‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 4-10 April 2021
The 50th anniversary of the JVP uprising in April 1971 recalls the horrific consequences of driving people’s hopes up and then dashing them to the ground. Was the uprising an immunization campaign fronted by dedicated yet immature rebels that ended up postponing actual decolonization and economic independence?. Rebellion is not revolution. Rebellion aims for mere replacement of personnel – not policies.
The consequent repression led to the wiping out of progressive forces that had brought the 1970-77 government to power. Dreary coverage of that government still dominates the capitalist media, ignoring the daunting challenges of worldwide food and fuel crises and the limitations of the type of industrialization and import-substitution policies attempted. Alternatively, the import-mafia media dish out rosy coverage of the post-1977 regime, despite its mass sackings of workers in July 1980 and the sparking and stoking of horrific terrorism, north and south, with foreign godfathers at hand.
Today we have a similar scenario, with Covid providing cover for the incessant crises of a capitalism prolonged through synthetic financial ‘magic’. The import mafia are preventing real industrial production, while their media harangues against import restrictions, demanding exports made with expensive imports to repay odious debts. Imperialism aims at total paralysis of the present popular government, to disillusion its progressive nationalist support base. A ‘1977 rerun’ seems on the cards, to postpone independence for another 50 years?
A referendum on the 13th Amendment (which one writer calls an Indian Trojan Horse) should be turned into a referendum on independence as well, and spark a new cultural revolution.
• Those wishing intriguing background into the recent ‘scandals’ about sugar and oil, should read our ee Focus this week, on the power of the import mafia and their media. The government has to take full responsibility and move fast against these wholesale criminals. Yet:
‘Far from the government being complicit, it is the private sector, the unholy trinity of the media, pop culture icons, and multinational corporations, that has been at the forefront of advertising these substances. We know this well: sports figures and actors who engage in public interest matters (especially the environment) earning goodness knows how much in advertising fees from promoting toxic foods, and media outlets being rather reticent in calling out companies manufacturing them.’
Misinformation (ignorance) and disinformation (deliberate lies) predominate. Sri Lanka is inundated with agents and agencies. Agents and agencies of imported goods and ideas, and their financiers. The ‘industrial’ manufacture of diversions is the prime purpose of our import-mafia media.
Check the listing this week of the phat-cats who make up the ad business: SLIM aka Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing! Here are the fronts for the import-mafia media, who prevent discussion of important national issues. (see ee Media)
• Here’s one link between the import mafia and banks: This week’s merger of Associated Motor Finance Co and Arpico Finance Co reports, 1951-born Arpico’s finance leasing, mortgage loans, personal loans, and 1962-born AMF, will diversify from the 2-wheeler leasing market into 3-wheel and 4-wheel leasing categories. The dates of their formation are important, reflecting the ‘Ceylonese’ disguises that multinationals put on after ‘independence’ to divert national demands into Bajajification and Bhutanization.
In 2014, too, a similar story. ‘Oldies merge for the better’ noted AMF buying stakes in Arpico Finance. Imperial Import and Exports Ltd (what a name!) held a stake in AMF, then the 5th-oldest finance company, as the sole proprietor of Imperial Car Sales and Imperial Motor Stores, importing Austin, Morris, Ford and Fiat vehicles. Arpico Finance Co, linked to Richard Pieris & Co, was sole agent for US Ford Co vehicles. (ft.lk/Front-Page/oldies-merge-for-the-better/44-358294). So what’s new?
These companies feature in the even older post-1948 tale of the limited character of the so-called ‘Ceylonization of the import trade’, which still remains controlled by imperialist multinationals. Then as now the constant wailing of the import-mafia media against import restrictions were a backdrop to the violence of assassination and attempted coup d’etat, subversion, insurrections, then terrorism.
The government policy of Ceylonization (putting black masks over white faces), the attempt to control English and Indian domination of the economy, especially the import and export trade, had hurried plans for the famous 1962 coup attempt: The Lankans implicated, who had taken over for the English – Chairman of Carson Cumberbatch, Basil Jesudason, Col FC de Saram of Leechman and Co, Edmund Cooray of Browns and Co, Mallory Wijesinghe of Bartleet – felt restrictions in remitting money abroad, import-export restrictions, were detrimental to their business.
In 1964, Lankem Ceylon was incorporated by the English Shell Co, due to the Ceylonization policy of the Ceylon Government regarding imports: Shell’s chemical business was transferred to the new Company, in which 49% of shares were held by Shell, and 51% by ‘the nationals of Ceylon’, including former Shell executives and the son of the Governor General of Ceylon.
The farce of ‘Ceylonization’ is recalled by the National Chamber of Commerce set up in 1948, which claims its first task after independence ‘was to push for “Ceylonisation” of trade. Having achieved this in the mid ’50s the Chamber turned its efforts to the development of its members.’ So what did they achieve?
• For decades Unilever bestsellers such as Astra Margarine, Lux, Lifebuoy etc., have been called carcinogenic. Few know what’s sold in the Ceylon Tobacco Company’s cigarettes. The import-mafia media will not of course turn such multinational horrors into a daily campaign. (facebook.com/ConsumerProtectionForce.CPF/videos/2838826596392407)
Here’s a major reason: The Unilever-linked Kantar Group took over Nielsen this week. The Kantar Group, owned by Bain Capital (which had also bid for the Ceylon Glass Co/CGC, linked to Blackstone who bought CGC) and England’s WPP, does ‘social media monitoring, advertising effectiveness, consumer and shopper behaviour and public opinion’. Nielsen and Kantar Media Research, once the only TV audience measurement system in India, have been sued for manipulating viewership data in favor of broadcasters who paid bribes. But that’s not their greatest crime.
• The prevention of ‘land reform’, ‘control of capital’ and ‘modern industrialization’ keeps strangling the very roots of any renaissance. Such terms are censored from daily public media. There is no need to pass legislation to censor such terms – that would get our heavily funded ‘free media’ exponents all excited They never mention such matters.
Land reform is required to give cultivators security to invest their sweat beyond subsistence, to free them from the parasitism of merchants and moneylenders, who steal their harvests before the crops are even sown. Control of capital is required to establish credit cooperatives for cultivators, and to invest their sweat in modern industrialization to provide the latest skills.
The real ‘superstars’ on TV should be industries that source from local supplies, build our own machineries, create new industries to employ cultivators during their off-seasons. Those who claim peasants need their time to relax, forget that money is needed to ‘relax’.
It is not assembly and manufacture we need but the manufacture of manufacturers. It is not just inventors but the invention of inventors. It is not just machines but the making of machines that make machines.
• The US, fresh from attacking Sri Lanka in Geneva, is worried about the Colombo Port City undermining our sovereignty! Not only that, the US Ambassador adds: ‘I’m not sure what may be the reluctance to work with the IMF. Sri Lanka is a member of the IMF, they have a right to the resources and assistance of the IMF.’ Really! A host of others joined in the chorus.
Meanwhile US-occupied Korea wishes to build South Asia’s first Disneyland in Sri Lanka!
Those still in doubt about who was behind the April 2019 terror should read about the coming together of the US, England, ISIS and alQaeda in Syria. Meanwhile there’s still no word on the role and fate of the ‘Hindu-Muslim’ Sara Jesmin who fled to India post-terror. Also, anyone wishing further evidence of the utter criminality of white societies, should read about Australian unions backing war preparations against China.
A1. Reader Comments –
• Stealing our Graphite • No Media for Cultivators, Fishers, Workers • Link between Industrial Import Mafia, MSMEs & Microfinance Kadays • Media & Fake Crime Busts • ee Industrious • Business Media Has No Shame • Fake BBC Coverage of US Wars
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Labor Shortage & Unemployment! • Canada wins Local Graphite • Colonies Avoid Industrial Training • US Blueprint Against China • Fictions & Family Office Funds • Killing One Million Easier than Control Now • Stalin’s Cultural Revolution: Industrial Education
A3. Random Notes –
• Why so Hot? Don’t Act the Suddha! • Take a Walk to Learn Economics • Rise of Shadow Banking • JVP Marxist or Anarchist? • Made-in-Sri Lanka
B. ee Focus
B1. Sugar & Oil: The Real Story
B2. Suez & Karl Marx, Transportation & Value
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
• ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news sent, or your comments, and place any e-link at the end. It’s better to email: email@example.com
• ‘Re: the Tanzania president’s disappearance for 2 months, and now his reported death – a real eye-opener. I knew what happened in Bolivia, but did not know of Tanzania at all. SL too may be on the firing line. SL has the purest graphite in the world that needs to be used for batteries and carbon nanotubules. One of the 3 mines seems to have already been given to a Canadian Company. The other I think to a German Company? Graphite is the new oil. It may explain the troubles that we are having internationally.’ (see ee Industry, Graphite)
• ‘Why is there no radio or TV catering hourly to cultivators, fisherfolk and workers? The absolute irresponsibility of the media reaches new heights every hour and every day. Determining the truth of any assertion is almost impossible unless one is directly affected. The import-mafia’s media monopoly prevents any sort of truly national conversation, scientific discussion or investigation – promoting sensationalism. Its greatest crime is the failure to discuss major economic issues. Thailand has a very popular agriculture radio where cultivators discuss the least issues. South India has radio dedicated to fisherfolk issues (tho not about them stealing our fish!, see ee Agriculture) We have no such media here. We have dim superstars.’
• ‘What is the link between the call for MSMEs and the foreign-bank-funded microfinance kadays? They lease or sell imported industrial goods. These NBFIs are financing peasants to buy their industrial goods. The most lucrative microfinancing is for buying imported industrial goods. Microlending technically means high-risk lending, which bigger banks will not do directly. Microlending can be used to accommodate anything, that all depends on the lending motive.
In SL, industrial policy-oriented lending is not allowed. Microlending is also 100% market-oriented lending therefore usually feeding existing lending needs, and also involves buying imports. Current data levels will not divulge what percentage of what people borrow from microfinks are for imported industrial goods?’
• ‘Customs bust ‘largest gold smuggling racket in history’: again, why report on this until the top companies behind such schemes are caught? The same with reports of petty drug busts. Why not wait until the top of the chain of command is detected and the port of entry?’
• ‘Re ee’s so-called despotism: A difference must be struck between supporting the regime, which is what some do, and pushing the regime to be more “industrious”, as it stands, which is what ee does.’
• ‘Even when they are speaking of the moon or the sun or the planets, the English media always comes back to their familiar choruses: They operate through repetition and saturation: Debt, Import Restrictions, loss of GSP+, ‘defeat’ at the UNHRC, Sugar scam, Contaminated coconut oil, Trees, Ayurvedic syrups, repeated over and over… There is a no more narcissistic self-congratulatory species than our business media… every single story is a paid advertisement. No shame!’
• ‘Liberals are going on about how great the BBC is for reporting the US trial of the white cop Chauvin who strangled a Black man. They don’t report that any potential Black juror who knew about the protests is disqualified.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Labor shortage is the biggest issue facing businesses in Sri Lanka, which has hamstrung their smooth operation. This is particularly true in industrial settings. Unless the government works to address in earnest these structural issues such as labor and skill shortages, inefficiency in the public sector, bureaucracy and corruption, and the broader economic freedom of the people, the economy will fail to produce the desired outcomes, out of the low interest rates, low taxes and low inflation in the economy, which are acting as a boon for enterprise renaissance at present. Large-scale labor importation or free movement of people for jobs in Sri Lanka remains a highly sensitive and controversial political topic. But there appears to be no problem with one-way traffic where nearly 2 million Sri Lankans are working in various parts of the world.’ (see ee Workers, Unemployment)
• ‘The license we have won is the highest category license in SL and grants exclusive rights to mine, process and trade in graphite mined within the area specified in the license. It also allows for underground multi-borehole blasting, commercial production, use of all mining machinery and equipment and export of graphite.’ (ee Industry, Graphite)
• ‘Care is taken to avoid technical and industrial training. This rule, observed throughout India, aims to stop India from becoming an industrial country capable of competing with England.’ – George Orwell on Myanmar (see ee Sovereignty, Burma)
• ‘Single family offices had grown by 38% 2017-19, to reach more than 7,000. Assets under management stood at some $5.9trn in 2019, the report estimated. That compares with $3.6trn in the global hedge fund industry.’ (ee Economists, Financial fictions)
• ‘Zbigniew Brzezinski, US President Carter’s National Security Advisor, and co-founder of the Trilateral Commission with oil baron David Rockefeller, claimed a “global political awakening… mainly of younger people in ‘developing’ states who could topple the existing international order… For the first time in human history almost all of humanity is politically activated, politically conscious and politically interactive… The resulting global political activism is generating a surge in the quest for personal dignity, cultural respect and economic opportunity in a world painfully scarred by memories of centuries-long alien colonial or imperial domination… The youth of the Third World are particularly restless and resentful… The major world powers, new and old, also face a novel reality: while the lethality of their military might is greater than ever, their capacity to impose control over the politically awakened masses of the world is at a historic low. To put it bluntly: in earlier times, it was easier to control one million people than to physically kill one million people; today, it is infinitely easier to kill one million people than to control one million people.”’ (ee Sovereignty, Gods of War)
• ‘After 3 decades, the face of the Soviet Union has been completely transformed. What’s essential to Stalinism’s historical actions is this: it found a Russia that worked the land with wooden plows and left it as the owner of the atomic bomb. It elevated Russia to the rank of the second industrial power in the world, and it’s not merely a question of material progress and organization. A similar result could not have been achieved without a great cultural revolution in which an entire country has been sent to school to receive an extensive education.’ – Isaac Deutscher, at the passing of Joseph Stalin (USSR Communist Party General Secretary from April 1922)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• Each year the sun falls directly overhead at this time – 15 days after the northern hemisphere’s Spring Equinox until our New Year. Every year the English merchant media acts surprised, and complains how hot it is. As if they just got off an AC boat from London for the first time!
Then they make dire predictions (or pray for drought, to sell imported ACs and generators to maintain electricity as well as more imports of fuel). Such is our import-mafia media. Tho it is not ‘ours’. To be more precise – in naming our oppressors and exploiters – we should call them: the import-export plantation oligarchy.
It’s a measure of ruling decadence and colonial status that the dominant media acts so naive about our meteorological seasons, which even unschooled peasants know, leads to Bak Pura Pasalosvaka Poya Day.
• A government may be in power but not have power! As Africans have bitterly found out in South Africa. Here the import mafia is still in charge and playing pux. To learn the dominant economics, all you need to do is take a walk on the pavement and see what is being sold and where it is made. Look at what is blocking the roads. Glittering shops of steel and glass are fancy trash cans for what falls off ship containers.
The orgy of private luxury consumption continues. Those complaining about the rupee’s devaluation are running about buying expensive imports for the new year. Maybe they have no choice, but this drags the rupee down further. There’s daily voluminous kendirifying by the local media and threats by the US, EU and Japan envoys against import controls. The economists join in, and whine about balance of payments.
How do these imports get thru? Do they come by dhoni thru our numerous river deltas, thru every orifice and pore? Most big shops in Colombo are not owned or run by Sinhala people. However the security guards tend to be Sinhala. And the piped in music is usually so-called Black American music, but not of any emancipatory value, but mere reproductions of old ‘hits’ recycled over and over again.
• There’s been a huge rise in ‘shadow banking’ – lending and funding by non-bank financial institutions (NBFI), especially after the 2008 ‘Great Financial Crisis’. NBFIs are now nearly half of all financial ‘assets’.
What do these NBFIs do? The daily cry about promoting MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) for Sri Lanka also links to the rise of NBFIs, for people to lease foreign machineries. The top machine makers now are making more money from loans to buy their machines than from the machines they make. The threats by the US, EU and Japan against import controls (over 60% of our imports are for capital & intermediate goods that then make up our so-called exports) also links to this leasing game. The murder of the 3wheeler-driver-association leader has long been media-forgotten.
No economic renaissance is possible without overcoming the import mafia. These expensive imports are linked to the export business. Of course, it’s not just an import mafia. It is an import-export mafia. And this is linked to our good ole colonial slave plantation economy. Notice how our media keeps harping about the good old days? If it was so good when did it turn bad? After the yakos took over? This is their daily theme.
There’s also been massive increase in totally unregulated ‘family offices’ funded by mega-rich global family fortunes, almost double the hedge funds, which have some regulation. Hedge funds are speculative vehicles for betting (curiously promoted this week by the People’s Bank CEO, to deal with our huge oil import bill!).
The rise of ‘fictitious capital’ (note the ‘profits’ posted by various banks) makes it important to know the difference between ‘money’ and ‘capital’, and between ‘profit’ and ‘surplus value’. ‘Profit’ and ‘money’ are best-selling fictions, unless invested in production. Capital and surplus, to become self-generating, are based on actual production. Our so-called bankers and merchants are steadfastly refusing to do. (ee Economists, Fiction)
• This week saw a selective outpouring of memories, in the English media, on the 50th anniversary of the 1971 JVP uprising. One particular theme stands out: the adventurism of idealistic youth and the subsequent repression led to wiping out of Left parties in parliament, and the abandonment of the attempts, even though inadequate, to build an independent industrial society, that had occurred 1956-76.
Of course, much media lament focuses on the supposedly ‘Marxist-Leninist’, ‘Che Guevarist’ and ‘Maoist’ underpinnings of the uprising. Few analysts point out the JVP had no mass support, nor links with the organized urban working class. After 1977, there was a steady escalation of violence as well as destruction of the organized working class. Lenin said politics is decided by millions of people. Mao said, rely on the people, trust in the people!
Some are comparing the present situation, where a popular government is now under attack from all sides for failing to resolve outstanding economic and social issues. There are also similarities to the economic downturn that the 1970-77 government faced from a world food and fuel crisis, and today’s Covid pandemic, which has provided convenient cover to the ongoing and ever more frequent crises of capitalism.
The pouring in of foreign funds to promote ‘democracy’, ‘youth’, free media’, ‘women’, ‘ecology’ etc, while at the same time preventing investment in modern production and the creation of skilled work, will then produce similar reaction.
The promises of ‘Made-in-Sri-Lanka’, and the feeble claims to promote production and import controls, are linked to settling our massive debts and ‘balance of payments’. Reducing our balance of payments was also the reason given for attempting industrialization. Real production could easily pay our ‘debts’. Yet, as ee continually points out: Modern industrialization requires a holistic, political, economic and military strategy.
B. Special Focus_
B1. Sugar & Oil
The recent scandals involving 2 commodities – sugar and coconut oil – should point the country to the dangers of private sector mafias & import rent-seekers. These are not your typical consumer goods: they are fast-moving items, necessities rather than luxuries, consumed by every class from every income level in the country. In the hands of middlemen, racketeers and rent-seekers, ensuring the most rudimentary health and safety checks for them has taken a back seat to profiteering off them.
While it is unfair to take the government to task over something other entities are doing (or are accused of doing), it is the government that has the sole discretion in stopping them. Yet, the question can (validly) be raised whether public perceptions of these scandals reflect what’s really going on. For obvious reasons, it is the government, specifically this one, that’s being accused of complicity with and profiteering from alliances with dubious private interests in the sugar and coconut oil import mafia. Such allegations limit these scandals to 2 frames: the present government and the public sector. To put it very simply, much of the backlash developing against the sugar tax exemption and the adulteration of imported coconut oil seems to be directed, generally to the public sector, and specifically to the present administration.
The issue here is that insofar as the public sector has always caved into the interests of dubious private mafias, and as the present regime has given the impression of caving into them more haphazardly, this is hardly the whole story. There are important interests at work here, interests that neither the public nor the Opposition seem to be aware of.
Take the coconut oil imbroglio. The allegation is that adulterated oil was allowed into the country, bypassing all established laws and regulations. The adulteration in question involves a toxic carcinogen, Aflatoxin. While customs officials have determined that samples from local stores do not contain the substance, samples collected earlier from import warehouses do. Dashitha Niroshana, Director General of the Coconut Development Authority, has assured consumers to have no fear about what’s available in the market, while Minister Bandula Gunawardana has instructed officials to draw up a fresh gazette banning the blending of coconut oil. Blending oil this way helps businesses: it drives up profits and keeps costs down.
South Asia is no stranger to these rackets: in 2019 eg, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banned no fewer than 14 varieties of coconut oil in Kerala after the detection of various toxic substances. Kerala alone has seen bans on no fewer than 70 varieties in December 2018, 51 in June, and 45 in May. Subsequent to these incidents, the FSSAI enacted a new detection method, which saw another 14 brands taken off stores and warehouses in May 2019.
India has a robust regulatory framework to deal with food imports and additives, but this is not to say Sri Lanka lacks one either; the Food Control Administrative Unit of the Ministry of Health lists no fewer than 34 regulations in operation now. As always, the problem is one of execution and implementation. In that sense, it is only fair to find fault with a regime that’s given the impression of taking things a little too slackly.
However, and I reiterate, this is far from the whole story. Any assessment of what’s going on and what authorities and people can do to resolve it must centre on 3 distinct but interrelated points: the dominance of import rent-seeking interests in the market, the step-motherly treatment meted out to local manufacturers, and the ease at which import interests co-opt and prevail over successive governments.
The latter phenomenon has been ongoing since 1977. It was under that UNP government that food imports swamped the market through the ubiquitous import merchants. Yet to limit any discussion of the effects of such imports to petty traders would be counterproductive: a more robust analysis should take into account the precedents set by past administrations in allowing larger corporations, especially multinationals, to bypass existing laws and play the proverbial fiddle with health standards.
An instructive case would be the Prima scandal, the first such food-related scandal in the post-1977 setting. In essence, the Jayewardene government, having leased out land to establish a flour mill in Trincomalee, entered into a dubious arrangement with Prima that Jayewardene’s successor promised to look into (only to get killed in a bomb-blast before he could) and his own successor, Chandrika Kumaratunga, came to power on a pledge to abrogate (only to go back on her word years later). Details about these arrangements have been given by Victor Ivan in his book on Kumaratunga; suffice it to say that this trend, of governments opposing and later caving into the pressures of import rent-seekers, has been ongoing ever since.
Yet, if you watch the news and hear what Opposition MPs have to say on the subject, you’d think that adulterated food imports started swamping the country under this regime. By no means. On the other hand, however, it is true that this government has been slow in its response to the bad press it’s getting over those imports: allegations that can just as validly be thrown at previous administrations.
What’s inexcusable about this administration not taking action is, it came to power on a platform of going local and waded through Covid-19 with the pledge of empowering local industry. Far from empowering local industry, let alone establishing it, officials instead have been lackadaisical about taking swift, necessary measures. One example will suffice:
In October 2020 the All Ceylon Traditional Coconut Oil Producers’ Association (ACTCOPA) accused the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) of having issued a gazette notification allowing imports of blended oils. The gazette in question was alleged to have been made in October 2016 – under the Yahapalana government – by then Minister of Industries and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen. Even though news outlets reported on this matter, hardly anyone followed it through or seemed interested in doing so. Not even the ACTCOPA’s insinuation that “large-scale racketeers” accrue around Rs20billion every year from the said gazette notification ruffled many feathers; nor, for that matter, did its request to the government that “necessary raw materials and machinery” be provided to them speedily and immediately. Needless to say the government did not go beyond issuing a categorical denial.
What’s even more interesting is that the current scandal over coconut oil imports can be traced back to consignments which began arriving in the country last September, i.e. about a month before the ACTCOPA made their accusations. Yet in debates over blended and adulterated oil today, these accusations hardly appear to figure in: neither the Opposition nor anyone rapping the government over this scandal seems to be accounting for the key issues that the ACTOP raised back then: the billions of rupees we lose out to imports every year, and the plight of local industrialists who continue to get marginalised even as we cook and consume poison.
Here we come to the inadequacies of the Opposition. To me, much of the rhetoric over these scandals has targeted the regime’s alleged protection of the sugar and oil mafia. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa has asked that permits of carcinogenic importers be terminated immediately, while similar sentiments have been expressed by the Opposition (the SJB) regarding the sugar tax fraud. Evidently it has not dawned on the Opposition, or for that matter the government, that such mafias and frauds have been covered up by successive administrations in the past as well.
Again, one example will suffice. It was NewsFirst that broke the story in full: on 17 February 2018 the Finance Ministry headed by Mangala Samaraweera went about introducing a levy on sugar prices, substituting a Rs43 tax for a previous levy of Rs31. I quote: According to the Finance Minister, these measures were taken due to the drop in the price of sugar in the world market, adding that retail markets will not be affected by this decision. However, the price of a kilo of sugar which previously stood at Rs91 now exceeds Rs100. Thus it’s safe to say, the price of a kg of sugar was increased by nearly Rs15 in the wholesale market. While the recent sugar tax fraud has been “assessed” at Rs16billion, this change in the levy also led to windfall gains for private interests.
It was revealed at the cost-of-living committee, nearly 60,000 metric tons of sugar are in the possession of 3 companies. The increase in taxes has paved the way for these companies to earn a minimum profit Rs600mn with a profit margin of Rs10/kg of sugar. What’s even more interesting are the names of these 3 companies: Pyramid Wilmar Pvt Ltd, Wilson Trading Co, and Pallegoda Trading. Of the 3, Pyramid Wilmar was accused of purchasing “a majority of stocks following the levy change.”
Here’s the icing on the cake: the chairman of Sathosa today, said to be at the centre of the tax fraud, has connections with the directors of Pyramid Wilmar. In other words, we’re seeing the same game being played, though on much bigger stakes. Azath Salley, not the best authoritative voice out there, was nevertheless succinct in his criticism of the 2018 sugar levy change and the enrichment of private corporate interests thereafter: “such contracts were only believed to be in operation during the Rajapaksa regime, but… the situation had become widespread under the present government as well.” Add 2 and 2: government then, opposition now; opposition then, government now. The only chairs in the room that remain where they are belong to neither, but to those rent-seekers. Guess who served their interests then, and who are berating the government for serving them now. None of this is to say that we should only concern ourselves with who held power then and who’s opposing those holding it now.
These scandals, the oil more than the sugar tax, are serious, and should be taken seriously. Finding carcinogens in food, food that everyone regardless of income level and class consumes, is worrying. Yet one must acknowledge that such substances are found in not only coconut oil, nor are they a recent phenomenon. More to the point, far from the government being complicit, it is the private sector, the unholy trinity of the media, pop culture icons & multinational corporations, that has been at the forefront of advertising these substances. We know this well: sports figures and actors who engage in public interest matters (especially the environment) earning goodness knows how much in advertising fees from promoting toxic foods, and media outlets being rather reticent in calling out companies manufacturing them.
From Fonterra’s “Milkgate” (a scandal which only one editor of repute, Malinda Seneviratne, saw fit to report on then) to Kumar Sangakkara’s controversial associations with cancer-causing foods and beverages (which Grusha Andrews has written on), it’s an obvious no-brainer to say the government, whatever the party, ought to be the last on the list of all those responsible for toxic chemicals in what we eat and drink. Yet we’re facing something of a quandary here: by refusing to call out those who are responsible and the corporate-merchant interests backing them, we have ended up blackguarding one set of politicians for entering into alliances with them, only to have another set succeed them and do the same thing. It’s a morbid game of musical chairs, a danse macabre of sorts, with the “carcinogenic demon” (to paraphrase Sajith Premadasa) playing its cards with our lives. When will the government learn, the Opposition learn, and more importantly, when will we learn?
B2. Suez & Karl Marx, Transportation & Value
The Suez blockage engendered much discussion. Was it another opportunity for SLexit (or Sexit!) to break away from our economic dependence on the North Atlantic’s whims and fancies (tourists, GSP+ etc)?
We asked ee‘s ‘historical materialists’ this question: SBD de Silva suggested it’s not just any transport or communication that matters, but has to be linked it to modern production. Our highways should be linking suppliers to factories and factories to warehouses, etc, as opposed to a romantic going to see a secret lover at a beach. Or like the army or bank security guards – they may be essential but not enough for an economy. If however the secret lover is a secret agent working in an enemy factory and passing on secrets of the latest means of production, then that sort of transport and communication may be productive… (Marx’s Capital 2, Chapt14, mentions the Suez, and the importance of the difference in selling and buying time, while Vol 3 has 3 references to the Suez: Chapters 4, 25 and 30 (Footnote 18).
‘The Suez incident returns us to Marx, Capital 2 (‘circulation’ & ‘reproduction’ volume). Marx would not have been surprised by the declaration of war by England, France and Israel in 1956 when Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal (which was fully supported by SWRD).’
Marx: ‘There are however particular branches of industry in which the product of the production process is not a new objective product, a commodity. The only one of these that is economically important is the communication industry, both the transport industry proper, for moving commodities and people, and the transmission of mere information – letters, telegrams, etc.’
‘But what the transport industry sells is the actual change of place itself. The useful effect produced is inseparably connected with the transport process, ie, the production process specific to the transport industry. People and commodities travel together with the means of transport, and this journeying, the spatial movement of the means of transport, is precisely the production process accomplished by the transport industry. The useful effect can only be consumed during the production process; it does not exist as a thing of use distinct from this process, a thing which functions as an article of commerce and circulation as a commodity only after its production. However the exchange-value of this useful effect is still determined, like that of any other commodity, by the value of the elements of production used up in it (labor-power & means of production), plus the surplus-value created by the surplus labor of the workers occupied in the transport industry.’ (Capital 2, NLR ed: 135). This edition also has a level-headed review of the Rosa Luxemburg’s Accumulation of Capital and its relationship to Marx’s reproduction schemes (and conception of crises) – in section 10 of Mandel’s introduction, pp62-69.
The key to the transport questions is the distinction between productive and unproductive labor – a distinction Marx himself made in Theories of Surplus Value and later in Capital, especially Vol 2, to underline how capitalism itself makes this distinction with reference to its own law of value, which may be transcended in non- or post-capitalist, ie socialist, economies (though whether socialism represents an escape from the capitalist law of value remains a matter of debate – inaugurated by Marx’s Critique of the Gotha Program, a good thing for socialists to read). This is not a straightforward issue – and there’s a lot of debate if not confusion about it, even among Marxists.
Again, Mandel’s introduction to Capital Vol 2 presents the basic problem in clear terms, especially in section 6. In some formulations Marx seems to have excluded ‘non-material goods’ from the productive labor category, which refers to ‘commodity-producing labor, combining concrete and abstract labor (ie, combining creation of use values and production of exchange values)’. But this is not necessarily the last word, from Marx or his students, for they know how capitalism has commodified even ‘non-material’ goods (if one understands ‘material’ rather as physical and tangible, which is not the only meaning of the term, and includes things like social relations that we cannot touch or taste like tea, rubber or coconut), including cultural and ideological products. If for the sake of the argument a romantic finds his secret lover by paying an internet dating&mating service, he would be buying a commodity produced by a capitalist enterprise that makes surplus value by exploiting its workers.
But is that a productive enterprise or commodity? Mandel says, to illustrate Marx, doctors attending to public health are unproductive: although their labor is eminently useful from a social standpoint, they don’t contribute to the accumulation and expansion of capital. ‘By contrast, the production of dum-dum bullets, hard drugs or pornographic magazines is useless and harmful to the overall interests of human society. But as such commodities find ready customers [no need to think of concrete eg’s!], the surplus-value embodied in them is realized, and capital is reproduced and expanded. The labor expended on them is thus productive labor.’
The important thing is to remember that the productive/unproductive distinction, to the extent it can be maintained, is a creature of capitalism; Marx did not make it – he only saw and theorized it, in order to make sense of capitalism and its own rationality. Capitalism, naturally, values and considers that which expands it as productive. From a social and indeed socialist standpoint we need not enshrine the specifically capitalist distinction between productive and unproductive labor (and the role of transport in their expenditure), obscured by what Marx called ‘commodity fetishism’.
(Engels is supposed to have said, an idealistic maneuver by a lieutenant in battle, if successful, can lead to a material gain!)
The earlier quotation from Marx’s Capital 2 makes an important point: transport (& by extension, ‘infrastructure’, to use a currently popular word in academic literature) can be productive of value. This is important simply because there are many Marxists who regard transport as something that belongs merely to the circulation sphere, which is itself not productive of value, but just ‘realizes’ it; whereas value is only produced in the sphere of production. Architects of BRI seem to have understood Vol 2 better than that.
Giant ships have replaced some warehouses. Walmart, Amazon and others have their chunks of their inventories on ships, which are navigated not by stars in the night but by logistical calculations of geographies of demand and supply.
The Suez incident may cause some rethinking, as happened with the airlines. The Airbus A-380 appeared to be the logical extension of wide-body trends towards a super-jumbo, and should have been an instant success. However, they called for expensive unloading facilities at central hub airports. Instead a new generation of smaller, more capable and economical airliners, which ply directly between destinations rather than to and from hubs, took over.
We foresee a similar trend emerging in shipping, as larger and deeper ports being required for the huge super-container ships of today. Smaller, more capable and faster ships may emerge to ply directly from port to port instead of through transshipment hubs. The savings in labor and time would be considerable.’
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.
• Why not a referendum on the 13th Amendment?
• The Indian Trojan Horse: 13th Amendment
‘There is the presence of the Indian Army inside Bhutan in the guise of a training school for the Bhutanese Army and as a unit of construction engineers. Indian government support to the LTTE was not just to give a message to J.R. Jayewardene but to subvert Sri Lanka.’
• Gotabaya regime comes under multiple pressures
‘Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and SLPP organizer Basil Rajapaksa look at Provincial Councils with devolved power as a useful political institution. They are keen on holding elections to the Councils.’
• Speaker thanks Cuba for continuous support to Sri Lanka
• Colonials Weaponising the Human Rights Council
• England rejects Lanka’s request for handing over of Gash dispatches to Geneva
‘… blames Defence Advisor Gash for not verifying info, contradicts its own position…After Gash’s departure, they discontinued having a resident Defence Advisor in Colombo. Instead, New Delhi-based Defence Advisor looked after Sri Lanka for nearly a decade.. in January 2019, they reappointed Colonel David Ashman as their resident Defence Advisor in Colombo.
• English diplomatic representative (Lt. Col. Anthony Gash) contradicts high profile lies propagated by their own High Commission
• UNHRC March 21 sessions -England turns a Coveted Eye at its Ex. Colonies
• Australia & Norway offer funds if appeal for funding by UN body defeated
• EU Delegation to raise import restrictions at WTO Committee on Trade in Goods Council
‘Sri Lanka comes under EU GSP+ scanner for human rights’
• Korean embassy enhances support for Northern Province
• Siva Senai urges provisions added in new constitution
‘to protect Buddhism and Hinduism against what it called ‘unethical conversions’’
• SL works on finding ghost ’foreign hand’ in Easter Sunday mayhem
• Internal unity is priority to face external challenges – USAID’s NPC Perera
• The ideologies and forces that brought us here – Jayatilleka
‘In 2015-2019 the TNA joined the UNP and the JVP in creating a gridlock which has delayed the holding of Provincial Council elections.’
• Mangala’s ‘golden moment’ in foreign policy – Jayatilleka
‘When a ‘golden moment’ in foreign policy is a factor in the destruction of an old democratic political party (UNP), the dreadful diminution of another (the SLFP), and the victorious eruption of autocratic ultra-nationalism, who and what is it a ‘golden moment’ for, apart from the militarist Far Right?’
• Naxal who executed Sukma attack was trained by LTTE in ambush tactics
• EPDP boycotts JMC sessions over ‘Security Unit’
• Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph and the Madhu Church crisis – Jeyaraj
‘He was criticised unfairly as an agent of the LTTE for authorising the transportation of the blessed statue to Thevanpitty in Tiger-controlled territory.’
• The government’s foreign affairs
‘I prefer the third: engaging with ideas while calling out on the humbuggery of human rights imperialism.’
• EPRLF Leader alleges Prez ignored Tamils during Vavuniya visit
‘President was trying to build up Sinhala vote base in the North ahead of the Provincial Council polls.’
• Civil Rights Movement formed in Sri Lanka against Warsaw Pact countries – Philips
‘it was not the result of some neocolonial imposition’
• The Gods of War
‘There’s all these dollars pouring in to Sri Lanka to mislead younger folk…using various names…the most common being “Nava” – New. It’s an old trick. Then you have so-called Leftists trotting to the American Centre in Colombo claiming the USA as more democratic than communist China. Do dollars induce amnesia? ‘
• Was Portuguese proselytization ruthless as portrayed?
• Visiting Russian foreign minister not received by India’s prime minister
• CPI(M) Demands Probe into Rafale Fighter Jet Deal After French Report Signals Kickback
• Biden-Harris Look Ready to Keep U.S. In Afghanistan—Say No!
• The exploitation of Burma by the English Empire – Orwell
• Coup attempt in Jordan leaves a trail
‘Turkey pointedly named Mohammed Dahlan, the ex-Fatah intelligence chief who used to be a key interlocutor for the CIA and Mossad and now lives in the UAE under state protection…. Without doubt, Israel and the UAE would have been the winners if the coup in Amman had succeeded.’
• Former US Official: Al-Qaeda In Syria Is “An Asset” For U.S. Strategy
• U.S. Iran Conflict In Iraq Put On Pause
‘ Qaani told the Iran aligned militia groups to stand down.’
• U.S. violated Iran deal first with its withdrawal
• Australian unions back war preparations at Labor Party conference
• A battle between the US and China threatens to trigger a new cold war at the United Nations
• Crucial interview of Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov
‘consistent degradation of the deterrent infrastructure in the military-political and strategic spheres’
• Why The U.S. Might Want War In Ukraine
‘Ukrainian president Zelinsky is under pressure to start a war. The country is bankrupt and in a constitutional crisis. On top of that: Polling numbers for Zelensky have sharply declined…But nothing will happen on the frontline without the consent or even encouragement from Washington DC.’
• Why Ukraine’s Borders Are Back at the Center of Geopolitics
‘Firing across the Ukraine-Russia border has stepped up, egged on by Biden’s full-throated support of Zelensky’s newly found anti-Russian ambitions.’
• How Russia ‘Weaponized’ 111 Times
‘With the US/ press in full Russia hysteria mode, right now, it’s time for a thread on things the Anglo-American media has accused Moscow of “weaponising.”
• Ukraine: Frozen conflict is hotting up
‘US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Porter sails in the Bosphorus, Istanbul, on its way to the Black Sea’
• 2 Scottish Nationalist MPs ask to meet with internal security service MI5 to discuss cooperation against Russia
• Biden appears to think we’re still in the age of the sole superpower
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.
• US, Turkey, ISIS, al-Qaeda, Taliban make one happy family
‘A dispatch by CNN from Turkey in November 2013 noted that “it is extraordinary to watch this volume of international traffic from countries where al Qaeda has a confirmed and consistent presence into a NATO member state… Many of these devout Muslims believe they are joining the final battle prophesied as happening in Syria — known as al-Sham — which will herald the end of the world. The recruits are ecstatic; they never thought this final fight would come in their lifetime.”’
• Indian jailed over vandalising Buddha Statue dies in prison
• Wife alleges foul play in Indian husband’s death, who was remanded for vandalism
‘Back in 2018, Marceli Thomas, an Indian national was arrested for possible links to an alleged plot to assassinate then-Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena as well as Gotabaya Rajapaksa…the Indian High Commission was quoted as saying that after due diligence, they had found that Thomas had a history of mental illness…the court acquitted the Indian national and since then, nothing was heard from Thomas who appears have to have gone dark.’
• Sri LankaEaster bombings: Masterminds already known; no desire to conceal findings, says minister
• Blame game for April Terror continues
• India-Sri Lanka Police Chiefs’ Dialogue(PCD) held
• India, Sri Lanka agree to jointly work against terror groups, fugitives
‘The Indian delegation was led by Director of Intelligence Bureau Arvind Kumar and the Sri Lankan team was led by C. D. Wickramaratne, Inspector General of Police.’
• ‘Govt. concealing real mastermind of 2019 attacks’ – Patali
• Tense situation at SLSI over harmful products in the market
‘Officials refused to divulge details of products containing harmful substances, as members of the Sinhale movement were denied entry to the SL Standards Institute. “Who’s law is being enacted?
• GMOA complains to police against Standard Institute’s Director-General statement
‘she was aware of the fact that certain food items sold in the market contain substance unfit for human consumption.’
• It’s public health, stupid!
‘Director General…is being raked over the coals for saying, in an interview with Hiru TV, that the toxic coconut oil racket should not have been made public, and refusing to name the contaminated food items in the market lest the companies concerned should be hurt. She has said these businesses might even collapse if named.’
• SL yet to receive payment for MT New Diamond Oil Spill
‘MT New Diamond sailed with a Japanese certificate and is registered in Panama….Owners, Porto Emporios Shipping Inc, a shipping company in Greece, paid Rs 442 million for expenses incurred by SL in dousing the fire, but compensation for damages to the marine environment has yet to be paid’
• Chief Justice appreciates enhanced US funding for legal fraternity
‘Colombo Law Society also launched the 2020 edition of the Hulftsdorp Law Journal with US AId’
• Shake-Hands military exercise cements Lanka-Pakistan ties
‘an exercise in dealing with mobs during a riot or other event threatening a law-and-order situation.’
• Over half of police force of over 88,000 still deployed on VIP security
• Arundika accuses ASP Eric Perera
• 196 new police stations to be set-up : President
• CID Director transferred
• A tall tale told by cops about war widow demo
‘Two stone throwers, caught by some members of the public and handed over to the police, on Thursday, vanished while in police custody’
• Lifetime salaries, allowances of disabled war heroes to be paid to dependents
• Sri Lanka should take a lesson from the United States: Sajith
‘Singaporean style laws should be introduced in Sri Lanka to eradicate terrorism and drug dealers.’
• Interdiction of 4 cops over alleged assault: CI asks why Police Legal Div. won’t represent them
• Customs bust largest gold smuggling racket in history
• Preventing road accidents
‘It is best that this subject is removed from outfits such as NCPI, Ceyspa, AA, NCRS, etc., and save funds and use them for better purposes.’
• Two jailed for 10 years for trying to sell land on forged deed
• Mumbai is red-flagged as India’s cocaine capital
‘US Drug Enforcement Agency, England’s National Crime Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Australian drug enforcement agencies’ pressure on the South American coca-producing countries.’
• South Asian economies bounce back but face fragile recovery
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.
• Colombo Port City: History in the making
• US Ambassador says SL must safeguard against “unintended consequences” of Port City Bill
‘I’m not sure what may be the reluctance to work with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).’
• Veemansa Initiative to discuss ‘Asia’s Newest Landscape’
• Perceptions of China’s Belt & Road Initiative and investments in Sri Lanka
• ‘CB continues to maintain equilibrium between capital formation and economic growth’
• Low interest-rate regime unchanged, Central Bank says
• CB seeks forex support from multiple sources
• Sri Lanka central bank keeps ‘historic low’ rates as forex reserves drop
• Western countries will benefit most from an IMF SDR increase
‘Since SDRs are allocated pro rata in relation to a country’s IMF “quota”, the distribution is heavily skewed towards the bigger and richer countries that arguably have the least need for it. The United States, European Union and England alone would receive nearly half of the new liquidity.’
• Prospects of economic growth and external finances in 2021
‘The Central Bank’s expectations are based on the economic performance in the first two months, on other recent favourable economic developments and expectations of a global economic recovery. They do not appear to take into account possible reversals, threats and global setbacks.’
• Sri Lanka lagging behind India, Pakistan and Bangladesh in attracting FDI
• $2.1b in debt service payments made so far: CB
• Harsha urges Govt. to proactively engage investors on debt servicing policy
‘de Silva urged the Government to put forward an effective debt restructuring plan and seek a dialogue with the IMF on the matter’
• Is Sri Lanka’s debt problem a dramatised story? – Colombage
‘efforts made by the Central Bank to keep the exchange rate around Rs. 185 per dollar has become futile proving the “impossible trinity” phenomenon, which says that it is impossible to fix both the exchange rate and interest rate simultaneously without capital outflows. The selling rate now exceeds Rs. 201 per dollar… SL’s bad debt dynamics; 50% of tax revenue spent for interest payments
• MMT, money printing and Keynes – Wijewardena
‘Sri Lanka’s unemployment today is about 5%, a little higher than the full employment level which is considered at about 4% of the labour force. Thus, one can argue that by printing money, Sri Lanka could increase employment as Keynes had presented in The General Theory without causing inflation. This does not happen because of the structural problems that inhibit production in the economy. These structural problems range from excessive regulations and restrictions, inefficient public sector, rent-seeking private sector to inadequate and outdated production methods. These issues need be addressed before Sri Lanka seeks to generate prosperity by printing money.’
• Advocata Institute to launch ‘Bath Curry Indicator’
‘According to the National Consumer Price Index, overall prices rose by 3.7% between January 2020 and January 2021, but food inflation rose by 5.9%.’
• Hedging: Should we throw the baby out with the bathwater? – CEO, People’s Bank
‘As a net importer of oil, Sri Lanka’s largest import bill is on crude oil and refined petroleum, and last year, Sri Lanka imported fuel – crude oil, refined petroleum and coal – worth over $2.5 billion and in 2019 the figure stood at over $3.8 billion. With merchandise exports little over $10 billion, containment of the country’s oil bill remains a must’
• China and Russia Launch a ‘Global Resistance Economy’
‘The U.S. will ignore the message from Anchorage. It is already testing China over Taiwan, and is preparing an escalation in Ukraine, to test Russia.’
• IMF SDRs and debt holidays still just a band-aid for debt-hobbled countries
• SL must focus on competitiveness & debt sustainability to ensure rebound -World Bank
• Will There Be A Global Resistance Economy?
‘It is a mode of economic development. It represents the notion that any rent-yielding resource – banking, land, natural resources and natural infrastructure monopolies – should be in the public domain to provide basic needs to everybody – freely. The alternative way simply is to privatise these ‘public goods’ (as in the West), where they are provided at a financialized maximum cost – including interest rates, dividends, management fees, and corporate manipulations for financial gain.’
• Financial fictions: the old ones
‘The Archegos Capital debacle has exposed the hidden risks of the lucrative but opaque equity derivatives business through which banks empower hedge funds to make outsize bets on stocks and related assets…recent financial engineering and swindles are traditional to the accumulation of and speculation in what Marx called fictitious capital, ie financial assets like bonds, stocks, property, credit and so-called derivatives of these.
• Financial fiction Part two: the new ones (SPACs, NFTs, cryptocurrencies)
‘In this 21st century world of easy money borrowing, there have been a spate of new fictions in the casino world of financial speculation…In the last 20 years, financial fictions have been increasingly digitalised. High frequency financial transactions have been superseded by digital coding. But these technological developments have mainly been used to increase speculation in the financial casino, leaving regulators behind in the wash. When the financial markets go belly up, which they eventually will, the digital damage will be exposed.
• How Did JPMorgan’s Federally-Insured Bank Avoid the Archegos Blowup?
• Wall Street firms 85% margin loans purchased stocks against 15% cash collateral by Archegos.
• Wall Street’s top in-house lawyers for mega banks meeting in secret for two decades with counterparts from foreign global banks
‘At the secret 2016 meeting, these lawyers attended: Goldman Sachs General Counsel, Gregory Palm; Morgan Stanley’s Eric Grossman; Romeo Cerutti of Credit Suisse Group AG; Stephen Cutler of JPMorgan Chase (a former Director of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission); Gary Lynch of Bank of America (also a former Director of Enforcement at the SEC); Citigroup’s Rohan Weerasinghe; Markus Diethelm of UBS Group AG; Richard Walker of Deutsche Bank (again, a former Director of Enforcement at the SEC); Robert Hoyt of Barclays; David Fein of Standard Chartered; Stuart Levey of HSBC Holdings; and Georges Dirani of BNP Paribas SA.’
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.
• 70% of those who voted for this Government are poor people
• Sri Lanka President knew revenues will be lost, VAT cut to remain for 5-years: Jayasundera
• There’s no plan to delay or defer payments to domestic banks, says CB
“public are advised not to get unduly concerned about such baseless & erroneous newspaper reports”
• Sri Lanka forex reserves drop to US$4.1bn in March 2021
• CB revamps export forex earnings conversion to 10%
‘The Central Bank took measures yesterday to change the amount of foreign exchange that exporters have to convert to rupees’
• As rupee plunges, Govt. takes urgent measures to protect foreign reserves and stabilise rupee
• Sri Lanka helicopter drops Rs60bn this week, CB bills stock tops Rs900bn
• Sri Lanka part settles billion dollar Federal Reserve repo
• $360 m inflows to Special Deposit Accounts
• Sri Lanka sells 10.4 billion rupees of bonds
• Sri Lanka fails to sell 58-pct of Treasuries auction
• Most Sri Lanka Covid-19 moratorium debt recovering, about 20-pct under stress: regulator
• AG agrees to reconsider two clauses in new Inland Revenue Bill
• CB issues fresh warning against usage of virtual currencies
‘no regulatory safeguards relating to the usage, investment or dealing in VCs in Sri Lanka.’
• ‘Tax system to be simplified to facilitate revenue-collection’
• Reform of the SLAS a necessary condition for improving performance of the state.
• Sri Lanka may get US$800mn equivalent from IMF SDR allocation: Minister Cabraal
• Sri Lanka 2021 GDP growth forecast lowered to 4.0-pct by IMF
• Port City Economic Commission Bill presented to House
• Lebanon to swap medical expertise for Iraqi oil
• As U.S. economy roars back, life in many poor countries gets worse
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
• Unemployment falls after hitting multi-year high in 3Q
‘As at end of 2020, the economically active population in Sri Lanka was approximately 8.5 million.’
• President calls for National Health System with equal benefits for all
• Resetting the retirement age in Sri Lanka
‘Currently there is no law governing the retirement age in Sri Lanka…retirement age has not changed since 1958,…Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Partner Prateek Roongta gave keynote speech, and panel comprising Commissioner General of Labour B.K. Prabath Chandrakeerthi, The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon Actg. Director General Vajira Ellepola, Women in Management Founder Dr. Sulochana Segera, SLNSS Secretary General Leslie Devendre, PeopleStrong Technologies CEO Sandeep Choudhary, A. Baurs & Co. MD Rolf Blaser, People’s Bank Chairman Sujeewa Rajapakse, Kelani Cables CEO Mahindra Saranapala, and Asian Council on Tourism Chairman Anura Lokuhetty. The session moderated by ICCSL Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody and Daily FT Editor Nisthar Cassim’
• Court refuses interim order to suspend plantation workers’ daily wage
• Court of Appeal to hear petition filed by RPCs over plantation wage dispute on May 5
• Junior Hospital staff launch trade union action
• “Hotel Workers Centre” launches protest
‘They are requesting a compensation payment of Rs.15,000, all hotel workers to be vaccinated and for an extended period to pay their loans’
• No delivery of parcels from tomorrow: Station Masters’ Union
‘authorities had failed to provide solutions for the dearth of Junior employees. The union claimed that employees had been assigned duties continuously, violating international rules and regulations.’
• Strike called-off; Train operations resume from Fort, Colombo
• Plantation workers get Rs.1000 Wage hike
• Rs. 1000/- relief package, yet another scam: Women for Rights movement.
• Local teachers discriminated against at international schools
‘Though there are over 4.5 million workers/employees in the private sector compared to around 1.4 million in the state sector, the laws pertaining to the private sector are in dire need of reform… most International Schools come under the Board of Investment (BoI) and not under the Education Ministry’
• Navy foils illegal migration attempt
‘20 individuals in the three-wheelers were on their way to the Silawathura sea area’
• Employers’ Federation of Ceylon spurs dialogue on IT-integrated remote work culture
• Pageant organizers expect Mrs World Organization to take stern action against Caroline Jurie
‘2 days before, organizers had included a clause that all the contestants must be well versed in English’
• Holidays, Taking Time Off and even Stealing Off-Time
• Land Rights of Veddas
‘This paper examines their ancestral land rights in the context of international law.’
• British Council supports aspiring women leaders in Sri Lanka
‘for 100 emerging leaders from South Asia…developed by Clore Social Leadership… initially piloted in Africa…25 local group of social and gender activists, and aspiring leaders…’
• G7+ Working Group on ‘Women, Peace & Security’ involves Embassy of Japan & UN Women
• Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management rebuilds homes burnt in Grandpass
• Women And the Working Class Movement in India
• MLKing Was a Radical Who Hated Not Only Racial Subordination But Class Exploitation
‘Black liberation has deep ties to unionism, Marxism, and socialism in the United States’
• To be in the wake is to be in the wake of death in the family, constantly present’
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.
• E register: land fraud is extremely pervasive
‘The law of Bim Saviya is unsuitable for our country as the owners’ right to access court if the lands are affected by forgery or fraud have been taken away by this law. In lieu Government has agreed to compensate owners from an Assurance Fund’
• Bio-Piracy in Sri Lanka
• “In Sri Lanka, only 57.7% of the population has access to pipe borne water”
• Experts Concerned Over Tremors In Kandy
• Singaporean company makes pork from Sri Lankan Jackfruit
• Pyramid Wilmar sets the record straight on sugar saga
‘It is part of the highly-respected Kuok Group based in Singapore which also owns the Shangri-La hotels and resorts chain globally’
• President decides to ban import of palm oil with immediate effect
• President clears air on palm oil import ban
‘Says no prohibition on standard varieties of palm oil imports used in food industry’
• Malaysia irked by Sri Lanka’s palm oil import ban
Sri Lanka imports about 200,000 tonnes of palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia annually.’
• Palm oil import ban would lead to close all bakeries: All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association
‘Around 30 to 40 metric tons of palm oil is being used in the bakery industry..60% of palm oil is manufactured globally among other consumer oil varieties. Only 5% of coconut oil stock is available in the market and that is not sufficient to run the bakery industry even momentarily’
• Sri Lanka bakers not doomed by palm oil ban Trade Minister says, license raj to the rescue
‘The Import and Export Control Act was brought in 1969 amid excessive money printing which reduced foreign reserves to 40 million US dollars.’
• Govt.’s stance on palm oil could deter investments into agriculture sector: Palm Oil Industry Association
• Customs, banks instructed not to facilitate palm oil imports
• Oil Palm Goes Rancid
‘Felling of rubber trees to make way for oil palm poses a direct risk to our rain forests.’
• Sri Lanka palm oil ban would push up prices, give profits to those with stocks: Harsha
• Special permits in the works for importing palm oil for bakery and confectionery products
• Food Commissioner’s Dept failed to maintain required food security
• Aflatoxin threat and food safety for citizens
‘unscrupulous traders, importers, and manufacturers of food items, who sell anything to unsuspecting consumers’
• Harsha, Mahindananda clash over substandard fertilizer
• Govt. to import dried coconut kernels for three months
• 2000 metric tonnes of paddy converted to rice released to market
• Solution to poaching in Lankan waters: Contradictory statements from Fisheries Minister
• Equity, justice, dignity and peace for Sri Lankan fishermen?
‘Must the dice always fall in favour of Tamil Nadu’s semi-industrial trawl net fisheries employing a few thousand labourers as against Northern Sri Lanka’s 29,000 small-scale fishermen’
• “All around it is the ocean; but why on earth, should we then import fish?” – Abeyratne
“How much is the daily wage of all those people who attended fishing and pulling the net today?” He replied: “Only if they catch fish, they get a share after selling it. For today, they didn’t get anything because there was no fish.”
• Myanmar Court sentences 12 SL fishers to jail
• Price of chicken to be increased to Rs.800: Chicken Marketers’ Assn. Iqbal
• COPE demands report on imported milch cow controversy
• Tea subsidy amounts increased to Rs. 500,000
‘an encouragement for the industry to reach the production of 360 million kilograms of tea by 2025. This would be especially beneficial since the funds for re-planting are insufficient, since its takes about four years for a replanted hectare to generate income.’
• Bad news for tea industry as auction prices slide
‘The depreciation of the rupee against the dollar, now at Rs. 202.04, was also partly instrumental for the price decline. The anticipated crop boost after Easter and the Sinhala and Tamil New Year holidays was attributed to the dip in auction prices as leaf quality is considered poor due to the pause in plucking due to the intervening holidays’
• New IPS publication: “Talking Tobacco: How Reduced Consumption Benefits the Economy”
• Ruining the ‘natural beauty’ of the Emerald Isle
• Symposium on Young Environmental Leaders funded by ChildFund Korea & IUCN.
• Seylan Bank partners Wildlife & Nature Protection Authority for ‘waste items competition’
• Battles to save Sinharaja chronologised
• Clearing elephant corridor to build hotel untrue: Forest Dept.
• Sinharaja reservoir project: UNP writes to UN Secy Gen
• Accelerated Roadmap to decarbonization: Deutsche Post DHL decides on Science Targets
‘By 2030, 80,000 e-vehicles shall be deployed for last-mile deliveries, resulting in 60% electrification of the fleet’
• Pakistani dates tickle Lankan taste buds
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.
• Second phase of ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ kicks off
• China investing in Sri Lanka’s silica and graphite resources and local value addition
‘Ambassador Dr. Palitha Kohona Meets with Senior Officials and NGOs in Shanghai…’
• Sri Lanka is one of the best kept secrets for graphite mining
‘The US Government released a list of 23 critical metals this year. Graphite was one of the 23 critical metals named, partly due to its use in the defence industry. The biggest supplier of graphite, Syrah Resources, currently sells all of its output to China. So, the US is looking for alternative sources. We are looking to make inroad here and sell to the US’
• Sri Lanka Ilmenite tender flaws expose corruption and fraud
• Aitken Spence buys mini-hydro firm jointly owned by Sunshine Holdings and Mouldex
‘Sunshine via a joint venture with SBI Holdings – Japan separately operates 1MW of electricity from rooftop solar…’
• Vidullanka commissions 2nd rooftop power plant with Rs. 27 m investment
• Electricity consumers entitled to interest on LECO deposits
• Sri Lanka spent Rs. 1,239 billion to import vehicles from 2015-19
‘Sri Lanka has spent Rs. 41,576 million for timber imports from 2015 to 2019’
• New Foreign Exchange Earnings from the Sea of Sri Lanka
• More months of skyrocketing freight rates to continue
‘Ceylon Association of Ships Agents (CASA) Chairman Iqram Cuttilan: The high rates continue to stem from the demand from China and the Far East that result in a space shortage overall since the vessels deployed are unable to provide space… this has led to a backlog of cargo that fights hard to obtain space on those ships as a result of which the rates continue to be at a high level… there is a demand for containers at all locations because most containers are stuck at Europe and sometimes the shipping lines have to send them back empty. The turnaround time from Europe that usually takes two weeks now takes about a month due to the lockdown and the restrictions imposed
• Chartered Institute of Personnel Management supports Transport Ministry Master HR Plan
• Lanka Government Network becomes worthless exercise
‘to connect 3,500 government organisations and buildings with a minimum bandwidth of 100Mbps, and this will be further expanded up-to 7,500 locations by connecting country’s post office network’
• US Microsoft introduces Cloud Skills Challenge with 10 universities in Sri Lanka
• LEARN collaborates with InSync
‘LEARN currently interconnects all UGC-funded state universities, many public universities under other ministries, the University Grants Commission, the Ministry of Higher Education, and a number of national research institutions, including the National Science Foundation (NSF)…. InSync partners with Cisco, Fortinet, Red Hat, Elasticsearch BV & Paraqum.’
• Institute of Supply and Materials Management elects new President
‘Sarath Gamage is also a Vice President of the Organization of Professional Associations of Sri Lanka (OPA, and serves as the General Manager of St. Anthony’s Consolidated (Pvt) Ltd. and St. Anthony’s Hardware. The ISMM is the pioneer in supply chain education in Sri Lanka and was incorporated by an Act of Parliament in 1981. ISMM is a member of the International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Management, the international body which encompasses all supply chain Institutes worldwide. ISMM is also affiliated to the International Trade Centre in Geneva and is their franchise holder…’
• Govt. in negotiations to start vehicle assembly plants: Cabraal
‘“There is potential for vehicle value addition such as producing seats and tyres.”’
• Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association wants President to protect local drug manufacture
‘In the 1950s, all drugs that SL required were imported by multinational companies. Then in the 2000s, the authorities focused on local manufacture of drugs and until 2014, around 25 basic drugs (including anti-diabetic and cardiovascular medications) were produced here. This was still less than 5% of the country’s requirements. Then the government of the day (that of President Mahinda Rajapaksa) set about increasing the local production of drugs to cover 50% of the requirement by 2025.’
• Govt. to ban batik, handloom imports to help local industry
‘there are about 11,000 batik producers in the country’
• Festive season turns bitter for sweetmeat manufacturers
• Arrack manufacturing developed during Dutch rule of the coastal areas.
‘Exports grew rapidly under early English rule. Unlike its Scottish counterpart, the Excise Ordinance of 1834 consolidated legal production in a few large companies and made the pot still distillers illegal. Exports ceased.’
• Import restrictions on ceramic imports to be relaxed soon
• DSI to collaborate with Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo
• China’s DMI Group donates 90 surgical mask making machines to Lanka
• Lanka to adopt China’s method of using cutting-edge technology to fight poverty
• Indian companies to boost Bangladesh power infrastructure
‘Indian companies Larsen and Toubro (L&T) & Transrail Lighting Ltd are among those awarded contracts for construction of power infrastructure related to the Rooppur nuclear power project in Bangladesh.’
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.
• Abolish micro-finance loans…
‘An organization called “Women’s Movement for freedom” staged a protest in Colombo urging the authorities to look into the issues faced by people due to loans obtained from micro-finance companies’
• Senior banker K.B. Rajapakse appointed President of Association of Professional Bankers
‘APB Sri Lanka office bearers consists of President – K.B. Rajapakse, Senior Vice President – Jeremy De Zilva, Vice Presidents – Halin Hettigoda and B.A.H.S. Preena, Treasurer – Indika Kudagamage, Secretary General – Anton Arumugam, and Assistant Secretary – Mahesha Amarasuriya. Nominated council members are K. Raveendran, M.R.N. Rohana Kumara, Theekshana Pandithasekara, Hasrath Munasinghe, Anjali Gunathilake, Christine Jesudian, Vijitha Kumarasiri, Asitha Pinnaduwa, and Isuru Jayaweera. Fund Management Committee members are Hennanayake Bandara, Aravinda Perera, Sunil de Silva and Shashi Kandambi Jassim’
• Chartered Accountants SME Task Force setting up equity fund for seed capital
• Associated Motor Finance Co, joins Arpico Finance Co.
‘Arpico Finance Company PLC operating ten branches and offering finance leasing, mortgage loans, personal loans, and acceptance of time and savings deposits. Associated Motor Finance Company PLC was established in 1962 and operated through a branchless model, primarily catering to the two-wheeler leasing market. The new AMF plans to diversify into three and four-wheel leasing categories’
• Rupee slip to have mixed impact on select listed companies: CTCLSA
• CSE to ease rules to attract SOE debentures on individual merit
• Some Dhammika Perera-controlled entities register gains
• UDA launches debenture issue worth Rs.25 bn
• SEC says segregation of CEO and Chairman roles only after stakeholder consensus
‘various stakeholders including, eminent personalities representing listed entities, representatives of Institute of Directors, President and Council members of CA, Former Chairman, Current Chairman and members of Corporate Governance Committee of CA, representatives of CFA Society, members of audit firms, representatives from Accounting and Auditing Standards Monitoring Board, Insurance Regulatory Commission, Central Bank, CSE and representatives of the SEC.’
• HNB presents MSME post-COVID strategy to Asian Bankers Association
‘HNB Managing Director/CEO and ABA Chairman Jonathan Alles, Erste Group Bank AG Managing Director and Head of Asia, Oliver Hoffman, World Wide Fund Asia Sustainable Fund Vice President, Dr Adrian Fenton, CTBC Bank Co. Ltd. Executive Vice President, Financial Technology Development Center, Data Intelligence R&D Division Head, Friedman Wang and Fintelekt Advisory Services Managing Director Shirish Pathak participated’
• HNB renews partnership with Prime Group to offer special housing loans
• Sanasa Development Bank goes for SPO
• The bellwether banker: SDB
• The Impact Banker: Cargills CEO
• National Savings Bank (NSB) Profit Before Tax (PBT) Rs. 15.6 billion, a 49.5% increase
• Seylan Bank hosts webinar for SMEs on taxation and benefits
• Seylan Bank’s Rs. 6 b debenture issue snapped up
• Sampath Bank Rs. 6 b debenture issue oversubscribed
• ComBank adjudged Sri Lanka’s ‘Best Bank for SMEs’ and ‘Best Bank for CSR’
‘for the second year in a row from Asiamoney Magazine’
• Acuity Knowledge Partners forecasting strong growth in 2021
‘becoming independent from Moody’s Corporation, following its management buyout backed by Equistone Partners Europe in November 2019…Acuity’s Colombo office has 350 employees and recently expanded its operations’
• Hedge funds structured to “avoid taxes and leverage limits”
‘President Joe Biden’s presidential campaign received $7 million from Euclidean Capital, the family office that manages Jim Simons’ wealth.’
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’
• CHEC Port City Contradicts Sunday Times
• SLAITO fumes over SLTDA wanting dollar payments for PCR tests
‘THASL and SLAITO not in favour of changing the current Tourism Act of 2005… Sri Lanka Tourism Chief says two associations do not reflect views of 3 m people dependent on tourism’
• First zonal office of Condominium Management Authority declared open
• Ex-Hayleys Rohan Peiris, ex-MAS Niranjan Wijesekera appointed to Dankotuwa Porcelain
• Sri Lanka will build South Asia’s first Disneyland
• Nestlé and Gannam Hatch announce winners of Open Innovation Idea Hackathon
• Albert A. Page, the late patriarch of Cargills and CT Holdings
• Meeting of the SL-Korea Business Council
• Council for Business with Britain (CBB) partner with British Council for over 15 years
‘With a membership of 157 medium to large corporations in Sri Lanka -hailing from sectors ranging from apparel to tourism, logistics to fisheries, etc.’
• ‘Agile guru’ Pete Deemer joins Calcey as advisor
• South Korea’s LG becomes first major smartphone brand to withdraw from market
• Interbrand-Daily FT International Women’s Day 2021 Forum
‘Partners NDB Bank, Supreme Flora, Singer Sri Lanka and John Keells Properties, Sri Lanka Insurance, Citrus Events, and You by the Wax Museum…Luxury door gifts provided by Spa Ceylon, Dilmah Tea, Selyn Handlooms and LOVI Ceylon’
• AkzoNobel harnesses AI technology to introduce Dulux Preview Service
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.
• Remembering and reflecting on the April 1971 insurrection
‘One impact of the insurrection was the de-legitimacy of the incumbent ‘centre-left UF’ Government that slowly created conditions for the more ‘conservative UNP’ to take over the country in 1977.’
• Origins and growth of Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
‘Wijeweera had concluded that the agricultural labourer -̶ the rural proletariat -̶ was the largest and most important component of Sri Lanka’s working class, not the urban or plantation worker.’
• JVP and the Cost of Lost Revolution
• The quinquagenary of a sanguinary revolt
‘it has come to terms with open economic policies and accepted the PC system.’
• The New Old Left turns 50
‘although the JVP had the color and the word right, moment and act squarely placed it as a tool of the capitalist camp, it can be argued.’
• “Appuhamy Expired. Funeral April 5-JVP”
• Malwatte meetings, where the seeds of a struggle were sown
‘the “failed” revolution was not the different timings of the attack on that fateful April 5, 1971, but the lack of support from the masses!’
• The Fifth of April 1971- JVP attack at Wellawaya
• In Pictures: JVP marks 50th anniversary of first insurrection
• The JVP needs new thinking – Editorial
• Blame me if people’s issues aren’t resolved during my tenure, says President
‘what is important is the force and the ideology which have brought me to this position. That is what we should safeguard. The motive of the false agendas of the rival forces is to defeat this ideology.’
• The General Election Of 1956 Part 5B, 5D, 9C
• President cracks down on officials for ignoring his instructions
• Govt. going against its mandate: Gammanpila
‘Some clauses of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution are against the mandate,’
• “Internal” struggle in govt against forces trying to destroy it from within: Gammanpila
• New book reveals sorcery in Premadasa-era parliament
“There are some things I cannot reveal and I will have to take them to my grave,”
• A Tough Road Ahead for Military Regimes – David
‘The backlash against militarisation in the liberal middle class, non-government political parties, the media, the Tamils and Muslims, and eventually even the subaltern social classes (in step with ruinous increases in living costs) has been stark.’
• Political parties: What’s in a name?
‘The Election Commission (EC) has decided not to register political parties whose names have a reference to ethnicity or religion’
• Seven Hundredth Dhamma Conference
• Indo-Lanka religious, cultural ties to be strengthened
• When Colonialism Turned on Whites, They Called it Fascism
• Fascism Born in the Colonies, Not Europe
• Two Black Martyrs’ Mothers Confront Black Lives Matter
‘“Those people got $90 million, and all they did was uplift” police victims’ names, but “took care of no communities and no families.” The mothers are demanding a meeting with Patrisse Cullors, Sean King and Tamika D. Mallory to address a whole range of proposals on the future of the Black liberation movement. Ms. Rice is advised by activist and academic Dr. Joy James and Fred Hampton Jr., son of the assassinated Chicago Black Panther Leader.’
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.
• English market research company Kantar acquired Nielsen’s local media monitoring business ‘To pose stiff competition to Survey Research Lanka and Lanka Monitoring Agency – the power houses in this branch of research.’
• Mohan Samaranayake new Government Information Dept. DG
• Ruling party propagandists engineer controversies, from time to time
‘To prevent their opponents from flogging an issue hard and long enough to turn public opinion against the government.’
• Digital store to be added to Sri Lanka’s National Archives Dept
‘Rupasinghe said if all documents currently archived at the department were to be stored in physical form in legal file storage boxes stacked on top of each other, the boxes would reach a height of over 22 kilometres.’
• Provincial Journalists register trade unions
• SLIM launches awards for SMEs
‘Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the country’s economy and 45 per cent of the workforce are in the SME sector and contributes 52 per cent to the Gross Domestic Production’
• Thilanka Abeywardena elected first female President of Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing
‘CMO Lead, South East Asia Emerging Markets at Microsoft Sri Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. and leads marketing and communications across nine Asian countries; Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka. She was the former Head of Marketing at Etisalat Sri Lanka and Corporate Brand Manager at EWIS…Nuwan Gamage, Head of Corporate Affairs and Communications – Arinma Holdings, was elected as the Vice President – Education, Chinthaka Perera, Sales Director – Hemas Pharmaceuticals and Hemas Surgical and Diagnostics was elected as the Vice President – Projects, Gayan Perera, Senior Brand Manager – Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC and Dr. Jayantha D.N, Senior Lecturer – University of Sabaragamuwa were appointed as the Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer respectively. Sathika Wickremasinghe, Category Manager – Fonterra Brands Lanka was elected as the Honorary Assistant Secretary for the year 2021/2022. The newly appointed Executive Committee comprises Nuwan Thilakawardhana, Marketing Manager, Union Bank; Dr. Dilhan S. Jayatilleke, Director – Northwood Consulting Private Limited and Head – Business Development & Marketing – Arogya Life Systems Lanka Private Limited; Charaka Perera, Executive Director – FUCHSIA Retail; Asanka Perera, Chief Executive Officer – Arugambay Beachwear; Manthika Ranasinghe, Director – WeddinGo Destinationz and Managing Partner – MarketingGo Consultancy; Channa Jayasinghe, Senior Brand Development Manager – Kelani Cables PLC; Asela C. Gunasekara, Brand Development Manager – Metecno Lanka, Niyas Mohamed Shiraz, Assistant General Manager Sales & Marketing – FENTONS Limited; Dr. Thesara Jayawardane, Head/Senior Lecturer Department of Industrial Management and Director Business Research Unit – University of Moratuwa and Kavindra Rajapaksha, Vice President/Head of Marketing – Softlogic Life Insurance.’
• Stamp and Photography Exhibition to mark 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s visit to Ceylon
• Revolutionising actor training thorough indigenous corporeal arts
• The Story of Cricket in Paradise – Then Ceylon Now Sri Lanka
• Please note our new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org,
and our blog: eesrilanka.wordpress.com