“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
The Ghost of Philip Gunawardena & the Cry for a Cultural Revolution
e-Con e-News 02-08 August 2020
“Sir”, Philip told SWRD, “Your life itself is in danger…”
As the sun set on October 1958, a foretelling rang out, with the murder of Dingiri Banda of Alawwa, and the refusal of the police to investigate. He was an “innocent, militant peasant worker” active in the struggle for the Paddy Lands Act
• National Renaissance, Economic Tsunami • US Funds Chaos in Thailand & Nicaragua
• Import-Export Farce • Philip Gunawardena on SWRD’s Assassination
• Wimalasurendra & The Economist
Wednesday’s election sparkles another moment for a national renaissance. Not a second should be wasted. An economic tsunami (blamed on – but more insidious than – the pandemic) thunders towards us from the horizon, already swirling around our feet. The crying need of the hour is for a cultural revolution to mobilize all the people to defeat all imperialist conspiracies being sprung as we write.
• Why are the US and Japan ‘congratulating’ and ‘commending’ us on a ‘peaceful’ election? How are they experts on peace? Why is India calling it, “successful”? What paragons of peace & success are they?
Why does the white media appear so morose about a clear electoral verdict? And who is the media – lackeys of multinationals and their advertising fronts – to call anyone corrupt? The white media (which includes their brown sahib stenographers) is full of the standard onslaught: ‘Brutal’, ‘authoritarian’, ‘militarization’, ‘family’, ‘brothers’, ‘hardline’, ‘majoritarian’, while the opposition is ‘moderate’ ‘accommodative’, etc. What appears incomprehensible to them is the resounding electoral defeat of the colonial Wickremesinghe-Wijewardene dynasty, who monopolize the media, with the full backing of foreign embassies, multinationals and their local import merchant mafia.
They shall now plan to promote chaos as they do around the world. Thailand and Nicaragua say the US government is openly funding destabilization of their societies. NGOs obtaining funds from USAID & the EU, and claiming to understand English, should tell us whose human rights and democracy they advocate (see ee Focus). Are Europe and its genocidal settler states models to uphold?
• A cultural revolution is thus most vital to also expose the present media campaign to retain the import-export plantation farce. A cultural revolution to catalyze a modern industrial reawakening, to go beyond such a servile economy. To accelerate technological (science & art) research and statistical analysis. To recapture the home market. To let 22 million flowers bloom. To navigate the deluge by feeling for the stones, and kicking the detritus away.
• ee evokes this week the legacy – as recorded in the stirring biography by Ananda Meegama – of Philip Gunawardena & the 1956 Revolution in Sri Lanka. This ee also continues discussion on the fracturing and erasure of DJ Wimalasurendra’s trendsetting push for industrialization in the early 20th century.
Philip, the “Lion of Boralugoda”, recalled “that moment of the elections” on historic 12 April 1956 as setting out “on the path to a scientific and technological culture, to an industrial society”. This yearning of 1956 was palpable, and remains so to this day.
The author perceptively points out no other country has such “a history of continuous militant defiance of the colonial powers”, as ours. “Perhaps the nearest is…Haiti”. Indeed! Haiti, shining star in the West, expelled 3 European armies in one year. Yet few explain why Sinhale did not go the way of the Americas, for the Portuguese came here 13 years after the genocidal Columbus landed in Haiti!
ee recommends you rush get go and read the book as soon as you can, for Meegama’s enthralling opus fills another hole in our brain, heart, hands and pockets. The book divulges information the English media at least never dares discuss. He records Philip G’s story as embodying the glistening promise of that 1956 revolution. Yet what happened to that path of promise? And why does the ghost of Philip G still haunt so uneasy?
The book therefore also tells a tale of sabotage, betrayal and worse: It records Philip’s forced resignation from that administration, and the warnings he gave months before, about the vipers SWRD Bandaranaike chose to succour in his bosom. “Sir”, Philip told SWRD, “Your life itself is in danger” – a warning the PM chose to ignore.
ee earlier(6 Oct 2019) only mooted about the murder, but the book provides greater spunk: Philip stated how the assassination was planned in the US ambassador’s residence, “under the patronage of the head of the Atlanta Club” with the “dud sons of Cinnamon Gardens folk” still occupying the top rungs of armed services, “mostly men of the old English type, the Sandhurst-trained men of the old colonial type who are unable to understand the problems” of the lower ranks, educated in Sinhala schools. (continued below in ee Focus, Review)
• This ee further discusses the erasure of engineer DJ Wimalasurendra from the dominant nationalist conversation – a curious phenomenon! He was undermined by such vested interests as England’s Boustead Bros and Whitehall Securities, to prevent industrialization in Sri Lanka. Whitehall Securities was the investment arm of Pearson plc, a favored English warmonger, which built tunnels and dams around the world. Pearson is now robbing students via hugely expensive textbooks, claiming to be the world’s biggest multinational education publisher and tester (accused of leaking exams!). For a long time it was publisher of London’s Financial Times and The Economist.
Meanwhile, The Economist, with all this bloody history on its fingers, still lists Sri Lanka as “a flawed democracy”. Can The Economist with all the ‘intelligence’ it commands, not know what they have done here? (see ee Focus, Ryland)
A1. Reader Comments –
• English Amnesia • Japan & ADB • BBC Declares Election • ee Should Avoid Jargon
A2. Quotes of the Week –
• USAID Openly Promotes Gender-sensitive Coups • Rockefeller Sacks Workers, Promises Diversity • US War Budget Promises Anti-Racism
A3. Random Notes –
• US & True Patriots • Banks & Bull • Buying RollsRoyce Engines, Havelock City and Wellawatte Spinning & Weaving Mills • Public Health Inspectors – the Real Media! • Marketing Mafia & Unilever • Hiroshima Trials • October Surprise • Vietnam Game
B. ee Focus
B1. Ananda Meegama’s Philip Gunawardena & the 1956 Revolution in Sri Lanka
B2. Wimalasurendra, Ryland & Boustead Brothers – Colonial Government, White Supremacism
B3. USAID Plans Coups in Thailand & Nicaragua
B4. Public Health Inspectors are the Real Media
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.
• “I enjoyed very much the newsletter especially about Wimalasurendra, and on LOLC. Thought provoking and also new info. Very educative.”
• “ee should highlight that Wimalasurendra’s work has been erased in the English mindset more than the Sinhala… It’s Sinhala people, not the media, who keep his light illuminating our path, albeit midst heavy winds!”
• “Japan, which owns and operates the Asian Development Bank, is the biggest backer and bankroller and promoter of LOLC’s microfinance enterprise” (see ee Random Notes)
• “Rajapaksa declares election victory in Sri Lanka” announced the BBC in a brief election story just after results were known. Note: ‘Rajapaksa declares’ – not election commissioner! (bbc.com/news)”
• “…avoid technical jargon. ee should have a quick lookup page for jargon, like a small dictionary of how you see the terms, not how others see them (eg ethnic, multicultural, bond, etc). Technical also means way too in-depth which requires someone to really think about it and ponder vs an “aha” or “ah I see” moment while reading in real-time (on the spot).”
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• “In April 2020, USAID was taken over by de facto director John Barsa, a hardline Republican businessman, Trump ally, and son of anti-communist Cuban immigrants. In coordination with Secretary of State and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Barsa has turned USAID into a blunt weapon of regime change, openly financing putsch efforts against the socialist governments of Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.” (See ee Focus, Thailand & Nicaragua)
• ‘USAID stressed in the document that its coup in Nicaragua would be “gender-sensitive in compliance” and based on “gender-informed analytical work.” (tho the women who make up the bulk of the Sandinista base would have to be excluded from Washington’s woke political “transition”)’
• “Chevron diversity ratio to improve as layoffs progress” – Reuters
• “Senate Passes $740bn Defense Bill with Provision to Remove Confederate Names off Military Bases” – Mediaite
• ‘Very few Europeans and Americans think the Soviets deserve the lion’s share of credit for defeating Germany in WWII. Even though for most of the war, the Soviets confronted 200 German divisions while the US and UK were confronting 10 between us. Even though the Soviets lost 27 million people. And even though Churchill says the Red Army “tore the guts out of the German war machine”. And we know that the Soviets did most of the fighting, most of the dying. The mythology, the lies, are still pervasive around so much of World War.’ (see Random Notes, Hiroshima)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• A US State-Dept-funded True Patriot Movement was launched by ex-MP Mangala Samaraweera, just as the election unfolded. The TPM is armed by veterans from the 1971 JVP and other US-funded NGO-types. TP serves to remind that we remain a colony of the USA, and they wish to keep it this way. It’s therefore vital we ally with real progressive forces within the white-settler satellites of Europe, and do not simply react to provocations by their sweet-talking agents. Who in their right mind still believes the US as a force for good? Those interested in the latest imperialist games worldwide, should read about US State Department scenarios to coup Thailand & Nicaragua. They now call ‘regime change’ – ‘transitions’? (see ee Focus)
• Banks & Bull – Why do banks indulge in so much self-congratulation and so much advertisement of their superficial ‘good deeds’? This week it was DFCC praising itself for helping with Covid, and the Bank of Ceylon congratulating itself on its 81st Anniversary (see ee Finance). Yet the biography of Philip G maintains the the BoC was strangled at its birth. For the scandal of the privatization of DFCC, read ee 10 May 2020. Then there’s the ADB. The EU and US own the largest block of shares in the ‘Asian’ Development Bank! while Japan is currently at its head.
• Sri Lanka announced this week it will pay England 200 million rupees for parts to refurbish Rolls Royce Engines for our railway (see ee Industry). Why is only England making such engines, and why can’t we make even those parts here? Well, it’s a fine old tale, and involves luxurious Havelock City, which is indeed a crime scene. This condo complex was built on the grave of the Ceylon Spinning & Weaving Mills. As the review of Philip G’s bio below points out, the Mills highlight an early English decision not to transfer technology to Sri Lanka. Set up in Wellawatte 132 years ago by Messrs Darley, Butler (owned by Sir William Mitchell, Head of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce), with Sinhala, Tamil & Muslim workers as well as South Indian Malay & Tamil workers: “A boy was paid 12.5-25 cents a day, and women were paid from 30-50 cents.” The Mill’s ring spindles and preparation were by Messrs Dobson & Barlow of Bolton, Lancashire, with looms made by Messrs Wm Dickinson, and Messrs Henry Livesey & Co of Blackburn, and engines & boilers from Messrs AW Smith of Glasgow. CSWM supplied cotton materials to Ceylon’s Prison & Convict Deps. In 1899, the English made them sell CSWM to Khoja Zamindar Ahmedbhoy Habibbhoy of Bombay (owner of Victory Spinning Mills, managing director of the Bank of Bombay). Darley, Butler itself grew out of the English opium wars on China, as an agent for Matheson & Co. The English ban on local industry still prevails!
• Watch video co-op Miniran Balakaya’s classic: Why Can’t We Make it Here?
• A Sunday Times editorial listing the role of the Public Health Inspectors missed out one function – workplaces – ee wonders why? The fear remains Covid might start a 2nd wave here, so perhaps the Times hoped the striking PHIs could get the election postponed? But they left out the role of PHIs in farms and workplaces. Karl Marx reserved some of his greatest praise for public health inspectors in workplaces. Their role in providing vital intelligence and statistics was elemental to England’s rise as an industrial power – for they are the real media! (see ee Focus, PHI)
• Check out the Marketing Mafia – SLIM’s new Board of Directors. Their biggest PR snowjob is how Unilever generates fog to hide its meddling fingers in monopolizing Sri Lanka’s rural home market, advertising and media, while loudly proclaiming it “locally produces” their goods. A barefaced white lie! (see ee Media)
• 75 Years Ago: The US celebrated nuking Hiroshima on 6 Aug 1945. Those bombs were dropped not to deter Japan but to halt the advance of the Red Armies of China & the USSR. Canada supplied Northwest Territories uranium for the US bombs, and PM Mackenzie King expressed happiness it was exploded on “yellow” peoples and not on white Germans (who they were also at war with). The US had tested weapons by original peoples’ communities in New Mexico and the Pacific. The English conducted 12 major nuclear weapons explosion tests in Australia, 1952-57, again near original people. Sites are so irradiated they’re still off limits today. The first Sri Lankans in Canada were sold houses built on property that had buried radioactive material underneath. (see ee Sovereignty, Hiroshima)
• Trump needs an ‘October Surprise’ to win. Can they provoke Iran into providing one again?
If you don’t suspect the US and Israel planned that horror in Beirut, may you graduate from pre-school fast, for they’re planning similar things here (US & Guess Who?). August 6 was also the 75th anniversary of Hiroshima, considered a day of celebration for the same folk attacking Beirut.
French poodle President Macron then rushed to Beirut to threaten Hezbollah not to respond to Israeli provocation, and not to ally with China and Russia. The IMF also demanded Lebanon quickly proceed with “reforms” so as to obtain aid.
President Macron and others then called for the return of Mandate France (which massacred over 10mn Arabs, 1830-1962, in Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Lebanon, Syria). Yet others blabber for an ‘international’ (read, imperialist) investigation into the Beirut Blast.
• On 7 Aug 1964, the US declared war on Vietnam: 11 years later, they had murdered 6 million Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians, 13,000 of 21,000 villages destroyed into ashes, and 64,000 US and allied forces dead. It began with a fake incident involving the navy commander (father of rockstar/posterboy Jim Morrison), with the NYT and BBC providing media fog…
On 4 August 1964, President Johnson had gone on national TV at 11:30pm, 13 hours after a supposed Vietnamese attack on US military ships in the Gulf of Tonkin off the Vietnam coast in the South China Sea. Johnson informed the public that retaliatory action was already underway: “Air action is now in execution against gunboats and certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam which have been used in these hostile operations.”
The Johnson conversation with Sec’y of War McNamara (recorded by Johnson in the White House) shows eagerness to escalate, even on suspect intelligence, knowing the signals of Aug 4 were erroneous but welcomed as justification for a Congressional blank-cheque for unlimited, timeless aggressive war against the Communists in Vietnam.
Three days later, on 7 Aug 1964, just 17 days before the Democratic convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the US Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution by a stunning vote of 416-0 in the House, and 88-2 in the Senate. A virtual declaration of war, the resolution granted the President authority to “take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the US and to prevent further aggression” and “take all necessary steps” to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty. In fact, the resolution was an astute political move that deprived Johnson’s principal opponent in the upcoming election, the hawkish Goldwater, the chance to make Vietnam a campaign issue. Truth is a casualty even before the white man starts a war.
B. Special Focus_
B1. Ananda Meegama’s Philip Gunawardena & the 1956 Revolution in Sri Lanka
• A daring Philip Gunawardena named names behind the SWRD assassination: Deputy DIG Sydney de Soyza, brother of Finance Minister Stanley de Soyza, was accused of conspiring to wreck the MEP government. He was looking for fall-guys (like Pakistan’s President Iskander Mirza) to take the rap for the planned murder, so he could install himself as a dictator (like Ayub Khan, who’d just taken over Pakistan via a 1958 coup using Mirza to declare martial law). SWRD instead gave permission to Sydney to sue Philip for defamation, removing honest police and appointing a CID Chief, who was a stooge of the plotters.
Another brother, Dickie de Soyza was behind the shipping line floated by those around the fall-guys eventually blamed for the assassination. Those de Soyzas and the real coup leaders claimed to be ‘good Christians’, and the purported assassins even became Christians later (for higher protection). It tickles ee to no end, how our supposed intellects still insist on the old gong talk, that the plotters were Sinhala Buddhists.
The assassination section, “Men on Horseback” is alone worth reading for greater understanding of what ails us to this day. For almost every SLFP Minister (except TB Illangaratne and MWH de Silva) seemed happy to break the MEP alliance that had brought them to power.
Another illuminating section is the book’s survey of the class fractions and forces that swept the MEP government to power, as well as undermined it. The grimy hand of Rockefeller/Ford interests also shows, with 27 MPs representing private bus companies in that parliament. It took the burning of a bus and all the people in it, during a battle for monopoly between rival bus owners for the Monaragala-Wellawaya Rd, to hurry the formation of a public transportation system. Those private transportation interests and politicians were directly linked to the old colonial system of mudaliyars, mahattayas (revenue collectors) and vidane (headmen), operating also as kassipu dealers and cattle thieves. Yes, the local gentry!
Philip was not just the angry rhetorician on the public stage. Meegama quotes a cabinet secretary, spanning 1947-64, who praises Philip as the only minister who came to meetings thoroughly prepared, to deal with both his own proposals and others, carrying “Sessional Papers, Administrative Reports and other official documents”…
The chapter on Philip’s great comrade, William “the Silent” – PHW de Silva, at the Ministry of Industries & Fisheries – begins by noting that the Wellawatte Spinning & Weaving Mills, set up in 1888, began to pose a threat to Lancashire’s textile interests, and Whitehall “summarily decided to halt the further transfer of technology to the firm, and persuaded the owners to sell it to local interests”.
The book details Philip’s attempts to “evolve and apply solutions based on Sri Lankan conditions”, to such vital issues as “land reform, agricultural development and the village economy, the crucial place of agricultural production in the economy, peasant-friendly banking, cooperatives in rural development, rational nationalization, labor relations and welfare.” Matters that haunt us today.
Despite deadly opposition, that dynamic duo of Philip & William accomplished great feats. The book finally relates what happened to the brilliant Land to the Tiller–Paddy Lands Act, etc.
Philip also set up multipurpose co-ops: There had been 10,500 co-ops of 70 different types, fragmented and restricted by outdated economic theories and policies (still promoted by our fancy business media and their economists, with their love for SMEs, etc).
Yet after Philip and PH William de Silva’s resignation, the Agricultural Ministry, once ably assisted by GVS de Silva, K Alvapillai and others, was systematically stripped of their best cadre, with SWRD’s acquiescence!
This zeros us right back to the forces that undermined DJ Wimalasurendra and murdered SWRD: Philip’s story encompasses the English banks and corporations that still run the economy, albeit under US imperative – and the subversion of “A Bank for the People,” especially the peasantry:
“Institutions catering for long-term credit require more funds as their loans are not recovered within a year… the main source of finance in the rural sector are the private loan agencies, individual moneylenders, landlords and merchants. In Ceylon, the debts from private sources… could be traced to ‘undesirable sources’ where the rates of interest charged are usurious!” Well, what else is new! (see last week’s ee) – Philip noted how the Bank of Ceylon, which had been strangled by the colonial office at its birth in the 1930s, was now “controlled by prosperous lawyers and other sharks”. “The People’s Bank, the so-called successor to the Cooperative Development Bank, established in 1961, became more or less a commercial bank.” The Agricultural & Industrial Corporation kept fragmenting important land and capital assets, by selling to speculators, aided by the Minister of Finance, yes, another de Soyza.
The Cabinet was also unwilling to hand over the monopoly of importing fertilizer to the CWE. Philip named the 5 big firms monopolizing fertilizer pricing as well as lowering quality: Colombo Commercial Co, Baur & Co, Shaw Wallace & Co, Moosajee, etc. And yes, they’re still around! (see ee Agriculture)
“The tenant, without an effective cultivation committee, and without a multipurpose cooperative that could provide credit, was helpless, and had to fall back on the landlords…”
It was perhaps the pressing for a proper bank for the people, that led to a cabinet strike of rightwing ministers and their subsequent emboldening by Philip’s and William de Silva’s forced resignation (followed by Nimal Karunatilake, Lakshman Rajapakse, and some SLFP MPs, and all of the VLSSP, not prepared to abandon the MEP program they were elected on), clearing the stage for the bloody denouement of SWRD’s assassination. Herein again we see the hand of the foreign banks, who still rule the roost.
An omen unfolded, as the sun was setting in October 1958, with the murder of Dingiri Banda, an “innocent, militant peasant worker”, and the refusal of the police to investigate. Legal problems, violence and murder of peasant activists who had pushed for implementing the Paddy Lands Act, escalated. By 1966, 27,000 tenants had been evicted from their lands. The book thus hints at the forces that encourage the regular resort to mass-murder of our people.
The book tracks the rise to power of the resistance, of the MEP and Left forces, sectarianism and opportunism and the failure to enunciate an economic program, the interventions of the Buddhist Sangha, and the eventual realization, when in power, of the need for alliances with socialist nations abroad. This brings us finally to the interesting synopsis of the dire need for a national plan: A report commissioned on India’s plan, which itself was based on the USSR’s Gosplan, was never tabled in Sri Lanka’s parliament.
Yes, rush go get the book, before the US embassy buys all the copies and burns them, or the bookstore owners are bribed to bury them in the usual rubbish they sell, until the kadala sellers claim these fascinating pages to wrap their imported wares.
ee shall examine other sections in the book, in coming weeks, including the negotiations that led to a crippled independence midst “the Left hurting itself mortally”, the vital place of the Sangha and the role of such dynamic bhikkhus as Yakkaduwe Pragnarama Thera, and Philip’s thinking on the importance of Sinhala as the national language.
Also compelling are the brief notes on the making of the national plan, which perhaps further contributed to the urgency of the imperialists to subvert, split and destroy the 1956 national government. Only multinationals and the imperialists can make plans it seems!
– Ananda Meegama is also the author of Famines, Fevers & Fear: The State & Disease in British Colonial Sri Lanka (2012), as well as Guns, Taverns and Tea Shops – The Making of Modern Ceylon (2019)
B2. Wimalasurendra, Ryland & Bousted Brothers – Colonial Government, Institutionalized White Supremacism – Continued from last week
1901, the year of origin for the inspiration for hydroelectricity, and 1918, when DJ Wimalasurendra presented the paper formulating a plan to harness and use hydroelectric energy on a mass scale, attracting the attention of some of the local political and social elite, are missing in the colonial diary.
While the local narrative highlights Wimalasurendra’s prominent role in developing Schemes …the colonial narrative, on the contrary, features the interventions and the recommendations of foreign experts, as decisive steps that decided the final shape of the Hydro Scheme. According to the local narrative the superior Scheme B was proposed in June 1923 by Wimalasurendra alone [and] was highly commended, by Evan Parry, the late Chief Electrical Engineer to the Government of New Zealand, for its technical superiority and better economic feasibility, went through slight modifications before approval by the Legislative Council on 24 Jan 1924.
While serving in the civil engineering section of the Public Works Dept Wimalasurendra made proposals to develop hydroelectricity, a subject that came under FB Rylands’ purview, the proposals not to his liking. According to this narrative, Rylands’ 18 years of service as PWD Electrical Engineer were ordinary ones. This conflict was displayed in public in 1918 during the discussion time following Wimalasurendra’s speech at the Engineering Association of Ceylon. Rylands boycotted Wimalasurendra’s presentation and a note he sent questioning and undermining the findings presented in the paper read by the session chair. According to it, even the Sri Lankan members of the Association either boycotted the event or at least did not participate in the discussion if they were in the audience. (All those who contributed to the discussion were English engineers.)
Rylands tried his best to show that the Hydro Electric Scheme proposed by Wimalasurendra was not realistic. (Rylands was proven wrong later with further studies conducted to estimate the overall potential.) According to Rylands, Wimalasurendra exaggerated the actually available potential. Hostility against Wimalasurendra was not confined to the Hydroelectric Scheme and the problems came not only from Rylands.
(Wimalasurendra’s estimate of 200,000 of horsepower,150MW, from the island out of which 60,000 hp (45MW) from Aberdeen-Laxapana, itself was rejected by Rylands as a gross overestimate… Rylands’ letter dated 3 April 1918, just a day ahead of Wimalasurendra’s presentation, that was sent to the Engineering Association of Ceylon and read during question time, is a testimony to his dislike towards Wimalasurendra. While excusing himself for not being able to present at the day of the presentation as a result of a “severe chill” caused while “out motoring”, Rylands disagreed with estimates produced by Wimalasurendra by arguing, the storage of water used for electricity generation vary considerably “at the height of the dry seasons”…While [Wimalasurendra argued] estimates were based on records kept for several years by the PWD, the Irrigation and Survey Departments, in addition to the actual measurements done by himself, Wimalasurendra questioned in return the “scientific” basis of Rylands’ claims.)
When civil construction work on the Scheme started at last in 1924, Wimalasurendra found to his surprise, he was bypassed and not given any responsibility. As a person who had been involved in the Hydroelectric Scheme from the very outset and had developed designs and drawings of the Scheme, being a Chartered Civil Engineer and Electrical Engineer, he had expected to be in charge of the project. The responsibility of the project was handed over, instead, to BAR Hughes, an engineer much junior to Wimalasurendra. The colonial government is also said to have called for explanations from Wimalasurendra for producing sample plates and cups manufactured using a locally available variety of sand, in an attempt to push the government to establish an industry to produce ceramic-ware using local resources.
Wimalasurendra’s proposal to expand the Nuwaraeliya power station in 1912 was initially rejected by the District Engineer from England on the basis it was not technically sound and the tunnel suggested would cause deaths during construction. (This task, according the English District Engineer, had to be completed without any injuries to the labor force.)
Another theory forwarded by English engineers was that Wimalasurendra’s proposals for generating hydroelectricity by building dams across rivers would result in floods. It is said, the sceptics from among the PWD engineers, particularly ‘superiors’, ridiculed his plans, calling them “journeys to the realms of fantasy”…
The Lankan members of the Select Committee of the Legislative Council appointed to investigate reasons that halted construction, in 1927 went a step further and observed that racism had led to the discrimination of talented Sri Lankans and the promotion of an unqualified British workforce, instead. While referring to the broken promise given by the government to the Legislative Council to appoint Wimalasurendra to “be entirely in charge” of the technical work of the Department of Electrical Undertakings, the group of Lankan members held, “it is not unlikely that racial considerations were responsible for the circumstances which led the Government to make its decision.”
Before moving into a discussion to position the Hydroelectric Scheme within the broader context of the English imperialist project as Wimalasurendra had attempted to do during his tenure as a member of the State Council, it is useful to introduce 2 more actors who had stakes in the Scheme: Boustead Brothers – the company with the monopoly of supplying electricity till the Hydroelectric Scheme became operational in the mid-20th century, and the Consulting Engineers who looked after the financial and commercial interests of the UK in all the colonies and hence played a role in commenting on designs and estimates of the Scheme provided by the PWD.
Boustead Bros & Consulting Engineers – Boustead Brothers generated electricity using fossil fuel and coal, and had strong business interests that would be undermined by the Hydroelectric Scheme. As the only supplier of electricity it was the main force behind the economic activities of Ceylon by the end of 19th century and start of the 20th. (Boustead Bros was registered in England in 1891 under United Planters’ Company of Ceylon, with a 10-year agreement signed in 1895 with the Ceylonese Government, extended again and again, BB catered to the electricity requirements of Colombo and outstations.)
Services of the company started with the provision of electricity for lighting in the city of Colombo, and were extended rapidly by 1899 to operating an electric tram service, also within the city. With the gradual increase in demand for electricity in Ceylon and with the emerging necessity to systematize operations, a new company, Colombo Electric Tramways & Lighting Co, was established in England, with Boustead Brothers continuing to act as the Ceylonese agent. Boustead Bros had monopoly powers and a ruthless administration by a majority English staff, and was seen as a company interested only in maximum profits when it came to electricity sales and tram service operation. (There was a regular flow of public complaints against the company: the Colombo Mayor was criticized by Colombo Urban Council members for special favors granted to Boustead Bros. Disagreements and debates occurred among the lawyers of the urban council, members of chambers of commerce and staff of the telegraph dept regarding Boustead activities. The exploitation of tram workers by the company resulted in workers getting organized against the administration. The Ceylon Workers Union led by AE Goonasinghe was capable of leading workers of the Colombo Electric Tramways & Lighting Co in a strike action in 1929. The Co Administration rejected the main demand by workers for higher salaries. The effort to suppress the strike by tram workers resulted in the public being provoked to set fire to the Maradana Police Station and 5 deaths.)
By 1924 the price for electricity provided by Boustead Bros was the highest in the region. The cost of a unit of electricity in Ceylon was 50 cents, while in Kuala Lumpur it was 20ct, in Singapore 25-30ct, in Bombay 12 and in Hong Kong 18ct. The offer by the Hydroelectric Scheme to produce a unit of electricity for 2.5 cents and to sell a unit at 2.75ct was obviously a threat to the business interests of the company. Boustead Brothers’ profit-making capability and ability to get things done was echoed in the process of negotiations conducted by the Government to buy the whole company, except for the tram service. The transaction, which ended up in favor of Boustead Bros, saw the Sub-committee, appointed in 1928 by the Legislative Council Select Committee to look into Hydroelectric Scheme issues, note, the company not only “(made) huge profits from its monopoly but when it was threatened with extinction by competition with Government, negotiated very cleverly with its competitor to sell its own undertaking for a very large figure”. (Boustead was eventually paid almost double the government offer for the generation plant and distribution system/)
The Committee was “thus of opinion that the purchase of the Colombo Electric Tramway & Lighting Co’s Plant and Distribution System has been a great loss to the country without any real compensatory gain” (In addition to securing a higher price the Co was also successful in reaching with the Government a 21-year agreement to supply electricity for the working of the tramway system…)
– Excerpts from Witharana, BD, Negotiating Power & Constructing the Nation : Engineering in Sri Lanka. Next week, The English Consultants Game
B3. USAID Plans Coups in Thailand & Nicaragua
• Thailand – the Southeast Asian nation has in recent years “tilted” too far toward China for Washington’s liking.
Now, the familiar signs of US-backed covert regime change are evident in Thailand’s streets. Protests are openly targeting Thailand’s current government as well as its military and constitutional monarchy. Protests are similar to US-backed unrest seen recently in Hong Kong and are becoming more frequent despite their poor attendance and an overall protest-weary public…
Thailand – with the 2nd largest economy in ASEAN – has boosted ties with China significantly in recent years – China being its primary export and import partner, providing Thailand the majority of its foreign direct investment, tourism, and of its arms purchases in a recent bid to modernize it military, and in the construction of major infrastructure projects including a high-speed railway system that will extend China’s BRI initiative deep into Southeast Asia.
Thailand has also openly and repeatedly refused to join US efforts to pressure Beijing regarding issues like the South China Sea.
…The Western media was all too happy to report on a “Harry Potter” themed protest at Democracy Monument in Bangkok on August 3. Protest leader Anon Nampa openly criticized Thailand’s key independent institutions including the military and the monarchy.
US-government-funded front Prachatai extensively covered the small protest in its article, “The revolution will be magical: Harry Potter-themed protest calls for monarchy reform”, despite the protest clearly drawing less than 100 people.
What the Western media and US-funded fronts didn’t mention was who Anon Nampa is…
Anon Nampa is a lawyer and member of Thai Lawyers for Human Rights (TLHR). The front has been funded since it was created in 2014 by the US State Dept via the notorious National Endowment for Democracy (NED) long-since exposed as an arm of US-backed regime-change efforts around the globe…
One of TLHR’s founding members – Sirikan “June” Charoensiri – was later awarded the US State Dept’s “2018 International Women of Courage Award,” presented by First Lady Melania Trump.
Ms Sirikan is a co-founder of TLHR, a lawyers’ collective set up to provide probono legal services for human rights cases and to document violations. TLHR staff are also regularly accompanied by US & European embassy staff when hearing charges regarding their overt foreign-funded sedition.
… It is also clear that TLHR and other US government-funded fronts in Thailand are leading current protests and that the Western media is deliberately attempting to nonetheless portray the protests as “leaderless”, never asking obvious questions regarding money trails and political motivations.
The Diplomat is an explicitly pro-Western policy journal partnered with other journals and organizations openly funded by and/or affiliated with various governments in the West including the US government itself.
In its article, “As US-China Competition Grows, Will Covert Regime Change Make a Return?,” academics admitted that growing US-Chinese tensions provide ample motivations for Washington to pursue Cold War-style covert regime change operations against “regimes that tilt too close to China”.
The article would admit: “Eliminating Thailand’s military & monarchy – 2 institutions with independent means to fund themselves and with full agency over their own decisions – and replacing them with opposition groups entirely dependent on US and European funding and political support is the surest means to rectify Thailand’s “tilt to China”.
• Nicaragua – “Another important part of USAID’s Responsive Assistance in Nicaragua (RAIN) job would include recruiting native coup coordinators to help carry out the regime-change plot. USAID described this responsibility as follows: “Identification of potential Nicaraguan partners for rapid impact Grants under Task Order to promote transition-related activities.”
The initiative allotted $540,000 in grants to entice Nicaraguan opposition groups into assisting the regime-change effort. (In the 2nd-poorest country in the Western hemisphere, where the minimum wage is $200-300/month, half a million dollars is no petty sum.) These funds would complement the millions of dollars that USAID and the NED provide to right-wing Nicaraguan organizations every year.
The USAID document insisted, “Nicaragua’s immediate future remains highly uncertain.” Yet it acknowledged that the rightwing opposition is divided & unpopular, admitting that its leadership has not “coalesced around a party or candidate”.
Taking into account the weakness of the opposition heading into the 2021 national elections, USAID plan outlines 3 scenarios for the overthrow of the socialist government and a “transition” to a US-friendly neoliberal regime.
The first is an “Orderly Transition scenario,” a far-fetched situation in which an unpopular US-backed opposition group somehow manages to win the election.
The 2nd potential regime-change scenario is described as a “Sudden, Unanticipated Transition,” in “which one or more political crises, such as a snap or failed election, a presidential resignation, a major health crisis, a major natural disaster, or internal conflicts, lead to sudden regime crisis and transition either to an interim or a new government.” This is the coup option, and USAID makes it clear it would be more than happy with such a situation, and wants its RAIN liaison to prepare for it.
The 3rd is a “Delayed Transition scenario,” in which the Sandinista government remains in power. In this case, USAID says that RAIN would help it destabilize the government in other ways and lead to future regime change.
But USAID didn’t want readers to get the wrong impression. It stressed in the document that its coup would be “gender-sensitive in compliance” and based on “gender-informed analytical work.” (Although the women who make up the bulk of the Sandinista base would have to be excluded from Washington’s woke political “transition”).
The USAID document balanced its liberal language on gender with neoconservative rhetoric claiming, “Malign foreign influences, principally Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia, will continue to attempt to strengthen the corrupt autocratic Ortega regime.” (see ee Sovereignty)
B4. Public Health Inspectors are the Real Media
Where do PHIs Come from & Where They Do Not Go?
The rapid spread of disease enabled by colonial wars, the encroachment of the plantation system, the wrecking of village institutions and irrigation systems, led to yearly epidemics (smallpox, cholera, plague, TB, malaria, etc. And now crowded workers’ quarters, shanties etc, have become force multipliers for Covid. Those interested in public health policy, aware of how weakly colonial England enforced such laws in this country, should learn about Edwin Chadwick:
After a serious outbreak of typhus in 1838, Chadwick convinced England’s Poor Law Board to get doctors to investigate for the first time in English history, the conditions contributing to ill health. Chadwick sent questionnaires to every Poor Law Union, and talked to surveyors, builders, prison governors, police officers and factory inspectors to obtain data about the impoverished. His 1842 Report on The Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population became the best-selling publication produced by the Stationery Office. Chadwick believed that improving sanitation was the key to breaking this vicious cycle, despite being opposed by the capitalist press, resulted in the Public Health Act 1848, appointing Inspectors of Nuisances – the forerunners of today’s environmental health practitioners.
Chadwick led the battle in the 19thC over public responsibility for health, for proper water & sewage facilities. He demanded the state also take responsibility for the impoverished, as well as workers in the factories, and the police. The Times of London and others chased Chadwick out of office, saying, “We prefer to take our chance of cholera & the rest, than to be bullied into health!”
England was forced to implement public health measures such as clean water and sewage systems, because of a class war among the rulers. The reactionary landed oligarchy in England wanted to take their revenge against the industrial bourgeoisie, who crying for ‘free trade’, had repealed the corn laws, which had allowed the landed oligarchy to prevent cheaper food imports. (The industrial bourgeoisie wished to pay factory workers less wages!)
So the landed oligarchy in revenge pushed through various laws on ‘humanitarian’ grounds (poor laws, factory acts, mining acts, urban public health). Though superficially implemented, these laws prepared the ground for the later Labour Party. Mind you, such laws also helped the big industrial bourgeoisie get rid of smaller competitors.
As for this ‘free trade’ business, the English state took its fingers off commerce during the first half of the 19thC, and simultaneously put them on industry. Industry, which had used the free-trade slogan against the landed oligarchy until 1850, promptly directed it against its former allies, labor, who were becoming convinced that voting was a natural right. Universal suffrage, they said, interfered with their freedom to exploit!
Here’s Karl Marx:
“The social statistics of Germany and the rest of continental Western Europe are, in comparison with those of England, wretchedly compiled. But they raise the veil just enough to let us catch a glimpse of the Medusa head behind it.
We should be appalled at the state of things at home (Germany), if, as in England, our governments and parliaments appointed periodically commissions of inquiry into economic conditions; if these commissions were armed with the same plenary powers to get at the truth; if it was possible to find for this purpose people as competent, as free from partisanship and respect of persons as are the English factory-inspectors, her medical reporters on public health, her commissioners of inquiry into the exploitation of women and children, into housing and food. Perseus wore a magic cap down over his eyes and ears as a make-believe that there are no monsters.
Let us not deceive ourselves on this. As in the 18th century, the US war of independence sounded the tocsin for the European middle class, so that in the 19thC, the US Civil War sounded it for the European working class. In England the process of social disintegration is palpable. When it has reached a certain point, it must react on the Continent. There it will take a form more brutal or more humane, according to the degree of development of the working class itself.
Apart from higher motives, therefore, their own most important interests dictate to the classes that are for the nonce the ruling ones, the removal of all legally removable hindrances to the free development of the working class. For this reason, as well as others, I have given so large a space in this volume (of Capital) to the history, the details, and the results of English factory legislation.
One nation can and should learn from others. And even when a society has got upon the right track for the discovery of the natural laws of its movement – and it is the ultimate aim of this work, to lay bare the economic law of motion of modern society – it can neither clear by bold leaps, nor remove by legal enactments, the obstacles offered by the successive phases of its normal development. But it can shorten and lessen the birth-pangs.” (Marx, Capital, Vol. 1)
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.
• Sri Lanka is India’s Daughter
‘In 1927, during Mahatma Gandhi’s visit, he referred to the island nation as India’s daughter state.’
• Lessons from IPKF debacle: A foray without hope – Part 3
‘One fact was clear, the powers that be, both military and civilian were guilty of disregard for the lives they put in the firing line and eventually 1,200 of such lives wasted.’
• The People have spoken & given way forward: SLPP wins a landslide majority
• Sri Lanka Post-Election 2020: What are the People’s Demands & Aspirations
• The Divisional Development Councils Programme
‘The DDCP was the major development programme undertaken by the Government of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranayake during her 1970-1977 rule. This was also the first major islandwide development programme ever to be implemented in Sri Lanka…After 1977…The political rivalry became the order of the day. My Headquarters Assistant GA Ranjith Wimalaratne, a kingpin in industries and who handled the powerlooms with great efficiency was a persona non grata and was hunted down. To save his life he had to forego everything and run away to Canada.’
• The Stakes – Balachandran
‘Minority Tamils fear that the 13th Amendment, which set up elected Provincial Councils and devolved a modicum of power to them, might be scrapped. But this is unlikely to happen, not because India has a stake in the system, having brought them about through the India-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987, but because the Sri Lankan political class has developed a tremendous stake in it.’
• 23 Port trade unions demand Eastern Container Terminal be operated under Sri Lanka
• We demand action against Vaddukoddai Resolution for separatism & ban on LTTE insignia
• Foreign interference in the Elections Again!: Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged
• Western diplomats show keen interest in north-east politics
‘One among them sounded out several prominent Tamil candidates about the prospects of a future alliance of minority political parties, those from Tamils, Muslims and Christians. The rationale for the move is their belief that the major opposition was in tatters and the emergence of a minority group could wield better political clout. At least one of them felt majoritarianism was growing rapidly. An outgoing head of mission had all his meetings from the Jetwing North Hotel. The country he represents has a substantial number of Tamils who went as refugees and won citizenship in his country. Another area of focus for the diplomats was the US-backed resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council. Among other matters, it calls for an international probe into alleged war crimes caused by troops as well as Tiger guerrillas. They were sounding out on the current thinking and the public mood in the peninsula….There was also a furore after persons described as Sumanthiran’s supporters pasted posters on the footsteps of the statue in memory of Kanapathipillai Satchithananthan, the late local leader of Shiv Sena. Under the statute is a shrine….’
• LTTE rump in the Tamil Diaspora is trying hard to revive terrorism in North Sri Lanka
• Tamil diaspora extend support to TNA
• General election: Global Tamil Forum discourages voters from backing major parties…
• Wigneswaran declares assets, but questions on foreign currency in accounts
• Old Tune Sung in North
‘In the North, an old familiar tune is being sung. A separate ‘homeland’; ‘self-determination’ and the like. Despite a 30-year bloody insurgency, no lessons have been learned. To say the economy is in shambles is an understatement. The nation has been reduced to begging for moratoriums on loans taken and the future bleak. Why anybody would want to be in Government in this scenario is a mystery’
• TNA suffers electoral setback in North and East polls – Jeyaraj
‘there were a number of parties and groups opposing the TNA for non -nationalistic reasons. This school of thought took up the basic position that development, employment and economic issues were more important to the Tamil people than mere “identity”politics.’
• Will MCC agreement be signed?
‘US President George Bush started the MCC programme mainly to counter the rising influence of China in Asia and Africa, always pertaining two areas, land and transport.. This is strategic in design furthering the hegemonic interests of the US.’
• e register should be governed by law suitable to Sri Lanka not by MCC
• MCC – English ONLY is OK – Sinhala/Tamil is Not OK – Where are Hooles & Howlers?
‘Section 4.1 of MCC says all documents & communications are to be in English.Section 6.4 of MCC says the Government Law is to be ‘international law’(not Sri Lankan laws).’
• Don’t Sell my Mother – Waduge
• Modi congratulates PM for successful conduct of polls
• US says looking to partner with Sri Lanka after peaceful poll
• US congratulates Govt for peaceful conduct of polls despite COVID19 challenges
• Japan commends Sri Lanka’s peaceful parliamentary election, assures continued support
• The real story of 19A and the executive presidency – Jayatilleka
‘The contradiction between ‘Gotabayanism’ as authoritarian Sinhala supremacism, and the Zeitgeist to be born, will determine the regime’s destiny’
• Our Common Heritage One country – one land – one people
‘J.T Ratnam states that “some of the wealthiest Tamils came from Manipay. Most of them left their palatial buildings untenanted or in charge of some poor relation in order to reside and work in the metropolis. They returned home finally only in their old age, this was the rule.” (Jane Russell). Most professionals from the north, totally neglected Jaffna and instead concentrated all personal development on Colombo and other centres that were conducive to their chosen line of work. Prompting R.W. Crossette-Thambiah to record that “it was the Tamils living in Colombo who had the money and the prestige to become leaders in Jaffna” (Jane Russell). Many were reinforced by dowry wealth infused by the Malaysian pensioners.’
• Yusuf says his stand on 19 A never an issue for CC ire
• Mangala launches new initiative to rally masses against SLPP
‘The grouping ‘Freedom: People’s Collective’ vowed to do whatever it took to thwart the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) plan to do away with the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. Jaffna District candidate M.A. Sumanthiran PC represented the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).’
• Mangala unveils new political manifesto, ‘True Patriot’
‘Mangala Samaraweera, Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, Victor Ivan, Sharmini Dias Nagahawatte, Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Dr. Sujatha Gamage, Aritha Wickramasinghe, Upul Nishantha, Randula de Silva, Harendran Krishnasamy, Shehan Gamage, Chinthana Dharmadasa, Chandana Prasanna, Amita Arupragasam, Jayani Abeysekera, Dr. Zaiful Zafi, Zafa, Daniel Alphonsus and Thushara Vitharana have commented on this video’
• 19A: USAID’s National Peace Council concerned over the silence of northern civil society
• UN Political Officer Conducts Seminar on Constitution Making
• Sri Lanka promotes bilateral relations in Austria
• Bangkok Political Unrest. Is the US Funding Protesters to Attack Thailand’s Military and Monarchy?
‘And why is the Western media pretending the US isn’t funding them?’
• Western media’s favorite Hong Kong ‘freedom struggle writer’ is white US ex-Amnesty staffer in yellowface
• US Navy seizes ship carrying supplies from China to Iran
‘US warships near the Chinese port of Qingdao have seized a ship which carried zeolite needed for manufacturing oxygen concentrators for coronavirus patients’
• US bombed Hiroshima to stop advance of Red Armies
• Who gains from Beirut Blast?
‘US military transport aircraft Boeing C-17A arrived at Beirut airport a few hours before the explosion. Another NATO aircraft flew off almost simultaneously with the explosions… also mysterious blasts and fires hit Iran, Israel being the main suspect…Lebanon now has no choice but to accept foreign aid, in exchange for which the leadership may be asked for geopolitical concessions. Only international institutions like the IMF and the Gulf monarchy – the UAE and Saudi Arabia – can be serious financial donors.This will lead to Lebanon’s total dependence on the US, global financial centers and Wahhabi monarchies of the Persian Gulf. Whatever the cause of the explosion in Beirut, it will objectively benefit the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE.’
• Iran’s Nuclear Threshold Game
‘Iran’s original nuclear weapons programme was started by the Shah in the 1970s with the blessing of the United States, which was hoping to make him the pro-American policeman of the Middle East’
• Australia presents protective gear to the Maldives
‘… bilateral relationship… in 2019 included the visit to Maldives of HMAS Ballarat in July and the visit to Australia by Minister for Defence Uza Mariya Ahmed Didi in November 2019. Australia looks forward to continue working with Maldives as an Indo-Pacific partner…’
• Document exposes new US plot to overthrow Nicaragua’s elected socialist gov’t
• Hillary Clinton, wanted to rename Pacific Ocean as “The American Sea”
• Viber Plays NGO Games
‘Viber decided to finally cut ties with Facebook… when Facebook refused to mark posts by US President Donald Trump as misleading or inciting violence…’
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.
• Defence adviser to Indian HC calls on Defence Secy. and commanders of SL Army and Navy
‘More than 50% of all foreign military training slots in India are allocated to SL defence personnel.’
• The Indian connection in Sri Lankan drug trade
• Intelligence officers’ criminal dereliction of duty led to attacks
• Subterfuge and betrayal of youth aspirations led to wars in Sri Lanka
• Sri Lanka’s children fast becoming victims of adult industry
‘142 incidents of rape, 42 incidents of serious sexual abuse and 54 cases of child abuse were reported during the first 15 days of 2020.’
• 1,318 days to Enforce a contract through the court system
‘I am aware of a specific instance at a foreign bank where there was a case of deferment of revenue by a senior officer, without formally advising the customer…The expatriate CEO in question was conveniently transferred out of Sri Lanka, while the local officers are still in court, five years later….as at end 2016, about 725,000 cases were pending in courts, with the largest number, 535,000 cases, pending in Magistrates’ Courts’
• Mangala on drugs
‘Many of the big time drug barons have the highest political patronage and drug money is being laundered into the mainstream, formal economy through casinos, stock market, media institutions et al. In the fight against drug abuse, only addicts and low level dealers are brought to book’
• Dr. Deepika Udagama resigns as HRCSL Chairperson
• Right of reply: Collective criticism against article on Law College students
‘“…that this was part of an attempt to invade key positions by the minorities” are inflammatory, and mimic rhetoric used worldwide by racist politicians.’
• Total disregard for Law and Order
‘He saw a notice saying no smoking as the LTTE didn’t allow this vice, anywhere. He meekly put his cigarettes away and went back into his truck. This fellow, I would bet, a dollar gets ten, had never observed a no smoking notice in his life. The fear of what the LTTE may do to him was the deterrent’
• Emission testing service Manipulation can get you `passed’ certificate!
• Lake Drive debacle
‘Lake Drive was a bylane, like any other in Rajagiriya, with a dead end. It is a fashionable neighbourhood, boasting of quite a few big names living there. Ex-CJs, ex-ministers, MPs and party leaders, ex-military officers , ex- LTTEers, to name a few. Royal Park, Sri Lanka’s first ever luxury condominium, popped up there, drawing as many as 250 families to make it their home’
• Cop vows to help Scots widow conned out £100k life-savings by Sri Lankan toyboy lover
• $740 Billion War Bill Passed With Provision To Remove Confederate Names Off Military Bases
• Half of Physics PhDs work on Weapons Development
• Hiroshima Sans USSR
‘If the Soviets had not had their own bomb during any of the above listed crises, it is hard to imagine the US, with a monopoly on the bomb, would not have used it to full advantage.’
• How to Ensure All Technology is Secure from prying eyes of US & foreign govts?
• Dr Rajiv Shah, President of the Rockefeller Foundation: On Testing
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.
• Who’s Afraid of National Planning?
‘With the new Cabinet it is proposed to establish a National Planning Commission drawing the resources of Departments of National Planning and National Physical Planning in addition to outside experts. It is noticed that such commissions under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister have been very effective in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh’
• Ranil says UNP can garner IMF support for immediate economic take-off
• It is a values-based and not value-based political culture that is needed today – Wijewardene
‘Sri Lanka’s recent generous tax cuts leading to the loss of some Rs. 600 billion by way of tax revenue and compelling the Government to borrow from the banking system to pay the bills. From January to June 2020, the Government has borrowed from the banking system on a net basis some staggering Rs. 1.22 trillion to fill the hole created in the revenue side by the Government. Of this, Rs. 194 billion had been direct borrowing from the Central Bank which common man attributes as printing of new money.’
• Market Too Small – Reductio Ad Abeyratnum
“One important economic principle that we need to know is that our progress is limited by the size of the market.” He said that if Sri Lanka wants to achieve higher progress, the market has to be internationalised. Identifying the price of the market as a factor that has limited the progress he said that if Sri Lanka wants to sustain a higher level of economic performance; it should focus on the international market.
• Next decade: Revival and beyond – Reductio Ad Abeyratnum
‘Important factors will be critically important for Sri Lanka to bring the economy to a take-off stage that it missed even in 1977. The first is the fact that to which extent the potential investors can trust the political sphere of the country so that without fear and hassle they can bring their money and invest here. The second is the fact that to which extent can the country embark upon the “third wave” of policy reforms.’
• Foreign Debt Zoomed After 1977 – Karunaratne
‘While the foreign debt of Sri Lanka was negligible in 1977, by 1986, it had ballooned to $ 4,063 million and it increased to $ 5100 million by 1989’
• Port in crisis: Nationalism killed Trincomalee, do we need the same fate for Colombo?
‘India is the most important regional cargo source for Sri Lanka. It is expected to be the world’s fifth biggest economy and probably the third by 2050.’
• Raise rupees not dollars to rebuild economy
• The minefield of economic uncertainty with no vaccine in sight
‘With more than 270,000 new cases daily and around 6,000 deaths daily, globally, most world leaders are pursuing a highly uncertain best-case scenario — the discovery of vaccines or a drug…’
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.
• CCPI-based inflation increases in July 2020
‘Food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 10.9 per cent in July 2020…’
• Economy contracts 1.6% in first quarter
‘Agricultural and industrial activities contract; service sector activities expand…Statistics office says pandemic impacts would be severely felt in 2Q…Construction sector activities record sharp contraction…Services sector activities positively assisted by telecom, IT, retail and financial services’
• Sri Lanka’s economic growth hits negative range in 2020
• Sri Lanka rupee opens firmer, bond yields flat (July 5)
• Sri Lanka gross official reserves rebound to USD 7.1bn in July
• July exports top $1b mark despite COVID
‘Apparel, tea, coconut, rubber, fruits and vegetables, agricultural crop exports do well in July’
• Expect post-election tax shocks if SLPP wins, warns JVP leader
• CB Beyond Fiscal and Monetary
‘CB Senior Deputy Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said that because there is no Parliament, the Treasury has difficulties (in raising money). “So, the Central Bank is firing all guns and the Central Bank is going beyond our mandate and not only providing monetary stimulus but also part of the fiscal stimulus now being done by the Central Bank…’
• Stable policy framework & recovery strategy paramount for overall stability of economy : ICRA Lanka (Moody’s)
‘From the point of view of strengthening of reserves, the Government is likely to meet foreign currency obligations by rolling over some of these debts or through bilateral arrangements being negotiated or in place currently. However, the bigger challenge would be in meeting the obligation of the $ 1 billion international sovereign bond maturing in October,” the rating agency stated. “Wage growth will continue to trend down in accordance with higher unemployment level expected by the year-end. Given the slightly stronger rupee in terms of REER that prevailed as of end 1H 2020, the CBSL may tolerate further depreciation leading to reserve accumulation…Going by the forward rates, the rupee could depreciate close to Rs. 187/USD by the end of the year with strong probability of falling further if the imports pick up. Financial institutions will continue to lend to safer and less risky market and customer segments…”
• Banks to monetize Rs1.6 bn contractor bills on Treasury letters to 67 government contractors
‘Although the government stated that the accumulated dues for contractors was around Rs.130 billion and most of it had been settled, the actual amount due was Rs. 400 billion, construction industry stakeholders said. Most of the SMEs in the sector are not willing to get a loan at an interest of 4 per cent instead of direct settlement from the Treasury, they complained’
• Treasury guaranteed loans now counted as banks’ liquid assets
‘The Monetary Board recently decided to broaden the sectors to include pharmaceutical and other identified sectors as part of the arrangement to make it possible for them to borrow from the refinance scheme against the unsettled bills form the government.’
• Biz community hopeful of two-thirds majority delivering
‘The Ceylon National Chambers of Industries expects the new government to pump at least 2% of GDP (Rs.400 billion) into the private sector as a stimulus package to support both SMEs & large enterprises’
• China exports see unexpected spike in July
‘The weakness in imports, she said, could be down to a drop in crude oil shipments…exports to the US were strong in July, suggesting growth could also be from “frontloading activity due to concerns about the worsening relationship between the US and China”.’
• IMF urges Lebanon to break reform ‘impasse’ after port disaster
‘The International Monetary Fund urged Lebanese officials yesterday to break an “impasse” and move ahead with reforms after a massive Beirut blast cost the crisis-hit country billions in damages’
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
• “Labour laws need change” – Employers’ Federation (EFC)
‘The highest job losses among non-executive staff were reported in finance and insurance, & manufacturing (15%) subsectors, followed by hospitality & food services (11%), agriculture (6%), and wholesale & retail trade (5%). Among executive staff, highest job losses were reported in manufacturing (10%), finance and insurance (8.3%), and information & communication (7.5%)….’
• EFC wants Delay in EPF payments, etc.
‘Employers in the private sector struggling to overcome the crisis by the COVID-19 pandemic want the government to establish labour market-related policies and grant concessions in terms of delayed EPF, ETF payments and tax relief as the country faces mass scale unemployment and tight cash flows…Private sector workers comprise 8 million out of which 2.5 million are in the formal sector.’
• EPF investment growth retards in prevailing market conditions
‘The highest sum of Rs.448.73 million was invested in Access Engineering PLC and its market value came down to Rs.270.31 million by 31 March. The investment made in ACL Cables PLC was Rs. 155.51 million and the market value increased to Rs.183.72 million. Rs.1.99 billion was invested in Aitken Spence PLC and its market value declined to Rs.632.14 million by 31 March. Those were the 3 main investments among 83 listed equities selected to make EPF investments in the stock market.’
• Bank of Ceylon has 40% of Remittances?
• It’s time Sri Lanka woke up to challenges posed by an ageing population
• Large Company Refuses Insurance
‘Sadly my husband expired after an accident…I was given a form for insurance by a leading insurance company but after seeing the diagnosis card they told me I’m not entitled to compensation because he was treated in a Government hospital. I told them after a road accident the first thing we think of is a Government hospital. So for victims like us there is no redress unless we are warded privately, even though the accident was caused by a careless driver of a large company.
• The Collapse of Healthcare in Peru
‘In this country, “public health facilities for molecular testing are sparse and only 500 beds in intensive care units exist for a population of 32 million.” Further, private hospitals are charging $3000 per day for Coronavirus care, a price that is absurd if we take cognizance of the fact that 1 out of every 5 Peruvian is impoverished, earning less than $105 per month.’
• Slavery Today
‘“A staggering 40% of the worlds 40.3 Million people living in modern day slavery reside in Commonwealth nations, representing approximately 15.7 Million men, women and children in forced labour, forced marriage and human trafficking”.’
• 7,800+ people died from Covid in Canada. 6,500+ – 84% in longterm care homes by July
• Chevron diversity ratio to improve as layoffs progress
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.
• Oligopoly of present fertilizer importers should be taken away
• Bayer posts 9.5bn euro loss on glyphosate settlement
• Ceylon Tobacco Profits & Health Bill
‘Last year the state raked in Rs. 92.9 billion by way of taxes on tobacco while tobacco addiction cost the health sector as much as Rs. 214 billion…more than 35,000 deaths that occur in this country annually are due to tobacco and alcohol.’
• Sri Lanka’s national milk output tumbles in 2019
‘According to Department of Animal Production and Health, Sri Lanka exported Rs.543 million worth milk and milk products in 2019, up from Rs.460 million in 2018. Condensed milk was the largest export item contributing to over half of the dairy export revenue in the year. The import expenditure on dairy products rose to Rs 55.6 billion in 2019 from Rs.54 billion in 2018. Amid the decline in local milk production, per-capita availability of milk declined to 52.16 Kg per person in 2019 from 58.03 Kg per person in 2018.’
• Jaffna Shortages
‘There are shortages of fertilizer affecting the cultivation of vegetables in particular. The price of Ulundu , black dhal, has shot up from Rs 200 a kilo to Rs 800. This variety of lentil is used in making Dosa and Ulundu Vadai which are staple diets of Jaffna residents’
• July national tea sales average up 22%
• Watawala Sunshine Holdings to acquire Daintee for Rs.1.7bn
‘Founded in 1984, Daintee Limited is a leading sugar confectionary maker in the country. At the inception, Daintee Limited had a technical agreement with Barker & Dobson, a U.K. confectionery company which was well known internationally for quality and high standards.’
• All-time record price for Veddagala Tea Factory
‘This line was purchased by Shan Teas (Pvt.) . The Veddagala Tea Factory is managed by Devora Group and is owned by Dr. Nishantha Nanayakkara. The sale was conducted by Ceylon Tea Brokers PLC’
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.
• Newly-formed Engineering Council, Sri Lanka: “It has a bigger role to play”
• Graphene transistor could mean computers that are 1,000 times faster
• UKEF supports IMPS to secure £750,000 worth Sri Lankan railway refurbishment order
‘England’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF) has given the necessary support to the diesel engine specialist IMPS to fulfil a £750,000 worth contract to refurbish the engines used on Sri Lankan railways. Lincoln-based IMPS is a diesel engine specialist offering service and parts for engines… the company sells 75% of its products overseas with customers in over 50 countries… The company had secured a large order to supply parts to refurbish Rolls Royce engines used on Sri Lankan railways.’
• DIMO Agri Machinery Division and Mahindra Tractors support “Waga Saubhagya”
‘DIMO is the Sole Distributor of popular Mahindra tractors and CLAAS harvesters in Sri Lanka, the company is renowned for offering best-in-class after sales services and certified genuine spare parts.’
• Valachchenai paper factory releases first stock of paper to the market
• Two-day strike shatters Colombo Port’s hub status
• Navy Water Purification Manufacture
“Marine Engineering Officer, then Commander MCP Dissanayake (Dissa)… proposed the manufacture of an RO plant (Reverse Osmosis water purification plant)’
• Final decision on fourth coal plant shortly
• Coal Generation cost grossly underestimated and objectives not achievable
• Transformer fire deprived national grid of 65 MW of power
‘The transformer at the Norochcholai coal plant premises, provides 65MW of power to the grid from multiple vendors: Senok Wind Power, WindForce Pvt, and Lanka Transformers. Power is brought to the transformer in 33kVA lines by the wind plants…The Electricity Board took over the transformer in October last year, under then Minister of Power Ravi Karunanayake and Ministry Secretary B. M. S. Batagoda. The utility then used it to connect a 33kVA power distribution line to Kalpitiya despite opposition from wind power plant owners… The transformer was procured from Indonesia…’
• Has solar energy come of age in Sri Lanka?
‘Tender bids of 150MW Solar Energy Generation ( from 1 to 10 MW solar PV plants) were opened today. There were 230 keen participants mostly local investors. Total investment would be around USD 150 million. This projects will generate direct and indirect jobs for 2,000 to 3,000 people.’
• Comprehensive monitoring by US Corporation of Victoria Dam
‘US Corporation Trimble sensors and Trimble 4D Control software to build a sophisticated motion monitoring instrumentation network.’
• ‘State sector red tape stifling SMEs’
• Siva saved Bisokotuwa
“Timely action of Siva and his team had saved the now well known “Maduru Oya Sluice” or “Ancient Biso Kotuwa” of the Maduru Oya ancient dam, a Sri Lankan engineering marvel.”
• Flood protection of Colombo Metropolitan Region-An alternative scheme
‘The government after getting Japanese Consultants to formulate a Master Plan for flood protection of Colombo Metro Region at great cost, what is being implemented as a priority project is only a clean-up of the Weras Ganga basin, making a mockery of the word Master Plan.’
• Colombo Flood Protection
‘Getting foreign aid and implementing projects seem to be what everyone wants. When foreign aid is given the country that gives the funds, although it is a loan, always sends their people at least as Consultants and sometimes to implement the project. Very often these Consultants have little experience and learn implementing projects here at our expense’
• Sri Lanka rubber industry now runs in revival track
‘Additional demand for natural rubber in the manufacture of gloves, solid tyres and other rubber-based health care products… is helping the rubber consumption sector by almost offsetting the drop in demand for natural rubber from the auto-tyre manufacturing sector.. tyres, specially pneumatic tyres and solid tyres also increased by 41.25% due to some countries (mainly European countries) increasing their buffer stock level due to the pandemic issue and some orders which were not shipped during the months of March- April being shipped in June.’.
• Five pharmaceutical companies pledge to reduce prices of medicine
• Central Bank liquidity facility extended to pharmaceutical suppliers
‘According to the Sri Lanka Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industry (SLCPI), there were over Rs.16 billion worth of unsettled bills to the sector from the government.’
• Colombo Dockyard launches Buoy Tender Vessel for Iraq
• Sri Lanka’s Dutch-linked boat building Company
‘One of the leaders in manufacture of Fibre Glass boats in Sri Lanka, having collaborated with several industry leaders in Europe…It exports to the Netherlands, UK, Norway, Mid East, Africa, Maldives and many other countries and the boat design is done by naval architects from UK….Neil Marine has linked up with the ILO (International Labour Organisation) to continue boat manufacturing facility in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu involving youth in the North and East, he revealed. Funding for the two training programmes came from ILO assisted by Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID)…. The company maintains a working relationship with the Vetus B.V, Netherlands-based marine engines, generators and technical equipment developer, manufacturer and trading company. Neil Marine is also the exclusive distributor of the Vetus Brand in Sri Lanka, he added.
• Revitalising bilateral trade and investment between Sri Lanka and Germany
‘Frankfurt City Parliament President Stephan Siegler, Woco GmbH & Co. CEO Franz Josef Wolf, FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH Director (Europe and Asia) Dr. Kasturi Dadhe, Ambassador-designate of Sri Lanka to Germany Manori Unambuwe, Automotive industrial Woco GmbH & Co. MD Bernhard Wolf, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt Madurika Joseph Weninger, and Hesse Deputy Director General of Trade Dr. Michael Borchmann, Embassy of Sri Lanka in Germany Counsellor Ahamed Razee, German-Sri Lankan Business Council Board Member Dr. Somakanthan Somalingam, German-Sri Lankan Business Council President Dhammi Kandage, Ambassador-designate of Sri Lanka to Germany Manori Unambuwe, Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka for Rhineland-Palatinate Nihal Samarasinha, Consul General of Sri Lanka in Frankfurt Madurika Joseph Weninger, German-Sri Lankan Business Council Treasurer Margaret Ristau, and German-Sri Lankan Business Council Board Member Murugaiah Gobinath… On 30 July, Ambassador Unambuwe held meetings with International Business of the Frankfurt Chambers of Commerce and Industry (IHK) Managing Director Dr. Jurgen Ratzinger and IHK Unit Head for Southeast Asia Johannes Richter…’
• Apparel exports tipped to be lower by $2b in 2020 despite recent pick-up
‘“The US and EU are our top export markets. However, EU market is the best bet at this moment. Due to the current situation, it also seems like we will have a lot of problems with the US going forward,”…The apparel and textile industry accounts 44% to the total merchandise exports last year. Around 300 garment factories employ 990,000 workers, where over one million people are engaged in garment-related industries to earn livelihoods through indirect employment’
• Apparel industry diversifies supply chains
‘In a bid to move out of its dependence on China for its supply chain, the industry is now buying its raw materials from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and others in the region’
• Top industry professional Jayantha de Silva joins DIMO Board
‘He is the Chairman of ICT Agency (ICTA), former Chairman of the Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies, Software Exporters Association, British Computer Society Sri Lanka and Board member of the University of Colombo School of Computing, holds a Post Graduate Diploma from International Statistical Programs Centre, Washington DC; Fellow (FBCS) of BCS…’
• Sri Lanka’s Mattala Airport gets busy in Covid-19 crisis, eyes scheduled flights
• Sri Lanka Gov’t imports software
“Sri Lanka spends millions of rupees on software imports. “Even government departments opt for foreign software, for example RAMIS software of the Inland Revenue Department is Singaporean.”
• Ericsson appoints David Hägerbro as Head of Ericsson Sri Lanka, Malaysia & Bangladesh
‘Prior to taking on his new role, David was Head of Strategy, Technology & Government & Industry Relations, for South East Area, Oceania and India…. deploying the latest generation of technologies… Ericsson has a strong presence in the markets of Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh’
• China accuses US of ‘outright bullying’ over TikTok
‘Trump said that Microsoft was in talks to buy TikTok, and has given ByteDance until mid-September to strike a deal, a tactic that is almost unheard of. “It’s got to be an American company… it’s got to be owned here,” Trump said on Monday. “We don’t want to have any problem with security.” Beijing slammed the move as “political manipulation”.
• Trump order targets Chinese internet giants TikTok, WeChat
• Oil and Alberta Politics: Who’s Funding the United Conservative Party?
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.
• Colombo shares mixed after landslide SLPP win
‘”Some retailers wanted to sell immediately after the election and they did today.”
Especially Fridays during the last few weeks has seen a lot of pressure and today was no different’
• Election hype short-lived: Stock market investors fail to cheer SLPP landslide
‘Capital Goods sector was the top contributor to the market turnover (due to John Keells Holdings and Access Engineering)’
• People’s Bank successfully pays depositors of failed finance companies
• BOC celebrates 81 years of yeoman service
‘The Bank of Ceylon Ordinance was enacted in 1938 and the Bank was declared open on August 1st, 1939 at 41, Bristol Street in Colombo Fort, by the Governor, Sir Andrew Caldecott”
• Property market on the Colombo bourse
• Vallibel Finance profit of Rs.329.9 million for January-March quarter
‘The sector is facing competition from banks, which extend loans at 4%, under the Central Bank’s refinance scheme. The banks are also using their own funds to extend loans at single-digit rates to a broadening segment of borrowers, as they operate with low-cost funds and have the balance sheet strength, a comfort which most of the licensed finance companies do not enjoy. The sector recently sought to become partners in the refinance scheme and called to relax the statutory requirements, which will enable them to offer loans at relatively low rates. However, the sector non-performing loan ratio rose to 11.37% by March-end while the same for the banking sector was at 5.1%, both rising from 10.59% and 4.7% in December 2019, respectively. Vallibel Investments , the investment vehicle of billionaire businessman Dhammika Perera, owns 51% of the issued shares of the firm, while Perera under his personal account has another 21% stake.’
• Fitch Affirms Hatton National Bank at ‘AA+(lka)’; Outlook Negative
‘HNB’s high-risk appetite stems from its dominance of the retail and SME segments (54% of its total loans at end- 2019), which, in our view, are more vulnerable to deteriorating economic conditions. HNB also has a high share of assets invested in foreign-currency instruments of the sovereign relative to peers.’
• CEO, HNB Assurance and HNB General Insurance
• Executive Director at Nations Trust Bank
‘Chief Executive Officer Priyantha Talwatte established the American Express franchise in Sri Lanka…an alumnus of the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Business School, and is a qualified Marketer of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (UK). He also serves as a Director of Lanka Clear, Waldock Mackenzie, Allied Properties, and Nations Insurance Brokers.
• Union Bank shows resilience in a challenging environment
‘The Group consisting of the Bank and its two subsidiaries, UB Finance Company Limited and National Asset Management Limited reported a Profit before all taxes of Rs. 796 million for the period. Total assets of the Group were Rs. 135,724 million of which 95% was represented by the Bank’
• DFCC Bank offers Special Deposit Accounts to aid ‘National Cause’
• Xiao Jianhua’s Tomorrow Group duped Baoshang Bank out of US$22 billion in loans, triggering Chinese lender’s collapse, PBOC says
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’
• Sri Lanka container hub volumes show some recovery South Asia trade by June
‘Transshipment containers to Colombo come mainly from India and Bangladesh and are generally driven by trends in global trade.’
• Are caveat notices strangling the condominium industry in Sri Lanka?
‘A group who has made it a practice to blackmail condominium developers with the threat of submitting caveat notices for planned projects has been breeding in the recent past.’
• Red tape, the bane of small businesses
• The Kingsbury 1Q in red; revenue slumps over 70%
‘Diversified Hayleys group remains the largest shareholder of The Kingsbury PLC with over 60 percent issued shares of the company. State-managed private sector pension fund, Employees’ Provident Fund, also has 10.5 percent stake in the hotel company as the third single largest shareholder’
• Hayley’s Account Assistant remanded for defrauding Rs. 21 million
‘… Hayleys Group Logistics Company’s Kelaniya Warehouse arrested…’
• SL Embassy in Russia and Ural CCI on trade & economic cooperation
• Lankem appoints Suren Goonewardene as MD
Goonewardene, a member of the Certified Practising Accountants –Australia and the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka, Employers’ Federation of Ceylon and a former Vice President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka…Lankem Ceylon PLC was initially incorporated as Shell Chemical Company of Ceylon Limited in 1964. Initially formed as a crop protection company, it has grown its core operations to include Coatings and Industrial Chemicals. The Company also has invested in the packaging industry through J.F Packaging Limited, in the FMCG space through its investment in C.W. Mackie PLC and in leisure through its investments in Colombo Fort Hotels. Lankem Ceylon PLC is a subsidiary of The Colombo Fort Land and Building PLC. The other members of the Board of Directors are Chairman S.D.R Arudpragasam, Deputy Chairman A. Hettiarachchy, Anushman Rajaratnam, P.M.A. Sirimane, A.C.S. Jayaranjan and R. Seevaratnam.
• Four Asiri Group Hospitals awarded Australian Healthcare Accreditation
• Wiley global technology’s pursuit of growth amidst Covid-19
‘a global brand in research and academic publishing mainly in the form of print, electronic books, and journals… adaptive platform Alta uses AI to identify gaps in a student’s knowledge.’
• Govt. finalises West Beira Mixed Development moves
‘Beira Lake set to be the site for several new development projects …Air Force grounds, Slave Island Police Station, and Helitours ticketing office earmarked for mixed development project’
• Browns Investment obtains stay order against Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority for 5-acre land in Trincomalee, Nilaveli beach
• Court refuses injunction sought by LRI to prevent allocation of land to foreign investor
• WCIC and CSR Lanka partner to develop economic through social entrepreneurship
‘CSR Lanka and Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) organised a webinar on ‘Economic Development through Social Entrepreneurship’ ponsored by Hatton National Bank (HNB) and official newspaper partner Daily FT, with CSR Lanka Chairman Chandula Abeywickrema, Vidullanka Director and CSR Lanka Director Rizvi Zaheed, NiluTea Founder and CEO Nilushika Jayaweera and Selyn Director, Business Development Selyna Peiris. Global WiLAT Chairperson Gayani De Alwis who is a Board Member of WCIC and Director of CSR Lanka’
• Sri Lanka to provide tax free salaries to executives in China project
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.
• 19th Amendment Handcuffs Leadership
‘One of the major grievances against the 19A is that it ties the hands of the Executive President, who is directly elected by the people. It also curtails the powers of the Prime Minister who enjoys majority support in an elected Parliament. Thus the 19A negates popular mandates of President and Parliament’
• Circular firing squad of minority politics – Chandraprema
‘The bane of this country has been ethnicity and religion based politics. It first began among the ‘Ceylon’ Tamils in the north and east with the rise of the Ilankai Tamil Arasu Katchi which put the idea of an exclusive Tamil state into the minds of the people of those areas.’
• Up to the people to give us a two-thirds majority: Basil
‘Actually if you look at the FDIs during President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s period, there was an increase of FDIs. I am not a big fan of FDIs. I believe that investments must come. But I am not saying it has to be only foreign sources. There are local investors who can start a lot of businesses. Even now there are very big investments going on. We have to encourage local entrepreneurship. FDI is not the only way for us to grow. ‘
• Lanka’s Ambassador in Myanmar accused of campaigning for SLPP, SLFP
• Inadequate political knowledge among youth to blame for Sri Lanka’s low development, says election monitor
• So why bother to vote?
‘Why vote for known drug lords, for illegal ethanol importers, for race bookie owners, for multi-million fraudsters, for those facing serious criminal charges, for the corrupt, for the scum of the earth?’
• Viyath Maga is an Alternative – Wasala
• Sajith and Ranil are clones of the same stable – Kumar David
• Radical Center: A Manifesto For Change – Mangala Samaraweera
‘The need now is to create a new political culture based on reviving the value systems drawn from Lord Buddha’s middle path to Mahatma Gandhi’s path of non violence, from Nehru to Martin Luther King, from Nelson Mandela to Barak Obama.’
• Why Sajith’s SJB & Ranil’s UNP Are Quite Distinct – Jayatilleka
• What is the Future of the UNP post-2020?
‘The last term as PM has seen further signing of agreements in secret and the handing over of key assets to foreign powers (MCC-ACSA-SOFA-ECT-Trinco-Oil Tank Farm) Even in his last term as PM the move to hand over Sri Lanka’s energy supply to both IOC and Bharat Petroleum would have ended Sri Lanka’s energy security.’
• Daunting challenges ahead
‘The proposed agreements with the US (MCC and SOFA) as President Sirisena finalized ACSA in August 2017, the controversial Singapore-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, entered into in January 2018, co-sponsorship of the Geneva Resolution, in Oct 2015, bringing investigations into Central Bank bond scams to a successful end, tangible action on forensic reports that dealt with Treasury bond scams, and other major financial irregularities, both during UPFA and UNP-SLFP administrations, and the toxic UK garbage dumped, in the port of Colombo, et al. With the national economy in tatters, the parliament, as an institution, will have to play its classic role’
• A sizable Viyathmaga group enters parliament; Yuthukama receives two slots
• JVP reduced
‘JVP-led National People’s Power polled votes totalling closer to 445,000 at the just concluded general election that was better than their recent electoral performances, but the number of its MPs in Parliament had been reduced from six to three.’
• JVP to go Extra-Parliamentary
“During the nine months since the Government was formed on 16 November, they constantly made the argument that they did not have the majority power to solve issues, whether it was regarding pension reductions, fertiliser deficits, job creation, and even taking fraudsters to task.”
• Bloody rumpus at Jaffna Central College blamed by CMEV on lack of understanding of counting process
• 18th Amendment – a total disaster?
• An October Surprise
‘‘October Surprise’ is the US political term for a fake crisis, usually involving foreigners, that is ‘discovered’ by a president trailing badly in the polls in the last few weeks before an election. All other issues are forgotten, yankees rally around the flag, and the incumbent wins on a surge of patriotism. Or that’s the theory, at least.’
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.
• The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) 50th Annual General Meeting
“Roshan Fernando, General Manager – Marketing at Derana. elected new President,
Thilanka Abeywardena, CMO Lead – South East Asia New Markets, Microsoft Sri Lanka, Vice President – Projects, Nuwan Gamage, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications, Arinma Holdings, Vice President- Education. Chinthaka Perera, Director Sales, Hemas Pharmaceuticals & Hemas Surgical and Diagnostics, Secretary, and Gayan Perera, Senior Brand Manager, Singer Sri Lanka, Assistant Secretary. Dr. Jayantha Dewasiri, Head of Field Force at HMD Global Inc, Treasurer. The new Executive Committee: Manthika Ranasinghe – Head of Business Development (Global Shopping) at Kapruka.com, Sathika Wickramasinghe – Category Manager Insights & Velocity at Fonterra Brands Lanka, Dr. Dilhan S. Jayatilleke – Head of Business Development & Marketing, Arogya Life Systems Lanka, and General Manager – Business Development, Marketing & Corporate Strategy, Softlidz Solutions, Charaka Perera – Executive Director at Fuchsia Retail S.A., Nuwan Thilakawardhana – Manager Marketing at Union Bank, Asanka Perera – Chief Executive Officer at Arugambay Beachwear, Niyas Mohamed Shiraz – Assistant General Manager Sales & Marketing at Fentons Limited, Asela C. Gunasekara – Manager Brand Development at Metecno Lanka, Channa Jayasinghe – Senior Manager – Brand Development at Kelani Cables Plc and Dr. Thesara Jayawardane – Senior Lecturer and Director Business Research Unit, Faculty of Business, University of Moratuwa
• Buddhism in the Northern Province (1990-2019) Part 3 & 4
• Buddhism in Present Day Eastern Province Part 1
• Grandpa’s Grandpass
‘Grandpass derives its name from the Portuguese who called it Grande Passo, and in British times came to be known as Grandpass. Before the arrival of the Europeans it was called Nagalagam Tota implying that it was a place of crossing the Kelani River even then’
• Sense and nonsense of time
‘My father asked me a question when I was little: what is the fastest thing in the world? Like any other kid, I tossed up a rocket, and he responded in the negative, and affirmed that the fastest thing is the mind. The notion that the movement of thought is the fastest, astonished me.’
• Eminent writer, Bengali translator Manabendra Bandopadhyay Passes
‘Manabendra Bandopadhyay, the man who introduced Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Latin American literature to Bengali readers…’
• The Tweets That Broke Kyle
• The ‘Caucasity’: How a viral TikTok video is laying bare cultural appropriation through slang
‘Last week, TikTok sensation the “Kombucha Girl” found herself in hot water after attributing the genesis of commonly used phrases like “sis,” “snatched,” “periodt” and “whew chile” to “internet culture” and “stan twitter,” as opposed to where they actually originated — deep within Black culture.’
• How Corbyn Unmasked Comedy
‘The way comedians treated Jeremy Corbyn demolished their anti-establishment credentials’
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