ee archive: eesrilanka.wordpress.com
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
Wimalasurendra Yaka Caused the Powercut!
e-Con e-News 30 August – 05 September 2020
Yankee Tremors • Naming Names • Ghosts in Broad Daylight
• Aid, Land Theft, Experts & Body Parts
• “Induced Seismicity” was blamed for tremors in Nuvara this week. One month after US Corporation Trimble Sensors was contracted to ‘comprehensively’ monitor Victoria Dam nearby (see ee 2 Aug).
The Book of Names – Sets ship on fire, threatens disaster, puts out fire, praises all around: Kautilya foreign policy? The news of the burning ship avoids naming the oil & shipping companies– no IOC Lokka etc. Their media names and nicknames criminals (when the working class is involved), and doesn’t name criminals (when capitalists are involved). Ask SL’s MarComm Collective about their fantastik cloak of in/visibility? (see ee Media)
• The media befogs and fudges at fingering the culprit, yet ee truly believes it was the ghost of Wimalasurendra who turned off the lights in August. His 100-year-old dream of a modern industrial Sri Lanka based on hydroelectricity was killed by the English oil companies then. And it is the US oil companies – to whom we pay our biggest import bill – who benight us by day now! Which companies provide the major energy sources, and equipment for electricity generation? Is one part made here? Wimalasurendra also emphasized applied technical education! (see ee Focus, Wimalasurendra)
Wimalasurendra’s vision was given some flesh by the Minister of Industries “Silent” William de Silva in the 1956 government. The importance of the rural home market became evident then when the first radios made here were lapped up by cultivators in Polonnaruwa! Yet attempts at a cooperative bank to invest in modern industry and agriculture were shot down (and how!) by the English and Indian banks. This is why President GR should worry not just about attending weddings but also taking photographs with English banks bearing gifts! (see ee Sovereignty, Standard Chartered)
Attempts at industrialization by the 1970-77 government were undermined by traders faking industrialization to undermine import controls! And one major root of impoverishment is the failure to employ rice cultivators in modern industrial occupations during their off-seasons. The mobilization of rural worker power is the key, the key, the key… (see ee Focus, Wages of Underdevelopment)
• Here’s how Aid-Agency-backed microfinance companies make megaprofits off villagers, in brief:
“Whereas Mr/Ms.…. has defaulted on payment due …… on the development loan facility extended and the Board of Directors of……… the Bank ……, do hereby resolve that the property and the premises …… mortgaged…… be sold by Public Auction …… for the recovery of the said sum……” (see ee Finance, MicroCredit)
• Not Home Yet – Why can’t media when reporting foreign ‘aid’ or ‘investment’, list how these funds pay for their foreign ‘experts’ and foreign machinery. Such expertise, machinery and parts will then not be trained or made here? And while crying for exports, rare is the mention that these “exports” are made up on expensive imports! And no mention of the “home market” at all!
A1. Reader Comments –
• Old Logic of Carrot & Stick • Pirate + Trade = Navy • English Slaving Continued • Inflammatory ee
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Armies of Rural Advisors • Fake Drug Busts • Opium, HSBC & Huawei • State Scams to Eco Scams
A3. Random Notes –
B. ee Focus –
B1. Wimalasurendra’s Plan for Industry 100 Years Ago Still Snubbed! – Witharana
B2. “Silent” Silva & the Shot at Industrial Renaissance in 1956 – Meegama
B3. Insufficiencies of DS’s Colonization & Philip G’s Intensive Cultivation – Abhayavardhana
B4. Transfixed in Twilight – Agriculture & the Wages of Underdevelopment – Pathirana & Aluthge
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 email.
• ee should avoid inflammatory references to nationalism, without deeper investigation to explain the complex forces at work.
• “A new government, no matter its promises, is prevented from pursuing independent economic policies through bribery, arguments and threats of destabilization. This is what happened to the ANC in South Africa” (youtube.com/watch?v=IKclKzGBR1Q)
• “In Melville’s novel, Benito Cereno, the ‘rescue’ ship is a sealing ship, though some suggest it could have been a pirate ship, yet ee’s version turns it into a US Navy ship!”
• “Despite their so-called slave-trade abolition laws, the English (and Dutch) kept kidnapping and selling Africans into the Caribbean plantations.”
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• “The majority of non-agricultural employees in Sri Lanka work over 12 hours a day… The labour market in Sri Lanka is determined primarily by the status of staple agriculture – where a large percentage of the population is employed,” (see ee Focus, Wages of Underemployment)
• “There are armies of agricultural advisors, extension officers, technical officers, development officers and field officers. Yes, the personnel are present but the service is absent. There are Departments, Agencies, Boards, projects to provide information and advice on plants, planting materials, planting techniques. But their presence on the ground is absent. We have Research Institutions for almost every crop. They are in AC rooms with IT facilities and access to the latest knowledge. They can claim the credit for having the lowest productivity in their respective crops.” – (see ee Finance, Micro Credit)
• “They should arrest the journalists and the officials involved if only small grams of drugs are headlined in the media, or when gangsters are shot in the back. Such news items only point to coverups of even higher and bigger forces at work. Some may say, shooting them provides a deterrent, like capital punishment. Or that the legal process is too long. But there are bigger shoals involved (like the multinational distribution networks) which can be traced through these small fish, if they wish to.”
• “State income has decreased considerably, and state projects cut completely. The lower level political class which controls village political power has taken a great hit. Income from scamming state projects was their main income. This income is now insignificant. All that’s left for them to keep up their earlier lifestyle is to grab conserved environmental zones. This is another reason for the escalation of environmental destruction.”
• “For a knockout, China will need 3 separations: from SWIFT, from CHIPS, and from the US Dollar itself. The last will be especially hard. Such is China Inc’s hunger for the US currency that its banking system has $1trillion in observed dollar liabilities, a risky dependence for a country that doesn’t enjoy a swap line with the Fed. It could get worse. Some advisers of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have discussed cutting Hong Kong banks’ access to the greenback: a nuclear strike against the city’s 37-year-old dollar peg.’ (see ee Economists)
• “HSBC began in the 19thC by laundering English opium money through Hong Kong. The US recently caught HSBC laundering drug money. It is HSBC that helped the US frame the arrest of the Huawei executive.” (see ee Economists)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• Only the white ants know? This week saw a new Communist Party leader, after the retirement of DEW Gunasekera. It was DEW’s report on the Central Bank Bond Scam that saw the CP and LSSP removed from the UPFA National List, after PM Ranil and his white backers pressured President Sirisena. If DEW’s report had been published it would have ensured the defeat of the Ohaypalayang government in August 2015. The report has been left to the gnawing criticism of the white ants, unless DEW publishes his memoirs. As Minister of Human Resources Gunasekera guided the formulation of the National Human Resources and Employment Policy, in 2014, which provides invaluable insight into the status of workers – nhrep.gov.lk/index.php
May the spirit of DEW multiply a thousand-fold! No matter retreats and defeats, it’s the alliance of the Communist Party, the traditional Left parties and Nationalists, that have done the greatest service to the country & the world.
• Was it the ghost of Wimalasurendra who switched off the lights on August 10? It would make sense. He strove hard to ensure we had an independent source of energy to drive industrialization, but was defeated by English oil and their local backers. And now? Our largest import bill is for importing Rockefeller’s oil! Even our ambassadors (see Moragoda) must be imported Rockefeller CIA men!
The CEB scandal is not just a CEB story. An avalanche of media about the CEB powercut fails to turn the lights on the real criminals at work. In the absence of revelation, it is to history we must turn. The story of Wimalasurendra enlightens: this is a great game to prevent development of resources and industrialization. With 103 rivers and water all around us, we have abundant natural resources to make steel, make machines. See ee Focus, on what his plans were, 100 years ago! Amazing!
• This week shows Standard Chartered Bank donating money for Covid, with a photo of the President, who doesn’t seem overjoyed. He cannot look sad either. Perhaps perplexed. He should be. It is the English and foreign banks who have destabilized one government after another. It was Philip Gunawardena’s attempt to set up a Cooperative Bank, that got the standard chartered banks of this world firing their pistols to bring down that government!
What was SC Bank’s role in privatizing healthcare, disabling governments from dealing with the pandemic in the first place? If SC wishes to donate to a good cause they should do so and shut up. Taking credit publicly for good deeds deposits no merit. If they wish to really gain merit, they can tell us how much they have stolen from Sri Lanka and where and in what they have invested their profits over the years, and what’s been their role in destabilizing our countries?
In the same press release SC Bank calls down merit on itself for financing Brandix and MAS Intimates to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for the US market. Then this week, the US Embassy donated ventilators: SL should ‘regift’ those ventilators to some impoverished Floridans? –and start making them here! Not one media asked them about this strange philanthropy: after belated overproduction, they’re trying to dump them on countries everywhere, and prevent us making our own.
• We recommend readers fathom the annual Central Bank oration, this time by its governor, WD Lakshman. Within it one finds criticism of the originator of the CBSL, John Exter, after whom the oration is sadly yet appropriately named. After all, the speech is usually timed to come after the annual Jackson Hole meeting of US Central Bankers, where the dictat according to the dollar is laid down for colonies the world over? (on Jackson Hole, see last ee)
• There has been an election, and a landslide etc and new government etc, but looking at media, no such change is evident. Their media’s job is to point fingers in every direction except at themselves. They call politicians, numerous criminals with exotic pseudonyms, all kinds of names. But it’s the media, who dispense people diversions and fake maps to run away from the truth.
The whitewash media, led by Wijeya Group (Mirror, FT, Times), Capital Media (EconomyNext) etc, will also now act the soft liberal, and begin exposing as many of the challenges the society faces as they can afford to expose, without exposing their own complicity in exacerbating and hiding them away. They’ll now demand instant redress to all problems.
This week saw the Daily Mirror editorialize against “wage slavery”! We thought the sky would fall, but it was only a tremor in Teldeniya. The Planter’s Association and the Employers’ Federation still rule! The underdevelopers hit the new government from all sides, from faux Left, Right, and Centre. Not to usher in a better society, but to preserve the import-export plantation farce. How much money, pulp & electrons do the import mafia spend to wail against import restrictions?
The new government should also watch out for those claiming to be industrialists. The 1970-77 government was also undermined by those claiming to be such ‘friends’, and to be nationalists as well, except they were importers, who continued to make so much cash by imports, they had no interest in investment in plant and equipment.
• Why are we still importing workers from India and Bangladesh while exporting workers to West Asia? Why do we have a labor surplus and a labor scarcity! This ee begins to look at D Pathirana and C Aluthge’s A History of Underdevelopment & the Political Economy of Inflation in SL, based on SBD de Silva’s earlier scholarship. ee also continues Hector Abhayavardhana’s analysis of both DS Senanayake’s and Philip Gunawardene’s attempts to revive rural agriculture. False industrialization was also the bane of the 1970-77 government…
• The sad state of our economists is evident in this week’s comment by Prof Srimal Abeyratne in Wijeya Group’s Times about China’s rise being due to ‘exports’! What ignorance is this! China fought a revolution, with millions sacrificing their lives to ensure independence. Independence in economic terms means first controlling the home market to build heavy industry.
Then we have the sermonizing of WA Wijewardena in the Wijeya Group’s FT, about North Korean youth not being creative! How does he know? A slave of white media, does he know that the North Koreans are an industrial people, who devised incredible means to defeat fascist armies?
Then we have a prominent Minister declaring also, exports is our way out, further suggesting ganja also as one export! Even if we grow gold, our people will remain impoverished due to control by multinationals, merchants and moneylenders. If exports are all we need, why did we seek independence from England? The colonial economy was an import-export setup par excellence! And most of these so-called exports and made up of and with expensive imports! (see ee Economists)
B. Special Focus_
B1. Wimalasurendra’s Plan for Industry 100 Years Ago Still Snubbed!
A comprehensive industrial development plan was proposed by Wimalasurendra during the first half of the 20thC. This development plan was based on hydroelectricity generated by the Aberdeen-Laxapana Hydroelectric Scheme, plus potential sites on the Mahaveli and Kelani rivers.
Those who favoured the Scheme invited conscious intervention to promote industrialization using excess energy produced by hydroelectricity. Those not in favour argued for postponement until demand for electricity grew to match supply by the Scheme. English firm Boustead Bros, which sold electricity before the Government took over, only did so to quickly maximize profits. They had no interest in stimulating demand by reducing prices.
Wimalasurendra first told the Engineering Association of Ceylon in 1918, about 3 proposals to improve the economics of power utilization: centralized power generation in bulk as against decentralized generation by small units; exploitation and development of extensive sources of water power available; and electrically operating the Ceylonese railway system, especially hill sections.
In 1930, the year Wimalasurendra retired from the PWD, he gave a public talk at the Galle Maha Jana Sabha. CWW Kannangara responded: “It was a great pleasure…to see the eminent engineer trying to interest the people of his native town in an industrial renaissance.” Dailies Ceylon Daily News and Morning Leader played prominent roles in carrying his message of hydroelectricity-driven industrialization to people. Wimalasurendra himself recognized the effectiveness of his campaign on the Hydroelectric Scheme and industrial renaissance when he told the State Council, “the country now knows too much of the value of the Scheme to barter it away for a mess of pottage to big capital, and to allow the people of this country to sink deeper and deeper into the mire of economic bondage.”
Wimalasurendra had a simple mission to which he dedicated his fullest; to push for the recommencement of the Hydroelectric Scheme the English halted and to broaden the imagination of an industrially developed Ceylon.
From 1931-36, Wimalasurendra argued in favour of different dimensions of industrialization. In 1932, under the debate on Customs Tariff, Wimalasurendra argued in favour of increasing duty on imported tea chests and imported liquid fuel.
In speeches he detailed the types of heavy industries Ceylon could develop, the need for an industrial development policy to facilitate such a process, mechanisms to be introduced to coordinate the implementation of the industrial policy proposed, and the ways in which the technical labour force required for industrial development could be nurtured though technology training and education.
He moved private motions at the State Council demanding a national policy for industrial development. Contradicting the view of Minister of Labour, Industry and Commerce P Sundaram, Wimalasurendra felt that the Ministry’s Executive Committee alone was not capable of achieving this complicated task.
Instead, he proposed a special Industrial Research and Development Committee which required the cooperation of not just one but 4 Executive Committees of the Council: the Committee of Labour, Industry and Commerce; the Committee of Education; the Committee of Communications and Works; and the Committee on Agriculture and Lands.
The development of the labour force needed to take forward the industrialization drive was an important dimension for him. He preferred application-oriented technical education to be given at technical colleges as the foundation of Ceylon’s industrial development.
Wimalasurendra highlighted 4 principles based on which technical education should be moulded, which he borrowed from the recommendations of the 1881 Royal Commission on Technical Education.
Wimalasurendra deviated from the Gandhian thought influencing nationalist movements in the region at that time. Rural construction focused on agriculture and cottage industries was seen by him as misunderstanding the magnitude of tasks ahead for colonies preparing for independence from colonizers.
At the 1930 meeting of the Galle Mahajana Sabha, Wimalasurendra briefly sketched potential: weaving, electricity-driven trains, manufacture of fertilizer, dyes, explosives, matches, soap, caustic potash, caustic soda, motorcar tyres, coconut oil, etc, improving this vision in the following years… Some of these industries and industrial measures he identified way back in 1930s have not been developed even now… many decades after other countries in the region have achieved industrialized status. Wimalasurendra saw coconut palm and rubber plantations as sources for many industries: margarine, soap and lubricating oils, tyres, floor covering and road surfacing on a mass scale. Railway sleepers, poles for telegraph and electric lines, heavy wooden structures such as jetties and bridge works and tea chests made out of imported wood, could be manufactured from local wood.
Charcoal that drives suction engines could operate sawmills, tractors and other requisite machinery, with tar and acetic acid listed as byproducts in the formation of charcoal. The large clay beds distributed all over the Sabaragamuwa district with “finest clay… of such superior quality that even China has imported quantities of it to be mixed with the clay of that country” was said to provide raw material for a Ceylonese porcelain industry that could replace cups, plates, electrical insulators and various other articles imported from England. Sand and lime deposits spread in various parts of the country could be used to manufacture glass. Plumbago (miniran! – ee) deposits available in large quantities were exported to England as raw material. They could be used as dust in foundries and drive industries such as manufacturing of pencils, electrodes for use in electro-metallurgical works, brushes used in electrical machinery, crucibles and preparation of paints and lubricants. Commenting on importing table salt, Wimalasurendra said he failed to understand “why the salt available in such immense quantities cannot be refined and put into shape” to satisfy the needs of the local market. He canvassed for caustic soda, potash industries to manufacture soap and bleaching powder. Cotton, textiles and perfume industries, too.
As for irrigation and agriculture, and not getting rain at the right time, he suggested artificial irrigation using water pumps driven by hydroelectric energy. He saw no future for agricultural products unless agriculture was modernized using the latest developments of science and technology, including manufacture of artificial fertilizer and agricultural machinery. To go beyond the paddy industry’s small returns, he proposed for large areas to be brought under highly mechanized cultivation.
To incorporate Jaffna’s Tamil community, his industrialization plan called for “the transmission of the necessary electrical energy… to Jaffna to operate the machinery, kilns, and so on, for making cement… Brick and tile, pottery, paper, tanning and leather work, fruit and fish canning, brass work, essential oils, candles and matches are some of the other industries awaiting local development”. With the provision of tools and plants to skilled artisans from “Vannarponnai and Point Pedro [to] Matara and Dondra”, craft industries could be brought to a highly advanced level. “All hinges, bolts, locks and brass-fittings come from Birmingham now… can very well be produced here!”
Infrastructure development was a necessary condition, proposing electrification of railways for the main railway lines, with rail buses or diesel electric cars for urban railway traffic to run in parallel with roads/buses. He estimated a cost of less than one cent per unit for railway traction if the trains in the main lines were run by electricity generated from the Hydroelectric Scheme and for diesel electric cars to work at nearly half the cost of steam locomotives!
Electrification of railways would mean electrification of towns along railway lines, giving life to a new wave of small- and medium-scale town-based industries. He even visualized sale of additional electricity generated by the Hydroelectric Scheme to southern India.
The first half of the 20thC offered 2 possible futures: represented by the Aberdeen-Laxapana Hydroelectric Scheme and the Minneriya Irrigation Scheme. One aiming at modern industrial development with a forward gaze, and the other at the growth of agriculture by utilizing abandoned land in the dry zone, with a backward gaze of recreating the past glory of the agriculturally advanced ancient civilizations. One by Wimalasurendra and the other by DS Senanayake, Minister of Agriculture and Lands of the State Council and later the first Prime Minister of independent Ceylon…
– from BD Witharana, Negotiating Power & Constructing the Nation: Engineering in SL. Next week: DJ Wimalasurenda vs DS Senanayake
B2. “Silent” Silva & the Shot at Industrial Renaissance in 1956
“The home market in an agricultural country is essentially the rural market. It is only a prosperous peasantry that can provide this home market for our industry” – Philip Gunawardena
ee has spent much time stealing interesting factoids from Ananda Meegama’s biography of Gunawardena. We should therefore highlight: the book teems with fabulous insights. It is inscribed with love and a generosity of spirit not just towards Philip, but towards the nationalist and Left movements, rarely seen in the corrupt English language. A model for historiographers! All we can do is inspire people go buy the book, fat and big as it is! Plus hope it will be an ebook soon!
Take Meegama’s chapter on the intrepid Minister of Industries and Fisheries, “Silent” William de Silva. After decades of focusing on Japan as the 1st non-European country to attempt industrialization, ee finds out from the book: it’s Egypt, under the Albanian Mahomet Ali, who initiated industrialization, 200 years ago, in the early 19thC! Cotton, weaving, jute, silk, wool, sugar, indigo, glass and tanning factories! Egypt’s textile industry was protected from cheap English imports! Of course the English then invaded and destroyed those gains! Yet, it’s Egypt that influenced Japan.
(Under Egypt’s Ali: the first West Asian newspaper was published; a translation bureau printed 243 books, 1822-42; 311 Egyptians were sent on state-scholarship to Europe to study, 1813-48; 1826, Ali created a powerful French-trained and well-equipped Egypt army; 1835, A School of Languages was set up to train translators, jurists and administrators. Then England invaded…– ee)
Indeed, the Silva chapter begins with England sabotaging the 1888 Wellawatte Spinning & Weaving Mills, to prevent it competing with Lancashire textiles. It was also only World War 2 that led a fearful English to set up some industries, but they soon dismantled them.
After WW2, the Indian statistician Mahalanobis’ first 2 5-year plans inspired many countries. Despite relentless attack, Mahalanobis’ plans laid the foundation for India’s heavy industry and set up the Indian Institute of Technology.
De Silva drew from Mahalanobis but also gave more emphasis to agricultural development. When the newspapers started praising small industry (as they still do!), Minister de Silva responded, large industry provides the industrial raw materials for small industry: cement, steel, machinery.
He insisted industrialization must not be treated as “unemployment relief works”. The Minister then laid out a plan for basic state industries, joint ventures with the private sector, and a third for the private sector alone.
The infamous World Bank 1951 Mission had already criticized English and Indian banks for limiting their lending to short-term import-export deals, and also criticized the Bank of Ceylon for discouraging investment in plant and equipment. This is why Philip Gunawardena was then forced out of the cabinet, for planning a Cooperative Development Bank. The book is invaluable for its details on the sabotaging of the people’s will.
When the 1956 MEP government first took over, which by popular vote “had a mandate to introduce socialism”, “the industrial scene was a virtual desert”, with everything imported. Peasant agriculture was stagnating, fisheries used medieval production practices, and the only organized sector, the plantations were being run down by owners who had one foot in London. Philip pushed through the nationalization of bus transport, and the port was put under the Port Cargo Corporation. But a cabinet, still in thrall to the colonial system, rejected a plan for a minimum tax on tea sold to pay compensation to nationalize the plantations, and a plan to set up a State Fertilizer Corporation to cut the monopoly profits of the importers.
It was the LSSP’s “intransigent criticism” of the USSR, that also made Philip, de Silva and others come together to form the MEP. The World Bank had refused to finance basic industries, and de Silva turned to the socialist countries. The book lists the support the USSR provided for the steel factory in Oruwela, the tyre corporation in Kelaniya, the second cement factory in Puttalam, and a second flour mill, a mineral sands corporation, also ceramics, leather, plywood, caustic soda, etc. To augment handlooms, a National Textile Corporation, and a Spinning & Weaving Mill was set up in Veyangoda. He also began the mechanization of the fishing industry. De Silva also set up the first industrial estate in Ekela, and enacted the State Industrial Corporation Act in 1957.
Meegama’s book is a treasure-house of information that plugs vital holes in our brain to get it working again. How long can ee keep telling: Grab the book, before it disappears. Let us not enter the next life also foolish. Let’s not wait another 100 years!
– Adapted from Ananda Meegama’s Philip Gunawardena & the 1956 Revolution in Sri Lanka
B3. Insufficiencies of DS’s Colonization and Land Development & Philip G.’s Intensive Cultivation – Hector Abhayavardhana
The 1965 UNP government combined even larger inputs, greater imports of fertilizer, agricultural machinery and transport, encouraging large-scale capitalist agricultural production, forming a land army, and increasing credit. Paddy production increased 30%, 1964-69.
A bumper crop of 76.8 million bushels in favorable weather in 1970, still could not come near to fulfilling national rice needs. Wheat flour imports multiplied, and the import bill increased 230% from Rs. 92 million to Rs. 212 million, 1962-65 to 1966-69.
Imported inputs increased enormously. Curtailment of rice imports and increased investment in Intensive Agriculture did not bring any foreign exchange savings, due to increased wheat flour imports, and there was no expansion of substitute food crop production. Kurakkan production declined and only potato production increased, as a response to total ban of imports.
The 1970 United Front Government made important agricultural policy changes. A total ban on minor food imports like onion and chilies, and reduced wheat imports.
Besides increasing paddy production, they enormously boosted substitute food production of manioc, sweet potatoes, yams, kurakkan, maize and sorghum, increasing value by 26%, in 1971, and 17% in 1972. Despite all incentives and assistance, paddy production did not rise until 1974. Despite intensification of inputs to paddy production, it is weather that decides finally.
DS Senanayake’s Colonization and Land Development did not solve the problem of food production. Philip Gunawardena’s Intensive Agriculture increased the productivity of the average cultivator area but did not produce the national requirement for rice and other food grains. The main reason was most paddy cultivators have small holdings that cannot produce capital-intensive cultivation. (34.7% with less than half an acre, and 65% less than 1 acre)
Colonization and Land Development extends the cultivation area but neglects productivity. Intensive Agriculture pumps costly imported inputs per unit of cultivation, but neglects overall agricultural production. New Colonization and Land Development projects were supplemented by the Mahaweli Multipurpose Scheme. They were long-term projects that did not affect the bulk of agricultural production. All such policies were highly capital intensive, requiring large investments and high foreign exchange components, hence burdensome to the existing economy.
Both sets of policies (Colonization and Land Development to expand land area, Intensive Agriculture to increase productivity per unit) required increased capital investment. In Sri Lanka and other underdeveloped economies, capital is the scarcest of resources and the costliest resource to utilize. The high cost of borrowing from abroad, and the continuously inflating prices of inputs, intolerably burdens the future and the present.
Labor is the resource we have a plenty, and most inexpensive. Wide general education makes us potentially highly productive. In 1969/70, 14% of those 15-59 were unemployed – ~550,000 people. 384,000 out of the 550,00 were rural workers, 14% of the total workforce. Even if economically inactive, they had to be fed, a further burden on the economy. A rational and productive means was needed to feed and clothe them., raising productivity and the total economic output.
98.5% of rural unemployed were below 35 years old, 47% had GCE (OL) or higher, 41% had middle school. 30% of rural workforce, 14-25 years old, were unemployed. the overwhelming bulk or rural unemployed were young and educated. ‘These people cannot be press-ganged into squads for heavy manual drudgery, having prepared themselves for “more enlightened and responsible functions”.
Both Colonization and Land Development and Intensive Agriculture regard the village as helplessly awaiting large capital investments as the sole means of raising productivity. This capital cannot be raised in the village but must be found elsewhere, so the village gets “step-motherly treatment from the Government and the ruling class.” But no such required foreign investment will appear. The arrogance and subsequent paternalism of rulers and administrators towards villagers, with development plans discharged through a centralized bureaucratic apparatus, and a wide variety of Ministries and Departments poking “a bungling finger into the village pie,” with no results.
If the village was left alone, without such paternalism, it would be compelled to survey its own resources, and fully mobilize for a plan of development. It would have to admit that capital is the least of the resources available and it is labour that must be mobilized, not just for food cultivation but for the village’s general overall development. Economically we must accept the Right to Work, with more realistic and detailed plans implemented, total mobilization of resources, greater self-reliance and autonomous relationships with other economic units.
There must be a socially integrated community, elimination of unequal and oppressive relationships, and recognition of the dignity of labour, a daring political leadership committed to socialist goals, with broadbased community roots. The village must culturally reject that it is inferior to the towns, and essential urban amenities constructed in the village.Village production to feed urbanites would be a poor reason to submit millions to idiocy and deprivation.
Revolution does not just mean mobilizing workers and waiting for insurgency, but creating a new political humanized leadership. National Service for young people between the ages of 23 and 25, banded into Divisional and District Units, with such compulsory militarized service training educated youth in the “discipline of practical humanistic values”. Component elements can bring into being a new executive Village authority in the Revenue Division and District.
The structure of landholding shows 82.8% of paddy cultivators (owners and ande cultivators) work less than 2 acres of paddy land, 65% less than one acre, and 34.7% less than half an acre. This is an “impenetrable barrier” against capital investment and village labour mobilization. Land Reform must be extended to redistribute paddy holdings. The Land Reform Commission held that a ceiling of 5 acres would release 170,00 acres for redistribution. Yet there are 650,000 cultivators of less than 2 acres, and 500,000 of less than 1 acre. A 5-acre ceiling would not bring about landholding of economic units.
It would be more useful to base land reform in the case of paddy lands on the principle of direct elimination of absentee ownership. Paddy land must belong to the actual tiller. But even this would not consolidate paddy land holdings into economic units. on the scale of the country. There is no alternative but to set up productions coops in the villages. The Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society that exists today must be converted into a cooperative in fact. Membership must be compulsory for every villager. The Board of Directors must be the political and economic authority for the village, exercising all the powers of both a new local government authority and the Productivity Committee under the existing Agricultural Productivity Law. All machinery and transport must be vested in the MPCS to also administer the monopoly of trade in the village. Under such a local centre of plan-making and planning execution, which will be appearing in the village for the first time, our abundant resources of Labour will at last have the opportunity of application to our scarce resources of land and capital. – Notes from reading “Labour & the Village” by Hector Abhayavardhana, State, No. 1, 1975
B4. Transfixed in Twilight – Agriculture & the Wages of Underdevelopment
‘It is not the articles made, but how they are made, and by what instruments, that enables us to distinguish different economic epochs’
• One would expect hives of fevered activity to lunch national endeavor after a rousing national election, but a walk through historic Gannoruva and Peradeniya reveals a dizzying array of government departments, with name-boards dedicated to agriculture and agricultural ‘research’, with not an amuda-ed goviya, let alone a be-coated official, in sight, except for imported cars parked almost over the dusty flowerbeds.
Every now and again, we hear a hikmeeya squeak of high tech, big data, blockchain, solar, organic, etc. Yet the most fundamental of agricultural issues are breezily ignored in the daily media: security and credit, rural industrialization and home market.
ee Focus reproduces some of SBD de Silva’s ideas on these questions, particularly from his The Political Economy of Underdevelopment, as most recently elaborated by D. Pathirana and C. Aluthge’s A History of Underdevelopment and the Political Economy of Inflation in SL.
• Next time you enter a fancy supermarket, shop, telecom company, or even a slick ad agency – or good heavens, even better! – a field, a factory: Ask and compare how many hours our fellow citizens work, where they are from, and how they live though the remaining hours of the day.
The answer, if honestly possible, may wish you to answer a question yourself: is this what you would wish for yourself, your children or siblings, to spend a lifetime doing. The majority of non-agricultural employees in Sri Lanka work over 12 hours a day. And if middle-class issues like ragging upset you, compare then the daily life sentence relegated to a server and a worker.
The other question is this: Why does Sri Lanka have a labour surplus and a labour shortage at the same time, such that we have high unemployment yet import labour from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc., as well as export large numbers of workers? There is also a surplus of work in casual or self-employment, which require long hours and few high-paying skills.
The labour market in Sri Lanka is determined primarily by the status of staple agriculture (where a large percentage of the population is employed), which drives inflation and higher internal price levels.
A major feature of paddy agriculture is the uneven demand for labour, and the resulting underemployment propels inflation. Paddy agriculture’s particular pattern of demand for labour, varies with the seasons. This determines the availability of rural surplus labour, which may be otherwise productively deployed in other sectors of the economy.
The uneven demand for labour in local paddy cultivation hinders a continuous supply of labour to the non-agricultural sector “at the existing wage rate plus a transfer margin”. This, as SBD de Silva noted, contradicted the Caribbean ’Sir’ Arthur Lewis’s Nobel-Prize-winning thesis of a dualistic economy based on labour supply – of rural workers in low-waged, ‘primitive’ occupations migrating to ‘modern’ industrial cities. Yet the plantation economy is not modern let alone capitalist, and ancient agriculture not as backward as assumed.
The uneven demand for labour in present-day paddy agriculture, which hinders rural surplus labour from entering other economic sectors, causes surplus labour to seek non-regular employment in such informal sectors as construction, petty trade, transport, tourism, taxi services, etc. These generate monetary incomes without an increase in productive output, solidifying the precapitalist nature of the mode of production, which dominates rural life, minus its positive elements.
A 2017 ADB, International Labour Organisation and United Nations report stated that self-employment and casual labour may wither away ‘as countries move toward middle-income status, when self-employment becomes less characteristic of surplus labour at the household level”. Yet they saw no evidence of this transition in Sri Lanka.
The report further highlighted that casual employment and self- employment are reserves of surplus low productive labour. This showed that the uneven demand for labour in agriculture in turn tends to shift surplus labour into informal unproductive employment.
Its effect on price levels are indicated by the rapid increase in inflation since economic liberalisation in 1977, alongside the proliferation of unproductive activity and deindustrialisation. The suppression of the trade union movement after 1977 shows that higher inflation cannot be attributed to increasing nominal wage rates.
To understand inflation, writes Pathirana and Aluthge (P&A), it is important to examine the particular relation of social forces, to show that it is the expansion in unproductive incomes that lead to inflation.
Higher inflation during the coalition government from 1972-75 was different, and due to a four-fold increase in world oil prices as a result of the OPEC oil embargo and the worldwide crop failures from 1972 which led to a global food crisis, escalating grain prices. Higher inflation during that coalition period was based on such exogenous causes and not due to the structural phenomena that came to dominate the inflationary process after liberalisation in 1977.
Sri Lanka faces significant labour shortages hand in hand with high labour costs compared to regional economies such as India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, etc., while the country’s rural labour surplus remains largely unexhausted.
Higher nominal wage rates became a defining phenomenon from the 1980s (CBSL data) which saw nominal wage rates increasing sharply as a corollary to inflation. This “paradox” of the simultaneous existence of surplus labour in rural economy hand in hand with a persistent labour shortage was delineated by SBD De Silva in his seminal paper, Surplus Labour in Underdeveloped Economies (1972) in which he criticised the voguish theories of labour supply driven mainly by Lewis’ Dual Economy models. Basing on his pioneering study, P&A examine the structure of the labour market and determine its impact on general price levels.
Uneven mechanisation of different phases of paddy cultivation, centralisation of land tenancy (concentration of ownership) hand in hand with combined use of family labour and wage labour, generates complications in determining the supply price of paddy and general price level.
The type of mechanisation and the centralisation of tenancy also increases the supply price of paddy rather than reducing it.
The resulting higher use of wage labour and machinery instead of family labour and exchange labour (thattumaru) reduced the share of non-cash inputs in cultivation while increasing the share of cash inputs. This in turn causes the supply price to rise, while productivity of labour (measured in output per labour hour) rise hand in hand with average productivity of labour (measured by output per worker remaining more or less unchanged).
The uneven degree of mechanisation of different phases of paddy cultivation increases surplus labour time in rural economy without fully releasing the worker from the farm. It shifts additional surplus labour into informal unproductive employment which does not require a permanent labour supply to function, in contrast to industrial production. Consequently, nominal wage incomes rise while productive output remains unchanged and potential productive output is curtailed. It invariably leads to inflation…
A few traders dominate purchasing of paddy produced by an innumerable number of peasant farmers invariably increases market price while suppressing farm gate price.
Concentration of machinery ownership in a few hands within the paddy economy also increases machine rents leading to increasing cultivation costs.
The state of historical development in paddy agriculture in Sri Lanka may be likened to an intermediary state between the ‘domestic system’ and ‘manufacture’. It is characterised by a production process held in the hands of households employing machinery acquired on rent, and working capital inputs on advances from ‘merchant cum usurers’ without capital itself completely yielding control or directly penetrating the entire system of production
An underdeveloped economy is constitutive of different modes of production with minimum interactions that are capable of influencing the different modes of production, as opposed to the greater degree of uniformity of the production mode in advanced capitalist economies.
For instance, Sri Lanka’s peasant sector is dominated by an intermediary structure of relations between the ‘domestic system’ and ‘manufacture’.
The free trade zone manufacturing sector on the other hand is organised under a globalised merchant-manufacturer system, or in other words an international putting-out system hand in hand with the services sector dominated by, but not limited to, unproductive labour (in the Marxist sense). This is evident in healthcare, banking and finance, construction, entertainment, etc., where modern capital accumulation strides on, however restricted within its limits. Higher real wages in these services including information and communication technology-related services and also transport providers are made possible through capital accumulation although within a smaller horizon vis-à-vis modern industry in the advanced world. (To be continued…)
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.
• The name of the country was ‘Sinhale” until 1815
• State Minister Weerasekara stands his ground on inviolability of unitary status
• Disclosure of foreign secretary raises eyebrows
‘Moragoda, founder of Pathfinder Foundation, served in Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Cabinet from 2002 to 2004. We are fully aware of his close connections with the LTTE hierarchy…’
• Media reports on appointment of Milinda Moragoda as Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to India
‘Arranging a CIA operative to attend weekly meetings of the intelligence community reported by retired, highly respected DIG Merril Gunaratne in his 2011 book titled ’Cop in the Crossfire’.’
• Official website of Sri Dalada Maligawa hacked
• Bhikkhunis voice their concerns on Poya day
‘there are more than 3000 Bhikkhunis in the country…’
• US War Secretary calls President
‘“Reviewing common bilateral defense priorities, they noted opportunities to enhance military professionalization, counter-terrorism, and maritime security cooperation. Both leaders expressed their commitment to expanding bilateral defense relations and to advancing shared interests,” the US release said… discussed their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that ensures the sovereignty of all nations… and I encouraged continued progress on human rights & reconciliation in Sri Lanka.”’
• US Ambassador opens new school funded by US. Indo-Pacific Command in Trinco
‘USINDOPACOM has supported the construction of 14 schools with investments over $5.8 million..’
• US donates 200 ventilators to Health Ministry to fight COVID-19
• US sanctions China – Sri Lanka & MCC
• StanChart Bank donates US$ 500,000 to combat COVID-19
‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa symbolically accepting the donation from Bingumal Thewarathanthri, CEO, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka, in the presence of Dr. Mahesh Gunasekara, Director General, Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Major General Suresh Sallay, Director of State Intelligence Service, Major General Dr. Sanjeewa Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Anuk De Silva, Head of Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered…’
• President says no to prize-givings, weddings & parties
• President visits Altair building complex
• Webinar on COVID management between Indian Army and Sri Lanka Army
• East Container Terminal: India should succeed
‘Sri Lanka is likely to go ahead with the arrangement between the Indian terminal operator Adani and partner Japan in the best interests of all parties.’
• Japanese Envoy Meets PM
• UN delegation calls on State Minister of Money, Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms
• Solheim’s Duplicity: Finally Cedes Praba ordered Rajiv Gandhi Assassination
• Solheim, Prabha, Rajiv & Devolution
• The Diaspora gave Prabakaran all the wrong advice’ – Erik Solheim
• Likelihood of new MPs receiving an opportunity to visit Norway
• Yasmin Sooka and ITJPSL apologises to Brigadier Ravindra Dias
• Playing politics with disappearances
‘Washington-based People for Equality and Relief in Lanka (PEARL) says it campaigns for justice and self-determination for the Tamil people, living in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.’
• One of the most complex problems is the “ethnic conflict”
• Reconsidering the 13th Amendment
‘All that the government has to do to get rid of it for good, is to do nothing….The 13th Amendment was drafted before India got into a confrontation with the LTTE and before Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. That was a time when some officers of the Indian army even thought that the LTTE would not turn on them because the latter had been trained and given refuge in India’
• The 13th Amendment: India’s theatrics and Sri Lanka’s lack of clarity
• The Thirteenth Amendment
‘India’s leaning on Sri Lanka resembles somewhat the pressure applied on JR Jayawardene prior to signing of the Accord in 1987.’
• 19A: Key changes necessary but consensus on several provisions – SLPP lawmaker
• Prez to consolidate power
‘Constitutional Council to be abolished * No provision for civil society members * Dual citizens can enter parliament * A person aged 30 can run for President * Restriction on number of Cabinet ministers, deputies removed * Parliament can be dissolved within one year’
• 20A: Anti-democratic and anti-people – JVP
• Nine-member Expert Committee to draft new constitution
‘chaired by President’s Counsel Romesh De Silva, other members are Gamini Marapana P.C., Manohara De Silva P.C., Sanjeewa Jayawardena P.C, Samantha Ratwatte P.C, Prof. Naazima Kamardeen, Dr. A .Sarveswaran, Prof. Wasantha Seneviratne and Prof. G.H. Peiris.’
• Rahul Gandhi lists 6 ‘Modi-made disasters’
‘1. Historic GDP reduction -23.9%. 2. Highest Unemployment in 45 yrs. 3. 120 million job losses. 4. Centre not paying States their GST (Goods and Services Tax) dues. 5. Globally highest COVID-19 daily cases and deaths. 6. External aggression at our borders,”
• Sri Lanka, India, and China: Here’s what keeps neighbours friendly – and what doesn’t
‘However, Sri Lanka may be reminded that Indians neutralise opposition, within and outside, through reason, rent, pressure, and intrigue, (the ancient saam, daam, dand and bhed), as quoted mildly, and she will not hesitate to use these strategies if we are on the wrong path.’
• India’s Neighbourhood Policies and Neighbours
‘Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena had made their first State Visits to India earlier, and they were nicely treated by India “with sweet talk,” not in the same fashion with those quoted above. For President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, this attitude changed.’
• Won’t change decisions of appointments under pressure: President
• Moragoda earmarked to be High Commissioner to New Delhi with “Cabinet rank” status.
‘Foreign Secretary Dr. Jayanath Colombage who served in Moragoda’s Pathfinder Foundation is quoted as saying the Cabinet rank was given because of his “international stature”’
• The Sinhala Shift and the Opposition Story – Jayatilleka
‘SWRD’s Middle Path lay between the conservative Right on the one hand & the Marxist Left on the other. Today it runs between neoliberalism & neoconservatism; minoritarianism & majoritarianism; comprador cosmopolitanism & supremacist ultra-nationalism; liberal federalism & recentralised unitarism; Geneva-2015 & rejection of the UNHRC; abject dependency & absolute sovereignty; the USA & China.’
• Ranjan Wijeratne, the Rajapaksas and the rise of Douglas Devananda – Jeyaraj
• Statement by Jaffna People’s Forum for Co-existence Facing the Future After Elections 2020
• Wiggy says he never asked Sinhalese, Muslims not to come back to Jaffna
• Mahabharata Proves Sinhala Language is Older Than Tamil Nadu Language
• Sri Lanka’s ethnic and language issues as seen by historians
• Disoriented Tamils at the crossroads without a compass
‘GG Ponnambalam sparked off the first communal riots in 1939 by attacking the Mahavamsa and the history of the nation, went beyond Wigneswaran to focus on the two nation” theory.’
• False historical perspectives of Wigneswaran
‘Ponnambalam realised early on that the Tamil elites of the time had more in common with the Sinhalese elites than their ‘own people’.’
• Mapping end of history in Northern theatre
• Speech in parliament still harping on Genocide which never happened
• Countering Allegations of Genocide
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 17 C 6
• Sabry asks MPs to abhor Machiavelli type behaviour
• US Sanctions on Selected Chinese Companies Will Worsen Sri Lankan Economic Downturn
‘This is obviously a US attack on China’s one belt one road” initiative.’
• Sri Lanka must stay clear of ego wars – Tension between United States and China
‘Sri Lanka can balance the equation and slowdown China’s aggressive approach by offering business deals to India and even Japan’
• Chinese Embassy in SL says US sanctions a violation of international law
• Colombo Port City and the big picture of US sanctions on Chinese firms
• US imposes sanctions on Colombo Port City builders and other Chinese companies
‘Another subsidiary, Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co., also known as ZPMC, recently supplied cranes to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.’
• US encourages countries to ‘manage risk’ when dealing with China Communications Construction Company
• Covid-19 hits nine of dwindling Great Andamanese tribe
• Situation critical in Ladakh after PLA’s moves in Chushul, says India
• India bans PUBG, 117 other Chinese apps as border standoff lingers
• Chinese Embassy cautions US not to interfere in internal affairs
‘It is the US that keeps militarising the world and the region, by maintaining nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries, deploying approximately 165,000 troops abroad, and spending more than $ 100 billion annually on foreign bases and personnel.’
• White House says it won’t help global vaccine effort to spite China, World Health Organization
• While UAE builds bridges with Apartheid Israel, Palestinians forced to demolish their homes
• Blakley on Brown, ‘Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War’
‘Slavery can be understood as a state of ongoing, everyday war between the enslaved, enslavers, and the societies that engender these relations.’
• Afrikaner Economic Empowerment: Ten lessons from South Africa
‘How white Afrikaners ultimately attained equality with the English… Government enterprises created the infrastructure for an industrial revolution with electricity, railways, and steel manufacturing.’
• Donald Trump: A New Emperor of the Lumpenproletariat?
‘Donald Trump has an army of lumpenproletarian shock troops that he can activate on “December 2” to raise himself from the status of Prince to Emperor….The emergence of a white lumpenproletariat is the result of a long-term process of class formation that has generated an army of counter-revolutionary shock troops that will not disappear because of an election. The lumpenproletariat is armed and dangerous and, consequently, no matter the outcome of the 2020 election, a question will remain as to what is to be done with the white lumpenproletariat?’
• The United States is the world’s major violator of human rights
‘2.3 million persons are incarcerated in the USA, where 10.5m arrests a year are made, and that prisoners continue to be held illicitly and indefinitely at the illegal U.S. Naval Base in Guantánamo.
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.
• Action delayed over bond scam suspects : D.E.W Gunasekara
“I was the only one who was punished because I was the one that lost, my national list membership was abolished,” he remarked.
• Fire erupts in OIC oil tanker off Sangamankanda coast. No impact on Lanka, says Lanka IOC
• Two Russian warships arrive in Sri Lanka on business call
• Fmr. President’s irresponsible decision helped extremists to recuperate: Witness
‘7 Islamic extremist organizations were currently managing freely with fake names and those groups were spreading extremism by using different modes and strategies.’
• The gangs and gangsters that the SDIG forgot
‘How about the alcohol and tobacco industries whose operations are antithetical to the saubhagya (prosperity) of the President’s daekma (vision)?’
• Political gimmickry and other influences slow investigation of Easter Sunday bombings
‘Could appointing Parliamentary and Presidential Commissions be red herrings that may impede the proper conclusion of the investigation?’
• Lokka case: More details emerge
‘Madurai-based lawyer who first raised suspicion over the death of Sri Lankan underworld criminal Angoda Lokka.’
• 25 gangs, 400 gangsters in WP, drug addicts in country exceed 533,000: SDIG Thennakoon
• The trillion dollar politics of narcotics
‘In 2010, Vladimir Putin, who was then prime minister, told Russian troops that they should be prepared to confront American forces in Afghanistan because Afghanistan’s thriving drug trade supported by the United States and NATO had become the greatest threat to international peace’
• Global Park bonded warehouse sealed amid probe on whiskey racket
‘Cases of Johnnie Walker Black Label were being taken from Global Park to the Ace Container Yard in Wattala for re-export on August 14 when, midway, around 900 bottles were replaced with bottles containing coloured water, authoritative sources said.’
• Liberty Plaza management was informed of poor fire fighting equipment in building
• China seeks to set up military logistic facilities in Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Myanmar: Pentagon
• England cannot afford military spending?
• KGB in Colombo – USA
‘The Active Measures work of the KGB Colombo Residency in 1977-81, and Resident Grinevich won a positive assessment: the Resident made skillful use of intelligence means and methods, the whole operational staff of the Residency was involved, and the output of agents was substantial. The ‘Lanka Guardian’ and ‘Tribune,’ periodicals controlled by the Residency, won high praise. In 1980, the KGB leadership was told of 13 Active Measures carried out by the Residency.’
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.
• New Sri Lankan Communist leader says COVID-19 exposed barbarism of neoliberalism
‘Countries with strong public health systems like China, Cuba and Sri Lanka were able to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. But some wealthier countries had passed the burden to the working class, while pumping billions of U.S. dollars into government funds to private companies.’
• SBD de Silva & the Flames of ‘Cold War’: A Great Guru, Part 1
‘SB’s support for attempting to rein in the foreign-exchange frauds of private companies, would lead to his banishment from a maha bankuva dedicated to the colonial import-export plantation status quo.’
• SBD de Silva, China & the Central Bank: A Great Guru, Part 2
“Research in the social sciences in underdeveloped countries has, of late, metamorphosed into a variety of big business.”
• Two Yakku Haunting the Central Bank, John Exter & SBD de Silva: A Great Guru, Part 3
‘The Central Bank, despite having “the largest number of PhDs in a single building in the country”, pronounced SBD de Silva, “has always opposed the independence of the country”’
• Central Banking in the Sri Lankan Developmental State – 70th Anniversary Oration
• Central Banking in the Sri Lankan Developmental State – Lakshman (Annual Exter Oration)
‘Even at the time of its establishment, there were concerns that the Central Bank “…. ignored the vital relationship between central banking policy and policies of long-term economic development”
• Discussions underway to set up new development bank & credit guarantee agency – Lakshman
• Central Bank releases “Economic and Social Statistics of Sri Lanka – 2020” Publication
• Reductio Ad Abeyratnum Gets China wrong!
‘What made it possible for China to be a high performing economy in the world? It was China’s ability to conquer the global market with exports.’
• Preconditions for Sri Lanka’s sustained economic development – Sanderatne
‘recent increase in unemployment and depressed household incomes of a large proportion of low income households due to the global recession are urgent problems’
• Economic policy governance a must if good governance to succeed: Part II – Wijewardene
‘The Constitutional Council was made a mockery by the Speaker in the previous Parliament by refusing to accept present Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as the main opposition in Parliament. As a result, he could not serve the CC as the Leader of Opposition despite his majority’
• Nivard confident of revival despite challenges
‘To meet the “clamour for capital” the Government will work to develop markets, including venture capital, bond and equity segments, promote better debt management and introduce fresh risk reduction regulations to attract new investors…at the 5th investor symposium organised by SC Securities, a fully-owned subsidiary of Sampath Bank, in partnership with Daily FT’
• EDB Chief welcomes reactivation of Export Development Council
‘The EDC will be chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, and comprise ministers in charge of the subjects of trade, shipping, industries, agriculture, plantation industries, textile industries, fisheries, finance, foreign affairs, planning and rural industries.’
• “Exporters are one of the most victimized groups” in economic crises?
• US dominates the international system. Beijing’s best hope is for Washington to alienate allies.
‘Beijing is embroiled in a trade spat with Washington and a technology tussle with the wider West – also involving Huawei. However, the battle for money will be the most crucial..the more the U.S. wields its unmatched financial power, the less it may have left. That’s just what might give China an opening in this cold war.’
• Pope tells leaders post-pandemic economic models must change
‘The coronavirus pandemic had “toppled the shaky pillars” of a world economic model built on the idolatry of money and domination by the rich and powerful.’
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.
• IMF puts on hold final disbursement of $1.5 bn bailout facility
• Parliament to debate key CB and Fin. Min. economic reports next week
• Sri Lanka private credit negative in July, credit to government surges
• Sri Lanka’s inflation at 4.1-pct in August 2020
• Inflation declines to 4.1% in August
• Fiscal deficit up Rs.214bn in 1H as pandemic hurts
‘FinMin fails to provide deficit as a share of economy as estimating GDP becomes difficult…Sri Lanka’s economy was on a solid path to recovery, incentivised by both fiscal and monetary stimuli before the pandemic struck, forcing factory closure and depriving the country of most economically active two months—March and April.
• First half public debt soars over a trillion rupees
‘Larger the debt grows, the more it becomes sensitive even for the smallest shift in the interest rates, and is likely to crowd out private sector investments.’
• Sri Lanka 2020 first half budget deficit up 41-pct, taxes down 28-pct
• Govt. debt increased by Rs.1 trillion within first 6 months of 2020
• Sri Lanka cabinet approves changes to tax laws
• Export benefit of EU’s GSP+ for Sri Lanka ‘likely’ up to 2025
• Only exports can salvage economy from debt crisis – Minister Bandula
• Cabinet sub committee on implications of foreign investments
• When steady inflow comes in import restrictions will be eased, but until that our hands are tight : State Minister Cabraal
‘To avoid a possible foreign exchange crisis due to the economic hit caused by Covid-19, the Sri Lankan Government restricted imports, providing exceptions only for raw materials, pharmaceuticals, and oil.’
• Ivan’s Economics
‘World Bank forecasts SL economic growth to slow down to -3. Around 500,000 SLs working in the Middle East will lose their jobs. Job losses in all sectors will be around one million…SL is compelled to allocate $ 3 billion on instalments and interest alone on foreign loans obtained on commercial basis…The SL garment industry was the leading industry among several other industries; it can be considered the one that earned the bulk of foreign exchange requirements of Sri Lanka. There were 800 medium and large scale SL garment factories employing as many as 300,000 workers. The annual revenue Sri Lanka earned from the garment industry… high as $ 6 billion…Yet, about 70% of raw materials and 90% of accessories required for the garment industry constituted the items imported. What was done in SL included only the designing and production of finished goods utilising the imported raw materials and accessories, for the markets in the USA and Europe.’
• Indian economy suffers worst dip of 24% in June quarter
• Can China Win the Financial Cold War?
‘The US dominates the international system. Beijing’s best hope is for Washington to alienate its allies.’
• Why all countries should contribute to ending global poverty
‘Poverty remains at startling levels when measured at the World Bank’s poverty thresholds of $3.20 and $5.50 per day. It is sobering to note that every 10 cents added to the poverty line increases the global headcount of the poor by 100 million. Moreover, the poverty count at $1.90 doubles when one considers multidimensional poverty, which includes health, education, and nutrition’
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
• Cost of living will be reduced by adhering to policy decisions already made: President
• Breakdown of trade union movement and enslavement of workers – Editorial
• Providing jobs for poor begins on September 2
• Sri Lanka starts 100,000 new tax payer financed jobs with pensions
• Protests held in Colombo over employment
‘Employees seeking permanent jobs at the National Water Supply and Drainage Board and the Department of Archaeology, and Joint Development Officers’ Center staged protests….Students who graduated from the Kelaniya University between 2009 and 2013, staged a protest seeking permanent jobs in the state sector.’
• Dengue workers want justice to their efforts
• Garment Industry Sweatshops
• Road caves in, worker dies in Kilinochchi
• 2018 expenditure on university education around Rs 60 billion
‘Among 6000 academics, about 825 are professors, and 5,200 are senior lecturers and lecturers.’
• Students better off choosing global as opposed to local CIMA qualifications for accounting
• Education Reforms: Technical Vocational Education And Training In High Schools
• Elder abuse is real: How are we mitigating the risks?
‘Sri Lanka has one of the fastest aging demographics (1 in 4 persons will be over 65 years by 2041).’
• Irrational decision to shut down labour offices in Sri Lankan missions overseas
• Recall of labour officers attached to Sri Lankan diplomatic missions disturbing
• Govt. announces Rs. 25bn debenture issue to build affordable housing for middle-income
•The masses are asses – David
• COVID-19 will widen gender poverty gap: UN Women, UNDP data
‘Pandemic will push 47 mn more women and girls below the poverty line…By 2021, for every 100 men aged 25 to 34 living in extreme poverty (living on 1.90 USD a day or less), there will be 118 women, a gap that is expected to increase to 121 women per 100 men by 2030.’
• Karl Marx and Marxism – Stuart Hall
• Amazon creates 7,000 English jobs as virus fuels online demand
C6. Agriculture (Robbery of rural home market; Machines, if used, mainly imported)
ee Agriculture emphasizes the failure to industrialize on an agriculture that keeps the cultivator impoverished under moneylender and merchant, and the need to protect the rural home market. Also, importation of agricultural machinery, lack of rural monetization and commercialization, etc.
• Tremors did not take place close to Plate Boundaries; Geological Survey and Mines Bureau
• Can Sri Lanka’s Government give State land to permit holders as outright deeds?
• President tells District Coordinating Committee Chairmen to contribute to build economy
‘Priority will be given to resolving problems such as shortage of drinking and irrigation water, rehabilitation of irrigation systems, intrusion of wild elephants into villages and to find swift solutions to address prevailing shortcomings in education and health sectors.’
• Lack of water figures as main issue during Gammadda campaign
• Vasu promises Water Act
• Access Engineering nears completion of Deduru Oya Water Supply Project
• Local farmers face newer challenges in a post-COVID era
• Government to ramp up local maize cultivation to make up for imports
• Sri Lanka to continue with import restrictions on foodstuff – President
• President wants minor crop cultivators protected by ensuring stable price
• Coconut, the nation’s Kapruka needs protection
• Rohan Karunaratne succeeded by Nimal Lokuge at Agstar
‘Karunaratne was on the board of Ceylon Tobacco & CIC Holdings. The 7 companies in the Agstar portfolio are Agstar Crop Care (Pvt), Agstar Exports Pvt, Agstar Grains Pvt, Agstar Properties Pvt, Agstar Seeds Pvt, Mahaweli Agro Trading Pvt and Prith Seeds Pvt….
Nimal Lokuge was also a founder director of Sierra Construction…’
• Turning the tide on unsustainable fishing
‘There is a widely held belief that because Sri Lanka’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ = 517,000 km2) is 8 times the island’s land area (65,610 km2), the seas around Sri Lanka are full of fish. Not true.’
• Multiday boats fetch major income share of fisheries industry
‘A small group of fishing boat owners and fish mudalalis (wholesale fish traders) are getting a major share of the income although Sri Lanka’s fisheries industry contributes almost 2 per cent of GDP to the country’s economy’
• Oceanpick donates Seabass fingerlings in support of smallholder fishing communities in SL
‘A joint venture between Aberdeen Holding, Kames Fish Farming. of Scotland, and other investors, Oceanpick was founded in 2011…Operating from its main Seabass and Barramundi hatchery and farming facility in the untouched waters of Trincomalee, Oceanpick is nestled amongst a major aquaculture hub alongside India and Bangladesh.’
• SL highlights need for innovation & digital agriculture solutions at virtual FAO Asia-Pacific Regional Conference
• Fonterra Brands Lanka accelerates value-added dairy export efforts
• Colombo requires continued flood management to prosper: WB
• Seven local council areas in Colombo dumped in garbage crisis
• Garbage embargo at Karadiyana temporarily relaxed
• How the bee paid tribute to the flower – Cumaratunga’s Deep Affection for the Environment
• Palm oil has tremendous impact on environment
• Oil Palm Expansion – In Retrospect
• The Killing Machines – Poaching and Its Devastating Impact on Sri Lanka’s Wildlife
• Hanthana Mountain Range clearance: CEA to report on Hanthana issue
• Recently cleared Hanthana land is mine – Kiriella
• Attempt to stop HIRU CIA revelations by offering bribes (Video)
C7. Industry (False definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc)
ee Industry section notes the ignorance about industrialization, the buying of foreign machinery, the need to make machines that make machines, build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound.
• Sri Lanka appoints ministerial committee for import substitution, export investment
‘The cabinet sub-committee will have Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also Finance Minister, Douglas Devananda (Fisheries), Gamini Lokuge (Transport), Bandula Gunawardene (Trade), Dalas Alahapperuma (Power), Johnston Fernando (Highways), Wimal Weerawansa (Industries). Others are Mahinda Amaraweera (Environment), S M Chandrasena (Lands), Wasudewa Nanayakkara (Water Supply), Udaya Gammanpila (Energy), Ramesh Pathirana (Plantations), Prasanna Ranatunga (Tourism), Rohith Abeygunawardhana (Ports and Shipping) and Ali Sabri (Justice).
The following state ministers would ‘assist’: Nivard Cabraal (Money, Capital Markets and SOE reform), Duminda Dissanayake (Solar, Wind and Hydro power), Jayantha Samarweera (Warehouse, Container Yards, Port Supplies, Boats and Shipping Industry Development, Dilum Amunugama (Vehicle Regulation, Bus Trasnport, Train Compartments and Mort Car Industry), D V Chanaka (Aviation and Export Zones), and Nalaka Godahewa (Urban Development, Coast Conservation, Water Disposal and Community Cleanliness).
• President helms Cabinet Sub-Committee on investment promotion
‘Lands on tenancy to be given from industrial zones of Ratmalana, Kalutara, Millewa, Nalanda, Ulapone, Makandura, Uva Paranagama and Batticaloa for 9 investors, for 35 years.
• CEB a “fifth power” that can hold the country to ransom!
• The electricity mafia is in Diyawanna – Minister Dallas Alahapperuma
• Impediments to a better CEB
‘Does he not know that corruption in the power sector derives 90% from Presidents, the Cabinet, Power Ministers and Ministry Secretaries?… President Sirisena and PM Ranil ignored an Expert Committee Report in 2016 which warned that cancelling Sampur coal-fired power station would be ruinous.’
• Power Blackout Committee Report:Recommendations run counter to President’s policy
• CEB’s Long Term Generation Expansion Programme (LTGEP) the best strategy
• CEB shows total mismanagement
• Swiss Singapore Overseas Enterprises to provide 300,000 MT of coal
• ADB to formally withdraw from financing new coal-fired energy projects
• Lanka Hydraulic Institute begins EIA related studies on proposed fourth coal power plant
• Sri Lanka to expand fuel storage capacity in Kolonnawa
‘The contract to build the tanks awarded to Indo- East Engineering and Construction (Lanka) Pvt. for 942.47 million rupees excluding value added tax. The Kolonnawa complex is run by Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals, a common user facility jointly owned by state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Lanka IOC, a publicly traded firm controlled by Indian Oil Corporation.’
• Amended National Policy on Natural Gas in Sri Lanka receives cabinet nod
• 31-year-old railway carriage converted to a railway post office
• Engine drivers refuse to operate trains with Chinese compartments
• Cabinet to pause vehicle imports for one year, decides to repair 4116 state vehicles
• Access Motors annually imports 100-150 Land Rover Defenders, Rs. 20-50mn each…
‘Such prices would depend on the vagaries of government policy on import of such vehicles…Land Rover and its various models continue to be manufactured in England’
• Prado jeep and three more vehicles assembled illegally detected
• All Ceylon Motorcycle Dealers Association protest
• Vehicle importers Deny statement by Secretary to Prez
• Vehicle import ban drives motor traders off the road
• Surviving the vehicle import ban
‘The objective of this article is to outline a strategy of how the Franchise Holder (FH) can cope with the motor vehicle import ban.’
• Ceylon Graphite to invest US$ 6.2mn to develop new sites and upgrade product
• Car battery powered by nanotechnology for export
• USD 300 mn tyre factory for Hambantota
• SLPMA invests Rs.15b to boost manufacturing industry
• Dire need for increasing production of raw material basis within Sri Lanka itself: Prez
‘From Sri Lanka not having the ability to meet the country of origin rules, only 47% of the products are getting the duty free facility for the importers in those countries’
• White Man Loves Small & Medium Industries
• “Be Sri Lankan – Buy Sri Lankan” Trade Fair boosts local trade
• Rekindling ties-George Steuart Health and India’s TIL Healthcare
‘TIL Healthcare is the international pharmaceutical arm of the Jhaver Group of companies, with 5 pharmaceutical formulation manufacturing facilities offering Liquids, Capsules, Tablets, Injectables, Soft-gel & Powders…a range of amino acids and probiotics to the Sri Lankan market.’
• India offers USD 100 mn credit facility for solar projects in Sri Lanka
• SLT fibre to power 10 apartment complexes in Colombo, under SLT – Homelands partnership
• Yarl Geek Challenge developing products, developing services, developing people
‘A group whose stated aim is “to make Jaffna the next Silicon Valley”’
• UAE-funded sewing machines for Wayamba women
• China to support Hambantota Industrial? – GL
‘The discussion focused on preparation for the industrial and investment zone with the manufacture of pharmaceutical products and the tyre factory as major components of the activity envisaged.’
• Cultivating Resilience & Evolve Industries From the Crisis of Pandemic
• Sri Lanka urges The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) Member States to embrace the “new normal”
‘The SL delegation comprised Actg. Director General of Economic Affairs (Multilateral) Anzul Jhan, Deputy Legal Adviser Tilani Silva, & Executive Assistant Kalani Dharmasena of the Foreign Ministry’
• Why India’s cost of production high but productivity is low – Explained
• Robots in China
‘The importance of manufacturing employment has been gradually increasing. In 2005, among the 746 million individuals in the labor force, 62 million (8.3%) were employed by the manufacturing sector; in 2016, among the 776 million workers in the labor force, 103 million (13.3%) were employed by the manufacturing sector. An important factor underlying this increase is that rural workers have moved to manufacturing sector in urban areas’
• Slavoj Žižek: Elon Musk’s desire to control our minds is dehumanizing and not what is needed in a socially distanced world
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.
• Micro Credit (Finance) – Facts & fallacies
‘Officers, researchers, policymakers, bankers, lenders go by poverty line. Those who are below the poverty line are poor and in the low-income category and eligible for microfinance. Economists and policymakers look at the poverty line calculated by Statisticians and boast that poverty has come down to 4% of the population. But they fail to look at the waistline of the people living in the periphery. That will say ratio of the poor is 40%’
• Minister instructs state banks to rescue rural people from microfinance trap
• Stock market: Avoiding a national crime
‘Self-proclaimed stock market gurus joined by certain influential stock market players are wooing government institutions such as the EPF (under the CB), Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) and another CB unit, Employees’ Trust Fund to enter the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) – this time to buy ‘blue chips’ that these investors are holding.’
• Cabraal wants “out of the box” thinking to develop capital market
‘State Minister met SEC and CSE officials’
• Sri Lanka rupee ends flat, gilt yields up (Sep 03)
• Sri Lanka rupee ends firm, gilt yields up marginally
• Sri Lanka stocks close 0.58-pct up
‘Food, Beverage and tobacco industries was the most active industry in the equity market today’
• Japanese shareholders in Asia Capital want money back
• Credit Information Bureau undergoes reforms with a new points system
• LOLC records highest ever PAT of Rs. 37.2Bn in 1Q 2020/21
• Statutes & Regulations: Regulated Finance Cos. – Legal Consultant, Finance Houses Assoc.
• People’s Bank teams with UGC to provide loans for students to buy laptops
‘to purchase laptops belonging to high-quality brands… a survey was carried out with the help of the Asian Development Bank’
• German Breakfast Meeting with State Minister Cabraal
‘Germany Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce…’
• Fitch rates National Development Bank’s Basel III Sub Debt Final A-(lka)
• Amana Takaful appoints Shehan Feisal as new CEO
‘Prior to stint at Allianz Insurance Lanka, he was AGM-Technical at Janashakthi General Insurance’
• Amãna Bank Board fortified by four versatile directors
‘Tishan Subasinghe (chairman of Sanasa General Insurance, Council Member of the University of Moratuwa), fintech entrepreneur Omar Kassim (Nomod), legal luminary Mohamed Adamaly (David Peiris Group, Bogala Graphite Lanka, Assetline Leasing, and Sinwa Holdings, Islamic finance legal professional Paul Mercer (Kuwait Finance House Group, Bahrain Investment Bank)’
• Digital finance can deliver long-term financing of SDGs
‘The full report and summary is available at digitalfinancingtaskforce.org’
• Asia Securities and Ceylon Chamber webinar on Financial Restructuring
• Asian stocks plunge with Wall Street as tech sector surge halted
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’
• Council for Business with England to strengthen SL trade corridor
‘High Commissioner Sarah Hulton, Lisa Whanstall, Deputy High Commissioner…2020/21 committee comprises of Linda Giebing, General Manager, Hilton Colombo Residences and Ameena Ziauddin – Development Director, Norfolk Foods as Vice Presidents, Tania Polonnowita Wettimuny, MD, Inter Air & Sea Logistics, as the Treasurer and Mark Prothero, CEO, HSBC Sri Lanka & Maldives as the Immediate Past President…Committee members include: Shirendra Lawrence, COO, MAS Holdings, Hajar Alafifi, Chairperson, Unilever Sri Lanka, Sarath Ganegoda, Director, Hayleys, S Renganathan, MD, Commercial Bank, Nikhil Hirdaramani, Director, Hirdaramani Group, Arjuna Nanayakkara, Head of Shared Services, London Stock Exchange Group SL, Irfan Thassim, MD, Oceanpick, Dougie Douglas, Country Manager, Etihad Airways, Indika Abeykoon, GM, Aitken Spence Travels and Gihan Jayasinghe, MD, Finlays Group, SL. Michael Fernandopulle, Head of Trade & Investment at the DIT, of the British High Commission, the Head of the British Council and Shaameel Mohideen, MD of Spillburg Holdings representing SMEs…’
• England’s Muve Conveyances: To Speed up transfer of property titles from a seller to a buyer
• Sri Lanka-Australia-New Zealand Business Council 25th Annual General Meeting
‘Delano Dias, CEO, Millers of Cargills Ceylon Group was re-elected President while Ruwan Rajapakse, Managing Director, Jiffy Products, Dulani Guruge, Managing Director, Guruge Gems, Emil Kronemburg, Chairman, E C D Global Pvt, Dhanajay Kulkarni, University Collage Lanka appointed vice presidents. The following companies were elected to serve on the Committee: Abans, AG International (Pvt), Aitken Spence Travels (Pvt), CMA CGM Lanka (Pvt), Fonterra Brands Lanka (Pvt), Hayleys Agriculture Holdings, InfoMate Pvt, International Distilleries, Maliban Biscuits Manufactories Pvt, Samson Rubber Products Pvt, South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt), Worldlink Air Services (Pvt)’
• Discussions on ways to further advance the EU-Sri Lanka bilateral engagement
‘They briefed the Foreign Minister on the EU assisted ongoing projects in agriculture, vocational training, food safety, among others…State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya and Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage also participated…’
• Softlogic Life Insurance strikes big!
‘…A unit of Softlogic Holdings and the country’s third largest life insurer said it finalised two deals with “Development financial institutions, Finnish Fund for Industrial Coorporation (Finnfund) & Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (Norfund), & MünchenerRückversicherungs-Gesellschaft (MunichRe)…’
• Softlogic Revenue Rs. 17.8 billion, 2019/2020, hifghest ever, but claims profits declined…
• Ravi Liyanage appointed CEO of Janashakthi Insurance
‘a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) from CMA (Australia) and a fellow of the Life Underwriting Training Council of USA.’
• CIMA launches ‘Hundred & 10%’ first-ever virtual career festival
‘Business leaders headlined: Ansary, CIMA Vice President/World Bank Head of Finance and Administration Sri Lanka and the Maldives Melanie Kanaka- FCMA, CGMA, Bluestone Capital Private Limited Founder and CEO Ajit Gunewardene, Jetwing Travels (Private) Managing Director Shiromal Cooray, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants Regional Vice President Asia Pacific Venkkat Ramanan- FCMA, CGMA, Tresync CEO Imran Furkhan- FCMA, CGMA and John Keells Holdings Head of Learning and Development Imani Perera.’
• Asite Talwatte joins Cargills (Ceylon) board
‘The Board of Directors of Cargills (Ceylon) comprises L.R. Page (Chairman), V.R. Page (Deputy Chairman and CEO), M.I. Wahid (Managing Director and Deputy CEO), A.A. Page, A.T.P. Edirisinghe, S.E.C. Gardiner, J.C. Page, E.A.D. Perera, S. Mendis, Y. Kanagasabai, H.A. Pieris, I.C. Malwatte, and A. Talwatte….Talwatte worked at Ernst & Young…’
• Trade Minister Bandula talks with Canadian HC on improving non-traditional exports
• Insurance and its relevance to global economy
‘“bottomry” contracts were known to merchants of Babylon as early as 4-3000BC. Bottomry was also practiced by the Hindus in 600 BC and well understood in ancient Greece as early as the 4thC BCE’
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.
• DEW resigns as General Secretary of Communist Party
‘The veteran Marxist held the post of General Secretary of the Communist Party from 2004’
• Asoka Dias interviews New CP Leader, G. Weerasinghe, SLPP National List Candidate
• The lessons of the 1953 mass uprising (hartal) in Sri Lanka
• Is this the end of the road for grand old parties?…UNP & INC
• We don’t need a deputy PM or dual citizens as MPs
• On Rasika Jayakody’s Roadmap for the Opposition
‘For the transformation of overall political culture, there are six broad areas that he has identified…’
• CBK lambastes Sirisena and Mahinda for current plight of SLFP
• Presence of Ministers, Government Officials at the Ministry on Public Day mandated
• There are 4 types of commissions with differing legal rules and binding procedures
• 9 independent commissions made sacrosanct in 19A
‘They are the Election, Public Service, Police, Audit, Human Rights, Bribery, Finance, Delimitation and the National Procurement Commissions.’
• Rejected Votes: An Unintended Disenfranchisement
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.
• Web journalist arrested
• MarCom Collective Continues to Engage Stakeholders on Rebuilding Sector
‘The MarCom Collective, comprises 8 associations linked to the advertising and marketing communications sectors… Rohan Rajaratnam, Convener, MarCom Collective; Santhush Weeraman, President, Video and Film Production Association; Thayalan Bartlett, Convener, MarCom Collective; S. R. Attygalle, Secretary – Ministry of Finance; Arjuna Herath, Senior Partner and Head of Consulting, Ernst & Young, Sri Lanka and Maldives; Sulaiman Nishtar, Partner – Tax Services, Ernst & Young, Sri Lanka; and Thanuja Perera, Tax Policy Advisor, Department of Fiscal Policy, Ministry of Finance.’
• Dilshara elevated to Chief Creative Officer
‘Amer Jaleel, CEO MullenLowe Lintas Group, India, annoints Dilshara Jayamanna, who nurtured the country’s most loved brands: FMCG, Telecommunications, Banking, Insurance, FinTech, Food and Beverage, Hospitality, Automobiles and more…’
• Three ancient Bodhisattva statues located in Budupatangala
• Cultural Challenges in Sinhala-to-English Translation
• Muthuswamy Master gave Sinhala film music a contemporary touch
• Our English Literature Syllabus: Post-colonial? Or, a Colonial Post?
• To be creative, Chinese philosophy teaches us to abandon originality
• Socialism and Accountability
‘History teaches us nothing, so said Social Democratic Party (SPD) leader Andrea Nahles, to justify discontinuing the SPD’s Historical Commission. Long ago, Rosa Luxemburg took the opposite position: “history is the only true teacher”’