?” (see Random Notes)
• “Can anyone name companies and owners in the US, Canada, Europe, India, etc and their local agents who have lived off exporting products to Sri Lanka? Why don’t our artists or novelists write about parts of Scotland, England, London and New York, built off the profits of Lanka’s sweat and land. Go interview those people as ‘art’. We doubt the EU or Brutish Council would fund such creativity, no?”
• “Is it true that Premadasa was assassinated in May 1993 within a week of him challenging the Indian foodstuff importers who dominate the Pettah?”
• “The business mafia do not wish elections at all, especially if it portends a strongpopular government. So what will they do to stall an election, and prevent strong government? And if they cannot stall an election, how will they keep it pliant and unstable to ensure no economic transformation is enabled, so that Sri Lanka remains a colony of an India that is a colony of the USA?’
• “It’s time to abandon blanket epithets like nationalist, leftwing, rightwing, socialist, Marxist. They have lost their meaning unless they precisely specify what kind of policies a nationalist, socialist, Marxist, etc., promotes? There are lots of academics who claim to be Marxist, but oppose the central role of the working class, or dictatorship of the proletariat! Also you have a lot of anarchists, nihilists, romantics etc who are accused of being Marxists – our own history (1971, 1984, 1987) provides ample evidence! And then there are nationalists who are just capitalists in disguise, and don’t wish to benefit the whole nation. The same goes for feminists who turn out to be unrepentant bourgeois! It’s time to be sharp as a laser!”
A2. Quotes of the Week__
• “The most interesting aspect of this Pathfinder report is the statement given by the Pathfinder Chairman who says Pathfinder does not consider national security policies covering survival of humanity and human security (food security, environmental security)” – (see ee Sovereignty, Waduge)
• “I am serious about making sure we have the best relationship with the NGOs who are such a force multiplier for us, such an important part of our combat team.”– Colin Powell, 2001
• “China is a major manufacturer of generic drugs, with more than 90% of the drugs manufactured in China being generic.” – Pan Guangcheng, Executive Chairman of the China Pharmaceutical Industry Association
• “When the Convention People’s Party under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah came to power in Ghana in 1952, foreign merchants controlled domestic & international trading. In 1959, the Report of the UK Trade and Industrial Mission to Ghana indicated that 85% of the import trade in Ghana in 1959 was controlled by European firms, with 10% controlled by Indian, Lebanese and Syrian merchants, and only 5% in Ghanaian hands. In 1961, the government created the Ghana National Trading Corporation to address this problem. Its responsibilities included taking over the management of imports and distributing domestic products.” (see ee Sovereignty)
• “The US has more than double the Covid-19 deaths of Filipina healthcare workers than the Philippines itself…”
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• One would think a national media would wax poetic and sing lyrical on the formation and meteorological facets of the annual southwest monsoon as it forms at these moments in the ocean. The monsoon is vital for the livelihood and wellbeing of millions. Would the media interview fisherfolk, who’d know best, for they fathom the seas every day, and study closely the movements of clouds, currents, waves, breezes and winds, interview peasants on how birds and plants and soil respond to the coming rains, and on their wishes and aspirations for the New Year as it sprouts with the rains, interview children, artists, poets? Compare then how the cultures of the seasons spring, fall, winter, summer are celebrated in other countries.
But not here. No such #$@$%^ luck.
Instead, we hear about Kavinda & Harin, Madonna’s knee problems from over-genuflection at the fiscal synagogues of Manhattan, and Jacqueline sleeping at Salman’s shack, etc. Such is the great efflorescence of our free and white media, after 72 years of political (minus economic) independence.
Our monopoly media are purposefully remote, acting the tourist in their own land… So what exactly do our media, particularly the business media, focus on? For ee always maintains it is in the business news, we see portents for the future.
• The media is about to bathe us in tears for the potential bankruptcy of US underwear brand Victoria’s Secret (VS), which buys around 20% of Sri Lanka’s apparel exports (see ee Industry).
What the VS garment game reveals is the extreme desperation and dependency that relying on exports and imports (to make such frilly exports) have sunk us to.
These Victorian tears add to the grinding of teeth against restrictions on imports. While naysayers suggest the President’s claims to support national production and import substitution are mere mist fog & morning dew that shall evaporate under the scorching sun of multinational whiplashes and importers’ bribery, with a few phone calls or emails from Washington, London, Delhi.
The truth is stasis and paralysis is what is aimed for with all the electoral, constitutional and legal tinkering and jaramarang, so policy stasis and paralysis is what we will have, if the elections are unable to break through the obstacles placed in ensuring an economy that finally serves the people.
Let us never forget: the real Victoria’s Secret hides the English horrors of the last half of the 19th century – the great famines and manmade epidemics throughout Asia, Africa & the Americas, the genocide that emptied continents of their people, occurring with greater frequency after 1870. That year is marked as the real turning point in the great economic divide between the Europeonized countries & the world.
• Every single published economist, of the so-called Right or Left, cries out for exports! While there is not one word about taking control of our own home market! Not one word!
Most people do not even know what the “home market” means and why it is so important. The corporate media will also never explain what ‘home market’ is or what it means? Instead they will tell us that what matters is to get ‘preferential” treatment for access into the markets of the US and EU.
Two topics trumpeted loud loud loud in the capitalist media every day, if not every nanosecond online, are the cries that Sri Lanka must ‘export export export’ and must allow public-private partnerships (PPP). Both exports and PPP have been unmitigated disasters for the country!
The colonial economy is and was all about ‘exports & imports’ and lots of ‘foreign direct investment’, which left us the most impoverished country in Asia, contrary to the hosannas about the great English legacy.
And weren’t the plantations all PPP – with the English army invading the Udarata and their officials, priests, judges and companies stealing the land? So while they oppose state planning, here is the real PPP the capitalists are planning for the post-pandemic future:
‘The important thing to realize about free-market economics and libertarianism, is libertarians advocate central planning; the Chicago School of monetarists advocate central planning; the free marketers want central planning. The banks are the planners, not the government. They want to exclude the government from planning, except to the extent that they can take over the government, as Trump has done, and plan all of the income to be transferred to themselves from the rest of the economy. So we’re going to have a much more centrally planned economy by a coalition of monopolies and the government. In the 1930s, that was called fascism – what we call a “public-private partnership”.’ – Michael Hudson
• What do we make of claims by Sri Lanka’s Automotive Component Manufacturing Association about making auto parts, with their dreams of even exporting to Africa! What will the importers who glut Panchikavatte have to say about this? Then there’s “the Government’s decision to increase the Loan to Value ratio on locally assembled vehicles as major boost to domestic industry as well as tap export markets…” (see ee Industry). Is it another media fraud like the Volkswagen snowjob? Does not real industrialization require local supply chains? Where have these auto parts makers invested their profits? And what of our mining & steel industry? It’s more than making a few parts, it’s about an entire industrial eco-system! In the absence of a class dedicated to capital accumulation, it is the state that must invest in industrialization. Check out ee Focus this week, on how Japan protected its home market and how it approached industrialization!
• Corruption is a favorite theme for liberals and the capitalist media who go on and on about it, but not capitalism. They also forget the private sector is far more corrupt than the public sector.
“War is robbery and commerce is generally cheating,” said Benjamin Franklin
Over the last many decades, imperialist countries financed social science into a huge business, with the so-called philanthropic foundations (Ford, Rockefeller, etc) and their World Bank, etc, also funding prolix studies, on war, on peace, on refugee camps, on roads, education, paddy, irrigation, water management, administration, harbors, currency, fisheries, while these experts then demand privatization and deregulation. Now they can also shed tears for unprotected workers who they manufactured en masse! Oh yes, they also fund prolix sermons against corruption. NGOs have been massive income-generating schemes for the ‘middle-class’ children of the oligarchy, who could not get government jobs. These car-driving restaurant-hopping social scientists analyze, dissect, psychoanalyze, scrutinize and probe into underdevelopment, ad nauseam. They blame religion, family life, culture, Sinhala Buddhists… but never capitalism! Nor dare offer scientific socialism as a solution.
So no, ee has no interest in ‘corruption’… ee only wishes more of it will circulate within the country among workers and cultivators, if only to buy their votes, than end up in banks near Geneva, London or New York, to bolster stock markets!
• Australian Bull (Continued from above) The authorities are advised to read the Commission Report before launching on another massive import. It is understood that the government is anxious to obtain quick results. On the other hand, would it not be more judicious to opt for a more practical, less risky, less costly and more comprehensive program of upgrading the local cattle. There was such a comprehensive program in the early 1960 under Philip Gunawardena. In this program different regions were identified for particular breeds of cattle from Friesian & Ayrshires and Jersey for upcountry, Sindhi, Sahiwal and Jersey cross for the dry zone. The main strategy was to use artificial insemination of the local cows with semen from the appropriate high-yielding breeds. A few stud bulls were to be imported for stud services and to obtain semen. It was recognized that the crossbred product would be more adaptable to local conditions and feed, free of disease and more robust. It was envisaged that within a few generations of upbreeding the country would have a cattle herd of high quality capable of meeting the country’s requirement of milk. If this strategy was continued during the last 60 years Sri Lanka would already be having a high-quality herd making us self-sufficient in Milk products. It is interesting to know whether this scheme was sabotaged by the Milk Powder mafia.
In the 1960 Animal Husbandry development scheme it was also recognized that the buffalo herds should also be upgraded. The buffalo is a better converter of roughage, a hardier animal adapted to different conditions, gives a higher yield of richer milk and is more useful for operations in paddy cultivations. The proposal was to import stud buffaloes of Murrah and other milk breeds from India and Pakistan. A large buffalo project was also planned to be located in the Mahaveli villus. Authorities should also look into the feasibility of the import of embryos of high-quality breeds of cows.”
• Remember when ambalama dotted across the country were the basis for wonderful multitudinous school trips and pilgrimages, also supporting village productions. Talk about organic and natural! And how much we learned about our country and its history!
The tourism sector has been a massive disaster for the country, even before this Covid plague. Most of the money involved leaves the country to airlines and travel agencies, even before tourists enter. Most of the equipment and high-end food and drinks are imported. The faster we stop depending on it, the better. The villages surrounding tourist attractions usually gain little benefit and, in fact, suffer all manner of corrupt influences, from drug trafficking to prostitution. Even worse, no new or advanced skills are imparted to local people, other than turning them into ‘servants’ and touts.
Europeanized countries are embarking on improving workers’ skills and moving away from low-waged sectors like tourism. News of huge firing of airline workers and bankruptcies of airlines foretells greater monopoly based on this law of social physics: “The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation simply refers to the historical tendency for capital & other productive assets to become concentrated & centralized in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals in the regular course of capitalist economic development.”
The “regular course” of course refers to another law that capitalism’s dynamism is its tendency to constant crisis!
• ‘Jittery’ is the way ‘the middle class’ go to sleep at night in South Africa,: this is how the former Minister of National Intelligence describes it (see ee Sovereignty, Kasrils). And jittery is how most people around the world probably will be going to sleep for some time to come.
B. Special Focus_
B1. How Japan Protects its Home Market
The USA funds “Sri Lankan” groups like Pathfinder, Advocata, Verite, etc, to promote free trade and non-governmental intervention, to spread the gospel of the US Treasury/IMF/World Bank/WTO.
But, the USA jealously guards their own home market, while vigorously denying they do so, they advertise widely through their enormous PR agencies, media and intellectuals how ‘free and open’ they are, accusing others of protectionism.
The USA protects such strategic industries as agriculture, war and aerospace with massive subsidies, export incentives and technology infusions, blocking imports. This is why such US industries are world leaders, also protecting textiles, steel, automobiles and semiconductors from lower-priced imports, while constantly bailing out collapsing corporations and banks.
Japan too privately rejects free-trade theory and always targets strategic industries using a range of government-sponsored cartels, subsidies, import barriers and export incentives. While zealously guarding its home market, Japan spent 100s of millions of dollars annually on vast global PR campaigns designed to convince its foreign trade partners that Japan has the world’s most open markets. Japan’s large embassies, law firms, lobbying groups, public relations firms, and many more front Japanese interests, also conceal Japan’s industrial might and tight contro of its home market:
When Japan was about to oust former-Axis partner West Germany from third place in industrial production and second place in international trade in the 1960s, the US and Europe began to vociferously complain that Japan protected its home market while outdoing them in ‘their’ traditional export markets, like Sri Lanka, etc. There were escalations of even physical attacks on East Asians (for like now with the Covid backlash, they can’t tell the difference between one ‘oriental’ from another)
Japan had also closed its doors to foreign investment in Japan’s industries. US multinationals, from Exxon to GM, Ford, etc, kept demanding ‘freedom’ to set up subsidiaries in Japan, like the US was allowed to do in Western Europe, but Japan said, no!
One of the most revered heroes in Japan is the man who negotiated with US Commodore Perry, who at the height of “gunboat diplomacy” was sent in 1852 to force open Japan’s ports to US trade. The Japanese hero’s policy was “to evade a definite answer… while at the same time maintaining a peaceful demeanor”.
Japan’s laws limited foreign participation to 50% of share ownership by the 1960s, with a Japanese having to be president and a Japanese majority needed on any Board of Directors. Foreigners investing in Japanese stock were limited to less than 10% of a company’s total issue in most industries, & less than 15% in others.
This upset the US, who kept reminding Japan that another warlord US General McArthur in 1945 had poured over $4billion in US ‘aid’ (of course, to preserve it as an ally against Red China & the USSR!). Japan also profited immensely from selling military & civilian goods to the US during their genocidal wars on Korea and Vietnam! The US was Japan’s largest trading partner, with two-way trade of $4bn in the mid-‘60s, but US direct investment in Japan was just over half a billion dollars.
Japan was clear: They did not allow foreign investment in their automobile, electronic, computer and petrochemical production! FDI would strangle their infant industries! Foreign capital was allowed in, but only 6% was allowed for stock purchases. England also accused them of having the most obstacles to foreign investors than any other industrial country, despite international laws preventing such restrictive practices (which of course all industrial countries use when their own interests were involved).
The Japanese then widely trumpeted liberalization measures, allowing up to 50% of foreign investment in some industries where there was low demand, while excluding investment (eg, in color TVs) where there was high demand. Yet all industries still remained under Japanese control. They also allowed 100% investment in some industries where they were the leading producer (eg shipbuilding, steel, motorcycles) or where the market was oversupplied.
No foreign investment at all was allowed in their young auto industry, which had just surpassed England in production. Also, to protect Japanese from takeover by foreigners (as the US was able to in England & Western Europe), the Japanese government’s advisory Foreign Investment Council provided safeguards which required potential investors to obtain state authorization before buying shares.
Japan was conquered militarily (they pay billions of dollars a year to allow 40,000 US troops to occupy bases in Japan) but not economically. Japan was aware that multinationals were taking over the world, but they decided they would only go that way when it was “internationally competitive at equivalent wage levels” (eg in steel, shipbuilding). They would first increase Japanese family ownership of cars to European levels, first decreasing unit costs of production, then export to take over other country’s markets.
While Lankans would speak of Japan as a “brotherly Asian nation”, it was pointed out, “Japanese only considered other Japanese as their brothers”.
In the mid-‘60s, 80% of top industrial managers in Japan were university educated, and 30% of those entering the labor market had degrees, focused on science & technology. As Japan approached shortages in unskilled labor, they did not import migrant workers as Europe did, but began to export plants: to produce subsidiary parts in labor-intensive factories with unskilled and semi-skilled workers (like they did with SL’s fake garment industry equipped with their Juki machines!)
When the oil prices rose after 1973, the Japanese invested in researching and building fuel-efficient small cars, which then grabbed market share across the auto world.
Sri Lanka desperately needs ‘heroes’ like that Japanese negotiator who evaded “a definitive answer… while maintaining a peaceful demeanor” – as when the World Bank demands that shares in public corporations be sold to private shareholders, or allow local depositors to invest in foreign banks.
Japan’s Ministry of International Trade & Industry (now METI) established industries in Japan by intensively applying scarce capital & technology, which when considering ‘comparative costs’ would have been considered most inappropriate for Japan. Yet they invested in steel, oil refining, industrial machinery, electronics, which in the short-term would have been labeled as “irrational”. In the long-run however, these are precisely the industries where demand is high, technological progress is rapid and labor productivity rises fast. It is these industries, and not light industries, than can employ and raise the living standards of tens of millions, and it is precisely these industries that Sri Lanka is always denied.
• England, the US and European countries (starting with Belgium) always act coy & conceal their industrial & military power to the world, while portraying their more decadent backward culture.
Japan always publicly denies that it plans its economy, using euphemisms as plan-oriented market economy, denying the central role the state has played in ensuring industrial policies that enable a modern society. Yet they achieved unprecedented success by going against the so-called modern economic theories of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, happily promoted by the merchant captains of Sri Lanka and their dissembling economists like Razeen Sally, Murtaza Jafferjee, etc.
If Japan had adopted ‘free trade’ they would have been unable to break out of ‘Asian’ stagnation and poverty. Industrialization not profits were their main aim, always ensuring that certain industries crucial to national life stayed alive.
From the late 1940s to 1970s, Japan’s government rationed capital to strategic industries. Their most significant industrial policy tool was “window guidance”, where the Bank of Japan, linked with MITI and the Ministry of Finance, would lend money to a city bank to loan it to designated industries.
MITI and the ministries used industrial promotion devices such as tariffs, quotas, preferential commodity taxes on national products, import restrictions based on foreign currency allocations and foreign currency controls, supply of low-interest funds to targeted industries, subsidies, exclusion of import duties of designated critical equipment, licensing of imported foreign technology, providing industrial parks and other infrastructure. No technology entered the country, no joint ventures, no patents rights without MITI approval or modification: no foreign technology was approved until MITI agreed the time was right, and relevant industry was being ‘nurtured’… MITI forced IBM to sell off its high technology patents to its Japanese rivals, in exchange for a strictly limited market presence.
Japan’s Foreign Exchange Control Law (1950) and Foreign Investment Law guarded Japanese businesses from competitive imports, minimizing foreign control for 30 years. It screened technology licensed by foreigners, which was allowed only to build Japan’s network of modern industries. The FECL preserved their huge domestic market for Japanese, influencing credit, interest and exchange rate management for national advantage, controlling inward and outward capital flows necessary to exclude and restrict foreign banking, shielding Japan’s high savings, managed by a controlled banking system, from international market forces, fixing interest rates, and preferential credit allocations essential for large export firms. Ministries and industries used “administrative guidance” (a micro-industrial management tool using ex-bureaucrats) rather than laws to implement policy, and secure “voluntary compliance”… (to be continued).
– International Mccarthyism: The Case of Rhoda Miller de Silva, JW Pasqualge, SSA, 2008
– Japanese Industrial Targeting, William R Nester, Palgrave, 1991
B2. The English Manufacture of the Bandung Buruva
to Sabotage the Asian & African (‘Nonaligned’) Conference
in Indonesia in 1955 (Part 2)
…The governments of Australia and New Zealand refused to participate in the first Asian & African Conference. As part of its “White Australia Policy”, Prime Minister Robert G Menzies announced Australia was only geographically part of Asia: Culturally and historically, the country was part of the “white” West, with no interests in common with the “colored peoples” gathered in Bandung. “It is the demonstration that racial solidarity is stronger than political and economic differences.” (Sydney Morning Herald)
The Chinese delegation, well aware the US & UK and the rest of the Europeanized world was trying to isolate China (with provocations planned by representatives from US-allied Japan, the Philippines, S Vietnam, Pakistan & SL), warned their delegates to the conference not to show temper – “No hot words”.
Zhou Enlai also criticized their own Chinese delegates: some exhibited “Great Han Chauvinism” and had to learn to eat with their fingers! He also inspired them: “We shall go through all the curtains, iron curtain, bamboo curtain, smoke curtain…”
Zhou insisted at the Conference, that beyond all ideologies there were “common interests, national interests, and common goals”, “most have suffered from colonialism” and were “economically backward”, needing to “to seek common ground to remove the misery imposed upon us.” He invited all participants to China: “Come and see for yourselves.”
When Pakistan proposed the resolution to condemn “Communist imperialism”, Zhou got it changed to “condemn all forms of imperialism”. Back in China, his critics within the Chinese Communist Party asked him to explain “all forms of imperialism”. Zhou replied: “By this I meant, political, economic, military and cultural colonialism”!
All sides claimed the April 1955 Konferensi Asia-Afrika (AA) as a success. Indonesia’s President Achmad Sukarno renamed the Bandung street where it was held:“Asia-Africa Street”. He opened the conference with his speech titled, “Let a New Asia & a New Africa be born!”
The conference reiterated the principles for world peace: “Mutual respect for each other’s national sovereignty and each other’s territorial integrity; abhorrence of aggression; non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit”, condemning colonialism & underdevelopment.
The whites were glad that anti-Communist views were expressed by Thailand, Libya, Turkey, South Vietnam, Sri Lanka. The English reported on April 21: “Kotelawala spoke to the press on Communist imperialism, and proposed UN trusteeship for Formosa. Nehru ironically told the press Ceylon trusteeship would suffice.”
English reports also fabricated this yarn: “Nehru told Sir John he should have let him know that he intended to refer to Soviet colonialism. Why? asked Kotelawala. ‘Mr Nehru attempted to reply but was led away by daughter Indira Gandhi.’”
The final AA communiqué of April 26 referred to economic development, nuclear energy, cultural cooperation, human rights, self-determination; condemned racialism (particularly in South Africa), agreed “colonialism in all its manifestations is an evil which should speedily be brought to an end”, and specially alluded to still-colonized Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
AA supported the rights of the Palestinians, of Indonesia over West Irian (Dutch New Guinea), of Yemen retrieving English-occupied Aden, and sought UN membership for Cambodia, Ceylon, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal & a unified Vietnam, urging disarmament & prohibition of nuclear weapons, and endorsing Panchasila, the five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
Kotelawala, playing to the white media, objected to the anti-colonial resolution not attacking “communist subversive activities & expansionism”. Kotelawala, trying to “redeem” his role later, would claim in the House of Representatives in Colombo that because of him, China had subscribed to the condemnation of colonialism “in all its manifestations”, and suggested “Bandung marked the consolidation of Asia, and of Asia with Africa”.
In the Daily News Kotelawala declared, the conference accepted that alliances could be entered into for defence purposes: “No one will consequently be referred to as a stooge if one makes such an alliance.”
(England still had military bases in Ceylon. Right after the AA planning meeting in Colombo, in June 1954 Kotelawala had allowed air-passage via Ceylon of French troops in US Globemasters to Vietnam, after India had refused to permit use of their facilities. The Vietnamese were defeating the French at Dien Bien Phu (with the US threatening to drop an atom bomb). This incident had “emphasized” Ceylon’s “importance as a communications link” to the US (see ee 19 Oct 2019)
Sir John, the English High Commissioner Seyers concluded, “was full of confidence and pleased with the way in which he had hit the headlines in Bandung, where he was irritated with Nehru, contemptuous of Nasser, impressed by Zhou.”
Kotelawala had almost decided not to give the speech on colonialism, the High Commissioner added mischievously, “being bored by detail”, but was pushed by de Soyza. Later Kotelawala considered publishing the speeches together with press comment. “The truth is that although Sir John made a big splash at the time, he left very few ripples behind”, commented one English Foreign Office official.
The English Foreign Office (FO) thought their English ambassadors and High Commissioners were relatively successful, since the conference could not be prevented. “There was a tendency to scoff at Kotelawala, and others appeared to exaggerate their role.” Nehru’s neutralism had been set back. The English still saw India as of fundamental importance in their Asian diplomacy: “What they wanted to do was to influence an influential state, and to do that they had tried to influence other states that might influence it.”
The Conference was “not so dangerous as had been feared”, though the FO worried China’s influence in Asia had been “much augmented“, and “anti-Communism as distinct from non-Communism … proportionately diminished. Yet they also thought “Western influence is still very strong even in giant India”.
England’s Colonial Office (CO) was less pleased than the FO about the final communiqué against colonialism: “The bracketing of colonial rule and communism did the Colonial Powers no good and made the task of justifying their continued colonial responsibilities more difficult. It also made it more difficult for them to show that anti-colonialism, consciously or unconsciously, played the Communist game by promoting conditions of instability and disturbance.”
The English saw their paternal role as that of a schoolmaster who “canalises youthful enthusiasm”, rather than “an unwise one” who “sours it”, using their “unique position in the Orient” to act the “favourite uncle, shrewd, calm, tolerant and worldly wise, with no Big Brother connotation.”
The CO was concerned about its colonial power. The FO wanted to play the great game: “India still had to take a major part, and other states were valued if they could influence India’s actions or monitor its impact.”
The English remained proud about their foreign policies and their ability to carry them through against the Asian-African Conference. Yet the 1956 Suez fiasco damaged this pride. Israel, England and France had to withdraw (on USSR & US insistence) after invading Egypt to regain control of the Suez Canal and remove Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had nationalized the canal.
After Bandung, the PCG studied responses to neutralism in Europe and Asia. Neutralism was a more intricate in Asia then in Europe. They had undermined Nehru’s neutralist position, but Zhou’s stature had been enhanced. To the PCG, neutralism was a rational position for weaker nations, whose interests could be best advanced by diplomatic negotiation, avoidance of armed crisis, and balance of superpowers vs dominance by either one. Yet, compared to Europe, they found “color consciousness” strongly influenced ‘Third World’ neutralism. With Asians feeling that the “racial intolerance of the Western powers” was “just as bad as anything done” by the Communists.
The US decided, after Bandung, their approach to Asia and Africa required a focus on covert & psychological actions, hints of economic aid, greater use of pro-US proxies and “a light touch”. The US would speak loud against colonialism while enforcing their own hegemony.
When the Indonesian government began to nationalize foreign-owned plantations and mines, investing in rubber, copra & tin, after Bandung, US President Eisenhower ordered the CIA to overthrow the Sukarno government, from the Philippines in 1957, financing rebel military forces in Sumatra and Sulawesi.
In 1958, a US bomber pilot was shot down over east Indonesia, revealing US involvement. The coup soon failed, but they got the UN to back the separation of Malaysia from Indonesia’s northernmost lands. Indonesia then withdrew from the UN.
In 1965, the US, Holland and England engineered the ouster of the Sukarno government and the mass slaughter of his supporters. In Sri Lanka, too, such horrors were enacted, They have not divided the country yet, though they constantly excite fissiparous yearnings of fractions nurtured under colonialism, to keep the home market pliant for their multinationals to exploit unhindered.
Across the world, they kept toppling, torturing and murdering leaders who sought international alliances outside the old colonial bondage (Mossadegh, Arbenz, Bandaranaike, Lumumba, Allende, etc). The AA Conference nonetheless increased international cooperation: China’s links to Africa grew, leading to their largest single foreign project, when Tanzania, Zambia & China built the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) to free landlocked Zambia from economic dependence on white-ruled Rhodesia & South Africa. The railway provided the only route for bulk trade from Zambia’s copperbelt to reach the sea without having to transit white-ruled territories, giving rise to Tazara’s designation as the “Great Uhuru Railway“, ‘Uhuru’ in Swahili meaning ‘freedom’.
Other attempts at international cooperation: Asian-African Conference led to the Nonaligned Movement (NAM) in 1961. NAM promoted the short-lived New International Economic Order to replace the IMF/WorldBank/GATT-WTO, and the New International Information Order to replace the monopoly of the US & European news agencies – still controlling access to information worldwide: BBC, Reuters (UK), AP/UPI (US), AFP (France), DPA (Germany). The US and England then withdrew from UNESCO, in protest, and a supine UN caved in. One step forward, 2 steps back…
– An Asian Prime Minister’s Story, 1956
– ‘Ah-Ah’: Britain & the Bandung Conference of 1955, N Tarling, Journal of SE Asian Studies, 1992
– Eldest Son: Zhou Enlai & the Making of Modern China, 1898-1976 , Han Suyin, 1994
– The Doomed King: A Requiem for Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, Gananath Obeyesekere, 2017
– English Newsreel Propaganda against 1955 Bandung Conference, britishpathe.com/video/asian-african-conference-in-bandung/query/ceylon
– ee Sovereignty, Codeword Jakarta!
C. News Index______________________________________________
• ee News Index provides headlines and links to gain a sense of the weekly focus of published English ‘business news’ mainly to expose the backwardness of a multinationally controlled ‘local media’:
(ee is pro-politics, pro-politician, pro-nation-state, anti-corporatist, anti-expert, anti-NGO)
ee Sovereignty news emphasizes sovereignty as economic sovereignty – a strong nation is built on modern industrialization fueled by a producer culture.
• USAID provides more than $5.8 million in total Covid-19 assistance to Sri Lanka
‘To address the specific threats to social cohesion, and mitigate negative economic impacts…. funds promote US foreign-policy interests…Over the past 20 years, US assistance in Sri Lanka has totaled more than $1 billion…’
• Pathfinder National Security Strategy for Sri Lanka 2020 – Waduge
‘Pathfinder founder Milinda Moragoda’s National Security Strategy for Sri Lanka is based on a ‘code of conduct for the Indian Ocean’ and raises the question – code & conduct for whom! Obviously this is linked to Pathfinder’s programs titled Trincomalee Consultations-2018’ to promote Trincomalee port. What are the littoral countries in the Bay of Bengal that Pathfinder wishes to promote?’
• Friday Forum Trying to Fabricate an entirely New Conspiracy Theory!
‘The Friday Forum’s latest plat du jour indicates that they have finally run out of topics on which to comment. Now, they have to invent brand new issues out of whole cloth. “Is it possible,” asks Friday Forum (FF), “that there is an expectation that the much desired ‘new’ Parliament will adopt and enact a Constitution that will do away with familiar institutions, known as Parliament and the courts (the two other pillars of governance in a parliamentary democracy)?”
• General Elections 2020: A Defining Moment for Sri Lanka – Friday Forum
‘In 2018, A Full Bench Of Our Supreme Court Held That This Country Has Not Had (Sic! Note the capitals – ee) a monarch since 1972, and the President under our Constitution has not “inherited that mantle”. Constitutions restrain the exercise of powers, and those who take oaths of office to respect the Constitution, in doing so, agree not to take on the mantle of kingship.’
• Engaging in lowest form of gutter politics
‘Letter to Mr. Hugh McDermott: State Member for Prospect, Australia: This is in regard to the fictitious statement made by you about the “genocide of Tamil people” in Sri Lanka…You are continuing in the footsteps of politicians in the “International Community” Eg. Britain (David Cameron, David Miliband, Boris Johnston), Canada (Justin Trudeau), the USA (Hilary Clinton), Robert Blake, Obama, and some Nordic countries (Erik Solheim – Norway) who deceive the Tamil people in their electorates.’
• In Sinhala & English
‘It is noteworthy that President Rajapaksa, who spoke in Sinhala, also repeated the words of caution in English. That is to show that his message was not only for the domestic audience but also for the international community…. This week, US Congressman Tom Malinowaski, representing New Jersey’s 7th district, revealed that during a visit to Colombo in August 2015, he helped in the formulation of the US-backed resolution which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka. This indeed is an especially important revelation. As a diplomat, he then accompanied Nisha Biswal, onetime Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia. The revelation was made at a video commemoration event that took place at 7 p.m. on May 19 and was organised by the US Tamil Sangam to mark the LTTE’s war and those who were killed. Taking part among others was Navaneethan Pillai, the former Secretary General of the UNHRC. She wore a saree that represented the same colours displayed in the LTTE flag.. he began her address by announcing that she had brought greetings from the Durban (South African) Tamil Sangam.’
• When Thondaman Met LTTE
‘In a controversial move, the CWC leader flirted with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). He made a trip to Kilinochchi and met the then Tiger Political Commissar Suppiah Paramu Tamilselvan for political discussion’
• Thondaman met Indian HC hours before his demise
• GR seeks additional $1.1 bn SWAP facility from Modi
‘The call between the leaders comes over a week after Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke to Rajapaksa over telephone.’
• Fresh approach for joint ventures between India and Sri Lanka
‘Prime Minister Modi even raised concerns with Sri Lanka over the lack of progress in accelerating India-assisted projects here’
• Indian HC expresses deep shock at news of Thondaman’s demise
‘“Deepest condolences. Difficult to believe. Had met him today afternoon,” the New Indian HC said.’
• Covid-19: PM Modi says India stands ready to extend support to Sri Lanka
• Modi discusses economic impact of Covid-19 with Mahinda
‘The prime minister recalled the role Thondaman had played in taking forward the development partnership between India and Sri Lanka.’
• Indo-Sri Lanka leaders agree to strengthen bilateral relations amidst Covid-19
‘President Rajapaksa asked PM Modi to “direct those responsible, from India’s side, to expedite construction of the East Terminal of the Colombo Port, as early as possible..’
• JVP not happy with India developing East Terminal of Colombo Port
• Trade bodies discuss Sri Lanka, India bilateral opportunities post Covid-19
• Envoy tells President Gotabaya Indian companies are ready to invest in priority sectors identified by Lankan government
• Indian High Commissioner calls Minister of Foreign Relations Dinesh Gunawardena
“Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha and senior officials of the Foreign Relations Ministry were also present during the call.”
• High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay calls on PM Mahinda Rajapaksa
• Is it the end of Tamil political history? – Jayatilleka
‘Modi specifically mentioned the “implementation of the 13th Amendment”, repeating it in English. President Rajapaksa impassively ignored the reference and did not make even a polite, token acknowledgment of it. There was no reciprocity or show of recognition of the Indian PM’s concern. …In the final analysis, all that stands between the Lankan Tamil community and the end of Tamil political history on the island, is India.’
• Is unqualified and uncritical support for the armed struggle of the past, a must, to play a leading role in Tamil politics today?
• If taken alive, Prabhakaran would have been in an influential position today – SF
• Develop Katchatheevu Island To A Level Of An International Health Hub
• Tamil Eelam in Canada – coming soon
‘White Canadians have re-written history and continue to re-write history usurping the indigenous rights of those that lived before the arrival of the white colonial’s. Well, what do you know the Eelam Tamils are also re-writing history, so naturally they have much in common.’
• Prime Minister Trudeau’s call for accountability in Sri Lanka
‘Canada, together with Britain and the US moved the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) against SL but the UN itself rejected the motion three times, viz., 2012, 2013, and 2014. However, in 2015, the Lankan government did not oppose the resolution, and indeed endorsed it’
• A clarification in reply to UAE Embassy complaint – Wasala
• JR and Gota: A tale of two Executive Presidents – Part I
• A post-poll query on Prez Gotabaya’s nationality
• Avant-Garde chairman’s revelation on ex-Director General of Bribery Commission
‘Avant-Garde Chairman Nissanka Senadhipati has revealed that former Director General of the Bribery Commission had offered to release him from all legal proceedings if he implicates Former Defence Secretary and current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in the case’
• Government should watch out for elitist manipulation of grievances
‘The North is more susceptible to the elitist manipulation of real and perceived grievances and can unravel disastrously. It indeed did so barely decades ago.’
• Guardian gambit and claim of genocide: What next?
‘Whilst our top diplomats like Palitha Kohona and Tamara Kunanayakam were defending the honour and integrity of Sri Lanka from false accusations, Samaraweera, at the behest of the Obama administration, decide to co-sponsor a resolution against Sri Lanka.’
• In defence of Gunadasa Amarasekara and Jathika Chintanaya – Devapriya
• Gunadasa Amarasekara’s Point – Notes on Covid-19
‘He hoped that the president in his victory speech would underscore an inescapable fact: that terrorism in the north as well as the south had been fuelled by “this vicious economy” and neoliberal reforms injected into it after 1977’
• Cannot we defeat racism?
• I would like to protest to your speech on a so-called Tamil Memorial Day – Canada
• Right Of Response To Visvajit Sriramrajan Writing To The Diplomat On Post-War Sri Lanka
• Post War Sri Lanka: Fractured and Unjust For Tamils by Visvajit Sriramrajan: Response
• Post War Sri Lanka: A response: Canada
• Origins of Tamil political violence – Parts 1&2
• Diagnosis of Genocide Account on Sri Lankan Affairs
• The US Millennium Challenge Corporation Could Reshape Nepal’s Geostrategic Role
‘The geostrategic state of Nepal is in a conundrum over whether to respect the previous government’s agreement to accept a $500 million “grant” from the US “Millennium Challenge Corporation” despite concerns that it could permanently undermine the country’s sovereignty, but backing out of the deal several years after it was first made and especially in the context of American-backed India’s Hybrid War on Nepal would put a bullseye on its back for years to come.’
• Armies of India, China heading towards biggest face-off since Doklam
• India, China decline Trump’s offer to mediate in their border standoff
• India wants China to unconditionally withdraw troops from its territory in eastern Ladakh for any meaningful conciliation
• The ‘Liberal World Order’ Was Built With Blood
‘It’s easy to see that Washington was truly victorious in the 20th century, he told me, because “we all got the U.S.-centered version of capitalism that Washington wanted to spread.” I asked him how America won. He answered quickly. “You killed us.”’
• How ‘Jakarta’ Became the Codeword for US-Backed Mass Killing
‘The military spread the story that the PKI was the mastermind of a failed communist coup. Suharto and his men claimed that the Indonesian Communist Party had brought the generals back to Halim Air Force Base and begun a depraved, demonic ritual. They said members of Gerwani, the communist-affiliated Women’s Movement, danced naked while the women mutilated and tortured the generals, cutting off their genitals and gouging out their eyes, before murdering them. They claimed that the PKI had long lists of people they planned to kill, and mass graves already prepared. They said China had secretly delivered arms to People’s Youth Brigades…. The Western press did its part, too. Voice of America, the BBC, and Radio Australia broadcast reports that emphasized Indonesian military propaganda points… In 1971, as the Brazilian dictatorship collaborated with right-wing forces in Chile, the word “Jakarta” was put to new use. In both countries, the capital of Indonesia now had the same meaning. Operação Jacarta, or “the Jakarta Operation,” was the name of a secret part of an extermination plan, according to documentation compiled by Brazil’s Truth Commission.’
• China brands Canada ‘accomplice’ of US, as Huawei’s Meng Wanzhou loses bid to have extradition case thrown out
“The purpose of the United States is to bring down Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies…”
• Our freedom is incomplete without freedom of the Palestinians’, new Iranian envoy quotes Mandela
• Palestinians Demand Sanctions on Israel to Stop Illegal Annexation
‘Israel’s new right-wing government is once more set to formally annex large swathes of the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT).’
• South Africa’s Minister for Intelligence Services: Ronnie Kasrils on Nationalisation and the History of South Africa’s Economic Policy Choices
• Can Sri Lanka afford to withdraw from international organisations ?
‘Trump and US isolated in the World Health Assembly – result of Trump’s threat to withdraw the US from WHO. WHA calls for international solidarity and cooperation’
• Trump Claims to Have Venezuela ‘Surrounded’ as Iranian Tankers Approach
‘Five Iranian tankers are en route to the South American country carrying at least US $45.5 million in gasoline and other products.’
• Gough Whitlam dismissal: Australian high court rules that Queen’s secret letters can be released
• Navajo Nation now has the highest COVID-19 infection rate per capita in the US
“…But this weekend the Park Service will reopen Grand Canyon National Park… over the objections of the President of the Navajo Nation. Tourists will stream across the Rez to get to and from the Park.’
• USA’s Chilling Experiment in Human Sacrifice
‘Dan Patrick, lieutenant governor of Texas, offered his own assessment of the trade-off between capitalism and the lives of USA’s senior citizens, explaining, “there are more important things than living.”
(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 legitimate violence), and how the ‘national security’ doctrine is undermined by private interests, with no interest in divulging or fighting the real enemy, whose chief aim is to prevent an industrial renaissance as the basis of a truly independent nation.
• Champika rakes up ‘horrible’ tasks govt. got done by military
‘Sending army men to deal with rice mill owners was one such example…”The end result is that we do not have rice for low prices and the army officers, too, lost their respect. They have no understanding of the cartels of rice mill owners who hoard rice and paddy.”
• EU, Germany & UNODC to support Lanka’s criminal justice system to counter terrorism
• UN, EU, Germany in joint counter-terror initiative in Sri Lanka
‘We as technical assistance providers ensure that justice practitioners, the protectors of the rule of law, can continue to adjudicate terrorism cases fairly and effectively.’
• Mahendran changes name to Arjan Alexander
• Police officer injured in explosion at Point Pedro, Jaffna
• KKS police arrest three suspects for attacking a sub inspector with sword
• Two houses attacked with petrol bombs at Uduvil and Kathorodai
• Four million rupees for repairs to damaged bridges in Kilinochchi!
• Prabhakaran’s chief bodyguard’s weapons found
• Archaeological officials threatened with death while marking the boundaries of the historic Devanagala sacred area
• Maj. Gen. Dhammika Jayasinghe new Commander security forces, Wanni
• STF has a major role in countering extremism: Defence Secretary
‘Over 700 STF personnel, who suffered severe injuries during the war against LTTE terrorism’
• Five senior Brigadiers promoted to Maj Gen rank
• Six institutions gazetted under Defence Ministry
‘The six institutions are the Department of Multi-purpose Development Task Force, National Authority for the Implementation of Chemical Weapons Convention, Api Wenuwen Api Fund, National Police Academy, Sri Lanka Institute of National Defence Studies and the Miloda Institute (Academy of Financial Studies).’
• After Covid, terrorists may resort to bio-warfare
• Militarization of the ‘medical’ and a majority mesmerized
‘Many aspects of administration that can easily be performed by civil authorities are being entrusted, seemingly without any second thoughts, to military or retired military officers’
• OMP handling 15,000 files, process slow, though not impeded in the wake of political changes
Tablighi Jamaat case: Delhi Police to file 15 more charge sheets against 294 foreigners
‘Sri Lankans also among them…On Tuesday, Randhawa claimed that more than 900 foreign nationals who are accused in this case belong to 34 countries, and that charge-sheets are being prepared country-wise’
• Retired officer’s terror alert draws flak
‘A retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Army, now serving as Security Manager of a revenue-earning state corporation, caused a sensation this week. In a signed message to his bosses, he said, that ISIS was planning attacks in Colombo taking advantage of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Such a threat, if true, would have raised not only fears but even insurance premiums… A senior Police officer attached to the Police headquarters was invited for television and radio programmes… had said that former Minister Arumugam Thondaman had declared that as many as 7,000 upcountry people working in Colombo had returned home illegally, thereby causing a major health risk in the central highlands.’
• Easter Sunday Massacre – Rewards for Criminal Negligence?
‘In 2017 there were 486 murders, 2,181 rapes and 2,933 deaths due to road traffic accidents. SL’s homicide rate is the 42nd in the world. SL today is a drug trafficking and smuggling hub.’
• India’s Kerala Is Combating Covid-19 Through Participatory Governance
• Why Sri Lanka may be spared the UK’s Care Home Cull
• As Moderna’s Covid-19 Vaccine Takes The Lead, Its Chief Medical Officer’s Recent Promotion of “Gene-Editing Vaccines” Comes to Light
• Jacob Pederson: St. Paul Police Officer Accused of Starting GeorgeFloyd Riot
(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.
• Tackle household debt pandemic: Cancel debt! Create common credit! – Welagedera & Tegal
‘Sadly, the 27 March debt moratorium by the Central Bank did not include microfinance and does not really address the gravity of the low-income household debt crisis. The political and business élite have put forward their financialised solutions such as using social security funds like EPF to boost short term consumption, subsidised loans and equity funds to revive local enterprises. One feature of the demands is justifying use of public funds to save privately owned enterprises.’
• External funding must be development centric: President
‘Middle Income Countries seem to get subsumed under the overarching classification of developing countries and thereby their requirements are not wholly met.’
• President tells virtual forum on Financing for Development
‘Compensatory debt deferment facilities needed…Normal lending conditions should be cast aside in revival drive…Bilateral, multilateral agencies must become development partners’
• Sri Lanka President calls for unconditional debt relief from global creditors
• Address by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the virtual ‘High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of Covid-19 and beyond’ organized by Prime Ministers of Canada, Jamaica and the UN Secretary General on May 28, 2020.
• CBSL Governor rejects negative growth forecasts for Sri Lanka in 2020
• Central Bank expects V-shaped recovery amid pent-up demand
‘The country has repaid US $ 1.6 billion debt during the first four months of the year and has US $ 3.3 billion in remaining debt obligations for the remainder of the year.’
• Covid-19 fallout: Support agriculture but not on old lines – Wijewardene
‘If the farmers could minimise the use of inputs and use them by reference to the need of the plant, its effectivity is to increase yields and consequently their incomes as well’
• Suggested Revival plan for Sri Lanka’s Economy in the Post Covid-19 era – Cabraal
‘Release 20% of the EPF Member balance to the Members themselves’
• PBJ’s formula for economy and its gaping hole
‘To me the most exciting and promising of all is the last – shifting non-essential import segment to export segment.’
• Post Covid-19 International Order Will a new world emerge?
• Optimising grassroots public service to manage Covid -19 – Centre for Poverty Analysis
‘Each community has the following state officials attached to a national level or provincial level authority associated with health, well-being or public administration: a) Grama niladhari, b) Samurdhi officer, c) Economic development officer, d) Krushikarma Paryeshana Saha Nishpaadana Sahakara (Goviniyaamaka), e) Women’s development officer, f) Public health inspector, and g) Midwife. There is a plethora of government employees responsible for delivering every conceivable service. Each of the 331 AGA divisions has 56 cadre positions for staff, including over 25 Development Officers. Their focus ranges from youth affairs, women, to enterprise promotion, counselling and social empowerment, to mention a few. The officials are attached to various departments at national and provincial levels. The total number of these state officials in the country is about 18,500. They are distributed among the 25 districts. Over 20 officials visit local communities regularly. There are close to 30 state agencies represented at the divisional council level. There are numerous graduates recruited as Development Officers attached to various government departments. In short, the concentration of government officers at grassroots level is enviable.’
• Rockefeller Pathfinder’s path to sustainable inclusive economic growth
‘The PF report considers the improvement of the investment climate a priority to attract foreign investment.’
• 5 opportunities for Sri Lanka to grow its economy post-pandemic
‘Over 25% of Sri Lanka’s total population is aged below 14 years, and over 40% of total population is in the age group 25 – 55 years.’
• Sri Lanka Needs To Change Its Monetary Unit (Parts 1&2)
• “Is China Capitalist?”
‘Vijay Prashad on Chinese Socialism: Qiao Collective’
• “Two sessions” demonstrate China’s achievements amid changing world – Sri Lanka Communist Leader
• Lack of Demand: The Coronavirus Pandemic and China’s Belt and Road Initiative
• ADB Governors approve corporate finance to Rescue ADB….
‘US$ 615.7 million to the ordinary reserve to support ADB’s capital adequacy and provide an earnings base to generate net income; US$ 259.5 million to the Asian Development Fund, which provides grants to ADB’s low-income member countries; US$ 130 million to the Technical Assistance Special Fund; US$ 30 million to the Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund; US$ 24 million to the Climate Change Fund; and US$ 10 million to the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund.’
• Sampie Terreblanche: South Africans is Sub-Empire of the USA
‘South Africa is now a sub-empire of the US empire, with production lines in China, Poland, Brazil….The whole transition process was orchestrated by the minerals-energy-complex (MEC) with Harry Oppenheimer and to a lesser extent Anton Rupert. They organised everything. Early in the 1990’s there was regular lunches between Mr. Mandela and Harry Oppenheimer….That top 20% – 10 million people – receive 75% of total income,7 million of them are white and 3 million are black, but the whites are the richer part of that group. The lower 50% of the population (receive) only 8% – less than 8% – of total income’
• It’s a Giveaway
• ‘Very lucid and coherent explanation by Michael Hudson on how the economy works, the so-called “Bailout”, which he calls a “Giveaway” to Wall Street, on what is happening the real economy, and what to expect.’
• Is this the end of globalisation (as we know it)?
‘The government could have stepped in, but that’s barred by the reigning doctrine pronounced by Ronald Reagan: Government is the problem, not the solution. So nothing could be done.’
(Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how the economy is usually measured by false indices like GDP, etc, and in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, while calling for privatization and deregulation, etc.
• President appeals to international lenders for budget support and debt deferment facilities
‘”In Sri Lanka, main transmission channels, through labour income, export related income, tourism and connected services, have impacted our real economy. Loss of employment and livelihood is large,” he said, adding that whatever the difficulties confronted “our policy of people first” cannot be compromised as human development is the only asset valued most.’
• With debt crunch looming, Sri Lanka needs help from its friends – Reuters
‘Aberdeen’s Daly said any signals of debt help from China could trigger a relief rally in bond prices but IMF support was still likely to be needed and that would come with stringent conditions.’
• Sri Lanka facing ‘biggest forex crisis in history’ triggering import controls: Minister
‘Sri Lanka usually imported 22 billion rupees of goods and exported about 11 billion rupees of hard goods exports.’
• Interim Trade and Customs Based Tax Policy Framework presented to Cabinet
• Sri Lanka 12-month inflation slows to 4.0-pct in May 2020
• Third Vote on Account for 2020 on the cards
• Central Bank focused on its duty to help overcome pandemic trauma: Senior Deputy Governor
“Our responsibility at this point is to provide sufficient liquidity. There are several ways of doing it. First one is; buying foreign currency and issuing rupees to the market. Second is; buying Treasury Bills and Treasury Bonds from the secondary market or from the primary market through Central Bank accounts and provide liquidity into the banking system and to the hands of the people”.. according to Presidential Media Division, Sri Lankan government on Saturday asked the Indian government for a US$1.1 billion special SWAP facility to tide over its foreign exchange issues.
• Sri Lanka fuel stabilization fund has not grown as expected: Minister
• Pull together or perish, PM tells stark truth to the nation as difficult times lie ahead world over
‘After January 2015, everything went in reverse. The economic growth rate dropped… There were no external, global reasons for this economic collapse….’
• Disclose true financial position: Ranil tells Govt.
‘“CNN recently came up with a list of countries that are unable to settle their debts. These included countries like Argentina, Lebanon and Ecuador. According to global indicators, Sri Lanka too could fall into this category. Last month, Fitch ratings put Sri Lanka into “s-minus” based on debt settlement. Morgan Stanley Ratings is expected to push Sri Lanka into a minus status too. The ‘Economist’ magazine named Sri Lanka as a nation with highest economic tensions in South Asia. Sri Lanka’s debt services were 87 percent of the GDP in 2019. It is expected to increase up to 93 percent by end 2020 and hit 100 percent in 2021. Sri Lanka’s total debt services are expected to be USD 3 billion this year and will go up to USD 10 billion in 2023. It is imperative that Sri Lanka looks for short-term export earnings. Import concessions should be given to manufacturing industries,” he said.’
• Sri Lanka lifts para-tariff on PPE to military, state hospitals, medical items for Covid-19
• Sri Lanka exempts more vehicles from luxury motor tax
• Govt. revises import ban; range of items exempted
‘President’s office says aim is to reduce pressure on forex market and stabilise exchange rate’
• Fitch recalibrates Sri Lanka National Rating Scale
• Fitch changes Sri Lanka domestic rating scale after sovereign downgrade
• China ahead of India in South Asian trade and investment
‘All countries, in the neighbourhood, have a trade deficit with India, the highest, in 2018, being Bangladesh ($7.6 billion), followed by Nepal ($6.8 billion).’
• EU wooing Dragon
‘It will be interesting to see how India, which has drifted towards the US in the post-Cold War era, will position itself in the overall scheme of things in the present global context. Sri Lankan politicians who are trying to be more anti-Chinese than Trump should take cognisance of the EU’s dramatic policy shift at issue.’
• US stocks sag on China tensions, Europe up, Oil at US$35
(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
• JVP leader warns over 1m Lankans could lose jobs due to Covid-19
• JVP calls on govt. to revise tax policy to help those reeling from crisis
‘Around 25% loss of jobs in the industrial sector. If we go by the figures for 2018, the actual figure of 25% in the number of workers in the industrial sector is 365,980. Around 360,000 persons in the industrial sector are likely to lose their jobs because of the Covid-19 crisis. That is nearly 178,000 persons in that sector losing jobs. It has been estimated that around 1,113,000 persons, in all sectors, will lose their jobs, this year. Already around 200,000 have lost their jobs in shops and offices.’
• 5,710 train delays due to strikes last year: Railways Dept.
• We will make all our teachers graduates and professionals in future – Dullas
“There’s a huge disparity in districts merit. For example, Colombo district contains schools such as Ananda, Royal, Devi, Visaka and underprivileged schools near Avissawella, or in Padukka. The students from those underprivileged schools will also have to get the same ‘Z’ score as same as those elite school students.’
• Ceylon Chamber proposes multi-sectoral approach for post-COVID19 economic revival
‘…Delay remitting EPF/ETF/Gratuity for all sectors without having to pay the surcharge…To allow engaging employees (male and female) beyond normal working hours, per day, per week and on holidays to cover hours that were lost due to the curfews imposed by relaxing daily, weekly and monthly limits imposed on overtime, if any….grant permission for a compressed week (to work 45/48 hours within a short working week) without additional payments… permit employees whose services have been terminated post Covid-19 to withdraw the ETF benefit disregarding the 5-year rule…’
• Dearth of doctors, says Govt.
‘The retirement age of government doctors has been increased by one year to 61’
• Empower the poor; they’re an integral part of society
‘The Maligawatte tragedy came a day after Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena announced that the government had decided to stop the stipend from June…’
• What is development without concern for the informal economy
‘Maligawatta is an area like other extremely crowded localities in Colombo with the majority of people being roadside vendors, hawkers, small traders, home based workers, porters, labourers, artisans and trishaw drivers, all of which fall into the category of informal economy. One traveling along Siri Saddharma Mawatha via Maligawatta after 10 pm could see around 500 trishaws stopped on both sides of the road for about half a kilometre. A study by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) had found that 66 per cent of all employed people in Sri Lanka work in informal work arrangements.’
• Legal action by unions if EFC firms cut wages drastically
‘In 2008, when the global economic crisis affected Sri Lanka, the EFC was granted the concession of work to be permitted beyond the stipulated 8-hour work day for a limited period of six months and this practice is unfortunately being continued to this day in violation of the law with the connivance of the authorities and yellow unions. The last sub-committee meeting of the NLAC which deliberated on the matter failed to approve its continuation. Four unions in the NLAC have given notice to the Ministry Secretary and Commissioner General of Labour that they will resort to legal action if the practice is not terminated, the statement said. “The EFC is now resorting to yet another ruse by treating those who are made to suffer a pay cut due to non-offer of work as being on the bench – an euphemism coined by the EFC to surmount legal implications.’
• National Peace Council calls for larger social commitment
• Foreign Minister reassures continued repatriation of migrant workers
‘At 27 May, 42,522 persons from 123 countries were seeking to return to Sri Lanka. Of these, migrant workers amounted to 34,881 of which 20,893 are living in the Middle East, while 4,961 were short term visa holders, and 2,016 were students, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.’
• JVP queries Govt. policy on stranded SL expatriates
“Government has no policy on expatriates”
• Mahindananda accuses Kuwait of “sending us their patients” as government struggles with repatriation crisis
• JVP insists Lankan workers didn’t leave Kuwait as infected persons
• Sri Lanka blames Kuwait for violating the International Regulations of Health
• No Human Rights for foreign workers repatriated because of Covid-19: Unfortunate fate of Sri Lankan returnees from Kuwait
• Embassy says SL workers refuse to report to work
‘36 Sri Lankan workers were stranded at Bucharest Airport in Romania, the Sri Lankan envoy to Romania said the situation had arisen as most of the employees had refused to go back to their workplace.’
• Romanian Labor Minister looking for job offers for stranded Sri Lankans in Botoşani.
• Romanian govt. finds alternative employment for 36 stranded Lankan workers in Bucharest
• Worker remittances plunge over 32% in April; cumulative decline at 9%
• Foreign Ministry responds to claims against Lankan HC in UK regarding medical treatment
• Lockdown & Control or Herd Immunity? – David
‘What’s going on in Sri Lanka is extreme, draconian and excessive harassment, especially of the poorest classes… A very critical appraisal of strategic failures to plan ahead on the economic front, and start thinking about what needs to be done. It’s future economic hardship that may induce the public worm to turn.
• WC wants Arumugan Thondaman’s son to contest polls to fill void
• The Bala Tampoe story
‘Sure, there will be the die-hard Trotskyites who will quote Lenin selectively and chastise the man on account of “trade unionism inevitably leads to a negotiation of the terms of exploitation”…But theirs is the business of splitting hairs over sore ideological points. The people do not have to (and in most cases cannot) wait for the “Permanent Revolution” in order to obtain a wage that is half way decent.’
• John Kotalawala Snr and Carters’ Strike in 1906
• ILO calls for urgent and large-scale policy responses from governments
• A New Lucas Plan for Post-Pandemic Socially Useful Jobs?
‘The public health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has put into sharp focus the precarious nature of work and human lives upon which our neoliberal capitalist economies thrive. On the other hand, it has shown what type of work is essential to society such as work in health and social care, public transport and other public services, and in the food supply chain….To ensure capital survives, the government has found a ‘magic money tree’ to stimulate the economy.
• Bethune’s Socialized Medicine and the Public Health Crisis Today
‘We are at war! The heads of states throughout the globe are posing as chieftains in this quixotic war against an enemy who no one understands. War rooms are being set up to manage data, propaganda, public reactions, and to control supplies, while the foot soldiers – doctors, nurses, other medical and supporting staff – toil to deal with the actual and potential carriers of the enemy, including themselves. Of course, along with them are the baton-wielding workers of the agencies of surveillance – the police, security guards, etc. who are made to assist drones and other AIs to manage the panic and the surplus-ed population (migrants, homeless, and poor) on the streets.’
• Novel Virus, Old Story: Government Failings Put Healthcare Workers at Risk
(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.
• Aussie cows dupe Sri Lanka again?
“Besides, do you expect the people, who want to sell their milk powder, will genuinely help us to build a successful local dairy industry?”
• 2,500 milch cows to be imported from Australia
‘“The daily demand for milk is 3.5 million liters and the gap is met by importing of milk powder at a cost of Rs. 50 billion annually which is a huge burden to the Treasury.’
• Budget And Cow Milk
• Moneybags, windbags and bags of rice
‘The Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) made a big show of its recent raids on several rice mills in Polonnaruwa… Alas, about two days later, at a meeting with a handful of wealthy millers, the government undertook to increase the maximum retail prices.’
• Govt. caps price of rice
‘The Government yesterday slapped a Maximum Retail Price (MRP) on rice sold in the market in a bid to offer relief to masses and prevent millers and traders taking undue advantage.’
• Thousands of farmers dependent on Iranamadu tank face ruin by decision to cut off water
‘Chairmen of the Farmers’ Organisations wrote on May 26 to the Kilinochchi Irrigation engineers that at least half of 14,000 acres of paddy cultivation would be face destruction if water is stopped.’
• “No Imports to help Production is a Lie”
“When the government revised the tax policy and increased the taxes, on many essential items, its propaganda elements stated that it had been done to protect the local industries and production. This is not a new story; we have been hearing the same for the past half century. This is a lie. For example, tax on dhal has been increased. Is it to promote local production? Everybody knows that lentils are not produced in SL, because we cannot do so. Then, there could be an argument that price increase in lentils would help promote the production of other grains such as cowpea, green gram, etc. But, cowpea, too, is an imported item and not produced here now. We imported 8.1 million kilos of cowpea in 2018.’
• Government revised the MRP for rice for the third time since April
• Small and Medium Rice Mills release stocks to domestic market
“There is no reason to worry as SATHOSA is making purchases from the Paddy Marketing Board and the entire process is coordinated by the SL Army”. P. Harisson, was the Former Minister of Agriculture when the Government of Good Governance was in power and he said the government which is bound to protect the 20 million people in the country, is more focused on protecting the Rice Mill Owners.’
• Opposition warns of a Rice Crisis because of price controls and cooperative shutdown
• Surplus of Rice and Vegetables – Editorial
‘In Sri Lanka, nearly 70% of farmers are smallholders owning less than one hectare of paddy land…. in the peripheries of Colombo like Padukka, Avissawella and Meegoda every other householder has become a vegetable seller today.’
• MONLAR: Rice millers did not buy paddy at Rs. 55 a kilo
‘Solution to contrived shortages lies in empowering farmer organisations, co-ops and small millers’
• CAA vs Millers’ Mafia
‘It is perhaps the first time the CAA officials have entered these silo complexes belonging to powerful political families including that of former President Maithripala’s sibling, Dudley, and former UPFA MP Siripala Gamlath….Big-time millers create an artificial shortage of rice, weeks ahead of the commencement of paddy harvesting seasons, and governments import rice to meet the shortfall.’
• Release stocks or face punitive action, Govt. warns millers
‘The Government has warned four major rice millers…of the popular brands of ‘Araliya’, ‘Nipuna’, New Ratna’ and ‘Lathkandura.’ The move comes hard on the heels of the Government imposing enhanced import taxes, prompting price increases in dhal, tin fish, sugar, red onions, potatoes, garlic and dried chillies, among 26 items.’
• Government has not “surrendered to big rice millers” – Bandula
• Fertiliser shortage continues despite new shipments
‘there was an issue of some farmers buying excess stocks anticipating a further shortage while in some areas there was an overuse of fertiliser.’
• Grain Elevators expect hit from Sri Lanka’s self-imposed trade embargo
• Covid-19 and spices – a possible link
• Operation Covid-19: Sixty-day Battle to Tackle Food Security Professor Buddhi Marambe
‘The negatives of heavy-reliance on food imports to feed our nation, costing a colossal sum of foreign exchange, has been realized day-by day. Agriculture has become the talk of the town…. In 2018, Sri Lanka has spent Rs billion 422.5 to import food and beverages (11.8% of the total imports).’
• Sri Lanka’s Kotagala Plantations fails to repay capital of listed debt
• Flood Plains National Park: Sri Lanka Losing Precious Wetlands
Spanning 17,300 hectares of land, the Flood Plains National Park sits in a prominent location in the Polonnaruwa District. Surrounded by the Kaudulla, Angamedilla and Somawathiya National Parks and the Triconamadu Nature Reserve…it is blessed with over 38 villus…’
• Positioning Sri Lanka as South Asia’s ‘AgTech Hub’
(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.
• Badahena-galge reveals prehistoric ‘language of dimples’
‘Many caves around this galge are known haunts of early prehistoric man. Micro blades made of quartz and pecked water-worn pebbles (‘quartzite’) used as soft-hammers have been found there…. the dimple pits are at the edge of the cave and not “the summit of the rock- which is spacious and easily accessible” for practical operations like cracking nuts, flaking stones and extracting poisons.’
• Hike of LTV to boost automotive component manufacturers
‘Requests made by the association was overlooked for four years by the previous Government which resulted in loss of over 1,200 jobs in 10 direct and indirect auto component manufacturing companies. Sri Lanka’s automotive component manufacturing industry comprises of around 50 industries, of which 10 are highly successful.’
• Sri Lanka lifts development levy on pharmaceutical raw materials
• Pharmaceutical Corp. to get Rs. 14 b from State banks to settle bills
‘There have been repeated appeals by the pharmaceutical industry to repay import suppliers.’
• CPC losses climb to Rs 45 billion despite worldwide drop in fuel prices
• The need for a rational energy strategy
‘The electricity sector… represents a mere 11% of the total energy demand of the country… The daily demand which used to be about 46 GWh per day has come down to about 30-33 GWH per day…. The public bears the burden of the billions of rupees lost every year by the CEB, even though such sums are not added to the monthly electricity bill. In fact the reported Rs 100 billion loss in 2019 means the addition of Rs. 6.90 per unit ( Rs. 100 x 109/14.5 x 109 Units ) to be passed on to every citizen of SL, including the smallest consumer with less than 60 units of consumption per month.’
• Apparel exporters jittery over possible bankruptcy of Victoria’s Secret
‘Victoria’s Secret accounts for a considerable portion of sale portfolios of Brandix and MAS…Sri Lanka’s apparel industry is already lobbying to lay off 30 percent or 100,000 employees due to the sharp slowdown of orders’
• Apparel exporters to request for National Policy Framework
‘Apparel manufacturers within the 14 Investment Promotion Zones will request President Gotabaya Rajapaksa soon to declare a National Policy Framework on the apparel industry…It has also been revealed that these 14 zones have within them 286 factories which employed 187,000 employees. These factories have closed on March 19 and reopened on May 11. It is also revealed that 50% of these factories manufacture apparel for export.’
• Sri Lanka lobbies for FDIs in apparel
‘Most supply chains faced issues following the US sanctions on China and now with coronavirus that restricted supply of goods from there…Sri Lanka last year was able to generate FDI amounting to US$1,188.74 million.. Mr. Mohottala also noted that at the BOI they were looking at several ways to promote the country and they were currently trying to capitalise on the geopolitical situation as well.’
• JAAF to market Eravur Fabric Zone in India and China
• Overhauling the motor insurance industry
‘Sri Lanka’s motor insurance industry is dominated by a handful of companies but is lacking the best practices and standards compared to the rest of the world.’
• Ports and Shipping industry doesn’t require government handouts – SAGT CEO
• Importers look for relief for survival from loss of business
‘The local import sector is incurring heavy losses and it is on the verge of collapsing as a result of the sudden action of government authorities being taken without any consultation of relevant stakeholders, Colombo Importers Association sources said…. Around 25,000 freight containers are piled up at Colombo Port and importers have to pay a 300 per cent bank guarantee and high taxes as well as demurrages after experiencing difficulties in clearing their goods.’
• Advocata recommends tariff removal on sanitary napkins this Menstrual Hygiene Day
‘Females consist of 52 percent of Sri Lanka’s total population, with approximately 4.2 million menstruating women.’
• Local cement manufacturers create value adding benefits to boost national economy
‘Sri Lanka has more than adequate manufacturing capacities to cater to 100% of the existing annual cement consumption need of 6 mio tons in a normal year…’
• KDU showcases app developed by its computing faculty
‘The General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University has come up with an app ‘CuRec,’ an interactive patient-doctor communication platform to aid the fight against Covid-19’
• UNICEF supports MOE to provide home-based learning for lower primary students during Covid-19 lock-down
‘Australian High Commissioner said “Australia is pleased…” This educational initiative is being financially supported by UNICEF, the Government of Australia, Room to Read, Save the Children and Child Fund Sri Lanka to sustain educational activities for children during covid-pandemic.’
• Pearls and the Moon: The First Porcelain
“The transformation of the Chinese ceramic industry, in particular the development of porcelain, during the Tang Dynasty, from 618 to 907. During this period, China was the epicenter of Eurasian trade…”
• Nationalization – SA’s Mineral Resources Equivalent to One Million Rand per Citizen
• Postcolonial Reconstruction in Ghana, 1952–66
‘By 1966, when the military overthrew Nkrumah’s government and reinstated European domination, the country had been unmistakably transformed. No less than 150 new industries had been created in an economy hitherto consisting of cocoa plantations and subsistence crops…For the United States, the CIA-backed coup that overthrew him in 1966 was “a fortuitous windfall” to be “exploit[ed]…as quickly and skillfully as possible.”46 The coup tragically reversed most of the initiatives begun by Nkrumah, privatizing state enterprises, wresting power away from ordinary people, and capitulating to U.S. demands…’
(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.
• High-level meeting on troubled finance companies next week
• Sri Lanka mulls giving more relief to finance company depositors: Minister
• Post-Covid outlook for NBFIs more challenging: ICRA Lanka
• Lakshman Abeysekera appointed chairman, Sanasa Development Bank
‘Former Chief Financial Officer at Emerchemie NB (Ceylon), Senior Accountant at Lankem Ceylon , and Accountant at Hoechst (Ceylon), a non-executive director of People’s Insurance, director of JanRich Foods and NovEx Pharmaceuticals’
• Commercial Credit appoints D. Soosaipillai chairman
‘Appointed a Director of Commercial Credit and Finance, and chairs the Board Audit Committee, member of the Board Integrated Risk Management Committee. He chaired the Board Audit Committee of Trade Finance and Investments PLC, the subsidiary of Commercial Credit and Finance… Soosaipillai is an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Board of Hatton National Bank and chairs their Board Integrated Risk Management Committee … additionally an Independent Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Udapussellawa Plantations and Hapugastenne Plantations – companies in the Finlays Ltd, UK group, and chairs the Board Audit Committees of both, and active member in other board sub-committees of both’
• KV Kuganathan – Head of IT, Janashakthi Life appointed to BCS, Chartered Institute for IT – UK board
• Seylan Bank records Rs. 902 mn Profit-after-Tax in Q1 2020
• Ramping up the stock market
‘The stock exchange is perceived as a barometer of confidence in a country’s economy…the CSE had 290 companies representing 20 key industry groups as at January 2020, with a market capitalisation of Rs. 2,748 billion…. By the end of the week, Rs. 61.7 billion worth of share value was lost due to nervy trading by local & foreign investors, many of whom wanted to exit the market, uncertain of the future.’
• CSE indices dip in the wake of JKH share price decline
• Covid-19 and the Sri Lankan stock market: Looking ahead with confidence
• Virtual AGMs will be a ‘thing’ in SL
‘Some shareholders aren’t happy as there’s no opportunity for them to question the board in real time. Smaller retail shareholders could lose out in particular as this is the only time retail investors have an opportunity to ask questions.’
• ‘The Finance can still be turn around’
‘Cancelling Finance Business Licence, a blunder…there are 145,000 depositors and their total assets are around Rs 26 billion and over 60% of them are senior citizens.’
• Troubled financial institutions Govt. should intervene on behalf of depositors: Union
‘Aaround six non-banking financial institutions representing the private sector are at the verge of collapse..’
• Sri Lankan banks feel the pressure of non-performing loans
‘Non-performing Loans (NPLs) of banks are expected to rise to 7.4 per cent within six months this year from 4.9 per cent last year with a drop in credit demand, they predicted.’
• Black money gets the ‘no questions asked’ whitewash
‘Secret elite who benefit from coronavirus calamity…’
• People’s Bank offers special loan scheme to CA Sri Lanka affected members
• The Net Worth Of America’s 600-Plus Billionaires Has Increased By More Than $400 Billion During The Pandemic
(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’
• New EU Ambassador sees great potential for SL amid key challenges
‘Over the last 25 years, the EU has grown to be among Sri Lanka’s top three: 1) export markets; 2) investors; 3) providers of tourists….over the last 20 years, the EU has supported Sri Lanka with over EUR 800 million in development and humanitarian assistance…The environment, human rights, and academic exchanges are recurrent features in our development programmes.
• India’s super rich ready to pay to return home on private jets, but govt not ready to allow it
‘Sahara India chief Subrata Roy, Bharti Airtel head Sunil Bharti Mittal, and Essel Group/Zee Media chairman Subhash Chandra. While Roy’s son is said to be stuck in Colombo, Sri Lanka, a family member of Chandra is stranded in Dubai,’
• Sri Lanka’s Laugfs Holdings appoints Piyadasa Kudabalage as chief executive
‘… has interests in liquefied petroleum gas, lubricants, renewable energy, retailing, export manufacture…was Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of state-run Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Litro Gas Lanka, and Canwill Holdings which built the Hyatt building. He had also been a director of Peoples Bank Colombo Dockyard PLC and had been Chairman of Merchant Bank… Laugfs which has operations in Sri Lanka and also Bangladesh has posted revenues of 65 billion rupees in the year to March and has 4,000 employees and 60,000 customers. (Colombo/May27/2020)
• Aitken Spence records profit of Rs. 4.2 billion in 2019-2020 ‘amidst unprecedented challenges’
‘The Group invested Rs. 10 billion in capital expenditure across many sectors with the highest investment incurred in the power generation segment to fund the construction of the pioneering waste to energy power project, the first of its kind in Sri Lanka. This reflects the organisation’s confidence in its future earnings growth capacity.’
• Ceylinco Life pays Rs 2.87 billion in claims & benefits to policyholders in Q1
Ceylinco Life’s total assets grew by a respectable 12 per cent over the 3 months reviewed to Rs 149.6 billion as at 31st March 2020….Ceylinco Life has close to a million lives covered by active policies’
• Sri Lanka stocks close up 0.62-pct driven by JKH, Distilleries
• Govt donates Ceylon Tea to NHS-UK frontline staff
‘TheHigh Commission also assisted the donation of Akbar Premium tea packs by the Conservative Friends of Sri Lanka in the UK to 18 NHS Hospitals. These donationsareemblematic of Sri Lanka’s commitment to the longstanding bilateral relations with the UK.’
• Covid Life and the Asset Economy
‘Class positions and life chances in Anglo-capitalist societies have come to be defined less by occupational positions and more by relationships to assets, especially to housing as a wealth generating asset. This means that even if people have the same jobs or earn the same wages, there are deep rifts of inequality between those who own assets, and especially residential property, and those who do not.’
(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.
• Reforming the Elections Commission
‘Ratnajeevan Hoole, himself a Sri Lankan-US dual citizen, was interested in probing whether candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa had relinquished his US citizenship.’
• UNP now cleansed of all anti-Buddhist, extremist elements: Ravi
(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.
• Dreams without Pensions
Musicians Ajith Kumarasiri and Namini Panchala wonder if people can survive on Rs5k, but can artists be only critical without offering solutions?’
• Atulugama’ doesn’t exist, okay?
‘The Sri Lanka Press Institute, in concurrence with the Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka, introduced guidelines for ethical journalism…’
• Eyes that watch the world and can’t be forgotten
‘Kulanatha Senadheera Maama’s daughter Dilani recalls how the murals he painted at the budumedura of the Castle Street Hospital were mutilated, first by notices callously pasted and later by someone who just painted over them. ‘
• Govt urged to probe attack on regional journalist by thugs
• Carlton Sports Network to resume broadcasts soon – Rohan Welivita
‘Cricket Broadcasts were by Regulation a monopoly of the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, which traditionally made large profits off the telecasts acting as an indirect subsidy for the State Broadcaster…The deal became controversial after other private broadcasters who qualified under the regulations, such as the Capital Maharaja Group, complained that they had not been permitted to bid. In June 2012, the BBC quoted the then Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket Upali Dharmadasa as saying that CSN was owned by then President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sons Namal and Yoshitha.’
• ‘The video is a crime against humanity’
• Ven. Buddhagosa and Buddhism
‘Attempted to make Buddha and his Dhamma transcendental phenomena’
• Robert Sobukwe Speech at the University of Fort Hare, 21 October 1949
‘On the liberation of the African depends the liberation of the whole world. The future of the world lies with the oppressed and the Africans are the most oppressed people on earth. Not only in the continent of Africa but also in America and the West Indies.’
• 4 African Kings Who Ruled India That Have Been Erased From History
• Donald Trump aims to limit legal protections of social media
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