“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
e-Con e-News 23-29 May 2021
As ee types this issue, the southwest monsoon forms in the western seas. We’re watching Uber drivers park imported Hero motorcycles, and wearily take off imported helmets and plastic armour. They wipe imported majang from their eyes, and clear their noses, then crouch under trees for shade stolen from public and private spaces in the city. Guzzling imported colas and puffing cigarettes brought to them via the British American Tobacco Company’s subsidiary CTC, they stare into their imported phones, like fishers watching the sea, awaiting a shoal.
Uber drivers have to compete for these shaded spaces with even-worse-off Abans street cleaners, some thinner than their ekel brooms, who also have no space to rest on increasingly privatized sidewalks. Ubiquitous crows and wandering dogs used to an abundant wastage of food once available in the cities, are already cawing and growling in dismay. They too may have to return to the countryside.
• This issue examines: why Uber and the academic ‘Left’ does not want to call workers, workers. Why the media is claiming a ‘minimum tax’ will be imposed on corporations in June. And midst broadcast complaints about trees being cut, the silence regarding multinationals taking over the Amazon. The multinational import mafia behind the media cries about vaccine ‘chaos’, and the wailing against import bans. Also, NGOs and imperialist destabilization. Sinophobia as a cover for US demands for military bases. And why we should prepare for a war economy, investing in modern industry. This ee Focus also examines widespread media fog that China is a major polluter, ignoring that they offer important lessons for swift industrial development.
• Those praising the US Biden administration as apostles of liberal democracy and world peace have gone silent (taken a commercial break!) for the moment while the US, Canada, England and EU murder more people in Palestine, to exacerbate more chaos and suffering, sell more weapons and extract more oil from the region.
• Canada’s Prime Minister’s says his heart’s breaking (again!) about the discovery of the bones of 215 original children buried in another church-run ‘residential school’. Germany too is apologizing for their genocide of over 3 million people in Namibia in the early 20th century. Namibia was a kindergarten for the later Nazi leadership; Germany says they will pay compensation by providing German experts and machinery!
While selectively apologizing for the past, these countries should also apologize the future. Both Canada and Germany are involved in waging war in Asia, right now! Waging war on Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Palestine, Syria, Libya, Mali… and still on the original people of the Americas. They make no apologies for that. Canada’s pension plans are heavily invested in 14 nuclear weapons companies!
All these news stories about apologies for the past are carefully planted propaganda, to divert. A few weeks ago, Germany promised to return Benin sculptures (stolen by the English) to Nigeria, but the real story was the kidnapping of German oil ‘explorers’ there. In Canada, as in Australia, the mining multinationals are the real rulers there. Whatever else is happening in British Columbia, where this one school was located, that inspired this isolated ‘revelation’, their media will not reveal.
So then, since ‘carbon futures’ are being monetized, why not monetize ‘apology futures’! Let’s bet on the amount of small change they’ll donate to erase from what they doing right now?! Apologeology Futures!
• Drug Import Mafia – The capitalist media wishes to enable the import mafia fronted by Hemas to grab and profit from the vaccination program. This is why their media are spreading confusion about vaccines. It’s no chaos. Pharmaceutical firms in 1973 thwarted an attempt by the SL government to centralize imports and encourage local manufacture – a tale that ended with the murder of Senaka Bibile (see Random Notes).
Car importers are shedding monsoon-size tears for road safety suddenly. If auto parts are made here, cars will crumble on the roads, the roads will fall upwards and dent the skies. Standards will surely slip-slide into the continental shelf. These objections are old hack arguments to prevent local production. Why have they not invested their billions in ensuring proper standards? (ee Industry, Motor Traders).
ee also notes the appearance of a SL Agricultural Economics Association, of agriculture economists jiving the corporate gospel of sustainability, and taking a good cop-bad cop approach: They praise organic farming but also express ‘concern over blanket ban on chemical fertilizer’. Yet why haven’t these agriculture economists come out with programs for organic farming long before the ban was imposed? (ee Agriculture)
• The US has kept demanding military bases in Sri Lanka, from even before 1948. England had already begun to hand over control of most of their colonies to the US. The English had got into severe debt to the US, having extended themselves to indulge in the mass slaughter of their WW2. That 1939-45 war was in part a result of the Military-Keynesianism (throwing money into the weapons industries) that temporarily rescued capitalism from the 1930s depression (see ee 13 Oct 2019).
An anglomanic oligarchy groomed through the late 19th and early 20th century was imposed on Sri Lanka, post-1945. These kalusuddhas continued to impoverish and weaken the govi – the muscular and nutritional base of resistance to colonial rule. Rather than immediately implement land reform to return stolen lands to the cultivators, develop local energy sources, and seed modern industry, they retained Unilever and Exxon dominance of the fuel, fertilizer and home market.
The attack on the Sangha also escalated, alongside the robbery of the vast temple lands – the Sangha had formed the leadership to the resistance throughout much of European colonial invasion. The revivalists of that more holistic tradition, who sought to advance the country through modern culture and industry, embodied in such leaders as Anagarika Dharmapala and DJ Wimalasurendra, Philip Gunawardene and SWRD Bandaranaike, were exiled, isolated and/or murdered.
The colonial kalusduddha leadership installed by the English in 1948 used US demands, expansionism by India, fears of ‘Red Menace’ (USSR) and ‘Yellow Peril’(China) to retain English military and economic forces in Lanka, through agreements signed prior to Soulbury independence. Both the US and India have prevented Sri Lanka developing the immensely valuable and strategic Trincomalee Port, and Mannar Basin.
The continuing US demand to impose their military hardware and boots on Lankan soil provides an enlightening backdrop to the division of emerging socialist forces here, the succession battle within the ruling UNP, the US-controlled Central Bank of Ceylon’s opposition to the SL-China Rubber-Rice Pact, the undermining of Sri Lanka’s global presence at the 1955 Bandung African-Asian Conference, the conjuring of communal elements, the 1959 assassination of SWRD Bandaranaike after he removed the English bases and established relations with socialist countries, the coup against Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the ensuing removal of further white bases, oil multinationals, and expulsion of the US Peace Corps, the insurgency of 1971, and post-1972 terrorism against the new republic that followed, including the April 2019 attacks, after the US Peace Corps, CIA and other spooks further injected themselves into the ruling machinery during the 2015-19 Yahapalana fiasco.
After 1977, many industries were undermined and destroyed. Many of these industries had been built with support from the socialist countries, led by the USSR and PR China. It was in those countries’ interests to help build independent countries on the 3 continents to also weaken the imperialist siege of their own countries, by aiding construction of an alternate international economic system. Just as the USSR had helped China build its industrial base.
NATO projects their own imperialist designs on China providing a convenient alibi. Hence the sheer virulence and irrationality of the anti-China torrents. This disinformation is no doubt lubricated by the largesse of the US embassy, and blared not just by monopoly English media such as the Wijeya Group, and their vocal anglomanic class fraction.
While biding their time demanding bases here, the English and the US evicted the people of Diego Garcia, just south of Sri Lanka after 1965, and established a nuclear base there. ee recalled suspicions about frequent Maldives visits in the early 1950s, perhaps related to the plans for that archipelago; and the old relationship between the US embassy and the-now Wijeya Group media (ee, 2 May 2020), in stirring chaos in the country.
The ruling oligarchy also played up ‘threats’ from China, yet tenuously striking deals with socialist countries, who more generously enabled the stirrings of an industrial economy, which would undergird true independence.
• Towering invisibly behind our much-admired merchants & moneylenders, even those with professedly Sinhala names, are powerful foreign banks and multinationals. ee has named US Exxon and Citibank, Anglo-Dutch Unilever and Standard Chartered, as examples, powering the media attacks against the import bans on cars, palm oil, fertilizer, etc.
This ee examines the looming power of these multinationals, struck by 3 revealing news bullets: a handing over of 132 Amazon ‘conservation’ parks for ‘adoption’ by multinational corporations; the supposed imposition this coming month from Paris of a ‘minimum tax’ on multinational corporations, the demands by Uber and other fashionable ‘hi-tech’ giants for workers to be reclassified as ‘dependent contractors’.
So we’re all petit-bourgeois now, even tho capitalists will continue to control the form and pace of our work. We were wondering who was fueling those techno-utopians, liberals and Leftists, who bid farewell to class – now we know.
• At least 27% of national production has been lost due to the Covid-related lockdown this month. The Rs 5,000 the impoverished will receive to cope with the lockdown, will quickly evaporate into the offshore accounts of our merchants and moneylenders. The capitalist media then hopes to rouse further opposition in the country. How may any government overcome such challenges? The capitalist media is of absolutely no help, only spreading confusion in the name of freedom of the press. They wish to fish in a mud lake, as the Sinhala saying goes.
Along with the import mafia and their foreign multinational sponsors, the private sector worldwide have clearly prevented wider access to vaccines. As Pfizer, etc., along with banks and corporations are announcing record profits. Their economists are wailing against printing money, yet do not demand that investment must be made post-haste in modern production.
• The UN Chief has called for a ‘war economy’ to fight the pandemic’s devastation. Covid has provided camouflage for disasters that capitalism has exacerbated – yet ee has long noted that a war economy is inevitable. We should prepare people for what a real war economy should accomplish. Sri Lanka already experienced a war economy under the English during WW2. But those measures were enacted to retain English colonialism. The cries against ‘despotism’ and ‘militarization’ are actually to prevent more democratic rule, and control of our resources, now monopolized by merchants and moneylenders. Only a strong state can overcome the sabotage of the import-export plantation mafia, which is bleeding the state of revenue, and always demanding reduction of taxes. Their main aim is to prevent investment in modern industry.
• One source of revenue for government is taxation, but taxation is not a stable source of revenue. The state cannot develop itself or the economy solely through taxation. They must set up productive modern industries, regulating and building the market. Capitalists and their media are dead against this.
Yet, like the saying about the dog that doesn’t eat hay, barking at the cattle who do, capitalists in Sri Lanka have no incentive or interest in developing industry.
The multinationals wish to enrich themselves by robbing the country while preventing revenue going to the government. They also wish to prevent governments from setting up and expanding competitive industries. Hence the equally virulent cry against public corporations, targeted as ‘state-owned enterprises’. Yet the state needs to not only generate revenue, it can discipline the market by raising market standards, as Milco is said to have done.
Unregulated hi-tech outfits like Uber, the lords of gigdom, stealing public resources, have no interest in allowing the state to set up a competitive distribution system, that treats the citizens of the country as more than dispensable ‘human resources’. The undermining of SL Telecom’s Muve ride-sharing app bears looking into.
• Recall the old relationship between the US embassy control of the-now Wijeya Group media monopoly (ee 2 May 2020): ‘In June 1954, journalist Rhoda de Silva wrote in Les Temps Moderne, the journal started by Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, about the extent of US “penetration” in Sri Lanka effected under “diverse forms of camouflage”.’
De Silva wrote of Hollywood movies being filmed at strategic locations in Lanka; of the first Central Bank governor (John Exter) being a US citizen; and of other US nationals embedded in commercial, insurance and other companies here: ‘The US government was putting ‘flagrant pressure’ on the SL government to break the Rice-Rubber agreement with China.’ She also pointed to ‘certain of the US methods of intervention that are less apparent’:
‘We wanted to discover to the slightest detail by precisely which methods the US controls the largest publishing house [the Wijewardena-family-controlled Lakehouse] in Ceylon. We wanted to discover how they go about getting the US propagandists there to stir up so well the antagonism between the 2 different language groups… It would interest the Ceylonese people to learn for precisely what reasons the US ambassador and all his personnel frequent the Maldive Islands.’ (International McCarthyism: the Case of Rhoda Miller de Silva, Judy Pasqualge)
A1. Reader Comments –
• Ships Sinking, Millionaires Falling • Check News Sources • FDI Why? • Blood in the Hague
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Uber Reclassifying Workers • World Bank Reports Camouflage • Liberals Define Class • Destroying Education • US Stock Market Larger than Biggest Nations Put Together • Forget the Knife • Monopoly of Truth
A3. Random Notes –
• NGOs as Corporate Trojan Horses • Secret Dollars Pouring in • Political NGOs Still Unregulated • Multinationals Control World Trade • NGOs & Diminishing the State • MNCs claim to be Real NGOs – Multinationals Adopt Amazon as Private Parks • MNCs Demand Minimum Taxes • Jews & Tamils control White Foreign Policy? • Link between Leftists & Uber Demand for No Working Class • Drug Import Mafia & the SL Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry • How Big Pharma Undercut Policy • Multinationals, UN & postcolonial Colonies • Parippu & Genocide in Canada
B. ee Focus
B1. Sinophobia Part 2: China’s Swift Industrial Development – Shiran Illanperuma & Vagisha Gunasekara
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, with any e-link at the end; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• ‘Ships are sinking, millionaires are falling’
• ‘I try to tell my neighbors to always look, before repeating news, at who owns which channel or news site they are getting news from, who’s reporting, who’s interviewed, which party, which faction in that party, who are the beneficiaries, who are the losers, etc?’
• ‘All this noise about FDI, investment, etc. Investment for what? To import more luxuries?’
• ‘Blood splattered in the Hague! – East Goes West, by Younghill Kang in 1937, hailed as a forerunner of the Asian-American (English) novel, mentions the suicide of a Baron Lisangsul at a Hague Tribunal, after the whites decided to hand over Korea to Japan (later divided Korea as they did Vietnam, India/Pakistan, China/Taiwan, Germany etc). Lisangsul’s hara-kiri splattered blood all over the diplomats. But, there are no English internet references to any Lisangsul – but there is a Sangsul He was part of delegation of 3 sent to the 2nd Hague convention in 1907 by the Korean Emperor to oppose Japan’s grabbing of Korea. Interestingly, Whiteypedia (Wiki’s real name) claims the events are exaggerated by both North and South Korea (so there are issues both south and north agree upon than the media let us know!)
Japan had succeeded in preventing the Koreans’ entry to that conference, where the whites made the Japanese the representatives of Korea. So something did happen… white memory must not cloud us. Was there a suicide in the Hague whose blood splashed the whites?
Here’s more: The film An Emissary of No Return (Doraoji annun milsa, 1984), is based on Bloody Conference stage play by Kim Il-sung. In the film, a Korean emissary at The Hague International Peace Conference in 1907, Ri Jun tries to convince the international community to help reverse the Japanese-Korean Protective Treaty of 1905, which left Korea under Japan’s leadership. After Ri’s speech doesn’t win support from Western powers, he commits hara-kiri in front of the diplomats. Sections of the film were shot in Czechoslovakia using European actors, something never done before in NK cinema.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Uber is in the midst of an international campaign – enthusiastically and richly supported by the likes of Lyft, DoorDash, Amazon – to legally classify those who they hire and fire, whose working conditions they set and monitor, and whose pay they determine, as not really workers but dependent contractors. If successful, this would, for a start, mean that these ‘non-workers’ would be excluded from minimum standards on wages, vacation pay, parental leave, workers’ comp, unemployment insurance.’ (see ee Workers, Designation)
• ‘The problem with ‘class’ is that the predominant understanding of class today is liberal, not socialist. Class is understood as a hierarchy of wealth and inequality, of comparative incomes and living standards, and even occupations. This is a liberal notion of class that supports our moral outrage (unfair, unjust, outrageous inequality and extreme wealth). But it is not the socialist understanding of the class relations….’ (ee Workers, Reimagining)
• ‘Why Fight for Higher Education? – Early industrial capitalists in the England, US, and Canada once trained their workforce in basic skills, numeracy, literacy, etc., as well as job-specific and skilled trades training. They needed a workforce that could read a clock, a schematic, an account ledger, a pattern for tool-and-die making, and the assembly-line number of the vehicle that slowly moved past them on the assembly line. That was then. A generation or so later, these industrialists pushed for an expanded, free public education system – and why not? From their standpoint, it meant that they could displace those training costs onto the back of the state, since tax dollars now supplanted the cost of their previous training efforts. It’s 2021, and when we’re not at work, we’re staring at our cellphones. Industry no longer needs as many trained employees, and neoliberal governments have decided they no longer need the burden of education on their books. We have a politically malnourished population that lacks the tools to assess their socioeconomic and political circumstances. In a Freirean sense, teaching people critical thinking poses a problem to the status quo…’ (ee Workers, Laurentian)
• ‘As of March 31 of this year, total stock market value in the US stands at a breathtaking $49.1trillion (includes US-based public companies listed on the NY Stock Exchange, Nasdaq Stock Market or OTCQX US Market). A $49.1tn stock market is larger than the combined GDP of the 4 largest industrialized nations (US, China, Japan, Germany) according to International Monetary Fund data.’ – wallstreetonparade.com/2021/05/at-49-1-trillion-the-u-s-stock-market-is-larger-than-the-combined-gdp-of-the-u-s-china-japan-and-germany/
• ‘If you stick a knife in my back 9 inches and pull it out 6 inches, there’s no progress. If you pull it all the way out that’s not progress. Progress is healing the wound that the blow made. And they haven’t even pulled the knife out much less heal the wound. They won’t even admit the knife is there.’ – Malcolm X on Settlers
• ‘These days, through destructive and extremist channels, as well as various internet resources and Western media, incomplete and unverified information is being disseminated aimed at manipulating public opinion in their own interests… We urge the public not to popularize innuendo and cynical speculation. We consider it unacceptable to assume that someone has a monopoly on the truth until the preliminary investigation is completed.’ (ee Sovereignty, Ryanair)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• NGOs were promoted as Trojan Horses for MNCs. Corporate foundations, such as Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, were set up as tax avoidance shelters for those multinationals. They began operating through front groups, promising good deeds, to conceal their hand in changing state policies to suit their needs. ‘They start off doing good, to end up doing bloody well.’
• Large amounts of funds keep pouring into SL through both formal and informal channels to undermine the country. Once the US embassy signalled their opposition to the ‘Chinese-owned’ Port City, the main NGOs, CPA, TISL, etc., took up their cry, and 1000 social media memes sang their rock’n’roll.
• A man selling thambili is nongovernmental – hence an NGO. A huge Multinational is also an NGO. Successive SL governments have not legally defined what constitutes an NGO. Current regulations demand that NGOs, engaged in social services such as relief work, ranging from charities to CBOs, need to register. Yet there are no regulations governing funding bodies, political or advocacy NGOs, etc. Therefore there’s no mechanism to monitor funding of NGOs.
• Multinationals control most of world trade. They are protected by the massive weapons of the mainly European and European settler nation states they are based in.
• The attack on the state’s functions and the dismantling of its role in the life of the people led to further growth of charities, nonprofits, and NGOs. NGOs were at were at first an extra-electoral mask for multinational corporations to get in on shaping state policies. Now MNCs are declaring themselves as the real NGOs. They also say they’re not parasitic NGOs, begging donations from people, state or corporations, but NGOs that make an ‘honest’ profit!
• Private multinational companies are now allowed to ‘adopt’ natural conservation areas in Brazil’s Amazon. This comes after a relentless campaign to discredit elected political representatives as corrupt and wasteful of natural resources. They wish to diminish the nation state as being primarily responsible for the country as a whole.
• The US Biden administration is claiming they wish to reduce inequality. They wish to impose a minimum corporate tax on MNCs around the world, to prevent US MNCs from shopping around for the lowest tax jurisdictions. This will be proposed at an upcoming OECD agreement in mid-June. The powerful G7 economies of course will avoid the prescribed minimum by subsidizing their priority industries. Other countries would still have to attract investment in production by low or zero taxes. The main goal is to prevent our countries from initiating and building modern industries. They wish us to stick to handicraft or manufacture, importing their machines and components.
• ee gets many messages about how Jews are controlling US policy in Palestine (a name forbidden in some media style guides apparently). Also saying, the Tamil diaspora controls the foreign policy of white governments on SL. ee wonders how much of this is spread by people living comfortably in those countries to justify their continued presence there? According to such argument, the besieged US, English, Canada, EU governments and white citizens are simply misled by local informants. The same is said about white gusano Cubans in Miami controlling US policy on Cuba, Armenians on Turkey, etc. ee’s response always remains: You think the whites need coaching on imperialism?
Khalistan terrorists are petted between Herr Majesty’s legs, and told to sit quiet whenever they get concessions from India. A few were even leashed and put in prison kennels. Yet when the whites don’t get the market share they wish, they command their pets to keep growling. Unfortunately, India also practises this veterinary science on us.
• What’s the link between liberals and some Leftists claiming there is no working class, and the current needs of the wealthiest multinationals? Ride-hailing company Uber is spending 100s of millions of dollars, on an international campaign – supported by Amazon, Lyft, DoorDash – to legally classify those who they hire and fire, whose working conditions they set and monitor, and whose pay they determine, as not really workers but ‘dependent contractors’, which sounds more like ‘new coolies’!. These ‘non-workers’ would then be excluded from minimum standards on wages, vacation pay, parental leave, workers’ comp, unemployment benefits. Their real goal is to block drivers from even trying to form a legally recognized union by redefining them as non-workers. They’ll start by getting some unions and linked political parties to accept ‘modern realities’, and eventually dismantle all trade unions. They want to prevent trade unions from organizing worker power as a class. They want to have workers individually beg rather collectively bargain over wages (determined by labor market prices which they monopolize) and pensions. There’ll be even less than the little democracy present in the workplace, with no elected union stewards, only those chosen by the company, with no right to strike for workers, while companies would continue to withdraw their services as they please. They will be able to undercut everybody’s wages and benefits by hiring new workers at lower wages and excluding them from any existing benefit plan. In this way, unions would have little protection to offer workers, and would collapse, as young workers treated as second-class members will have no loyalty to their own union.
• As an affiliate of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, the SL Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry founded in 1961, is led by corporates such as: Hemas, George Steuart, India’s Cipla Pharma, Swiss A Baur & Co, Astron (US Pfizer). Dominated by imported products, they claim the ‘local component’ is 20%, while representing ‘over’ 60 members accounting for ‘more than’ 80% of the private pharmaceutical industry, spanning manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers, importing 800 molecules from 364 manufacturers located across the world. They claim an ‘industry value chain’ of ‘over’ 60,000 direct employees and ‘over’ 240,000 indirect employees. It is a funny kind of industry that has insistently failed to invest in making the ingredients or the machines.
• Drugs & Multinationals – ‘The MNCs exercise their countervailing power in devious ways: eg, when Argentina imposed price controls on pharmaceuticals in 1975 the European firms retaliated through their governments at the ‘Paris Club’ talks which were to decide on aid to Argentina.
In Sri Lanka, the pharmaceutical firms in 1973 thwarted an attempt by the government to centralize imports and to encourage local manufacture. One of them, Pfizer Ltd, later foiled a nationalization threat by exerting political pressure through the US government. The US Ambassador intervened personally, reportedly bringing up the matter of US food aid to SL…
in Sri Lanka, raw materials for tetracyclene capsules were imported in 1974 by Pfizer at US$99/kg, compared with a price of $20/kg at which the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation was importing the same materials from Hoechst Aktiengesellschaft in Frankfurt. Despite a cholera epidemic that was prevalent at the time, Pfizer declined to accede to a request by the Minister of Industries and Scientific Affairs that it should produce capsules from the raw materials imported from the cheaper source (Disclosure by the Minister of Industries & Scientific Affairs in Sunday Observer, 7 May 1978). Glaxo Ltd was importing chlorophenisamine from its parent firm at $411/kg compared with $53 from Halewood, a smaller English firm.’ (Sanjay Lall & Senaka Bibile, ‘The Political Economy of Controlling Transnationals: the Pharmaceutical Industry in Sri Lanka (1972-76), World Development ,1977).
• The conglomerates infiltrate international agencies, including the UN system; with their effective intelligence networks, they can even destabilize governments. While making use of the military and diplomatic power of international capitalism as represented by the USA, they in turn serve its political interests.
To a large extent the conglomerates can defend their interests abroad without colonialism based on conquest of territory, for the reason that they can control activities by their monopoly of technology & markets. First, a good portion of their income is in the form of technological rents, royalties, licensing rights, technical assistance fees, etc. The technology is rarely transferred, and its diffusion outside the orbit of such corporations is rigidly controlled. When deprived of this technology and marketing know-how, the natural resources and cheap labour of the host countries become idle assets at least in the short run. Second, transfer pricing enables a multinational to siphon away profits from high-risk territories; or by easily inflating accounting costs, it can also minimize local tax liabilities. Third, a ‘fairly wide geopolitical spread’ of production facilities enables multinationals to switch the venue of their operations, treating a large part of the world as their keyboard. The 25 biggest US multinational firms in 1967 had production facilities, on an average, in 27 countries. A parallel feature is the spreading of markets over several overseas territories, any one of which contributes only a small share of the total business. For all these reasons, the bargaining power of a multinational is immeasurably stronger than that of the transnational enterprises of the classical colonial period. (The Political Economy of Underdevelopment, SBD de Silva)
• Canada, Genocide & Repression – Those interested in locating where the tasteless parippu we import from Canada comes exactly from, should try and locate another underground classic, Killing the Shamen, by JR Stevens and Thomas Fiddler. Other than Canada’s first PM John A MacDonald, who’s held responsible for the starvation of the original people, another major villain who pushed the prosecution and deaths of these Nahaway (called Cree, from Christian) leaders was an official named Aylesworth Bowen Perry. Perry built up his career on the ‘Northwest Rebellion of 1885’ to become 6th Commissioner of the RCMP, 1900-23, overseeing the starvation policies that led to the tragedies.
‘After the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919, the Canadian government set up a secret branch within the national police force to track down “misguided persons” who sought to upset the established order. In 1931, the government employed a draconian and until then unused section of the criminal code, hurriedly enacted in 1919, to outlaw the Communist Party, and send its leaders to jail. Following the instructions of Commissioner AB Perry, and his successors in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the secret police stepped up its practice of creating personal files on unsuspecting people, recording ‘their ways, habits and antecedents’ for possible use in court actions…” Murder, prison and deportations followed… “It was indeed a dangerous time to be Red.” – Stephen Endicott, Raising the Workers’ Flag
B. Special Focus__
B1. Sinophobia Part 2 – China’s Swift Industrial Development
– Shiran Illanperuma & Vagisha Gunasekara
The first part of our series introduced the concept of “Sinophobia Inc.” and the information industrial complex driving it. We argued that funding from Western state and corporate sources has sought to flood media with anti-Chinese sentiment, while alternative perspectives rarely get wider coverage. Especially in Sri Lanka, the Anglicized liberal comprador elites lap up the vitriol and use it to shape public opinion.
To be specific, Sinophobia in Sri Lanka is fuelled by several elements on the political stage that may not always have converging political agendas, but rally together when it comes to the ‘China issue’. This constellation consists of Western embassies such as the US, the NGOs funded by these same governments, the pro-imperialist rightwing parties, sections of the ultranationalists, and sectarian/utopian ‘Left’ parties and intellectuals who invoke Marx only in name.
Previously, we discussed their allegations of income inequality in China, the rural-urban divide, and differing provincial outcomes in New China’s 70-year development story. This part shifts focus to criticisms surrounding the ecological and climate impact of China’s swift industrial development, which no doubt came at great environmental cost.
Total emissions: a Malthusian trap – China is now the largest CO2 emitter in the world in absolute terms. China’s coal consumption sky-rocketed with rapid industrialization post-revolution. In 2012, China consumed almost the same volume of coal as the rest of the world combined. Air pollution rose, leading to infamous stories of smog-covered cities. This certainly puts some onus on China to consider its global environmental impact, which, as we shall show below, it is doing.
Yet, the focus on China’s total emissions conveniently ignores the country’s per-capita emissions (6.4 metric tonnes), dwarfed by advanced economies like the United States (17.6mt), Australia (14.9mt), and Germany (10.4mt). The US military alone emits some 59mt of CO2, more than Sweden – and this is not even for the sake of production and consumption, but for destruction!
We can push beyond even per-capita emissions to examine China’s emissions in historical perspective by looking at cumulative global emissions. Data shows that from 1750-1950, the industrializing and colonizing West was by far the sole ecological culprit. Even to the present day, the underdeveloped countries, home to the vast majority of the world’s population, are responsible for less than 40% of historical emissions.
The world’s manufacturer/dumping ground – Trendy liberal environmentalism, popularized by corporations and I/NGOs, tends to focus on pollution caused by consumption. Less examined is the role of production. In a world of globalized value chains, where production has been decentralized to break organized labor and preserve capitalist profits, attributing emissions to any single country is tricky.
After China’s Reform and Opening-up from 1978, large numbers of Western firms relocated their manufacturing to China’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs). By 2019, China contributed around 28.7% – over a quarter – of the world’s manufacturing output. Though we may have dismissed cheaper Chinese manufactures as “Cheena badu” in the past – an attitude still prevalent with regard to COVID-19 vaccines – it was this process that created the abundance of affordable commodities we all enjoy today.
From China’s perspective, this was a historical compromise to attain the technology and market share required for rapid development. But, for consumers in the developed world, it meant they could enjoy goods manufactured cheaply in China, while not having to directly deal with the environmental impacts of the production process.
Right to development – China occupies a unique position as the world’s largest CO2 emitter, while also being a developing country. Industrialization inevitably leads to higher emissions, given the required buildup of infrastructure and heavy industry, unless there’s access to new technologies that can make the process more environmentally sustainable.
After industrialization at the expense of their colonies, Western countries now hypocritically lecture us about environmental standards. Yet, until recently, they ‘conveniently’ held sole access to the technology to achieve these standards. Therefore calls to accede to such standards were partly to open up our markets for their monopolies.
China’s solution was to develop its own green technologies at its own pace, and at a more-affordable price level for underdeveloped countries. Today, China has the largest market share in every stage of solar-panel production. Meanwhile, it produces around half the world’s electric cars. China’s heavy investment in railways, both locally and internationally, should also be lauded for being a greener alternative to transport by road and air.
People-led policy – Before the last decade, China’s environmental policy could be described as ‘pollute first, clean up later’. Soon, air quality became a serious cause for concern, especially for a newly emerging educated middle class.
Protests in Sichuan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces over pollution led China to publish a comprehensive plan that would significantly bring down smog levels by 2017. These triggered changes in China’s environmental management policies, highlighting problems in local governments not wanting to compromise economic growth and tax revenue.
China’s vision to ‘go green’ meant changes for ordinary citizens. In the mining town of Datong, workers found new jobs in solar-power plants built on old mine sites. In 2017, millions of households had to be weaned off depending on coal, replaced with natural gas. Rural households struggled to heat homes; some commentators challenged whether ‘it’s fair for low-income rural families to shiver so Beijing can enjoy bluer skies?’
In the last few years, Chinese government policies have enhanced environmental awareness among the people. Waste-sorting has been introduced as a “social contract” between the government and the people. There’s also a push to reduce food wastage in restaurants.
Ecological civilization – Contrary to the image of a polluting behemoth portrayed by corporate media, China today is a global leader in developing greener technologies and policies. Few outside China know of the government’s 40-year efforts in the Gobi desert to plant forests the size of Germany. China’s forest cover has increased from 12% in 1978 to 22%. A study by NASA showed that, while global green-leaf area grew by 5% since 2000, at least 25% of this growth came from China.
In 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping and then US President Barack Obama issued a joint statement on climate change, and China made its first international commitment to curb carbon emissions, carving out the path to the 2015 Paris Agreement and a climate governance model based on nationally determined contributions.
In 2018, the concept of “ecological civilization” was added to the Chinese Constitution. The Ministries of Ecology and Environment and of Natural Resources were established. In 2020, Xi Jinping announced, China would reach peak emissions in 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. Coal would be completely phased out in the next 40 years, and wind and solar dominate, supplemented by hydro, gas and nuclear energy.
Given the massive head-start of former colonial powers in the West, these rich countries should be miles ahead in development of green technologies and implementation of green policies. Instead, it is testament to China’s marketized socialist system how it managed to turn an underdeveloped country into a global leader in green technology and policy in just over 70 years.
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.
• The Same People That Lied About WMDs Want To Sell You A ‘Lab Leak’ – Samarajiva
‘Are we stupid enough to believe in US ‘intelligence’ again?… The USA doesn’t need a Ministry of Propaganda. Who needs state media when you have a prostrate press? The CIA just farts into the phone and the Wall Street Journal serves it up as a three-course meal.’
• Questions for US Congressmen writing to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Sri Lanka
‘5 of these signatories have never been to Sri Lanka, the remaining 4 are controversially linked to pro-LTTE elements and have allegations against them for it.’
• US Congress of a bipartisan resolution calling for an “international mechanism for SL crimes
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 18D Pt 4A, 5C & 5D, 19A
• The themagula, thilakshana and other Vesak thoughts – Seneviratne
‘It’s Vesak and so we could, alternatively, consider what could arguably be a more profitable deployment, that of deep reflection and the true discovery of the ways of things and processes…We could discuss the bipartisan House Resolution introduced by US Congresswoman Deborah Ross on Sri Lanka. It called for an ‘effective international mechanism for accountability,’ and a ‘permanent political solution’ in Sri Lanka. The resolution regurgitates the oft-uttered lies about territorial claims. Attempted land-theft, really’
• Field Marshal breaks a long silence on Tamil vote at 2010 prez poll
‘The people of the north and east voted for him without hatred because of the restoration of peace in the entire country.’
• Law passed in Ontario teaches Buddhism is behind pogroms, land grabs and ethnic cleansing!
• A fresh assessment of Karunanidhi’s Sri Lanka policy
‘From 1989 to January 1991 (when his government was sacked), Karunanidhi brazenly gave the LTTE a free run of Tamil Nadu.’
• Has Sri Lanka been truly independent of the English for the past 73 years
‘‘liberation wars’, alleged ‘human rights violations’, ‘Arab springs,’ ‘export of democracy’ etc. that are disguised to enable the World Super powers to maintaining the post WW11 status quo’
• Seneviratne’s Archeological Treatment of Canada Harsh & Ignorant – Philips
• TNA MP Rasamanickam has warned of China taking over this country.
• Space & influence recklessly ceded by ruling Sinophile power-cartel – Jayatilleka
• US Congress activated by the LTTE people in the US
• The rise and fall of the LTTE – Part II
• High Commissioner of Pakistan meets PM
• When India Invaded Maldives
• Creepy Joe Disappoints Mushy Dayan
‘Sajith’s IR Advisor mutters misgivings about his posterboys for liberal democracy in Washington having launched another horror on the Palestinians, but quickly segues to ululating anti-China chorus.’
• Navigating geopolitics: Need for balanced and nuanced approach – Wignarajah, ODI, London
• The ‘Lab-Leak’ Theory Is Not Of Equal Value – Promoting It Furthers The China Hawks
‘It is a sad experience to see that several writers I like and often agree with are now propping up a Russiagate like conspiracy theory about the origin of the novel coronavirus.’
• Biden calls for intelligence report on origins of COVOD-19 in 90 days
• Upcoming summit meeting between Presidents Biden & Putin in Geneva on June 16
‘Biden Wants to Remain Engaged with Russia, China He has brought into the Oval Office far more experience in foreign affairs and diplomacy than any of his last four predecessors put together.’
• International court reverses judgement to freeze Pakistan assets in Reko Diq case
‘In July 2019, the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) slapped a massive $5.976 billion award against Pakistan for revoking TCC’s mining contract at Reko Diq in Balochistan….”Pakistan was dragged into the arbitration case on the basis of a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) that it had signed with Australia in 1998″
• Afghanistan & Repeated visits by English Top Brass to Rawalpindi in recent months
‘At the controversial meeting in Kabul on May 10 between Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Afghan President Ashraf Ghania, also present was England’s chief of defence staff General Nicholas Patrick Carter. (Carter and Bajwa also met separately.)… In early March, Gen. Bajwa had another visitor from England — General Sir Patrick Nicholas Yardley Monrad Sanders, Commander Strategic Command.’
• Afghanistan’s Bagram is the “only base the US has on the borders of China”.
• The Guardian Council of Iran presents presidential election lists
‘The list is dominated by political hardliners…’
• Has Israel a Right to Exist?
‘Ben-Gurion wrote in 1941 that “It is impossible to imagine general evacuation [of the Arab population] without compulsion, and brutal compulsion.”’
• Palestine Mirrors the Contemporary World Struggle Against Imperialism, & its Contradictions
• Netanyahu nurtured Hamas and enabled it to get to where it is today – Dyer
• US: A recklessly blind supporter of Israeli action – Deen
• USA delays Security Council meetings and blocking joint statement from Security Council
• Australia Banned Its Citizens in India From Coming Home: Who Is Really Australian?
• EU States Combined to Force Down Snowden Flight 169
‘The USA, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Austria combined to force down President Evo Morales’ jet in Vienna in 2013 after the CIA falsely reported whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board.’
• Russian ‘Coup Plot’ In Belarus Was Faked By Ukraine
• Roman Protasevich – Arrested In Belarus – Is A Western Government Financed Neo-Nazi
• Alex Saab v. Empire: US Tries Extradite Venezuelan Diplomat for Securing Food for Hungry
• Corporate Philanthropy Erodes Black Lives Matter Movement
‘Millions of corporate dollars that flowed into Black Lives Matter founders’ accounts after huge protests last summer “dissipates” the “revolutionary potential of the movement” into “small measures for reform”
• US retired admirals and generals caused uproar questioning Biden’s fitness for office
‘hinting that the 2020 presidential election may have been fraudulent, drawing further critiques of military leaders straying far outside their responsibilities’
• US President Bush and English PM Blair falsified intelligence dossiers to wage war for oil
• One Year Since George Floyd’s Death & the Largest People’s Uprising in US History
• Germany apologises for colonial-era genocide in Namibia
• Remains of 215 children found at Indigenous school site in Canada
• Ryanair Incident – Email Warning Received Before Plane Entered Belorussian Airspace
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.
• Several services gazetted as essential services
‘All services, works or labour of any description carried out or required to be carried out by or in connection with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority established by the Section 3 of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Act, No. 51 of 1979. The supply and distribution of all fuels, including petroleum products and liquefied gas. All services, works, labour of any description whatsoever, necessary or required to be carried out in connection with the discharge, carriage, landing, storage, delivery and removal of oil or fuel from vessels within any port, as defined as such,for the purposes of the Customs Ordinance. Freight transport by Sri Lanka Railway Department and all public transport services carried out by the Sri Lanka Transport Board for passenger transport. Maintenance, security and operational aspects that are essential to carry out such public services in line with service requirements. All type of services, works, or labour contributions which should be carried out or required to be carried out by District Secretariats, Divisional Secretariats, Grama Seva Officers, Samurdhi Development Officers, Agricultural Research Assistants including all field level officers of all District and Divisional Secretariats. All state banking and insurance services including the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Waste management services carried out by the Local Authorities.
• Lakshadweep to be developed swiftly due to Chinese engagement with Sri Lanka & Maldives.
‘The strategic location of Lakshadweep archipelago of 36 islands in the Arabian sea, off India’s southwestern coast has been cited to justify a so-called development plan… a ploy to usurp the eco-region from the people and hand it over to corporate interests, as happened in Daman and Diu’
• Maritime Economy Webinar by Mouvement Des Entreprises de France (MEDEF), & International Maritime Task Force
‘Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama emphasised the availability of numerous opportunities in the fields of maritime economy, natural gas resources and graphite/graphene in Sri Lanka, and the need for investors from relevant companies in those fields.’
• Was X-Press Pearl burning off Sri Lanka denied entry to Qatar, India?
‘how poorly equipped Sri Lanka is where its firefighting capabilities are concerned though it considers itself a maritime hub’
• India joins firefighting effort off Colombo port
‘India has the tradition of being the first responder during crises in Sri Lanka…X-Press Pearl carried chemicals and cosmetics from the port of Hazira, India on 15th May 2021.’
• Dutch experts probe fire on Singapore flag cargo vessel
• Chinese Defense Minister’s Visit To Sri Lanka: A New Dynamic To Bilateral Ties – Analysis
• Tissa Vitarana on pandemic management
• Is COVAX Stonewalling bilateral sharing of Vaccines
‘In 2000 an organisation Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunization (GAVI) was formed in Switzerland, Geneva….COVAX has been described as, ‘a global organisation with 3 pillars of the access to COVID-19 tools (ACT) accelerator’ launched in April 2020, by WHO, EU and France’
• 100 Tamil-speaking female soldiers deployed in Jaffna for pandemic-related duties
• Death of former Audit Superintendent Lalith Ambanwela; suffered Acid attack
• F J & G de Saram, a legacy of 180 years
;In 1840, the English had promulgated the Crown Lands Ordinance of 1840 enabling the Colonial Government to sell vast extents of land in Sri Lanka to Europeans for coffee plantation enabling the first wave of foreign investments…villages, viharagam, and devagam which belonged to temples, and nindagam which belonged to leading families were converted into English plantations…The registration of companies initiated with the enactment of the Joint Stock Companies Ordinance No. 04 of 1861 saw 49 companies started in the first 20 years with most registered by F. J. de Saram….
The number of deeds attested by each Notary Public would run into millions…. Colombo Share Brokers’ Association was formed in 1896 and later amalgamated with the Colombo Brokers’ Association in 1904 whose brokers were European firms that had de Saram’s as the lawyers. Their clients, Forbes, Somerville and Walker were the Tea Brokers at Colombo Tea Auctions, whilst their clients – Liptons, Brooke Bonds were among principal buyers of tea…The last de Saram to work in the company was Neil de Saram who left the country in 1958 to take up the post of Secretary of the Ceylon Association in London….they became the lawyers to a host of Government Corporations such as the Ceylon Steel Corporation, State Distilleries Corporation, Sri Lanka State Plantation Corporation etc. When the Attorney General’s Department was established, the Government Corporations stopped retaining private lawyers as they were required to consult the AG for all legal matters. The enactment of the Land Reform Law No. 01 of 1972 and subsequent Land Reform (Amendment) Law No. 39 of 1975 saw F J & G de Saram which was largely servicing the plantation industry, gradually shifting to service corporates. In 1977 with the liberalisation of the economy, new clients brought new fields of work in corporate law, investment, and project-related work… setting up the Colombo Stock Exchange, advising starting the first cellular phone company, drafting and assisting in the promulgation of new regulations to enable cellular technology to Sri Lanka, advising on the first initial public offering etc..
• Floating armouries murky not just in SL but worldwide, says High Court
• SLN officer graduates with honours from the US Coast Guard academy
• During WW2, 51% of aircrew were killed on flight operations.
‘12% were killed or wounded in non-operational accidents and 13% became prisoners of war. Only 24% survived the war unscathed’
• Japanese prosecutors drop cases even when they have overwhelming evidence for conviction
• TRIPS Waiver & Libertarian Brain Rot
‘A libertarian Financial Post article opposes TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) waiver for COVID vaccines, hiding the public research origin of COVID vaccines, and dissect Biden’s puzzling tentative support for a patent waiver.
• For Billion-Dollar COVID Vaccines, Basic Government-Funded Science Laid the Groundwork
• ‘Redemption’: How a scientist’s unwavering belief in mRNA gave the world a Covid-19 vaccine
‘A decade later, when at the University of Pennsylvania, Prof Karikó was again demoted when her focus on mRNA failed to attract financial backing.’
• Black Rebellions Less Frequent, But Police Response More Violent Than in Earlier Decades
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.
• Sinophobia vs. China’s development model: Part 2 – Ilanperuma & Gunasekera
• CB Governor predicts lesser economic impact from latest COVID-19 wave
• Ill-advised import control policies aggravate the country’s external finances – Sanderatne
‘Only foreign borrowing or assistance can redeem the country when this happens’
• Shocking agriculture by denying fertilisers not highest priority today – Wijewardena
• Transparency International SL expresses serious concerns over new Colombo Port City Law
• “We need logic and urgency of war economy, to boost the capacity of our weapons,” – UN Chief
• China: demographic crisis?
‘China’s digital economy is already large, accounting for almost 40% of GDP and fast growing, contributing more than 60% of GDP growth in recent years’
• China’s ‘Keynesian’ policies
‘China’s reaction to Donald Trump’s trade war has been to retaliate with its own tariffs on US exports to China, particularly agricultural/food exports like soybeans. Also the government has allowed the Chinese currency, the yuan, to depreciate towards the bottom of its controlled range against the dollar. This makes Chinese exports cheaper in dollar terms and so defeats the purpose of Trump’s tariff increases on Chinese goods coming into the US. But there is a third move: a considered expansion in government investment in and funding of construction projects to boost domestic output to compensate for any decline in exports.’
• Digital Yuan: China’s Currency is Going International
• Criticizing distorted perceptions & fallacious arguments about socialist-oriented market economy in Viet Nam
• Trade liberalization: Theories, experiences and solutions for Vietnam
• EconomyNext Loves Vietnam but not its Communist Party
• How Profits From Opium Shaped 19th-Century Boston
• Corporate Philanthropy Erodes Black Lives Matter Movement
‘The millions of corporate dollars that flowed into Black Lives Matter founders’ accounts after huge protests last summer has “dissipated” the “revolutionary potential of the movement” into “small measures for reform.”
• Racial Capitalism is the Kind We’ve Got, and Must Defeat
• Understanding Development in a Global Value Chain World: Comparative Advantage or Monopoly Capital Theory?
‘The big question in development studies is whether this globalized reconfiguration of production is contributing to, or detracting from, real human development?’
• Capitalism in Crisis: The Fraud — The Global Corporate Tax Debate
‘the push for a global minimum tax on corporations. What prompted this move — which is supported by the Biden administration — and what does it say about how global capitalism works?
• A good chance to reform global corporate taxation
• G7 close to deal on taxation of world’s largest companies
• Emerging states will resist G7 brow beating on MNC tax
• England at centre of international “corporate tax haven network”
‘The billions of pounds of unpaid taxes by TNCs alone, without even including their gigantic profits, are an undeniable refutation of capitalist governments of all political stripes who insist there are “no funds” as “we are living beyond our means” and “cannot afford” to provide a decent standard of living for the working class’
• Ten questions on Modern Monetary Theory – Manulife Insurance Co.
• Bernard Arnault Becomes The Richest Person In The World For The Third Time This Week
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.
• NCPI based Inflation increased in April 2021
‘… within the Food category, increases were observed mainly in the prices of coconut oil, fresh fish and fresh fruits during April 2021. However, prices of coconut and vegetables recorded a decrease… Moreover, Non-Food category recorded an increase during the month due to price increases observed in the Clothing and Footware (clothing), Transport (lubricant oil) and Miscellaneous Goods and Services (hair cutting and shaving charges) sub-categories.’
• Central Bank extends fresh debt relief till end-August
‘Banks told to extend due dates of revolving credit facilities, including but not limited, to facilities such as working capital, pawning, temporary overdrafts, short-term trade finance facilities etc.’
• Lockdown (from 14-17 May) cost the country a whopping Rs. 60 billion
• Central Bank lifts limits on short-term forex borrowing by banks
‘Some banks which had raised funds via foreign sources since last year include Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank, National Savings Bank, Commercial Bank, Nations Trust Bank, Pan Asia Bank, Sanasa Development Bank etc. Commercial Bank and NDB managed to attract equity investment from abroad as well. Several finance companies too have raised funding from overseas.’
• No more big foreign loan projects
‘By end August 2020, Government’s total outstanding external debt was US$ 35.3 billion (Rs 6.95 trillion) – 47% is market borrowings; 13% ADB; 10% each Japan % China; 9% to WB; 2% to India…’
• State revenue in shambles with mounting losses
• Bangladesh Bank okays $200m currency swap with Sri Lanka
• Auctioning tax incentives under the counter as investors negotiate tax breaks individually
• Agrahara’ becoming yet another burden to State coffers, warns AG
‘it was compulsory for 879,427 public servants to subscribe to the scheme, however, the Auditor General noted that only 743,973 public servants subscribed to it by end-June in 2019.’
• “We need the logic and urgency of a war economy” to Fight Covid – UN Chief
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
• JVP urges Govt. to formulate mechanism to distribute essential commodities
• Exploitation in garment factories: Rights groups demand urgent healthcare for workers
‘Asia-Pacific …the ‘clothing factory of the world’ – 60% of the world’s total apparel exports…
• 12,000 Grama Niladharis in Sri Lanka on strike demanding jabs
• Avant Garde prosecution fiasco: Ukrainian Captain of the ship finally released
• Supreme Court upholds freedom of workers in Port City to get foreign currency salaries
• Dropout rate rises as online teaching fails rural pupils, child labor… – Ceylon Teachers Union
‘children are taking up menial jobs in factories, sales outlets and delivering food in Colombo and other cities where jobs can be found’
• Plan International accused of abandoning children in Sri Lanka exit
• JVP chides Administrative unions for ignoring arrest of SLAS officer over social media post
• Threat sent to Japan immigration center over Sri Lankan’s death
• Sri Lanka’s Problem With Women in Power
• Our Love of Concentration Camps: Agamben, Sri Lanka, and Future of Education
• This May Day Even the Designation ‘Workers’ is Under Threat
• Beyond McFeminism: The Socialist Origins of IWD in Canada
• Subjects of the New Corporate University: The Sabotage of Laurentian University
‘On April 12th, Laurentian terminated 116 full-time, mostly tenured, faculty members out of a total of 345 – all unionized employees with active collective agreements. Those that remained would teach and work in a much-slimmed-down “Laurentian 2.0” with 69 fewer academic programs. Fully half of the university’s programs, developed over 61 years, were eliminated’
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.
• President orders to provide organic fertilizer for ’Maha’ Season
• Debt as cause of death lost in interpretation
‘National police records on suicides are the only source of evidence to understand how debt causes deaths…‘economic problems, poverty and indebtedness’ causes more than 500 suicides annually’
• Commercial Bank & Hayleys Agriculture launch another leasing promo
‘providing high-quality machinery & tractors at attractive discounts to farmers, the promotion applies to purchases of Kubota, Agrotech, and Farmtrac agricultural machinery from Hayleys Agriculture.’
• Cooperative Society Director arrested for defrauding Rs.910mn
• Northern farmers left high and dry
• Two spill gates of Kukulegama Reservoir opened
• EU provides emergency relief to flood victims in Sri Lanka
• US $93 billion palm-oil industry makes huge profits for multinationals, destroys smallholders.
‘almost half the palm oil imported into EU is used as biofuel…since 2009, the mandatory blending of biofuels into motor vehicle fuels has been a major cause of deforestation.’
• Tea revenue January to April 2021 Rs.81.27 Billion surpasses YOY 2020
‘We have not received monetary performances from other sectors including garments. However according to the Plantation sector, Tea and Rubber continue to be productive and reportedly the main revenue source to ensure substantial contribution to economy of the Country’
• 40% of tea is under seedling tea, 90% of seedling teas, over 60 years old, and need replanting
• Drones being used to fight blight disease in rubber plantations
• Agriculture economists praise organic farming; concern over blanket ban on chemical fertiliser
‘Sri Lanka Agricultural Economics Association…yields from paddy can drop by 25% if chemical fertilisers are fully replaced by organic fertilisers’
• Perpetuating myths about fertilisers
• CIC Holdings Turnover of Rs. 37.2 billion
‘agriculture, livestock solutions, health and personal care and industrial chemicals’
• Lanka & WB signs agreement to receive EU grant for agriculture modernisation
‘The additional grant funding from the European Union will support the expansion of agriculture clusters in five districts: Kandy (Central Province), Badulla (Uva Province), Ampara (Eastern Province), and Killinochchi and Vavuniya (Northern Province).’
• Trend of foreign interest in fisheries industry
‘a trend of foreigners seeking to invest in the fisheries and fisheries products sectors and if they came in a massive scale with large investments, domestic fishermen will lose their livelihoods,” he said.’
• Alarming spike in new cancer patients in Sri Lanka amidst aflatoxin fears in foodstuffs
‘a disturbing spike in cancer with 33,226 fresh cases after of 89 new patients per day reported in 2019.’
• Aliens are invading our national parks
‘30% of Sri Lanka’s land area is already protected as forest or wildlife reserves…The project is a collaboration between the Federation of Environmental Organisations (FEO) and the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) …. MAS Holdings leads the way…’
• Tribute to a rice scientist
‘China’s ability to feed 20 percent of the world’s population, with just around 7% of the world’s arable land, was in large part due to Yuan Longping’s pioneering interventions.’
• India Export boom aids businesses, not farmers
‘Rising agricultural exports from India, which shipped out a record 20 million tonne of foodgrains in 2020-21, have breathed new life into agribusinesses, but farmers say they have hardly gained because they had to sell cheap. The beneficiaries were large agricultural trading firms.’
• Global warming blamed for three cyclones battering India in three years
• Wanderings in the forests and estuaries of the North and East – Part 1
• Road Reservations & Stream corridors not actively protected in Sri Lanka
• Green Economy, Green Capitalism? The Case Against The Case for Climate Capitalism
• Greenwashing with Bolsonaro: Heineken and Carrefour privatize the Amazon
‘Brazilian Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles, offered up 132 natural conservation areas in Brazil in early February 2021 for ‘adoption’ by private companies.’
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.
• Locally produced cardboard coffin priced at Rs. 10,000
• Motor traders’ body flashes red light over move to assemble vehicles with used parts
‘The Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association (CMTA) has protested to the Government against a proposed Cabinet memorandum to allow the assembly of vehicles with used parts by one company, saying it is a violation of multiple local and international laws.’
• Ex-female councillor arrested with illegally assembled car in Colombo
• Cabinet halts import of limited number of vehicles
• Importers allowed to bring goods on shorter credit periods
‘Certain widely imported items like freezer trucks, televisions, and auto spare parts are to have looser import controls…Raw materials for local manufacturing are allowed so long as there is local value addition of 35%.’
• Sinovac to manufacture vaccines locally within the next two months: Prof. Jayasumana
• Hemas welcomes MoH request seeking Pvt. sector assistance on vaccine procurement
• Ceylon Chamber of Commerce move to import Covid-19 vaccines for private sector halted
• Sri Lanka to import 120,00 litres of liquid oxygen to meet surging demand
• India’s Serum Institute and Bharat Biotech to treble Covid vaccine output
‘The SII is world’s largest vaccine-manufacturing company by volume. Serum and Bharat Biotech are the only two companies in India that have received nod from government to produce the Covid-19 vaccines. However, Panacea Biotech in collaboration with Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF has begun the production of ‘Sputnik V’ Covid-19 vaccine in India.’
• Japan’s City of Kawaguchi donates ambulance
• LPG prices will remain unchanged: Vasudeva
‘“If necessary, the private company can sell its distribution network, including storage tanks, to Litro Gas or take their gas system to Litro Gas and evaluate the asset base and give it to Litro — but it is not for sale in the market. We are ready to take it for the public good,” Nanayakkara added. He also said that if there was an asset share the private company should simply give it back to Litro Gas one day when they did not want it.’
• Cabinet nod to build new refinery in Sapugaskanda
• Petroleum testing lab to be set up at H’tota Port
• Norochcholai Generator 03 shut down for maintenance
• WindForce to develop Karadiyana waste-to-energy plant
‘share sale and purchase agreement with Fairway Holdings///WindForce acquires a controlling stake of 92.5% stake in Fairway Waste Management. The plant takes 500 metric tons of 7,000 metric tons of daily waste being accumulated in Sri Lanka, of which 60% is from the western province alone.’
• Litro embarks on ambitious project to supply pipe-borne gas to Colombo residents
‘With Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) as its major stakeholder, Litro Gas Lanka holds a 75% market share in the LPG business.’
• How come Bangladesh has $ 200 million, which Sri Lanka does not?
‘The highest savings for Bangladesh have been in the electricity sector.’
• Public transport services suffer losses in mobility restriction
• Colombo elevated highway project handed over to CHEC
• US$ 200mn ADB loan for rural road network upgrade
‘$900 million to rehabilitate and improve about 3,400 km of rural access roads and 340 km of national roads in the Eastern, Northern, Uva, and Western Provinces’
• Sri Lanka’s SAGT orders more twin lift cranes STS cranes, raising capacity
‘it re-fleeted over 65 of its terminal tractors with 46 new Terberg units.’
• Online Workshop on the Development of Recreational Boating and Marina in Sri Lanka
‘The event was co-host by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and Singapore Boating Industry Association, and supported by Singapore -Sri Lanka Business Council and the Boat Building Technology Improvement Institute of Sri Lanka.’
• Asia Pacific Institute of Digital Marketing launches new Digital Credentialing Initiative
‘Credly, the global leader and Everitas, Australia’s leading digital credentials consultancy.’
• Five leading manufacturers seek licences to produce more brands of booze
‘SL has about 24 licence holders producing liquor. However, the data showed that only 5 of these 24 companies are contributing 95% to the tax income generated from the country’s entire liquor industry’.
• Priority Should Be Given To Scientific Research
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.
• 12 weak Finance Companies to be consolidated
• An opportunity to hear from a range of leading FDI and portfolio investors
‘with experience in investing in SL such as London Stock Exchange Group, HCL, Shangri-La, Blackstone, Tundra Fonder and AFC Asia Frontier Fund….’
• Sanasa Development Bank to raise Rs. 4.5 billion
‘In February, SDB announced it is committed to a $ 40 million loan from the US International Development Finance Corporation, the arm of the US Government Development Bank, subject to regulatory approval… the public shareholding of SDB was 84.72% held by 38,738 shareholders. Senthilverl Holdings is the largest shareholder of SDB with a 12.8% stake, followed by Ayenka Holdings 12.4%, FMO – the Dutch development bank 10%, and IFC 6%.
• Nations Trust Bank finalises USD 40mn loan granted by Dutch FMO
• Nations Trust Bank extends partnership with Wildlife Society for 5th consecutive year
• People’s Bank obtains enjoining order against People’s Capital Investments and Credit
‘to restrain and prevent them from using the trade name ‘People’s’ as the said company, which has no connection whatsoever to People’s Bank was carrying on business under the above name at No. 440/3, 1st Floor, C. Ponnampalam Road, Clock Tower Road, Jaffna.’
• Sri Lanka now has a Port City or Economic or Financial Zone.
‘Pathetic to see the Left parties – the Communist Party and the proud old LSSP – cave in so meekly to justify this ultra-capitalist or what is now called neoliberal economic venture…because they are mooted by the Chinese ‘Communist’ Party or part of this Government and have to sing for their supper’
• Lakma Holdings promotes Colombo Port City
“On invitation from Lakma Holdings, one of the London-based mega investment arms has made an official visit to Sri Lanka through us…Chairman Dr. Arosha Fernando’
• Amana Takaful profit after tax rose 60% to MVR 19.96 million.”
• Bitcoin down almost 50% from year’s high
‘China’s latest campaign against crypto came after US Treasury Department on Thursday called for new rules that would require large cryptocurrency transfers to be reported to the Internal Revenue Service, and the Federal Reserve flagged the risks cryptocurrencies posed to financial stability.’
• Crypto Craze: US Treasury, Federal Reserve & Senate Banking Policy
• U.S. Markets Being Dirtied by SPACs and Direct Listings
• Don’t Expect Word “Felony” at Wednesday’s Senate Banking Hearing with their CEOs
• Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase at the US Senate
• Jamie Dimon’s Microphone Mysteriously Malfunctions During Pivotal Questioning
• Justice Department Opens Probe into Potential Bank Cartel that Financed Archegos
‘“Banks that lent to Archegos, including Credit Suisse Group AG, UBS Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley,” contacted for information by the Justice Department.’
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’
• John Keells Holdings PLC Q1 revenues Rs.38.8 billion
• Hayleys Group year ending March 31, 2021, Revenue increased to Rs.241.28 billion
• Aitken Spence non-tourism sectors record highest ever PBT of Rs.5bn in FY21
• Wood coatings JAT Holdings plans Rs.2.2 bn IPO offering 16% stake in company
‘CAL and NDB Investment Bank have been appointed as financial advisors and managers to the offer.
…JAT is also exclusive agent for several world-leading brands in Sri Lanka including Herman Miller office furniture, SEA kitchen solutions, Lifewood flooring and Armstrong ceilings among others…Aelian Gunawardene directly holds 71.37% stake, followed by J Chem Coatings (Pvt) Ltd., which has 8.76% and Falcon Trading (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Akbar Brothers, with 5.92%. In addition, Emerald SL Fund 1 Limited, a private equity fund managed by NDB Zephyr Partners Limited (NDBZ) has 5.92%. Government granted 50% tax concession for 2021/2022 financial year ventured into Ghana in West Africa after securing distributorship by US-based Sherwin Williams paint line.’
• Will valuable public property in Colombo go into the hands of private investors?
• John Keells Properties, Commercial Bank, DFCC Bank & HNB offer ‘Freedom Mortgages’
‘TRI-ZEN is a highly anticipated joint venture between Indra Traders and John Keells Holdings’
• Ali Baba’s Daraz now Official Overseas Team Sponsor of Sri Lanka Cricket
• Sri Lankan Architects Pushing The Boundaries Of Design sponsored by Tokyo Cement
• Abans Group begins city beautification project with CMC
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.
• Socialism with Chinese characteristics enriches Marxist theory – DEW
‘Gunasekera said the CPC had formulated a successful development model for China by drawing on the experiences of both developed and developing countries. The party has successfully combined markets and state intervention in China’s economic development, while remaining true to the country’s history and culture.’
• A deeply professional Engineer with a strong Left Commitment
‘Senthan was the founder of Skylark Engineering, which concentrated on the design, development and maintenance of machinery for local industries based on produce of the Palmyra palm and other needs. In a region where the only major industry was the government-built cement factory, Senthan’s mechanical engineering skill and innovativeness had great potential and he was confident of being able to expand the scale. But circumstances forced him to restrict himself. Senthan was surprised at the priority given by young engineering graduates to seek work outside the region or abroad. He felt there is so much local scope for creativity, to earn a decent living and pay the employees well.’
• May 20, 2021, a day of betrayal, says Sri Lanka’s Jantha Vimukthi Peramuna
• What Is Sajith? – Jayakody,
‘Sajith’s present Propaganda Secretary viewed him as parochial….’
• A riposte to Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka Weighing Tweedledee and Tweedledum
‘Ranasinghe Premadasa transferred the patrimonial state and its institutionalised clientelist or patronage-based voter party linkage from the Comprador class who went for Saville Row tailors in London to the ‘Mudalali’ class who relied on tailors in Bombay and Bangkok. Dayan should not confuse ‘Nawaloka’ with Huxley’s Brave New World.’
• Former president CBK slams Port City act, claims Sri Lanka becoming Chinese colony
• Spewing Sinophobia to undermine current administration is a self-harming folly
• “We arranged for capitalists to gradually become part of the working class.” – Mao (1956)
‘A Politburo speech titled “On the Ten Major Relationships,” in which he explained several differences between the Soviet and Chinese socialist models.’
• Political Meritocracy in China
‘What’s driving the worsening demonization of China? Why is it not a problem that China has not become more like the West? What is China in terms of the political system? Is China a democracy? Guest: Prof. Daniel A. Bell, dean, School of Political Science and Public Administration of Shandong University.’
• Where is Imperialism Today?
According to the Patnaiks…, it is the petty producers in alliance with the workers on whom the mantle of revolution has fallen in the current conjuncture which could only be accomplished through a delinking from international finance’
• Cuban Communist Party Congress: Talking about the Party
• Blaming capitalism easy. Explaining why a problem is integral to capitalism more difficult
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.
• It is time to learn Chinese
‘just as much as the English language is a weapon we needed to pick up to engage the empire, it makes sense to learn Chinese to deal with the Chinese, regardless of the terms of that engagement’
• Learning Chinese language in Sri Lanka
• Social media posts rife with racism and hate speech against China – USAID NPC Perera
• “Ethnicity” may be a Trojan horse bringing back disgraced racism
• ‘My mother knows that I ain’t guilty’.
• The Homes in Ward Place in its early days,
• A little known Englishman’s role in shaping Buddhist history
‘’Peebles… in the 1870s, picked up John Capper’s book on the Panaduraa Wadaya. Capper edited The Ceylon Times …It was this book that was to lure Colonel Henry Steele Olcott…’
• First Sinhala Talkie was made by a Tamil Film Producer
‘S.M. Nayagam, who originally hailed from Madurai District – in what was known as the Madras presidency during British rule – was an industrialist manufacturing soaps and perfumes. He had factories in India and Sri Lanka. Nayagam set up the Swadeshi manufacturing facility in Kandana eighty years ago and marketed exotic soaps with Sandalwood and Neem/margosa fragrance.’
• IT Rules: FB, Google Working on Complying with Indian Social Media Rules, Twitter Mum
• Canadian Journalists Fear Retaliation: Media some style guides ban the word “Palestine,”
• Against Left-Wing White Nationalism
‘Black filmmaker Raoul Peck’s “Exterminate All the Brutes,” a sweeping analysis and condemnation of settler colonialism (a term curiously absent from ordinary discourse on the left) and white supremacy. His other credits include the superb docu-drama “The Young Karl Marx.”’
• The War on Critical Race Theory
‘On the eve of losing the presidency, Trump issued an executive order in September banning “diversity and race sensitivity training” in government agencies, including all government “spending related to any training on critical race theory.”…President Biden ended the ban as soon as he took office’
• Please note our new email address: email@example.com,
& our blog: eesrilanka.wordpress.com