“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
e-Con e-News 18-24 July 2021
• Check out ee’s new Sinhala edition on our blog!
• ‘The time for talk is over,’ said a 3wheeler driver to an ee correspondent: when asked for their opinion on the economy. ‘They won’t let the President we elected rule!’ (see Readers Comments).
• ‘Is your journey necessary?’ – the English who talk a mile and a half about democracy now, never had time for such niceties. Take 1939-48 – They arrested, jailed, whipped and murdered ‘disloyal’ opposition (who remembers the murdered Mooloya Govindan & Kollonawa Kandasamy?!)
Faced with being driven out of Asia, they rationed fuel and food, striking deals with cultivators and workers to ensure English dominance. In 1948 they proclaimed ‘a peaceful transition’ to local puppets (just like in South Africa in 1989). Yet the only ‘peaceful transition’ was from English to US colonialism! So why is Wijeya Group’s Sunday Times et al opposing fuel rationing?! (Random Notes).
• Speech is so free, few can afford it: Unilever has the second-largest marketing budget in the world. This ee examines Unilever’s role in the ‘growing corporatization of NGO activism’. Unilever’s advertising budget enables control of media, including in Sri Lanka: Journalists are simply told not to mention Unilever’s role. Neither Maharaja or Derana dare expose the role of Unilever.
This ee extends on the rise of the Chettiar moneylenders and the Maharaja Corporation (whose owner, who died this Saturday, was called the richest man in SL!). ee linked Maharaja media’s (Sirasa, News1st, etc.) pro-toxic fertilizer rabble-rousing to its import subsidiary, Harrison Chemicals. What was missing was the Maharaja link to Unilever. Many of the ‘local’ companies operating in Sri Lanka are just fronts for Unilever, one of the world’s largest capitalist multinational companies:
Let’s recall: In 1801, midst launching the most murderous onslaughts on montane Sinhale (aka Kandy) England’s Secretary of State for War & Colonies, Henry Dundas appointed 20 civilians to the Ceylon Civil Service: John D’Oyly was among 16 Junior Clerks, educated by the English East India Company (EIC) for writerships (junior rank). Unilever is today’s avatar of the EIC, which broke up into numerous agency houses in the 19thC. What is its link to Maharaja, Steuart’s, etc.?
D’Oyly, who funded the early fake media against the King, paying poets and priests, is the patron saint of all our English media today. The Doomed King: a Requiem for Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, by Gananath Obeyesekere, recalls how D’Oyly went about his business of lies. Yet our artists and media, still echo this disinformation (Random Notes).
• The heavily armed English navy was here this week conducting war-games with India and Thailand, casing the ocean about us. They’re here to survey control of the world’s cables that all run underwater by Sri Lanka, as does the world’s maritime and undersea traffic. Then there’s those ‘undeveloped’ energy deposits in Mannar.
• Roman gods (January, May, June) and feasts (February, April), were followed by Roman Emperors (Julius, Augustus), who declared July and August the 7th and 8th months their own, pushing chronologic away with September (named after Latin Sept for 7), October (8), November (9), December (10), becoming the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th months. So much for occidental despotism, we all still submit to!
• The corporate media refuses to examine the need to protect public health (undermined by private pharma and biotech) while ensuring an economy where most people now depend on daily work. They refuse to recall how, at the behest of such luminaries as the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (yes, the first registered ‘trade union’!) the organized working class was smashed: This July being the 41st anniversary of the sacking of 50,000+ workers in 1980.
This July is also the 38th anniversary of the 1983 pogroms, involving ‘multicultural’ gangs – deployed to enable external intervention: It should be commemorated as White July! Few explore the link between July 1980 and 1983, which led to the massacres of July 1987 and the less-adverted war on the south! Ah July!
• While the media and NGOs were gushing fake tears for the murdered child worker in an MP’s home, they’re promoting polices like going to the IMF that will only increase such exploitation.
The IMF, World Bank, ADB, claim to offer low interest rates, but their loans are subject to strict conditions like reducing public services to the vulnerable, elderly, sick, disabled; privatizing public resources and strategic state assets, and getting rid of laws restricting employers from doing exactly what NGOs crying ‘No more child labor!’ protest. NGOs are funded by the same forces who promote worker exploitation (ee Workers, Child)
A1. Reader Comments –
• Dissolve Parliament now • ee is Terrific • No one Teaches us These Things • Populist Government Paralyzed • Capitalist Mafia Entrenched in SL • Yahapalana PTA was More Draconian • England is a Super Spreader
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Banks indebted to Foreign Banks • Handing over Petrol to India • Pfizer’s Crimes • Systematic Distortion & Exaggeration • Who are the Biggest Polluters? • India Spying on own Officials • English Torture as Financial Instrument • US funds Anti-China Media • Keynes on England in Silk • Canada’s Finance Minister & Nazis
A3. Random Notes –
• What is July-August to Us? • The Pegasus Spy Scandal • When Obama Tapped Merkel’s Phone • Hitting BRICS! • SEC can Ban the Rating Agencies! • No economy develops without a production base • World Bank controls Education Curriculum • Reuters Fake News about Sinopharm • Fitch Makes Excuses for Hemas • Home robberies Increase? • East India Company in 1801 • What the English during WW2 in Sri Lanka to Save their own Ass • Unilever Behind Maharaja & other Ghosts •
B. ee Focus
B1. Covid in Malaysia – Chandra Muzaffar
B2. Unilever, & Global Capitalist Apartheid – Kyle Bailey
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
• ‘What’s the president waiting for? There was an eruption of creative joy, with artists reclaiming the hijacked commercialized landscape for the nation. Yet from the word go he was undermined, first by the Swiss cuckoos, who popped out to grab the initiative by staging a fake kidnapping, then by the hollering about ‘despotism, failed states’, then came Covid and its variants. The President is also being undermined by both politicians and public officials, who take their orders from the oligarchs. He should dissolve parliament, and call an election!’
• ‘Reeling! The Maharaja issue was terrific… most grateful.’
• ‘I have many questions cos no one really teaches these things to us at Uni. I hope the fertilizer ban stays on and the government is able to get organic fertilizer going. I saw in the press how SL started winning all sorts of awards for it after the ban was introduced. You can be sure they plan to undermine it, while praising us. Many countries from England to Vietnam have offered to help with agro industry and I’m not sure who to believe is truthful about the help. We must be strategic about it. I wouldn’t trust England, for instance.’
• ‘It is very hard for a populist government, in a country that has been prevented from making an industrial plan, to direct investment. The class contradictions are pretty strong… and directing investment with a volatile voter base is basically suicide. ‘Window guidance’ needs a strong state.’
• ‘The tasks ahead are overwhelming, and I can’t believe how entrenched in SL this capitalist mafia business is. India is dropping not-too-subtle hints (threats) about LTTE and terrorism after the Port City Commission bill was passed. A Hindu article was absolutely ridiculous. Why would the TN police care? Better yet, why would Eelamists care? Then India talking to the Norwegians after us? Very in-your-face. The PTA bill isn’t all that different from the one, the earlier ”pro-India” Yahapalanaya Govt was drafting, so what did the Indians expect? Did they want the SLPP govt to not pass it? India makes no sense as usual and is acting quite immaturely. I hope Colombo Port City reaches its goals and we are able to face up to these challenges.’
• ‘England is purposely spreading the Delta variant around the world…’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘We’re now in the middle of a foreign-exchange crisis. In the banks there are no dollars as you know the banks are in debt to foreign banks’ – ex PM R Wickremesinghe of Central Bank bond-scam fame
• ‘It defies comprehension why the developed world has chosen to promote the vaccines produced by some Western pharmaceutical corporations that have earned notoriety for questionable business practices. September 2009… Pfizer had been hit with the biggest criminal fine in US history as part of a $2.3bn settlement with federal prosecutors for ‘mispromoting’ medicines and paying kickbacks to compliant doctors.’ – island.lk/a-flaw-in-jab-drive/
• ‘While some of the criticisms are justified there is also a systematic attempt to distort & exaggerate what is happening, to give the impression that there is mass disaffection with the government.’ (ee Focus, Malaysia)
• ‘The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation had a monopoly of importing, refining, mixing, storing and distributing fuel. But in 2003, under a special provision act, the Government gave the Indian Oil Corporation a licence to import, store and distribute fuel for 20 years. That licence period ends December 2023; then IOC will be unable to bring or distribute fuel. Now Minister Gammanpila wants to remove that monopoly and give licence to companies.’ – JVP leader
• ‘Who are the biggest emitters or consumers of carbon apart from the fossil fuel industry? It’s the richest wealth and income earners in the Global North who have excessive consumption and fly everywhere. It’s the military (the biggest sector of carbon consumption). The waste of capitalist production and consumption in autos, aircraft and airlines, shipping, chemicals, bottled water, processed foods, unnecessary pharmaceuticals and so on is directly linked to carbon emissions. Harmful industrial processes like industrial agriculture, industrial fishing, logging, mining and so on are also major global heaters, while the banking industry operates to underwrite and promote all this carbon emission.’ (ee Focus, Unilever)
• ‘The year was 1992. About 2 months into my assignment as the head of the Iran-Pakistan-Afghanistan Division in the External Affairs Ministry, one afternoon I had an unannounced visitor in South Block who was in charge of India’s “counter-intelligence”. After pleasantries over a cup of tea, he put me at ease by coming straight to the subject to state, he had no business to transact with me but simply was curious to get acquainted with me. He – I won’t mention his name out of great respect for my departed colleague’s rare integrity and moral fibre – said, the IPA Division fell in the ambit of his “charge”, given the high sensitivity of the work for national security. …he wanted to meet me in person after listening to my phone conversations, watching my functioning and lifestyle and even digging into my past, sensing I was someone with whom he could walk with into the night.’ (ee Security, Hesitant)
• ‘The universal existence of torture as a financial institution in India is officially admitted, but the admission is made in such a manner as to shield the English government itself. In fact, the conclusion arrived at by the Madras Commission is that the practice of torture is entirely the fault of the lower Hindoo officials, while the European servants on the government had always, however unsuccessfully, done their best to prevent it.’ – Marx & Engels, First Indian War of Independence 1857-58
• ‘The EAGLE Act would fund even more anti-China propaganda to manufacture consent for war to the tune of half a billion dollars through the US Agency for Global Media. This includes a minimum of $50mn for Radio Free Asia, which began broadcasting propaganda to mainland China in 1951, and which even the NYTimes has described as “an arm of the CIA.”’ (ee Sovereignty, Anti-China Media)
• ‘The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, in such quantity as he might see fit, and reasonably expect their early delivery upon his doorstep’ – John Maynard Keynes, before WW1 (ee Economists)
• On Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland: ‘The records now being opened by Poland’s government in Warsaw reveal, Freeland’s maternal grandfather Michael (Mikhailo) Chomiak was a Nazi collaborator from the beginning to the end of the war. He was given a powerful post, money, home and car by the German Army in Cracow, then capital of the German administration of the Galician region. His principal job was editor-in-chief and publisher of a newspaper the Nazis created. His printing plant and other assets had been stolen from a Jewish newspaper publisher, who was then sent to die in the Belzec concentration camp. During the German Army’s winning phase of the war, Chomiak celebrated in print the Wehrmacht’s ‘success’ at killing 1000s of US Army troops. As the German Army was forced into retreat by the Soviet counter-offensive, Chomiak was taken by the Germans to Vienna, where he continued to publish his Nazi propaganda, at the same time informing for the Germans on other Ukrainians…included fellow Galician Stepan Bandera, whose racism against Russians, Freeland has celebrated in print, and whom the current regime in Kiev has turned into a national hero. Chomiak eventual landed in a US-occupied part of Germany where he and other east-European fascists were hired by US Army intelligence. He later, like 10,000s of other east-European Nazi supporters, emigrated to Canada.’ (ee Sovereignty, Canada)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• July 2021 entered our lives merrily playing with rain and sun, trailing off the southwest monsoon, which now clangs a final torrential crescendo, as mangos turn riper, dark purple mangosteen and red rambutan tumble warily onto stall tables streetside. July’s new moon rose, with the first Esala Perahera striking its drums at the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya, followed by the Menik River ‘Water Cutting’ ceremony, and the Fire Festival held on July 20. The Water Cutting Ceremony fetes the coming rain, especially in the driest zones of the southwest, heralding the pre-Maha and short harvest planting, where families and groups head out to harvest the sweet palu, to make a special honey, as Perahera action headed to the hills for the annual Sri Dalada Thewawa between Asgiriya and Malwatte Maha Vihara on July 24.
None of these rituals are heralded or celebrated in any depth in the English flood&drought media here. Perhaps there are no imported goods to sell. In other countries, much media and art goes into celebrating the arrival of their fruits and flowers, with picnics for cherry blossom festivals, etc. symbolizing renewal. They set rhythm and the reason. Here, the southwest after all still bears the stains of English and so-called postcolonial devastation, so less said the better, they figure.
• Now we tiptoe into August, the sun hammering overhead again as in April. Over yonder in the north Atlantic, the butchers put on their suntan lotions, to take vacations, invite their favorite wannabes like generals, managers and editors to set the annual timetable and narratives. Factories are cleaned and retooled in the temperate zones, war budgets are set down, villains and puppets named, bestsellers and curricula announced, bookfairs and film festivals highlight the latest pulp and digital dreams while children and workers begin their industrial year. It’s in these temporal dimensions that revelations of so-called Israeli Pegasus spyware scandal must be examined.
The combined onslaught against spying (happily omitting such famous precedents as US President Obama tapping German Chancellor Merkel’s phone) is being led by such fake human rights organizations as Amnesty International and the white media that brought us the war on Iraq, etc. The aim of the campaign is to apparently bring India and Israel into line. Watch how the media feign surprise. The goal is to break up BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, S Africa) as evident in the only non-white invited to the G7 being South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Japan was entitled ‘honorary white’ by apartheid South Africa to enable trade!)
South Africa, just across the pond from us, is a series of scattered Singapores – white gated fortresses! Neighborhoods in KwaZuluNatal saw Africans moving into Indian settler neighborhoods ‘peaceably’ – after 1989. Recently, some Indians were targeted by outside forces. The Indians then took revenge on inncocent African neighbors. Now there’s talk of some Indian caliph calling for jihad! Familiar?
• Will Sri Lanka pay its ‘debt’ to the white Banks on July 27? This is the most important economic challenge facing the country, according to the white media. All this midst massive media rhetoric against the import bans, particularly chemical fertilizers. Then the Central Bank had to slap down Moody’s Rating Agency’s threat to downgrade the ‘sovereign’, while Fitch (linked with EconomyNext) also joined in, attacking the import bans. Then piranha banker Goldman Sachs, playing ‘good cop’, then pops up saying, the country will ‘muddle through’ especially if SL bows down to the IMF.
Moody’s (aka ICRA), S&P, Fitch are provided a monopoly by the US government to rate bonds. These 3 ratings agencies are paid by the same foreign bankers who issue and back bonds – most certainly a blatant ‘conflict of interest’ (see ee 21 Nov 2020).
2 weeks ago, the Securities & Exchange Commission of SL registered the Lanka Rating Agency as a Domestic Credit Rating Agency, to perhaps challenge this US monopoly. We have not heard from them since. It’s interesting, the SEC denied a similar-named Lanka Rating Agency in July 2015, the legal right ‘to carry on business as a Credit Rating Agency nor review ratings’. So why does the SEC still allow the US Big 3 to operate here?
• ‘No economy has developed without a production base’, insists an economic advisor to the government. ‘Sri Lanka now has fiscal and monetary policies directed towards industry and exports like never before, but businesses are not ready and are not thinking big.’ Well, the capitalists are thinking big but not about long-term modern (machine) production. They are dreaming about quick money, changing it into dollars and getting it out of the country even quicker, by diamond or by crook!
• No education for production! Educational curricula in Sri Lanka are decided by the US-controlled World Bank and Japan-controlled Asian Development Bank. So divulges an Island column this week. The WB’s and ADB’s ‘set of narrow guidelines [are] adopted uncritically by the University Grants Commission’. No wonder there’s no production curriculum allowed! (ee Workers, Curriculum)
• The same disinformation and destabilization preventing the government from resolving both economic and health challenges, is eerily similar to what’s being done to Malaysia. The same cries of failed state, debt, Covid misinformation! What else is new? (ee Focus)
Recent University of Jayawardenepura and Oxford research clearly state Sinopharm is effective against the Delta variant. Yet US-controlled Thomson-Reuters news agency maliciously distorts a Wijeya Group Daily Mirror story, which was perhaps badly written – let’s be generous! (ee Industry, Weaker, Jayasumana).
The Reuter reporting is credited to ‘Roxanne Liu & Ryan Woo; Editing by Miyoung Kim & Jane Merriman’. It ends stating, ‘Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles!’ The Chinese names appear to be of the white variety. Could they be ignorant of the rampant Sinophobia they’re promoting?
A violent wave of Anti-East Asian threats, attacks, murders reminiscent of horrific post-9/11 Islamophobia increased 194% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 2020. Anti-China rhetoric will get a further boost with more expensive US legislation, the EAGLE Act. ‘Ensuring American Global Leadership & Engagement’ would commit tax dollars to dangerous anti-China rhetoric, as well as wasteful and environmentally damaging military training, with an extra $7billion to the US Department of War (errrr… they call it Defense) – see ee Quotes
• Fitch Ratings Agency is blaming import restrictions for Hemas and Sunshine importing 90% of the drugs they sell. Their ‘domestic manufacturing capabilities’ are ‘at a nascent stage, with producers lacking the technological knowhow and infrastructure near term as they attempt to fill shortages created by import restrictions’. (ee Economy, Fitch)
Yet who has prevented such producer knowhow? The same people who license Fitch, etc!
• Here we go again, text messages among Colombots are wailing about home invasions – ee 29 November 2019 asked: ‘Wasn’t it highly irresponsible for a former cabinet minister, a health minister to boot, to declare there could be ‘famine’/ ‘shortages’/food riots soon… what about earlier claims of an imminent “bloodbath”? How responsible are such democrats? Shouting fire in a crowded theatre? Well, it might help the wholesalers?’
• 220 Years Ago, in 1801: England made Ceylon independent of the East India Company (EIC) with all powers vested in Governors, directly controlled by London. Ceylon was made a Crown Colony. The Colonial Agency, with William Huskisson as first Colonial Agent, was set up to coordinate London’s interests in the colony, to provide supplies to Colombo, to redeem the colonial debt, settle accounts between the Cinnamon contract and India House, etc., handling about £60,000/annum.
• Henry Dundas, Secretary of State for War, instructed Governor Fred North to follow mercantile policy, and ignore laissez-faire theories. The colonial state got £60,000 for the supply of 400,000lb of cinnamon to the EIC, which was to remain a ‘strict monopoly’. ‘To prevent every approach towards colonization,’ Europeans and US citizens were prohibited from residence without a permit.
• A Board of Revenue & Commerce (BRC) with agents charged with the customs, was set up in Lanka, as was a Land Registry. Under the BRC were the Superintendent of Cinnamon Plantations and staff, plus the Revenue Department. Ceylon divided into 8 districts, each under a Revenue & Commerce Agent.
• After the failure of 1800 reform, Colonial Governor North chose forcible reform to acquire workers: From 1802, all service tenure (rajakariya) had to cease, with lands held duty-free, and on account of such service, cultivators had to pay to the government 10-25% of produce. The Governor reserved the right to exact labor on giving adequate pay, and all Accommodessans enjoyed by Native Headmen were resumed by the government. In place of Accomodessan lands, mudaliyars and other native officials received salaries and a % of land tax collected. After abolishing rajakariya, North set up a paid ‘coolie corps’, but this was considered a more expensive system. North’s land tax brought several 1000s more under the extortionist tax farmer.
• A Malay Regiment under the English, the first Asian regiment awarded the English King’s Colours. (On this Regiment’s disbandment, they formed 75% of the colonial police force, 90% of the prison service, 100% of the Colombo fire brigade, also employed in the plantations, government departments, business, and becoming skilled artisans in rattaning and masonry. 3 Malay soldiers who served under the English were made Saints.
• Cornelis de Alwis Vidane, Muhandiram of Galle, petitioned Governor North that Lieutenant Short struck him on his head and broke his comb.
• Through their common links to the Coutts banking family, Robert Arbuthnot’s son Robert was appointed secretary to Governor North of Ceylon. His sister married John Hunter, Consul General of Madras.
• Brothers of Baronet Sir William Arbuthnot: Robert was appointed (1801) Chief Secretary to Governor Frederick North, and younger brother George entered the Ceylon Civil Service, and appointed deputy governor to Ceylon Governor. North was linked to the Arbuthnots through Thomas Coutts, founder of London’s Coutts & Co. George Arbuthnot then joined Latour & Co (later Arbuthnot & Co of Madras), and appointed agent in Ceylon for the Madras government. 1804: George Arbuthnot wrote to his mother: ‘I am anxious that you should not be carried away with the common notion that because I am in the House of Lautour, I should make money by enchantment.’ (from A Very Personal Ingrisi History of the World by Krisantha Sri Bhaggiyadatta)
• The Wijeya Group’s Sunday Times opposed fuel rationing this week, as ’a move that could have a debilitating effect on development activities and the economy’.
Yet here’s what England did after 1939 when faced with a just as bad disaster: England filched Bengal’s food stocks, starving 4 million Bangla to death. They robbed Egypt’s rice supply. Even that wasn’t enough. The colonial government here imported & distributed rice, wheat flour & (stolen Mauritian) sugar to ensure price controls & rationing.
– To enable maximum production, they offered several ‘concessions’ to cultivators & workers. They imposed price controls, rationing consumer goods, and from mid-1943, froze prices on food, subsidizing other goods.
– The English guaranteed above-world prices to impoverished cultivators, under their Internal Purchase Scheme. Increasing free rural services, they invested in dry-zone peasant colonization. They provided free artificial manure, seeds, and grants of ‘crown’ land.
– Social & economic issues were headlined in the media. Posters nationwide called on people to practise austerity. ‘Is your journey necessary?’ warned car owners not to waste petrol. Food, textiles, petrol were rationed. 5,000 schools joined the Emergency School Food Production campaign. Colombo tennis courts turned into vegetable gardens.
– All able-bodied men had to register for work. The English imposed a Defence Regulations and Avoidance of Strikes & Lockouts Act, forming an Essential Services Labour Corps to prevent strikes (a law continuing even after wartime). Yet needing Communist Party support (after all, Red Armies were vanquishing Nazis and Imperialist Japanese alike) the English enforced compulsory arbitration, minimally raising wages for white-collar and urban workers (ee 15 Feb 2020).
• Last week ee exposed the links between media-raja Maharaja with its chemical fertilizer import business and old MNC Harrison & Crosfield (now England’s biggest chemical multinational). Now let’s try to understand Maharaja link to Unilever. 1967, Maharaja says it ‘took over’ tea-exporter AF Jones in SL. So who’s AF Jones? Is it a front company, or ‘legal fiction’ for Unilever, as SBD de Silva wrote in his classic The Political Economy of Underdevelopment:
‘While in the nonsettler colonies, production capital was invested on an absentee basis, constraining the scope of its activities, the character of trading capital enabled trading enterprises to be operated on the basis of the local domicile of the principal investors. Nevertheless, such enterprises were limited in their entrepreneurial reach. They confined themselves to activities which were relatively risk-free, in which the prospect or the existence of monopoly profits was the basic inducement. The actual extent of monopoly is greater than is suggested by the number of trading firms, some of which are only nominally independent. Long-established firms, having goodwill and trading connections, are seldom dissolved even when they cease to be viable and are acquired by other firms; they are allowed to exist nominally with their original name and style. Some other firms for various reasons serve as a facade or cover from the outset.
An example in Sri Lanka is Maddema Trading Co Ltd, a tea exporting firm registered in 1953. With a paid-up capital of only Rs1,000 it had a turnover of Rs12.9million in 1960, but showed a pre-tax profit of only Rs2,398. Lipton Ltd had provided its finance, amounting to Rs1.1mn in 1960, as well as its directorate. Maddema Trading Co had no office of its own, was not listed in the telephone directory, and outgoing correspondence was dealt with (and signed) by the Accountant of Lipton. Linked with Lipton Ltd were 2 other tea exporting firms, RO Mennel & Co (Ceylon) Ltd, and AF Jones & Co Ltd. The former, like Maddema Trading, was a legal fiction. It was financially interlocked with AF Jones, which in 1939 held one half of the share capital; both firms had the same directors in 1949. One quarter of the share capital of AF Jones & Co Ltd in 1965 was owned by Lipton (Overseas) Ltd, whose Chief Accountant and Accountant were the only directors of AF Jones. The rest of the capital of RO Mennel (Ceylon) (ie 75%) was jointly held by 2 persons resident in England.’ Ghosts indeed!
B. Special Focus_
B1. Covid in Malaysia – Chandra Muzaffar, 22 July 2021
The significant increase in Covid19 infections in Malaysia in the last one week has prompted concerned Malaysians to ask the authorities to re-strategize their approach towards the fight against the spread of the virus. A total lockdown, some feel, where most movements are severely curbed is not the solution. They prefer a targeted lockdown, focused upon specific areas or clusters. Since infection numbers are increasing at an alarming rate the blanket approach, they’re convinced, is not working. The proponents of the total approach argue, only such an approach will break the rapid virus transmission. Besides, the accelerated transmission is caused by a new variant of the virus, which will happen even if a targeted approach is adopted.
On the question of vaccinations there’s also diversity of opinions. Since factory workers are among those who have been infected in large numbers, they should have been given the vaccine first, according to some critics. The government, on the other hand, prioritized senior citizens and those with disabilities, apart from frontliners such as health workers who were at the head of the queue.
The distribution of aid packages has also sparked some differences. The government initiated a range of aid packages which on the whole appear to have reached their targets. However there are others who feel that the victims of the economic crisis would have been better served if assistance had been consolidated and delivered through a single channel.
These differences have been further complicated by the old and new media. There are media outlets and media commentators and opinion makers who are clearly aligned to certain political actors and entities. The positions they take on different aspects of the Covid19 crisis and their solutions are more often than not conditioned by their affiliations. These biases are more pronounced today than before partly because political alignments are more rigid in the current political scenario.
This is what one should expect in a robust democracy. However, differences of opinion should not lead to extreme positions which are not supported by facts or realities on the ground. An example of this is the reckless description of Malaysia as a ‘failed state’ in a foreign journal which was quickly echoed by a handful of unthinking Malaysians including some veteran journalists and former politicians. The notion of ‘a failed state’ has become political-science jargon largely through its misuse. Right from the outset it was directed at one’s ideological adversary, though the term has certain features which are more or less widely accepted. The inability to exercise effective territorial jurisdiction, enforce law and order, and provide for the necessities of life over a long period of time are some of the characteristics of a failed state. By no stretch of the imagination is Malaysia [or SL – ee] such a state.
Avoiding extreme stances aside, a discourse on Covid19 and its solutions would also benefit from a willingness to listen and even learn from the views of the other. An inclusive, rather than exclusive, attitude which accommodates the other would strengthen the discourse. An adherence to scientific methodology would be of immense help. Respect for empirical evidence would also be an asset.
There’s another reason why a rational attitude in formulating solutions to the Covid19 crisis is imperative. Solutions are being propounded in Malaysia and elsewhere which are actually designed to undermine our societies. A brief look at what transpired in Cuba on 11 July would be instructive. Taking advantage of the economic difficulties facing the Cuban people, the US using stooges & proxies in Cuba tried to foment riots which it hoped would create instability leading to the fall of the government. The Cuban government and people thwarted the diabolical move. Let it not be forgotten, Cuba has not only managed the Covid crisis reasonably well; it’s also manufactured 2 vaccines on its own and exported them to some other poor countries in Latin America and Africa.
Of course, the Malaysian situation is different from Cuba though there are some parallels. Our management of the crisis is being constantly criticized by some of the same media outlets from the West. While some of the criticisms are justified there’s also a systematic attempt to distort & exaggerate what is happening to give the impression there’s mass disaffection with the government. eg, I asked media personnel to give me information on how widespread the ‘white flag’ protest is, its geographical locations, the socioeconomic background of the families and individuals involved, their (or lack of) access to state and community aid programs, etc., yet they have not been able to respond.
What’s obvious: the loudest condemnations of the state’s handling of the crisis are coming from opposition politicians and their sympathisers and supporters in the media, among NGOs, in cultural and ethnic organisations, within universities and the like. The motives behind these condemnations become suspect when we realize, at the same time the US drive to tighten its grip upon Southeast Asia is getting stronger. This is related to the US’s primary goal in the region at this point in time which is to curb & curtail China’s phenomenal rise. The US elite knows that SE Asia, which contains 2 vital waterways – the South China Sea & Straits of Melaka – is one crucial neighbourhood that’s essential to China’s global ascendancy. Which is why the US is determined to frustrate China’s dominant role in the region. Control over Malaysia in particular, which resides at the centre of the region and is contiguous to both waterways, is important for the superpower with its hegemonic agenda.
It explains the role the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – through its own admission – played in promoting a change of regime in the 2018 General Election in Malaysia. The NED, it’s worth observing, is an important instrument of US hegemonic power whose overt agenda mirrors the CIA’s covert role. It’s known to have funded a number of NGOs and media outlets in Malaysia. The positions adopted by these outfits in recent months in the midst of the dual health and economic crises provide some indication of how they’re trying to shape the future of Malaysian society.
Eternal vigilance, Malaysians should never forget, is the price we have to pay to protect our sovereignty and preserve our independence. – counterpunch.org/2021/07/22/covid-in-malaysia
B2. Unilever, & Global Capitalist Apartheid
– Kyle Bailey, 22 July 2021
After years of pressure from activists, Ben & Jerry’s (B&J) on 19 July announced, it would end ice cream sales in the “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” The Vermont-based ice-cream maker stated, such sales were “inconsistent” with its values and it would withdraw from a deal with a local distributor.
Israel’s ultra-nationalist prime minister Naftali Bennett, who has shamelessly championed the expansion of illegal settlements, responded by informing the chief executive of B&J parent company, Unilever, the firm had taken a “clearly anti-Israel step” that would be met with a “strong” response. eg, the Israeli foreign minister, Yair Lapid, said he would ask US states which have passed anti-Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) legislation to pursue legal action against B&J over its “shameful surrender to anti-Semitism.”
On the one hand, the B&J concession clearly represents a significant victory for Burlington-based activists in groups such as Decolonize Burlington, Vermonters for Justice in Palestine, which have called for an international boycott of the US ice-cream company due to its commercial ties to illegal Israeli settlements.
For example, Decolonize Burlington has argued, B&J markets its products using anti-racist messaging while simultaneously profiting from the oppression of the Palestinian people. The company supports the material dispossession of Palestinians by distributing ice cream to illegal Israeli settlements and the occupied West Bank using factories such as in Be’er Tuviya, adjacent to Kiryat Malachi – an Israeli locality built on former Palestinian village of al-Qastina. Activists’ demands included calling on B&J to divest from its holdings in Israel by terminating its license agreement with Israeli manufacturers.
On the other hand, B&J has made at best partial concessions to these demands. The company stated, it only intends not to renew its licensing agreement to manufacture and distribute ice cream in Israel when it expires at the end of next year. It also failed to offer a definition of “Occupied Palestinian Territory” (OPT) and made clear, “although B&J will no longer be sold in the OPT, we will stay in Israel through a different arrangement.”
Although the fact that B&J has adopted this language can be regarded as a breakthrough moment for the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions campaign, which may lead to other companies following up with similar statements, such limited concessions are unlikely to either put material pressure on Israel or seriously impact the company’s financial bottom-line. Indeed, B&J and its parent company seem to be serving up more of the same: leveraging & co-opting NGO/social movement language and campaigns as part of a ‘progressive’ marketing tactic designed to boost sales by enhancing its ‘brand integrity’ and reputation among ‘discerning’ Millennial & Gen Z consumers. In doing so, they perpetuate, rather than disrupt, the neocolonial and racist logic of “global apartheid” engendered by the world capitalist system.
[On International Women’s Day, Global Women’s Strike protesters assemble outside Unilever House in London to oppose the Rohingya genocide and rape, and demand that Unilever divest from Myanmar, Source: kaladanpress.com.]
Profiting Without Purpose – B&J claims to be “doing well by doing good” are contradicted by the fundamental conflict between making money and advancing social justice that structures the activities of all profit-oriented capitalist enterprise. Joel Bakan makes this point very well when he states that, given their legal obligation to act in the financial “best interest” of shareholders, corporations “can only do as much good as will help them do well.” This structuring of the corporate form thereby presents “a profound constraint in terms of what kinds and amounts of good they are likely to do” and effectively licences them “to do ‘bad’ when there’s no business case for doing good.”
Put into the terms of Marxist value theory, this point highlights the essential contradiction within the capitalist system between the use-value and exchange-value moments of the commodity form. The purchase of commodities as use-values presupposes the abundant natural and social wealth of the commons, which exists in constant tension with the socially induced scarcity of ongoing primitive accumulation and enclosure, the endless privatized accumulation of market-mediated monetary value, and the exploitation of labor by capital without which commodities would not be produced. Insofar as, under capitalism, wealth is only counted as value, the domination of use-value by exchange-value entails the systematic distortion, devaluation, and destruction of the former by the latter.
If activists want to raise their international boycott to the next level, then they need to build upon, and intensify, this contradiction between profits and purpose at a scale which can put real pressure on Israel and the firm. In this case, that means boycotting not only B&J but also its parent company. B&J, a Unilever Subsidiary: Since 2000, B&J has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever – one of oldest, largest, and most globalized European multinational corporations, now headquartered in England.
Unilever, whose presence in Israel dates to 1938 when Palestine was still a League of Nations mandate under English control, acquired the ice-cream company B&J in 2000 as part of its “Path to Growth” strategy (1999-2004), a radical restructuring program aimed at cutting the then Anglo-Dutch giant’s “unwieldy” 1,600-strong product portfolio down to a “lean” core of 400 leading global and regional brands – including other “iconic US brands” such as Dove soap, Hellmann’s mayonnaise. This sweeping plan to consolidate and simplify Unilever’s business through the elimination of 1,200 brands within 5 years necessitated a profound restructuring and reorganization process, one in which many workers lost their jobs due to new plant closures, outsourcing, divestment from 140 businesses worldwide, and efforts to generate €7.3bn in cash flow.
Originally formed by the 1929 merger of English soap manufacturer Lever Brothers and the Dutch Margarine Union at the tail end of capitalism’s ‘roaring 20s’, Unilever is one of the world’s oldest multinational companies. It is also one of the largest. Indeed, at the time of its founding, Unilever was probably the largest European company, having come into being as the combined corporate offspring of capitalism and colonialism traversing 2 empires.
With over 400 brands ranging from food and beverages to home and personal care, Unilever in 2017 had a turnover of €53.7bn. 13 of its brands – Axe/Lynx, Dove, Omo, Heartbrand ice creams, Hellmann’s, Knorr, Lipton, Lux, Magnum, Rexona/Degree, Sunsilk, Surf – amassed sales of over €1bn. The largest, Dove amassed $5.45bn.
It’s only a slight exaggeration to say, Unilever is everywhere. With over 550 subsidiaries & 400+ brands selling to 2.5 billion consumers in 190 countries, it is a truly globalized MNC. Alongside employing 165,000 workers, 5 million more are indirectly employed in its supply chains. Among its competitors, Unilever also has a unique position in ‘emerging’ markets, from which it derives 58% of its €30.8bn in total sales.
The formerly Anglo–Dutch multinational is thus one of the world’s largest consumer goods firms. Alongside Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Mondelēz, Colgate-Palmolive, Coca-Cola, Pepsi Co, Mars, Danone, Associated British Foods, General Mills, Kellogg’s, it produces the vast bulk of what ends up in consumers’ shopping baskets.
To this end, Unilever has the 2nd-largest marketing budget in the world (surpassed only by major US rival, Procter&Gamble). Hanneke Faber, President of Unilever Europe and member of its board of directors, has claimed that “the future of branding is activism.” Drawing on B&J as Unilever’s “most purposeful, activist brand,” she argues, “brand builders need to take a stance, to create movements, to evangelize and even sacrifice.”
We thus enter the topsy-turvy world of Unilever’s cause-related brand marketing. Dove wants “to make a positive experience of beauty universally accessible to every woman.” Smile (made up of Signal, Pepsodent, Mentadent, Aim, P/S) aims “to eradicate preventable oral disease so everyone can unlock the power of their smile.” Cif will “restore the beauty of the built world… by creating products and activities which clean without damage.” …Pureit wants to provide billions of people with access to water that’s “as safe as boiled water without the hassles of boiling.” Lifebuoy is “making soap and saving lives.”
Unilever & Global Apartheid: The South African Case – Niall FitzGerald, Unilever’s chief executive at the time the “Path to Growth” strategy was implemented, had been the company’s representative in apartheid South Africa during the 1980s. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, FitzGerald promoted the notion “there is no alternative” to neoliberal globalization and worked to uphold the interests of the capitalist West by further encouraging the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC) to abandon any socialist aspirations of S Africa’s insurgent proletariat in the name of an upwardly mobile black middle class.
On the tail-end of the 1994-9 phase of neoliberal consolidation which followed the country’s ‘elite transition’ out of apartheid, Thabo Mbeki appointed FitzGerald as a member of the President of S Africa’s International Investment Council, which catered to the interests of international capital by prioritizing a narrow focus on the symptoms impeding South Africa’s ‘investment climate’ – one which conveniently bypassed the real underlying causes of African underdevelopment, rooted in the legacy of IMF/WB structural adjustment and exploitative debt and financial relationships with the global North.
Described by Nelson Mandela on his birthday as a “proven and true friend of the democratic South Africa,” FitzGerald was personally invited to chair the English arm of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust from 2004-8. Also on the board, Lynda Chalker, a Unilever & AngloGold Ashanti advisory director, one of the longest-serving Tory ministers in the English governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major; and former World Bank chief economist and author of the English Treasury’s report on the “economics of climate change,” Nicholas Stern.
As the ‘African crisis’ topped the English agenda during its presidency of the G8, FitzGerald became closely involved with the Commission for Africa assembled by English PM Tony Blair in early 2004, the recommendations of which became the blueprint for the G8 Gleneagles summit’s tokenistic promises on African aid and debt relief the following year. The vehicle for this involvement was Business Action for Africa, a grouping comprised of Anglo-American, De Beers, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Sharpe & Dohme, SABMiller, Shell, Unilever, the Prince of Wales’s International Business Leaders Forum, and various English government departments (eg, Dept for International Development) which became closely involved with the Commission’s work following a “business breakfast” jointly hosted by FitzGerald and Gordon Brown, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer.
The BAA London summit in July 2005, which was chaired by Sir Mark Moody-Stuart of Anglo-American and opened with a message from Blair, saw FitzGerald formally launch the Investment Climate Facility for Africa, a $550mn fund aligned with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and financed by England’s foreign aid budget, the WB, and other G8 countries. Co-chaired by FitzGerald and former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa, the other trustees included Chalker and representatives from Unilever, AngloGold Ashanti, Anglo-American, World Bank.
More recently, during Paul Polman’s term as chief executive 2009-19, Unilever has led the way in championing the rhetoric of “stakeholder capitalism,” according to which corporations should support “long-term” value creation rather than maximising shareholder value at the expense of key stakeholders such as customers, employees, suppliers, and communities. In an era of capitalist crisis, where the ideology of ‘free markets’ and shareholder value-maximization has been delegitimized, this modified neoliberalism seeks to ‘square the circle’ between profit and purpose by reconciling potentially antagonistic ‘stakeholder’ interests with the overarching shareholder orientation of neoliberal capitalism.
Citing Unilever as the corporation which most clearly symbolises the ‘shifting relationships’ characteristic of ‘post-political’, technocratic global governance, George Monbiot writes:
“can think of no entity that has done more to blur the lines between the role of the private sector and the role of the public sector. If you blotted out its name while reading its web pages, you could mistake it for an agency of the UN… As environmental campaigner Peter Gerhardt puts it, companies like Unilever ‘try to stakeholderise every conflict’. By this, I think, he means they embrace their critics, involving them in a dialogue that is open in the sense that a lobster pot is open, breaking down critical distance and identity until no one knows who they are any more.”
Boycott Unilever – It is true that, following the acquisition over 2 decades ago, Unilever agreed to give B&J an unusual degree of local autonomy for an operating company. Hailed by the consumer goods industry as a trailblazing example of an activist firm retaining its ‘social mission’ despite being sold to a multinational corporation, the ice-cream manufacturer retained an independent board of directors with the power to veto actions that might impact that mission and its overall ‘brand integrity’.
However, while this local autonomy can lead to tensions, B&J independence from the corporate centre should not be overstated. Despite its independent board, the firm’s CEO is nevertheless appointed by the parent company. For example, the incumbent, Matthew McCarthy, spent 21 years as a marketing executive at Unilever focused on social impact before becoming B&J CEO in 2018.
As Unilever was being attacked by the Israeli government, B&J board complained that the statement attributed to the company had been made by Unilever without its consent. According to its chair, Anuradha Mittal, the board had pushed for years to withdraw ice-cream sales from the occupied territories and wanted to release an alternative statement which made no reference to continued ice-cream sales in Israel.
“The statement released by B&J regarding its operation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory does not reflect the position of the independent board, nor was it approved by the independent board. By taking a position and publishing a statement without the approval of the independent board on an issue directly related to B&J social mission and brand integrity, Unilever and its CEO at B&J are in violation of the spirit and the letter of the acquisition agreement.”
In a separate statement on B&J decision, Unilever pointed out that the corporation remained “fully committed” to its presence in Israel: “B&J was acquired by Unilever in 2000. As part of the acquisition agreement, we have always recognised the right of the brand and its independent Board to take decisions about its social mission. We also welcome the fact that B&J will stay in Israel.”
In this way, the rise of B&J and its uneven incorporation within Unilever provides a cautionary tale of the growing corporatization of NGO activism, as ‘activist companies’ blur the boundary between corporate business and NGOs. To preserve its ideological cache among consumers, B&J must market itself as a ‘progressive’ small business upholding a deeper ‘social mission’ that goes beyond profit and is grounded in ties with local communities. A central element of this ideological complex is to represent its parent company – Unilever – as an arms-length conglomerate from which B&J can acquire greatly increased scale and distribution while retaining a degree of operational autonomy and taking its distance from unpalatable decisions related to the corporate bottom-line.
More broadly, the case of Unilever shows that socialists and movement activists cannot afford to ignore the way in which firms are structured. It is precisely by demystifying the linkages which comprise the multinational corporate form that it becomes possible to cut through the nonsense that B&J is ‘progressive apart from Palestine’ and begin linking up the long and difficult struggle for Palestinian national liberation with all the other struggles in which Unilever and its peers are systemically implicated through their structurally irresponsible and ecocidal business models. These include the fights against poverty wages, health and financial insecurity, human rights abuses, gender-based violence, child labour, food waste, obesity and malnutrition, indigenous land conflicts, low standards of animal welfare, greenhouse gas emissions, commodity-driven deforestation, habitat and biodiversity loss, unsustainable farming practices, water scarcity, soil erosion, and pesticide use.
So let’s name the system at the root of all these seemingly separate struggles: the capitalist system. And let’s take aim at one of that system’s most concentrated institutional expressions: the multinational corporation. For the latter is a key driving force behind capitalism’s catastrophic war on humanity and nature and there can be no fundamental transformation of capitalism that doesn’t fundamentally transform the structure of multinational corporations. If backed by social movements, trade unions, and left parties, an international boycott of Unilever – a leading example of a multinational firm – could help lay the basis for such a challenge. – socialistproject.ca/2021/07/the-forest-and-the-tree
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.
• English Royal Navy & Indian Navy Military Exercises off Sea of Sri Lanka
‘The HMS Queen Elizabeth led Strike Group will operate with a US Carrier Strike Group, which combined, will be the largest concentration of F-35 jets in the world
• England & Thailand to conduct naval exercises on Saturday (24)
• England scripts new Afghan plot for US
• US Envoy to India meets Japanese, Australian, EU Envoys & Indian Foreign Secretary of India
• India keen to support economic development in Eastern Province
• Non-LTTE Tamils/Diaspora vs LTTE-Tamils/Diaspora
• LTTE England and its capacity of influence on Sri Lanka
• Sooka & EU Funding for ITJP-SL via Foundation for Human Rights South Africa
• Sri Lanka joins friends of China to rap England on human rights
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 20: C10, C13, 14, 21G
• Myanmar, Sri Lanka discuss ways to boost bilateral ties
‘The establishment of the Amarapura and Ramanna Nikaya in Sri Lanka in 1803 and 1865 respectively are the testimonies of the bilateral relations between the two countries’
• Vietnam envoy Ho Thi Thanh Truc meets Sri Lanka Foreign Minister
• First High Commissioner of New Zealand to Sri Lanka appointed
• Pakistan’s geo-economics is working well
‘9 Chinese citizens were killed..following an explosion in Pakistan’s far north Khyber Pakhtunkhwa… Agreement in Tashkent between US, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan…US has been paying extra attention to cultivate friendly ties with Uzbekistan, which is not only the biggest country in Central Asia… On July 16, Pakistan and Russia signed a mega deal for a 1,100 km gas pipeline project…’
• Covid in Malaysia
‘Solutions are being propounded in Malaysia and elsewhere which are actually designed to undermine our societies.’
• China & Decline in US Power
• US funds Anti-China Media Campaign
• US Labels China ‘evil empire’ as ‘new Cold War’ gets into top gear
• Why does US want to annex Cuba?
• US Destabilizes Planet, Blames China and Cuba
• Afghanistan’s Tragedy
• How Iran Successfully Trolled The U.S. Over A ‘Weapon Smuggling’ Ship Parade
• Russian-made air defense systems shot down ALL Israeli missiles targeting Syria’s Homs
• Israel returns to the African Union ‘to correct anomaly’
‘19 years after Israel lost the status in the wake of a tiff with then Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’
• The TPLF Attack on Ethiopia Contains the Accumulated Evil of the War
• Memo to France as Its Soldiers Leave Africa: “Get Out and Stay Out!”
“France is not removing all its troops, and the country’s interest in Africa has not evaporated.”
• Zuma Imprisonment: “Riots” or “Insurrection” in South Africa?
• Class Struggle Shapes Haiti Political Conflict
• Russia And Germany Win War Over Nord Stream 2
‘The sanctions war the U.S. waged against Germany and Russia over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline has ended with a total U.S. defeat.’
• The Rise of Black Power in the West Indies: Walter Rodney, 1969
• Canada, Victims Of Communism, And Comparisons To A Holocaust
‘While comparing China’s handling of its Uyghur population to a holocaust it is favoring the perpetrators of the real Holocaust.’
• The Conspicuous Absence of Derrick Bell—Rethinking the CRT Debate, Part 1
• Violence is central to the history, and present, of the United States
• Washington Post on ‘Civilized Nations’
‘The Washington Post is differentiating between ‘civilized’ and -unsaid- ‘uncivilized’ nations. After making false claims about the illegal passage of a English destroyer near Crimea, a planned provocation, the author goes on to bash Russia as well as China.’
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.
• New Deputy Indian HC in Jaffna
‘born in Tamil Nadu, educated in Delhi, and previously served as the deputy Indian High Commissioner in Kandy for a short period of time’
• Indian Navy submarine docks in TN as Chinese presence grows in the region
• Thoothukudi Port officials search employee who shot INS ‘Sindhushashtra submarine
• Sri Lanka first in South Asia with Submarine Cable Protection and Resilience Framework
‘with the generous support of the Japanese Government through the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Global Maritime Crimes Program (GMCP)… more than 99% of all international digital data and communications are transferred via a network of more than 400 cables, which span a distance of more than 1.8 million km across the world’s oceans’
• South Korea, Lanka discuss enhanced defence cooperation
• PTA: PCoI wants it brought in line with laws in other countries, including England
• How Premadasa paved the way for first Parama Weera Vibushanaya, posthumously
‘What went wrong at Kokavil? Why did the Army abandon the isolated detachment? The Kokavil debacle should be quite rightly examined against the backdrop of Premadasa’s folly.’
• National child protection policy not implemented for 21 years, says COPE
• De-miner blows whistle on clandestine sale of explosives and exploitation of women
• Sri Lanka to establish judicial training academy
• Police vs Cyril Mathew at Kelaniya
• Telecommunications Regulatory Authority on a mission to eliminate cybercrime
• Pegasus Project: Why I am hesitant to defend the government but must – Bhadrakumar
• U.S. Fakes Tears about Israeli Spy Software Company
‘software used to hijack the phones of regime enemies, political competition or obnoxious journalists… Who has the capacity to make a list of 50,000 phone numbers: the US National Security Agency. The US often uses ‘intelligence’ as a kind of diplomatic currency that keeps other countries dependent on it.’
• The Pegasus Project | A global investigation
‘The spyware is sold to governments to fight terrorism’
• Pegasus and Cyberweapon Threats in the Age of Smartphones
‘17 news organisations, including The Wire, Washington Post and The Guardian, along with two NGOs—Amnesty International and Forbidden Stories—have spent months…NSO Group’s majority ownership vests its co-founders Omri Lavie and Shalev Hulo, and the European private equity fund Novalpina Capital. A US private equity firm, Francisco Partners, holds a minority stake in the firm.’
• India building East Coast Road, Air Force training to land Fighter Jets on highways
• India’s Corporatisation of Defence Factories: Risking National Security?
‘The Narendra Modi-led BJP government has decided to corporatise 246-year-old Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), an umbrella body that oversees the 41 ordnance factories across the country… the government is going ahead with the plan even when 80,000 employees and the four lakh defence civilian employees associated with it have opposed the plan.’
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.
• No economy has developed without a production base: de Zilwa
‘Sri Lanka now has fiscal and monetary policies directed towards industry and exports like never before but businesses are not ready and are not thinking big’
• Economist De Zilwa on the Doom & Gloom Machine
‘Much noise in the public space stating that Sri Lanka’s economy is in the gutter and that the economy path this Government has taken will not work.’
• CB releases special publication on ‘The 70-year journey of currency issue and management’
• CB releases ‘Economic and Social Statistics of Sri Lanka – 2021’ publication
• Have we got our economic and Covid-19 priorities right? – Vitarana
‘Sri Lanka has over 50% living below the poverty line, and the malnutrition rate is estimated to be 18%. It is obvious that first priority should be given to relief of hunger.’
• SL Banks to make super profit of about 15-20% on ISBs after Debt Paid
• How will the economic crisis be resolved? – Sanderatne
• 19-billion-dollar export income fell by US$6 billion in earnings last year – Abeyratne
‘Despite import controls, merchandise trade deficit already increased by $439 million during the first five months of the year. Over 80 percent of our imports are intermediate inputs and investment goods’
• Top priority of the new Finance Minister: Beg IMF – Wijewardene
‘manufacturers who produce goods for both the domestic and international markets have to wait a few days to open LCs to meet their import requirements. They have been forced to employ full-time people called searchers and pushers to find out which bank has foreign exchange and when. This is an unnecessary cost that could have been avoided had Sri Lanka gone for a facility from IMF immediately after the present Government was sworn in.’
• IMF or substitute – there are no other solutions – Usvatte-aratchi
• Harsha defends Yahapalana economics; exposes inaccuracies in Govt. allegations
• World Bank IFC’s New Regional Director
‘Gomez Ang previously served as Country Manager for Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, and Botswana… Prior to that he was Country Manager for Brazil…’brings a wealth of knowledge’ said Alfonso Garcia Mora, IFC’s Vice President for Asia & Pacific… Ang succeeds Mengistu Alemayehu, who’s new role is IFC’s Director of Global Equity Mobilization.’
• Pollution in economics: Economics polluted!?
• Chinese ‘Debt Trap’ Is a Myth – Narrative wrongfully portrays both Beijing and the developing countries it deals with
• Joe Biden is Wrong, Capitalism IS Exploitation
• Global warming: planning not pricing
‘The IMF is now proposing a global minimum carbon price — along the lines of the global minimum floor on corporate taxes which has recently secured agreement. At the recent meeting of the G20 finance ministers, carbon pricing was endorsed as one of “a wide set of tools” to tackle climate change.’
• From Production for Profit to Provision for Need
• What You Exported Matters: Productive Capabilities across Eras of Globalization
• Global Legacy of Trade Dependence
• Cryptocurrency is an inherently right-wing, hyper-capitalistic technology – DogeCoin inventor
‘built primarily to amplify the wealth of its proponents through a combination of tax avoidance, diminished regulatory oversight and artificially enforced scarcity.’
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.
• SL hits back at Moody’s Investors Service
‘unwarranted announcement by Moody’s reemphasizes the need for the Sri Lankan Government to revisit its relationship with rating agencies’
• Fitch Ratings warns Government against restricting imports
• Goldman Sachs confident Sri Lanka will “muddle through” near term debt challenges in 2021
‘The other two scenarios they identified were engaging with IMF for a programme and restructuring the country’s foreign debt.’
• Reconsider fuel price increase: Tissa Vitharana
‘license fee of commercial vehicles such as buses, lorries and three-wheelers should be decreased to mitigate impact on common man… annual revenue license fee of luxury vehicles should be increased’
• Food inflation decreases to 9.8 per cent in June
• Massive revenue losses blamed on Parliament
‘The COPA has named the Sri Lanka Customs and the Department of Motor Traffic as two key institutions responsible for the pathetic situation.’
• Soaring cost of living and failed promises!
• U.S. wants SL to ensure a level playing field for U.S. investors in Sri Lanka
• Gem, diamond and jewellery exports double
‘Govt. move sees gold prices in local market soar by 100% following the Government decision to impose a licence fee, which is 0.4% on the CIF value of the import.’
• World’s three priceless gems moved to high security vault under armed guard
• Sri Lanka records upward USD 978.2 Mn exports in June 2021
• Sri Lanka Development Bond auction of US$110mn announced
• CBSL temporarily suspends 2021 interim or final cash dividends by banks
• Unprecedented tax breaks – Finance Ministry
‘The most significant relief for entrepreneurs was the tax holidays granted for the gains and profits (excluding capital gains) received or derived from several new businesses’
• No need to go looking for dollars on the black market – Cabraal
• Dollar sends Rupee into the dumps – Sunday Times
• Basil rejects social media claims on imposition of tax on EPF
• DEW: Tax amnesty unconstitutional, encourages corruption
‘Since 1960s, about 12 tax amnesties had been offered, but they failed to produce the desired results’
• Amnesty for tax evaders who agree to invest here
• JVP & SJB to go to court against Tax Amnesty Bill
‘people who had evaded payment of income tax payable to the government cannot be disclosed even through the Right to Information Act’
• Sri Lanka’s central bank ‘saves’ US$27mn in forex reserves
• Emerging market (EM) sovereign rating actions stabilise in 1H: Fitch
• Sri Lanka BOP deficit tops billion dollars in May, trade gap soars amid money printing
• Vietnam promises US it will not devalue, dreaded SL style ‘monetary modernization’ looms
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
• Trade Minister: 86 percent of govt. revenue spent on public servants
‘no other means to increase their salaries without increasing taxes on the public, selling public assets or obtaining loans.’
• Sri Lanka Joint Apparel Association Forum Right of Reply to Human Rights Watch
‘80% of the apparel workforce is employed by 25 firms, most of who have long since reversed pay cuts for all employees below managerial level’
• Sri Lanka Freedom Party apologises to teachers on strike for 11 days running
• Teacher Protests and Distortion of Free Education
‘here are nearly 250,00 teachers in public schools’
• Protest campaigns were held this week, on various issues across the country – Sunday Times
• Frontline Socialist Party protest Kotelawala Defence University Bill and several other issues.
‘Senior FSP figures including Duminda Nagamuwa took part’
• KNDU Protests Bill continue: What does president mean by removing ‘obstacles’, ask unions
• Principals protest for permitted pay packet
• Sri Lanka Ports Authority commences training course for producing skilled seafarers
• 8,000 Lankans heading overseas for jobs to get jab next week
‘workers have already been issued with visas to the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordon, the Maldives, South Korea, Seychelles, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, and Cyrus.’
• ADB-funded Japanese Nissan vehicles for COVID control in provinces
• Private bus Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association threaten to surround parliament
• GMOA calls for implementing pilot project to streamline pandemic treatment process
• Natural disasters affected 1,512,344 persons last year
• World Banks wants SL to craft a comprehensive social protection strategy
‘By 2030, one in every five Sri Lankans will be over the age of 60 and currently only about 30% of Sri Lankans are covered by formal pensions, with women having less access’
• Pandemic restrictions see Lankans gaining weight: Study
• Education during pandemic: Blow after blow for students – Sunday Times
• Underage domestic workers mostly come from the families of plantation workers
‘who earn meagre wages and live in abject poverty’
• Mother of girl who died at Bathiudeen’s residence lodges complaint with HRC
• Stand against child labour! – Socialist Youth Union and Women for Rights
• Education Ministry should find out how children ended up in brothels and as domestic aides
• NAITA- HUAWEI ICT Academy aims producing 300+ telco engineers annually
• On militarised universities – Sunday Times
‘Its reach goes beyond the military and encompasses civilian students. The Bill makes this unequivocally clear by stating in its preamble that the KDU is established to educate the military and ‘others.’
• The struggle for a democratic curriculum in neoliberal times
‘Curriculum-making, under neoliberalism and officialdom that prevails at our universities, has become a technocratic, bureaucratic activity done in line with a set of narrow guidelines, introduced by agencies like World Bank or ADB, and adopted uncritically by the University Grants Commission.’
• Expo Visa Services introduces Global Study Partners facility for students
• Indians torn between law and “morality” on live-in relationships
• The Organizing Challenge and US Capitalism
‘Turning the Tables: Participation and Power in Negotiations… studies the detailed process of collective bargaining (often foreign territory to many workers and labour academics), incorporates participant interviews, and focuses laser-like on the challenge of exactly how to raise worker expectations and actually win’
• 95% of English Whites have vaccine, 75% of Blacks, South Asians 87%
• People Working A Minimum Wage Job Can’t Afford Rent Anywhere In The U.S.
‘Over 40% of Black and Latinx households pay more than 30% of their income on rent, compared with 25% of white households.’
• Former Black Panther, Professor Kathleen Cleaver: Universities Prefer Immigrant Blacks
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.
• SW monsoon active, warns Met. Dept
• Large-scale millers are increasing prices of rice by creating an artificial rice shortage
• Rice Mill Owners agree to purchase paddy at government prices
• Army digs in for organic in Jaffna as Maha approaches
• Jetwing staff doubles up as organic farmers
• Hope takes root with home gardens in parched land in Ponnaveli, Poonakary, Vanni
‘When the men cannot go fishing in the season when seas are rough, they bemoaned, families go hungry. They have little savings to help them through those lean monsoon months- making for a precarious state of living’
• ADB & Professors oppose Fertilizer import controls
• Sri Lanka plans to export sugar for Rs2,500 a kg after fertilizer ban: Minister
• Tea exports up from last year
• Sri Lanka’s Ceylon tea prices weak, output fall expected
• 2,924 shrimp farms in the Puttalam District
• Fence villages; keep forests open: MP calls for policy shift in human-elephant conflict
• Over 14 mln lighting strikes detected in Sri Lanka in 2020 by Earth Networks
• Environmentalists punch holes in EIA on Muthurajawela land reclamation
• Uniform of Chinese workers eclipsed environmental disaster
‘Thousands of farmers who cultivated 3,115 acres of paddy land and over 200 families of freshwater fishermen were dependent on the tank… being dredged to expand its capacity and use that waste for a large number of development activities in Hambantota.
• Sri Lanka’s Great Opportunity – Gotukola
• Nelli – On the cusp of becoming the world’s next top superfood
• Over 40% of China’s Sunflower seed production comes from North China
• Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land
‘At independence in 1980, 700,000 black farmers were squeezed onto 53% of the farmland, while 6,000 white farmers had 46% (and often the best land at that)’
• The global food system is not working
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.
• Sunday Times opposes Fuel Rationing
• Sri Lanka cabinet clears new petroleum law
• Biogas a definite solution to Lanka’s problems: Lanka Biogas Association
• Power Minister rejects CEB plan, insists on 70 percent renewable energy sources
• LAUGFS finally confirms temporary suspension of LPG imports
• LITRO GAS encouraging industrial sectors with inter-fuel conversion
‘around 35% of the population use it as their primary source of energy …Litro maintains 78% market share in the LPG sector, over 14,000 points-of-sale, 1,500 home delivery hubs through 42 distributors’
• Rs. 40 million in losses per day at Litro Gas
‘Litro Gas Lanka is wholly owned by the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation….Sri Lanka procures LPG from a government-owned company in Oman at prevailing global market prices.’
• Ministry of Power decides to discontinue stage four of Norochcholai
• Fourth ACL Cables ‘ACL SAX’ conductor installation project partnered Nokia Finland
• CEB multimillion $ deals with Chinese company without cabinet approval – Sunday Times
• H’tota Port increases bulk cargo handling productivity by 100%
• Russell Juriansz of Mabroc Teas Sri Lanka takes over as chairman of Shippers’ Council
‘Imalka Kumarapeli as the first vice-chairman and Trisherman Frink as the second vice-chairman….
• Govt’s ‘Aloysius Special’ poured back to the bottle
‘W.M. Mendis & Co. was established over sixty years ago as a liquor manufacturing company with its distillery sited in Beruwela and a German built fully automated bottling plant at Welisara. It soon rose to become one of the biggest liquor companies in Lanka’
• MSME sector development vital for achieving sustainable development
‘1,019,681 businesses: 99.2% are MSMEs. Micro, small and medium businesses account for 91.8%, 7.0% and 1%…. The employment generation is 44.6%, 17.6% and 12.9%… contribution of SME sector to national economy is around 31.8%… many of them located in the Western Province, and Gampaha District has the highest number of industrial establishments in this province.
• Govt. loses Rs. 3 Bn custom duty from import of 3,000 Toyota Hilux Smart Cabs: COPA
• Losing GSP+ is like operating with one hand tied behind our collective backs
‘the apparel industry…accounts for 47 per cent of the nation’s exports and 15 percent of industrial employment’
• Hayleys Fabric cuts carbon footprint by 15% with Sri Lanka’s largest solar roof
‘delivering solutions from design to manufacture…first apparel sector company listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange in 2003…production capacity of 2.5 million metres of fabric per month… partners fashion, apparel & accessories brands such as NIKE, Victoria Secret, Decathlon, Intimmisimi, PVH’
• SLAMERP is third biggest export industry as value-added high-quality rubber products
• Centre for Biomedical Innovation awareness workshop on biomedical product development
• Years of local research result in new anti-venom, the answer for reptile bites in Sri Lanka
‘nearly 80,000 people who are bitten by reptiles annually, within the country’
• ICEES partners Toyota Engineering Corporation
• Redesigning a top class public health system for the future
• Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine produced antibodies in 95% of vaccinated people: Jayasumana
• Sinopharm’s COVID-19 shot induces weaker [sic!] antibody responses to Delta -study
• Three experts resign from vaccine advisory committee on Sinovac vaccine – Sunday Times
• U.S. donates 500,000 Rapid Diagnostic Tests to Sri Lanka for early COVID-19 detection
• Duminda made Housing Development Authority Chairman
• New UDA regulations: Annual licences for building owners when changing use of property
• Warning signs for Sri Lanka’s IT-BPM sector
‘The textile and garment sector, the largest contributor to exports (44%), is also among the largest importers. In 2020, this sector was responsible for 14.5% of all imports…The software and associated industries (described by various acronyms, but let’s settle for IT-BPM) require very few imported inputs. It is true that they cannot function without computers and the ability to use cloud service for certain SaaS applications, etc.’
• Axiata Digital labs chief in Forbes tech council
‘Axiata Digital Labs is the innovation software subsidiary of the publicly trade telco Dialog Axiata.’
• World Bank’s IFC, Australia & FCCISL to jointly help Sri Lankan businesses
• India’s Conflict Diamonds: Buxwaha in Madhya Pradesh
• World’s first 600 km/h high-speed maglev train rolls off assembly line
• Kyrgyzstan moves to nationalise gold mine run by Canadian company
‘the president, a longtime critic of foreign ownership, effectively brings the Kumtor mine back into state’s hands’
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.
• US provides USD150 Mn to DFCC Bank for SMEs
‘Dubai’s Alpen Capital (ME) Limited acted as the financial advisor to the transaction ‘
• Sanasa Development Bank issues shares to Belgian Investment Co. for Developing Countries
• Two Sri Lanka banks – Union & DFCC – fined for failing due diligence rules
In May this year FIU fined Commercial Bank Rs. 3 million and Kanrich Finance Rs. 1 million…Separately in January this year FIU fined… Richard Pieris Finance, Softlogic Finance and Siyapatha Finance PLC…During 2019/20, five financial institutions were fined – Bank of Ceylon (Rs. 3 million), Nations Trust Bank (Rs. 1 million), Commercial Credit & Finance (Rs. 1 million), Sarvodaya Development Finance (Rs. 500,000) and UB Finance Company (Rs. 500,000).’
• Alpen Capital finds Sri Lanka’s banking and NBFI sector resilient despite challenges
‘In June 2021, Fitch Ratings reaffirmed Sri Lanka’s Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at ‘CCC’ and believes these resources will enable Sri Lanka to meet its remaining debt maturities through the rest of this year… Licensed Commercial Banks (LCBs), a major component of the banking system, had a total asset base of $ 58 billion & asset share of 87.6% as at September 2019.
• JAT to add shine to CSE via milestone IPO
‘Financial advisors and managers to the IPO are NDB Investment Bank and Capital Alliance… JAT is the number one partner globally for Sayerlack. Since 2010 Sayerlack has been a part of The Sherwin-Williams Company, a multinational paints and coatings player and global market leader for wood coatings. In addition to JAT’s strong positioning in Wood Coating, the company represents other globally renowned brands such as; Harris, Herman Miller, Knauf and SEA Bauformat
• Inland Revenue Department & Ports Authority payments via Pan Asia internet banking
• Financial penalties for non-compliance with Financial Transactions Reporting Act
• New ASPI index calculation method to tackle low market liquidity
• ComBank partners Moratuwa University to support academic research
• From Nationalisation of Banks in 1969 to Privatisation Agenda Now
• Sued Law Firm Partner to Head the Criminal Division in Biden’s Justice Department
• Fed Chair Powell’s Fitness for a Second Term
• Markets Plunge after Fully Vaccinated People Get Delta Strain of COVID-19
• Charts Challenge the Status Quo Thinking on the Stock Market
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’
• New England Developing Countries Trading Scheme to drive trade with Sri Lanka
• CT Holdings invests Rs. 930 m to up stake in Cargills to over 71%
‘following CT buying a 1.4% stake or 3.7 million shares held by LF Ruffer Pacific and Emerging Markets Fund…’
• Pan Asia Bank partners CBH Lands to assist potential land buyers
• Sunshine Holdings – associate partner of Sri Lanka team at Olympics 2020
‘T. Sayandhan, Chief Executive Officer – Medical Devices of Sunshine Healthcare Lanka Limited—the healthcare arm of Sunshine Holdings…’
• Daraz donates Rs. 2 million to ITUKAMA COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund
• Wisdom from top women leaders today on FT TV
‘Sampath Bank Senior Deputy General Manager Shashi Kandambi Jassim, Jetwing Travels and Jetwing Hotels Chairperson Shiromal Cooray, Hemas Holdings Group CEO Kasturi Wilson, Prime Group Co-Chairperson Sandamini Perera’
• Tourism Development Authority acquires 12 islets to develop tourism in Kalpitiya
• An Opportunity to introduce Sri Lankan Cuisine to Hong Kong
‘My father was a visionary thinker and his predictions since his visit to China in 1958, were: “China one day will become the number one tourist destination in the world and China will also become the most powerful nation in the world.’
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.
• On ‘misinformation’ against Minister of Health
• Absurd claims made by G.A.D. Sirimal about China
• President indicates desire to seek a second term.
• Balachandran sees Gotabaya and Mahinda as doctrinaire
• Attention of parliamentary committee drawn to need for expert assistance
• Gevindu confident of President promise to unveil new draft Constitution before end of this year
• Kill Bill: President Gotabaya’s second term and the KDU bill – Jayatilleka
‘Amnesty International (AI), the world’s oldest, most respected human rights organisation…’
• Current Rajapaksa govt. best suited to settle Tamil issue – A’sangaree
• Govt cannot disregard its responsibilities & duties: TULF
• Manouri Muttetuwegama’s passionate commitment to human rights
• Why democracy in Sri Lanka needs self-sufficiency
‘Mangala Samaraweera’s multicultural progressive attitudes…’
• Sri Lanka’s Left isn’t ‘Taking Democracy Seriously’
• Illustrious Dahanayake brothers
• Memories of leonine Tamil leader Murugesu Sivasithamparam – Jeyaraj
• JR Jayewardene and the July 1983 Anti-Tamil Violence – Jeyaraj
• Whither or wither NGOs?
• Inching Towards an Catholic Party?
• Muslim MP’s attend meeting with President
• Opposition parties on ex-Speaker’s solidarity platform
• Sajith writes to Speaker over sudden removal of officers from Elections Commission
• Northern Province to get new Chief Secretary
• Brazil: Between Pandemic Incompetence, Institutional War and Growing Polarization
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.
• Customary handover of Thewawa today
‘The customary handover of service of the Sacred Tooth Relic (Thewawa of the Sacred Tooth Relic ) to the Malwatta Temple from the Asgiriya Chapter will take place today (24)’
• Colonial bourgeoisie and Sinhala cultural revival
• Beware of Spyware; You are Being Watched – Izzadeen
• Transparency International moots 5 recommendations on Data Protection Bill
• SLASSCOM and Wijeya Newspapers sign MoU
• Bypassing National Youth Services Council & Straight To Reality Shows – Editorial
• Santush violating copyrights of singer Rohana Weerasinghe
• Govt. nets Rs 251 million in tax revenue from foreign teledramas since February
• National Film Corporation Rs 100 mn project to honour James Peries without approval
• Not many Sinhala speakers or Tamil speakers select each other’s language,
• Who Burnt The Jaffna Library? – Edward Gunawardena
‘the dominant caste in Jaffna could not tolerate the public library being declared open under the chairmanship of a ‘low caste’ man
• ‘Kohomba Kankariya- The Sociology of a Kandyan Ritual’ by Sarath Amunugama
• Pegasus spyware used to ‘snoop’ on Indian journalists, activists
‘Spyware Pegasus is apparently sold to governments around the world by NSO group, an Israeli Co…. Media organizations part of the ‘Pegasus Project’ include Washington Post, The Guardian, Suddeutsche Zeitung, and Le Monde.’
• Another USAID covert plan exposed: to infiltrate the Cuban hip-hop movement
• Unilever shifts $30million of North American advertising to Publicis big blow to ad giant WPP
‘Unilever is one of WPP’s largest global clients, along with Ford…Unilever’s e-commerce business grew 61% year over year in 2020…Publicis is also the Unilever rival Procter & Gamble’s lead agency for advertising in the US.’
• The story behind the collapse of advertising’s oldest agency, J. Walter Thompson (2020)
‘Lawsuit accusing then-JWT CEO Gustavo Martinez of harassment & discrimination grabbed headlines around the world & made JWT’s name toxic to would-be clients and hires alike.’
• Richard Lewontin, Dialectical Biologist and Activist, Dies at 92
‘close friend Stephen Jay Gould, the palaeontologist and science writer, was a fellow Marxist’
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