ee archive: eesrilanka.wordpress.com
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
2020: The Year of the Whitewash
e-Con e-News 28 June -04 July 2020
• 23 Port Unions Strike! • “Just Sit at the Front Desk and Look Pretty!“
Who are the 7%? • Warlords & Public-Private Partnerships!
• Who are the 7%?” – The Central Bank is prevented from properly regulating the financial sector by a small group of capitalists, “a 7%”, reveals a former top CB official. “Sri Lanka has very good financial regulatory and supervisory systems”, but she blames the Central Bank for regulatory failure. Deregulation has been the capitalist media’s cry and what is happening to the financial flimflam is no surprise. Yet it’s funny and reprehensible, that all these former Central Bank officials so popular in the financial media, upholding “transparency” and “rule of law” refuse to be as candid! They also refuse to invest in modern production. (see ee Focus, Great System; also, ee Economists, Neoliberal Looting)
• Warlords & Public-Private Partnerships! When your enemies are about to win, it’s amazing how ‘democracy’ and ‘elections’ are suddenly dangerous. Another favorite theme in the capitalist media now is the fear of military rule! Yet the ‘violence’ most people endure on a daily basis has largely been used to enforce the rule of merchants. They’ve already shown their hand with SWRD’s assassination, the attempted coup d’etat, and assorted mass murder. What prevents imperialism from trying again?
The recent Bajaj-related leasing murder exposes the ‘warlord’ network, not just run for private banks and drug pushers – yes, linked to both active and retired police and military officials – but also most definitely linked to the old plantation ‘protection’ racket for the distribution networks run by Unilever, Ceylon Tobacco Co, Baur, Nestle, etc. Again, total media and academic silence about this obvious collusion prevails! The warlord network also ensures deposits are made at the right vote banks!
Those whinging about “military rule” in Sri Lanka, include the US ambassador, representative of a settler nation that has waged continuous war from its very birth to uphold genocide, chattel slavery and monopoly capitalism (see ee Focus, Meddling). Also check out news this week, about Australia investing billions in weapons of war. And Canada’s white supremacist foreign policy in Asia (see ee Sovereignty)
While upholding these warmaking settler nations as models (and as sources of funding), all our dollar and rupee NGO ‘democrats’ keep silent about the unsustainable orgy of unbridled consumption that continues. At this rate, only a more brutal dictatorship of merchants can ensure its artificial prolonging (see ee Sovereignty on Canadian Dollars & the National Peace Council)
• What came before? Capitalism or Covid? Coincidental or not, fair&lovely Unilever and other multinationals, who control our home market, advertizing and media, and prevent industrialization, had long before declared 2020 their year for capitalist ‘renewal’ – they even claim they are beyond shareholders and profits. Even as they gird their loins for more war! Bring on the whitewash! (see ee Random Notes)
• “Just sit at the front desk and look pretty! We’re a multinational company”, a Sri Lankan hired as a receptionist in New York was told back in the 1970s. The pharmaceutical company wished to look worldly to its diverse clientele as it launched its hunting expedition into global markets!
ee recalled this ‘tokenism’, when media headlined Hemas and Abans hiring women as CEOs and directors, and the International Chamber of Commerce replaced their former Unilever chairman Paul Polman with a turbaned Sikh, while Unilever announced it would not advertise of Facebook due to FB’s propagation of ‘hate’ speech, etc, even as it continues to market skin-whiteners! The Wijeya Group’s Financial Times also emblazoned their website with a CIMA ad proclaiming some “First Non-European” this or that….
• Whitewash 2020 – Last year ee noted that this year 2020 was earmarked by multinationals to rebrand themselves, with greenwash, Blackwash, and pinkwash, “as major public international organizations and NGOs rather than as private ‘merchants”:
“A leading fraction of the capitalist class has cohered around a hegemonic project of economically ‘long-term’, socially ‘inclusive’ and ecologically ‘sustainable’ capitalism as the apparent solution to the system’s multidimensional and overdetermined organic crisis.”
“Economically ‘long-term’ means empowering ‘non-financial’ corporate executives and their managerial cadres against ‘the capitalist threat to capitalism’ posed by financial short-termism. Socially ‘inclusive’ means responsibility to multiple stakeholders, rather than just to shareholders. And ecologically ‘sustainable’ means something like a Green New Deal for global neoliberalism.(ee 10 Nov 2019)
• Must ee apologize to readers that the news section is sooo prolix? The MCC news alone runs for 3 pages! The attempt to undermine local control over ports also garnered much news, with 23 unions going on strike! Challenging white control over the ocean and the ports, especially with Unilever-linked P&O in the background manipulating various interests, will require greater inquiry. Another theme is the massive amounts of machinery and parts we import under the guise of aid. What ee news wishes to emphasize most of all, however, is the sheer preponderance of the merchant worldview in the so-called mass media.
A1. Reader Comments
• World Bank Downgrade • Indira, Banks & Mortality
A2. Quotes of the Week
• CB under 7% Pressure • 1815, 1840, 1895 & 2020 • Honorable NGOs & the Virus of Peace dollars • 5 US Banks • Unemployment & Colored Economics
A3. Random Notes
• The World Bank’s Upstairs-Downstairs game? • Helicopter Rhetoric & Hi-Techery • Capital Media’s EconomyNext Mechanics • Sunday Times Economist Nimal Sanderatne • Planted News by Planters • EconomyNext hires Copyeditors • Tourists Visit Their Homes
B. ee Focus
B1. Threat of US Meddling – Gamini Seneviratne
B2. Great System, Bad Execution – Central Bank Regulation of Finance – Joan Moonesinghe
B3. A Strategy for Economic Revival & Sustainable Development of SL – Tissa Vitarane
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
• ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any article sent, or your comments, and place the e-link at the end. It’s better to send them as email.
• Re: World Bank Downgrade… That was fast! Post refusal to sign MCC!?
• “ee mentions PM Indira Gandhi nationalized 14 of India’s largest banks. India’s Congress Party was the only ‘national’ party then. BJP, etc, had regional support and needed coalitions with other local parties to govern. Now BJP is the national party and others need coalitions to beat it. This was simply achieved by killing off both Indira and Rajiv. Using the ‘terrorist’ or freedom fighters as the paw. Funding Sikh, SL or other ‘militants’ pays back handsomely. Assassinations, destabilization carried out on order. India the prize.”
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• “I think the incumbent Central Bank governor (Coomaraswamy) is aware, but perhaps he is under pressure by the 7%… Most of these institutions are full of fraudulent practices…” (see ee Focus, Great System, Bad Execution)
• “In providing loans, commercial banks give priority to the trading sector than to the production sector” – (see ee Agriculture, President)
• “It is on record that local research outfits, Verite and LIRNEasia, have been involved in MCC development. Perhaps these organizations will reveal what they did, for whom, for how much and whether or not payments were made. Unless of course it was for gratis” (see ee Sovereignty, Cagey)
• “We should not walk into another 1815 Kandyan Convention (ceding our nation to foreign powers) or allow a 1840 State Land Encroachment Ordinance (where invaders told the natives they were encroaching on their own land) or 1897 Wasteland Ordinance where anyone who had no documentary proof of land ownership had their lands confiscated by the British. MCC should not be a repeat of what took place exactly 200 years ago.” (see ee Sovereignty, E-Register)
• “Irony of all this is that, though most who work in these organisations must be honorable men and women, but what legitimacy do they have to be appointed as guardians of this country by alien interests and even to get aid that had been ostensibly declared as given to the country, while the legitimately elected government just has to watch such theatrics with its hands virtually tied behind its back. Lo and behold you know what happens to governments that would even dare to question such world order established by the self-appointed international community of the West.” – (see ee Sovereignty, NPC)
• “Today, 5 banks control nearly half of all bank assets. Fees paid by low-income US citizens have increased, services have been curtailed and many low-income communities have lost their only bank. When federally subsidized banks left low-income communities, vulture-like fringe lenders – payday, title, tax-refund lenders – filled the void. As it turns out, private equity firms are invested in some of the largest payday lenders in the country.” (ee Economists, Neoliberal Looting)
• “When there is mass unemployment in the black community, it’s referred to as a social problem, and when there is mass unemployment in the white community, it’s referred to as a depression” – Martin Luther King
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• What’s with the World Bank’s upstairs-downstairs game? The WB has “downgraded” Sri Lanka to a “lower middle income country”. Is it related to the refusal or delay in playing the MCC game?, asks one ee Reader.
As for this average income business, ee recalls DD Kossambi’s fine repartee about the uselessness of such indices as ‘per-capita income’ and GDP – “It is the rare Indian who eats the grain assigned to him by the statistical averages.”
The WB’s generosity may be coz they’re worried about Sri Lanka balancing their overdependence on the whites by seeking closer ties with China. Which reminds, that those faking accusations about the Chinese ‘debt trap’ never opened their mouths while the US-led IMF/WB entangled Sri Lanka in bondage over the last 72 years!
• Helicopter Rhetoric: private banks, flush with public money, are proudly advertising their “corporate social responsibility” trappings, and making big promises to invest money in high-tech agriculture and industry (see ee Finance). But we must not be fooled: Local capitalists either have no intention, cos they make so much money by other means, or simply have no clue about what needs to be done. Their money will do what it’s always done best (or worst for the economy), continuing to chase easy rentier profits, whether it be in usury, real-estate or drugs. We repeat again, it is the state that must initiate modern industrial production to save the country.
The head of the University of Jayawardenapura also tries to sound grand by wanting cultivators to go hi-tech, while the governor of the Eastern Province is promoting the “Green Revolution”! But the impoverishment of agriculture relates to the lack of investment in rural industrialization
White governments the world over, including in the white settler states, gave land to white peasants in and from Europe, building land-grant colleges with government money to teach them how to farm better, providing local agents to further their expertise in farming, providing low interest rates to mechanize their farms, and promoted rural industrialization!
• Capital Media’s EconomyNext has taken to mechanically (dogmatically?) inserting its chorus of opposing import controls and money printing into almost every news item. While Wijeya Group’s Financial Times and Sunday Times dutifully repeat the same gospel in their columns.
In an environment where sackings and evictions are escalating (midst almost zero-coverage or the use of euphemisms such as ‘reallocation’), their media carry repeated cries for deregulation and privatization (of SOEs!), labor ‘flexibility’, and against import substitution, etc. If supporting production, they only promote “small and medium-sized enterprises” (SMEs), etc.
There is no such saturated coverage in their sporadic and sudden concern for migrant workers or public health inspectors, or Left groups being beaten up by police, or for Black Lives Matter or women’s rights or the environment.
Such coverage is only intended to fool their larger reading market: When the SLFP (SLPP?) is in government (tho not in power), they claim control over the state media (Rupavahini, SLBC, Lakehouse, etc) so people then only have the UNP’s Wijeya media to gather oppositional news, etc. Whereas when the UNP is in power, they monopolize the entire gamut!
• Sunday Times Economist Nimal Sanderatne again this week claimed India and China ‘liberalized’ trade to promote export policies, and Sri Lanka must do likewise. Yet it’s only after these economies took firm control of their own home markets, did such countries, including the USA, Japan, etc, move towards exports. Why do our economists hide this? Or are they really ignorant about the importance of the home market for industry?
• Planted News by Planters – There’s this strange rambling article without a byline or author: “Regional Plantation Companies celebrate 27th anniversary”, reproduced in the Island, which laments they are a “highly labour-intensive industry which provides a means of livelihood to 4 times of its workforce” (What does this mean?). The unnamed writer threatens: “The management is further strained and demotivated to the extent of migrating to greener pastures due to undue political influences attracted to business because of its nature. The key result area of any politician wherever in the world is votes.”
Who keeps the plantations, “highly labour intensive”? Why have profits not been invested in making the estate machinery? This ‘planted’ news item appears to betray the hidden hand of the Planters’ Association, which is the real ruler in this country (with its age-old links to the colonial English machinery, Unilever and the import-export lobby). The news item is indeed a complaint against offering Rs1,000 to estate workers as an election plum. (ee Agriculture, Regional)
The shortsighted greed and partisan nature of both media and politicians is evident in the tears shed for imports of vehicles (the latest weeper being former nationalist Champika Ratwatte), when even the Daily Mirror had to briefly admit that the reduction in vehicle imports had enabled investment in local production! Further, car sales are down the world over so why on earth would a country import more vehicles?! (see ee Economy, Champika; ee Industry, Registrations)
• Business editors tell ee, they have an easy job. All they have to do is follow the cues of the “chambers” (of commerce), the trade reps in the white embassies, reflect the gloss of multinational advertising, and just cut-&-paste company press releases. Anything truly analytical is forbidden. Companies only want their names linked to the good and the beautiful. If anyone is mashed up at work by one of their machines or killed in or jumps off one of their lovely malls, hotels or condos, their PR companies personally call or visit media editors to tell them not to mention their names.
• ee’s criticism seems to have worked. EconomyNext appears to have hired some copy-editors. Yet our business media is so bored with themselves, it’s most apparent when they try talking about economics and merely repeat some unintelligible gobbledygook (which echoes the neoclassical gospel of individuals and markets versus the reality of classes and production).
As ee has noted before, EconomyNext is owned by Capital Media, whose chairman Channa de Silva is not only involved in the ‘charitable’ Rockefeller-linked Sarvodaya Foundation, but is also CEO of LankaClear, Sri Lanka’s interbank clearing house! Here’s a hint as to EconomyNext’s clear colonial focus. Do they know where they are based? They keep repeating ‘Sri Lanka’ in their headlines, as in the recent “Sri Lanka’s President Gothabaya…” Who are they writing for?
• Tourists Visit Their Homes – Covid may be making many colonial countries realize they have to depend on ‘local’ tourists and treat their own people better. Watching hotels and restaurants that gained cachet by only serving ‘whites’ and refusing service to locals, one may feel some sort of schadenfreude. On the other hand, if one agrees with slaveowner Benjamin Franklin that “War is robbery and commerce is generally cheating,” and tourism particularly so, then, there’s no question that hotels do get ‘more’ for their money from whites, because they can rip off foreigners better. Yet the whites rip off tourism long long before and long long after they come and go: in the game played by the tourist companies where most of the money never even enters the country, and the downgrading in skills that tourism’s labor relations afford.
B. Special Focus__
B1. Threat of US Meddling – Gamini Seneviratne
“This is hardly the time for the US State Department to be meddling in Sri Lanka. It has so many disasters on its own hands, and it does not seem that any of them would go away this century.
I shall list a few on a later occasion – as the whole world knows the US jackboot has been slogging on wherever the exceptional greed of its corporations and their political henchmen directs it.
But what is of immediate interest to us here, in Sri Lanka, is the statement made by the US Ambassador, Alaina Teplitz, that the US would continue engagement with the Sri Lankan Government despite some recent incidents, including a controversy over a US diplomat who arrived in the country [and refused to take the required covid test – ee]. Asked if the employee is a US military officer, the US Ambassador said the officer is a US Embassy employee.
She said, while the US and SL may not agree on everything, there are areas where they do agree and would be able to easily collaborate, and while the US will continue to express its opinions on certain matters, it will do so with respect and constructively.
The key US opinion: “The Government needs to look at its policies and ease of doing business if it is going to attract foreign investment and take advantage of the changes that will come in future,” she said.
In what is not meant to be ‘an opinion’, the Ambassador said “the private sector will be the leading edge in the economy”.
Illustrative of the US approach to matters that have nothing to do with the US, Ms Teplitz “also echoed concerns on the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province”.
Excuse me? Regardless of the exertions made by European invaders to erase the indigenous archeological remains in the US, of what concern to her is our archeological heritage?
Or, is she articulating the intent behind the so-called Millennium Corporation Compact (MCC) that they have been at pains to engineer…
Your paper has given the necessary support for senior journalist Shamindra Ferdinando, to commence blowing the lid off the supposed ‘compact’ with a handful, literally, of individuals who possess not a whiff of authority to speak for our people.
For starters, let us put down, in black and white, some features that this draft document seeks to bind us to:
“MCC is a US Government corporation acting on behalf of the US Government in the implementation of this Compact.
“MCC and the US Government assume no liability for any claims, or loss, arising out of activities or omissions under this Compact.
“The Government (of SL) waives any and all claims against MCC, or the US Government, or any current or former officer or employee of MCC or the US Government, for all loss, damage, injury or death arising out of activities or omissions under this compact and agrees that it shall not bring any claim or legal proceeding of any kind against any of the above entities, or persons, for any such loss, damage, injury or death…
“Any current or former officer, or employee, of the MCC, or the US Government, shall be immune from the jurisdiction of all courts and tribunals of Sri Lanka for any claim or loss arising out of activities, or omissions, under this Compact.”
The above averments are explicit enough in stating that the government of Sri Lanka ceases to have any sovereign authority vis-a-vis this US Corporation. The example that immediately comes to mind flows from Ms Teplitz’s response, quoted above, to the inquiry regarding the US citizen who refused to be checked for the Coronavirus at the airport. The ‘compact’ sought by the US now would provide for any person, whether a US citizen or not, who claims to be an ‘employee’ of the MCC, to flout all regulations /laws that are designed to protect our country and her people. It should be mentioned that another US entity, USAID, also wishes to take over a swathe of territory around Arugam Bay. What for? one might ask. To provide R&R for military personnel in the style that destroyed Bangkok, Djakarta, Manila…?
Many months ago, I, and others, called upon those who are in possession of this draft document to publish it. Until that is done, the people, on behalf of whom such agreements are to be made, would not be able to give, or deny, the only possible legitimacy for it – their mandate.
What we have had instead is the spectacle of a tuition mudalali who, it would seem, claims to speak for them.
B2. Great System, Bad Execution – The Central Bank’s Regulation of Finance Companies
The late Joan de Zilva Moonesinghe, a retired bank regulator, with 32 years of financial regulation experience, including 25 years at the Central Bank was interviewed in 2019:
“The off-site surveillance system is active on a daily basis and sends financial data from financial institutions to the Central Bank periodically – monthly, annually and biannually. The data is processed at the Central Bank and given to officers who are handling the onsite process. There are dedicated officers assigned to each financial institution who look for early warning signals. As soon as you identify the early warning signals you need early regulatory intervention and prompt corrective action. Timely action has to be taken before it deteriorates too much.”
Regulatory Forbearance – Moonesinghe claims, the Central Bank should be held accountable for not intervening in failed and troubled financial institutions of the country.:
“How can you have an insolvent deposit-taking financial institution? That just cannot be. The signs of impending insolvency are coming every month to the Central Bank. So you have to take action long before the ratios deteriorate and go below the mandatory norms. It hasn’t happened. This is regulatory forbearance. Obviously, the off-site surveillance officers are giving their recommendations and there are so many provisions under the Finance Business Act.”
She goes on to explain the provisions under the act and the consequences of not enforcing them: “You can issue cease and desist orders for unsound practices. You can ask the board of directors to resign. You can suspend business. You can freeze deposits. You can make disclosures to the public. What has been happening is, the Central Bank has been just talking. Talking to the directors of these institutions and trying to find investors. Those directors have promised remedial action but it has not happened. Take ETI Finance for instance. It was reported in the press, it had LKR19 billion negative net worth. That did not take place overnight. What was the CB doing? Their board of directors still functions. They haven’t been even asked to resign.”
She complains that transparency is lacking, especially where it concerns the customers of financial institutions: “Depositors are not made aware of the state of these financial institutions. Because depositors don’t know that these institutions are unsound, they deposit money. Their names are published in the periodic publications by the Central Bank, together with the sound and strong financial institutions. And these are regulated, licensed financial institutions, not Ponzi schemes. It’s very unfortunate that the ignorance of the depositors is being exploited both by the institutions and by the Central Bank.”
Moonesinghe says, if a financial institution is insolvent, the Central Bank must intervene and act within a reasonable time. “There is a process by which the Central Bank has to intervene to either recapitalise the institution or find new investors. 10 years is not a reasonable time as they did in the case of The Finance. No regulator has a moral or legal right to take 10 years to resolve any institution.”
Safety mechanisms – She elaborates on the safety mechanisms the Central Bank is supposed to provide for banks and financial institutions. “A safety net mechanism is also 2-pronged. It has the lender of last resort facility for temporary illiquidity, mostly for the banking system. For that, you need to be solvent. There is the deposit insurance scheme to safeguard depositors of failed financial institutions which are insolvent. If a financial institution cannot recapitalise or resurrect within a reasonable time – I would think one year is more than enough – then they have to liquidate the company. Liquidation triggers the claims on the deposit insurance scheme.”
She laments that the Central Bank was not making payments using the deposit insurance scheme, pointing out that, under the deposit insurance scheme, compensation claims were eligible to be paid since 2012, at which time it covered deposits up to LKR200,000, increased in 2017 to LKR300,000 and in 2018 to LKR600,000. She claims, 93% of the depositors of The Finance, eg, would get their full deposits plus interest, up to LKR600,000 – if Central Bank liquidates the company and makes payments under the deposit insurance scheme.
“So why wait? After all the safety net mechanism is for the depositors. It is the obligation of the Central Bank to pay the depositors under the deposit insurance scheme. But they’re obviously waiting to please the 7%. Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure brought by the 7% with larger deposits. The Central Bank is also worried that the 7% might bring some legal suit against the Central Bank saying that there are investors who are interested. But surely we can have faith in our system of justice to show that it is being done in the interest of the majority.”
According to Moonesinghe, most depositors are not aware of their rights. “If they were aware that they would get their full deposit plus interest under the deposit insurance scheme they will definitely opt. Who wouldn’t opt for it? But they’re not informed of this. Instead, investor proposals are being sold to them by the Central Bank and the institutions. That is because institutions don’t want liquidation at any cost. It will expose a can of worms. When you present a liquidation request to the court, you have to state exactly what happened. Most of these institutions are full of fraudulent practices. All that will get exposed. Therefore, depositors are never informed. Up to date, I haven’t seen any depositor demanding that they are paid under the deposit insurance. They do not know how it functions and what their rights are.”
Market implications no excuse – She claimed, while Central Bank might be worried about market implications, its actions and non-actions were hurting the public greatly. “The investing public, especially foreigners, would think that this is the norm in Sri Lankan financial system – to have highly insolvent financial institutions. When these institutions publish their balance sheets, everything is negative. There’s not a single qualifying statement by the Central Bank on those balance sheets and the publication claiming that these are under resolution. But if you read their annual reports, given to the shareholders, all the audit qualifications and such are there to be found. So the Central Bank is obviously worried about market implications. However, they cannot take refuge under that. They have to disclose. It is their obligation to disclose the state of these financial institutions to the public.”
She thinks that investors would not rescue the failed financial institutions. “Nothing has materialised for so long. They were intoxicated by all these investment proposals for over 10 years. None of them materialised because all of them are being brought by those of dubious repute. No bona fide investor has come on the scene so far. One company, a very small company was handed over to an investor. I’m not sure whether even those depositors are better off with that investor rather than with the deposit insurance. There is no information available about resolution actions. Neither the Central Bank nor the institutions have disclosed anything.”
Moonesinghe is attempting in her personal capacity to solve these issues, trying to educate depositors and the public about what is happening and what needs to be done. And even the financial regulators themselves, including the incumbent Central Bank governor and the Monetary Board. “Some of the board members are new. They inherited all this trouble. It’s not their problem at all. All this action should have been taken much earlier by the previous regimes. I think the incumbent governor is aware, but perhaps he is under pressure by the 7% – I don’t know. They’re very strong.”
She stressed accountability from Central Bank at the parting. “I’m quite confident that the on-site examinations produced very good examination reports about what would happen. They were not heeded. That’s why I say there should be accountability. The institution that presides over the financial system must be held accountable.”
B3. A Strategy for Economic Revival & Sustainable Development of SL – Tissa Vitarane
Economists are predicting that the downward trend in the global economy, a periodic feature of the capitalist system, has been so aggravated by the Covid-19 Pandemic, that an economic depression like the Great Depression of 1929-33 will hit the world this year… Virologists say that the Covid-19 pandemic will last 2 years or more.
…It is sad to see that 72 years after independence Sri Lanka is still dependent on the sale of primary products for much of its foreign exchange. Commercial export products like tea and rubber have little value addition. The same with natural resources like the rare earths, ilmenite, etc., in Pulmudai are being shipped in the raw form like in the time of English rule. We spend more on importing the little titanium dioxide required for our paint industry than we get from the sale of ilmenite-containing earth. The same can be said for our graphite resources.
In an effort to add value by using hi-tech when I was Minister of Science and Technology, we established SLINTEC. I am happy to say that, as a result of research done there, Sri Lanka is now on the verge of producing our own titanium dioxide and graphene (value addition of 100-1000 times). In the areas of traditional and Ayurvedic medicine, there are a large number of medicinal products which appear to have cured a wide variety of illnesses. This includes conditions like nephrotic syndrome for which there are no remedies in Western Medicine. But if research and development is done using modern Biotechnology and their efficacy and safety are established there will be a huge global market.
The land has been acquired and plans are ready for setting up of a Biotechnology Centre. The world is moving away from synthetic medicines because of their side effects. If we establish the merit of our traditional pharmacopeia, Sri Lanka can become a leader in natural medicines. By using advanced technology we can not only cut down the cost of production but also increase the efficacy and the safety to levels that are competitive internationally. Thus by the optimal use of Science, Technology and Innovation, the balance of trade can be made positive and our foreign reserves stable. We can then become a developed country that can eliminate poverty to improve the quality of life of our people.
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.
• GMOA suspects loophole created to sign MCC pact
‘A committee appointed to review the agreement, in its final report, had not mentioned that national trade policy must be followed while signing the pact, Dr Haritha Aluthge of the Government Medical Officers Association said.’
• SLPP cannot tear up the MCC deal as it is already signed – former MP Chanaka
• Don’t be distracted by minor issues; help defeat foreign conspiracies: Sri Lanka PM
• Wartime, post-conflict foreign funding of local groups, political parties, etc.
‘The writer sought an explanation from the NPC’s Executive Director, Dr. Jehan Perera, soon after the Canadian High Commission in Colombo announced a substantial grant for the organisation for corona relief work. The issue was raised on April 23, 2020, after Canadian HC announced CAD $56,000 (approximately 7.5 million LKR) to the NPC.’
• UNHRC Core Group calls on Sri Lanka to follow due process in detentions and arrests
‘England’s International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, delivering a statement at the 44th session of the UN human Rights Council today on behalf of the Core Group on Sri Lanka, namely Canada, Germany, North Macedonia, Montenegro and the UK, called on the government to ensure that the country’s democratic space remains open and accountable.’
• Sri Lanka must set-up domestic accountability mechanism: English official
• Message in refusal to vote for Western nations
‘The Western European and Other States Group (WEOG) is the most powerful of the five UN regional groups and it has 28 member States, mainly from Western Europe, but also from Oceania, North America and West Asia.’
• e-Land Registration to be expedited to prevent unlawful activities
‘Officials including Secretary to the Ministry of Public Administration, J.J. Rathnasiri, Secretary to the Ministry of Lands, R.A.A.K. Ranawaka, Registrar General, N.C. Vithanage, Land Commissioner General, Ms. R.M.C.M. Herath, Commissioner General of Land Title Settlement, Ms. P.M.H. Priyadarshani, Surveyor General, Ms. A.L.S.C. Perera and Chairman of the ICTA, Jayantha De Silva attended this meeting’
• Not signing MCC but continuing E-Land Register by US Company threatens SL Intellectual Property – Waduge
• MCC Sri Lanka: Only English (no Sinhala/Tamil) in E-Land Registrar violation of Language provision in Constitution – Waduge
• MCC E-Land Registry with Bim Saviya Repeals Personal Laws – End Of Thesawalamai, Muslim law & Kandyan Law – Waduge
• MCC & Sri Lanka : Understand the larger picture
• Pompeo and Dinesh talk about Millennium Challenge Compact deal – Ministry
‘…defence & security matters, counter-terrorism & international economic cooperation also discussed’
• Pompeo reaffirms support to SL’s development & sovereignty
‘State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said Secretary Pompeo and Minister Gunawardena discussed…shared commitment to economic stability and sustainable growth.’
• MCC deal: Uncertainty over payment of US$ 10 million
– http://www.sundaytimes.lk/200628/news/mcc-deal-uncertainty-over-payment-of-us-10-million-407774.html • MCC land administration project heavily criticized in report
‘Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement must not be implemented without an expert study, public opinion, and Parliament approval, a review committee has said…At the time of releasing its final report, the US Ambassador had met with the Minister of Power, and expressed willingness of the US to support energy related projects in the country.’
• MCC review report to be presented to Cabinet as next step: GL
• UNP demands that Gotabaya reveal his stand on the controversial MCC deal
‘Wijewardene, who is the Deputy General Secretary of the party, also pointed out that the first request for a MCC deal made by Mahinda Rajapaksa when he was president.’
• Govt. saying new lies to cover old lies: Hadunnetti
‘He said the government claimed that the MCC pact would be torn after Gotabaya was elected president but now they are claiming that it cannot be done without a two-thirds majority.’
• WikiLeaks: MCC & Mahinda Rajapaksa Government Agree To Proceed With USD 590 Million MCC Compact
• WikiLeaks: In 2007 MCC Made SL Ineligible Due To Ongoing Human Rights Violations
‘The Sri Lankan military is a key player on both fronts. The Sri Lankan military is a strong supporter of cooperation with the USA, despite recent legislation to limit U.S. military exports and our decisions to refuse training to some Sri Lankan nominees because of human rights…’
• Cabraal’s special statement on MCC
• Contradictory claims on USD 10 mn grant
‘Expert Committee fails to obtain AG’s opinion’
• Report on MCC: Expert Committee clarifies US grant
‘The Committee has not found any evidence to conclude whether money has been received by the govt of Sri Lanka or not.’
• Opinion poll: 75% of Lankans opposed to MCC
• Threat of US Meddling
• Stop signing harmful agreements
• Accept the MCC Agreement
• Eran says if MCC money was given to government, Auditor General can easily trace it
• We are pleased to contribute towards MCC review committee: Bar Association of Sri Lanka
• We did get into agreements with US: UNP Akila
‘“We did discuss the MCC agreement with the US during our regime and even agreed on some points, but we decided against signing it because the general public went against it,” Mr. Kariyawasam said’
• A Fresh Perspective On The MCC Compact
‘What was a road from Colombo to Trincomalee for strategic reasons 220 years ago, is today presented as an economic corridor on the pretext of “alleviating poverty” through the MCC Compact.’
• The dangers lurking between the lines of the US-Lanka MCC compact
• Will the US nail the coffin or the MCC?
• Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact: One size will not fit all
• The MCC Compact: US Embassy should stop being cagey
• MCC: a matter for the new parliament to decide
• Govt. to make final decision on MCC next week: Bandula
• Notes to the People: No to the MCC
‘the US seems to be trying to make Sri Lanka a part of and centre of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue between the US, Japan, Australia and India while Taiwan plays second fiddle.’
• Do not recommend Sri Lanka signing MCC in its current state: review committee chair
• SL seeks to diversify exports to U.S.
• Rockefeller Pathfinder Moragoda wants 13th Amendment repealed
‘abolishing of the Provincial Councils which he says are “superfluous, expensive, divisive, and fraught with inefficiency.”’
• Light rail project: JICA demands clear answer from Govt.
‘The Government is yet to respond to the strongly-worded letter to the Treasury Secretary from JICA’s Sri Lanka Representative Fusato Tanaka…’
• The Indo-China clash: Does Colombo have a choice?
‘Indeed, ever since Sri Lanka became independent, its foreign policy has been driven by its fear of its giant neighbour.’
• NPP calls for Colombo Port ECT to be developed domestically
‘21 port trade unions to meet PM this morning to discuss ECT issue…’
• No final decision on giving Colombo Port’s East Terminal to India – PM Mahinda
• Sri Lanka to discuss changing Colombo Port terminal deal with India and Japan: Minister
• India to finalise private partner for ECT
‘The commencement of the controversial East Container Terminal (ECT) is being pushed forward even as India is currently picking a private partner to run the operations…a subject of much controversy as port unions oppose its involvement with any outside partner.’
• Cranes for ECT: India insists on strict adherence to tripartite agreement
• Unions threaten strike at Colombo Port over alleged foreign involvement in East Terminal
• Committee to look into concerns over JCT & ECT Terminals
‘Headed by Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, M.M.P.K. Mayadunne. The other members are, Secretary to the Ministry of Industrial Export and Investment Promotion, M.P.D.U.K. Mapa Pathirana, Secretary to the Ministry of Roads and Highways, R.W.R. Pemasiri, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, Wasantha Perera and Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Gen. (Retd) R.M. Daya Rathnayake.’
• East Terminal gets new cranes, port strike called off
• India, Sri Lanka hold talks on Colombo’s debt repayment
• Port unions end strike after compromise on ECT
• Sri Lanka debt relief, US$400 swap line from India still under discussion
‘Discussions still ongoing with Sri Lanka over a request 400 million US dollar swap line for the central bank and debt relief, India’s High Commission (embassy) in Colombo said.’
• Some countries concerned over no-questions-asked forex deposits
‘Senior officials of the German Embassy and two other European missions have met the Central Bank (CB) last week to ‘clarify’ the so – called ‘no questions asked’ Special Deposit Accountl…’
• Hambantota District Chamber of Commerce calls on Germany Ambassador
• Canada says relationship with Lanka further strengthened
‘We are extending support to strengthen the capacities of the cooperative sector and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Sri Lanka impacted by COVID-19.’
• Domestic it is, SL reiterates to UNHRC
‘SL tells UNHRC domestically designed and executed reconciliation process will be pursued…’
• Two Wealthy Sri Lankan Brothers Became Suicide Bombers. But Why? – New York Times
• Muslim scholars want laws to regulate madrasas
‘At present, there are 317 madrasas registered with the Department of Muslim Cultural Affairs and few more are still unregistered.’
• Muslims in India & SL targeted with stigma and hate speech during pandemic: UNHRC
• Easter Inquiries, Muslim Misgivings and the Praetorian Power-elite – Jayatilleka
‘I’ve yet to see a clear answer to the question as to who received the repeated warnings from the Indians about a likely terrorist attack…What happened to the story that was in the public domain at the time, of a written instruction purportedly from a capital city to its Embassy in Colombo to caution its staffers and contacts not to be in certain types of places during the Easter season? The state in this news story was the prime purveyor of Wahhabi ideology.’
• Election campaign: Focus moves from COVID to Karuna – Times Political Editor
‘LTTE cadres were already operating then from Silom, a key financial district in Thailand… Last week, European Union envoys held a meeting with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. They raised a multitude of issues related to human rights…Sajith supporter Fernando then went on to say: “The Catholic votes were stolen [at Presidnetial election] via issues arising from the Easter Sunday attacks last year. Normally 80 percent of Catholic votes are for UNP candidates. They targeted the Catholic votes, they went to Archbishop Cardinal Ranjith and engaged in funny politics. (“Maru Deshapalanayak”)
• When Karuna Amman went to London with diplomatic passport under Sinhala name – Jeyaraj
• Last Stages of the Separatist War: Does Karuna Balance The Scale of LTTE Crimes?
• Abolishing Provincial Councils – Island Editorial
‘Moragoda…is clearly influential in our body politic and is known to have assisted the Gotabaya Rajapaksa victory last November. He is also the founder of the Pathfinder Foundation, undoubtedly among the more efficient of our Think Tanks…’
• Sampanthan and The Five Ishwarams of Lord Siva
• Bounties, duplicity and irony
‘The Trump administration and its political opponents are clashing over claim Russia has offered bounties to Taliban-linked terrorists to kill US troops and their coalition counterparts in Afghanistan’
• China, Kashmir and the ghost of August 5 – Hindu
‘Our strategy should have been to continue to weaken the China-Pakistan alliance by engaging China economically, multilaterally and regionally. Instead we may have brought them closer than ever.’
• 1962 flashback: When a Non-Aligned team tried to help India-China negotiate peace
• India rushes more troops to border to counter Chinese Build-up – Venkat Narayan
• South Asian countries need to maintain power balance: Intl. analysts
• US has been exposed for funding last year’s Hong Kong protests
The little-known but powerful US Agency for Global Media has financed protesters in the city and helped them with technical support…It oversees funding for various news and information operations around the world, including Voice of America and Radio Free Asia…funds were to have been distributed by the Washington-based Open Technology Fund (OTF), supposedly an independent non-profit, but financed by the US Congress…. OTF “was a key early funder of Signal, the encrypted messaging app of choice for many Hong Kong protesters.’
• Businesses in Hong Kong fear collateral damage from security law
‘A number of foreign businesses, such as Hong Kong’s longstanding conglomerates Swire and Jardine Matheson as well as global bank HSBC, have already publicly backed the law, while the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce has argued the legislation will “restore stability” to the territory.’
• UK, Germany, France oppose Israel’s illegal attempt to acquire West Bank
‘Jordan, Hamas warn retaliation’
• Renewing America’s Commitment to the Indo-Pacific
• The US and the UN – A looming confrontation that will rock the world – Kohona
• A Note on the Tiananmen Protests – Qiao Collective
‘A short note on the 1989 Tiananmen protests written by members of Qiao Collective, including members whose parents were involved in the protests. Many in the Chinese diaspora have spent our lives hearing stories of the Tiananmen protests, filtered both through our own families’ experiences and the West’s distorted representation of the protests.’
• Malcolm X on Mao
“The white man will try to satisfy us with symbolic victories rather than economic equity and real justice.” ~ Malcolm X
• The importance of our own definitions – Malcolm on Asia and Africa
• France returns remains of Algerian anti-colonial fighters
‘After decades in a French museum, the skulls of 24 Algerians decapitated for resisting French colonial forces were formally repatriated to Algeria on Friday…’
• UK Court Denies Venezuela $1bn in Gold Needed to Fight Virus
‘Caracas filed a lawsuit to access the reserves, which it plans to sell and transfer the proceeds to the UN Development Programme in order to import food, medicines and healthcare equipment.’
• Australia pours Hundreds of Billions into Warfare shows Morrison’s done with old world order
• Canada’s membership in the Five Eyes alliance promoting conflict with China
“Amidst unprecedented protests against racism, there has been remarkably little interest in the white supremacist foreign policy alliance currently driving conflict with China. The “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance has faced almost no criticism for propelling the Canada-China hostage standoff.”
• Will Blacks Oppose or Defend US Empire?
‘Defense of Haitian independence was the first foreign policy focus of African Americans…’
• Anatomy of a counter-insurgency – Efforts to undermine the George Floyd uprising
‘I have shown how combined and coordinated efforts by: police forces, the military, capitalist media, NGOs, the Democrats, far-right groups, and liberal establishment figures have all combined to undermine the George Floyd Uprising’
• Lord Jamar: I Don’t Support Black Lives Matter, It’s Not Our Movement
• Foreign Affairs: Unrest continues for a seventh day in former English colony
‘…in the former English colony of the United States as the government vowed to use its military to end the demonstrations, US media reported on Tuesday’
• Celebrating the idea of America: Government and politics of the US
‘There are organised political interest groups lobbying for legislative outcomes in favour of the corporate objectives or special interest groups such as Farm Lobby, Gun Lobby, Pharmaceuticals, Immigration, US Chamber of Commerce, Labour Unions and the powerful Industrial organisations with financial resources to change the outcome of elections’
C2. Security (the state beyond ‘a pair of handcuffs’, monopolies of legitimate violence)
ee Security section focuses on the state (a pair of handcuffs, which sposedly has the monopoly of legitimate violence), and how the ‘national security’ doctrine is undermined by private interests, with no interest in divulging or fighting the real enemy, whose chief aim is to prevent an industrial renaissance as the basis of a truly independent nation.
• Rogue cops and other criminals
‘Defence Secretary said he had instructed Superintendents of Police to submit reports on underworld gangs operating in their divisions, but he had not received them.’
• Shocking case of undeclared narcotics in police custody
‘The police identified the suspect as the younger brother of a Coordinating Secretary to Industrial Export, Investment Promotion, Tourism and Aviation Minister Prasanna Ranatunga.’
• Two errant PNB cops prez award winners?
• How a retired bank employee helped drug traffickers transfer millions
• The need to move forward from the present death sentence implementation procedure
• An Extraordinary Gazette Notification
Medical equipment importer ‘Dr U Pethiygoda writing in the Island newspapers (30th/31st May 2020), considered Parliamentary democracy and the franchise irrelevant in governance. His desire to reject worthless institutions and norms, and his request to the President to create a disciplined society with his Presidential “whip”, appear to have been realized. Dr. Pethiyagoda will consider himself very fortunate. What the future will hold for those of us who still believe in democracy and the limitation of State power in the public interest, is anyone’s guess.’
• “Industrial Development Board supplied Brass, Copper to suicide bomber’s company’’
• Sirisena’s PR Director got 500MT of brass issued to suicide bomber’s company
‘25 foreign nationals worked as labourers at Colossus. “There were two Bangladeshis, a Nepali and others were Indians,” the witness said.’
• 19 drone operators awarded Letters of Authorisation
‘The Evaluation Panel of CAASL, comprises Drone Expert Officials such as Air Commodore Dilshan Wasage/Director air intelligence SLAF, Prof. Rohan Munasinghe/ UAV Lab-University of Moratuwa, DIG Thilak Dhanapala/Sri Lanka Police, Nuwan Indika / General manager (Network Engineering/Sri Lanka Telecom-Mobitel and officials of CAASL led by Rohan Manukulasooriya/Deputy director General (Aeronautical Services Regulation)’
• Edwards empire: Multimillionaire couple remanded on huge money laundering charges
• Comprehensive car insurance an absolute waste
“Is it worth comprehensively insuring your car if you are a safe driver. Just get it insured by a third party. If you hit someone your insurer will pay. Your damages will be your own responsibility and I will settle for that”.
• A Short History of US Law Enforcement Infiltrating Protests
‘Law enforcement frequently infiltrates progressive political movements using agent provocateurs who urge others to engage in violence. It is also a historical fact that, more rarely, such provocateurs commit acts of violence themselves.’
C3. Economists (Study the Economists before you study the Economics)
ee Economists shows how paid capitalist/academic ‘professionals’ confuse (misdefinitions, etc) and divert (with false indices, etc) from the steps needed to achieve an industrial country.
• The political, socio-economic crisis brought by pandemic and the path to take – Vagisha Gunasekara
• President asks CB to provide relief to ETI, The Finance depositors
• SL must aggressively pursue privatisation of SOEs to boost its economy – Mark Mobius
‘Mark Mobius, an emerging market investor told a webinar with John Keells Stock Brokers….’
• Mobius says central bankers cannot fix economies, Sri Lanka rupee relatively stable
• Global debt and economic recovery
‘International Chamber of Commerce (and former Unilever) Chairman Paul Polman speaking at a top level UN Summit last week noted that a $ 5 trillion of trade financing capacity will be needed in 2021 to restore global commerce to its pre-COVID-19 trend…. The global debt load is $264 trillion.’
• Financial regulator’s dilemma amidst persistent fragilities
‘Fitch Ratings announced that a reversal in the currently loosened NPL classification requirements as the economy recovers could see the banks’ NPL ratios rise significantly. According to PwC, due to difficult operating conditions, performance of banks and particularly NBFIs will be challenging…’
• PM calls on intl. monetary bodies for debt relief for developing countries
‘”…a debt moratorium of 2 years is sufficient to get the country back on track.”
• Political economy of finance-capital – David
‘Capitalism knows how to address crises in the era of finance-capital only by gigantic financialization. … Corporate debt is hard to pin down…the total indebtedness of all sectors combined in the US is about 400% of GDP!… We are in uncharted waters and the responses of central banks is unpredictable and utterly unconventional because bank overlords themselves are muddled and jinxed.
• Central Bank shuns sole blame for collapse of NBFIs
‘Insists it does not carry sole responsibility of preventing finance companies from failing under Finance Business Act…Points out no monetary authority anywhere in the world does so…Individual business decisions of companies may lead to failure despite continuous regulation and supervision carried out by CBSL…Says CB’s focus is on regulation of registered/licensed companies to ensure stable financial system and not keeping individual companies afloat…Depositors being paid out of insurance scheme and not CB or public funds…Stresses public must only deal with registered/licensed finance and leasing companies and need to be more vigilant when making investment decisions…Says alleged assault and murder of a person recently was by employees of an unauthorised financial institution…Hire purchase activities not regulated by CBSL but guided by Consumer Credit Act…’
• Sri Lanka central bank explains finance, leasing company regulation
• What the Prez-CB spat means to us citizens
‘Try to stay away from holding cash and move into asset classes which gives you a natural hedge against the rupee depreciation’
• Ministry of Finance Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2020
“Mid-Year Fiscal Position Report 2020 releases to public in terms of Section 10 of the Fiscal Management (Responsibility) Act, No. 3 of 2003…”
• Making bankers work — the story of the stimulus and the criticism
‘Samaraweera and organisations such as the Pathfinder Foundation want strict financial discipline at this time of economic disaster worldwide. It’s like asking a man that starved for three months at a stretch to drink skimmed milk, Diet Coke and scrupulously watch his fat intake.’
– http://sundayobserver.lk/2020/06/28/opinion/making-bankers-work-%E2%80%94-story-stimulus-and-criticism • CB credit guarantee and interest subsidy scheme announced to boost lending
‘The Monetary Board of the CB, at its meeting held last Friday, approved the scheme under Section 83 of the Monetary Law Act, within the already announced threshold of Rs.150 billion.’
• CB settles over US$ 1 bn debt since April using foreign reserves
‘Sri Lanka lost US$ 716 million in foreign reserves in May, almost entirely due to foreign debt settlements during the period as conditions for external liquidity became harder while the earnings from trade and services inflows were below their pre-pandemic levels, albeit a rebound seen from the month before.’
• Sri Lanka’s central bank to guarantee Covid-19 credit
• CBSL decision brings some bounce to bourse
• Reflections on economic development policy perspectives – Sanderatne
‘Similarly, Sri Lanka failed to diversify its exports and remained mainly an agricultural exporting nation till the late 1970s. Manufactured exports were only 14.2 percent of total exports. Agricultural exports were 79.2 percent of total exports. In contrast, in 2019, manufactured exports exceeded agricultural exports. It was only after the liberalisation of the economy that exports of garments, rubber goods and other manufactured goods expanded…Sri Lanka’s economic future lies in increasing and diversifying exports, not limiting imports. Economic policies must ensure this.’
• Time for “helicopter money” – Reductio Ad Absurdum
‘Both more money and lower interest rates would force foreign exchange outflows causing exchange rate depreciation. In such a situation, you need market controls to contain both’
• COVID-19 a strategic window of opportunity for Sri Lanka: Prof Nalin Abeysekera
‘In Sri Lanka we are still concentrating on traditional exports like tea, rubber, coconut and garments’
• World Bank’s IDA agrees to provide US$ 60 mn to SL for COVID-19 Emergency Response
‘The 3 projects are Transport Connectivity and Asset Management Project, Ecosystem Conservation and Management Project and the Agro-irrigation development project adapting to climate change’
• World Bank downgrades Sri Lanka to lower middle income country
‘Sri Lanka has been downgraded by the World Bank to a lower middle income country from an upper middle income one in their latest country classification by income levels released on July 1.’
• Sri Lanka returns to lower middle-income status
‘Economists see silver lining with possible access to concessional funding and further extension of GSP Plus’
• Sri Lanka downgraded to World Bank lower middle income country as per capita income falls
• New World Bank country classifications by income level: 2020-2021
• Outgoing WB country Director gives high marks to Lanka
‘Sri Lanka has a high human capital index, the highest in South Asia. Continued investment in the country’s youth and upskilling the current labor force will increase the number of workers that have the ability to perform higher-order and more resilient jobs – including becoming entrepreneurs who create jobs for others.’
• World Bank Announces New Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka
‘He previously served as the World Bank Country Manager for Nepal. A US national, he joined the World Bank in 1996 and held country manager positions in Malaysia and Bolivia. He also served as Manager of the Technical Cooperation Program with the Gulf Cooperation Countries, Head of Mission for Iraq, and Operations Manager for the West Bank and Gaza.’
• World Bank’s new Country Manager for Sri Lanka
‘Japanese national Chiyo joined the World Bank in 1994 as a young professional and has since held various positions as Economist and Senior Economist for Africa, Senior Operations Officer in Tanzania and Operations & Portfolio Manager in the Philippines. Her most recent assignment was as Manager in the Operations Policy & Country Services Vice Presidency’s results unit.’
• Pushing competitiveness and trade crucial for SL: WB
‘“The World Bank is an apolitical and non-partisan development institution with vast global knowledge and expertise that can be tapped easily for a nation’s development”
• Entrepreneurs in Jaffna? Take a look in Ammachi!
‘It turned out to be part of a chain of food courts with branches in Jaffna, Killinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Mannar. In fact the chain extends to the rest of Sri Lanka under the name of “Hela Bojun”, differently named to reflect the majority ethnicity of the local populace.’
• Temper tantrums and economic reality
‘I would imagine that the President was partly using the opportunity to give a clear message to the civil service that they needed to get their act together. However, this could have been done in private and would have had the same effect. That it was done in public means that the President is playing to the gallery, showing people that he is trying to work but that people are not assisting him.’
• SL moves three spots up to 112th position in world Economic Freedom Index
• Post-Covid global economy: Threat of Capitalism
Words like capitalism, liberalism and democracy have to find their right meaning. The present system, that represents these words, have failed and obviously it has to be dismantled.’
• Institutional development and capacity building: A national imperative
‘I was appointed by the previous Minister Ravi Karunanayake, a fellow alumnus of KPMG-Ford Rhodes…
• World Economic Forum nominates Talal Rafi as Young Global Leader 2021
‘An Industry Expert at the Moratuwa University Entrepreneurship Centre under the World Bank AHEAD project, an entrepreneurship specialist for a USAID project, member of the Forbes Business Council, National Agenda Committee for entrepreneurship ecosystem at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of Directors of the Global Entrepreneurship Network for Sri Lanka… currently working with Chatham House London with industry leaders Goldman Sachs, World Bank, International Trade Centre, MasterCard and Ernst & Young on the topic ‘Leveling the playing field for women entrepreneurs’. Chatham House briefing paper will include recommendations to the G7/G20…’2
• Cambodia’s central bank’s Bakong blockchain-based payment and money transfer platform
‘…to promote the use of local currency over the US dollar. “Cambodia is still considered as a highly dollarised economy while most of the transactions are still cash-based. This could hinder the effective implementation of monetary policy as well as payment system development,” the National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) says in a white paper published on June 17.
• The Neoliberal Looting of America
‘The private equity industry, which has led to more than 1.3 million job losses in the last decade, reveals the truth about free markets.’
• No Jackson Hole soiree for central bankers in 2020
‘The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual monetary policy symposium – one of the premier gatherings for the world’s A-list central bankers and economists – will not be held in the mountain resort of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this year for the first time in nearly 40 years because of the COVID-19 pandemic…it will host a virtual meeting on Aug. 27-28 focused on the theme: “Navigating the Decade Ahead: Implications for Monetary Policy.”… Fed chairs have used their keynote speaking appointment at the conference – typically held in late August – to signal important shifts in monetary policy or the economic outlook.
• Yanis Varoufakis: what comes after capitalism? – DiEM25
Free market capitalism died over a 100 years ago and gave way to monopoly capitalism. Monopoly capitalism is now not even able to reproduce itself, let alone sustain the planet, common decency etc. But what comes next?
• IMF says Asia’s economy will shrink ‘for the first time in living memory’ due to COVID-19
• Ukraine central bank head’s departure sparks global outcry
‘The International Monetary Fund praised Smoliy’s leadership of the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) in a statement, stressing the need to preserve its independence.’
• MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga new Chair of ICC
‘Prior to joining Mastercard, Banga served as Chief Executive Officer of Citigroup Asia Pacific. He served as a member of US President Barack Obama’s Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity and a past member of Obama’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. Banga is also a member of the board of overseers of the Weill Cornell Medical College, and a director of Dow Inc. ICC is represented in SL by ICCSL, and ICCSL is a member of the ICC World Council.’
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how the economy is usually measured by false indices like GDP, etc, and in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, while calling for privatization and deregulation, etc.
• President tells bankers to go grassroots
‘…to review the current progress and the future activities of the Rural Development Bank (RDB)…’
• ‘In providing loans commercial banks give priority to the trading sector than to the production sector. It is the responsibility of the RDB to encourage farmers to increase their production.’
• SL in IMF Deadlock
‘The next few months may determine its ability to avert a painful debt restructuring, Bloomberg report said. The South Asian nation is locked in talks with the International Monetary Fund for emergency-financing aid, after its second longer-term program with the fund in less than a decade expired last Tuesday. It’s shaping up as a classic battle between a political program geared toward goosing growth, and concerns about raising enough money to rein an already-massive debt load.’
• First Capital forecasts substantial policy rate cut
‘First Capital Research sees a higher probability for a substantial policy rate cut by the Central Bank at its upcoming Monetary Policy Review scheduled for July 20 to discourage banks’ utilisation of Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) to park their excess liquidity in order to accelerate lending to COVID-19 hit businesses and individuals.’
• Corporates brace for up to 20% earnings decline as dismal second quarter comes to an end
• Biz community confused over govt.’s trade policies
‘… blanket import bans affect industries heavily dependent on imports for value addition…’
• Sri Lanka inflation in June 2020 at to 3.9-pct
‘food prices picked up sharply’
• Sri Lanka rupee weaker, stocks higher at open
• Sri Lanka sells 2-year bonds below policy rate after money printing
‘Bond yields of countries that did not print money including Vietnam which kept its exchange rate stable had also plunged as private credit fell with Coronavirus controls slowing down activities.’
• Colombo stocks end firmer as investors buy risky assets
• Sri Lanka slaps import taxes on more fresh, dried fruits after printing money
• Sri Lanka economy re-opens after controlling Coronavirus, Covid-19 curfews lifted
• Government increases capital injection for COVID-19-hit SOEs
‘Strategic mergers of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and economically viable and equitable pricing policies including price stabilisation mechanisms are among the proposed reforms….’
• SLPP pledges to crack down on unregistered leasing companies
• Sri Lanka sinks in April and May, must avoid a second wave
‘FMCG retail sales decline -67% in May…’
• Economy is in shambles: Champika
‘Ranawaka told a press conference that SL will suffer economically if the country uses its foreign reserves to settle external debt…” The present regime is using the foreign reserves to meet the external debt services. Foreign reserves are usually used for import expenditure…Several sectors including the vehicle importers are suffering with the extension of the ban on imports which was introduced during the pandemic period,” he added. Also he alleged that both diesel and petrol comes to the Kolonnawa reserves at Rs 50 a litre, however diesel is being sold at Rs. 104 and petrol at 137 a litre.’
• Government to deliver generous fiscal support for businesses
‘In order to increase liquidity in the banking sector the CB has been compelled to pump Rs.300 billion by printing money into the banking sector which had excess liquidly of Rs. 200 billion at this time…’
• Inland Revenue Department to set up new unit to audit big-time taxpayers
‘… about 600 companies \bring in the largest amount of annual tax revenue to the department, after revelations that the estimated tax revenue was not coming from these companies. The IRD currently has tax files on about 3,000 of these companies, known as Large Taxpayer Units (LTUs)….The unit’s formation has also been pushed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as one of the conditions the country must meet to be eligible for the latest tranche of its loan programme to Sri Lanka’
C5. Workers (Inadequate Stats, Wasteful Transport, Unmodern Plantations, Services)
ee Workers attempts to correct the massive gaps and disinformation about workers, urban and rural and their representatives (trade unions, etc), and to highlight the need for organized worker power
• Census & Statistics Department to conduct 3-week web survey on economic impact of Covid-19
‘The data and statistics gathered and analyzed by the DSC will be used to rebuild the economy in the post Covid 19 period as millions of employees have faced a severe threat of losing their jobs’
• 03 port workers climb on to gantry cranes demanding new cranes be installed
• Port workers continue struggle to have ECT in SL control
• Deceit and prevarication
‘Trade unions have asked the Sri Lanka Ports Authority to set up gantry cranes at the East Terminal of the Colombo Port or face a strike. They insist that the delay is due to foreign pressure.’
• Colombo Port trade unions call off strike after talks with PM
• Sri Lanka fixes cranes at terminal linked to India deal after protests
• NPP urges Govt. to refrain from selling Eastern Terminal to India
• NPP accuses Sri Lanka govt of planning to sell Colombo Port east terminal to Indian company
• PHIs seek legality
‘…they are asking that powers vested in them by an archaic law to prevent infectious diseases be at least gazetted to make them legal….’
• Central Mail Exchange employees launch strike
‘On previous occasions, the packing and distribution of postal ballot papers were carried out at the Central Mail Exchange. However, for General Election 2020, it has been decided that the post office in Havelock Town will be used for this purpose. The employees are objecting to this decision through the strike, postal trade unions said.’
• Postal strike called off
‘The postal workers claimed that it would incur a large cost to the government to deploy postal workers from different locations for election duties…’
• Bus strike in Western Province?
‘The Private Bus Owners’ Association…decided to resort to this decision to protest against the Western Province Road Passenger Transport Authority arbitrarily acquiring funds.’
• Pensioners take their grouse to Court of Appeal
• Sri Lanka launches a survey of migrant workers
• This is an opportunity for SL to re-orient foreign employment: Foreign Sec.
‘In 2019, migrant worker’s remittances to foreign exchange earnings was 25.5 %, while its contribution to Sri Lanka’s GDP was approximately 8%. ‘
• Sri Lanka remittances down 23-pct in May but up from April
‘”around 1.3 million Sri Lankans or more may be working abroad”’
– https://economynext.com/sri-lanka-remittances-down-23-pct-in-may-but-up-from-april-71558/ • Maldives says SL workers could benefit from its border reopening
‘There are between 15,000 to 20,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers in Maldives. About 75% of those workers have been impacted due to the Coronavirus outbreak.’
• President urges solution of longstanding issues at Excise Department
• Students ask govt. not to extend their internship for National Diploma in Teaching
‘Around 5,000 Students following the three year National Diploma in Teaching courses at 19 National Colleges of Education… say if the internship is extended by one or two months when schools reopen, they will not be able to find accommodation for a short period and the landlords will be reluctant to rent out accommodations for students from faraway districts for fear of coronavirus spread…Chief Secretary of Ceylon Teachers Service Union Mahinda Jayasinghe has requested a meeting with Education Minister Dullas Alahapperuma to discuss the matter.
• University education reforms in Australia: Should Sri Lanka follow suit?
‘With the likelihood of extra 400,000 youth reaching 18 years of age. (as in Sri Lanka) in the post COVID decade the Australian government, last week put out a policy directive that increased fees for courses that lead graduates to a ‘labour market wasteland’.’
• Sri Lanka day-care centres to run full capacity with Covid-19 contained from July 06
• Sri Lankan police violently suppress protest against the killing of George Floyd
• German-Sri Lanka tie-up to develop local entrepreneurial skills
‘Wurth Lanka, a 100% owned subsidiary of Würth International AG is a significant player in the automotive aftermarket as a premium quality supplier of after care products and services with over 3,000 active customers.’
• Chinese technicians committed to keeping power supply going in Sri Lanka amid COVID-19
‘Lyu is a high-pressure welder with China Machinery Engineering Corporation, the Chinese contractor of the Puttalam coal-fired power plant in Sri Lanka. The power plant generates more than 40 percent of the electricity needed by the country.’
• Chinese nationals requested to follow Sri Lankan government policy on epidemic control
• Myanmar jade mine landslide kills more than 100
• Communist Party of China has nearly 92 million members
C6. Agriculture (Robbery of rural home market; Machines, if used, mainly imported)
ee Agriculture emphasizes the failure to industrialize on an agriculture that keeps the cultivator impoverished under moneylender and merchant, and the need to protect the rural home market. Also, importation of agricultural machinery, lack of rural monetization and commercialization, etc.
• President tells banks to support agricultural businesses to develop rural economy
• President says agriculture will be country’s priority
• Purchasing of Yala season paddy to commence today
‘The Paddy Marketing Board will purchase all varieties of paddy with a maximum moisture content of 14% at Rs. 50 per kilogram of paddy…, 25,600 tonnes of paddy was purchased during the previous “Maha” Season. The Government had spent close to 1.2 billion rupees…’
• Confectionary industry to switch from palm to coconut oil use
‘Lanka Confectionary Manufacturers Association says the industry provides direct employment to over 50,000 and around 600,000 are indirectly dependent. The national supply chain network involves over 150,000 retailers across the country….SL companies also export to over 55 countries with an annual export income of $100 million. The industry consists of companies producing biscuits, cookies, cakes, wafers, toffees, chocolates, desserts, snacks, ice cream, etc. SL’s confectionary industry…contributes over 85,000 metric tons per annum to the national food supply chain.’
• Sri Lanka coconut auction prices take a breather after run
‘Palm oil, close substitute for coconut oil has been taxed at 350 rupees a kilogram while coconut oil imports have been restricted after money printing by the central bank to finance the deficit’
• SC grants leave to appeal in action filed by importers of New Zealand milk powder
• Sri Lanka to provide subsidized fertilizer for fruits and veggies though private sellers: Minister
• Cabinet proposes Forest Land for ‘economic purposes’: environmentalists up in arms
• ‘Residual Forests’ to be used for ‘other’ purposes
• Mahaweli ‘F’ Zone declared sustainable development area for organic agriculture
‘Moragahakanda-Kaluganga Mahaweli “F” Zone…declared sustainable development area for organic agriculture by Mahaweli, Agriculture, Irrigation & Rural Development Minister Chamal Rajapaksa….However, several factions have raised red flags over the Government’s decision…’
• Regional Plantation Companies celebrate 27th anniversary
‘The management is further strained and demotivated to the extent of migrating to greener pastures due to undue political influences attracted to business because of its nature….’
• University of Sri Jayewardenepura mission is to usher a tech era to Sri Lanka
‘Unless the farmers were introduced to new technologies, they would remain poor forever. He therefore urged universities to introduce courses in new technologies such as those in bio-technology…’
• The way to our own ‘Green Revolution’ – Anuradha Yahampath, Governor, Eastern Province
‘It was the ‘Green Revolution’ that came to our rescue immediately after World War II to increase global food production, when famine was looming across the world.’
• EDB steps up efforts to preserve Ceylon Cinnamon
‘in collaboration with the UN Industrial Development Organization in the framework of the EU-Sri Lanka Trade Related Assistance to obtain Geographical Indication (GI) for ‘Ceylon Cinnamon’ in the European Union (EU),”
• EDB steps up support for organic exports
• The Metamorphosis of Yuangudui
‘An English translation of “The Metamorphosis of Yuangudui,” a vivid, lyrical essay depicting the impact of the Communist Party of China’s poverty alleviation programs in the small village of Yuangudui, Gansu Province.’
• Jong-Jin Kim appointed as new UN Food and Agriculture Organization Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia & the Pacific
‘appointed Minister-Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.. served as the Republic of Korea’s Head of agricultural negotiations in the Doha Development Agenda of the World Trade Organization (WTO/DDA)…led various Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations with the United States, the European Union and other actors…’
C7. Industry (False definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc)
ee Industry section notes the ignorance about industrialization, the buying of foreign machinery, the need to make machines that make machines, build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound.
• Sri Lanka boots out foreign contractors building 76km Highway and hands over job to locals
• Govt. to use local funds for Ruwanpura Expressway construction
• Three Sinha Industries complete electric barriers project for Southern Expressway
• No licence for Australian mineral explorer to explore Mannar Island
‘Titanium Sands Ltd. is using nine licences that belong to the subsidiaries of two Mauritius companies named Srinel Holdings Ltd. and Bright Angel Ltd that it has accquired.’
• Australia’s Titanium Sands halts trading over irregularities
… involving the exploration activities carried out by Titanium Sands Ltd in the South Asian nation, that saw the drilling of more than 3500 holes on Mannar Island since 2015…targetting 265 metric tonnes of minerals that include heavy metals such as Ilmenite, Rutile, Zircon, and Garnet. Ilmenite which is the source of titanium that is used in manufacturing aircraft, was of a high quality…’
• Election official urges action against suspension of sand transportation permit system
‘Centre for Environment and Nature Studies pointed out attempts to sell off state lands to businessman and foreign nations, by abolishing a state circular’
• Importing beedi leaves as yarn: BOI clarifies
• Local ethanol quality gets false rap, says ex-State Minister
‘… Says local ethanol producers have been supplying industry for decades with no issues … Sevanagala Sugar Corporation had sold over 90 million litres of ethanol to one arrack manufacturer and there had been no complaints of quality. However, soon after imports were banned and price of locally-manufactured ethanol went up from Rs. 290 to Rs. 500 a litre, arrack manufacturers have started questioning quality, he said.’
• Vehicle importers hit hard by import ban
‘“Our customers, our workshops need spare parts to continue to be in business”’
• January-April vehicle registrations plunge
‘Vehicle registrations fall 40% during Jan-April period… Motorcycles, which accounted for the bulk of the imports and registrations, fell…As new vehicle imports are barred for six more months, it provides a window of opportunity for the financial services sector to channel their funds to targeted development-oriented sectors, which will enhance the country’s output.’
• We reduced our production by 90% due to lack of raw materials – MD, Harischandra Mills
• CA issues notice on Cabinet of Ministers, Richard Pieris, 14 others over cancelled public tender
‘The Court of Appeal yesterday issued notice on The Cabinet of Ministers, Richard Pieris Tyre Company Ltd., 14 other suppliers, SLTB, and others, regarding the cancellation of a public tender called for in 2018 for procuring pre-cured and rebuilt tyres for the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB)’
• Costs and price of electricity
‘Oil is the most expensive way to produce electricity. Oil power plants provide the capacity back-up for larger hydro, small hydro, wind and solar power plants. When rains fail, sun goes down, wind stops blowing, the oil power plants come-up to support. It is best if using oil power plants can be totally eliminated. So except for larger hydropower, everything else causes a loss to the electricity supplier.’
• Cost and Pricing of Electricity
‘The CEB ran as a very profitable venture, up to 1987…’
• Sri Lanka announces import taxes for leaf-springs, aluminium hardware
‘Sri Lanka has announced a series of taxes to keep prices of some goods high and increase profits for manufacturers, as many imports are controlled after printing money unprecedented amounts of money.’
• Supporting local enterprises
‘Here are some points from the President’s meeting with industrialists: Industrialists need to win the local and global market…Loans at single-digit interest rates are now available. Local production should cover a range of goods from brooms to medical drugs….Local production of agricultural items should increase and reduce the dependence on foreign goods.’
• Canada extending support to strengthen the MSMEs in Sri Lanka impacted by COVID-19
• Govt. offers soft loans, highway contracts to local constructors, instead of settling Rs. 40bn bill
‘The Finance Ministry’s 2019 Annual Report states that the Government’s unpaid bills now amount to 2.2 percent of Sri Lanka’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and include claims worth Rs 1.8bn incurred in the conduct of last year’s presidential election.’
• Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port development joined by Fujian, China firm
‘Fujian Provincial Communication Transportation Group Co., Ltd (FJCT), will take a 23% stake in Gainpro Resources Limited, British Virgin Islands company that holds CM Ports’ 85% stake of Hambantota Port International Group, the operating company of the port.’
• 3 key priorities for Engineering & Construction companies beyond COVID –PricewaterhouseCoopers
• Texworld, Apparel Sourcing, Home Textile Sourcing Summer Edition 2020 goes virtual
‘Nine Sri Lankan garment manufacturers took part from Bangladesh at Texworld / Apparel Sourcing/ Home Textile Sourcing 2019’
C8. Finance (Making money from money, banks, lack of investment in modernity)
ee Finance tracks the effects of financialization, pointing to the curious role of ratings agencies, again false indices, etc.
• Finance company directors get regulator’s nod to serve beyond 70 years
‘Difficulty in finding board-worthy candidates main reason’
• CBSL clarification on opening Special Deposit Accounts
‘to categorically deny the views/concerns expressed/raised by few authorities and persons that the required due diligence processes are not followed by banks (Authorized Dealers – ADs) operating in SL in opening and maintaining recently introduced Special Deposit Accounts…’
• Forex funds for SDAs in compliance with anti-money laundering laws: CB
• JKH share price decline negatively impacts bourse
• SEC Continues Engaging With Capital Market Stakeholders
‘Viraj Dayaratne PC, Chairman, Securities & Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka and Commission Members met representatives of Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Law Firms and Stockbroker Firms’
• Dumith Fernando new CSE Chairman (Conflict of Interest?)
‘Fernando is Chairman of one of the leading investment banking firms, Asia Securities Holdings Ltd., an Independent Director of Union Assurance PLC and Singer PLC and on the Economic Policy Steering Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. Fernando worked in global financial centres in New York and Hong Kong with global banking giants JPMorgan Chase and Credit Suisse.
• SEC approves new admission requirements to attract SMEs & start-ups
• BOC and China Development Bank to enter into USD 140 Mn agreement
• BOC bolsters foreign funding to support post-COVID revival
‘BOC was tight-lipped about the sources of a further $ 250 million funding in the pipeline, but said it will be from multilateral agencies. In tandem with tapping external sources of funding, BOC is also stepping up support to the export sector, thereby enhancing foreign exchange earnings of the country.’
• ‘People’s Bank celebrates 59 years of devotion to the people of Sri Lanka’
• IFC to invest $ 50 million in 125 million Com Bank shares
‘The Commercial Bank of Ceylon will go for a private placement of shares with a World Bank group entity, International Finance Corporation (IFC).’
• Sri Lanka starts new payments services as online banking soars in Covid-19 lockdowns
‘SL had seen a 600% growth in internet banking and a 200% growth in payments, during Covid-19 curfews, Channa de Silva, Chief Executive Officer of LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka’s interbank clearing house said.
• Sarvodaya Development Finance records a profit growth of 147-pct in 2019-20
‘operating profits increased to Rs 232.1 million’
• Pan Asia Bank scheme to promote sustainable agriculture’to commence or enhance sustainable agriculture projects such as sustainable agriculture, climate smart inputs, use of indigenous seeds, solar energy and other such projects….’
• NTB launches Rs. 7 bn fund to support economic revival
‘…to offer financial support to businesses in local manufacturing, fisheries, value added agriculture, tea, processed food, beverages, spices, coconut and coconut-based products, as well as manufacturers of chemical products, minerals and essential oils.’
• Gunmen attack Pakistani stock exchange, four assailants killed: Police
• JKH-linked Fairfirst Insurance CFO appointed to the Supervisory Board of BIC Vietnam
‘Fairfirst Insurance Limited, is part of the global Fairfax Group. The Group is a leading property and casualty insurer, reinsurer and investment manager, headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Fairfirst, is today among the top general insurance companies of Sri Lanka’
• Senkadagala Finance receives US $ 25mn financing facility
‘…from the Netherland-based FMO (Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V), on June 29, to enhance its green vehicle portfolio.’
• Executive Director at Citizens Development Business Finance
‘served as the Director/ CEO of Unisons Capital Leasing Limited (UCL), a subsidiary of CDB since 2015 which amalgamated with CDB recently…CDB is among the Top Five largest NBFIs in the country, with an island-wide branch network of 71, driven by a state-of-the-art technological platform.
• SL Billionaire investor Palihapitiya modeling his firm on Warren Buffett’s company
• A Two Notch upgrade to Cargills Bank by Fitch; from ‘A-(lka)’ to ‘A+(lka)’
• Fitch Affirms National Ratings of Four SL Finance Companies; One on Rating Watch Positive
‘AMW Capital Leasing And Finance PLC (AMWCL) at ‘BBB(lka)’; Outlook Negative, Abans Finance PLC at ‘BB+(lka)’; Outlook Negative, Fintrex Finance Limited at ‘B+(lka)’; Outlook Stable, Bimputh Finance PLC at ‘B+(lka)’; Outlook Negative
• India’s Mahindra and Mahindra backing helps Sri Lanka’s Ideal Finance rating
• Pandemic hurts auto demand through 2022, about $130 billion in debt downgraded : Moody’s
‘The credit rating agency has cut the ratings of 9 of the 22 automakers it rated over the last 3 months’
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business aka ee Rentier focuses on diversions of the oligarchy, making money from unproductive land selling, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of press releases disguised as ‘news’
• $175 million IFC funding for JKH through soft loan window
‘John Keells Holdings, the strongest conglomerate quoted on the Colombo Stock Exchange has signed a 10-year loan agreement extending till June 2030 with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s window for private sector lending/investment….The most liquid share quoted on the CSE JKH is widely regarded as a proxy for the Sri Lanka share market’
• IFC exits Cargills Food investment via ‘put’ option
• Key takeaways from the Colombo Port City discussion
‘PwC Sri Lanka & Daily FT webinar on Colombo Port City… speakers included Thulci Aluvihare, Head of Strategy and Business Development – CHEC Port City Colombo (the “Project Company”), Aruna Perera, Director – Corporate Finance & Valuation Consulting and Dr. Wignaraja Ganeshan, Executive Director – Lakshman Kadiragamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI). It was moderated by Nisthar Cassim, Editor-In-Chief – Daily FT….Another important aspect that has to understood is the knowledge transfers. As the foreign employees that are expected to be employed in the Port City might have been exposed to state of art technology and knowledge, such knowledge may get shared with local employees. This will improve productivity and increase the income generating capability of local employees.’
• Sri Lanka Insurance posts record pre-tax profit of Rs. 8.2 b for 2019
• Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation receives $ 4 million UL contract
• German company sued in Sri Lanka for Rs. 33 m plus interest
‘the Defendants by selling the defective machinery, failing to service and replace same and the subsequent conduct causing delays, caused them loss and damage.’
• Apple files intellectual property action against Stassen Exports
‘Apple Inc., the Plaintiff, was represented in Court by Dr. Harsha Cabral President’s Counsel, who appeared with Nishan Premathiratne and Migara Cabral, on the instructions of Juanita Desiree Perera. The Defendant Stassen Exports was represented by Nihal Fernando President’s Counsel, with Harshula Seneviratne, on the instructions of Upendra Gunasekara’
• Hilton owner to delist shares from CSE
‘On M-arch 15, 1983, Lanka Japan Hotels, a public limited liability company was incorporated under the Companies Act to implement the Colombo Hilton hotel project.’
• Kasturi Chellaraja elected SL Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry chief for another year
‘Office-bearers of SLCPI for the year 2020/21 are, Senior Vice President – Sanjiva Wijesekera, Executive Director, George Steuart Health; Vice President – Azam Jaward, Managing Director, Cipla Pharma Lanka; Hon. Secretary – Rolf Blaser, CEO/Managing Director, A.Baur & Co.; Treasurer – Sirimal Fernando, Deputy Managing Director, Astron…. Representating over 60 members who account for more than 80% of the private pharmaceutical industry, spanning manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers. These stakeholders supply Sri Lankan patients with 800 molecules from 364 manufacturers from across the world.
• Abans appoints Chandrika Perera as Executive Director
‘Abans PLC is chaired by Founder Aban Pestonjee and the present Board of Directors comprising of: Managing Director Behman Pestonjee, Executive Director Rusi Pestonjee, Executive Director Dr. Saroshi Dubash, Independent Non-Executive Director Dinesh Weerakkody and Independent Non-Executive Director Rajaratnam Selvaskandan.’
• Return of the expatriate
‘Domestic tourism seems to be the watchword these days… Air New Zealand hopes to survive by giving low fares and other deals to domestic destinations…’
• Sri Lanka to host UNWTO’s 32nd Asia Pacific virtual Joint Commission Meeting today
• T.M.F. Packeer re-elected as Tourism Industry Skills Council chairman at 3rd AGM
C10. Politics (Anti-parliament discourse, unelected constitution)
ee Politics points to the constant media diversions and the mercantile and financial forces behind the political actors, of policy taken over by private interests minus public oversight.
• August 5: D-Day for Saving Sri Lanka – Wasala
‘Today, at the end of 72years of so-called independence, Sri Lanka finds itself pushed to the edge of a precipice, despite the many sacrifices made by patriots in blood, sweat and tears for its unity and stability as a flourishing sovereign state…’
• How can voters know their candidate?
‘people have been deprived of the opportunities to be properly informed of the candidates due to the dreary election atmosphere.’
• The land of alley cats, donkeys and chameleons: Who will we elect?
‘he Elections Commissioner says that he will have to spend Rs. 10 billion to conduct the election that will send 225 of these mostly expensive liabilities to Parliament.’
• 19A brought to keep Rajapaksas out of politics: SLPP
• MR pledges more investment for North
• President Gotabaya distancing himself from his party candidates at Parliamentary poll
• “Our party doesn’t want to contest under NPP” – FSP
‘The Cabinet approved the National Intelligence Act this January. According to the provisions in that act, officials attached to intelligence services are made immune to the general law of the country which applies to all citizens.’
• JVP tells voters not to miss the bus at least this time
‘But look at the plight of women who comprise 52 percent of the population. Forty percent of the pregnant mothers are suffering from anaemia. Around 50 percent of schoolchildren are suffering from malnutrition and more than two third of them are girls.’
• Sri Lanka: Socialism, The JVP & Friedrich Engels
• Fourth International does not approve ‘Bahu’ contesting general election under UNP ticket
• Comrade Shan: Remembering N. Sanmugathasan On His Birth Centenary
• People’s disillusionment with political system not a licence for military rule – Ranil
• Only UNP can fix COVID-hit economy, says RW
‘Says democracy, independent institutions and public service under threat…’
• Freedom to demand unfreedom
• Verité Research designs model structure for government ministries
‘The online discussion, hosted by Sri Lanka’s pioneering parliamentary platform, Manthri.lk, was joined by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce CEO Manjula de Silva, LIRNEasia Senior Research Fellow Dr. Sujatha Gamage, and Advocata Institute COO Dhananath Fernando’.
• The Need For Better Representation In Divided Societies – US-funded NPC head
• Sri Lanka’s state of exception in constitutional governance
‘Much more was wrong with that period than the personal lack of leadership of two politicians and their acolytes in the House, however disgraceful these may have been. In other words, the fault was not only with them but also with us. This was manifested at multiple levels, mostly in the eagerness exhibited by many for personal and professional profit sought through political affiliations to a select cabal of the United National Party (UNP) while wearing the cap of ‘civil society.’…Equally culpable were purportedly ‘academic’ critiques framed around the ‘radicalism of Muslims’ being the inevitable result of Rajapaksa-led Sinhala-Buddhist militarisation without acknowledging that militaristic ‘Wahabism’ of Mawanella and Kattankudy in particular originated in another, distinctly deadly source.
• General Election – Motherland Saving Series – Part 1: Facts voters must mind before voting
• The Seetha Arambepola Syndrome: A Sinhala-Buddhist-Feminist Rebuke
‘We, as Sinhala-Buddhist women and intersectional feminists who firmly believe in gender justice, call for fulsome and holistic gender equality across the length and breadth of Sinhala-Buddhist society.’
• Collective punishment for all politicos by election law – Chandraprema
‘Once the candidates of all political parties have had their fill of the irrational and indeed inexplicable restrictions in the parliamentary elections law of 1981, they will hopefully, be motivated to amend this law as a matter of priority once they are in Parliament.’
• The 20-25 year itch in electoral politics – Philips
‘The election itself will be an election of political parties hitting more own goals, than scoring against one another. At the centre of it will be Rajapaksa v. Rajapaksa, sounding like Kramer v. Kramer of old, but in reality a proxy battle between the followers of the President and those of the Prime Minister.’
C11. Media (Mis/Coverage of economics, technology, science and art)
ee Media shows how corporate media monopoly determines what is news, art, culture, etc. The media is part of the public relations (corporate propaganda) industry. The failure to highlight our priorities, the need to read between the lines. To set new perspectives and priorities.
• President assures protection of artists and art
‘Government’s decision to offer loans to artistes under a low-interest-rate was admired; however the failure to implement this decision by State banks was also highlighted during the discussion. Artistes also conveyed the importance of taxing foreign content and pooling it for the benefit of local artistes.’
• The Dutch came bearing the Kandyan Royal Throne!
• 21st Death Anniversary of Asoka Weeraratna ( Ven. Mitirigala Dhammanissanti Thera)
• Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Part 10
• The Problem of ‘Colonial Science’
‘70% of our coastlines are in the developing world, but representation at the global stage is disproportional.’
• Fa Hien’s links to Sri Lanka
• Unilever announces next step in the evolution of skin care portfolio
‘In 2019, the brand’s communication moved away from the benefits of fairness, whitening and skin lightening, towards glow, even tone, skin clarity and radiance – holistic measures of healthy skin.’
• Zuckerberg Loses $7 Billion as Firms Boycott Facebook Ads
‘Shares of the social media company fell 8.3% on Friday, the most in three months, after Unilever, one of the world’s largest advertisers, joined other brands in boycotting ads on the social network.’
• Viber cuts business ties with Facebook
• Coca-Cola says pausing social media advertising
‘Unilever, home to brands including Lipton tea and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, said it would stop advertising on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in the US until the end of 2020 due to the “polarized election period.”’
• If you do share ee with others, please do not share this email address. __________________________________________________________