“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
The IMF Orchestra Performs Human Rights in Spring
e-Con e-News 28 February – 06 March 2021
‘For US Secretary of State Blinken, such horrific level of Covid deaths among his countrymen
isn’t a human rights issue. Not a single state functionary in the USA
has been held responsible for such a tragedy of unspeakable proportions.’
(ee Sovereignty, Poverty is the ultimate denial of human rights)
Why isn’t the UN Human Rights Commission bringing countries together to curb mass Covid spread and relieve mass unemployment? Why are they not interrogating capitalists for only trying to increase the pandemic? Why aren’t they interrogating big pharma about their huge vax profits while hoarding vaccines (made from public research)? Why are they refusing to allow new drugs to become ‘public goods’, as China did from the start? Why don’t they invest their loads of cash in productive employment? Instead of playing the ever more volatile stockmarket, buying land and gold? So many questions…..
With all their ha-ho about ‘human rights’, the US escalates bombing Syria. They’re shielding their puppet settler-state Israel from prosecution by the International Criminal Court. They are ignoring promises to hold Saudi rulers responsible for allegedly gruesome murders. The ICC and adverted election promises are of course another imperialist farce to be selectively employed. As US observers themselves note: Same old! Same old!
‘After the implementation of the 13th Amendment, the Agriculture Department was broken up, the research division broken into independent institutes, the extension service given to the Provincial Councils, and the seed farms sold to the private sector’ – Garvin Karunaratne (ee Agriculture, 13th)
• The import-export mafia and their merchants are still running riot, 73 years after nominal independence. They actively undermine even the feeblest attempts at an ‘alternative approach’. They aim to forestall any challenge with their media wailing about ‘human rights’, ‘despotism’, ‘authoritarianism’, ‘militarism’, while claiming to be ‘green, sustainable, socially responsible, inclusive, diverse’, etc.
Yet it’s merchants who are the epitome of reaction and repression, obstructing rule by the real majority of the country: workers and cultivators.
Here’s the opposition wet-dream: Geneva’s UNHRC and WTO sing the blues in unison. Fund managers refuse to rollover short-term debt, monopolists engineer a stockmarket crash, and parippu drips from the skies. A pro-NATO clique, with wannabe petit-traders, implode the ruling SLPP. Ohaypalayang 2 opens….
• There’s no UNHRC discussion of England’s invasion of the Chagos Archipelago, disappearing their people. Nor about the presence of numerous white warmaking bases in the Indian Ocean, nor the plundering of the ocean’s immense resources:
‘The EU removed GSP+ from Sri Lanka over the issue of SL vessels fishing in restricted waters (principally the traditional fishing grounds in the BIOT (including Chagos), which England unilaterally declared a “nature reserve”, with the concurrence of Greenpeace. We agreed to tag all our vessels electronically, and got GSP+ back.” (ee Agriculture, EU Plunder)
• The car importers in their fake agony have exposed so-called local manufacture as a farce. They say it’s mere assembly using imported parts (ee Random Notes)
Our incredibly lightweight bankers, private & public: The People’s Bank CEO insists we need ‘an export focus’ because we have a small market. This is just not true! The failure of the state banks to invest in modern industry, continues, and saying Sri Lanka’s market is too small to support industrialization shows where they are at. (ee Industry, Making SL a manufacturing & merchandise exports powerhouse)
An industrial plan is vital. Whether it’s selling the country out, undermining import restrictions, refusing to direct investment into modern production, the UNP can sabotage much better than the SLPP! UNP-linked merchants are the most experienced and creative. Who’s behind this import mafia and their media? The multinational corporations… (ee Focus, Monopoly)
• The Central Bank announced ‘directed credit’ this week, to focus investment on production – hopefully not with expensive imports! Will we start making machines? Such ‘directed credit’ is opposed by the IMF etc. Meanwhile there’s steady intrusion by the World Bank’s IFC. Also this week, Norfund took shares in the National Development Bank. The hijacked NDB refuses to live up to its name, instead developing other nations. Those who suddenly became experts on ‘debt’ seem to know little about the IMF, World Bank and WTO, and their structural adjustment programs etc. (ee Random Notes)
• As we dive into this month of creative accountants and tax magicians, note the contradictory headlines of the WB&Keells-linked Commercial Bank: ‘ComBank ends tough 2020… ComBank ranked the ‘Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2020’. (ee Finance)
ee Focus this week, also examines how the multinational monopolies ruling Sri Lanka fake their accounting, stealing capital out of the country…
• How did England (& Europe, & their settler states) finance their modern industrialization? They looted us, as did the Portuguese and Dutch. But what the English created in their own country was a self-generating modern industrial system, while sabotaging any such industrial advances in ours. Is England a unique case? Is their model replicable, if even desirable? (ee Focus, Financing England’s Industrial Revolution)
England both eliminated their peasantry and profited immensely from the chattel enslavement of Africans, the indentured enslavement of Asians, imposing colonies worldwide. They did all this while loudly proclaiming ‘civilization, human rights, free trade’. Even today, like throwing scraps to dogs, they carefully orchestrate and selectively reveal the horrors they enacted (with apologies lacking legal tender).
Now these whites, with a few off-white sahibs in tow, are giving us lectures on human rights. It shows it is not just investment, technology & capital we need but a new set of social relationships, national and international.
England & Europe advanced their countries through looting and mass-murder worldwide. This option is still not available to us yet, only to the white man. The Geneva charade illustrates vividly, this.
Our media and ruling oligarchy are so concerned about the white man’s antics in Geneva, and so-called debt. So invested they are in the white man’s system, they fail to see a different and truly changing world.
‘Ceylinco Life ends 2020 with near-perfect gender balance in sales force’
• Separation of powers, anyone? A Canadian court convicted a Toronto man of mowing down in 2018, 10 women – many Asian, a fact not disclosed. The court ruling was orchestrated for this week just in time for International Women’s Day (IWD).
Rural women made into the headlines this week when a mother drowned her children into a well in Vattakachchi in Kilinochchi. Another mother in Nallur beat an infant to get money from the father working in West Asia. Yet another had a child caned in ‘superstitious’ rituals. Then, the grisly beheading… And it all happens just before IWD. India’s Chief Justice also obliged by asking a schoolgirl to marry her rapist. Is it about the pathology of women?
Why doesn’t this media tell us what’s really going on in the north or more precisely in villages nationwide? So-called moneylenders – with Colombo finance companies linked to white aid agencies and headlined as success stories – are making the real killing.
Ask a worker in Colombo where they’re from, and they offer a register of the underdevelopment ravaging villages. Insight into labor exploitation in villages was also provided regarding sand-mining this week, by Environment Ministry Secretary Dr Jasinghe. ee applauds the move to set up cooperatives to oversee invaluable mining (see ee Industry). Why can’t we use these enormous resources to make our own industrial machinery?
On March 9th, corporates and their media will go back to donning their veils of everyday obfuscation and exploitation. One million people grow rice to feed 22 million, we were told this week. Women are a major part of this rice production. The introduction of weedicides saw unemployed women pushed into the garment business, where they took what women did at home into bigger rooms, called factories, with little change in skill levels (ee Random Notes)
A1. Reader Comments –
• Love ee Satire • Elephant in the Room • Weekly Gift • Mechanic on Titanic • Bachelet Psyche?
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Flouting Mining Laws • Illegal Overtime • Interlocking Directorships • Developing vs Underdeveloping • High Profits & Mass Unemployment
A3. Random Notes –
• Pharma Mafia Behind Anti-Paeni Splutter • Fitch linked to Media Mafia • Unilever & Subcontractors & IWD • EU & FDI Game • IMF Orchestra • Vehicle Importers Expose Local Assembly Game • Why IMF Hates SOEs •
B. ee Focus
B1. The Import-Export Mafia & the Multinationals’ Monopoly – SBD de Silva
B2. Financing England’s Industrial Revolution – 1
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: email@example.com.
• ‘I think WD Lakshman is fab – the only CB Governor the IMF/WB hates, for his straight-up refusal to accept IMF loan conditions (Structural Readjustment Programs). The IMF, etc., and their governments (including Japan) have always ‘given’ low-interest loans but only with condition that our countries privatize and sell off (to them) national assets & SOEs. Whereas, China’s loans are higher interest – but that’s because they’re accepting ‘natural’ market risks and are not tied to any conditions…’
• “Is CB Governor WD Lakshman, a heroic mechanic on a sinking Titanic undermined by iceberg makers on board? As ee points out, import-substitution is only one tool in a bag of tricks to transform the economy.’
• ‘Loved the piece on human-elephant conflict. And love the satire regarding Colombo-7 IWD activities.’
• ‘Re: elephant-plantation conflict – the elephant in the room: White trash’
•’Got the valued weekly gift’
• ‘Re: Report of the UNHCR High Commissioner. The SL Minister of Foreign Affairs has responded effectively to the long diatribe of the UNHCR HC Michelle Bachelet’s report based not on personal knowledge but on previous documents with the Commission, eg reports of Ban Ki-moon’s Panel of Experts, OCHR, and various Special Rapporteurs. The panel of Experts/Darusman report is an illegal report based on uncontested evidence. OCHR reports have depended heavily on this report which is the mother of all unverified allegations. Special Reports are made by so-called voluntary experts, who spend only a couple of weeks in a country and base their findings mainly on information fed to them by biased NGOs and journalists.
The main plank of HRC Ms Bachelet’s charges are militarization of Civilian Government and reduction of space for civil society and independent media. Other charges are primarily on noncompliance of previous requests by HRC and assurances by GoSL.
She should be aware Sri Lanka is the first country in Asia to adopt a parliamentary system which the country has steadfastly retained under many stresses and strains.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Regional politicians are controlling sand and granite extraction, and members of the vulnerable rural communities are employed as labourers. Those regional politicians and businessmen also flout laws openly.’ – Dr Anil Jasinghe (see ee Industry, Mining)
• ‘The length of the working day is invariably greater in underdeveloped regions where profit appropriation is dominated by absolute-surplus-value generation. As we witness the over-12 hour shifts workers are subjected to in free trade zones in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, dominated by garments, electronics assembly firms, hand in hand with such service sector ventures as supermarkets, retail outlets, bakeries, tourism, transport services etc, which together account for the largest share of non-agricultural employment specifically in Sri Lanka. – D Pathirana & C Aluthge, A History of Underdevelopment & the Political Economy of Inflation in SL
• ‘Production, banking, insurance, shipping, brokering, blending and distribution were linked by interlocking directorships. In 1965, 7 people controlled 162,892 acres of plantation land in Sri Lanka. The Earl of Inchcape (who took over P&O and BI), was a principal in 41 companies involving various phases of the tea business, including banking, shipping and insurance in Sri Lanka. Agency Houses linked to shipping could hold up cargo to make profits for the principals.’ – Nawaz Dawood, Tea & Poverty
• ‘For reasons best known to them, economists have now dropped the term underdevelopment in favour of ‘developing’ economies’. The term originated in what may have been a political gesture by the international aid agencies. It was readily adopted by economists, heedless of the fact that it served to mask the hard reality that these economies were not ‘developing’ but underdeveloping.’ – SBD de Silva, 1982
• ‘High profits are going hand in hand with mass unemployment’ (ee Economists, 2 Charts)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• Is the pharmaceutical importer mafia promoting the anti-paeni hysteria to holmung local medicinal production from our abundance of botany and zoology? Unilever and the MNCs control the advertising and PR business in Sri Lanka: ironically, they only advertise foreign products to Sri Lankans. Through advertising they control the media. This week we’re told, ‘artistes’ (note the ‘e’) are against a ‘Heavy Tax on Teledramas and Films’. ‘Several members of local artistes association told the Business Times that the levy is unbearable for local producers and TV channels.’ Who are these ‘artistes’? Fronts for launderers? Tax Evaders?
• Last week, the CBSL Governor suggested synchronicity between the Geneva game and the banks’ negativity. Note also EconomyNext’s stockmarket doom’n’gloom. Will they all come crashing together next Tuesday? It’s not just the hijacked UN and the Banks: The media is the masseur – Fitch Ratings Agency is owned by US conglomerate Hearst Communications (Cosmopolitan magazine etc). The SL distributor for Cosmopolitan is Capital Media (Echelon, EconomyNext etc).
• Mega-conglomerate Unilever and their various outlets (Cargills, British Council etc) are promoting International Women’s Day. Cargills’ shelves, filled with Unilever products, is well known for forcing women to work for 15 hours a day, illegal under labor laws. Fair&Lovely Unilever operates behind 100s of front companies, whose treatment of workers, let alone women, never make it to media headlines:
Unilever’s loveliness blooms from a monstrous root of exploitation, beginning with enslaved chattel and then indentured workers. Unilever grew fat under the infamous kangany system, which has produced a princely line of politicians, who now wish to divide the country (see ee Agriculture, 13th).
Unilever depends on a vast chain of subcontractors, who have none of the terms&conditions their front offices love to advertise. Unilever has ‘independent’ fronts like Watawala Plantations (infamous for eco-destructive Palm Oil estates). Watawala aka Sunshine owns Daintee, which itself claims a distribution network of almost 100,000 outlets, whose ma’n’pa operations need a national discussion, before super- and hypermarkets like Walmart make their grand entry. Ultimately, the massive profits from these mainly rural outlets are not plowed back into the rural economy. Unilever has captured the rural home market – vital to any industrialization. (see ee Focus, about Unilever’s many fronts)
• The EU let the pissu-pusaa out of the FDI bag this week: They’ll only invest if they can dump their industrial goods here. They say: EU will not invest if we cannot sell our machineries and goods to Sri Lanka. Their demand is of course well-synchronized with the Geneva teledrama.
They demand we sell the country’s resources out, hide the commissions in Switzerland, then they will withdraw their human-rights stormtroopers. We can then get multiple visas to Geneva and their praise! (and also check on any of our secret Swiss accounts)
Here’s the convoluted headline: ‘EU asks SL not to be ‘WTO incompatible’’. So after the UNHRC, they aim to haul us before the World Trade Organization? And guess what? Both the UNHRC and the WTO headquarters in Geneva, are just up the street from each other, with WTO also close to the World Bank’s Swiss office, and the UNHRC just off Wilson Quai – that’s right, named after a US President who was a fan of so-called self-determination (but only for those under a rival empire!)
• If you hear a repeated buzzsawing in the media, tis the dominant off-Broadway musical right now: The music conductor is the US Treasury Department, and their IMF Orchestra has several sections: the percussion drums out, Debt, Debt, Default, Default… while the cymbals tinkle, ‘Sell off lossmaking public companies (aka SOEs)’ The woodwinds blow, Submit to the IMF now or else…,, while the string (lanu) section weeps for trees, inclusion, sustainability, social responsibility etc. The brass awaits the final clash of cymbals to trumpet their real intentions: Privatize! Privatize!
This old orchestra is brought to you by official junior sponsors: Citibank, Standard Chartered, Barclays, HSBC, Deutsch Bank, and you name it. Their conditions for low-interest rates are the stripping of national resources (aka ‘structural readjustment’).
• The Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka (VIASL) stresses that local manufacturing and assembling of vehicles that’s been mooted as the solution to the foreign-exchange issue, is not their solution.
‘The process does not add any value to the country’s economy and is merely designed for tax evasion and higher profit margins for a few companies. The local assembling companies mainly import an almost finished product and add minimal value to it,’ They pointed out, ‘The ultimate victim in this process is the general public… forced to purchase a low-quality product, which lacks adequate safety& emission standards, at an inflated price. Most of these products are of extremely poor quality and there have been instances where they have not been allowed to be run in their respective manufacturing countries.’ (ee Industry, Local assembling companies import almost finished products, add minimal value)
• It’s not just trees, it’s entire national resources they wish to steal? So the constant cry to sell so-called loss-making ‘state-owned enterprises’. How did so-called SOEs lose money to begin with? Was it by using them as cash cows, refusing to reinvest in them, overloading their workforce with party supporters of greener and bluer shades?
IMF-induced financial-sector reforms claiming to make the public sector more efficient, instead deprived them of investment. They’ve left Sri Lankan firms vulnerable to foreign competitors. MNCs have been allowed to launder funds, while curtailing institutional long-term finance for SL firms.
The deregulation of the industrial and financial sectors is key to structural adjustment programs (SAP). Financial ‘reforms’ deregulate capital markets and banks, interest rates, withdrawing directed credit and subsidies, and encouraging stricter ‘income recognition’ norms (not recognizing: investing in skills, health, education), and integrating the domestic financial markets with global financial flows, conforming with the ‘Washington Consensus’.
They have demanded reduction of tariff barriers and elimination of import quotas, wholesale abolition of industrial licensing, pre-investment scrutiny of investment decisions, and requiring approval for expansion, new undertakings, mergers, amalgamations, takeovers. Industries reserved for the public sector have to be reduced. Corporations then take over majority ownership of SMEs etc and imposing foreign technologies.
The IMF demands abolition of the institutional role of large national enterprises (SOEs), even if profitable and reinvesting capital. Instead of enhancing their strategic role, IMF-run governments treat SOEs as cash cows and employ supporters to help ruin the enterprises. They’re no more corrupt than private enterprises. Yet thinktanks and economists demand privatization, imposing ‘public-private partnerships’ (PPPs) to erode control.
B. Special Focus__
B1. The Import-Export Mafia & the Monopoly of Multinationals – SBD de Silva
(excerpt from The Political Economy of Underdevelopment, Chapter 3: Export staples and their contrasting impact on development – the settler and the nonsettler regions)
Trading firms, however, were typically partnerships or sole-proprietor concerns whose owners usually resided in the country of investment. In Sri Lanka after WW2 most of the expatriate trading firms were made private limited liability companies, but without any real broadening of capital ownership and management. Incorporation enabled the original proprietors, when retiring from the colony, to withdraw a portion of their assets or even to sort out and separate some of their private funds which had become merged in the business. Outside capital participation in the new companies was minimal, and the shares were not freely transferable. The original proprietors became governing directors for life, retaining control of the business.44 Management shares gave them ‘the right to all the profits or other monies of the company available for dividends’, and a claim on its surplus assets. The proprietary directors had absolute discretion over share transfers; they had the first right to purchase at par any shares of an intending transferor and could select the person to whom shares could be sold.
While in the nonsettler colonies production capital was invested on an absentee basis, constraining the scope of its activities, the character of trading capital enabled trading enterprises to be operated on the basis of the local domicile of the principal investors. Nevertheless, such enterprises were limited in their entrepreneurial reach. They confined themselves to activities which were relatively risk-free, in which the prospect or the existence of monopoly profits was the basic inducement. The actual extent of monopoly is greater than is suggested by the number of trading firms, some of which are only nominally independent. Long-established firms, having goodwill and trading connections, are seldom dissolved even when they cease to be viable and are acquired by other firms; they are allowed to exist nominally with their original name and style. Some other firms for various reasons serve as a facade or cover from the outset.45
Whereas the monopolistic nature of the colonial export trade is generally acknowledged, in the import trade the presence of a greater number of firms and of products has induced a notion that competition prevailed. According to Kathleen Stahl, the relations between the British importing firms in Sri Lanka were ‘keenly competitive”. 46 Likewise another writer has asserted: “In contrast to the monopolistic organisation of the export trade, the import business was handled by a large number of firms and individuals. ‘ 47
But in fact there were greater barriers to the entry of indigenous merchants into the import trade than into the export trade; in Malaysia, for example, a substantial volume of export produce, such as smallholders’ rubber, was collected, processed and exported by non-European traders. The growth of local produce markets (for rubber in Singapore and Colombo, and for tea in Colombo) also enabled indigenous trading to engage in the export trade. Concentration of trade in the hands of a few was as prevalent in exports as in imports. Though corporate giants are better known on the export side, the ramifications of the importing firms are no less real.48
Several factors underlay the monopolistic structure of foreign trade in the colonies. First, a handful of traders who were first on the scene when the plantations were founded gained a historical ascendancy in the economy. At a time when land was plentiful and cheap, they were able to pre-empt the best location for their business. For example, in Colombo, the premises of James Finlay & Co had as their most valuable aspect proximity to transport. Purchased around 1900, this property comprised ‘two blocks of land, one bordering the Colombo Lake with its access to the Harbour and the other with warehouses on the landward side of the road’.49
The possession of waterfront stores considerably reduced the costs of loading, transporting and unloading produce. In other instances roads, railways or wharfs tended to gravitate towards the area where these firms were situated. For example, in Singapore the Tanjong Pagar docks were built in the 1860s on land belonging to Guthrie & Co, from which later a railway line led to the main business area in the town.50 The large English agency houses – such as Guthrie, Boustead, Sime Darby, the Borneo Company, Harrisons & Crosfield, MacAlister, Mansfield – had “the Peninsular railway terminating in their own backyard, so to speak”.51
Second, the monopoly position of these firms was due to their financial resources. Though trade has a quicker financial turnover and a lower ratio of fixed to working capital than plantations and manufacturing industry, the critical minimum funds were more than most firms in the colonies could afford. For instance, in the export of coconut oil there are considerable cost economies in investment in storage tanks, weigh bridges, oil drums and motor vehicles.52
The warehouses of trading and managing agency firms in Colombo, used for storing export produce, fertilizers and other materials, were a rich source of profit. In recent years inadequate storage capacity on the estates led to increased investment in warehouses by agency firms, shippers and exporters. Fixed investments by individual firms were an oligopolistic device to impede the entry of new firms. These firms were also able to finance the indigenous retail traders who had no access to the banks.
Third, the hegemony of the European firms derived from the large share of imports which they had engrossed, partly in their role as managing agencies of plantations. A stable portion of their business was thus the importation of plantation materials, eg fertilizers, tea chests and tea-packing accessories, agricultural tools, building materials for factories and estate housing, and tea and rubber machinery. These firms had also a monopoly over the sale or distribution of branded goods, for which they were the sole agents. For instance, in Sri Lanka, Delmege Forsyth was the distributor of Cadbury’s chocolates and Clarke’s sewing thread and also controlled the trade in petroleum products. Through area agreements with manufacturers abroad the trade in such goods was fenced into separate preserves. Rarely were goods imported independently of the agent, but whatever the channel of purchase he as the area overlord clipped his commission. While the entry of new firms into a business was blocked, secretiveness regarding commissions and suppliers’ prices abroad permitted a degree of local price manoeuvring by the indenting agents.
Whether as estate agencies or as trading enterprises, the European firms plucked all of the shipping and insurance business. One of them, James Finlay & Co, had a proprietary interest in the Clan Line steamships, which from 1878 carried the expanding exports of tea and jute from India, and it later acted for several other shipping lines as full agent or as discharging agent.53 Shipping and insurance companies almost always had as the local agent an established merchant house through which they obtained business at less expense than by setting up a branch with separate staff and premises.54 As with foreign-owned plantations, in shipping and insurance the agency function arose from the absentee nature of colonial investments. A major responsibility was the collection and safe custody of funds which, pending their remittance abroad, were banked or invested locally on a pattern decided by the principals. The agent also attended to local tax matters, supplied office space and supervised the staff. The principals met half the salaries of the staff and the entire cost of developing new business. The agent received a commission on the premiums and an agency fee….
Notes: 44 Gordon Frazer & Co Ltd was one such firm in Sri Lanka which was reconstituted. The Articles of Association, gave the former partners ‘the power to Appoint and remove any of the other Directors, and … from time to time to appoint, define, limit and restrict the powers and duties, and fix the qualification and remuneration of any other Directors, and …remove any other Director and… at any time convene a General Meeting of the Company.’
45 An example in Sri Lanka is Maddema Trading Co Ltd, a tea exporting firm registered in 1953. With a paid-up Capital of only Rs1,000, it had a turnover of Rs12. 9million in 1960, but showed a pre-tax profit of only Rs 2,398. Lipton Ltd had provided its finance, amounting to Rs 1.1 million in 1960, as well as its directorate. Maddema Trading Co. had no office of its own, was not listed in the telephone directory, and Outgoing correspondence was dealt with (and signed) by Inn Accountant of Lipton Ltd. Linked with Lipton Ltd were two other tea exporting firms, RO Mennel & Co (Ceylon) Ltd, and AF Jones & Co Ltd. The former like Maddema Trading Co, was a legal fiction. It was financially interlocked with AF Jones, which in 1939 held one half of the share capital; both firms had the same directors in 1949. One quarter of the share capital of AF Jones & Co in 1965 was owned by Lipton (Overseas) Ltd, whose Chief Accountant and Accountant were the only directors of AF Jones & Co Ltd. The rest of the capital of RO Mennel & Co (Ceylon) Ltd (ie 75%) was jointly held by two persons resident in England.
47 HA de S. Gunasekera, ‘From Dependent Currency to Central Banking’ (London, 1963), 192.
48 eg, Darley Butler & Co Ltd and EB Creasy & Co. Ltd, formerly separate businesses (registered in Sri Lanka as rupee companies), are both subsidiaries of Steel Bros & Co Ltd, London – an outstanding example of horizontal integration and concentration. With assets valued in 1939 at £4. 8million, Steel Bros owned oil wells, refineries, mines, rice mills, tea plantations, cotton mills etc in several countries.
49 Finlay & Co, 1750-1950′, op.cit, 99. George Steuart & Co in 1836 bought a similar property in Colombo for £160. ‘James Steuart, Recollections Personal and Official of James Steuart, 1817-66. With a short history of the firm of George Steuart and Co ‘, (ed) Thomas Villiers (Colombo, c1935), 58.
52 The British Ceylon Corporation (the largest coconut oil exporting firm in SL) invested heavily on internal transport facilities 1959-63. A bulk oil pipe line, more than a mile long from its storage tanks to the wharf, did away with the need for oil drums and motor vehicles. Based on the Company’s Annual Reports.
53 ‘James Finlay & Co Ltd’, op.cit., 92,100. George Steuart & Co commenced shipping and insurance work only in 1957, upon amalgamation with JM Robertson & Co whose agencies it took over.
B2. Financing England’s Industrial Revolution – 1
(excerpt from Capital & Finance in the Industrial Revolution: Lessons for the 3rd World, Sushil Khanna, 1978)
… the nature and extent of capital requirements, the financing of the industrial revolution, the much debated problem of “capital shortage” and the relative richness and development of England before the Industrial Revolution got under way.
…Economic historians are devoting a great deal of attention to the problem of capital supply and capital mobility – of the channels, the financial intermediaries, procedures and mechanisms through which the institutional, geographical and sociological gaps between savers and investors were closed.
They argue that abundance of capital cannot be a decisive cause of the industrial revolution, but only a permissive factor, and point out, for instance, that capital was relatively even more abundant in 18th century Holland and the rates of interest lower.
On the question of ‘sources of capital’, ie, the financing of industrial enterprises, a large amount of data has been gathered. The data show that the innovators resorted to a variety of sources of capital. But most research points to the predominance of ‘internal’ financing.
…a typical enterprise in the 18th century needed little capital to start, and even smaller amounts for fixed assets. The ‘threshold’ for entry was low and a man with little capital need not sink much by renting space and sometimes even machinery and buying power from the landlord.
Most entrepreneurs started with small capital they had accumulated through the pre-manufacturing system, manufacturing or merchant-manufacturing or in trading activities; and thanks to the large profits usually made, they were able to expand by ploughing back these profits. Altogether, retained profits were one of the biggest single sources of long-term capital.
Besides renting of mills (many landlords began to invest in buildings and even machinery and sought tenants among ‘persons desirous of commencing the woollen or worsted business’), Heaton argues, many of the early mills were mere service stations. A beginner need not invest any in raw material, since he could find full employment performing one process only on materials belonging to his patrons.
A ‘putting-out’ system flourished, with the mill-operator rather than a domestic craftsman as the ‘puttee’. Also, ‘vertical integration’ was almost absent. “The operator of a one-process plant might buy material, carry it through one stage and then sell it. He might buy sorted wool, comb it and sell ‘tops’ to the spinner, who spun them and sold yarn to a weaving firm, which made it into a cloth and sold it to merchants.”
Heaton makes the point, that such a system of small producers did not face any great disadvantage in competing with the few larger integrated units. Hence, personal or family funds, which the industrialist scraped together were the most important source of initial capital. Selling or mortgaging of inherited property was quite common. In times of crisis, too, one had to rely on close relatives; or might look for a ‘sleeping partner’ outside the family.
Long-term investment in buildings & machinery being relatively small, short-term credit to finance increases in inventories was quantitatively by far the largest need of the industry. The main problem for the early industry was of finding circulating capital. Firms beginning in a small way could devote their own initial capital resources to fixed investment, and by “inserting themselves in the circular flow of credit acquire working capital by a process of running creditors’ balances of much larger amount than debtors” and get their bills discounted from banks, or get advances from commission agents to whom those goods were consigned.
Quite often they received short-term loan from a ‘patron’ – generally an established merchant, who might have easier access to banks. Pollard writes that “this web of credit should be placed near the centre of the exposition of the accumulation of capital”. Merchant capital which supplied industry with a large part of its circulating capital thus played a dominant and decisive part in the industrial revolution, and the financing of stocks by mercantile capital was much more important than industry’s self-finance, at least up to 1815.
The role played by trade credit – ie, debtors and creditors – was the largest where the firm was on the point of emerging from the stage of mercanting and putting-out into that of an integrated manufacturing firm. Pollard gives us some examples, which he argues are typical for a firm somewhat removed from the putting-out system.
As we see [it], creditors exceeded debtors by a large margin and this difference in some cases even exceeded the value of fixed capital.
It is this extraordinary ability of manufacturers to finance their operations through trade credit that has led Mathias to argue that the role of mercantile credit in financing the industrial revolution was crucial. This must be looked in the background of rapid increase in trade and commerce in the period preceding the industrial revolution.
Colonial and overseas trade, especially re-export of commodities from England, played an important role in the emergence of a rich mercantile class which came forward either to manufacture or to finance manufacture through liberal credit.
It is this late discovery of the logical necessity of short-term finance in the 18th and early 19th century that has led many historians to explore the role of banks. Financing of raw material purchases and discounting of bills of exchange arising from sales to get back the cash before the customary credit period was over, creation of currency in some cases, all point to the importance of banking. The banks were however, shy of funding long-term needs
Three main types of banking systems grew up in eighteenth century England. With a monopoly of joint-stock banking, the London private banks and the country bankers. By the end of the century, another very important intermediary – the bill-broker – appeared on the scene and helped to link up the 3 networks.
The Bank of England, was formed in 1694, as part of a deal made between the crown, desperately short of finance in wartime, and a group of leading London merchants and financiers. They provided the crown with a loan of 1.2 million at 8% interest of which £0.5mn was in paper, virtually banknotes issued on their credit. (This was a period of confusion in the metallic currency and shortage of silver.) This lending increased substantially by 1710, and the bank now became a very important institution.
The Bank of England also profited by acting as the government’s sole banker in many other ways; holding balances of cash, acting as the issuer of government stock and the receiver of subscription for loans and treasury Bills, handling the government’s overseas business in finance, etc.
These balances with the bank provided a source of capital for banking business. Bank of England’s notes escaped into circulation in London through loans to government, which were paid by the bank in printed paper ‘promises to pay’; and till 1879 the bank was forced to maintain a large bullion reserve to face a possible ‘run’ on its notes.
The Bank of England also acted as a private banker to many large trading companies and larger merchants in London, discounting bills of exchange and making short-term loans, etc.
The bank however had no branches outside London.
Despite a restriction on the number of partners in a bank to six (1708-1826), there were about 170 banks in London and another 120 all over the country by 1784. The legal monopoly of joint stock banking and a limitation on number of partners “retarded the development of specialisation and dealings in credit remained largely a subsidiary auxiliary occupation”. Many bankers were engaged in non-banking enterprises and few provided a full range of services.
London bankers, by 1770, stopped issuing notes completely and the Bank of England’s coins and notes monopolised the circulation media of London. “Thus they were not engaged in the creation of currency, one of the greatest contrasts between them and the country banks and the Bank of England.”
Amongst the London bankers, those in the West End did not act very much in the commercial discounting of bills, nor did they become agents of country banks. Their main business lay in lending to the wealthy, not in trade, handling transfers from them when up in London from their country estates, and investing in government stocks and they were drawn into the mortgage business.
Most of the bankers were in the City, and undertook a different class of business. Their main business lay in discounting bills of exchange for merchants and industrialists, making short-term loans to stockbrokers and lending on ‘call’. Mathias argues that most bankers preferred to lend short rather than long on instruments much as bills of exchange which were self-liquidating. This meant financing trade rather than investments in buildings, machinery, or land improvements, etc.
After the 1770s, agency business for country bankers became an important sources of business for City bankers. By 1784, there were about 120 banks outside London, and their number rose to 370 by 1810.
Country bankers specialised out of every dominant business activity in every region of the country; wealth made in trade, manufacturing and law, spawned banking. In many small towns the opportunities for the largest draper, or brewer or grain-merchant of expanding his business from profits were limited. Beyond a certain point, capital accumulated and they were tempted to make profits on it by lending it. Tax receivers and solicitors used the stock of money passing through their hands as their original capital.
Pressnell has estimated the average annual deposits with country bankers from handling land and assessed taxes, income tax and stamp duties. In 1790, about £384,000 were with the country bankers all through the year and this figure rose to £800,000 by 1799. Besides, these bankers were fairly successful in mobilising savings all the country in the form of deposits.
Remittance, mainly to and from London, discounting of bills and agencies for obtaining cash for manufacturers, were the main functions of these banks. Apart from this, many of them issued notes and provided the provincial circulating medium by creating currency. This implied that they too maintained a stock of gold in case their notes were returned.
Many of these banks established links with London City bankers. City bankers helped procure gold and silver (and later Bank of England notes), keeping balances, providing overdrafts, and particularly handling the great flow of bills of exchange being transferred between the provinces and London.
London bankers sometimes handled commercial deals or deals in government stocks for their client bankers. In case of a panic in the provinces, they provided cash.
With the growth of deposits as a source of funds (about 5%of total liabilities of a bank were deposits by 1800) many country bankers sent capital to their London agents for investment or sought bills. A thriving business of brokerage sprang up which would supply bills to any bank which
wanted to discount. This helped link up the different financial markets.
“Agency-business in the second half of the 18th century thus became the main institutional link in the financial structure of the country between the provinces and London.
The system was however loosely joined, vulnerable in a money panic, easily interrupted in war conditions. Bankruptcies were quite common and due to links with the country banks, any panic in the provinces affected the London bankers.
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.
• England, Canada seek to influence member states against Lanka
‘Canada High Commissioner David McKinnon met Bangladesh High Commissioner Tareq Ariful Islam, at the Canada House, Colombo 07, after HC Sarah Hulton met South Korean Ambassador Woonjin Jeong. South Korea is also a member of the UNHRC.’
• R2P and UN Rights Chief’s lies about Sri Lanka – Lasandha Kurukulasuriya
• India’s Chief of the Air Staff Pledges Continued Support to Sri Lanka
• EU demands Sri Lanka be ‘WTO compatible’
• US House Foreign Affairs Committee responds to Ahimsa’s op-ed
• WEOG (Western Europe and Other Group) calls for resolution on SL with stronger wordings
• Capture of Kilinochchi on 2 January 2009 ended military offensive & brought SL under 1 flag
• Resolution on SL to be moved at UNHRC next Tuesday
• Stop UNHRC creating precedents: “Today Sri Lanka, Tomorrow Your Country”
• Why is UNHRC so angry with Sri Lanka?
• Bring intrusive UNHRC Resolutions against Sri Lanka to a conclusion with a VOTE
• Colombo port deal calms India’s paranoia
‘Colombo Port needs China and India to emerge as trans-shipment hub in the Indian Ocean’
• India linking with US always problematic for India’s relations with the Global South
• In Geneva, India Signals to Sri Lanka that Support in UNHRC Is Not a Given
• India tells UNHRC devolution of power is critical for reconciliation in Sri Lanka
• ‘Expect India to vote in favour of our country at UNHRC: Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary
• Sri Lanka ‘priority one’ partner in defence, says India
• Re: India calls upon Sri Lanka to fully implement 13 A to address aspirations of Tamil community/ India signals to Sri Lanka that support in UNHRC should not be taken for granted
• Tamil genocide, Geneva fiasco and a Tamil Che Guerra – Part 2
• India in Geneva: Friend, foe or navel-gazer?
‘India is part of a cabal that’s pushing Sri Lanka into the arms of China’
• UNHRC Divides the World
• Bigotry at the UNHRC – Sarath N. Silva
• No Time Bar for Human Rights: England atone for 133 years human rights violations
• Geneva fiasco 2021: how Colombo black-whites sabotaged the May 2009 war victory
• A Raving Pastor Colombage Overrides Gotabaya’s Vision of ‘Vistas of Prosperity’
‘The devious pastor is a member of the CIA funded think tank, ‘Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives’’
• Hobsbawm considered federalist or separatist demands as unreasonable and unrealistic
• US Duplicity in Human Rights
• Religious extremism, not just ethnic extremism raising its ugly head in the North
• Allow, assist & cooperate with developing countries to resolve problems
• In the eye of the eagle – Jayatilleka
‘Having bet on Trump against Biden, the Rajapaksa regime is betting on China against America’
• Liberalism or Hypocrisy? | Ruchir Sharma and Sanjay Dixit, The Jaipur Dialogues
• Lord Naseby asks why Adele not prosecuted in England for child recruitment
• Lord Naseby targets Adele Balasingham …. and Lord Tariq Ahmad
• US Secretary of State names Lankan International Women of Courage (IWOC) award
• Astounded by England statement on Sri Lanka at UNHRC: Lord Naseby
• When Pigs Fly: England Preaching Human Rights to Sri Lanka
• UNHRC Japan’s moderate approach: A sigh of relief for SL
• Biden proposes a Quad summit. This is why
‘Great Wall Motors is gung-ho on its India prospects, where it will invest in a big way for manufacturing of cars and lithium-ion batteries…’
• India, UN Human Rights Chief Highlights Farmers’ Protests, Sedition Charges, Kashmir
• The Meaning of Bilateral
‘Pakistan is the sixth-most populous country in the world…. one of the world’s largest producers of natural commodities, in terms of purchasing power it is the 24th-largest economy in the world…’
• Guns fall silent on India-Pakistan border
‘There are variables in the developing situation — the ground situation in Kashmir; crystallisation of the nascent Pakistani regional policy directions that seem to put primacy on geoeconomics; nature of the Afghan settlement; regional security balance; Indo-Pacific concept in relation to South Asia and Indian Ocean and so on.’
• The Cycle of Human Rights
‘USA State Department legal sources concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prove “genocide” in Xinjiang.’
• NO to a new Cold War against China
• Blinken blinks on human rights
• Iran pushes back at US overreach on nuclear issue
‘Biden administration should have known that Tehran would never talk directly with the US as long as Washington maintained its current level of sanctions. Trump bullied Iran for three years and failed.’
• Biden Breaks Campaign Promise On MbS Punishment – Psaki Lies To Hide That – Guardian Fakes Quote To Hide Psaki’s Lie
• Biden set to inflict wounds on Eurasia
‘Yet another colour revolution in Georgia, Tbilisi…The Pentagon announced on Monday a new $125 million package for supply of “defensive lethal weapons to enable Ukraine to more effectively defend itself against Russian aggression”
• International Criminal Court Announces Investigation into War Crimes in Palestine
• France admits torture & murder of Algerian freedom fighter in 1950s, but no apology for Algeria for colonial past
• By Following Trump’s Policies Biden’s ‘Deterrence’ Predictably Fails
• US exceptionalism surges again. Will it fly? – Poverty is the ultimate denial of human rights
‘The potential of the UN Human Rights Council ought to be directed at the raging coronavirus pandemic, which has undermined the social and economic foundations of states. The most fundamental human right — the right to life — has been threatened…Last month, Canada signed a joint statement along with the U.S., Britain and Australia – four of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance (New Zealand, to its credit, refused to endorse) – condemning China for the arrest of 55 right-wing politicians in Hong Kong for subversion under the region’s new national security law.’
• 1,000s of Canada’s indigenous children died in church-run boarding schools. Where buried?
• Canada: before drafting HR Resolutions against Sri Lanka – atone for your crime against the indigenous of Canada
• Realities of Canada’s efforts to prevent child conscription
• Biden’s “Nothing Will Fundamentally Change” Promise Extends To His Foreign Policy
‘The White House published an Interim National Security Strategic Guidance. The paper is dripping with ideological LGBTQWERTY librulism. Its central claim is that ‘democracy’ is under threat’
• US governments have been supporting big-time human rights violators across the world
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.
• Japan provides more funding for demining
‘Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) to Delvon Assistance for Social Harmony (DASH) for humanitarian demining activities in Northern Sri Lanka.’
• An Air Diplomacy Policy for Sri Lanka
‘Sri Lanka could play a catalytic role of bringing Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) countries together to implement a Policy of Air Diplomacy and enhance security cooperation.’
• Secretariat for Trilateral National Security Advisors on Maritime Security Cooperation between India, Maldives & Sri Lanka
• Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) to be revisited, Gov’t Tells OHCHR
• Parliamentary debate on Easter Sunday attack report next Wednesday
• Easter Sunday blasts: Weerawansa not satisfied with PCoI report
• Diverse views surround April 21st attacks PCoI report
‘“The report has not highlighted information on the activities carried out by the National Thowheed Jamath group and its members’ relationship with intelligence officers,” opposition’s Ranawaka said.’
• PCoI report on Easter Sunday carnage: AG won’t be given ‘sensitive’ volumes
• AG undertaking to CA to find out truth behind import of 6000 swords by suicide bomber
• 2019 Easter Sunday Carnage: An Intelligence Perspective
‘It may therefore have been unreasonable if the records of the SIS had been withheld from the probe’
• Former PM Ranil raises serious concerns over findings of Easter Sunday attacks
‘One is why did the information come late to the government about the possibility of the attacks’
• Easter Sunday massacres: Sirisena acts fast to avert criminal action
• PCoI report fails to identify a ‘mastermind’
• No bar to legal action against a former President
• JVP expresses solidarity with Black Sunday campaign
• Sri Lankan Judiciary has no code of judicial conduct to regulate itself
‘civil litigants, virtual complainants, and remand prisoners reported to having paid bribes to lawyers’ clerks, court clerks, police officers and fiscals.’
• Leading lawyers raise concern on content of commission report
‘Signed by K. Kanag-isvaran, Ikram Mohamed, Faisz Musthapha, Upali Gooneratne, Geoffrey Alagaratnam, Romesh de Silva, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Saliya Pieris, Nihal Jayamanna, Upul Jayasuriya and U.R.D. Silva’
• Govt to amend Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code to conclude criminal cases in 3 months
• Saliya Pieris, PC: newly elected President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka
• Bank of Ceylon links with Department for Registration of Persons online for customer identity verification
‘Details of NICs would be obtained by State institutions, Corporations, Statutory Boards, Banks, Financial Institutions, Telecommunication Service Provider Institutions and Insurance corporations… agreements have been signed with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (Stock Market), Immigration and Emigration Department, Bank of Ceylon, Nations Trust Bank, Dialog Finance, Sampath Bank, State Bank of India and Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC)…Department of Pensions, Sri Lanka Customs, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, National Lotteries Board, Peoples’ Bank, Hatton National Bank, Sanasa Development Bank and Vallibel Finance and many other state and private institutions waiting to sign…’
• Webinar on ‘Security of Information Assets: What the Board Needs to Know’
• Indian Judges in the dock
• The often futile quest for Justice in Sri Lanka affects all
(The author is a Catholic human rights activist and a Member of the Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Commission of the Conference of [Catholic] Major Religious Superiors)
• The CID and its recent deterioration
• Lace the air with LSD
‘Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control’
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.
• External Debt Situation In Sri Lanka: Are We Heading For A Resolution Or Crisis? (Webinar)
‘Veemansa initiative has made provisions to make available the recorded session on its website. veemansa.org.’
• Central Bank Chief confident all debt obligations will be met
• CB Reaffirms its Commitment to Continue Current Accommodative Monetary Policy Stance
• Govt. should focus on reserve quality: Former CB Chief Indrajit Coomaraswamy
• Cabraalnomics: ‘No default because we have enough forex inflows to pay ISBs’ – Wijewardena
‘Sri Lanka’s debt problem is not related only to ISBs. In addition to the central government’s foreign debt of $ 35 billion, non-central government sector that includes private entities as well has borrowed $ 21 billion. The total known debt repayment obligations during the next 12-month period are about $ 6.4 billion. In addition to this, there are other short-term obligations and REPOs amounting to $ 2.3 billion. So, the total country obligations during the next 12-month period amount to about $ 8.7 billion. Hence, even if ISBs are paid in July, SL has to find foreign exchange to meet all these obligations.’
• Intellectual debate needed on external sector monetary management policies & practices
• Budgetary pressures restrict monetary policy space – Colombage (Advocata)
‘SL Government increasingly depends on bank borrowings to finance budget deficit’
• Tell them about inflation! – Reductio Ad Abeyratnum
• The Govt must get the budget deficit down – Eran
‘The big investors…are making substantial profits now. They are not based on production. They are not based on GDP growth. The GDP growth in 2020 the Govt has not told a growth figure but they will massage it down to less than 4% but the World Bank says it is more like -6.7%. So, you have -6.7% growth and a stock market that has grown and corporate businesses which are making large profits. This profit-taking is not often based on the real economy. These are money profits.’
• 113th birth anniversary of late N.U. Jayawardena commemorated by Pathfinder
• Vietnam REER ignored by IMF buoying US Mercantilists as SL rupee falls on ‘flexible’ policy
• Central Bank & World Bank’s IFC launch SL’s first national financial inclusion strategy
‘62 percent of Sri Lankan women were aware of financial transactions through mobile phones, yet only 32 percent were comfortable using the technology.’
• China warns ‘side effects’ of US economic stimulus risk causing sharp market correction
‘Guo Shuqing, head of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, says Chinese officials are ‘very worried’ that foreign asset bubbles will burst. Guo says high valuation of US stock market, the world’s largest, means it is the most at risk of a ‘serious run in the opposite direction’’
• Analysis: Emerging markets feel the heat of the ‘bondfire’
‘Ethiopia is about to become a test case for the new G20 ‘Common Framework’ debt relief plan which stipulates private creditor debt must also be restructured, meaning the government has to default.’
• India’s Real Economy in Two Charts
‘high profits are going hand in hand with mass unemployment’
• England budget: coming out of COVID
‘The English economy was the hardest hit of the top G7 economies in the year of the COVID. Real GDP fell 9.9%, which the multi-millionaire and richest man in the English parliament, Conservative Chancellor, Rishi Sunak admitted was the worst contraction in national income in 300 years!
• He ‘was all set to become the new Chair of the US Senate Banking Committee but then…’
‘The Club for Growth is a dark money group that has pushed for things that the majority of Americans are against: the privatization of Social Security; the destruction of workers’ rights and unions; and the deregulation of dangerous industries.
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, their constant moaning about debt and balance of payments without stating the need for industrial production to overcome such issues, etc.
• Import restrictions concern EU
On the desire of Sri Lanka to attract FDIs and foreign investment, he again queried “Which investor will come here if he or she is forbidden or at least has obstacles to importing from other countries? To increase GSP + utilization, you will need to have a balanced approach and not close doors”.
• Price and demand for oil could decide rupee’s fate: Moody’s
• Sri Lanka SOE, govt credit surge in Jan 2021, private credit down
• CBSL says interest waiver on loans and leases could undermine stability of fiscal system
‘The All Ceylon Vehicle Leasing and Installment Payers Collective protested opposite the Presidential Secretariat recently against what they termed a “rip-off by banks and other financial institutions”’
• CB likely to hold rates: First Capital Research
‘though it backed slashing them further to improve slow consumer demand and sustain the secondary market at lower levels.’
• CB pledges to continue with “historically low” interest rates
• Explosion of credit to private sector this year at low interest to ensure economic recovery – CB
• Sri Lanka quarterly income tax payments rebounds to exceed 2019 level: Treasury Secy
• Jan.-Nov. revenue shortfall hits Rs.492bn; but 4Q tax income exceeds 2019 levels
• Next largest foreign debt repayment is US$1 billion on July 27 2021
• Central Bank vows to meet debt service obligations without default
• Sri Lanka forex reserves at US$4.6bn in February 2021
• Sri Lanka sells Rs45bn in Treasuries, short tenors edge up
• Beijing-based AIIB approves US$180mn loan to Sri Lanka for COVID-19 response
• China-backed AIIB says debt problem due to improper fund utilisation
• Chinese loan and currency swap arrangement on the way
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
• Higher compensation for worker termination is now law
‘The private sector via The Employers Federation of Ceylon (EFC) expressed concern over the move and lobbied against it.’
• Workers’ remittances rise in 2020
‘with around 100,000 workers returning owing to loss of jobs or planning to return for other reasons, another 1 million still remained who would have increased sending money back home.’
• Remittances great, but workers suffer
• Good experience with repatriation
• Development officers Union stage protest
• Mother and two others arrested for beating seven-month-old infant
‘to obtain money from the father who is currently working in a Middle-East country’
• Mother jumps into well with her three children in Kilinochchi
• SL College of Psychiatrists condemns caning of girl
• From the cradle to the grave, no equal rights for women and girls – Editorial
• Female MPs ask for PSC to probe gender-based discrimination & violations of women’s rights
• SVB setting the stage to end poverty in Sri Lanka
‘Samagi Vanitha Balavegaya (SVB) the women’s wing of the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB)’
• DPL helps children in Monaragala Rubber Farming communities
• Wages board gives nod to Rs.1,000 daily wage for estate workers: Comm. Gen. of Labour
‘Meets to consider 179 complaints from tea industry and 18 from rubber industry against daily wage raise’
• RPCs ready to scrap collective agreement
• Plantation Wages: Collective bargaining or otherwise? – EFC
‘Will not a variance as high as this lead to agitation among workers in other trades which often require higher skills, for unrealistic increases in the minimum wages applicable to them? Will not interventions of this nature, negatively affect the wage equilibrium in the country and lead to unsustainable demands across industry?’
• SL estate managers protest against attacks by workers
• CMC not bound to follow Health Ministry directives
• Fmr SL cricketers Suraj Randiv, Chinthaka now working as bus drivers in Melbourne
• Unscrupulous politicos got involved in trade union activities
• Massive general strike in South Africa highlights demand for radical policy changes
“This government is not a government of the masses,” added National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) general secretary, Irvin Jim. “It serves only the interests of the extremely wealthy, mostly white elite, against the interest of the working class and the poor who make up the Black and African majority.” NUMSA, a constituent of SAFTU, is the country’s largest union, with a membership of around 400,000.
• The Minimal US Minimum Wage
‘convince everyone they are lucky to be working and that they shouldn’t expect raises or any protections as employees. They may not even be considered employees at all but instead be turned into “independent contractors,” a designation that strips workers of their rights. Real wages haven’t gone up in this country in 40 years’
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.
• Agriculture & 13th Amendment
• EU accused of ‘neocolonial’ plundering of tuna in Indian Ocean
• Govt. poised to contain rice mafia – Shasheendra Rajapaksa
‘There are more than 480 small mill owners…in a dire predicament because of leading mill owners numbering 4 or 5… only 16,615 farmers cultivate more than 2 hectares. We don’t purchase from them. For others, we provide fertilizer, water and technology. We have 22 million people. One million cultivate rice to feed the entire population… We have 10, 41,923 farmers, according to Department of Agrarian Services. Of them, only 26,6291 farmers cultivate one to two hectares of land each. It means only less than 27 percent of the rice farming community cultivate more than one hectare but less than two each…All these 5 big mill owners have only 30% of market share.’
• Gama Samaga Pilisandara Round 2
‘result of a series of discourses, ‘interaction with the village’, conducted in 25,000 villages throughout our country during the past one year. We have identified the requirements of housing, electricity, drinking water, access roads, and irrigation facilities in every village”. That is about 65 villages per day and as we have only about 14,000 Grama Niladhari (GN) divisions, coverage would have been about 100 GN divisions in a day. Whatever it is, why did the President decide to repeat this discourse?’
• Insurance facilities provided for any agricultural crop
‘Farmers are now provided with insurance facilities for any agricultural crop, the Agricultural and Agrarian Insurance Board said (Mar. 03). Until recently only six crops, including paddy, were insured’
• Massive revenue loss on sugar: Eyebrows raised over delay in responding to House query
• German biz chamber exporters guidelines for local Agro exporters
‘Exporting to the European Union – A Practical Guide for Sri Lankan Suppliers of Agricultural Products was launched on March 01, 2021…Germany remains the third most important export market for Sri Lanka behind the US and the England.
• Bank of Ceylon GM Gunasekera chairs 73rd APRACA EXCOM Forum
‘The Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association’s (APRACA) 73rd EXCOM and 22nd General Assembly meeting took place with 24 member countries from the Asia-Pacific region’
• Watawala Plantations joins hands with Peradeniya University to support agri research
‘…donated a Sap Flow Meter with six sensor units to the Department of Crop Science…The complete unit comprises of sap flow sensors, data logger, interface software, and an internal battery that can be charged with an external solar panel’
• Pelwatte Industries forms an auxiliary Industry to Support Local Dairy Farming
• Bio Piracy: Threat to Biodiversity and Human Security
• Tense situation arose in Walsapugala due to the installation of an Electric Fence
• More questions than answers as guns, enclosure & relocation of animals touted to protect crops
• Environmentalists concerned over destruction of Galgamuwa forest lands
• Dairy farmers in Rambakan Oya crippled due to forest destruction
• Rockefeller’s IUCN/UNDP & Malvatu Conservation
C7. Industry (False definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc)
ee Industry notes the ignorance about industrialization (versus handicraft and manufacture), the dependence on importing foreign machinery, the need to make machines that make machines, build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound, and the need for a holistic political, economic and military strategy to overcome the domination by merchants and moneylenders.
• Sri Lanka directed credit plans in the oven
• Import Policy Sparks Local Investment Bounty
“Most of the proposals we have received are for exports or import substitution ventures. They cover about 20 sectors including metal, rubber, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, agro chemicals, textiles, tiles recycling and furniture.”
• CB focused on driving Rs. 170 b credit to MSMEs
• Sri Lanka Parliament instructs CBSL to come up with a plan to help entrepreneurs
• Local assembling companies import almost finished products, add minimal value – Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka
• Making SL a manufacturing and merchandise exports powerhouse – CEO, People’s Bank
‘An export focus is important because it allows an escape from the limitation in size imposed by the domestic economy, thus enabling the achievement of economies of scale….’
• Minister proposes involvement of cooperatives to halt sand mafia
‘3 cubes of sand were sold at Manampitiya, a major source of sand, at Rs. 14,000. However, the same quantity was sold in Colombo and other urban areas at around Rs. 65,000… Regional politicians were controlling sand and granite extraction and members of the vulnerable rural communities were employed as labourers…They also flouted laws openly…’
• Mineral sands extraction project in Oluvil: Worrisome future for Sri Lanka’s coastal stretches?
• China Metallurgical Group in talks with Sri Lanka over US$310mn mineral sand venture
‘Sri Lanka’s mineral sands include monazite and zircon which are believed to contain rare earth elements (REEs) such as cerium.’
• Quarrying limestone near Victoria Dam can lead to great disasters – UNP Deputy Leader
• Lakmee Exports Lanka introduces 6 salt products establishing Lakmee Lagoon Salt Company
• No power cuts during drought: Ministry
• Loss-making CPC profits from lower oil prices
• Lowering carbon emissions vital to meet global obligations Gammanpila
‘Of our petroleum imports, 25% is in the form of crude oil and 75% in the form of products’
• Gas prices likely to increase: Bandula
• Hydro resource to generate 800 GW/h in reservoirs: CEB Head
• LNG project: CEB calls for proposals before ADB releases feasibility study
• Panasian Power PLC Commissions Solar Project Worth 420Mn
• BOC subsidiary sells mini hydro for Rs. 180.5 m to retired Admiral via competitive bidding
‘PDL said it accepted the bid submitted by Rear Admiral (Rtd) M.U.K.V. Bandara.’
• WindForce invites investors to share in exponential growth in SL and overseas
‘WIND currently operates 27 power plants with an installed capacity of 218MW of which 55.4% of the capacity which is 120.8MW is based in Sri Lanka and the rest in Uganda, Pakistan and Ukraine. The company is promoted by an internationally-reputed consortium of shareholders, with a strong foothold in 15+ countries, namely, Akbar and Hirdaramani, along with Debug, MAS and Star Packaging.’
• Laxapana Batteries seeks to invest Rs. 1.1b to enter renewable energy space
• China’s Sinopec unit says Sri Lanka bunkering made competitive, LMS first customer
• WCT of Colombo Port to be developed as PPP with Adani Group
• Cabinet green light for WCT India-SL-Japan JV
• JKH gets boost via Govt. move on West Container Terminal
• SL claim of Indian approval for WCT project proposal ’factually incorrect’: India MEA
• WCT Better Deal For India; Foreign Secretary Colombage
• Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port: ‘Terminal’ illness?
• Light Rail Project: Maharagama to be linked to the network
The proposed railway lines will be constructed as follows; Ragama to Kirulapone via Colombo Fort; Moratuwa to Kelaniya via Piliyandala and Narahenpita; Kottawa to Hunupitiya via Pannipitiya and Thalawathugoda.’
• Tile importers and manufacturers discuss industry’s way forward with Treasury Secy.
‘Sri Lanka’s tiles and bathware manufacturing industry currently consists of three local large-scale tile manufacturers, and seven bathware manufacturers with a current combined annual production capacity of 17 million sqm of tiles and approximately 700,000 bathware pieces.’
• Govt. to set up committee for rubber industry development
• Apparel exporters oppose CB’s 25% instant export proceed conversion rule
• DSI MoU with the Sri Lanka Medical Association for Beta Brand-Diabetic Shoe Range
• Bilateral discussion with Pakistan to develop local pharma manufacturing
• DPL opens new freight forwarding office in Colombo Fort
‘The company boasts over two decades of experience in the industry backed by warehousing facilities covering 3PL and 4PL, a fleet of over 140 vehicles (the largest fleet owned by a logistics company in Sri Lanka) and over 450 employees.’
• England’s Syngco’ and ‘Platned’ integrate IT systems to exploit Aussie Market
• SL’s first indigenous medicine university inaugurated
• Reforming Higher Education
‘Chandrika called me to tell me to dismiss the Chaiman of the UGC. When I refused, she said I should wait to see who was appointed on top of me. Soon enough Kabir Hashim was made Cabinet Minister of Higher Education.’
• Sri Lanka needs more not-for-profit universities
‘Not-for-profits are a tried and tested formula that Sri Lanka needs more of, to develop our industrial ambitions across various sectors.’
• L. H. Sumanadasa: Pioneering aviator, aeronautical engineer and educationist
‘He became Head of Civil Engineering at the Ceylon Technical College (CTC). From 1958 he worked with the Ministry of Education to establish the Institute of Practical Technology at Katubedde, Moratuwa, which opened in 1960 with Sumanadasa as founder principal. In 1966 he became the founder director of the Ceylon College of Technology (CCT) which in 1972 became the University’s Katubedde Campus. In 1978 this became the independent University of Moratuwa…’
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., and the rule of moneylenders.
• Norwegian Development Finance Institution (Norfund) to invest up to 9.99% stake in National Development Bank
‘This is Norfund’s first equity investment in Sri Lanka and the second investment in the country’
• Sri Lanka state banks see ‘unsustainable’ growth, high SOE finance: Fitch
• Opposition complains to regulator, People’s Bank chief says followed procedure
‘The head of People’s Bank Sujeewa Rajapakshe for granting a loan to a firm he is a partner in’
• No governance of finance companies
‘The CB does not have a legal authority to guarantee deposits of LFCs’
• Committee on Public Finance asks CBSL to formulate people-friendly strategic plan
‘Committee says CBSL cannot behave in same way as commercial banks…Yapa directed CBSL officials to submit a report on new development strategies to the Committee which prioritises the uplifting of local entrepreneurs.’
• ‘Forced selling’ by some investors dampens market
• Sri Lanka stocks down for fourth day, losing Rs207bn
• Stock market continues to head south
• Stock Market: It’s time to hold or buy – State Minister Cabraal
• Sri Lanka capital market minister to discuss margin loans with lenders
• HDFC Bank posts strong financial performance in challenging times
‘HDFC Bank is presently the market leader in housing development finance. It benefits from a unique state-private ownership structure. The controlling stake of 51% is held by the Government while private companies and individuals have a 49% share. It was a State entity until it was listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange in 2005, resulting in private sector investment.’
• Trade Finance and Investments PLC amalgamates into Commercial Credit and Finance PLC
• Citizens Development Business Finance invites you to “Winning Women” live webinar for International Women’s Day
• Nations Trust Bank net interest income down 19-pct in Dec 20 quarte
• Bank of Ceylon delivers Rs. 23.5 billion PBT for 2020
• Amãna Bank total assets cross Rs.100 bn
• ComBank ends tough 2020 with platform for growth
• ComBank ranked the ‘Strongest Bank in Sri Lanka in 2020’ by Asian Banker
• Pan Asia Bank’s HR Team maximising employee volunteerism with CSR projects
• Morris appointed to Asia Siyaka Board
‘Asia Siyaka Commodities appointed Mario Reyhan Morris as an Independent Non-Executive Director. He is the Joint Chief Operating Officer at Asia Capital and Director/Chief Executive Officer of Asia Leisure Holdings, Board Director on the Boards of Galle Heritage Lanka, Marine Drive Hotels and Miriandhoo Maldives Resorts. The Board comprises of Chairman T. Someswaran, Managing Director A.R. Cooke, D.J. Wedande, J.N. Dambawinne, Y. Kuruneru, S.G. Am-arasuriya, S.T. Gunatilleke, R.C. Dissanayake, S.S. Samaranayake, H.R.V. Caldera and A. Vaithylingam.’
• HSBC Sri Lanka sees surge in digital transactions amid Coronavirus
‘In 2020, HSBC had invested 5.8 billion US dollars in its tech platforms.’
• Money laundering: The darker side of the world’s offshore financial system
• More than a Year Later, US People Have No Idea Where $9 Trillion of Fed Money Went
‘By October 23, 2019 the Fed announced that it was upping these loans to $690 billion a week – again, months before any report of COVID-19’
• The Tech Wreck of Zero-Dividend Stocks Arrives on the Wings of Rising Treasury Yields
• “The 12 or 13 Largest Banks” Got the Trillions from the Fed’s Repo Loans Last Year
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business aka ee Rentier focuses on diversions of the oligarchy, the domination by a merchant mafia, making money from unproductive land sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of press releases disguised as ‘news’
• 9 conglomerates’ 9-month topline improves to Rs. 861 b
‘Nine select listed conglomerates have posted a combined turnover of Rs. 861 billion and Rs. 80. 7 billion as profit from operations in the first nine months of FY2021…Heading the turnover table is exports-rich Hayleys PLC, followed by Expolanka…’
• Sri Lanka Retailers Association & Ceylon Chamber of Commerce on Sustainable Retailing: The Path to Transformation
‘Charitha Subasinghe – CEO JayKay Marketing, Lilanthi Herath – CEO Laugfs Supermarkets, Mahesh Wijewardena – CEO Singer and Mohamed Rizvi – CEO Softlogic Retail…SLRA’s membership currently comprises 40+ local retail giants across 9 retail sectors consisting of FMCG; Clothing, Fashion & Jewelry; Shelter & Housing; Household & Consumer Durables; Footwear & Accessories; E-Commerce; Mobility; Entertainment, Restaurants & QSR; and Healthcare & Wellness’
• EU-Sri Lanka Trade-Related Assistance Project draws to fruitful completion after 4 years
‘Implemented by the International Trade Centre with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in partnership with the Department of Commerce (DoC) of the Ministry of Trade, to integrate policies and regulatory reforms of the World Trade Organization (WTO)’
• 4th edition of Post Graduate Institute of Management Monthly Montage
• Ceylinco Life records income of Rs. 36.98 bn in 2020
• Janashakthi Life post-tax profits at LKR 739 million
• Fairfirst Insurance awarded at SLIM DIGIS for innovating the digital sphere
‘Canada’s Fairfax has a strong foothold in the growing insurance and reinsurance markets of Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Brazil
• Ceylinco Life ends 2020 with near-perfect gender balance in sales force
• Colombo District land prices gradually increasing
• Heineken Lanka, 2nd largest brewer in Sri Lanka, aligns further to global commitment on inclusion & diversity
• Lanka Hospitals partners with Prima to inspire loyalty
• Hirdaramani takes bold new steps in transparency
• Pizza Hut, ChildFund & Department of Social Services empower People with Disabilities in SL
• JAT Holdings the “Official Overseas Team Sponsor of Sri Lanka Cricket”
C10. Politics (Anti-parliament discourse, unelected constitution)
ee Politics points to the constant media diversions and the mercantile and financial forces behind the
• Rauff Hakeen responsible for UNP splitting’ – Ruwan Wijewardena
• Main role of the opposition is to bring down the government at any cost
• Lokubandara: Mr Speaker And Orator
• The General Election of 1956 Part 7 a, b& c
• 200 Indian-origin leaders hold top government positions in 15 countries
• Communist Party of China & China’s Miracles
‘The Communist party of China (CPC) was founded in Shanghai on July 1, 1921, with just 50 members and has grown to 93 million members with 4.5 million branches throughout China. The CPC is the world’s largest political organization, with a history approaching 100 years this year.’
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.
• Heavy Tax on Teledramas and Films Reimposed
• Hashtag Generation launches Reform Charter for Media Houses to bring gender equality.
• In Sri Lanka an abused child gets “raped” before media and the law
• India’s Online News Media and Other Content: Big Leap Towards Censorship
• Use of India’s Facial Recognition Technology Aimed at Discriminatory Treatment?
• Are India’s New IT Rules the NextSedition Law?
‘The specific wording used in a number of these rules invites comparisons with two contentious, repressive laws currently in place in the country.’
• On ‘Shia Backed’, ‘Iran Backed’ Nonsense & Other Warmongering Journalism
• Facebook Hires NATO Press Officer Ben Nimmo as Intelligence Chief
‘Nimmo specifically named Russia, Iran and China as potential dangers to the platform… “More censorship on the way as the former NATO press officer turned Pentagon-funded ‘researcher’ who labeled real people as Russian bots and peddled ‘disinformation to link Jeremy Corbyn to Russian active measures moves to big tech,”
• Reuters, BBC, & Bellingcat in covert English Foreign Office programs to “weaken Russia”