ee archive: eesrilanka.wordpress.com
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
Brandix & the Vulture Sandeshaya
e-Con e-News 04-10 October 2020
US Secretary of State & former CIA director, Mike Pompeo will land here on October 28, the US embassy informs Tamil media Thinnakural. He is coming to pressure Sri Lanka to fall in line with the US Quad clique, which just met in Tokyo. Pompeo aims to uplift the hearts of Colombots, downcast by the recent ‘high-level’ Chinese visit. Pompeo is expected to clarify if Sri Lanka is to be added to his President Trump’s list of “shithole countries” if we do not fall in lockstep.
Meanwhile health authorities are on high alert: Prior to Pompeo’s visit and after, US agents will be crawling across the country, refusing to conform to health regulations as a recent US official just did. Also, as advised by the Indian embassy, Pompeo may decline a welcoming guard of honor.
• Every US President has to do “what he is told to do by the CIA, the Pentagon and major oil companies,” Syrian President Assad told Venezuela’s Telesur TV this week. US foreign policy, aimed at imposing sole-superpower status, does not change with Presidents. “Trump tried to change the nature of US policies, but failed.” Critics point out that Trump has mass-murdered as many people as other US Presidents, including Obama. Their media has been ordered not to report such matters anymore.
• Vulturine Sandeshaya – Is it a bird? A vulture? A suicide drone in the drag of a vestal dove of peace? Birds as aerial intermediaries between earthly reality and the all-seeing heavens, with their easy transport between the hemispheres and longitudes, have long been a literary device for Sinhala poets. They can describe boundless encounters between mortals, immortals, samsara and eternal release. We have had swans and salalihini and parrots but never have we encountered vultures. Yet our Colombot importers are a creative subversive breed, and so it is that we now have the hour of the vultures, flapping furious out of a panderer’s container, slipped through a pliant customs. What links the Covid upsurge and media whiteout of Brandix & the US embassy?
• It is the fate of nations that refuse to complete economic and national unification, to have to submit to sermons and harangues, that deepen enslavement. So it is with Sri Lanka: One day it is the IMF. Next day it is the US Embassy. Then the UN. Day after that, Modi. Then Moody’s. Then more media muddling, And again more NGO muck. Again, the World Bank. Then the EU. Then for all our 330 million gods and goddesses sake: the goddamned English. Airbrushing blood fresh like garish lipstick on their bloody lips, dripping like nail polish off their talons, the English who have failed to return our share of the Bank of England, speak hubris on behalf of (a rotten-to) the Core Group. Now comes His Corpulency, funny boy Pompeo, who grew phat off state-contracts for the war/oil industry. He could advise us on setting up precision machine industry. His exporters will of course never agree.
• How the World Bank Lies – This week’s WB report proclaims extreme poverty in the world is rising for the first time since 1998, shedding tears for ‘informal workers’. All media repeats their ‘news’ without critical comment. But WB/IMF policies have for long decades exacerbated impoverishment, helping to destroy workers’ movements, and promote ‘precarious’ work, pushing privatization, with its media coroners declaring socialism dead.
No mention is made that it is thanks to ‘communist’ China’s non-WB/IMF programs almost eliminating poverty, that had made these worldwide statistics appear more positive.
• Europe and their white-settler satellites, ignoring their own warmongering existence, eviscerate economic rights and proclaim ‘human rights’. As they let their workers die in the 1,000s, public health and workers’ rights are not a human right to them. And now they appear ready to ignite war in Asia, expecting to have ample troops ready to do their bidding.
• How Lanka’s Cultivators are Robbed – This ee looks at how Sri Lanka inherited the most impoverished peasantry from English colonialism. How merchants and moneylenders have enriched themselves by strangling rural life and the country through debt bondage. Their power derived from encroachment of English coffee plantations on chena lands, the destruction of irrigation, the loss of cattle, the paddy tax, and the lack of investment in rural agriculture.
This ee also challenges the University of Colombo’s eminent economists and media pundits who insist China’s ‘miracle’ began in 1980 – When what happened in China 1949-79 dwarfs the construction of the Pyramids or the Great Wall. We reproduce these essays not to insist that Sri Lanka must follow anybody else’s path, but to show other worlds are indeed possible.
• October Surprises, Covid, Quad, & Budget – Critics of the government here are having a ball. They blame the government for letting their guard down, because no elections are in imminent sight, leaving the people vulnerable, even as these critics seek to disable a strong state response to hold our heads up.
Conspiracy theorists have had to work overtime this week for no pay. For them it’s no coincidence that Covid looms larger this week: just as Sri Lanka was about to present a budget. Just as a high-level delegation from China was about to land. Just as the US held its first face-to-face meeting of the ‘Quad’ against China, in Tokyo. Just as another ‘October Surprise’ looms to divert whites by setting the world on fire.
• Brandix My Media Darling – Yet here is Brandix, “the largest employer in Sri Lanka”, with 99,000 workers around the world, with their media marketing power so great, all we hear are good things:
“Brandix wins top award for HR Excellence in South Asia”
“Brandix Head of CSR lauded for leading efforts”
“Brandix Apparel Ltd leading the charge in producing valuable PPE”
“Standard Chartered Bank finances apparel manufacturer Brandix for PPE production”
“Brandix, world’s first manufacturing facility to achieve ‘Net Zero Carbon‘ status”
“UNDP & Brandix partner to promote Sustainable Biomass Energy”
So where’s all the health, excellence, social responsibility now? Brandix does not wish us to breathe Carbon, but won’t allow its workers to breathe Oxygen at work and at home? 100% Oxygen Footprint anyone? Health inspectors found high incidences of respiratory diseases at work?
• Corporate Media Coverup in Progress – The WB is now rather belatedly saying the state should launch social programs, after helping destroy them! After undermining healthcare and promoting big pharma’s private hospitals? Meanwhile, investigations should be launched how Brandix and other multinationals sweep SL’s internet clean of any negative references to their Brand image. Free media anyone? How does corporate media coverup work? Perhaps the advertising mafia’s MarCom Collective, who control media, can surely tell? They met with yet another Cabinet Minister this week.
A1. Reader Comments –
• ee Needs a Taskforce • Economic Plans Abandoned • Babies & Candidates Smile • No Posters of Ministers?
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Garments Love Gamay Kello • Agricultural & Machinery Colleges • If you Wish to Set your House on Fire • How the Word Becomes Flesh
A3. Random Notes –
• Alaina, Basil & Brandix • No Air for Workers at work & at home • Who Began BioWarfare Doctrine? • China before 1980 • Fighting Paper Tigers • Debt-Free Development
B. ee Focus
B1. The Rise of the Ruling Merchant & Moneylender by Taxing Peasants, Enriching Coffee – Pathirana & Aluthge
B2. Land Reform & Industrialization: Key to China’s post-1949 Miracle – Adler
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.
• “Once again – grateful for the compilation. Just the introductory items alone, before the ‘contents’, are too much to really digest – if one thinks about them. Each demands a ‘taskforce’ to study and work out the reactions appropriate. For eg, Singapore: Is it rich because it’s a money-laundering hub?”
• “Wasn’t the 5-Year Plan abandoned in December 1974, and replaced by a crash program of investment?”
• “Babies smile and laugh, we cannot know what they will grow up to be. Same with politicians until they are elected.”
• “Why aren’t the streets covered with pictures of ministers showing what they’re doing? The last government was putting up posters everywhere to show what they were doing. Is this government afraid? The prices of essential goods are still very high. I thought this was “our government” (apey aanduva)”
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• “The apparel industry employs over 80% young females, who come from mainly rural households and carry with them family responsibility” – SL trade unionist
• “If you wish to set your house on fire, it is the duty of the economist to advise you use one match instead of 2…”
• The US Federal Government granted large extents of land which could be used to set up Agricultural and Machinery Colleges which formed the basis of many now first-rate State Colleges and Universities… The 2 leading businesses were railways and telephones which developed features unknown heretofore. In 1889, Andrew Carnegie bitterly complained ‘While the college student has been learning a little about the barbarous and petty squabbles of a far distant past… the future captain of industry is hotly engaged in the school of experience, obtaining the very knowledge required for his future triumphs’.”
• “The weapons of criticism cannot, of course, replace the criticism of weapons, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses.”
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• In May 2020, US Ambassador to SL and Maldives Alaina B Teplitz expressed her appreciation to Basil Rajapaksa and Brandix: “As the world combats this global pandemic, the long friendship between the USA and SL is helping both our countries overcome this challenge. Our collaboration has resulted in quality products that can help mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Impressively, the fabric used for the face masks was produced in SL, while the chemicals used for the antimicrobial finish were made in the US, demonstrating a synergy that benefits all. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the SL Government and Brandix to sustain the global supply of PPE.’”
So there it is: The US Ambassador praises Brandix for making PPE for the USA. The Ambassador praises her USA for giving Brandix a ‘privileged’ market. The US Ambassador this week then insults China for not being so benevolent. Yet Brandix buys their chemicals from the benevolent USA. And of course it’s not true the “fabric” is “made” in SL. The fabric is “assembled” here with imported weaving and knitting machines, fibres, dyes, etc. A major textile supplier is linked to the dominant English conglomerate in Hong Kong, yes, the old opium smuggler Jardine Matheson. And what other inputs does Brandix buy from the US, India, Japan..errr..the Quad?
So we find out Brandix workers themselves do not have protection, have no proper ventilation at work or in their homes. Brandix did not test their workers despite being told,. They certainly do not care how their workers live. They also do not make a pin, needle, thread, dye, textile or machine in Sri Lanka.
Brandix denies they brought Indian workers or management from India. They then said they brought Sri Lankans back, not stating if they were management or workers. The media has also been told to play down the culpability of company.
If the USA, Brandix, their chambers of commerce and related companies had not been busy demanding the privatization of everything, the state health system could easily look after people, instead of being burdened by their carelessness and greed for easy profits off disease, ignorance.
So once again, the eternal return of the real – despite the media doing their best to hide how SL works. We’re talking about the daily treatment of workers, the conditions they live in, and their health.
• My, my, my. How the US and EU embassies love tourism and small/medium size businesses. Tourism makes us depend on the whim and caprice of foreigners. SMEs are heavily dependent on expensive inputs from MNCs. Why doesn’t the media tell us who or what these SMEs actually are?
The carrots and the threats, from the EU and the US, dropping their pants and lifting their skirts, offering ‘privileged’ access to their markets, US and Australia promising to help with tourism, ‘small’ industries that depend on their machinery and imports of parts, then demanding the state fragment into provinces, complaining (with their USAID, Ford Foundations, Advocatas, Verites, Pathfinders) about how they will have a hard time explaining to their exporters about SL’s import controls.
• Where did Covid come from? Europeans spread small pox and disease in many parts of the world to fight their colonial wars. More recently, “The US was the first country to incorporate biological warfare into its military doctrine”
On 27 October 1950, during the US/English/Canadian invasion of Korea, “US Secretary of Defence George Marshall approved a major program in biological warfare (BW). On 21 December 1951 Acting Secretary of Defence Robert Lovett prodded the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) into action so “actual readiness be achieved in the earliest practicable time” and they’d provide “guidance in emergency war plans and supporting logistical plans for the employment of chemical and biological weapons.”
On 2 Feb 1952, the JCS ordered “a strong offensive capability without delay” and development of “all effective means of waging war without precedent as to their use”. The JCS successfully argued there was no policy on BW, and that the government should secretly follow the precedent of atomic warfare policy, allowing for the use of bioweapons subject to presidential approval.
Supported by an offensive policy that the US government still denies, the JCS placed BW in the highest strategic category with the same priority as atomic warfare, and the government poured in funds, stretching military and civilian facilities to the limit…” – mondediplo.com/1999/07/13bioa
• Capitalist economists and the media love to whiteout the real basis of China’s rise. Not only do they ignore what happened right after 1949 (see ee Focus, B2) , they totally distort what happened during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. The current leader of China was a student sent to the countryside and his account of his experiences there have become a bestseller in China. Here is what China had to do to survive the second and third decade of its independence:
“…the high cost of fighting the ‘paper tigers’ of imperialism. During those years when both superpowers were China’s enemies, China gave the Vietnamese US$20billion to fight the US invasion and they supported liberation movements elsewhere, especially in Africa (Tanzam railway, etc) to the tune of several billion. In addition, the relocation of industry to the interior of China for defence purposes took up half the national capital construction funds for the decade after 1964…”
“No estimates or published statistics exist for the billions of labor days invested in basic farmland capital construction from one end of the country to the other during the Cultural Revolution. If such calculations are ever made it is safe to say they will dwarf the Pyramids, the Great Wall or any other previous human construction in scale and social purpose many times over. The policy decision of Mao and his Central Committee put a heavy burden on the peasants, did not raise their immediate disposable income, but did create the debt-free infrastructure (irrigation works, roads, railways, mines, oil wells, hydro power etc) that have become the basis for China’s later advances and her ability to turn to consumer production. In addition it must not be forgotten that the People’s Communes supported social income policies that provided healthcare, educational and other services at a level never before reached in the countryside.” – Stephen Endicott, Socialist Development in Rural China, Reflections on the Experience of the People’s Commune, 1989.
B. Special Focus_
B1. The Rise of the Ruling Merchant & Moneylender by Taxing Peasants, Enriching Planters – Pathirana & Aluthge
ee excerpts D Pathirana and C Aluthge’s A History of Underdevelopment & the Political Economy of Inflation in SL: Chapter 3 on the impoverishment of the peasantry: “the historical conditions which assisted the rise of an exploitative merchant-cum-usurer class along with the rise of Sri Lanka’s commercial bourgeoisie…”
Peasants, deprived of their traditional chena and forest land through the expansion of coffee plantations, were simultaneously battered by the heavy blow of the paddy tax. While the appropriation of chena lands deprived peasants of their means of income, the paddy tax drained out peasant surplus into the coffers of tax farmers, and to the colonial administration, which redeployed it mainly to expand plantations. Peasants thus had to rely on usurer’s advances to prevent themselves from sinking below the level of subsistence and non-repayment of the paddy tax.
The effect of the paddy tax is analogous to that of appropriation of chena land for plantations expansion which provided peasants daily subsistence, for food requirements, as well as a cash income. Chena cultivation assisted an even flow of income and evenly absorbed their labour during the slack periods of paddy cultivation. Therefore, the form of surplus extraction from the peasantry which the English administration established hand-in-hand with the encroachment of the plantation economy in turn altered production relations in the paddy economy in a way that engendered the predominance of merchant-cum-usurer, enabling them to control and appropriate a greater surplus from peasant labour. Furthermore, the debt repayments were made in kind which put the peasant at a great disadvantage since the effective paddy price of repayment was calculated much lower than the existing market price for paddy by the usurer, exploiting the peasant by all means possible.
The cattle population declined during the English administration due to encroachment of the plantation economy on wasteland and forests, which deprived them of their feeding grounds. Prof N Shanmugaratnam notes in this connection, ‘decline in cattle population was due among others, to the slaughter of cattle by the English during the uprisings of 1818 and 1848, the loss of communal pastures due to the expansion of tea and rubber, and the spread of diseases like rinderpest’. The ensuing impoverishment of the peasantry also impelled the latter to sell their stock of cattle. ‘The growing need for money to buy consumption goods, and the cycle of debt in which the peasant families were caught led to disinvestment. Peasants had to sell their cattle and even implements to have money for pressing daily needs. The decline in cattle population in turn further constrained peasant ability to produce their means of subsistence. The subsequent indebtedness of the peasantry and inability to debt repayment in turn caused them to forfeit their lands to the merchants-cum-usurers. The process thereby accelerated the rise of sharecropping based on absentee landlordism. ‘The only security [the peasant] had to offer was his plot of land. With each cycle of cultivation there was an increasing cycle of debt on the peasant and it was only a matter of time for the shopkeeper to become the absentee landlord’
The combined cultivation of paddy and chena crops before the expansion of plantations in turn increased the paddy surplus that could be exchanged for non-agricultural goods and hence while being a subsistence crop, ‘paddy occupied the role of a cash crop’ simultaneously and its dominant qualitative characteristic varied according the quantitative change in its output and the chena crop. So long as the paddy output and the chena crop were high the former occupied the role of a cash crop, while chena cultivation was predominantly used for subsistence consumption. ‘…in the traditional order, finger millet had an equal place with rice so that all chenas were cultivated with that crop during the Maha season to fulfil subsistence needs of the household… Families also took care to keep the harvest for the rest of the year and sold any portion only after they reaped the next millet crop, ie, after a year’.
Earlier ‘rice consumption was limited to only the night meal while other starchy foods including grains and yams were cooked for morning and midday meals’. This further underscores the fact that paddy surplus was high during the precolonial period and occupied the role of a currency more than supplying subsistence needs which was primarily the task of more nutritious chena crops. ‘[In Ceylon] Paddy was the commodity which commonly filled the place of coin’ (Marx). Further, the current practice of having 3 square meals of rice has increased dependence on paddy cultivation over chena and thereby increased the intensity and incidence of water shortages given that chena crops require very much less water and also all other inputs compared to paddy cultivation. More importantly, it entrapped a large share of the rural workforce within the paddy economy, subjecting them to underemployment or disguised unemployment due to high degree of unevenness in labour demand in paddy agriculture.
Hence, the specific qualitative characteristic of the paddy crop depended largely on the prospects of chena cultivation which fulfilled their subsistence as well as nutritional needs of the peasantry to a considerable extent. For instance, chena crops such as millet, green gram and other root crops as well as vegetables provided a high nutritional diet to the peasantry, millet and green gram being high in protein, iron and other essential micro nutrients and minerals are far more nutritious than rice. Augmented by the supply of chena crops, the paddy surplus was stored and exchanged for non-agricultural goods such as cloth, salt, dry fish and other agricultural implements as the need arose directly by the peasant without the mediation of an exploitative merchant-cum-usurer.
Hence the supply of chena crops augmented the role of paddy as a cash crop under the Purana village system and simultaneously prevented exploitative class of merchant-cum-usurers from emerging within the village economy. Hence, the destruction of chena cultivation with the expansion of plantation economy since the 1830s in turn increased the household consumption of rice and thereby completely obliterated the surplus that was previously used as a currency to acquire non-agricultural goods, converting the predominant cash-crop nature of paddy to predominantly a subsistence crop. This deterioration of the role of currency occupied by paddy in the village economy increased the role of merchant-cum-usurers as the source of liquidity for the peasants, which in turn led to their heavy indebtedness and inevitable ruin.
Peasants’ livelihood therefore had to rely entirely on the paddy crop when ‘chena’ cultivation was barely possible following the encroachment of plantation economy into chena and forest lands although many peasants themselves ‘converted their chenas into coffee small holdings in order to satisfy their cash needs’. ‘Considerable extent of former chena lands were cultivated with [tea, rubber, coconut] in the mid and low country’. The conversion of chena lands to plantations most certainly reduced the consumable food output of the economy, both paddy and non-paddy output, in turn escalating the food prices. In this regard Tennent states that chena cultivation assists to sustain ‘the wages of labour, and to prevent an undue increase in the market value of the first necessaries of life’ by materially augmenting the food supply.
A significant change in the food consumption habits followed in favor of dependence on imported food that enriched Moor and Malabar traders who monopolized the trade in grain and cloth. For instance grain imports shot up to 5,303,582 bushels in 1873 from only 778 bushels of rice imported in 1816, and food imports were unknown prior to the English period. ‘Much of the external trade of the Kandyan kingdom was controlled by Moormen from the maritime provinces. They brought their produce by boat along the Kaluganga to storehouses at Tiruwanaketiya, 2.5 miles from Ratnapura, at the convergence of roads leading to Balangoda, Marapane, Matara and Galle’. Moreover, the relative nontradability of food articles such as vegetables and certain grains, especially during the period concerned, would have certainly led to an increase in the internal price level and thereby further intensified the peasants’ dependence and need for cash advancements of merchant-cum-usurers.
This in turn intensified the stranglehold of the merchant-cum-usurer over the peasants’ surplus and their ability to accumulate land through dispossession of indebted peasants. It further assisted their rise within the rural economy which was marked by the emergence of sharecropping system of cultivation at the expense of owner-cultivators. Increase in internal price levels of food which catalysed the engendering of the usurer-cum-merchant class in the face of collapsing agricultural output, among other reasons, can be posed as a strong factor fueling the 1848 riots of which the main elements were deprived peasants, workers and petty bourgeoisie. ‘The 1848 revolt emerged from the ranks of the dislocated peasantry and low-country elements thrown out of work in the depression’.
The chena crops enriched and diversified the nutritional content of peasant’s diet and simultaneously provided a regular flow of cash income on account of their shorter turnover time in contrast to paddy which yields only once or twice a year depending on water availability. This positive impact of shorter turnover periods of chena crops such as legumes, root crops and vegetables was supplemented by the practice of mix cropping which made both labour demand and the pattern of cash inflow along with the supply of subsistent food to the rural economy an even function across time and minimized underemployment of labour. The regular supply of food and monetary incomes through chena increased the paddy surplus that could be shifted outside the agrarian system and hence minimized rice shortages in the towns and moreover generated the surplus that was traded for cloth, salt and dry fish came from outside the village.
Contemporary monetary relations would translate the availability of a paddy surplus into a lowered market price for rice in the towns. The combination of paddy farming with chena cultivation provided the structure of relations necessary for a static equilibrium to emerge within both nonmonetized labour and product markets, which were dismantled by the exploitative interventions of the English administration. Therefore, combined cultivation of chena and paddy had greater positive externalities compared to its direct income effect. The prohibition of chena cultivation along with the forcible acquisition and sale of chena land and forests by the English administration for the proliferation of plantations, hence, led to a ‘liquidity crisis in the village’, altering the production relations in a way that accommodates the rise of merchant-cum-usurer class in the agrarian system.
In this light merchant-cum-usurers emerged as a source of liquidity for the peasantry within and between the harvesting periods of paddy in exchange for a greater share of the aggregate product. It created the socioeconomic space necessary for the usurer-cum-merchant class, who were mostly ‘Chettiars’ in the 20thC, to ascend in the English period. The absence of domination of merchant-cum-usurer capital over the aggregate surplus of rural economy of Jaffna throughout the English period and the direct relations which the Jaffna peasants established with the market without having to mediate through exploitative trading class empirically demonstrate this point.
Proliferation of household indebtedness in the north of Sri Lanka is a recent phenomenon that escalated following the ending of the civil war and the devastation it caused to the cohesive agrarian system that prevailed based on cash crops and a system of crop rotation. [The ancient system of rice and chena] enabled an even flow of cash to the rural economy preventing the emergence of a lacuna within the production relations to be bridged by the intervention of merchant-cum-usurer capital. The mode of organization of the agrarian economy in the south of SL, although different from what existed in Jaffna had the similar outcome of internal cohesiveness realized by the agrarian system in Jaffna. It similarly prevented the creation of an objective necessity for an exploitative class of merchant-cum-usurers to emerge.
B2. Land Reform & Industrialization: Key to China’s post-1949 Miracle – S Adler
Colombo professor Sirimal Abeyratne spoke on China’s economy at the PRC’s 71st anniversary celebration at the BMICH. He repeated an oft-repeated untruth: “The miracle began in China after 1980.” That’s all wrong. The capitalist media and economists, dedicated to promoting an innumerate illiteracy, shirk from pointing to China’s ‘Revolution’ in land reform and heavy industry, that laid the solid foundation for its later ‘miracle’, let alone its shift from making capital goods to consumer goods.
ee here paraphrases the famed Saul Adler’s The Chinese Economy. Adler was labeled a Chinese spy by the US government. He was certainly a good spy for the world, for he offered a detailed public glimpse into a vast country, at the dawn of a great experiment, a glimpse that vastly differs from the foolishness spread, then as now, about that country, by our intellectuals.
Adler first declares: China learned not just from the problems of industrialization in underdeveloped countries, but also from the USSR, the first great Communist experiment at developing a modern machine-building industrial economy. The first lesson China learned was to rely on its own historical and social background and eschew doctrinaire prescriptions. Noting Stalin’s dimensions of communist construction, which included Russian enthusiasm and US efficiency, Adler adds, “Chinese patience”.
Adler feared back then that white Europeans and North Americans would soon lose their ability to communicate with Asian and African people, through their failure to appreciate our determination to catch up with the ‘developed’ world. China was lucky to learn from Soviet industrialization attempts, as the first attempt at a communist plan, and he recounts China’s relatively peaceful step-by-step abolition of capitalism in heavy industry, transport, distribution and finance.
China began with the collectivization of agriculture, which was carried out on a voluntary basis, with large-scale mechanization, fostering expansion of farm output. Adler rejected the false equation of Asian and European peasants. He noted China’s flexibility in planning with a gradual pace of industrialization, and greater reliance on regional and local initiative, with resort to planning depending on less-rigid limits on reference targets.
Landless laborers had formed 70% of China’s village population, owning only 10% of the land, so the land problem was fundamental. He quotes Tawney who observed, a country that which permits exploitation of the mass of its citizens is digging its own grave. A government that deals boldly with the land question has little to fear from foreign encroachment or domestic disorder.
Adler in the mid-1950s saw that China was doing better than India, but Japan was yet better than both because of 1) More and better irrigation; 2) Better selection and standardization of seeds; 3) Increasing and systematic usage of pesticide; and 4) Application of artificial fertilizer, none involving mechanization, yet requiring a high degree of industrialization.
China’s resources had not been fully researched before 1949, and foreign experts tended to play down this wealth. After 1949, extensive deposits were uncovered, especially with their training of geologists. Further, China has ample iron, coal, hydroelectric power and minerals for industry.
Before 1949, modern heavy industry only existed embryonically. Shanghai produced half of factory output, as did the “Treaty” ports, coastal and Yangtze. Most factories were foreign-owned and Chinese industrialists uninfluential with the landlord, military, financial and commercial groups dominating economy and politics.
Heavy industry, pig-iron and ingot steel production, grew in the Japanese-occupied 1930s Northeast, only geared towards Japan’s needs and its war machine. Supply was negligible, and China’s needs were met by small local foundries and engineering shops. Light industry was more developed in textiles and food processing, but mainly supplied by handicraft. Modern mining and transport was “a modern fringe stitched along the hem of an ancient garment” (Tawney).
China’s economy was precapitalist, manufacture dominated by handicraft, predating Europe’s industrial revolution, an agrarian economy. China was hobbled by branches of the economy being tied to the world market before a genuine national market existed. In 1949, it did not have a unitary economy with an effective national market. The market was still regionalistic and particularistic. Large amounts of products never entered local and regional markets, let alone wider national markets, and integration between local and regional markets, and between these and the national market, was extremely uneven. Healthy balanced economic development was absent.
Political unification requires steps for economic unification. China used to be a series of loosely associated regions with varying degrees of political and economic autonomy. In 1949 China was economically integrated for the first time in its history, with an increasingly effective division of labor, and expanded exchange both within and between regions, undermining its “unicellular particularism”.
Within the Chinese village, 70% or more of production had never entered the local market, but was consumed at source by the farmer himself. A genuine market development and a massive transportation network was for the first time then animated.
China before 1949 was where warlords dominated, where foreign and provincial currencies circulated, with varying taxes, famine in one province, excess food in another. New China stopped all this in 3 years. The Chinese army was no longer preying off the people, but combating natural disasters, constructing public works, extending production, with officials and soldiers being remade into models of citizenship. A uniform currency, a nation with its own foreign policies and regulations, where industrial and agricultural output 77.5% higher in 1952 than 1949. Production of capital goods trebled, while pig-iron and crude steel production doubled.
The recovery of industry and agriculture increased consumer goods and personal consumption. The increase of consumer goods increased peasants’ real wages and real income, with a rise in rural income due to land reform, abolition of rents and reduction in rural taxes.
China, despite having to fight a horrific war to defend Korea, was ready to launch their first 5-year plan. China’s provisional constitution was called the Common Program, its Article 27 stating: “Agrarian Reform is the indispensable condition for the development of the productive forces and the industrialization of the nation.”
Land ownership had been unequal, with farmers paying over 50% in rent to landlords, who were also robbing them thru buying and selling, with huge interests on debts, shifting the burden of taxation and conscription onto the peasants. The KMT refused to enact their founder Sun Yatsen’s Land to the Tiller, which became the single most important factor for Communist success, especially under Mao’s leadership.
The Agrarian Reform Law of 1950 benefited 300 million landless and land-poor peasants and dependents. Over 115mn acres of land was redistributed. Landlords were not deprived of all their lands, but had no more no less than the rest of the peasants. Land owned by rich peasants but cultivated by themselves or by hired workers, was protected from infringement. Great attention was paid to middle peasants who owned land, animals and implements, and did most of the work themselves. While land reform was mainly driven by poor peasants and farm workers, middle peasants provided a 3rd of the leaders of Peasant Associations, the prime instruments to implement land reform.
Communist agrarian policy demanded they rely “on the poor peasants, and solidly unite with the middle peasants.” Middle peasants constituted 20% of the village population, and 50% of the liberated areas which implemented land reform. They provided 30-40% of the People’s Liberation Army, and most of the grain to feed it. Old ultra-left blunders of classifying well-to-do middle peasants with rich peasants was avoided.
The poor peasants, mainly landless or with little land for subsistence who had to sell their labor, were the chief gainers from land reform. As the backbone of the Peasant Associations, they led the attack on rural despotism. Land reform was a gigantic operation, with 100s of millions involved, who had never before been allowed or encouraged to stand up and decide their own destiny. Innumerable factors were involved: quality and location of land, tiny gradations of status, family size, work animals, implements, seeds, water supply, status of the village, ratio of social strata, etc.
Land reform required art and delicacy from the leadership, with mistakes made despite experienced cadres restraining extreme measures that had led to liquidation of kulaks as a class in Russia. China’s land reform could very well be considered the biggest revolution in history. For the first time it became possible to break down the isolation of the Chinese agricultural economy and draw peasants into an increasingly national market from which they bought producer and consumer goods they’d never dreamed of.
With the release of their productive energies, farmers were incentivized to adopt better cultivation methods , invest in production, to increase purchasing power by 25% yearly, 1951-2. With a higher standard of living, they ate better grain, doubled consumption of cotton cloth, and the remarkable growth of rural supply and marketing cooperatives facilitated rapid trade between town and country. The sales, first of producer goods – farm implements, fertilizers, pesticides; second, necessaries with only a limited rural market before, and third, manufactured consumer goods such as bikes, pens, rubber boots, flasks, books, which were traditionally luxuries or extravagances.
India’s government noted, PRC policy was activated by a “strong sense of realism, and the lack of a doctrinaire attitude”. Feudalism had disappeared and millions of peasant proprietors had replaced tenant farmers and landless workers, increasing farmers’ will to work and produce more. The state had created the objective conditions for agricultural progress. Powerful vested interests, the incubus of social inertia and superstition, were transformed, rather than by coercion and bureaucratic pressure, by persuasion, realizing latent peasant energies. The outlawing of feudal marriage practices, instituting gender equality, literacy education, public health and hygiene, were also achieved.
– Next: China’s Economic System & Industrialization & Planning
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.
• China to stand with Sri Lanka to protect country’s sovereignty at UNHRC
• US troops are deployed in 150 countries
‘Since the 1970s, China has not once gone to war; the US has not spent a day at peace.’
• US and China now in open confrontation over Sri Lanka
‘While it’s not surprising to see the US interfering in a sovereign country’s internal affairs, the general public are astonished to witness its despicable attempt to manipulate others’ diplomatic relations’
• Soft power plays in Sri Lanka: US vs China
• Covid-19 human biological weapon vs LTTE human suicide bombers
• Give Ambassador Teplitz a dictionary, please!
‘She’s the local representative of the US government, a citizen of a country that operates like a global thug but is in reduced and declining circumstances, articulating country-interest.’
• Alaina B. Teplitz: A Karen for an Ocean called Indian
‘Teplitz wishes us to be wary about China. A China where England and the US waged war to push opium (with the US Marines first set up to protect opium stolen from Turkey, enriching Boston’s Brahmin Bankers, & such families of US Presidents from Coolidge to Roosevelt, etc.)’
• Sri Lanka should engage with China in ways that protect its sovereignty – Teplitz
‘USA Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz speaks about US concerns on China’s role in Sri Lanka, the controversial MCC agreement and the state of US bilateral ties with SL’
• Teplitz and diplomatic ‘tutoring’
‘US Ambassador Alaina B Teplitz speaks as though Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans cannot think for themselves’
• Sri Lanka Must Reject MCC
‘MCC’s $480m is given over 5 years to a private bank & handled by a private company NOT by GOSL. MCC demands that Sri Lanka amends its constitution, changes Sri Lanka’s land laws and land policies. MCC demands that all of its staff and contractors are given IMMUNITY
• Harsha in P’ment exposes MR-Bush deal on MCC
• MCC will only be signed subject to SL laws: Govt. MP
• Chinese Communist Party Political Bureau Member leads delegation to SL
• China takes bilateral relations with Lanka to a higher level
‘Yang Jiechi is a member of the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party and the director of its Central Committee’s Foreign Affairs Commission, the top policy-making body.’
• Focus on Swiss role in Garnier ‘abduction’ as Furgler succeeds Mock
• Basil Rajapakse Teplitz and Brandix Collaborate to Combat Corona Virus
• Dual citizens and foreign funded locals
‘India has always had adequate protection from the phenomenon of foreign funded political activism in the form of the Foreign Contributions Regulatory Act’
• Sri Lanka’s Judiciary must be biased & safeguard Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty & Protect the Rights of Citizens
• Response to Kate Cronin-Furman on ‘No Accountability for war crimes in Sri Lanka’
• We wouldn’t have spent 30 years fighting a war if we had right leaders and intellectuals’
• Nippon Foundation books help South Eastern University realize Rising Sun
• Ex- President: Many NGOs thwart reconcilation, promote resentment
• TNA rebel receives newly created State Ministry
• Jaishankar at Quad meet: India committed to respecting territorial integrity
‘ External Minister S Jaishankar also spoke about upholding “rules-based international order.”
• PC Minister Weerasekera opposes full implementation of 13 A
“Ambedkar expressed that ‘linguistic states and political entities will become a stepping stone for creation of separate states’.
• India demands Tamils get their pound of flesh
‘Government plans to ditch 13A may flounder as Modi insists it be implemented to the letter’
• Mahinda Rajapaksa’s appropriate counter to Modi’s Thirteenth Amendment
• Are the Tamils living here Indians or Sri Lankans?
• 13th Amendment a minefield; don’t step in
• Pushing Sri Lanka towards Indian solutions
• Is India pushing Sri Lanka beyond?
• The second surge, essential 13A, India and neutrality
‘This island’s contiguous Northern and Eastern Provinces, with a fairly compact majority of Tamil speakers—an Indian language—and the Trincomalee harbour, constitute a natural buffer for India, to offset any expansion of Chinese influence in the Sinhala-majority two-thirds of this island located on India’s southern perimeter.’
• If not for Ashraff LTTE would have achieved Eelam – Zuhair
• India risks losing its military hold on Maldives
‘India has also helped to establish a constellation of coastal radars – aligned with its own grid – on all 26 Maldivian atolls to monitor approaching sea vessels and aircraft.’
• LTTE has taken murder, extremism and mayhem to the West
• Needed: A comprehensive inventory of the loot
‘Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Berkshire, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Sheffield, and Windsor all have ‘Little pieces of Ceylon’ so to speak.’
• When Sri Lanka stood with Nasser’s Egypt
‘The 50th anniversary of the death of Egyptian revolutionary Gamal Abdel Nasser is a good time to revisit his legacy, & the solidarity that existed between Egypt & SL in the face of imperialism.’
• New Caledonia votes to remain French, 53.3% to 46.%.
• Gulf Sheikhs resent subaltern role
‘The tabling of a “bipartisan” legislation in the US Congress on October 1 reiterating American commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) creates an extraordinary dimension to the geopolitics and military balance in the Middle East region in the downstream of the so-called Abraham Accords between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain, which was signed in Washington three weeks ago. ‘
• Europe And The New Sanctions On Iran
‘US new sanctions on Iran will make ANY trade with the country very difficult… n response Iran will continue its turn to the east. Russia, China and probably India will keep payment channels with Iran open or will make barter deals.’
• Russia has key role to play in Iran issue
‘It is in such a dismal backdrop that Tehran awaits the outcome of the US presidential election on November 3. Tehran is pinning hopes on a Joe Biden victory. Biden has prioritised the Iran issue as topping his foreign and security policy agenda.’
• A Tour of Transcaucasia’s troubles
‘Nagorno-Karabakh’s explosion of hostilities is much more than a Turkish-Russian clash of wills’
• Venezuelan Gov’t Wins Appeal on Gold Reserves Held in the UK
‘The English Court of Appeal overturned a ruling “unequivocally” recognizing opposition leader Guaido as the country’s legitimate leader. The Bank of England has refused to repatriate Venezuelan gold since 2018.’
• Europe marks distance from Indo-Pacific strategy
• ‘No redactions!’ Trump orders declassification of ALL Russiagate and Clinton email
• Pope Francis refused to meet Pompeo fearing…
• In backing Biden, Leftist ‘resistance’ to Trump is perpetuating illegal US invasions
• Why U.S. Elections Do Not Change Its Foreign Policies
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 Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K. Jacob visits Kotelawala Defence University
• CAS to represent US Bell Helicopters in SL and Maldives
‘Ceylon Aeronautical Services (CAS) will be representative for Bell Textron Inc. (Bell Helicopters) in Sri Lanka and Maldives, to establish a local maintenance facility to repair Bell-made helicopters…to provide total solutions for Bell helicopters – ranging from parking, hanger space, engineering solutions and operational solutions…Established in 2010, CAS is a Board of Investment Co. providing aircraft structural maintenance, support services, painting and refurbishing in Sri Lanka. CAS currently provides aircraft repair, modification, inspection and overhaul services to local and regional clients for both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircrafts, based near Koggala Air Port.’
• Rise of No 6 Helicopter Squadron of SLAF
‘How Russia’s Mi-17 proved to be the workhorse of rotary-wing of the SLAF
• Did two Indians visit the factory where 73 have been infected with coronavirus? (Video)
• National security and Defence Secretaries
• Ex-STF chief makes U-turn
• Police suddenly find no evidence to press charges against Bathiudeen’s sibling
• Easter Sunday: Cardinal raps police for release of Rishad’s brother, alleges ‘political deal’
• Why is Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith Pressing Panic Button?
• SLPP calls for probe into release of Bathiudeen’s brother
• Hands of successive governments are tied by some invisible power
• Former Army Chief Senanayake exposes failure of Sirisena, Ranil, NSC, CID, TID
‘“A lot of competition among investigation agencies and they did not cooperate with the DMI”’
• Problem of drug lords escaping justice using willing fall guys
• Govt. confident of ending nexus between politicians, Police and drug dealers
• Investigation launched into misappropriation of funds at Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute
• President asserts that ensuring national security is first and foremost responsibility
• Hath Hell No Fury Worse than Dayan Denied a Posting?
• The Unbearable Lightness of Being the Son of Mervyn
• Marine Environmental Protection Authority and Attorney General’s advice ignored; Govt. allows oil tanker to leave
• Audit unveils serious flaws in LKI administration
• State intervention is essential to preserve heritage sites – Defense Secretary
• Three arrested over the killing of Hindu priest in Jaffna
• First victims of biological warfare
‘On 27 October 1950, two weeks after the Chinese army entered the Korean war, US Secretary of Defence George Marshall, amidst growing fear of general war, approved a major programme in biological warfare.’
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.
• FT’s Wijewardena Criticizes Governor Lakshman on CBSL Independence
• CB Deputy Governors Weerasinghe and Karunaratne retire
“daughter says, father was “most recently publicly berated by an uninformed and misguided president”….Dr.Weerasinghe and Karunaratne were the two most senior officials at the Central Bank. Dr.Weerasinghe was appointed a Deputy Governor in 2011 and Karunaratne in 2018.”
• Govt. needs to balance economic support and fiscal sustainability: WB
“Sri Lanka is also highly exposed to global financial conditions, as the repayment profile of its debt requires the country to access financial markets frequently’
• Sri Lanka economy to contract by 6.7% this year: World Bank
‘Informal workers key… Few informal workers are covered by social insurance – South Asia Economic Focus Beaten or Broken? – Report
• US-funded Advocata vs. Central Bank
‘Think tank Advocata Institute last week put total outstanding Government debt at Rs. 13 trillion or 86.8% as at end 2019. In nominal terms debt rose by 8.3% in 2019. The debt comprised of Rs. 6.4 trillion of foreign owned and Rs. 6.6 trillion as domestic.’
• China after 71 years – Reductio Ad Abeyratnum
‘Sri Lanka commenced its market-oriented policy reforms in 1977 – one year before China commenced its policy reforms. At that time, China was poorer than Sri Lanka; according to…the World Bank’
• Manufactured exports vs. Agricultural exports – Sanderatne
‘Most manufactured exports have a high import content of about 65 to 70% in comparison to agricultural exports that have a high domestic value addition and low import content of about 30%’
• New Director General at Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board
• Sri Lanka’s ambassador visits Luxembourg stock exchange
• Business, labor groups urge G20 to close ‘stimulus gap’ in COVID-19 crisis
• Pope: Market capitalism has failed in pandemic, needs reform
• COVID-19 to add as many as 150 million extreme poor by 2021: World Bank
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 says he wants to prove Hambantota port is not a Chinese ‘debt trap’
• Sri Lanka President aims to bring about development of country similar to China
• Sri Lankan leaders, senior Chinese diplomat discuss closer bilateral cooperation
• Sri Lanka cabinet approves budget bill for 2021
‘Current expenditure outlined for 2021 is 2,690 billion rupees. Capital expenditure is 2,216 billion rupees. The numbers may not correspond to the standard budget format presented in parliament as the Appropriation Bill lists debt repayments and roll-overs as capital expenditure.
The presentation of the Appropriation bill, called the first reading will be in November. The formal budget speech is the second reading of the bill….’
• Year-end budget will be a stimulus package: Bandula
‘The global economic summit convened during World War II brought about the IMF and World Bank to help the nations. The world had not seen such results during the present crisis.”
• Sri Lanka not going for IMF bailout: Cabraal
• Sajith: Rating downgrade will make borrowing more expensive
• Unscrupulous traders likely to fleece the public
• Central Bank likely to maintain surplus liquidity in rupee money markets
‘Speculation was rife that bond payment could create a shortage in rupee liquidity market’
• August trade deficit narrows amid lower imports
• China ready to increase imports of Sri Lankan products; Chinese Communist Party
• SL’s remaining foreign currency debt falls under US$ 500mn this year
• Sri Lanka exports down 8-pct, imports down 18-pt in August 2020
• Monetary Board issues revised rules on derivative transactions to banks
• New rules on Special Deposit Accounts
‘to attract foreign exchange and to permit the transfer of their income to local bank accounts. ‘
• IMF urges infrastructure investment to boost post-COVID growth
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
• PHIs did not supervise Brandix Repatriation flights : PHI Union
• Brandix tragedy all about modern slavery – Anton Marcus
• Local apparel workers toil hard in pathetic conditions living with Covid
• Brandix & FTZ workers due to Covid Denial
• Opposition challenge Brandix to reveal list of names & quarantined places
• Brandix not clear foreigners had access to its factories
‘Thousands of workers have migrated here from other South Asian countries. Some businesses such as eateries, vehicle service stations and construction companies are dependent on foreign workers, most of whom are overstayers or illegal immigrants, due to a chronic labour shortage.’
• Brandix trapped workers in COVID-19 mess
‘Many workers sent home during indefinite curfew period irrespective of health guidelines’
• Free Trade Zone Manufacturers’ Association stands by Brandix
• JVP on plight of worst affected lost in macro picture
‘Unfortunate that worst affected by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country were women employed in the most exploited sector in the country’
• Tens of thousands in the Katunayake FTZ can catch Covid – Workers’ Bodies
• Garment Exporters Association says 30% of all garment industry workers in danger
• Sri Lanka raises workmen’s compensation to Rs2.0mn
• Would bus fares be increased if quarantine regulation remain in place?
‘Sri Lanka Transport Board and Private Buses incur losses by operating their service by limiting passengers to the seating capacity’
• President wants workers with recognized certificates sent for employment abroad
‘the total migrant community in Sri Lanka is 1.2 million….200,000 people go abroad for employment annually and that number has been reduced to 40,000 this year’
• Over 45,000 migrant workers desperate to return to Sri Lanka
• Repatriation flights fly into controversy
‘“The other issue is that, not only Ambassadors and High Commissioners, staff at the foreign Embassies and even foreigners who are attached to projects in Sri Lanka have been allowed to quarantine at their residence…Why is this rule not applicable to ‘brown skins’?’
• Former Minister Rajitha’s employment strategy revealed
‘Former Chairman Fisheries Harbor Corporation Upali Liyanage stated that when Rajitha Senaratne was the Minister of Fisheries, he was pressured to appoint former MP Hirunika Premachandra as the Legal Assistant of the Corporation.’
• Labour officers withdrawn abruptly: Chaos in Lanka’s foreign missions
‘One embassy reported that it had 591 active female migrant worker welfare complaints and over 1000 active male complaints. These are usually dealt with by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment officials.’
• MR says PM’s and President’s offices audited after 20A but Auditors’ Union disagrees
• Home for Elderly Destitute Women – Mallika Nivasa Samithiya
‘The Mallika Home was very much the ladies’ contribution…to that nationalist movement.’
• United Nations Development Program & Vocational Training Authority to develop future-fit skills of Sri Lankan youth
• Chartered Institute of Personnel Management celebrates 60 year journey
• Royal College’s Magnificent Group Of 49
‘32 of them became medical doctors, most of them consultants, while six entered the legal profession, two of them becoming President’s Counsel, two others becoming Judges of the Supreme Court, three entered the Ceylon Civil Service and 18 became Engineers…Dr Sri Bhavan Sri Skandarajah – Sri Bhavan in May 2013 staged a six day fast in Canada in support of the LTTE diaspora (TGTE’
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.
• South Indian fishing armadas make thrice-weekly incursions into SL territorial waters
• India lifts ban on export of dehydrated onions to Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Southeast Asia
• Government pumps Rs.28 bn into rural economy
• CWE to obtain Rs. 2 billion loan to import rice
• Leading supermarkets undercutting price controls by selling grated coconuts
• Untying the knots on nuts: Export demand and hoarding blamed for price hike
‘SL produces about about 3 million nuts a year, with the local household consumption being about 1.8 million. Of the balance 1.2 million, about a million is exported and others used locally by the industry.’
• Going batty over nuts
‘Just like the paddy sector which has two seasons – Yala and Maha – the coconut sector, which has the second largest component of labour used after paddy, also has two seasons. In this case, however, the two seasons are split between one which is productive and the second which is unproductive. Production is high during January to June while production is low during July to December and the present cycle of rising prices is a seasonal phenomenon.’
• Planters come forward to help double coconut production to 6 billion nuts per year
• Ganja: Failed industry targets Sri Lanka
‘The largest ganja traders in the world has reported a billion dollar losses this year… hurt and desperate. So are the tobacco and alcohol industries that have heavily invested in these companies.’
• Chamal Rajapaksa shoots down Bandula’s idea to export Cannabis
• Two women killed by live wire trap for Boar
• Domestic cattle invasion: Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks under threat
• Govt. says we’ll fix beef solution before rushing to ban
‘The proposal stated that due to the rise of cattle slaughter there was a lack of livestock for traditional farming with measures needed to strengthen the local dairy industry. The Government also emphasised its intention to reduce the substantial amount of foreign exchange spent on imported milk powder.’
• Adulteration of Ceylon Tea & NGO Campaign hurts industry
‘there is a campaign by non-governmental organisations against Ceylon Tea by highlighting that tea workers are being exploited on the plantations.’
• President requests China to participate in tea auction; open market for SL items
• Due to environment, govt. ditches oil palm cultivation in favour of coconut, rubber
‘9 regional plantation companies were currently engaged in cultivating oil palm––Watawala Plantations Company 3,392 hectares of oil palm, Boganwanthalawa 202 hectares, Kotagala 525 hectares, Elpitiya 1,747 hectares, Agalawatte 1,333 hectares, Malwatta Valley 18 hectares, Horana 294, Kegalle 199 and Namunukula Plantations Company 2,493 hectares. Bogawanthalawa Plantations Company had given sub contracts to Lalan Rubber (Pvt) Ltd Company to cultivate oil palm in 13 plantations amounting to 39 hectares. Altogether there were 10,579 hectares being used to cultivate oil palm, the minister said.
• Palm Oil Industry Association AGM
‘Rohan Fernando (President), Vish Govindasamy & Sajjad Mawzoon (Vice Presidents), Oshadhi Kodisinghe (Secretary), Ravi Jayatilleke (Treasurer) & Gayan Samarakone, Bhathiya Bulumulla, Lalith Obeyesekere, Thishan Karunasena, Manjula Narayana, Manoj Udugampola & Binesh Pananwala.’
• Ambassador hands over Japan-funded new bridge in iron-rich Buttala, Moneragala
• John Keells funds six-way anicut in Mullaitivu to irrigate 300 acres of paddy land
‘Initiated and funded by John Keells Foundation and implemented by World Vision…John Keells Group was represented by Mr. Suresh Rajendra, President-Property Group, Ms. Nadija Tambiah, Head of Legal, Secretarial & CSR, Ms. Carmeline Jayasuriya, Head of Operations – CSR and Mr. K. Kokilan, Head of Sales-Cluster 4, Union Assurance. Dr. Dhanan Senathirajah, National Director and Mr. Clarence Sutharasan, Director of Marketing and Engagement represented World Vision Lanka.’
• INSEE Cement on encroached and illegally cleared land in Puttalam
• World Food Programme wins Nobel Peace Prize
C7. Industry (False definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc)
ee Industry section notes the ignorance about industrialization, the buying of foreign machinery, the need to make machines that make machines, build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound.
• Sri Lanka President asks China to reduce trade deficit, invest in tech university
• Toyota to establish assembly plant in Sri Lanka?
[A dubious headline….Toyota has made no such promise… ee]
• Building Buses, Coaches and Lorries
‘It is hoped that the Government will immediately establish workshops to make buses, coaches, and lorries’
• A liberal arts education
‘It was a hard and long battle to establish science as a part of undergraduate education on both sides of the Atlantic.’
• Prime Minister advises to expand physical and human resources of Ocean University
• Scientific and educational opportunities with Germany’s Max Planck Institute
‘Representatives on the Max Planck side included Director of the Department of Archaeology Nicole Boivin, Prof. Michael Petraglia, Patrick Roberts, Noel Amano and Dovydas Jurkenas.’
• EU against SL Overprotecting Industries
• Cabinet green-lights 10 investment projects worth Rs. 1.14 b
‘Cabinet has given approval for land to be allocated to 10 companies to invest Rs. 1.14 billion in six industrial zones across the country, which is expected to generate 555 new employment opportunities…“Based on the recommendations of the regional industrial services committees land will be allocated for four projects in the Buttala Industrial Zone, two projects in the Laksha Uyana Industrial Zone and one each in the Industrial Zones of Nalanda Ellawala, Puttalam, Karandeniya and Bata-Atha,”…the allocation of plots of land on the basis of rent for 35 years was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
• Energy Minister announces steps to take back Trinco oil tank farm from Indians
‘The oil tank farm at China Bay had been acquired by Sri Lanka during Bandaranaike’s rule paying a sum of 250,000 sterling pounds to England’
• Emirates National Oil Singapore wins Sri Lanka CP Diesel deals
• Ensuring uninterrupted power through Microgrids
‘with a grant of US$1.8 million by the Asian Development Bank. This pioneering pilot project is launched by Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) together with the University of Moratuwa and Diesel Motor Engineering (DIMO) along with German Specialists – DHYBRID…DIMO in this country is well-known for its involvement in automobiles – Mercedes Benz and Tata…the first to bring diesel vehicles to this country… in the early ‘50s they put up the first diesel power generator and all the cement factories power generators were erected by DIMO. They are very strong in the medical sector and in all the big buildings there is something from DIMO, he said. Ceylon Electricity Board has been their greatest customers and even now, he said that they are doing lot of work erecting sub-station’
• Laugfs Power enters into a JV with Govt. for 10MW solar power project
• Sri Lanka expects LTL, another 300MW power plant in 3 years: Minister
‘The LTL plant was expected to be a dual fuel combined cycle plant. It will run on LNG only if a terminal to import and store the fuel is built. ‘
• COPE questions Ceylon Coal Company officials on Rs. 1.1 billion loss
• Lanka Coal Company summoned before COPE on October 6
‘COPE has also summoned National Water Supply & Drainage Board, Board of Investment, Central Environmental Authority and relevant local government bodies on October 21 to discuss the findings of the environmental report on the pollution of the Kelani river. On October 23. the Coconut Development Authority, Coconut Cultivation Authority, Coconut Cultivation Board and Coconut Research Institute will face scrutiny by COPE.’
• Minister Bandula Gunawardena Tours LAUGFS Corporation (Rubber) Plant in Horana
• Colombo Port running out of container capacity
• Prominent Sri Lankan and Omani Boat Building Companies agrees to collaborate
• DSI Tyres to increase manufacturing capacity by 60%
‘It has a 60% stake in motorcycle tyres market and a 55% hold in three-wheeler tyres market’
• Rooftop solar panels for 100,000 Samurdhi families
• Nawaloka Construction wins Rs.2.37bn Bandaranaike International Airport project
• Government settles Rs. 9.6 bn of contractors and suppliers’ outstanding bills
• Central Expressway: Govt. plans shift to Build Operate and Transfer track
‘Work on the Central Expressway project with four stages was due to begin in 2015. Work on stage one of the project from Kadwatha to Mirigama began last year with a US$ 1 billion loan from China EXIM Bank, while some segments of stage two from Mirigama to Kurunegala have been partly completed by local contractors.’
• Internet subscribers grow faster in 2Q with coronavirus shifting work online
‘both fixed and mobile broadband connections grew by 10.9 percent to 13.2 million connections from April through June from 11.9 million connections a year ago…. By the end-June 2020, there were 2.328 million fixed line telephones and 27.679 million cellular phones in use compared to 2.325 million and 31.876 million respectively by end-March 2020.’
• Yahapalanaya flooded country with plastics by removing cess
‘Between 2015 and 2019 a total of 2,102,262,948 kilos of plastics had been imported into the country at a cost of Rs 549,991,640,147 from 47 countries.’
• Sri Lanka slaps Rs300 import tax on moulded and beaded bamboo
• Temasek Foundation of Singapore & MAS hands over 1 million face masks to Sri Lanka
• Hatch partnership with Lankan Angel Network funded by Ford Foundation
• The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce forms ‘CCC Council for Startups’
‘Prajeeth Balasubramaniam, (Managing Partner -BoV Capital) representing investors was appointed as the Chairman of the Council. Mr. Heminda Jayaweera (CEO – SLINTEC), Mr. Imal Kalutotage (CEO – nCinga), Ms. Achala Samaradivakara (Co-Founder & Managing Director – Good Market) and Mr. Shalin Balasuriya (Co-founder -Spa Ceylon) represent Entrepreneurs, Ms. Randhula de Silva (CEO – Hatch/Director – Goodlife Accelerator) represents Accelerators/Incubators and Mr. Chandula Abeywickrama (Founder & Chairman – Lanka Impact-Investment Network) represents Other Eco-System Players in the inaugural committee of the Council. A Nominee of the Sri Lanka Banks Association will represent the Financers.’
• ACL Cables partners with Abans to enhance ACL Ceiling fan distribution network
• Uber wins appeal against London ban
‘The decision was criticized by the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, which represents some of London’s black-cab drivers.’
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.
• Govt to discuss with banks and leasing companies extending grace period
• ComBank receives US $ 50mn equity from World Bank’s IFC
‘The investment collectively makes the IFC, the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund LP (FIG Fund) and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund LP (EA Fund) the largest shareholder of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon and further strengthens the Bank’s shareholder composition by increasing its foreign shareholding up to 30 percent, enhancing credibility and confidence, especially among foreign investors.’
• South Korea’s largest commercial bank invests over USD 600 million in LOLC, Cambodia.
• Sri Lanka stock trading halted after 7.5-pct plunge on new Covid-19 cluster
• CSE suffers biggest one-day drop in history. ASPI drops by 462.99 points
• CSE continues bullish run
• NDB lends over Rs.16.5bn under Saubhagya loan scheme to COVID-hit biz
‘Accounts for 11% of total allocated funds for entire banking system’
• Sri Lanka and India banks among worst hit in Asia amid Coronavirus: Moody’s
• Risks rise for APAC banks, but credit profiles remain broadly intact: Moody’s
• Rise and fall of The Finance Company 1&2
‘In their own words the Governor of CBSL, the persons appointed as Directors to manage the affairs of TFC have failed miserably.’
• Since 1990, Sri Lanka has recorded highest failures in non-banks financial institutions,
• Protecting deposit holders of Banks and Financial Institutions in Sri Lanka
• Microfinance Act to regulate unregulated money lending activities
‘desperate borrowers have resorted to killing themselves as they have no means to repay loans…Villagers had to face harassment from the debt collectors and there have been allegations of physical assaults. The report highlighted that field officers decide repayment rates in most cases; they sometimes use violent tactics to collect installments of micro credit loans.’
• Talks ongoing on several mergers and acquisition deals in the finance company sector
‘Cabraal welcomes Softlogic-Abans deal saying “that’s the way to go”’
• Asia Securities argues equities to remain resilient despite new COVID-19 cluster
• Banking in turbulent times: A perspective for Sri Lankan banks
• More than 80% of adults have access to financial services
• Sri Lanka explores with European Investment Bank
‘Foreign Ministers of Sri Lanka and Luxembourg met on 31 January, 2020 in Colombo, Sri Lanka Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and Luxembourg Grace Asirwatham met with Dr. Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) on 24 September 2020. Senior EIB officials comprising Vice President Christian Kettel Thomsen, Director General/ Deputy Head of Operations Luca Lazzaroli, Head of Division Asia & Pacific, Public Sector Operations – Global Partners Department Edvardas Bumsteinas and Head of EIB Regional Representation for South Asia based in New Delhi Donal Cannon was also present’
• First Capital books billion rupee profit after tax in record breaking year
‘The Janashakthi Groups owns over 75% of First Capital. The company’s directors are Messrs. Nishan Fernando (Chairman – Independent non-executive) Dinesh Schaffter (MD) Dilshan Wirasekera (Director/CEO) Prakash Schaffter and Ramesh Schaffter (Non-independent, non-executive), Eardley Perera, Minette Perera, Chandana de Silva and Nishan de Mel (Independent non-executive directors).’
• D.P.K. Gunasekera takes up duties as BOC’s General Manager
‘He has specialized training in foreign exchange trading at both American Express Bank London and Lloyds Bank London.’ And specialized training in foreign exchange trading at both American Express Bank London and Lloyds Bank London.’
• Bank of Ceylon Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte appointed Merchant Bank Chairman
‘Directors of MBSL are: W.P.R.P.H Fonseka (Non Executive/Non Independent Director), M. P. R. Kumara (Alternate Director to W.P.R.P.H. Fonseka), D. N. L. Fernando (Non-Executive Non Independent Director), N. S. Punchihewa (Non-Executive / Independent Director) and W. N. P. Surawimala (Non-Executive / Non-Independent Director).;
• Banking sector to be content with thin profit margins”
• CB to draft company resolution framework
‘Last year, the International Monetary Fund said that out of the 46 licensed financial companies in Sri Lanka, 15 are facing liquidity issues, with six at a high level of distress with Non Performing Loans ranging from 50 to 90 per cent. The CB said 13 out of 43 have collapsed.’
• CB extends relief on liquid assets for finance companies by further six months
• CB mulls report on finance companies
“This has to be done very carefully, so as not to cause a systemic risk in the finance companies which will affect the entire financial system.”
• Sri Lanka rupee quoted steady, gilt yields unchanged (O5)
• Sri Lanka rupee steady, stocks down (O6)
• Sri Lanka rupee ends firmer, gilt yields marginally down (O8)
• Sri Lanka rupee quoted firmer, gilt yields unchanged (O8)
• Locally developed ‘Scan&Pay’ QR code saves Rs. 1.5 billion
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business aka ee Rentier focuses on diversions of the oligarchy, making money from unproductive land sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of press releases disguised as ‘news’
• Sri Lanka-USA Business Council holds 4th AGM
‘Sanji De Silva, Bileeta (Pvt) Ltd elected Vice president, Mohan Mendis, Heritage Teas (Pvt) Ltd was elected as the Treasurer for the period 2020/2021. CBL Natural Foods (Pvt) Ltd, Dipped Products PLC, Fanam International (Pvt) Ltd, Global Rubber Industries Pvt Ltd, HVA Foods PLC, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd and Regency Teas to serve on Executive Committee. Also: Ms. Dinithi Dias, Manager Business Council, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; Mr. Sanji De Silva, Vice President SLUSABC; Dr. Asanka Ratnayake, President SLUSABC; Mr. Mohan Mendis, Treasurer SLUSABC; Mr. Samantha Rajapaksha, Immediate Past President SLUSABC, Mr. Charithra Hettiarachchi, HVA Foods PLC; Mr. Waruna Randeewa, CBL Natural Foods (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Tilak Gunawardena, MAC Holdings (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Sanjaya Samararatne, Global Rubber Industries (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Shane Perera, Regency Teas (Pvt) Ltd; Mr. Indika Kulathunga, Dipped Products PLC; Mr. Farhath Armith, Fanam International (Pvt) Ltd.
• Sri Lanka@100 for mid-market enterprises, funded by USAID and administered by Stax
• Airtel partners with USAID-funded youth skills development project
• Stalled SL-China FTA talks to be revived: Govt.
• The International Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka 54th Annual General Meeting
‘Dinesh Weerakkody –Chairman, Keerthi Gunawardena Immediate Past Chairman, Managing Director Graphic Systems (Pvt) Ltd., Shanil Fernando- Secretary – Managing Director World Express Ltd., Sheanath De Soysa – Treasurer- Former Bank Director, Mrs. Chathuri Munaweera -Deputy Secretary- Director AIA Insurance Lanka Ltd., Capt. Nalin Peiris Vice Chairman- CEO Manaco Marine (Pvt) Ltd., S. Renganathan Vice Chairman- CEO/MD Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC., Johnny Fernando Vice Chairman- Director Shore to Shore (Pvt) Ltd., Hemakumara Gunasekera Vice Chairman- Director Adam Lanka Institute, Janath Ilangantileke- Vice Chairman- Chief Compliance Officer Hatton National Bank PLC.’
• Sri Lanka Cargill Majestic City mall cuts rents
• UDA to construct 8 car parks to reduce traffic congestion in Colombo city
• CBSL extends COVID-19 tourism-debt moratorium
• Chartered Accountants Association 41st National Conference on December 2-4
• Sri Lanka’s Trade Institutions To Leverage Statistics-Backed Analysis On Covid-Hit Export Sector for Improved Trade Policy Making
‘Dayaratna Silva, National Project Coordinator, EU-Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance; Mr. Ananda Dharmapriya, Acting Director General of Commerce, Department of Commerce; Dr. Priyanga Dunusinghe, Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo; Dr. Dilini Hemachandra, Senior Lecturer, University of Peradeniya; and Mr. Somasena Mahadiulwewa, Director of Commerce/Head of Bilateral Affairs Division, Department of Commerce at the concluding STATA training session.’
• Indrani Fernando heads Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce
‘Assistant Treasurer Jani Perera, Joint Secretary Zahara Cader, 1st Vice Chairperson Gayani De Alwis, Immediate Past Chairperson Chathuri Ranasinghe, Chairperson Indrani Fernando, 2nd Vice Chairperson Ramani Ponnambalam, Joint Secretary Sonali De Silva, Treasurer Anoji De Silva. Samitha Perera, Nayana Karunaratne, Sarrah Samooon, Tehani Mathew, Tusitha Kumarakulasingham, Ilanga Karunaratne, Suba Ramamurthy’
• Renuka Holdings to raise Rs. 1 b via Rights Issue
‘Renuka Group Limited owns 46.27% of voting shares and related party Dr. S.R. Rajiyah and Mrs. Rajiyah owns 19.54%, while Dr. Sena Yaddehige owns 7.24% and EPF owns 3.27%.’
• Lankan Embassy to promote IT-BPM exports to Philippines
• SLT partners with Land Maark Engineering for latest condominiums
• CitiBank, UNDP and SLTDA focus on supporting women in tourism industry
• Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority & Australia’s Market Development Facility develop 5 year plan for tourism research
• Court clears Nuwara Eliya Golf Club and its committee of any misdeeds
• Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry on P-SL free trade
• ‘Ghost island’ Phuket hunkers down in tourist-free Thailand
‘Today, nearly all the island’s 3,000 hotels are closed’
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.
• Wimal says not responsible if Govt. disregards its political position over 20A
‘The first is exemption of companies registered under the Registrar of Companies, which the Government holds the majority of shares from the Auditor General’s audit. The second is passing of emergency acts, without informing the general public…The third is the complete removal of the barrier to dual citizenship instead of imposing it on diplomats and senior Government officials beyond the Members of Parliament’
• Constitutional reforms process to be sustained regardless of corona epidemic – Gevindu
• Remembering Batty Weerakoon
‘As Minister of Science & Technology he fought against selling Eppawala Phosphate to foreigners’
• Ruwan Wijewardene and the Mulberry Bush
‘When the sovereignty of the people is violated, Buddhism is threatened. So says Ruwan W. Let’s mutter ‘OMG’ and ‘WTF’ all over again.’
• 19A & very real persecution of the majority community
• Govt. looks for more than two thirds vote to pass 20A in Parliament
• “Most politicians today decline because of the behaviour of their wives” – PM
• This Presidency will be autocratic but not kleptocratic – Kumar David
‘“Who Orchestrated the Town Hall Bombing…Ivan makes out that Chandrika arranged the bombing to win sympathy and turn around a flagging presidential election…’
• Rajapaksa approach: Hide the problem; control the narrative – Tisaranee Gunasekera
• Bandaranaike was carried into power by Philip Gunawardene
• CP de Silva Voted against Sirimavo’s cast-based ‘Atrocities’
• Marxism-Leninism: Identity or Praxis?
‘To really join the communist struggle, it is not enough to have a new individual posture, be it identity or conscience. The radical transformation of reality will not come through thought or particular acts.’
• The CPC is not a “party“
Why is the one-party system right for China?…The CPC bears no similarity with western political parties. It aims at representing the interests of the vast majority of the population, whereas political parties of the West by definition work for the benefit of a small minority.’
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.
• The myth of the clean corporate
‘Let’s toss out the innocence about good two-shoes corporates.’
• MarCom Collective meets Minister for Money, Capital Market, State Enterprise Reforms
‘MarCom Collective is a group of 9 associations and businesses and professionals from the Marketing Communications’ 12 sectors viz. Advertising, Market Research, Event Management, Photography, Video & Audio Productions, Media Planning, Digital, Public Relations, Outdoor Advertising, Tele / Broadcast Media (TV, Print, Radio and on-line media), Activations and Printing & Packaging… Minister Cabraal, Thayalan Bartlett, Convener, MarCom Collective, Arjuna Herath, Senior Partner and Head of Consulting, Ernst & Young, Sulaiman Nishtar, Partner – Tax Services, Ernst & Young, Rodney Fernando, Manager – Business Advisory Services, Ernst & Young, R. M. A. Ratnayake, Secretary to the State Minister, Rohan Rajaratnam, Convener, MarCom Collective; and Santhush Weeraman, President – Video and Film Production Association (VAFPA).’
• National Housing Development Authority spent Rs 472 million on publicity during yahapalana
• The Sinhala Buddhist Civilization of Sri Lanka Part 1A, 1B, 1C
• ‘In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power’
• IFJ condemns attack on journalist by sand mafia
• April Fifth 1971: High Drama in Temple Trees
• Cosmopolitanism characterised Kandy under the Kings
• Chamber Music Society of Colombo
‘fugues are…contrapuntal compositions in which a short melody or phrase (the subject) is introduced by one part and successively taken up by others and developed by interweaving the parts.’