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How British Petroleum Sabotaged Industrialization in Sri Lanka

ee archive: eesrilanka.wordpress.com

Before you study the economics, study the economists!

How British Petroleum Sabotaged Industrialization in Sri Lanka

e-Con e-News 09-15 August 2020

Hell,

If it’s your choice

To end up there

Well,

Be Prime Minister

For just one day

Else,

Try being trustee

At a temple

For three…!

The banning of his book Vana Katha for this verse that PM DS Senanayake considered derogatory, cast the brilliant bhikkhu Yakkaduwe Pragnarama Thera into the spotlight in 1950. All existing copies of his book were collected and burnt. It was the first book to be banned in newly independent Lanka. Could mere verse have eventually knocked DS off his English high-horse, 2 years later? Or was it the Sangha’s resurgence and the new role for bhikkhu, to which Yakkaduwe gave the “theoretical underpinning and backbone”? Was he the ‘special architect’ of the revolution of 1956 who brought Philip Gunawardena and SWRD Bandaranaike together?

• This week marks the 67th anniversary of the famed Hartal of 12 August 1953, when people rose up against US & World Bank-imposed food price rises. The UNP cabinet fled to an English warship, and enacted the death penalty for the first time after independence. The background to the Hartal, as recalled in the Philip Gunawardena biography, illuminates such dynamic forces as the Trade Unions and the Sangha, behind the march to 1953 and 1956. (see ee Focus, Gunawardena)

• In 1933-34, almost 87 years ago, engineer and State Councillor DJ Wimalasurendra named the oil interests (still our biggest import bill) as sabotaging his innovative hydroelectric scheme and the industrialization of Sri Lanka. His naming of names may account for his disappearance from the media, and the English knighthood bequeathed on his enemies. (see, ee Focus, Wimalasurendra Speaks)

• The main villages in Lanka, the whites first destroyed, were the iron-making, tools, arms and food production centres, as they aimed to eliminate the most skilled artisans. Since 1948 independence, some governments have continued to do the same, with the Unilever-sponsored import-export plantation mafia media shrilling, “Autarky!” every time any attempt at self-reliance is made! This ee looks at the links between industrialization and war (see ee Focus, The General Line)

Contents:

A1. Reader Comments

• Electrical Engineers & Commissions • Heroin Wholesale • Fascinating Biography • Dramatic Review • ‘Colombots’ & ‘NATO Socialists’ • Belarus under US Siege

A2. Quotes of the Week

US Aid Only for NGOs • Maritime Doctrines out of Air • Jaffna Parties & Capitalism

A3. Random Notes

• Employers Federation, Economists Advocate War on Workers • Adventurist JVP, Dodgy Viyathun • Agricultural Plans & Assassination • NGOs, Evictions & Microfinance Superprofits • Investment in Making Machines • Wimalasurendra’s Absence from History • Big Oil, Coal & Naming Names • Where do Knights Come from? • Made-in-China 2025 & the Unmakers

B. ee Focus       

B1. The Sangha, the Hartal & the Road to 1956: Philip Gunawardena

B2. Schemes behind Schemes: English Consultants, Big Oil & Coal – Wimalasurendra Speaks

B3. War, Planning & Making Machines to Make Machines – The General Line

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.

• “Electrical engineers are supposed to be the cream of our education system, chosen out of the best of those who top the A-Level math stream. These engineers also operate as Ceylon Electricity Board consultants inflating and creaming millions off each electrical contract, importing equipment from abroad. ”

• “Why is the media headlining small amounts caught from heroin dealers? Why don’t the police first investigate their wholesale suppliers? What is the link to the pharmaceutical importers who dominate healthcare? Why doesn’t media ask these questions? Is it because the media (largest employer of artists) is highly corrupt themselves? They rather blame police and politicians.”

• “Fascinating ee! Hope more people will read the Meegama biography. Wonder what Chandrika thinks about her father’s murderers? She certainly feels at one with her husband’s killers. Maybe the same about her father’s?”

• “The Philip book review brings out crucial issues in a dramatic fashion that will catch a reader, and add to what the author said in the book. At a time when we are in deep crisis, it is opportune to raise the cry for self-reliance. With the country virtually bankrupt and without foreign exchange, the happy days of importing a Benz Audi BMW and an occasional Rolls Royce is over, although food can yet be ordered for weddings from Parisian chefs. The self-reliance cry will fall on better soil…”

• ‘Did ee coin the terms ‘Colombots’ and ‘NATO Socialists’? Nice. That  reminds me of the EP Thompson term “Natopolis”. A few years ago these Socialist Project folks in Canada were Syriza boosters and, in Syria, “Moderate Rebel” and White Helmet supporters.’

• “Another US-funded ‘color revolution’ is underway… Belarus is under attack because it’s about the only East European Republic to resist shock treatment, so the majority of the state sector remains unprivatized, even though they had to bend to the IMF after the Great Financial Crisis of 2007. It is about the only East European country to maintain its industrial base. The Minsk Tractor Co is the world’s 2nd largest manufacturer of tractors. It also exports pumps to China!… Color revolutions are usually launched over controversial elections. The results are publicly put into doubt even before the election begins.”

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A2. Quotes of the Week_

• “Why is US aid given to Sri Lanka channelled almost entirely through NGO outfits? Why is the legitimately elected government bypassed when it needs international help, especially at a time when the country is fighting a pandemic better than most countries?”  (see ee Sovereignty)

• “The very existence of a maritime doctrine should be based on derivatives from a national defence policy paper and not as an abstract creation in isolation.” (see ee Security)

• “It appears Tamils were tired of the rhetoric that they firmly reiterate that they stand for Tamil rights, to eliminate their grievances and to fulfil their aspirations. Most interestingly, in the last 5 years, [the main Tamil parties] have equally defended wittingly or unwittingly economic policies based on the fundamentalist version of neoliberalism advocated and implemented by the Yahapalana regime.”

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A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_

The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon seized upon the new majority UNP Government’s violent posturing against workers. At their Annual General Meeting on 29 September 1978, the EFC Chairman demanded: ‘Legislation enforcing a total ban on strikes and lockouts in essential services with provision for compulsory adjudication or arbitration… In July 1980, a State of Emergency was declared and 50,000 workers were fired ….with the media singing ‘Hallelujah’.

     ‘During the August 2020 election, SJB leader Sajith Premadasa claimed: “Our opponents are making plans to fire some 500,000 state employees, while reducing the wages of those serving now. I would like to ask the people whether they gave 6.9 million votes to get state employees’ wages reduced.” There is no move for any retrenchment, a government spokesperson said.’ (see ee Workers)

• The Viyathmaga candidate who polled highest in Gampaha is now in charge of the new separate State Ministry for ‘Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reform.’

     Again this week, yet another media economist, echoing the IMF demand for “consolidation” (selling off public enterprises) repeats ad nauseam this usual daily salaam! And the favored economist of the Wijeya Group, WA Wijewardena, while resounding the same IMF gospel, comes right out and demands changes to labor laws, invoking Singaporean-style crushing of the Left and trade unions: who he claims were “full of hate, delusion & bias and poor of facts & understanding”. (see ee Economists).

     The first trade union registered in the country as numero uno in 1935, was the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon! Is it this the hateful union, WAW means? The EFC also called for repression before the July 1980 strike, which led to a decennium horribillis – that horrible decade of the 1980s! Meanwhile, according to the LSSP, the adventurist JVP and FSP appears ready to provide the provocation, with foreign agents stirring the brew in the North and East.

• A sharp Island article “Dodgy Politics of ‘Viyathuns” takes on another favored, hack media theme: the call for professionals, technocrats and “the educated” to fill parliament. It points out, the English also first allowed Ceylonese in parliament under the guise of an “educated seat” – who turned out to be puppets of the import-export plantation system! Is Viyathun a class hit, pitting ‘3-piece suits vs ‘banian and sarong’? (see ee Politics).

“The biggest handicap to industrial development is not the lack of capital but the absence of external economics, such as cheap power, cheap transport, technical and managerial ability, and above all the lack of a home market. The home market in an agricultural country is essentially the rural market. It is only a prosperous peasantry that can provide the home market for our industry. This is the connection between a guaranteed price for paddy and the industrialisation of our country” – Philip Gunawardena

• Next week, ee glances at the Agricultural Plan enacted in 1958 by Philip Gunawardena to revitalize the rural economy, which prioritized giving security and finance to the cultivator. Did this lead to the whites deciding to murder the Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike and topple the 1956 government?

     A new Overarching Agriculture Policy (OAP) developed by the Department of National Planning of Sri Lanka, is “still to be approved by the Cabinet of Ministers”. Yet the OAP interview (see ee Agriculture) makes no mention of rural industrialization, about the making of machinery in rural areas to employ people in slack periods, nor does it address destruction and privatization of water resources.

     It is bitter irony indeed that finance/leasing company LOLC, linked to “development agencies” in Holland, Sweden, etc, this week congratulated itself as “the most profitable conglomerate”. In a long press release, faithfully reproduced unchallenged in all newspapers, about their superprofiting off microfinance from peasant evictions and starvation, LOLC also blamed “local externalities” such as the Easter terror, for lower revenues, while making no hint of such profits being invested in rural industry.

LOLC claims to be largest the “largest agriculture implement financier”, and they intend to keep importing machines!

     The new government has set up a State Ministry for Microfinance (plus Samurdhi, Self-Employment and Enterprise Development). Can the new government halt the robbery of cultivators, and ensuing underdevelopment? When will we start investing in making machines? Why not start with tractors? Why not start with rebuilding for all cultivators the irrigation system the English destroyed?

     The push for industrialization surges every few decades – 1956, 1970 – and is then crushed and postponed by wars that could’ve provided impetus for self-reliance. That opportunity has arisen again.

     Machine building, and capturing the rural home market as a base for industrialization, must be at its core – a topic our media and their economists appear either illiterate and innumerate about, or are paid to ignore and insult.

• By 1934, DJ Wimalasurendra had identified ‘Big Oil & Coal’ as blocking his proposal to electrify the train system! Is this why our scholars and media fail to focus on the Hydroelectric Scheme initiated by Wimalasurendra, a project which sparked “the imagination of Ceylonese for a new future”?

     This erasure has resulted “in the history of the early 20th century Ceylon being incomplete”. The hydroelectric scheme “cultivated anti-imperialist sentiments among a cross-section of the Ceylonese population” to help “mobilize the imagination of the Ceylonese for a Ceylonese developmental state”.

     The absence of the Hydroelectric Scheme from history “pushes one to treat the contributions made by Marcus Fernando, Anagarika Dharmapala and Cumaratunga Munidasa to canvass for an industrially advanced Ceylon as isolated incidents and not as steps of a process that built up with time”.

     “Both Marcus Fernando and Cumaratunga Munidasa were influenced” by Wimalasurendra. “The initial ideas of industrialization” on the basis of Sinhala nationalism, eg, by Dharmapala, “seems to have transformed into a clear narrative of developmental nationalism by 1920-30s, thanks to the contributions made by Wimalasurendra.” (see ee Focus).

Where do Knights Come from?

Reading about the local agents who undermined engineer DJ Wimalasurendra’s Hydroelectric Scheme to provide energy for local industry, the Ceylonese Minister of Communications and Works is repeatedly mentioned but not named in the book. It turns out to be Muhammed Macan Markar, who was knighted in 1938…Was the English knighting of all these Lankans… Sir Muthu Coomaraswamy… Sir John Kotalawela… etc., a way for the English to glorify those who helped them oppose industrialization and promote the import-export plantation mafia, who profit off finished foreign goods?

     Conversely, the main English villains, from VI Lenin to J Stalin, from Mao Zedong to Kim il Sung, are particularly those leaders who attempted to build independent societies, knowing full well that industrialization and egalitarianism was central to that goal. (see ee Focus)

• Despite the clear electoral verdict, keep our eyes on 2025. This is the year when the next elections are due, and also the year that the imperialists have demarcated as a deadline, while threatening war. Why? To prevent China from attaining its “Made-in-China 2025” goal to become “a fully independent and developed industrial country”. That MIC 2025 upsets the imperialists so much, should concern us, who are nowhere near China’s economy. ‘China aims to move away from being the “world’s factory”, producing cheap, low-quality goods facilitated by lower labor costs and supply chain advantages. The initiative encourages production of high-value products and services, like aerospace & semiconductors, to help achieve independence from foreign suppliers…’ This initiative is ‘directly inspired by Germany’s Industry 4.0 strategy’. So why is the USA not upset about the Germans?

     The US sees China’s goal as a ”real existential threat to US technological leadership”. Yet an European Commission report recognized MIC 2025 as being similar to “German and Japanese approaches to innovation and economic development”. The European Chamber of Commerce yet fears that MIC 2025 would increase Chinese protectionism favoring domestic companies. Japan is for now profiting from “growing exports of Japanese high-value goods such as semiconductor manufacturing equipment and production line robotization equipment” but fears China may become a strong competitor in the long run.

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B. Special Focus__

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B1. The Sangha, the Hartal & the Road to 1956: Philip Gunawardena

“The Sangha was the intermediary that showed Philip and SWRD that they could ally on a common programme. The Sangha was to prove the deciding factor in the coming struggle.”

Ananda Meegama’s chapter “The Sangha Intervenes”, in his biography of Philip Gunawardena, offers invaluable insight into the “active positive” role bhikkhu have played in the life of the country. The image of the “Bhikkhu as passive retired from the world, confined to the forest or temple” was a stereotype promoted by DS Senanayake and other conservatives.

     : The English had followed a policy of superficial fairness towards Buddhism, while trying to spread discord between the Sangha and the laity. The rich local donors also followed English policy and tried to instil a pliant Sangha, making it difficult to teach about industrial revolution and world capitalism.

     The English media is knee-jerk anti-Buddhist, and anti-Buddhist-priest in particular, not withstanding the fact, that priests, more than other intellectuals, usually reflect the laity they represent, whether they be peasant or merchant. Our country’s history provides a different story. Tracing the Sangha’s role in advising rulers and resisting foreign invasions to preserve our sovereignty from the third century BC to this day, Meegama suggests 1956 was its zenith.

     Under Anagarika Dharmapala’s inspiration, the Sinhala Bauddhaya’s Vesak Kalapaya of 1934, requested the Sangha to actively participate in the great issues of the day. Dharmapala “visualized an active role for the Sangha in promoting social equality” and “improving the living conditions of the people”. He was soon “cold-shouldered” by the conservatives – and eventually driven out of the country, after his brother was murdered by the English.

     A new generation of “dynamic and brilliant” bhikkhu emerged in the 1930s, as evident in the first President of the Communist Party – Undakandawala Saranankara Thera.

     Peradeniya and Vidyodaya conferred honorary degrees on Yakkaduwe, though he never passed an examination, gave few public speeches and avoided the limelight, “spending his entire life” working to develop Vidyalankara Pirivena. Yakkaduwe’s close associates were such monks as Walpola Rahula Thera, the poet Ananda Sagara aka Keyas, and Tibetan versifier S Mahinda. They began to speak out when conditions under the English worsened during the 1940s and there were a series of strikes. They campaigned in support of CWW Kannangara’s Free Education Bill, despite opposition from the Catholic Church (though many lay Catholics supported the bill). Yakkaduwe made “formidable” enemies during the struggle for free education.

     Walpola and Ananda were good friends of Philip Gunawardena and the LSSP. DS Senanayake, not concerned about red flags and loud talk, grew frightened, however, of the moral impact of the Buddhist opposition. He criticized the monks, and the Lake House press amplified his criticisms. DS had “aroused a hornets’ nest, he had ignored the basic rule of Sinhala Buddhist society – not to criticize the Sangha”. Vidyalankara monks then issued a manifesto, written by Yakkaduwe, warning monks that if they endorsed it they may face severe repercussions.

     Meegama’s book reproduces the manifesto, and is well worthwhile reading just for this section.

     Meegama then provides a detailed blow-by-blow of the ding-dong battle that ensued before the first election in 1947, the debates and the struggle after, for ensuring state support for Buddhism and indigenous culture that led to the rise of SWRD Bandaranaike.

Yakkaduwe came into national spotlight when his book Vana Katha was banned for a verse that the Prime Minister deemed derogatory about him. It perhaps ended up knocking DS off his horse 2 years later. All existing copies of the book were collected and burnt. It was the first book to be banned in the newly independent Lanka. A book that had been recommended for the Senior School Certificate.

Meegama highlights a “special place among the architects of the 1956 Revolution” to Yakkaduwe Pragnarama Thera, who gave “the theoretical underpinning and backbone to the resurgence of the Sangha”.

The Politics of Hunger – In the midst of this agitation by an increasingly active Sangha, came the Hartal, about which Meegama also provides sober survey.

     Nine people were shot by security forces, and the UNP cabinet fled into the English battleship HMS Newfoundland parked outside Colombo harbor, after the people rose up when the World Bank imposed a 200% rise in the price of rice, enacted by Finance Minister JR Jayawardene, who was “led by the nose” by the USA. They also removed the midday meal provided to 750,000 children, antagonizing mothers. Dahanayake called the measures, “a massacre of the innocent”; Sir John Kotelawala replied: “It is good to die young.”

     12,000 harbour workers belonging to the All Ceylon Harbour and Dock Workers Union controlled by Philip Gunawardena’s VLSSP walked out on 12 August 1953 – the Day of the Hartal. In chapter “The Politics of Hunger”, Meegama details such forces involved, from trade unions to local councils, and the debates, tracing the Hartal to the end of the boom in commodity prices, particularly rubber caused by the US’ genocidal war to capture Korea. He acutely links it to: “the harsh realities of an economy, which had no industrial base, and dependent on the shrinking export proceeds of plantation crops to import much of its food”, and consequent “balance of payments”.

     The government had taken the “daring” step to sign the famous “Rubber-Rice Pact” with China, and Meegama details the mixed feelings of the UNP government and the vehement opposition of the USA, leading to sanctions and their placing of hopes on perhaps Kotelawala and Jayawardene over PM Dudley Senanayake. Meegama also notes the stance taken by the media after the Lake House managing director Esmond Wickremasinghe (father of Ranil) returned from a trip to the US. The Daily News on the day of the Hartal, declared, “Work Goes on… Business as Usual.” Two days later, the government announced the death penalty. Meegama also accounts for Philip’s role in the hartal, as well as his disappearance from the LSSP records, plus the attempts by the police to frame him at that time.

     Contrary to some Leftist historians, who exaggerated the widespread upsurge as the beginning of a revolution, Meegama soberly points out the exact locations of the rising, pointing out, the “vast mass of the people, although opposed to the cuts, did not participate, and this included the main plantation trade unions. There’s no question it politicized the people” – and was one more path to the “1956 Revolution”.

– Quotes from Ananda Meegama’s Philip Gunawardena & the 1956 Revolution in Sri Lanka

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B2. Schemes behind Schemes: English Consultants, Big Oil & Coal – Wimalasurenda Speaks

‘Consulting Engineers were appointed by the Crown Agents, to prepare designs, advise on large public works, prepare specifications and purchase and inspect stores. The colonial government employed the English firm Preece, Cardew and Rider (PCR) as the Consulting Engineers on all matters related to electrical and mechanical works conducted by the PWD, and overall guidance of all affairs of the Hydroelectric Scheme.

     English Sabotage – When the Hydroelectric Scheme ran into crisis in 1927, the Subcommittee of the Legislative Council questioned the Consulting Engineers: for neglecting their expected general advisory role; and for earning huge commissions against the interests of the Ceylonese. The Consulting Engineers disclaimed responsibility for the civil construction work that ran into trouble, with work being stopped in May 1927… During 4 visits to the site during construction (April 1924 – May 1927) the Consulting Engineers had given no indication that civil engineering work was not being carried out satisfactorily, but extended consent to the deviations from Wimalasurendra’s original plans… hence were “severely to blame for the present failure”.

     The higher the estimates for which Consulting Engineers provided opinions, the higher the commission. In 1929, members of the Legislative Council were critical of this arrangement of providing commissions. They recommended that remuneration of Consulting Engineers be “certain, definite, exact and commensurate” with their work. The Consulting Engineers had received a commission of Rs175,000 for the Kolonnawa Plant and for the Colombo New Distribution System, over and above the commission of Rs240,000 stipulated for the Hydroelectric Scheme… The high costs of the Hydroelectric Scheme ultimately resulted in the suspension of construction in 1927.

     English Fraud – Wimalasurendra, as a member of the State Council, attempted to define the grand alliance that worked against the Hydroelectric Scheme that went beyond racial biases and the business interests of the immediate stakeholders. For him the cause of delay was linked directly to the business and economic interests of the English colonial State.

     Protecting the business interests of the English Empire by not allowing competitors to emerge was a common policy adopted in colonies. The proposal to produce energy mass scale (ie power alcohol) using molasses, a byproduct of the Indian sugar industry and considered till then as a waste product, faced a similar fate as that of the Hydroelectric Scheme.

     In a series of speeches to the State Council, especially during 1933-34, Wimalasurendra used different names at times to identify this alliance; “Big Business”, “Oil and Coal Combine”, “Almighty Oil Interests”, “Big Business and Alien Combines”, “Imperialistic Element”, “Big Business Element” and “Big Business Party”.

     He referred at different times to different agents who represented different aspects, specifically the oil and coal business interests of the English Empire which gained annual revenues of Rs9mn and would be under threat if the Hydroelectric Scheme succeeded. While employing delaying tactics, the colonial government tried secretly to sell the partly constructed Hydroelectric Scheme at a deflated price to an English company when the demand by the locals to recommence construction grew.

      In August 1933 Wimalasurendra named the Whitehall Securities Corporation as a symbol of ‘Big Business’ which had made a bid to buy the Hydroelectric Scheme for a “mere song”, but failed as a result of the combined effort of a few influential local members of the Legislative Council…

     The offer to purchase was kept confidential, but the colonial government forced Wimalasurendra to retire, after details were smuggled out for DS Senanayake to expose at the Legislative Council…

     The Ceylonese and the Indian experiences were similar: Tata in 1911 took the initiative to start heavy industrial steel and iron works but languished later, in danger of passing into the hands of English debenture holders till national pressure saved it. (When Tata Steel & Iron Works were in difficulties during the 1920s, the Congress Party in the Central Legislature had to push the colonial Government for aid)

     Wimalasurendra continued to identify the Minister of Communications and Works [gem-trader “Sir” Muhammed Macan Markar, later knighted] as a local agent of Big Business on several occasions. Wimalasurendra used to have a long-drawn conflict with the Minister of Communication and Works for taking sides with the white members of the Executive Committee of Communications and Works and contributing to the delay in recommencing the Scheme. Describing how the Big Business alliance operated covertly he said, “Big Business in this country realizes [Wimalasurendra’s] constant vigilance in the public interest has exposed their secret and crafty designs on the national assets of this country” and that it is “a vile conspiracy” hatched with the Minister.

     The ‘Independence’ Game – Wimalasurendra included several others to this alliance of Big Business at the debate on the Electricity Board of Control in November 1934. He saw the proposal by the Executive Committee of Communications and Works to the State Council to form an ‘independent’ Electricity Board independent from the influence of the people’s representatives of the Ceylonese… as another attempt by Big Business to nullify the influence exerted by the local State Council members who were pushing for early recommencement of the hydro scheme and to keep the scheme in Ceylonese hands as a national asset. The proposal, to transfer all matters handled by the Department of Electrical Undertakings including the Hydroelectric Scheme to the control of the proposed Electricity Board, was recommended by the Consulting Engineers to “preserve the independence of the Board the Executive Committee of Communications and Works and the State Council itself should not be represented on the Board”.

     The opinion given by the Consulting Engineers was based on incorrect information, argued Wimalasurendra, and in support of Big Business…  Wimalasurendra then named the English members of the Executive Committee of Communications and Works along with the Minister as members of the Imperialist or Big Business Element, going on to say it was well known in the country. (The 4-1 vote taken at the Executive Committee of Communications and Works to forward the proposal for an independent Board was hurriedly taken on a date where, out of the 8 members, 3 who opposed this proposal were absent. Wimalasurendra saw this move to be engineered by the members representing Big Business in the Executive Committee.)

     In the same debate he named 2 more important agents of Big Business, the colonial government and the English officials. Wimalasurendra said he could “quote chapter and verse to show that it was the Government officers who bungled it”. Wimalasurendra exposed another element of Big Business during the debate on “The Appropriation Ordinance” in September 1934, referring to the sale of electricity by the Government to Boustead Brothers in bulk at a cheap rate, while selling to the general public at a much higher rate. “When Big Business wanted current [electricity] in lump, it has given at a cheap rate to enable them to show bigger profits to their shareholders, while the poor man who has to pay his hard-earned cash has been mulcted to accommodate Big Business by charging him such a high rate as 40 cents per unit for lighting”, he said.

     However, Wimalasurendra’s main attack against Big Business was his lengthy speech at the debate on “Diesel Train Units” in 1934, where he spoke at length against the proposal by the Minister of Communications and Works to import 3 diesel electric trains. Comparing in detail the 3 technologies, steam engines (fuelled by coal), diesel-electric engines (fuelled by diesel to generate electricity to drive the engine) and electric engines (driven by hydroelectricity), and arguing in favour of the cheapest option, electric engines driven by hydroelectricity, he saw no point in importing diesel electric trains at a huge cost if the Hydroelectric Scheme could start producing electricity in 4 or 5 years time and the railway system could be electrified thereafter to run trains using hydroelectricity. According to him the proposal for diesel electric trains represented the interests of Big Business. By warning that the “oil and coal combine that is running amok in [the] country… [was] trying to frustrate [the] attempt to develop the Laxapana water power”, Wimalasurendra concluded his speech by suggesting, “let the representatives of the people bear firmly in mind that on no account should they sacrifice [their] invaluable national asset of cheap water power on the altar of the Moloch of the Almighty Oil Interests”. By referring to the equivalent case of power alcohol in India, Nehru (1946) went on to identify the immediate agent of ‘Big Business’, the Burmah Oil Co. [now British Petroleum], the oil business founded to develop oil fields in India. (see, fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/burmah-castrol-plc-history/)

     The speech by Wimalasurendra generated interest in the State Council and received wide publicity in print media the following day. (When Wimalasurendra concluded his speech declaring the Oil and the Coal Combine was behind the scheme to import diesel electric engines, AE Goonesinha, the prominent trade unionist, was reported to respond by saying “schemes behind schemes”, referring to the scheme of Big Business representing oil interests of the colonial Government to import diesel electric engines at a time the Hydroelectric Scheme, when completed, promised electrification of the railway system. EW Perera named the agents of Big Business as the “Capital Committee“…

     State Council debates were reported in daily newspapers the following day. GE de Silva…told the Council at the end of Wimalasurendra’s speech that members who were absent and were unable to listen to Wimalasurendra could still go through his arguments published in newspaper the next day.

     The Hydroelectric Scheme, hence, symbolised the desire for industrialisation & development and also the collective frustration and anger against the colonial government which remained an obstacle to the vision of a developmental nation. The shifting priorities of ‘Big Business’ were recorded in the 1940s, allowing the English Empire to relax its policy. It was only in 1941, in the 3rd year of the WW2 and the year in which Japanese conquest of Burma cut off oil supplies from Burma to India, that permission was granted at last to produce power alcohol. This was exactly the time (ie 1945) during which proper construction of the Hydroelectric Scheme was restarted, indicating that the same business interests of Empire were at play in both colonies.

     Protectionism and securing the interests of “Big Business” were not confined to energy. Ensuring the continuous supply of raw material from colonies under English occupation on the one hand and using them as markets for England’s industrial goods on the other, were the 2 sides of the imperial strategy. The English market was not fully open for products from the colonies, while the market in the colonies was opened to products from industrialized Britain. India provides a good case to understand the wide ranging interests of “Big Business”. According to Cambridge Economic History of India, “interested not in India’s financial and industrial development but in Britain’s, the colonial government… followed policies from which English industry and financial institutions were the primary beneficiaries”

     The Indian railway workshops had proved their ability to manufacture competitively-priced locomotives. Yet, the number manufactured in India from 1865-1941 was just 700, in comparison to the 12,000 locomotives exported by English firms to India. The plans by the Tata Iron and Steel Works to manufacture locomotives locally couldn’t be carried out, as a result of the colonial government’s patronage of English locomotives, observed Nehru, who listed a number of possible industrial activities that were affected. Pre-war proposals to manufacture locomotives, railway cars, motor trucks and armoured vehicles were turned down by the colonial government. The wartime proposals by the Indians to produce vaccines, medicines and drugs by Indian institutions at a much smaller cost when imports from Germany stopped, too were turned down by the colonial government on the grounds that very urgent medicines could be obtained through Imperial Chemical Industries.’

– From Witharana, BD, Negotiating Power & Constructing the Nation: Engineering in Sri Lanka. Next week, Early Calls for Industrialization

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B3. War, Planning & Making Machines to Make Machines – The General Line

Almost 20 white countries joined together to invade the USSR after the revolution – the original ‘Coalition of the Willing’! Winston Churchill hoped, to ‘strangle’ the socialist Soviet Union, “in its cradle”, and those wars from 1917-23, killed 75% of the top cadre of the Communist Party. It was a matter of time, before the USSR would be invaded again. The white countries also armed Germany to the teeth hoping it would attack the USSR, as much as they armed Japan to attack China, which it did in 1927.

     The decision of the USSR to buy a few more hours in 1939 through a non-aggression treaty with Germany, caused major dissension within the socialist movement around the world, as did the later decision to ally with the English. The socialists in Sri Lanka also split on this crucial question of dynamic strategy.

     Yet those few hours of breathing space were used by the USSR to gird themselves, as China has done. When the Nazis attacked in 1941, the USSR, which did not have a single homemade truck before, was now a powerful military force. A sobered Hitler, who had thought the invasion would be a cakewalk, declared in October, that the Soviet territories appeared to be “a single armaments factory”.

     Here’s a brief survey of how an agricultural country industrialized:

     Until the 1930s, the USSR did not have its own auto, tractor or tank industry. Before 1917 there were less than 500 tractors in all Russia. The local tractor industry was set up in 1923 by the Council of Labor and Defense, and the Supreme Council on the National Economy (VSNKh) created a special commission to develop a production plan, examining several foreign designs of tractors.

     In 1925, the USSR decided to produce 20,000 tractors annually. Joseph Stalin explained in December: the world was now divided into 2 camps: the imperialist, led by the USA and England; and the anti-imperialist, led by the encircled USSR. To go beyond being an “appendage of the capitalist system,” the USSR had to change from an agrarian country that exported agricultural products and imported machines to an industrial one that made the machines needed to make machines. Stalin called this idea from the late 1920s –”the general line”. In February 1926, the State Institute for the Design of Metallurgical Factories (Gipromez) was formed.

     Socialism required scientific planning to transcend the contradictions of capitalism, and involved a sustained, improvised, “crash mobilization” characteristic of an economy under siege. The USSR’s notions of planning were also borrowed from Germany. The German government’s policy of “war socialism” (to preserve the capitalist system) had expanded state ownership of industry and control over private production. The USSR, however, was a proletarian state.

     In 1927, the English government raided the London offices of the All-Russian Co-operative Society, the agency for Anglo-Russian trade, set up during Lenin’s New Economic Policy, accusing the USSR of espionage. England broke off relations, and threatened war. The war scare highlighted the unreadiness of the Red Army to fight the white powers. Yet for initial technology and expertise, the Soviet Union had no choice but to temporarily rely on their enemies.

     The USSR was becoming the largest purchaser of industrial machinery, and their contracts provided 1,000s of jobs for industrial workers around the world. 100s of foreign specialists, highly skilled, Communists and socialists lived and worked in the USSR: from Germany, Czechoslovakia, USA, Italy, etc 7,000 foreigners alone worked in the Urals, 1935-40. 6,800 foreign specialists worked in heavy industry in 1932. There were some 10,000 foreign Mitarbeiter in the USSR, of whom 7,000 were workers (half, Germans) and the rest specialists. While 100,000 US workers sought work in the USSR.

     The USA meanwhile did not have diplomatic relation, for the USSR was refusing to pay the Tsar’s debts. Yet capitalists overcame their fear of trading with a Communist country, worried that the USSR would turn to other industrial countries, saying ‘Well, if we didn’t, somebody else would.’

     Yet capitalist firms showing great eagerness to do business, also aroused enormous distrust, and the architects of Soviet industrialization incorporated intensive vigilance into their plans. After all, informants were widely used by US corporations, in violation of the law, which provoked Senate investigations despite indignant denials by industrial executives (Frank Palmer, Spies in Steel: An Exposé of Industrial War)

     In 1928, Stalin pointed out, even if the capitalist powers decided not to invade: “It would be stupid to think that international capital will leave us in peace”: “Classes exist, international capital exists, and it cannot look calmly on the development of a country building socialism.”

     He announced the First 5-Year Plan, to convert the USSR from a backward agrarian country to a mighty industrial country – “independent of the caprices of world capitalism”, and to develop heavy industry “with machine building at its core”, to enable resistance to any invasion, and teach peasants to drive tractors! The development of tractor production there was designed to lead up to the production of tanks. Their goal: “To catch up with and surpass America.”

     In 1929, the USSR decided to build a gigantic steel plant and a modern socialist city for 200,000 people – Magnitogorsk, “Magnetic Mountain City” – to embody the new society.

     In 1930, the State Design & Construction Bureau was set up, to employ 3,000 workers, the largest design & architectural organization in the world. The biggest problem they had encountered was that their highly educated workers yet lacked practical knowledge. Yet by June, the first tractor was ready, with Stalin announcing, “The 50,000 tractors which you are to give our country are 50,000 shells shattering the old bourgeois world.”.

     Foreign visitors wondered why they were building plants with “tremendously heavy foundations and extra steel all through the construction”. They quickly learned why. In 1931, (later, Marshall) Mikhail Tukhachevsky, was put in charge of the Red Army’s armament, deciding to replace cavalry with tank-based troops, recommending military production based on civilian industry. By 1931, the first of 3 giant Soviet tractor plants was complete: 10-ton crawler tractors which could be immediately converted into military tanks!

     In May 1931, the Stalingrad Tractor Plant had installed a conveyor belt system to make small tanks. By October the Kharkov Tractor Plant, the first in the Ukraine and the largest in the USSR, was built by local workers, plus almost all the women, men and children, poets, professors and police in that city! Ten years later, it was producing light tanks and diesel tank engines. Also in 1931, the novelist Maxim Gorky initiated the monumental History of Factories and Plants.

     By 1932, 100s of industrial enterprises had been designed and equipped, spanning Leningrad to Yakusk – tractor, auto, aircraft and power plants, foundries, forges, steelmaking and rolling mills, metallurgical, ballbearing, aluminum and asbestos plants, machinery and tool manufacturing factories, textile mills and food processing factories. By 1933, USSR leader Joseph Stalin could proudly announce it finally had a steel industry – “the foundation for industrialization” – and an automobile and tractor industry.

     When Hitler invaded in 1941, the Red Army had 24,000 tanks manufactured at 3 tractor factories! In late 1942, German army stormed the Stalingrad plant itself, turning it one of the crucial sites for the Battle of Stalingrad. It was here in January 1943, at the Red Army’s victory over the Nazis turned the tide of World War 2.

     Industrialization of the first socialist country in the world, came at a heavy price. Joseph Stalin, the architect of that industrialization, went from being featured on the cover of 3 Time magazines (owned by denizens of the US anti-China lobby) to being a demon that keeps whites awake at night. Even as we know no names of the modern architects of the genocides in the settler states in the Americas and the Pacific.

     It is vital to recall the USSR’s strategies to provide it time and space to develop a socialist society. Utopians and romantics demand instant panaceas. Today, some, claiming to be leftists, insist New China, which has been under imperialist siege for much of its 70 years, having to protect at least 20 land and maritime borders, is a ‘capitalist country’. Some go even further and insist the Chinese, albeit with 90 million members in a Communist Party, do not understand Marxism as well as they do in their white ivory towers!)

________________

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 MNC-controlled ‘local media’:

C1. Sovereignty

(ee is pro-politics, pro-politician, pro-nation-state, anti-corporatist, anti-expert, anti-NGO)

ee Sovereignty news emphasizes sovereignty as economic sovereignty – a strong nation is built on modern industrialization fueled by a producer culture.

• SL PM admits US is behind Colombo Port deal with India

‘“I had to go home once, because I got hammered by the US and India. I won’t make the same mistake again.”…The Colombo Port workers’ struggle has demonstrated that the US and India want Sri Lanka tied to their strategic and military moves against nuclear-armed China, raising the danger of a catastrophic war in which the island would become embroiled.’

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/14/sri-lankan-prime-minister-admits-us-is-behind-colombo-port-deal-with-india/

• Sri Lanka: ‘India first’ approach

‘Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Foreign Secretary and a former Commander of the SL Navy, spoke with Rudroneel Ghosh of the Times of India on the implications of the return of the Rajapaksas, and Sri Lanka’s equations with India and China: “The President has made it very clear in no uncertain terms that as far as strategic security considerations go, it is an ‘India first’ approach.”’

– dailynews.lk/2020/08/15/features/225922/sri-lanka-%E2%80%98india-first%E2%80%99-approach

• India positions Nicobar as a rival port to Colombo

‘India is planning to develop a transhipment port at Great Nicobar Island in the Bay of Bengal with an investment of Rs10,000 crore ($1.33bn)…. The transhipment port will provide an alternative to Colombo, which is currently the major transhipment hub in the region.’

https://splash247.com/india-positions-nicobar-as-a-rival-port-to-colombo

• Quad alliance forms ‘arc of democracy’ around China

‘US, Japan, India and Australia are coming together in a strategic pact aimed at countering and containing authoritarian China… Last week, the USS Ronald Reagan strike group also conducted joint drills with Japanese and Australian naval forces in the Philippines Sea in the Western Pacific. Full Quad exercises are on the near-term horizon. After years of reluctance to irk China, India has invited Australia back to this year’s annual Malabar exercises for the first time since 2007. The joint exercises will be held in the Bay of Bengal.’

– asiatimes.com/2020/07/quad-alliance-forms-arc-of-democracy-around-china/

• $13mn US funding, training for 100 lobby correspondents, refurbishment of media centre

‘Is Sarvodaya a credible NGO, being more or less a family run organisation? (Recently US announced USD1.5mn in support of Sarvodaya)?’

– island.lk/13-mn-us-funding-training-for-100-lobby-correspondents-refurbishment-of-media-centre/

Congratulating the Voters: LSSP Cautions Government

‘The JVP which has lost support at this Election is preparing to blame the Government for the global and local economic crises and to organise protests against the Government. This could include armed uprisings like in 1971 (for which killings they have not yet apologised). An off-shoot from the JVP, the Peratugami (FSP), has not yet given any indication but is likely to follow the same policies. A major threat which may have foreign origins (US-based ‘thinktanks’) is being coordinated by Mangala Samaraweera. It is being called the ‘Radical Centre’ to revive the defeated the UNP/SJB by a new set of policies, discarding the rejected UNP rightwing policies. Mangala is also forging an alliance with the TNA by associating with the ‘Freedom People’s Collective…’

– ceylontoday.lk/news/congratulating-the-voters-lssp-cautions-government

• Sri Lanka is becoming a one-family state – The Economist

‘Yet the fact that so many Sri Lankans —59% of the electorate as a whole and perhaps 80% of Sinhalese Buddhists— have willingly entrusted the government to a single ambitious family, is nonetheless disturbing’

https://www.economist.com/asia/2020/08/15/sri-lanka-is-becoming-a-one-family-state

• Gamsabha revival of true Democracy – Amarasekera

– island.lk/gamsabha-revival-of-true-democracy/

• Storing Paddy at MRIA & Betraying Victory

– island.lk/how-unp-dug-its-own-grave/

• New Indian Defence Adviser calls on SL Defence Secretary, Army & Navy Commanders

‘the new Defence Adviser to the High Commission of India Captain (Indian Navy) Vikas Sood had interactions with senior officials of the Defence Ministry and armed forces…’

– island.lk/new-indian-defence-adviser-calls-on-sl-defence-secretary-army-and-navy-commanders/

• Indian High Commissioner calls on PM

– island.lk/indian-high-commissioner-calls-on-prime-minister/

• Government to hand over terminal to India after August 5 parliamentary election – Union

– newsfirst.lk/2020/07/17/slpa-debt-not-settled-using-lease-payment-of-hambantota-port/

• True Patriot Samarajiva Wants ECT for India:

‘The Port of Colombo comprises operations by 3 entities: the CICT which handles 40% of the business through one terminal is majority-owned by China’s CM Ports (SLPA has 15% ownership); the SAGT is 85% owned by a consortium including JKH, Maersk/APM Terminals and Evergreen Marine Co (SLPA owns the rest); and JCT which is fully owned by the SLPA. The ECT is the 2nd terminal to be made operational in the South Harbour which remains the only deep-water port in the region capable of accommodating the largest ships. The Port of Colombo was the 25th largest in the world in 2018, in terms of container throughput…’

– ft.lk/columns/Economic-relations-with-India-What-would-a-true-patriot-do-about-the-Port/4-704576

• Resounding mandate for growth & development over politics: Indian CEO Forum

‘Indian CEO Forum President Umesh Gautam is also CEO of Lanka Ashok Leyland Plc…Indian investment is the 2nd largest source of FDI in SL while trade between the 2 countries has grown to over $6bn since 2000… and the highest source market for tourists in SL in 2019 at 355,002…’

– ft.lk/business/Resounding-mandate-for-growth-and-development-over-politics-Indian-CEO-Forum/34-704397

• Wiggy makes vow before LTTE memorial

– island.lk/wiggy-makes-vow-before-ltte-memorial/

• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 17 C3&4

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/14/erasing-the-eelam-victory-part-17-c3/

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/14/erasing-the-eelam-victory-part-17-c-4/

• Parliamentary elections have put Lankan Tamil politics at the Crossroads – Balachandran

‘The radicals will have to do their utmost in this regard as these demands have been their USP for long. They hope to carry on the campaign with the support of the UN Human Rights Council, US State Department, pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora in the West and Australia and Tamil radicals in Tamilnadu.’

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/12/parliamentary-elections-have-put-lankan-tamil-politics-at-the-cross-roads/

• NPC won’t be given police or land powers – Minister Weerasekera

– island.lk/npc-wont-be-given-police-or-land-powers-minister-weerasekera

– newsfirst.lk/2020/08/14/no-police-state-minister/

• TNA: PM with two-thirds majority cannot ignore concerns of Tamils

– island.lk/tna-pm-with-two-thirds-majority-cannot-ignore-concerns-of-tamils/

• USAID further Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement

‘The US Government also awarded US$550,000 to the UN World Food Program (WFP) recently to strengthen disaster management capacity in Sri Lanka’

– sundaytimes.lk/article/1123127/us-further-assists-disaster-management

• Ford Foundation – Rs100mn Angel Fund accepts applications from startups

– dailymirror.lk/business__main/Sri-Lankas-Rs-100mn-Angel-Fund-accepts-applications-from-startups/245-193674

• Statement by Canadian PM on the anniversary of July 1983

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/12/statement-by-the-prime-minister-on-the-anniversary-of-black-july-1983/

• 2020 GE: Polls monitors get about Rs56mn from donors

“Management Systems International Inc is a powerful US consulting organisation engaged in a spate of projects in various parts of the world, including Asia… PaFFREL received funding amount to Rs50mn from about 7 donors, including Norway and Canada.’

– island.lk/2020-ge-polls-monitors-get-about-rs-56-mn-from-donors/

• Dayan loves Kamala…Awaits another Brown Imperialist – Jayatilleka

 – ft.lk/columns/Understanding-the-unipolar-moment-of-Sinhala-nationalism/4-704492

• Foreign Funds, Friends & Foes: When ICES Promoted R2P

– ceylontoday.lk/news/foreign-funds-friends-foes-when-ices-promoted-r2p

• Had we been successful in SL, many lives could’ve been saved: Solheim

– dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Had-we-been-successful-in-SL-many-lives-could-ve-been-saved-Solheim/108-193523

• Human Rights Watch expresses ‘concern over increasing suppression of dissent’ following election victory

– colombopage.com/archive_20B/Aug09_1596947358CH.php

– sundaytimes.lk/article/1123083/increasing-suppression-of-dissent-in-sri-lanka-hrw

• Election verdict opportunity for inclusive & results-based governance: USAID Peace Council

‘Even though Sri Lanka is a middle-income country, a substantial proportion of the people do not enjoy its benefits as the distribution of income is so skewed that around 40% of the population are on Samurdhi welfare.’

– ft.lk/news/Election-verdict-is-opportunity-for-inclusive-and-results-based-governance-Peace-Council/56-704470

• GTF admits TNA suffered serious setback, declares intention to work with govt.

– island.lk/gtf-admits-tna-suffered-serious-setback-declares-intention-to-work-with-govt/

• Did Sumanthiran Win in Jaffna By “Stealing” Sashikala’s Votes?

‘Sumanthiran has been afforded protection by the Special Task Force (STF) following the uncovering of 3 conspiracies by overseas tiger elements to assassinate him.’

– dailymirror.lk/opinion/Did-Sumanthiran-Win-In-Jaffna-By-Stealing-Sashikalas-Votes/172-193895

• Lakshman Kadirgamar: Opposed UN pretext of humanitarian intervention

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/sunday-times-2/kadirgamars-blunt-advice-to-un-stick-to-malaria-and-mosquitoes-411698.html

• Forests, MCC & Terminal…

‘In the 2019 presidential election, both Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa painted themselves as nationalists and vowed to protect the unitary nature of the state. Together they polled 94% of the vote… What will the new government do about Circular 5/2001 regarding ‘other state forests’? Over 500,000ha of forests are threatened by a cabinet decision to withdraw the said circular. Let’s see. The MCC? The Eastern Terminal? What will happen to these? Left to be seen. Need to be flagged.’

– malindawords.blogspot.com/2020/08/general-election-2020-what-why-and-what.html

• Interesting facts about Kandy’s Audience Hall

‘It was used to hear the grievances of the people and also served as the platform to meter out drastic punishments according to the law of the country. It had been used as an administrative centre during the era of the Kandyan Kingdom from where the kings had granted audiences to foreign Ambassadors. These Ambassadors were kept for weeks before the King thought it fit to see them; that also for a few minutes. It is said that the floor was made in such a way that the temperature rose and by the time the Ambassadors arrived it was so hot that they could only remain for a few minutes. The same thinking was extended to the places where the people stood when airing their grievances. They had to come on all fours to speak to the King and they too could not stay for very long.’

– dailymirror.lk/news-features/Interesting-facts-about-Kandys-Audience-Hall/131-193578

• Has the SJB become a UNP clone?

‘Seats secured by the SJB were won with heavy dependence on parties representing minorities that contested on the SJB ticket, within the coalition. This is not immediately visible in the official election resultsThe new threat of Islamic extremism posed by the National Thawheed Jamat, with its support base in the East, is doubly alarming on account of the global context against which it has emerged. We cannot forget that Sri Lanka is at the centre of big power rivalry on account of its strategic location in the Indian Ocean, with warships and aircraft carriers of rival powers constantly traversing the waters off Trincomalee. Naval relations with the US were deepened during the yahapalana regime, and it is unlikely the superpower will let up on its bid to gain a foothold on the island. Against this backdrop, internal sectarian strife, especially in the Eastern Province, presents conditions ripe for exploitation by external forces. It would be pertinent to ask if that process hasn’t started already.

– island.lk/has-the-sjb-become-a-unp-clone/

• JVP gets More Votes but Less seats than TNA

‘What is incomprehensible for me is JJB, which polled 445,958 votes ended up with three seats and ITAK polling lower, with 327,168 votes got 10 seats in Parliament! Am I daft? Or is there a misprint’

– island.lk/explain-confusing-results/

• Historic victory for the baby SLPP, but it must fulfil pledges

‘Premadasa’s SJB fares significantly well, but fails to secure Sinhala-Buddhist vote despite campaigning in that direction… non-UNPers including Tissa Attanayake (SJB National Organiser), Shiral Lakthilaka (earlier Senior Advisor to former President Maithripala Sirisena), Dayan Jayatilleke and others had become Premadasa’s thinktank.’

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/columns/historic-victory-for-the-baby-slpp-but-it-must-fulfil-pledges-411843.html

• New-look Tamil politics: North & East Shakeup

‘The TNA’s continuous claim to be the ‘sole authorised and authoritative representative of the Tamil community’ is no more.’

– ceylontoday.lk/news/new-look-tamil-politics-north-and-east-shake-up

• New Trends in Tamil Politics

‘It may be too early to come to a definite conclusion on the issue of strengthening of this conciliatory political tendency and what would be its future…’

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/14/new-trends-in-tamil-politics/

• Fragmenting Tamil Politics – Ahilan K

 ‘In Jaffna and Kilinochchi, the entry of independent groups drawing on their earlier gains during the local government elections was notable. Chandrakumar who had broken away from EPDP has been gaining a base among the marginalised population in Kilinochchi, including those of Up-Country Tamil origin, polled 16,000 votes. And an independent group, including veteran communist leader Senthilvel, took up issues of working people and caste oppression in Jaffna, and polled 5,000 votes. These are democratic tremors of a slow shift towards progressive Tamil politics.’

– dailymirror.lk/opinion/Fragmenting-Tamil-Politics/172-193478

• Bloody rumpus at Jaffna Central College blamed by CMEV on lack of understanding of counting process

– island.lk/bloody-rumpus-at-jaffna-central-college-blamed-by-cmev-on-lack-of-understanding-of-counting-process/

• Election sends a chilling message – David

‘We are a land soaked in Rajapaksa mystique and sodden in Sinhala-Buddhism… the Sajith-UNP is hobbled by tensions between populists (Champika, Rajitha, Harin, Kiriella) and neoliberals (Malik, Eran, Harsha, Fowzie).’

– island.lk/election-sends-a-chilling-message/

• Racism could pave way for foreign invasion through a 5th column – Izzadeen

– dailymirror.lk/opinion/Racism-could-pave-way-for-foreign-invasion-through-a-fifth-column/172-193789

• Kashmir: 365 days under siege – Pakistan HC

– island.lk/kashmir-365-days-under-siege-pakistan-hc/

• Chinese envoy calls on PM with missive at a crucial hour

‘Priorities of future cooperation including the Colombo Port City, Hambantota Port and Industrial Park, drinking water supply, agricultural irrigation etc., were also discussed by the duo.’

– island.lk/chinese-envoy-calls-on-pm-with-missive-at-a-crucial-hour/

• Chinese Embassy tweets explanation to the Google map image ‘CHINA SW’ in Hambantota

– economynext.com/chinese-embassy-tweets-explanation-to-the-google-map-image-china-sw-in-hambantota-72831/

• Graphics: China’s contribution & loss in War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression

– news.cgtn.com/news/2020-08-13/Graphics-China-s-role-in-World-War-II-SV53wLu7N6/index.html

• Is the Asian Century a Utopian dream?

– ceylontoday.lk/news/is-the-asian-century-a-utopian-dream

• America’s Unholy Crusade Against China

‘Many white Christian evangelicals in the US have long believed that America has a God-given mission to save the world. Under the influence of this crusading mentality, US foreign policy has often swerved from diplomacy to war. It is in danger of doing so again.’

– ceylontoday.lk/news/america-s-unholy-crusade-against-china

• Western media’s favorite HK ‘freedom struggle writer’ is US ex-Amnesty staffer in yellowface

– thegrayzone.com/2020/08/08/hong-kong-western-media-yellowfacing-amnesty

• Using the Security Council to destroy the Security Council

‘What we in Iran, the target of a vicious and indiscriminate sanctions regime, see from the current US administration is quite straightforward: there’s no grand vision for an alternative global community.’

– irandaily.ir/News/272786.html

• United Arab Emirates Betray Palestine

• Syria – Trump’s ‘Keep the Oil’ Occupation Runs into Trouble

• ‘Western’ Media Falsely Claim Russia’s Covid Vaccine is Ready to Go

• US destabilizing Belarus

– moonofalabama.org/

• US senators casually discuss Washington’s interference in Venezuelan politics

‘‘US Democratic Senator for Connecticut Chris Murphy listed the country’s failed attempts to effect regime change in Venezuela, including an unsuccessful ‘coup.’’

– youtube.com/watch?v=NxI5eZCrOI4

• How & Why the Intercept is Reporting on a Vast Trove of Materials about Brazil’s Operation Car Wash & Justice Minister Sergio Moro

– theintercept.com/2019/06/09/brazil-archive-operation-car-wash/

– libya360.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/the-political-earthquake-in-brazil-caused-by-ongoing-intercept-exposes

________________

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.

• SL’s Justice Minister vs President’s vision of One Law One Country

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/13/sri-lankas-justice-minister-your-response-to-citizens-questions/

• Adm (Rtd) Dr Jayanath Colombage is Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/13/president-gotabaya-rajapaksa-appoints-adm-rtd-dr-jayanath-colombage-as-sri-lankas-foreign-secretary/

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/14/sri-lanka-appoints-ex-military-man-as-new-foreign-secretary/

• Covid: Israel Failed at School Openings

‘Sri Lankan schools, including the so-called popular ones, are characterised by serious space constraints. There are as many as 50 students to a class in most schools…’

– island.lk/potential-petri-dishes/

• Maritime Doctrine of SL – Borrowed Notions in Disguise

‘The numerically and logical aspirations of over 1.3 billion Indians, with a coastline of over 7,500 kilometres, a Navy of over 180 platforms and over 200 aircraft is hard to contemplate to a population of 21 million, with a coastline of a bit over 1,300 kilometres and less than a dozen big ships.  ‘

– dailymirror.lk/news-features/borrowed-notions-in-disguise/131-193712

• Australia donates PPE worth Rs. 23 mn to Sri Lanka Navy

– colombopage.com/archive_20B/Aug15_1597466020CH.php

• Whitewash: Met police open war crimes investigation into UK mercenaries in SL

– dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Met-police-open-war-crimes-investigation-into-UK-mercenaries-in-SL/108-193817

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/13/investigation-opened-into-alleged-war-crimes-by-british-mercenaries-in-sri-lanka/

• Class, caste and the politics of destruction

‘“Premadasa cursed Upali in Parliament a few days before he disappeared.” (The Island 30/1/01). Upali Wijewardene was killed in a mysterious plane crash…’

– island.lk/class-caste-and-the-politics-of-destruction/

• Sri Lanka’s Killing Field

‘“I survived once but he will finally get me killed. He will get Gamini Dissanayake killed. Then I am sure he himself will get killed.” – Lalith Athulathmudali’

– island.lk/sri-lankas-killing-field/

• UNP Defeat & Wars in our World

‘“First they pick on an underworld gunman, reputedly the best marksman of the lot, and train him on the firing ranges of the STF. Then you kidnap an innocent helpless Tamil…when Athulathmudali is killed you bump off Ragunathan and dump him identity card and all, close to the spot where the shooting took place.”’

– island.lk/death-of-a-president-rush-to-judgment/

• Private cases command money and resources at astronomical levels

–sundaytimes.lk/200809/sunday-times-2/whither-justice-mother-lanka-411680.html

• 220 million transferred by drug traffickers through bank accounts in the last two weeks

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/14/220-million-transferred-by-drug-traffickers-through-bank-accounts-in-the-last-two-weeks/

• The Contempt of Court Case Against Arthur Reginald Perera in 1949

– dailymirror.lk/news-features/The-Contempt-of-Court-Case-Against-Arthur-Reginald-Perera-in-1949/131-193792

• People’s court gave verdict on those who covered up bond scam – Cabraal

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/peoples-court-gave-verdict-on-those-who-covered-up-bond-scam-cabraal/

• Tense situation after individual dies in wild elephant attack

– sundaytimes.lk/article/1123126/tense-situation-after-individual-dies-in-wild-elephant-attack

• Angoda Lokka’s gang has acquired 928 perches land around Colombo by force, Police say

‘Although there were reports that the Angoda Lokka was dead in India, it had not been officially confirmed at the diplomatic level’

– colombopage.com/archive_20B/Aug10_1597079620CH.php

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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.

• Minimize Imports!

‘Minimize imports and prevent money going out of the country… ban the import of all items that can be locally produced and made available to the people, e.g., chocolates; biscuits; cereal; beer; toiletry; etc. In particular, a moratorium on the import of all types of vehicles should be put in place…’

– island.lk/govt-meeting-the-challenges-ahead/

• Sri Lanka’s Central Bank Governor slams inflation control

‘“Rightly or wrongly due to IMF intervention or otherwise the inflation dragon was supposed to have been slain in most countries in the 1980s,” Governor Lakshman said.

– economynext.com/sri-lankas-central-bank-governor-slams-inflation-control-72820/

• Cabraal sworn in as State Minister for Finance, Capital Market & State Enterprise Restructure

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/cabraal-sworn-in-as-state-minister-for-finance-capital-market-state-enterprise-restructure/

• Government to utilise all necessary tools to revive economy: Cabraal

‘Commenting on SOEs: “Our government’s policy is not to privatise them, but to bring them back to the right track with appropriate polices,” he added. Moving forward, he expects that the State sector would adopt outcome-based management model similar to the private sector shifting away from inefficient management practices.’

 – dailymirror.lk/business-news/Government-to-utilise-all-necessary-tools-to-revive-economy-Cabraal/273-193883

• Banking and financial sectors seen as needing urgent strengthening: Cabraal

– island.lk/banking-and-financial-sectors-seen-as-needing-urgent-strengthening/

• Fiscal consolidation an economic prerequisite and priority for development – Sanderatne

‘Large fiscal deficits result in increases in cost of living that cause severe hardships especially to the lower end of wage earners and pensioners. This in turn could lead to strikes with demands for higher wages and social unrest.’

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/columns/fiscal-consolidation-an-economic-prerequisite-and-priority-for-development-411852.html

• Wijewardena wants Trade Unionists Crushed, Labor Laws Weakened

– ft.lk/columns/SLPP-has-creatively-disrupted-politics-now-it-has-to-do-the-same-to-the-economy/4-704314

• Challenges of remedying the Sri Lankan economy

‘The Government gets ~80% of its tax income from indirect taxes whereas only 20% comes from direct taxes. The beggar as well as the affluent person equally pay the indirect tax. Direct taxes are paid by those who can pay. In India as well as in Singapore around 50% of the tax revenue is from direct taxes….The President sometime before assuming duties mentioned he would follow socialist market economy. This is applicable for a country like China and not for us….[government should sell SOEs]… Out of the top 10 companies in SL there are 4 banks and out of the top 20 companies there are seven banks. In India corresponding figures are one and three and in US it is one and two. In a progressive country there should be more manufacturing companies with in the top 10 or 20 companies, not banks….Local industries should aim not only for the 20 million local market, they should aim for the unlimited export market as well. That is why exports are more important than import substitutions’

– ft.lk/columns/Challenges-of-remedying-the-Sri-Lankan-economy/4-704385

• SL economy needs to restructure administrative systems

‘During the height of the terrorist problem in Sri Lanka, I remember that most of the Sri Lankan officers who were trained in the ’50s, ’60s and the ’70s at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in England didn’t have a clue on how to deal with the Tamil Tiger episode. Literally thousands of soldiers perished…The only reason Sri Lanka became the first country in the whole world to defeat terrorism outright was because the command control was handed to local commanders who were able to make immediate executive decisions, whilst at the same time, training at the higher level…’

– ft.lk/columns/SL-economy-needs-to-restructure-administrative-systems/4-704338

• Sri Lanka’s debt trap

‘The country has a “herd” of white elephant projects from cricket stadiums in the jungles to empty airports but none of these were financed by multilateral loans.’

– ft.lk/opinion/Sri-Lanka-s-debt-trap/14-704494

• The economy we’re committed to restoring

‘In many markets the economic stimulus packages are expected to cover paid sick leave; maintenance of income to cover the cost of housing, electricity, food and other essential items. This is seen as a strategy to sustain jobs and the economy, protect wages, the welfare of workers, and small businesses.’

– ft.lk/columns/The-economy-we-re-committed-to-restoring/4-704577

• Sri Lanka’s foremost economic challenges: Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

– island.lk/sri-lankas-foremost-economic-challenges/

• Intl. Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka wants Fourth Industrial Revolution championed

‘International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is the world’s largest business organisation representing more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries….Its members include many of the world’s largest companies, SMEs, business associations and local chambers of commerce.’

– ft.lk/business/Intl-Chamber-of-Commerce-Sri-Lanka-congratulates-new-PM-wants-4IR-championed/34-704396

• European Chamber of Commerce congratulates new PM; extends support to revive economy

‘… committed in providing its fullest support towards the implementation of economic policies which will drive sustainable and equitable economic growth in the country./

– ft.lk/business/European-Chamber-of-Commerce-congratulates-new-PM-extends-support-to-revive-economy/34-704477

____________________________________________

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.

• Sri Lanka forex reserves rise to US$7.1bn in July 2020 after India swap

– economynext.com/sri-lanka-forex-reserves-rise-to-us7-1bn-in-july-2020-after-india-swap-72767/

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/sri-lanka-official-reserves-increase-to-7-1bn-in-july-2020/

• Low growth, unemployment and rising costs of living

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/12/new-sri-lankan-parliament-to-help-stabilize-revive-economy-experts/

• Budget deficit in first 5 months up as lockdowns hit revenue

– dailymirror.lk/business-news/Budget-deficit-in-first-5-months-up-as-lockdowns-hit-revenue/273-193489

• Govt. debt drops in May 2020. Foreign debt down by Rs.292.6bn

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/govt-debt-drops-in-may-2020-foreign-debt-down-by-rs-292-6bn/

• Sri Lanka’s exports surpass USD 1bn mark in July with V shape recovery

Being the largest single export destination, USA has absorbed US$ 256.09 Mn worth of exports in July 2020 recording a 5.67% increase in comparison to US$ 242.36 Mn absorbed in June 2020.’

– lankabusinessonline.com/sri-lankas-exports-surpass-usd-1bn-mark-in-july-with-a-v-shape-recovery/

• China & Russia Reduce Dependence on US Dollar

‘During Chinese President Xi’s visit to Russia in June 2019. Moscow and Beijing struck a deal to replace the dollar with national currencies for international settlements between them. The arrangement also called for both  sides to develop alternative payment mechanisms to the US-dominated SWIFT network…’

– asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/China-and-Russia-ditch-dollar-in-move-toward-financial-alliance

• UK economy officially in recession

‘The UK’s service sector, which makes up four fifths of the economy, suffered the biggest quarterly decline on record. Car manufacturing, meanwhile, faced its slowest production rate since 1955.’

– island.lk/uk-economy-officially-in-recession/

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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

• Plan to fire State Enterprise Workers?

“Our opponents are making plans to fire some 500,000 state employees…”

– sundaytimes.lk/200802/columns/polls-at-last-lacklustre-election-campaign-ends-tonight-411316.html

• 50,000 so far lose jobs

‘So far, at least 500,000 workers – directly and indirectly – have lost their jobs largely in tourism and garment-industry related sectors.’

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/business-times/sliding-economy-411605.html

• President recommences suspended scheme to give employment to 150,000

‘The programme to provide employment to 100,000 poorest of the poor will be implemented by the Task Force established solely for this purpose from 02nd, September.’

– island.lk/president-recommences-suspended-scheme-to-give-employment-to-150000/

• Port City protest a matter between contractor and employees: CHEC

‘The Sri Lankan workforce at the site is above 80% and the expat workers are only involved with specialized work which requires experience in handling relevant machineries’

– sundaytimes.lk/article/1123278/port-city-protest-a-matter-between-contractor-and-employees-chec

• Is Port City a colony of China? protesters ask

‘A Port City worker holds a placard protesting what they believe is unfair treatment by their employers, during a protest held today. The protesters alleged special regulations had been imposed in the Port City though the country had returned to normalcy following the COVID-19 outbreak. One of the placards of the protesters said, “Is Port City a colony of China?”’

– dailymirror.lk/caption_story/Is-Port-City-a-colony-of-China-protesters-ask/110-193604

– sundaytimes.lk/article/1123179/in-pictures-port-city-worker-protest-unfair-working-conditions

• Abans FMI offers innovative Facility Management Integrated to Department of Labour

‘Abans FMI DGM Asitha Jayaweera, Abans FMI Director Dr. Manish Shrivastava, Labour Commissioner General R.P.A. Wimalaweera, Abans FMI Managing Director P.K. Pestonjee, Abans FMI Manager A.A.N. Manjula Gunasekara and Abans FMI Legal and HR AGM Nimali Senevirathne’

– ft.lk/business/Abans-FMI-offers-innovative-Facility-Management-Integrated-to-Department-of-Labour/34-704609

• Government makes Advance Personal Income Tax compulsory for foreign workers

‘30,558 foreigners are working in Sri Lanka with work visas which consists of both the new issuance of work visas as well as extensions of existing visas in 2018’

– sundaytimes.lk/article/1123335/government-makes-apit-compulsory-for-foreign-workers

• If Politicians can retire at 70, what of Public Servants?

– dailymirror.lk/top_story/Cabinet-structure-outlines-govt-intentions-SJB/155-193782

• Amendments to fisheries laws, vital to develop sector – Trade unions

‘The fisheries sector comprises over 300,000 direct and another 200,000 indirect beneficiaries contributing around 1.5 per cent to the GDP. Sri Lanka has exclusive fishing and economic rights for an ocean area of 500,000 square kilometres and a coastal line of 1,700 km in addition to inland water bodies, which makes fishery one of the promising industries in the country.’

– sundayobserver.lk/2020/08/09/business/amendments-fisheries-laws-vital-develop-sector-%E2%80%93-trade-unions

• Employees’ Trust Fund keeps its asset base intact

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/business-times/etf-keeps-its-asset-base-intact-411617.html

• New Labour Minister calls for probe on Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau expenses

– dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/New-Labour-Minister-calls-for-probe-on-SLFEB-expenses/108-193783

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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.

• New Overarching Agriculture Policy (OAP) developed by the Department of National Planning

‘The new Overarching Agriculture Policy (OAP) developed by the Department of National Planning of Sri Lanka (still to be approved by the Cabinet of Ministers) is considered a holistic approach to agriculture development covering eight major segments in the agricultural economy, namely, food crops, plantation crops, export agricultural crops, livestock and poultry, fisheries, agrarian services, irrigation, and Environment… The labour force in agriculture in Sri Lanka has reduced from 50% in 1980 to 25.5% in 2018…owing to specifically migration to urban and other economic sectors and mechanization in agriculture.’

– island.lk/sound-policies-a-prerequisite-for-agriculture-development-prof-marambe/

• Sri Lanka offering tax breaks for investments in the agricultural sector – Minister

‘Agriculture employs a quarter of workforce and generates 7% of gross domestic product.’

– economynext.com/sri-lanka-offering-tax-breaks-for-investments-in-the-agricultural-sector-minister-73004/

• 3-ways to ensure women benefit from water and sanitation services: WB

‘90% of Sri Lanka’s population has access to water, only 43% of those in the estate sector, which includes tea plantations, have such access….half of adolescent girls miss school when they have their period.’

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/12/sri-lanka-3-ways-to-ensure-women-benefit-from-water-and-sanitation-services/

• State assists only registered Tea smallholders hit by drought

‘Tea smallholders contribute 76 per cent to the total crop production in the country.’

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/business-times/state-assists-only-registered-smallholders-hit-by-drought-411596.html

• People’s Bank & Spices and Allied Products Producers’ and Traders Association discussion

– lankabusinessonline.com/peoples-bank-sappta-discuss-tailor-made-financial-solutions-to-boost-spice-exports/

• Indian pepper farmers worried over rising imports from SL

– dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Indian-pepper-farmers-worried-over-rising-imports-from-SL/108-193857

• How Healthy is ‘Organic Food’ in Sri Lanka?

– youtube.com/watch?v=y5YA0j_IZJ4

• Army foils bid to smuggle cardamom and turmeric

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/news/army-foils-bid-to-smuggle-cardamom-and-turmeric-411730.html

– dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Navy-seizes-over-6000-kgs-of-turmeric-in-Chilaw-sea/108-193701

• Nanthi Lagoon to be renovated

‘the two-kilometre-long canal linking the Nanthi Lagoon to the Nanthi Kadal Estuary has been overrun with garbage and aquatic plants for a long time.’

– dailynews.lk/2020/08/11/local/225542/nanthi-lagoon-be-renovated

• EU’s Anglo-Dutch TAMAP workshop on e-Agriculture and Digital Market Platforms

‘Participants were provided with information regarding new agricultural technology applications to expand markets and market opportunities….As the agency responsible for dissemination of appropriate agriculture technologies to farming communities, the National Agriculture Information & Communication Centre, Department of Agriculture’s representative at the workshop, S. Periyasamy, Director, elaborated on ‘What are GoSL’s requirements for an e-agriculture system’

– island.lk/tamap-workshop-on-e-agriculture-and-digital-market-platforms-to-strengthen-knowledge-and-initiatives-for-digital-transformation/

• Study on carnivorous fish of Sri Lanka

– island.lk/study-on-carnivorous-fish-of-sri-lanka/

_____________________________________________________________________

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.

• England firm secures £750,000 Sri Lanka Railways order

‘Lincoln-based diesel engine servicing & component specialist IMPS assisted by UK Export Finance secured £750,000 order to supply parts to refurbish Rolls Royce engines used by SL Railways.’

– ft.lk/front-page/UK-firm-secures-GBP-700-000-Sri-Lanka-Railways-order/44-704648

• One arrested for illegally manufacturing weapons

– newsfirst.lk/2020/08/13/one-arrested-for-illegally-manufacturing-weapons/

• Institute of Chemistry holds first international conference: ‘Frontiers in Chemical Technology’

– island.lk/institute-of-chemistry-successfully-holds-first-international-conference-on-frontiers-in-chemical-technology/

• Local Manufacturers Welcome New State Ministry for Pharmaceutical Manufacture

‘…holding 15% of the local pharmaceuticals market… The establishment of the first privately owned Pharmaceutical Manufacturing facility in the year 1956 marked the beginning of the Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association (SLPMA). In the six decades since, its membership has grown to 15 entities including multinational pharmaceutical companies…’

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/local-manufacturers-welcome-new-state-ministry-for-pharmaceutical-manufacture/

• CP Governor promises to cleanse co-operative sector

– island.lk/cp-governor-promises-to-cleanse-co-operative-sector/

 • SIEMENS-DIMO continues to enhance national power supply with CEB

‘DIMO and SIEMENS have been partners for over seven decades adding value to Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Projects in the country with the latest technologies…’

– ft.lk/business/SIEMENS-DIMO-consortium-continues-to-enhance-national-power-supply-with-CEB/34-704504

• Piper Alpha and Titanic – Safety lessons for Oil & Gas Industry

 – island.lk/piper-alpha-and-titanic-safety-lessons-for-oil-gas-industry/

• Construction of Sri Lanka’s largest wind power plant, concludes: CEB

– newsfirst.lk/2020/08/14/construction-of-sri-lankas-largest-wind-power-plant-concludes-ceb/

• Mounting Energy Needs of Private Cars

‘The country has a passenger car population of 850,000 as of 2018 (transport.gov.lk). And we keep adding minimum of 40,000 units a year, although some good years exceeded 100,000 cars.’

– mobility.lk/2019/09/21/energy-for-ev-by-2040

• Mahindra with Ideal Finance enables affordable vehicle purchasing

– island.lk/mahindra-with-ideal-finance-enables-affordable-vehicle-purchasing/

• New Land Rover Defender – An icon reimagined for 21st century unveiled by Access Motors

‘Access Motors, a member of the Access Group and the Sole Agent for Jaguar Land Rover in SL, launched the New Land Rover Defender in Sri Lanka. The first vehicle was officially handed over to its new owner at the launch ceremony held at their state-of-the-art showroom in Colombo 7. Here is Access Motors’ Director Ayesh Fernando, Chief Executive Officer Ravi Perera, Managing Director Theo Fernando and General Manager Sales Sanjaya Jayasinghe with the New Land Rover Defender’

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/new-land-rover-defender-an-icon-reimagined-for-the-21st-century-unveiled-by-access-motors/
• Notice re-issued on Teejay Lanka over alleged sludge waste dumping

‘Police detained 5 bowsers allegedly containing hazardous sludge said to have originated from Teejay Lanka’s plant located at Seethawaka Industrial Estate in Avissawella’

– dailymirror.lk/business-news/Notice-re-issued-on-Teejay-Lanka-over-alleged-sludge-waste-dumping/273-193672

• Fabric and Apparel Accessory Manufacturers AGM

‘Pubudu de Silva; the Chief Executive Officer of Teejay Lanka PLC was elected as the President,

Dhanushka Fernando, Chief Executive Officer Trischel Fabric was elected the Vice Chairman, while Dhananjaya Rajapaksha, Chief Executive Officer of Stretchline was elected the Secretary and Samal Dissanaike, Chief Executive Officer of T&S Buttons was elected as the Treasurer, Executive Committee include Beauno Fernando (Immediate Past Chairman) – Shore to Shore, Hameed Ashraff (Immediate Past Secretary) – Fantasia Narrow Fabrics, Sanjay Chandraratna – A&E Thread Lanka, Lloyd Fernando – Shore to Shore, Ashiq Lafir – Noyon Lanka, Rohan Goonetilleke – Hayley’s Fabric PLC and Privthiv Dorai – South Asia Textiles Industries Lanka Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) is the apex body of associations operating within the textile and apparel industry, where FAAMA is operating under its umbrella. JAAF Chairman A. Sukumaran, JAAF Immediate Past Chairman Sharad Amalean and JAAF Secretary General Tuli Cooray attended the event as special invitees….“The Government is now thinking in terms of domestic production for local consumption and for substitution of imported inputs for export…”’

– ft.lk/business/Fabric-and-Apparel-Accessory-Manufacturers-elect-Pubudu-as-new-President-for-2020-21/34-704418

• Teejay records first net loss since going public

‘Brandix Lanka owns 33.08% of the issued shares of Teejay Lanka while Pacific Textured Jersey Holdings has 27.91 stake being the second largest shareholder of the firm.’

– dailymirror.lk/business-news/Teejay-records-first-net-loss-since-going-public/273-193805

• Apparel sector exports continue to grow in July with support from stakeholders

‘The US, which remains Sri Lanka’s single largest export market (27% of total merchandise exports in 2019), is still battling to flatten the curve…’

– ft.lk/business/Apparel-sector-exports-continue-to-grow-in-July-with-support-from-stakeholders/34-704588

• Government ban hurts dealers of imported furniture

‘The ban on furniture imports while directing state institutions to procure all office chairs and furniture from domestic suppliers manufacturing will hit around 30 local firms, affecting the employment of 2,000 people.. Import of raw materials for local manufacturing activities is to be permitted, provided domestic value addition is at least 30 per cent and foreign exchange savings from import replacement activity should be higher than the value of import of finished products….Local furniture companies and entities with 51 per cent SL ownership will get preferential treatment when bidding for Government tenders under the new regulatory changes. Around 1,170 micro small and medium scale carpenters in the Moratuwa cluster are supplying semi finished furniture to the local market but they are incapable of producing quality office furniture in accordance with technical specifications at present.’

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/business-times/government-ban-hurts-dealers-of-imported-furniture-411432.html

• Govt. gears up to boost exports

‘At least 4 State Ministers tasked with specific export emphasis of several produce types, products’

– ft.lk/top-story/Govt-gears-up-to-boost-exports/26-704542

• NDB partners with Maersk to support exporters venture into new global market opportunities

– colombopage.com/archive_20B/Aug11_1597119809CH.php

• Rock quarry supplying expressway damages over 200 homes – Residents

– sundaytimes.lk/article/1123301/rock-quarry-supplying-expressway-damages-over-200-homes-residents

• Foxconn Says China’s ‘Days as the World’s Factory Are Done’

‘Few are bigger than Taiwanese giant Foxconn, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., which counts 12 factories in nine Chinese cities. The company manufactures everything from the iPhone and Nintendo Switch to Dell’s computers and has a major interest in TVs and personal computers after acquiring Sharp and subsequently Toshiba’s PC business. The company also owns Belkin’

– pcmag.com/news/foxconn-says-chinas-days-as-the-worlds-factory-are-done

• Ukroboronprom’s enterprises to repair three An-32B aircraft for Sri Lanka Air Force

‘Plant 410 Civil Aviation and Antonov State Enterprise, part of Ukraine’s state defense company Ukroboronprom…’

– colombopage.com/archive_20B/Aug12_1597246839CH.php

• Tracified, a Sri Lankan Startup Incubated by 99X Technology receives Japanese Investment

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/tracified-a-sri-lankan-startup-incubated-by-99x-technology-receives-japanese-investment/

• Why Finland’s schools outperform most others across the developed world

– youtu.be/7xCe2m0kiSg

• Limits of Ontario’s Mineral Strategy: The Magino Gold Mine Approval

‘Although the Act says it is illegal to “put deleterious substances into waters frequented by fish,” the MDMER creates a number of exemptions for the mining industry. As of July 2020, across Canada 64 “water bodies” are exempt’.. Gold mining companies raised $2.4-billion in secondary equity offerings during the second quarter – seven times more than they raised last year.

– socialistproject.ca/2020/08/limits-of-ontarios-mineral-strategy/

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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, and false indices, etc.

• Govt. focused on reviving investor confidence, developing capital markets

‘there are five or six financial institutions that have collapsed or are in a weakened state; we can’t rebuild the economy with financial institutions in a weak state…by the end of 2017, the Government bonds market had an investment of $3,400 million, which had declined to $200 million at present’

– ft.lk/front-page/Govt-focused-on-reviving-investor-confidence-developing-capital-markets/44-704653

• LOLC’s “at the helm of the corporate sector”

‘..with a Group PAT of Rs. 19.8 billion which is largely contributed by our strategic foreign ventures.’

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/lolcs-impressive-performance-puts-them-at-the-helm-of-the-corporate-sector/

• LOLC, JKH, Aitken Spence, ComBank, Hayley’s, Brandix, MAS, Hemas,Waving Lanka’s Flag

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/business-times/sl-firms-successfully-grow-in-alien-lands-411619.html

• Tragedy of depositors of finance companies

‘The history of finance companies in Ceylon and continuing into ‘Sri Lanka’, is indeed a pathetic one, starting from the very first major failure, that of HPT Finance (in the 1960s) in which its top management , are said to have found a haven in Australia.’

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/business-times/tragedy-of-depositors-of-finance-companies-411464.html

• NBFI ownership restrictions on Licensed Finance Companies: Who will steer the wheel?

‘NBFI has a customer base of seven million in-forms of four million Borrowers and three million Depositors. It has accommodated 32,000 employees…97% of total assets of NBFI are made of total assets of LFCs.. CBSL is of the view that the Non-Banking Financial Institutes (NBFIs) have issues concerning management, largely due to the main shareholder’s influence towards its policies…. One would wonder as to why with all these directions around, still CBSL is unable to control the main shareholder. It appears CBSL doesn’t want to bell the cat…As there was no level playing field between the NBFI and Banking Financial Industry, banks used their low-cost funds to penetrate the leasing market of NBFI. As a result, NBFI unknowingly pushed into dangerous terrain.’

– ft.lk/columns/NBFI-ownership-restrictions-on-Licensed-Finance-Companies-Who-will-steer-the-wheel/4-704347

• NBFIs shut out of Saubhagya scheme: small, micro businesses suffer

– island.lk/nbfis-shut-out-of-saubhagya-scheme-small-micro-businesses-suffer/

• Ceylon Dollar Bond Fund gains on recovering sovereign bonds

‘Covid-19 financial crisis led to a crash in Sri lanka sovereign bond prices from US 100 dollars to an all-time low of UD 48.15 dollers in May as investors ran to the safety of US treasuries exiting Asian bonds…’

– lankabusinessonline.com/ceylon-dollar-bond-fund-gains-on-recovering-sovereign-bonds/

• Ceylon Dollar Bond Fund gains on recovering Sovereign Bonds

‘CDBF invests exclusively in SL government guaranteed dollar Sovereign Bonds and Development Bonds. Ceylon Asset Management competes with international USD bond managers in operating the CBDF, Sri Lanka’s first international sovereign bond fund that navigates global market conditions…

CDBF is managed by Ceylon Asset Management (CAM) while Deutsche Bank AG serves as the Trustee and Custodian of the fund. CAM is an associate company of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation’

– island.lk/ceylon-dollar-bond-fund-gains-on-recovering-sovereign-bonds/

• Market lending rates continue to descend as banks vie for more biz

– dailymirror.lk/business-news/Market-lending-rates-continue-to-descend-as-banks-vie-for-more-biz/273-193722

• Banking sector face further increase in NPLs – Head of Research, ICRA Lanka (Moody’s)

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/banking-sector-to-face-further-increase-in-npls-head-of-research-icra-lanka/

• NDB Revenues Under pressure

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/ndb-navigates-through-crises-with-stability-and-resilience-committed-to-propel-national-economic-revival/

• DFCC records a PAT of Rs.1.8bn for 1H 2020

‘… after fair value loss on investment in Commercial Bank equity securities…The DFCC Group comprises of DFCC Bank and its subsidiaries – Lanka Industrial Estates (LINDEL), DFCC Consulting and Synapsys, the joint venture company – Acuity Partners and National Asset Management.’

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/dfcc-group-records-a-pat-of-rs-1-8bn-for-1h-2020/

– dailymirror.lk/business__main/Reclassification-of-ComBank-shares-lifts-DFCC-Bank-June-earnings/245-193723

• Sampath Bank posts Rs. 5.3 b pre-tax profit in 1H

– ft.lk/front-page/Sampath-Bank-posts-Rs-5-3-b-pre-tax-profit-in-1H/44-704548

– island.lk/sampath-bank-backed-by-a-one-trillion-rupee-balance-sheet-works-hand-in-hand-with-all-stakeholders/

• Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank expects 5-6% credit growth 2020, buys ISBs

‘the island’s largest private bank …Commercial Bank had bought sovereign bonds when prices fell’

– economynext.com/sri-lankas-commercial-bank-expects-5-6-percent-credit-growth-2020-buys-isbs-72956/

• BOC appoints new chief marketing officer

‘previously held manager-level marketing positions at Pan Asia Bank, National Savings Bank, and Seylan Merchant Bank.’

– island.lk/boc-appoints-new-chief-marketing-officer/

• Govt. & ADB to introduce new refinance scheme as ‘Saubhagya’ set to expire

‘there is already a refinance scheme assisted by the ADB for SMEs titled, ‘Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Line of Credit Project,’ for which the Manila-based development lender has assigned US$ 175 million and the fund utilisation is nearing completion.’

– dailymirror.lk/business-news/Govt-to-introduce-new-refinance-scheme-as-Saubhagya-set-to-expire/273-193673

• Sri Lanka markets quiet after election (Aug. 7)

– economynext.com/sri-lanka-markets-quiet-after-election-72764/

• Stock market soars on strong Cabinet; improved outlook with political stability

‘Brokers and analysts attributed the rebound in sentiments to the appointment of a strong Cabinet, following the landslide victory by the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), as well as selection of former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal as the State Minister of Finance, Capital Markets and Public Enterprise Reforms, as well as former SEC Chairman and public-private sector famous Dr. Nalaka Godahewa as the State Minister of Urban Development. Seasoned investor Nimal Perera tweeted mid-day he was responsible for half of the turnover at that time…Bulk of Commercial Bank shares had been bought by Rusi Captain, whose holding in the largest and most profitable private sector bank is now estimated at around 14 million shares. LOLC, in which he has about 14 million shares, is a new stock favoured by Captain…’

– ft.lk/front-page/Stock-market-soars-on-strong-Cabinet-improved-outlook-with-political-stability/44-704536

• Election hype short-lived: Stock market investors fail to cheer SLPP landslide (Aug. 8)

– ft.lk/front-page/Election-hype-short-lived-Stock-market-investors-fail-to-cheer-SLPP-landslide/44-704296

• Stock market gathers momentum; better corporate earnings helpful (Aug. 14)

– ft.lk/front-page/Stock-market-gathers-momentum-better-corporate-earnings-helpful/44-704547

• Sri Lanka rupee stronger, bond yields ease at open (Aug. 14)

– economynext.com/sri-lanka-rupee-stronger-bond-yields-ease-at-open-73001/

• Shares rise for fourth session as industrial stocks gain (aug. 15)

‘Conglomerate John Keells Holdings PLC and Lion Brewery (Ceylon) Plc were the biggest boosts…’

– ft.lk/front-page/Shares-rise-for-fourth-session-as-industrial-stocks-gain/44-704655

• Commercial paper issuers face rollover challenges as investors find haven in G-Secs – Moody’s

‘Commercial paper issuers in Sri Lanka found themselves in a fix at the height of the pandemic, as they found it difficult to find investors to roll over their debt instruments as investors had parked their funds in low-risk assets such as government securities…’

– dailymirror.lk/business-news/Commercial-paper-issuers-face-rollover-challenges-as-investors-find-safe-haven-in-G-Secs/273-193488

• SLT Group’s Operating Profit soared by 55% in First-Half 2020, despite Covid-19 Pandemic

‘”Dailymirror.lk is not liable nor responsible for the contents published in this article”’

– dailymirror.lk/press-releases/SLT-Groups-Operating-Profit-soared-by-55-in-First-Half-2020-despite-Covid-19-Pandemic/335-193656

• Over 60% of global bank rating outlooks are negative – Fitch

– bizenglish.adaderana.lk/over-60-of-global-bank-rating-outlooks-are-negative-fitch/

___________________________________________________________________________________

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’

• Daintee acquisition to boost Sunshine’s defensive cash flows: Fitch

‘Daintee holds 40% of the domestic confectionery market, which includes product segments such as hard-boiled candy and bubble gum, supported by a distribution network of 90,000 outlets focused mainly on the rural parts of Sri Lanka….Sunshine Holdings PLC’s 100% acquisition of Sri Lanka-based confectionery maker Daintee…The required funds will be raised via its fully-owned subsidiary, Watawala Tea Ceylon, which will subsequently consolidate Daintee into the company’

– ft.lk/front-page/Daintee-acquisition-to-boost-Sunshine-s-defensive-cash-flows-Fitch/44-704649

• Capital Alliance Partners advises Sunshine Holdings on Rs. 1.7 b acquisition of Daintee

‘Daintee is one of the largest players in the confectionary space in Sri Lanka with over 95,000 touchpoints. Sunshine Holdings has a core focus on healthcare, agribusiness, consumer goods and renewable energy’

– ft.lk/business/CAL-advises-Sunshine-Holdings-on-Rs-1-7-b-acquisition-of-Daintee/34-704608

• MPs should submit asset declarations before Aug. 20

– dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/MPs-should-submit-asset-declarations-before-Aug-20/108-193781

• Multi-family office sees growing opportunities in Sri Lanka

‘Rob Ioannau, founder of Heritage Partners, had worked with JP Morgan, HSBC and Development Bank of Singapore… Heritage Partners is backed by Capital Alliance (CAL), a Colombo-based investment banking group…HP has currently identified over 150 families in Colombo that have assets including a business in excess of 50 million US dollars…. Central banks that have liberalized exchange controls also helps as it Ioannau says it allows capital to flow in and out of the country…’

– economynext.com/multi-family-office-sees-growing-opportunities-in-sri-lanka-72998/

• Sri Lanka Insurance declares highest ever life insurance bonus of Rs. 8.2 b

– ft.lk/front-page/Sri-Lanka-Insurance-declares-highest-ever-life-insurance-bonus-of-Rs-8-2-b/44-704535

• Ceylinco Life reports 6-month income of Rs 17.1 billion

– lankabusinessonline.com/ceylinco-life-reports-6-month-income-of-rs-17-1-billion/

• Aitken Spence 1Q performance clouded by tourism sector woes

– dailymirror.lk/business__main/Aitken-Spence-1Q-performance-clouded-by-tourism-sector-woes/245-193808

• Aitken Spence shows strong comeback in Q1 through improved performance in June 2020

– island.lk/aitken-spence-shows-strong-comeback-in-q1-through-improved-performance-in-june-2020/

– ft.lk/front-page/Aitken-Spence-shows-strong-comeback-in-1Q-via-improved-performance-in-June/44-704543

• Colombo commercial real estate market set to face supply glut

– dailymirror.lk/business-news/Colombo-commercial-real-estate-market-set-to-face-supply-glut/273-193807

• Overseas Realty says no premature lease terminations due to COVID-19

‘The company hasn’t so far seen any premature lease terminations at its World Trade Centre (WTC) or cancellation of sale agreements of its Havelock City residential properties…The management estimates the pandemic and resulting lockdowns, which halted the construction, could delay the projects, including its 50-storey office tower and a shopping mall by at least three to four months….As at June 30, 2020, Singapore-based Shing Kwan Investment Co. held 38.43% stake in the company, followed by 18.66% stake by Unity Builder , 12.77% stake by Shing Kwan (Pvt) Ltd and 12.62% by Peeli bringing the total stake to 82.48%.

– dailymirror.lk/business-news/Overseas-Realty-says-no-premature-lease-terminations-due-to-COVID-19/273-193670’

• Hemas Holdings revenue declines 1.6% to Rs. 13 b in 1Q

– ft.lk/front-page/Hemas-Holdings-revenue-declines-1-6-to-Rs-13-b-in-1Q/44-704656

• Sri Lanka’s aviation sector flies through economic turbulence

‘Estimated profit before tax of Airport & Aviation Services Ltd, the state company managing airports, up to April 30, 2020 was Rs. 1,415 million which is a 76% reduction compared with a profit of Rs. 5,940 million recorded in the same period of 2019’

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/business-times/sri-lankas-aviation-sector-flies-through-economic-turbulence-411603.html

• Expolanka achieves strong growth in 1Q amidst challenging external environment

– ft.lk/front-page/Expolanka-achieves-strong-growth-in-1Q-amidst-challenging-external-environment/44-704544

• Tourism industry can’t pay back loans

‘The 6- month salary loan will allow businesses in the tourism industry to pay loans of workers at the rate of Rs.20,000 as some are said to be at home.’

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/business-times/tourism-industry-cant-pay-back-loans-411610.html

• Schneider Electric USA forum

‘ECO33 customers include the Indian hotel chain giant Taj Samudra, Cinnamon Grand and Cinnamon Lakeside of John Keells PLC, Seylan Development Tower (Seylan Bank HQ), Shangri-La office and mall, Brandix Apparel, MAS Active, Bandaranaike International Airport…’

– ft.lk/business/Lankan-born-Australian-award-winner-Dammica-Wickramaratne-speaks-at-Schneider-Electric-USA-forum/34-704607

• FCCISL congratulates Rajapaksa; expects productivity-led economic growth

‘Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka…the apex body of the chamber movement consisting 63 chambers and business associations including MSME’s which contribute around 60% to GDP..’

– ft.lk/front-page/FCCISL-congratulates-Rajapaksa-expects-productivity-led-economic-growth/44-704369

• 23rd AGM of Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Council

‘Tan Beng Chuan – Vice President, Rohitha Mendis – Immediate Past President, Prajeeth Balasubramaniam – President, Janaka Gunasekera – Vice President, and Shiluka Gunawardena – Vice President. Standing from left: Aitken Spence Cargo Vice President Jerome Brohier, Kalhari Enterprises Chairman/Group Managing Director Indhra Kaushal Rajapaksa, Overseas Realty (Ceylon) Head of Leasing Kumi Miranda, MAC Holdings Chief Financial Officer Tilak Gunawardana, Spear International Chairman/Managing Director Shamil Mendis, Sudath Perera Associates Partner Dushyantha Perera, Tengri Aero Industries Chairman Eric Wikramanayake, and Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Manager (Business Councils) Dinithi Dias… BOV Capital Managing Partner Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, was elected President of the Council, 2020-2021. A Baur & Co. Deputy Managing Director (Agri Inputs) Janaka Gunasekara, Prima Ceylon Group General Manager Tan Beng Chuan, and KPMG Partner Shiluka Gunawardena were elected Council Vice Presidents… Aitken Spence Cargo, Kalhari Enterprises, MAC Holdings, Overseas Realty (Ceylon), Spear International, Sudath Perera Associates, Tengri Aero Industries were elected to the Executive Committee’

– ft.lk/business/23rd-AGM-of-Sri-Lanka-Singapore-Business-Council/34-704590

• Chinese no longer need to know English to apply for Lankan tourist visas

– dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/The-Chinese-no-longer-need-to-know-English-to-apply-for-Lankan-tourist-visas/108-193785

______________________________________________________

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.

• Dodgy Politics of ‘Viyathuns’

‘One of the biggest challenges of the new President is striking a balance between the technocrats and the seasoned politicians, headed by MR, working at grass-root level; in other words establishing a close relationship between the technocrats, who are clad in three-piece suits, and the seasoned politicians who wear cloth and banyan’

– island.lk/dodgy-politics-of-viyathuns/

• Full List: New Cabinet Ministers and State Ministers

– adaderana.lk/news/66385/full-list-new-cabinet-ministers-and-state-ministers

• District Coordination Committee Heads appointed

– newsfirst.lk/2020/08/12/district-coordination-committee-heads-appointed/

• New Ministry Secretaries appointed; Anil Jasinghe to Environment Ministry

– adaderana.lk/news/66422/new-ministry-secretaries-appointed-anil-jasinghe-to-environment-ministry

• Smiles and grimaces: Notable Absences from Cabinet List

– island.lk/smiles-and-grimaces/

– ft.lk/front-page/State-ministerial-portfolios-viewed-with-amusement/44-704531

– ft.lk/front-page/Sirisena-and-10-former-Ministers-left-out-of-Cabinet/44-704530

• At least 14 new Cabinet Ministers have corruption charges against them – Opposition

‘Ali Sabry, the Justice Minister, was the lawyer who represented Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa and 14 other current cabinet members who have corruption charges levelled against them’

– economynext.com/at-least-14-new-cabinet-ministers-have-corruption-charges-levelled-against-them-opposition-72969/

• United Socialist Party questions legality of PM, ministers swearing in

– newsfirst.lk/2020/08/13/usp-questions-legality-of-pm-ministers-swearing-in/

• Electoral success of non-career candidates is a phenomenal change in Sri Lankan politics

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/13/electoral-success-of-non-career-candidates-is-a-phenomenal-change-in-sri-lankan-politics/

• The dilemma of the victory – Ivan

‘Had there been a First-Past-The-Post (FPTP) electoral system that was in operation prior to 1977 instead of the current system of Proportional Representation, the result achieved by the Pohottuwa (SLPP) could have been much greater than the result achieved by the United National Party (UNP) in 1977. The landslide victory of the UNP at the ’77 election resulted in weakening the Opposition movements in the Sinhala south to a maximum and creating a single party hegemony…’

– ft.lk/columns/The-dilemma-of-the-victory/4-704575

• SJB warns of centralised power within Cabinet; claims intellectuals side-lined

– ft.lk/news/SJB-warns-of-centralised-power-within-Cabinet-claims-intellectuals-side-lined/56-704551

• Winning 3 Consecutive Elections For SLPP : Basil: Force That Turned Politics Topsy-Turvy

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/14/winning-three-consecutive-elections-for-slpp-basil-the-force-that-tuned-lankan-politics-topsy-turvy/

• Fascinating features of Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa’s early life

‘He became a card carrying member of the Ceylon Mercantile Union (CMU) and was elected CMU branch secretary in 1967.’

– ft.lk/columns/Fascinating-features-of-Premier-Mahinda-Rajapaksa-s-early-life/4-704439

• Ranil Wickremesinghe to lead the UNP for six more months

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/14/ranil-wickremesinghe-to-lead-the-unp-for-six-more-months/

• Former President Chandrika makes a special statement to the media (video)

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/14/former-president-chandrika-makes-a-special-statement-to-the-media-video/

• OPPP’s General Secretary missing? Controversy over National List seat

‘He said that they have justifiable suspicions as to whether the Thero is being hidden under international involvement or religious extremist involvement or government involvement or opposition involvement.’

– adaderana.lk/news/66351/oppps-general-secretary-missing-controversy-over-national-list-seat

• Dr Wijedasa Rajapakse – A Professional Or Spoiled Man?

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/14/dr-wijedasa-rajapakse-a-professional-or-spoiled-man/

• While Gnanasara and Rathana Theros squabble over Parliamentary seat party Chairman stakes claim

– economynext.com/while-gnanasara-and-rathana-theros-squabble-over-parliamentary-seat-party-chairman-stakes-claim-72844/

• Erstwhile JVP comrade urges Anura Kumara, Tilvin to quit like Ranil

– island.lk/erstwhile-comrade-urges-anura-kumara-tilvin-to-quit-like-ranil

• Dr. Arambepola for more space for women activists, welcomes Dr. Amarasuriya’s appointment

– island.lk/dr-arambepola-for-more-space-for-women-activists-welcomes-dr-amarasuriyas-appointment/

• Rights activist and academic Dr Harini Amarasuriya is the NPP National List nominee

– economynext.com/rights-activist-and-academic-dr-harini-amarasuriya-is-the-npp-national-list-nominee-72873/

• GR’s opportunity to remint Sri Lanka

‘13 year conspiratorial quest in tatters…A successful and popular government ousted from power by foreign conspirators and local traitors with the people rallying around their fallen leaders to restore them to power is a recurring theme in the history of politics,’

– island.lk/grs-opportunity-to-remint-sri-lanka/

• GR is Big Business’ Only Hope – Editorial

– island.lk/absolute-power/

• Deals & Networks

‘The SLPP also took a leaf out of JR’s and former president R Premadasa’s UNP by building solid networks on the ground, reaching out and creating the Samurdhi schemes, ensuring the loyalty of the grassroot level leaders as well as the village officials..a network held together by village Buddhist temples, Monks and Temple societies who have been assiduously cultivated by SLPP leaders…In the bitter battles inside the UNP, SJB leaders accused Wickremesinghe and his supporters of “having a deal with the Rajapaksas to bring them back to power.” One of the SJB Spokesmen Imthiaz Bakeer Markar said that Wickremesinghe this is because the UNP leader “wants to be saved from prosecution for the bonds scam and other deals….Uyangoda says that the attempt by the NPP to attract more professionals to the party as candidates who are not cadre members did not work. “The JVP has lost its rural base and is trying to attract the Middle-class urban vote and that has not succeeded,””

– economynext.com/gotabaya-rajapaksa-has-been-strengthened-and-now-he-has-to-deal-with-multiple-crises-72781/

• General Elections 2020 and the case of Sunil Handunetti

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/columns/general-elections-2020-and-the-case-of-sunil-handunetti-411790.html

• UNP bewails ‘movements have replaced political parties’

– sundaytimes.lk/200809/columns/on-stunning-electoral-victories-and-the-value-of-impermanence-411856.html

• A Major Shift In Sri Lanka’s Politics – Uyangoda

– colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-major-shift-in-sri-lankas-politics/

• ‘Colombo’ and its alleged ‘advanced consciousness’

‘Dayan Jayatilleka’s political loyalties weren’t always with the winners of the respective elections. Was his ‘consciousness’ in decline at such moments when he stood against the majority decision of the respective voters?’

– malindawords.blogspot.com/

• Dayan Opts for US Democratic Party

 – colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-election-result-and-the-intelligentsia/

• US activist Angela Davis says Kamala Harris makes Democratic ticket ‘more palatable’

– reuters.com/article/us-people-angela-davis-election/us-political-activist-angela-davis-says-kamala-harris-makes-democratic-ticket-more-palatable-idUSKCN25930Y

• Kamala Harris’ VP nomination historic: Tamil-Turk chief of staff Rohini Kosoglu

– economynext.com/kamala-harris-vp-nomination-historic-sri-lankan-american-chief-of-staff-rohini-kosoglu-72973

__________________________________________________________

C11. Media (Mis/Coverage of economics, technology, science and art)

ee Media shows how corporate media monopoly determines what is news, art, culture, etc., as part of the public relations (corporate propaganda) industry. It fails to highlight our real priorities. There’s also a need to read between the lines. To set new perspectives and priorities.

• How political campaigns use your personal information

‘“Marketing agencies which provided support to the candidates had obtained personal data from a particular database and circulated messages about candidates during the election silence period”’

– dailymirror.lk/news-features/How-political-campaigns-use-your-personal-information/131-193619

• Buddhism in Present Day Eastern Province Part 5

‘Animosity towards Buddhism in the Eastern Province is becoming confrontational. There’s now an open tussle between Buddhists and non Buddhists there. Neither side is prepared to give in.’

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/12/buddhism-in-present-day-eastern-province-part-5/

• Dr. Nalin de Silva bemoans the “The Cultural Narrative of Western Science” – yet again!

– lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/08/13/dr-nalin-de-silva-bemoans-the-the-cultural-narrative-of-western-science-yet-again/

• Sri Lanka Amarapura Maha Nikaya Sangha Sabha Office Named ‘Sir Cyril De Zoysa Commemoration Building’

– island.lk/sri-lanka-amarapura-maha-nikaya-sangha-sabha-office-named-sir-cyril-de-zoysa-commemoration-building-to-be-declared-open-soon/

• James Goonewardene in Times of the Apocalypse

– dailymirror.lk/news-features/James-Goonewardene-in-Times-of-the-Apocalypse/131-193621

Published by ee ink.

This site is inspired by the dedicated scholarship and work of S.B.D. de Silva, author of "The Political Economy of Underdevelopment"

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