ee archive: eesrilanka.wordpress.com
“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
Export-Quality Only Economics Exposed!
e-Con e-News 11-17 October 2020
“Where do these people keep their hearts? I do not know, but they leave them somewhere else… Ultimately, necessarily, they grow bored with all emotions, these people whom laws, people, institutions make fly down like crows unto a corpse still warm.
At any time of day, the moneylender is trampling on the living, the attorney on the dead, the law-man on the conscience. Obliged to talk continually, they replace ideas with words, emotions with phrases,
and then the soul turns into a larynx…”
– Balzac, The Girl with the Golden Eyes
When will the gleam and gloss of ‘export-quality-only’ wear off? The faux opposition media, which gives shiny cover to the garment business (it is not an industry!), is wringing their hands and shedding kimbula-bunis tears for workers – silver tears which shall soon clot into metallic fangs.
The glaring mistreatment of workers leaps out of cramped clothes closets, as it must, showing how exploited labor can affect all society in deadly ways. And it’s not just Brandix, or just the garment trade. The terms and conditions under which people work and live now takes centre stage.
This year is the uncommemorated 40th anniversary of the July 1980 general strike, which saw the sacking of 50,000 workers, and the devastation, dolor, desperation, and resistance that followed. The Employers Federation of Ceylon, who had pushed the JR Jayawardena government to ban the strike and fire all the workers, would lament almost a decade later, that having attempted to destroy the unions, they had then to negotiate with “armed men in masks” during the terror of 1987-89.
The then as now dominant white media is suddenly lamenting the conditions under which people live and work. They forget their sallies to privatize the public health system. They conveniently choose to forget their role in the naked repression and badmouthing of socialist movements, trade unions and skilled workers, even as the media recall JR’s “Just Society”, but only to criticize the executive presidency. Socialism, Communism is dead they said. And now?
• This ee focuses on how precolonial Sinhala cultivation was centrally planned by a commune in each village, with stringent rules, especially to share irrigation. Rice cultivation, with its uneven application of labor through its seasons, was ingeniously organized to make the maximum use of workers to produce surpluses in rice cultivation (with the building of great temples as high as the pyramids, which we were never told about in school).
Yet the failure to innovate production, in tools, crop rotation, agronomy, etc, leading to soil degradation and the weakening of those kingdom, left us open to destabilization within and without.
This ee also looks at the immediate economic plans, made after China’s 1949 revolution, especially for agricultural cooperatives and large industrialization, enabling it to become the powerful country it is now (see ee Focus).
• “Anger. Anger. Anger is everywhere,” says one of our readers.
National and economic unity are not separate questions. A holistic political, economic and military industrial program is absolutely urgent, and our history shows we are capable of great plans and works. So then why is there no plan allowed? “Arithmetic is the reason”, notes one analyst. The political system imposed here by English chicanery, disables any such national renaissance.
A national plan for industrialization requires a program for investment. Any program for investment requires rigid rules that must be adhered by politicians and officials. Yet the powerful private banks, multinationals and their merchants, that run these politicians and officials, will simply refuse to go along, and sabotage any such program.
• Pompeo or Pimpeo? ISIS or USUS? The US, on the edge of ‘civil’ war, hopes they can ignite wars elsewhere, to create firewalls to divert from their self-induced decadence. US Secretary of Export-Only Wars, Pompeo is threatening to fly in, hoping to shriek out war cries with Delhi. The US flirting for Asia to join NATO, has sobered the Red Fort in Delhi, which may not be so gung-ho anymore. So what’s a white arsonist to do in an October before an election? Perhaps he can come clean as to who was actually behind the April 2019 ‘Easter’ Terror. A recent NYT audio series on ISIS has been exposed as fake. Their main informant, a so-called ‘head-chopping’ ISIS member, has been arrested in Canada for making it all up! He was always living there! ISIS may one day be exposed as USUS! (see ee Media)
A1. Reader Comments
• Anger Everywhere • ee Not Censored Yet? • No Friends, Only Interests • Covid & Bio Warfare What’s New? • JVP Loves Brandix?
A2. Quotes of the Week
• NATO & Trincomalee? • Skilled Workers & Professionals Migrate? • Cabinet Leaks & Mudalalis • US Plans October Surprises? • Markets & Local Content Laws
A3. Random Notes
• IMF Origins of Debt Trap & Morgan • Envoys in Hissy Fit • Media Refuses to Expose Trade Imbalance • Asian NATO • SL & Great Game • Media’s Sudden Love for Workers • Big Pharma, Big Wars & Drug Trade • US Civil War Due • TransCaucasus, Jewish Lobby & Israel
B. ee Focus
B1. Precolonial Sinhala Cultivation Centrally Planned by Commune – Pathirana & Aluthge
B2. China’s 1949 Road to Industrialization & Socialism – Saul 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.
• “Anger. Anger. There’s anger everywhere. People do not know who to turn to. We need leadership more than ever. The whites are funding protests that will create chaos but go nowhere as usual.”
• “Got this week’s ee – surprised still allowed to share this by the internet”
• “There are no friends, my friends, only interests. They always support both sides, so no matter who wins, and who loses, they all have friends.”
• “Re: US first used bioweapons in Korea… From the so-called 14thC Black Plague (which Europeans blamed on Indians ‘Gypsies’, but actually used to halt the Mongolian advance into Europe) to Covid-19 (which the US blames on Chinese Communists)…yet whites have always used biological weapons – parangi (yaws), smallpox tetanus, trachoma, typhus, leprosy, yellow fever, & syphilis – attempting to empty whole continents of their original peoples.”
• “Wondered whether ee’s negative outlook on Brandix is simply that it is the ‘darling’ of the establishment media and of the JVP, etc? Is it any different from all other garment producers? By the way, no media people interview the JVP on ‘sensitive’ matters that may cause them embarrassment, have you noticed? They are only served full tosses – eg 20A….The JVP too is critical of China. All its funds come from the West.”
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• “NATO has future plans on our location too. I am in Trinco port – the center of many events in the future, it looks they are already on it. In 2019, Trinco port received a complete new nav aids system so that it could be used as a day and night port (gift from Japan to previous government). 3 large power generating plants are installed in the side port to run the port by its own power in case of emergency, with construction of a new jetty and deepening the adjacent water under way, plus a straight line access road inside the port.”
• “54% of all labor leaving Sri Lanka yearly, are either professionals or skilled workers. Over the past 5 years the number of professionals leaving the country in search of work has increased from 5,372 to 9,860 in 2019.” – Biznomics
• “Minister RS Perera soon began to leak Cabinet secrets to SLFP Mudalalis. By this time the SLFP, and particularly Mrs B, had nurtured a group of native entrepreneurs who using state patronage had built up lucrative businesses. They were personally loyal to the PM and a few of her likeminded ministers including Maitripala Senanayake, Illangaratne and Kalugalle. Those ministers were quite willing to instruct the State Banking system and the State Trading bodies to favour these Mudalalis. ‘These lucky businessmen included JPA Piyadasa, Dasa, McCallum, Ratnapura Gem merchants, Douglas Perera and a host of other smaller fry including RS Perera, who were solidly behind the SLFP. They were now alarmed that NM was dead set on dismantling their privileges.”
• “Will we start a war with Iran? Will we invade Venezuela? Will we push the Russian Federation a step too far into a desperate corner? Will we confront Russian troops in Syria? Will we provoke China into a strike across the Taiwan Strait?” (see ee Sovereignty, Pompeo)
• “As late as 2000, Canada was assembling 50% more vehicles than China. Canada was then one of a group of 5 roughly equal auto-producing countries that, in terms of vehicles assembled, ranked only below the US, Japan, and Germany. That relative success was rooted in Canada’s historical trade policy, based on trade regulations that ensured that companies wanting to profit from Canadian sales had to maintain production commitments in Canada.”
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• The Debt Trap was the title of Cheryl Payer’s popular book published in 1975, subtitled The IMF & the 3rd World. Now the white media, ignoring deeper history and economics, applies ‘debt trap’ exclusively to China. Why doesn’t China expose the true state of debt in the world? How the capitalist financial system really works? The opposition finance critics mention a JP Morgan report on Sri Lanka predicting looming economic doom? Isn’t Morgan a big buyer of SL’s Sovereign Bonds? Isn’t all this a conflict of interest?
• What explains the tizzy, the hissy fits, and the flurry of ambassadorial activity – US, Indian, EU, Germany, Japan? Is it just to counter China’s supposed influence? To prevent Sri Lanka from slipping out of their grip on our underdevelopment? All of the above?
Is the failure or the refusal of the media to expose the true state of Sri Lanka’s trade policy, due to the media being a product of the multinationals, like Unilever etc? Germany, for example, likes to complain that SL exports more to Germany than it imports from Germany. But we export raw material to Europe and the US, from which they make enormous profits. While SL imports their expensive machinery and so-called expertise. The difference in the margins are huge. Shouldn’t there be a different type of accounting? And how long can this media stay mulishly innumerate? When yet another minister is feted by the SL Institute of Marketing or their latest avatar the MarCom Collective? They should ask them why the media they control stays so dumbass!
• The US & NATO allies have waged horrendous wars in Asia to prevent the continent’s rise. From Iraq to Afghanistan to Yemen, and are now threatening to continue destabilizing Sri Lanka yet again. The idea is to prevent flow of energy and goods between our countries.
• 2 mega English industries have burgeoned: Playing India against SL, and playing India against China. China does not play cricket. Playing India against China is part of England’s older ‘Great Game’, now driven long by the US. Playing India against SL is also part of the old sport to keep both Lanka and India in their place. India, whose ports of Bombay, Calcutta and Chennai were captured earlier by the English, was a way to block SL’s concourse with the world, at the same time seeking to use Sri Lanka to keep India’s east and west divided, blocking overall maritime concourse. The English, Dutch and French fought at least 3 major wars to grab Trincomalee in the 18th century.
• More devoted ee readers will note rapid expansion of our ee Workers news segment this week. The Wijeya Group’s Daily Mirror 7 Capital Media’s EconomyNext, which has fully backed the privatization of health, education, and “flexibility” in labor laws to sack and discipline workers is suddenly worried about their welfare. Consider this week’s headlines:
Covid-19 runs riot as big business hunt profits.
Estate Workers’ Lives Matter.
10,000s in the Katunayake FTZ can catch Covid – Workers’ Bodies.
Brandix Workers who fainted had water sprinkled on their faces and had to work again
Why such sudden concern? Is it because the parties they back are in opposition now?
Capitalist media is not known for such generosity. What happened to their sermons to cut back on social services and privatize? From the Pope to the media, all are crying about poverty. But what is the solution? This they will not divulge. This week ‘celebrated’ the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Indeed ‘Poverty Alleviation’ is a big income-generation project for NGOs, etc.
• A neurosurgeon is questioning the government’s plan to first produce a certain powerful drug locally. He wonders how this drug has become so widely prescribed by physicians to begin with. The drug is responsible for 25% of drug-related deaths in certain countries. The question is again, the type of import substitution being planned, and if it will really address our industrial needs? The media rarely links the overall drug trade to Big Pharma and the tobacco/alcohol monopolies, and their intimate link to the war industry, which produces instant pain and calls for instant relief, over and over again. (see ee Industry, Gabapentin). Politicians take note: Beware of photo-ops with Hemas. You never know what diseasea you may catch.
• “I’m terrified”, says Tom Friedman, flawed crusader of globalization, author of The World Is Flat, and other financialist fairytales. He says the US is on the verge of ‘civil’ war. Why are their wars called civil, and everyone else uncivil? It has to do with lots of Black ink and large white erasers.
Friedman doesn’t explain that his tired prescriptions promoting Imperialism.2 or Globalization.1 or Neoliberalism.1, or whatever brand of capitalism you may call it, is what has brought us to this pass. Their policies have long exacerbated war against the working class.
• Recent ‘hostilities’ in the ‘Transcaucasus’, pit Armenia and Azerbaijan, bordering the ‘energy-rich’ Caspian Lake (or Sea, depending on the language of economic interests). The US and Israeli governments were backing Armenia at one time, with the so-called Jewish and Armenian Lobbies in Washington united to provide political cover and backup, with both weeping about holocausts in their European homelands, etc. Then massive oil deposits were uncovered In Azerbaijan and the Jewish Lobby switched sides. Now they are arming both sides.
B. Special Focus_
B1. Precolonial Sinhala Cultivation Centrally Planned by a Commune – Pathirana & Aluthge
Excerpts from D Pathirana and C Aluthge’s A History of Underdevelopment & the Political Economy of Inflation in SL, on the ancient system of cultivation, its organization and its destruction.
The system of cultivation of the ancient Sinhala was characterized by a communally/centrally planned system. It ensured that the water-supply for cultivation and aggregate output was distributed equally among the members of the commune irrespective of different land fertility, after accounting for the ground rent paid to the chiefs and taxes to the king, with the village headman (Vel Vidane) keeping a commission for the service rendered by tax collection.
Hence communal property in ancient Sri Lanka appears ‘in the dual form of state and private property which coexist side by side, but in such a way as to make the former the precondition of the latter’ (Marx). ‘Only insofar as the individual is a member of such a community, does he regard himself as an owner or possessor.’ The particularity of the social organization or the particular form of ‘oriental despotism’ in ancient Sri Lanka is therefore ‘not the product of labour but appear[s] as its natural or divine precondition’.
The conditions which led to the absence of private property in land in Asian regions ‘never reach[ing] the stage of landed property, not even the feudal kind’, according to Engels, were ‘largely due to the climate, combined with the nature of the land… Here artificial irrigation is the first prerequisite for agriculture, and this is the responsibility either of the communes, the provinces or the central government’ (Marx & Engels). Marx in his reply to Engels’ observation, summarized his view on the ‘stationary nature’ of Asian social structures persisting in spite of turbulent changes in the political spheres by attributing it to ‘2 mutually supporting circumstances. 1. The public works system of the central government and, 2. Alongside this, the entire Empire which, apart from a few large cities, is an agglomeration of villages, each with its own distinct organisation and each forming its own small world’ and remarked ‘breaking up of those stereotypical primitive forms was the sine qua non for Europeanisation’ (Marx & Engels).
The particular form of ‘Oriental Despotism’ or communal property existed in Sri Lanka which renders communal property the prerequisite for the existence of private property in accordance with Marx is further portrayed by the following traits. Individual duties of cultivators in ancient SL were assigned by a village headman considering the requirements of output and availability of water. Peasant households belonging to a single community in ancient Sri Lanka were not permitted to commence cultivation concomitantly. When one group commenced cultivation, others mostly laid their land fallow and assisted the former in land preparation, transplanting and hand weeding. When the initial period of peak labour demand for the first group has ended the second group commenced cultivating with the assistance of the first group whose field was now experiencing the slack period of labour demand. Hence, combining the peak and slack periods of labour demand by disintegrating the process of cultivation and the arable land into 2 periods through a centrally orchestrated system of labour deployment, the Purana village system was able to minimise the ‘gap between production time and labour time’ (Marx) and realise higher per-worker output compared to the sharecropping system based on absentee landlordism which emerged during the English period.
The crucial technique adopted by ancient rulers in this pursuit was to integrate the practice of equal distribution of the water-supply, achieved by cultivating the agate fields or ‘fields at the furthest from the channel’, first and ending with the moolata fields or ‘fields nearest the source of the channel’, with the system of labour exchange. The harmonious combination between the 2 most crucial processes of central management of the entire production and distribution process rendered the equal distribution of water to fields an integral component of the labour exchange system. Thereby, the leveling out of the labour-demand function across time through the labour exchange system was integrated with the practice of equal division of water-supply to the fields. ‘Ploughing of the fields was carried out in proper order before the water was directed to the fields, beginning with the agate fields and proceeding towards the moolata fields.
During the dry season, if the supply of water failed, each cultivator’s field was divided into such an extent as could be properly irrigated with the water available. It was sufficient evidence of theft of water if ploughing or irrigation was carried on out of turn. Cultivators offending against these customs were severely punished by whipping or fines or imprisonment if a royal prison were nearby. These punishments were imposed by the gamsabavas on the spot after an inquiry and no infringements on the right to water could take place without impunity’ (Balasingham). The crucial phenomenon we underscore in this connection is that the equal distribution of water by cultivating the field furthest from the channel first means to say that fields closer to the channel at that particular period are lying fallow and hence the workers and the cattle of the moolata fields are entirely free to be deployed in the agata fields that commence cultivation first.
Hence, an intricate system prevailed which integrated the labour exchange process with the principle of equal division of water and subsequently made the labour demand an even function across time and more extended across time (we will discuss the significance of extending the cultivation process). Disobedience to submit to this intricate system by inhabitants of even one field endangered the sustenance of the entire commune, and forces of disintegration which would emerge as a corollary were difficult to reverse once set in motion. That is to say, in this particular form of Oriental despotism the individuals ‘relation to his private property is both a relation to the land and to his existence as a member of the community, and his maintenance as a member is the maintenance of the community, and vice versa’ (Marx).
More importantly, the evenness of labour demand which was the main product of the labour exchange system hand in hand with the equal distribution of available water prevented competition for water among the cultivator and enabled the aggregate cultivation process to be stretched in time. This in turn permanently released labour from agriculture necessary for the construction of giant reservoirs and the system of canals coupled with the construction of extraordinarily enormous stupas, temples and palaces and the growth of a significant non-agricultural population in urban environments. ‘[T]he grand structures of ancient Egypt are less due to the extent of its population than to the large proportion of it that was freely disposable’ (Marx). Construction of the stupas is ‘remarkable for the vast amount of labour which must necessarily have been expended on them’ (Tennent). ‘Some of the dagobas are on much the same scale as the Pyramids of Egypt… at least 2 which contain over 20 million cubic feet of solid brickwork’ (Leach), although they also resemble ‘blatant objects of conspicuous consumption’. KM de Silva states in this connection that agricultural surplus during the Anuradhapura kingdom ‘was adequate to maintain a large section of the population not engaged in food production’. In this regard Emmerson Tennent cites Rajavaliya ascribing the collapse of the Dry Zone civilization to the region’s gradually deteriorating soil fertility. The decline in land fertility, as noted, most possibly would have caused the agricultural surplus to decline rendering it increasingly difficult to finance recurrent wars against Malabar invasions and arrest the destruction of civilisation and not vice-versa.
On the other hand, it should be emphasized that the system of exchange labour that enabled the proportionate distribution of the water-supply to the fields and caused the demand for labour during paddy cultivation an even function across time, also militated against further development of production forces that would alter the labour demand function across time. It can be held unanimously that during the history of the Dry Zone civilization and the southern kingdoms, no development in the implements used for cultivation occurred. ‘The part paid by human labour in agriculture underwent little change in ancient Sri Lanka. On the whole the same methods have been used and probably the same amount of energy expended in the process. …so there was little material change in the average income per head of the rural population’ (Siriweera). This is in contrast to the significant agricultural developments in the form of advancements in agricultural implements, crop rotation, development in the use of animal power, etc, that took place gradually since the 11thC in England which led to an agricultural revolution prior to industrialisation (see Overton; Cipolla). ‘Asian history is a kind of undifferentiated unity of town and country; [in contrast] further development of Middle Ages (Germanic period)] proceeds through the opposition of town and country’ (Marx).
In this light the centrally orchestrated labour exchange system of production relations in the Purana village of SL militated against any advancement of production forces in the form of tools, method of employment of animal power, crop rotation systems, agronomy, etc, given that any alteration in demand for labour in a particular process of cultivation, eg in harvesting, will lead to an irreversible discord in labour deployment resulting in underemployment of a section of the workforce which in turn engenders conditions necessary for the violation of the equal distribution of output for labour expended within the commune. Hence, although the system of labour exchange under a centrally orchestrated management enabled the release of labour from cultivation work to nonagricultural pursuits and enabled the production time in cultivation to remain more or less equal to labour time resembling the work regime of a factory, on the other hand, it simultaneously prevented any developments in production forces which would invariably disturb the internal coherence and self-perpetuating harmony between production forces and relations; the ruralisation of the city state of the ancient Sinhala as per Marx is the inevitable outcome. ‘[I]n economies where techniques are stagnant savings are not so readily applied to increasing productive capital; in such economies it is more usual to use savings for building pyramids, churches, and other such durable consumer goods’ (Lewis).
The highest share of tax revenue being generated by taxes on trade in ancient Sri Lanka provides empirical evidence that the degree of release of agricultural labour to nonagricultural pursuits during the period was unanimously significant and was enabled by the centrally organised village system based on exchange labour. The high dependence on tax revenue through trade caused the Sinhala kings to treat Moorish traders, on whose hands entire trade of the island revolved, with high esteem and provided them with ‘unrestrained freedom …and political influence …[they] acquired ascendency over the Sinhala chiefs’ (Tennent). The fact that Arabs and Persians were placed in the centre of civilisations between the roots weaving them together, exchange would have provided them with the necessary entrepreneurial zeal to excel in trade which can be considered a natural endowment to become the medium of exchange between civilisations.
In this light the Purana village system of ancient Sri Lanka which enabled the release of agricultural labour to non-agrarian pursuits simultaneously militated against the further development of production forces of the economy. An advancement of production forces would have disintegrated the exchange labour system of production relations by dissolving its internal coherence. Contrarily, domination of the sharecropping system of production relations, a corollary to the destruction of Purana village, which was subsequently linked with the rise of the native commercial elite during the English period, enabled the employment of machinery and chemical inputs in paddy cultivation; it hence aided the development of production forces in agriculture, although within a limited purview retaining the overall dominance of pre-capitalist mode of production, hence preventing the permanent release of agricultural workers from land.
Our description of ancient Sinhala social organisation therefore contradicts the view of ER Leach who held, ‘Villagers were under a legal obligation to maintain their tank in functioning order, but there is no evidence of any bureaucratic machinery that might help to bring this about’. Although the functioning of the village council system was independent from the central authority of the king, it in itself represented a centrally organised bureaucratic apparatus that enabled the prosperity and the survival of the civilisation at large, portraying a decentralised absolutism. Hence the disposition of social organisation in precolonial Sri Lanka evades definitions of both Leach and Wittfogel. It therefore does not conform to the idea of ‘Oriental Despotism’ of Wittfogel which portrays a society governed entirely by a monarch and a meritocracy who own the institution of power rather than land. It simultaneously evades the framework of the decentralised ‘hydraulic oriental feudalism’ described by Leach. Ancient Sinhala social organisation, on the contrary, retained the European characteristic of ‘multicentred type of absolutism’ but extended it to the labour process from the political order, in contrast to European feudalism, which restrained it to the political sphere. The extension of power from the political sphere to the labour process, combined with the absence of private property in land in general, poses an incongruence between the concept of feudalism and its applicability to ancient social organisation in Sri Lanka. The accurate characterisation of the mode of production therefore can only be arrived at through employing Marx’s variations in his concept of Oriental or Asiatic despotism.”
B2. China’s 1949 Road to Industrialization and Socialism – Saul Adler
China’s economy immediately after 1949, was mixed and transitional. Heavy industry, large-scale transport and distribution and finance – “the commanding heights of the economy” – were predominantly socialist, while some big shipping, commercial and banking firms were jointly owned or semi-socialist. Agricultural producers’ cooperatives boomed, making agriculture either semi-socialist or socialist. Everywhere else, there were socialist, private capitalist, individual peasant and handicraft producers.
China’s communists maintained their revolution would have 2 stages: New Democratic, then Socialist. The seeds of socialism, which took the lead in industry and finance, would be sown during the stage of New Democracy, which involved a broad united front of the working class, the peasantry, the petit-bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie.
The State was coordinator, regulator and leader. State enterprises, owned by the people, were the main material basis to develop production, with workers in charge of administration. Cooperatives were fostered and received preferential treatment. Private capital was encouraged to develop in the direction of state-capitalism. Private enterprise beneficial to the nation was encouraged and actively assisted, restricting its negative sides. In agriculture, land reform focused on releasing the productive powers of individual peasant proprietors, with the government guiding peasants step by step to organize various forms of mutual aid in labor and production.
After rehabilitation had been completed in 1952 and production surpassed in all important fields, the First 5-Year Plan was initiated, with targets adopted in 1955. In 1954, the new Constitution of the Republic stated, “By economic planning the state directs the growth and transformation of the national economy.” Cooperatives were now made both semi-socialist (part collectively, part individually, owned) and socialist (fully collectively owned). The policy of the State towards rich-peasant economy was to restrict and gradually eliminate it. The policy of the State towards capitalist industry and commerce was to use, restrict and transform it. There was still no attempt to completely abolish private enterprise. The country, still in transition, had socialism and capitalism.
The government had taken over all old ruling party KMT state enterprises, and confiscated all enterprises owned by the KMT leadership, which greatly facilitated extension of State ownership. By 1953, the State owned all the railways, nearly all the banks, 605 of coastal and Yangtze shipping, almost 80% of heavy industry and 50% of light industry. Socialist industrialization laid great stress on expansion of heavy industry, with the state playing the major role. The government’s massive expenditure on capital construction in industry was almost all allocated to state-owned industry. In finance, their state-banking system controlled over 96% of bank loans and deposits.
China soon had the biggest cooperative movement in the world, most being rural supply and marketing co-ops, with consumer and handicraft co-ops also. Rural co-ops were indispensable for promoting and expanding trade between country and town, regular distribution of food, enhancing agricultural production, and educating the peasantry. By 1952, they handled 70% of total state purchases of agricultural products, with the government fixing prices and making contracts. The rural co-ops also bought much of the country’s manufactured goods, making available better seeds and implements. Credit co-ops also represented the People’s Bank in rural areas. Handicraft co-ops were also very important for they helped the transfer to mechanized production, and also absorbed underemployed and unemployed rural workers. “Disguised and concealed rural unemployment is a prime source of social waste in underdeveloped countries…” (a largely untapped reservoir with great potential). There was great stress laid on education by cooperatives where 80% or more of the people were illiterate peasants, whose “horizons were bounded by narrow family and local ties and where the traditional patterns of life had become deeply set”.
After land reform, most peasants became individual farmers cultivating their own lands. In 1995, there was an estimated 20 million handicrafters, the main suppliers of manufactured consumer goods and farm tools. Handicraft produced 70% of light industry output. They turned out half the paper and rubber products, 70% of knitted goods and matches, 75% of sugar, 80% of medicines, over 50% of furniture, building materials, and simple farm implements.
With regard to capitalist ownership, private sector share of industrial output fell to 25% in 1954, commerce to 11% of wholesale trade and 42% of retail. As to state capitalism, the state placed orders with private firms, especially cotton textiles. State capitalism ranged from the state controlling supply of raw materials and marketing of finished products to producers, to the state being majority shareholder and policy director. State capitalism was diverse in wholesale and retail commerce which lends itself less readily to standardization than industry and finance. In 1954, the state controlled 90% of all large industrial enterprises through government purchases, marketing and placement of contracts. Joint enterprises were seen as the basis for transforming capitalist industry.
In July 1955, Chairman Mao called for the the semi-socialist transformation of 50% of the countryside by winter 1957-58. In June 1955 the highest form of state capitalism comprised 2,000 industrial enterprises accounting for 60% of all private and partly private industrial output and most big commercial concerns. By 1956 all private factories with over 500 employees and 50% of large-scale capitalist industry were jointly owned, with state-capitalism invading 80% of all private industry. Mao called this the high tide of socialist revolution as whole trades went over to joint State and private ownership. In addition to salaries or commissions, prior owners did not receive profits but a fixed interest, which amounted to several 100 million pounds, which Mao said was a cheap price to pay for the peaceful transition to socialist industry and trade. The temporary continuance of fixed income from property was seen as the last institutional survival of capitalism in most industry and trade. The liquidation of private enterprise was extraordinarily rapid. “At no point was there a sharp break in policy, while corruption, tax evasion and speculation was severely punished, every attempt was made to avoid alienating the ‘national bourgeoisie’ as a group. It was a euthanasia not of capitalists but of capitalism.’
Some could argue that the treatment of private enterprise after 1949, was purely expedient and that the government allowed it to grow initially to have more to expropriate later. No doubt there was a strong element of expediency in official policy. With their pragmatic bias, the Communists wished to retain capitalist forms of production as long as they were demonstrably efficient in unleashing productive energy. But it was also part of Marxist philosophy not to discard them until their potentialities were exhausted and their usefulness outlived.
Socialization of individual handicrafts was not quite so swift. By 1956, there were 70,000 cooperatives with over 2 million members. In January 1956, all handicrafters in the largest cities were organized and co-op membership was 4.7 million nationally. The speed of growth of semi-socialist and later socialist agriculture co-ops was perhaps “the high tide of socialism”. In 1955, peasant members of cooperatives rose from 15% to 70%, 25% in fully collectively owned co-ops. The official goal was to consummate semi-socialization of agriculture in 1956, and socialization in 1957. Some articles in the Constitution of 1954 had objectives to be attained in the course of 2 or 3 Five-Year Plans. They would have to be revised with their attainment…
– adapted from Saul Adler, The Chinese Economy, 1957
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.
• US Embassy: Pompeo’s visit not confirmed yet
• Indian HC meets Sri Lanka PM to follow up on virtual bilateral summit with Indian PM
• India’s counter-terrorist force trained MR’s security personnel: Force Chief
• Quad won’t fly. This is why: US Calls for Asian NATO
‘India’s China hands, all dressed up and raring to go for “strategic linkages” with the US, must be sorely disappointed when Biegun stated his “respect” for India’s strategic autonomy. (Jaishankar boldly calls it “nonalignment”.)’
• Is Moragoda doctrine clashing with Gotabaya Doctrine?
• Pompeo tipped to win Nobel Prize for October Soup
‘The US can promise to back an Indian invasion of the north and east of Sri Lanka to grab Trincomalee (and fight it out for themselves later, with Japan). This will get the Kola Kaendha and Mulligatawny Soup boiling over.’
• Pompeo’s visit: Sri Lanka says it will not bend to US pressure on MCC or SOFA
• US Embassy Defence Attaché officials invited to visit H’tota Port by SL MoD”: US Embassy
• 3 of 10 judges trained in the US hearing petitions on the 20th Amendment
• Pompeo to visit Lanka after Yang holds high-level talks here
‘He is due in 2 weeks, breaking away from an official visit to New Delhi where he is to accompany his colleague, the US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, for a major military cooperation agreement expected to be signed between the US and India as part of an anti-China Alliance with Japan and Australia.’
• Let us welcome Mike Pompeo
‘Pompeo is a big fan of coercive interrogation tactics (the sanitized term for ‘torture’), in particular the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program, as well as mass surveillance practices. In addition to exercising ‘RDI tactics’ on them Pompeo has supported prolonged and indefinite detention without charge or trial at Guantanamo Bay. He’s a known racist, misogynist and homophobic.’
• Sri Lanka seeks New Foreign Policy Vistas
• Sri Lanka walks diplomatic tight rope between China and USA
‘Japanese Embassy in Colombo timed seminar organised by it on ‘Quality Infrastructure’ with cancellation of LRT project’
• German envoy calls on BOI Chief
‘Holger Seubert , Newly appointed Ambassador for the Federal Republic of Germany…was accompanied by Andreas Hergenrother, Chief Delegate, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK).’
• US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Likely to Visit SL Amid China’s Renewed Push There
• US-funded Advocata promotes Venezuelan coup supporter in Sri Lanka
‘In 2016, the Sri Lanka Economic Forum featured Hausmann and billionaire George Soros as speakers. The latter’s Open Society Foundations funded the Hausmann-led Center for International Development, to “collaborate” with the Yahapalana government on an “applied research project.”’
• MPs to study the foreign laws included in the MCC
• MCC: Bribe to Sell Traditional Farmland to Foreigners
• 2nd Quad at Tokyo did not result in a joint statement
• US illegally “annexed” Hawaii: Will Sri Lanka’s fate be same with MCC?
• Indian High Commissioner Meets Prime Minister Rajapaksa, Discusses Ongoing Projects
• Brandix has influence in high places, whichever party is in office
• Warlike and like-war nations
‘There are stone inscriptions at the Chola temples in Tanjavur and Ukkal where he mentions ‘Ila Mandalam’ (his name for this island) and describes it thus: ‘The land of the warlike Sinhalas.’
• How about decolonizing the colonizer?
‘Raja Raja Chola I built temples using wealth plundered from various lands conquered. The Dutch, English, Belgians, Danes, French, Germans, Italians, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedes, Russians and Japanese were all looters. They all ‘house’ artifacts. The looters built cities and financed development.’
• Abolish 13a & Urgently Correct Language Laws Of The Country – No More “India First”
‘In Singapore, you don’t get Singaporean Tamils (or Sinhala) learning in their mother tongue segregated from other children….the medium is either Mandarin, or English.’
• Wigneswaran: India has a moral responsibility to ensure Tamil speaking people’s rights,
• Indian morality is fuelled by Tamil humbuggery
• What does Sri Lanka moving closer to China mean for India?
• Clash between Jafna students and university administration employees
• Prime Minister presents monetary aid to 40 Hindu temples
• Tiger Yang just renewed the two-thousand-year bond.
• Why Chinese Loans to Sri Lanka are Well Worth
• President Gotabaya refuted claim that China set up debt trap in SL: China
• China says Sri Lanka willing to promote BRI projects
• China is a True Friend, not a gift horse
‘China has given a gift of Rs.16.5 Billion, which is a god sent at these hard times, when Covid threatens to go on a rampage… The USA is offering the MCC, this is the difference, the latter is an instrument of imperialism, while Chinese assistance has no visible strings attached.’
• Sri Lanka secures US$90 million grant from China amid ‘debt trap’ call
• Chinese embassy in Colombo hits back at US
‘When it comes to human rights, the United States should do its “homework”’
• No rising Great Power can enable Colombo to bypass geostrategic reality – Jayatilleka
• Dayan is Wrong: “dynamic neutralism and non-alignment”.
• China vows friendship, cooperation with Sri Lanka, UAE, Algeria, Serbia
• Quad is East, Kabul is West, Never the Twain Shall Meet
‘US diplomat Robin Raphel, who nurtured the Taliban in its infancy in the 1990s and enjoyed tremendous bonhomie with the Pakistani elite, has recently resurfaced to enrich the nascent US-Pakistan-Taliban troika just when Afghanistan turns the corner and the geopolitical struggle against Russia, China and Iran is to commence.
• Pompeo says China amassing huge forces against India in the Nort
• India Signals Shift from “One-China” Policy to Mount Pressure on Beijing
• US ultimate agenda to control Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan
• China, Pakistan & Russia win seats at UNHRC
• Traditional friends in UNHRC must help secure CLOSURE of Resolutions against Sri Lanka
• Image of PM with the former Chinese foreign minister has been doctored
• Chinese imperialist motivations and initiatives in relation to US and other imperialist powers
‘The loan and infrastructure contracts outrightly violate national sovereignty with provisions requiring that disputes are subject to arbitration by Chinese courts, that the supplies come exclusively from China, that the labor force be 40 to 60 percent Chinese and that upon failure to repay the loans these are convertible to equity or 99-year Chinese control over project, land and the natural resources.’
• Philippines lifts ban on oil and gas exploration in South China Sea
• Syrian president says US foreign policy remains unchanged under Trump
‘US president “is doing what he is told to do by the CIA, the Pentagon and major oil companies”’
• Return Looted Art to Former Colonies, Dutch Committee Tells Government
‘The Netherlands should show “a willingness to return” items taken without consent, a report said. But past experience shows the path from recommending restitution to actual return can be a long one.’
• Why did Amnesty UK, Bellingcat & White Helmets sabotage Roger Waters webinar
• Mike Pompeo’s Cold-War Fever
• Friedman: Terrified Covering America’s Potential Second Civil War
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.
• Nation entertained by circus artistes at the CID
• Firearm and private security agency license renewal (2021) suspended
• South Indian fishermen engage in IUU fishing in SL waters undeterred
‘Hundreds, if not thousands of such fishermen from Tamil Nadu, cross the maritime boundary and carry out IUU fishing in the Sri Lanka waters off the northern province of the country damaging marine resources and fishing gear of local fishermen.’
• Katta Kamini’ arrested in Bengaluru
‘He was involved in an attack on then-President Chandrika Kumaratunga in 1999 in which she lost one eye. The gang was allegedly into narcotics smuggling and extortion, police said’
• Kandy Bar Association in Court to Support Landlord of Collapsed Buiulding
• Bogambara Prison turned into a battlefield
• Committee to look at setting up small claims court, amending Civil Procedure ‘pre-trial’ steps
• Supreme Court extends stay order on re-imposition of death penalty
• Sports Ministry to put up shooting ranges in each district for school shooters
• “Taking up Arms”: BASL’s only remedy ?
• Release of Riyaj Bathiudeen and fake news – PMD
• During“Yahapalanaya” state security engulfed by terror
• Hashim had phone conversation with suicide bomber’s brother 2 days prior to carnage,
• Aide to Rishad telephoned newsrooms urged Brother’s Release not be made news
• Government MPs trying to hijack protests against release of Bathiudeen’s brother
• SLPP Supporters Disillusioned by Investigations
‘The All Ceylon Makkal Congress led by Bathiudeen has five MPs, and they are apparently as powerful as the parliamentary group consisting of 150 MPs’
• Multiple Police Officers including 11 DIGs transferred: Police HQ
• Army Chief dismisses criticism, public cooperation needed to overcome corona epidemic
‘curfew now imposed in 14 police areas in Gampaha Division (Yakkala, Pallewela, Weliweriya, Weeragula, Minuwangoda, Veyangoda, Pugoda, Nittambuwa, Mirigama, Malwathuhiripitiya, Dompe, Kiridiwela, Ganemulla and Gampaha), two police areas in Kelaniya Division (Kandana and Ja-ela) and three in Negombo Division (Divulapitiya, Seeduwa and Negombo)’
• Sri Lankan UN peace-keepers in Lebanon at ‘Ex-Steel Storm – 2020’
At present, Sri Lankan troops, majority being from the Sri Lanka Army have been deployed in Lebanon (UNIFIL), South Sudan (UNMISS), Mali (MINUSMA), Abyei (UNISFA), New York (UNHQ), Central African Republic (MINUSCA) and Western Sahara (MINURSO), either as military observers, Staff Officers, Staff Officer assistants or general contingent troops.’
• S. Korea donates 4000 re-usable fabric masks to SL Army
• Amnesty Intn’l calls for the release of HR lawyer Hejaaz Hizbullah
‘Sri Lankan authorities must repeal the PTA…’
• Osama still alive
• What Lanka can learn from US Senate grilling of new nominee to US Supreme Court
‘Civics is taught as a subject in Sri Lankan schools, but it is largely knowledge-oriented. It does not make the budding citizens politically conscious enough to grow up to be a democratic check against the abuse of state power by our elected representatives.’
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.
• Secretary to the minister of finance running the country
• Unlike India, Sri Lanka lacked a permanent National Planning Council
• Request for US$ 700 billion from IMF Not Given due to noncompliance with IMF conditions
‘We must ensure that foreign borrowing is for investments that increase tradable goods or services that generate foreign earnings’
• US Chamber of Commerce – AmCham Sri Lanka & USAID Promote Move Away from China
• IPS to host webinar on ‘Sri Lanka: State of the Economy’ report on Thursday
• Sound fiscal policy should be Govt. priority: IPS’ Weerakoon
‘“Government has to take the lead on social welfare…’
• Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Economic Summit on December 1-2
‘The theme of the summit is ‘Roadmap for Take-Off: Driving a People-Centric Economic Revival’,
• Exporters outlook for business and economy: USAID-supported COVID-19 impact survey
• US duo win Nobel Economics Prize for work on auctions
• Cabinet approval to amend Intellectual Properties Act
‘As the ‘Ceylon’ brand continues to be misused in the global market, especially in the case of tea and cinnamon, the government announced its decision to amend the current intellectual property laws’
• Multidimensional Poverty Index: Towards evidence-based policy approach to tackling poverty
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.
• Nivard, CB Chief hold talks with Chinese Embassy officials on next steps
• PM and Indian HC meet to discuss investment opportunities
• CSE foreign funds outflow seen as controllable
• Morgan Stanley report warns Govt. to engage with IMF
• Major expectations drop for manufacturing and services sectors on COVID-19 worries: PMI
• SL’s manufacturing and services sectors expanded in September
• ‘Brandix Cluster casts long shadow over faster economic recovery’
• Govt. to table two Appropriation Bills in P’ment next week
‘Along with the Appropriation Bill for 2021, the government will present a separate Bill to cover the expenses for 2020 including the funds withdrawn from the Consolidated Fund under the authorisation of the President between March and August this year.’
• 50% probability for policy rates to remain unchanged: First Capital Research
• Any port in a storm
‘The US-led Co-Chairs of the Tokyo Conference on Reconstruction and Development of Sri Lanka, in the early noughties, lured this country into an aid trap of sorts, endangering its national security and territorial integrity; they had the then UNP-led government give in to the LTTE to the point of compromising the country’s national security and territorial integrity. They did so by tying an aid pledge (USD 4.5 billion) to progress to be made in talks between the government and the LTTE, which was abusing a fragile truce to prepare for the next phase of its war’
• Foreign Minister tells C’wealth Foreign Affairs Ministers’ meeting urgent need for debt relief
• Sri Lanka cannot alienate other creditors and solve debt problems with only China: Harsha
• Banks seeking to extend Sri Lanka Financial Reporting Standard – 9 relief
‘Commercial banks are urging an extension to the time period on the relief given to them in the last quarter in reporting their financials.’
• Central Bank to disburse Rs. 175 bn in loans to revive collapsed businesses
‘These loans will help businesses to make statutory payments, including payroll, employee provident funds and employee trust funds, water bills, electricity bills, and rent for buildings. “We hope this would provide relief to businessmen who were severely affected during the March-April period”. These loans are provided by 29 selected public and private sector licensed commercial banks.’
• Sri Lanka approves Rs178bn central bank re-financed bank credit, breaking limit
• Export earnings top US$ 1bn in September
• Sri Lanka achieves three year-on-year increases of merchandise exports
• Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports surpass $ 1 billion for the third time in September 2020
• Sri Lanka forex reserves drop to US$6,652mn in September 2020
• Chinese bailout sought amidst balance of payments crisis in Sri Lanka
• Lanka to get US$ 500m loan from China
• Sri Lanka turns to China rather than IMF to avoid default
• IMF forecasts Sri Lanka’s economy to shrink 4.6% this year
• Financial system stable ‘for now,’ but vulnerabilities rising: IMF
• SL to face ‘additional hurdles’ in tax revenue collection: Moody’s
• SL low tax revenue will subdue COVID-19 recovery: Moody’s
• IMF sees less severe global contraction but trouble in emerging markets
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
• COVID-19 and Situation of Garment Factory Workers in Katunayaka
• “Brandix Workers who fainted had water sprinkled on their faces and had to work again”
• Virus spreads mostly through hostels
• Some Brandix workers spreading false news on social media to protect the officers
• Lankan apparel workers lost over 40% of their usual wages due to brands & retailers
‘blames garment brands and retailers for rushing into reviewing and cancelling orders. Says global supply chains owe apparel workers between US $ 3.2-5.8bn in unpaid wages, legally owed bonuses and compensation’
• COVID-19 runs riot as big business hunt profits – Editorial
‘Since President J.R. Jayawardene relaxed laws governing worker welfare in a mad pursuit of foreign investment, workers’ rights in the country are at its lowest level. In fact in most of our so-called blue chip companies, workers are hired on a contractual basis – hire and fire basis – leaving workers with no remedial action for redress.’
• Tens of thousands in the Katunayake FTZ can catch Covid – Workers’ Bodies
• Unions want transparent probe into Covid cluster at Brandix
• Ensure impartiality of Brandix internal inquiry, worker rights collective requests BOI
• Stop criminalizing garment factory workers; FTZ rights groups urge govt., public
‘Board of Investments, Labour Department and apparel manufacturing companies should be held responsible for this situation.’
• Covid second wave must be blamed on government not Apparel-Maker – Opposition MP
• GMOA calls on branch unions to streamline COVID-19 steering committees
• Separate COVID-19 laws for people & politicians: All-Island Government Medical Officers Association
• All Ceylon General Ports Workers Union urges strict health protocols at shipping port
• Development Officers Service Union seeks protective gear for state employees
• Brandix will survive crisis while lives shattered will be forgotten
‘take a moment to think of the stitchers in your factories, the gram sellers and the road sweepers whose livelihoods are shattered because of someone’s stupidity’
• Arpico Failed To Follow Covid-19 Health Guidelines But Bank of Ceylon Did
• Untrue Misleading Statements On Certain Recent Media Reports – Richard Pieris
• Covid-19 crisis: Factories directed to private labs as workload piles up
• Health Minister helpless as the power play is beyond her
• The Second Wave and who decides the health policy?
• Pavitra at last finalises covid-19 gazette
• National Medicines Regulatory Authority warns private hospitals cannot exceed Maximum Retail Prices
• Healthcare bill important than 20A: Sajith
• World Health Organisation (WHO) warns against pursuing herd immunity
• Gampaha district secretary seeks allowance for affected families
‘72,345 families have been affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the district’
• Two construction workers killed in elevator collapse
• Estate Workers’ Lives Matter – Editorial
‘Today, over 10 months after Minister Bandula Gunawardane – on January 15, 2020 – announced that the Cabinet had approved increasing the daily wage of a tea estate worker from Rs.750/- per day to Rs.1,000/- per day, the tea estate workers, continue to receive a daily wage of Rs.750/- per day. ‘
• Falling tree kills two tea plucking women; one injured
• Deploy robust policies to deal with economic uncertainties – IPS
‘For Sri Lanka, a high 68% of the workforce in informal employment and only 29% of the country’s workforce covered by social protection, elevate the risks of widening existing income disparities.
Only 23% of Sri Lankan households own either a desktop or a laptop computer, limiting options to work from home or access alternative means of education’
• Reduced wages based on company performance
‘Discussions are underway to continue the tripartite agreement for 3 more months to allow companies to pay workers in the apparel and tourism sectors reduced wages depending on the companies that request it…. FTZ Trade Union General Secretary Anton Marcus said that they had not agreed to the extension since there was no merit in carrying out these measures. He noted that the industry is now in a position to continue operations and that their production is similar to the previous years’ levels.’
• Cabinet committee to study utilising 14,000 acres Railway Dept. land
‘80% of land illegally occupied, says Transport Minister ‘
• Action against railway employees residing on railway lands
• Current Account bailed out by migrant workers and exports
• Private proposal to repatriate Sri Lankans shot down due to high cost
• PM considers granting voting rights to Sri Lankans living abroad
• Chandra J writes to Harini Amarasuriya on recognising and rewarding unpaid care workers
• WFP commends Govt’s food distribution process in lockdown
• Police urge all govt. & private institutions to update employee database
• Labour laws protecting employees force bitter pill companies– Prof. SJ Wimalawansa
• President halts private sector involvement in return of Sri Lankans stranded abroad
• 75% of all workers in South Asia depend on informal employment
‘especially in hospitality, retail trade, and transport’
• Only a few patients with life limiting illness still receive proper palliative care
‘Around 68,000 people require palliative care, as many as 60 percent of all people who die in a year’
• SL to host Asia Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health 2020 virtually
• People’s Bank & Employees’ Trust Fund school award project
• The Anti-Marxist Elitism of J. Sakai’s ‘Settlers’
‘a petty bourgeois ideology plagues the Western Socialist zeitgeist, which has largely been spread by the work of writer J. Sakai. It evades a name, but we can refer to it as “First-World Third Worldism”’
• US War About to Break Out?
‘To Trump’s base, The Wall, USMCA, immigration controls, the China trade war, and Supreme Court appointees appear to be a fulfillment of those promises and Trump can persuasively argue that he needs four more years to realize the full impact of these policies.’
• MIM or MLM? Confronting the Divergent Politics of the Petty Bourgeois “Left”
• Trotsky and the FBI
• Letting coronavirus spread freely for ‘herd immunity’ is unethical, says WHO
• Millions languishing in poverty; a moral outrage
‘Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty’
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.
• Defense Secretary assures legal action against land grab practices
• President focuses on providing a higher price for farmer, relief price for consumer
‘The government has commenced the plantation of coconut trees across 50,000 acres…. both Yala and Maha seasons this year have been favourable compared to last year…a special program has been planned to transport fruits, vegetables and fertiliser via trains, with the assistance of Sri Lanka Railways.’
• President wants to get rid of middlemen for the benefit of both producer and consumer
• FAO and WFP Call for Urgent Action to Strengthen Food Systems
‘Without massive improvements in the food supply chain, countries like Sri Lanka, are set to become increasingly vulnerable to financial volatility and climate shocks.’
• Import tax on dhal, canned fish, Big Onions and sugar lifted
• Govt. approves import of 6, 000 metric tons of basmati rice
• Sri Lanka suspends coconut auctions, amid rising retail prices
• Turning point of Sri Lankan tea is in polyphenol based tea marketing
• Turkey has emerged as the No. 1 importer of Sri Lankan tea.
‘…followed by Iraq and Russia. Iran, China, Azerbaijan and Chile in particular are some of the other noteworthy importers…Exports to Saudi Arabia and Ukraine too…Exports to Libya, Syria and UAE, however, have shown a decrease…’
• Cattle slaughter ban is a diversionary tactic
‘government is not committed to enacting an animal welfare act’
• Germany’s DIMO enters agri-tourism with its Agri Techno Park in Dambulla
‘DIMO Agribusinesses owns three Agri Techno Parks, which are located in Dambulla (mid country), Nikaweratiya (low country) and Lindula (upcountry wet zone)… Dambulla Agri Techno Park conducts vegetable seed trials (local/imported, open pollinated/hybrid) fertiliser, crop care and other agriculture-related trials to improve the quality of the agriculture production in Sri Lanka.’
• Agri SMEs looking to gain from Europe’s appetite for healthy food choices
• Aussie startup moves into SL seafood market
• Why modern agricultural technologies fail in Sri Lanka
• Timber smugglers attack Sri Lankan journalists exposing the racket
• Apparel waste dumped in Elephant Corridor
• CEA, Customs yet dragging their feet over taking action against toxic garbage importers
‘Ceylon Metal Processing and Hayley’s Hub imported toxic garbage from England’
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.
• Keep foreign contractors away from Government-funded projects, forefront local construction
• 18-member Task Force to study exploitation of geological resources for development
• Vizhinjam Sea Port in Kerala potential threat to Colombo Port
• 19th AGM of Sri Lanka-NORDIC Business Council of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
‘Prasath Mahalingam, 99X Technology Ltd. was elected president, and Jehan Perinpanayagam, of Infomate (Pvt) Ltd., and Andre Fernando, of MAC Holdings (Pvt) Limited were elected Vice Presidents. The Committee members representing Aitken Spence Travels (Pvt) Ltd., Indika Abeykoon, Alpha Industries (Pvt) Ltd., Sarath Weerasuriya, Columbus Tours (Pvt) Ltd., Bobby J. Hansen, John Keells IT Ousman Anthony and Wilhelmsen Meridian Navigation Limited, Maleena Awn…’
• Govt. relaxes ban, but slaps high CESS on apparel imports
• Toyota to install assembly line in SL if govt continues with import restrictions
• Sri Lanka exports tea to Japan, imports technology or equipment from Japan
• Top level committee probes import of 300 luxury vehicles worth Rs. 2bn
• Paranthan Chemicals gears for disinfecting the environment
• Government permits molasses imports to save state-owned sugar firms
• Used beverage can ingot exporters feel pinch of export ban of all scrap metals
‘15 small & medium scale enterprises produce ingots with 96% of Aluminum and export it to countries like India, Korea and Malaysia as it cannot be sold in Sri Lanka… Government decided to ban all scrap metal including UBC ingots as requested by All Ceylon Metal Foundry Industrialist Association…’
• Why was Gabapentin the first choice to be produced locally?
‘Prescription drug misuse is a problem, especially psychoactive drugs such as opioids, benzodiazepines and more recently gabapentinoids the class of drugs gabapentin belongs’
• Imported medicine sellers bribe specialist medical practitioners to prescribe imported medicine.
• WB board approves $12bn for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments in developing countries
‘The World Bank said the financing program will include technical support to recipient countries so they can prepare for deploying vaccines at scale, and will signal to drug companies that there will be strong demand and ample financing for COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.’
• Will the Government allow import of cow-skins to tanneries?
‘I am surprised that the group most affected by the proposal, the members of the Sri Lanka Leather Association, failed to comment of their plight resulting the implementation of proposal. They include leather tanners, who convert raw cattle-skins into leather for use by the industry, shoe and leather goods manufacturers who use the tanned leather for the manufacture of shoes, leather bags, articles for sale to tourists, also to cover the sides of drums. If the slaughter of cattle are banned they all will be unable to continue their livelihood, and many hundreds of thousands will lose their employment.’
• Sri Lanka to activate anti-dumping laws from October 10 amid import controls
‘The practice is prevalent especially in drugs and healthcare where Western drug companies sell at high prices at home, and low prices in developing countries.’
• Sri Lanka, China sign supplementary agreement on water supply, technology cooperation
• Panic buying of food jars boosts Piramal Glass 2Q
‘India’s Piramal Group owns 56.45 percent of the issued shares of Piramal Glass Ceylon.’
• Banks backtrack concessionary loan disbursement among needy borrowers
‘a large number of MSMEs complained’
• New state-owned Expressway Investment Company to be established
• Priority to complete construction work of expressways
• Rs. 1.6 trillion for road projects since 2007, says report highlighting underperformance
• Steps to expedite construction of Nainamadama – Iranawila-Chilaw road
• South Asia’s Garment export sector needs regional outlook, new markets
‘For the billion-dollar industry, which employs 4.4 million, mostly women, cancellation or orders put on-hold, means looking at an 18pct negative growth in 2021. Bangladesh imports a good portion of the raw materials, and exports 85pct of the finished product to the USA, EU and Canada.’
• Fabric and Apparel Accessory Manufactures’ Association urges public to be respectful
• AkzoNobel honors City School of Architecture students at Colour Awards 2018-2019
• WTO-linked International Trade Centre, Department of Commerce & UN training
‘for statistical software package STATA, as part of the European Union (EU) funded EU–Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance Project.’
• Microsoft partners from Sri Lanka recognized
• Book on The History of Aviation in Sri Lanka presented to the President
• Madurankuliya people’s requests to the President yield results
• Persistent Systems Lanka donates to SOS Children’s Villages
‘Persistent Systems Lanka (Pvt) Limited, a leading global software solutions provider based in Colombo, donated pedal sinks and infrared thermometers…’
• The Crimean War as a technological enterprise
‘The Crimean War became a stage for the display of England’s innovative technologies ranging from telegraphy to photography, railways to steamships, and ironclads to sanitary hospitals. It became a business opportunity for entrepreneurs to promote their enterprises and to gain prestige, with the sanction of patriotism.’
• Promises of Electric Cars for Canada
‘Even if the Electric Car project does come to fruition, it will not come close to offsetting the tens of thousands of auto and related jobs recently lost…’
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.
• Turnover in billions the new norm at Colombo stock market
• Sri Lanka stocks close 0.44-pct higher
• Nine Licensed Finance Companies face regulatory pressure
‘CBSL stated that eight licensed finance companies; Arpico Finance Co. PLC, Associated Motor Finance Co. PLC, Bimputh Finance PLC, Kanrich Finance Ltd, Merchant Bank of Sri Lanka & Finance PLC, Richard Pieris Finance Ltd, Softlogic Finance PLC and UB Finance Co. Ltd found non-compliant with the minimum capital adequacy requirement and has been given time extension to rectify the non-compliance.’
• Non-bank financial institution sector to incur substantial losses in FY-21 – First Capital
• Central Bank Non-Bank Financial Institutions Supervision Department to be overhauled
‘Edirisinghe family-owned ETI ran into serious liquidity issues with a nearly US$ 200 million hole in its balance sheet, it was forced to dispose the shares of its subsidiary and sub-subsidiary companies as well as investment properties for US$ 75 million to a joint venture company between Singapore-based Blue Summit Group and its local partner Ben Holdings linked to investment banker Alex Lovell.’
• List of Sri Lanka’s Registered Finance Leasing Establishments released
‘12 Licensed Commercial Banks, 39 Licensed Finance Companies, 4 Licensed Specialised Banks and 3 Specialised Leasing Companies’
• Rs. 1.6 billion capital infusion to Union Bank Finance
• Ajith Peiris assumed duties as GM/CEO of National Savings Bank
• Access Engineering Sri Lanka [SL]A+ rating confirmed, outlook lowered: ICRA Moody
‘AEL (Consolidated level) operates mainly in four sectors i.e. Civil Engineering, Construction Material Sales, Commercial Real-Estate, and Automobile Dealership… In February 2012, Access Engineering acquired Sathosa Motors PLC (Sathosa), which holds the franchise for Isuzu commercial vehicles. Also, Sathosa’s subsidiary –Access Motors (Pvt.) Ltd. –is the sole agent for Jaguar Land Rover in Sri Lanka.’
• Fitch publishes Lakdhanavi Limited’s first time ‘AA+(lka)’ rating
• Mobitel partners World Bank’s ComBank enable LANKAQR payments for mCash merchants
• EFutures joins hands with The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) as their strategic technology partner.
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’
• Edirisinghe Trust Investments violated several financed laws
• Cabinet approval to reorganize Non-Bank Financial Institutions Supervision Department
• Sri Lanka trade deficit improves in Aug 2020
• ‘Take advantage of large Indian market’ – Former Central Bank Governor Coomaraswamy
‘speaking at a joint Takshashila Institution and Pathfinder Foundation webinar…Sri Lanka has a trade deficit of US$ 3.1 billion in favour of India however only 5% of India’s exports to Sri Lanka only comes on a concessional basis due to the Free Trade Agreement. Sri Lankan exports to India under the FTA accounted for US$ 490 million while total exports to India accounted for US$ 763 million’
• Flush with cash and low-cost credit, consumers shun credit card debt
• Ceylon Chamber of Commerce & Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board webinar on Current Challenges in Applying Accounting Standards & General Findings of Accounting Auditing Regulator
• DFCC Bank partners Havelock City to finance the Commercial Development
• Flemington launches third apartment project
‘The condominium is situated in a prime location on Vajira Road, Colombo 04 in close proximity to leading schools such as Royal College, Visakha Vidyalaya, and Holy Family Convent as well as Sirimavo, Mahanama, Thurston, Hindu College, St. Peter’s College and St. Paul’s Milagiriya’
• An adventure through Sri Lanka, the ‘land of serendipity’.
• Exploring the rivers and rainforests of Sri Lanka
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.
• 20A debate on 21 and 22 Oct.
• Parliament’s failure to address crucial issue exposed
‘Election Act silent on National List appointments’
• Karuna Amman appointed district coordinator of Prime Minister
• Suddenly, ideas like Sovereignty, borders, national security, national economy fashionable
• Our politicians are controlled by various agencies and forces outside Sri Lanka.
• New people’s movement rallies up against 20A
‘Ven. Ulapane Sumangala Thero is the convenor of the movement that comprises former governors Maithri Gunaratne and Keerthi Tennakoon, Attorney-at-law Gunaratne Wanninayake, Prof. Anura Uthumange, Wasantha Dharmasri, Mayura Senanayake, Attorney-at-law Rajika Kodithuwakku, Ananda Palitha, Aruna Ruwanwella, Wimal Jayasuriya and Palitha Wickramaratne’.
• Covid19 and the Opposition
‘It is as though the SJB spokespersons have been living in a bubble all this time. It’s as though they’ve walked through their hours and days like zombies, without noticing the myriad warnings’
• Dealing with former PM akin to working with “Political Devil”: former President
‘Wickremesinghe continued insist that Mahendran was the right person to handle the Central Bank. I did not want to create a conflict within a week of coming to the office…’
• SC rules four 20A clauses require referendum; rest can be passed by 2/3rd majority
• Lankan Supreme Court allows basic structure of 20A to remain without a referendum
• 20A: Govt. to implement SC recommendations besides amendments submitted by AG
• “Do not pass 20th Amendment” Amarapura -Ramanna Samagari Maha Sangha Sabha
• Wasn’t aware of press conference held on 20A – Ramanna Nikaya Chief Prelate
• National Christian Council is “deeply concerned” about the 20A
‘The NCCSL brings together all Protestant Christian Churches and Nine Ecumenical Organisations.’
• Catholic Church opposes 20A calls for new constitution to be drafted
• 20th Amendment will be passed before the budget is presented – Dayasiri
• Struggles against JR’s Dharmishta samajaya
• Election reminiscences Part III
‘At the 1936 State Council Election, the Matale Seat was won by B.H. Aluvithare. He was getting ready for the victory parade, when some gunman opened fire. The winner and about 15 others were seriously injured four were dead.’
• Office-bearers elected for Sri Lanka Malay Confederation
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.
• PCol determined to provide comic relief to ease pandemic fatigue
• Free Media Movement demand action after 2 more journalists probing deforestation assaulted
• FMM condemns attack against Mullaithivu journalists; two arrested
• From fighting ferocious Tigers to sharing a cell with a curious cat
‘It was the first time in our country’s history that a Chief of Defence Staff had been in the dock!’
• “The Many Faces of the Kandyan Kingdom (1591-1765)”
‘the demonization of the Nayakkars as un-Sinhala, un-Buddhist, and un-Kandyan was largely the work of colonial (mainly Dutch) officials hostile to them’
• Internationally featured research on Sinhala letterform to be published as book titled ‘Akura’
• ‘Jathaka Stories Retold’ (in English)
• Valorising mythology to invalidate known history
‘statements are meant to distort, rubbish, and obviate, if possible, Sri Lanka’s ancient Sinhala Buddhist cultural heritage.’
• Not News But A Juicy Collection Of Narratives – How The New York Times Failed Its Readers
• Weaknesses in resistance journalism