ee archive: eesrilanka.wordpress.com
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
Banking on the Future Now
e-Con e-News 06 – 12 September 2020
• Major Banks Still Foreign-owned after 1948 • DJ Wimalasurendra vs DS Senanayake
• World Bank Destroyed Cultivation Committees • WB to Control Local Banks?
• Slaver & Opium Trader Buys Virtusa • Why 12-hour Work Days? No Machines for Slaves
• 10 years after 1948 independence, there was only one indigenous commercial bank, the Bank of Ceylon, which the English had crippled at birth. All the other banks were foreign-owned, using local people’s deposits to give large loans and credits to foreign companies. This ee looks at the forces that prevented a Development Bank in 1958, by driving progressive ministers out of the government, eventually ending with the assassination of a Prime Minister.
Similar powerful forces are working overtime today, to both prevent a Development Bank, and to buy off and divide the current government to hinder it from exercising its majority to benefit the people of the country.
• This ee looks at why DJ Wimalasurendra’s vision of an industrial society was undermined. Why the English promoted DS Senanayake, as their best bet, to continue their import-export plantation robbery. This resulted in Wimalasurendra’s removal from his more-than-rightful place in the pantheon of nationalist heroes, alongside Dharmapala and Cumaratunga. Who erased him? The media and education system? On behalf of whom? (see ee Focus)
• The World Bank claimed this week to provide US$56mn “to protect the most vulnerable in agriculture sector and ensure food security”. It was the World Bank that ordered the destruction of Cultivation Committees, which attempted to organize cultivators and farmers. (see ee Focus, Karunaratne).
‘Aid agencies’ usually provide funds to prevent local modern industrial (machine) production, which would easily pay off any so-called debts.
• Foreign multilateral banks (WB, IMF, ADB) can now buy 20% control over local banks, with voting rights. What’s it all about? Are ‘happy days’ here again? For white billionaires!
Boosters hope it will bolster liquidity of banks to buffer them against their non-performing loans, and increase capitalization in the casino called the stock market (assuming it’ll attract more investment). Yet it will also make Sri Lanka’s banking sector more volatile, and give foreigners more control over local commercial banks!
Every capitalist crisis enables greater monopoly, greater concentration of ownership. This allows, when the people are ready, for these banks to be taken over and socialized for the public good in one fell swoop!
• Barings Asia (based in offshore-tax-hideout Grand Cayman) has taken over Virtusa, which employs 3,000 software engineers in SL. The US ambassador also just cited Virtusa as one of their ‘success’ stories here – paying Sri Lankan workers ~1/20th the pay of US salaries! Virtusa workers have to work day and night to keep up with the time difference. Virtusa is linked to Orogen Group, itself part of Rockefeller’s New York Citibank! Software indeed! (see ee Finance)
Barings made their fortune from the enslavement of Africans to the Americas, financed by the Bank of England, and Amsterdam’s Hope & Co (then the most powerful merchant bank in Europe). The Rothschilds paid for the establishment of Barings and Barclays Banks as ‘compensation’ for slave owners moving from African chattel to Asian indentured slavery. Barings were heavily involved in the opium trade from both India and Turkey to China. Evelyn Baring (grandfather of Mary Wakefield, wife of English PM Boris Johnson’s current chief adviser, Dominic Cumming) is also infamous for his massacres and tortures of Kenyans during the 1950s “Land & Freedom” struggle for independence.
• No machines for slaves – The amplified wailing and gnashing of media teeth against feeble import controls, continues ad nauseam. Then there’s a lot of media promoting “fake industrialization”, with not a word about making machines? What economic illiteracy is this? Whites long ago realized and did not allow enslaved labor to make and use machines. Is this why most workers in Sri Lanka are forced to work over 12 hours a day? (see ee Focus, Extending Work)
A1. Reader Comments –
• Ohaypalayang Governance • Why Agriculture was Ruined • Ganja Culture • Homeless Toronto
A2. Quotes of the Week –
• Insulting Tea Pluckers • No Constitution for Workers • Brahmin Left • Unilever Bald & Beautiful? • NM’s Plan • Spain’s Media Monopoly • Bloody Utopia Coming • Free-Trade Drones
A3. Random Notes –
• China’s secret • Japan’s Massive Agriculture Co-op • Old Oligarchs • No Development Bank Yet • Machines & 12-hour Day • Machiavellian English Media • South China Sea & History • NGOs & Eminence
B. ee Focus
B1. Wimalasurendra vs Senanayake: Why an Industrial State was Prevented in SL
B2. Foreign Banks Destroyed Philip Gunawardena’s Dream of a Cooperative Development Bank
B3. Our Ruined Agriculture – Garvin Karunaratne
B4. Uneven Work Demand in Agriculture, Failure to Mechanize & Extending Work Hours
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.
• “Thank you for the ee and the term, ‘Ohaypalayang Government’! So accurate. Laissez-faire?”
• “My paper “Our Failing Agriculture”, and my new book Nuwara Kalaviya, comments on the lost agriculture extension service.” (see ee Focus, Karunaratne)
• “The Canadian ambassador maybe was explaining to our trade minister the importance of preserving national culture by growing ganja. That’s the excuse trotted out for following the dictats of the ruling empire, and growing GM ganja for Ceylon Tobacco Corporation.”
• “The homeless population in Toronto is growing so fast here. Young and middle-aged men, addicts, wandering the streets in fast-growing numbers. Searching for money for drugs, for a place to sleep – neighbors waking up to homeless people sleeping on lawn furniture. The downward spiral of the working class… hopelessness in the context of high rents, stagnant economy, low wages. No way to make do. It’s depressing to watch the free fall and to know how easy downward mobility happens. And winter is on its way…”
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• “MP Premalal Jayasekera stated in this House that I had once said I would become a tea plucker if our government could not have him sentenced to death. That is not true. I never wanted to be a tea plucker and I will never go down to that level.” – SJB’s Thalatha Athukorala
• “There’s a lot of talk about amendments these days: 13th, 18t , 19th, 20th. A cynic could argue that it’s all the same for the toiling masses. From the paddy field to the plantation to the factory floor, nothing really changes.” (see ee Politics)
• “The Brahmin Left… is a privileged group of intellectual and cultural elites who wear the branding of “The Left”, while not espousing any of the material concerns of the average working class.”
• ‘Unilever owns 100s of companies (SMEs?) in SL, also owning several ad agencies, and is directly descended from the slave import-export plantation system. Hilariously, Unilever keeps claiming they “locally manufacture 95% of all the products they market” here. Yet not one single media challenges this bald assertion. SB would ask: Where does Unilever research, design and make the machines and chemicals they use to manufacture their products? Does any Sri Lankan own the patents for these processes and products? How much of their profits have they invested – during England’s 225-year-old underdevelopment of this country – in modern (machine-making) industry, right here?’ – (see ee Economists, SBD de Silva)
• “A plan must be participated in by the people, it should not come from the top alone, that the masses, the people who have to implement it in the villages, in the shops and factories, in the fields and farms, they too must participate in it from the very beginning in the working of the plan” – Philip Gunawardena quoting NM Perera
• ‘The Spanish corporate group Prisa, a champion in the orchestration of worldwide media campaigns, owns more than 1,250 radio stations in 22 countries, each one with its own website. As if this were not enough, it owns – in their entirety or as a principal stockholder – publications read around the world like El País, As, Cinco días, Huffington Post, MeriStation; educational publishing houses like Santillana, Alfaguara; and important tv broadcasters like Mediaset, Telecinco, Cuatro in Spain; TVI in Portugal and V-ME in the US. When the chief executive of Prisa expresses a personal opinion, it appears to be held by the entire world.’ (see ee Media, Independent Intellectual)
• “Philanthropists profess to hope that the peace settlement will bring with it a great international reduction of armies… But those who know the forces which really control the diplomacy of Europe see no Utopias. The outlook is for bloody revolutions and fierce wars between labour and capital, or between the masses and the governing classes of Continental Europe…” – The Economist, 1915
• ‘So why does the Anglophone press keep droning on about Japan’s “endless economic malaise?” Part of this is ideology. Key press organizations – the Economist, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times – have taken an increasingly ideological view of global competition in recent years. Thus nations like the US, where free-market ideology is widely espoused, are presented as winning; meanwhile nations like Japan, where free-market rules are often flouted, are presented as losing. In large measure the ideology is most passionately espoused by top editors who have probably never been to Japan. Correspondents who seek advancement are well advised not to challenge home office preconceptions.”
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
Our economists and professors hate to acknowledge China’s secret: It is their (yes, Chairman Mao’s) communes – that were not disbanded – that have powered China’s modern economy. The communes, renamed Township & Village Enterprises (TVEs), pooled their capital and labor resources, invested first in small industrial enterprises, based mainly on local inputs, then sent their children to study industrial knowledge, substituted imports with local products, and expanded into heavy and modern industries – of course with the Communist Party-led state power right behind them!
Then there’s Japan’s mammoth agricultural cooperative system, which owns the world’s largest supplier of agricultural chemicals, one of the world’s biggest banks, and Japan’s largest insurance company. With about one full-time cooperative official for every 20 farm households, the cooperative system employs almost 400,000 people, more than IBM or Ford employ worldwide – Yes, Japan’s Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, within the Japan Agriculture Group which determines policy and administration, was first set up under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
• It’s as if some media just woke up or were born just today. They’re suddenly so worried about family rule, oligarchy. But is this anything new? Isn’t the Wijeya Media Monopoly and Ranil, Ruwan, Prema, Sajith, etc, all about family rule? The real issue is, are we still ruled on behalf of white capitalists?
• Why is a development bank still being prevented, despite regular pronouncements? What is worse than a country without such a bank? A country with many banks that do not fulfil their function as national banks. They help to rob their citizens, invest money in frivolities, in other countries and their companies, refusing to invest in modern (machine) industry? Which reminds: There are regular news stories about illegal immigrants headlined ‘3 so-and-sos overstay their visas’. Haven’t the English banks overstayed their visas?
• Why are most people, outside of agriculture, forced to work over 12-hour per day? It has to do with the labor-intensive economy imposed on Sri Lanka and other non-settler colonies, Pathirana & Aluthge argue. They link this to the lack of investment in machinery, et al. The increasing use of machinery ‘revolutionizes technical processes of labor and the composition of society’. This means, the making and use of machinery produces more skilled workers, working less hours, and a more educated population. More importantly, this leads to a self-generating process, where ‘one industry leads to another’. But not for us.
P&A’s work clarifies important concepts such as ‘capital accumulation’ (vs just piling up money), division of labor (enabling mechanization), absolute surplus (by extending work hours) vs relative surplus (by using machinery) vs profit, production time (the time taken for a product to be made, eg, for rice to be sown and harvested) vs labor time (the actual hours of work), and the self-expansionary nature of industrial capitalism, where one product leads to another, and another. (see ee Focus)
• Justice Minister Sabry called some MPs, ‘Machiavellian’, when he meant manipulative. An Island editorial also used Machiavellian as a synonym for expediency. Political illiteracy abounds. To make such mistakes, clearly shows they have no idea about Machiavelli. He loved and wished to unite his country, Italy. His book The Prince merely exposed how princes had ruled before, providing examples to the Medici bankers, from the rule of the Borgias. Such literature at the time was called “Mirror of the Prince”, which usually was an exercise in flattering some brat. But Machiavelli was different. So don’t shoot the messenger. But of course the English hated him, hence the bad press. If you don’t believe ee, read Gramsci’s The Modern Prince, which divulges how rulers can really rule now: (Hint: A Party… but not any kind of party!)
• Those who lick their chops over Sri Lanka, have no idea about our history. “Reconciliation”, “13th Amendment” have become mere paper tigers! Likewise, cold warriors who wipe their tongues over the “South China Sea” have absolutely no idea of history.
When Rome’s Borgia Pope divided the world in 1494, he sent Portugal this way (east) and Spain the other way. Spanish pirate Magellan, learning of the Pacific gyre from Mexico, came at us the other way in 1521, invading those 7,000 islands (which were, and are, one of the few Asian countries still named after a white man, the Philippines). Spain was genociding, and plundering gold and everything else from the Aztec, Inca, Maya. Their galleons carrying loot from Veracruz, Mexico to Havana to Seville, Spain, were called the Havana Galleons, and those going via Acapulco, Mexico, to Manila, the Manila Galleons (which Drake and other English pirates plundered). These Manila galleons, wishing to trade gold for Chinese silks, cottons, etc, were held to the Philippines by the Chinese Emperor’s navy. The Chinese were well aware of what would happen if they were allowed any closer (ie, until England’s post-1839 opium wars). And now the Yankees are whooping about China, and the white media along with them.
• Are NGOs a transitional mode to corporate rule? The imposition of commissions with ‘eminent’ yet unelected people, is a bid to circumvent Parliament. The barrage of media around ‘ignorant’ MPs being elected, ignores that this is nothing new! Another good reason to read Meegama’s book on Philip G: Those who have long ruled on behalf of the English include kassipu dealers, cattle and timber thieves, gamblers, thugs, and yes, Colombo-7 tie-coat assassins. Nutting new!
Why don’t NGOS and the fake Left, ready to sacrifice another generation of people, speak of having workers and cultivators on these constitutional commissions? Why only ‘eminent’ people? (see ee Politics) And what happened to those eminently democratic Cultivation Committees? Apparently the USA and their World Bank decided they must be destroyed! (see ee Focus, Karunaratne)
B. Special Focus_
B1. Wimalasurendra vs Senanayake: Why an Industrial state was prevented in Sri Lanka
DS Senanayake saw Ceylon as “an essentially agricultural country”, as promoted in his book Agriculture & Patriotism (1935): “For the National Government to make the streams and rivers of the arid regions useful by engineering works for water storage”…Senanayake’s strategy consisted of 2 steps; first to highlight the importance of peasantry, along with references to the past glory of the agriculturally advanced Sinhala kingdoms, and then to declare himself as the agent of peasant interests. The Ceylonese elite exhibited a custodial and paternalistic attitude towards the peasantry, claiming to be champions of the peasant cause. The peasantry were considered the ‘backbone’ of the country and agriculture the truly ‘patriotic endeavour’. DS Senanayake was a member of the Land Commission of 1927, which, recommended that Crown Land “be ‘mapped out’ [with] the needs of the peasantry of course being given first priority”. The settlement of pioneer colonists in the Minneriya Scheme, the first ever large-scale colonization project implemented in the 20thC, fell in line with his vision, and was begun in 1932 by the colonial government.
Wimalasurendra strongly critiqued this as a backward gaze. Wimalasurendra saw this approach in “every distinguished English statesman, be he the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies” to “a Minister passing through”, reminding “us of the glories of our past in agriculture and irrigation”. He saw this as a trap, to cage the imagination of the colony’s population in the past than in the future – a strategy to confine Ceylon as a non-industrialized agricultural nation whose main occupation is to grow raw products “to be shipped by foreign agents in foreign ships, to be worked into manufactured articles by foreign countries with foreign capital, to be re-exported to this country by foreign merchants to their corresponding foreign agents in Ceylon to be redistributed to us”.
Wimalasurendra was of the opinion that “ignoring all that science and design can do for us, agriculture conducted on traditional and casual methods practised hundreds of years ago will not help to produce necessary results”.
“It is quite evident that it is utterly impossible to compete with cheap rice imported from India“, commented Wimalasurendra, “unless we improve our methods of cultivation, introduce more fertilizer to give better returns, and also provide cheap transport and cheap power to operate machinery“.
Rather than relying on reconstructing the past glory, Wimalasurendra looked for science and technology to construct the future glory of industrialized Ceylon. By referring to the “tank storage system organized and brought into existence by our Sinhalese Kings” but not in operation any more, he expressed confidence in science and technology to restore them fairly easily and even outstrip them by constructing even larger tanks.
“With a huge outlay, Sir, the tank storage system organized and brought into existence by our Sinhalese Kings can be restored and we can no doubt restore the Sea of Parakrama Bahu. We can no doubt outstrip him in what he has done, and we might even produce a ‘Sea of Senanayake’” – sarcastic reference to DS Senanayake, the Minister of Agriculture and Lands.
“But we have to consider whether after all the capital and energy thus spent it will be possible to restore or re-establish the production that was obtained during the time of Parakrama Bahu with more or less forced labour (a Member: No!) I heard someone say, no. Well, I say if not with forced labour, with the large population that existed in those times. What I maintain is this, that the very agencies that wiped out that enormous population will nullify our efforts again.”
The rationale of constructing tank-based irrigation schemes in the less populated dry zone in the North Central parts of the island by transporting and colonizing thousands of people from the other parts of the country while there were more suitable irrigable lands available in southern Ceylon, was seen by Wimalasurendra merely as attempts by Ceylonese political elite to achieve the glory of outdoing ancient kings.
“…The reasons that caused collapse of the ancient irrigation civilizations in the island, namely the intensive cultivation methods used that degraded fertility of soil and dropped production and the malaria epidemic, should be scientifically studied to identify solutions before completing irrigation schemes equivalent to the scale of Minneriya Scheme devised by the Minister Senanayake.
Wimalasurendra developed his argument for a Ceylonese developmental nation based heavily on the contributions of India’s Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, the eminent civil engineer and the state planer who lived at least half a generation ahead of Nehru… Quoting Visvesvaraya at the debate on “The Appropriation Ordinance” in 1935, Wimalasurendra advocated for 3 emergency schemes: rapid industrialization by multiplying factories and industrial establishments; establishment of practical training institutes to improve technical literacy among the working population; along with rural construction to increase production from agriculture and cottage and home industries.
Visvesvaraya “was a man whose accomplishments at the level of a princely state [of Mysore] which was under indirect British rule may be seen as parallel with those of Nehru on the larger canvas of the nation, 50 years later”.
Visvesvaraya and Wimalasurendra, both engineers, played pioneering roles in sketching the initial drawings of the developmental nations of the 2 colonies, with one realizing his dream and the other not. Both specialized initially in civil engineering. Visvesvaraya designed drinking and sanitary systems of many major cities, made contributions to systems of flood control in Orissa and to the generation of electricity in Mysore and elsewhere, associated with the Tata Iron & Steel Co in Jamshedpur and was the founder of the Visvesvaraya Iron & Steel Co in Bhadravathi and played an important role in the economic development of Mysore, initially as an engineer and later as the Diwan.
Wimalasurendra too was credited for his contributions in several engineering projects in addition to his involvement in the Hydroelectric Scheme. Wimalasurendra’s design for the spiral railway track in Demodara in the central hills of Sri Lanka which reduced the distance of the original design of the extended railway track from Bandarawela to Badulla by 3.5 miles, is considered a marvel of civil engineering in Sri Lankan railway engineering. The Hiyare Water Supply Scheme and the Kolonnawa power station are 2 other major projects designed by Wimalasurendra.
The repositioning of the 24-foot pinnacle at the top of the 338-ft-tall Ruwanweli Pagoda is also an achievement credited to Wimalasurendra. Both Visvesvaraya and Wimalasurendra were involved with governance –Visvesvaraya as the Diwan of Mysore 1912-18 and Wimalasurendra as a member of the State Council 1931-36. Promotion of traditional industries and state investment in industry were 2 areas that interested both. As with Wimalasurendra whose views led to controversy, there was considerable controversy around Visvesvaraya’s views. References are found to arguments and clashes between Visvesvaraya and the Director of Industries and later with an official who temporarily succeeded him as Diwan. ‘Clear-cut precision’ in their views is another characteristic shared by the both.
Why did this imagination of an industrially advanced Ceylon, confidently backed by the Aberdeen-Laxapana Hydroelectric Scheme, fail to evolve into to a mass national movement leading to a Sri Lankan industrial state? Why did it not succeed in Ceylon, while it did in India? Why did not the quick implementation of the Scheme become the main slogan of a mass nationalist struggle? Why did not nationalism evolve in a direction with a common vision for the future that could have united all communities against the broad colonial interests as exemplified by Wimalasurendra, but rather evolved in a different direction by looking at past technological glory? Why is Wimalasurendra as an individual and the Aberdeen-Laxapana Hydroelectric Scheme as a national project missing in standard history books or in debates on Sinhala nationalism? Why is it that Senanayakes, Bandaranaikes, Dharmapalas and Cumaratungas appear prominently in the history of the first half of the 20thC Ceylon and why not the Wimalasurendras?
Wimalasurendra’s defeat in the 1936 election, with both Senanayake and Bandaranaike’s opposition, led to wide speculation it was due to his Navandanna caste [by the usual diversionaries, like Michael Roberts, Victor Ivan, etc]. Yet Witharana suggests it was more due to the emerging bourgeoisie, pampered by the English to run the import-export plantation economy on their behalf.
They were an ‘annex of imperialism, a dependent class, whose “creation and continued existence was based on the protection and opportunities provided by the colonial state”. They represented rentier and merchant rather than industrial capital and were earning their wealth initially through renting of paddy, arrack, fish, ferry, gaming etc, and then through business avenues opened as a result of the colonial economy. This lack of industrial capital therefore did not provide the Ceylonese new rich the independence needed to challenge the colonial regime up front and form an anti-colonial developmental nationalist movement seeking independence.
The revival of indigenous religions, the expansion of Buddhist, Hindu and Islam education, the promotion of temperance and the agitation for moderate political reform was the extent to which the Ceylonese merchant and rentier capitalists were willing to go. The campaign by Wimalasurendra for an industrialized developed Ceylon, which conflicted with colonial industrial interests, therefore, was of little interest to the Ceylonese bourgeoisie, who collaborated with the colonial government on the economic front.
– from Witharana, BD, Negotiating Power & Constructing the Nation: Engineering in SL
B2. Foreign Banks Destroyed Philip Gunawardena’s Dream of a Cooperative Development Bank
The Bank of Ceylon, the Central Bank, the People’s Bank, the National Development Bank, the Development Finance CC, etc, etc, etc, one by one, have all been sabotaged to this day….
• “The vested interests, the banks, the nsurance companies, the blackmarketeers, landlords, capitalists, rubber, tea and coconut estate owners, all thought if the cooperatives became a success, if the Cooperative Development Bank Bill became law, and such a bank was established in this country, with a 100 branches in the first year, and 200 branches in the second year, there would be no room in the country for them. They feared that [all the private banks] will have to close their shutters. And they knew that the nationalization of banking would inevitably have taken place once the Cooperative Development Bank started operations. That is the reason why the sharks led by Mr NU Jayawardena and others told the SLFP, ‘The time is up, the capitalist ship must be saved…’ The removal of Philip Gunawardena and Industries Minister, and the assassination of SWRD Bandaranaike soon followed.”
• 10 years after 1948 independence, there was only one indigenous commercial Bank of Ceylon. All the others were foreign-owned banks, using local people’s deposits to give large loans and credits to foreign companies. Most countries, including the white countries, prohibited their nationals by law from depositing money in foreign banks. “We allow foreign bankers to use our money to maintain and extend the foreign stranglehold on our economy.”
There was more money than ever circulating in the villages; however, none of it was used for rural development. The attempt to set up a Cooperative Development Bank was sabotaged by the foreign banks in alliance with “spurious and artificial agitation” by the then-private Lakehouse media, led by Minister of Finance Stanley de Zoysa. The same forces who attempted to undermine the Paddy Lands Act, and the same forces who ended up assassinating a Prime Minister.
“It is true that the Zoysas run Ceylon today” – Philip Gunawardena, 1959
Ananda Meegama’s chapter on ‘A Bank for the People’, in his book on Philip Gunawardena, describes the battles fought by this Minister of Food and Agriculture to uplift the rural majority through real investment in their dark sweat and bright tears…
Surveys of village Sri Lanka in the late 1930s, by Professor BB Das Gupta and BR Shenoy, showed the village being bled by the high cost of credit, lacking institutions to invest in development. Philip Gunawardena explained to Parliament how the surveys showed the “fabulously rich coconut planters of Chilaw”… and the “rubber barons of Horana” did not represent those rural populations at all. Those surveys, done in the wake of the malaria epidemic, exposed the robbery of cultivators. This extortion continued even after 1948 independence, as the surveys done by Philip G’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture also exposed.
The need of the hour, then as of now, was for long-term credit transactions to take away the power to enslave villagers by the “private loan agencies, individual moneylenders, landlords and merchants” who were/are the main sources of finance.
Where new cooperatives and technology were introduced there was “remarkable progress’ yet the state had to actively support and direct the cooperative movement. Laissez-faire, which had “imprisoned the 45-year-old cooperative movement” had led to “45 years of stunted growth” and had been confined by law to credit alone, rarely helping to buy equipment or fertilizer. They were also fragmented into 10,500 co-op societies of 70 different types.
Philip wanted Multi-Purpose Cooperative Societies (MPCS), in alliance with cultivation committees, to “institutionalize all rural credit, plan and execute” agricultural development schemes, undertake minor village irrigation and construction projects, marketing, distribution, promote industries, public utilities and full employment. This was why Philip wanted a Cooperative Development Bank (CDB) to lend to the MPCSs.
The colonial government had prevented the Bank of Ceylon from being made into a State Bank, and it ended up being “controlled by prosperous lawyers and other sharks”, doing little for cultivators. The Agricultural and Industrial Credit Corporation was worse, helping speculators to fragment valuable tea and rubber properties, while the Cooperative Federal Bank was a mess. The later People’s Bank has also failed to invest in development.
Interestingly, the Central Bank had agreed with Philip on the need for a CDB. but then at “every point there was opposition, opposition from the Finance Minister, opposition from the Leader of the House and the Minister of Lands and Land Development, opposition from all”… “safeguarding the vested interests, the capitalists, the exploiters, the imperialists”. The Minister of Finance got the Daily News to join in the attack. In January 1959, in his resignation speech, Philip pointed out that the Minister of Finance Zoysa had even submitted a memo opposing Philip’s right as Minister of Food and Agriculture to present the Bill.
Philip pointed out that the existing commercial banks did not find it profitable to invest in industry, trade or agriculture. Philip wanted to give the CDB the power to grant loans to co-ops and individuals, for loans for building rural works, for financing agricultural industries, to operate as a commercial bank and as a pawnbroker.
Under pressure from the foreign banking interests (also screaming by US Time Magazine and England’s Economist) they got the SLFP to throw out the “progressive elements” in the government.
Philip was aware that lending to co-ops was risky, which is why he wanted to combine a commercial and a development bank, one to earn money, the other to manage risks and pump money into the villages.
Philip was also opposed by the 5 import monopoly firms, with the cabinet preventing the CWE from being given the monopoly to import fertilizer: Colombo Commercial Co, Baur & Co, Shaw Wallace & Co, Moosajee, and 2 others. The government was paying enormous amounts to the coconut, rubber and rice cultivator, but the profits went to the foreign importers of fertilizer. The PM SWRD under pressure then shifted the CDB Bill from Philip to himself.
Interestingly, the maverick MP W Dahanayake “the leader of many strikes, led his last strike – the Cabinet Ministers Strike of 1959”, providing a “splendid opportunity” to drive Philip and Industries Minister William de Silva out of the cabinet. SWRD too would soon fall victim to the same forces he could have thwarted, but by dithering allowed emboldened vicious snakes: “the blackmarketeers, the vested interests, the banks, the insurance companies, and the foreigners!”
A lesson for those enjoying these heady moments of a parliamentary majority right now. Who in order to appease the capitalists will soon fall on their own sharp sword. Unless…
– adapted from Ananda Meegama’s Philip Gunawardena & the 1956 Revolution in Sal
B3. Our Ruined Agriculture – Garvin Karunaratne
“The agricultural extension (education) service was crippled by the abolition of the Paddy Lands Act around 1980. It was the cultivation committees elected under the Act that organized the cultivation of paddy, planning to use new varieties and arranging the inputs. With the cultivation committees ceasing to exist there was no organization attending to this task.
Farmers have to work together in paddy cultivation. Cultivation has to be timed to coincide with the rains. A part of our paddy acreage is rainfed while the rest is covered by irrigation schemes. Irrigation schemes too depend on the rain to fill the tanks. Farmers have to work together because water flows from field to field. In order to enable farmers to work together in ancient times the GamSabha did the coordination. Under English rule, GamSabhas ceased to exist and instead the Government Agent appointed a Vel Vidane for each village or tract. It was the Vel Vidane’s duty to hold a Kanna meeting of all farmers at the beginning of each season to decide the area to cultivate, which depended on the water in the tank in irrigation areas. The dates for clearing canals, ploughing, sowing and harvesting were all decided at this meeting. The decisions included the fines that have to be levied for noncompliance. The Vel Vidane generally happened to be an influential person in the village who could get things done. He could prosecute farmers for not adhering to dates fixed at the Kanna meeting and the Village Tribunal President would impose the fines. Generally the farmers complied. With the enactment of the Paddy Lands Act, the cultivation of paddy fell on the cultivation committee. The CC comprised cultivators and had office bearers from among the cultivators. Generally the CCs were successful in planning the cultivation to time. Some cultivation committees in Anuradhapura were so successful they were given the contract to rebuild the tanks which they did by hiring D8 or D4 tractors to move earth from the tank bed and rebuild the tank bund. The cultivation committees played a major role in the ‘green’ revolution, becoming a success.
When the Paddy Lands Act was abolished in the 1980s, there was no people’s organizations to coordinate cultivation. The farmers were deprived of an organization to freely participate and act together in cultivation. Later, by the Agrarian Services Act, Yaya Palakas were appointed but the system was very ineffective. During the days of the Vel Vidane, he held authority from the GA through the DRO (Divisional Secretary) and cultivation was orderly. When the PLA was implemented the Cultivation Committees attended to this task.
With the abolition of the PLA, the CCs ceased to exist: this organization fell on the Yaya Palakas who were very ineffective, The situation today is that Kanna Meetings are not properly held and cultivation suffers. A glance at paddy lands in many areas indicates that farmers do not adhere to any timing. This results in late cultivation, where the harvest gets caught in the incoming rains of the next season. The very disorganized cultivation is due to the lack of a vibrant people’s organization, a cultivation committee in the days of Agrarian Services in Sri Lanka or a cooperative in the case of the celebrated rural development program of the Kotwali Thana in Bangladesh, where the yield of paddy was doubled and full employment was reached, the only such achievement in the annals of development (Comilla Program of Rural Development). It is absolutely necessary to have a people’s institution where farmers can participate and decide and work together. This is now a prime necessity.
Crippling the Agrarian Services Dept – The Agrarian Services Department was also crippled and sections abolished. The agrarian services centers play an insignificant role today.
What was important with the Cultivation Committee was it provided full participation to farmers. In Anuradhapura they met and discussed for hours about following innovative practices and cooperated. It was this type of cooperation that paved the path to boost yields and achieve self-sufficiency
The WB forbade Agricultural officers to use institutions in extension – In the 1980s, the World Bank came up with the Training and Visit System of agricultural extension, which forbade agricultural extension officers from using any people’s organizations like cultivation committees and cooperatives in extension (educating farmers). The officers were detailed to visit farmers direct. A single agricultural instructor has to cater to 3,000-13,000 farmers and could never contact all farmers directly. In order to make countries adopt this T&V system, the World Bank came with grants, supporting countries with funds, and countries gladly submitted. It is my contention that this move of the World Bank was an attempt to ruin the extension systems that countries had developed. It was essentially a method of sabotage, like the Structural Adjustment Program that was forced on countries after the late 1970s by the International Monetary Fund. There the aim was to make countries indebted. (for more details: Karunaratne: How the IMF Sabotaged Third World Development, 2017)
Promoting Agricultural Overseers to Grama Niladhari – President Premadasa around 1992 promoted some 2,400 Agricultural Overseers (Krushikarma Vyapti Sevaka) to the rank of Grama Niladhari, and no trained officers have taken their place even today. It was after a few years that Niyamakas were appointed to that position. These Niyamakas were never trained in agriculture. Till today the Agricultural Instructors at the Divisional level have to attend to any number of farmers, 3000-13,000, and this is an impossible task. In extension it’s an accepted fact that people’s organizations, where farmers can meet and be addressed by officers, where they can discuss and decide what to do – using new varieties, fertilizer and arranging loans etc are essential. The agricultural extension system was crippled. It is sad that the authorities are silent about this. Instead we find Samurdhi officers and such being appointed to attend to various tasks at the village level.
Thus today the agricultural extension system exists only in name. The system ceases at the divisional level and the extension centers, manned by Niyamakas who know no agriculture, are actually ignored by the farmers.”
–full text: lankaweb.com/news/items/2020/07/04/our-failing-agriculture/
B4. Uneven Work Demand in Agriculture, Failure to Mechanize & Extending Work Hours
Below ee reproduces some of SBD de Silva’s ideas on why workers are forced to work over 12 hours a day and the failure to mechanize, particularly from his The Political Economy of Underdevelopment, as most recently reiterated in D Pathirana and C Aluthge’s A History of Underdevelopment & the Political Economy of Inflation in SL.
The commercial elite in Sri Lanka controls production forces in the economy in 2 distinct ways. Firstly, by exploiting labor minus the 2 connected processes strictly unique to the capitalist mode of production.
1) There is no continuous extension of the division of. A division of labor breaks up previously integrated work into separate processes and independent branches of industry, enabling diversification and specialization of machine capital.
2) It does not increase the use of machine capital that shifts capital composition, ie, increasing the ratio of constant capital skills (using plant, machinery, raw material), further deepening the division of labor.
Marx defined these 2 interrelated processes as capital accumulation. Accumulation of capital leading to capitalist development renders the variable (labor) constituent of capital ‘always smaller and smaller as compared with the constant’.
Surplus generation and appropriation in Sri Lanka is devoid of capital accumulation and therefore does not contain within it the capitalist mode of production. The production of absolute surplus value (by increasing work hours) dominates the relationship between labor and capital in the production process. It intrinsically restricts the scope for transformation by setting narrow limits to the development of the capitalist mode of production.
The production of relative surplus value (machinery) ‘revolutionizes technical processes of labor and the composition of society’ (Marx). The production of relative surplus value presupposes the capitalist mode of production as opposed to the absolute surplus. The generation of relative surplus value dominates the mode of production in imperialist economies as opposed to predominance of absolute surplus value in underdeveloped countries.
The self-expansionary character of capital underscored by Marx is hence absent here. The length of the working day is invariably greater in underdeveloped regions where profit appropriation is dominated by absolute-surplus-value generation. This we witness the over-12 hour shifts workers are subjected to in free trade zones in SL and elsewhere, dominated by garments, electronics assembly firms, hand in hand with such service sector ventures as supermarkets, retail outlets, bakeries, tourism, transport services, etc, which together account for the largest share of non-agricultural employment specifically in SL.
Domination of absolute surplus value in profits appropriation combined with the inelastic supply of labor in Sri Lanka, causes the business elite to extend the working day beyond that of economies with higher relative surplus-value generation and an elastic labor supply. Dearth in variable capital is recompensed by ‘a proportionate extension of the working day’.
Therefore labor supply becomes relatively independent from the supply of labor, although subjected to limits. It emphasizes pre-capitalist production relations, which the merchant-manufacturer cum rentier class of Sri Lanka reproduces through its profits appropriation processes, solidifying the underdeveloped character of the society in its totality.
‘Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was… the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones’ (Marx & Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party)
In a similar vein reflecting the prior need for an appropriate class structure for capitalist development to assert itselfm Gramsci remarks, ‘The disappearance of the semi-feudal type of rentier is… one of the major conditions of an industrial revolution (and, in part, the revolution itself) and not a consequence’.
In this light the productive sector of the economy, dominated by garments, assembly-type industries, foreign outbound tourism, agriculture, fisheries, etc, all dependent on imported inputs, is carried out mainly on ‘formally subsumed’ methods of capital formation and employs less plant and machinery per worker and does not encapsulate the ‘internal pattern of labor use necessary to increase the division of labor and share of plant and machinery in total capital composition’. This in turn stifles the concomitant growth of real wages and lowering of production costs. Hence, competition and higher rate of profits in modern industry [let?] alone surplus value do not ‘extend [transformative impulses] to the mode of production’…
The use of both family labor and wage labor, uneven mechanization of different cultivation processes, uneven demand for labor across seasons, etc, are phenomena common to agriculture in underdeveloped economies
De Silva underscored the tendency of the rural labor surplus in Sri Lanka to occupy non-regular employment due to unevenness in labor demand in paddy agriculture. During the English colonial period when plantations were expanding, ‘villagers found rubber tapping congenial, not so much as a work operation different from that on a tea estate, but the work schedule was more suitable. Work on a rubber estate ends around midday, allowing villagers to attend to their own crops. Thus the Sinhala were among the pioneer laborers on the rubber estates’…
Compared to developed countries, our agriculture employs less technology per worker and does not increase the division of labor or the share of technology in the total capital created. This prevents the growth of real wages and lowering of production costs. The transformative impulses provided by competition, higher rate of profits in modern industry and surplus value have no effect.
Industrial production, especially the making of machines, requires a more educated and healthier workforce. The lack of such production is usually blamed on high costs. One reason for the high costs of industrial production is blamed on high wages. Yet higher wages are needed due to the higher costs of food. Higher costs of food are then blamed on the high costs of food production.
Sri Lanka has a higher price of paddy compared to regional producers in Asia. Prof SBD de Silva’s theory of Surplus Labor in Underdeveloped Economies states that, due to the unevenness in labor demand for paddy, a large reservoir of labor remains underemployed within the sector. The irregular availability of such surplus labor cannot be easily shifted to industry unless paddy output is reduced or there is a complete reorganization of the cultivation process.
The workforce held within agricultural sector remains underemployed and unavailable to the industrial sector which requires a continuous labor supply. The paddy sector as a result does not entirely free the worker from those bounds and nor does it fully employ them; hence, straddling them between being employed and unemployed within a short span of time.
The transfer of surplus labor from agriculture to industry is discontinuous at the existing wage rate while the industrial sector requires a continuous supply of labor to remain in operation.
The demand for labor in paddy agriculture is not even across production time, and ‘production time does not overlap with labor time’. Shortages of labor arise in the agricultural sector itself, especially during harvesting and land preparation. This in turn raises the real wage rate of paddy agriculture above other sectors. Hence, in the absence of reorganization of totality of paddy production, this vital supply of surplus labor will be denied to the industrial sector of the economy.
Despite the higher rate of real wages in agriculture, the total real wage income is low due to discontinuity in agricultural employment. This phenomenon prevents agricultural real wages from influencing non-agricultural real wages.
Real wages in the services and manufacturing sector remain significantly below agricultural real wages. Non-agricultural real wages have not increased beyond agriculture to draw rural labor into industry and services. Hence, the real wage rate of agriculture has not influenced the non-agricultural real wage. Increase in nominal wages and inflation following liberalization of the economy, hence, should be considered as an effect of inflation rather than the converse.
Owing to the unavailability of rural surplus labor to be continuously deployed in industry, the workers will in turn transfer their surplus labor time into informal unproductive sector which does not require continuous supply of labor to remain in operation. Hence construction, trade, transport, tourism, 3wheel taxi services, etc, that has expanded ferociously, is characterized by a discontinuous supply of labor which returns to the rural economy during peak demand periods for rural labor.
Hence, uneven demand for labor in paddy cultivation tends to favor the expansion of unproductive employment, which in turn generates monetary incomes, while productive output remains fixed, leading to a continuous increase in the internal price level of the economy. Further, uneven demand for labor combined with considerable use of family labor in cultivation with wage labor, leads to further complications in determining the supply price of paddy in the economy.
Firstly, concentration of land holdings and an increase in mechanization of paddy cultivation raises the rice supply price rather than reducing it as commonly assumed. This is due to the interaction of land concentration and mechanization with the composition and pattern of employment in the paddy sector and also by the shift in the surplus labor released from the paddy economy to the unproductive sector.
Also, due to the degree of usage of family labor, an increase in agricultural real wage rate reduces the supply price of paddy and vice versa, until the use of family labor in cultivation reaches zero.
Thus, an increase in paddy output in the economy invariably increases its supply price. This is because when mechanization and the use of wage-labor increase to expand paddy output, the share of the cash costs of cultivation increase, while the non-cash component of production falls.
These 3 complications – the first 2 cause the last – stem from the structural phenomenon that characterize the nature of the use of labor in the paddy economy of the North Central Province.
The increased concentration of land holdings and mechanization of paddy cultivation midst use of family labor increases the supply price of paddy and therefore the price level and proceed towards explaining other phenomena.
Furthermore, the growing concentration of machine ownership coupled with the overall oligopsony structure of the paddy economy significantly increases the supply price of paddy and in turn the internal price level of the economy. This is to say, ‘The moral for policy makers [should be] not to rely on “trickle down” to benefit the traditional sector, but to attack the problems of that sector directly.’
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.
• Whither the August Mandate: Why no dividends to the Nationalist Majority
• Foreign relations: Is ‘neutrality’ compatible with ‘India first?’ – Kurukulasuriya
• Statement of the National Joint Committee on the Proposed 20th Amendment and the Urgent Need to Repeal the 13th and 16th Amendments – National Joint Committee
• Indian Ocean diplomacy: The amalgamation of foreign policies of India, SL and the Maldives
‘the shared involvement in responsibilities between various agencies in both in the six Indian Ocean Island nations and India is important. This, in turn, will create the essential preconditions for India to secure a strong influence on the island nation.’
• 20 A: Govt promises to look into issues raised by nationalist groups
• It is not going to be easy – P.K.Balachandran
‘Sri Lanka is well and truly in the vortex of Indian Ocean geo-politics, and the three new envoys to Beijing, New Delhi and Washington -Dr. Palitha Kohona, Milinda Moragoda and Ravinatha Aryasinha, will have their work cut out for them in their new stations’
• Foreign relations in the context of geopolitics
“A policy of “India First” would mean that India would not have any security concerns with Sri Lanka if Sri Lanka becomes part of Quad by signing the three Agreements presented by the US, notwithstanding the sustained opposition expressed by the Sri Lankan public. For Sri Lanka to be in a position where its interests and that of its public are determined by any other State or States, is unacceptable. Therefore, ‘India First’ must be viewed with apprehension.”
• How USAID gained a foothold in Parliament
‘USAID not only sponsored trips for MPs to the US but also was engaged in a media development programme in Parliament’
• MCC Privatizing Lanka – Landless State, evicting role of Politicians & creating Tamil Eelam
• MCC Board of Directors to decide on $480 million grant to Sri Lanka soon
• Govt. not begun dialogue on MCC: Minister
• Sajith says he objected to MCC in UNP Cabinet and he is still opposed to it
• With decision pending on MCC Compact, Ravinatha named Lanka’s US envoy
• US Defence Secretaries rarely call Colombo, a job left to its State Department
• US Ambassador meets Justice Minister to discuss future plans for judiciary in Sri Lanka
• SL can speed up economic recovery by bolstering its democratic institutions: US Ambassador
‘Major U.S. firms such as Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Virtusa, Dell, and others are here and looking to develop and invest in the IT sector…’
• EU meets Foreign minister to advance EU-SL bilateral engagement
‘They briefed the Foreign Minister on the EU assisted ongoing projects in agriculture, vocational training, food safety, among others’
• US-Funded National Peace Council tells Gota not to proceed with 20A
• Officialdom, military top brass and diplomats conferring on undersea cables
• Mayadunne committee submits report on JCT cranes to President
• Erasing the Eelam Victory pt 17 c 5a & 5b
• The Demarcation of Provinces in Ceylon under British Rule
• Three inscriptions discovered in Delft Island
• ITAK General Secretary resigns
• TNA to ask for Modi’s intervention to prevent ‘abolition of 13A’
• Now, Wiggy seeks India’s support for his ‘struggle’
• “If the Tamils of Sri Lanka do not the right to self-determination they will become Sinhalese within 15 to 20 years,” says Wigneswaran.
• TNA leader alleges Presidential EP Archaeology member threatened Kuchchaveli farmers
• Wigneswaran’s folly – P.K.Balachandran
‘Provocative statements by the former Northern Province Chief Minister will only serve to harden the majority community stand on 13th Amendment’
• Wigneswaran’s tribal perspectives in perspective
• Fr. Emmanuel Must Be Forgiven For His Sins by Cardinal Ranjith
• The Insidious and False Dimensions of the “Traditional Homeland” Thesis
• Sri Lanka’s Brahmin Left – Goday Society
‘Intellectual and cultural elites, driven by incentives like funding or employment from ad agencies and the donor-funded sector, have co-opted the rhetoric and branding of the Left.
• Fires of communalism were fanned by anti-Sinhala-Buddhist ideologues
• Wiggy stop stoking communal tension
• Easwaran Interviews Solheim: LTTE Genuine?
• To hide embarrassment to comrade Sooka/ITJPSL, LTTE diaspora campaigns against Sri Lanka’s Defense Attache in England
• Australian High Commissioner Calls on Prime Minister Rajapaksa
‘One in ten Australians also suffer from CKD, said Ambassador Holly…They discussed…education, vocational training and dairy, as well as cooperation in counter-terrorism, and countering people smuggling and drug trafficking.’
• English & Dutch Experts arrive to join efforts to salvage burning tanker off Sri Lanka
‘New Shipping, the commercial owner of New Diamond based in Athens, Greece, has appointed SMIT Singapore, an international company based in Singapore, as its disaster relief partner.’
• Sri Lankans should condemn unilateral sanctions
‘Lest we forget, Sri Lanka too has been subject to sanctions, being the first victim of the United States’ Hickenlooper Amendment – a legal instrument designed to punish decolonizing nations for expropriating assets of private U.S. businesses.’
• Sri Lanka urges BIMSTEC Member States to embrace regional prosperity
‘the region is home to 23% of the world population…The 21st SoM was preceded by the Fourth BIMSTEC Permanent Working Committee (BPWC) chaired by Additional Secretary Economic Affairs, Ambassador P. M. Amza of the Foreign Ministry…The Sri Lanka delegation comprised Actg. Director General of Economic Affairs (Multilateral) Anzul Jhan, Deputy Legal Adviser Tilani Silva, and Executive Assistant Kalani Dharmasena of the Foreign Ministry.’
• High Post Committee of Parliament calls for public representations on ambassadorial nominees
• Dr. Palitha Kohona to be appointed Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to China
• Lanka yet to forward serious biz proposal to China – Dr Kohona
• Pathfinder and CPAPD of China to host webinar on COVID-19 tomorrow
• US, China intensify war of words over sanctions on port city builder
• Sanctioning South China Sea
• America’s New Cold-War: The Balance Sheet
‘The US and UK are working in collaboration. India is in the game for its own purposes which dovetails into the cold-war QUAD strategy (India, US, Japan and Australia). America is also coordinating a six-nation alliance – QUAD plus Australia and Canada. West Berlin, physically deep in East German territory, was a dagger in the heart of the wounded animal – propaganda, espionage, escape routes. The US-UK approach is to use Hong Kong in the same way….’
• China occupies 1,000 sq. km of Indian territory in Ladakh – Venkat Narayan
• India ready to handle two-front threat from China and Pakistan – Venkat Narayan
• Sino-US differences over South China Sea appear to be irreconcilable
• Sri Lanka Medical Council delists 3 Russian Universities incl. Patrice Lumumba University
• Russian Embassy expresses concern over Sri Lanka Medical Council move
• Canada is fuelling war in Yemen with arms sales, UN report says
‘Canadian shipments of military goods to Saudi Arabia hit a record high in 2019’
• (1852) Frederick Douglass, “What, To The Slave, Is The Fourth Of July”
• Is Trump a turning point in world politics?
‘Roughly a third of the American public has been consistently isolationist, reaching a high point of 41% in 2014. Contrary to conventional wisdom, however, 64% favored active involvement by the time of the 2016 election, and that number rose to a high of 70% by 2018.’
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.
• Indian poachers galore in Mannar seas; TNA raises issue
• Military occupied lands with tactical importance will never be given: Weerasekara
• Australian support for establishing SL National Defence College
• One law for all: e-Register with Bim Saviya – Australia’s Expensive Torrens Law
‘Although the public has the right to information on the Foreign Law (Australian Torrens Law masquerading as Bim Saviya) under ‘Right to Information Act 12 of 2016’, there is very little dissemination of knowledge to the public and the lawyers with regard to this law’
• 77 kilos of nitric acid used in manufacture of explosives found in Atulugama
• SLMC agreed to Zahran’s policies before the 2015 General Election: Shibly Farook
‘Farook also admitted that a key member attached to Zahran’s team, Army Mohideen, had been working under him before the 21st April, 2019 coordinated terror attacks’
• Was Zahran only a pawn?
• ‘Reconciliation took precedence over national security under yahapalana govt.’
• National security and SAARC
• Burning Panamanian tanker leaves SL authorities gutted
• US-SL discuss backlog of court cases and overcrowding of prisons
• High profile criminals at Boossa Prison launch hunger strike
• Police handicapped by interference with law and order
‘The law of compounding of minor cases at police stations that stood for over 150 years was changed to reduce it of its end effect for law and order, by reducing its acquittal to one of discharge in 1983, a change made at the instance of law professionals, not at the urgings of the community, nor at the request of the Police.’
• Sri Lanka Army developing a 2020-2025 Way Forward Strategy; Army Commander
• Sampath Bank, CBL Group and WSO2 donate PCR Lab to Colombo Army Hospital
• ‘One Country and One Law’ A Misunderstood Concept?
‘We have the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance No. 19 of 1931 (as amended) governing the administration of temples, The Hindu Cultural Fund Act No. 31 of 1985, The Church of Ceylon (Incorporation) act (No. 43 of 1998), and Muslim Mosques and Charitable Trusts or Wakfs Act (No. 51 of 1956).’
• Excise Dept. Central Lab reopens
• Bombay HC refuses bail to Finnish woman arrested for helping Sri Lankan national illegally migrate to Europe
• 2 blasphemy cases registered in Pakistan in August:
• 19 years after 9/11, global order in turmoil
‘By imposing sanctions on the senior ICC employees, the Trump administration has stooped to a new low in foreign policy making.’
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.
• Series on SBD de Silva
‘They’d ask him, “Why don’t you give interviews to the media?” He’d snicker: “We should first interview the media!”’
• Cost of living
‘Inflationary pressures caused by large fiscal deficits increases the cost of living that result in severe hardships to the lower wage earners and pensioners and leads to strikes demanding higher wages and social unrest.’
• Wijewardena claims pragmatic economics, not for any dogmatic school
• State auditors write to President about damage to their service by the 20th Amendment
• No annual reports from Insurance Corporation, Electricity Board, Sathosa, Lotteries Board and Fisheries Corporation, etc., from 2015 to 2018
• Dayan slams 1970-77 government and Mao
‘Mahinda, Chamal and Basil Rajapaksa well know that the policy of import substitution/‘self-sufficiency’ of Sirimavo Bandaranaike’s administration wrecked the popularity of the 1970-’77 coalition and swept it out of office. Why then does President Gotabaya persist in this economic policy with all the zeal of a Maoist advocating the Great Leap Forward and steel-smelting in backyard furnaces?’
• How the Federal Reserve busted Sri Lanka, Latin America and fed strongmen, anti-Americanism – Bellwether
‘In many of the countries, central banks were set up post Depression, in a philosophy peddled by Raul Prebisch, a key force behind Argentina’s central bank and so-called ‘development economics’ and Latin American Structuralism and Robert Triffin who came to head Latin America unit of the Fed.’
• UBI Without Public Services is a Neoliberal’s Paradise
‘From tech-billionaires to socialist leaders, Universal Basic Income (UBI) has caught the imagination of many across the political spectrum.’
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.
• President tells State Ministers to prepare five year plan
‘to evaluate the amount of work that can be done from year to year and prepare a Five Year plan.’
• SL’s debt crisis aggravated due to fear of taxing the super-rich says LSSP leader
• World Bank, IFC & ADB can outright own 20% of shares of Lankan banks with voting rights
‘This specific move on MFO will facilitate the recent $ 50 million investment by IFC funds in Commercial Bank via a private placement for a 15.2% stake. Maximum shareholding in several banks vary. Among major commercial banks, such as COMB and HNB the maximum shareholding previously allowed was 10%. However at HNB, a business tycoon directly owns 18%, but was restricted to 10%. At Sampath Bank, business leader Dhammika Perera-controlled Vallibel One holds 14.95% and Seylan Bank, Sri Lanka Insurance holds 15%. At DFCC Bank, HNB owns 15% stake whilst at Nations Trust Bank, John Keells Holdings Group owns nearly 30%. At Pan Asia Bank, Dhammika Perera again owns near 30%.’
• IMF assessing conditions on Sri Lanka’s request
International Monetary Fund is assessing conditions linked to Sri Lanka’s request for a Rapid Financial Instrument, available to all member countries facing an urgent balance of payments.’
• Vaccine in the form of a ‘debt standstill’ by intl. community critical, says Cabraal
• Two Appropriation Bills to House in Nov.
‘Govt. will not falter on loan repayments with over Rs. 2,800 b paid for 2020… Says Rs. 250 b in outstanding payment to be met this month ’
• Sri Lanka forex reserves rise to US$7.4bn in Aug 2020
• Sri Lanka sells less than offered bonds at auction
• Cabraal makes fighting presentation on what will be done to revive economy
• Swap arrangements to investment into the country through Treasury bills & bonds: Cabraal
‘The deposit within the country today in the banking sector as well as the non-banking sector was approximately Rs. 10 trillion. “Of the Rs. 10 trillion, if we were to attract to the stock market about Rs. 100 billion, which is just 1% of that amount, that would mean capital gains will be enjoyed by Sri Lankans and not by foreigners.’
• Eran warns of worst Budget deficit in 35 years
• Lack of transparency in governance brought by 20A will deter investment – Harsha
• CBSL annual report to be taken up in Parliament
• Central Bank Chief visits Jaffna, discusses financial inclusion and regulation
• Pressure to increase Sri Lankan fuel prices
• Cost of living will be reduced by adhering to policy decisions already made: President
‘If turmeric and other commodities are imported to control or bring prices down, the desired objective will never be achieved…“In order to earn a stable and strong income for the rural farmers who make up about 40% of the population, we need to develop confidence that they would get a high price for their produce and assure a stable market for them”…He noted that continuing this practice would remove the middlemen and their exploitation and protect both the farmer and the consumer’
• November Budget: Relief measures to be pruned down
‘The Government will be forced to prune down relief measures in the first budget to make up for a revenue loss of a staggering 1.3 trillion rupees’
• Sri Lanka’s tax policy framework to be re-engineered
‘Preparation of 2021 budget proposals is at the initial stage and budgetary discussions with relevant ministry officials are now underway. The budget 2021 taxation is aimed to support the poorest groups whose livelihoods have been severely affected by the pandemic reducing indirect taxes.
• Strict controls for Govt. institutions when preparing 2021 budgetary estimates
‘No funds for new projects for next 3 years unless they come within policy framework’
• Lagarde Plays down Concerns on Europe’s Economy
‘Lagarde played down concerns over the recent strength of the euro, sparking a rally in the common currency and stirring questions as to whether the bank will provide a fresh round of stimulus to support the region’s stuttering recovery.’
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
• President praises universal health care system for successful battle against COVID-19
‘Told 600 medical interns at a workshop titled ‘Good Intern Programme’ organized by the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA)’
• Regional health leaders call for greater investments in sector
• Sri Lanka should move towards income protection and unemployment insurance: IPS
‘More than 1.7 million temporary workers in the private sector are at risk of losing their jobs or wage cuts. But there was no income protection for people who lose jobs.’
• BOC employees’ union demands training be limited to two years
• All Ceylon Training Project Assistants Association demand re-employment
• Samurdhi Computer Assistants demand permanent jobs
• Moratuwa residents stage protest demanding drainage system
• APAC remittances to decline amid COVID-19 shock
‘Without remittances, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh would all have large current account deficits of between 7%-10% of GDP.’
• Saudi Arabia decides not to charge any fine as a relief for exiting SL migrant workers
• Over 20 SL jobseekers living in Dubai park moved to shelters
‘”Currently, there are 19,000 wishing to go back. Around 5,000 of those registered, who could not afford quarantine and air tickets, have returned.’
• CB mulls new methodology to capture work-from-home and other digital economic activities
• Franklyn Amerasinghe launches latest contribution to management literature
‘He was on a panel of trainers for the ILO Turin Centre. He is also a Founder Trustee of the Association for Dialogue and Conflict Resolution (ADCOR)’
• Number of national schools to be increased to 1000
• Controversy over awarding of doctorates Defence Secy. inquires into accusations
• University Grants Commission suspends external arts degree programmes
• Why have our Universities failed? – Garvin Karunaratne
‘Our country is deeply in debt today by blindingly following the IMF. It is sad that our dons in econ, the real people that matter on this subject are silent. Our professors of economics should rethink strategies and consider a move to commence studies on the Structural Adjustment Programme of the IMF, following which our country became indebted.’
• ‘Women and Children; the cutting edge of International Law’
• Haier: A Company Worth Studying!
“We think there is a lot to be learned from Haier. How do they run a self-managing organisation of 80,000 people? How do they transform themselves, radically, every 7 years?”
• The End of Bureaucracy
‘New realities are at last producing alternatives to bureaucracy. Perhaps the most promising model appears to be a child of the digital age. Haier, based in Qingdao, China, is currently the world’s largest appliance maker.’
• Mexico: First the Poor
‘The country’s new leftist president struggles to honor his people’s “right to stay home” by fighting poverty and expanding access to education.’
• The Role of the Black Bourgeoisie in Coopting Our Movements
• Political Openings: Class Struggle During and After the Pandemic
‘The foremost task is how to manoeuvre through the institutional morass these parties inhabit and use the openings to support the most promising workplace and community struggles; restore a degree of historical memory to the working class; and contribute, through campaigns and discussions of lessons learned, to developing the individual and collective class capacities to analyze, organize, and act.’
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.
• Yala paddy harvesting season ending
• Return of the Rural
‘A new deal for the rural should include appropriate supports for small producers. Credit needs, access to land and water, supply of inputs, agricultural machinery, storage facilities, value-adding small industries and avenues of marketing with fair prices should be essential elements of a agricultural transformation programme determined by the rural communities themselves’
• President instructs to rehabilitate 5,000 tanks immediately
• President’s claim that “rural” farmers constitute 40% of the population is factually wrong
• Our Failing Agriculture
• How our excellent agricultural extension system of the Sixties was sacrificed.
• World Bank supports Sri Lanka with US$56mn to help agriculture!
“WB aims to protect the most vulnerable in agriculture sector and ensure food security”
• People living in state lands directed to obtain clear titles
• Sri Lanka’s Crysbro enters seed paddy production
‘Crysbro said it is also cultivating rice and maize benefiting more than 10,000 farming families in the Mahiyanganaya, Moneragala and Anuradhapura districts.
• Kidneys that whisper death
• Plight of rubber cultivators
• Current Trends in the Coconut Industry
“It’s an old and common saying: The coconut tree affords meat, drinks and cloth, true. I’ll also like to add – toddy, wine, vinegar, oil, milk and honey … all eatables, besides it affords other necessaries as mats, brooms, bottles, dishes and ropes” – so wrote Robert Knox.. out of the daily requirement of the nutrients needed by the Sri Lankans 15% calories, 5% of protein and 70% of fat are derived from the source of coconut.’
• Sri Lanka coconut auction prices fall for second week
• Govt awards Nestlé on World Coconut Day
‘Nestlé also supports more than 9,000 local coconut farming families through its business…With almost 800 employees, we have been locally manufacturing over 90% of our products since 1984, at our state-of-the art multi-production factory in Kurunegala…Nestlé paid Rs. 2.6 billion for coconut purchases, contributing to the livelihoods of more than 6,000 farmers… collaborating with the Coconut Cultivation Board for the Nestlé Coconut Plan…’
• Loss-making plantation companies to be handed over to tea smallholders as pilot project
‘10 out of the 20 major plantation companies are inoperative.’
• Lebanese President caught in Sri Lanka tea storm
• The incendiary politics of beef
‘There is more to the proposal to ban cow slaughter than safeguarding the cow’
• Indo-Lanka ties on beef imports
‘There is a clear duality in the prime minister’s decision on a ban on cattle slaughter. The cattle are slaughtered for the purpose of beef consumption. But the new slaughter ban will support beefeaters with imports of beef from abroad…Who are the biggest losers – the local beef traders – the killers and sellers, who are largely Muslim.’
• Kamini Vitarana environmentalist, gender advocate, water warrior and friend
‘She was a staunch advocate of enhancing women’s access to water and the need to integrate women in to decision making in the water sector, especially at community level.’
• Oil Palm Elephant and the Blind Men
• Oil palm ignored as a partner for economic development
• Grant permission to import eggs for Bakery Owners’: ACBOA
• Lankan name smarts as pepper traders cheat importers
‘Our main buyer, India, which takes 70% of exported black pepper, has charged that Sri Lanka has failed to maintain the quality of its produce and that inferior pepper is being sent there.’ – sundaytimes.lk/200906/news/lankan-name-smarts-as-pepper-traders-cheat-importers-415479.html
• Govt. imposes ban on turmeric imports to safeguard local farmers: Johnston
• Turmeric importers await green-light for release of consignments from Colombo Port
‘Over 200,000 kilos (203.28 MT) of dried turmeric consignments had been imported from Chennai and Tuticorin in India in April this year, but importers are unable to clear the stocks…’
• In northern seas, Indian fishermen encroach, take away fish
‘Government spends around US$500 million on importing fish, dried fish, Maldive fish & canned fish’
• Sri Lanka President says to permit gem mining in plantation company land
• Sri Lanka probes diatom algal blooms in the Indian Ocean
• Milco income in last quarter exceeds Rs. 1 bn – Chairman
• We cannot meet the fresh milk demand due to shortage of milk – Harry Jayawardena
‘only 40% of the country’s demand is met by fresh milk, with the remaining demand addressed by powdered milk imports.’
• SL’s Surplus Milk powder to China, butter to Japan: Pelwattte
• 200 acres of residual forest destroyed in Kuratiyamohotta, Aruwakkalu
• Minister’s brother connected to wetlands destruction – probe
• Rape of Sinharaja continues as demarcated buffer zone not acquired
• Monetizing role of seabirds’ ecological services
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.
• Govt. to restart oil and gas exploration
‘In 2016, a joint study agreement (JSA) was signed with the French energy major Total SA, the third-largest oil importer in Europe, to explore two blocks off the country’s east coast and it was also decided to award an exploration block to Bona Vista Energy, a Singapore based firm. Earlier, Cairn Energy, which struck gas in North Western Sri Lanka in the deep sea however did not develop the field.’
• CEB has staff of 23,000 with over 1,400 professionals….
• Recent earth tremors around Victoria dam – a scientific explanation
• An engineer’s view… Solar energy – Best source of Domestic Energy
• 2 Thai companies to supply empty cylinders worth $ 3.76mn to Litro Gas: contradictory news
• Lasith Wimalasena appointed CEO of WindForce Ltd.
‘The company owns, develops and operates over 200MW of wind, solar and hydro power plants in Sri Lanka and overseas.’
• Baring Private Equity Asia affiliated funds to acquire Virtusa in US $ 2bn deal
‘Virtusa Corporation employs over 3,000 software engineers in Sri Lanka…The Orogen Group (Orogen), which holds 108,000 shares of Virtusa Convertible Preferred Stock and whose CEO is Vikram Pandit, an independent member of the Board, has entered into a voting agreement…
J.P. Morgan Securities and Citi acted as financial advisors and Goodwin Procter LLP acted as legal counsel to Virtusa. BofA Securities is serving as financial advisor to BPEA and Ropes & Gray LLP is acting as legal counsel to BPEA…. Virtusa services global firms in Banking, Financial Services, Insurance, Healthcare, Communications, Media, Entertainment, Travel, Manufacturing, and Technology industries.’
– dailymirror.lk/business_247/BPEA-affiliated-funds-to-acquire-Virtusa-in-US-2bn-deal/395-195635– ft.lk/front-page/Baring-Private-Equity-Asia-to-buy-Virtusa-for-2-b/44-705923
• National Procurement Commission – Justice Minister’s comments
‘If one peruses the list of Cabinet decisions published weekly, it is noted that a significant number of decisions reported in every Cabinet meeting are in respect of approvals for awarding contracts for construction of buildings for the government including hospitals, Divisional Secretariats, schools, universities and other infrastructure facilities. Is this the function of the Cabinet of Ministers? Shouldn’t they spend their time on more important issues of national level?’
• Speaker to give MPs laptops (made by whom?)
• State Minister says poor quality goods are being imported
‘out of 7,600 types of goods normally imported to Sri Lanka only 1,100 are being imported after reviewing their quality.’
• Freight forwarding and logistics industry hit by credit over stretch
‘SL Logistics and Freight Forwarders’ Association (SLFFA) column interacts with freight and logistics providers with rest of the trade…SLFFA currently has over 120 leading freight forwarding and logistics companies in its membership registered with Director Merchant shipping division of SL.’
• Shipping agents warn of Colombo hub status sinking
‘The Indian Government developing deep water ports is going to be a threat to Colombo. The Port of Vizhinjam & the ambitious $1 billion project in Nicobar Islands will directly compete with Colombo.’
• SAGT celebrates 21 years of maritime excellence
‘SAGT is a Board of Investment flagship company whose shareholders include – John Keells Holdings, Maersk/apm Terminals, SLPA and Evergreen Marine Corporation.’
• Norwegian Shipowners’ Assoc. evinces interest in entering into agreement with Sri Lanka
• German Industry and Commerce & Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom conference on “Sustainable Supply Chains”
• Sierra manufacturing plants based in Kenya and Fiji*
‘Sierra Cables is the most preferred brand of cables for high caliber mega construction projects in SL’
• Mitsubishi Heavy Industries recognises Singer Sri Lanka for outstanding performance
‘Singer (Sri Lanka) is at the forefront of retail segment with a portfolio of over 600 electronic items, 1200 home appliances and over 50 internationally renowned brands. With over 430 retail outlets’
• Sathmi Lanka Holdings became Authorised Dealer for GEZE Solutions
‘architectural hardware and sensor operated entrance solutions with domestic and industrial air conditioning solutions.’
• AMCHAM Sri Lanka launches events with IFS Research & Development International
• FMCG players Unilever, Nestle Lanka and Hemas call for reasonable time frame to comply with sachet ban*
‘“Plastic per say is not bad…” said Unilever Sri Lanka Marketing Director Beauty & Personal Care Nilushi Jayatileke’
• Plans to produce 50% of the country’s requirement of pharmaceuticals locally
‘Currently 85% of the country’s drug requirement is imported at an annual cost of 130 billion rupees.’
• Maliban to manufacture pharma
• HNB partners with Unimo for offers on DFSK and Z100 range of vehicles
• Sri Lanka automobile sector in trouble with import controls, regime uncertainty*
“We have no stocks to sell, we have finished selling TATA, Mercedes,”…
• Ideal First Choice opens exclusive Bosch Service Centre in Colombo 10
‘ Exclusive service and repair Bosch diesel pumps while catering to Bosch spare part needs’
• Govt. prepares to implement Rubber Master Plan
• Basil Rajapaksa visits GRI’s Advanced Specialty Tire Production Plant
• India’s CEAT ramps up ‘2-wheeler’ tyre production by 85% in 3 months
‘CEAT Kelani Holdings is considered one of the most successful India-Sri Lanka joint ventures in the manufacturing sector’
• DSI Tyres steps up local production; purchasing of local rubber
• DPL empowers 3000 small holder rubber farmers in Moneragala
• US-based Tire-maker Rovince to increase investment in Sri Lanka
• Gem & jewellery industry welcomes removal of import duty on gold imports, income tax on profits
• Construction of new buildings for Govt. institutions halted for two years
• Govt. mulls import tax revisions on cloth imports
“…Minister proposes using locally-produced linen in hotels…Thread importers, local thread and apparel manufacturers, and brand associations…’
• Brush manufacturer BPPL exits Indonesian market
‘BPPL Holdings has diversified its production into brushes and filament extrusion, supported by the commissioning of a synthetic yarn spinning facility and expansion of the synthetic filament production facility.’
• India’s HCL Technologies inaugurates its first Global Development Centre in Colombo
• IBM outlines Cloud and AI led digital transformation strategy for Sri Lanka
• Sri Lanka, England duo looks to commercialize honey coated banana-fibre mask concept
• Vitol set to supply Bangladesh’s first spot LNG
• US$ 2.1 bn Asiana Airlines takeover collapses
‘… for a South Korean property developer to take over loss making Asiana Airlines collapsed yesterday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with state-owned banks mounting a bailout to try to save 9,000 jobs.’
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.
• New Entrepreneurship Bank to help SMEs and start-ups – CBSL
• Sri Lanka NPLs rise to 5.3-pct of loans in 2020 June
‘Non-performing loans at Sri Lanka’s commercial banks grew to 5.3% of total loans by June 2020, from 4.9% in March, while at specialized banks NPLs rose to 7.1% from 6.6%’
• Anura Kumara wants Central Bank actions between 2008 and 2015 probed
‘State Minister Ajith Nivard Cabraal gave Perpetual Treasuries the license to act as a primary buyer’
• JVP: Has govt. done anything to have Mahendran brought here?
• Cabraal sets record straight on debt burden left behind by Yahapalana regime and JVP claims
• Sri Lanka to cap forex risk to draw investors into rupee bonds: Minister Cabraal
‘“Sri Lanka will be able to reduce its dependence on ISBs when we attract funds into rupee bond markets.”’
• General public have a negative perception of NBFI
• Finance company earnings plunge into negative territory
• Asia Capital to undergo restructuring to bring value to Malaysian, Japanese investors
• Sisil buys JKH?
‘Sisil Investments Ltd, owned by a Singapore party had bought bulk of the JKH shares in addition to Don & Don Ltd., owners of which are said to be linked to LOLC controlling shareholders.’
• Fitch Affirms Senkadagala Finance at ‘BBB+(lka)’; Outlook Stable
‘from Senka’s established franchise in the domestic vehicle-financing sector and well-matched maturity gaps.’
• First QR enabled payment facility for microfinance loans
‘VisionFund Lanka, Mobile Money, Dialog Axiata PLC…’
• PayHere processed Rs.1bn online payments for local businesses
‘PayHere, founder/ CEO Dhanika Perera…’
• “Legacy infrastructure impeding banks’ digital transformation”
• Strategic investments required for anti-money laundering compliance programs for banking
• Reassessment of systems preventing money laundering post COVID essential: Deloitte
• Government encourages foreign interest on securities market
• Stockbrokers told to proactively engage local investors before going after foreigners
• State institutions ups trading activity
• SL investors who acquire shares now would make substantial capital gains very soon –Cabraal
• People’s Bank June hampered by massive relief afforded to pandemic-affected clients
• SL recorded highest cryptocurrency mining encounters: Microsoft Security
• LB Finance joins Lanka QR network
• Sri Lanka rupee opens firmer, bond yields flat (Sep 07)
• Sri Lanka rupee opens stronger, bond yields ease (Sep 09)
• Sri Lanka Treasuries yields flat (Sep 09)
• Sri Lanka rupee ends firm, guilt yields steady
• Sri Lanka stocks close higher on Distilleries
• Stock markets mixed as traders brush off latest Wall Street retreat
• Sri Lanka welcomes and protects FDIs: State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya
‘The Colombo Port City is the biggest ever foreign direct investment project in Sri Lankan history, which will attract $ 13 billion further investment, create 83,000 jobs’
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’
• RIL Property sets eyes on co-working space business
‘RIL Property currently owns two commercial office complexes, Parkland and Parkland 1…It reported somewhat subdued top line and bottom line performances, due to the net losses from its 100% subsidiary FoodBuzz Private Limited, the operator of the BreadTalk franchise and its 51% subsidiary United Motors Lanka PLC.
• Fraudulent land sales
• Supreme Court decides in favour of Indian real estate giant in Altair dispute
• Boom in M&A, outright sales in biz
‘Sri Lankan firms are seeing many mergers and acquisitions (M&A), in part and outright sales across many industries.’
• Upsized Euro 4.9 m grant from EU to revive tourism industry
• Chinese investment will transform Sri Lanka’s landscape: Minister of Regional Cooperation
• Port City not only for Chinese investments – State Minister Tharaka Balasuriya
• Sri Lanka-China Business Council (SLCHBC) of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
‘Aruna Perera, Director, Cargoserv Shipping elected President, Chaminda Perera, Associated Motorways elected Senior Vice President, Ruwan Senaviratne, Stretchline elected Vice President, Haroun Cader, Sinwa Holdings elected Treasurer, Thulitha Mendis, Singer (Sri Lanka) as Past President….Abans, Cosco Lanka, David Pieris Motor Co., Hayleys Agriculture Holdings, Acorn Aviation, John Keells Holdings, Prima Ceylon, Spillburg Holdings, Sunshine Tea, and Zam Gems Private Ltd elected to Executive Committee’
• Chinese diplomat meets with Sri Lankan sports minister
• Gestetner Ceylon appoints Hamza as Group CEO/Director
Hamza’s career spanned 30 years with Nestlé, was CEO/Director at Atlas Axillia Co., leader in school and office stationery products, and was Chairman of the Sri Lanka Handicrafts Board (LAKSALA).’
• Richard Pieris Finance and Arpico Insurance join forces to serve customers
• Allianz and London/Singapore BIMA partner to take health insurance to more Sri Lankans
• Canada’s Fairfirst Insurance – investing in technology to make the customer journey better
• Flemington completes 5 years in condominium development industry in SL
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.
• What is the Left’s defense of the 19th Amendment?
‘The Left has always been in the business of institution building. But the difference between the Old Left and New Left’s approach to “independence” and “depoliticization” is stark.’
• Draft 20A: The Urgent and not so Urgent – Chandraprema
‘There is the danger that the yahapalanites on the CC will stuff the so called independent commissions full of yahapalanites as they did in 2015 and 2018, thus subverting the people’s mandate of 2019 and 2020.’
• 20A: SLPP rejects criticism, plans to secure its passage next month
• SLPP urged to review, amend 20 A
‘Federation of National Organizations (FNO) has requested President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to review the proposed 20th Amendment to the Constitution….’
• 19A no reason to remain in Constitution, 20A is a welcome alternative. 13 A yet to be removed.
• Hot Dip Galvanizing of Executive Presidency through 20a to Prevent Rusting & Corrosion
• Dual Citizens in parliament!
‘A dual citizen who has earned his place and qualified to live in another country for at least four years has lived in the “real” world. They have understood what it is like to be a second-class citizen.’
• Consitutions & backlash
‘Every major constitutional change to the Soulbury Constitution has produced an equal and opposite reaction. The 1972 change begot its 1978 rejoinder. Similarly, the 18th Amendment scuppered the 17th Amendment, 18A was undone by 19A, and now the 20th Amendment (which in a different form was used by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the JVP and the TNA to fool everybody) is set to take out 19A. No one knows when and how the currently embryonic SLPP 20A will get its nemesis. But it will come.’
• Playing Football With Our Constitution
‘, JRJ created the Provincial Councils, District Development Councils, Governors etc. and all for what? Just to manage a 25,000 sq. mile island? What an administrative mess he created’
• Times Hates 20A
‘The 20th Amendment Bill does not merely reduce the Prime Minister to a peon and the Parliament to a cipher. Rather, it makes the entire edifice of Parliament irrelevant.’
• 20th Amendment Presents Special Challenge in a Plural Society: US-funded NPC
• SJB MP condemns those who back 20A, having voted for 19A
• Proposed New 20th Amendment will take Sri Lanka back to the Stone Age – JVP
• JVP vows to go all out to torpedo 20 A
• 20A requires approval at referendum – Jayampathy Wickramaratne
• Accountability compromised in 20A: Transparency International SL
• Gnanasara Thera points finger at govt.
• Elina wanted Premadasa to succeed JRJ
• Back to Senanayakism and save the Party
‘The wealthy Attygalle sisters of Madapatha married DS Senanayake’s brother, Sir John Kotalawale’s father and JR Jayewardene’s uncle…Senanayake opposed its aim of achieving full freedom from the English Empire, preferring Dominion status; he disagreed with the proposals of Congress favouring Swabhasha instead of English; and opening doors of CNC for Communist members’
• Are “walk’n’talk” meetings the way forward? Lankan Youth Minister Namal Rajapaksa sets an example
• US-funded Advocata Institute discusses case for women’s representation in Govt.
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.
• 25% of govt’s advertising budget for State media institutions
• Govt. bodies told to advertise in State media to cover losses
• The Making of Modern Ceylon – S A Meegama
‘One would be grateful to Dr. Meegama for pointing the way to the making of a People’s History of ‘Modern’ Ceylon of the quality and orientation of Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States.’
• Two books written by the Defense Secretary are released under the patronage of the President
• Review – Colonialism in Sri Lanka; Plantation Economy 1833 – 1867 – Dr. Asoka Bandarage
• Who is the Sun king, Ravana or Prabhakaran? Mythmaking is a past time of both sides – Tamils as well as Sinhala
• Chera, Chola, Pandya: Archaeological Evidence to Identify Tamil Kingdoms or Homelands.
• A scientist investigates the ancient Indian palm leaf horoscopes (Ola, Naadi vakyam)
• Media Monopoly
• The Art of Selective Transparency
‘Facebook has always remained secretive about the numbers employed to moderate content’
• Washington firm ran fake Facebook accounts in Venezuela, Bolivia and Mexico