“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
e-Con e-News 16-22 May 2021
‘There are 14 lottery draws per week… They announce producing a millionaire or a billionaire daily. They end up producing a millionaire once in a blue moon and many millions of poor daily.’
This ee recalls the synchronous post-1977 advent of lotteries, luxury cars, drug dealers & money launderers, as well as all ministries promising separate ‘development’ of women, children, youth, etc?
This recall arose out a debate of sorts in the Wijeya Group’s Financial Times, between 2 ‘eminent’ economists. It’s rare to see any disputation in capitalist media. Debates are usually one-sided wrangling on how best to advance the demands of the IMF – paymaster of many economists – to promote the priorities of such multinationals as Exxon, Unilever, kings of the import mafia (see Random Notes)
• White governments are hoarding & withholding vaccines way beyond their needs. Their plan seems to be: promote spread of Covid, raise prices, and make a killing (on the stock market as well!). These vaccines they’re hoarding also have expiry dates. Private Big Pharma companies are also upgrading vaccines. Through withholding older vaccines, they’ll then be able to double the prices of the new vaccines.
Hemas, the corporate front for multinationals that leads the pharma import mafia here, declared they’re the ‘sole local representative for AstraZeneca & Pfizer’. So are such private companies obstructing continued vaccination?
It’s ‘corporate greed’ that’s enabled the discovery of vaccines!, so says one of our eminent university economics professors in the Wijeya Group’s Sunday Times. He completely ignores the vast amount of public money and research that’s been hijacked by the corporations to hold the world hostage to their whims. His brilliant ignorance rides shotgun along the pressure put on the government to allow private companies to import vaccines.
More than 100 nations support suspending vaccine patents granted by the World Trade Organization’s 1995 TRIPS agreement. TRIPS stands for the “Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights,” which have amassed trillions in profits for pharma corporations, giving them 20-year monopolies. The USA has aggressively enforced the TRIPS agreement on behalf of US manufacturers against other governments, with MNCs threatened by China declaring from start that Covid vaccines should be a ‘public good’. Biden’s promise to suspend such patents is just that. Another promise. ee shall never forget the murder of Senaka Bibile and its link to Big Pharma.
• At least 30% of the country’s workers depends on daily work, says the Central Bank. Yet, curtailing and eliminating spread of Covid is also vital. The media fails to balance these issues, they’d rather rouse people. This import-export plantation media, led by Exxon and Unilever, have no real solutions to offer other than keeping people on edge.
This week saw the 12th anniversary of the defeat of the LTTE, and the 49th anniversary of Sri Lanka being declared a Republic, removing the rule of thee Engloish queen and her army. The media ignores Republic Day, yet both anniversaries are inextricably linked. Who created the predominance of this ‘informal’ precariat? (see ee Focus) Who finances these wars? (see Random Notes, ISIS)
• Maharajah’s MTV attacked the Colombo Port City, with a member of the dollar-pound-euro-funded Centre for Policy Analysis. The CPA of course concurred, while saying we should not depend on ‘one side’. Yet the CPA wholly depends on white patronage! MTV asked not one word about this.
Common sense is not common. The entire country, its mountains and its seas have been handed over to English-controlled plantation system for 100s of years. Notice, there’s never ever been a media headline: IMF Colonialism in SL.
• There was repeat news coverage about the seemingly ‘mysterious’ death of a Sri Lankan student worker in Japan. Apparently, Japan wishes to deliver several messages, overt and covert.
Japan is, on the one hand, signalling its local citizenry, it’s dealing sternly with illegal immigrants and would even kill them to keep in line. The details divulged are horrific. This was also evident in the claim that officers checking the Lankan’s ‘blood pressure and pulse could not measure them due to an error in the technical instruments’. This, in a Japan that takes pride in its technical delicacies. Other reasons… (see Random Notes)
• The Central Bank this week fined World-Bank-linked Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Rs3million. They provided no exact details. Was it money laundering?
Yet, all we heard from the Commercial Bank itself, with a former supreme court chief justice heading its board, was its announcement that it’s helping vocational grads get high-paying jobs!
The business news this week was full of stories about how corporations just love us! Hemas, the vaccine blocker, is helping kids with Down’s syndrome, and aiding women with their periods! Standard Chartered Bank and Tokyo Cement are planting trees! Tea planters are ‘empowering women and children’ on plantations. DIMO is fixing the coral reefs! Unilever front Upfield, who pushes carcinogenic Astra and Flora margarine, is donating ICU beds to the military. Australia is not only giving us oxygen, but also probing the Easter Attacks with the US FBI. This means, they’ll spend more time covering their tracks than leading us to the criminals.
Charity is a penance the rich pay for refusing to develop the economy. Such whitewashing of monster corporations, keeping their dirty linen off the public clothesline, is the job of monster-size ‘public relations’ corporations. Too bad each business news item is not required to tell us who, or what PR firm, is actually writing the copy. No bylines! Meanwhile, social media companies, from zoom to facebook and twitter, are reinforcing Israel’s erasure of Palestinians. (ee Media)
• Was the April 2019 terror attack about imposing more US military agreements on SL? How many Quad countries were involved in this plot? Is this why no clear analysis is allowed in the media?
‘The US Fakes ISIS Threat in Congo to Justify AFRICOM Presence’, some media reported this week: ‘The US continues to insist that ISIS is to blame for recent violence in the Congo, where 6 million people have been killed since 1996, despite the fact that hardly any Muslims reside in the mineral-rich country. A UN Group even found “no link” between Islamic jihadists and rebel groups.’ Who creates these groups? (see Random Notes)
A1. Reader Comments –
• Indian PM & Gamani Corea Talk French • Australia Prevents Citizens Returning from India • How does Import Mafia Prevent Industrialization? • Why are Artists Silent about Multinationals?
A2. Quotes of the Week
• TB Illangaratne’s Achievements • Corporate Veil & Lawlessness • Positive & Normative Economics • Canada, Mining & Human Wrongs • China & ‘Thick Face’ Media • US/Israel War Crimes
A3. Random Notes –
• Imports & Investment Fail • Japan Issues Migrant Warning • US, ISIS & Fake Rebels
B. ee Focus
B1. Do We Need All these Imports? – Chandrasena Maliyadde
B2 Interest Rate Policy: Is it a punitive measure? – Chandrasena Maliyadde
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news or comments sent, and place any e-link at the end: email firstname.lastname@example.org
• ‘When Manmohan Singh visited Sri Lanka on an official visit as PM, he had asked to meet Gamani Corea. Gamani was held captive at the time by Lalith Kotelawala but he could not very well block the Indian PM (pal of Gamani from his days at that UN agency). He was allowed to meet, but Lalith planted a person to be present at the conversation and report to him. The man had not left the room when asked. So Mr Singh had chatted with the ailing GC in French (the reporter had not brought a recording device?!)’
• ‘Cricket Luverly Cricket!? There’s very little media coverage of Australia refusing to admit Australian citizens of Indian descent back into Australia from India, due to Covid, while allowing the Australian cricket team touring India plus any white person who chooses to come here.’
• ‘ee should provide more details on how the import mafia works, and how they prevent industrialization.’
• ‘The poem by Neruda on Standard Oil was great! Why do our artists only focus on politicians? Why not mention who runs them?’ Is it because artists wish to be paid?’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘TB Ilangaratne’s achievements are overwhelming: Declaring a holiday on account of May Day, recognising this as a special day for workers, and establishment of the Employees Provident Fund. The EPF was established under Act No15 of 1958 and is now the largest Social Security Scheme in Sri Lanka. The EPF today has become a huge “Peace of Mind” for employees in the Private Sector, State-sponsored Corporations, Statutory Boards, and Private Business.
The adoption of the Labour Disputes Act, Creation of Shops and Office Employees Act, Passing of Maternity Leave Act, providing light work to pregnant mothers, Implementation of the Workers’ Compensation Act, Establishment of the National Wages Commission, Establishment of Vocational Training Centres, Abolition of the right of employers to dismiss employees abruptly, facilitate trade union representatives to attend foreign conferences.
Some institutional work he was responsible for: nationalisation of private petroleum companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Mobil gas, Caltex and Esso, transferring its assets to the newly formed Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, and its refinery to refine crude oil, nationalization of insurance, and establishment of the Insurance Corporation, of the People’s Bank, and the National Lotteries Board; adoption of the Shipping Corporation Act; establishment of Sathosa, launching Oberoi Hotel created under the Sathosa establishment; establishment of State Trading General Corporation (now Rajawasa), the State Tractor Corporation, State Textile Corporation (Salu Sala), Consolidated Export Corporation, Co-operative Services Commission, National Fruit Board, National Pricing Commission, creating a price control department to protect consumers; transfer of dried fish importation business to the State (CWE) on account a gold smuggling racket amongst some private importers.
He’s also credited as the first Finance Minister to present the national budget in Sinhala, the reason – to open the doors for entrepreneurs from the cities as well as villages to Sri Lanka’s economic opportunities, to broadbase the naturally agro-based country, and to create opportunities for students to study economics in Sinhala… He was also responsible for widening tea exports, hitherto restricted to England, directly to the rest of the world, breaking the monopoly of Oil imports restricted to England, and opening importations to West Asia and Russia.’ (see ee Politics, Illangaratne)
• ‘Firms are corporate bodies and therefore assume a legal personality. But behind these “legal persons’ are natural persons, made up of shareholders, directors, managers. A salient feature of this system is that the legal person is responsible for its action and not the natural persons behind it. But it’s these natural persons who make decisions that might lead to failure of the legal persons. In terms of this legal structure, the natural persons go scot-free though they may have been responsible for the failure of the firm. This is known as corporate veil.’ (ee Economists, Nishadi)
• ‘[I] base my research work strictly on ‘Positive Economics’, as taught by my guru, the late Prof HA de S Gunasekera at Peradeniya University. Statements can be classified into positive statements and normative statements. Positive statements concern “what is, was or will be”, and normative statements concern “what ought to be”. Positive statements are based on theories, hypotheses, data, models, empirical tests and simulations. In contrast, normative statements are drawn from one’s philosophical, cultural, ethical and religious positions. They depend upon one’s judgement about what is good and what is bad. In other words, normative statements depend on “value judgements”. Disagreements over positive studies can be tested, proved or disproved by using statistical tests whereas disagreements over normative statements cannot be settled in such manner as different individuals have different ideas of what is good and bad.’ (ee Economists, Reply)
• ‘A majority of the world’s mining companies, operating at over 8,000 sites in over 100 countries, are headquartered in Canada. Many of these mines are also sites of serious human rights violations, including direct violence against local women and environmental degradation. One recent study found that Canada’s mining companies are involved in such abuses and conflict more than any other country.’ (ee Sovereignty, Genocide)
• ‘In China, reporters like Reuters, BBC, etc., are called ‘Thick Face’ people. They have no shame. They tell lies with a smile. They act confident creating fake news. I wonder if they educate their children in the same manner.’ – China Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying
• ‘Killing 100s of people and wounding many more, Israel bombed Gaza’s powerlines, several highrises, media offices, UNRWA schools, Gaza’s biggest library and publishing house, and damaged 6 hospitals and 8 clinics including the only Covid-19 laboratory in Gaza.’ (see ee Sovereignty, War crimes)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
This ee Focus reproduces articles by former secretary to the Ministry of Planning, Chandra Maliyadde, including his recent response to Prof S Colombage’s ‘Low-interest rate policy punishes savers’ in the Financial Times.
ee recalls SBD de Silva, commending this Maliyadde article in 2013: ‘Do we need all these imports?’ SB also commended Colombage’s statement that 20 years ago ‘we had become a high-waged country before the labor supply was exhausted’. While Colombage gave no definitive answer to that question, SB suggested we needed to research the uneven application of workers in rice production, where most are seasonally employed. SB also pointed to the need for industrial production to employ such workers in off-seasons.
Colombage has now joined forces with the US-funded Advocata boys and their Indian merchant leadership. His weekly FT articles take refuge in ‘theoretical and data-based presentations’. Colombage tends to focus on budget deficits, ‘policy failures, institutional weaknesses and political instability’, part of the IMF’s talmud, bible and koran.
Colombage recently did note ‘Companies need to invest heavily in R&D to innovate high-tech products with own brand names, instead of merely assembling foreign products using imported technology and foreign capital.’ He is of course dreaming that such private investment would be undertaken. He should ask the private banks directly if they have any such inclination. Why doesn’t he expose how they prevent the state from doing what only the state in such countries as ours, has the power to do? (See his article on investment, & his response to Maliyadde, in ee Economists)
• Japan & Migrant Workers – The other message is that Japan is still ‘open for business’: They need more workers to exploit, given their ageing population. Their interest rates are very low, meaning they do not want people to save, but to lend their money out. Being an industrial country, this also means investing in exploiting poorly protected workers to make profits. Hence the news was full of blabber about concerned Japanese NGOs, and the headline ‘Japan withdraws controversial immigration bill amidst growing pressure over SL student death’.
Migrant workers mainly do the most dangerous, toxic and hardest work that local workers still have the power to refuse to do. Check ee Workers to also see how US-occupied Korea is using SL workers.
Talking out of both sides of their mouth is evident in all industrial countries that need to manipulate ‘surplus labor’ – migrant workers, etc. – to reduce the power of their own local workers. Hence the tiresome ‘immigration’ debates. The so-called what-is-Left, in those countries, include many state workers (teachers, social workers) also profiting off migrants. Many ‘ethnic’ leaders in those countries are pimps who parasite off migrants, offering legal services, anti-union jobs, and ‘protection’.
Industrial lobbies in Germany, eg, demand more migrant workers until they automate the functions they’re brought to do. At the same time, the news plays up the attacks on migrants to keep them in line – they have to be oppressed in order to be exploited! Yet why do we sell our workers?
Take Alice Weidel, leader of the ‘rightwing’ Alternative for Germany (AfD) in the Bundestag. She criticizes immigration policies of Angela Merkel, calling for German government investment in ‘special economic zones’ to encourage educated and skilled persons to remain in their home countries to avoid brain drain. In a lesbian relationship ‘with a female film producer from SL’, she was accused of hiring a Syrian refugee to do housework, though Weidel said the Syrian was a guest not a worker. Funny how it is the Right that is allowed to enunciate such issues.
• As the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China approaches in July, rabid anti-China clatter will attain hitherto new crescendos and shrill falsettos. Especially as Socialism/Communism etc. was declared officially dead for the last 30 years, by the world’s white coroners, even declaring that history itself had ended!
The lies promoted by the English and the Europeans for a long long time, about China, let alone Sri Lanka, India, Asia, Africa, let alone the newborn socialist countries from last century, even before we were born, should propel us to learn more history: China dates its ‘modernity’ to the English wars waged on China to sell opium force-grown in India, making the biggest smuggler the first landlord of Hong Kong (Jardine-Matheson, still the biggest landlord& employer in HK, is also a shareholder in Tata, itself involved in the opium smuggling!). Taiwan was imposed on Formosa by the US Army, displacing the originally Formosans. China has been under greater siege since 1949, all along its borders where the US set up their former opium dealers’ gangs, in English-controlled Burma, etc.
There are also variations of this hysterical barrage by whitewashed liberals & Leftists, calling China, the ‘greatest sweatshop on earth’. While China has made industrialization a priority, the conditions of workers vary, depending on the strength of the Party across a vast land and population. Such characterizations are also variations on Chinese being ‘coolies’, ‘ants’, ‘robots’ etc. These are old old tropes, which are actually anti-working class, leading to some calling the masses (excluding themselves of course), ’sheep’ etc. The ‘robots’ part is of course a backhanded anti-communist tribute, to the rise of an industrial USSR under Joseph Stalin. As SBD de Silva noted, few cared about the Chinese under feudal domination for 1000s of years, let alone under English wars, but all of a sudden they’re concerned for Chinese workers!
China has never ever claimed to be an ‘advanced’ country. It still admits it’s still far far behind the US, Europe, etc. Yet we must also not ignore that only a small percentage of whites now enjoy union security, etc., in those ‘advanced’ countries, where African/Asian/Native American (Mexican etc.) workers are severely exploited in the fields of California and Canada, the sugar plantations of Florida and the south, the ‘sweatshops’ of northern USA and Canada, let alone in the English Midlands and France’s south, where the English and European political police recruit their so-called jihadis to wage war on Syria, Libya, and our countries.
• A phony ISIS connection is being promoted in the Congo ‘to justify’ new military agreements with AFRICOM, the US military command in Africa (ee Sovereignty, Congo)
As to the April 2019 attacks, there are those who argue it was to put pressure on the weak government of the day to impose US troops on the country. This has been a longstanding demand since the English handed over their colonies to the US. Indeed, April 2019 is increasingly being seen as a ‘quadrangular’ affair, involving the US and their allies including poodle England, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia.
News commentators point: ‘to the bomb that never got to the Taj Hotel – that was a red herring, to promote the claim that India was also targeted. Yet the main target was China’s showpiece Shangri-la, using the most powerful explosives and not just one but 2 bombers. Media reports have also ignored that many ministers have pointed to India’s birthing of the LTTE, and other ‘militants’, let alone that it was India which also created the original JVP to derail Sirimavo Government’s moves to make us a more independent nation.’ Such setting up of individuals and groups has a long history:
In 1985, Sikh terrorist Khalistan Liberation Force in Canada were blamed for blowing up an Air India plane from Montreal to Delhi, killing 329 people onboard. The Canadian state was accused of state-sponsoring terrorism. In turn, Canadian agents covertly blamed India for blowing up its own plane!
Soft Target: How the Indian intelligence service penetrated Canada, by 2 Canadian Globe & Mail and Toronto Star reporters: defined Soft Target as ‘an espionage term used for any country, institution or group of people very easy to penetrate and manipulate for subversive purposes’. It argued, the Canadian Sikh community was a ‘Soft Target’ of an Indian government covert operation.
• The Real Oliver was Twisted! The last chapter of the last of the 3 early working-class history classics (1911-19), by John & Barbara Hammonds, is dedicated to ‘The Adventures of Oliver the Spy’. This ‘Oliver’ is also mentioned in EP Thompson’s Making of the English Working Class (1963). While Dickens popularized one Oliver Twist, the more notorious Oliver at that same time was a man who went around setting up ‘groups’ during the Industrial Revolution. An agent provocateur working for the English state, he’d set up ‘terrorist’ incidents, which would result in other more genuine peasant or workers’ organizations being rounded up and smashed, with many people killed, imprisoned, deported, etc. Of course, earlier classic setups in English history are the anti-Catholic Guy Fawkes plot, etc., and the hunting down and rooting out of dissenter and nonconformist groups – Ranters, Ravers, Shakers, Quakers, Diggers, Levellers, etc.
The role of informers and their need to maintain a steady income, by also fabricating evidence, is also fascinating, as is turning such informers around to serve the people instead. There’s much about Russia’s Tsarist Okhrana on the net (even more, slandering the USSR’s attempts to defend itself from subversion) but very little about how the English set up fake Left groups, Trotskyists, post-1917, etc., in England and in their imperialist outposts – who ee calls Her Majesty’s Left (HML). So-called social media is full of them.
False Nationalism False Internationalism (FNFI) recalls how Algeria’s FLN was so thoroughly infiltrated, a major leader was a French spy, made to become a hero, responsible for ‘daring’ escapades, who ended up betraying 1000s,who were murdered or jailed. FNFI has a large section on the setting up of such groups, by the CIA in the Philippines’s 1946 Huk Rebellion, and by the English in Kenya (1952-56). And of course US COINTELPRO – which destroyed the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement (AIM) – used what they call breeders (to set up fake groups), and flippers (those they turn into informers) based on weaknesses in genuine organization that enabled such infiltrations, especially chauvinism, drug use, alcoholism, etc. The political police then set up what they call embedded gangs, pseudo-gangs, encapsulated gangs, etc… This too is working-class history, not yet fully recorded in our own lives (ee Politics, Senthan).
B. Special Focus_
B1. Do we Need all these Imports? – Chandrasena Maliyadde (2013)
A major promise made by JR Jayawardena during the 1977 election campaign was to make available apples & grapes, in addition to the famous ‘Eta Ata’ (8 grains). Those who’d been greedily longing to taste apples and grapes gave sweeping powers to the UNP at elections. One year later, the government opened all the floodgates of the economy, relaxing restrictions imposed upon imports including apples and grapes. No other country I can think of opened a closed economy overnight with a single stroke of the pen. Since 1978, Sri Lanka during the last 35 years has fast become an import-dependent economy.
‘Alloy wheels, Tiptronic, Leather interior, Electric memory seats, Rear power door, Zenon lights, Blue tooth, Push start, Fully loaded, with panoramic sunroof, Side reverse camera, TV/DVD, 6 speed, Automatic transmission’. One might wonder whether I’ve gone insane. No, I have not I’m simply reading an advertisement that appeared in a Sunday newspaper about an imported vehicle. The price quoted for the vehicle was Rs9.1 million (US$70,000). This is in a country where the per capita income is just below $3,000, where 35 years back people were looking for a mode of conveyance only. Today it’s a floating palace. How many Sri Lankans could afford to enjoy this luxury? To be honest I do not even understand the facilities mentioned in the ad. I consulted my son.
Vehicle imports alone reached $2billion (Rs260bn) in 2011. The foreign-exchange drain on imports of vehicles, accessories, spare parts, body parts, fuel, maintenance & operation is prohibitively high. High-speed super-luxury vehicles consume a heavy load of fuel. They keep speeding up and cause at least 6 deaths a day, leaving many disabled. The right of way is replaced by might of way. More vehicles on the road, worse =pollution caused. They are more stalled than moving, exhaust fumes all the time and blare horns continuously. They make, visual, air and sound pollution, while those who are responsible for ‘environmental protection’ enjoy undisturbed deep slumber in some of these vehicles. Congestion makes everything and everyone late. When we are late for a meeting the convincing excuse is ‘traffic jam’.
It is no secret that many families own more than one vehicle, and all the vehicles are on the road more often than not in the same location. One can hardly justify ownership of multifarious vehicles by a single individual either on economic or social grounds; some experts explain economic growth using per capita ownership of vehicles. That may be sweet music for the ears of their political masters, but far away from reality. Widening inequality is inevitable in the capitalistic model, argued as a motivating factor. But when vehicles are made available in the absence of affordability, the majority is deprived. While a higher-income category can afford to own more than required, lower-income categories prevented from buying even a single simple low-cost vehicle.
One cannot ignore that several crimes & transport of illegal products such as ‘muvamas’ (venison) and hashish are connected to super-luxury vehicles. Too many vehicles on the road make one sick, impatient, abusive, losing temper. How many times we have been insulted, harassed, subject to insult and abuse while on the road. Take my advice and make your next visit to Kandy by train… You’ll be free of all I have mentioned… reading a book and admiring the surrounding beauty while travelling, in addition to contributing to the economy as a whole in numerous ways.
Since there are no restrictions, prohibition & standardization on imports, anyone can import anything in any quantity. There are many advertisements on drugs to lead ‘a healthy and a beautiful life’, eg reducing weight, growing silky hair and fair skin. Pediatricians and nutritionists advocate breastfeeding; beauty queens promote imported processed milk. Cricketers promote sausages. Which parent does not want their daughter to be a beauty queen and their son to be a cricketer in future? I am told some of these products contain vegetable oil and animal fat. Who decides standards, quality and any adverse effects of these products?
We, as children and students have always been taught to use resources economically. ‘Free imports’ convey a message completely contrary to this. Today, individuals and organizations cannot move a finger without a computer; keep on changing the computer to ensure being updated with the latest version. Have we thought of disposal of the used ones? Disposal of e-waste, and minimizing radiation impact and pollution are specialized subjects taught and researched in developed world. We’re ignorant and wait for disaster to happen to awaken us from our deep comfortable slumber.
Unrestricted unchecked imports will make people insensitive, irresponsible, ignorant. The other day my wife and I were taking a cousin to see a psychiatrist. Sri Lankan law does not permit using a phone while driving. But courtesy another classic interpretation of the law by Police, one can use it with a ‘hands free’. I took cover from this interpretation and was talking continuously on the way. My cousin suddenly asked me ‘Aiyata pissuda, thaniyama katha karanne?’ (Are you mad to talk alone to yourself?). I was wondering whether it was me or my cousin who should see the psychiatrist? Children of all ages use mobile phones. It is said that radiation discharge of these phones is harmful, dangerous and carry cancerous effects, especialy on children. People use them to enjoy porn, or for crimes. In one school, it was reported, a student used a mobile phone in committing suicide. While admitting the need to have the benefit of modern technology, we must know the limits. There are 19.6 million cellular subscribers by end of 2012, against a population of 20 million. Excessive use is more harmful and unhealthy than beneficial. It will have ill effects on foreign exchange, trade balance, health, environment, culture, attitudes, values, and finally on the whole economy.
Some fertilizer has caused terminal diseases such as cancer, kidney failure; polluted water, harming human lives and biodiversity. Supermarkets sell food items imported from all over the globe such as lamb, fruits, processed food, ingredients. Last week a friend invited me to enjoy a cup of coffee in a coffee shop and the price was Rs990.
The US is considered to be the father of free trade. Yet, it has restrictions and prohibitions on many imports. US Customs & Border Protection Department (CBP) is entrusted with preventing imports from entering that would injure community health, public safety, US workers, children, domestic plant and animal life, or imports that would defeat national interests. CBP enforces 100s of laws that protect the economy, health and safety of US citizens, that ensure unsafe items are not allowed to enter the US. There is a long list of prohibited and restricted items.
Imports are rising faster than exports. This has led to a widening trade deficit, damaging health, safety, and environment. This has caused disappearance of a host of employment opportunities in the informal sector. Repairs on sophisticated vehicles cannot be attended to by our mechanics, welders, painters. Moreover their service is made redundant by importation of vehicle parts.
The Government, Treasury, Central Bank, economists and many others repeat that the most serious challenge before the country is bringing the widening trade deficit under control. The trade deficit is, excess of import expenditure over export earnings. Imports have risen sharply from $6billion in 2003 to $20bn in 2011. Exports have risen from $5billion in 2003 to $10bn in 2011. Imports are growing much faster than exports. The immediate solution to restrain the trade deficit lies on imports. Unrestricted imports widen inequality, through availability sans affordability.
It’s time we as a nation think again, whether we continue to enjoy the taste of fruits (apples & grapes) of free unlimited unchecked imports regime, or be conscious of both merits and demerits of it. I am not proposing going back to a closed economy, but rationalization of imports rather than unrestricted, unchecked imports.
Otherwise, the day will not be far that you and I will have an e-wife or e-husband. It was Sardiel for us, and Spiderman for our children. (2013 March 10)
(by former Secretary, Ministry of Plan Implementation. email: email@example.com
B2 Interest Rate Policy: Is it a punitive measure? – Chandra Maliyadde
Can the poor afford to save? There are poor debtors and rich savers in society. High-interest rates would offer higher income to rich savers and higher prices to poor savers, widening the already existing income inequality, which is another achievement of the liberal economy
I read with a lot of interest the article on ‘Low-interest rate policy punishes savers’ by our good friend Prof Sirimevan Colombage. He has shown a great deal of mercy towards the poor and ageing community.
I wonder whether ageing has disturbed his brilliant thought pattern? He talks more of spiritual aspects of life (mercy, thriftiness) rather than the discipline of materialistic economics (greed, investment) that he mastered throughout his career as a central banker, academic and researcher.
Being a strong advocate of neoliberal economics, it is surprising that he laments the fallouts (aged, poor) rather than boasting of the declared gains (growth, poverty reduction) of trade liberalisation.
He states: ‘With the continuous rise in the cost of living, the people in low-income categories who depend heavily on interest income for their living, particularly in their old age, are the most severely affected by the fall in interest rates.’
In 1978, the newly elected JRJ Government announced 4 main programs: Trade Liberalisation, Establishment of Export Processing Zones, Mahaweli Development, and Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP). The first 3 programs were aimed at pushing the overall growth of the economy. The motto behind IRDP was to cater to those who would fail to be benefited (fallouts) by the other 3 programs.
According to Colombage himself, the ‘poverty ratio is likely to have reached nearly 50% of the population by now’ after adhering to trade liberalisation for over 40 years. To this layman, Colombage’s logic is ‘continue with trade liberalisation, produce more poor and increase the interest rate to help the poor’.
Disadvantages of liberalisation – The economic system that prevailed before the introduction of a liberal economy, whatever you name it, was inclusive and catered to all segments of the population. The family was a single integrated unit. But liberalisation disintegrated the family, divided as women, youth, children. Widening income inequality created poverty. The widening gap created regional and rural/urban imbalance.
New institutions or new ministries were created to take care of the fallouts of the liberal economy. Youth Affairs, Women’s Affairs, Children’s Affairs, Poverty Alleviation, Rural Development, Urban Development, and Regional Development were introduced by the liberal economy. Each subject had more than one institution or a ministry. Each minister responsible for each new subject introduced a new fund and a new lottery.
Prior to the introduction of the liberal economy, there was only one main lottery in the country, i.e. the National Lottery. The liberal economy introduced many more lotteries depending on the number and the fancy of ministers. Lotteries were proliferated to cater to each fallout of the liberal economy.
Today, we have ended up with 2 main lotteries, National Lottery and Development Lottery (incidentally, I was responsible for promoting the latter). Both have introduced tickets for each day along with a daily draw. Instead of one single draw per week, there are 14 lottery draws per week conducted by the 2 lotteries. They announce, producing a millionaire or a billionaire daily. They end up producing a millionaire once in a blue moon, and many millions of poor daily. Will these fallouts of the liberal economy be included in the category which deserves the higher interest rates that liberal economic advocates promote?
According to Prof Colombage, the ‘share of population above 64 years doubled from 5% to more than 10% during this period… since the mid-1970s the share of younger cohorts of the population has continued to fall’.
Trade liberalisation – Trade liberalisation too was introduced in mid-1970s. The falling of younger cohorts and trade liberalisation is not merely coincidental; it is consequential. Unfortunately, he has forgotten, or purposely making us forget, that the most causes for ageing lie in the liberal economic policy adoption.
Before liberalisation, the rural community was more content and productive. They had bountiful agriculture-based and agriculture-related opportunities within the village to earn extra rupees. Transport and communication systems were not developed (or is it modernised?) as they are today and discouraged the mobility of rural people.
Handloom industry, cottage industry, handicrafts, smithies, repair & maintenance and a host of other activities kept them occupied and retained them in the village. Overnight liberalisation in 1978 wiped out all such complementary & supplementary opportunities available for the rural community.
Imported cosmetics and jumping fish were available for girls, and imported cigarettes and liquor was available for boys. Imported apples and grapes were available for both. And without their knowledge but, with the knowledge of rulers, the rural economy and opportunities in the rural sector gradually got eroded.
The Government dangled the carrot of the Accelerated Mahaweli program and the Katunayake Export Processing Zone. Girls shifted from handloom to the power-loom; boys shifted from traditional agriculture to modernised agriculture.
Marriage was declined, discouraged, delayed, and deprived. Some have passed their best fertile age, or limited fertility; some cannot afford to bear children, or under/malnourished, cannot breed and feed babies…
Boys who went to Mahaweli in search of modern commercialised agriculture have been losing lives to elephants, mosquitoes, illicit liquor, drugs, chemicals. Some ended up sick, disabled, inactive, bedridden.
The liberal economy instead of modernising, commercialising and making it more economical, pushed down agriculture from 50% to 7% of GDP and pushed out people from the village to the town. Liberal economic concept careers would try to teach me a bit of the theory that the declining share of agriculture in GDP is a sign of ‘development’. Neglecting agriculture is totally another story. The liberal economy has taken the prime life of youths, leaving the old like Colombage and me behind.
The liberal economy – The liberal economy and its showpieces attracted girls, moving out to urban areas in search of employment. They were deprived of shelter, sanitation, serenity, confidence, security and care…[as basics for a girl to settle down for marriage and children. Their meagre wage, unsettled mind and lust for love attracted them to urban boys. Some lost love, lost jobs, shelter, virginity; some lost life. The remaining lot either went back home or ended up as prostitutes to supplement their meagre wage.]
The liberal economy paved the way for professionals to supplement their salary through private practice. Doctors who work in public hospitals work hard to prevent the death of mothers and babies, to reduce the infant mortality rate.[ They work hard to prevent conception in private hospitals. Some health centres promote births during daytime and abort births after dusk. Eliminating birth has become more lucrative than saving birth. The liberal economy offered 2 options; save a life and save money; eliminate life and make money. Liberal economists are economic doctors but not medical doctors.]
Colombage attributes the low fertility rate and increasing life expectancy to the country’s improved medical facilities, for Sri Lanka to be a fast population-ageing country. While agreeing with him, we should not forget that there are other reasons forgotten by liberal economy advocates.
Money, fame, showpieces are all in curative medicine. The liberal economy placed emphasis and invested heavily in curative medicine at the expense of the primary healthcare facilities. This has increased deaths and disability among youths caused by non-communicable diseases, viral infection, polluted air and water.
After the introduction of the liberal economy, a nationwide birth control program was launched by the Government. So-called lucrative job opportunities attracted healthy rural women to urban areas and West Asia, delaying, depriving or breaking marriages. Medical centres were turned into spas, massage parlours and abortion centres. Drugs, liquor and weapons were freely available and youths were attracted to them.
Being one of the few countries which is unable to produce even a toy car, Sri Lanka has become a showcase of all types of vehicles of the latest, fastest, most expensive and luxury models, thanks to liberal trade. The liberal economy inherited us a well-paved road network to drive our luxury sedans to death and disability. Who are the victims? Mothers, children and youth, leaving the ageing behind to depend on the interest earned on their imaginary savings.
Can the poor afford to save? – Colombage laments that the low-interest rate has punished poor savers by offering low yields for their lifetime savings. Who are these poor savers? Can the poor afford to save? There are poor debtors and rich savers in society. High-interest rates would offer higher income to rich savers and higher prices to poor savers, widening already existing income inequality – another achievement of the liberal economy.
Liberal trade and liberal economy advocates expected or misbelieved that it would bring investment, revenue from tourism and exports, and accelerate growth and generate more employment opportunities. But it has endowed us an import-dependent lagging economy with an army of dependents. It is not the fallout but the total result. They now shedding tears on the plight of savers to cover their failure.
Low-interest rate stimulates investment. High-interest rate stimulates savings. So says the theory. Are neoliberal economists yearning for a savings-dependent society of poor and aged as the investment-driven economy they dreamed for 40 years has never dawned?
I would like to conclude with a quote from Kartik Athreya, Executive VP and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, in ‘Do Low-Interest Rates Punish Savers’ in Econ Focus, 2017: ‘Had the Fed’s policy rates instead been higher, the evidence suggests that economic outcomes would have been considerably worse. From this perspective, higher rates would likely have been detrimental to savers and virtually all households. Moreover, savers are not just savers – they are also participants in the overall economy. Many are workers: As noted, if rates had instead been higher in recent years, employment outcomes would surely have been worse, and job loss is typically a more traumatic financial event than the losses one faces when asset returns experience a cyclical decline. Savers are also consumers, and lower Fed policy rates generally mean lower loan rates for goods like homes and automobiles, as well as lower interest payments on variable rate loans. Finally, many savers also hold assets whose values tend to rise in low-interest-rate environments. Low rates tend to boost housing prices, eg, and housing comprises a large majority – nearly two-thirds – of assets for middle-income households. This is especially true of older households preparing for retirement; roughly 80% of households aged 65 and older own their homes, compared to roughly 64% for the nation as a whole, according to the Census Bureau.”
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.
• Sri Lanka must celebrate Republic Day, as India does
‘England’s monarch continued to be the head of state, the military power remained with the British, and the Judiciary too remained in British hands as the Privy Council in the UK was the final Court of Appeal. Sri Lanka neither became sovereign nor independent, but we celebrate February 4th as National Independence Day…Colvin also wanted a strong Cooperative Movement, that would eliminate the exploitation by the middleman, so that prices could be controlled. He wanted Workers Advisory Councils to ensure correct functioning of workplaces.’
• On the eve of war victory anniversary
• Business unfinished even after 12 years
‘Incompetence, lack of determination, wayward and even treacherous policy choices by the political leadership at decisive moments as well as rank indiscipline on the part of certain military personnel did in fact contribute to the length of the struggle’
• How the LTTE was defeated
• The Pohottuwa Government of Sri Lanka Part 2 C9A
‘Yahapalana was a puppet government installed by the USA. USA was hoping to take over the island using Yahapalana . USA used the National Physical Plan to prepare a military plan for USA bases in Sri Lanka.’
• 10 arrested for commemorating LTTE leader in Kalkudah
• Parents of Sri Lanka’s ex-Tiger combatants should be allowed to grieve: top Army officer
• Field Marshal Fonseka thanks PM, President for their blessings to win the war
‘During the final battle 5,200 soldiers lost their lives, around 3,000 became disabled and around 19,000 wounded in the battle field’
• Washington went out of its way to derail military operations against the LTTE
• If London dictates SL, it will threaten Indo-Pacific strategy against China: Naseby
• England High Commission says law enforcement of LTTE Ban a matter for police
• For betterment of Tamil people is the need of the hour: Global Tamil Forum
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 18D Part 5A & B
‘80% of the UNHRC’s funding requirements are supplied by powerful nations such as the United States and its allies.’
• Last 72 hours of LTTE: Film
• The Mulliwaikkal divergence – Balachandran
• 16 Indian officials arrive in Colombo on special flight
‘Indians are part of employees transferred from New Delhi to the Indian High Commission’
• CID, FBI, Australian police conduct probe on Easter Sunday attack
• Hakeem points finger at Israeli Intelligence
• Whitewashing LTTE & Multiple Narratives Of Genocide In Canada – Sudharshan Seneviratne
• Canada’s Provincial legislature and Genocide Bill Ontario, a defacto LTTE state ?
• Impact of Ontario’s Bill 104, Tamil Genocide Education Week Act, 2021 and GTA Mayoral Proclamation of Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day on May 18th
• Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination and the downfall of LTTE
• Rise and fall of the LTTE – Part I – Jeyaraj
• Assassination of Rajiv Ghandhi by the LTTE 30 years ago – Jeyaraj
‘I was in close contact with Kittu those days and played a minor role in these efforts to reconcile with Rajiv Gandhi and by extension with India.’
• Twelve years after war’s end country needs new reconciliation process – USAID NPC Perera
• Australia’s Federal Police investigate Nasheed Attack in Maldives
• Gevindu cites China as unwavering friend that Sri Lanka can never forget
• Quad should not develop into US tool to bolster its interests in the region against China
• Lanka should be cautious when following Chinese model – Daily Mirror
• Colombo Port City, geopolitical realities and national interest – Jayatilleka
‘The Port City is a longer-gestation project which, if successful, will not mean a boost for the real economy. i.e., production, but the financial sector and the financial services sector.’
• Spark of hope arrived recently in Geneva with the UNHRC – ICG’s Keenan
• Sri Lanka’s journey with Africa
‘6th Century AD writer Cosmas noted in his Topographia Christiana, strong trading links between Sri Lanka and the Ethiopian empire’
• World relatively silent, as Palestinian children are thrown to the wolves
• Sri Lanka Israel Solidarity Movement (ISM) strongly condemns Hamas, recalling LTTE
• To Indians, Palestine’s Hamas Remains a Riddle
• Some thoughts on Israelis in Gaza
‘Simultaneously, Taliban bombs exploding in Kabul on Tuesday killed 85 Muslim school girls, according to CNN.’
• Israel’s Pyrrhic victory in Gaza, Netanyahu is real winner
‘The right-wing lawmaker and a key figure in the negotiations between the opposition factions, Naftali Bennett, who heads the pro-settler Yamina party, seems to be already moving toward resuming negotiations with Netanyahu to form the next coalition government.’
• US protects a client state: 45 vetoes – and counting
• The unending nightmare of Gaza
‘home to around 2 million Palestinians, more than half of them refugees… The Israel-led blockade of the Gaza Strip has cost the Palestinian enclave more than $16bn and pushed more than one million people below the poverty line in just more than 10 years’
• What is Left for Palestine?
‘Palestinians die in the passive tense in western media. The media always says they “have died”; they were never “killed”’
• Biden Continues To Support Israel’s Warcrimes
• Israel Deliberately Provoked Violence to feed the Ultra-Right
• Caribbean Organizations Call on CARICOM, the US, England and EU to Take Urgent Action
• The Palestine Litmus Test
‘Reuters news agency described the Israeli destruction of a building housing the Associated Press and Al Jazeera in Gaza in a twisted passive voice. “Gaza tower housing AP, Al Jazeera collapses after missile strike — witness.”
• US Fakes ISIS Threat in Congo to Justify AFRICOM Presence
• Washington wishes to torpedo Nord Stream 2 and derail Moscow’s gravy train to Berlin
‘Merkel retires in September… Green’s chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock is currently the front runner in the September election to the Bundestag…calling to withdraw Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline’
• USA and Norway expand military cooperation
‘This agreement grants the Pentagon rights to build anything it wants across a number of facilities, namely on the Rigge and Sola airfields, near the southern coast of Norway, as well as the Evenes airfield and the Ramsund Naval Base, located above the Arctic Circle in northern Norway.’
• October Tribunal to Probe US Crimes Against Humanity
‘The results of the proceedings will form the basis of school curricula and fuel the mobilization of hundreds of thousands of activists’
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.
• Sri Lanka Attorney General claims “grand conspiracy” behind Easter attack: report
• Church in quandary over outgoing AG’s incriminatory claims, seeks explanation
• Public Security Minister: Opposition politicians bent of scuttling Easter Sunday carnage probe
• Kiriella wants FBI brought into investigate links between SIS and Zahran Hashim
• FBI confirmed Maulavi Naufar masterminded Sri Lanka Easter attacks: Minister
• ‘Wele Suda’, ‘Podi Lassi’ seek court protection after deaths of fellow criminals in police custody
‘Justice Minister endorses BASL’s concerns over ‘extra-judicial killings’’
• Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka calls for Police report on recent custodial deaths
• AG’s Department cannot have training centre and tracking system without USAid
• Money, power and finance rule justice, morality and public order
• Justice Minister Ali Sabry wrote to High Court Judge of Beddegama, asking for a favour
• Ali Sabry Should Ratify Cow Slaughter Ban
• Being an ‘Arab’ in Sri Lanka – Hejaaz Hizbullah’s wife Maram Khalifa speaks of ordeal
• Defence Ministry shifted to Defense HQ at Sri Jayawardenepura, Kotte
• 1,968 SL naval personnel promoted
• Sri Lanka issues fresh guidelines for bailing suspects to reduce prison overcrowding
• Cabinet nod to relocate prison and convert Welikada to modern township
• Patient management & hospital facilities: Is real COVID picture portrayed by authorities?
• How India’s vaccine drive went horribly wrong
• How The Military Slow Rolled Trump
‘Trump was not assertive enough to use the power of his office to get things done. He also was not smart enough to beat the deep state in its own game.’
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.
• Do we need all these imports? – Maliyadde
‘Vehicle imports alone have reached $2 billion (Rs.260 billion) in 2011. The foreign exchange drain on imports of vehicles, accessories, spare parts, body parts, fuel, maintenance and operation is prohibitively high. High speed super luxury vehicles consume a heavy load of fuel. They keep speeding up all the time and cause at least six deaths a day leaving many disabled.’
• Low interest rate policy punishes savers – Advocata Colombage
‘Most workers lack retirement benefits’
• Interest rate policy: Is it a punitive measure? – Maliyadde Response to Colombage
‘Are neoliberal economists yearning for a savings-dependent society of poor and aged as the investment-driven economy they dreamed for 40 years has never dawned?’
• Reply to Maliyadde on ‘Interest rate policy: Is it a punitive measure?’ – Colombage
• Investment efficiency crucial for post-pandemic economic recovery– Colombage
‘Heavy dependence on low-tech production is a major cause of inefficient investment… , a country’s GDP growth depends not only on the size of investment but also on the quality or efficiency of investment.’
• Demons and Democrats: Remember when JR invited the Robber Barons?
‘On February 4, 1978, President J.R. Jayawardene’s ‘robber baron’ constitution fully protected foreign investments in Sri Lanka by other states, nationals, corporations, companies, and associations…’
• The Corporate Burka & Financial Shenanigans – Wijewardena
• Pyramid schemes prohibited under the Banking Act
‘economic management more challenging during 2020 than the entire post- independence period’
• Profit greediness of pharmaceutical companies enabled production of Vaccines – Abeyratne
• COVID-19 resurgence a severe threat for economic revival – Sanderatne
‘The ban on chemical fertiliser is a glaring example of inappropriate policies’
• World Economic Forum cancels Singapore meeting
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.
• Sri Lanka Covid-19 wave to hit output, more fiscal and monetary support needed: CB
• “If the country is closed for 10 days, the loss to GDP will be Rs.150 billion”
‘That is 1% of the GDP. The total value of the country’s GDP is Rs. 1.5 trillion.’
• Central Bank treading a thin line on continuation of moratoriums
• Central Bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit imposes penalties on a bank and finance company
‘Details of the penalties imposed by the FIU from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021 are as follows: 20 January 2021, Kanrich Finance 1,000,000.00. 18 February 2021, Commercial Bank 3,000,000.00’
• Central Bank: No immediate threat of inflation rise from monetary expansion
• Central Bank largely expected to hold rates…and does so….
• CB Continues Accommodative Monetary Policy Stance to Support Sustained Recovery
• PM reviews state of economy with CB officials
‘Central Bank Governor Prof. W.D. Lakshman, State Minister of Money, Capital Markets and Public Enterprises Reform Nivard Cabraal, Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Central Bank Deputy Governors T.M.J.Y.P. Fernando, K.M.M. Siriwardana, N.W.G.R.D. Nanayakkara and Economic Research Department Director Dr. C. Amarasekara also attended the meeting.
• Sri Lanka sells 90-pct of Treasuries offered
• Trade deficit widens in March for first time in almost a year
‘The largest contributing factors for the widening of the trade deficit were US$ 112 million increase in import expenditure on machinery and equipment, US$ 88.1 million rise in textiles and textile articles and US$ 84 million increase in chemical products.’
• Inflation fears could spook markets as lockdowns wreak economic havoc
‘oligarchs and unscrupulous local businessmen are making super profits at the expense of the hapless consumer, as controls on imports greatly limit consumer choice.’
• Private sector credit in March rose by a record Rs. 112 billion,
‘The Central Bank also said although 73.1% of credit was mainly concentrated in six economic sectors, individual banks have diversified their businesses among various sectors in the economy. Out of the main sectors, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, agriculture, forestry and fishing, tourism, and construction sectors reported NPL ratios higher than the total banking sector average of 4.9% as at end 2020.’
• Parliament supreme over Port City
• Tax concessions for 2 major projects to get Parliamentary approval today
‘concessions to two investment projects – the Colombo International Financial Centre and Ceylon Tyre Manufacturing Co….The project company shall be required to gradually replace expatriate staff with local employees on a best effort basis, with 75 % of the unskilled labour requirement to be sourced locally, 65% of the skilled labour requirement to be sourced locally, while 75% of the white-collar workers will also be sourced locally.’
• Importers face non-tariff and invisible barriers
‘by indirectly restricting banking facilities and introducing a licence scheme.’
• President to Inaugurate Sri Lanka Investment Forum 2021
‘The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Port City Sri Lanka and HSBC ….Microsoft, Technology… Asia Securities…Shangri-La…SLASSCOM…FairFirst Insurance…Dialog…Citibank and CAL…NSB Fund Management, CT CLSA and NDB Investment Bank…Melstacorp and Softlogic Stockbrokers…’
• Chamber Academy & ETIS conducts Business Economics Courses with Howard Nicholas
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
• Lockdowns primarily affect poor communities: 30% of Sri Lanka’s total population.
• Pro-labour groups urge Govt. to vaccinate FTZ workers
‘List of several other recommendations for consideration of Govt., private sector as well as foreign buyers of locally-made products by Dabindu Collective Sri Lanka, Katunayake; Revolutionary Existence for Human Development (RED), Katunayake; Sramabimani Kendraya, Seeduwa, and Standup Movement Lanka, Katunayake.’
• Country has about 37,000 nurses but the requirement is about 55,000-60,000.
‘Nurses are not only overworked but their nutrition is not looked into…About 110 nurses have so far contracted the virus and among them were several pregnant nurses’
• Train drivers’ & controllers’ associations countrywide not given COVID vaccinations strike
• GMOA blames Epidemiology Unit for Covid-19 crisis
• COVID patients occupy 90% hospital and 50% ICU beds: GMOA
• Sri Lanka has lost grip of the situation – Public Health Inspectors’ Union
‘some private laboratories were not sharing PCR test results with the government. “This is a punishable crime under the Quarantine Ordinance.’
• Lab technologists, PHIs stand their ground against govt. attempt to gag them
• Factory workers isolate at BOI zones
• Alleged shortcomings at Punani Intermediate Care Centre – Batticaloa Campus
• Remandees stage rooftop protest at Bogambara demanding PCR tests
• Dead end for Ceylon Chamber of Commerce spearheading private sector vaccine sourcing?
• Why didn’t government respond positively when private sector offered to purchase vaccine
• Arrangements to provide services of Employees’ Provident Fund Department
• ‘Langama Pasala, Hondama Pasala’ (nearest school is the best school) project halted – Ceylon Teachers Union
• Salaries of Govt. Employees to be paid on May 21
• Advocata wants Flexible Labor at Colombo Port City Economic Commission
• Female Dev. Officer attacked in Kesbewa
‘returning home after distributing Rs.5,000 worth dry rations to the families in the GN division’
• Worker remittances increase
‘tourism, the second largest foreign exchange income to the country, remains still in doldrums,’
• What’s the future of migrant workers who returned?
‘40,000 Sri Lankan migrant workers were repatriated due to job losses. The worst hit are those fitting into the skilled labour class. Housemaids are next with a reading of 28.6% of the migrant worker departure figures. Unskilled labour migrants account for 26 % of departures with the professionals who seek employment abroad being 5.5 % of total migrant departures.’
• Cabinet nod to introduce insurance scheme for Lankan migrant workers
• Foreign currency transaction monitoring system launched to assist migrant workers
‘Reason for increase in remittances was the diversion of informal remittances towards formal channels’
• Japanese Officials Ignore a Dying Woman’s Cries for Help
• Sisters to Sri Lankan who died urge minister to release video
• Japan withdraws controversial immigration bill amidst growing pressure over SL student death
‘officers who, as usual, visited Wishma to check her blood pressure and pulse could not measure them due to “an error in the technical instruments.”’
• Over 22,000 Sri Lankan expatriates/migrants in US-Occupied Korea
• Last batch of detained Lankan migrant workers in Saudi Arabia returns to Sri Lanka
• Planters’ Association urges all stakeholders to work towards a fair deal for Ceylon Tea
‘Tea Industry feeds the rural economy driven by 500,000 smallholders, and 125,000 strong RPC workforce, many working on Company estates according to a fixed daily wage, as well as on smallholder estates according to a revenue share model… Sri Lanka is home to approximately 600 tea factories which directly and indirectly create livelihoods for an estimated 3 million Sri Lankans.’
• ‘Stronger Together’: auction for tea plantation worker ‘empowerment’
• Cricketers threatened to quit over pay cuts in new contract
‘domestic cricketers who are being poorly paid’
• Disaster management: Govt. allocates one million rupees per DS division
‘Nearly 43,000 people from some 11,074 families have been affected due to heavy rains on Friday and Saturday. About 853 people from 205 families are currently being sheltered in welfare centres’
• ComBank supported Vocational Training Authority graduates find gainful employment
‘at reputed companies including Maga Engineering, Nawaloka Construction, Sripalie Construction, and Access Engineering with an entry level salary of Rs 50,000 upwards’
• Palestinians join Nationwide Strike in Opposition to Ongoing Israeli Aggression in Gaza
• Afro-Pessimism and the (Un)Logic of Anti-Blackness
‘Entrenched in anti-racist theory and practice today is the belief that all racial and ethnic domination is structured around a global hierarchy, with “white” people at the top and “black” people at the bottom.’
• US Homeowners’ Insurance Companies in Florida Raising Rates by Unprecedented Amounts
‘Effectively Confiscating the Stimulus Checks from Struggling Families and Seniors’
• Death due to long working hours on the rise: WHO, ILO study
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.
• Met Dept. warns Naval, fishing communities to avoid East Central Bay of Bengal
‘A low-pressure atmosphere very likely to form over North Andaman sea and the sea area adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal around May 22 and intensify into a depression around May 23, and a cyclonic storm by May 24 and move northwestwards and reach near Odisha of the West Bengal coasts around May 26 morning…heavy rain in the sea areas extending from Mannar to Galle via Colombo, and extending from Kankesanthurai to Chilaw via Mannar and extending from Galle to Pottuvil via Hambantota could be rough…’
• MONLAR rejects proposed National Agricultural Policy
‘failed to address the concerns of Sri Lankan small scale farmers, which amounts to 90% of the country’s food producers…Policy must give priority to addressing the country’s overdependence on food imports, the dwindling health and nutrition of farmers (for example CKDu, other non-communicable diseases and malnutrition,) high indebtedness and the landlessness, human – wild animal conflict and bad institutional support to farmers.’
• Law favours herding over farming: DWC double standards jeopardizes Dimbulagala farmers
• SJB blames huge losses on failure to complete vegetable storage complex
• Improved rubber prices should see increase in production
‘Natural rubber production in Sri Lanka has been declining at an alarming rate from 135,000 Mt produced five years ago to 82,600 Mt in 2019…overtaken by Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar…productivity of rubber lands in Sri Lanka has dropped down to 829 kg/Ha/ Yr from 1300 Kg/Ha/Yr…annually over 70 days of tapping are lost in rainy rubber groving districts, namely Ratnapura, Kalutara and Galle…rubber total export value of Sri Lanka is only 5 per cent of which Rs. 4.8 billion comes from the export of raw rubber particularly in the form of Latex crepe rubber. Income from rubber finished product exports is US$864.4 million (Rs. 152 billion).
• Time for greater use of biofertiliser/compost
‘There will be much noise made by chemical fertiliser importers to incite farmers…There is a gold mine in the Kotahena and Wellampitiya garbage-mountains.’
• Agrochemicals stuck in port, Govt. insists on shift to organic fertiliser
‘Pressure on president to reverse ban’
• Agriculture and misinformation pandemic – Waidyanatha
‘The real problem with agrochemicals is their misuse….Some of the products used in organic farming are as toxic as conventional agrochemicals…A serious problem with organic agriculture is the surreptitious mixing of chemical insecticides with organic ones.’
• Perpetuating myths about fertilisers – Tennakone
• Harvesting Aquatic weed for biofertiliser – another dead rope for the farmer?
• Ceylon tea rejected for Excessive agro-chemicals from Japan, EU, UK, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan
• Storm brewed by SL’s tea plantation owners over fertilizer ban
• SL leading tea exporter Akbar Brothers aims for full business visibility with IFS
• Japan’s SBI Group invests $2 million in Watawala Dairy Farm in Sri Lanka
• Dutch partner Ceasar Sustainable Invest BV joins hands with Tropical Green Exports
‘Tropical Green Exports Ltd. specialises in manufacturing, supply and distribution of export quality coco peat used in the hydroponics industry and as an alternate growth medium to soil…the company owns two plants within the Jaffna Peninsula’
• UN Global Compact Network SL Working Group on Sustainable Supply Chain
‘keynote address by the Chairman of Network SL, CEO Dilmah Tea, Dilhan C. Fernando. Panel members were Matt Kovac, Executive Director, Food Industry Asia (FIA – Singapore), Helena Orella Salinas, Sustainable Development Manager, Bolton Food (Spain), Sonali Peiris – Head of Sustainability, Enterprise Risk Management & Group Initiatives, John Keells Holdings (JKH). The Panel was moderated by Thamindri De Silva, General Manager, MJF Charitable Foundation and Steering Committee Member, UN Global Compact Network SL… The UN Global Compact is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General… a call to companies everywhere to align operations and strategies with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.
• Human-elephant conflict: GI pipes from China for 1500km fence; procurement waived
• Is Sri Lanka culling its wild elephants by proxy? – Wildlife & Nature Protection Society
‘As at 5 May, 118 wild elephants had died this year, thus far; that is almost a death a day… In 2011, a DWC survey concluded there were 6,000… between 2010 and 2020 over 2,800 elephants have officially fallen victim,… almost 50% of the number counted in 2011 have perished since.’
• Govt. ditches National Action Plan for mitigation of human-elephant conflict?
• In Sri Lanka, here be dragonflies and damselflies like nowhere else (Commentary)
‘Nearly half of 130 known species of dragonflies and damselflies in SL found nowhere else on Earth.’
• Colombia’s Military Displacing Peasants: Protect Environment or Sell Off Natural Resources?
‘Corporations, not wildlife, stand to benefit from the emptied lands.’
C7. Industry (False definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc)
ee Industry notes the ignorance about industrialization (versus handicraft and manufacture), the dependence on importing foreign machinery, the need to make machines that make machines, build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound, and the need for a holistic political, economic and military strategy to overcome the domination by merchants and moneylenders.
• Sri Lanka’s heavy mineral industry
‘Heavy reliance on technology and gadgetry has increased the demand for metals and minerals that are required to manufacture these items…Sri Lanka is well known for its non-metallic mineral resources… black sands or heavy minerals stand out with the greatest potential to deliver globally significant production… Sri Lanka’s mineral resource base consists primarily of industrial minerals…heavy minerals (mainly ilmenite, rutile, zircon, garnet, and monazite) are amongst the most abundant minerals with a high economic potential…for the manufacture and fabrication of common everyday items including mobile phones, ceramics, paint, plastics, paper, abrasives, electronics, medical products, sunscreen, food, and pharmaceuticals.’
• Sri Lanka Air Force & STF raid illegal sand mining operations
• Apparel factory manager remanded for violating quarantine regulations
• Exaggerating Spread to promote private sales of vaccines?
• Hemas Holdings Q1 revenue of Rs.16.6 billion
• Hemas Pharmaceuticals sole local representative for AstraZeneca and Pfizer in Sri Lanka
• Hemas welcomes MoH request seeking Pvt. sector assistance on vaccine procurement
• Why Big Pharma’s Arguments Against Patent Waivers Don’t Add Up
• PCR testing: Kumudesh alleges govt. labs given step motherly treatment
‘Health Ministry has reduced the number of samples sent to our labs. More samples are sent to private sector labs and there is an attempt to mislead the people into believing that the state sector labs are inefficient, and the private sector can do this better.”
• Sri Lanka opposition slams ban on private imports of Covid-19 vaccines
• SL in discussions with over 15 private companies to urgently secure Astrazeneca vaccines
• Providing vaccines through private hospitals is another option – Karu
• Govt. shoots down business community request to purchase AstraZeneca vaccines
• Australia supports SL to get more Oxygen cylinders through UNICEF
• Cabinet Sub-Committee discusses impact of rising price of fuel in global market
• WindForce to acquire 92.5% of waste-to-energy plant from Fairway
‘Fairway Waste Management was established to develop the 500MT/day Karadiyana Waste to Energy Plant, which will generate 10MW of power to the national grid…. a power purchase agreement with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).The shareholders of Fairway Waste Management are Hemaka De Alwis and Milinda Romesh Amarasinghe of Fairway Holdings’
• 2,631,612 vehicles imported 2015-19, for LKR 1,239.7 billion
• SriLankan Airlines enters into MoU with US Boeing
‘to explore airframe maintenance, component maintenance, training and other commercial opportunities’
• EPF keeps 9.51% of Piramal Glass rejects sale to controlling shareholder US Blackstone Group
• Piramal Glass to post FY21 Revenue Rs. 8.5 b in full year
‘Piramal Glass Ceylon (formerly, Ceylon Glass Company) is only SL glass bottle manufacturing plant’
• Urgent import of LPG cylinders amidst possible artificial shortage
• Sri Lanka price controls drive LPG cylinder imports, fears of shortages: report
• Litro Gas causes stir in market with Hybrid Cylinder
‘Selling the same form of old cylinder with reduced volume of gas’
• Panasian Power PLC records 63% increase in net profit for FY20/21
• Teejay Q1 Revenue Q1 up 56% to 6.297 billion
‘Sri Lanka’s top textile manufacturer’
• Sri Lanka records USD 798.9 Mn exports in April 2021
‘export of major product sectors such as Apparel, Tea, Rubber based Products, Coconut based, Spices and Electrical & Electronic Components were increased’
• Manufacturing and services activities slow in April; expectations for next 3 months deteriorate
‘‘significant declines in Production, New Orders, Stock of Purchases, and Employment sub-indices compared to the expansion recorded in March…manufacture of food and beverages and textile and wearing apparel sectors declined significantly due to the lesser number of working days in the month’
• Digitalization way forward for Lanka – World Bank
‘With support from the World Bank’s Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC), ICTA is planning to bring services online to 10 selected Divisional Secretariats…The platform will leverage existing infrastructure such as the Lanka Government Cloud (LGC 2.0), the government’s cloud computing infrastructure, and the Lanka Government Network, the government’s private network which connects 860 government offices across the country.
• London-based Global System for Mobile Communications Association says 5G at risk
‘if governments fail to align on licensing 6 GHz spectrum’
• Sri Lanka’s China-run port sees record vehicle transshipment to Mexico, South Africa, EU
• Access Engineering opens new asphalt manufacturing plant in Ganewalpola
‘Access Engineering, the major producer of asphalt concrete in Sri Lanka, contributes to the 100,000 km Alternative Road System project being implemented’
• INSEE Ecocycle to provide waste management solutions for Galle Analytical Lab
• Tokyo Cement partners Ministry of Environment to plant 200,000 trees by Mahaweli
• DIMO Concludes ‘Life to Reef’ Season 4, the Coral Reef Conservation Project in Rumassala
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.
• CSE indices decline as investors exercise caution over Covid spread
• Dr. Kenneth De Zilwa appointed LankaClear Chairman
‘worked at Citibank N.A. and HSBC’
• ICRA Lanka upgrades Indian Muthoot’s Asia Asset Finance ratings
‘continuous support of MFL in regaining glitter in the Gold Loan business has become more resilient in the competition, thus expanding its Gold Loan base to Rs 6.5 Billion,’
• Commercial Bank income of Rs 40.9bn, profit before tax Rs 8.183bn for Q1 2021
• Sampath Group Profit Before Tax Rs 6.7 billion PBT
• Amana Bank Total Assets reach LKR 106.5 billion
• Sanasa Development Bank to raise up to Rs.4.5bn via proposed secondary public offering
• SDB Bank customers now access to Sampath Bank’s branch network of 228 branches
• Citizens Development Business Finance promotes women’s entrepreneurship in Sri Lanka
• Standard Chartered Sri Lanka Plants 627 Trees for Earth Day
• Unilever linked Upfield Lanka (seller of Astra & Flora) donates 10 ICU beds
‘largest plant-based company in the world’
• Sri Lanka minister eyes Bitcoin exchange in Port City amid China crypto crackdown
• Bitcoin plunges below $40,000 as China widens its crypto crackdown
• As Bitcoin Crashes 34% in a Week, Congressman Pushes Bank Regulator to Approve
• Are Record-Setting Commodity Prices a Result of Demand or Futures Manipulation?
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’
• Ceylon Tobacco Co. Q1 Turnover – Rs. 34.76 billion
• UNDP, SLTDA kick off e-survey to draft National Tourism Policy
‘Roadmap developed by UNDP, SLTDA, other UN agencies, including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and World Tourism Organization (WTO), development partners such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Union (EU), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Australia and other key stakeholders.’
• Brand Finance Lanka releases annual index of Most Valuable Brands
‘Sri Lanka’s 100 Most Valuable Brands increased in value by a marginal 2.6%’
• Govt. expands Selendiva’s revival strategy of real estate, State hotel investments
‘Canwill Holdings Ltd. (which owns Grand Hyatt Colombo), Hotel Developers (Lanka) (Hilton Colombo) and Grand Oriental Hotel were brought under Selendiva.’
• On’ally Holdings appoints top engineer Noel Joseph to its Board
‘He held senior positions in State Engineering Corporation, Heavyfab Ltd., Development Consultants Lanka Ltd., Safari Company Ltd. Saudi Arabia and Baharudden P.M.S. Associates Brunei.
He is a member of the Institution of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (MIEEE) USA, the Institution of Lighting Engineers (MILE) UK, the New York Academy of Science (MNYAS) USA, the Illumination Engineering Society (MIES) USA, an Incorporated Engineer UK (IEng) at the Institution of Engineering Technology (MIET) UK, and a member of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (MASHRAE) USA. He serves on the Board of Regnis (Lanka) PLC, Singer Industries (Ceylon) PLC, is the Managing Partner of Cadteam, and Proprietor of N.J. Consultants. Lanka Realty Investments is the controlling shareholder of On’ally Holdings with 51% stake, whilst Urban Development Authority (UDA) holds 45.3%…the Board of On’ally Holdings PLC comprises of L.A.P.H. de Silva (Chairman), A.J.B. Warman (Deputy Chairman), M.H. Jamaldeen (Managing Director), W.L.D.P.V. Jayawardene, T. Sarveshwaran, E.A.C. Piyashantha, V.P. Senanayake, S. Neelakandan, A.A. Marikar, K.D. Pradeep and N.L.S. Joseph.’
• Parliamentary Committee on Public Finance insists Port City tax breaks must come good
• Port City: First project worth USD 100 billion to get underway
‘Relevant order for recruitment of employees has been presented under the Strategic Development Projects Act. Accordingly, 75% of unskilled workers, skilled workers and higher-level employees will be recruited locally.’
• Dipped Products Group turnover Rs. 46.39 billion and PBT of Rs.7.19 billion
‘Directors –Mohan Pandithage (Chairman), H.S.R.Kariyawasan (Deputy Chairman), Ng Soon Huat (Managing Director), Pushpika Janadheera (Deputy Managing Director), Dhammika Perera, Sarath Ganegoda, F.Mohideen, S.Rajapakse, N.A.R. R. S Nanayakkara, S.P. .Peiris, K.D.G Gunaratne, K.M.D.I Prasad, Ms. Y. Bhaskaran (alternate Director to Mr. Dhammika Perera)
• Haycarb turnover Rs. 25.4 billion, profit before tax of Rs. 4.49 billion for 2020/21
‘the Company secured significant water and waste water treatment projects in Sri Lanka under the Water Supply and Sanitation Improvement Projects (WASSIP initiative) under the Ministry of Water Supply, and the Climate Resilient Integrated Water Management Projects funded by the UNDP.’ The Directors comprises of Mohan Pandithage – Chairman, Rajitha Kariyawasan – Managing Director, Dhammika Perera, Arjun Senaratna, Sarath Ganegoda, Jeevani Abeyratne, Sarath Abayawardana, Sujeewa Rajapakse, M. S. P. Udaya Kumara, Brahman Balaratnarajah, Sharmila Ragunathan, Ali Asgar Munaver Caderbhoy, James Naylor, M. H. Jamaldeen and Shamalie Gunawardana’
• Hayleys hikes profit by 400% to Rs. 14 b
‘Foreign currency earnings exceed $ 600 m; emerges as largest value-added-exporter among public listed entities…Directors comprise Mohan Pandithage (Chairman and Chief Executive), Dhammika Perera (Co-Chairman), Sarath Ganegoda, Rajitha Kariyawasan, Harsha Cabral, Ruwan Waidyaratne, Hisham Jamaldeen, Aravinda Perera, Jayanthi Dharmasena, Rohan Karr, Gamini Gunaratne and Kawshi Amarasinghe (Alternate to Dhammika Perera).’
• Singer Group FY 2020/21 profit-before-tax of Rs. 3.82 billion
‘businessman Dhammika Perera- controlled Hayleys group held 90.42 stake in Singer while Perera held 1.85 percent stake separately.’
• Singer’s 432 Outlets & 1,800 Imports
‘via 432 retail outlets…Singer owns a portfolio of over 600 electronic items, 1,200 home appliances and boasts more than 50 internationally renowned brands’
• Lion Brewery Rs.14.8 billion revenue 4Q
• ‘Improving market access to India – grow beyond traditional markets’, webinar by NCE
‘key exports to India are apparel, black pepper, animal feed, vegetable fat, insulated wires/cables, processed food, rubber based products, cloves, etc.’
• Ceylon Tobacco recognizes top performers at the annual Pinnacle Awards 2021
• Dialog Donates Essentials to Hospitals and Distributes Dry Rations in Lockdown Areas
• Belarus- Sri Lanka bilateral trade development
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.
• T B Ilangaratne – A Sri Lankan Par Excellence
• Lokuge getting lockdown of Pliyandala lifted shows up decision making process
• The Times of Senthan: Little known Liberator and Silent Giant – I, II & III
• Every visit to China a pleasant surprise: Interview with SL youth leader of political party
• Coalition tactic of NM et al bad luck; politics of Tissa, Vasu and DEW opportunism – David
‘people have become habituated to electing blackguards from the village level up to Kotte at all levels’
• NGO-formation used 1983 as a platform to recast Sri Lanka’s political society – Philips
• “We have to forget class in politics”
• Whither the SJB?
‘The compradorist pretensions of the middle-class have not got this country anywhere’
• Silan Kadirgamar, child of the Jaffna Youth Congress
‘His father and their contemporaries initiated a movement against colonialism,
• Lalita Rajapakse Knighted after he led delegation of the Colombo Plan to Australia.
‘After relative Frank Gunasekera, Physician to the Governor General, received Knighthood, and before Cyril de Zoysa of Kalutara Bodhi’
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.
• Govt. websites under attack on victory day: CERT/CC
• Facebook Journalism Project and Reuters launch digital journalism course in SL
• Reginald Cooray appointed Rupavahini Chairman
• The Song of the Colombots – Damien Ananda goes Gaga on the Gratiaen
‘As for the Gratiaen, it bears the same name of a former attorney general who saved the plotters of the 1962 coup by getting London to overrule Sri Lanka’s parliament! Woo hoo! – So much for English democracy! Ha! So the English never left…’
• 75th death anniversary of Piyadasa Sirisena, author, poet and patriot,
‘He wrote novels, published newspaper ‘Sinhala Jathiya’ and made speeches from town to town.’
• Buddhism spread wider, longer and more influential than previously thought
• Multiculturalism” is the dominant ideology of post-modern Western civilization
‘The notion of ‘Equality’ is given only lip service in many countries and especially where Abrahamic religions hold sway’
• Chinese Embassy urge JV entities to comply with SL trilingual rules
• Publicis Groupe Chaudhari announces appointment of new General Manager for Leo Burnett
• Lessons from Bengal: CPI(M) in Kerala Seeking to Avoid Pitfalls of Being in Power for Long
‘Compulsory rotation in leadership and cooling-off periods for even successful leaders are its tools to counter conservatism within the party.’
• US hyping up the issue of mosques in Xinjiang
‘There are about 2,000 mosques in the United States, about 1,750 in the United Kingdom, and the number is 24,400 in China’s Xinjiang, which means one mosque for every 530 Muslims. There are more than twice as many mosques in Xinjiang as in the United States, England, Germany and France combined.’
• Digital apartheid: Palestinians Being Silenced On Social Media
‘Social media companies, from Zoom to Facebook and Twitter, are reinforcing Israel’s erasure of Palestinians’
• Israel Punishes Media For Reporting Its Escalation In Palestine
‘Israel destroyed offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets hours after another Israeli air raid on a densely populated refugee camp killed at least 10 Palestinians, mostly children’
• Four Songs For Palestine
• BAP US Out of Africa Network On the Latest Zionist Genocidal Assault in Palestinian
‘May 15th marked the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba or “The Catastrophe,” when the Zionist occupiers drove more than 700,000 Palestinians off their land’
• Greenwald falls for anti-Russian propaganda nonsense
‘Obama waged a massive undercover war to overthrow the Syrian government, an old Russian ally. He arranged a fascist coup in the Ukraine’
• 40 at 40: Shyam Selvadurai looks back at the queer novel that launched his career
‘his new novel, Mansion Of The Moon, [is] a historical novel about the Buddha’s wife.’
• The Hoops and the Hype: Basketball Africa League Debuts in Rwanda
‘The decision to debut the Basketball Africa League in Rwanda is a huge public relations coup for totalitarian, war criminal, and US military partner Paul Kagame’
• England to Jail Journalist for FB Post
‘… charged with threatening communication for using the expression “reap the whirlwind” in a political sense’
• Who Perpetuated “Toxic Environment” at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
‘Keeping the toxic culture of Merrill Lynch out of the news for the past 4 decades has been the monster public relations outfit, Burson-Marsteller, now known as Burson Cohn & Wolfe or BCW’
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