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US Election Drones, Rogue English Civil Service & 1848 Uprising
e-Con e-News 8-14 November 2020
Those wailing about ‘dictatorship’ forget that the English, when under Japanese attack in World War 2, declared emergency rule. They imposed a war economy here, with restrictions on imports and consumption, guaranteeing prices and wages to cultivators and workers (see ee, 08 February 2020, for a description of what they did).
Now, as hunger and de-employment increase, as merchants and moneylenders run riot, fake democrats hope a broad ruling mishmash – under seige from the political, economic and military attacks of white & brown sahibs – will soon implode.
• The recent war between Azerbaijan and Armenia was decided by ‘suicide drones’ supplied by supposed-enemies Israel and Turkey to oil-rich Azerbaijan. At the same time US and Canadian suppliers of drone engines squeezed oil concessions by threatening to suspend sales of drone engines.
The US also recently announced sales of drones to India. The SL army too this week set up a drone regiment, also announcing the assembly of some armoured vehicles, but still importing engines! Isn’t it time, to make engines and the machines that make them? Shouldn’t we, after 72 years of fake independence, be teaching children how to make engines? (see ee Security)
• The US elections expose the fraud of their democracy: We elect a president directly. They don’t. Here, an election commission decides. There an unelected capitalist media silences any popular mandate, while prematurely deciding winners. Vast numbers, even a majority, of people simply do not vote in those countries, cos it’s rigged by money, whereas here it’s a national sport.
Slavery shaped and decided the US Constitution. It still shapes the electoral college system that rule their elections. Article 1, Section 2 of the US Constitution declared, any person who was not free would be counted as 3-5th of a free individual for the purposes of determining congressional representation. The “Three-Fifths Clause” thus increased the political power of slaveholding states. While this clause was later invalidated, the electoral college system remains! (see Random Notes)
• It’s budget time, and media claim prices are being jacked up, goading the government to control private merchants.
The capitalist media here is an irresponsible joke. Look how they report the stock market, as overflowing one day with billions, and a dry zone the next day.
The media this week said the stock market is turning over billions led by vehicle and vegetable importers “stuck with the cash due to import restrictions”. Why can’t the media investigate why this stock market fails to invest in modern industrialization?
Modern industrialization would be the easiest way to pay back debts. Why won’t the media just say this. Instead the media acts like a seizer’s door banger, bang, bang, banging, day in day out, insisting we have to pay up. Or else they demand we submit to the IMF. They also spread blatant lies about the nature of the debt and how it came to be.
An illiterate and innumerate media also has no idea about the primary need for production of machines and machine tools. What this sad media mean by industrialization is assembly, primitive labor-intensive manufacture and SMEs making cutlis and pattis.
• The media is exaggerating and underplaying the amount of gold pawned recently by people desperate to obtain loans. Opposition media claim almost half the people are seeking financial support, with many losing their entire income, and hunger increasing.
The Sunday Times: “The amount of money obtained by the public from gold jewellery pawning centres at commercial banks and financial institutions, in the past 6 months this year, aggregates to over Rs 643 billion, official data showed.”
While AdaDerana reported: “Minister Cabraal told Parliament yesterday that as at the end of Dec 2019 total loans granted by the Central Bank to all banks for pawning advances stood at Rs 210 billion and at the end of Sept 2020 it had increased by 27 billion to Rs 237 billion.”
The media can’t admit this impoverishment has been a long-term trend, with bank profits increasingly based on grabbing workers’ gold savings. Bank profits do not rise from investment in industry. But what do the banks do with all this gold? And what of the billions in profits banks just announced in the 3rd quarter ended? Are all our gold reserves still in the Bank of England? Look what happened to their gold reserves in London recently. And why not invest in industry?
• The capitalist media decides, frames and limits debate, prioritizes and selects information to attack, or defend the status quo. Those attacking are not interested in transforming the economy to make it more equitable. Those defending also do not clearly state a plan for industrialization and investment, and a program for implementation.
The World Bank has always opposed planning, especially against investment in heavy industry. Some insist the assassination of SWRD in 1959 was to prevent the implementation of the 10-Year Plan, with its focus on heavy industry.
• Sweet-dreamers about the white West spin babble about the great Civil Service inherited from the English, that now lies ruined. This ee recalls the sheer fraud the English ordained in Sri Lanka, as well as the role of the so-called ‘civil service’ in the robbery.
This ee adapts excerpts from WMDD Andradi’s English-educated Ceylonese in the Official Life of Ceylon 1865-83, providing insight into the local competition for government jobs, and the much-coveted civil service examination. ee locates the game in the changing colonial strategies especially after the 1848 rebellion, the 7th uprising against the English since 1815, and the 1857 rebellion in India:
By 1845, England was aware that “the whole body of Public Officers”, from the English Governor to the Chief Justice to the Archdeacon, were profiting from the newly stolen lands of montane Sinhale, and the new coffee plantations.
This official profiting was blamed for the decay of the colonial government: “Public spirit was almost extinct in that service; and it rapidly degenerated into an inefficient corps,” noted the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Colonial Office, James Stephen (great-grandfather of Virginia Woolf, whose husband Leonard was made an official in Ceylon).
This degeneration was traced only to the 1833 Colebrooke-Cameron Royal Commission of Eastern Inquiry (CCC) appointed by England’s Colonial Office, to deal with constant deficits. The CCC had set up a narrow Executive Council and Legislative Council in Ceylon, and abolished rajakariya – community service – which hastened the destruction of agriculture and the intricate irrigation system it needed. Irrigation in turn had depended on the solidarity engendered by the purana gamsabha.
The corruption of English officials was justified by claiming that CCC reforms had reduced the salaries of officials so much, “as to render it a bare maintenance and as to disappoint hope of saving money with a view to retiring, in the evening of life.” The coffee boom raised the cost of living, and their salaries had not kept up. The Civil Service had never been efficient, but the CCC reforms made them “even more incompetent and inefficient”. The new Governor decided to divert taxation from the planters onto the peasants.
The nepotism of “Family Compact” – of closely related senior civil servants in Ceylon – and the mass murder of 1848 is visibly recalled (not just in the after scars on the people) in the roads in Colombo bearing the names: Torrington, Templer, MacCarthy, Layard, Braybrooke, Buller. (see Random Notes)
• “Prince Harry’s ‘Charm’ Needed to Help Stop Barbados ‘Flirting with Republicanism’”, cries out England’s Daily Express. England hopes they can get off-white princess Meghan to chip in her 2 pence of shade. Is the Bajan move for real independence? Or bluff to get England to make a few concessions? Their economy appears overdependent on offshore banking and tourism, which makes Black people trespassers in their own country? 20% of the people are impoverished. It is Canada’s top tax hideout.
England is blaming the move on Barbados signing up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative last year. CIA intelligence about China’s influence over Barbados has been shared with England. This ee offers a short insight into Barbados’ history, and their vibrant culture despite English slavery. (see ee Focus)
A1. Reader Comments –
• IPS, Advocata & Bank Robbery • Covid 2nd Wave Conspiracy? • SMEs Highly Import-Dependent • Western Province a Parasite on Country
A2. Quotes of the Week
• PM says Overdependence on Tea & Rags • Opposition Push for IMF • WB against Plan for Heavy Industry • Airspace & Drones • US Electoral Fix • What Syria Withdrawal?
A3. Random Notes –
• Hunger Rising? • Gold & Pawning • Large Loans to Finance Foreign Education • IMF Wants Private Recovery & No Plan • Colonial Origins of Merchant Power & Official Corruption • Origins of Family Rule • Family Rule in England • Inquiry into 1948 Mass Murder • Taxation & Rebellion • Plantation & Deadly Hatred • Origins of locals in Civil Service • Slavery & the US Constitution • US Media Decides Elections
B. ee Focus
B1. Government Clerks in late 19th C Lanka – WMDD Andradi
B2. African & Barbados – Alan Cobley
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.
• “The last ee was not clear about how IPS, Advocata, Harsha & Eran were involved in robbing the state banks under cover of reforming SOEs. More and more evidence is being unearthed how the Yahapalana government tried to ruin the SOEs.”
• “The unfolding scenario has all the elements, either of a bad B-movie, or of a conspiracy to lay siege to the government by undermining economic recovery: After NATO assesses the sucessses and weaknesses of combating the first wave, Ukrainian flight crews seduce Indian technical experts at a 5-star tourist hotel, who infect workers at a top US-Exporting Garment Factory that has no occupational health and safety regulations nor provide proper housing. This results in a virulent second-wave that is then blamed on the fishing industry, with some people clamoring for total lockdown to further ruin the economy. Yet others blame the government for letting their guard down and focusing on constitutional tinkering. Yet those attacking were also wailing about constitutions. This is all gossip. Without good media, no wonder people need gossip and fiction.”
• “SMEs are highly import dependent. They have to compete with so-called eco-friendly standards set by the developed countries making them even more dependent. Why is SL still struggling to get basic stuff like bottling and canning right? Import dependence increased because, practically, imports are allowed for anything. Existing accessory suppliers then go out of business. They cannot expand because they cannot compete. Eco-friendly standards are a joke, because importers can get goods cleared with no problem. Only local SME manufacturers have problems obtaining raw materials. Also compare SMEs here and in Japan and South Korea, etc. ”
• “The Western Province and Colombo for the last many hundred years has been a parasite on the rest of the country. With a lockdown in the WP, the rest of the country could develop better now.”
• “The world’s sorest losers are changing war secretaries. But their warmongering mouthpieces like Pompeo, who tarnished this country for a day, drone on even louder. It’s surely time we all, here and across the world, pull back from the brink. We must focus on containing this swift viral spread of both Covid (a few countries have proven it containable) and of blatant lies. We must wake up and jump off that even swifter-sinking ship of US imperialism and its deafening blind anti-China bandwagon.”
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• “A market economy that is dependent only on tea and apparels, with imports that are twice that of the exports without value additions to local resources and raw materials, will not facilitate sustainable development.” – PM Mahinda Rajapakse, Budget Speech
• “The Opposition says we are in a debt trap. There are many trying to push us towards the IMF; so we are forced to sell our national resources, cut down the public service, depreciate the Rupee and take the Government towards failure – but we will not allow that to happen” – Nivard Cabraal, Money Capital Markets & State Enterprise Reforms Minister
• “In the 10-Year Plan, 1959-68, the overwhelming bulk of the government’s industrial investments was intended to be channelled into large scale industry which was clearly discouraged by the World Bank Mission of 1951, and on its advice, then-government of Sri Lanka (1952-55).” – WD Lakshman
• “US military bases ring China from Japan, through the South Pacific and the Philippines, all the way to Afghanistan. The Trump administration continued Obama’s “pivot” with a combination of military pressure (eg, “Freedom of Navigation” provocations in the South China Sea) and economic sanctions.”
• “The Armenian army has lost airspace in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in the face of Israeli and Turkish drone strikes. Many attribute this to the deterioration of equipment and low-tech weapons and old anti-aircraft radars.”
• “Mr Trump is seeking to flip the election by persuading Republican legislatures in 2 or more of the swing states to send in separate slates of electors to those chosen by their voters.”
• “What US Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal.” (see ee Security)
• “Nothing in our times can be done without elections; nothing can be done without the masses. And in this era of printing and parliamentarism it is impossible to gain the following of the masses without a widely ramified, systematically managed, well-equipped system of flattery, lies, fraud, juggling with fashionable and popular catchwords, and promising all manner of reforms and blessings to the workers right and left – as long as they renounce the revolutionary struggle for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie.” – Lenin, Imperialism
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• Media claimed this week, people are going hungry. Is this worse than before? Why don’t they ask the merchants to explain? What does they suggest as a solution? Eat the rich?
The media says, 7% of all households have lost their entire income. How many households lost their entire income last year? Again, this has been a long-term trend, not just due to Covid.
What does the media suggest we do? We mean, other than what the Chamber of Commerce orders?
In the last 6 months, they exaggerate, people have pawned their gold jewellery obtaining Rs. 643 billion. What did banks do with all this money, where did it end up, the media also won’t tell. How does this compare with other years, the media also won’t tell. And where does all this gold go? On a dhoni to India? Or to the Bank of England?
The media also won’t mention loans taken to finance personal education increased 90% in the first 6 months! Did it go to all those fly-by-night universities in England and Australia? Free education?
• We must submit to the IMF, the faux opposition insists! At the same time, the US, EU, WB, IMF, ADB, etc, are most interested in helping the private sector recover. Recover to do what? Keep importing expensive technology? Why don’t we make it ourselves? The private sector refuses to invest in modern industry. Why wish them recovery?
It is not enough to be anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist, we need a plan for industrialization and a program. And industrialization means making of machine tools! (see ee Finance, Gold)
• 1839: Merchant domination of the economy in Lanka commenced “with the success of the early coffee plantations.” The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, with their powerful hold over the economy even today, was encouraged by the English Colonial Governor JA Stewart Mackenzie, after 13 representatives of colonial firms met in the Fort.
It was Governor Mackenzie who encouraged civil servants to profit from buying and selling land, and to become planters, offering “commercial plantation opportunities” when they made salary demands. Every official, from Governor to District Judge and Magistrates, became planters. Civil servants became a merchant-official class. Major Thomas Skinner recalled: “It was a mistake of the government to allow the public officials to be involved in the seductive plantations, as it has undermined the moral influence and the authority they hold. They have given priority to business interests than their duty.” The planters’ community became the most powerful lobby (setting up the Chamber of Commerce, Planters Association), totally dominating the Legislative Council, forcing the Governor to cancel the general land tax and the increased import duty on rice.
The old link between expensive industrial imports and inexpensive agricultural exports may be seen in ‘agency house’ William Mackwood, who owned stores and mills in Maradana, importing piece goods (fabric), hardware, roofing, barbed wire, nails, iron and steel bars, etc, and exporting coffee, rubber, and coconut. (By 1863: Mackwoods & Co managed 60 estates, and became the 2nd most senior member of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, after Steuart’s)
1843: Police Courts and Courts of Requests set up, further undermining the gamsabha. To deflect conflict-of-interest charges, ship owner James Steuart (Master Attendant in Colombo Port, Pearl Banks Guardian & Keeper) set up his brother George as George Steuart & Co. His brothers Joseph and George became agents for Arbuthnot, Latham & Co, London, Colombo Commercial Co, Gillanders, Arbuthnot & Co (Calcutta, Rangoon), etc, and for insurers: Alliance Assurance Co., North British & Mercantile Insurance Co., Bank of Montreal, etc., as well as for sterling companies and rupee companies. It became the largest agency house. 1845: James Steuart was made a member of the Ceylon Civil Service, and later a Police Magistrate.
• Opposition by senior civil servants in Ceylon to any reform became evident when James Tennent was appointed Colonial Secretary in 1845, overriding the claim of PE Wodehouse, Government Agent (GA) of the Western Province. Wodehouse had the support of the Colombo Observer, and the “Family Compact” – a group of relatives in Ceylon in whose hands lay “the whole power and influence of the government”. These families controlled the bulk of the key appointments in the administration. They had intermarried with other officials’ relatives, and their children were also appointed to office:
The head of this ‘Family Compact’ was FJ Templer, Colonial Treasurer. His sons-in-law were PE Wodehouse and Arthur Buller, the Queen’s Advocate, whose brother (& Templer’s nephew) CR Buller was the GA of the Central Province. Another Templer nephew was PA Dyke, GA of the Northern Province. A. Templer, Queen’s Advocate, was a close relative of PE Wodehouse. Templer’s son FB, was a recently appointed civil servant, and 2 nephews, H. Templer was AGA Galle, and F. Templer was Secretary to a Puisne Judge. Later, District Judge F. Templer married a cousin of PE Wodehouse. The Layard network of the Family Compact was headed by CP Layard, GA, Western Province. His brother-in-law, F Gibson was formerly Assistant Colonial Secretary. Other Layard relatives included T Gibson, District Judge, Badulla, H Pole, Police Magistrate Jaffna and Moyart, Commissioner of Requests and Police Magistrate Mallakam, and his nephew F. Layard was Police Magistrate, Matara.
Of course nepotism was rife in England’s inbred ruling class. Governor Torrington (1847-50) was the cousin of ruling Prime Minister John Russell, 1846-52. Early Grey 3rd was appointed Under-Secretary of State for War and the Colonies by his father who was Prime Minister,1830-34. Earl Grey 3rd had appointed CJ MacCarthy as 12th Accountant General and Controller of Revenue (Auditor General) of Ceylon in 1847. MacCarthy shortly after his appointment married the daughter of Benjamin Hawes, Grey’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Colonial Office. After Torrington was dismissed, MacCarthy, who had spied on them, was made the 12th Governor of Ceylon. MacCarthy had got into the civil service through his lifelong friend and classmate, the pornographer and S&M aficionado, Richard Monckton Milnes, 1st Baron Houghton (see ee Focus)
Roads in Colombo bearing the names, Torrington, Templer, MacCarthy and Layard remind of the mass murder of 1848. The conflict between the Family Compact together with The Colombo Observer, against Tennent and Governor Torrington, helped unearth some evidence at the inquiry into the English 1848 savagery.
Why did this 1849 inquiry take place? England was waging wars across the world, in India (Punjab, NW Frontier), Burma, Sarawak, China, New Zealand, Africa (Cape, West Africa), Caribbean, Canada (where parliament was burned down), and Ireland (famine), and there was revolution across Europe in 1848. The inquiry was first meant to look into Ceylon, Guiana and Mauritius alone, but only focused on the first two. The Committee of Inquiry included MPs Baillie, Peel, Gladstone, D’Israeli, Hume & Molesworth, critics of Grey’s colonial policy. Guiana was perhaps included to soften the criticism of Gladstone, whose father was a slave owner in Guiana, heavily involved in setting up the indentured slave trade from India. (This corruption was nothing new to empire. England’s rulers – from politician to priest – profited from the genocidal wars and chattel slave trade in the Americas, from indentured slavery in Asia, and the opium wars waged on China).
The 1848 Rebellion, its savage repression, the English inquiry into it, and subsequent whitewash, took place midst the battle in England between the rising industrial interests (promoting ‘Free Trade’) and rural landlords, to repeal the Corn Laws (which prevented the import of less-expensive food), that had led to the fall of the English government in 1846, and a weak John Russell government came to power, with Earl Grey made Colonial Secretary.
There was also conflict over colonial policy, settler and non-settler, which aimed at the expropriation and manufacture of wage workers, if not the emiseration of local people while imposing a settler workforce to produce capital.
It was midst this “Free Trade” debate that Tennent and Torrington arrived in Ceylon. Both Earl Grey and Tennent were strong advocates of laissez-faire and “Free Trade”, throughout their empire. The English state was promoting the myth of “Free Trade”, while taking its hands off commerce to firmly control industry and English workers, whose upper strata were now bribed through a share in the colonial loot.
The Cameron Colebrooke Commission had emphasized indirect taxation, most revenues coming from export duties, and some from import duties. The three other important revenues were from the pearl fishery, land sales for plantation agriculture, and land tax on paddy lands.
Tennent recommended direct taxes, abolishing or reducing export and import duties, with foreign goods treated the same as English goods. Torrington arrived during a coffee and cinnamon crisis, with a recession in England, for the first time affecting Ceylon’s economy. He repealed export duties, except on cinnamon. A Road Ordinance forced males to work for 6 days to mainly build plantation roads or pay a tax.
Grey insisted the ‘natives were too lazy’ unlike Europeans, and needed the exertion to attain civilization. It’d better to impose taxes on ‘natives who preferred subsistence’, than on English traders.
The plantations were a source of “deadly hatred” to the people: Planters, who Torrington called “the very worst class of Englishmen”, and the “Malabar coolies” brought as workers, had taken over their land. Forest sales deprived peasants of pasture land. The planters failed to erect proper fencing, and started shooting villagers’ buffalos, blaming them for trespass. They also opposed villagers annually burning patanas to produce tender grass for cattle. Running streams were befouled by the pulp of coffee berries. Coffee, like California’s gold rush, also brought into the hills, traders, arrack, carters, contractors and skilled workers, plus criminals, gamblers and thieves. Officials, themselves profiting from the plantations, supported the planters over the peasants. Missionaries also got the Colonial Office to attempt to dissociate the state from Buddhism, which alienated the Kandyan chiefs and the bhikkus who were the “natural leaders of Kandyan opinion”.
All of this came together to inflame the rebellion of 1848, resulting in the English mass murder. This also brought to the fore issues of how to turn Sri Lanka into a English/Indian settler colony.
“With Orientals”, English captain J. Henderson recorded, “No insurrection can be carried on without a king. A cloth is tied to a spear for a banner, and a monarch improvised on the spot.” The monarch, is merely “a puppet in the hands of the real leaders of the movement, who, should success light upon their arms, speedily dispose of the sovereign of the day, to make room for him whom they intend should rule over them.”
1848, however, exposed England’s occidental despotism. Colonel John Fraser advised the imposition of martial law – nicknamed ‘Tiger’ for his savagery during the 1817-18 rebellion. The council of war included the English commander in the Central Province, Colonel Henry Drought, Captain Charles Bird of the Ceylon Rifles (who set up one of the first agency houses in Kandy), and General Herbert Maddock, “the evil genius behind the whole policy of repression”, who persuaded Tennent to establish ’colonies’ of Indians (to grow coffee) on lands confiscated from rebels.
In Ceylon, the conflict between Torrington and the Family Company intensified, while the administration was disrupted because many officials had to return to London to testify. The inquiry itself was superficial as the Colonial Secretary Grey withheld much information, and no censure was secured. Yet the episode provides a trove of information, less available from other periods of English misrule. Torrington, Tennent and Wodehouse were eventually recalled. As ee noted last week, the revolt in Lanka however convinced the English of the need to re-establish a big landowning class as an instrument and ally of the colonial state.
A year later, the English Governor Harry Smith was planning to exterminate the Xhosa in South Africa. The Xhosa drove the English out in South Africa. Grey recalled the Governor, and sent new troops, led by units with sickles and scythes at harvest time, to destroy their crops and starve them before waging war. In Canada, they also resorted to enforced famine while invading the prairies. They had long practiced such policies in Sri Lanka, since 1818. Grey continued to press such colonial savagery: if England was to abandon its colonies, Ceylon and the Caribbean would witness, “a fearful war of color”, he recorded in 1853.
In 1857, India’s first War of Independence against the English broke out: The English began a slaughter & pillage unheard of in Indian history: “Every nigger we meet with we either string up or shoot.” 30,000 Indians were hanged in Red Fort one summer. Bahadur Shah was deported to Burma.
“The hordes of Genghiz Khan and Timur, must have been a blessing compared to the Christian, chivalrous, and gentle English soldiers.” There is no doubt, wrote Marx, “the misery inflicted on Hindustan by the English is of an essentially different and infinitely more intensive kind that all Hindustan had to suffer before… all the civil wars, invasions, revolutions, conquests, famines, strangely complex, rapid and destructive as the successive action may appear, did not go deeper than the surface.”
England’s Queen Victoria then decided to dissolve the East India Company, and rule directly, setting up a local landowning class as a buffer, allowing some Sinhala and Tamils into the civil service, to counter the Burgher clerks’ demands for better treatment.
• On Slavery, Elections & the US Constitution
A host of SL media columnists are praising the US political system, as the “world’s oldest democracy”, etc. ee offers some clarification:
Many “confuse the US Constitution, which is the source of US law and was largely drafted by slaveowner James Madison, with the more poetic Declaration of Independence, which has no legal force and was drafted by slaveowner Thomas Jefferson. US presidents swear to uphold the former, but not the latter.”
“There is much that the US Constitution does not do. It does not state that all men are created equal, nor does it guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It does not create a democracy; democracy was a dirty word, synonymous with mob rule, when the Constitution was written. With 7 articles and 10 amendments that have grown to 27, the US Constitution is a carefully composed fugue of silences that stipulates and limits government’s powers.”
“The conflict between North and South is a fundamental trope of US history, but the major conflict is intra-Southern: the commercial antagonism between Virginia, the great slave breeder, and South Carolina, the great slave importer, for control of the market that supplied slave labor to an expanding slavery nation. The dramatic power struggle between the two was central to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and to secession in 1860-61.
The question of who would have the concession to supply slave labor to this plantation-empire-to-come was an obstacle to unity at the Constitutional Convention. Slaveowners in Virginia, and in smaller numbers, Maryland, were uniquely positioned to sell slaves into the emerging markets. Unlike the sugar slaves in the rest of the Americas or the rice slaves of South Carolina, the tobacco slaves of the Chesapeake didn’t die off. It was an unprecedented phenomenon in the hemisphere: their numbers increased every year.
Prohibiting the African trade, as the New England delegates wanted to do, would create a grand bonanza for Virginia slaveholders – at the expense of South Carolina. But the delegates from Virginia had to compromise if they wanted South Carolina and Georgia to be part of the nation instead of an independent, belligerent, slave-importing competitor for power next door – one, moreover, whose territory was the overland gateway to territorial expansion into the Deep South.
Charleston, meanwhile, was the major receiving port in North America for kidnapped Africans, and South Carolina’s delegates wanted no federal interference in their market-driven opening and closing of the trade. Chesapeake slaveowners, who were the only ones with sufficient surplus labor to sell off, wanted the African trade permanently closed. They compromised on a 20-year guarantee that the foreign slave trade could exist on a state-by-state basis. (ee 19 Oct 2018: from The American Slave Coast: A History of the Slave-Breeding Industry, Ned & Constance Sublette)
• The US corporate media decide who wins elections? They’ve certainly been acting as arbiters over our elections. Murdoch gets the word and turns on Trump. And announces for Biden. Then Associated Press declares. Then the rest of the media goes, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Biden and Trump are just 2 faces of the same fast-devaluing dollar coin. Biden, with his off-white colonial troops led by Kamala, will prove deadlier, leaving us even more disarmed. Watch those who repose undying faith in the white West, exhaling joy over Trump’s defeat.
The US war-machine’s last trump card may be to ignite war, inside the US, in Iran’s Gulf of Hormuz, or during current US war games in the Taiwan Straits – a November surprise.
Is there anything more pitiable than the relief expressed about Biden’s presumed victory, by these apologists for imperialism, “hired coolies of the pen”, as website GamMiris noted? They even claim that white supremacism, with its massive war machineries, has been vanquished. Just like that.
They fail, or feign, to understand that slavery was never abolished in the USA (see their 13th Amendment). In fact, the US Constitution was more a battle between slave traders and local slave breeders! (see Random Notes)
B. Special Focus_
B1. Government Clerks in late 19thC Sri Lanka
Adapted from: Sri Lankan Subordinates of the English: English-educated Ceylonese in the official life of Ceylon 1865-83, WMDD Andradi
‘Ceylonese clerical employees were organized into a definite service with the reforms introduced in 1864-65. The Civil Service was staffed predominantly by Europeans, while the clerical service, like the headmanships, was recruited from the local Ceylonese population. Birth and property qualifications were vital for headmanships, while the clerical service required the English language. The Burghers, almost completely debarred from headmanships, occupied the principal position in the clerical service.
William Digby wrote in 1879:
“The natives were altogether unacquainted with the English tongue and generally were not apt for the performance of the duties required. Their sympathies too were likely to be anti-European, while the Dutch and the Dutch descendants, would naturally be on the side of the European rulers who upheld the civilization which placed them in a position superior to the inhabitants of the country.”
The clerical service offered a far larger number of openings than in the Civil Service, the Public Works Department or the Medical Dept. The educational attainments required for a clerk were within easier reach of the average Burgher than those required for posts in other departments: “The great body of young Clerks and Proctors in Colombo unable to finish their scholastic career from want of means.”
The general administration of the country was carried out through European Civil Servants, Burgher clerks, and Sinhala and Tamil headmen. It was therefore the Colombo Burgher clerks’ appeal for improving their prospects, which after prolonged inquiry led to the reforms of 1865. Meanwhile, the English-educated Sinhala and Tamil had to also turn chiefly to the clerical service like the Burghers.
The reforms effected in 1865 were the first important attempt at organization in the history of the Ceylonese clerical service. However, a 2nd revision became necessary within a decade, also reviewing the structure of the service, the modes of recruitment & promotion and the scales of salaries.
The clerks only raised the salary aspect in their memorial of 1859. A general revision of the salaries and conditions in all the establishments in the entire public service had taken place in 1857, but the clerical service received little or no attention. The clerks of Colombo memorialized Governor Ward but without avail. The request was repeated in 1861 to the new Governor MacCarthy, who appointed a Commission of Inquiry.
In their 1859 memorial, the clerks stressed they were principally descendants of Europeans, accustomed to European habits and comforts of civilized life. Their salaries had not been augmented since the General Revision of 1845, though the cost of living and house rents had risen. They provided a statement of prices of principal articles of consumption for 1849 and 1859, showing the cost of living had increased since 1849 by over 100%. House rents had risen by 50%: “owing to the rapid extension of trade, creating an increasing demand for accommodation for stores, etc, so that dwelling houses cannot be secured except on very high rent.” Many streets formerly occupied as residences by clerks had been converted into shops and warehouses.
It was a notorious fact that dwelling houses for the class of occupants to which the clerks belonged had not increased with the increase of population. Lastly, the wages of servants of all description had increased at nearly the same ratio, owing to higher inducements for employment held out by the mercantile and planting interests. They pointed out that, the aggregate number of clerks employed in Colombo was 124, of which 19 clerkships were with salaries varying from £300 to £130 p.a.
The clerks renewed their request in 1861 reiterating most of the arguments of 1859 but drew particular attention to the considerable increase in the volume of business in the offices owing to the yearly progress of the colony. The cost of living they urged had increased further since their memorial of 1859. In their memorial of 1866, the clerks prayed that their case be not overlooked in the revision, which might occur in the salaries and prospects. As in their appeals of 1859 and 1861, the rise in the house rents came in for special mention by the clerks.
The new governor, Robinson, recommended to the Secretary of State specific wage increases as granted to the Civil Servants, but the Secretary of State was wary. The clerks then pressed their claims in letters to the local press. The Examiner in particular editorially urged their claims. The lowest grades of Civil Servants had been granted an increase. Robinson seems to have supported the claims of the clerks as he appears to have been mindful of the need to avoid any appearance of discrimination in favour of the higher grades of officers who were mainly European. Yet Robinson was not able to grant any increase to the clerks.
But far-reaching changes were made regarding the admission of Civil Servants, which would adversely affect Ceylonese candidates for that service. The next governor Gregory speaking before the Legislative Council in 1872, referred to the need for improving the condition of the clerical service and the public service. He pointed out that it was not only a question of improving the position of the clerical servants, “some receiving scarcely more than the pay of a cooly, but of… promoting the efficiency of the public service.”
With the release of certain funds on the disbandment of the Ceylon Rifles Regiment, a part was to be devoted to improving the condition of the clerks. However, as in 1864, the consideration of salary scales was accompanied by a general reorganization of the service itself. Ameliorating their conditions called for a 2-fold course of action: (1) An increase of existing salaries, (2) An improvement in the prospects of promotion and advancement. The new changes further stimulated Ceylonese youth, who turned from conventional occupations, like agriculture, to government service as a means of livelihood. The first examination for recruitment was held under the new regulations in 1875.
From then on these examinations became a regular half-yearly event in the island. Although they fell short of competitive examinations… this was the first time examinations in any general way were used as a basis for recruitment to the service.
The general approval of the new system of public examinations, expressed in the press, is in contrast to the objections raised against the competitive system in the Civil Service, which was represented as being inimical to local interests. In the latter case, the educated Ceylonese were apprehensive of competition from better-educated English candidates. In the clerical service, all candidates being Ceylonese, there was no such possibility. Nevertheless local authorities showed themselves reluctant to introduce an entirely competitive system, for there were considerations other than educational attainments in making selections.
One reader of the Examiner welcoming the examination pointed out that they had aroused “a spirit of competition” among the Ceylonese, and had “plucked out of the hands of the influential community the power they wielded to secure any office to their own men.” Another wrote that for the educated Ceylonese who were increasing daily, the new proposals would be a fairer means of admission. In the past, admission to the service was often secured by serving on probation as volunteers in an office, such volunteers being dependent on the goodwill and influence of some senior clerk or officer for confirmation in a post. Periodical examinations had eliminated this practice and had made young men’s prospects better, he added. Even certain criticisms of the scheme were directed at urging the government to go further in the direction it had.
One correspondent proposed that the examinations be made competitive, as the existing system was open to abuse. Although a list of those who passed the examination was submitted to the heads of departments so that selections could be made for vacancies, the heads did not make their selections independently as the candidates were unknown to them, and the opinion of the subordinates was obtained. Thus: “a cousin of this Clerk or a nephew of that Mudaliyar is selected… while the son of a poor farmer who by dint of perseverance obtained a pass has to yawn and gape till those with respectable connections had all been provided with situations.” He urged the government to make the selections according to the order of merit shown in the list….
Meanwhile, another readjustment was taking place in the relative positions of the different Ceylonese communities in the public service. The Burghers had practically monopolized the clerical service during the early English days. This position had begun to change with the diffusion of education among the rest of the Ceylonese, the Tamil and the Sinhala people. In the new examination for recruitment to the clerical service, English and Arithmetic were compulsory subjects while the Sinhala and Tamil language were optional. As the marks for a Sinhala and Tamil person were also included in the total, this was considered by the Burghers to be unfair to them. A Burgher reader complained in the Examiner that this regulation was “making a clear path” for the Sinhala and Tamil people to pass the examination easily, for unlike the Burghers, the former, in addition to English knew these languages as well. The writer urged that the marks for Sinhala and Tamil should not be taken into account.’
B2. Sugar, Africa & Barbados – Alan Cobley
Barbados, the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, is over 6,000 km across the vast expanse of the Atlantic ocean from the West African coast. However, the future of Barbados became inextricably bound to Africa, economically, socially, culturally and ideologically, during the second half of the 17thC. The reason for this was sugar.
After the English took possession of the island in 1625, they sought ways to maximize profits from their new possession. Though an initial experiment with tobacco cultivation had limited success, they found during the 1630s that the land’s tropical maritime climate was ideal for the cultivation of sugar cane. At this time sugar was a highly prized luxury commodity in Europe, so that massive profits could be made from the successful cultivation of this crop.
Over the next 20 years, roughly 1640-60, sugar plantations replaced small holdings as the dominant form of agriculture on the island. During this time, Barbadian planters made vast fortunes, and Barbados became England’s most valuable overseas possession. As Eltis notes, ‘in its capacity to generate high-value exports relative to its physical and demographic size, Barbados was a new phenomenon in the Atlantic world’. This spectacular explosion of wealth had enormous consequences, as the island became the epicentre of a ‘Sugar Revolution’ in the Caribbean in the second half of the 17thC: Barbados established the pattern that others would follow in islands across the English and French West Indies.
The tremendous profits generated by sugar cultivation would not have been possible without an accompanying, and equally revolutionary, demographic change in nascent Caribbean societies. To work their plantations, and to maximize their profit margins, the plantation owners in Barbados needed large quantities of cheap labour. They quickly rejected white indentured labour and settled on African slave labour as most suitable for this purpose.
The result was that between 1645 and 1690 the black population of Barbados rose dramatically, from approximately 5,500 to 60,000; this was far more than the combined number of African slaves in England’s five other Caribbean island colonies or in all its colonies on the US mainland.
Over the same period, the white population rose only slightly, from 18,000 to about 20,000, before declining both in relative and absolute terms in the years that followed. The island thus became, and for ever after remained, a predominantly black, African-derived society – although for a long time plantation slavery, English colonial rule and European cultural hegemony combined in efforts to try to conceal or dismiss this fact.
The mortality rates aboard slave ships engaged in the transatlantic slave trade were generally horrific, and increased the longer the ships were at sea. But the prevailing trade winds and sea currents meant that a sailing ship could make the passage from the African coast to Barbados – the first landfall in the Americas – in less than 4 weeks. Barbados thus became the first port of call for English slave ships from the West African coast – and one of the key entry-points for enslaved Africans to the Americas. This is another reason why the tiny island of Barbados looms large in the history of transatlantic slavery.
African Barbadians – The evidence of African connections in Barbadian culture and heritage is overwhelming in everything from food to dance styles. Perhaps the oldest game still played in Barbados is warri, which local enthusiast Lee Farum Badley says derives from a version of the game played by the Asante people. Other West African influences are seen in the traditional sport of ‘stick-licking’ (stick-fighting), and in the appearance of traditional characters such as the stiltmen and the ‘shaggy bear’ at local festivals, while driving African drum rhythms are the foundation of the predominant forms of indigenous music, including that of the ‘tuk’ bands and of calypso or ‘kaiso’ music and its up-tempo descendant, soca.
Calypso recalls its African roots, not only in its rhythms and in its ‘call and response’ lyrical form, but also in the special role accorded to the Calypsonian in Barbadian and other African-Caribbean societies as a social and political commentator – speaking truth to power through performance in the same manner as the griots or praise poets seen in many African societies. Language is another area in which the powerful legacy of Africa continues to exert an influence on Barbadian culture and identity. As the late Caribbean linguist and outstanding lexicographer, Richard Allsopp made clear, the local dialect known as ‘Bajan’, though recognisable as a variant of English, derives much of its underlying sentence construction, key expressions, sounds and accompanying gestures from West African systems of expression. The local dialect even includes some West African words, such as the Igbo pronoun ‘unu’ (‘you’), which in Bajan is rendered as ‘unna’ or ‘wunna’; other examples include anasi, shak-shak, conkie, cou-cou, jook, fufu, backra, bakoo, duppy, and obeah.
Of all the African retentions and survivals in Barbadian culture, the most pervasive – and perhaps least understood – is found in the belief system. What Barbadian Africanist Deryck Murray calls ‘African ways of knowing’ challenged and resisted the hegemonic power of the Eurocentric world view and ontological system during the centuries of African enslavement in the Caribbean, and afterwards, in the struggle to establish a distinctive, independent ‘African-Caribbean’ identity in the post-emancipation era. According to Murray, Obeah, the term used to encompass the methods used in the Caribbean by African sages to enlist and unleash ‘forces’ in support of the struggle for survival of the enslaved African and creolised black population, was the most visible demonstration of the persistence of an African world-view in the context of European- controlled colonial Caribbean societies. It was, in his view, the driving force behind the 1816 slave rebellion in Barbados, in which an African-born slave named Bussa and other black leaders, fought to overthrow European power in the island, and to install in their place an African king, enthroned on his own ‘golden stool’. Later, fragments of these African ways of knowing survived in Barbados – as in the wider Caribbean – in snippets of wisdom carried in proverbs and stories, in the chants, spells and potions of the ‘obeah- man’ (or woman), in the intensity of the worship experience and the key role of the spirits in the many rising Pentecostal Christian sects, and – in the political sphere – in the rise of modern Pan-Africanist thought.
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.
• No final decision on East Container Terminal taken yet, says Sri Lanka
• Discussions still underway with India and Japan on ECT development – SLPA chairman
‘General (Retd) Daya Ratnayake, chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) yesterday refuted recent news reports in foreign and local media which claimed that Indian conglomerate Adani Group was all set to develop Sri Lanka’s thwarted East Container Terminal in the Port of Colombo.’
• ECT to India gets Cabinet approval
• Sri Lanka renews Rs. 600 million Indo-Lanka Community Development Project Agreement
‘The cost of special development projects related to this agreement exceeds Rs. 300 million and the activities of the Emergency Hospital Care Ambulance Service, Housing Projects, New Jaffna Cultural Center are being implemented through it.’
• Pompeo visit: Matters of a sensitive diplomatic nature were also raised
‘Foreign Ministry officials declined comment on what these issues were’
• සමන්තා පවර් සහ හිටපු අමාත්ය මංගල සමරවීර අතර ඇති ගජ මිතුරුකමයි.
• Sri Lanka might see the US revisiting the resolution against it at the UNHRC.
‘Last week, the TNA leader met the Indian envoy and asked for an appointment with the pro-US Indian PM. They may be preparing to stir the communal pot here again’
• US Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’s Key Sri Lankan Tamil Aide
‘Her paternal grandmother’s siblings are the famous ‘Boston Brothers’ who campaigned actively to promote the ‘Eelam Tamil’ cause some years ago.’
• TNA Protests against rebuilding temple in archaeological site
• Abolishing 13A may not mean happy hunting or a happy ending – Austin F
• Ban on LTTE should continue:India tells UK
• Biden’s administration might re-negotiate MCC
• Sri Lanka, China Presidents shared experiences in governance on November 08
• Tomorrow’s International Order decided in Sri Lanka’s neighborhood: German Ambassador
‘At a time both India and Japan – members of the informal Quad grouping – which includes the U.S. and Australia is seen as a counter to Beijing’s influence in the Indo-Pacific region, the German Government decided on new ‘Policy Guidelines for the Indo-Pacific’, in September 2020’
• What can South Asia expect from President Biden?
• Orientation Programme for Ambassadors/High Commissioner designates
• Challenge of healing divisions is common to US and SL: USAID NPC Perera
• India-Nepal ties are back on track
‘Last month, Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) Chief Samant Kumar Goel did the groundwork’
• Spectre of Biden presidency haunts India
‘The manner in which Indian diplomacy got Kashmir excluded from late Richard Holbrooke’s ‘Af-Pak’ charter testifies to it, as apparent from the WikiLeaks disclosures of cable traffic from the US embassy in Delhi’
• Karabakh War the graveyard of national governments; Will the pro-Western government of Pashinyan be overthrown?
• Putin creates conditions for ending bloodshed in Caucasus
• Russia has mixed feelings about Biden
• Trump retrofits history, takes Pinochet route
• American renaissance: Biden, Trump and our future – Jayatilleka
‘With Biden begins the end of American decline.’
• Imperialism’s Hired Coolie of the Pen: Merv’s Kolla
‘Dayan has decided to swim to a Quad warship doing war games in the Malabar sea, perhaps to help drown whales on Panadura beach! He has joined the old US Anti-China Lobby. ‘
• Trump’s parting shot: ‘Pentagon fights wars to keep US bomb-makers happy’
• How Trump Might Still Win
• Hybrid Wars and US Imperialism – Vijay Prashad
‘A presentation to “Holding the Future Hostage: A Conference on Hybrid Wars, Sanctions, and Solidarity,” held on Oct. 19, 2019 at The People’s Forum in New York City.
• Prince Harry’s ‘charm’ needed to help stop Barbados ‘flirting with republicanism’
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.
• India & Pathfinder Foundation on Indian Ocean Security
• Pathfinder Indian Ocean Security Conference speeches
• Army establishes drone regiment
• Maintaining national security: Role of the Sri Lankan military during COVID-19
• Sri Lankan Army 7th contingent to leave for UN peacekeeping assignment in South Sudan
• Two lawmakers join civil society bid to highlight Maj. Prasanna’s case
• Pfizer caught bribing doctors and local officials
• Several areas almost reach Community Transmission stage: PHIs
• Govt. dismisses allegations concerning import of Rapid Antigen Test Kits
• Resumption of burials a high risk the country cannot afford to take – MP Muzammil
• Weerawansa says no Cabinet decision on resumption of burials
• Zuhair questions Muzammil’s stand on final rites for corona victims
• Burial of corona victims: Sabry denies giving assurance to CTJ
• Hindu Federation also seek permission to bury coronavirus victims (Video)
• Sumanthiran stresses need for proper laws to tackle public health emergency
• UN Resident Coordinator writes to PM on burying COVID-19 victims
• State Minister Jayakody tells Opposition not to fan racial tensions
• Harin claims govt using fight against coronavirus to suppress political opponents, break laws
• GIS mapping for Covid-19 control
• Who calls the shots? COVID-19 management and accountability:
‘Don’t blame multinaitonal Brandix, blame fish vendors?’
• COVID-19 a gold mine for Big Business
• No second wave in China – Lessons for the World
• Inmates launch protest at Old Bogambara Prison for testing
• Kalutara Prison inmates end rooftop protest
• TMVP General Secretary arrested for threatening witnesses in double murder case
• Clueless in Colombo
‘In 2019, with no global pandemic, the Sirisena-Rajapaksa administration set aside Rs. 188 billion for health. In 2020, amidst a global pandemic with no seeming end, the Gotabaya-Mahinda regime reduced it by Rs. 29 billion. Imagine the level of ignorance, the depth of self-delusion, the degree of myopia required for such a decision’
• 40- 50% of land deeds, 20% of the birth, marriage and death certificates reportedly forgeries
• ComBank warns against cyber criminals
• Jaliya Wickramasuriya’s allegation (video)
• Sri Lankan businessman on run arrested with family after landing at Kodiyakarai in TN
• Does India truly belong to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?
‘Does India belong to the SCO at all? China and some Central Asian states reportedly had misgivings about admitting India into the grouping in the first instance. They feared that India would slow down the dynamics of SCO cooperation.’
• US ‘delists’ terrorist East Turkestan Islamic Movement
• China-US tension: Beijing worries that Esper’s exit raises risk of military action and accidents
“Miller has a strong special forces background. He joined the special forces and commanded it and specialises in surprise attacks and adventure operations”
• England: lawmakers pass bill to protect soldiers from prosecution over war crimes
• Since March 23, Armed conflict in 19 countries displaced 661,000 people
• Bombardier Recreational Products suspends delivery of engines used on military drones
• More Top Pentagon Officials Out After Trump Sacks Esper
• Distribution of race and ethnicity among the U.S. military 2018
• Deep State Member Admits Sabotage Of Trump’s Policies
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.
• Fresh thinking in ‘National Planning’ the need of the hour
‘The most severe assault on national planning was launched in the early 1980s, as a component of Structural Adjustment promoted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The assault was directly on dismantling state planning structures, such as planning ministries and commissions that promoted it…Many national planning institutions were abolished or merged into ministries of finance where they became marginalized in terms of status, staffing, budget, and relevance to policy.’
• Transcending Capital-Labour Relation: A Note on Social Entrepreneurship?
‘TRADOC experiment in a tire factory in Mexico after being a successful co-operative production (production by “associated producers”) for nearly 10 years, finally succumbed to a multinational corporation in the US because of heavy competition in the tire market and the pressure of NAFTA.’
• Unemployment, poverty and starvation– Sanderatne
• Global Innovation Index
‘The top-10 innovators in the “high-income” group include only Singapore and South Korea from the Asian region…Sri Lanka is in the last quartile of “poorest innovative” countries, occupying the 101st position among the total 131 countries.’
• Tobacco-user household spends Rs. 2,000 per month, constituting 4% of household budget.
‘20% reduction in tobacco expenditure will lead to 30% net benefit to the economy ‘
• CTC profit Rs. 8.5 billion in 3Q
‘• Hope for incoming Budget
‘Includes funding for a major new Programme of Poverty Alleviation, cum creating Production and also obviating imports.’
• Government blatantly violated Constitution by presenting Appropriations Bill – Sumanthiran
• Challenge of Lanka’s economic revival under the “new normal”
‘The highest allocations in the Budget will be for the Ministry of Defense Rs. 355 billion…The State Ministry of Internal Security, Home Affairs and Disaster Management has been allocated around Rs. 152 billion…The Ministry of Education has been allocated over Rs. 126 billion…The Ministry of Health has been allocated around Rs. 159 billion…’
• Upgrading higher value-add by leveraging local resources, a key focus at SL Eco Summit 2020
• Has Sri Lanka been Caught in a Chinese Debt Trap? Part 1 & 2
• ‘Restart Asian Economies” series hosted by the Friedrich Nauman Foundation for Freedom,
‘“Ideas and Actions for the e-Commerce industry,’ on Monday, November 2nd… f the 1.3 million tonnes of e-Commerce generated cardboard in the US in 2018, only 35% was recyclable.
• Zero Based Budgeting and Covid19
• The Myth of Capitalist China
• The US economy – some facts
‘At the start of the 1980s, US manufacturing had more than 25% of world output, with Japan at 11% and Germany 7%. China was nowhere. By 2017, the US share had slipped to about 18%, with both Japan and Germany below 10%. China had rocketed to over 25%.’
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.
• PM assures steps for a modern economy in budget 2021
“A market economy that is dependent only on tea and apparels, with imports that is twice that of the exports without value additions to local resources and raw materials, will not facilitate sustainable development. Development aspirations of the people could not be met depending only on import led consumption and industrialisation without focus on Food security and agro industrialisation and allied services based on agriculture, fisheries and livestock development.”
• Budget Speech 2020
• All foreign currency debt dues for 2020 settled – Prime Minister
• IPS to host post-Budget Twitter Chat
• Sri Lanka hikes Treasury guarantees to 15-pct of GDP
• Authorities fail to stabilise prices of essential goods despite gazette notifications: Sajith
• 9-day debate for 2021 Appropriation Bill
• Finance Minister proposes to increase borrowing limit in Appropriation Bill by Rs.180bn
• Govt. can manage without IMF help: Cabraal
‘Asserts many trying to push Govt. towards IMF, but will not take the bait’
• Prices of essential commodities soar before 2021 Budget
‘Commodity traders and businessmen have jacked up prices of several essential food items despite a reduction in taxes on key commodities with the authorities being lax in instituting action. In anticipation of a hike in taxes in the November 17 Budget 2021, importers are also hoarding items.’
• Sri Lanka fails to sell 35-pct of bonds offered at auction
• Banks asked to extend debt moratorium by further 6 months
• Govt.’s policy is to keep the economy moving while containing Covid-19: Prez
• Govt.’s revenue target tumbles; big companies unable to pay taxes
‘600 large-scale taxpayers, including major companies…IRD might not be able to collect taxes from them even next year,” he added. Last year, the target set to the IRD was Rs 800 billion and a target of Rs 785 billion was achieved.’
• Yapa appointed Chairman of Committee on Public Finance
• Trade gap continues to shrink as exports rise
‘Sugar, milk powder and coconut oil imports increase food and beverage import bill in Sept….’Imports of non-food consumer goods not under import restrictions or are under less stringent restrictions, such as pharmaceuticals (mainly medicaments), telecommunication devices (mainly mobile phones), home appliances, such as refrigerators and rice cookers and toiletries, increased’
• Merchandise exports fall by 14.9% in October 2020
• Notable hike in workers’ remittances
• Sri Lanka’s remittance flow projected to fall by 9% in 2020, WB predicts
• Central Bank extends grace period for Covid-19 re-finance loans by 3-months
• Sri Lanka private credit up, state credit surge in September 2020
• Sunday Times Fakes Debt
‘For the record, Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt is approximately US$55 billion, which accounts for nearly 80 per cent of its GDP, according to the latest official figures. Of that, China and the ADB each represent about 14 per cent of the loans taken by Sri Lanka; Japan 12 per cent, the World Bank 11 per cent, while India holds about 2 per cent. The balance is made of debt due to other countries in smaller proportions and commercial loans.’
• Public Debt | how much is too much?
‘The covid pandemic is set to increase public debt to levels last seen after the second world war. But is rising public debt a cause for concern? New economic thinking suggests perhaps not,
at least for now’
• Sri Lanka forex reserves drop to US$5.8bn after bond repayment
‘Reserves in Gold were $402.3 million and other reserve assets were US$1.1 million’
• Project Monitoring Units discontinue due to poor performance
‘The Treasury spends millions in maintaining 22 project management offices and branches with around 225 executive officers including directors,’ engineers’ administrative officers and accountants.’
• Govt. has let businessmen who bankrolled its election campaign recover funds – JVP
• ICRA Moody’s: SL Economy at a glance for 3Q 2020
• Asian leaders to sign China-backed RCEP trade deal amid US election uncertainty
‘Leaders of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand are scheduled to conclude talks on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) this Sunday. The 15 participating RCEP countries make up nearly a third of the world’s people and account for 29% of global gross domestic product.
• EUR 280Mn financing by European bilateral development finance institutions and EIB
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
• IPS study on facilitating night work for women in Sri Lanka
• Troubled factories resume half pay
• Credit card and gold pawning debt grows
‘Income sources of 64 per cent of the households affected while 7 per cent lost their entire Seven per cent of the households lost their income…Around 45 per cent of households are seeking financial support for loan repayment, redeeming mortgaged items, paying outstanding credit card balances and other bill payments…Rs. 57,000 to 60,000 paid for a gold sovereign and the reduced interest rate of 10 per cent per annum. The amount of money obtained by the public from gold jewellery pawning centres at commercial banks and financial institutions, in the past six months this year, aggregates to over Rs. 643 billion, official data showed. At least one in four Sri Lankan credit card holders is grappling under a mountain of credit card debt which has risen to unbearable amounts making it difficult for them to repay…The Central Bank (CB) data indicates 41 per cent or around Rs. 15.7 billion payments of the total credit card transactions (value) of Rs 38.3 billion executed during 2Q 2020 had been defaulted.’
• Hashim says govt. has not lived up to people’s expectations
‘MP Hashim said people had pawned jewellery to the tune of Rs. 643 billion during last few months.’
• Minister Cabraal dismisses calculations on pawning and credit cards made by MP Hashim
• Exasperated midwives threaten countrywide trade union action
• Govt. health sector has hit a new low – Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda
‘A chaotic administrative situation not seen in Sri Lanka for the past five decades, says Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda, President of the Public Service United Nurses’ Union (PSUNU).
• SLPA mulls upgraded contingency plan to offset Colombo Port staff shortages
• Private bus operators demand fare hike to keep virus at bay
• Bus fare revision from midnight today
• New procedure to curb irregular migration of SL female domestic workers to Oman
• President requests to commence a large number of housing projects simultaneously
• Indian BSF nabs three Sri Lankans along Indo-Bangla border
• Controversy surrounding road construction at University of Ruhuna
• “How unequal we are as a society” – Harini Amarasuriya
‘I experienced the importance of having strong and effective public systems in place – especially for education, health, transport’
• For the last 30 years it has been the right, not the left, that rails against elites
• US election: women, young, working class, cities and ethnic minorities get rid of Trump
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.
• Lanka desperately needs strategic, transparent & comprehensive State land management policy
‘82.25% of the country’s land is owned by the State while only 17.75% is privately owned, reflecting a history of centralized control over land. This 82.25% of land belongs equally to the 22 million people of the country living now and the future generations yet to be born.’
• 90% of local paddy production end up in the silos of big-time millers
‘The Millers’ Mafia is known to bankroll powerful politicians’ election campaigns and their huge slush funds act as a bulwark for them’
• Tan Beng Chuan retires from Grain Elevators after 17-year stint
‘Prima Ltd., Singapore is the biggest shareholder of Ceylon Grain Elevators with 45.45% stake.. He also served as a Director of Three Acre Farms PLC and its subsidiaries, Ceylon Agro Industries Ltd., and Prima Ceylon Machinery Ltd…Tan was the past President Mentor of Singapore (Sri Lanka) Club; Executive Committee member of Sri Lanka-Canada Business Council, Executive Committee member of Sri Lanka-Singapore Business Council and a Committee member of Sri Lanka-China Business Council. Grain Elevators also announced the appointment of Chan Kong Meng Lawrence as the new Group General Manager and Executive Director… Board of Ceylon Grain Elevators Plc comprises W.S. Weerasooriya (Chairman), C.C.K. Primus (CEO and Executive Director), C.K.M. Lawrence (Executive Director & Group GM), B.C.K. Chuen, C.E. Loong, P. Ramanujam, and A.R. Asirwatham.’
• Food producers in the soup
‘Given the hardships farmers face owing to lack of state assistance, increasing cost of production, their inability to dispose of their produce, and exploitation at the hands of big businesses and creditors, it is perhaps a miracle that paddy and vegetables continue to be grown in this country.’
• Farmers lament rotting harvests due to low purchasing costs
• State Engineering land for Manning Market; Civil Defence Force to assist
• Ex-Uva Governor accuses authorities of turning blind eye to deprivation in the province
‘Only 27% of fertiliser needs of the farmers in the province had been met and that less than 10% of farmers had received fertilizer at a concessionary rate.The fertiliser shortage is crippling vegetable and tea cultivation’
• Haldummulla sees rays of development
‘With a population around 48,000, Haldummulla is the most difficult Divisional Secretariat division in Badulla District. Welanwita & Akkara Seeya considered the most neglected villages in the division.’
• Agriculture Minister speaks of “Vegetable Mafia” – Editorial
‘There is no centralised planning in farming in the country which sometimes leads to farmers in almost all farming areas cultivating same vegetables, ultimately resulting in drastic price drops in those areas. Yet, the middlemen profit from such situations as well.’
• Agriculture Minister pledges to cultivate 70 acres of abandoned paddy lands this season
• Red dhal to be provided at Rs. 150 per kg throughout next year – Minister Bandula
• Sathosa to distribute rice at controlled prices from Monday,
• Tense situation at Manning Market in Pettah
‘Farmers in Wellawaya, Nuwara Eliya, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa have loaded their produce into lorries and brought it to the Manning Market. However, the police told the traders to take the lorries to the Narahenpita Economic Center.’
• Documenting the saga of war-time farmers
‘Dr Jeyaseelan Gnanaseelan, Senior Lecturer, attached to the Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna, published a book titled ‘Vanni Farmers in Wartimes- A Saga of Human Security in Sri Lanka’’
• 10-15% of population heavily dependent on Ayurveda for day-to-day health needs
• Managing Food crop pests without compromising yield and environment
‘SL ranks very high as regards pesticide-related health hazards and around 20,000 poisoning cases are reported per year and of them 1,600 are fatal. Seventy percent of them were related to suicide.’
• Sugar tax in the offing if errant trading continues – minister
• Maximum Retail Prices introduced for sugar
• Crysbro commends government’s initiative to strengthen SL’s maize cultivation industry
• Coconut oil: We need a well planned clinical trial
‘well planned good quality clinical research at our universities such as at Kelaniya, have received inconsistent support from Government institutions such as the Coconut Research Institute.’
• Sri Lanka’s Ceylon tea prices dip as Russian winter buying slows
• Rise in smuggled cigarettes inflames multiple woes in SL
‘Research Intelligence Unit (RIU) London said: “Legal cigarettes in Sri Lanka only make up 31% of the tobacco industry, and the only category within the Excise Department purview.’
• Healthy top line gains boost Swiss Nestlé Lanka 3Q profit of Rs.3.5 billion
• SL’s canned fish producers say undercutting by importers has badly hit the industry
‘With consumption at 250,000 cans per day, Sri Lanka imports canned fish worth Rs. 14.43 billion (US$ 78 million) annually. The products come largely from China and Chile … Though there are seven registered canned fish producing companies in Sri Lanka, only five are in active business…’
• Largest fish processing plant now home for bats
‘All Island Fisheries Association Chairman Keerthi Weerasinghe says that if this fisheries harbour and the processing plant are operated fish could be provided to the whole country without a shortage’
• Sri Lanka’s RR-Senok gets Rs5.3bn fishery harbour deal
• Court orders seized Indian fishing boats to be destroyed
• Govt. powers to District, Divisional Sect. to transfer residual forests for economic purposes
• Harsha accuses govt of planning to grab 500,000 hectares of forest cover for agriculture
• ‘Other State Forests’ not considered in Sri Lanka’s forest cover
• Over 200 acres of forest in Ampara destroyed Radalla and Kumbukkan forest reserves near Pottuvil and Lahugala at high risk
• PM orders probe into poaching following death of leopard in Nallathanniya
• Managed elephant reserve project in Hambantota riddled in delays
• Rogue elephant blamed for raids on homesteads captured
‘Translocation of elephants was not a permanent solution as research had shown that most animals found their way back to their home range or caused problems in the areas they were taken to’
• Unlike China, Sri Lanka tends to forget agriculture in most of their policy documents.
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.
• Science and Technology – for what?
‘Sri Lankans face many critical problems: Rapid spread of the virus COVID; Chronic Kidney disease; Water shortage; Landslides; High cost of production in the plantation and non-plantation (domestic) sector; Poverty; Effective disposal of solid waste; Malnutrition mainly among children; Unemployment/under employment…’
• World Science Day: November 10
• ACL Cables supports electricians to enhance skill set with NVQ Level 4 certification
‘ACL Cables has partnered the Vocational Training Authority (VTA) to align with aligned with gov’t regulations enforced by Public Utility Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) which aim to certify and create licensed electricians…. licensing mechanism was developed by PUCSL in collaboration with the Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL), Tertiary, Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) and Construction Industry Development Authority (CIDA), Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company (PVT) Limited (LECO)…. ACL Cables is the leading cable company in Sri Lanka with a market share of 70% …distributing electrical switches, circuit protection devices (MCB, RCD and isolator), ceiling fans and a wide range of electrical accessories.
• Import of rapid diagnostic testing to Sri Lanka by George Steuart & Company
‘In 2013, Standard Diagnostics was bought over by Alere Medical, which was bought by Abbott Diagnostics in 2018. GSH has represented Abbott Rapid Diagnostic Products in Sri Lanka…A tender for the test kits was closed by the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation on 2nd November 2020.’
• India donates 100,000 Rapid Antigen Test kits to Sri Lanka
• Govt. unveil plans to build solar power based national mini-grid
‘About 35% of Sri Lanka’s national power generation comes from diesel power plants where the cost of production per unit is as high as Rs. 30. LNG power plants can reduce the cost up to Rs. 15 per unit.’
• Crisis at the Colombo Port
‘Ceylon Association of Ships’ Agents (CASA) Chairman Iqram Cuttilan said seven vessels had bypassed the Colombo port due to the delays and traffic build up between the terminals, and if it should continue to next week then shipping lines would re-route vessels to Dubai and Singapore. Colombo port handles only about 18 per cent of domestic traffic while the rest is mainly transshipment volumes with 70 per cent meant for India.’
• SL Logistics and Freight Forwarders’ Association lists expectations from National Budget 2021
• Improvements to Kelani Valley Railway – A response from a layman
• Will not support the new COVID Transport Policy: Private Bus Associations
‘We need either a diesel concession or a bus fare revision because we do not use Kerosene’
• Sri Lanka hikes bus fares by 20-pct as Covid-19 alert limits passenger carriage
• Colonial Government introduced a Regulated Private Bus Monopoly System
• Work on Rs. 107 b second terminal of BIA from next week
• Pathfinder and Huawei entered into a strategic partnership
• Dialog Axiata consolidates YTD performance with stable Q3 Profits Rs4.8Bn
• Minister Weerasekera assures completion of infrastructure for developing connecting cities
• ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ UniCOLT Vehicles to be Manufactured at SLEME Workshop
‘Modelled as UniCOLT, those vehicles using locally-manufactured Sri Lankan spare parts except for their engines and chassis’
• Cabinet bans export of scrap metal
• Govt. to set up 400-acre pharma manufacturing zone in Hambantota
‘Sri Lanka currently meets 85 percent of its drug requirement through imports at an annual cost of around Rs.130 billion.’
• United Motors records higher profits, revenue in 2Q despite challenges in auto sector
‘profit growth was driven by increase in revenue and margins in vehicle sales, aftersales and lubricants…UML is the sole agent for Mitsubishi vehicles in Sri Lanka. It also holds the agency for a few Chinese and Malaysian auto brands.
• Illegal import of motor vehicles
• US Blackstone to buy the glass unit of Indian conglomerate Piramal Enterprises for $1 billion. ‘Sri Lanka’s Piramal Glass is an entity of the Indian parent company and is dominating Sri Lanka’s glass manufacturing market’
• ජපන් සමාගම පුදුමකරමින් අපේ දක්ෂ ඉංජිනේරුවන් අතින් නිම වු නෞකාව
• Teejay adapts to “new normal” to post net profit of Rs 631 million in Q2
‘Sri Lanka’s only multinational textile producer…’
• Ambeon Group’s South Asia Textiles appoints Ajith De Silva as new chief
‘Silva was Managing Director/CEO of Kenpark & Regency Garments, Bangladesh, an extension of the Hirdaramani Group and one of the largest premier apparel manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh. Before that Silva was also the General Manager at Growth Lanka and the CFO of Bodyline, a part of the MAS Group…South Asia Textiles specialises in knitting, dyeing, finishing, printing, bushing, and sueding preshrunk fabric for leading global brands such as Victoria Secret, Next, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Calvin Klein, Decathlon and Adidas.’
• FT Thumbs up from JAAF on Cabinet decision to set up fabric park as strategic venture
‘The industry has repeatedly highlighted the need to expedite the establishment of the fabric park so that the local sector does not have to depend on global suppliers, and in the event of a crisis, such as the pandemic, the impact would be reduced.’
• Distilleries Corporation of Sri Lanka net up 95-pct in Sept quarter
‘Profits at Distilleries Corporation of Sri Lanka, the island’s largest hard alcohol maker said grew 95 per cent from a year earlier to 2.6 billion rupees’
• Reconstruction work of Deegawapiya Stupa begins under the patronage of the Prime Minister
• Japan to aid two companies moving manufacturing base from China to India
‘Along with Australia, India & Japan had launched supply chain resilience initiative for Indo-Pacific, where the government had also urged Tokyo to expand coverage of the financial assistance to India…. There are an estimated 30,000 Japanese companies that have production bases in China, which had emerged as the factory to the world, compared with 5,100 in India.’
• Coronavirus vaccine: Medicine not money motivates husband and wife behind the jab
• Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine: ‘Normal life by spring’ after jab stops 9 in 10 infections
• EDFI and European Investment Bank €280mn financing initiative to support privates
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.
• June quarter recurring earnings declined by 58% to Rs.17.7bn for 267 companies: First Capital
• Take long-term with view for capital market in a low-interest regime
• Financial Intelligence Unit allows Financial Institutions to verify Know Your Customer online
• Cash pumped into stocks with potential in export markets.
‘Vehicle importers stuck with the cash with the prevalent import restrictions on vehicles and vegetable importers unable to import are putting their money into the stock market’
• Stock market achieves turnaround; up 6% with over Rs. 3 b daily turnover
• Stock market returns to resilience despite profit taking
• Stocks drop while T-Bills and Bonds go undersubscribed
• Sri Lanka rupee ends weaker, gilt yields marginally up after bond auction
• 23% drop in Sampath Bank cumulative profit figures affects stock market
‘Bank also incurred a net trading loss of Rs. 523 m as mark to market losses on forward exchange contracts’
• Commercial Bank profit before tax of Rs 15.566 billion for the nine months
‘Gains from government securities, foreign exchange (FX) swap trading and FX trading activities’
• HNB Group posts Rs.8.8bn in PAT during first nine months of 2020
• NDB Pre-tax profitability up by 2% to LKR 7.7 Bn
• Sri Lanka’s First Capital Treasuries Limited ratings upgraded to SL [A]: ICRA
‘FCT is the leading standalone primary dealer in Sri Lanka currently, with close to 40% market share in terms of total assets.,,, Incorporated in the year 1982, FCT is a licensed primary dealer of government securities in Sri Lanka’
• Shares end lower as industrials, communication services weigh
‘LOLC Development Finance tumbled 7.4% and was the top percentage loser’
• LOLC Holdings Group SL’s top profit earning listed entity for second year running
‘After tax profit of Rs. 19.79 billion, up from previous year’s Rs. 19.64 billio.., at company level there was loss of 9.09 billion, up from loss of Rs. 3.2 billion a year earlier. LOLC last paid a dividend of 50 cents a share in 2013 but its share closed the year at Rs. 88.90 and was trading at over Rs. 120 last week… LOLC had total assets of USD 7.083 billion… 80% of their profit before tax is derived from overseas…LOLC group is into financial services, construction, agriculture and plantation, manufacturing and trading, leisure and renewable energy… in Cambodia,, Myanmar, Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Nigeria and Zambia; business operations in Maldives and Sierra Leone as well as corporate offices in Singapore, UAE and Mauritius….The 2018 debt waiver by the then government had caused irrevocable damage to the country’s microfinance sector…’
• Singer Finance leads tier two rankings by K Seeds Investments
‘Singer Finance topped the “Category 2”… with asset base between R20-100 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 trade deficit improves in September 2020 as merchandise exports rebound
• Hemas profit of Rs.2.4 billion for the first six-month period
• Exports propel Hayleys 2Q Rs.1.65bn net profit as pandemic upends its fortunes
‘Business magnate Dhammika Perera holds 51.01 percent stake in Hayleys PLC while the Employees’ Provident Fund has 5.04 percent stake being its third largest shareholder. ‘
• Fitch downgrades AMW Capital Leasing & Finance to ‘BBB –(lka)’; Outlook Negative
‘a large importer of motor vehicles in Sri Lanka’
• Expolanka records revenue of Rs.49Bn and PAT of Rs.4.5Bn in Q2 FY 2021
• Fitch affirms Lion Brewery at ‘AAA(lka)’; Outlook Stable
• Is now a good time to invest in real estate? – Keells
‘Colombo is a city of approximately 560,000 (within the Colombo Municipal zone), with about half a million more people commuting into the city every day.’
• Terrance Abraham appointed CEO of Delmege Consumer Cluster
‘He was at Maharaja Organisation, Asbicon Group, Hemas Consumer Brands…’
• LOVI Ceylon Nationals to reimagine Corporate Wear
‘With the sarong’s Indonesian origins and the kurta’s Indian origins, our national dress bears centuries of influences’
• Online shopping — A Waste of Time
• Virtual access to China Market for Sri Lanka Exporters enabled during CIIE 2020
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.
• Jayantha Jayamuni De Silva, a weapon of wisdom
• Many political parties sold for big amounts over the years
‘MP Gamage revealed AJP had been registered by Mangala Samaraweera after he was sacked by the UPFA.’
• Robe, politics and karapincha
‘Buddhist monks who back politicians for political reasons or to achieve social justice…are used and discarded. Ask Muruththettuwe Ananda Thera.’
• Religion, Nationalism, Truth and Science
• Regime change in the US: Who gains? – Editorial
‘In 1952, Sri Lanka was adversely affected by a worldwide rice shortage as well as a severe drop in rubber prices due to the introduction of synthetic rubber. Lanka was on the brink of starvation. At this time China very generously offered 40% higher than the market price for Sri Lankan rubber, and 1/3rd of the market price for rice to Sri Lanka. The two nations entered into what was known as the rubber-rice barter agreement. The US expressed its opposition to the agreement. It said China was a communist country and threatened to block aid if the deal went through. The signing of this agreement led to US revoking aid to Sri Lanka. Again in 1961, in reaction to Sri Lanka’s nationalization of its petroleum industry, the US once again blocked aid to the country. Most recently during Sri Lanka’s ‘War on Terrorism,’ the US sanctioned arms sales to the country. When Sri Lanka’s ‘War on Terrorism’ led to the successful defeat of the terrorist organization, the US pursued a vigorous anti-Sri Lanka policy in the United Nations, charging Sri Lanka with war crimes and crimes against humanity. In this background, it is difficult to see any change in the US attitude toward Sri Lanka under Biden Presidency.’
• Are the Rajapaksas moving towards rapprochement with Muslims?
• The Pohottuwa Government of Sri Lanka Part 2 C1, C2 & C3
• A New Constitution for the Island Nation of Sinhale
‘A submission to the Experts Committee to draft a new Constitution’
• Why political power should be decentralized and not devolved
‘A submission to the Experts Committee to draft a new Constitution’
• English Liberal System better than Sinhala Feudal System – Ivan
‘The damage that can be caused to an edifice constructed by liberal architects is immense when it is modified and repaired by a group of architects consisting of Marxists, adherents of Anagarika Dharmapala and several others without any vision at all.’
• National Movement for a Just Society calls for wide consultations on new Constitution
• The government committed suicide by passing the 20th amendment- Former Speaker
• Jaffna Tamil Rohini Lakshmi Ravindran Kosoglu is Kamala Harris’ Chief of Staff
• Donald Trump’s dangerous election reversal game
• Chris Hedges: The Politics of Cultural Despair
• America’s Tribes Go To The Polls Amidst Uncertainty – Africa News Network
‘Two white tribal elders are contesting to rule the Covid-ravaged wheat-exporting former British colony for the next four years…Due to the levels of illiteracy, candidates are represented on the ballot by animals, the elephant for the Republicans and a braying donkey for the Democrats.
• Democracy in the Land of the Free
‘In Sri Lanka the people vote directly to choose their President. In that beacon of democracy called the USA, the people do not directly choose their President…Under the Electoral College, black votes are submerged. Five of the six states whose populations are 25 percent or more black have been reliably Republican in recent Presidential Elections, even though that goes against normal black voting patterns. Three of those states have not voted for a Democrat in more than four decades. There are other ways in which the US system is rigged against democracy’
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.
• Sri Lankan Media’s Anglophilia is a distraction
• Credentials of Mobitel / ITN official raise controversy
• Family sagas and a peek at Victorian Ceylon’s westernised bourgeoisie
‘Vintage photographs illuminate the second edition of Facets of Modern Ceylon History — Through the Letters of Jeronis Pieris by Michael Roberts’
• Why Murdoch Called The Race
• How Rupert Murdoch turned against Donald Trump
• The World Turned Upside Down: Rodney’s 1972 masterpiece
‘In 1972 Walter Rodney’s masterpiece How Europe Underdeveloped Africa took a similar approach to Eduardo Galeano’s 1971 classic Open Veins of Latin America, examining 400 years of European intervention and occupation in Africa.’