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“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
National Media? International Amnesia!
e-Con e-News 07-13 March 2021
Hush, baby, hush! Why all this fuss?
The customs and the ports, the police and the courts,
The hills, seas, beaches, sweat exported west,
Don’t belong to us! Yet!
The beaches (and rivers and drains) are bathed in filth by branded corporate detritus. After multinational hotels take over, watch how pristine and privatized these beaches will become (with locals excluded).
Then there are the ports and customs. Cameras installed in these government premises are either damaged or turned away from observing scenes of criminality. This means the country has little control over what comes in and goes out: the very definition of sovereignty. An occasional headline ‘bust’ with photographs of officials and contraband, is mainly designed to induce the daily amnesia.
This ee Focus recounts how shipping, insurance, the ports and docks, etc., were taken over by multinationals and regional merchants. ee also examines the English state financing of their own industrial revolution. Media ‘analysts’ however insist we should keep handing over control of shipping and ports to the foreign-controlled private sector, or to so-called Public-Private Partnerships (PPP).
No media mentions the long-ruling dictatorship and capture of the state by the rentier merchants who perpetuate the import-export plantation economy. No media investigates the prevention of modern industry. ‘Despotism’ is nothing new or imminent, long enacted on behalf of foreign industrial MNCs.
The massive campaign against import restrictions gets shriller by the day. The import-export mafia, wishing to prevent a popular President from cleaning up this mess, are already crowing victory.
• This week saw capitalist ecstasy for ‘gender equity’. One headline cried: ‘Interbrand & Daily Financial Times top event on 28 March to celebrate International Women’s Day’… featuring Rebecca Robbins who is ‘Global Luxury lead for brands Prada, Gucci, Rolls Royce, Dior, Hermes, Rolls Royce and others.’
The garment fraud set up unnamed (managerial?) women to claim workers are not exploited! ‘Female representatives of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Garment Exporters, member of Joint Apparel Association Forum” claimed, “The media, teledramas etc always showcase the female workers in the apparel industry as an underprivileged and less fortunate group of people. This is not entirely true…” Meanwhile is war being stoked using upcountry plantation workers?… (see ee Agriculture)
• Sugar is one of the country’s largest import commodities, where most profits are made. Media ‘scams’ divert from the sugar cartel that prevents direct imports from Cuba and the Americas, and instead import through London, adding at least 50% to the price. This is the real scandal. A tender was once cancelled because the lowest price was US$270 per ton, while the lowest London-origin price was $410 per ton. (see Random Notes) Mea
The recent sugar scam is being linked to Wilmar, which is tied to the Sunshine-Watawala-Daintee-Tata combine – this is largely ignored in the media. Unilever is one of Wilmar’s main customers. Unilever and Wilmar are members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Daintee holds 40% of the domestic sugar-candy-diabetes market with a distribution network of 90,000 outlets focused on rural Sri Lanka. (see ee Agriculture).
• The Sinhala ‘possess no accurate record of events; are ignorant of genuine history, and are not sufficiently advanced to relish it’, says Englishman John Davy in his 1821 An Account of the Interior of Ceylon, and of Its Inhabitants. Yet England can’t ‘remember’ what they’re doing now in Afghanistan or Yemen, let alone their horrors for over 150 years in Sri Lanka. Geneva induces greater amnesia.
Davy’s idiocy was recently recalled by a ‘Royalist’ in the Daily News only to praise another falsifier: Assistant Colonial Secretary and Treasurer George Turnour, for rescuing ‘one of the oldest continuously recorded chronicles in the world covering a period of over 23 centuries like the Mahavamsa’ which otherwise ‘would have been lost and the history of ‘Sinhala Buddhists’ all but forgotten.’ Rescue indeed!
Gratitude is a helluva thing. The English and their predecessors destroyed so much, we’re supposed to be thankful for any small mercies left. The University of Peradeniya, which has suddenly uncovered ‘an ancient Ola leaf original copy’ wants a corrupted UNESCO to declare it a ‘heritage.’ The Mahavamsa is historic, regardless of UNESCO patronage. Perhaps it is to remind a hijacked UN about our actual history.
However, the much-acclaimed English interest in our archeology, numismatics, anthropology was driven by capitalist priorities – to ‘legally’ rob temple lands, once the largest landowners in the 19th century. England wished to set up a private land market, which could not be challenged in the capitalist courts they had already set up. This was the intent of their ‘humanities’. The imposition of private property, with a survey department, legal department etc led to a massive rise in the murder rate as people were made to fight over boundaries.
The University of Peradeniya drove out Economics Professor SBD de Silva, to whom ee is dedicated. SB reminded them of our destroyed heritage as an industrial power, and the vital need to plan for modern industry (which many University economists think is about handicraft and assembly!) Our universities must recall that history is all about a better future. One economist, a fan of US-style ‘democracy’, writes tomes on law and order, (while studiously ignoring their wars). His screed this week on cinnamon not once mentions making machinery, which could be used elsewhere as well.
A1. Reader Comments –
• Left Green Lunkets • Mistakes of 2010-2015 Repeat • US, India, EU all ‘visiting’ North & East • UN Resolution Against UNHRC • Fake Econ news • Malawi Slavery • ee Should Wake up
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Farmers Robbed by Traders & Micros • WHO & Vaccine Approval • US focuses war on Syria’s Resources
A3. Random Notes –
• Norway Envoy’s Informality • Made-in-Sri Lanka Media Needed • Produce Sugar & Kasippu
B. ee Focus
B1. The Import-Export Mafia & the Monopoly of Multinationals – 2: SBD de Silva
B2. State Financing of England’s Industrial Revolution – 2
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
• “All those ‘leftists’ who hung onto the UNP’s green lunkets through Central Bank robbery, privatization, etc., are suddenly all gaga again about ‘corruption’.
• “The SLPP is making the same mistakes the SLFP made 2010-2015. 2025 will take us back to 1977”
• ‘Note the recent surge in USA’s Rs1billion concern for demining in the north, India’s reverence for Ramsethu, Japan and Germany’s anxiety for sanitation and water in the Eastern Province?’
• ‘Sri Lanka should move a UN General Assembly resolution to rescue the UNHRC from white hijackers.’
• ‘Nothing from the Ceylon Daily News in ee?’
• ‘Sri Lanka sovereign bond yields plunge, rupee weaker on China Y10billion swap news, wails a headline from EconomyNext, linked to US Fitch Ratings Agency. But there’s no link between the weaker rupee and swap. Such is the fake corporate media. Dumb & Glum indeed!’ (see ee Economy)
• ‘Why is Malawi joining up with the whites to attack Sri Lanka? Self-hatred, my brother, which is the result of centuries of intense physical and mental slavery. Africans were and are still central to the enslavement of Africa. It’s a hell of a job to free Africans from themselves. Cheers!’
• ‘U may think we are not consuming ee news. I want to assure that I passionately love every word scribed. There is, however, some stuff I would like to move beyond. The old international financial order of the deep state – Vatican and Rothschilds – as typified by the Brutish English and US Swift financial system, that the big banks – IMF, WB and WTO in Washington represent, is dead and cannot be resuscitated. There is the new QFS – Quantum Financial System – that’s coming to being, which is rather more equitable and generally going to work for the greater welfare of the people. The big banks, big pharma and big tech are left behind. Good is definitely trumping over evil. There are big changes happening as we speak. Check out quantum and readjust future outlook as it unfolds in front of our eyes. These are exciting times.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Most farmers are beholden to private traders, who give them loans for cultivation purposes on the condition they do not sell their produce to others. They are in the clutches of loan sharks including microfinance companies.’ (see ee Agriculture)
• ‘WHO’s approval process is heavily skewed in favor of vaccines developed in the rich countries…This greatly prolongs the time taken before vaccines from other countries are approved.’ (ee Economists, Political Economy of Covid-19 Vaccines)
• ‘The reason the Syrian Study Group talked about needing to retain a US military presence in that one-third of Syria was not only about completing the anti-ISIS fight. It was about the broader leverage of that one-third of Syria which is the resource-rich part of Syria which provided us leverage to influence a political outcome in Syria.’ – Dana Stroul, Biden’s US Deputy Assistant Secretary of War for the Middle East. (see ee Sovereignty, Tulsi)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• The Norwegian ambassador wants gender equality, stating: ‘Today nearly 60% of women in the world, work in the informal economy.’
‘Informal’ sounds a very relaxed word, like putting on a sarama after a day in the mud in a tight amuday – like a natural phenomenon. Not the result of economic policies promoted by the whites to prevent decent terms and conditions at work. After decades of privatization, deregulation, outsourcing, after relentless wars on nations attempting economic independence, on working classes, annihilation of communist parties. After the promotion of fake ‘Leftists’ who bid farewell to the working class and instead speak of not producers but consumers and amorphous multitudes. Academics have come up with precarity, precarized work etc to emphasize a precarious existence, lacking predictability, job security, material and spiritual wellbeing.
The US Embassy’s Advocata and their allied merchants and economists also want gender equality. And yet, they also want labour ‘flexibility’: Reducing minimum wages and increasing hours of work, weakening trade unions. The right to pay whatever wages companies decide to pay or decrease, and the right to hire and fire as they please. (see ee Workers)
• Reader Warnings – When reading ee News Compendium, readers should be alert that much of it is capitalist and anti-national media. This is why we need a national media. We have none. A national media would inquire deeply into the economy. They would ask serious questions when companies claim ‘Made in Sri Lanka’.
When Norway’s Norfund becomes the major owner of the National Development Bank, a national media would tell us what Norway is going to sell us. Arctic fish? Machines? Should the NDB change its name to Norway Development Bank?
When banks and financial companies announced great profits for ‘leasing’ etc, a national media would tell us exactly what machines they’re leasing and from where, and why we can’t make them here?
The business news is instead full of the cut-and-paste glossy benevolence bestowed on us by capitalists. This week’s news tell us, ‘Matara’s Beralapanathara Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society powered by [India’s] Mahindra Powerol generators’. But it doesn’t tell us if the Beralapanathara MPCS plans to invest in making generators with their money.
Mahindra is also featured under a headline: ‘Join the Club, ‘Make in Sri Lanka’ says Automobile Industrialist’ – ‘to create a solid ecosystem for the assembly of automobiles and facilitate original equipment manufacturer status for local auto component manufacturers’. But the last paragraph only states: ‘providing our youth with the necessary tech skills to assemble vehicles of global specifications and standards in Sri Lanka’.
Again. Assembly. Who are they fooling? Assembly is not modern production skills. Will any media except ee tell us this? No.
Yet another news item tells us, ‘Tokyo Cement Group & Foundation of Goodness extended for 2021 to facilitate Southern Cricket Coaching Camps’. Recall Muralitharan was also a Tokyo Cement shill. What links cement and cricket? Stadiums? Balls?
Meanwhile, USAID and Kandy District Secretariat celebrate women-owned microenterprises… while the US and Swiss are concerned about migrant workers, who they will cage when they get there.
• Contrary to media attempts to tarnish the government, the so-called sugar scam is linked to the import mafia and allied moonshine trade? A large proportion of sugar goes to the kasippu business.
Imports of sugar and confectionery items increased by 187% during January 2021, compared to Jan 2020, according to the Central Bank. The enhanced imports may relate to the ‘sugar scam’, and the reduction in duties on sugar imports.
Sugar should be locally produced, for we need to have a backup source in case of emergency, like sugar beet in Europe and the USA. Since sugarcane is water intensive, modern drip-irrigation and remote-sensing technology could reduce water needs
Some ‘Leftish’ opposition critics cherry-pick data to show the entire import-restriction scheme is a sham. They make bizarre accusations that food prices have gone up because Gota became president. The import restrictions are strongest on seafood, dairy, cereals. Imports of these have reduced by 30% year on year.
B. Special Focus_
B1. The Import-Export Mafia & the Monopoly of Multinationals – 2: 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)
Insurance & shipping were lucrative and riskless adjuncts to the trading activities of European firms. A house history of George Steuart & Co states, ‘With the growth of the Estate Agency it was realised that the firm should be in a position to insure the various buildings that were being constructed.’55
In Sri Lanka, during the early years of the plantation economy, insurance taken was mostly on account of loss by fire of coffee stores and estate bungalows. Later the volume of insurance grew and came to include ‘consequential loss of profits’ as well as marine, motor and accident insurance. Tea factories accounted for a large proportion of the value of the policies written – in 1892 for ‘not less than £50,000’ – and ‘enormous profits [were] being made out of Ceylon insurance’.56
The tea factories were isolated buildings, less prone to fire than produce stores in London which were close together and in a drier climate. Yet, the insurance rate in the 1890s was nearly twice that on comparable stores in London (20s and l1s 9d a year, respectively).57 Estate owners felt that it should not have been more than half of what was charged. According to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the agents were ‘levying arbitrary rates, in the belief that insurers cannot help themselves’.58
The insurance business generated by the plantations was largely monopolized by the managing agents. According to Sri Lanka, exchange control data (unpublished), during 1948-62, 10 estate agencies collected 2-thirds of the total premiums on non-life insurance and a like proportion of the commissions. The commissions averaged 23% of the premiums paid, and the agencies were reimbursed with at least half of the expenses incurred in collection.
Shipping agencies, apart from being an extra source of income, contributed to the commercial dominance of the European firms. As agents for shipping lines, they had a first claim on the available freight. The need to carry stock pending shipment was thus reduced, and the period of capital turnover shortened. In the initial decades of the plantation economy, when there was a serious scarcity of freight, the control over shipping was of fundamental importance. ‘It would be very easy for us to send you plenty of ships if we had the means of giving outward freight’, Kirkham Finlay in Glasgow wrote to his son Alexander Struthers Finlay, a partner of Ritchie, Steuart & Co, Bombay, in 1836. ‘But… how is it possible for us to find freight?’59
Even in later years the direct access to shipping facilities was a prerequisite for large-scale trading. The first big rivals to the Europeans in the rice trade in Sri Lanka were the Memon merchants, who were connected with the Scindia Steam Navigation Co, Bombay. The monopoly power of European trading enterprise was thus based on the pre-emption of markets and supply sources, economies of scale, access to funds, and the lateral integration with insurance and shipping business.
Another aspect of the limited entrepreneurial reach of the foreign trading enterprises, even when they were locally domiciled, arose from the relation between the rulers and the ruled. It was the enclave existence of the expatriate European community which created the need for a compradore merchant as a broker or intermediary between the European houses and the indigenous producers or consumers. Isolated socially, the Europeans lacked direct knowledge of the market, nor could they adopt trading procedures suited to local conditions. Thus the imports of the European firms were standardized goods – eg fertilizer, tea chests, agricultural tools, cement and building materials – which had an assured or predictable market, free from rapid or erratic fluctuations. They also imported general merchandise such as rice, flour, sugar, textiles, stationery and sundry goods, but their involvement in this trade was limited; they usually booked orders in return for a commission based on the value of indents. The import orders were undertaken on the advice of an indigenous ‘guarantee broker’ – a man of wealth who was held liable for unsettled claims. Unlike early commercial enterprise, where merchant firms traded on their own account, venturing substantial sums and carrying stocks, the indenting system was virtually riskless.
While business that was relatively safe was a prerogative of the European firms, trading risks were taken by the indigenous and other Asian traders. Their imports were of a heterogeneous range, involving a differentiation in prices, grades and quality. In rice, potatoes, onions, chilies, dried fish and pulses, there was also a high degree of market instability, due to the vagaries of production, the irregularity of shipments, and the generally perishable nature of the goods. Prompt unloading and clearing from the wharf was required, as well as speedy disposal. The trading organization and procedures were complicated. Unfettered initiative by the staff and a high degree of personal responsibility were required as well as irregular working hours and recourse to unorthodox methods of circumventing customs and port delays.
An intricate system of market intelligence prevailed (including anticipation of the plans of rival importers) to achieve an even spread of imports if steep price fluctuations were to be avoided. At the same time, the optimal level of stocks was small because of the perishableness of the goods and the relative nearness of supply sources – mainly India, Burma, Java. The monopoly advantages which underlay English commercial dominance in the colonies were of little relevance in this trade. In Sri Lanka it was in these circumstances that European enterprise was ousted from the trade in rice, flour, sugar and textiles. The Memon merchants dominated this trade from about 1908 onwards and later indigenous traders gained a share in it.60
The decline of English merchant houses in Asia in the 1930s shows the disabilities of expatriate businessmen, living in enclaves and socially distant from the indigenous community. In Indonesia, amidst a general decline in European trade, the English firms lost more than the Dutch firms; the latter’s proprietors and staff were locally resident. In Sri Lanka, an increase in the imports of Japanese cotton piece goods during 1932 threatened the trade with the England and India with ‘complete extinction’.
While the European firms generally did not engage in retail trade, the astonishing success of Japanese import firms in this period was due to their firsthand knowledge of market requirements and popular taste. Furnivall wrote of how, in the retail shops, ‘small lads were doing a thriving business for their Japanese employers… [while along] the “Bond Street” of Bandung, one passed shop after shop with an impressive display of European luxuries, but empty except for the European assistants’.61
The Japanese, having used the existing distributive channels, later exercised direct control over the bazaar trade. Free from any social barriers, they set up their own distributive agencies which reached down to the local consumer. As both importers and retail distributors, the Japanese held all the links between the consumer and the manufacturer abroad.62 The trade in Japanese goods was also on an ‘open market’ basis allowing for price cutting by rival importers, in contrast to the exclusive trade channels of the European firms, based on a system of agents and subagents.
The ‘ostensibly “super-normal” profits in the expatriate trading sector’, which PJ Drake recognized,63 were thus due to its monopoly position, and are not to be explained, as he tried to do, as rewards to scarce factors such as capital, entrepreneurship and knowledge, or to high commercial risks and as a compensation for dangers to life in the tropics. Risks were high only in the initial decades of foreign enterprise, and were due chiefly to agricultural hazards, shipping delays and fluctuating exchange rates. When large-scale financing of colonial export agriculture began from the 1880s, it no longer had a reputation for riskiness. Equally questionable is Drake’s explanation of super-normal profits in terms of the access of European enterprises ‘to short-term credit in the commercial centres of the advanced countries’. The expatriate trading enterprises did not resort to foreign borrowing even at the outset. They were, in fact, a source of liquid funds for the plantations – a circumstance which led some of them to develop into managing agency houses. The colonial economy had a surplus of liquid funds alongside the scarcity of credit in the indigenous sector.64
55 ‘J 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, c.1935), 59.
56 Chairman of the Ceylon Tea Plantations Company, at the 4th Annual General Meeting of the Ceylon Association in London. The Times of Ceylon, 6 June 1892.
57 Ibid, 15 March 1892.
58 Ibid. Representations by plantation owners both in SL and London caused the Sun Fire Office alone to lower its rates. Ibid, 30 June 1892. Also ‘Report of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce for Half-year Ending 30 June 1892’, 4.
59 ‘James Finlay & Co Ltd’, op. cit., 130.
60 HA de S Gunasekera stated incorrectly that in SL ‘the import of rice… had all along been in the hands of Chettiar and other Indian traders’ (op.cit, 192). From about 1919 Whittall & Co began importing rice for directly supplying the estates under its agency. Harrisons & Crosfield followed this example as indenting agents for British rice exporters in Rangoon.
61 JS Furnivall, Netherlands India (Cambridge, 1944), 432.
62 ‘Report of the Commission appointed by His Excellency the Governor of the Straits Settlements to enquire into and report on the Trade of the Colony 1933-34’, vol.1.
63 Natural Resources Versus Foreign Borrowing in Economic Development, Economic Journal, vol. 84, no. 327 (September 1972), 959.
64 M Arthur Hazlewood, The Economics of Colonial Monetary Arrangements, Social and Economic Studies, vol.Ill, no.34 (Dec 1954).
B2. State Financing of England’s Industrial Revolution – 2
(excerpt, Capital & Finance in the Industrial Revolution: Lessons for the Third World, Sushil Khanna, 1978)
An important factor helping the growth of the national banking network was a thriving market in securities – what Dickson has called the ‘financial revolution’ – but it remained imperfect with a separation between ‘public’ and ‘private’ sector. Not only did the private industrialists find it impossible to raise long-term fund from the stock market, their securities were not easily traded.
Government securities were however abundantly available. Dickson argues that public borrowing created a whole range of securities, in which mercantile and financial houses could safely invest and easily disinvest; these varied and flexible facilities for investment were the foundation on which the London money market was built.
Government & allied stocks became the first line of financial reserve of the business community, the basis for a pyramid of loans between merchants. Without them, according to Dickson, the City’s complex system of mercantile credit – the forerunner of early banking – could not have been established.
The distinction between shot-term and long-term credit may not be very relevant. Short-term credit often helped to free industrialists’ investments in fixed assets. Many industrialists themselves had diversified into banking and freely helped themselves to the funds they mobilized. Also we must not forget that fixed assets were a very small part of the total assets of a typical enterprise; and short-term accommodation was quantitatively more important.
As Pollard puts it, ‘the banks provided little long-term capital because little long-term capital was demanded. What was needed was a sufficient injection of short-term credit into the system to allow the mutual extension of credit to develop.’
Yet some case histories do show that many firms borrowed heavily from banks even for fixed assets, especially for survival or expansion. But as far as helping to found or start off new firms is concerned, Pressnell supports the traditional negative theory: ‘The evidence’, he writes. ‘is against it.’
If growth of trade, credit and banking were some of the more crucial factors in the English industrial revolution, it might be worthwhile to look at the peculiar set of circumstances that led to the growth of a thriving mercantile community in the years preceding the industrial revolution.
A vast network of trade, extending over the entire globe, with London as the apex grew up in the 17th and the 18th century. London also grew as the entrepot for colonial produce. The Navigation Act of 1651 laid down that the colonies should be subordinated to Parliament, thus making a coherent and a unified imperial policy possible, and that the trade to the colonies should be monopolized by English shipping.
The Anglo-Dutch wars 1652-74 broke the Dutch hold on trade in tobacco, sugar, furs, codfish, and laid the foundation for the establishment of English power over India. The capture of Jamaica in 1655 provided the base for the slave trade on which the English merchants were to wax rich. The Navigation Act and the policy of colonial wars marks in the words of Godfray Davies, ‘a turning point in European history’.
The Acts closed the English Empire to foreign shipping and established a monopoly area of privilege for English merchants. The Dutch colony of New Amsterdam was first outtraded and then annexed. By 1660 London had established itself as the new entrepôt through which a large and growing volume of colonial produce was re-exported to Europe. 1638-88 English exports and re-exports trebled or quadrupled. By the end of the 17th century about 15-20% of England’s overseas trade was with the colonies; by the mid-18thC, it exceeded 33%. By 1772-74, Asia, Africa & America absorbed 38% of English exports and provided 53% of all imports…
That the growth of a thriving mercantile community was the direct result of this colonial expansion is obvious. The imperial monopoly created by the Navigation Acts allowed merchants to buy colonial goods cheap and sell them dear abroad, to buy foreign goods cheap and sell them dear in England.
‘This increased merchants’ profits and forced national income from consumption into capital, especially in the artificially stimulated shipbuilding industry.’ English shipping tonnage doubled 1640-86. Joint stock trading companies grew and flourished, especially after 1686.
Industries other than shipping and those associated with colonial trade were relatively starved of capital by this navigation system, until by the mid-18th century England had so far surpassed the Netherlands Dutch capital started pouring into England.
Accumulation through monopoly trade was more rapid than industry; by the late 18th century large sums of capital were available for industrial investment. This ‘commercial revolution’ was a necessary precondition for the Industrial Revolution.
Some ideas of the high profitability of re-export trade of colonial produce can be formed from figures provided by Ashton. On entry into England, tobacco was rated at 19s a 100 weight; on re-export its rating was 38s; and there was an equally wide discrepancy between the import and re-export valuation of coffee, which played a leading part in entrepot trade by end of 18th century.
Besides this large trade and consequent accumulation, was the growing trade in colonial produce which did not come to England but was controlled by the English companies, merchants and carried in English ships. The defeat of the Dutch opened up Eastern and West African trade to English merchants. Slave trade played an important role in the 18thC prosperity of Liverpool and the English. Of about 6,050,000 slaves transported from Africa to American colonies and West Indies during the 18th century English ships carried about 50%.
The slave trade was one of the most profitable of all branches of English commerce. Slaves sold in the West Indies for 5 times what it cost to buy them of on the African coast.
Besides this, was the direct extraction of surplus from the colonies in the form of land revenue, excess of imports over exports & other such devices. Habib estimates, about £2million per annum were siphoned off from Bihar and Bengal alone by 1789-90 and about £4.7million by 1801, which is about 30% of capital formation during the years of the revolution. (58) To, this should be added the private loot and plunder by the agents of the East India company. 1757-66, the company and its employees received £6million as ‘gifts’.
Ireland was another victim of English hegemony. After the Cromwellian and Williamite conquests, 3-quarters of the soil of Ireland belonged to Anglo-Irish protestants or absentee Englishmen. By the mid-18th century, £750,000 in rent left Ireland each year, as tribute from the poverty-stricken peasantry to their English overlords.
Another aspect of this colonial trade and plunder which has not received adequate attention is the vast employment & high consumption made possible in England, which provided an enlarged home market to the produce from the industry with the ‘costs’ loaded on to the colonies.
London became the world’s biggest centre of consumption. Even English sailors shared in this in the form of high wages. But then history was never the strong point of the economists who advise the Third World that the ‘benefits of rising productivity… go not to classes who would increase their consumption – peasants and wage earners – but into private profits… [which] are used for further capital formation’.
However, the lessons of English colonial policy were not lost on other European nations who instead of trying to raise rates of profit in national income set out on colonization. According to Theodore Ropp, after 1880 ‘every great power except Austria-Hungary… became involved in… active conscious colonial expansion’.
Thus we see that the riddle to industrial revolution cannot be answered without focusing on the unique social and economic situation in 18th century England. There was only a marginal increase in the rate of investment and most industry was still very primitive with little capital needed for fixed assets. England was already a rich country, with a thriving mercantile class which had made it good with growth of commodity production and a growing colonial trade. There existed social & economic institutions which helped divert savings to classes which undertook investment.
The answers may be sought in the social situation preceding the revolution. As Saville has argued, in no other pre-industrial society was the market economy so pervasive, profit motive accepted, and financial and commercial speculation widespread as in 18th century England. Nowhere else was the peasantry virtually eliminated as a class before the acceleration; the countryside possessed a rapidly growing proletariat. Ever since the 16th century, commercial farming had made rapid progress and there existed a class of capitalist farmers who invested in land. Surplus from agriculture was abundant and no other country had as wide an access to colonial markets and raw materials as England had. In every way the English experience remains unique…
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.
• Thondaman told India: “If you cannot manage such a large nation better dismember it into small pieces.”
• China, Iran, North Korea seek UN support to push back against unilateral force, sanctions
• $2million estimate to establish OHCHR-led evidence preservation mechanism on Lanka
• Investors cautious as UNHCR issues dig in
• UN Sponsors Plan to Bring Peace to Washington – Kabul Post
• Indian HC tours north, east to meet political heads
• Indian High Commissioner offers prayers at Ramsethu bridge
• India grants Rs 300 million for transit housing complex at Madhu Church in Mannar
• US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Martin Kelly in Kilinochchi carrying R1billion..
• Sri Lanka Bharatiya Janatha Party: Is it India’s baby?
• UNHRC Report based on what unnamed witnesses told ‘experts’.
• UNHRC must judge SL on violations of International Humanitarian Law not Human Rights
• Foreign policy: Powers within and outside
‘There are NGOs and many activists to defame and criticise Sri Lanka and not to defend when necessary…The Ambassadors’ Forum in Sri Lanka has published a quality book (The Geneva Crisis – The Way Forward) to be used as a handbook…’
• UNHRC defending Prabhakaran, SL’s Hitler, and the LTTE, its Nazi party?
• Quad, France & UAE join 2 naval exercises for dominance in Indo-Pacific
• Colombo Port workers union opposes foreign involvement in the West Container Terminal
‘With three big acquisitions having a combined value of INR 146590 million in five months, the Gautam Adani-led Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) is on a roll…Once APSEZ has control over the hinterland cargo, Adani would control large swathes of national supply chain which in turn would augment Adani port volumes and port profit margins creating a value enhancing virtuous circle. That’s the game plan,” he added.’
• Sri Lanka & China Stand Shoulder To Shoulder At UNHRC – Balachandran
• Colombo’s politicking diplo-mendicants
‘The US Ambassador has been doing the rounds…Then we have that country once described as ‘The 52nd State of Amnesia,’ a country whose head of state is the Queen of England. Yes, Canada. High Commissioner David McKinnon has met with SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem and senior SJB politician Thalatha Athukorala. He’s also had discussions with the High Commissioner of Bangladesh Mr. Tareq Ariful Islam.Bangladesh, note, is currently a member of the Human Rights Council’
• Canadian Diplomat asks if he is under surveillance
• David McKinnon’s misplaced whine about surveillance
• Canada yet to accept new Lanka HC
• Is India in the West or East, that’s the question
• India is West’s Poodle in Asia – India is no friend of Sri Lanka or South Asians
• India’s true neighbors
• India pushing for elections to have fifth columnists in Northern Provincial Council – Times
‘rather than the Central Government have control of it’
• Sri Lankan High Commission in India remains headless for 14 months
‘As many as 92 New Delhi-based Ambassadors and High Commissioners are also concurrently accredited to Sri Lanka. Only 41 countries maintain their diplomatic missions in Colombo.’
• LTTE would have been eliminated in May 1987 & not May 2009 if India did not save LTTE
• It’s time Tamil Eelamists shed half-truths
‘In 1977, the Tamli United Liberation Front contested the General Election on a separatist ticket’
• Probe into protest march: Sumanthiran won’t give statement to police
• India says it did not clear Adani group project at Colombo port
• Adani involvement “assumed” in WCT: Govt.
• Of that interminable terminal problem
‘Before the last presidential and parliamentary elections, the SLPP had the public believe that it would not cut any deals with foreigners at the expense of the country’s strategic assets’
• Sri Lanka is nonchalant about the possibility of defeat at UNHRC
• Cheque book diplomacy affects voting practices of small states
‘The art of diplomacy is to create win-win outcomes through careful speech, making useful contacts, exchanging quid pro quos, listening to others for possible compromises’
• Foreign Ministry clarifies its invitation to Myanmar to attend BIMSTEC
• Defenders Of England Resolution: Idealism Or Colonial Mind?
• England celebrating Women’s Day protecting LTTE Terrorist Aunty Adele
• English Parliament to debate on Sri Lanka on Thursday March 18
• Military action taken as all efforts to persuade LTTE to accept political solution failed – Permanent Rep to UN
• TNA says Bachelet report on SL doesn’t exceed mandate, urges member states to pass resolution 46/1
• HC serves indictments on Swiss Emb. official Garnier Banister
• Revised resolution asks SL to implement recommendations by UN Special Rapporteurs
• Midway to Myanmar: What role for the UNHRC? – Jayatilleka
‘the UNHRC is seen as the world’s collective human rights conscience and the world’s parliament of human rights’
• Narrow nationalism can unfairly discredit Sri Lankan state – USAID’s NPC
• UNHRC, Gotabaya Govt. and the ‘Great Game’ in Geneva – Jeyaraj
• Hub of ancient East-West trade – Balachandran
• Sri Lanka before it became predominantly Buddhist – Balachandran
• India, Pakistan on the road to peace – New hope for India-Pakistan relations?
• Modi to visit Bangladesh this month, will launch more trading points, connectivity projects
‘Bangladesh is currently India’s biggest trade partner in South Asia… Dhaka is India’s biggest development partner in South Asia. New Delhi extended three lines of credit worth $8 billion in the past eight years for development of roads, railways, shipping, ports and other infrastructure.’
• USA New Afghanistan Initiative Unlikely To Fly
‘The US has an agreement with the Taliban which commits it to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by May 1. Should the U.S. stay longer the Taliban will again start attacking US troops and bases in Afghanistan and the conflict will continue as it did over the last 20 years.’
• Oil Spill Caused By Israeli Attacks On Iranian Oil Bound for Syria
• Yemen war a quagmire for Saudi Arabia
‘ith the world’s largest oil export terminal coming under missile and drone attack — a giant Saudi Aramco complex capable of exporting roughly 6.5m barrels a day, nearly 7% of global oil demand — the war in Yemen surges in the global media.’
• Arms suppliers escape blame for the ‘world’s worst humanitarian disaster in Yemen
• Brent jumps past $70 for first time since pandemic began after Saudi facilities attacked
• Lighter Shades of Patriotism
‘Until 1997 the English never conducted any democratic elections in Hong Kong during the entire period of occupation from 1887’
• In Support Of Regime Change in Venezuela – The New York Times Keeps Disforming Readers
• Return of ‘Pink Tide’ in Brazil. Viva BRICS!
• Trump/Biden Foreign Policy
‘US Secretary of state, Antony Blinken co-founded West ExecAdvisors, a “strategic consultancy” which provided access to Pentagon contracts. As a consultancy and not a lobbying firm, WestExec was not required to disclose information about its clients. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin joined Blinken as a partner at Pine Island Capital Partners , a private equity firm with connections in defense and aerospace.’
• Asymmetry in US-Russia-China triangle – US-China dialogue in Anchorage, Alaska on March 16, 2021
‘China regards the relationship with Russia to be the main force of global strategic stability….Russia says US hell bent on preventing China from entering the high-tech sphere, especially with European partners, and implementing the “Made in China 2025” strategy….Only last Wednesday, a US Navy guided-missile destroyer plowed through the Taiwan Straits, marking the third passage of a US naval vessel through the Straits since Biden took office.’
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.
• Tulsi Gabbard calls out the US dirty war on Syria that Biden, aides admit to
‘The regime change war that the USA continues to wage in Syria — using al-Qaeda, Al Nusra, HTS terrorists as our proxy ground force, and who now occupy and control Idlib, imposing Sharia law, and cleansing the area of most Christians and religious minorities’. ‘
• Visiting Commanders call on SLAF chief
‘Commander of the US Pacific Air Force, General Kenneth Wilsbach, Air Chief Marshal Mujahid Anwar Khan, Chief of the Air Staff of the Pakistan Air Force and Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat, Chief of the Air Staff of the Bangladesh Air Force’
• Monks to continue Sathayagraha campaigns island wide
‘A group carrying the Pakistan Flag, arrived near Independence Square today, where the Satyagraha was being held.’
• Eight EU HR Ambassadors raise concern over Hejaaz Hizbullah
‘Statement issued by the Ambassadors of England, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and the Netherlands…’
• Azath Salley does not respect the law of the country but only Islamic law
• Sarath Weerasekera reveals more details on Easter attacks
‘A female unit trained’
• AG directs IGP to probe Sara Jesmin, several others as revealed by PCoI report
• Easter attack debate ignites P’ment as Opp. backs int’l probe
• Opposition’s Silly Hullabaloo over the Final Report of the PCoI
• Link between spice traders and Easter terrorists being probed – Trade Minister
• Easter Sunday carnage: SLPP MP calls for probe into attempts to divert public attention
‘Sri Lanka’s Easter Tragedy: When the Deep State Gets Out of Its Depth authored by Rajan Hoole raised the alleged involvement of some sections of the security apparatus in the 2019 attacks and anti-Muslim violence in May same year.’
• Wahabbism and Quasi Courts should be banned in SL: Ven. Rathana Thera
• CID issues notice on MP Ashok Abeysinghe over his Easter Sunday attack speech
‘President Gotabaya Rajapaksa & former Minister Basil Rajapaksa had orchestrated the terror attacks… funding for their activities, according to Abeysinghe, was provided by Nissanka Senadhipathi.’
• Rajapaksa’s used April Attacks to secure votes; alleges ex-JVP-MP
• Intrigues & infighting within intelligence apparatus resulted in Easter attack: Rauff Hakeem
• Rauff Hakeem & Rishad Bathiudeen associated with Easter Sunday attack: Minister
• Bathiudeen complains to CID against Wimal
• President speaks out on PCoI Report on Easter Sunday attacks
‘we won the Co-operative elections well before the tragedy due to the wrong policies of the previous
• Naufer Moulavi, mastermind behind Easter attack : Govt
• Govt: Madrasas and burqa will be banned as recommended by PCoI
• PCoI recommendations will marginalise, ostracise radicalise and counter-radicalise communities – Muslim civil society
• US adopts domestic anti-terrorism law similar to PTA, says ex-State Dept. employee
• ‘West seeking to slit Sri Lanka’s throat at the UNHCR if not this March, at least in September
• Revised Data Protection Bill now out
‘Data protection is the right of a person to ensure that their personal data is not used, exchanged or even maintained without their knowledge.’
• A lesson on our laws for our Justice Minister
‘What he miscalls the ‘Kandyan’ law was in fact, the Sinhala law that governed everyone in this country – Europeans, Malays, Moors, Malayalees, Tamils alike till long after the Brits conned their way to State power in Sinhale.’
‘• Is China Hacking Random Servers To Put Itself Into A Bad Light?
‘Attribution of hacking campaigns is often extremely difficult. We know from the Wikileaks Vault 7 release that U.S. government hackers at the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence have developed tools that let their hacks look like they came from different foreign actors’
• Disappearance of MH370: Has the mystery been solved?
‘The author concludes that a vast conspiracy, involving the militaries and governments of at least half a dozen countries, came together to ensure that the public’s attention was diverted while the actual crash location off the coast of Vietnam was concealed, and all wreckage removed.’
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.
• Malaysia’s 1998 Playbook Helps Sri Lanka Shun IMF for China
‘Measures, such as repatriation of export earnings within 180 days from shipment, conversion of some export proceeds into rupees and getting commercial lenders to surrender a portion of their forex receipts to the central bank, are aimed at stopping the reserves from bleeding in the absence of loans from the IMF and revenue from tourism amid the pandemic…Sri Lanka’s dollar bonds due in March 2030 are indicated at 59 cents on the dollar, according to prices compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with a high of 84 cents on the dollar in September 2020 before major rating firms downgraded the nation deeper into junk. Although forex reserves this January fell to $4.8 billion from $8.9 billion about two years ago, they are enough to cover a little over three months of imports.’
• CBSL must tackle macroeconomic challenges not piecemeal solutions – Advocata Colombage
• US-funded Verite’s De Mel demands IMF mix
• Increasing exports vital to improve 2021 trade balance and balance of payments – Sanderatne
‘imports that decreased significantly last year, are expected to increase substantially this year… due to a doubling of international oil prices, the revival of manufactures requiring higher imports of raw materials for industry and a likely shortfall in paddy and maize production due to climate related reasons that may necessitate imports of rice and maize.’
• Sri Lanka’s debt problem pre-dates its relationship with China – Nilanthi Samaranayake
• ISB issuances main cause of economic crisis : Dr. Priyanga Dunusinghe
‘She also disputed the government’s stance against obtaining loans from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. “This situation is similar to obtaining loans from black market groups and obtaining secured loans from licensed banks…The black market dealer wants us to default on our loan payments and own our land and property”.
• Ranil worried country might lose what it gained after introduction of open economy after 1977
‘The present regime gave high tax concessions to large scale companies. State revenue was lost as a result…the government was printing money like printing newspapers.’
• Mitigating the negative impact of a demand shock on the economy – Reductio Ad Abeyratnum
• Sri Lanka and the ‘battle for global hegemony’ – Kusum Wijetilleke
‘China is essentially a poor country’
• Sri Lanka’s problem linked to insolvency, not liquidity: Harsha
• The Political Economy of Covid-19 Vaccines
• The Ideology of Late Imperialism – The Return of the Geopolitics of the Second International
‘2 recent versions of the Bernstein/Warren/Brenner thesis—popularized by Hardt, Negri, and Harvey—are unable to provide a better understanding of world capitalism. With these theories, anti-imperialist struggles fuse into interimperialist rivalries. More importantly, they signal a revival of Second International politics that have been at the root of leftist and social democratic thought from the 19thC.’
• The Goldilocks Stimulus Myth – Yanis Varoufakis
‘[in 2008] The banks lent the new money to corporations, but, because their customers were not re-floated, managers were unwilling to risk plowing the money into good jobs, buildings, or machines. Instead, they took it to the stock market, causing the largest-ever disconnect between share prices and the real economy.’
• Rediscovering Rosa Luxemburg – Michael Roberts
‘He differed from Luxemburg in regarding imperialism as a factor which offset the tendency for the rate of profit to fall, not as the need for capitalism to find markets for over-production. Imperialism was a counteracting factor to the key underlying cause of crises and ‘breakdown’ in capitalist production, namely the tendency for the rate of profit on capital to fall over time.’
• Koch Industries turned much of the Republican Party into parrots of Ayn Rand
• Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World.
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.
• Fitch (linked to EconomyNext) keeps peddling fears over SL banks access to foreign funding
• Asia Securities reiterates view of no sovereign default; swap conclusion a confidence booster
• IMF to continue monitoring local economic, financial dev. despite 10bn Yuan currency swap
• Cabraal expresses surprise over IMF’s response to China swap deal
“The request for COVID assistance was made by the government from the IMF early last year, at the time the COVID pandemic started. But the IMF was dragging its feet in providing that facility.”
• Sri Lanka 2020 deal talks hit a snag on debt sustainability: IMF spokesman
• Malaysia’s 1998 playbook helps Sri Lanka shun IMF for China
‘The measures, such as repatriation of export earnings within 180 days from shipment, conversion of some export proceeds into rupees and getting commercial lenders to surrender a portion of their forex receipts to the Central Bank, are aimed at stopping the reserves from bleeding in the absence of loans from the IMF and revenue from tourism amid the pandemic.’
• Sri Lanka sovereign bond yields plunge, rupee weaker on China Y10 billion swap news
• Dec. quarter corporate earnings hit all-time high defying virus scare
‘ Banking sector leads with Rs.18.7bn in earnings’
• Expert committee to formulate National Trade Policy
‘when purchasing goods for Lanka Sathosa, it is done only through manufacturers and direct importers and that methodology has been successful at present’
• Trade deficit narrows by US$63 Mn in January 2021
• Sri Lanka sells most of Rs60bn bonds offered at auction
• Sri Lanka imports recover in January 2021 amid credit pick up
• JVP Seminar against increasing cost of living
• Oil prices rise on economic outlook, drawdown in fuel stocks
• Central Bank tweaks export proceed conversion rule
‘Allows 14-day period for exporters and banks to convert repatriated export proceeds to rupees’
• Free Trade Zone Manufactures’ Association claims mandatory dollar conversion rule breaches IMF obligations
‘“SL, meeting its obligation as a member country of IMF under Article 8 of its charter shall not engage in imposing or engage in certain measures such as restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current account international transactions, discriminatory currency arrangements, or multiple currency practices, without the approval of the fund thereby having had no requirements imposed on the export sector, the FDI sector in particular for bringing in and surrendering export proceeds,”’
• Due to import restrictions, over 500,000 direct and indirect local jobs at stake
‘Sterling Automobiles is the sole authorized franchisee service provider for reconditioned Japanese and European vehicles that are exported to Sri Lanka by Sterling Japan’
• Sri Lanka has US$3.5bn in external debt to repay in 2021; ISB partially owned by residents
• Sri Lankan economy gains a notable recovery: CB governor
‘CB will be setting priority sector lending targets for banks on lending to the micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) sector… Sri Lanka foreign reserves will fall to uncomfortable levels after the July 2021 repayment of US$1 billion is repaid, economic experts said, but CB officials expressed optimism in boosting reserves.’
• Pakistan is a 300-billion-dollar economy. We are an 80-billion dollar economy
• Sri Lanka exports down 9.6-pct in January, Brexit, lockdowns hit UK market
• Earnings from Exports reached to US$ 908.07 Mn in January 2021
• Credit growth towards productive sectors appears to remain inadequate: CBSL
• Government allocates Rs. 35 Mn for the development of temples in the Northern Province
• Unable to recover as much as Rs.1billion from several state institutions
• Abolish the Tampon Tax. Period
• Two thirds of menstruating women in SL are non-users of sanitary pads
• Rescue plan will enable US to outcompete rest of the world, especially China – Biden
• Kenya sovereign rating downgraded to ‘B’ by S&P despite IMF deal
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
• Foreign employment agencies and Labour Minister in bitter battle
• Employers to be required to deposit bond before filing cases under TEWA and IDA
‘Cabinet approval to amend he Termination of Employment of Workmen (Special Provisions) Act. No. 45 of 1971 (TEWA) and the Industrial Disputes Act No. 43 of 1950 (IDA)’
• SL plantation companies reap huge profits while attacking workers’ wages & conditions: 2019
• Employers face legal action if they dishonour Rs.1,000 daily wage: Labour Comm. Gen.
• Planters want security on tea estates
‘Staging a silent protest in Hatton on Wednesday, the day the Alton Estate case was taken up at the Hatton Courts, planters numbering over 500 participated clearly highlighting the issues they are faced with and the need for security on the plantations. Ceylon Planters Society President Dayal Kumarage said there are 1200 planters island-wide and that over 500 participated at the protest to show that “we will not tolerate any violence in future”.’
• Trade unions warn plantation companies
• Wage increase makes mockery of collective bargaining – Planters
• Gazette on Rs. 1000 daily wage for Estate Workers published
• Improvements in trade deficit and worker remittances
• Navy arrests 24 preparing to travel illegally to Canada
• Switzerland and USA join forces to support migrant workers
‘The activity will focus its efforts in Kandy, Kurunegala, Anuradhapura, Puttalam and Vavuniya—all districts with large numbers seeking work overseas, while actively influencing national policy initiatives for improved skilled migration….Sri Lanka’s migrant workers are a vital part of the economy with over 200,000 Sri Lankans migrating for work annually, contributing to approximately 2 million Sri Lankans working overseas. Private remittances sent to Sri Lanka in 2017 were equivalent to US$ 7.19 billion (approximately 63% of total export earnings and 9% of GDP)’
• Female apparel workers demand dignity and recognition
‘female representatives of the Sri Lanka Chamber of Garment Exporters (SLCGE), member of Joint Apparel Association Forum, made these remarks…Women are 85% of workforce in apparel industry’
• Advocata Panel wants to counter gender-discriminatory labour laws in Sri Lanka
‘Panelists were, Hon. M.U.M. Ali Sabry MP (Minister of Justice), Madhavie Gunawardena (Former Commissioner of Labour, Women and Children Affairs, Department of Labour), Malsirini De Silva (Deputy Head of Legal Research Verite Research) and Kanishka Paternott (Human Resources, Business Partner, Fonterra).’
• Treasury smothers medical specialists’ cadre expansion
‘“Sri Lankan medical standards compare favourably with those in developed countries, but it has a relatively low number of specialists.’
• Should I be questioned? A surgeon’s dilemma
‘The power that a doctor gets is different to a politician. If I don’t like a politician I can turn my back on him/her and vote for someone else or simply be silent.;
• International Yakini Day: Can we fight ambidextrous imperialism with one hand tied?
‘The most extreme separation of women and men occurred in the white settler states’
• Leftist feminist leadership in a time of crisis
• Beyond the Screen: “I don’t read comments” – MP Harini Amarasuriya
• Women attacked by Police during Peratugami protest
• US & Samurdhi Development Dept. celebrate women entrepreneurs
‘US Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives Reed Aeschliman…USAID provided training for 1,250 people in Matara that resulted in the establishment of 410 businesses – 343 of which are women-owned.’
• Interbrand and Daily FT top event on 28 March to celebrate International Women’s Day
‘Rebecca Robbins heads up the Interbrand Academy and is Global Luxury lead for brands Prada, Gucci, Rolls Royce, Dior, Hermes, Rolls Royce and others. ‘
• Lankan women gain recognition but gender equality is still a far cry
‘The reality of the matter is that the wife for a day works on 4 shifts!’
• Why an International Women’s Day?
‘If corporates do not discriminate women in their recruitment, promotions, and remuneration. If they recognise that child bearing requires work-time and work-place flexibility, facilitate that and ensure career progress is not disadvantaged as a result. If they actively discourage ‘old boys clubs’ and ‘macho cultures’ – that unfairly marginalises women’
• WB- IFC Partners with Colombo Stock Exchange to Ring Bell for Gender Equality in SL
• Norwegian envoy speaks on pandemic on women & future policy for gender equality
‘Today nearly 60% of women in the world, work in the informal economy’
• EDB Commemorates International Women’s Day
‘There are more than 850 women entrepreneurs island-wide registered under the ‘EDB Women Cell’.’
• Women can play a bigger role in the tech industry
‘Sri Lanka is a country that earns nearly $ 8 billion from apparels and foreign worker remittances that has a women participation of 70%-80% in both industries….Sri Lanka’s labour force participation stands around 35% of working age women…only 24 out of every 1,000 female graduates have a degree in ICT or a related field, with only six pursuing careers in ICT directly.’
• Pharma Mafia & Hemas CEO lights up International Women’s Day celebration
• Ranitha Gnanarajah of Sri Lanka gets woman of courage award from Jill Biden
• Sri Lanka’s boardrooms need 500 more women to close the gender gap in the corporate world
• Women’ rights, economic oppression and human rights
• Path to a steady ICT income
‘a trainee draws an average salary of Rs 15,000 – 35,000 and after an year if he / she is updated with the current technology trends , he / she may be able to draw a salary in the region of Rs 150,000 .’
• Working Women’s Day and Its Genesis in Labour Movements
• Why Cornel West’s Tenure Fight Matters
‘“It never occurred to me that Harvard would bring Cornel West back as a contract laborer.”’
• Oprah’s opera, the Harry and Meghan show; An anachronism draws millions of TV viewers
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.
• Rice prices have gone through the roof again
‘maximum retail prices of some varieties of rice have been gazetted, but neither millers nor traders give two hoots about them.’
• Agriculture & the 13th Amendment
• Families possessing state lands without ownership receive grants
‘The beneficiaries of this grant can obtain a bank loan placing them as collateral. The President stated that he expects to issue 100,000 ownership grants before the end of this year.’
• Sanga defends his name in Sigiriya land dispute
‘An elderly and ailing couple was approached by an individual who has promised them help in return for being granted powers as the caretaker of the land apart from being given possession of the documents that supports ownership to this land.’
• Government planning to hand over 1,000s of acres of forest lands to 5 multinational companies
‘State land & property valuation undergoes system change to promote foreign direct investment (FDI)…The government owns ~80% of the land in Sri Lanka, including forest reserves, forest land & land housing most tea, rubber, & coconut plantations leased out, normally on 50-year lease terms.’
• Labour Minister proposes to reclaim 39, 000 hectares of RPC land
‘In 1992, the government transferred the management of large State-owned plantations to selected private sector companies. Subsequently, the government setup 23 regional plantation companies in 1995, and 20 were given to the management of the private sector for a 53-year period and the government continued to maintain the management of three of them. The lease agreements are in effect until 2045.
• Import of Cow pea, Peas and Green peas have been halted
• ‘Reckless water release destroys green gram cultivation’
• Villagers in Siyambalawa, Rathmalwetiya, and Vadurussegama suffer due to lack of water
• Can Sri Lanka regain glory of cinnamon? Yes, according to Senaratne and Pathirana
‘The solution lies in making cinnamon a valued added product by using it as a raw material for industrial applications. The range of products that can be produced is very wide from medicines to therapeutics to nutraceuticals to green perfumes and to air fresheners, some known products for which cinnamon could be used as an ingredient.’
• Grama Niladhari divisions come under the Ministry of Home Affairs
‘There are 14,022 GN divisions under 332 Divisional Secretary Divisions all over the island. Their duties are numerous, from issuing letters to get a national ID, a character certificate to obtain a job, resident certificates and distributing and collecting the voters’ list (a very important function) for election use, the GN is the most important official in the area. He is also responsible for keeping track of criminal activity…’
• Sajad Mowzoon of Pyramid Wilmar Co. gained from sugar the tax reduction.
• Sugar levy impact is not revenue loss: Treasury Secy.
• What happened to the Sugar Scam?
• Govt. makes sugar bitter with Rs. 16 b loss
• A few fraudulent businessmen pocketed the advantage – Minister Mahinda Amaraweera
• LAUGFS Lubricants ties up with Lanka Sugar Company
‘LSCPL is a government owned company under the Treasury of Sri Lanka, managed by the Ministry of Plantation and its State Ministry of Development of Minor Crops including Sugarcane, Maize, Cashew, Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Betel Related Industries and Export Promotion’
• Rs. 60 m loss due to irregularities in Japan water project: COPA
• Japan to support construction of clean water supply system in Ampara District
• German Embassy provides funds for sanitation facilities to rural families in Kinniya
• Drones used for first time in SL to fight rubber leaf fungus
• EU-funded project TAMAP strengthens capacities in agricultural policy analysis
‘In collaboration with the Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture (PGIA), University of Peradeniya, and endorsed by the National Planning Department of the Ministry of Finance…’
• Keells’ Pedro Estate sets an all-time record price
• SLIM Sri Lanka unveils Agribusiness Entrepreneurship programme
‘The collaborators for the course of sturdy are: Sri Lanka Agripreneurs Forum, SAPP, FSLGA, The Ceylon Chamber Academy, SAPP, EDB, SLT Mobitel, Keells, Samaposha, and Onesh Agri.’
• European Union accused of ‘neocolonial’ plundering of tuna in Indian Ocean
• UN World Food Programme and US-Korea to Help Supply Thriposha to Children and Mothers
• Pulses Splitting and Processing Industry emerge victorious in Agriculture Value Added Sector
‘PSPI imports raw materials from Australia, Canada and Myanmar’
• Walsapugala farmers protest obstructing Kataragama – Colombo Rd.
• MEPA to amend Marine Pollution Prevention Act
• IUCN & Eco Movement
‘The species of Crudia zeylanica or Sri Lankan legume was discovered and named a new species in 1868 while the IUCN Red List of 2006 categorized the species as extinct; so did the National Red List of 2012, prepared by our Ministry of Environment.’
• Govt. backers grab proposed Bogahapattiya sanctuary land
• Sri Lanka is not for Sale
‘Parts of Muthurajawela Wetland cleared for private commercial constructions’
• Govt. determined to have Muthurajawela listed as Ramsar Wetland
• Grave reduction in Oxygen in Colombo a canard
• 03 new plant species added to National Red List of 2020
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.
• SL imported 3,554 million kg of plastic in six years costing Rs. 184 billion
• Delays in implementing power projects to make the CEB purchase emergency power
• Power Crisis: Sri Lanka aiming to go for only renewable energy sources within ten years
• Litro seeks LPG price increase amidst spike in global pricing
‘“We have to incur a loss of Rs. 700 on every domestic LPG cylinder sold in the market”…domestic cylinders account for the lion’s share of 80% of the total market’
• SL will save Rs. 12 billion annually with commissioning of Kerawalapitiya LNG Power Plant
‘here are only 84,000 families who still don’t have access to power”,
• Norochcholai Power, and the Rajapaksa reality – CIA Sirimal
• Hemas Hospitals signs MOU with Ministry of Health to commence COVID-19 PCR Testing
‘operates a purpose-built PCR testing facility… commissioned with LOLC and the Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology (SLINTEC)’
• Kelanitissa Power Plant’s 18-month breakdown incurs Rs. 25 bn loss
• Serious weaknesses revealed in evaluation bids by Lanka Coal Company Ltd.
‘Lanka Coal Company Ltd., which owns shares in four Government agencies (Shipping Corporation 10%, Ceylon Electricity Board 60%, Sri Lanka Ports Authority 10%, and Treasury 20%) was established to supply the coal required for the Norochcholai Thermal Power Plant.’
• Tender approvals granted for setting up 20 new solar power plants at 20 grid sub stations
• SL WindForce plans to raise LKR3.2bn IPO for renewable energy investment here and abroad
• Sri Lanka Ports Authority can raise funds from stock market patriots for ECT: Minister
• Sri Lanka’s China-run Hambantota port sees RO-RO vehicle transshipment racing ahead
• National Transport Commission to execute Human Resource Management master plan to enhance public transport
• India supplies 160 passenger coaches to SL Railways
‘Financial assistance provided by EXIM Bank – India , with coaches supplied by RITES Ltd.
• Steam train carrying Russian billionaire breaks down at Hatton
• Join the Club, ‘Make in Sri Lanka’ – –Automobile Industrialist Nalin Welgama
• Local metal prices unlikely to change despite global price rise: ICRA Lanka
‘many large-scale construction contractors are less likely to experience margin erosions due to raw material price increases…However, small-to-medium scale contractors who generally enter into fixed price contracts, may have to absorb some losses,” the rating agency added. Sri Lanka imported around US$ 563 million worth of base metals in 2019.
• Sri Lanka Coronavirus vaccines financed by HSBC-People’s Bank trade loan
• Robotic Manipulator produced for Gynaecological Laparoscopy operations
• Technical, vocational education & training massively impacted by COVID, says ADB study
• Sri Lanka to set up pharmaceutical zone in Horana
• Harmful imported coconut oil & fish containers re-shipped: Health Ministry
• Chrysotile cement roofing sheets, misunderstood yet vital for Sri Lanka’s construction industry
‘Chrysotile Cement Roofing Sheets cover 35% of the total roofing sheet market requirement. Supplying this requirement year on year are four manufacturing plants which import roughly 400 metric tonnes of chrysotile each year from the Russian Federation.’
• Raigam Wayamba Salterns PLC: Remarkable growth despite pandemic vulnerabilities
• Customs seize Ethanol worth Rs.20 mn
‘If this consignment was removed from the port and utilized to distill alcholic liquor, the total revenue as tax due to the government and non-declaration of excise duty would have been Rs. 60 million’
• Apparel industry wary of $ 6 b export target set by Govt.
‘Textile and garment industry is the most significant and dynamic contributor to Sri Lanka’s economy accounting for nearly 45% of exports.’
• Sri Lanka import ban pushes motor traders out of business
• No request made for quota system from Govt. to resume vehicle imports: Importers
• Sri Lanka mulls quota, license raj for car imports after printing money
• Sri Lanka places sweetened milk and cream on 2.5-pct para-tariff band
‘Sri Lanka’s central bank, by printing money and creating forex shortages have allowed the so-called ‘cronies’ to justify price gauging by peddling a claim that they help ‘save foreign exchange’’
• Tiles, ceramic import curbs relaxed again
• Shortage of Tiles, Sanitaryware hurt SME, low cost house builders
• China and Russia to build joint lunar space station
• Report Says Swedish Bus Manufacturer Scania Resorted to Bribery for Contracts in India
‘Scania, which manufactures buses and trucks, is part of Volkswagen AG’s commercial vehicle subsidiary Traton SE. It reportedly began operations in India in 2007 and had put a manufacturing unit in place in 2011.
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.
• Norfund to become largest shareholder in NDB
‘Norway’s fund is their Government´s most important tool for strengthening the private sector in developing countries, and thereby for reducing poverty…The investment, which is the first in Asia for Norfund in 2021, will increase NDB’s foreign shareholding percentage to around 21 percent.’
• ICTA and PwC frame credit scores to support IT sector financing
‘6 banks have already pledged their support; 28 tech companies express interest’
• High net worth Stock market investors hold discussion with Capital Market Minister
‘The investors who met the State Minister were, Muslim Salahudeen, Haqque-Hiline, Nimal Perera, Imtiaz Buhardeen, Ramanan Govindasamy, Sashimal Fernando and Mushtaq Fuard…discussed… broker credit, forced selling by brokers, protection and education of retail investors, possibility of encouraging State-run funds to invest in the market during the current market correction’
• People’s Bank reports highest ever balance sheet growth in 2020
• Fitch expects State banks to continue to record higher loan growth relative to private banks
• Prabash Subasinghe doubles Sampath stake to 10%
‘Subasinghe, a major player in the country’s seafood industry since 1999 and in rubber exports from 2002, investing in many public listed companies now owning 18% of Resus Energy (renewable energy) and a minority stake in Pan Asia Power. He’s the largest individual investor in Ceylinco Insurance (near 30%) but without a board seat. He has also invested into Sanasa Development Bank (15%) where he holds a board seat and has invested in a luxury 416-apartment complex, Aqua Vita, in Hulhumale in the Maldives…the deal done through his Ayenka Holdings…made Subasinghe the second largest shareholder of Sampath ahead of the EPF which holds 9.97%. The largest individual shareholder of the bank is the Dhammika Perera controlled Vallibel One PLC owning 15%. Indra Traders own 8.2% and its MD, Rushanka de Silva, is Deputy Chairman of Sampath’
• Udage appointed Deputy MD at LB Finance
‘10 years at Lanka Orix Leasing Co. & 3 years at Mercantile Investments, before joining LB Finance.’
• Commercial Leasing & Finance PLC Profit Before Tax grew to Rs. 2.3 Bn for nine-months
• Sri Lanka’s Union Bank net down amid higher provisions
• Seylan Bank scales down listed debt, raising Rs. 6 b from Rs. 10 b previously
• Nations Trust Bank American Express offers installment plans for education payments
• Colombo bourse: A time bomb waiting to happen
• CSE bullish on Chinese loan news
• Positivism recoups Rs. 240 b in lost value at Colombo stock market
‘The Capital Goods sector led the turnover for the session followed by the Materials sector making a joint contribution of 48%.’
• Shares slip as industrials weigh
• Bourse indices decline in the wake of policy uncertainties
• CSE indices continue to close on negative note (M11)
• Shares fall as financials slide
• Contentious circular withdrawn; SEC, CSE and brokers meet to discuss way forward
‘The original circular listed several stocks (which have traded mostly in the recent past) and meant brokers had to give a breakdown of the credit exposure…“What this means is request for client info of top 10 credit given stocks which cannot be generated, need not be given and clients need not be worried of their names going to CSE,” quipped one broker.’
• National Financial Inclusion Strategy launched by World Bank-IFC and CBSL
‘women tend to use informal rather than formal sources of financing’
• Emerging role of financial literacy in socio-economic development
‘Only about 30% of world population has knowledge about financial concepts such as interest rates, inflation & risk diversification and capable of handling their day-to-day financial decisions effectively.’
• USA and Kandy District Secretariat celebrate women-owned micro enterprises
‘Debra Mosel, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Mission Director’
• Main function of Wall Street today is a wealth transfer system for the rich
• US George Mason University Hiring & Firing Based on Donors
‘Virginia’s largest public university granted the conservative Charles Koch Foundation a say in the hiring and firing of professors in exchange for millions of dollars in donations’
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’
• Maliban Lemon Puff sues Nagananda Kodithuwakku for Rs. 600 million for false allegations
• Sunshine’s Watawala Tea Ceylon rebrands as ‘Sunshine Consumer Lanka’
• Ashroff Omar steps down from SriLankan Airlines Board
‘Board now comprises of Asoka Pathirage (Chairman), Malik Fernando, Samantha Ratwatte PC, Manohara De Silva PC, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya and Sanjaya Mohottala’
• Aviation veteran Capt. Navin De Silva appointed to Civil Aviation Authority Board
• Arpico Insurance appoints industry veteran Kelum Senanayake as CEO
‘Senanayake started at Mercantile Credit, as the principal agent for the National Insurance Corporation prior to privatization. Thereafter he joined Union Assurance…’
• JAT Holdings appoints Devaka Cooray and Priyanthi Pieris to its Board of Directors
‘Cooray currently functions as the Managing Director of Management Systems (Pvt) Ltd. while serving as a Director of Hatton National Bank PLC, Life Insurance Corporation (Lanka) Ltd and HVA Foods PLC….Mrs. Pieris also serves on the Boards of LOLC Finance PLC, Associated Electrical Corporation Ltd, MTN Corporate Consultants (Pvt) Ltd and is the current Chairperson/Consultant of P. W. Corporate Secretarial… She served on the Boards of Asia Assert Finance PLC (2012-2021) and Abans Electricals PLC (2012-2021).’
• Rajendra Theagarajah appointed Chairman of Digital Reality Pvt Ltd
‘Directors include Dialog Axiata PLC Group Chief Executive Officer, Supun Weerasinghe, Dialog Axiata Group Chief Technology Officer, Pradeep De Almeida, Orion City founder, technologist and serial entrepreneur, Jeevan Gnanam, and WNS Founding Director, Eric Selvadurai.’
• WB-IFC, Institute of Directors & Institute of Chartered Corporate Secretaries launch Board Secretaries Forum
‘SLID CEO Radika Obeysekere, Chairman A.R. Rasiah, Senior Vice Chairman Faizal Salieh,
ICCSSL President Hemali Ellawala, SEC Chairman Viraj Dayaratne PC, IFC Country Manager – Sri Lanka and Maldives Amena Arif, IFC Corporate Governance Officer – ESG Advisory Services Lopa Rahman, ICCSSL Assistant Secretary Arosha Berugoda’
• “The Entrepreneur Unites” event brings Sri Lanka’s top business leaders on to one stage
‘Co-Founder of Spa Ceylon Shalin Balasuriya, Founder of Kapruka Dulith Herath, Chairman of George Steuart Group and Derana Dilith Jayaweera and Founder of Harpo’s Hotel, Cafe & Restaurants Harpo Gooneratne… The Entrepreneur Unites is supported by Taj Samudra Colombo (Venue Partner), Atom Media (Outdoor Media Partner), Good PR Sri Lanka (PR Partner), Sterill (Sanitizer Partner), CameraLK (videography Equipment Partner), Vitagen (Nutrition Supplement Partner), as well as (Main Sponsor) CIMA Sri Lanka, (Main Sponsor)ACBT, (Main Sponsor) Crocodile and (Main Sponsor) Blue Ocean Group of Companies.’
• Affordable shared working spaces for Rs.1,200 a day with CO WORK at PARKLAND
• HNB – Havelock City partnership offers exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility
• Crystal Properties Group (CPG), the leisure-based real estate-driven company
‘With Kumar Sangakkara as Chairman, Reza Magdon Ismail, CEO and Dr. Dinuk Jayasuriya, Director’
• Matara Multi-Purpose Co-operative powered by Mahindra Powerol generators
• Partnership between Tokyo Cement Group & Foundation of Goodness extended for 2021 to facilitate Southern Cricket Coaching Camps
• MTI Consulting wins Rwanda mandate – sets up East Africa Office
• China-Sri Lanka agree to recommence negotiations on bilateral FTA
• Sri Lanka-Oman ICT/BPM Sector Collaboration Mooted
• Krishan Balendra, Hon. Consul General for Poland in Sri Lanka?
• PAYable surpasses Rs. 15 billion in transactions on platform
‘cashless payment solution provider’
• Softlogic Brings Iconic U.S. Fried Chicken Brand Popeyes® to Sri Lanka
C10. Politics (Anti-parliament discourse, unelected constitution)
ee Politics points to the constant media diversions and the mercantile and financial forces behind the political actors, of policy taken over by private interests minus public oversight.
• The Pukka Sahibs
‘iNGOs accredited by white-dominated UN/IMF/WB etc. became ‘astroturf’ variants of slaughtered grassroots socialist groups, transformed into fronts for multinationals undermining countries.’
• PM cautious in allowing Samurdhi workers to contest LG polls
• PC polls: SLFP to go it alone in case of unfair treatment
• SLPP furious over alleged Rishad links, claims Wimal stabbed govt. in the back
‘taking over land in the Mannar region and the Eastern Province, respectively in line with strategy promoted by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian Islamic scholar based in Doha, Qatar.’
• Basil qualified to run for president if GR doesn’t seek re-election: SLPP MP
• The General Election Of 1956 Part 4a,b,c,d,e,f
• Parliament’s powers are being challenged by Public Enterprises – Prof Herath
• Ramanathan denies Devananda’s accusations, warns infighting within govt. may be exploited
C11. Media (Mis/Coverage of economics, technology, science and art)
ee Media shows how corporate media monopoly determines what is news, art, culture, etc. The media is part of the public relations (corporate propaganda) industry. The failure to highlight our priorities, the need to read between the lines. To set new perspectives and priorities.
• The Concerts of Europe
‘In 1963, Asia, Africa and the non-Euro Americas were left out when radio frequencies were allocated for satellites in Geneva. Many satellites have military applications, and the US controlled Intelsat (set up for “international cooperation” in satellite communication).’
• EU Ambassador in Sri Lanka launches AOD Graduate School
• Sri Lanka Press Association new office-bearers
‘National Organiser Nimanthi Ranasinghe, Treasurer Chaminda Karunaratne, Chief Patron Muditha Kariyakarawana, Guest of Honour and Sri Lanka Press Complaints Commission Complaint Official Kamal Liyanarachchi, President Dharman Wickremaretne, Secretary General Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana and Dep. Sec. Gen. Tilak Senanayake.’
• Hyper-Sexualization, Objectification & Consumerism the New Normal?
• Prof Ranasinghe, new DG at Central Cultural Fund
• Ola Repository of Knowledge
‘“Mahavamsa’’ should be declared as a heritage by UNESCO’
• Mahawamsa, George Turnour and Royal College Colombo
• Maha Shivaratri Celebrated on 13th night / 14th day of the Maagha month of Hindu calendar
• PM launches 12 editions of the Hindu encyclopedia
• Art, architecture: ‘Useless if you don’t know how to laugh’
‘“The boulder gardens,” he reminds, “are uniquely Sri Lankan; you don’t get them in other parts of the world except at Hampi (of the Vijayanagar empire).”’
• When “people of colour” shorthand is folded into the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) acronym, it loses its appeal
• Queen Elizabeth II ‘saddened’ by Harry and Meghan’s descriptions of rejection, racism