ee archive: eesrilanka.wordpress.com
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
Benito Cereno & Sri Lanka
e-Con e-News 23-29 August 2020
Warning signs are flashing: the economy is about to encounter inflationary headwinds. Time ripens, with the sun hammering overhead, as all manner of NATO opportunists and their brown sahibs fish in a mud lake.
A dramatic tightening of imports and rapid initiation of machine production is the crying priority of the hour, under the protection of patriotic military. Slash all inessential imports! Launch real industry! Ensure military protection of workers and cultivators! Prevent importer mafia sabotage! The People have great hopes for the new government! A cultural revolution is crucial!
• So here’s this week’s ee plot. It’s a plot behind the plot of an intriguing US novel by Herman Melville (of Moby Dick fame). Its plot involves us. The 1855 novel Benito Cereno is not ‘famous’ even though Melville considered it his best work.
ee reschedules the timeline given by the Melville, for ee thinks it’s purposely misleading. So here ee provides a totally different version and background to the novel:
The US government banned the slave trade from Africa in 1807, launching a massive slave breeding industry. The US feared the new entry of conscious Africans, after the victory of one of the greatest revolutions on earth, in Haiti (from Taino, Ayti).
Haiti was carved out of western Hispaniola, “ceded” by Spain to France in 1697, to make more profits off slavery. Hispaniola was where the Genoan Columbus and Spanish armies first invaded the Americas in 1492 – 13 years before the Portuguese put boots on Lanka. Why did not Sri Lanka suffer the same fate as the Americas of genocide and total enslavement. Was it organization and culture? Is such a fate still in store?
In Haiti, Africans and their Taino Indian allies began driving out 3 European armies and their plantation owners in 1791. In 1804, they established the first modern nation on earth independent of slavery. Napoleon then sold Louisiana to the US. Haiti then aided Simon Bolivar, “the Great Liberator”, to free the rest of the Americas from colonial rule, on the condition that Bolivar ban slavery. After, all, France’s Jacobins had abolished slavery, yet Napoleon restored it.
The English, in revenge for losing the USA, had wanted to undermine post-revolutionary France’s economy and keep Haiti enslaved. The English then invaded, suffering one of their worst defeats in history. The defeats in Haiti shook Europe. In 1807, England in fear, regulated the Slave Trade from Africa and turned East. After this defeat the English concentrated their military forces on Asia, and Sri Lanka in particular.
Pivot to Asia! – In 1802, the Dutch had “ceded” Ceylon to England: English PM Pitt told Parliament this event signified “the most valuable colonial possession on the globe, giving to our Indian Empire a security it had not enjoyed from its first establishment”.
In 1803, the English suffered one of their worst military defeats in montane Sinhale, and then resorted to “scorched earth” policy, burning villages and destroying irrigation. The newly arrived English spy John D’Oyly also extended their spy networks, using mudaliyars, some of whose descendants were groomed for leadership after 1947 independence.
The English, now focused on enslaving our part of the world, first tricking Chinese, then Indian, workers (contract ‘coolies’) to Trinidad etc. They then began to impose the import-export plantation system. One French plantation owner in Haiti, SJ Laborie, fled to Jamaica. Laborie’s book Coffee Planter of Santo Domingo, including how to enslave plantation workers using terror and murder, was brought here in 1837 by the English slaver Tytler from Jamaica, becoming the bible for planters in Sri Lanka.
When Jefferson, the US president, banned international slave traders in 1807, he was called a great liberal and a democrat, even though a slave owner. The US northern states were major importers as well as exporters of enslaved people. They had begun with kidnapping native Pequot people from Massachusetts to the Caribbean plantations, and enslaving Africans from 1619 to Virginia. (Human trafficking & human resources! – remains the most profitable business yet, even over drugs!)
Jefferson banned the importation of ‘new’ slaves into the US, to raise prices for his slave-breeding business. So the US and English did not ban slavery! (It was the old artificial imposition of scarcity to increase profits: like banning under-the-counter ‘drugs’ to permit largely unregulated foreign capitalist pharmaceutical and tobacco multinationals to maim and kill people for superprofits). The northern US also wished to transition from plantations to modern industry, which they did not wish to share with Africans, as enslaved workers could easily sabotage expensive machines!
Tobacco is less labor intensive than cotton. Slave breeding, aimed at creating a submissive class from birth, now became the biggest ‘industry’ in several US northern tobacco states, from Washington, Baltimore, Virginia and the “Upper South”, a highly organized rape-business, that few authors, fictionalists or other, let alone our English Departments, dare explore.
Slave breeding is a saga of white gentleman owner-pimps and Black male “stockmen” and female “breeders”. A horrible legacy: Children were born as slaves. The whites who profited from it still hold on to it with nostalgia and delight. The Black people who endured it, still cannot escape that nightmare.
The massive growth of the cotton business, caused a revolution in cotton spinning yet the whites refused to mechanize cotton picking. And now the cotton gin, to quickly separate seed from fibre, worked Africans to death, sometimes in 7 years!
To keep those slave-breeding profits high, the English and US Navy patrolled the seas to impound slave ships taking Africans to other colonies. When apprehended, many ships flung enchained people into the sea, to leave no evidence.
In Benito Cereno, a US navy captain boards a Spanish “slave ship” in the Atlantic. It appears to be drifting. He talks to the white captain, whose name is the title of the novel. The US Navy man talks for a long time, not suspecting anything. He yet feels the atmosphere strange: For not only do the slaves totally outnumber the Spaniards, he finds he cannot be alone with the Spanish captain Cereno. There’s always a ‘slave’ named Babo hovering next to him. The Senegalese Babo yet does not act like a slave. In fact, even the slaves in chains appear very proud and regal.
To make a long story short, as the Navy captain disembarks, Benito Cereno and the few whites left on the ship all leap into the sea, shouting “Mutiny!” The Navy man realizes what has happened. There is a battle before the mutineers are soon hanged, burned and beheaded. The name of the rescuer is Captain Delano (recall US Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whose family made their fortunes from pushing opium on China!). Delano learns the Africans, while singing, had killed the shipowner Aranda and all the Spaniards, except a few kept to act as if they’re in charge. The enslaved are Ashanti from the Senegal river. The Ashanti plan to capture both ships and sail back to Senegal.
The most striking sentences of the novel are at the very end: Babo’s head is ‘fixed on a pole in the centre of town, staring unabashed, the gaze of the whites.’ Babo’s dismembered head stares at St Bartholomew’s church, where “the recovered bones of the shipowner Aranda” lay, and farther across the bridge “towards the monastery on Mount Agonia…” where Cereno (whose name means ‘serene benediction’) now lived. Delano asks the sad Benito: “’You are saved; what has cast such a shadow upon you? Cereno replies: ‘The negro.’”
Is there a moral for us in the story? ee twists Melville’s plot! Do we have our heads on or off our shoulders? Is Sri Lanka a ship long taken hostage where we struggle to take over from a ‘multicultural’ yet ‘white’ minority of dollar mutineers, merchants and moneylenders? Where the majority of the people onboard are hostages but must act as if they’re navigating their destiny, yet delivering us into colonial slavery again? It is they who cast a blight on us.
We are free but we are not. We are still colonies of the white man. White invaders still menace our oceans. We struggle to take over the ship, which is our country, but cannot rule it yet. Pulled along by our noses by the import-export plantation mafia, we drift almost drowning through waterfalls of terror.
And now, as we strive to be free again, what is the plan? – Is the government of Sri Lanka allowed to declare a national economic plan, with a timetable? Do international realities demand we dissemble, with one plan for us, one to sate the IMF? IMF accountants claim it is we who owe enormous debt. 500 years after plunder & mass murder. Not the class of rentier importers of their goods!!!
White men may appear publicly friendly and benign, yet it is they who still grapple at steering the ship. The US’s IMF agents planted in every ministry, demand we sell off our resources to their public-private (read, multinational-dominated) partnerships. It seems we must not upset the financial gnomes and their ratings agencies who sail the ship. And worse, CIA thrust into our deepest recesses!
This paralysis forces the spouting of the highest nationalist rhetoric mingled with bailing out and hailing financial magicians as ‘wealth creators’ while extending the 8-hour day by law, as India just did a few weeks ago, during another Ayodhya fooferaw, even as millions go unemployed?
Are we both Babo and Benito Cereno? (cont’d in Random Notes)
A1. Reader Comments –
• Data Overload • ee Stepping on the Ulcers of the Oligarchs
A2. Quotes of the Week –
• A State of Steel • Car Import Orgy • Agri Tech • Biz Schools • US Dollar Dealers Turn Addicts
A3. Random Notes –
• CIA Moragoda & Ranil • War for Paddy Lands Act • Ministry of Machine Tools • Arjuna shares in new Central Bank Software? • US Pencils in Parliament • US Dollar Despotism • Jackson Hole • Capitalist Media Worried about Nutrition • Cry of Militarization to Prevent Economic Sabotage • Why Not Thulhiriya Amalean? • Wealth Creators or Parasites? • Adapt Tech Production to Rice Cycle • Great-Nation Chauvinism and Anti-State Rhetoric • SL Suicide in Singapore? • Media Should Break down “Aid” • South Korea to Source SL? • Can Sri Lankans Sing the Blues?
B. ee Focus –
B1. From 4 Acres & 1 Cow, to 1 Acre & a Goat, to the Paddy Lands Act! – Philip Gunawardena
B2a. Deliberately Ill-equipped, Destroying Hope of Industrialization
B2b. Dharmapala, Munidasa & Industrialization beyond Closed Doors
B3. What Happens When China Becomes No. 1? – Kishore Mahbubani
B4. No Industrialization Allowed for Blacks in Africa – ANC’s 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 as email.
• “I was unimpressed by the ANC Bopela’s story” (see ee Focus)
• “Thanks to ee I’ve got a copy of Meegama’s book on Philip in my hands…”
• “Please be careful not to induce weariness in our incessant pursuits in pumping information. Too much of a good thing can also be counterproductive. Information overload can lead to serious information fatigue, which can have some serious psychosis – a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality. It’s time that dialectical materialism should start manifesting. Enough with antithesis – antiCapitalism, antiCorruption and anti this and that. Let’s try to positively employ our minds into being positive…State the synthesis!”
“Did WordPress or your ISP whiteout ee? The Bopela story is just a sideshow. The real crux of the matter is your relentless diggings of the financial intricacies of the industrial development of the Lanka society. The international financial/banking syndicate that are the true owners and controllers of not only Sri Lanka, but the entire global financial empire, through ownership of central banks, create money out nothing (thin air). So, my learned kindred, your rushing in on sacred soil, where angels fear to tread. You’re on raw ulcers and the men and women with those open sores would do anything to stop you from exposing their weakness. The idea is to stop u from educating people on their financial shenanigans. So be strong and vigilant, and know who your true enemies are? Take good care. Cheers.”
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• “A state, after all, is only as strong as its steel.”
• “Until 2019, between 1-1.2 billion US$ were spent per a year on importing vehicles to Sri Lanka… the vehicle imports industry only causes an outflow of foreign exchange such as money spent on the vehicles, parts, fuel, service fees and royalties.’ –(see ee Industry)
• “This week, the government also took a policy decision to ratchet up research and development on building new technologies to enhance productivity of the agricultural sector. A robust industrial policy supporting manufacturing with sufficient resources and investment allocation by both the government and the private sector is of paramount importance to generate well-paying jobs, stable employment and faster productivity growth, as free markets do not allocate resources across all sectors of an economy as seen from the current lopsided growth in the country.”
• “Many business school professors, particularly in North America, have argued that their institutions have gone horribly astray. B-schools have been corrupted, they say, by deans following the money, teachers giving the punters what they want, researchers pumping out paint-by-numbers papers for journals that no one reads and students expecting a qualification in return for their cash (or, more likely, their parents’ cash). At the end of it all, most business-school graduates won’t become high-level managers anyway, just precarious cubicle drones in anonymous office blocks.”
“In the past the West pumped money into Lebanon, now they’re attempting to suck the Lebanese banking system dry, like a dealer turned addict, hooked on their own supply.”
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• CIA, Ranil & Moragoda – Retired DIG Merril Gunaratne was Director General of Intelligence & Security when the LTTE & UNP ceasefire began. His book Cop in the Crossfire (2011) states that Milinda Moragoda, a Minister in the UNP government, arranged for a foreign trainer, from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), to be present in Sri Lanka and attend all intelligence meetings of the then Directorate of Internal Intelligence and the Directorate of Military Intelligence.
“…..The Prime Minister also procured the services of a reputed foreign agency to help boost the quality of intelligence gathering. I did welcome the move. When the foreign team discussed the subject with me, I emphasised that the critical area which required improvement was intelligence collection and that without such improvement, intelligence analysis amidst a vacuum would be meaningless.
“They had, however, already arrived with a mandate from the Prime Minister to commence an “analytic” unit in the Directorate of Internal Intelligence (DII). An expert had also arrived for this purpose, at which point I was informed that he would sit together with DII and Military Intelligence officials during their weekly discussions to prepare the weekly intelligence bulletin to help hone their skills. As a professional who had practised the trade for over 15 years, I felt that the “need to know” principle would have been compromised since classified information concerning the country’s national security interests would have been discussed at the weekly meetings of the intelligence heads.
“Guided by my professional conviction, I made a report pointing out the inherent concerns to the Prime Minister so that he could ponder over it and arrive at a suitable decision. A copy was despatched to Secretary of Defence as well. The latter did not discuss the matter with me. The Prime Minister summoned me to Temple Trees in respect of my report. He asked whether I did not like the agency concerned to help. I said that I welcomed their expertise but that it was my responsibility to keep him informed about the prospect of the leakage of classified information in view of the decision taken by him to enable the trainer to sit at intelligence deliberations.
“He overruled my concerns. The foreign trainer was thereafter present at the weekly meetings of the intelligence community. Not shortly after, the Sunday Times revealed the fact that the foreign trainer was participating at the security discussions held in the Directorate of Internal Intelligence…….”
• Have you heard of the war for the Paddy Lands Act in 1958? If you have you may go, “My oh my! How things change!” See how LOLC wallows in and bellows about superprofits from rural microfinance! This week saw Litro Gas thrilled that government co-ops will be distributing their products! And Commercial Bank and AMW will sell New Holland tractors! Yet, why can’t we make tractors? (see ee Focus, One Goat)
• How about a Ministry of Steel, Machine Tools & Capital Goods? (see ee Industry). Read about the early hopes for industrialization and the relationship between Engineer Wimalasurendra, Anagarika Dharmapala and Cumaratunga Munidasa. (see ee Focus, Killing Hope)
• USAID gave pencils, pens & exercise books to MPs in parliament? Yet, don’t we have graphite and wood for pencils? And what happened to Vallachennai paper? Sigh! (see ee Sovereignty, Gevindu)
• “The US unilaterally controls the global reserve currency, the US dollar. In theory, the US$ is a global public good but, in practice, it is an instrument of US domestic and foreign policies.
There’s therefore the big danger of the US using global public goods, like the US$, international banking transactions, and the Swift system, for unilateral purposes and ends.
This will encourage the world, especially China, to work towards creating an alternative global order. If that happens, the world will become a far messier place.” (see ee Focus, Mahbubani).
• The annual “Jackson Hole” meeting of US Central Banks led by the US Federal Reserve took place this week. They proclaim they will prioritize job creation, and let inflation spike by lowering interest rates. They will continue to print money to steal our resources and work, with a dollar worth less and less, and yet more and more for us. They also noted, media corporations are monopolizing industrial information even more.
• The latest wail against import controls is that capitalists are worried about people’s nutrition (see ee Agriculture, No Chicken Feed). Heavy artillery is being hauled out to oppose controls, despite the fact there is no industrial policy or plan yet. The import-export monopolies still rule, and how they oppose any steps towards real industrialization!
Is the entire purpose of the propaganda blitz calling GR a despot because they’re afraid he’ll have to go after the real criminals, the CEOs, bankers, etc, whose village names do not precede their cognomen? Grandpass Jafferjee? Thulhiriya Amalean? Instead, they wear sober ties instead of garish gold chains, and claim to do all things socially responsible, sustainable and inclusive, etc.
Yet, if you examine their business news, their claims to high quarterly profits, etc, are more than anything garish Angoda Lokka may sport (Sampath hits 1 trillion!). This may be the law of financial capitalism. Everything has to be upbeat when they’re trying lure the greed of investors and promote extravagance of borrowers. Unless capitalists are trying to avoid taxes and claim losses to beg for public bailouts (aka robbery!)
• Last week, ee noted about calling financial capitalists, “wealth creators”, while handing public money over to them, and not to the working class, refusing to invest in industrial capital (making machines). It’s a joke, postponing capitalist apocalypse. We forgot to note, while India’s news media was diverting with Ayodhya buildings, they were changing labor laws to 12 hours per day! Given widespread unemployment you would think their new and great technologies and machinery can be adapted to shorter shifts hiring more workers? It’s also possible that such technology, if allowed to see the light of day, will enable greater cooperation. Japan adapted the making of certain machine parts to accord with the season pattern of rice agriculture. But then US central bankers warned this week that Google, Facebook etc, are monopolizing and preventing the use of new technologies!
• The anti-Sinhala, anti-Buddhist, anti-majoritarian rhetoric of the white media, appears largely designed to provoke anti-state dissension, and great-nation chauvinism. There’s also a great ignorance of vital history. How did the Catholic Church become the largest landlord in Sri Lanka, or the Anglican Church the largest property owner per Anglican? Why are there 5 mosques in Kalaveva alone? What happened to the temple lands? They were the largest owners of land and offered the possibility for greater agricultural production!
As far as ee knows there have been no confessions or even paltry apologies , let alone land and cash handovers by the Churches or others, for what they have done. Honest Christians are the first to admit such cardinal sins.
The claims to the superprecedence of Tamil over Sinhala, and Shaivism and its kovils over Buddhism and temples, can only bring an equally valid claim that much of Sinhala and Buddhist remains have been violently erased over the years. Which brings us back to the use of nationalist claims to hide attacks on the working class.
• Arjuna New Shareholder in CBSL software? Does anyone know if this story about the SL student suicide in Singapore is true? Is the Singapore business lobby (who sing hallelujahs to their “Rule of Law”) so strong, it would get this story suppressed? Arjuna Mahendran and the purported student have now disappeared in Singapore.
ee is not a fan of sensationalia but the way Singapore is promoted as a ‘model’ of law and transparency should be challenged? Further, how secure is it for Singapore to be providing the Central Bank with data management software? Does Arjuna Mahendran have shares in that company?
The Cabinet this week approved buying a Central Bank data management system for reserve management from SimCorp Singapore. The dangers of using such large companies are: “If trillions of dollars are being managed by people using the same risk system, those individuals may be more likely to make the same mistakes.” SimCorp Singapore is a branch of the Danish-based company providing software and services to financial institutions such as asset managers, banks, national banks, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies worldwide. SimCorp clients include Central Banks of Sweden, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, Germany’s Warburg Bank, Deutsche Bank, US government’s Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association), Belgium’s KBC Bank, Dutch Aegon Asset Management, Italian Generali and Swiss Unigestion (see ee Industry)
• If Australia is so concerned about illegal migration so as to deepen ties with the Navy, and provide chemistry kits to analyze drugs, etc, etc, why does it keep exporting milk powder? Refusing to help us develop our own industry instead of selling diseased cattle? Is the media so craven as to suppress details of how great the aid and largesse are, especially by the warmongering US, England, Germany, Japan, Australia, India? Why doesn’t the media state in every story mentioning “aid”, say how much of that goes to pay for foreign ‘experts’ and machines? Same goes for stories about FDI! Investing in what?
• Dumbass Media – A South Korean multinational building a “power plant” (green of course!) has promised to source locally: “In a bid to get local industrialists involved in the project, nearly 40% local materials such as buoys, cables would be used”… Who makes the “local materials” and how? Why can’t a literate media ask such questions.
• International Schools, illegal under SL’s Education Act, are but legal under the Business Act. They are breeding grounds of national alienation. They take their cues from the proliferation of business schools around the globe, whose business is business. At least 1,300 to be exact, in 2015. ee has noted before, international schools are well known for their exceptionally high marks, otherwise parents may simply buy another school certificate. Read about why some think they should be bulldozed.
• Benito… Those north-south US superhighways now are built over the old Indian trails of its much older Red history. These ancient and not-so-ancient wide trails were turned into major roads to drag the enslaved from the slave-breeding states, which turned to settler tobacco production, taking them to the slave plantations growing cotton and sugar and rice. The enslaved were marched in coffles attached to each other by iron rods to manacles around their necks made in the first iron factories in Pittsburgh, with iron from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Now with these manacles around their necks, they would sing songs that their owners liked to hear and allowed. But soon those enslaved Africans turned early spirituals into sending coded messages to each other, of plans to break free. “If I had a hammer”… “Michael, come now, row the boat ashore, hallelujah…” Those spirituals later turned into the blues, when the railways, after they mechanized cotton in the south, took them back up to the industrial north, into a more modernized wage slavery, to compete with recently arrived European workers.
Yes, their throats manacled, they sang the blues to soothe. Now some whites and even some Lankans think they can sing the blues, or play jazz or holler rock’n’roll. Not yet. It is African music. Maybe after Africans have finally been restored and healed, repaid more than the slave owners were paid to turn their chattel slaves into wage slaves (forming Barclay’s Bank!), perhaps after Africa is united and free, perhaps the whole world may then together truly sing the blues or as it may be called African Modern Classical, with expensive compulsory certificates from Addis Ababa, Accra or Timbucto…
B. Special Focus_
B1. From 4 Acres, 1 Cow, to 1 Acre and a Goat to the Paddy Lands Act!
Sri Lanka was the only country in the world not to carry out land reform just after ‘independence’, and its agriculture stagnated, extending the English impoverishment of the peasantry.
The Paddy Lands Bill presented by Philip Gunawardena in December 1957, was therefore one of the most important pieces of legislation presented since the inception of the House of Representatives in 1947, writes Ananda Meegama, Philip’s biographer.
The Paddy Lands Bill stirred the nation behind Philip at the peak of an industrious life. It also provoked sustained invective from the English press, particularly Lakehouse. They called it a bid to rob smallholders of their idyllic land, and nationalize land, leading to ‘communism’.
Philip’s supporters saw it as signaling a renaissance for the country. Trench warfare ensued, with repeated stalling by higher officials (more effective than the Central Bank bond cover-up “footnote” clique). But Philip rose to the occasion, giving his “most important speech in Parliament”, resonating in the most remote villages.
“Silent’ William de Silva noted, the Act would benefit the Kandyan peasant, who was “the most downtrodden.” Opposition to the Act was spearheaded by “the Kandyan aristocrat, the feudal aristocrat, the middlemen, the intermediaries, and the low country mudalalis” who had “been buying up all the paddy lands” there. A good question, we wonder about, is how authentic were these so-called aristocrats after all the English wars?
English capital had displaced the entire peasantry in the country, taking over their lands, imposing large estates. The plantation economy was promoted at the expense of the peasant, their “holy” irrigation systems destroyed or left to decay. “Only the most reactionary and the most oppressive aspects” of the older system were retained.
The Communist member from Jaffna, P Kandiah, criticized the (now ITAK) Federal Party’s opposition to the bill: Problems unrelated to being Sinhala or Tamil, left unresolved, had added to tensions between communities. “But on the question of the right of the tenant” to their land and their share of the harvest, “there are no differences” between people. The real National Question!
The UNP’s 1953 Paddy Land Act had been totally ineffective in addressing rampant insecurity and exploitation. With no clear definition of ande tenancy, peasants in Hambantota, eg, remained at the mercy of the gambaraya, who was not the owner, but was “the real exploiter” there. The gambaraya was moneylender, advancing seed, farm animals, tractors, etc, extorting the peasant.
Tenants all over the country had to hand over from half to 2/3 to 3/4 of their harvests, and pay high interests on advances, even giving extra gifts at owners’ funerals or marriages! Philip’s new Act would also free the tenant from such oppressive servitude as their children having to work in the landlord’s house as servants without pay.
The new Act would give 300,000 tenants, security of tenure, fixing the amount paid to landlords. Security would then make it worthwhile for the tenant to invest long-term in cultivation methods, fertilizer, high-yielding seeds and transplanting, and increase production. A Cultivation Committee would be formed for every 150-200 acres of paddy land, with 75% cultivators and 25% owners (due to pressure on Philip from PM SWRD, owners were included). The Committee would provide inputs, tools, buffalo and tractors.
Philip observed, in the absence of credit, marketing, and other inputs, a new class of tenants had been forming in DS’ colonization schemes. DS Senanayake’s “bedrock of the nation” – the “independent peasant smallholder” – was a “figment of the imagination”. The majority of the paddy land owner-cultivators held less than one acre, and to live they had to work outside for daily wages as “their chief source of income”. DS’ peasant ownership would neither raise production nor income.
Meegama’s biography then describes Philip’s discussion of the aims of the bill, the horrendous state of so-called “ownership”, and the need for security and finance, and new duties for tenant and owner.
Philip wished for cultivators to organize and control production. Cooperatives had fallen into the hands of traders and moneylenders. In the colonized schemes, there was no institutional framework to help with inputs, throwing people into the hands of criminals, or rather, businessmen. Cooperative credit was a must! Listen to LOLC and Unilever crow now about their rural profits!
Philip saw it was important to understand the structure of paddy landholdings. Those who claimed to own and cultivate land could not make a living from it. The idolized owner-cultivator was actually a wage labourer, working on estates and in casual labour. On many lands, owners never even fulfilled their share of the relationship to provide inputs!
The Paddy Lands Act was made law in early 1958, and Philip quickly noted 1000s of letters from tenants facing eviction by landlords who were sure Parliament’s gentlemen (including the SLFP) would never pass the bill. It was to be implemented in steps and in parts of the country and, with the help of such gentlemen (some – guess who? – who proclaimed “primae noctis” – the first right of lords to ‘their’ peasant’s wedding night!), they undermined the PLA. Yet, the PLA did benefit the people, though the objective was massive: 400,000 ande tenant lands, involving 2 million citizens!
After Philip was forced to resign in 1958, he noted the 25% landlord provision forced on the Cultivation Committee had been used to undermine the Act, through boycott and intimidation by the usual exploiting elements, vel vidanes, etc.
Despite support from a weakened Agrarian Services Department, 27,000 tenants were evicted by 1966, with court cases postponed interminably. Sabotage by such ‘Minneriya Deviyo’ as CP de Silva, who later undermined Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s 1960-64 government, is also exposed. Activists were murdered, police refused to investigate. Decent Land Development officers, on whom the Act much depended, were also replaced by reactionaries. The book details the sabotage and is important to read just for this, to understand what any leaders who love our country, would face. Required reading for new MPs!
In 1960, a new Minister of Agriculture, a friend of Philip’s, DA Rajapakse (father of the current President and PM), tried to strengthen the act. Yet Philip noted, “You cannot expect a Government of landlords to work for the tenants.” The book then describes the sabotage of those institutions supposed to provide credit, like the People’s Bank, Co-operative Development Bank, and the Multipurpose Co-ops (being undermined by their own officials to this very day! See ee Industry!)
The chapter notes, 50 years hence: highly inefficient small-scale holdings! Farmers in debt, some committing suicide, youth migration! He ends with Philip’s vision beyond DS’ policy of 4 acres and a cow, which had become 1 acre and a goat! He saw people working in cooperation towards large-scale production, soon realizing petty ownership has no meaning. It ends with a beautiful quatrain by TB Tennekoon: “Hunger a plague inducing spontaneous lament!”
– Adapted from Ananda Meegama’s Philip Gunawardena & the 1956 Revolution in SL
B2a. Deliberately Ill-equipped, Destroying Hope for Industrialization
Writing in 1956, on “The Industrialization of Ceylon: Opinions – Policies, 1916-51”, in The Ceylon Economist, Henry M Oliver, Fulbright Prof of Economics at the University of Ceylon, noted:
“Demand for industrialization has been insistent… for at least 40 years” since WW1 had interrupted ‘normal flow of supplies’. The English governor had appointed an Industries Commission in 1916, whose 1921 report was full of caution and pessimism, falsely claiming costs and small market, that Ceylon was “not blessed with mineral wealth”!
Calling for industrialization was a basic demand of all nationalists in the early 20thC: In 1918, the Ceylon Reform League (predecessor to Ceylon National Congress) bemoaned: “manufactures and industries – latent wealth of the country and an imperial asset – remain undeveloped… By a properly organized system of education our resources could be immensely developed.”
The CRL was being rather precious about ‘imperial’ assets, even as they noted imperial “apathy”: only war it seems could convince of the need for local industry. Even then, what interested the whites was identifying and grabbing “raw materials”.
There would be Conferences and Commissions and Committees, but their main concern, like now, was not implementation but to prevent state involvement. The Ceylon Economist in 1919 noted about the Industries Commission: “These gentlemen were either ill-equipped for their work or deliberately bent on destroying any hope… almost all their reports end with the same anthem, ‘No coal’, No industry’ …A government which was not ‘mulish’ or subject to ‘dictation of foreign capitalists’ could encourage manufacture of energy sources.”
The Executive Committee of Labour, Industry and Commerce, already noted in 1946, that despite those WWI opportunities, 20 years before, “no such development took place”.
What happened to those priorities? The thwarting of those demands by mass media and mass murder would make a most interesting study (see ee 25 Aug 2019). What is also interesting is that none of these accounts highlight Wimalasurendra.
B2b. Dharmapala, Munidasa & Industrialization beyond Closed Doors
– from Witharana, BD, Negotiating Power & Constructing the Nation: Engineering in SL
The most influential campaigner in the early 20thC who took the message of industrialization beyond closed door forums to the masses 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 and early 20th century and spread across India from the 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, 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.
When the Industries Commission was appointed in 1916 with RE Stubbs as the Chair, 4 out of 13 members were Ceylonese (K Balasingham, Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam, HL de Mel, H Marcus Fernando). By the time it concluded work in 1921, with Joseph Pearson as Chair, the same 4 remained in the Commission.
Dharmapala launched a massive attack against the dependency mentality of the Sinhala, using examples to show how far they were dependent on foreign products for their day-to-day survival and suggesting “they must learn to stand on [their own] legs and not dependent on aliens”.
“Rice, the staple food of the Sinhala is imported from India, also our curry stuff. Pins, needles, ink, stationary, glassware, crockery, hardware, apparel, shoes, hats, machinery, cutlery, cloths, umbrellas, bentwood, furniture etc, are all imported from abroad.”
During the early 20thC Dharmapala proposed a broad program for industrialization, though it was not properly formulated under the theme of industrialization. He looked for the revival of the local industrial tradition that had collapsed as a result of the colonial economy, campaigned for a phase of industrialization based on modern technology, and asked for a network of industrial schools and colleges to be established to achieve the above task.
Dharmapala questioned the attitude of people who went for export replacements, causing local industry to collapse: ”We purchase Pears soap, and eat coconut biscuits manufactured by Huntley and Palmer, and sit in chairs made in Austria, drink the purified liquid known as tinned milk, manufactured somewhere near the South Pole, while our own cows are dying for want of fodder, and grazing grounds and our own pottery we have given up for enamel goods manufactured in distant Austria, and our own brass lamps we have melted, and are paying to purchase Hinks lamps which require a supply of fragile chimneys manufactured in Belgium! Our own weavers are starving and we are purchasing cloth manufactured elsewhere!”
Even though Dharmapala had issues with the moral failings of the colonizer, he looked towards the West and other industrialized countries for lessons on industrialization, as exactly the case with the Indian Swadeshi Movement. Swadeshi leaders formed a number of institutions to raise funds to send workers, students and researchers around the world, on study tours or to receive education in universities in Japan, Germany, California. Dharmapala wrote his famous “A Message to the Young Men of Ceylon” in 1912 as a pamphlet published in Calcutta, urging them go out and bring back knowledge needed to develop the island.
“It would be good for you and for the country, if 1,000 Sinhala youth leave Ceylon for the US, Japan, Germany, India, Hongkong, France and England to learn technical sciences and scientific agriculture, irrigation, and return to Ceylon to begin the work of national elevation.”
Writing “Education in Ceylon” in Sinhala Bauddhaya on 9 Oct 1909, Dharmapala expressed his frustration about the lack of opportunities for industrial education… which he treated as an integral and an important part of education: “In Ceylon there are no technological schools, no manufacturing firms, no engineering college, no industrial schools, no agricultural training college, no weaving schools where textile industries are taught.”
In the article “Waste Lands Ordinance”, The Ceylon Nation, he wrote: “The fees charged at the so-called Royal College and other colleges are prohibitive indeed and the education the students get in these high schools is a sham. Nothing practical is taught in these schools and to get a higher technical education the Ceylon Government has to send Ceylonese youths to Poona, or Pusa or Madras.”
A further indication of the spread of the discourse on industrialization in the early 20thC was the contribution made by Munidasa Cumaranatunga, leader of the Sinhala-language Hela Haula movement. Addressing a 1927 meeting at Ananda College, the school attended by Wimalasurendra, Cumaratunga declared, the only way to strengthen the national economy of Ceylon is to develop hydro power. Protesting against the colonial government’s reluctance to allow the Hydro Power Scheme to go ahead, Cumaratunga questioned what the meaning of the lives of colonized people would be if they were not allowed to produce electricity on their own using their own water resources.
Cumaratunga reiterated the importance of industrial development in a number of editorials of the newspaper Lak Mini Pahana, as the editor. He found fault with Ceylonese for not taking the initiative to establish industries to produce the basic necessities of day-to-day life. His editorials criticized Ceylonese for not producing their own food, own cloth, own instruments, and own vehicles.
In his 30 April 1935 editorial on “Guru Puraya”, Cumaratunga by highlighting the importance of producing for consumption, named the era as the era of production. Going against early 20thC temperance sentiments, he campaigned for a well-established alcohol industry. He saw mass-scale production of alcohol from the abundantly available coconut as a key industry that must be promoted. Through this, he suggested the island could save foreign currency spent to import alcohol and in addition, earn more by exporting. Cumaratunga maintained a consistent interest in the completion of the hydroelectricity scheme, his editorials expressing frustration over the delay in commencement…
Cumaratunga recorded his disappointment when funds were not allocated even in the 1935/36 budget to recommence work of the Hydroelectric Scheme, in an editorial “Ena Varshaye Aya Weya” (Next Year’s Budget, 6 Aug 1935).
Though it is not clear whether Dharmapala and Wimalasurendra were influenced by each other in imagining an industrialized Ceylon – the absence of cross references does not mean they were not – the Hydroelectric Scheme did provide confidence to Fernando and Cumaratunga. Wimalasurendra and the Hydroelectric Scheme provided the solid foundation needed to coordinate these dispersed pre-1918 thoughts on industrialization. Rhetorical claims for industrialization would have meant little without such resources on the ground, as the Hydroelectric Scheme, to translate lofty aspirations into a material form.
– Next week, Early Calls for Industrialization
B3. What Happens When China becomes No. 1? – Kishore Mahbubani (2015)
The answer may well depend on how the USA acts now, when it’s still the world’s sole superpower.
Let me begin with 3 incontrovertible facts.
1. China will become the No. 1 economic power in the world.
2. Most Americans, like most westerners, view China’s rise with great foreboding.
3. The role that China will play as the No. 1 economic power has not been cast in stone.
How the world, especially the US, reacts to China’s rise will help to influence China’s behaviour in the future. If we make the right decisions now, China could well emerge as a benign great power (even though most Americans find this virtually inconceivable).
At the same time, many Americans are not aware that some recent US actions have set bad precedents for China to follow when it becomes No. 1. The first such US action was to launch quantitative easing (QE).
Until the onset of the crisis, Chinese leaders were happy that the US and China had settled into a comfortable pattern of mutual dependence. China relied on US markets to generate exports and jobs. The US relied on China to buy US Treasury bills to fund US deficit spending.
This Chinese confidence in mutual interdependence was shattered when the US Fed announced the first round of QE measures in November 2008. The Fed’s actions demonstrated that the US did not have to rely on China to buy US Treasury bills.
The second US action was to engage in extraterrestrial application of domestic laws. It did this when it prosecuted several banks, including HSBC, RBS, UBS, Credit Suisse, Standard Chartered.
In 2012, the US fined Standard Chartered US$340million for making payments to Iran. Most Americans reacted with equanimity to the bank being fined for dealing with the “evil” Iranian regime.
But Standard Chartered, domiciled in the UK, had broken no British laws. Nor had it violated any mandatory sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council.
However, since almost all international payments have to go through the US payment mechanism, Standard Chartered was fined for violating US laws. In short, the US was applying US laws to non-US citizens and non-US corporations operating outside the US.
The third US action was to threaten countries by denying them access to the Swift system. Since all international payments have to go through Swift, any country denied access is thrown into a black hole and denied access to any kind of international trading and investment.
In a recent column, Fareed Zakaria described well the Russian reaction to the possibility of being denied access to the Swift system. In Western media commentaries, President Putin is often portrayed as the bad guy and PM Dmitry Medvedev as the good guy. Yet, it was the “good guy” who said: “Russian response – economically and otherwise – will know no limits.”
China’s dream of renewal – I tell these 3 stories upfront because as Americans ponder how China should behave as a No. 1 power, they should also reflect on the question of whether the US has served as a good role model of a No. 1 power. This is the big question I raise in my conclusion.
To get to the conclusion, let me address the first key question: What are the goals and ambitions of China’s leaders as China emerges as No. 1?
Unlike the leaders of the erstwhile USSR, the Chinese leaders have no desire to prove the superiority of the Soviet communist system. So if it is not communism that they are trying to promote, what is it? And the simple answer is that they would just like to revive Chinese civilization.
If there is one thing that motivates China’s leaders, it is their memory of the many humiliations that China has suffered over the past 150 years. If there is a credo that drives them, it is a simple one: “No more humiliation“. This is why they want to make China a great and powerful nation again.
President Xi Jinping explained this goal well in his address to Unesco last March 27: “The Chinese people are striving to fulfil the Chinese dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation. The Chinese dream is about prosperity of the country, rejuvenation of the nation, and happiness of the people. It reflects both the ideal of the Chinese people today and our time-honored tradition to seek constant progress. The Chinese dream will be realized through balanced development and mutual reinforcement of material and cultural progress. Without the continuation and development of civilization or the promotion and prosperity of culture, the Chinese dream will not come true.”
However, many in the West will not rest easy till China transforms itself into a liberal democracy.
They assume that if China’s system is changed and a Western-style democracy emerges in China, this will be an unmitigated good. This is a dangerous assumption to make.
A more ‘democratic’ China is likely to be a more nationalist China. A more nationalist China could well be a more assertive and aggressive China. In this sense, the Chinese Communist Party is delivering a major global public good by restraining nationalist forces and voices in China.
Present calm is a miracle – SO FAR, as we know well, China has emerged peacefully. This is a result of wise Chinese leadership. However, it is also a result of wise US policies towards China.
This explains the unusual calm we see in Sino-US relations. Normally, when the world’s largest emerging power is about to pass the world’s greatest power, we should be seeing a rising level of tensions between the 2. It would therefore be perfectly normal to see rising tensions between the US and China today.
Instead, we saw the exact opposite: perfectly normal and calm relations.
The US began engaging China seriously during the Cold War when China became a valuable ally against the Soviet Union. However, it continued even after the Cold War ended… When President Bill Clinton took office in January 1993, after having described the leaders of China as the “butchers of Beijing”, one could easily have predicted a far bumpier road. Fortunately, Clinton reacted wisely.
I was present at the first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ meeting on Blake Island in November 1993 and saw with my own eyes how Mr Clinton and President Jiang Zemin made an enormous effort to reach out to each other. By the end, their mutual wariness was replaced by a significant degree of personal bonhomie.
The US helped China to gain membership to the World Trade Organization. And the US has also helped China by being sensitive to the issues in Taiwan – indeed, coming down very hard on the leaders of Taiwan when they tried to push for independence.
The US has also been extraordinarily generous to open the doors of its prestigious educational institutions to students from China. In the 2013-4 academic year, 275,000 Chinese students were enrolled at US universities. Future historians will be puzzled by this massive act of generosity as many of these students then return to China to propel China forward in areas ranging from space exploration to defence.
All these wise US actions resulted in a miracle: a calm US-China relationship. However, miracles are by definition historical aberrations. They don’t last.
Soon, we will revert to the historical norm and see rising competition between the world’s 2 greatest powers. An early example of the new form of competition was provided by the recent US efforts to persuade countries from joining China’s initiative in the setting up of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Even the UK was accused of “constant accommodation of China, which is not the best way to engage a rising power”.
To avoid rising competition, both sides need to learn from the mistakes they have made. China needs to learn lessons from its assertiveness vis-a-vis Japan and its ASEAN neighbours. The US needs to ask whether its recent actions have served as a good role model for China.
This is why I began with the 3 stories on QE, extraterritorial application of domestic laws and denying access to Swift.
They illustrate why the US should study its own recent deeds through a simple lens: Would it like China to replicate these deeds when China becomes No. 1? The reason for using this lens is that when China clearly becomes No. 1, it is likely to replicate US deeds, not its words.
The US was able to and could threaten to act unilaterally in the 3 cases I cited because it is clear that the US is still the reigning Emperor of the global financial system. It unilaterally controls the global reserve currency, the US dollar. In theory, the US$ is a global public good but, in practice, it is an instrument of US domestic and foreign policies.
There is therefore the big danger of the US using global public goods, like the US$, international banking transactions, and the Swift system, for unilateral purposes and ends.
It will encourage the world, especially China, to work towards creating an alternative global order. If that happens, the world will become a far messier place.
One reason why the world has been remarkably stable and peaceful over the past few decades is that the rest of the world, especially Asians, had agreed to accept and work with the Western-created family of global institutions, including the UN, International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
They agreed to do so because they believed these institutions were serving global interests, not Western interests. However, the US has on several occasions made unwise moves to undermine these global institutions. And every action that the US makes to undermine these institutions could now be replicated by China.
If the US seeks to strengthen a global order that serves global interests, China will do the same.
If this happens, nothing will change fundamentally when China becomes No. 1. We will continue to live in a safe and predictable world. In other words, China could emerge as a stakeholder that is as responsible as the US.
Since the US is still the No. 1 power in the world, the big question the US should ask itself is a simple one: Would it feel comfortable living in a world where China behaves just as the US did when it was the sole superpower?
The writer is dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore; based on his Albert H Gordon lecture at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
B4. No Industrialization Allowed for Blacks in Africa – ANC’s Thula Bopela
Continuing from last week’s ee, the white policeman speaks about industrial apartheid to his former prisoner who claimed South Africa would be free:
“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 because 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.
We then introduced a financial system – money (currency), banks, the stock market and linked it with other stock markets in the world. We are aware that your country may have valuable minerals, which you may be able to extract… but where would you sell them? We would push their value to next-to-nothing in our stock markets. You may have diamonds or oil in your country, Mr Bopela, but we are in possession of the formulas how they may be refined and made into a product ready for sale on the stock markets, which we control. You cannot eat diamonds and drink oil even if you have these valuable commodities. You have to bring them to our stock markets.
We control technology and communications. You fellows cannot even fly an aeroplane, let alone make one. This is the knowledge we kept from you, deliberately. Now that you have won, as you claim, Mr Bopela, how do you plan to run all these things you were prevented from learning? You will be His Excellency this, and the Honorable this and wear gold chains on your necks as mayors, but you will have no power. Parliament after all is just a talking house; it does not run the economy; we do. We do not need to be in parliament to rule your Zimbabwe. We have the power of knowledge and vital skills, needed to run the economy and create jobs. Without us, your Zimbabwe will collapse. You see now what I mean when I say you have won nothing? I know what I am talking about. We could even sabotage your economy and you would not know what had happened.”
We were both silent for some time, I trying not to show how devastating this information was to me; Ron Peters maybe gloating. It was so true, yet so painful. In South Africa they had not only kept this information from us, they had also destroyed our education, so that when we won, we would still not have the skills we needed because we had been forbidden to become scientists and engineers. I did not feel any anger towards the man sitting opposite me, sipping a whisky. He was right.
“Even the Africans who had the skills we tried to prevent you from having would be too few to have an impact on our plan. The few who would perhaps have acquired the vital skills would earn very high salaries, and become a black elite grouping, a class apart from fellow suffering Africans,” Ron Peters persisted. “If you understand this Thula, you will probably succeed in making your fellow blacks understand the difference between ‘being in office’ and ‘being in power’. Your leaders will be in office, but not in power. This means that your parliamentary majority will not enable you to run the country… without us, that is.”
I asked Ron to call a taxi for me; I needed to leave. The taxi arrived, not quickly enough for me, who was aching to depart with my sorrow. Ron then delivered the coup de grace:
“What we are waiting to watch happening, after your attainment of political power, is to see you fighting over it. Africans fight over power, which is why you have seen so many coups d’etat and civil wars in post-independent Africa. We whites consolidate power, which means we share it, to stay strong. We may have different political ideologies and parties, but we do not kill each other over political differences, not since Hitler was defeated in 1945”…
What the white man told me in Bulawayo in 1980 is happening right in front of my eyes. We have political power and are fighting over it, instead of consolidating it. We have an economy that is owned and controlled by them, and we are fighting over the crumbs falling from the white man’s ‘dining table’. The power struggle that raged among ANC leaders in the Western Cape cost the ANC that province, and the opposition is winning other municipalities where the ANC is squabbling instead of delivering. Is it too much to understand that the more we fight among ourselves the weaker we become, and the stronger the opposition becomes?’
– Thula Bopela writes in his personal capacity, the story told is true; he experienced alone and thus is ultimately responsible for the ideas; 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.
• SL elections will shape its political future – likely for the worse – US Atlantic Council
‘US using “minority” whitwash: “The current moment’s prevailing ethnonationalism spells trouble for minority welfare and constitutional rule of law in Sri Lanka”’
• An unsolicited manifesto for ‘Viyathmaga’ State Ministers
• Parliament shouldn’t depend on foreign funding – Gevindu
‘Former Speaker allowed USAID to creep in with its own agendas to manipulate parliament.’
• Incongruous ceremonial at Parliament opening
‘Sergeant-at-Arms trio at the main entrance…armed with swords drawn’
• Dinesh lashes out at opposition; accusing it of attempting to destabilise the country
• Government must introduce new constitution: Ven. Elle Gunawansa Thero
• Neocolonialism vs sovereignty in Sri Lanka
‘The US Quadrilateral Alliance is seeking to involve Sri Lanka in countering Chinese expansion in Asia, making the country a key battleground of geopolitical rivalry’
• Can You Name a Port, Airport, Major Road, Bridge, Conference Hall, Power Station, Dam, Irrigation System or Refinery Sri Lanka Received from USA?
• An Aid Agreement with a Hidden Agenda: MCC
• New Cabinet to study MCC: Foreign Secy.
• Over 60 obligations & responsibilities GoSL must comply to obtain $480m MCC Funding
• MCC Timeline &Agreement: Hidden costs not factored by Sri Lanka’s Government & People
• US ambassador meets TNA leader Sampanthan
• PC system to be amended or abolished?
‘NJC among those pushing for doing away with 13th A’
• India demands “full implementation” of 13th amendment
• The 13th Amendment from the perspective of a dissident Tamil
• India envoy calls on Speaker of Parliament
• Russian Ambassador calls on Speaker.
• Indian High Commissioner meets Opposition Leader
• TNA delegation had 90-minute meeting with Indian High Commissioner Gopal
• India discusses negative impact of abolishing 13th & 19th amendments on minority communities
• SJB lawmaker claims 19 A architects sought political asylum
• 19A, 20A, 13A and the coming Constitution – Jayatilleka
‘Rectify the partisan politicisation of the institutions, including the public service, identified by the post-1980s insurrection Youth Commission Report as a cause of revolt.’
• Don’t throw out 19A
‘President can keep half dozen ministries under him; dual citizenship holder can become an MP; an IGP or AG who toes the government line can be given extension; absent RTI, information can be held away from the public; independent commissions like Public Service Commission disappear’
• Kumara Welgama reveals Mahinda instructed MPs to support 19A
• Correcting the 19th Amendment alone is not enough – Buddhasasana Task Force
• Rockefeller’s Moragoda tipped to be High Commissioner to India
‘A key interlocutor during the Norway-facilitated Peace Process involving the Sri Lankan government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) between 2002 and 2004. He is the founder of Pathfinder Foundation, a Colombo-based think tank linked to leading think tanks in India, China and other countries. Moragoda served on the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and Hernando de Soto’
• Moragoda next SL envoy to India
• Prabhakaran ordered Rajiv’s killing: Solheim
• Norwegian Ambassador calls on Prime Minister
• SLPP slams TNA for discussing 13A matters with external parties
‘TNA Leader R. Sampanthan said the promises made to further strengthen the 13th Amendment to the Constitution must be fulfilled adding the existing issue need a permanent solution.’
• SL Muslim Congress Meets Indian High Commissioner
‘SLMC requested the High Commissioner to assist in expanding the Batticaloa Airport to facilitate direct flights between Batticaloa and India. They had also requested to take steps to establish an Indian Consulate Office in Batticaloa.’
• Arrival of illegal immigrants from India on the rise: Dr. Samaraweera
• Can President Stop Indian Poaching
‘The proof of the pudding, so to say, is if he can stop the armada of South Indian fishing vessels brazenly crossing thrice-weekly into the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar and stealing the marine resources that belong to Sri Lanka. Successive Governments have been unable to challenge Indian prevarication on stopping this theft.’
• Why India’s Adani Group is showing interest in the East Container Terminal
• Close down the Indian Consulate offices in Hambantota, Jaffna and Kandy
‘They pose a big threat to our Independence and sovereignty’
• India Should Mind Their Own Business At Least Now!
• Tamil National Alliance warns of legal action
• Internal strife within ITAK takes dangerous turn
• A government of Sinhala Buddhists by Sinhala Buddhists for Sinhala Buddhists – MP Wigneswaran
• Wiggy’s reference to Tamil homeland concept won’t be expunged – Speaker
• Vigneshwaran’s statement about Tamil in Parliament has ruffled feathers
• Mr. Wigneswaran! Observations on your address to Parliament
• The great Panadura Debate (1873) entering the 2020 Parliament via Vigneswaran
• Thank You Vigee
• Wigneswaran’s attempts to construct an alternative history of local Tamils going back to millenia.
• Pure Tamils + ‘Sinhalized-Tamils’ in Sri Lanka: a theory
• Viggy may have to repent for undermining status quo of Sinhalese: SF
• Race, class, and Wigneswaran’s historiography
• Genocide charge reiterated
‘Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna member Weerasekera was the only one to make an attempt to challenge Ponnambalam, in Parliament, on that day’
• Global Tamil Forum extends cooperation to newcomers, committed to partnership with TNA
• Wiggy’s strategy won’t help Tamils – Devananda
• Pathfinder and Vivekananda Foundation focus on relations between India and Sri Lanka
• 13A Unwanted Even by India Today
‘India insisted Trincomalee should be the Main City of the combined province. Although LTTE and its political proxy the TULF previously said the same thing, fearing Indian military foothold, they backtracked in 1987. A clear indication of what India wanted from the provincial council system. Worse, IPKF’s first victims were Sinhala villagers in Trincomalee. Over 100 Sinhala were slaughtered for no reason. India was trying to evict them out of Trincomalee.’
• 13th Amendment is a Federal Instrument
• Bring in a New Constitution Without Delay
• Abolish now white elephant and curse of Provincial Councils and its root the JR/ Rajiv Accord
• Shoora Council dinner deserted by SLPP Muslim MPs
• If Bathiudeen joins Govt, I am out – Gammanpila
• ISIS Church Bombs Help China Gain Indian Ocean Ally to USA’s Chagrin
• Stalemate in SL-Iran barter trade pact
• Limited government writ
“Three insurgencies were made possible by the limited writ of the government. Sri Lanka’s economic, education and social policies are still stuck in the 90s. The export basket has not changed since the 90s. Our children are losing out as strong go-getter states such as Vietnam forging ahead, their 14 year-olds outperform their peers in rich Germany in global competitive exams.”
• Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy
‘Most exports go to the West and our employment prospects depend on those exports. The country depends on remittances from the Middle East. It has important export markets in the Middle East and our oil comes from there. Most of our investments come from the West. SL tourists come from both East and West. SL also depends on multilateral institutions like the World Bank, the IMF and the Asian Development Bank for financial support. We have significant numbers of people of Sri Lankan origin in places like Australia, Canada and other countries of the west. They could be an important asset.’
• Ambassador-designate to Myanmar – Meets Myanmar’s foreign ministry officials
‘They discussed the strengthening of the longstanding friendly relations that date back to thousands of years in respect of Theravada Buddhism’
• China calls on Cabraal; assures support for economic revival
• China calls on Trade Minister
• US sanctions could put China’s Sri Lanka project in trouble
• Indo-Pacific foreign policy: A catalyst between US-India-Sri Lanka
‘Annually over 50,000 ships pass the coast of Sri Lanka’
• US orders fresh sanctions on Chinese firms over South China Sea ‘militarisation’
• Belgium, Singapore, Japan and Korea signal willingness to invest in Port City
• BOI woos Korean investments
• Time ripe for deviation from Western-oriented foreign policy
‘Perception that postings to western capitals are superiors should be changed. Best career diplomats should be posted to neighbouring capitals. Sri Lanka will not compromise on India’s strategic security interests. Sri Lanka has to benefit from China’s willingness to invest here. LTTE would have overrun Jaffna if not for military assistance from Pakistan. Bangladesh is the sleeping tiger in South Asia’
• The new Government and its foreign policy challenges
• What happens when China becomes No. 1? – Kishore Mahbubani
‘The answer may well depend on how America acts now, when it is still the world’s sole superpower. Let me begin with three incontrovertible facts. First, China will become the No. 1 economic power in the world. Second, most Americans, like most Westerners, view China’s rise with great foreboding. Third, the role that China will play as the No. 1 economic power has not been cast in stone.’
• US orders fresh sanctions on Chinese firms over South China Sea ‘militarisation’
• Burundi to Demand Colonial Reparations From Germany and Belgium
‘The Belgium government carried out a program of kidnapping biracial children from Burundi and then Belgium Congo, 1940-50s. Belgium officially apologized for this in 2009. Although less well-known than other colonial powers, Germany was at one time the fourth-largest colonial power in the world’
• Staff survey reveals widespread racism at the United Nations
‘The United Nations Staff Union President Patricia Nemeth told IPS her Union, which has a strength of more than 6,500 members, with the local staff in peacekeeping operations overseas estimated at about 20,000 plus, ran its own survey in New York (entitled “UNHQ-NY pulse survey on racial justice”)’.
• How Britain stole $45 trillion from India and lied about it
• Kamala Cooks up Kashmir
‘There has been suspicion and detractors, especially since “She expressed concern about Kashmir, whose statehood India’s central government revoked last year. She criticized India’s foreign minister after he refused to meet with an Indian-American congresswoman also critical about Kashmir.”
• Kamala Harris talks of her ‘chithis’, sends Twitter and world’s 120 million Tamils into a tizzy
• Belarus – NATO Lobby Acknowledges That Its Color Revolution Failed
‘Protesters, which police had earlier identified as “rich city kids, the children of rich parents who are fed up with the well-fed life”, did not have the stomach to attack a well armed, motivated police force.’
• Kopmala’s Padlocks and the Games Politicians Play
‘Attorney-general Harris defended California’s massive prison system against US Supreme Court rulings that slammed its vicious overcrowding & mistreatment of prisoners as “cruel and unusual punishment.”’
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.
• Possibility of community spread through illegal immigrants, Sri Lanka health authorities warn
• COVID-19 management held between Indian Army and Sri Lanka Army
‘8 officers and cadets from Sri Lanka Armed Forces dispatched to various institutes of Indian Armed Forces on a special flight on 25 Aug 20’
• How Japan uses Economic Credentials to further Military objectives in South Asia
‘Japan’s military budget is set to rise for the eighth straight year to US$48 billion. In 2016, Japan granted Rs. 2.4 billion for implementation of Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project’
• Australia presents chemical detection devices to Police
• Gotabaya has “moral and legal right” to hold Defence portfolio – GL
• GoSL Review the Role of Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission/Head from 2015 to 2020
• “We cannot spoon-feed the higher political and security officials”
“They have to conduct investigation into certain matters and find information”
• Mangala accuses govt of militarising Sri Lanka amid harsh economic woes
• Police: The panacea for all ills
‘In the case of Vivienne Gunawardena, Sub-Inspector Ganeshanathan was found guilty of violating the rights of Gunawardene, despite she firmly asserting that the sub inspector did not violate her rights. She insisted that her rights were violated by some other police officer. Courts ignored this evidence! So much for law and order!’
• SL Army’s LRRP, the third most dangerous special force in the world
• Attorney General meets United Nations Office On Drugs & Crime (UNODC) Country Chief & UN Maritime Expert on International Drug Trafficking Organized Crime & Terrorism
• Lankan student dies in S’pore quarantine horror
• Protecting Mogul Emperor Aurangzeb’s silver coin ship
‘world famous and invaluable shipwreck in our waters available for underwater archeology studies was being systematically plundered.’
• Analysis The Real Deal for Israel and the UAE Is Weapons
‘The Emirates spend billions of $ a year on arms procurement. Israel stands to get in on the action’
• Mali Coup and ECOWAS
• US Attorney Wars
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.
• Per capita GDP dropped during Yahapalanaya for the first time in 20 years –Cabraal
• Sri Lanka’s last administration also printed money: Minister Cabraal
• World Bank predicts negative economic growth by year-end: Sajith
• Sri Lanka’s triple shackles converge to slam economy in Coronavirus crisis: Bellwether
‘The three fetters that shackle Sri Lanka’s economic growth, peace and general happiness; monetary instability, regime uncertainty and dehumanizing nationalism have converged to slam into the country during the Coronavirus pandemic.’
• Multinational MTI Consulting Wants to Sell SOES and Opposes Dependency on China
‘…Sri Lanka’s leading strategy consultancy…wants more MNcs to invest… has worked on over 650 assignments in over 47 countries, covering a diverse range of clients, brands, industries and challenges.
MTI is powered by specialists with boutique consultancy relationships in over 30 countries…. having presented at over 150 conferences around the world’.
• Revival of exports a sign of economic recovery – Sanderatne
• Managing volatile capital flows in emerging and frontier markets
‘Weaker growth outlook for emerging markets due to COVID-19 will worsen local currency flows, while global financial conditions will affect hard currency flows.’
• Another Call to Sell SOEs
‘According to the published reports by 55 of these 422 state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the loss incurred in 2018 had been a staggering Rs.27.40 billion. This is nearly one-third of the country’s GDP’
• The Black Economy In Sri Lanka: How It Impacts On The Macroeconomy.
• Maligned 19th Amendment: Are critics aware of its value… – Wijewardena
• How cash transfers prevent lockdown tragedies
‘Pakistan’s government created the Ehsaas Emergency Cash program, the largest social-protection program in the country’s history. Rolled out ten days after the lockdown began, it is delivering one-time cash grants totaling more than $1.2 billion to more than 16.9 million households, covering around 109 million people – approximately 50% of the country’s population. Recipient families are given Rs12,000 ($75) to cover their immediate subsistence needs.’
• Global CFOs now have a more positive economic outlook for China than the US: Survey
• Why we should bulldoze the business school
‘There are 13,000 business schools on Earth. That’s 13,000 too many. And I should know – I’ve taught in them for 20 years.’
• Current economic problems of Lebanon entirely reflect the West in decline.
• Big questions for world’s central bankers at Jackson Hole summit
‘Any strategy review by central bankers must gear monetary policy towards a high-debt world’
• Fed inflation shift raises questions about past rate rises
‘Powell jettisoned the Fed’s policy of pre-emptive tightening to head off an inflationary spike’
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 parliament passes vote-on-account for Aug-Dec 2020
‘The motion sought to borrow 1,300 billion rupees in domestic and foreign borrowings for the year’
• IMF tells SL to frontload funds committed by official lenders to avoid foreign debt debacle
• Cabinet approves drafting of sweeping tax changes
• GL cites Maithri-Ranil battle over economy to highlight dangers of 19A
“President Sirisena in the wake of the debilitating setback experienced by the SLFP and the UNP at the Local Government poll in February 2018, abolished the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) headed by Premier Wickremesinghe. The President then named a National Economic Council (NEC) under his leadership… the CCEM that had been established to make recommendations to the Cabinet of Ministers on implementation of laws and related subjects concerning economic affairs, monetary and financial policy, national investment programme, facilitating private sector investments, investments and economic development of the country in a way functioned as an alternative to the cabinet. The Education Minister said that the Premier exercised powers to form his own cabinet as the cabinet of ministers included SLFPers.”
• Sharp fall in proxy lending rate for SMEs in July
‘While medium-term projections for inflation remain muted and the borrowing costs have reached an all-time low, the combination can well provide a flywheel to a virtuous cycle of higher business investment and consumer spending, setting the Sri Lankan economy into a higher growth path.’
• Committee seeks info from public on State banks’ malpractices
• Central Banks are not strangers to unpopularity
‘Rising NPLs and bankruptcies of businesses and households have exacerbated the post Covid-19 challenges for central banks.’
• Sri Lanka central bank approves Rs100bn re-finance credit, deadline extended
‘Bank of Ceylon had accounted for 21 billion rupees of the loans, Commercial Bank 18.4 billion rupees, Hatton National Bank 11.9 billion rupees, People’s Bank 11.33 billion rupees, Seylan Bank 8.79 billion, NDB 8.7 billion rupees and Sampath Bank 6.93 billion rupees’
• Crisis did not come about due to COVID-19 pandemic, but because of ill-advised policies of Govt. says Champika
• PM says support of all MPs vital to revive economy
“We are a country that even imports kites and vesak lanterns”
• Public Services, Defence Ministries get highest allocations from Rs. 1.7 t VoA
• VoA allocates separate Rs 1bn funding for State Ministries
• Grass root level plans: quick results expected – President tells secretaries of state ministries
• Caretaker cabinet ministry, state ministry secretaries to receive benefits
• More than enough reserves to meet 2020 debt service obligations: Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe
• Sri Lanka comfortable repaying foreign debt, sovereign bond in 2020
• Govt. to borrow Rs. 750 b via Treasury Bills
• Rate cut exerts very little stimulus for investors but big impact on savers
‘Low interest rates cannot rescue Sri Lanka in the present stage of economic calamity; they simply cause the money to flow to people who have other interests in the system…’
• COVID-19 crisis blows hole in Budget 2021
‘Sri Lanka has around 1,300 Government institutions coming under the purview of 28 Cabinet Ministers and 40 State Ministers covering various subjects’
• Headline inflation at 6.1% in July, core inflation 4.5%: Director General of Census & Statistics
‘higher price levels prevailed in this month of July 2020, particularly prices of coconuts, rice, coconut oil, turmeric powder, fresh fish and sugar.’
• Sri Lanka rupee opens stronger, gilt yields flat
• Sri Lanka rupee ends flat, gilt yields remain unchanged (Aug 26)
• Sri Lanka rupee quoted flat, bond yields unchanged (Aug 27)
• Sri Lanka rupee stronger at open, bond yields pick up marginally (Aug 28)
• Shares end lower as consumer, telecom losses weigh (Aug 29)
• Railways revenue drops to Rs.5 mn from Rs.17mn
• IRD under fire for sitting on Rs. 290 billion in defaulted taxes and unpaid penalties
• US is the single largest buyer of Sri Lankan goods….
• Indian Rupee posts biggest weekly gain in 20 months
• Most Asian stocks up on Fed rates news
• US dollar little changed after Fed announces new approach to inflation
• US Fed announces new policy strategy on inflation, likely to keep rates low for years
C5. Workers (Inadequate Stats, Wasteful Transport, Unmodern Plantations, Services)
ee Workers attempts to correct the massive gaps and disinformation about workers, urban and rural and their representatives (trade unions, etc), and to highlight the need for organized worker power
• Labour standards, human rights?
‘Teargassing of workers….The Jordanian garment industry is a creation of highly generous tariff and other concessions extended by the US/EU who turn a blind eye to gross violation of the basic rights of migrant garment workers…’
• Chartered Institute of Personnel Management 4th research symposium
‘The expert panel consisted of Sunil Dissanayake–CEO, BMICH, Sarath Kumara–HR Director, Camso Loadstar, Sujith Jayasekara–Senior General Manager, Brandix, Ms. Chryshanthi Lokuhetti–Chief HR Manager, Sampath Bank and HR veteran Jayanta Jayaratne as a special guest’
• Protest demanding Samurdhi Development officers jobs
• Picketing campaign by Dehiwela National Zoological Gardens Trade Union put off
• Sajith accuses Govt. of terminating workers recruited during ‘Yahapalanaya’
• Sri Lanka to recommence long-distance train services
• Free Trade Zone Manufacturers’ Association congratulates new Labour Minister
‘Free Trade Zone Manufacturers’ Association was founded in 1981 after the largest Free Trade Zone established in Katunayake. We are the sole trade chamber that represents more than 280 enterprises (FDIs) in all 13 BOI zones in the country…. FTZMA is also an Employer Member of the National Labour Advisory Council since its inception’.
• Free Education Racket
‘Why should children who wield a bat or throw a ball be worshipped by millions? Poor children are struggling to get into school because they don’t have money to pay phenomenal donations required!!!’
• Premjayantha: State Minister of Education Reforms, Open University & Distance Learning
• European Union awards scholarships under Erasmus+ Joint Master Degree program
• Public administration to undergo new restructuring process
‘A new committee will make recommendations to strengthen and restructure the state workforce numbering 1.1 million…a public servant is available for every 15 Sri Lankans…over one-third (35%) of public and semi-government employees are GCE (A/L) qualified and little over one-fourth (26.1%) have degree or higher qualifications…190,498 employees or 17% of the workforce have not passed the GCE (O/L) examination and there are 290,378 graduates employed in public and semi-government sectors.
• CB to introduce new scheme for housing to revive COVID-19 groups
• President directives to implement Samurdhi assistance program to empower low income people
‘“The annual expenditure on Samurdhi benefits is Rs. 50 billion. That money should be an investment to the country.’
• Pvt members bill to make marriageable age 18 years
• Fayaz, Sega and Rohitha elevated to “Chartered Manager Companion” status
‘Fayaz Saleem, Past President of CMI – Founder and President Emeritus of The Management Club and Managing Director of Mankind International Ltd, together with Sega Nagendra – who has and still holds numerous Independent Director roles in some of the largest listed companies and Rohitha Mendis, Managing Director of Prudential Shipping and Helanka Group…’
• No labour and welfare units in overseas missions for biggest foreign exchange earners
‘Last year, of some 203,000 Sri Lankans who went overseas for jobs, more than 150,000 went to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE. At present, more than 1.6 million Lankan workers are employed overseas and of them more than one million are in West Asian countries.’
• Australia and IOM scale up efforts to assist migrant returnee communities in Anuradhapura
• COVID and Kafala
‘Kafala is not itself a form of slavery. Rather, it is a very modern form of international labor arbitrage with its basis in the colonial administration of immigration in the Gulf. It is not an ownership of a migrant’s body, but a commodification of the migrant’s labor-power on the international market, and the policing of it on the local one….The abuses of kafala are not just produced in Kuwait. They are made in India where capitalist land seizure has proletarianized a large proportion of peasants, pushing them into migration, both internal and external, in order to subsist.’
• Stranded American praises Sri Lanka’s healthcare after having her appendix out
“Compared to the medical care in the USA, this hospital is much better,” – economynext.com/stranded-american-praises-sri-lankas-healthcare-after-having-her-appendix-out-73348/
• Jaffna graduates demand answers over rejection from employment programme
• Population Growth and Prosperity
‘Our population is around 21 million and is said to grow at about 2% (Births minus deaths) per annum. … an addition of about 400,000 per year or 1,200 per day.’
• Is Kamala Harris Suppressing Her Tambram Origins?
• Workplace transmissions: a predictable result of the class divide in worker rights
‘’Far too many’ Victorians are going to work while sick. Far too many have no choice’
• The Fed’s historic shift: What it means for US jobs and all of us
‘The unemployment rates for African Americans and Latinos were at record lows, while the gaps between those rates and the white unemployment rate narrowed to their lowest levels as well.’
C6. Agriculture (Robbery of rural home market; Machines, if used, mainly imported)
ee Agriculture emphasizes the failure to industrialize agriculture keeping the cultivator impoverished under moneylender and merchant, and the need to recapture the rural home market. Also, importation of agricultural machinery, lack of rural monetization and commercialization, etc.
• ComBank partners with AMW to promote ‘Agri Leases’ for New Holland tractors
• Increase agro harvest to strengthen local economy – President
‘Annual potato production in SL stands at 80,000 tons. Annual consumer demand is 250,000 tons. Govt. and Private Sectors should produce high quality seeds and saplings’
• Focus needed on seed and sapling production, usage of fertilizer, President says
• SL to embark on R&D related to modern agriculture
• ‘Business facility unit’ to expand Sri Lanka’s coconut market globally
‘coconut production was estimated to have dropped 12.6% to 679 million nuts in the first quarter of 2020 from a year earlier’
• Sri Lanka President plans to promote Kitul and Palmyra into main export crops
• Palm oil ban ill-conceived
• Access to soy flour major challenge in coming months, says Lankasoy producer
‘With Sri Lanka sourcing bulk of its soy requirement from India, the neighbouring giant’s struggle to tackle the COVID-19 is expected to directly impact processed food manufacturers of the island nation…. Convenience Foods ’s Lankasoy has over 33% market share in the country’s soy meat market…. CBL Investments, the investment holding company of Ceylon Biscuits (Munchee) owns over 70% of CFL’s issued shares. (SAA)
• Maize shortages drop egg production by 30%
‘Maize accounts for 60% of a hen’s diet…50% of maize used as animal feed was imported…“Usually, we have a demand of around 800,000 eggs a day, we now produce 600,000 eggs a day’
• President calls for plans to reduce US$500mn forex spent on fish imports
‘There are around 18,000 inland tanks in the country. The number of tanks used for freshwater fishing is only around 1,500….Plans are underway to place discarded railway carriages, buses and fishing vessels at the bottom of the seabed at 172 identified locations to establish artificial breeding centres’
• Norway expects to sign agreement to develop Sri Lanka’s fisheries sector
• Levy on imported Jack and horse mackerel reduced
• Tea auction buoyant amid cumulative production records decrease in first 7 months
• NDB Wealth buys more into Access Engineering; foreign investor Tundra exits
‘Cabinet this week approving accelerated development of highways and flyovers as well as incoming infrastructure projects on water distribution – a strong point of AEL’
• Prime Minister instructs to expedite North Western Province Canal Project
‘To nurture 12,500 hectares of farmland in the North Western Province so that both Yala and Maha seasons can be cultivated…The North Western Province Canal Project will feed 350 small tanks and 8 large tanks in the area, making it possible to irrigate a total of 12,500 hectares of farmland, including 2,500 hectares under the Hakwatuna Reservoir and 3,500 hectares in the Mee Oya Irrigation Scheme.’
• Improved flood management required for Colombo to prosper: World Bank experts
• China funded flood water tunnel under Colombo
• Japan ICA completes development of island wide sewerage master plan
• Oil palm industry expects fair hearing from President Rajapaksa over ban
• Import ban on maize threatens nutritional value of poultry products
• Sri Lanka egg output, export opportunity hit by maize import ban, collector oligopoly
‘Sri Lanka produces about 300,000 metric tonnes of maize but the poultry industry says it needs about 600,000 tonnes a year, a collector oligopoly which has pushed for import duties usually corner the harvest and sells to poultry farmers and feed millers at higher prices.’
• The Cargills story
‘In 1999, the company set up its first vegetable collection centre in Hanguranketha. This, in turn, set up the agricultural supply chain which allowed Cargills to directly source produce from farmers.’
• Recycling plant for Karadiyana garbage dump
• Ramsar wetland in Sri Lanka under threat
• Arinma Holdings and Green Movement spearhead mangrove conservation project in Kalpitiya
• Facts presented to court over destruction of Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary
• Businessman involved in clearing Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary arrested
• New SL Skink Named After US Herpetologist
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, to build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound.
• The Case for a State Ministry of Steel
‘We have gone from exporting military hardware to West Asia, to exporting tea (and the servants to pour it), while a West Asian country owns our means of producing steel.”
• Buttala iron ore deposit
“Natural iron deposits with good quality and quantity are used to extract iron and such occurrences are called as iron ores…The high grade basement of Sri Lanka is composed of several iron ore deposits.”
– lankapradeepa.com/2019/06/buttala-iron-ore-deposit.html – lankapradeepa.com/2019/06/buttala-iron-ore-deposit.html
• New Central Bank data management system for reserve management from Singapore
‘Minister of Finance proposed to award this contract to SimCorp Singapore Pte Ltd. The proposal was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers’
• Sri Lanka planning SME development bank, credit guarantee agency: CB Governor
• Establishing the electronic industry in Sri Lanka: A catalyst for ‘Saubhagyaye Dekma’
‘China imports approximately 85% of its annual chip requirement, a significant portion imported from the US….The plan is to design and produce 70% of its semiconductor requirement within China by 2025….Sri Lanka can form a policy framework that would be capable of attracting low-end activities of the global semiconductor value chain…China might be willing to take their foundry and assembly/test businesses to Africa and other parts of the world, which supports their belt-and-road initiative…. it is high time for Sri Lanka to start developing its roadmap to capture a portion of the value generated by industries related to electronics….Sri Lanka an opportunity to move into primary semiconductor industries and establish a name as a prime location for electronic manufacturing.’
• PB Jayasundara on why Sri Lanka halted importing vehicles
‘Until 2019, between 1-1.2 billion US dollars were spent per a year on importing vehicles to Sri Lanka….the vehicle imports industry only causes an outflow of foreign exchange such as money spent on the vehicles, parts, fuel, service fees and royalties.’
• Listen to PB, do away with vehicle permits!
• Permit holders allowed to buy unregistered vehicles locally
• All State Ministries under the personal supervision of the President
• Giving a hand to local industry
• EDB and DCS collaborate to to determine contribution of logistics industry
• Sri Lanka creating a fertile atmosphere to build and strengthen local industries
• President expects quick results of development plans from new Secretaries of State Ministries
• BOI to boost FDIs via new strategy
‘New strategy identifies five thrust sectors – manufacturing, ICT, hospitality and tourism, agriculture and food processing, and construction and infrastructure… According to the BOI, State universities produce only 26,000 graduates per annum, and 15,000 graduates are produced from private universities and external degree programs.’
• Blackout: CEB engineer says multiple tripping prevented early restoration of power
‘All of Sri Lanka lost power on Monday after an electrical superintendent carrying out routine maintenance at the Kerawalapitiya substation “forgot to disconnect the earth before switching the supply back on”.’
• Islandwide blackout: Did one man depower the nation?
• Blackouts: Is Sri Lanka suffering alone?
• CEB Succeeds in Shutting down Sri Lanka which Covid -19 Couldn’t Do
• CEB Engineers
‘The power generation sector has been dogged by problems over the past few years with a powerful union representing CEB engineers calling the shots with these engineers eternally clashing over coal power, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and renewable energy resources.’
• Ideal Motors offers customer-centric after sales service for ‘Mahindra Powerol’ generators
‘In 2017, Ideal Motors was awarded sole distributorship of Mahindra Powerol diesel generators and since then, Mahindra Powerol has been a mainstay of both large and small-scale companies’
• Litro Gas leverages Co-op network to expand LPG with Department of Co-operative Development
‘“This is a mutually beneficial venture. Litro gets to leverage on Co-ops’ network of outlets while empowering them in marketing and technology as well, to offer their customers an added-value service” Anil Koswatte said.’
• INGINE South Korea invests USD 8 mn to generate Green energy in Sri Lanka
‘To partner Ceylon Fisheries Harbour Corporation to build a plant in the Suduwella harbour in Matara which will initially generate 1 Megawatt of power to the national grid… “In a bid to get local industrialists involved in the project nearly 40% local materials such as buoy, cables would be used”’
• Property Development to sell its mini hydro power venture
• Sri Lanka’s BOI approves floating LNG unit in Hambantota
‘Pearl Energy was backed by Omar Siraj, an investor based in Saudi Arabia.’
• HSBC starts banking unit near Sri Lanka’s China-run Hambantota port
• Prime Minister advises to prepare a formal urban development plan for every city
‘Monthly income of State Land Corporation is 90 million rupees, imonthly expenditure is Rs.166mn’
• Tokyo Cement gifts clean drinking water to three villages in Poonakary
• Nano-diamond self-charging batteries could disrupt energy as we know it
‘NDB uses graphite nuclear reactor parts that have absorbed radiation from nuclear fuel rods and have themselves become radioactive.’
• Lanka Special Steel Limite strengthens its partnership with TATA Steel
‘Lanka SSL, a subsidiary of E. B. Creasy Group, …longstanding partnership with TATA Steel Ltd’s Global Wire India (GWI), one of the world’s largest steel wire manufacturers with industrial facilities in India and Thailand. Lanka SSL will be the sole agent and distributor in the country for all of its premium quality wire products… include High Tensile wire (HTS) used in concrete reinforcement of electric poles and pre-stressed concrete pipes, Prestress Concrete Strand wire used in pre-stressing concrete for constructing various types of structures, Spring wire for mattresses and body parts of motorbikes, Bead wire for tyres in automotive products, Shutter wire for roller gates, Heavy GI for Gabions and high value products. Its steel wires being used across various industry segments ranging from construction, automotive and power to general engineering and retail.’
• ACL subsidiary Cable Solutions gains German TUV certification for solar cables production
‘Cable Solutions’ main production in Sri Lanka is at the Flinth Industrial Park, a state-of-the-art industrial environment set up by Swedcord Development, Sweden. The production plant at Cable Solutions is equipped with electroplating plants, fine wire drawing machines, high speed double twist bunches, thermoplastic extrusion lines, cable twisting machines, wire braiding machines, rewinding machines and many more significant and state-of the art manufacturing facilities… Established almost 150 years ago, TÜV Rheinland is one of the world’s leading testing service providers.’
• ICTA partners with UNDP for a comprehensive & inclusive digital transformation of Sri Lanka
• Chamber of Garment Exporters congratulates new PM and Cabinet
‘The Sri Lanka Chamber of Garment Exporters was founded in 1992 and having around 100 member factories around the country and labour force strength is currently around 22,000.’
• Budget friendly food trucks from Ishara Lorry Body Builders
• DSI Tyres increases purchase of local rubber, boosts its contribution to local economy
‘DSI Tyres is the market leader in Bicycle, Motorcycle, and Three-Wheeler tyres and tubes’
• Tyre Import Restrictions to Constrict Economic Activity says Asia Tyre Importers Association
‘The government had classified 156 groups of products, including tyres, as non-essential imports and imposed restrictions on their importation…Sunil Fonseka, Vice Chairman, Asia Tyre Importers Association, noted that locally manufactured tyres accounted for roughly 50% of the country’s annual demand of 3.1 million tyres in 2019. “Up to 40% of the 1.2 million passenger cars, light trucks, trucks and buses on our roads needed imported tyres. With approximately 150,000 imported tyres being sold per month in Sri Lanka, existing stock levels are draining…“Locally, tires are not manufactured for European and Japanese premium vehicles such as Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volvo, Audi and Toyota Land Cruiser and does not meet the specifications and standards of Japanese vehicle manufacturers such as Toyota and Nissan for several of their vehicles. Also, tires for large vehicles which are used to carry containers, Petroleum products and Gas are not manufactured. Truck fleets of government and private sector organisations including the Ports Authority, Tri Forces and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation are already affected…Several sizes of motorcycle tires for Yamaha (including police bikes), Honda, Suzuki, TVS, Bajaj and other branded bikes too are not manufactured in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the local manufacturer who already enjoys a monopoly also remits a portion of its earnings to its Indian partners,” he added. The Asia Tyre Importers Association comprises around 50 tyre importers who bring down over 900,000 tyres per year. The Association, through its membership, provides direct and indirect employment to about 2,500 and 10,000 Sri Lankans, respectively. Imported tyres generate 67% customs duty and other tax amounting to Rs. 4.5 billion per annum…’
• Midas Safety appoints Shirendra Lawrence of MAS to its Group Board
‘Midas Safety employs 3,000 associates at their three manufacturing plants, Industrial Clothings Ltd. (Katunayake EPZ), Workwear Lanka Ltd. (Biyagama EPZ) and Prime Polymers Division in Seethawaka EPZ. Founded 41 years ago, and headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Midas Safety is the World’s largest private label manufacturer and supplier of Gloves to over 50 countries across the globe. Midas Safety is present in 13 countries with over 11,000 employees and an annual turnover in excess of US $300 Million, with16,000 unique products. Midas has 13 state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities, located in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India with investments in modern and efficient manufacturing plants, robotics and hybrid glove capabilities…Shirendra, who subsequent to his Mechanical Engineering degree at imperial College, University of London…is currently Group Chief Operating Officer at MAS Holdings.
• Manufacturers & Exporters of Rubber Products to expand value-added rubber production
‘As a global leader in the solid tyre industry and a key supplier to the world market of rubber gloves and other industrial rubber products’
• Furniture importers request govt. to allow importation of quality merchandise
‘Nawaal Qasim, Chairman of Office Chairs and Furniture Importers Association…’
• Seylan Bank partners Ideal Motors to facilitate Leasing solutions (20% off Atlas Tyres)
• Ports and Shipping Minister pays special port inspection visit to Port of Colombo
• 50th Annual General Meeting of Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council
‘The first National Shippers’ Council to be set up in Asia in March 1966 now with 14 product member associations & over 50 individual members representing all industries engaged in international trade’
• Floating hotel
‘The company has a fleet of 10 yachts, designed and built at its facility at the Koggala Free Trade Zone. Pictures show the Ocean Diamond and (inset) comfortable cabins.’
• SLINTEC and EDB partner to boost COVID medical product exports
• EDB discusses ways to improve bilateral trade with China
‘China was the 11th export destination with an export value of US$ 229 million in 2019 for Sri Lanka with main export products of tea, activated carbon, electronic & electrical products, coir fibre, apparel, mineral sands, petroleum products, pneumatic & retreated rubber tyres & tubes.’
• Motor Traffic Dept & Citra Lab to provide more user-focused, digital service for Sri Lanka
• Sri Lanka export agency to help get US and EU approval for Covid-19 nanotech
• Singer & Malaysia’s Signature to import into local kitchen cabinet market
• Carl Sagan award for Dr. Ray Jayawardhana
• Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing
‘Blockchain technology is going to change everything: the shipping industry, the financial system, government … in fact, what won’t it change? But enthusiasm for it mainly stems from a lack of knowledge and understanding. The blockchain is a solution in search of a problem.’
• A Not-To-Do List for Guyana’s New Administration When It Comes to Oil
• Largest new U.S. oil refinery in nearly 40 years slated for South Texas
• Top Firms Hurt Economy by Hoarding Know-How: Jackson Hole Paper
‘The slowdown in productivity growth in the U.S. in recent decades may be linked to a decline in the rate at which knowledge from new innovations is diffused between companies’
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.
• Beware of online advertisements to redeem pawned gold jewellery
• Seylan Bank reduces gold loan rates to 0.79% per month
• Sri Lanka renews efforts to draw English FDI
‘The BOI had also sought UK support to promote a textile and fabric park being set up in Eravur in Sri Lanka’s East and a pharmaceutical zone to be set up in Hambantota in the South’
• Central Bank considering liquidity support for 4 troubled finance firms
• Key reforms in consolidating NBFI sector comes under the spotlight
‘A key amendment is required in the Consumer Credit Act which currently allows both Non-regulated finance companies and Regulated Finance companies to carry out hire purchase services.’
• LOLC records highest ever profits for 1Q
‘Long-standing strong relationships maintained by the group with local and foreign banks & multiple foreign funding partners, enable the financial sector companies to continue to support its clients’
• Bank of Ceylon ends first half 2020 with satisfactory results amidst global pandemic
‘Profit Before Tax (PBT) of Rs. 6.9 billion and Profit After Tax (PAT) of Rs. 5.8 billion’
• Sampath Bank becomes youngest to achieve Rs. 1 trillion in assets, in just 33 years
• Harsha Amarasekera assumes duties as Chairman of Sampath Bank
‘An Independent Director of CIC Holdings (Chairman), Swisstek (Ceylon) (Chairman), Vallibel Power Erathna (Deputy Chairman), Vallibel One , Expolanka Holdings , Chevron Lubricants Lanka , Royal Ceramics Lanka , Ambeon Capital , and Amaya Leisure. He is also the Chairman of CIC Agri Business and Swisstek Aluminium, and a Director at Amana Bank since its inception…’
• Senarath Bandara to take over reins of Cargills Bank
‘Prior to his appointment, Bandara served as the General Manager/CEO of Bank of Ceylon (BOC), retiring from BOC after a service of 30 years.’
• Browns Investments successfully raises Rs. 19.2 b via Rights
‘BIL’s investment portfolio consists of several industries, leisure being the most significant investment with investments in both Sri Lanka and Maldives’
• Commercial Leasing & Finance increases PAT by 29% to Rs. 1,547 Mn
‘CLC also became the 1st Finance Company in Sri Lanka to be granted a licence by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka for accepting micro savings through digital platforms.’
• Seylan Bank enables Merchant Portal services to American Education Center Ltd
• ComBank partners Inian titan HCL Technologies for Education Loans to Sri Lankan students
‘India’s HCL Technologies empowers global enterprises with technology solutions.’
• Declining foreign purchases at CSE
‘The concern however is in the declining foreign purchases – only Rs. 30 million out of a total turnover of Rs. 2 billion on Thursday, analysts said. Foreigners sold Rs. 294 million worth of shares.’
• Net foreign outflow tops Rs. 30 b as CSE remains bearish (Aug 27)
• Softlogic Finance to infuse Rs. 1.9 bn capital through a Rights Issue
‘Softlogic Finance enjoys customer deposits of Rs. 17.1 Billion and customer advances of Rs. 18.2 Billion. Total assets of the Company as at 31st March 2020 were Rs. 21.7 Billion.’
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 sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of press releases disguised as ‘news’
• Janashakthi Life records significant Q2 profit Rs. 427.37 million despite COVID-19
• English Hong Kong AIA reports 5% growth to US$2,933 million in operating profits
“backed by exceptional technology and digital tools to deliver outstanding service.”
• Slowdown in land price rise in Colombo
• Land prices rise 7.1-pct in Sri Lanka’s capital district Colombo
• Importance of nurturing the condominium industry in Sri Lanka
‘Sri Lanka is one of the most densely populated countries of the world., with population density 342 persons per square kilometre in 2018. Colombo, the largest metropolitan city in Sri Lanka is overwhelmingly the most densely populated district with 3,578 persons per square kilometre’
• Tech, health care and telco to drive commercial property demand: RIU
• Ceylon Tobacco Company unveils new logo
‘…following British American Tobacco Group (BAT), the parent company of CTC, unveiling its new logo in March this year…’
• Ceylon Chamber goes beyond borders during COVID-19
‘Ceylon Chamber successfully concluded 13 such country specific virtual events in association with various Business Councils…covering Belgium, China, Germany, India, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, UAE and Vietnam…and intend organising seven (07) more events focussing on Cuba, Dubai, India, Italy, Korea, Nepal, and Turkey…’
• Sri Lanka planned number portability welcomed by Dialog
‘We’re very happy to see the TRCSL moving forward with next steps in liberalization…’
• Lanka Sathosa posts record Rs.17.62 bn revenue in 1h 2020
‘Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardane said that they will join with other State institutions like Pharmaceutical, Cashew, Palmyrah, and State Trading Corporations to sell all products under one roof in an initiative called ‘Raja Wasala’. This will commence from the Fort Railway Station soon.’
• Aruni Goonetilleke joins Sunshine Holdings Board
‘… former Head of Corporate Banking at People’s Bank, as a Director of the company… she was the Head of Credit for Commercial Banking at Standard Chartered Bank Singapore…Aruni holds a Masters in Law from the Harvard Law School and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Colombo. She was a visiting lecturer in law at the University of Colombo. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Overseas School of Colombo and the Chair of the Governance Committee. She is also a Director of Tea Small Holder Factories .’
• US-funded Advocata commends the launch of E-registry for businesses
‘Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) says 45% of micro-enterprises and 10% of small enterprises remain unregistered in Sri Lanka, even though sole proprietorships account for 63.1% of all businesses in the country, and account for 27.1% of national employment.’
• Sri Lanka and Afghanistan Explore Greater Trade Relations – August 26, 2020
• Sri Lanka eyes more exports to China, mulls re-activating FTA talks
• Sri Lanka explores to expand cooperation in trade and tourism with Hainan Province in Southern China
• Sri Lanka seeking JV opportunities, investments from Qatar
‘There are more than 200 Sri Lankan companies established in partnership with Qatari side….The total merchandize trade between Sri Lanka and Qatar in 2019 was US$56 million.’
• CB extends debt moratorium for tourism industry till 31 March 2021
• Tourism associations form single forum to address current issues
‘For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka Tourism, 49 Tourism Stakeholder Associations brought to a single forum to address current issues and identify the way forward.’
• Alcohol and tobacco: NATA ready to tighten screws (sic! – A pro-CTC Headline!)
‘NATA Chairman Dr. Samadhi Rajapaksa says that amendments will be be introduced to the National Authority on Tobacco and Alcohol Act (No. 27 of 2006) soon to ban the sale of single cigarettes and 180 ml (quarter) bottles of liquor.’
• Office space downsizing by corporates leave owners alarmed
‘What is worse is that in addition to being forced to downsize their businesses, some – especially tech companies – are endorsing remote set-ups, given the ease with which their staff has adapted to working from home.’
• Piramal Glass Ceylon revenue of Rs 1.33 bn in Q1- F21
‘Domestic sales stood at Rs.938 million as against Rs.1,162 million in the similar quarter 2020’
• IFS named a Leader in Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Field Service Management
‘IFS has also welcomed a large number of new customers to its service management fold, including regional telecommunications leader Saudi Telecom Company, energy and communications technology solutions provider SPIE France, and US oil and gas producer Endeavor Energy Resources.’
• UDA slashes 50% rent and service charges for Dutch Hospital tenants
• Arosha-led Lakma Holdings to acquire MTD Walkers
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.
• The pandemic is killing the ‘democracy sector’
‘Sri Lanka’s democracy sector is stuck in the fictitious world where selfless NGO personnel rescue the world from evil doers.’
• COPE, COPA members to increase to 22 from 16, Opp. seeks Chairmanship
• Sri Lanka opposition warns against weakening parliament’s COPE, COPA oversight
• Speaker: PCoI cannot summon COPE Chairman or members over probes they undertake
• Speaker announces names of Parliament Business Committee
• Three theras and a baby
• A brief history of two monk activists
“Ven. Gnanasara Thera approached the Most Ven. Mahanayakes in Kandy and pleaded with them beseechingly, not once, but several times, and explained to them this problem with video evidence of outrageous Buddhism-bashing speeches of Wahabist zealots, to no avail. A few years ago, the monk led a large procession of well disciplined young activists (more than 2,000) from Getambe to the Sri Dalada Maligawa, and proceeded to the Malwatu Vihara, the monastery of the Ven. Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter. The Mahanayake Thera, at first, very unfairly, refused him an audience.’
• OPPP National List tussle: Rathana Thera accused of abducting party’s fmr Gen. Secretary
• In Sri Lanka, political parties are “bought and sold”
‘The Samagi Jana Balavegaya, the biggest opposition group, is also a previously registered party which was registered under the name of businessman and one-time Chairman Water Resources Board Dr Senaka de Silva. De Silva’s wife, Actor-politician Diana Gamage became Deputy General Secretary of the SJB, and now MP.’
• Ethno-religious agendas of political parties are not genuine.
• The UNP: Dead or Alive?
‘The boastful statement by the SJB leaders that they had secured 54 seats in parliament within a few months of forming the party is wrong. In fact the SJB has been in the making for more than a decade’
• No Elephant in the House
• UNP still searching for Ranil’s replacement, Karu’s offer shot down
• Ill-fated 19A to be laid to rest
‘The most dangerous aspect of the 19th Amendment is the total prohibition on the dissolution of Parliament until the lapse of four and a half years…’
• 1.6 million voters (10% of total voters) chose to stay at home or spoiled their votes
• Sri Lanka’s women are deprived of positions in political power yet again – US-funded Advocata
‘Over 80% of respondents identified the lack of access to funding as one of the biggest obstacles for women to participate in a political competition’
• Response to Ranga Jayasuriya – Political shock that cannot make anyone oblivious…
‘Rise of SJB becoming a viable alternative to the Rajapaksa regime, as well as other political forces. SJB could obtain 54 seats with 27% of the voter base within just six months of existence’
• Life and times of dynamic Tamil leader Appapillai Amirthalingam – David Jeyaraj
• Psephological Bundling
‘The Rajapaksas and SLPP have done what everyone thought was politically impossible. They have unifed the majority Sinhala vote, consequently marginalised the Muslim vote and divided the minority Tamil vote’
• Foil bid to ‘steal’ US election
• “Kamala Auntie”: On the Vulgarity of Bourgeois Identity Politics in 2020
‘Harris’ identity as a woman of color has been propped up to cover for her decades-long loyalty to the ruling class, locking up working-class and poor people and deporting migrants.’
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.
• It Is Sri Pada Not Adam’s Peak
• Sigiriya was a monastic complex – Reply to Gananath Obeyesekere
• Four senior Buddhist clergy named to Task Force on EP archaeological sites
• A dhamma daana of a different kind
‘Four-decades of writings by Prof. Asanga Tilakaratne’
• SLIM ‘License to Sell 2020’ launched