‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 10-17 July 2021
The Mirror does not reflect, it’s mere mirage. The Times is not about this hour but clings to the dying past. The Observer fails to discern, merely distract. The News is not new, but the same old, the same old. Today fails the future. The Morning is mere dusk. News1st is Noose1st, strangling the people! EconomyNext is actually the CountryLast, the outdated colonial 19th century import-export plantation game.
And on and on they drone. They all seek, at tremendous cost to the nation, to disinform and preserve the decadent and the outdated. Who will expose these bots and influencers that clutter all so-called social media, which spew vile vomit against Sri Lanka and government? So who are the corporations behind these attacks? (see Random Notes)
• ‘Lock your gates!’ – Colombot classes who oppose the government taking over the distribution of food and fuel, etc., crying about military dictatorship, are spreading telephonic text messages, warning of the hungry, imminent looting, sharing images from South Africa and the USA. This looting is encouraged by the ruling classes over there to extend the white-settler occupation of those countries.
• New Indian Movie Promotes War on SL: A Netflix blockbuster promoting war on Sri Lanka, produced by Gujarati Ambani’s Reliance Group in India, was just released. Aimed at enticing Tamil youth, both here and abroad, into further bloodbaths, Jagame Thandiram – The Universe Is a Plot! – features ‘superstar’ Dhanush, Rajnikanth’s son.
The plot involves London gangs (no, not the Bank of England!) dealing in arms (no, not English weapons-maker BAE) and immigrants taking on an anti-immigrant campaigner – a white gangster boss who runs private prisons and needs inmates. Don’t worry, there’s also good white people who want more immigrants, and perhaps more uncivil wars: The theme, ‘the war never ends’, is aimed at gaining more recruits for Eelam War IV! Or is it V? (Random Notes)
• The media spreading fear is most evident in this Daily Mirror headline: ‘Massive solar storm set to hit Earth: GPS, phone signals likely to be damaged, power grids vulnerable’. On 13 July 2021, DM reported: ‘Weeks after a powerful solar flare created a blackout over the Atlantic, a solar storm is headed towards Earth likely to hit the planet on Tuesday and Wednesday.’ Well, there was no news of this therein after that… Likely indeed!
• The forces behind histrionic Anti-China vituperation about their vaccines seem to have shifted with the arrival and use of the actual approved vaccines. The latest Vaccine Wars have turned farcical, with the US Ambassador & Embassy staff even holding up picket signs declaring ‘donation’ of their almost expired vaccines. Hema’s Pfizer is now claiming less efficacy of their vaccine to promote a third booster shot.
• Maharaja & Import Mafia – Last week ee noted the intimacy between the media and the import mafia. Capital Maharaja Group’s fertilizer importer Harrisons Chemicals recalls major multinational links, especially to England’s biggest chemical multinational: Elementis. Elementis is the former Harrison & Crosfield (H&C), who had the biggest wharf in London’s port – the Ceylon Wharf! ee looks at how the white colonial agency houses continue today under brown-sahib skins…
• The Family-Owned New York Times – Last week an Island editorial declared a ‘sinister attempt’ being ‘made in certain quarters to trigger a run on banks’.
This week, as D-day for debt payments approaches, the whites rolled out their big media guns: The Ochs-family-owned New York Times and England’s family-owned Economist took aim at the Rajapakse family. Their local minions and mouthpieces wail the same blather. What is the difference between the dynastic rule of Medamulana (attacked as Sinhala Buddhists!), and the Anglican Horagolla and Bothale oligarchies, that have dominated politics since fake independence in 1948? And how about the Hindu Chettiar and Muslim Borah families, who dominate the economy? The other irony is that in the world of capitalism now, the totally unregulated ‘family office’ funds are bigger than hedge funds!
Meanwhile the family nature of our merchant and money-lender economy and debt is fantastically diverted onto the Rajapakses and China. If the word ‘Chinese’ were replaced by ‘Muslims’ or ‘Tamils’ or ‘Indians’ in the absolutely venomous media attacks, so-called ‘civil’ society of the white variety would howl!
This ee explores how the English colonial oligarchy, which monopolized the ‘commanding heights’ of the economy, set up local kalu-suddha (white-black) as fronts, who also ‘control’ all sectors. This ee cursorily examines the South Indian Chettiar bankers again, and the link to Maharaja media.
• The Family-Owned Economist & Sri Lanka’s Underdevelopment – We must recall that the Economist magazine was controlled by England’s Pearson PLC. This same Pearson, once a power company, undermined DJ Wimalasurendra to prevent local electrification (see ee 1 August 2020). This same Pearson now controls access to education and examinations worldwide, while our oligarchs are paying millions to send their children abroad for education.
The Economist is now owned by the Agnelli family’s Exor (with links to Murdoch’s News Corp, Fiat, etc.), Cadbury, Rothschild (26%), Schroder, Layton families and others. These multinational octopuses are far far more dangerous than any petty oligarchs here that front for them. Next time a Rothschild family member sails in again, we should ask….
A1. Reader Comments –
• ee Media links knock me out! • ee Stuck in the 1970s • Translate ee into Sinhala! • Why don’t Importers Pay our Debt? • How does MNC under- and over-invoicing hurt us? • SL-China Rubber-Rice Pact was Amazing! • Will Bail go IMF? • Will China & Russia Make Vaccines here? • All Trade is Political
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Spas & Quarantine? • JR’s Job Banks & 1980 General Strike • India & Autocracy • US Spends more than Whole World on War • US, EU in an Anti-China Game • US War Games
A3. Random Notes –
• 20th Century Historic! • India & Fake Social Media Against Presidents • Media Misinformation • Kneel before IMF! • Opposition has No Plan Except Sell! • US Buying Power Plants to Sabotage • Bower Asia’s Confidential Doom • Indian Movie Promotes War on SL • Banks Oppose Local Production
B. ee Focus
B1 Maharaja Media, Fertilizer & Chettiar Superstars
B2 Hemas, Vaccine Wars & the Import Mafia
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news sent, or your comments, and place any e-link at the end. Email: email@example.com
• ‘ee’s list of media owners and importers links so many varied players it knocks me out completely. Are these connections a product of a rich imagination or of amazing insight into how the world operates? Hard to know what to think.’
• ‘The compilers of ee are still in the 1970s or at least they look at the world through a 1970s lens.’
• ‘I agree… ee should be translated into Sinhala soon.’
• ‘I am hoping ee could explain, why we have this foreign currency problem? I know it’s because we don’t produce much. But why aren’t the people importing heavily not having to pay for the imports in dollars? How does that debt come to normal people and not to the importers? ee mentions, companies underinvoice exports and overinvoice imports? How does that become government/people’s responsibility? Shouldn’t their business suffer then? Where is the line between public and private? This is what I don’t understand.’
• ‘I just read about the Rubber-Rice Pact and must say, what amazing cooperation between 2 countries of the global South! It seems we had both been in need of each other’s help and were willing to go to great lengths to do it. I’m surprised we braced sanctions from the US for this! And it was done by barter. Saved us foreign exchange. Clearly we had better and helpful trade agreement with China before the FTA with India in 1998 (despite India’s proclamation they helped us) which India promptly started to subvert. India likes to get the upper hand with her little neighbours, while China does no such thing. The 2 countries are as different as night and day. (elanka.co.uk/significance-of-ceylon-china-trade-agreement-of-1952-by-dr-j-b-kelegama)’
• ‘What does ee think of Basil’s appointment as finance minister? Going to the IMF will be putting ourselves in a straitjacket! Apparently many reforms are to follow as well. I hope they know what they’re doing. Seems the govt is following many ad-hoc policies while Gota is encouraging self-sufficiency and his brothers seem to do the opposite. Organization is vital. (ceylontoday.lk/news/basil-rajapaksa-might-seek-imf-support-lakshman-yapa) Does ee have any idea of what’s happening with the bid to produce Covid vaccines here with help from China and Russia?’
• ‘I read this article below. Without the Indian tint, this is a good development. All trade is political now. I foresee hard times ahead.
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘The new guidelines had allowed even spas, weddings and religious activities at temples, kovils, churches and mosques, where one cannot expect social distancing to be adhered to. It is no secret that the buses are plying on roads with passengers above their seating capacity. What is important here is that the latest health guidelines were silent about demonstrations.’ (see ee Politics, Quarantine)
• ‘From 1977, political favours in recruitment were regularized by establishing the infamous system of job banks. The dismissal of 1000s of public servants who joined the 1980 General Strike created a vacuum by way of loss of institutional memory and experienced senior officers, resulting in a huge loss of knowledge and expertise.’ (ee Politics, Wijayadasa)
• ‘Bahrain is an old-fashioned brutal autocracy which refuses to empower the majority Shia nation. Yet, India has wonderful relations with it. It’s a very violent regime which puts down even mild traces of dissent — and thanks to Abraham Accords, may now become more bestial with the access to Israeli expertise. Does that bother India?’ (ee Sovereignty, India)
• ‘The USA spends more than the entire global community on war when the entire investment devoted to the military is taken into account. It’s insufficient to cite only the spending of the Pentagon (roughly $750bn) when an additional $500billion is spent by such agencies as the Department of Energy, the Veterans Administration, the Dept of Homeland Security, and the Intelligence Community. The VA is devoted to the terrible costs of our mostly unnecessary wars; the Energy Dept is responsible for our nuclear inventory; the DHS includes the Coast Guard; and the military dominates the spending of our $70billion intelligence community, which now includes 17 different departments and agencies.’ (ee Media, Misinformation)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• Anti-China Game Against the East Wind: ‘1945-60, at least 40 countries and 800 million people – more than a quarter of the world’s population – resisted colonialism and won their independence. Never before in the whole of human history has there been such a revolutionary iteration going on so rapidly.’ In the second half of the 20th century, especially since the beginning of the 21stC, the world economic center of gravity has rapidly moved to the non-Western world. It is predicted that by 2035, the economy of developing countries will be larger than that of developed countries, and their share of the world’s GDP will rise from 40% today to nearly 60%.
• Sockpuppet accounts from India sparked an unprecedented disinformation campaign during the last South African presidential election, with hundreds of fake accounts masquerading as South Africans. The fake accounts were bolstered by fake articles published on anonymous websites. Chennai-based company ‘Virtual Social Media’ was hired to create several ‘African-sounding’ names to scour the internet and attempt to drown-out negative publicity on social platforms with their comments. In 2016 Bell Pottinger, the London-based PR agency launched a slicker, more expensive operation. Bell Pottinger streamlined their client’s website, optimised the way in which search engines displayed information about them, and even proposed changes to their Wikipedia pages. Wikipedia claims they did not know the London PR firm was editing the Wiki entries.
106 fake Twitter accounts were identified. – news24.com/news24/analysis/the-history-of-wmc-20181101
• A highly irresponsible media became blatantly evident (well, it requires some decoding) in the shameful attempt to split the Treasury from the Central Bank. An Island article (this ‘deshapremi’ rag poses as ‘Dhaval Sinhala, Raeh Import!) An article headlined ‘President’s Secretary to the Treasury PB Jayasundera critical of import restrictions’ in fact says Jayasundera was calling for rationing of fuel! He sates: The importation of certain commodities had to be restricted and one was fuel for which a price mechanism had to be adopted!
‘If the government does not ration fuel to the consumer, the country will have to soon change to renewable energy’ – Jayasundera asked why a country which spent U$5,000mn annually on oil imports could not commission a number of projects to generate renewable energy.
Meanwhile another ‘panic’ was created, like the ‘no salt’ scare, claiming import of laptops and phones would be banned. Again, this was supposed to be a leak from a government source. Capitalists now say they are worried about the education of children, even as they’ve been reaping billions: Electric goods retailer Abans was quoted as saying: ‘Digitalising of government and industries will take a step back if such a ban takes place.’ What industries? Hiring the weak and hungry, thin as their broomsticks, to sweep the streets, providing privatized municipal services?
• Why are politicians and media so eager we submit to the IMF? The IMF’s structural adjustment provisions provided loans in exchange for the rich buying luxury imports, wasting foreign exchange to spend abroad for holidays and universities, all done with the funds obtained on loans. Loans were thus sent right back, leaving us with debt.
• No Plan Critics – What do the supporters and critics, the JVP, the FSP, the Jathika Chithana, etc., have in common? They will not offer a plan and a timetable. We know what they don’t like, Welfarism, says one. Yet welfare exist because the oligarchs refuse to develop the economy, and instead have to throw a few coins to keep the plebs from storming the citadel. Technocrats, says another. The ones who do have plans, like the US-funded chambers of commerce and their Advocatas, Verites, and Pathfinders, want to sell off government enterprises to the even more corrupt private sector.’
• ‘SL’s largest power-plant to fall into US hands’ criedone headline this week. It turns out US banker JPMorgan is ‘Buying up Power Plants and Critical Infrastructure in 22 Countries’. This bank has been ‘Repeatedly Charged with Rigging Markets’. In 2013 JPMorgan Chase was forced to pay $410million in fines for ripping off electric utility customers in California and the Midwest.’ (ee Finance, Someone is Buying)
The Island story notes the selling of the Kerawalapitiya plant ‘is being committed by a Finance Minister who is also a US citizen… talks have already commenced for handing over a large extent of land covering a section of the Trincomalee harbour and oil tank storage complex there to India’. (ee Industry)
• A ‘confidential’ financial analysis predicting economic doom, by Bower Group Asia, was widely spread via email and the media. It turns out Ernest Bower, BGA President and CEO, ‘helped develop the first Chair for Southeast Asian Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, and was President of the private US-ASEAN Business Council, comprised of the biggest US companies in SE Asia.
• Stills and promo videos for the Netflix blockbuster movie promoting war on Sri Lanka, Jagame Thandiram were showcased at NY Times Square. Times of India comments: the film uses ‘the struggle of Eelam Tamils to add depth’. The Hindu calls it ‘a serious political film dealing with a global issue’. A NYTimes review says the screenplay elevated ‘usual crime antics by drawing attention to language, and how it can be used as a weapon or a unifier’. Well, ‘Here we go again’, as US President Ronald Re-gun, the ace-warmongrel, used to quip.
• News headlines are overflowing with ‘donations’ and ‘awards’. Are we a nation of beggars? The World Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, the ADB, the US and Japan are ‘providing’ vaccines, to prevent our own production. We have no Defense Production Act. Yet, this is how every developed country protects vital industry?
WB President David Malpass [US Trump administration nominee] opposes the sharing of scientific knowledge, insists: ‘We don’t support that [TRIPS waiver] for the reason that it would run the risk of reducing the innovation and the R&D in that sector.’ He conveniently avoids mentioning it’s governments who have funded the research, and many of the scientists working on such have been stolen from our countries! Meanwhile his representative here is sermonizing on our need for foreign investment! In what? More experts.
B. Special Focus_
B1 Maharaja Media, Fertilizer & our Chettiar Superstars
How did the Chettiar-banker-linked Maharaja family and their companies today rise and link to the multinationals spread around the world? (see ee 17 Aug 2019, Inexplicable Chettiar)
These regional Chettiar bankers were also the reason why the Bank of Ceylon was set up, because the English would only lend to local people through them. These links are also crucial to explain why state and commercial banks simply refuse to invest in modern (machine-building) production. These Chettiar bankers have also controlled Tamil political parties as well as other politicians, and the media.
• Chena cultivation had provided a means of cash for the cultivator. The 19thC English prohibition of chena cultivation, plus the robbery and sale of chena land and forests to extend plantations, then led to a ‘liquidity crisis in the village’. This altered production relations to accommodate the rise of merchant-cum-usurer class in the agrarian system. They provided liquidity to the peasantry within and between the harvesting periods of paddy in exchange for a greater share of the total harvest. It created the socioeconomic space necessary for the usurer-cum-merchant class – mostly ‘Chettiars’ in the 20thC – to ascend in the English period.
The import of rice to Sri Lanka from Burma had been in the hands of Chettiar and other Indian traders (tho in 1919 Whittall & Co began importing rice for directly supplying their estates, and Harrisons & Crosfield also became indenting agents for English rice exporters in Rangoon).
In 1925, after a Nattukottai Chettiar firm collapsed, the English banks stopped lending them money, and the Chettiar firms began demanding repayment of loans from Ceylonese client – themselves in financial straits they defaulted and lost their properties, resulting in an intense anti-Chettiar campaign. There was also an outcry against toddy and arrack renters.
This led in 1927, to Mahatma Gandhi’s visit to Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna, organised by the Nagarathar Society of Colombo – powerful Nattukottai Chettiar financiers. These businessmen included wealthy recruiters of unfree labor from India.
With the Depression, there were calls to deport Malayalee harbour workers, government servants and even sanitary workers from India, to boycott Indian retail shops and Jaffna cigars. In 1936, AE Goonasinhe won election to the State Council, which called for the deportation of 15,000 Indians workers. In 1939, the State Council under DS Senanayake decided to deport all Indians appointed to government service after 1 April 1934 and to discontinue all Indians with less than 10 years’ service. His nephew John Kotelawela, Minister of Communication and Works, implemented the resolution by dismissing the Indian daily paid workers in his ministry. India retaliated by imposing a ban on emigration of unskilled workers to Ceylon. The Nattukottai Chettiar Sangam in Ceylon appealed to the Indian National Congress and Mahatma Gandhi, who sent Jawaharlal Nehru.
According to Colvin R de Silva: Trade unions had just begun to emerge amongst plantation workers, when Peri Sundaram, an Indian businessman from Colombo, entered the State Council through plantation constituencies, and became Minister of Labor. The kanganies on the plantations had also become a political force. The plantation workers had been entering the general stream of the mass movement in Ceylon when the Chettiar banker-led Nagarathar Society of Colombo brought Nehru in. With anti-Indianism in Colombo at its height, Nehru handed down “a momentous political decision”. He advised they organise themselves into the Ceylon Indian Congress, “the most reactionary advice, throwing the Indian community back onto itself, since the leadership of the workers was provided by the Colombo business community’. This threw the workers back into the political isolation they had started to break out of.
• The Bank of Ceylon (BoC) was set up in 1939 because no English bank would lend to Sinhala people, except through south Indian Chettiar and north Indian Afghan moneylenders, who borrowed from English banks, and lent at exorbitant rates to Lankans. Though the BoC still operated ‘independently’ until it was nationalized in 1961, it still failed to lend to rural people.
In 1972, the Sirimavo government passed the Agricultural Productivity Law, which forced the bank to open Agrarian Service Centre branches in almost all villages here, but again, it failed to challenge the rule of moneylenders. As Philip Gunawardena noted, the Bank of Ceylon had been strangled by the colonial office at birth, being ‘controlled by prosperous lawyers and other sharks’. The People’s Bank, the so-called successor to the Cooperative Development Bank established in 1961, became more or less a commercial bank. Now we have the rule of so-called NBFIs, supported by white US and EU ‘development banks’ – larger sharks!
The World Bank, IMF etc., set up 5 years before the CBSL, to control a country’s economic priorities and access to foreign investment, now have their officials in every SL ministry, including in the Central Bank, to prevent investment in industry. WB/IMF officials are also agents of the US Treasury. The WB head, opposing local production of vaccines, was Trump’s Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs.
The attempt to set up development banks led to Philip Gunawardena’s removal and SWRD’s assassination.
• Capital Maharaja Group’s origins as a major importer of chemicals are traced to the 1940s, becoming local agents of US napalm-maker Dow Chemical’s Union Carbide products, selling Eveready batteries, Unilever’s Chesebrough Ponds, plus a host of other consumer goods like pens and watches, which could be made here in rural areas. In 1967 buying tea-exporter AF Jones, they set up The Maharaja Organisation. In 1975, they became local agents for Renault, Lancia and Cagiva motorbikes, and in 1977 built the infamous Prima Flour Mill in Trincomalee – first project of the Greater Colombo Economic Corporation, forerunner to the current Board of Investment (BOI), which imported wheat to undercut rice. Profiting from the Mahaweli Project, they represented England’s Balfour Beaty etc. (which imported wdrinking water from England), Japan’s Mitsui etc, and other Euro MNCs. In 1981 they set up an advertising MNC J Walter Thompson agency in SL, and 1985 partnered with New Zealand Dairy Board to push Anchor milk powder. In 1987, they became the largest PVC pipe producer in SL, inporting technology. In 1989 they bought the Harrisons & Crossfield Group, and set up Harrisons Chemicals. In 1991, with Singapore Telecom, they set up DataNet and the MTV Channel, and a bottling plant with PepsiCo. In 1992 they set up Harrisons Shipping, moving into radio, entertainment. In 2000s they set up M Chems to sell more fertilisers, etc.
• A Vital History of Local Agents – Maharaja-linked Harrisons & Crossfield Group was among the old monopolies like Unilever that have controlled prices of Sri Lanka’s primary products, through domination over banking, investment, modern production, marketing, shipping, and insurance. Through interlocking directorates these whites control banks, investment trusts, financial trusts, commercial and industrial companies, plantations, shipping, insurance. They claim low profits at the production level and huge profits at the marketing level.
The institution known as the Agency House began during the mid-19thC coffee boom, providing services to plantation owners, like processing, storage, sales, shipping, insurance, supplies to plantations, credit and local transport! These agency houses transformed themselves by the 20thC into managing agents in Sri Lanka for England-based companies, controlling budgets, cultivation, manufacturing, taxation, exchange controls, employment especially of ‘executives’ and accounting.
England also used International Commodity Agreements to control production levels and prices, as well as Tea and Rubber Control Ordinances. ‘Imperial Preferences’ ensured the monopoly of marketing tea and rubber through the London market. Now US-funded Advocata sings the praises of English free trade!
• During WW2, the English imposed a system of forced loans to finance their war. The Ceylon Currency Board had to issue as much currency as the English needed, against pound sterling credits accumulated in the Bank of England. By 1944 these ‘loans’ totalled Rs435million, almost a quarter of the country’s national income. They also imposed ther misnamed ‘fair price contracts’ to fund their war machine, for bulk purchasing of tea in 1939, and of rubber, coconut, plumbago/graphite and cinnamon by 1943, governing 97% of exports. They then tripled the prices of imports – food, consumer goods, raw materials, capital goods. Despite this blatant inequality, between 1939-45, Sri Lanka amassed Rs1billion in foreign assets.
After WW2 England, suffering from the war, got Sri Lanka to agree not to utilize credit balances in England to help bolster English balance of payments instead. Between 1945-51, the colonies were forced to accumulate 1billion pounds-sterling balances in London.
After 1948, the English set up local directors as front men to purchase their agency houses, but control remained in English hands. They were chosen from the so-called white-Black elite, who had gained incomes and social position through the plantation game. Locals in the Ceylonese Chamber of Commerce in 1939 proudly accepted the collective reference to themselves as the gosling of the English goose that laid the golden eggs!
Between 1952-69: Private Capital Transfers from England to Sri Lanka were Rs87.2million, while England grabbed Rs315.7mn from SL. Profits and Dividends were Rs6.8mn to Sri Lanka, and Rs741.1mn taken from SL. The other method of robbery was aid, tied to buying English goods and services. Devaluation tied to the sterling was yet another ploy.
Until 1957, foreign companies in Sri Lanka were allowed to remit their profits and capital to England. In 1957, due to a fall in SL’s external assets, the freedom to repatriate capital was suspended. To circumvent exchange-control restrictions, the plantation companies then set up holding companies to remit profits as well as capital under the cover of dividends. Along with agency commission fees, London head office expenses, shipping and insurance commissions and brokerage fees were also repatriated, sucking the blood out of the plantation working class, extending capitalist underdevelopment throughout the economy. Rather than investing in mechanizing plantations here, they also began to invest in plantations in East Africa and Malaysia.
• The whites thus have dominated this totally corrupt private sector, their media and their politicians. Multinationals set up ‘local directors’ to project fake nationalism. These directors and the politicians they promote have absolutely no power, except to regularly repress the population.
The Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Agency Houses and Brokering Firms, appointed under the Commissions of Inquiry Act in 1971 and published in 1975, exposed the severe losses in foreign exchange, showing how they claimed low profits in Sri Lanka while pushing up profits in London. It is no coincidence that 1975 marks the removal of the Left forces from the government! Will 2021 be the new 1975, and will 2024 be 1977 times 10?
Brokering firms handle tea, rubber and coconut. eg, as licensed tea exporters – all linked through ownership of Regional Plantations Companies – themselves largely own the 8 brokerage firms which run the weekly tea auctions in SL. RPCs produce 40% of the annual tea output, their revenue determined by the auction price which is significantly lower than the export price received by the licensed exporting firms, despite both being connected through ownership. Hence, the majority of the profits are accumulated among the exporting firms, while RPCs profits remain low or are loss making.
After the state takeover of agency houses’ plantation robbery, the agency houses moved into the tourist, hotel, gem trade and non-traditional export sectors. In 1978 these agency houses were allowed to smash the local industries run by the state, and return to control the plantations.!
B2 Hemas, Vaccine Wars & the Import Mafia
• Angela Kasturi Chellarajah Wilson – Midst the pandemic escalating in June 2020, Hemas Holdings Chair Husein Esufally appointed Angela Wilson as Hemas’ CEO, replacing England’s Steven Enderby in June 2020, She was highlighted as the ‘first female CEO of a listed Lankan conglomerate’, a ‘single mother’, and promoted as an example of capitalist inclusiveness. Photographs chose to show her smiling visage from midriff up and décolletage, even though corporate men are usually portrayed above the tie knot.
Chellarajah was re-elected President of the Sri Lanka Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry in July 2020. The office-bearers of SLCPI include George Steuart Health, India’s Cipla Pharma, Swiss Baur & Co., and USA’s Pfizer aka Astron Ltd.
Enderby, who stepped down for Chellarajah, is linked to Actis Capital, spun out of England’s CDC Group (formerly Commonwealth Development Corporation) to invest in ‘private equity, energy, infrastructure, and real estate’ in ‘emerging markets’ in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Enderby, linked to South Asia Gateway Terminal, Ceylon Oxygen and Millennium IT, is a director of John Keells Holdings, Lion Brewery, and Punjab Tractors!
‘Actis is a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment… an investor initiative developed by the UNEP FI and the UN Global Compact’. In 2013, Actis invested in Indian pharma company Symbiotec Pharmalab. Enderby joined Hemas in 2013 and became CEO in 2014. In 2018, Standard Chartered Bank sold its real estate investment business in Asia, to Actis. Enderby continued on the Boards of Hemas’ Hotel ventures.
Harvard Business School Alumni Chellarajah also served as a Director of Capital Alliance and Morrisons, and headed the SCPI. Capital Alliance Directors are linked to Ceylon Tea Brokers, Jetwing Travels, J Walter Thompson, Commercial Bank, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, MAS Holdings.
Chellarajah is President of the SL Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry, which claims over 60 members covering almost 90% of the private pharmaceutical industry, spanning manufacturers, importers, distributors, retailers. They supply Sri Lankans with 800 molecules from 364 manufacturers from across the world. Chellarajah was also recognized by the SL Parliament in 2019 and added to its prestigious list of Women Changemakers! (see Hemas’ links below)
In July 2020, while Hemas was parading their female CEO, the National Medicines Regulatory Authority issued notices of cancellation of registrations and import licenses to 5 pharmaceutical companies including Hemas Pharmaceuticals & A Baur for arbitrarily and unilaterally increasing the retail prices of 10 medicines.
The SL Chamber of Pharmaceutical Industries (SLCPI) then claimed the NMRA only has powers to determine the initial prices of medicines, medical devices and borderline products and advise the minister on subsequent price revisions. The SLCPI likes to refer to price hikes as ‘price enhancement’.
In December 2020: The SL Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Industry objected to the price ceiling imposed on 73 molecules, by the NMRA to make medicines more affordable. The SCLPI complained about ‘the lack of a proper mechanism for the regulation of prices along with high regulatory fees’ and about ‘a depreciating rupee, making importing drugs more expensive’.
In April 2021: SLCPI promised there would be ‘no shortage of medicines in SL due to the Covid-19 situation in India. The orders placed with our manufacturing partners and principals in India and other countries are being fulfilled and we will ensure that our consumers will continue to have access to quality medicines, seamlessly.’
In May 2021: SLCPI urged ‘caution on Covid vaccine procurement… procurement must be from registered, market-authorized distributors’,
Yet on 21 May: A more strident FT headline declared ‘Pharmaceutical authority dabbling with people’s lives for individual gains’, noting ‘A guileful scheme that pervaded 2 regimes prioritises profits over public health, and gave life to an ostensible State-sponsored private sector that has emerged more powerful than the State, statutory bodies in the Ministry of Health and the country’s legitimate private sector.’
An FT story by anonymous ‘Special Correspondent’ began attacking government policy and the State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Corporation: headlined, ‘SPMC Joint Ventures a bitter pill to swallow for local industry and public’. “Sri Lanka’s health sector is unwell, its vital functions deteriorating putrefied by corruption, political power-play and negligence. Governance is all but dead within.” It went on:
‘In 2015, then President Mahinda Rajapaksa introduced a program to promote local manufacture of pharmaceuticals in SL. The program envisioned to produce 50% of the country’s requirement by 2024, drawing significant interest from local investors within the sector. This was also on account of a buy-back guarantee from Government for designated quantities, on top of potential to export. Despotic attitudes of officials of the current regime have led to the breakdown of conventions within this program…
Before 2015, Sri Lanka only produced close to 3% of its pharmaceutical requirement, with imports leading the way. Close to home, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan had evolved into major production hubs for the global pharma industry. By February 2021, India’s pharma trade was worth $41billion, supplying 50% of global demand for various vaccines. It’s billed to top $65billion by 2024. Pakistan with just one EU GMP plant produced over $3.2billion of pharmaceuticals in 2019, with Bangladesh billed to top $6billion by 2025.
Local industry boom – With the advent of the new scheme, local manufacturing of pharmaceutical products got off to a sound start. At the outset, local industry supplied up to 5% of domestic requirement and by 2020 it had increased to 15%, with plans to ascent further by 2025.
With up to 100 products produced locally out of a planned 350, this program delivered significant savings to the Sri Lankan Government alongside a constant supply chain from here at home.
Wijeya Group’s FT’s special correspondent cried: Local manufacturers like Hemas, Sunshine Holdings, Navesta, CIC, Gamma & Astron invested billions of rupees to enhance capacity, with facilities built to European Medicine Agency’s Good Manufacturing Practice (EU GMP) standard and local GMP standards.
27 June: Wijeya Group’s Sunday Times veteran Kumudini Hettiarachchi declared in a headline ‘Sinovac wants price kept secret; any disclosure and deal is off’, quoting V Nadarajah, Chairman of Kelun Lifesciences (Pvt) Ltd, the local company that has a MoU with the Chinese firm.’
Another story the same day, by Hettiarachchi headlined: ‘Experts question move to order 13m doses of Sinovac amidst efficacy concerns’… ’ growing concerns over SL’s moves to order 13 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine with serious doubts emerging in some other countries of its effectiveness against the Delta variant..”
This set off another raging against China and its vaccines.
“Experts question the plan for Sri Lanka to enter into an agreement with a company called Kelun Lifesciences (Pvt) Ltd to secure 13mn Sinovac doses which are set to be manufactured – that is, dispensed, filled, packaged and tested – at its site in Pallekele.” – sundaytimes.lk/210627/news/experts-question-move-to-order-13m-doses-of-sinovac-amidst-efficacy-concerns-447553.html
On 28 June: Lanka Business Online reported there are 3,500 pharmaceutical salesmen (women?) ‘promoting product awareness to health care professionals!’ ‘They serve as the contact point in the introduction of new pharmaceutical products to the market.’ Quoting Sunshine Healthcare, and CIC holdings (employing over 200 pharmaceutical salesmen), LBO also mentioned a study carried out by Accenture Life Sciences last year, which revealed 87% of Healthcare Practitioners want either all virtual or a mix of virtual and in-person meetings.’ Baurs Life Sciences claimed “the job role” of a pharmaceutical representative was being disrupted:
‘At the start of the lockdown, we were brainstorming to see how we should reinvent a job role for individuals who have been doing this in the traditional way – which means face-to-face interaction. Therefore it was evident that going digital was the only solution where we could cater to the patient for consulting a physician as well as adhering to the prescription,’ Baurs Life Sciences adds: ‘We see that 80% of the pharmaceutical representatives in the industry meet 20% of doctors – also known as the 80/20 rule.’
On July 7: Wijeya Group’s FT headlined: ‘National Chamber of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (NCPM) rejects Daily FT report’ – ‘Following the initial article on 21 May (www.ft.lk/opinion/Pharmaceutical-authority-dabbling-with-peoples-lives-for-individual-gains/14-718231) the SL NCPM wrote to the FT, on what it claimed was a distorted article with false content, ‘and even misleading the general public causing damage to the Government vision of ‘making Sri Lanka a medicinally self-sufficient nation’.” FT then revealed its sources: ‘in its initial article as with this edition also features details, documents and views shared by members of the SLChamber of Pharmaceutical Industries, which features a number of listed companies. In this edition the focus fell on findings published by the Auditor General.’
Then Wijeya Group featured another anonymous FT attack: Auditor General dissects SPMC joint ventures, but to what end? Again, ‘Special Correspondent’ asked: ‘Is the Government really capable of achieving the objective of 50% self-sufficiency in pharmaceuticals by 2025, as envisioned by then President, PM Mahinda Rajapaksa? Are the State Ministry of Pharmaceuticals Production, Supplies and Regulation and SPMC hitting the final nail on the coffin of local pharmaceutical manufacturing just to serve their self-fulfilling agenda?’ They claimed the authorities are ‘playing with rupees and lives… Crisis spills over to Covid-19 documents prepared not approved by Project Committee…Cabinet-appointed Negotiation Committee declared cost of API is 40% higher than those declared by local manufacturer for same product… If public health is of secondary importance, Sri Lanka will become packing destination for vaccine with lowest efficacy against Covid-19.’ – ft.lk/opinion/Auditor-General-dissects-SPMC-joint-ventures-but-to-what-end/14-720099
• The owners of Hemas Holdings are listed as the opaque: AZ Holdings (15.79%), Saraz Investments (15.03%), Blueberry Investments (14.92%, based in the Isle of Man!) Amagroup (14.92%), JPMLU-Franklin Templeton Investment Funds (5.73%)
Hemas’ Board of Directors interlock directors with such feel-good NGOs as the Centre of Poverty Analysis, as well as business associations! But more importantly, link with multinationals and investors, Goldman Sachs and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, but also: Pfizer, Unilever, British American Tobacco (Ceylon Tobacco), Tata, Keels, MAS Holdings, Capital Alliance, JB Vantage, Castrol India, Morison, Carson Cumberbatch, Evergreen Shipping, Janashakthi General Insurance, Spectra Logistics, Resus Energy Plc, Tata Agritech, Anglo-Scottish Education Society,
The Capital Alliance board includes directors with links to Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Ceylon Tea Brokers, Jetwing Travels, J Walter Thompson and ‘leading global investment banks of the ilk (sic!) of Bank of America and Morgan Stanley’, and a Life Member of the Bar Association of SL!
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.
• US Ambassador wants military cooperation pact with Sri Lanka updated to tackle red tape
‘‘The visiting forces agreement is an update to an existing agreement…’
• TNA demands N&E remerger from US Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz
• English government running secret influence campaigns around the world.
‘Secret English ‘Strategic Communication’ Campaign Aims To Fracture The Balkans uncovered…’
• Whenever Indo-Sri Lanka relations deteriorate, SL faces embarrassment – Fernando
• Foreign Minister meets Foreign Consul Generals about foreign assistance for COVID-19
‘Consuls from the Philippines, Australia, Bulgaria, Seychelles, Ecuador and Poland’
• No arrangements regarding US SOFA since 2019: AG
• England reiterates commitment to accountability, won’t comment on ex-CID Director’s case
• If Germany accounted for their crimes why can’t US/UK & EU?
• Canada’s Genocide & Holocaust against Natives no different to Nazi Concentration Camps
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 21C, D1, D2, E & F
• ‘Arabization’ and balkanization of the Eastern Province.
• Most of those who disappeared were the breadwinners of the families
‘Maxwell Commission initially said 30,000 people had disappeared, but in copy presented to Parliament that number was 19,000. Now, the government says only 3,000 have disappeared,”
• Rajiv Gandhi Assassination
‘Prof. Ravindra Fernando translates into Sinhala Indian chief forensic scientist’s book’
• Restrictions shouldn’t go beyond legitimate protection of public health: Hanaa Singer
• Dayan Undresses Himself
‘After attempting to hand over the sovereignty of Sri Lanka in Geneva, by promising India to divide the country via the 13th amendment, Dayan Jayatilleka (or as we like to call him, Mushy-D) then fashioned himself as a ‘smart patriot’.’
• Coronavirus, poverty, Pakistan: India under siege, but not ready for war with China – Tharoor
‘Its controversial embrace of the Quad with the US, Japan and Australia should be seen in this light: it is shield, more than sword’
• Chinese FM to visit Central Asia on SCO mission for Afghan peace
• China opens the SCO pathway to Kabul, India should go along
‘regional states can help Afghans to navigate the tough journey ahead to peace and the recovery of their sovereignty.’
• The War In Afghanistan: A Polling Post-Mortem
‘Polls shouldn’t be used to make policy, but they tell us that the urge to leave is strong.’
• Taliban Reject U.S./Turkish Plans To Keep A Foothold In Kabul
‘Turkey is hiring ‘Syrian rebel’ mercenaries to be sent to Kabul…the US deep state agenda is to fuel the flames of imminent civil war in Afghanistan and then extend it to the Central Asian “stans,” complete with shady jihadi commandos mixed with Uighurs also destabilizing Xinjiang’
• China explains its Afghan motivations
• US frigates have begun intruding into waters claimed by China – Daily Mirror
• Transitional period ahead in US-China relations
‘Germany is “also for territorial integrity of all countries of the world.”
• U.S. Announces Retreat From Iraq (And Syria)?
• Joint Statement by Iran, Russia and Turkey on Syria
• US troops may leave Syria at any time, Russian envoy says
• Russia Foreign Minister remarks after meeting Foreign Minister of Turkey
‘Turkish President Erdogan announced plans to build a canal, which is supposed to serve as an alternate route to the straits connecting the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.’
• Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sudan Clash as River Waters Fill the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
• US-Russia ties warming up. Is it for real? Kerry in Moscow
• Vladimir Putin “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians”
• Takeaways for Russia, India from Merkel’s US visit
‘German Chancellor Angela Merkel to visit White House on July 15,… ast Monday, within 3 weeks of the European summit with the US and the NATO and G7 summits, Chinese President Xi Jinping had a three-way video call with the French President Macron and German Merkel… European industry’s heavyweights — home to major players such as BioNTech and AstraZeneca — resist the waiver.
• Cuba Calls for Defense of the Revolution and an End to the Blockade
• U.S. Launches Another Attempt To Regime Change Cuba: A Trial Run?
• U.S. Out of Haiti!
• Slain Haitian President Was Washington’s Choice
• James Weldon Johnson, Self-Determining Haiti, 1920
‘Johnson’s articles also recovered the little-known role of Wall Street in US intervention in Haiti’
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.
• English Carrier Strike Group warships reaches Indian Ocean region
• Canada destroys doses of AstraZeneca to keep prices high
• Rich Country Hypocrisy Exposed by Vaccine Inequities
‘Rich countries have been hoarding far more vaccine doses than they need’
• International Chamber of Commerce says finance ministers of richest economies gambling with vaccines
• Cardinal gives one month deadline to take action against Easter attack perpetrators
‘no serious effort has been made to trace Sarah, the widow of the Katuwapitiya bomber. She fled to India after the attacks’
• Ex SL soldier compares search for Easter attack mastermind to hunt for Adolf Eichmann
• Police probe attacks on four Catholic churches in Mannar town on Tuesday
• Amnesty International declares Hejaaz Hizbullah a prisoner of conscience
• LTTE sympathizer deported from Qatar & arrested at Quarantine Center
• India, Sri Lanka and the Maldives hold virtual exercise to streamline response mechanisms
‘TTX 2021 was coordinated by Indian Navy’s Maritime Warfare Centre in Mumbai. CSO of the Indian Navy Western Naval Command Rear Admiral Gurcharan Singh, SL Navy Director General Operations Rear Admiral P.S. Mahawithana and Colonel Hilmy from the Maldives National Defence Force.. The Trilateral Secretariat on Maritime Security Cooperation was established at Sri Lanka Navy Headquarters in March this year.
• Major General Priyantha Perera appointed as new Army Chief of Staff
• Seven Additional Solicitor Generals appointed as President’s Counsel
• Sunshine Holdings supports Sri Lanka Police with donation of Watawala Tea
• Duminda Silva pardon affair mishandled! Has the President been led up the garden path?
‘The ABC is today listed under Rayynor Silva Pvt Ltd which runs five radio channels and the Hiru TV. Rayynor is Duminda’s brother.’
• Court issues Enjoining Order preventing wife from accessing husband’s computer
• White supremacy shaped U.S. nuclear defense efforts during the Cold War.
• England’s Steele Dossier Peddlers Confirm Its Substance With New Forgeries
• Ransomware: Stop Blaming Russia And Tackle The Real Villains – Cryptocurrencies
‘Some of the rentable ransomware services, like REvil, are run by Russian speaking groups. But that does not mean that the people who use it are from Russia or that the attacks take place from Russian grounds.’
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.
• The G7 legalizes the right to defraud – Thomas Piketty
‘US billionaires pay almost no income tax compared to what the rest of the population pays.’
• Perfect Time to Tame Import Mafia and Take Control of National Economy
• Sri Lanka will be a debt-free country – CB Governor
• President’s Secretary to the Treasury P. B. Jayasundera critical of import restrictions
• Sweeping powers for new Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa
• Palpita new Secretary to the new Ministry of Economic Policies and Plan Implementation.
• Re-appointment of Sanjeeva Jayawardena, President’s Counsel to Monetary Board of CBSL
‘Jayawardena’s father, the late Mr. Stanley Jayawardena, also served on the Monetary Board from 01.03.1989 to 12.09.1994’
• Tax System in Ancient Sri Lanka
• Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa dynasty is not as secure as it appears – The Economist
• US Advocata welcomes full-time Finance Minister
‘for 23 of the last 30 years the Head of Government had simultaneously held the title of Minister of Finance…from post-independence to around 1990, SL’s tax revenue averaged over 20%. At present, SL has one of the lowest income tax rates compared to peer countries, as well as a tax threshold which is several times its GDP’
• Remittances from around the world strengthen balance of payments
‘Remittances from the Middle East accounted for 51.7 percent of total remittances’
• Money printing numbers quoted by some critics are overestimated – Colombage
• ‘No choice but to seek IMF support’– Wijewardene
‘What is the type of the Treasury which Basil has inherited? It is empty to the core.’
• IMF as the State’s economic saviour?
• Sri Lanka on brink of severe economic crisis, claims BowerGroupAsia
• For sustainable finance to work, we will need central planning – Financial Times
‘Systemic guidance will help public and private sector investors to distinguish good from bad… The EU’s new sustainable finance strategy and Green Bond Standard show what is at stake. Their aim is clear: to help create the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.’
• Capitalism: has the leopard changed its spots? – Roberts
• Competition and the evolution of the capitalist mode of production – Clifton
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.
• China sets up Emergency Reserve: Lanka among the beneficiaries
‘The emergency reserve was the result of a zoom meeting convened by Foreign Minister Wang Yi in April and attended by the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and SL’
• Envoys of US, Germany, China, Russia, European Union, England and India call on Basil
• JVP urges Govt. to reveal its policy, action plan to resolve foreign exchange crisis
‘plans are afoot to sell important state resources such as Trincomalee Oil Farm, power generation, fuel supply and planning to sell valuable lands & properties in Colombo through the Selendiva Investments’
• ISB repayment headaches totalling $14 billion stretch until 2030
‘According to Fitch Ratings, the debt repayments due in the period 2021 to 2026 are over $6 billion in 2021, $6.5 billion in 2022, $5 billion in 2023, $4.8 billion in 2024, $5 billion in 2025 and $3.8 billion in 2026. This includes ISBs, Sri Lanka Development Bonds and bilateral loans.
• Soaring imports swell trade deficit
‘Trade deficit widens to US dollars 716 million in May’
• Sri Lanka Cuts Back On Imports Amid Mounting Debt
• Over 40% of foreign exchange goes for food and others imports that could be locally produced
• Customs charging demurrage amidst forex, crisis irks private sector
‘Manufacturers dependent on imported inputs are frustrated over Customs charging demurrage on delayed clearance for no fault of firms but scarcity of US Dollars.’
• Public Debt Dept. to sell Treasuries worth Rs. 106 billion
• Sri Lanka quells debt concerns
‘SL dollar bonds bounced back at the end of last week, following news that the country’s central bank is ready to repay debt set to mature this month’
• Sri Lanka rupee parallel markets diverge, bonds flat
• Sri Lanka central bank plans to acquire US$650-700mn from forex surrenders
• Sri Lanka sees some recovery in 2021 state revenues, but spending accelerates
• Sri Lanka public currency holdings spike in Covid-19 amid money printing talk
• Govt. gazettes Tax Amnesty Bill
• Sri Lanka import controls shattered by credit, money printing in May
• Sri Lanka public currency holdings spike in Covid-19 amid money printing talk
• Sri Lanka manufacturing, service start to recover in June 2021
• Pandemic debt impact varies widely across Asia Pacific sovereigns: Fitch
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
• All-Island Dengue Prevention Assistants’ Union protest to be made permanent cadre
• EU opposes anti-union discrimination in FTZs
• Those who protest should come up with proposals for modern education system: Prez
• GMOA takes strong stand, urges Defence Consultative Committee to re-examine project
‘Bill will create an institution outside the purview of the University Grants Commission (UGC) as well as the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). The proposed University wouldn’t be subject to regulatory bodies of engineering, law and public administration’
• GMOA asks DGHS to prevent abuse of quarantine laws
• Police action against protestors: Unions express concern, PHIs deny they gave approval
• Global union protests against ‘forcible’ quarantine of teachers’ union leaders
‘Valter Sanches, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union…’
• FUTA condemns brutal police action against peaceful protest by IUSF students
• Pulling out from online teaching 100% success: Teachers, Principals unions
• Nearly 12,000 schools in Sri Lanka lack even basic teaching needs, and worse
• Kotelawala Defence University Bill Must Be Passed. The Nation Needs It
• President kicks off ‘City University’ program
‘youth unemployment could rise to 30% owing to the current global situation’
• Same salary for ex-military personnel appointed to public service posts
• Department of Wildlife officers to call strike, if not vaccinated against COVID
• 16-year-old working in former Sri Lanka minister’s residence dies of burn injuries
• Pensioners annual earnings cut by half – Sunday Times
• Low income families sidelined despite making 25% down-payment five months ago
‘The 356-unit housing complex was developed by the Urban Settlement Development Authority (USDA) targeting “low and middle income families”
• Mendacious propaganda against workers’ demands by the Planters’ Association
• Plantations Mafia & The Political Path Of Workers’ Struggle
• Jeevan Thondaman plans to boost rural economy via self-employment!
• “On the cusp of a mothers-led movement for better birth rights in Sri Lanka” –D’Almeida
• Top fashion brands face legal challenge over garment workers’ rights in Asia
‘Pan-Asian labour rights group launches groundbreaking attempt to hold global labels accountable for alleged rights violations during pandemic’
• Pakistan receives record $ 29.4 b remittances in FY21
• A ‘Fatiguing Climb’: Capitalist Competition and Working-Class Formation – Gindin
• No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age – McAlevey
‘McAlevey stresses the distinction between mobilizing and organizing and examines how systematic conflation of the two has reflected and reinforced the labor movement’s decline over recent decades.’
• Wage Disparity under Capitalist Competition – Botwinick
‘the author calls for militant union organization that can once again take wages and working conditions out of capitalist competition.’
• Rolling Back Remnants of Canadian Worker Protections: Workforce Advisory Committee
• Unions Must Stand United to End Canada’s Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia
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.
• National Water Supply and Drainage Board operates 331 water supply schemes,
‘….2.4 million domestic connections and 207,000 commercial connections, and contributes 43.8% of the 93.8% total safe drinking water coverage..’
• Former Central Environmental Authority Director General joins Singapore H2O1 Board
‘H2O1 operates in Sri Lanka and Maldives for advanced treatment, sewage treatment, water treatment technologies, solid waste management technologies and plant maintenance and operation’
• HNB partners Brown to offer customers exciting deals on agri machinery
• Stocks in warehouses but farmers on the streets. Very clear who is behind protests: Minister
• Attempt to derail the government’s organic fertiliser campaign
• Consumer Affairs Authority to take legal action against fertilizer hoarders
• 10,000 MT urea brought on July 9 despite ban: JVP reveals
• Organic fertilizer plan is a cover for the govt’s bankruptcy, says Ranil
• Time for night soil fertiliser
‘The Matara UC and the Dondra TC used to auction the toilet collection annually and the coconut land owners used to bid for them.’
• Exporters comprise about 200 companies generating about US$1.2 billion per annum
• Govt. plans to import sugar from India and dhal from Australia
‘sugar will be imported from National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd. (NAFED) and dhal from Australia’s JANTEC Group.’
• Sri Lanka to control local sugar prices
• Multi-day fishing vessel monitoring system from Australia to Sri Lanka
• Confiscated canned fish approved by Food Control Unit and SLSI: Lanka Sathosa
• Fishing vessel carrying thresher sharks nabbed in Jaffna
• Devananda gets tough with Chinese sea cucumber farm owner
• Seychelles to destroy six Sri Lankan vessels for illegally fishing in territorial waters
• Bill to ban cattle slaughter
• Basilur Tea collaborates with Hemas Pharmaceuticals to launch TIPSON
‘Hemas Pharmaceuticals has decided to collaborate in the distribution of products in the Turmeric, Ashwagandha and functional wellness categories’
• Sanga, Mahela & Keells venture into online grocery retail with Providore
‘End-to-end service from order placement to delivery, ensuring safe storage, handling & delivery’
• Dr. Dharmawansa Senadhira: Rice breeder par Excellence
‘many poor people who obtain most of their energy requirements from rice, suffer from micronutrient deficiencies such as those of iron and zinc, and in his quest for research he found that some primitive rice varieties have double the amount of iron and zinc’
• ‘Development expert’ Anisha Rajapakse appointed to Global Board of Rainforest Alliance
• Making Ethanol from Rice Hurts India’s Poor
• Master gardener’s role in transforming Singapore into ‘garden city’
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.
• Blacksmith, helper arrested for making illegal ’Cap Guns’
‘A blacksmith known as ‘Yaka Baas’ and assistant ‘Chandi’ manufacturing illegal weapons for the past 37 years, were arrested…from the Bendiwewa area in Moragoda, Galenbindunuwewa…’
• SL has identified oil and gas deposits
• JPMorgan Is Buying Up Power Plants and Critical Infrastructure in 22 Countries.
‘a Bank Repeatedly Charged with Rigging Markets… In 2013 a unit of JPMorgan Chase was forced to pay $410 million in fines and restitution by FERC for ripping off electric utility customers in California and the Midwest.’
• Sri Lanka’s largest power-plant to fall into US hands, warns AKD
‘this act is being committed by a Finance Minister who is also a US citizen.. talks have already commenced for handing over a large extent of land covering a section of the Trincomalee harbour and oil tank storage complex there to India’
• New Fortress Energy links with Sri Lanka’s LTL for 350MW power plant in Kerawalapitiya,
“The purchase of the Government’s interest in the company owning the power plant is subject to final documentation and the parties will work together to finalize their commercial agreements”
– economynext.com/new-fortress-energy-says-inked-deal-for-sri-lanka-lng-terminal-84017/– economynext.com/new-fortress-energy-says-linked-with-sri-lankas-ltl-for-350mw-power-plant-84022/
• Piramal Glass transfers 22% of shares to Mumbai’s PGP Glass in stock market-boosting…
• ACL Cables, CEB and ENSTO Finland (Nokia?) completes another installation project
‘ACL Cables, SL’s No. 1 cable ‘manufacturer’ installed its fourth ‘ACL SAX’ 80mm² 33KV medium voltage covered conductor electricity transmission project, near SL’s largest power station, the Lakvijaya Power Plant aka Norochcholai Coal Power Plant.
• Oil shipment for CPC in port awaiting dollars: Ranil
• Basil kicks off powwow with industry stakeholders today
‘separate meetings with seven sectors. They are textile and apparel; gem, diamond and jewellery; coconut; ICT; food and beverage; electrical and electronics; and boat building.’
• National Organizations Collective wants Minister Removed to Help USA in Trinco
• Scientist says Balangoda calcite deposit quality cannot be found anywhere else in the world
• Chinese loan to revive local manufacturing?
• President says no more coal power
• Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Petroleum Corporation lost Rs57bn to May 2021: Minister
• Target of electricity from renewable energy not realistic –CEB Engineers Union
‘“We should decide on the structures and achieve the targets without allowing advisors and renewable lobbies to decide on the power intake,”
• Ceylon Petroleum Corporation proposes South Asian fuel hub in Trinco
‘failure of CPC to acquire Trincomalee’s 24 oil tanks leased out to the Lanka Indian Oil Corporation’
• Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chief meets Indian High Commissioner
‘High Commission Head of Economic and Commercial Wing Dr. Rakesh Panday is also present’
• East Container Terminal & Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents
‘CASA’s Chairman – Iqram Cuttilan of Aitken Spence Shipping, Shehara De Silva of McLarens Shipping, Arjuna Hettiarachchi of Sea Consortium Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., Capt.Ajith Peiris CINEC Campus, Saliya Senanayake – Lanka Shipping & Logistics, Mohan Pandithage – Hayleys, Capt. A.V. Rajendra –Sea Trade Agencies…’
• Sri Lanka shipping divided: some welcome ruling on extra import freight charges
• Chittagong Port Authority prioritising berthing for Colombo-bound feeder vessels
‘aiming at clearing out exports piling up at private inland container depots (ICD)… CPA proposed that the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association convince international buyers to not nominate a few selective shipping companies for carrying their export cargoes…. a major portion of stockpiled export containers were owned by one shipping company, Maersk Line,…Maersk Line, CMA CGM, GBX Logistics were present…’
• Sri Lanka container volumes up 19-pct in May 2021
• UNESCAP & Sri Lanka National workshop on Sustainable Freight Transport strategy
• Relief package for bus owners who couldn’t pay lease instalments: State Minister
• Govt. is trying to turn back policies regarding loans: Harsha
‘Elevated Highway Project (EHP) between the new Kelani bridge to Athurugiriya via Rajagiriya’
• Why Sri Lanka should keep SriLankan Airlines afloat: Part 1
‘an airline brings wider economic benefits to a country – inbound travel is stimulated, foreign currency inflows are enhanced, and jobs are created. The effects extend beyond the airline’s profit and loss statement.’
• Japan Airport Consultants opposes China State Construction Engineering for BIA Terminal-2
‘Terminal-2 awarded to consortium of Taisei Corporation and Obayashi Corporation of Japan but Taisei has dropped its partner Obayashi violating its contractual agreement’
• Jitters over electronic items on possible ban list
• Continue the ban on import of all vehicles at least for three years more
• Sri Lanka to promote electric vehicles with renewable power expansion
• National Medicines Regulatory Authority to ask expert panel about failure to approve Sinovac
• Kumudesh slams Health Ministry for China’s refusal to accept private lab reports
• World Bank’s IFC & FCCISL and Sri Lankan Businesses Help Navigate Impacts of COVID-19
• Sinovac vaccine gets NMRA approval
• US gifts 1.5 million doses of Moderna vaccine to Sri Lanka
• Hemas’ Shield brand supports government’s vaccination drive
• Japan to provide cold chain equipment through UNICEF
• USJ proposal to receive WHO grants for Antigen detection rapid diagnostic tests for COVID-19
• Sri Lanka receives over 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX
‘COVAX is a partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and UNICEF; it aims to provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.’
• Teejay, first SL company to become U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Member
‘The Trust Protocol includes 350 brand, retailer, mill and manufacturer members such as Gap and its lifestyle brands Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Levi’s and Athleta as well as global apparel manufacturer Gildan. Membership also includes English retailers Tesco, Byford and Next Plc.’
• Legal impediment related to co-ownership in gem mining will be removed
• Sri Lanka Banks’ Association launches new dynamic website.
• SL Trainocate recognised as #1 Microsoft Learning Partner worldwide
‘SL’s largest IT and human capability development training provider…partners with AWS, Cisco, CompaTIA, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft, NetApp, IBM, Red Hat, Trend Micro, VMware…’
• CICRA creates history as first SL firm to win Microsoft Partner global award
‘Success of CICRA Solutions in transforming the Colombo Tea Auction from a 137-year-old manual, face-to-face system to a fully digitised online e-auction with its intelligent software solution hosted in Microsoft’s Azure Cloud.’
• Jeff Bezos On How A Sri Lankan Kept Him From Going Into Theoretical Physics
‘at Princeton the smartest guy in the batch was a Sri Lankan’
• Standard Chartered Sri Lanka hosts Environmental & Social Risk Assessment Workshop
• Healthcare, Technology, and Socialized Medicine /w Pratyush Chandra
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.
• JPMorgan strategist says best time to buy Asia stocks is now
• Gold import licence issue to go before Basil
“In 2017, SL imported gold worth $ 650 million, but gem, diamond and jewellery products export value was only $ 266 million,… It’s only gold that is imported that is scrutinised at the two border institutions – the Department of Imports and Export Control and SL Customs. There are no provisions under the National Gem and Jewellery Authority Act to regulate the gold market in the country.’
• Indian giant Mahindra ups stake in Ideal Finance, makes it a subsidiary
‘Shareholders of Lankan finance company Ideal Holdings, Motors and Viraj Malawana sell down… lending portfolio consists of commercial trucks, motor cars, three-wheelers, two-wheelers, gold loans and personal loans.’
• Rs. 30 billion foreign outflow so far reported from the CSE
‘last year the foreign outflow was Rs. 48 billion’
• CB urges cuts in commercial banks’ ‘unnecessary’ expenses
‘The CB had wanted them to use this cash for more inward lending’
• Efforts to mobilise foreign financing of US$633.8 million by entering into four agreements
• Belgian investment firm to take up 10% of Sanasa Development Bank
‘NDB Investment Bank is the financial advisor and manager to the transaction. BIO is an investment company set up in December 9, 2001…fully owned and funded by the government of Belgium and is a member of European Development Finance Institutions which supports the private sector in developing countries…In 2019 BIO had invested 8 million US dollars in unlisted subordinated term debt to in expand Tier 2 capital of SDB Bank. (Colombo/July12/2021)
• US development lender commits US$225mn to Sri Lanka banks
• US International Development Finance Corp. provides $150 m to DFCC Bank for MSMEs
‘Alpen Capital (ME) Ltd. acted as the financial advisor to the transaction’
• Sri Lanka’s People’s Bank ‘AA- (lk)’ rating confirmed, state lending expands
• Sri Lanka’s Bank of Ceylon ‘CCC’ rating confirmed amid operating risks
• Central Bank ups primary dealers’ minimum capital to Rs. 2 billion
‘The primary dealers should develop a capital plan with time targets… As at end-2020, there were six Licenced Commercial Bank (LCBs) and seven Primary Dealer companies appointed as Primary Dealers (PDs) in the Government securities market.’
• Exit from Panasian Power mixed with emotions and profit for Jinadasa
‘Dilanka Jinadasa sold a 23.47% stake of 146.7 million shares along with a 2.63% stake held by Jinadasa Brothers…The other two sellers were Emerald Sri Lanka Fund 1 Ltd., (125 million shares or 20%) and Senthilverl Holdings (97 million shares or 15.57%). R I L Property PLC, under the United Motors Lanka Group, bought the 61.67% stake for Rs. 1.6 billion’
• Seylan partners with Ceylon Chamber of Commerce to revive SMEs
• Sri Lanka Chambers team up with world Bank’s International Finance Corporation
• Vallibel Finance records pre-tax profit of Rs.2.38 bn
• Hatton National Bank’s Rs. 7 b BASEL III compliant debenture issue opens
‘Joint managers and placement agents are Acuity Partners and Capital Alliance Partners’
• JB Vantage’s Value Equity Fund is the largest pure equity fund in the Sri Lankan market
• Federal Reserve: A Captured Regulator that’s Wrecking the US Economy with Asset Bubbles?
• The Federal Reserve Has Radically Changed from a Central Bank to a Bailout Kingpin
• U.S. Households Are Sitting on the Highest Level of Bank Deposits in the Past 68 Years
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’
• Barclays’ boost for Sri Lanka
• Colombo Port City: Gains to state coffers
‘There are no factories, production lines, warehouses or any such facilities within the Port City. Instead, as a financial centre, it is said to contain commercial, residential and retail assets, among others.’
• Manohari Abeyesekera, Director, National Savings Bank elected to Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA- UK) Global Council
‘at Hayleys Group for 18 years…In 2019, Manohari was selected for the US State Department Fortune Mentoring Program. She is an Alumna of the USA International Visitor Leadership Program. She received a scholarship from AOTS Japan…’
• Viet Nam Sri Lanka Bilateral Relations to boost Organic Farming, IT Sector and Tourism
• Prajeeth Balasubramaniam re-elected as President of SL Singapore Business Council
‘Balasubramaniam, Managing Partner, BOV Capital, Janaka Gunasekara – Deputy Managing Director, Agri Inputs, A Baur, Tan Beng Chuan – Corporate Manager, Prima Singapore and Shiluka Gunawardena, Partner KPMG as Vice Presidents’
• Sri Lanka-Benelux Business Council holds 27th Annual General Meeting
‘Mahen Kariyawasam of Andrew the Travel Co. was elected President, Sajith Wijenayake from Aitken Spence Travels, Vice President, Ceylon Jewellery Manufacturers, Nisol Diamonds, Spillburg Holdings, Vinu International and Walkers Tours were elected to the Executive Committee
• Melsta Health operates Joseph Fraser Hospital, and bought Browns Hospital Ragama
• Sri Lanka Cricket is not a corporation per se. It is now a limited company
• Namal suspends registration of five sports associations/federations
• Event Management Association Alleges Rs. 30 b industry suffering from discrimination
‘part of the Rs. 150 billion worth marketing communication sector’
• Browns to buy Mauritius resort for $ 12 m
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.
• Betray Gotabaya, betray the country
• Bothale and Horagolla dynasties paramount in Sri Lankan politics since Independence
• In Sri Lanka, the Government Looks Increasingly Like a Family Firm – New York Times
‘In recent months, SL has seen repeated demonstrations by 1,000s of people with a variety of demands’
• The Case for Public Service Reforms – K.H.J. Wijayadasa
• 13 Committees including COPE scheduled to meet during next three weeks
• SWRD, the SLFP and the ‘hand symbol’
• We will mobilise people from every nook and corner to launch street battles: Sajith
• Government roadmap of Zimbabwe – Ranawaka
• PM had marathon schedule in 2020
‘In 2020, PM also received 76,503 letters, 240,000 phone calls, 851 emails and 1,057 faxes, 9,550 visitors…Out of these requests 8% were job requests, 10% were housing requests while 3% were on political victimization… also met 12 high level foreign delegations and met diplomats on 52 occasions
• Rajapaksa Raj and student power – Jayatilleka
‘With legal avenues to suppress Sirasa being officially explored, its Board should alert and mobilise counterparts in the international television networks and associations of the global media industry. The ‘globalisation of solidarity’ is people-to-people, community-to-community. The objective is to raise global consciousness and generate global action. The weapon is world opinion.’
• The return of the Rajapaksa regime – A Kadirgamar
‘SL’s great liberal democratic experiment has now been overcome by authoritarian populism’
• Sri Lankan voter is a buffalo – David
‘Most JVP grass-roots members are not from middle-class, but from poorer families’
• The JVP congratulates China’s communists
• Politics and secret deals are joined at the hip
• What Did We Learn from the CPC’s 100th Anniversary? Leadership Matters
• Assata Shakur interviewed (2000)
‘Assata managed to escape prison and find political refuge in Cuba.’
• Critical Race Theory Origins “Radical Liberal,” Not Marxist
• Woke vs anti-Woke: What Leftist Priyamvada Gopal and Rightist Douglas Murray have in Common
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.
• Obtaining probables from one piece of jigsaw is a political game
• Media Minister confirms seeking legal advice on Sirasa telecasts
• Even pro-government television channels airing snippets of public disgruntlement
• Katharagama Esala Perahera festival began few days ago.
• Quarantine, Stalin, Wigneswaran and Ponnambalam
• Lakdasa Wikkramasinha of the takarang shed
• Sockpuppet accounts from India participated in an unprecedented disinformation campaign ‘”Guptabots” consisted of 100s of fake accounts masquerading as South Africans’
• What Does Critique Do? — On the Critical Predation of China
• Recent Access Problems To Moon of Alabama Have Been Fixed
• The Julian Assange Media Blackout Must End
• Misinformation and Mythology and the Mainstream Media
• Please note our new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org,
and our blog: eesrilanka.wordpress.com
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