The ee Archive: eesrilanka.wordpress.com
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
Industrial Apartheid in Sri Lanka
e-Con e-News 16-22 August 2020
“The first freedom of the press is not to be a business”
Blackout is a Whiteout! • Wimalasurendra & Early Nationalism • Philip’s 1958 Agricultural Plan • US Boots for US markets • Genes, Femmes & Whites • What a White Policeman told an ANC Warrior • Unilever Creams Women
Our multibillion-rupee media are paid well to act like newborn babas, as if seeing the light of the world anew for the first time, every day. This week’s 5th nationwide ‘blackout’ in recent memory, makes apt Wimalasurendra’s revelations about hydroelectricity projects of a century ago:
“Power”, not just of the electrical type, becomes a highly superprofitable con-act in a still-colonized country, to obstruct industrialization. It’s now over a century that Wimalasurendra’s cry for industrialization, inspired early nationalists like Cumaratunga Munidasa, Anargarika Dharmapala – yet the media manifests a monumental amnesia. (see ee Focus, Developmental Nationalism)
The media also acts the baba about agriculture, and the rural home market, where any industrialization program must be rooted. This ee discusses Philip Gunawardena’s Agricultural Plan of 1958, and the urgency of an overall plan. ee also surveys Hector Abhayavardana’s take on rural revival.
• In exchange for gaining access to the US market, we’re told we must allow US boots on Sri Lankan soil!… Check out how US military encroachment in Africa grew even more under Obama – making him the ‘whitest’ US President in US history (see ee Sovereignty). As for all the blah-blah about ‘Kamala’ – the latest viagra of color for tired Irish Joe Biden being a ‘Jamaican-Indian feminist’ etc VP – ee resounds again, whiteness is more than a gene.
ee also records the memoirs of a member of uMkhonte we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), and his conversation with his former white captor on why industrial knowledge is the essential apartheid (see ee Focus).
This ‘industrial apartheid’ also makes sense to us. The white media, fully in hock to the advertising budgets of Unilever, et al, have no wish to spread such producer knowledge (see Random Notes). Also note how Unilever is slathering Astra over the population, claiming to “empower home-based female entrepreneurship”! Fair&Ugly indeed! (see ee Agriculture)
A1. Reader Comments –
Color or Religion? • ee is a History Lesson • Meegama on Philip Fascinates • ee must Delegate • Tobacco Giants go for Ganja High Profits
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Ray Wijewardene • Biden More Hawkish • Presidential Travels • Parakramabahu & Labor Power • Free Press as Confessor • USAID Wants You! • Industry & Home Market
A3. Random Notes –
• How do Multinationals influence Elections? • Damoclean Swords over Gota • State Banks long Strangled – Nothing New • Green Professors • Exports Gospel • Mirror no mirror • Rs151bn SLIM is Obese
B. ee Focus
B1. Like Old Babi Achchi – Philip Gunawardana & the Making of Plans
B2. Labor & the Village
B3. Early 20thC Developmental Nationalism: from Marcus Fernando & Wimalasurendra
B4. ‘I’ll Never Forget What a White Man Told Me in Zimbabwe in 1980’ – Thula Bopela
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.
• “Tho ee often mention ‘whites’ as the miscreants, could it be more about religion?”
• “Realized ee is as much a weekly lesson in forgotten history as the week’s economic news. The recent Meegama revelations and Wimalasurendra-related stuff are all new to me.”
• “I once wrote an article in the Sunday Times about producing weapons, including aircraft locally, using Taiwan as an example. The only real response I got was from Ray, who invited me to his cum office. We discussed microlights and alternative weapons. When he designed his two wheel tractor, he found nobody in SL could manufacture it, so he leased the rights to Landmaster. In 1975 the SLAF began manufacturing 2 wheel tractors branded as “Guvan” if I remember rightly.”
• “Cigarette sales are dropping globally & the industry is in dire need for a new legal substance that can be smoked. Tobacco giants have started to invest extensively in cannabis industry (eg Altria-Marlboro owner). Rajitha as health minister promoted cannabis & wanted to legalize it. UNP is for it. JVP/FSP is for it and actively promote it in the universities. So-called radical artists are for it. Recently massive grants have become available if university academics take up pro-cannabis research. Not so for other much more important studies. It’s easy money to do cannabis research. Now many nationalists too have become pro-cannabis. Sisira Jayakody promises to legalize it upon Nalaka Hamuduruwo’s request. Surprisingly there seems to be no other issue in current politics that all camps agree unanimously, apart from cannabis legalization.”
• “Meegama’s book is obviously fascinating, especially Philip’s expose of the wizards of Lanka’s foreign miseducated political class and the socioeconomic & political miseducation of the masses. Dedicate some space in every ee to some part(s) of his book. This will not only help expose this obvious treasure but will also promote and preserve it in the public domain for generations to come.”
• “I understand & appreciate ee’s good work. It’s a lot of effort to put together all this work. However, there is also an easier ways to accomplish the impossible. One way is the delegate. Share the burden with others of similar mind. You’ll be amazed how much can be achieved: 2 hands get more done than one. Give one person a task of removing a mountain and come back 2,000 years later, I bet nothing of significance would have resulted from that one individual’s efforts. Even if it meant work 24/7 for 2,000 years. But put 2,000 people to remove that same mountain, I give you my worthless word that they could accomplish the very task in a few miserable years. Cheers.”
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• “How did you come here?” was a question that Ray Wijewardene regularly asked visitors to his Colombo home and office. The typical answer was: by some form of motorised transport – bus, car, three-wheeler or motor cycle.“Just think about it for a minute,” Ray would urge them. “You just came here in an imported vehicle that was fuelled by imported oil…and travelling on roads paved with imported bitumen (tar)!” He’d wait for a few seconds for that to sink in, and then ask: “Everything imported! Do you still believe we’re an independent nation?”
• “Many see Biden as more hawkish on foreign policy and Trump as more insular (and technically not starting any new wars)”
• “I travelled all over the country…in this election. Instead of holding political rallies, I went to the people during these visits and listened to their grievances directly. A large majority of issues presented by the general public were not personal, but were common issues.” – President
“As for King Parakramabahu I, there was no need for borrowing abroad to finance local development works, for 2 reasons. First, the budgetary policy adopted by all Lankan kings was that of surplus budgeting. Kings were advised to build treasuries full of resources because that was a symbol of their power. To build such treasuries, they should spend less than what they had as revenue, gifts or expropriations. The resultant surplus enabled them to undertake massive development projects or meritorious works. The 2nd reason was the high and inclusive taxation policy adopted by all ancient kings. People had to pay income tax not by using money, which was in short supply at that time, but by providing free labor services to the king under a system called Rajakaariya or compulsory royal service.” – Wijeya Group toyboy-economist Wijewardena
• “A fiscal transfer to capitalists, which must entail heavier taxation of the working people if the fiscal deficit is to remain within the bounds imposed by finance capital, essentially means a shift of income distribution from the working people to the capitalists. This reduces aggregate demand at the margin (since the workers consume much more out of a rupee transferred than the capitalists), and hence, far from causing larger investment, has the very opposite effect of shrinking private investment.” – Patnaik
• “The free press is the ubiquitous vigilant eye of a people’s soul, the embodiment of a people’s faith in itself, the eloquent link that connects the individual with the state and the world, the embodied culture that transforms material struggles into intellectual struggles and idealizes their crude material form. It is a people’s frank confession to itself, and the redeeming power of confession is well known. It is the spiritual mirror in which a people can see itself, and self-examination is the first condition of wisdom. It is the spirit of the state, which can be delivered into every cottage, cheaper than coal gas. It is all-sided, ubiquitous, omniscient. It is the ideal world which always wells up out of the real world and flows back into it with ever greater spiritual riches and renews its soul” – Marx, waxing idealistic!
• “An International NGO, headquartered in Washington, DC, seeks an experienced Program Manager to join its SL programs… responsible for implementing the organization’s component of a USAID-funded program under the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening…focus on building the capacity of Sri Lankan MPs to increase efficiency, inclusivity, & transparency. .. Primary Responsibilities: …Liaise with local civil society organizations, parliament, and international organizations… Regularly prepare written reports to the organization’s headquarters in Washington that monitor political developments and provide analysis and updates on activities;…Fluency in written and spoken English and Sinhala; proficiency in Tamil preferred…” – In other words, help them find out who to bribe?!
• “Developing industry requires a rural home market, with a steady output of agricultural raw materials to provide a minimum of agricultural produce for supplying industry, for supplying workers. To lay a foundation for the economy, to build industry, we have to begin with agriculture… In the USA, industry first grew up based on the home market, exporting to foreign markets only 12% of output. This is the basis of the bond between industry and peasant economy.” – [??]
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• We cannot expect capitalist media or election observers (themselves recipients of imperialist largesse) to tell us how multinational corporations deliver “block votes” to their favored candidates. But rumor buzzed this week how an evangelical Assembler of Sunday Gold, linked to that US promised land, delivered 20,000 votes in exchange for a doctoral candidate’s assurance their divine nominee would be added to the national list, knocking out more local suitors.
• Several Damoclean swords swashbuckle menace over the head of the new government and the people’s choices – the sword of the Pentagon policing Trincomalee, of postmodern Trump, sleazy Biden, crass Kamala, Guju Modi, unpayable IMF debt, shrinking US markets, EU paternalism, English hypocrisy, Disaporic intrigue. All for what?
The banshee wail of the naysayers, the media then deigns to amplify: ‘Despots! Militarization! Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinism! Majoritarian Bullying! Exports! FDI! Debt! No import controls! No import substitution! Sell Public Institutions! Oligarchy! Corruption! Flexible Labor Laws!’… Blah blah.
ee responds: “Form Village and Workplace Councils! Industrialize! Recapture the Home market! Capital controls!” This is what the capitalist and their media find most haram and unkosher.
• “Government set to probe state banks irregularities over last 5 years” reads this week’s headline. Yet the truth is these banks, including the Central Bank, were strangled at birth, as Philip Gunawardena pointed out in 1958! (see ee 2 Aug, also ee 31 May[, 21])
There is intermittent talk about an industrial development bank. But it’s only talk apparently, since the whites will not allow it (see ee Industry). While there’s lot of talk of setting up industries and announcing new inventions, the issue is: are profits invested in making machinery?
The media love to wax about corruption, but none are more corrupt than the media – so-called handmaiden of ‘democracy’, the so-called national confessants. The issue anyway is not simply corruption but underdevelopment. If we had all 330 million gods running this import-export plantation farce, the hemorrhaging will continue! The lack of a class dedicated to capital accumulation is the greatest issue. And the state banks have not helped.
Isn’t the Colombo Stock Brokers Association and its 18 member companies’ claim this week, they are “striving to develop the Sri Lankan economy” – a sad joke?! Not to make a quicky buck?
• An interview with a highly decorated professor of agriculture mentions none of the key issues brought up over the years by such dedicated observers as Philip G and Hector A. Instead, this tie-coat green-sataka-swathed academic, talking “climate change” rattles off a list of high-tech this and organic that, and of course in between inserts the babble that import controls are bad, etc, and how we must look to the private sector. The private sector is reaping vast profits from drugs, prostitution (worker trafficking) etc, so why on earth would they sully the blood on the hands with good honest work?
In ee Economists section, readers can count for themselves a sampling of how many times the word “exports” was mentioned this week by economists, professors and politicians. At this moment it’s a joke and a scandal to keep mumbling “exports” when the US and EU are closing their markets! More hilarious is the call that we must allow the US military access because they’re a big destination for hopes and highly import-dependent export goods! Meanwhile, ee Workers is our briefest section, evincing the lack of coverage of the country’s greatest ‘resource’.
• Fake Advertising hit another high with the SL Institute of Marketing (SLIM) announcing a “Made-in-Sri-Lanka” campaign to bring inventors into the “limelight”. This comes a week after their annual meeting. It’s meant to whitewash the fact the “Rs151billion” ‘marketing’ business in Sri Lanka is solely dedicated to selling foreign products to Lankans, whereas in other countries, marketers sell local products to their own home market first, and then if necessary to the world.
As ee keeps noting, every week a headline is splashed about some lonesome invention, by a ‘private -public partnership’. This PPP magic thrills even astute readers. When we all know there’s no producer culture! Most of SLIM’s members are obese, with fat and easy profits, yet promote the paler, anorexic figures of beauty.
B. Special Focus_
B1. Like Old Babi Achchi – Philip Gunawardana & the Making of Plans
“A plan cannot be made in a day, a few months or even one or 2 years… the first 5-Year Plan in India was in incubation for about 10 years; material was gathered by the Congress Party, books were written on the subject; and the vast literature that was produced on the first 5-Year Plan of the USSR, the Gosplan, was at the disposal of the people who were responsible for getting together the material and preparing that plan…We are ourselves are to blame to some extent…the Left parties who got up on platforms and talked a lot but seldom buckled down to producing anything worthwhile. If a plan was not produced we ourselves must share the blame, not the UNP and others only. For 20 long years, we were in a political field, we were in touch with the peasantry, we organized the workers, but we failed to study things carefully and produce a plan…” – Philip Gunawardana
Philip felt that we had to learn to industrialize by trial and error, like “old Babi Achchi” learning to ride a bicycle. He pointed to the English Left-Keynesians (like Joan Robinson) visiting China, who were “struck by the tremendous achievements of the People’s Republic’, and found ways to reconcile the economics of Keynes and Marx. (Between 1957-59, the Sri Lankan government invited foreign economists: John R Hicks, Nicholas Kaldor, Joan Robinson, Oskar Lange, John K Galbraith, Ursula Hicks and Gunnar Myrdal, to each write an article on our economy.)
Philip singled out the “rolling plan” suggested by Myrdal: “3 rolling plans functioning at the same time. You have a One-Year Plan, specific details worked out to the minutest part; then you have a 3-Year or a 5-Year Plan of which this One-Year Plan is a part…” Philip then elaborated on such a plan and the need for manoueuvrability.
“The trouble with plans”, biographer Meegama interjects, “was they tended to focus on investments and targets sometimes to the neglect of policies”. In Sri Lankan agriculture the reshaping of policy was all important. On how to rescue and strengthen the ande farmer. How to efficiently reform cooperatives to deliver credit to the cultivator, to prevent fragmentation of the plantations and finance the nationalization of the sterling plantation companies.
The author feels the Myrdal plan was more pragmatic than the USSR or Indian plans that laid down fixed investment schedules for 5 years and allowed little room for delays, errors, shortages.
Myrdal felt the crucial factor was not foreign aid or economics but social discipline of the masses. Philip’s plans for rural development laid “heavy stress on people’s organizations, cultivation committees and cooperatives”. He wanted the people to help themselves; the government could only assist in developing and building the institutional framework. Foreign exchange had to be utilized properly to buy capital goods, equipment for development needs, rather than waste it in buying consumer articles.
In July 1958, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food brought out a detailed plan for peasant and plantation agriculture. Philip in debate noted, the PM had wished to set up Planning Committees in all ministries concerned with development. Philip also appointed a Committee to inquire into the fragmentation of tea and rubber plantations, which some local capitalists were eviscerating, selling factories as scrap to Pettah merchants and land by strips to speculators, throwing thousands out of work. The Committee was boycotted by the Treasury under the Minister of Finance, but Philip still pushed an Anti-Fragmentation Bill through parliament in December 1957.
Meegama’s chapter on the Plan notes Philip’s ambitious program to revitalize the village economy, the need for accurate and detailed statistics, to enable a scientific basis for agricultural extension, and the importance of state farms and crop insurance. It also provides detailed sketches about Philip’s contributions to rubber replanting, coconut industry, rehabilitating tea lands, nationalization of the sterling companies, his successful promotion of potato growing in Nuwara Eliya, large-scale sugar cane production in Kantalai, and other crops like pineapple, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, and the production and marketing of milk. The chapter ends with the centrepiece of the plan, to provide security of tenure to the ande goviya and easy credit to the cultivator, through the famous Paddy Lands Bill and the Cooperative Development Bank Bill. An explanation of these, plus the toughest battles Philip would face, leads to the next crucial chapter: “Land to the Tiller – the Paddy Lands Act”.
– Ananda Meegama’s Philip Gunawardena & the 1956 Revolution in SL
B2. Labor & the Village
The history of fragmentation and strangling of the working class began with the visit in 1938 of Jawaharlal Nehru to Sri Lanka to report on plantation workers of Indian origin, according to LSSP theoretician Hector Abhayavardhana. The LSSP pleaded with Nehru against forming a communal organization for those workers, fearing it would open the door for workers to become pawns in communal politics.
The formation in 1939 of the Ceylon Indian Congress, forerunner to the Ceylon Workers Congress, set the stage for communalism in working-class politics, and the subsequent disenfranchisement of workers of Indian origin, to weaken the Left movement. [The main trade union in the plantations were led by the LSSP, but then the English banned the LSSP, and jailed its leaders]
The UNP alleged that Indian plantation workers influenced several parliamentary constituencies, such that Left-minded opponents of the UNP were returned at the 1947 election. “By expelling the Indians the UNP hoped to ensure its majority.”
“Bandaranaike saw no reason why he should not collect his votes by advancing the interests of the Sinhalese majority community of the country. Chelvannayakam saw the necessity of constitutional reforms to ensure that the interests of the Tamils were protected,” added Hector.
The plantation workers comprised half of all organized labor in the country. By limiting them to trade union activity and denying them a stake in mainstream politics, “Sri Lanka’s working class was mortally weakened and divided.”
One Left analysis claimed: Unlike plantation workers confined to their work station and solely dependent from the sale of their labor, the urban worker was socially less homogenous.
Many of them do not live in the towns but commute from villages where they still had interests in small plots of agricultural land. Not only were they less dependent on the sale of their labor but within rural society they could aspire to middle-class ambitions and status as small property owners.
Given the limited size of the urban working class, and given the weaknesses arising out of their social ambiguity, the doctrinaire policy of the Left of seeking to advance reforms through a party of politically conscious urban workers, was in effect doomed.
According to Hector, the Left failed because they “persisted with the strategic line of mobilizing the rural poor through a party based on the working class.”’
Hector Abhayavardana on Labor & the Village:
The traditional village and it communal ownership of property was based on the time-honored role of the Sri Lankan state in building and maintaining public works, with an extensive network of reservoirs and channels for irrigation to ensure water for agriculture.
The first strategies of the continuous military invasions were to destroy the centres of production: of water, food, iron, tools, and weapons. The colonial English state enforced capitalist commodity production, and imposed plantations, disintegrating the old system into small private property.
The Sri Lankan state had reinforced the whole village community’s responsibility for, and participation in, production.
The English therefore removed the state from its role in traditional agricultural production, vesting communal lands outside the villages under the colonial state. Plantation products were sold in the English home market and its settler colonies, and export proceeds financed English companies to sell processed goods to the colony. Investment in local food production was diverted instead to investment in plantations.
The village was thrown in to decay, made into a reserve for ‘menial’ labor, and forced to supply low-skilled, clerical and white-collar workers for the urban economy. The plantation system generated need for transport, export-import firms, shipping and management agencies, the ports of Colombo, Galle and Trincomaleee, needing an elaborate administrative and commercial superstructure in Colombo and large towns.
Two worlds were imposed: A decaying subsistence economy with no commodity production or market and capital, using animals and elementary tools; and a colonial government-subsidized plantation economy with imperialist investors extracting maximum profit from fertile land and cheapened labor.
Plantations employed (local and imported) workers at the same technological level as the villages, but paid wages, enabling management skills. Some machinery was set up in tea and rubber factories, and coconut oil and coir mills.
Reduced to subsistence, agriculture could not generate accumulation of capital within the village. Traders and lawyers in neighboring towns became the principal source of outside capital, taking land away from village owners, and building estates and smallholdings with plantation crops or worked by tenants on behalf of absentee landlords.
The village was exploited and drained more fiercely as the invasive plantation crops improved productivity only by expropriating village owners and the proletarianization of cultivators. There was no rise in productivity in the growing of paddy and food crops.
Villages growing plantation crops alienated the cultivating community from agriculture, turning cultivators away from subsistence to supply commodities to the market. The land, with the cultivator displaced, produced income for the usually urban absentee owner. Turning owner cultivators into wage laborers made the village an extension of the urban market, bringing village production under its domination. Plantation crops inevitably meant export crops, subject to capitalist commodity markets and their fluctuations.
Concentration of land ownership and growing landlessness led to people escaping to towns to find jobs and security.
Village food production had little chance of going beyond subsistence into market production. The colonial economy was import-export, linking London and colonies world over, with commodities flowing between them. The village producer of food, to enter into our own rural market, had to compete with colonial food producers.
It was, thanks to the Japanese invasions, that the English allowed maximum local food production. Rice imports fell 60%, 1940-44. The English instituted drastic measures to get rice and local substitutes produced here. Yet nothing very significant was achieved in local food production. Wheat imports increased from 18,000 tons in 1940 to 296,000 tons in 1944, 293,000 in 1947, and 1966-69, 382,000 tons!
The English wartime “Grow More Food” campaign was a flop. It did not open the home market to the local producer of rice and substitute food crops, and did not significantly expand village production, due to the “low productivity” of such agriculture. Production failed to break out of its subsistence character, and emerge as commodity production.
The surplus produced by large absentee landlords and small cultivators was too small to transform the mode of production despite high wartime prices. Paddy production increased from 22 million bushels to 36.4mn bushels, 1950-59, largely due to an increase of 245,000 acres in the area sown under irrigation. Production increased particularly after 1956 since greater attention was paid to intensive cultivation.
The Agricultural Plan of Philip Gunawardena, Minister of Agriculture and Food in the MEP Government of SWRD Bandaranaike, introduced in 1958 the first break with the DS Senanayake policy of Colonization and Land Development. He enunciated the new strategy of “getting the maximum yield from the present cultivated area”.
The Plan introduced a network of new village institutions, and the Paddy Lands Act sought to fix security of tenant tenure and a ceiling on the rent paid by tenants. The Plan hoped to increase yields to 48 bushels per acre. Subsidized fertilizer increased from 12,000 to 20,000 tons, 1956-59, improved seeds and cultural practices multiplied, purchases under the Guaranteed Price Scheme increased from under 5% to 46%, 1956-59.
Despite the Agricultural Plan not being fully implemented, and the forced resignation of Philip and others, Intensive Cultivation continued, and paddy production increased 40%, 1960-64.
– Notes and Comments inspired by reading “Labour & the Village” by Hector Abhayavardhana, State, Vol. 1, No 1, 1975. Next week: Insufficiencies of Colonization and Land Development & Intensive Cultivation
B3. Early 20thC Developmental Nationalism: from Marcus Fernando to Wimalasurendra
The imagination of an industrialized Ceylon that contained roots of a Ceylonese nation and a Ceylonese developmental state also took shape during this same stretch of time.
‘The need for industrialization and the necessity of introducing relevant infrastructure were under discussion in the early 20th century, years before the possibility of tapping the potential of Aberdeen and Laxapana Falls was first discussed. At the election in 1911 for the newly introduced “educated Ceylonese seat” of the Legislative Council, Marcus Fernando…proposed in his manifesto a progressive program to expand the railway network and improve facilities for industrial education. This is in contrast to the conventional proposals by his opponent Ponnambalam Ramanathan: tax reforms, increased salaries for headmen, and higher-education facilities for the country. Even though Ramanathan…won, Fernando’s manifesto communicated the early roots of a shared desire for industrial development in Ceylon.
Marcus Fernando continued his campaign for industrialization even after he was finally nominated to the Legislative Council in 1917 and renominated as an ‘unofficial member’ to the reformed Legislative Council 1920-25. Fernando, who closely followed contributions by Wimalasurendra on hydroelectricity and sat as a member of the Industries Commission 1916-21, influenced the recommendations of the final report published in 1922 in favor of the Hydroelectric Scheme. With just 4 local members, the Commission was overrepresented by English officials. (see ee 4 & 24 Aug 2019; 2 Feb 2020)
The Hydroelectric Scheme provided the ground Fernando was looking for to situate his proposal for industrialisation and identify steps in more concrete terms. Recommendations of the Industries Commission reflected the degree of appeal of Wimalasurendra’s presentation at the Engineering Association of Ceylon to the Ceylonese political elite. Fernando was said to have “read the paper with interest”.
While appreciating the contribution made by Wimalasurendra for the scheme to “utilize the waters of Laxapana and Aberdeen catchment area for electrical power purposes”, the report of the Industries Commission under the subheading “Factory Industries” concludes “it cannot be too strongly urged that if Ceylon is ever to become more than an agricultural country, hydroelectric power is absolutely essential”. By arguing against the cost of importing fuel and raw material needed that would hamper industrial development, the report goes on to declare “there is hardly a single manufacturing industry which, if developed on a large scale, under existing conditions, could ever give promise of reasonable success”. The Commission, however, expected an entirely different scenario for the development of local industries, provided the hydroelectric scheme materialized and cheap and efficient power was at hand. The Commission’s prediction on the development of industries such as spinning, weaving and chemicals for agricultural industries was based entirely on the implementation of the Hydroelectric Scheme (Industries Commission 1922). The proposal for train services worked by electricity is also an indication of the influence of Wimalasurendra’s ideas presented in 1918 on the Commission…
SWRD Bandaranaike, the third Prime Minister of Independent Ceylon… is not included in this discussion. He gave mixed signals on the subject of industrialization, as the case for many other issues. While demanding “various other industries both agricultural and otherwise, must be proceeded with as fast as possible”, he referred also to the need of avoiding “wasteful and uneconomic industrialization”. His approach towards mechanization was hostile at times. Accordingly, “the whole idea underlying the employment of machine is to do work with greater speed and efficiency that any human being, however skilled, could do it, to eliminate as far as possible that margin of error and inefficiency that is inherent in human nature”, and “the vicious circle is indeed complete; the greater the production, the greater the unemployment, and the more unemployed they are, the less the buying power, and consequently the less the consumption, however cheap the goods may be”. The detailed proposal for the development of cottage industries presented by Bandaranaike during the early 1930s was just an indication of the Gandhian phase of Bandaranaike’s early career…
Anagarika Dharmapala – The most influential campaigner in the early 20thC who took the message of industrialization beyond closed door forums to the masses, however, was Anagarika Dharmapala, one of the leading figures of the Buddhist revival and the temperance movements. Dharmapala’s call for industrialization can be seen as the Ceylonese version of the Indian Swadeshi Movement which blossomed in Bengal in the late 19th century and early 20th century and spread across India from Punjab in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south. Many similarities can be drawn between Dharmapala’s vision for industrialization and the philosophy of the Swadeshi campaign that was defined by a range of activities such as the promotion of swadeshi sales, fostering and revival of Indian crafts, starting of new industries based on modern technologies, floating of swadeshi banks and insurance companies, organization of technical education and industrial research and boycotting English products….
– from Witharana, BD, Negotiating Power & Constructing the Nation: Engineering in SL. Next week: Early Calls for Industrialization
B4. I’ll Never Forget What a White Man Told Me in Zimbabwe in 1980 – Thula Bopela
“I have no idea whether the white man I’m writing about is still alive or not. He gave me an understanding of what actually happened to us Africans, and how sinister it was, when we were colonized. His name was Ronald Stanley Peters, Homicide Chief, Matabeleland, in what was at the time Rhodesia. He was the man in charge of the case they had against us – murder.
I was one of a group of ANC/ZAPU guerillas that had infiltrated into the Wankie Game Reserve in 1967, and had been in action against elements of the Rhodesian African rifles, and the Rhodesian Light Infantry. We were now in the custody of the British South Africa Police (BSAP), the Rhodesian Police. I was the last to be captured in the group that was going to appear at the Salisbury (Harare) High Court on a charge of murder, 4 counts.
‘I have completed my investigation of this case, Mr Bopela, and I will be sending the case to the Attorney-General’s Office, Mr Bosman, who will the take up the prosecution of your case on a date to be decided,’ Ron Peters told me. ‘I will hang all of you, but I must tell you that you are good fighters but you cannot win.’
‘Tell me, Inspector,’ I shot back, ‘Are you not contradicting yourself when you say we are good fighters but will not win? Good fighters always win.’
‘Mr Bopela, even the best fighters on the ground, cannot win if information is sent to their enemy by high-ranking officials of their organizations, even before the fighters begin their operations. Even though we had information that you were on your way, we were not prepared for the fight that you put up,’ the Englishman said quietly. ‘We give due where it is to be given after having met you in battle. That is why I am saying you are good fighters, but will not win.’
In 1980, 13 years later, I went to Police Headquarters in Harare and asked where I could find Detective-Inspector Ronald Stanley Peters, retired maybe. President Robert Mugabe had become Prime Minister and had released all of us…common criminal and freedom-fighter. I was told by the white officer behind the counter that Inspector Peters had retired and now lived in Bulawayo. I asked to speak to him on the telephone. The officer dialed his number and explained why he was calling. I was given the phone, and spoke to the Superintendent, the rank he had retired on. We agreed to meet in 2 days time at his house at Matshe-amhlophe, a very upmarket suburb in Bulawayo. I traveled to Bulawayo by train, and took a taxi from town to his home.
I had last seen him at the Salisbury High Court after we had been sentenced to death by Justice L Lewis in 1967. His hair had greyed but he was still the tall policeman I had last seen in 1967. He smiled quietly at me and introduced me to his family, 2 grownup chaps and a daughter. Lastly came his wife, Doreen, a regal-looking Englishwoman. ‘He is one of the chaps I bagged during my time in the Service. We sent him to the gallows but he is back and wants to see me, Doreen.’ He smiled again and ushered me into his study.
…We spent some time on the small talk about the weather and the current news.
‘So,’ Ron began, ‘they did not hang you are after all, old chap! Congratulations, and may you live many more!’ We toasted and I sat across him in a comfortable sofa. ‘A man does not die before his time, Ron,’ I replied rather gloomily, ‘Never mind the power the judge has or what the executioner intends to do to one.’
‘I am happy you got a reprieve, Thula,’ Ron said, ‘but what was it based on? I am just curious about what might have prompted His Excellency Clifford Du Pont, to grant you a pardon. You were a bunch of unrepentant terrorists.’
‘I do not know Superintendent,’ I replied truthfully. ‘Like I have said, a man does not die before his time.’ He poured me another drink and I became less tense.
‘So, Mr Bopela, what brings such a lucky fellow all the way from happy Harare to a dull place like our Bulawayo down here?’
‘Superintendent, you said to me after you had finished your investigations that you were going to hang all of us. You were wrong; we did not all hang. You said also that though we were good fighters we would not win. You were wrong again Superintendent; we have won! We are in power now. I told you that good fighters do win.’
The Superintendent put his drink on the side table and stood up. He walked slowly to the window that overlooked his well-manicured garden and stood there facing me.
‘So you think you have won, Thula? What have you won, tell me. I need to know.’
‘We have won everything Superintendent, in case you have not noticed. Everything! We will have a black president, PM, black cabinet, black members of Parliament, judges, Chiefs of Police and the Army. Everything, Superintendent. I came all the way to come and ask you to apologize to me for telling me that good fighters do not win. You were wrong Superintendent, were you not?’
He went back to his seat and picked up his glass, and emptied it. He poured himself another shot and put it on the side table and was quiet for a while.
‘So, you think you have won everything, Mr Bopela, huh? I am sorry to spoil your happiness sir, but you have not won anything. You have political power, yes, but that is all. We control the economy of this country, on whose stability depends everybody’s livelihood, including the lives of those who boast that they have political power, you and your victorious friends. Maybe I should tell you something about us white people, Mr Bopela. I think you deserve it too, seeing how you kept this nonsense warm in your head for 13 hard years in prison. ‘When I get out I am going to find Ron Peters and tell him to apologize for saying we wouldn’t win,’ you promised yourself. Now listen to me carefully my friend, I am going to help you understand us white people a bit better, and the kind of problem you and your friends have to deal with.’
‘When we planted our flag in the place where we built the city of Salisbury, in 1877, we planned for this time. We planned for the time when the African would rise up against us, and perhaps defeat us by sheer numbers and insurrection. When that time came, we decided, the African should not be in a position to rule his newly found country without taking his cue from us. We should continue to rule, even after political power has been snatched from us, Mr Bopela.’
‘How did you plan to do that, my dear Superintendent,’ I mocked.
‘Very simple, Mr Bopela, very simple,’ Peters told me.
‘We started by changing the country we took from you to a country that you will find, many centuries later, when you gain political power. It would be totally unlike the country your ancestors lived in; it would be a new country. Let us start with agriculture. We introduced methods of farming that were not known in Africa, where people dug a hole in the ground, covered it up with soil and went to sleep under a tree in the shade. We made agriculture a science. To farm our way, an African needed to understand soil types, the fertilizers that type of soil required, and which crops to plant on what type of soil. We kept this knowledge from the African, how to farm scientifically and on a scale big enough to contribute strongly to the national economy. We did this so that when the African demands and gets his land back, he should not be able to farm it like we do. He would then be obliged to beg us to teach him how. Is that not power, Mr Bopela?’
‘We industrialized the country; factories, mines, together with agricultural output, became the mainstay of the new economy, but controlled and understood only by us. We kept the knowledge of all this from you people, the skills required to run such a country successfully. It is not because Africans are stupid that they do not know what to do with an industrialized country. We just excluded the African from this knowledge and kept him in the dark. This exercise can be compared to that of a man whose house was taken away from him by a stronger person. The stronger person would then change all the locks so that when the real owner returned, he would not know how to enter his own house…’ (to be continued…)
– Thula Bopela writes in his personal capacity, and the story told is true; he experienced this alone and thus is ultimately responsible for the ideas in the article. He is the author of Umkhonto We Sizwe: Fighting for a Divided People
C. News Index______________________________________________
• ee News Index provides headlines and links to gain a sense of the weekly focus of published English ‘business news’ mainly to expose the backwardness of a multinationally controlled ‘local media’:
(ee is pro-politics, pro-politician, pro-nation-state, anti-corporatist, anti-expert, anti-NGO)
ee Sovereignty news emphasizes sovereignty as economic sovereignty – a strong nation is built on modern industrialization fueled by a producer culture.
• Mahinda and the People Outfox the Americans Once Again – Sri Lanka Study Circle
• Annihilation of UNP et al rips apart civil society project
• Cabinet approved USD 480 mn US Compact ignoring President Sirisena’s objections
• Poll results show rejection of former administration: US Envoy
• US Ambassador meets PM, discusses priorities of new Govt.
‘Other areas discussed included bringing in new investments to Sri Lanka, support for democratic institutions and governance-related projects, and cooperation on the security sector with a specific focus on counterterrorism, trafficking of people and narcotics, and addressing transnational crime.’
• US Military and Exports?
‘The US with either a Republican or Democratic president will want Sri Lanka to sign two defence agreements – the Acquisition and Cross Service Agreement (ACSA) and the Status of Forces Agreement… dilly-dallying by President Rajapaksa on these agreements even after 8 months in office may be that there is re-thinking on the issue. The US is Sri Lanka’s largest export market and any hiccups there could result in disasters in Colombo.’
• US Democracy, cops and violence
‘The US has evinced a keen interest in promoting ethnic reconciliation and national integration in Sri Lanka and never misses an opportunity to proffer advice to the governments here. It also generously funds some local NGOs that promote democratic ideals.’
• Statement of the National Joint Committee Regarding the Proposed 20th Amendment
‘We are perturbed by certain statements supposed…that ‘Provincial Councils would not be abolished’. He justifies this statement on the basis that the 13th Amendment involved international obligations on SL as it was promulgated under the Indo-Lanka Accord. We need to remind the Minister that India failed to fulfill its part of the obligation including their obligation to disarm the ruthless terrorists…’
• The new Cabinet, external relations and the regime’s prospects – Jayatilleka
‘Where unemployed Dayan threaten us with the wrath of India, and then Irish Biden – Tamil Kamala, where Weerasekera is an Alt-Right uber-hawk and Premadasa who murdered 10,000s, a populist nationalist. Would 13+ sate Indian expansionism? Would MCC sate the Yankee Eagle’s claws?’
• TNA meets India High Commissioner
• Timeline of Indo-Lanka Relations
‘If there was any leader who made friendships with India yet kept India in its place, Sirimavo Bandaranaike will certainly take the cake. Not only does she still remain regarded as a friend of India, with close ties to the Gandhi family, but she did not allow that friendship to come in the way of her decision-making.’
• India can’t build houses for homeless in India but is building them here
‘144 transit houses to be built in Mannar under Rs. 300 m Indian grant… India’s flagship Housing Project envisages construction of 50,000 houses in Sri Lanka… India’s overall development portfolio in Sri Lanka currently stands at close to Rs. 517 billion out of which Rs. 92 billion is grant assistance and more than Rs. 425 billion under Lines of Credit and Buyer’s Credit.
• India’s External Affairs Minister congratulates Lankan counterpart Dinesh
‘to take India-Sri Lanka partnership to greater heights, as part of India’s neighbourhood first policy’
• Indian assistance to Sri Lanka totals SLR 517 billion, including SLR 92 bn in grants
‘“The Project Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting for Construction of Surgical Unit to Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa, chaired by Mr. Vinod K. Jacob, Deputy High Commissioner, held at High Commission of India’
• Wigneswaran “takes oaths” at Mullivaikaal shrine; Ponnambalam also pays visit
• SJB MP irked by Wigneswaran’s views referring to Tamil as “oldest living language”
‘“I start my felicitations honourable Speaker, hailing you in my mother tongue, the oldest living language of this world, and the language of the first indigenous inhabitants of this country and proceed in the link language.’
• Future course of defeated ITAK leader “Maavai” Senathirajah
‘He was among the 42 youth leaders arrested and detained without trial in that period.’
• Erasing The Eelam Victory Part 17 C5
• 16A removed Sinhala as country’s Official Language
• Media Minister – Ban mainstream media bashing Buddhists & Buddhism using pseudonym scribes
• Do Not Have Provincial Council Elections, Abolish 13 A And Restore Unitary Constitution
• Covid cremation Law scarred the Psyche of Sri Lankan Muslims for generations to come
• SJB Reaps Minority Votes
• ‘Magul Maduwa’ was where our nation was betrayed to the English
‘We hope we won’t be betrayed again!’
• The Rajapaksa Brothers’ Return is Not a Victory for All
‘Sri Lanka is the first country to defeat “Regime Change”… The then US State Secretary John Kerry revealed that nearly USD 800 million of American taxpayers’ money was invested to change the governments of four countries. Sri Lanka was one of them.’
• A Basil Rajapakse Decrees that SL Must Adopt a Brand New Constitution of Basil’s Choice
‘The Basil Rajapakse we are speaking of is an American. This American upstart is telling us, why Sri Lanka needs a New Constitution and what type of Constitution we must settle for’
• Why the Yahapalana project failed
‘Even though what started as an attempted parliamentary coup in 2007 was largely a local affair, foreign parties got involved after the end of the war in 2009. It was the Colombo embassies that insisted that Ranil Wickremasinghe should stand down and make way for a common candidate. The involvement of foreign parties would have brought in money and influence into the project but it proved fatal to the yahapalanites by generating unrealistic expectations of more foreign largess after they come into power.’
• GoSL to reset foreign policy with Asia-centric approach
‘It is equally vital to reach out to the western world where Sri Lanka’s export market is located. The government is heading for challenges in the West where the pro-LTTE lobby groups are active. These lobby groups, operating in the western world, have already upped their antenna on Sri Lanka compiling reports on the past human rights track record to be taken up ahead of the sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council’
• New Foreign Secretary to re-evaluate foreign policy
‘focus closely on a ‘South Asia, ASEAN and Asia centric approach’
• Pathfinder and Vivekananda International to discuss Indo-Lanka bilateral relations
‘The two delegations will be headed by Chairman – Pathfinder Foundation, Bernard Goonetilleke and Dr. Arvind Gupta, Director-Vivekananda International Foundation. Dr. Gupta was the former Deputy National Security Adviser and also functioned as Director General, Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA). Admiral (Prof.) Jayanath Colombage, Additional Secretary to the President on Foreign Relations and Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, Former Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka will provide their perspectives on the two topics of discussion. Anil Wadhwa, former Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs and Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India will speak on behalf of the VIF…Over the years the Pathfinder Foundation has developed a network of relations with several other leading Indian think tanks including the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA), Delhi Policy Group (DPG), National Maritime Foundation (NMF), United Services Institution (USI), Kalinga International Foundation (KIF) etc.’
• No Ambassadorial assignment under discussion for Ravinatha Aryasinha yet
• Constitutional Reforms: Sri Lanka Needs Economic Federalism & Political Administration in a Unitary System
• Gotabaya Autocracy: Inducements and Impediments – David
‘the Sinhala masses gel with what the Rajapaksas symbolise… until the economy collapses… Lowering expenditure means reducing welfare (Samurdi etc), cutting wages, “labour market reforms” (euphemism for easy firing, reducing wages and employer friendly labour laws), and cutting spending on health, education and subsidies. Forget it, it can’t be done unless Gota’s Brigades are prepared to spray grapeshot in the streets… The chorus right now is “Export, export, sadhu, sadhu, export”. How the devil to dramatically raise exports within a year or two in the midst of a global downturn, a turning inward to the domestic economy in the US and even Europe and when some 60% of the value of our manufactured exports are imported raw materials and machinery?’
• Sri Lanka voters hand Rajapaksa strength to face India and China
‘The US embassy in Colombo reached out, also on Twitter. “As the new parliament convenes,” the tweet says, “we hope the government will renew its commitments to building an inclusive economic recovery, upholding human rights and the rule of law, and protecting the country’s sovereignty.” That “sovereignty” nudge was a reminder of the massive amount of loans Sri Lanka has taken from China for infrastructure projects… Sri Lanka’s financial sector points to the country’s need for a financial lifeline as the $88 billion economy teeters on the brink of a worsening crisis. The island’s international reserves have shrunk to $6.5 billion, and growth is forecast to contract by 1.3% this year, a further drop from the 2.5% in 2019, the worst in 18 years…Japan, which holds 10% of Sri Lanka’s debt, a share matched by China, will matter in this equation. It appears not to have been lost in Tokyo’s tweet to congratulate the new Rajapaksa administration. “Japan, as a long-standing friend of Sri Lanka, will continue to support Sri Lanka’s effort towards further development as a hub of the Indian Ocean region,” it said.
• Rewiring Government
‘Gone seem to be the days when Sri Lankan political parties emulated British parties, like the Labour party or in the case of the UNP, the conservative parties of the world.’
• Cultural Relationship between Indonesia and Sri Lanka
• The Baseless & Diabolical Claim Of Tamil Genocide In Sri Lanka It’s Genesis and The Way to Eliminate It – A New Zealand Perspective
• Should Sri Lanka Neglect Latin America and the Caribbean?
• Australia-Sri Lanka Defence cooperation in response to COVID-19
• Maldives also “India First”
“In the last one-and-a-half years, President Solih and his government have acted on its ‘India First’ policy in right earnest. In line with its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, India has worked proactively to deepen its ties with the Maldives.”
• Order from Chaos – Avoiding a new Cold War between the US and China
• China Foreign Minister calls for greater effort in promoting Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy
‘Xi said we should not only look at the current international situation, but also look back on the past, sum up the laws of history, look to the future, and grasp the general trend of historical progress.’
• On African Liberation Day, the Black Alliance for Peace Demands US Shut Down AFRICOM
“Since US Africa Command became fully operational in 2008, US troops have seen combat in more than a dozen African countries and conducted more than 1,500 air attacks, commando raids, and other ground missions in Libya and Somalia alone. Yet these two countries, where US forces have spent hundreds of millions on airstrikes, have fared especially poorly in terms of direct US health assistance.”
• Inside the Secret World of US Commandos in Africa
“The military footprint of the United States in Africa is extensive. Previous reporting has revealed the existence of a string of military bases across the continent. Formerly secret 2019 AFRICOM planning documents show that there were 29 bases located in 15 different countries or territories, with the highest concentrations in the Sahel and the Horn of Africa.”
• US Re-Colonization of Africa: The US Military’s War of Expansion
‘For many Africans, the US military presence on the continent is purely for the sake of US interests and geopolitical advantages, as Boko Haram kidnappings have been taking place there for over a decade. Some have noted, for example, that the US became interested in “bringing back our girls” in Nigeria not long after some of Africa’s largest oil reserves were discovered there. In light of these and other considerations, the US military training programs have been received with mixed reactions.’
• AFRICOM Crying Russia in Libya: A Pot and Kettle Syndrome
‘The US waged unprovoked war against Libya and has militarily occupied Africa, but is still singing its old song that Russia is the aggressor on the continent. …“Almost all liberals & significant elements of the “latte-left” supported Obama’s racist attack on Africa & are still silent on the US military occupation of Africa. Brother Netfa Freeman’s piece is a necessary reminder of the unprincipled left alliance with the neoliberal right-wing that still continues today.”’
• US Wars on Democracy in Rwanda and the DR Congo
‘The US continually poured more and more resources into making sure the Lumumbists were crushed. They did that for almost a whole decade. It was no accident. It was systematic – one of the major initiatives of US foreign policy at the highest levels. It is all in the cables, the Foreign Relations of the US, some of which were released in 2014. They had knowledge of Congolese politics to a granular level of detail. They knew the local politicians, their positions on different issues and on one another. US officials whose names you’ll recognize are in these cables: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Harriman…. It really refutes the notion of Africa, or the Congo generally, as some kind of irrelevant backwater.’
• The Internationalist Lenin. Self-determination and anti-colonialism.
‘In 1913, Lenin published an article in Pravda with a curious title, ‘Backward Europe and Advanced Asia’.(1) The opening of the article accepts the paradoxical nature of the title, for it is Europe–after all–that has advanced it forces of production and it is Asia that has had its forces of production stifled. The character of advancement and backwardness for Lenin does not only rest on the question of technological and economic development; it rests, essentially, on the nature of the mass struggle.’
• Beyond the landslide – Tisaranee Gunasekara loves Biden & Trusts US Surveys
‘Joe Biden, former US vice president and current presidential candidate, recently referred to himself as a bridge to the future… According to a US-wide survey, the naked racism of the Trump presidency has not led to an increase in White racism in America.’
• US Lies About Political Prisoners – and Almost Everything Else
‘The official US position, that this country holds no political prisoners, is part of “the lie and the founding mythology of US ‘democracy. But those of us who live on the underside of that history know better…”
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.
• Asia-Pacific becomes global politics storm centre
‘A comparatively recent development that ought to accentuate the region’s profile as a potential international military flash-point is the increasing security cooperation between the US, India, Japan and Australia. Described as the ‘Quad’, this group’s principal aim, apparently, is to blunt China’s increasing influence and power in the Asia-Pacific.’
• India, safe haven for Zahran and his associates: Ex-SIS director
• State intelligence knew that Rifkan Bathiudeen helped Saharan flee to India – Nilantha Jayawardena (video)
• Saga of the transformation of Sri Lankan Navy’
‘Following 9/11, the SLN used the Global War on Terror to get the US on board. The US said that it would help SLN locate the LTTE’s floating warehouses…Corruption in military procurement was a major issue in the Lankan armed forces during most of the 30-year war.’
• Registrars of Courts among four most corrupt institutions – Sabry
• 50 drug networks operating in Western Province; Police
• Army personnel held in weapons transportation probe
• Journo, STF ‘intel’ officer et al held in high profile CID probe
• Police probe infiltration of law enforcement agencies by organised crime groups
• Public servants from hell
‘Drug dealers are behind various rackets such as the refuse tea trade, which successive governments have failed to eliminate. It has now been revealed that drug dealer Angoda Lokka was engaged in extracting and transporting soil and sand. Besides, the drug Mafia has spread its tentacles over various businesses to launder their black money. Some of them have invested in real estate, especially luxury apartments in Colombo’
• A large amount of gold being smuggled into the country
• Sri Lankan-born Canadian arrested in U.S. for smuggling 158 people including 28 Sri Lankans
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.
• Surviving the World Economic Crisis
‘East Asian countries have invested heavily in high-tech manufacturing industries. China, Japan and South Korea, together, account for two thirds of all new industrial robot installations, while Europe and North America only account for 30%. In the context of the current crisis, such countries will probably lead the recovery, with brand new technologies. Other up-and-coming industrial powers, notably Vietnam, Iran and India, will also accelerate their technological capabilities.’
• In Sri Lanka, a people living off borrowed money – The Hindu
• Debt, Distress, Suicide
‘even during the Covid-19 crisis and despite their arguments with debt collectors, borrowers were pressed to make payments. Even as income from daywage labour for masonry work and agricultural work has been declining in their village, they insisted that banning micro-finance would be the first step towards redeeming their community.’
• Central Bank and the Census and Statistics Department are often at variance
• Sri Lanka statistics office under pressure to show higher economic growth numbers
• CB Extends the Deadline of Application for 4% Working Capital Loan Scheme
• Urgent economic challenges for the new government – Sanderatne
‘The country’s exports, tourism and inward remittances on which the SL economy is dependent is seriously endangered. These have resulted in the country’s external financial vulnerability increasing, unemployment rising, widespread depressed incomes and increased poverty and starvation.’
• Remedy is to improve exports by offering our exporters and entrepreneurs the best…
• Odd Topics for Exports
‘Odd-topics for state ministers [are] in line with a strategy to boost industries, local production and manufacture – particularly raw materials required for the export sector – while at the same time ensuring these ministers will deliver the goods, since they have been given clear, specific tasks.’
• Per capita debt a fallacious indicator, Government net beneficiary of currency depreciation – Wijewardena
‘Some others also suggest that Sri Lanka should default these loans at this stage. This is also not a prudential strategy.’
• Prosperity through democracy and elections – Abeyratne
‘We need investment, we need exports, we need public enterprise reforms and so on…’
• Those who engineered and forced curfews must be held accountable for massive destruction
• IMF and other international financial organisations have no clear policies to mitigate crisis
‘The message from the IMF is clear – “given the risks to debt sustainability and large refinancing needs over the medium term, renewed efforts to advance fiscal consolidation will be essential for macroeconomic stability.” Fiscal consolidation is a deadly concept for the new government….IMF is going to hold a conference in November 2020 under the theme, “Living in the Extreme: Economics of Pandemics, Climate Change and Tail Risks.”… As such, the best source of funds must come from the IMF in times of pandemic getting the US participation in developing such programme invoking its “Exchange Rate Stabilization Act” as many countries use the US dollar as their main reserve currency. This would be a more appropriate “out-of-the box thinking” solution than approaching private foreign funds. In times of difficulty, the government must cling more on to the traditional international financial institutions and donors than newly found friends.’
• Devananda invites expatriate Tamils to invest in Sri Lanka, assures money will be safe
‘Those pretending to be nationalists have thwarted development in N&E’
• ARTHIKA DUPATHA-Economic oasis
• Ensure economic growth to improve quality of life
‘Forty-two per cent of our population live on less than two dollars a day.’
• Why ‘Hindu Rashtra’ Being Good for Hindus is a Misconception
‘The BJP has zero knowledge of economics and, therefore, dances to the tune of finance capital whom it naively calls “wealth creators”. At the same time, it provides through its Hindutva agenda a smokescreen behind which it can do the biddings of finance capital…Over the past several weeks, the working day has been extended for workers to 12 hours in BJP-ruled states, negating a century of struggle by the international working class.’
• Chinese President Xi Jinping says Marxist political economy is the bedrock for nation’s growth
‘The ‘dominant position of public ownership cannot be shaken’, general secretary of Chinese Communist Party says’
• Indian Americans
‘Indian Americans are a formidable ethnic group in the USA. More than four million in number, they have the highest median household income, US$119,858, in the country’
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how the economy is usually measured by false indices like GDP, etc, and in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, while calling for privatization and deregulation, etc.
• Sri Lanka ministers given to-do list: Cabraal
‘“All ministers and state ministers have been given a clear set of tasks with a time table… We all will be measured on that. It will be outcome based management. This used to be in the private sector. Now it is also in the state sector. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has oriented the country in that direction.”’
• Food Inflation Up, Pawn Rates Capped
• NCPI based Inflation decreased in July 2020
• 4Q rebound essential to record 0% growth: CB
‘Says private sector credit will increase in coming months’
• Sri Lanka rupee closes weaker, bond yields flat (Aug. 21)
• SL Economy Triple whammy
‘SL economy which is closely tied to a globalized world has had a triple whammy with main foreign earners, tourism, remittances from migrant workers and apparel exports all hit by the pandemic.’
• Master plan with monitoring and support vital for development – Dr Godahewa
• CB continues its accommodative monetary policy stance
‘The Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, at its meeting held on 19 August 2020, decided to maintain the Standing Deposit Facility Rate (SDFR) and the Standing Lending Facility Rate (SLFR) of the Central Bank’
• CB may provide rate cut to ensure continued supply of credit at low cost to accelerate GDP
• Sri Lanka policy rate floor unchanged, central bank to slap loan price controls
• Economic managers aiming at 1% GDP growth rate for SL
• Sri Lanka has US$ 300mn in foreign debt obligations due for Aug. and Sept.
• Sri Lanka seeks IMF funding for $800mln
‘Agreeing on policies to place public finances on a consolidation path will be challenging… The authorities should move ahead with growth-enhancing structural reforms to fully harness Sri Lanka’s economic potential and foster greater social inclusion, IMF sources said. Plans will have to be devised to enhance the efficiency of state-owned enterprises, enabling them to operate on a sound commercial basis…..strengthen governance and transparency, notably in the energy sector, and renewed efforts to tackle corruption’
• Sri Lanka doubles efforts of mobilising foreign financing
‘The government has made arrangements to mobilise foreign financing of US$628.6 million by entering into three agreements with foreign development partners and lending agencies…’
• New government gears to tackle cash flow shortfalls
• Rs. 1.6 trillion Vote on Account coming soon
‘the urgent requirement is to pay outstanding bills for road and building constructions…including those in the health sector..’
• Sri Lanka central bank buys US$162mn in July 2020 amid negative private credit
• Bouncing cheque scandal hits Inland Revenue Department, no action to recover Rs. 3 billion
‘Several dishonoured cheques were found from the same taxpayers, the report says, without naming them. There are 88 such taxpayers with 322 cheques of Rs 1 million or more, totaling Rs 1.108 billion.’
C5. Workers (Inadequate Stats, Wasteful Transport, Unmodern Plantations, Services)
ee Workers attempts to correct the massive gaps and disinformation about workers, urban and rural and their representatives (trade unions, etc), and to highlight the need for organized worker power
• Trade unions stage protests seeking state jobs
• CBSL to announce housing credit scheme for low, middle-income groups
• PHIs to get Motorcycles
• Infant-Receiving Windows in every province for abandoned infants
‘The National Child Protection Authority said steps have been taken to set up Infant-Receiving Windows at Pediatric Wards in the 9 major hospitals in the Provinces to receive newborn babies or infants, who have been abandoned’
• College of Paediatricians & Ministry of Education review current curricula of the schools
• Crises multiply for Sri Lankans in Lebanon
‘Nearly 7,000 Sri Lankans live illegally in Lebanon…The Lebanese pound has lost 60% of its value against the dollar and prices of basic goods soared. Unemployment has risen to 35% and an estimated 45% of the country’s population is now below the poverty line’
• Kalafa System & Loan Sharks
‘Central to the problem is the kalafa or sponsorship system. In the Gulf states and in Lebanon and Jordan, domestic work falls under kalafa, and not under the labour laws that protect workers by establishing parameters of minimum wage and working conditions. Sponsors are responsible for their housemaids from arrival to departure and free to make up the rules as they go along…. Recent years have seen the rise of a new form of loansharking by agents: the offer of attractive lump-sum payments of US$ 1500-2000 upfront in two instalments for women seeking employment as housemaids.Some recruitment agents employ sub-agents to visit remote rural areas and entice unsuspecting women. The recent upsurge of housemaids to West Asia is attributed to these payments. This offer too is a debt trap, forcing the woman to continue working under horrendous conditions because she is now indebted to her job agent.’
• Migrant workers await repatriation, wealthy expats charter flights to return
• International Chamber of Commerce, International Organization for Migration Guide Migrant
‘Migrant workers account for 3.5% of the world’s population’
• Germany supports empowerment of women and girls in addressing SGBV in Sri Lanka
‘Extends Rs. 4 m grant to Women In Need for its project, ‘Strengthening the Role of Women in Addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in Sri Lanka’
• English retailer Marks & Spencer to shed 7,000 jobs in latest blow to retail sector
‘The cuts add to thousands already announced by other major British retailers, including Boots, John Lewis, Dixons Carphone and WH Smith.’
• The life you thought you were going to have is gone
Be good to your neighbours and friends. Take care of them as best you can. Don’t let them go without, if it’s possible. We’re going to need each other more than ever’
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.
• An incredible percentage of people across the country suffer from shortage of drinking water.
‘Paddy farmers were given a higher guaranteed price for their products. We took steps to protect local farmers by halting importation of exportable produce for re-export as well as banning importation of crops that could have been grown locally. Farmers were provided with required fertilizer free of charge….One third of country’s population depends on agriculture, plantation and fisheries as their livelihood… We will also target to increase the production of organic fertilizer locally with the aim of producing toxin free foods and in the next decade to ensure total organic farming in Sri Lanka. …We will bring a halt to the plundering of our oceans by unlawful foreign fishing vessels.’
• Sri Lanka import competition controlled, crops banned, fish should be halted: President
• President advises officials to devise creative strategies to promote local industries
‘“Wetlands that have no agricultural value can be used to plant industrial crops like cane. A large sum of foreign exchange is spent annually on the importation of bamboo sticks used for the production of incense sticks. We can manufacture them locally and stop foreign exchange being drained to other countries,”’
• HNB partners Hayleys Agri, for offers on Kubota, Agrotech and Farmtrac vehicles
‘Leasing customers will be offered…access to exclusive discounts on automobile products, servicing, spare parts, tyres and batteries…’
• President firmly says ‘No’ to palm oil
‘Sri Lanka produces 23,000 tonnes of palm oil per annum and imports a staggering 220,000 tonnes of crude palm oil into the country each year, at a cost of approximately Rs.22 billion.’
• Sound policies a prerequisite for agriculture development –Prof. Marambe
‘The answer is simple as follows…move towards carefully designed private-public-producer partnerships’
• Measures to be taken to prevent land grabs
• Govt. plans to increase dairy production to meet local demand
‘The country’s annual local milk requirement is 1200 million litres. The current milk production, however, was only 420 million litres…. Rajapaksa instructed relevant departments to take immediate action regarding the release of lands required for the cultivation of maize by the dairy farmers…’
• 100,000 new water connections
‘Steps would be taken to start four major water projects in Katana, Deduru Oya, Kelani Ganga South Bank and Matale this year to provide more than 100,000 new water connections’
• First phase of Nandhikadal rehabilitation to take off
• Govt. to boost agriculture exports earnings
• Local potato harvest of Yala season reaches the market
‘Most of the potato harvest in the island comes to the market during the Yala season. The harvest is now in full swing. Potatoes are widely grown in Welimada, Uva Paranagama, Keppetipola and Boralanda. The Yala season potato harvest is expected to reach t the market until December’
• How Low Country Potatos Were First Grown
‘How can we ban the import of potatoes and onions when we don’t grow any? We were ready for that. Let the government give notice of the ban one year from a specific date….’
• Plantation firms to lose Rs. 500 m due to Govt. vacillation on oil palm
• Ceylon Tobacco Company cigarette profits – Rs. 4.2 billion’
• BOI agreement with HTCey Aqua Culture for Vannamei Shrimp project in Karikatti, Puttalam.
‘HTCey Aqua Culture, is a member of the HTCey Group, which also includes HTCey Agriculture and Livestock (another BOI venture) and HTCey Leisure, a local destination management company’
• Aloe Vera & Tomato
‘Today we import fruit juice and jam from the USA, Australia & Europe. Hanguranketa can provide all the tomatoes we need to provide our full requirement of tomato sauce which we today import from as far as the USA. That can be a years’ project- setting up a small Cannery and processing fruit…’
• ‘Liya Saviya’ with Toxic Unilever Astra to empower home-based female entrepreneurship
‘There is nothing better than baking with Astra…’
• Can Sri Lanka propose a new growth paradigm?
• Daintee acquisition to boost Sunshine’s defensive cash flows: Fitch
‘Sunshine Holdings PLC’s 100% acquisition of Sri Lanka-based confectionery maker Daintee Limited will increase the cash flow of the group’s fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment…Sunshine is the second largest domestic packaged tea retailer, with product offerings across price points. Daintee holds 40 percent 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.’
• Sivan Arul Illam: Northern Province enterprise exporting spices worldwide started as 2004 Tsunami children’s refuge
• Sarath Fonseka disputes Sirisena’s monkey claim
‘when he was the Agriculture Minister there were around one million monkeys in Sri Lanka. “However, today the number has increased to over two million monkeys,”’
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.
• Enhanced focus on import substitution has significant implications on a longer horizon: CBSL
• Methodical development of our traditional industries
“…such as Batik, local apparel, brass, cane, pottery, furniture, gem and jewellery”
• The Proposal to Establish an Industrial Development Bank (Part 1 & 2)
• No dedicated minister for technology
• Import Expenditure Increases
‘Import expenditure on fertiliser (mainly urea), mineral products (mainly cement clinker), unmanufactured tobacco and agricultural inputs (mainly animal fodder)…machinery and equipment parts and cement, food and beverages… medical and pharmaceuticals and telecommunication devices (mainly mobile phones) imports…expenditure on food and beverages increased, led by seafood (mainly dry fish), dairy products (mainly milk powder), vegetables (mainly lentils), fats and oils (mainly coconut oil) and spices (mainly chillies and coriander seeds). increased…Expenditure on investment goods declined notably with expenditure on machinery and equipment (mainly medical and laboratory equipment), building material (mainly articles of iron and steel) and transport equipment (mainly commercial vehicles such as tankers and bowsers) declined.
• President advises officials to devise creative strategies to promote local industries
“Children need to be educated about the importance of traditional industries from young age. Traditional industry is also an appropriate subject for research dissertations of university students.”
• State Minister plans to set up a saline manufacturing plant before the end of the year
‘State Minister Jayasumana said 90 percent of the drugs currently used in Sri Lanka are imported.’
“At present we do not have the facilities to manufacture a single bottle of saline in our country…”
• Government to locally manufacture necessary medicines and save foreign exchange
• President orders park & ride, prepaid cards for public transport; expressways may allow non-luxury buses
• New MP comes by boat to popularise convenient mode of transport
• Digging of new Mutwal Storm Water Drainage Tunnel completed for Colombo flood control
• CEAT to develop local industry: Save Rs.11Bn in foreign exchange via import substitution
‘…to supply the full domestic requirement of truck and bus tyres…’
• Plastics and Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka (PRISL)
‘Office Bearers: Indhra Kaushal Rajapaksa (Kalhari Enterprises), President; R. A. L. Sampath Ramanayake (Ex Camso Loadstar), Vice President; Kalyana Dhirasekera (Aqua Packaging), Vice President; P. P. Perera (Sri Lanka Representative PIN365), Secretary; Lalith Jayawardene (DSI), Treasurer and Prabath Jayasinghe (Gislaved Gummi), Assistant Secretary… Executive Council: Ananda Caldera (Global Rubber Industries), Dr. Susantha Siriwardena (Rubber Research Institute of Sri Lanka), B.M.H.I.B. Wattegedara (Camso Loadstar), Janadara Jayawarna (Laugfs), Pio Perera (Vaughan Chemicals), K.A.C. Vidyarathne(Vanadium Lanka), AnuraHerath (Penguin Lanka), Sumudu Bowatta (Camso Loadstar), H.N. Hari (Midas Group – Industrial Clothing’s), Parakrama Jayatissa (Champion Recycle), Dr. Upul Rathnayake (Dipped Products Lanka), Dinesh Gunasekara (Trelleborg Lanka), Kapila Sooriyabandara (Ansell Lanka), Kersten Rausch (Eu-Retec Continental) and Sharad Kakati (Ceat Kelani).’
• Dinal Peiris, chairman, Lanka Aluminium Industries
‘Dinal joined Geneva based management and investment company – Comcraft Group in 1989 which is the major shareholder of Lanka Aluminium Industries PLC. He acquired knowledge in aluminium, steel, textiles, plastics and wood products industries including setting up business ventures in Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam and Kenya. Dinal is the chairman of Merbok MDF Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., Comark Engineers (Pvt) Ltd., Marshall Investments (Pvt) Ltd., Almeco (Pvt) Ltd., and Managing Director of Texpro Industries Ltd. Dinal is a Non-Executive Director of several companies including Omega Line Group, CIC Agri Businesses (Pvt) Ltd., where he represents the interests of the Comcraft Group, Metecno Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., and Equity Investments (Pvt) Ltd.
• President kick starts building a people-centric economy
‘He explained the reasons for formation of a State Ministry assigned with the task of overseeing Batik, Handlooms and local garments…. Exports of the garment industry represent 43% of total exports’
• Dullas smells rat, requests STF security for Control Centre
• Dullas calls CEB to focus on public welfare above profits
• Litro Co-op partners Department of Co-operative Development to expand LPG to grassroots
‘Sri Lanka’s largest importer, supplier and market leader in LP Gas, Litro Gas Lanka Limited (LGLL) entered into a strategic business alliance with the Department of Co-operative Development Sri Lanka to expand Litro Gas Points of Sale at selected Co-op outlets.’
• Mandate of Ministry of Power – Some ambiguities, conflicts and barriers
‘In assigning functions among ministries, one deviation from the past practice hitherto followed is the division of Ministry of Power and Energy into two separate ministries, Ministry of Power and Ministry of Energy.’
• The anatomy of a blackout
‘Sri Lanka’s power system is running with very little spare capacity, thanks to the two politicians who cancelled all the major power plants that were on the drawing boards in 2015’
• Blackout Blamed on Solar Power
• Experts raise suspicion on islandwide power failure
‘“Certain people in the CEB are trying to accelerate the (construction of a new) coal plant which will actually not solve problems,”’
• Sri Lanka power cuts, IPPs in play with coal plants down after grid failure
• Power Shortage
‘Wind Power can provide the full requirements of power for Sri Lanka’
• LAUGFS Holdings celebrates 25 years
‘LAUGFS owns the largest LPG Transhipment Terminal in South Asia, located within the Hambantota Port and operated under LAUGFS Terminals.’
• Sri Lanka to Become South Asia’s LNG Hub
‘… for the development of industries via reliable and affordable access to clean energy…to work closely with the recently established State Ministry of Solar, Wind & Grid Power Generation Projects Development by the new government in achieving its vision of converting all of Sri Lanka’s power installations to LNG a reality within the very near future.’
• Panasian Power enters into a Power Purchase Agreement with CEB
• Norochcholai extension: CEB calls for expressions of interest
‘Senior CEB engineers slammed moves to also offer the 4th unit “on a silver platter” to China Machinery Engineering Corporation. The proposal is disadvantageous to both the utility and country’
• Who’s Afraid of Wimalasurendra?
• Asia Distillates-Jet cash discounts widest in 2 months. SL CPC seeks 560,000 barrels gasoil
• Lanka gives top priority to sustenance of international maritime services
‘Representatives of four leading bodies associated with seafaring assignments and maritime services in Lankan seas, Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA), Colombo Logistics, Avant Garde and Rakna Lanka…such as ship crew changes, security for floating ships against pirates, etc.’
• Sri Lanka’s Colombo Dockyard wins Norway deal for bulk carriers
‘“Each vessel is powered by 4 stroke diesel engine with an Electric Hybrid system supplying additional power through a Battery system.”…The basic design was by Wartsila Ship Design Norway AS.’
• Mauritius arrests Indian captain and his Sri Lankan deputy for oil spill
• Information Communication Technology Agency Board further strengthened by leading techies
‘including Virtusa Executive Madu Ratnayake, Orange Electric Managing Director Kushan Kodituwakku and Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Director General Oshada Senanayake.
Ratnayake is an independent Non-Executive Director of Hatton National Bank (HNB) and Director of Sri Lanka CERT, the National Agency for Cyber Security. He is also the Chairman of the Advisory Committee ICT/BPM at EDB, Member of the National Advisory Council of The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and Member of the Employee Federation Ceylon (EFC) Council. Kodituwakku is the Managing Director of Orange Electric “largest manufacturer of electrical wiring”
• Central Industries appoints Mayura Rupatunge to Board
‘reputed manufacturer and distributor of ‘National PVC’ pipes and fittings, and ‘Krypton’ electrical switches and sockets’
• Manufacturing and Services move towards pre-COVID levels in July: Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI)
• The Cooperative movement can be used to give MSMEs a new lease of life
• 718 people died in train accidents in the past three years
• August 18 marks the 10th death anniversary of Ray Wijewardene, visionary inventor
‘Using a homemade gasifier, the gliricidia wood was used to provide electricity for 10 homes in the estate, while also powering a water pump. Yarn, made with coconut fibre, in 25 kilo rolls, was exported. All the estate’s electricity was generated using gliricidia wood- all zero input. “He wanted our country to become self-sustained like the estate…”
• Tribute to a Genius and a True Sri Lankan Vidya Jyothi Ray Wijewardene – Lanka’s Da Vinci
• Ray Wijewardene: An enlightened nationalist ahead of his time?
• Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology develops low-cost Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification kit to enhance COVID testing
• Electronics Manufacturers and Exporters Association congratulates new Govt.
C8. Finance (Making money from money, banks, lack of investment in modernity)
ee Finance tracks the effects of financialization, the curious role of ratings agencies, false indices, etc.
• Value of debt moratorium owing to COVID-19 tops Rs. 2 trillion
• 4-member committee to probe irregularities & review state banks during past 5 years
• Foreign investors seek greater legal certainty before investing in Sri Lanka
‘These companies are currently evaluating the situation and will likely visit here to see the ground realities for themselves before making the decision to invest”…When asked to name these companies, Andreas said “it should remain confidential as the talks are still at an initial stage”. When asked why the foreign companies in the freight forwarding sector wanted full ownership, Andreas said, “These companies have reporting obligations and internal compliance rules…” The Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) was officially inaugurated on 27th March 2018…AHK Sri Lanka is part of the German Chamber Network supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. With 142 locations in 92 countries around the world, the members of the German Chamber Network (AHKs)… are located in all countries of particular importance to German companies and are closely connected to the Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHKs) in Germany. Together they support 3.6 million German companies….On 21st of August AHK Sri Lanka will organize a joint webinar with Deutsche Bank and Allianz on ‘Planning and Risk Mitigation in Times of Economic Uncertainty’.
• New plan to revive failed finance companies
• CB steps up efforts to address grievances of financial consumers
• Sarvodaya & LankaClear’s Silva promotes Cashless Card
‘Most SME merchants do not transact with their banks as they deal only with cash. Since they only accept cash and in turn make their daily payments via cash, all their transactions are outside the formal banking system. They do not deposit their daily earnings in banks. Due to this, banks have no way of assessing their income to provide any credit facility to them based on their income. Thus, the only option for such SME merchants is to obtain small loans from loan sharks (Gini Poli Mudalali) who charge almost 10% daily interest. They pay exorbitant interest charges in desperation and become easy prey for these unscrupulous elements in the society. However, if they accept domestic card payments, they will start building a credit history’
• CBSL revises down caps on interest rates on credit cards, overdrafts & pawning facilities
‘Maximum interest rate on Pawning Facilities – 10.00%’
• Depositors of failed finance firms paid Rs.850mn in 2019
• Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon in losses in the June 2020 quarter
‘The bank is a key financier of the state and state enterprises’
• NDB Bank net profits to 1.1 billion rupees
• HNB posts Rs 5.5 bn 1H Group PAT
‘Total Deposits grow by Rs 55 bn’
• Sri Lanka’s HNB June profit 2.1 billion rupee
• First Capital posts PAT of Rs. 1.46bn
• Asgi Akbarally new Chairman at Amana Bank
‘Asgi is a Senior Executive Director of Akbar Brothers, renowned for its tea exports…. Asgi is the Managing Director of Renewgen and Chairman of Windforce, Hermitage Resorts, Uthurumaafaru Holding Maldives, Lhaviyani Holdings and Cocoon Investments Maldives. He is also a director of Alumex PLC…Asgi is currently the Honorary Consul of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon…’
• Nadika Opatha appointed CEO of LOLC Life Assurance
‘Commenced her career at John Keells Holdings Ltd. in 1995. In 1997, she joined LOLC’s Factoring arm and in 2002 she left LOLC and joined RBC (Royal Bank) Insurance Company in Canada as a Financial Services Advisor’
• Krishantha Cooray steps down from DFCC Board
‘until November 2019 he served as the Chairman of Lake House holding company Associated Newspapers of Ceylon and Hotel Developers Lanka PLC, the holding company of Colombo Hilton.Cooray resigned from both chairmanships following the November 2019 Presidential Election.’
• COMBank’s assets cross milestone Rs. 1.5 trillion in 1H 2020
‘Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC – the country’s largest private bank… The increase in provisions was mainly due to the higher credit risk on account of facilities under moratorium, additional collective impairment provisions made under stressed scenarios for certain identified industries and a decision to apply increased weightages for the worst case scenario when assessing the probability-weighted forward looking macroeconomic indicators and Loss Given Defaults with the objective of capturing the impact of COVID-19 on the Expected Credit Loss computation as at 30 June, resulting in net operating income reducing by 1.56% to Rs. 26.176 billion.’
• Ranjan Gomez sells Access Engineering stake, NDB Wealth buys in
‘Companies under his purview include Access Holdings Ltd., ATSL International Ltd., ATSL Telesoft Ltd., Access Energy Solutions Ltd., and business units of Access International Ltd….NDB Wealth sees an upside in the construction and infrastructure sector under the new Government. AEL is strong in infrastructure development for water supply, and given the need to increase distribution and availability to nearly 40% of the population, prospects for the company are good.
• Finance Houses Association pioneers in treating Sri Lanka towards financial inclusion
‘The apex body of 39 Regulated Finance Companies registered with Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL)… the sector has expanded up to 1,358 branches …Every batch of 14,900 people of the population is provided with a Non-Banking Financial Industry branch… The FHA is the successor of The Ceylon Hire Purchase & Finance Association, founded in 1958…’
• Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, UNEP-DTU and Sanasa Insurance Group joint initiative ‘“Affordable Resilience Insurance for MSMEs in Sri Lanka”’
• Colombo Stock Brokers Association commends appointment of a special minister
‘Established in 1995, the Colombo Stock Brokers Association represents stock broking companies licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka. As of 2020, the association consists of 18 member companies striving to develop the Sri Lankan economy.’
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’.
• Trade Minister to open outlets for consumers to purchase products of state-owned institutions
• Hayleys Group pre-tax profit of Rs.1.17 billion
‘The Board of Directors of Hayleys PLC comprises Messrs. Mohan Pandithage (Chairman and Chief Executive), Dhammika Perera (Co-Chairman), Sarath Ganegoda, Rajitha Kariyawasan, Dr. Harsha Cabral PC, Ruwan Waidyaratne, Hisham Jamaldeen, Aravinda Perera, Jayanthi Dharmasena ,Rohan Karr and Gamini Gunaratne’
• Hayleys reports PAT of Rs.561.76 million Q1 2020
• Millions embezzled at Mayurapathy Sri Bathrakali Amman Kovil
‘the Chief Trustee has also been named as a defendant in an alleged international racketeering conspiracy involving bribes of government officials in India, to allow the mining of titanium minerals’
• President orders northern shops to remain open till 10 pm daily
‘create more job opportunities as employees might have to work on a shift basis while the transport sector too would have more passengers… also help the transportation process as products could be packed and transported at night time.
• Duty-free business collapses; request to increase allowances
‘Tourism Ministry Secretary said they hoped to introduce products such as air conditioning machines and expand the range of mobile phones, washing machines, and other electronic goods in a bid to boost the duty-free sales. Perfumes and chocolates would also be sold at concessionary prices.’
• India negotiating with Sri Lanka to establish bilateral air bubble arrangements
• Airtel Lanka appoints Ashish Chandra as CEO
‘Prior to joining Airtel Lanka, he was the Business Head and CEO (Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand) for Vodafone Idea Ltd. ‘
• Ceylon Chamber of Commerce launches online marketplace to promote export amid growing demand
• National Chamber of Exporters partners with Bureau Veritas Lanka to provide certification for exporters
‘Bureau Veritas Lanka operates in 140 countries with more than 1,400 offices + 320 laboratories.’
• HNB & People’s Bank partner with Sanken Group to finance Capitol TwinPeaks to completion
• Sri Lanka’s Sanken gets offshore finance for construction imports amid trade controls
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.
• Cabinet gets wheels turning for 20A
‘New amendment to repeal 19A but retain key points including two-term limit and 5-year term’
• JVP didn’t go wrong – Sunil Handunnetti
‘We haven’t robbed people’s money or protected rogues…If the JVP wasn’t banned there wouldn’t have been any insurrections…Votes cast for the opposition is a waste..Most voters don’t know what happens in Parliament’
• Decimation of the UNP Totally Unexpected – Uyangoda, Poliitical Scientist
• Chandrika doesn’t know “whether to laugh or cry” at the fate of the SLFP
“It is sad that the UNP and the SLFP the two oldest and strongest parties in the country that safeguarded democracy in this country for so long have met this fate,” she said.
• Re: The National List Parliamentary Seat of NPP – Progressive Women’s Collective
• Mylvaganam could not raise millions, therefore he could not buy ticket from party
‘He was one of the well read and outspoken MPs representing plantation workers in the previous Parliament. The minority party of which he is a member, reportedly demanded millions as a condition to consider nominating him under the alliance with another newly formed major political party in the South.’
• No monks in parliament, please!
• What happened on August 5, 2020
‘There is only the Sinhala-Buddhist Centre that is in command right now. The rest is chaos’
• Family Rule
‘nations which permitted this, or which were powerless to stop this, do not exist. They have been destroyed, or conquered, long forgotten, erased from human knowledge.’
C11. Media (Mis/Coverage of economics, technology, science and art)
ee Media shows how corporate media monopoly determines what is news, art, culture, etc. The media is part of the public relations (corporate propaganda) industry. The failure to highlight our priorities, the need to read between the lines. To set new perspectives and priorities.
• International Advertising Association (IAA) congratulates new Government
‘The Marketing Communications sector employs over 100,000 people directly and indirectly, with ~200,000 people depending on it. It generates an annual revenue of Rs. 151 billion, as per an ongoing study by Ernst & Young …. The MarCom Collective is made up of 8 associations intrinsically linked to the advertising and marketing communications industries as well as businesses and professionals’
• National Body for Marketing in Sri Lanka (SLIM) together with Sri Lanka Inventors Commission (SLIC) bring Sri Lankan inventors to the limelight with ‘Made in Sri Lanka’
• Scribes from hell
‘It is incumbent upon all media institutions to cooperate with the police fully and help identify the journalists who have sold their souls to criminals’
• Rohan Weliwita appointed as Media Secretary to Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa
• Launch of Novelist Piyadasa Sirisena biography
‘In 1915 the Sinhala Muslim riots that took place, proved to be highly damaging to English rule. On this occasion Sirisena was imprisoned, for allegedly inciting the people to rise against the English…’
• The Church of Ceylon fails to elect its Bishop for Colombo
‘The elitism is so ingrained that the school switched from soccer to rugger, openly stating in writing that soccer is for ordinary people, but rugger is for those who are employed by the private sector.’