‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 02-08 May 2021
The hit songs headlining the media, the frowning of economists, the dismay of NGOs, etc., emanate from the songbooks of the US State and US Treasury Departments (who control the World Bank and the IMF), and the banks and their multinationals behind them.
This week it was the crying against the fertilizer ban. Last week, it was the palm-oil ban. The European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA), led by Unilever and Nestlé, etc., says it’s ‘disappointed over the impending Lankan ban on palm oil’. Again, in reporting on the EPOA, no mention is made that Unilever is the power behind them.
Unilever’s open defiance of a government ban on small sachets, also exhibits the endless ‘creativity’ of the merchant mafia in Sri Lanka. This English behemoth, that sells 300+ products through 100,000+ retailers here, demonstrates they remain the real power in Sri Lanka. They also control the media. The media is not the message – it’s a multinational mess!
• Banks flush with profits (see ee Finance) ardently refuse to invest in means of modern production – the only way we can advance the country.
England’s Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), where the fictionalizer Michael Ondaatje invested his Booker Prize money to sponsor the Gratiaen Award, claims a ‘not-for-profit financing commitment’! Ha! It says it’s ‘facilitating the financing of leading garment manufacturers MAS’, and the wasteful apparel industry, Sri Lanka’s ‘largest contributor to its export revenue’.
This exporter uses expensive imports for its inputs, which it steadfastly refuses to make here. What SCB does not say is how much it steals, not just through over-invoicing of imports and under-invoicing of exports, but through finance and transfer pricing. Transfer pricing, over- and under-invoicing are subjects avoided by the World Bank’s Transparency International, and includes tax evasion, capital flight, corruption, money laundering,
SCB manages ‘over 40% of the correspondent banking volume’ in Sri Lanka, for its ‘strong… multinational corporate base’. Correspondent accounts, established through bilateral agreements between 2 banks, allow foreign banks to pay and receive domestic currency. SCB says it’s a ‘significant player in the country’s infrastructure projects and export-related businesses’…
• Soon (2024) it will be 80 years since ‘free education’ was imposed by the English in Sri Lanka. Why was it installed in 1944? Is it really ‘free’? What type of ‘education’ is it? Is it the education that informed England’s industrial revolution, which empowered them to rob the world? (see ee Focus)
• Their Master’s Voices – Afghanistan, Myanmar & Sri Lanka: So much worry about ‘democracy and human rights’ and encroaching ‘militarism’ and ‘despotism’. Yet not a word about Afghanistan’s 20 years of NATO horror, about the financiers of these NGOs, as well as the profiteers off wars in Asia: The US, England, Germany, etc., are moving focus from West and Central Asia to secure South and Southeast Asia to further curtail China’s independent rise.
The US Embassy and their slave voices here in the English media, proclaimed the US army was leaving Afghanistan, but now the US then broke their earlier promise to leave by May 1st, adding even more troops, and now claiming provocations, continue to bomb that country.
The whites have also escalated provocations on their new war front in Myanmar, on the India-Myanmar border; India and Myanmar share an unfenced border of 1,643km passing through Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram. Related states in Myanmar include Kachin, Sagaing, Chin. NATO forces, led by the US and England, are claiming a ‘multicultural’ front of Christians, Muslims and Buddhists against the Myanmar government. The same media that proclaimed ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq, to enable their destruction of that country, is now escalating covert wars on Iran, Russia, and China.
• ee got some flak for claiming that Benjamin Franklin was the formulator of Modern Political Economy.
Intellectual critics say ee distorted Marx’s comment in A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy, with ee claiming that Franklin had ‘formulated the fundamental law of modern political economy’. They say ee has run wild with a stray throw-away quote, slinging it out of context?
They may be right, for Marx’s words are most often distorted. Yet, for ee, Marx showed how the genocidal settler states, like the US, Canada, Australia, as do Sri Lanka and other non-settler colonial states, provide great illuminations into the workings of capitalism, especially inside England and Europe itself. A reality that our intellectuals, so-called Left and so-called Right, schooled in an almost-overwhelming whiteness, insist on downplaying. Even more, Franklin was crucial in developing the insight that it is workers who produce value! This is what ee means by Modern Political Economy.
Why was the white man unable to fully dispossess the Sinhala cultivator, and instead devised ways to impoverish them? Why does it continue to this day?
To ensure that people accepted wage labor, the classical political economists actively advocated horrific measures to deprive people of their traditional means of support. This is most blatant in the white settler countries, a reality that’s been hidden from us, not just by the media, Hollywood, etc., but also by those who claim to be critical of capitalism.
The dispossession of most small-scale producers and the myth of laissez-faire are closely connected. Marx, or those who interpreted him, called this expropriation of the masses ‘’primitive accumulation’. Franklin was THE most famous source for English misinformation about colonial affairs and opinions on ‘primitive life’ in the Americas in the 18th century. He also ‘has an important place in the story of primitive accumulation as it developed within the context of classical political economy’, as recalled by Mike Perelman in The Invention of Capitalism.
Adam Smith, whose The Wealth of Nations very much quoted by our economists and thinktanks for his so-called hidden-hand free-trade nonsense, freely stole, without acknowledgement, from Franklin and James Steuart. His book was actually meant to be a refutation of the ideas of Steuart, who had stated clearly the crucial role of the state. Steuart after all was Scottish, and saw what the English army and their Scottish allies had done to the people there (many fleeing to Ireland and then the Americas, where, becoming a major part of the ‘southern whites’, committed even worse atrocities against the original people).
Adam Smith went out of his way to hide the role of a powerful state. He also scarcely mentions Steuart who he was refuting. The ironic ting: Smith was Professor of Political Economy & Moral Philosophy at the University of Glasgow!
• This ee carries a guest note from a Nahaway/Cree commentator from Saskatchewan, Nuna Aloomse, where one of the greatest genocides in history took place – through mass starvation. As ee pointed out earlier, Saskatchewan, rather intriguingly, is where we get the tasteless parippu (lentils) we now gobble. As Aloomse comments, this genocide is helpfully concealed by those (including ‘Her Majesty’s Left’) who would rather point to crimes of communists like Joseph Stalin or Mao Zedong. This business of ‘projection’ of one’s own white crimes on others is an old diversion. It continues in the attack on China. Significantly, May 9 is the anniversary of the defeat of the Nazi war machine by the Red Army of the USSR (ee Random Notes, & Focus)
A1. Reader Comments –
• Comments in the Daily Mirror • Ranawaka & Technotopia • Tobacco/Drugs & the Home Market?
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Agriculture & the Market Mantra • LSSP Demands Food for the Hungry • Complaining to Ranatunga about Ranatunga: the Farce of the SLPI • Torture as a Financial Institution of English India • Euro Central Bank wants Monthly Not Weekly Stock Reporting • High-Frequency Trading Monopoly • Automation Does Not Have to Mean Unemployment
A3. Random Notes –
• Ethical Unilever Defies Government • Media goes Full Blown Anti-China • Anthropology as White Science • Stalin & Defeat of the Nazis
B. ee Focus
B1. Sri Lanka, Karl Marx, Benjamin Franklin & Political Economy
B2. Free Education Anyone?
B3. A Note to ee on Genocide & Parippu – Nuna Aloomse
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: Benjamin Franklin & free media – Daily Mirror and Times media also have a virtual monopoly on news served to SL English speakers (embellished with ‘comments’ on stories, to further strengthen the thought-manipulation) and MP Ruwan Wijewardene, son of the owner?’ (see ee Media, WNL)
• Some definitely illuminating, interesting and informative narrative points in ee articles. However, my learned brethren, the inbuilt verbosity of the presentation leaves most of us confused, because we indeed lack the indepth grasp of the discourse. Tone down highly voluptuous language so that even us the wretched earthly intellectual mortals can enjoy, gain and most importantly participate in advancing working class struggles. I hope my 5 pennies of input shall not be shot down, but as the Africans say ‘Lentswe laka le Leno le tla hahelwa lesaka’. Cheers!’
• ‘It’s not just Champika Ranawaka and other pretenders to the throne who have bought into the technotopias of ‘platform capitalism’, ‘big data’, ‘smart cities’. Clichéd references to these discourses – the latest versions of the longstanding illusion that humanity’s problems could be solved by technology without changing society – changing forces of production without changing relations of production, as GVS de Silva put it in Marxist terms – were all over Ranawaka’s visionary talks on the Megapolis. I should add, Ranawaka is more knowledgeable and smarter than Namal or Basil on these issues and indeed any issue. None, however, seems to register that these technotopias under capitalism are little more than strategies of gentrification, for the so-called ‘creative class’ to conquer prime real estate. There’s a large literature for and against this hipster wing of latte-sipping Colombots as well. See the critiques of University of Toronto’s once-wonder-boy Richard Florida, who is the gurudev of the ‘creative class’ and those like Jordan Peterson. ‘Create’ originally meant to procreate (there’s a ruder word for this!)
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, wanted to buy and ‘develop’ a part of Toronto as a model smart city and almost got away with it – but protests put a stop to that. Amazon is also into similar projects. In Toronto, ‘Sidewalk’ would have created an exclusive, upscale and surveilled enclave. Perhaps like Port City – if on stolen rather than reclaimed land!
Big Data first emerged in the USSR. Stafford Beer developed it considerably, for Allende’s Cybersyn project. Such advanced tools are now usurped to increase gig economic efficiency. The contribution of the socialist countries is downplayed in contemporary discussion of Big Data – seen as the new hot commodity. Alphabet’s investment in Sidewalk was largely about harvesting data from all types of gadgets – sensors, cameras and other devices installed all over, from the bedroom to the bus to markets to parks – to study all aspects of human behavior, 24/7, and use the data to make everything more ‘efficient’ – from the viewpoint of capital, it goes without saying. The basic idea is, productivity increases, and greater profits (relative surplus value) are to be made by making production, circulation and distribution (3 Vols of Capital!) processes more efficient. So big data has becomes the holy grail, with the predictable kinds of data fetishism as well. There’s little discussion today about how Big Data can be used for socialist planning’. (ee Politics, Lenin & Bogdanov)
• ‘ee discusses the importance of a rural home market and I think there’s an aspect which has been neglected by most economists etc when considering ‘development’ and ‘poverty alleviation’: namely, the percentage of income used on alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATD). No matter how well the rural home market is developed, a major proportion of individual and community income goes down the drain because of such use. It’s one of the main reasons individuals/families are unable to save and are in debt for generations. It’s why banks, loan sharks and middlemen thrive…As for the magnitude of ATD-related illness and deaths, ADIC, Tobacco Unmasked etc would be able to provide the info… the huge amount of money siphoned out of the country by CTC should be investigated. Even though the tobacco tax has been increased substantially and tobacco consumption is said to be decreasing, still CTC profits keep increasing. How? And how to measure the social costs? …A recommendation for further reading is Dr Diyanath Samarasinghe’s Alcohol and Poverty (see, tobaccounmasked.com)’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘An FAO representative, way back when, once infamously said, ‘we will not rest until the last buffalo in Sri Lanka is sent to the Dehiwala Zoo.’ He was applauded by an audience that had more or less bought the modernization mantra. Almost 30 years ago, then US Ambassador Teresita Schaffer said, ‘your food security lies in the wheat fields of North America.’ Applauded again; this time by those who had memorised the market mantra.’ (see ee Agriculture, Many Courses)
• ‘The LSSP demands that the Government provides food for the hungry as its first priority. The indirect tax burden on the poor should also be reduced by getting the super-rich to share the burden by increasing the upper limit of income tax from the paltry 14% to at least 50%, preferably 70% (as NM did in 1972). To control prices, revive the Multipurpose Cooperatives, specially of farmers, and sell directly to better functioning consumer cooperatives, as in 1972, getting rid of the middleman’s profit. The state must engage in the bulk of trade by reviving the Food Department, the CWE and Sathosa. If the private sector continues to profiteer, then apply the “solidarity economic policy”, where in all failed enterprises, private (plantations included) or Government, the ownership is transferred to the employees on the solidarity cooperative principle. Then we can have a really happy May Day, replacing capitalist ownership by employee/worker ownership…’ (ee Workers)
• ‘The SL Press Institute and its farcical ‘Press Complaints Commission‘, formed under the initiative of WNL has had only 2 chairmen since inception in 2003. Ranjit Wijewardene was the inaugural chairman of both. The farce is such that WNL’s Sunday Times Editor – Sinha Ratnatunga, is also PCCSL Deputy Chairman. In simple words, if a person has a problem with the Sunday Times that person has to complain to Ratnatunga about Ratnatunga!’
(ee Media, WNL)
• ‘The universal existence of torture as a financial institution of English India is thus officially admitted, but the admission is made in such a manner as to shield the English Government itself.’ – Karl Marx (ee Workers, MayDays)
• ‘ECB chief Christine Lagarde has suggested markets focus on the monthly numbers rather than weekly purchase figures, which can be volatile.’ (ee Finance, Sudden Drop)
• ‘High frequency trading…you take just a little bit of money from every trade in the hope that no one will complain. But taking a little bit of money from zillions of trades adds up to billions of dollars in profits for these high-frequency traders, and billions of dollars in losses for our retirement funds and our mutual funds and everybody else in the marketplace. It also means a tilt in the playing field for those who don’t have the information or have the access to the speed or big enough to play in this game.’ (ee Finance, Dark Pools)
• ‘Bogdanov foresaw the coming time of automation, when workers would give orders to machines and no longer be mere bodies used by a ruling elite. Machine automation, then, presented a grand opportunity for workers to transcend their specialized jobs and seize control of the machines they alone knew how to operate…democratic planning has been making a comeback…with books like Aaron Bastani’s Fully Automated Luxury Communism and Leigh Phillips & Michael Rozworksi’s People’s Republic of Walmart: How the world’s biggest corporations are laying the foundations for socialism…. massive, highly automated tech monopolies can be the hothouse where workers’ movements’ blossom.’ (ee Politics, Lenin vs the God-Builders)
• ‘Winston Churchill wrote to Joseph Stalin, “it is the Russian army that tore the guts out of the German military machine”. Almost 27 million Soviet citizens perished on the fronts, in German prisons, starved to death and bombed, died in ghettos and furnaces of the Nazi death camps. The USSR lost one in 7 of its citizens. The damage done to the Soviet Union was greater than the combined damage inflicted to all other European countries.’ – Russian Ambassador to SL (ee Sovereignty, Soviet Union)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• The multibillion dollar sachet industry, sold by multinationals like Unilever, creates lots of plastic waste, blocking and clogging waterways, seas, and cluttering the landscape and beaches, worse, toxifying the soil.
The Sri Lankan government announced that sachets less than or equal to a net volume of 20ml/net weight of 20g would be banned with effect on 31 March 2021. Unilever SL then introduced a 24ml sachet packet consisting of 4 separate 06ml mini-sachet packets! – to only be sold as a 24ml unit!
This, the ‘ethical’ Unilever, proclaiming ‘sustainability’, ‘social responsibility’ etc. Not one word has been raised in protest by the usually vociferous environmental organizations. Why? They know on which side their imported bread is buttered – or astra-margarined!
Media noting this defiance at first failed to even name Unilever. Such is MNC power! The Wijeya Group Media monopoly won’t even report this defiance. They also steadfastly refuse to name companies when it comes to charges about such products. Others who claim to be pro-government are afraid to, claiming they’d lose advertising revenue.
• Last week, one of the premier journalists and petty media owners, who appear to be an ‘unofficial’ spokesperson for the US embassy, declared their newspaper was sabotaged by ‘Chinese bots’. This was on the day China’s defense minister arrived in Colombo. No word was heard ever after. So-called Russian and Chinese bots are a ‘cover’ for his patrons themselves.
The media led by the Wijeya Group has gone full-blown anti-Chinese with the most virulent sledging yet. Their London correspondent from London, claiming to be the brother of a former LSSP leader, says we may get a Chief Justice named ‘Foo Yoong Hai’ one day. Such is the repulsive overflowing, as one journalist after another compete for the largesse of the great white father in Washington.
• Anthropology, aka the ‘racial science’, continues to fascinate. Susantha Goonetilake’s Anthropologizing Sri Lanka provides a good antidote to this white science as it has been practised on us. There was a time, to find a book about the history of the original peoples genocided in white settler countries, one had to turn to the Anthropology section. The same went for Africans etc. While looking for a book on African Americans inevitably meant looking up the ‘Sociology’ section. It’s one of the greatest scandals in the world that US and Canadian museums etc have 100s of boxes of bones and artifacts hidden away carelessly in boxes and backrooms. This looting and concealment enabled their lies to us about how the real Americans and Africans had no history; or distorted history by ‘discovering’ selected items.
Last week, German news agency DW headlined ‘Nigeria welcomes Germany’s decision to return looted Benin Bronzes.’ But, then it turns out it is only ‘a plan’ to release them in 2022, but first they have to inventory all they got from what the English plundered, etc. Then we find it may be part of move to hide what they’re really doing in Nigeria, where 2 Germans involved in the oil business were kidnapped last week.
• May 9 recalls the great victory by the Red Army under Stalin over Germany’s Nazi machine. A victory wrought by great heroism and tremendous sacrifice. The same media that made Comrade Stalin ‘Man of the Year’ on the cover of Time magazine, 3 times, immediately after that war ended, with a scoundrelish about-turn of face, rather than rewarding the USSR for their accomplishment, and helping rebuild, turned on their leader and the people, to make them poster caricatures for villainy. Such is the perfidy of the white man, that a Sri Lankan child may not know the real names of mass murder in this world, that should rank with a Brownrigg, Torrington, Victoria or Elizabeth.
B. Special Focus_
B1. Sri Lanka, Karl Marx, Benjamin Franklin & Political Economy
Karl Marx pointed to what was happening in the Americas and the Pacific to shed light on his investigation of capitalism. Take the oft repeated media wish to colonize Mars, as enunciated by Elon Musk, whose now deleted tweet ‘We will coup whoever we want!’ advocates war to rob our mineral resources on earth for his electric cars. The great importance of our graphene, which is now stolen from us, for the latest electric cars, is only matched by the silence about what is happening to al our valuable mineral resources.
If and when Musk flies to Mars in 2026, as he promised, Musk will need a working class on Mars, a class that will eventually throw him off that planet, or at least, make him work for a living, as they do?
Marx gives the example of a Mr Peel, who took all means of subsistence, including workers to Australia. But the workers just took off once there, and Peel was left without anyone to even make his bed. According to Marx, there’s no ‘capitalist’ without the waged worker – that ‘other man who is compelled to sell himself of his own free will’. Robots alone will just not do.
The other great example is the man who Marx chose to end Capital Vol 1 with: child-kidnapper Ed G Wakefield, another theorist of colonialism (like his contemporary, later Ceylon governor Bobby Wilmot-Horton). Wakefield, who learned much about the working class from his prison experience, noted the best way to create a working class in Anglo-North America was to artificially increase the price of otherwise abundant and stolen land – so high as to ensure immigrants had to work for decades before they bought any land.
Indeed, Sri Lankan immigrants to Canada, etc., still have to work for at least 30 years before they can own their own home. Unless they can trick another Lankan to buy their home at an enormously inflated price. They also have to ensure wars in our part of the world to create refugees who will have to buy such homes at any price. (The commonplace mortgage comes from mort – death, and gage – measure – the measure of your life on earth)
Marx also pointed out, if not for this rental restraint in lands with abundant lands – the only capitalist alternative was to enslave people, which is what the USA, etc., legislated into law. Wakefield, Marx noted, ‘discovered, not something new about the colonies but in the colonies, the truth about capitalist relations in the mother country’….
Two members of Captain James Cook’s crew had related to Benjamin Franklin in 1771, that the inhabitants of New Zealand refused to accept Cook’s ‘gifts’, presumably because they would be unable to create them on their own. Franklin, who expressed a wish for an increase in the numbers of the ‘Body of White People on the Face of the Earth’, realized ‘a certain degree of poverty was required to establish wage labor’.
Franklin presented 4 aspects of the labor theory of value, which Marx thought worthy of using in presenting his own development of the concept of value: 1, the nature of trade in terms of labor value; 2, the nature of labor as a source of value; 3, the effect of increases in the supply of gold and silver on value; and 4, and most important, the abstraction of labor as the measure of all value.
ee suggests this is quite formulaic to ‘modern’ political economy. Even as Marx later stated, ‘Franklin’s analysis of exchange value did not exert any direct influence on the general trend of science, because he discussed only special questions of political economy whenever there was a definite practical occasion for it.’
Newspaper owner Franklin was practical indeed: a suspected double-agent, opportunist, who would say ‘whatever would accrue to his own advantage’. The State of Pennsylvania rewarded him with a contract for printing paper money. Indeed, the practical Franklin was quite unlike the other competing candidates for formulating political economy: Adam Smith, TR Malthus, D Ricardo, JR McCulloch, etc. Even unlike William Petty, who Marx called ‘the father of English political economy’. Note the ‘English’ part, and that he was ‘the father’ not the mother. (Tho Petty is better known for saying: ‘Labor is the Father and active principle of Wealth, as lands are the Mother.’)
Franklin’s ‘practical analysis greatly influenced the theory of his day’, as Mike Perelman notes in Invention of Capitalism: ‘Franklin’s role is especially key to Smith’s theory of colonial development’. He says Smith falsified the political economy of the wage relationship, a relationship that appears clearly in the writings of Franklin and Steuart.
Perelman adds, Franklin ‘has an important place in the story of primitive accumulation as it developed within the context of classical political economy’. Franklin’s pamphlet Observations was a ‘masterful brief on behalf of colonial industry, calculated to win favor from both the English and the colonists’. Political economist John R McCulloch saw this argumentation as an ‘excellent specimen of the penetrating sagacity and compressed and clear style’ of Franklin. Thomas Robert Malthus hailed it as a forerunner of his own work. Franklin penned this work in response to the British Act of 1750, which prohibited the erection of additional slitting and rolling mills, plating forges and steel furnaces in the colonies.
Marx wrote Capital to criticize Political Economy, especially what later became ‘vulgar political economy’. Classical economists like Adam Smith did not admit the historical specificity of capitalism – the mode of production, which became dominant in their time. Yet they criticized the feudal order for their wastefulness and for inhibiting industrialization. When the proletariat became strong, capitalism produced ‘vulgar’ economists, as we have today in our media, who totally ignore the need for industrial production, and instead promote ‘market forces’.
B2. Free Education Anyone?
There’s a wry joke that it would have been better to give free fertilizer to the goviya rather than free education to the haraka. ee does not like to insult buffalos, who we find to be beautiful and interesting animals. Why should it work hard when its calves’ milk are stolen, even as water resources are being increasingly privatized?
In 1944, the English grew afraid of being driven out of Sri Lanka. Japan’s armies loomed on the horizon, taking over Myanmar and Singapore. In India, the masses were demanding the English ‘quit’. Since Sri Lanka is so central to maritime Asia and the Indian Ocean, the English quickly made some concessions to buy the consent of the masses here. Consent for what? To preserve their oceanic power and the import-export plantation system. They had impoverished the cultivator into bare subsistence, to make them submit. Cultivators had formed the main resistance to colonial rule. But now, with food imports almost cut off, they provided the cultivator with fixed prices. They guaranteed wages to some import-export workers. ‘Free education’ was a part of this ‘devil’s contract’.
As NM Perera noted, the ‘free’ education imposed during English rule was the class-based education system, not the system legislated in the USSR, Sweden or Denmark. Yet, the duty of the education system in a capitalist society is to reproduce and extend the class system.
One of the dominant features of a non-settler colony is the prevention of industrialization. Industrialization requires the rapid upgrading of technical skills. No such education is allowed here. The white man in non-settler colonies came here to make a quick buck. He could not be seen to be doing physical work, like the ‘natives’ he ruled and the ‘coolies’ he exploited. He sat at a desk, made easy money and quoted romantic poetry. This was the model that was to be imitated by our rulers and by the ruled, who wished to become such rulers. They dreamed of wearing imported suits in a hot tropical country under an imported fan. They dreamed of going to Oxford and Cambridge. Yet England’s industrial education had taken place outside of such universities.
In 1876, State Councillor ‘Sir’ Muthu Coomaraswamy, father of Ananda, called for education in Science, with Arts defined not as ‘fine’ arts but, ‘technology’ or ‘industrial arts’. He observed: ‘We wrote perfect grammars, profound dictionaries… poetry and speculated in metaphysics of a transcendental character. We…remained long under the spell of fascinating but comparatively fruitless learning.’
Brain Drain: In Sri Lanka, those trained at great cost here in science, including chemists, physicists, engineers, doctors, lawyers and teachers have been stolen by the white countries, where education is far from ‘free’!
As for this ‘free’ business: our main revenues come from procuring women for garment workshops in the Western Province, as maids to West Asia, or hand-plucking tea. If the country was made into one giant tea plantation, we would not need schools! If the country was made into a giant hotel, we wouldn’t need universities. The ‘garments’ expensively import pins, needles, threads, textiles. Our biggest import bills are fuel, food, fertilizer, machinery etc. Children needs pens, pencils and paper, clothes, shoes – all could be made here in our villages. Our education system should empower this. Rural workers should be provided this real education for ‘free’. The rich, however, must pay for it!
B3. A Note to ee on Genocide & Parippu – Nuna Aloomse
Aloomse is a Nahaway investigator on Canadian genocide. She presents some special insights to ee.
Amidst the gossip about the divorce of Bill & Melinda Gates, and the swirling theories that he’s behind the Covid catastrophe to promote insertion of Microsoft’s microchips in humans, it’s noted that Gates is not only the largest owner of farmland in the USA, but also the largest shareholder of Canadian National Railways (CNR), North America’s longest railway line.
While such ‘rich man’ stories divert from the ‘conglomerative’ corporate nature of capitalist power in this world, the story of the CNR is not only a story about how 19thC Chinese workers built the most dangerous section of that railway through the Rocky Mountains, with every mile of it accounting for one Chinese worker dead.
It is also a story of mass murder, of the mass starvation of the original Red peoples, also accomplished by the mass destruction of the buffalo, and the mass destruction of the vast Boreal forest. It’s from the pulp of these trees that much of the newspapers of the ‘free world’ were first printed. None of these papers dare mention the mass murder that stained those pages even before printing. Which is why most don’t know, Canada’s first Prime Minister John A MacDonald, appointed by England’s Queen Victoria, who decorates their Canadian dollar, was the man in charge of this mass murder. Nor do Sri Lankans know the lentils and wheat they eat come all the way, long carbon footprints notwithstanding, grown on that bloodstained land, in northern Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba etc. What they may know is that Canada’s white leaders (and their brown sidekicks) are famous preachers of lessons on genocide and human rights. They may not be told, via that bloody pulp, or bloody minerals making up their electronic devices, that built their cities like Toronto, John A McDonald along with Victoria should rank among the bloodiest mass murderers in history, let alone the 19th century, along with her descendant Elizabeth in the 20th century. Instead, their media and statesmen now projecting and diverting their own long-denied crimes on other leaders and decolonizing countries only trying to really ‘develop’ and seek true ‘independence’.
C. News Index______________________________________________
• ee News Index provides headlines and links to gain a sense of the weekly focus of published English ‘business news’ mainly to expose the backwardness of a multinationally controlled ‘local media’:
(ee is pro-politics, pro-politician, pro-nation-state, anti-corporatist, anti-expert, anti-NGO)
ee Sovereignty news emphasizes sovereignty as economic sovereignty – a strong nation is built on modern industrialization fueled by a producer culture.
• England’s MI6 and US CIA & India in London to plan ‘guerilla’ war in Myanmar
‘China needs oil but its sea main supply route through the Strait of Malacca is vulnerable.
Pipelines through Pakistan and Myanmar provide for alternative routes. The pipe, road and rail lines through Myanmar are not only in China’s best interest but also a great chance for Myanmar to further develop. They are in its national interest….the U.S. immediately re-activated the 77 ‘civil society’ organizations in Myanmar which it is financing through the CIA offshoot National Endowment for Democracy. Protest were launched together with attacks on Chinese companies and property.’
• May Days and English Mayhem
‘Those who complain about encroaching despotism, love militarized police states like Singapore and Israel, etc. They never explain that these countries are white fortresses like the other settler states, USA, Canada, Australia, etc.’
• Former Maldives President hurt in blast outside home
• US Ambassador meets PM Rajapaksa
• Chinese Defence Minister’s visit to SL, B’ desh entails geopolitical significance
• Jaishankar visit an attempt to counter growing Chinese influence
• Indian High Commission expresses its deep gratitude to Sri Lankans praying for India
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 18D Pt 1 & 2a
“In the coming weeks, there will be especially important measures adopted by some core group members to take forward the UNHRC resolution,”
• Covid-19 hits two members of Indian delegation now in London for G7 meeting
‘India is not a member of the G7, but was invited to the meeting as a guest, along with Australia, South Korea, South Africa, and the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)… Jaishankar held meetings in London with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor and European Union Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell and a trilateral meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne & French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.’
• India has been our best friend for a long time
‘They can also be a major disruptor when provoked. We must always remember that they were the founder sponsors of the LTTE.’
• Stirring Up Communal Strife In New Zealand
• Sri Lanka in Geneva: Diplomatic fall from grace – Marwaan Macan-Markar
• SJB blames delay in covid vaccine supplies on govt. antagonising India
• Why Colombo’s China-centricity can’t succeed – Jayatilleka
• Organic relations especially with neighbourhood also important: USAID NPC
• Preaching to Sri Lanka about Internal Unity
• Organisation of Islamic Cooperation expresses concern over SL’s discriminatory laws
• Muslim World League should separate the wheat from the chaff
‘Why all this cheeseparing for the insultingly derisory sum of 5 mn US Dollars by a rich Saudi government funded NGO?’
• US-India relations come under strain
• Breakthrough in Afghan peace process!
‘The “extended Troika” on the Afghan problem comprising the United States, Russia, and China — and Pakistan — have announced in Doha on Friday a road map in consultation with the Ashraf Ghani government and Taliban’
• Afghanistan – Taliban Launch Spring Offensive, Ghani Begs For Ceasefire
• United States Withdraws from Afghanistan? Not Really
• Why Are We Seeing So Much Anti-Asian Hate?
• Bezos’ Blog And NATO Lobby Continue To Stir Anti-Chinese Sentiment
‘A group of scientists, in an open letter released Friday…The main organizer of the letter is one Jamie Metzl, is a fellow at the NATO lobby Atlantic Council’
• Washington Post Anti-China blitz
• China suspends economic dialogue with Australia as relations curdle
• African Servant of Empire Dies in Chad Fighting
‘The death of Chad president Idris Deby in fighting with rebels last week is a loss for the US and France, the top imperial powers in Africa…US military “trainers” serve with the Chadian military and France maintains a permanent base in the country.’
• Deep Delusions, Bitter Truth… West Imposes Minority Rule in Rwanda
‘The truth about the war against Rwanda by the western powers, Uganda and the Rwanda Patrotic Front, so-called, that they installed in power as a dictatorship over the people of Rwanda which they still suffer under today.’
• Role of the Soviet Union in a great victory
• German Greens Crusade for US/NATO Wars
• Biden Is No FDR, Just a Business-As-Usual Democrat
‘Biden “throws more money at a failed healthcare system,” and on foreign policy he “continues the economic wars & expands military operations in West Asia, surrounding China, antagonizing Russia,”
• Special US Punishment Reserved for Haitian Immigrants
‘n his first 60 days in office, Biden “had already deported more people to Haiti than Donald Trump deported in all of 2020’
• US Police kill more than 1,000 people every year, an average of 3 every day.
‘On the day the George Floyd verdict, a 16-year old named Ma’Khia Bryant was also killed’
• Lebron James in the Eye of White Supremacy’s Storm
• CIA Embraces Left-Wing Ideology, Leftists Deny That This Is Happening
‘The CIA video is actually just one instalment in a running series called “Humans of the CIA,” a title possibly intended to be reminiscent of the Humans of New York social media craze, wherein ordinary citizens are “humanized” with schmaltzy and touchingly relatable stories. Just as the CIA has at least attempted to do with this series.’
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.
• Biden’s decision on TRIPS waiver is political theatre. India cannot pin hopes on it.
‘Biden is well aware of the awesome clout of the pharmaceutical companies in American politics. From that lobby’s perspective, the patent waiver “amounts to the expropriation of the property of the pharmaceutical companies…counting on the “text-based negotiations” at the WTO dragging on for months, if not years, without reaching anywhere.’
• Number of Indian poachers increasing, say local fishers
• Navy stop 11 Indian fishing vessels entering Lankan waters
• Clandestine dealings of fishers will precipitate spread of deadly Indian variant here – Expert
• Illegal Indian Migration Attempts
• Navy nabs 80 illegal Indian immigrants
• Prez, three lawmakers handle security, law and order
‘Dilum Amunugama received appointment as State Minister for Community Police Services, in addition to being State Minister of Vehicle Regulation, Bus Transport Services and Train Compartments and Motor Car Industry. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa holds the defence portfolio, three lawmakers, retired Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, Chamal Rajapaksa and Dilum Amunugama handle security forces and police. Weerasekera is the Public Security Minister, Chamal Rajapaksa , State Minister of National Security.’
• SLAF to procure four MI-17 Choppers and repay through UN peacekeeping mission revenue
• Wall Street Journal says pressure mounting on vaccine manufacturers to forego Intellectual Property Rights
• Centre for Society and Religion refuses to give SJB Easter attack report to CID
• No strong regulations to oversee private medical institutions.
• William Dalrymple proves Sri Lanka is indeed a transit point for those who want to flee India
• Not a single police officer awarded a full Fulbright Scholarship
• US military in Trinidad World War 2
• US Marines practising manoeuvres off the coast of Ireland.
C3. Economists (Study the Economists before you study the Economics)
ee Economists shows how paid capitalist/academic ‘professionals’ confuse (misdefinitions, etc) and divert (with false indices, etc) from the steps needed to achieve an industrial country.
• External sector battled strong headwinds in 2020: Central Bank
‘unemployment rate rose above 5% for the first time since 2009, with a decline in the labour force participation rate… GDP per capita declined to US dollars 3,682 in 2020 from US dollars 3,852’
• World Bank predicts economy to bounce back in Sri Lanka
• FDI has become a deus ex machina to avoid probing questions
‘And while it is important to re-balance the economy in favour of the poor and marginalised, fiscal consolidation too often becomes a tool of austerity’
• Exponential growth in unemployment, poverty and hunger – Sanderatne
• Food security: Biotechnology will rescue mankind from imminent hunger – WA Wijewardena
‘An eyeopener for Sri Lanka’s policymakers who plan to feed the nation sans chemical fertilisers and pesticides’
• Lazy crops and beyond – Abeyratne
‘If you have an acre of coconut land, even with lowest productivity levels you can pluck 15-20 coconuts from a tree, and your monthly income would be about Rs. 50,000 at the current market prices…in the country’s coconut triangle… According to one type, the coconut lands are relatively bigger at 10 – 20 acres, owned by people who work and live in Colombo. The other type is the smaller plots of coconut lands, as small as 1 – 2 acres, owned by villagers. Being, perhaps, the most preferred ‘lazy crop’ in the country, some of the owners of both types benefit…..Majority of the farmers have small farm-holdings. According to the Census of Agriculture 2002, there are over 3.2 million farm-holdings in the non-estate sector, 45% of them smaller than a quarter of an acre. The average farm size is 1.2 acres. The output of such small-scale farms are measured in kilograms, inadequate to lift a farmer household above survival. There are 2.1 million farmer households with 8.1 million people making up 40% of households in the country. As population grows over time, they need more and more jobs in the non-agriculture sectors…A drought, a flood, a price fall, a bumper supply, a fertiliser price hike or anything as such can knock down the fragile living conditions of farmer households.
• Wealth inequality
‘The richest 1% of US households now own 53% of all equities and mutual funds held by US households. The richest 10% own 87%! Half of US households have little of no financial assets at all – indeed they are in debt. And that inequality has been rising in the last 30 years….A dominant core of 147 firms through interlocking stakes in others together control 40% of the wealth in the global network according to the Swiss Institute of Technology. A total of 737 companies control 80% of it all.’
• Cozy Relationship of Wall Street’s Oversight Bodies: SEC, DTCC and FINRA
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.
• Central Bank (CB) hints at when it could apply brakes on record stimulus
• SOEs borrow Rs. 184 b in pandemic pinch: CB
‘RDA borrowing increased by Rs. 53.6 b…SriLankan, Water Board, SPC and CEB among major borrowers…Private sector credit grows 6.5% to Rs. 374 b but credit to agri, industry and services low..Personal loans grew 15.1%, pawning 17.9%, but credit cards shrink 2.5% Y-o-Y…Construction loans grow 12.6%, credit to services expand only by 1.4%’
• Sustainable tinkering of currency urged
‘“As the week began, almost all banks were offering the US dollar at Rs.199.95 after being asked not to sell or buy the currency above Rs.200 to the US dollar at meetings with authorities over the last week,”
• Central Bank renews call for consolidation in banking sector
‘Stresses stronger balance sheets would enable improved credit flows to needy and productive sectors, whilst increasing capacity to service growing financing needs of economy. SL has 13 local licenced commercial banks, 11 foreign banks and 6 licenced specialised banks. Banking sector assets rose 17% or Rs. 2.1 t to surpass Rs.14.6 t mark in 2020. Growth in loans and advances up 11.9% to Rs. 9 t; deposits up 21.6% to Rs. 11.1 t. Pre-tax profit up by Rs. 17 b to Rs. 190 b; post tax up 21.7% to Rs. 136 b. Gross NPL ratio rise to 4.9% by end 2020’
• CCPI based Inflation decreased to 3.9 per cent in April 2021
‘Non-Food category increase mainly due to price increase in Transport (lubricant oil) sub-category.
• Fiscal deficit swells to record high of 11.1% in 2020
‘CB says near-term risks to fiscal sector remain elevated due to low revenue mobilisation and large foreign currency debt service requirements. Warns persistent deviations of budget deficit and elevated level of outstanding Central Government debt warrant a firm commitment towards fiscal consolidation’
• Fiscal deficit 14% in 2020: Harsha
‘Disputes 11.1% in CB Annual Report, says expenses made last year shifted to 2019…Says figures changed on Fin. Min. directive’
• Sri Lanka’s private, state credit soars in March 2021, rupee down
• SL banks start priority sector lending for MSMEs
‘The following 14 economic sub-sectors are eligible for this facility: Food and beverage processing. Production of medical utilities and related products. Development of distance learning facilities. Domestic cottage industry. Rubber and rubber products. Ship and boat building. Cosmetics. Batik and handloom. Gem and jewellery. Health and wellness. Electronics and electrical components. Motor vehicle assembly. Pharmaceutical manufacturing. Porcelain, ceramics, and pottery’
• Forex regulations revised to help cross-border transactions
• Series of sustainable finance tools to enter local financial system
• Sri Lanka reclassifies some sovereign bonds as domestic debt
• Can forward market restrictions mitigate foreign exchange volatility? – Advocata Colombage
‘In the final analysis, foreign exchange volatility is the result of the “twin deficits” – fiscal deficit and balance of payments deficit.’
• Sri Lanka projects exports of US$12.5bn, forex reserves of 3.2 months of imports in 2021
• Econsult Asia lists Colombo Port City’s multiple benefits for Sri Lanka
‘Starting from a weak production base at independence, Sri Lanka has historically consumed more than it can produce, leading to BOP crises which in turn require IMF bailouts. However, IMF dictates to depreciate the currency, liberalize imports, and privatize State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) have done little to curb this cycle, as evidenced by the fact that Sri Lanka has gone to the IMF 16 times since 1965 with nothing to show by way of improvements.’
• Former PM: Make Port City game changer, not gaming centre
• Nishantha urges govt to summon all-party conference to make Port City a success
• South Asia to remain fastest growing region: ADB
• ADB makes highest ever allocation in history
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
• LSSP wants the Government to provide food to the hungry as its first priority
‘The capitalists are getting richer while the workers are getting poorer. In Sri Lanka, malnutrition has risen to 18% and the number of families below the poverty line is 60%.’
• May Day: No big rallies, but small meetings streamed online
‘Provide pensions for state sector employees who were denied of their pensions, the minimum private sector payments should be Rs 15,000 and an additional allowance of Rs 5000 should be added to it, provide jobs for the jobless and allow various companies to form unions, including contractors.’
• Port City as a ‘Chinese Colony’ is a Canard – Vasudeva
• Current crisis used as pretext to attack hard fought rights – Ceylon Federation of Labour
• COVID-19 divide in private and public sector salaries
‘CB says formal private sector saw real wages dip 4.2%…Informal private sector saw real wages reduce 2.7%…Nominal public sector workers pay rose 9.2%, real wages 2.9%…Workers whose pay is decided by Wages Boards saw only a 0.2% increase’
• Thanks COVID; it was a real workers’ May Day A blessing in disguise? – Daily Mirror
‘The long walk from Chicago to Colombo has lost memories as proletariat struggle turned to a political show piece in the previous years.’
• MONLAR draws attention to ticking COVID time bomb in plantations
‘A large number of estate workers had been diagnosed…’
• Criticism for failing to conduct nurses’ training program
‘Chairman of the United Nurses’ Association Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero noted there are only 38,000 nurses in the health care sector, and 761 Intensive Care Unit beds in the country.’
• Frontline Samurdhi officers face flak over relief omissions
‘Union official said Samurdhi officers faced additional difficulties because grama niladharis have shunned the disbursing process and involvement in the selection of low-income groups in their areas… Director-General of the Department of Samurdhi Development, Bandula Tilakasiri, denied union allegations that the Samurdhi Fund was being misused, stating that the Rs. 14 billion allocated for the relief payment had been issued by Treasury through the two main state banks to more than 1,000 Samurdhi banks…’
• Remittances in 2020 rose by an unexpected 5.%
‘explained by a shift toward formal remittance channels, returning workers bringing home accumulated savings and migrants sending more to their families… The only institutions that have performed reasonably well are the banks.’
• Int’l Transactions Reporting System underway to monitor remittances
• 1 in 2 people globally lost income due to pandemic: Gallup
• ILO Report Highlights New Workplace Dangers and Need to Protect Health Professionals
‘The world had already lost 7,000 health workers as far back as September last year…’
• Karl Marx: March Ye Workers, and the World Shall be Free!
‘May 5 marks the 203rd birth anniversary of Marx’
• The Life and Thought of the Indomitable Dr Marx: An Outline
• The Dissenting Academies, the Mechanics’ Institutions and Working Men’s Colleges
• Yanis Varoufakis Techno-Feudalism and the End of Capitalism
‘You know, of course, what Bernstein said when he was in New York and someone asked him how to get to Carnegie Hall? ‘Practice, practice, practice!’ The equivalent here is ‘organise, organise, organise! – nowthenmagazine.com/articles/yanis-varoufakis-techno-feudalism-and-the-end-of-capitalism
• US Progressives Capitulate to Biden
‘Justice Democrats, Progressive Caucus and Congressional Black Caucus all sing Biden’s praisesdespite the fact that he lied to them’
• Days of Biden’s Bait and Switch
‘“The Biden administration cannot pretend that Black lives matter in the United States, while denying the value of Black life and democracy in Haiti.”’
• American Descendants of Slaves (ADOS)
‘A reformist movement whose primary goal is to close the racial wealth gap by obtaining reparations for African-Americans’
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.
• Planters, Parasites & Peasants
‘Look at Unilever’s recent subversion of the sachet law to prevent pollution. Meanwhile not a word from the usually vociferous ‘environmentalists’. But Unilever does more than pollute. They control the media. Look at the persistent outcry against import restrictions. And most criminal of all: these import monopolies inhibit industrialization.
• Amaraweera to take on Unilever
‘The Environment Ministry would suspend the environmental licences of the multinational company that violated the laws banning the sale of plastic sachets,…’
• Book on ancient irrigation works and associated technology
‘I offer this book to the farmers of the country who have been repeatedly exploited and cheated by the agrochemical industry and local and international corporate sector’
• Kandy concludes New Year with ‘rice ritual’
‘the age-old tradition of carrying the rice bowls by devotees for a distance of around four kilometres to the temple premises.’
• Many universities and many courses related to agriculture
• Sri Lanka President plants turmeric in garden in import substitution drive
• Supreme Court clears SL Land Development Corp. (Amendment) Bill
‘enhances the fines and terms of imprisonment for those found guilty by a Magistrate’s Court for violating the provisions of the SL Land Development Corporation Act, and will also give the Corporation powers to “enter into joint ventures, partnerships or other commercial agreements with foreign or local companies or individuals directly, jointly or otherwise, within or outside Sri Lanka’
• Two companies play deaf and dumb on directives issued against use of polythene/plastic
‘two companies have been found to be violating the gazette notification. Although the gazette notification prohibits the production of sachets of less than 20 grams, one company continues to manufacture 24 grams of sachets using polythene and plastic. It has also been reported that another company is still carrying out the relevant manufacturing activities in spite of the ban.’
• Stringent regulations to control pesticide imports
‘Few private & public companies compete in the SL pesticides market creating an oligopolistic situation, and act as local dealers or agencies of the multinationals. Nearly 17 companies are engaged in pesticides importation and Hayleys, Harrisons Chemical, Lankem, CIC and CPC have the major share of the market.’
• Shipments turned away; Govt. pushes ahead with chemical fertiliser ban
• Dangers of banning inorganic fertilisers
• Fertiliser, pesticide and weedicide ban contra manifesto and procedurally flawed
• Agrochemical ban: Heading for national disaster?
• The ban overkill: Cessation of chemical fertiliser imports
• Food supply will collapse under the ban
• Fertiliser ban will create hardship for 2 m farmers: SJB
‘the Government has endangered the livelihoods of over two million farmers’
• Chemical Fertilizer Ban: A radical political decision that is not too practical?
• MONLAR urges govt. to drop contradictory policies if serious about banning agrochemicals
‘Agriculture accounts for about 7% of the GDP but about 26% of the workforce are involved in agriculture…Often these workers are poor and receive government welfare assistance; most of them are malnourished and in the clutches of microcredit companies. … Last year, the government said it would not allow fertiliser with heavy metals to enter the market but then it released 18,000 metric tons of fertiliser containing high amounts of heavy metals. These are only some of the policy contradictions… the government has given large tracts of land and water to companies and investors to expand large scale monoculture crops such as maize and sugarcane. These cultivations do require significant volumes of agrochemicals.’
• Fertilizer shortage hits farmers
• More people took to agriculture in 2020 as services strangled due to pandemic
• Why are farmers poor?
‘If only 500,000 farmers are sufficient what will the balance 1.5 million people do. Work as security guards or drive 3 wheelers.’
• Technical Training Institute at Ampara set up by CIA
‘To produce local engineers and middle management technical officers for ‘Gal Oya Development Project’ with financial assistance from the Colombo Plan, FAO and Asia Foundation’
• Programme to remove oil palms gets underway
• Palm oil ban in Sri Lanka: Is it sustainable?
‘5,057 establishments employing 332,828 workers in the formal food manufacturing sector which generate an annual output of approximately LKR 1.4 billion.. Sri Lanka spends around LKR 37 billion for edible oil imports, and looking for alternatives is a sensible solution. Rice bran oil is a potential byproduct of paddy milling and it does not demand extra land for cultivation. Sri Lanka has to invest in utilising this potential resource. Measures to achieve optimum productivity from existing coconut lands are vital to reduce oil imports.’
• Palm oil ban blamed on protectionism, BOP balancing act
‘Roundtable this week on “Sustainability Challenges in Palm Oil Sector in South Asia”, organised by the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries’
• European Palm Oil Alliance disappointed over impending Lankan ban
• Sri Lanka’s vanaspathi exports to India plummet
‘Vanaspathi export industry (fully or partially hydrogenated vegetable cooking oil) for India under the Free Trade Agreement affected following ban imposed on crude palm oil…13 companies, with 5,000 workers … are collapsing, said the Vanaspathi Exporters Association told the Business Times.
• President stops Mahaweli Authority officials taking over Northern residents’ lands
• Excise helps artificial toddy producers rob govt. revenue & poison people
• Sri Lanka Vannamei prawns capture Jordanian market
• Elephants kill more farmers in fightback for land
‘100 elephants have been killed since the start of this year…44 the number of human lives lost in the unending conflict with elephants since the start of this year – and the cost to elephants is much greater, with possibly 100 killed by humans, partly due to an alarming increase in illegal cultivation in forests.’
• CEA advised to designate river conservation zones with immediate effect: Amaraweera
• Environmentalists wading through Polluted waters of Kelani River
• Angry locals confront Moratuwa Mayor over canal in Katubedda
• Unbridled exploitation of natural resources that belong to the nation
• 115 to 150 species of birds migrate to Sri Lanka from other countries.
‘Birds enter the country from the old land areas near Kalpitiya along the western coast of India some birds are fly through the Andaman Islands and enter the country between Jaffna and Trincomalee,”
• WFP’s commitment to improving nutrition and food security in SL
• 129th death anniversary of James Taylor – father of tea in Sri Lanka.
‘Feminine company being almost non-existent, almost all took Tamil or Sinhalese girls as concubines. James Taylor had a Tamil concubine. At the time of his demise, there was a grieving Sinhala woman.’
• Chinese rice farm trains talents to solve Nigeria’s food problem
‘Nigerians use less fertilizer and thus have a less serious pest problem’
• What Lies at the Foundation of the Prolonged Agrarian Crisis in India?
‘The deeper rot in agriculture can be overcome through more far-reaching reforms, starting from an overhaul of pre-capitalist land relations and relations of production that continue to shackle productivity and are at the root of aggravating poverty, unemployment and inequality in rural India.
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.
• USA used Defense Production Act to ban exports of materials needed to make vaccines to India
• Boris Johnson walks away laughing with India’s Serum Institute in tow
‘Serum Institute of India is making a whopping investment of GBP 240 million and shifting the main focus of its R&D and vaccine production to England….“The reason we have the vaccine success is because of capitalism, because of greed, my friends,” Johnson said in a recent call with English MPs.’
• How England gained an edge with AstraZeneca’s vaccine commitments
‘the contract sealed with London was written by people with significant experience of purchasing agreements, specifically drug-buying deals…. London had thought through the entire Oxford / AstraZeneca supply chain, rather than just focusing on the delivery of the vaccines.’
• From Cylinder to Liquid Oxygen Plant
‘The National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) is the largest and best equipped Teaching Hospital in the country with a bed strength of nearly 4,000. It has 26 operating theatres, 28 Intensive Care Units (ICU) and several institutes including one for Cardiology housed in a large number of buildings. It is located on a 32-acre land standing in the middle of Colombo…A few moons later, a Liquid Oxygen Plant near Ward 13 and a separate smaller plant on the premises of Institute of Cardiology rose to the sky.’
• 2 companies in Sri Lanka supply oxygen to healthcare facilities
‘these manufacturers can easily increase their production almost three-fold..whole country has only 28 such liquid oxygen tanks (ranging from 3,000 litres to 20,000 litres) in hospitals’
• Chevron, the second-largest U.S. oil producer profit of US$1.72 billion
• McLarens Lubricants introduces protection for hybrid vehicles: ExxonMobil Super 3000
‘ExxonMobil is the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company…’
• Litro misleading regulator, Govt. and public, charges Consumer Affairs Authority
• CEB engineers pull switch off US company bid for Kerawalapitiya
• WindForce to add 10MW solar energy to national grid together with Vidullanka and HiEnergy
• MAS completes first phase of ‘Photon,’ largest solar roof initiative in Sri Lanka
‘The Group engaged the services of three EPC contractors; Fentons Ltd., Nikini Automation Systems Ltd. and ICC Green Energy Solutions Ltd., segregating projects geographically for efficient project management and execution. With weather monitors linked to all 18 locations across the island from the north to the south…’
‘• ADB in midst of upgrading green energy policy for developing member countries
• SL domestic supply chains, particularly agricultural products fragmented – World Bank
‘97% of domestic freight is transported by road… only 138 customs-bonded warehouses with around 80% located in the Western Province…. garment exports recorded an 82% decline’
• Transportation of goods and passengers contracts by 6.7% in 2020
• Work on country’s seventh expressway to commence today
‘first phase from Kahatuduwa to Ingiriya of the Ruwanpura Expressway…’
• HNB-Sun Lanka partnership for SANY Heavy Machinery
‘SL premier private sector bank HNB PLC announced unmatched discounts and convenient leasing options for SANY heavy machinery in partnership with Sun Lanka Auto Traders… provide customers with access to unique discounts on automobile products, servicing, spare parts, tyres and batteries.’
• Assetline Leasing now in Ambalangoda
‘covering automotive leasing, auto loans & business loans and much more’
• Japan provides Rs. 1,360 million grant for importing their medical equipment
‘Minister of Plantations Dr. Ramesh Pathirana elected President of the Sri Lanka-Japan Parliamentary Friendship Association. MP Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, elected as Secretary and MPs Selvarajah Gajendren, J. C. Alawathuwala, and Premnath C. Dolawatte, elected as the Vice Presidents. MP Ajith Rajapakse was elected the Treasurer and MPs Sivagnanam Shritharan and Major Sudarshana Denipitiya, as Assistant Secretaries’
• Fashion designers say cost of production up due to import restrictions
• Kenya unit of Sri Lanka’s Hela Clothing switches to PPE, provides work in pandemic
‘The firm said it accounted for 15 per cent of Kenya’s apparel exports having started operations in 2016…It has 10 factories in 3 countries across SL, Kenya and Ethiopia with a workforce over 15,000’
• US-based boutique firm Rizing acquires attune Lanka from MAS Holdings
‘Standard Chartered Bank acted as the sole advisor to MAS Holdings on this transaction…Rizing is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, and has been on an aggressive mergers and acquisitions plan since 2018, acquiring several US-based and global firms.’
• 35,000 people from Sri Lanka & Maldives engage in Microsoft LinkedIn Learning.
• Microsoft & Foundation of Goodness to increase digital literacy in underserved communities
• Sri Lanka seeks construction partnerships with Nepal
‘SL industry was represented by the Major Constructors’ Association (MCSL), Small Hydro Power Developers’ Association, SL Institutes of Architects & Chamber of Construction Industries.’
• BOI’s failure to address wastewater issue in Horana EPZ threatens closure of 24 firms
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.
• Rimoe Saldin appointed to HNB Board
‘He is presently Director/CEO of Polypak Secco Ltd, a Director of Paints and General Industries Ltd and Polytex Properties and Investments Ltd. He is also the Chairman of Chemanex PLC and Sithma Development Ltd. Saldin is a Director of CIC Holdings PLC and serves on the Board of Directors of a number of companies in the CIC Group. He holds directorships in Akzo Nobel Paint Lanka Ltd, Link Natural Products Ltd and Cisco Speciality Packaging Ltd…Previously he has served as the Commercial Director and Group Finance Director of CIC Holdings PLC for the period 1995-2005. He was Country Controller & Group Finance Director for Shell Sri Lanka for the period 2005-2010 and also the Group Chief Operating Officer, Browns Group of Companies PLC and the Managing Director of Browns Investments PLC from 2010-2014.’
• Ishara takes Browns back to HNB
‘Races to be single largest individual shareholder with 9.9% voting stake after acquiring 2% stake yesterday…Estimated to have invested over Rs. 5 b for 9.9% stake mainly from foreign shareholders… Foreign holdings in HNB down to 18% from 22% in early January…HNB was founded by Brown and Company but sold remaining stake after Ishara took over in mid-2000…SLIC, via two funds, owns 13.35% in HNB, whilst business tycoon Harry Jayawardena controls 17.83%… Ishara’s interests in HNB comes hot on the heels of Central Bank renewing call for consolidation within banking sector…Browns/LOLC already control over 23% voting stake in Seylan Bank’
• DFCC Group recorded a PAT of LKR 1.6 Bn
‘DFCC Group comprises of DFCC Bank PLC (DFCC), and its subsidiaries – Lanka Industrial Estates Limited (LINDEL), DFCC Consulting (Pvt) Limited (DCPL) and Synapsys Limited (SL), the joint venture company – Acuity Partners (Pvt) Limited (APL) and associate company – National Asset Management Limited (NAMAL).’
• ComBank raises interest rate on ‘FC Plus’ foreign currency accounts to 4.5% per annum
• MoneyGram teams up with Visa to offer zero fees for US$ sent to ComBank Visa Debit Cards
‘Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 932 automated machines in Sri Lanka’
• Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC Pre-Tax Profit Rs. 986
• DFCC Bank partners with Visa for Micro Merchant transactions
• LB Finance proves its might by raising $15 m to support SME sector
‘LB Finance PLC (LBF) has succeeded in raising $ 15 million on a four-year tenure from FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank. TSW Capital Services, a financial advisory firm based in India, was the lead arranger of the deal.’
• CSE go ahead for Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).
• LOLC share prices dip; turnover Rs. 3 billion
• 29% growth of Turnover Volumes in April
;The primary market has also seen a growth in Capital Raising, with the Debt issuance of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Chrissworld Ltd on the Empower Board.’
• Capital Alliance Investment Grade Fund first unit trust to be assigned ‘A’ rating by Fitch
‘According to the performance report published by the Unit Trust Association Sri Lanka in the first quarter of 2021, the five largest funds, all with AUM over Rs. 10 billion offered an annualised return ranging from 5.90% by the NDB Wealth Money Plus Fund to 7.91% by the CAL Income Fund.’
• Nations Trust Bank, John Keells & George Keyt Foundation Partner for Kala Pola 2021
‘Nations Trust Bank PLC is an issuer and sole acquirer of American Express Cards, operating 96 branches across the country and has an ATM network covering 127 locations and 48 Cash Deposit & Withdrawal Machines, plus more than 3,700 ATMs on the Lanka Pay Network.’
• The $47.6 Billion Stock Portfolio Bill Gates Will Keep after His Divorce from Melinda
• Bill Gates owns largest ownership stake at CN Railway
‘The founder of Microsoft is also the largest farmland owner in the United States and has invested heavily in plant protein. The fourth richest man in the world…’
• Dark Pools are largely unregulated trading platforms.
‘Dark Pools owned by JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Goldman Sachs, and Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have already taken substantial trading away from lit and regulated stock exchanges and moved it into their unlit and largely unregulated trading platforms’
• Dangerous derivative contracts that threaten largest federally-insured US banks
• Mega Banks Supervised by the Fed Lose Over $10 Billion to a Highly Leveraged Hedge Fund
‘Archegos is just one of more than 3,000 family office-styled hedge funds operating in North America for which the Fed has no clarity.’
• Tricked-up secret derivative contracts dodging essential rules
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’
• Did Sri Lanka gain from US-China trade war? An initial look
• Public diplomacy and economic diplomacy: The role of our diplomatic missions overseas
‘US corporate giants seek assistance from US missions overseas to promote trade and investments. US ambassadors play a huge role in securing multi-billion dollar contracts for US companies.’
• The sovereignty of Port city is with the nation
• Colombo Port City, a melee of incongruous arguments
• Sri Lanka investment webinar for China Guangdong enterprises
• FT-ICCSL webinar tomorrow on how Port City can become a game changer
‘The panel includes Port City Managing Director Jiang Liang and Damian Buckard of ICC Paris…’
• MP Gammanpila elected new President of SL-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Association
‘Sri Lankan community of 170,000 people were contributing to the advancement of Australian economy…Around 12,000 Sri Lankan students are studying there’
• Highest gains in prices of houses in Sri Lanka
• Prime Group only real estate group to secure an issuer rating of (SL)A- from ICRA Lanka.
• Expolanka Holdings 46.5% increase in number of shareholders
‘Japan’s SG Holdings holds control of Expolanka with 75.6% stake whilst its Co-Founder and longstanding CEO Hanif Yusoof owns 7.52%…. third largest shareholder F. Kassim (from 1.02% to 1.20%), Nuwara Eliya Property Developers (0.03% to 0.38%), Dr. T. Senthilverl (0.05% to 0.32%), G. Ramanan (0.07% to 0.28%), Hi Line Trading (0.01% to 0.19%), G.S.N. Peiris (0.10% to 0.19%), and Capital Trust (0.03% to 0.15%)…Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation Life fund (0.24%), D. J.D. Alexander (0.12%), and Sashimaal R. Fernando (0.11%).’
• Sandeep Gopal new CEO at Fairfirst Insurance
‘having worked at many multinational corporates such as Barclays, RSA, Allied World and Swiss Re, in England, Hong Kong and Singapore’
• Hotels permitted to accept dollar payments from Sri Lankans
• World shares near record high, euro upbeat on Fed, earnings
• Sudden stock market falls send euro zone bond yields down
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 General Election of 1956 Part 14
‘This is the first and only time that Sri Lanka embarked on a modern policy of industrialization. It was immediately scuttled by the right. No industrialization policy was ever attempted thereafter in Sri Lanka, as far as I can see. The industrialization policy of the 1956 MEP government remains an isolated event’
• JVP MP questions voters’ responsibility in deterioration of parliamentary system
• Kelani Valley petty-bourgeoisie shift between compradorist neoliberals & authoritarian nationalists
• Let’s walk a mile in Premadasa’s shoes!
• T.B. Jayah contested Labour Leader A.E. Goonesinghe at the General Elections of 1946
• Right to Recall Repeal of Port City Act – David
• DMK Chief M. K. Stalin Becomes Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
• How the Communists won Kerala again
• Half of MLAs Elected to Bengal Assembly are Accused of Crimes; Over 50% Crorepatis
• The Phoenix Moment: Challenges Before the Left in Bengal
‘For the first time in the history of independent India, the West Bengal Assembly would be bereft of communist legislators…Secularism is a byproduct of working class struggle…From 2005-2012, job creation in West Bengal remained the highest marking a 1.8% annual growth. But much of it remained within the informal and casual sector in construction and small manufacturing units. The trend has continued into TMC rule. The state has over 1.5 crore workers in this unorganised sector and they are almost completely bereft of unions. As a result, they suffer heavily in terms of wage bargaining and end up greasing the fortunes of city-based contractors (a local party big-wig). The Left must focus on them and organise them into unions and workers’ cooperatives…In the immediate aftermath of electoral victory, several Left activists have been targeted and are being subjected to brutal violence.
• Why the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party is still divided ahead of crucial elections
• Lenin versus the God-Builders
• The Life and Contribution of Alexander Bogdanov
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.
• Parallel Universe Of The ‘Daily Mirror’ & WNL
• Pathfinder-SLPI webinar on right to information
‘The 9-member panel comprises Yashvardhan Kumar Sinha, Chief Information Commissioner, Central Information Commission, India, Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena, Commissioner, Right to Information Commission of Sri Lanka, Shyamlal Yadav, Senior Editor, The Indian Express, Ashwini Natesan, Independent researcher and advocate, Jayantha Fernando, Director, Sri Lanka CERT and General Counsel, ICTA, and Prof. M.Sridhar, former Commissioner, Central Information Commission of India, moderated by journalist, Waruna Karunatilake.’
• In this age of journalistic spin-doctors with fancy name-cards – Perera
‘FB & social media platforms have performed a dynamic role in these complex times we live in.’
• The media has failed the masses.
‘What we promote and give coverage is to things of relatively low value taking the societal IQ in a downward spiral. Data and Statistics are important and actually the new science is data science and the statistician has transformed to a data scientist, data analyst, etc.’
• The unsolved mystery of Sri Lanka’s ‘Stargate’
‘“This ancient ‘map of the world’, perhaps the oldest in existence, is of quite extraordinary interest. Its presence… testifies to the antiquity of that astronomical lore still pursued in some of the Buddhist monasteries of Ceylon.”’
• Evoke & Hungama acquire Exclusive Mobile licensing rights of Nagodavithana Film Collection
• Stone Structures Found in Saudi Arabia Predate Pyramids and Stonehenge
• How Black Caribbean Communities Are Reviving an Ancestral Dance Tradition
• Anthropology, Racial Science, and the Harvesting of Black Bones
‘Most renowned academic institutions in the United States are implicated in the macabre practices of “racial” science.’
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and our blog: eesrilanka.wordpress.com