“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
e-Con e-News 25-31 July 2021
Critics? ee has a plenty. Supporters? A few, yet they too can be variable. Anyways, why not? ee thrives on criticism. ee just started being translated into Sinhala. Much of ee is garnished from the English media. So why focus on just English business news? – see ee Random Notes
• Who controls internet access to SL? All internet services to Sri Lanka were cut in 2004, when an Indian ship illegally dropped anchor in a prohibited zone just off our coast, damaging the digital fiber-optic submarine cable – the SEA-ME-WE 3 (SE Asia-Middle East-Western Europe) cable of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT). The world’s major undersea cables skirt Lanka. Is this why the whites are conducting war games around our seas? – Random Notes, Internet Access
• Stealing SL Data – US and English banks and social media companies, from facebook to twitter, uber & pickme, etc., are stealing money and personal information from Sri Lankans. This money and data rightfully belongs to our people and state. The government can use this data to organize the country and make efficient plans to both protect the country during pandemics, invest in vital (machine) industries and ensure distribution of food and fuel. So why are multinational corporations and their NGOs opposing control over such intrusion? –Random Notes
• Car drivers & motorcycle riders are killing & maiming people daily, destroying public & private spaces. Is it the spirit of ‘free enterprise’, or the mania of lawlessness? Is it due to the careless example set by foreign and local banks operating in Sri Lanka who corner markets and run over the economy at will? The Central Bank took steps this week to control the ‘unsavoury’ activities of such banks.
This ee looks at how Foreign Banks are still robbing the country (ee Focus, Rusiripala Tennakoon), while corrupting local banks. US and European banks, camouflaged as ‘development banks’, are taking over private banks and finance companies (Commercial Bank, Sarvodaya, Sanasa, NDB, etc.) in order to entrap, especially rural, people by selling industrial goods. Many of these banks are ‘leveraged’ to the skies, and when they crash it’s the State Banks that have to rescue them Then media will complain how State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) are loss-making! – ee Focus; Random Notes, Importing Inflation
• The media is crying kimbula-bunis tears about the murdered child worker. Yet the capitalist media constantly attack labor laws to weaken and sabotage them. They never provide daily or hourly reports, broadcast or printed, on the conditions on the majority of workers in this country. They only report on unions when there’s a strike and then only highlight monetary demands. Also, why are we now hearing about the mistreatment of workers in Japan and Korea? – Random Notes
• Japan’s delay in delivering promised vaccines to Sri Lanka – allowing infections to spread, while putting off local production – was blamed on tight transport logistics during the Olympics Games. Yet they’ve been continuing war games with the US against China. No wonder they’re so busy! (s ee Sovereignty)
Many of the companies donating ‘gifts’ of medical supplies are companies importing industrial goods from other countries. Their main aim is to put off local production. So what did Hemas ‘first female CEO’ mean by saying it’s hard to get around politicians to raise drug prices? – Random Notes
A1. Reader Comments –
Undersea Cables • Swiss Expertise on Organic? • Stop Grumbling! • Unilever is not alone • White July! • Assembly over and over • Dockyard & Japan • Made in China?
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Ratings Ransom • Local Pumpkin No More • Health Awaits Importers • China Hits Speculators • China Bans Data Apps • NATO & NGOs • Lied, Cheated, Stole • Corruption Roots • Founding Corrupter • Mighty Trees
A3. Random Notes –
• Algorithm Wars & Location Data • US controls BASL • Broken English • Moody’s Made a Killing? • Who controls SL Internet • Employers’ Federation is No.1 Union • Unilever & Plantation Slavery • SL Worker Dies in Korea • Japan Opposes Import Ban • High Prices by Importing US Inflation • China Cracks Down on Capital Spies • Internet Censorship • Hemas Cries about Low Drug Prices • China vs Speculation
B. ee Focus
B1. Foreign Banks Out of Control
B2. Why China Focuses on Home Market?
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
• ‘Re: last ee.We were surprised at the connection with undersea cable network exploration as part of ‘naval exercises’. What else might be their agendas?’ (see Random Notes)
• ‘Switzerland ran a referendum on agrochemical ban (just) to lose it? A pioneer in setting a standard – a pre-emptive strike? Then Baurs sends “Swiss” experts to study Lanka’s agricultural ecosystem. Will they ever stop till they win?’
• ‘All ee laments about are creations – serpents included – meant expressly for human enjoyment and use. Stop grumbling!’
• ‘Unilever is just one part of the problem’
• ‘White July! Great ee post!’
• ‘We been doing ‘assembly’ for many generations now, and each time we’re told to congratulate ourselves… and that we will do better soon…’
• ‘The Colombo Dockyard Company now belongs to Japan’s Onomichi Co and is linked to car-exporter Toyota: They bought the business and are the main arm of technology and skills. Our part is mainly to remain as low-salaried skilled workers and laborers.’
• ‘’Everything’ is not ‘Made-in-China’, as sometimes proclaimed. Look out your window and see who makes the 3wheelers and cars on the road… especially who makes the machines that make them.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Rating Agencies can ridicule & hold small countries to ransom’ – Presidential Secretary PB Jayasundera
• ‘Our local pumpkin seeds are not easily accessed any more. The shoots are delicious curried. The GM seeds don’t give us eatable shoots. Nor our range of papaws. Soon, there will be no rice other than ‘miracle’ varieties bred to produce grains that cannot be propagated. Varieties of banana down to 5, from over 20 a few decades ago. India’s seed banks storing centuries of agri wisdom, experience and selection were prised open by the Gates-linked seed bankers who now have all these frozen in underground Scandinavian storage vaults – and maybe no longer stored in India. Mr Singh helped that move. Congress no less servile than BJP.’
• ‘The government has allocated money for ventilators, oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, mobile PCR testing machines, advanced PCR reagents… senior ministry officials are waiting for some of their private sector associates to import equipment and register them with the NMRA.’ – ee Industry, Procure
• ‘China is protecting itself from imported inflation by letting its currency appreciate while cracking down on commodity traders piling on inventory, by raising transaction fees, and at the same time telling currency speculators around the world that a rising RMB is not a one-way bet.’ – ee Economists, Imported Inflation
• Why China Banned Ride-Sharing App: ‘People still don’t understand how DiDi Chuxing collects and uses personal information in violation of laws and regulations, but the state stepped up to protect personal info in a timely manner. This action itself has given people the confidence that the state is in charge of this matter. The important thing is, internet giants are often at the industry forefront. The state cannot allow them to become rule makers for the collection and use of personal information. The standards must be in the hands of the state to ensure that those giants exercise restraint in collecting personal information. Yes, follow the principle of minimization. We must not allow any internet giant to become a super database of Chinese personal information more detailed than the state, let alone give them the right to use those data at will.’ – Global Times
• ‘“Nonprofit” thinktanks and organizations like the National Endowment for Democracy, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Atlantic Council, all frequently quoted by the media, have multinational corporation heads, known war criminals like Henry Kissinger and current or former members of the US State Dept, CIA, NSA and English intelligence organization MI-6 staffing their boards and ranks.’ – ee Economists, Marxist
• ‘I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole… We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.’ – Pompeo, ee Security, Pegasus
• ‘The word ‘corruption’ does, after all, have its roots in Europe, coming from the Latin verb rumpere, which implies the breaking of something ‘altogether’ or ‘completely’.’
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• In this age of algorithm wars, where the imperialist whites have decided they do not wish to have their soldiers, with boots on foreign ground, returning home in bodybags, the stealing of personal information and location services is even more crucial. Alongside these algorithm wars are the hybrid wars, using liberal rhetoric of individual freedom over all others, and lawfare. Meanwhile, foreign-funded NGOs, etc., are dedicated to preventing control over private intrusion, and – no surprise – private corporations are behind this, claiming they have the right to control data.
• Last week, the Rockefeller-run Pathfinder Group in Sri Lanka discussed maritime security with England, while the Chamber of Commerce, Hutchison Telecom (origins & profits from the opium wars on China) & the London Stock Exchange Group prepared to challenge the SL government’s Data Protection Bill. They will no doubt try to prevent the Sri Lankan government taking control over our data. Let’s see what frenzied media headlines are generated using ‘personal’ freedom, etc. – see ee Security
• US Puppeteers BASL? The warning issued by the Bar Association of SL prior to the current round of ‘protests’ bear scrutiny, as part of rising ‘lawfare’ – using laws to further imperialist and corporate interests. BASL has long been implicated in coordinating ‘protests’ in Sri Lanka. It’s been noted before, BASL ‘projects, duration, budget lines and other information is known almost exclusively to Prakalathan Thuraisingham (also known as ‘Prabha’), who’s the on-the-spot point-man for USAID in BASL offices and activities.’ – malindawords.blogspot.com/2015/05/usaid-moves-on-bar-association.html
• English is still the dominant power in SL. No matter what the anti-Sinhala lobby claims. It is English that (dis)informs the (non)investment bankers, and the higher courts and higher education. It is the only source of international news,. For now. The English of the media, however, is like the English of ‘Colombots’. They have no need for a news service like this. They’re sitting pretty. The English of the Industrial Revolution is not for them. Whereas when we speak to people in Sinhala about these issues, there is immediate resonance, about the need for modern industrialization.
So why does ee insist people interrogate the products tantalized before our eyes? How they are made, and where? The machines that made them? Who made the machines that made them?
Behind the confusion about vaccines has been the money behind the importers of various products, who pay the owners, editors, journalists.
• US ratings agency Moody’s made a killing by putting out a fake warning, by saying SL would not pay its ‘debt’. Many investors in Sri Lanka’s International Sovereign Bonds (ISBs) panicked and sold them at a discount. Major investors then bought them and made a killing.
These US rating agencies, provided a monopoly by the US government, are paid by the same private banks who buy bonds. ee repeats: the Securities & Exchange Commission, which licenses them in Sri Lanka, should ban them. Meanwhile, media will now move from their ‘debt’ cries onto to their next favorite beggar’s wound: ‘human rights’ in NATO’s Geneva ski resort.
Who really owns Sri Lanka Telecom? Most major equipment is imported from Japan. In 1997, SLT was privatised under Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation (NTT). NTT was a Japanese state monopoly fronting for the American Telephone & Telegraph Co (AT&T). In 2008, NTT sold its SLT stake to Global Telecom Holdings (GTH) of Netherlands, which now owns a 45% stake, with 51% owned by the SL government. GTH owns 44.98%, but is a holding company in Amsterdam, and a subsidiary of the multinational telecom company VEON also in the Netherlands. At this point ee is over its head. (ha ha!). All ee knows is: it is past time, to take back our economy!
• Who controls Internet access to SL? All internet services to Sri Lanka were cut in 2004, when an Indian ship illegally dropped anchor in a prohibited zone just off our coast, damaging the digital fiber-optic submarine cable – the SEA-ME-WE 3 (SE Asia-Middle East-Western Europe) cable of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT).
The world’s busiest submarine/undersea data cable routes (UDC) snake along on Sri Lanka’s seabeds. SLT then set up South Asia’s 1st Submarine Cable Depot in Hambantota Port, and SEA-ME-WE 5 UDC’s full landing station in Matara, with Singapore’s Indian Ocean Cableship Co – ship service provider for SE Asia & Indian Ocean Cable Maintenance Agreement – which has a permanent cable ship berthed at Hambantota.
England’s Unilever-linked P&O, which has controlled shipping around us for centuries, owns competitor Nava Shiva port in India, who have funded the media attacks on Hambantota Port, calling it ‘useless’, while promoting Sinophobia! US-owned amazon, google, facebook, microsoft are also major players in the cable game, so need to steal our data.
2 major submarine cables provided internet to Sri Lanka – Bay of Bengal Gateway (BBG) – Dialog, and SEA-ME-WE 3 – SLT, with most cables landing in Mount Lavinia. BBG cable links Barka (Oman) and Penang (Malaysia) with 4 branches to Fujairah (UAE), Mumbai, Chennai (India), Colombo (SL), controlled by a consortium including England’s Vodafone (main customer, Unilever), Omantel, Etisalat, India’s Reliance Jio Infocomm, Dialog, Telekom Malaysia.
The SEA-ME-WE 2 link to SL, was set up in 1994; in 1999 they set up the SEA-ME-WE 3 link, led by France Telecom and China Telecom, administered by Singapore’s Singtel.
Bharti Airtel links Chennai and Singapore, the other connects with the SEA-ME-WE 4. Singtel owns the 2nd largest Australian telecom co, Optus, and 32.15% of Bharti Airtel, India’s largest carrier.
SLT then set up South Asia’s 1st Submarine Cable Depot and SEA-ME-WE 5 undersea cable’s full landing station in Matara, with Singapore’s Indian Ocean Cableship Co in Hambantota. It’s a joint venture with a Singapore-based cable ship company – a ship service provider for SE Asia & Indian Ocean Cable Maintenance Agreement. SEAIOCMA is the international consortium for maintaining the multiple cable systems passing Sri Lanka, which is the only Submarine Cable Depot in South Asia.
The SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable system, spanning 20,000km, with secure terrestrial routes to connect end users, from Singapore, to Europe via France and Italy, partnering with 15 international telecom operators representing 17 countries.
• Only the unions of the wealthy matter to the media. The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, the first registered trade union, and the Chambers of Commerce oppose real unions and constantly try to undermine workers’ rights, deploying IMF euphemisms like ‘labor flexibility’. The Unilever-led League of Multinational Corporations in Sl also demands ‘Everything needs to be fixed in the context of international standards, in terms of human rights and labor law too.’ That child who was killed in Colombo was from the plantations. Yet Unilever, the main beneficiary of the plantation system, is yet to confess:
The resort to child labor is also a byproduct of the constricting of the village economy, and selling (brain drain) of adult rural workers to Western province, Colombo and abroad. Many of Colombo’s exploited and oppressed domestic workers come from rural areas, particularly the plantations. England and their local merchant agents (Chettiars, Borahs, etc.) profited immensely from the American (US, Caribbean) system of slavery imposed on Sri Lanka, and still do to this day.
England must provide compensation to all workers, and refuge to the SL tea workers. Just like they did to Ugandan and Kenyan Indian merchants, some now paraded in top English government positions (Exchequer, Home Secretary).
The Anglican Church, a beneficiary of the chattel slave system, instead of mouthing highfalutin ideals about ‘human rights’, must also admit how the churches became the largest landowners here, while the Buddhist temples, the largest landowners in the 19th century, were attacked and reduced. Confession, after all, is good for the soul.
• Stolen Land, Stolen Labor: A worker was killed, after being forced to work 18 hours in a plastic factory in US-occupied Korea then trapped in an oil compressor, with a manager nowhere in sight. Migrants are hired to work in toxic (plastic vinyl chloride is the most dangerous) and hazardous occupations. Daily Mirror claims not to know if labor laws were flouted!
An item about a Sri Lankan woman worker killed in a Japanese cell remains on the Daily Mirror site. The intent of the news item is to tell us, some Japanese are concerned for workers. Yet a law to limit migrant workers was not passed, not due to humanitarian concern, but to their need for exploitable workers.
White countries claim to oppose migration. Yet their industrial and service sectors wish to import more workers, underpaying them, to put pressure on their own workers, as well as to work in jobs not yet automated.
In the US and Canada, the rates of frontline health workers dying (killed due to Covid) are high, with many workers from Asia and Africa. The rate of Filipina nurses dying in the US are higher than in the Philippines itself. Nurses also get paid 8 times less than doctors, even though they do most of the work. Is the ill-treatment (let alone underpayment) of such health workers due to white supremacy and reliance on migrant workers?
• Japan’s Nikkei News headline SL import ban puts 100s of businesses in jeopardy: ‘Sri Lanka typically imports around 50,000 to 60,000 vehicles a year.’ But the story hides that many of these (‘pre-owned’) car imports are from Japan! The story adds: ‘SL’s trading partners have sounded the alarm over the import ban. The value of EU exports to SL fell from 1.24billion euros in 2019 to 904million euros in 2020, a decline of 27% and the lowest figure in 10 years. SL mainly imports machinery, pharmaceuticals, iron & steel products, and vehicles from Europe.’ Nikke doesn’t publicly calculate Japan’s so-called ‘declines.’
So here we have a clue about EU & US threats to withdraw GSP+ etc. Meanwhile the US ambassador wants SL to submit to the IMF. They also want us to invest in SMEs.
White embassies and media headlines are very enthusiastic about promoting MSMEs and tourism. These Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises (most in the ‘micro’ category) are big importers of foreign goods, particularly cars and motorcycles, and a few capital and intermediate (C&I) goods. The other reason is: they wish to prevent the government from forcing banks to invest in such C&I goods. They wish to prevent basic capital (heavy) industry.
Tourism also depends on heavy external imports (foreigners, imported machinery) and low skills. If the country was made into one big Hotel, we wouldn’t need schools! Same goes, of course, for Plantations. Plucking needs no PhDs! Neither does saying, “Yes Sir, No, Madam”, to tourists.
• Heavily manacled to the US dollar, we’re importing inflation from there as the US government prints money to rescue their capitalists. This is causing huge rises in the price of food and fuel over here and around the world. The capitalist media prefers to blame our government’s policies.
Last months the media whined and wailed about paying our ‘debts’ to white banks, now they will move to complaining about ‘human rights’, with protests engineered by the US-controlled lawyers’ association (BASL) and other foreign-funded NGOs. The capitalist media’s job is to constantly undermine any attempt to invest in modern (machine) industry, which could easily allow us to pay any useless debts incurred by our wasteful rich (who are really beggars with borrowed money in their pockets!)
• ‘China Education Tycoon Loses $15Bn as Shares Tumble’ cried Bloomberg! – All these issues erupted this week with the biggest international economic news: China moving to control the stealing of private information by foreign capitalists, as well as banning profiteering off private tuition in core curriculum. China also has moved to nurture its home market, through what is called the dual-circulation system. (ee Focus, Vagisha Gunasekera)
Our home market, which should provide the basis for modern industrialization, is instead hijacked by Unilever, et al.
• ee notes the loss of Black Agenda Report founder Glen Ford this week. ee relies greatly on alternative news sites such as BAR, reminding us of the horror behind the US masquerading of ‘human rights’. May 10,000 Glen Fords bloom, especially at this hour of all their ‘liberal’ bullshit!
In the meantime, the US is preventing access to Cuba’s English-language news sites: This same google-ifying message appears every time we try to go from the main Spanish-language site to English: ‘Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site. We can’t connect to the server at en.granma.cu.’
There is no difference between Trump and Biden. It’s a matter of PR spin. While our white media headline the US ‘leaving’ Afghanistan, Biden is resorting to ‘Algorithm Wars’, bombing Afghanistan, while advertising anguish over ‘the Afghan people, including women, girls, and minorities’. No voices are raised against this blatant ‘liberal’ opportunism.
• The World Bank, while opposing local production of vaccines, is claiming to ‘empower women’, same goes for the US Embassy They are all for helping women, or so they say. Meanwhile ‘SL’s first female CEO’ of Hemas, Angela Wilson (aka Kasturi Chellarajah), is quoted, ‘It is less easy to get around politicians to exploit sick people with high prices! Wow! Wilson is President of the SL Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Importing Industry (SLCPI). She also offers excuses for not producing pharma here: ‘There were lots of media reports saying imports of drugs should be limited, but when the science was not there it cannot be done fast.’ This was at a German-state-sponsored seminar with US-funded EconomyNext news! So, who prevents education in producer science and technology?
• China took dramatic steps this week to provide data security to its citizens by controlling financial consumer services, ride-sharing services and private education companies, especially those selling private information to foreign companies after entering the US stock market. Also, moves against cryptocurrencies.
The whites are screaming about restricting certain business models and financing through public offerings. But China has other priorities rather than ensuring huge profits for foreign investors.
China is preventing monopolies by tech titans and helping to boost startups, protecting social equality, while lowering the cost of living in cities, so families can have children. They do not wish to be hijacked by foreign hot money, which enters and leaves as it pleases, preventing long-term investment.
DiDi was incorporated in the tax-dodging Cayman Islands, and didn’t need Beijing’s approval to list in New York, also endangering cybersecurity. Alibaba also used a Cayman-Island variable interest entity to access foreign capital, otherwise unavailable due to Chinese government regulations.
These companies, like in Sri Lanka, are largely monopolies. They buy up competitors, and like Microsoft prevent innovation. Alibaba’s Ant tried to be an unregulated bank, promoting consumer credit, trapping people in debt. Delivery and ride-sharing services are abusing workers. Tutoring companies charge extremely high prices, preventing equal chances between pupils.
Businesses investing dollars in imperialist capital markets, fall under foreign regulators and foreign laws. They use the data they collect against our countries, grabbing profits these companies make in Sri Lanka and China. At a time of more conflict between the US and China it is better for Chinese companies to stay at home. Our white media who do not like regulation, will cry about the ‘confidence’ of white speculators. A crackdown on greedy conglomerates will promote our consumer confidence.
Meanwhile US Berkshire Hathaway vice-chairman Charlie Munger wishes US financial regulators were more like China’s: ‘Communists did the right thing,’ referring to Alibaba’s Jack Ma. Munger does not want ‘all of the Chinese system’ in the US, but ‘I certainly would like to have the financial part of it in my own country.’ Munger also told CNBC, while ‘our own wonderful free enterprise economy is letting all these crazy people go to this gross excess’, the Chinese ‘step in preemptively to stop speculation’. (The irony is Berkshire-Hathaway owns rating agency Moody’s that just did the dirty on SL!)
China produces real goods instead of betting on financial speculation. It opposes dominance by the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sectors which dominate the US economy. China prioritizes socialism, over shareholders, which in the end increases consumer confidence:
Housing, medical and education costs are the ‘3 big mountains’ suffocating Chinese families and crowding out their consumption, said a fund manager at Olympus Hedge Fund Investments, ‘This is the most forceful reform I’ve seen over many years, it benefits the masses at the cost of the richest and elite groups.’
By controlling big tech companies, smaller companies will grow. Workers will get better wages. Consumers will not be robbed by expensive services, like in Sri Lanka. There are important lessons we can learn from the socialist countries. (ee Industry, China cracks down)
B. Special Focus____________________________________________
B1. Foreign Banks Out of Control – Central Bank Restrictions on Licensed Commercial Banks
– Tennakoon Rusiripala, 27 July 2021
As the regulator, the CBSL has to be mindful of possible capital shortfalls induced or taking place due to the prevailing situation
Effective 1 July 2021, Licensed Commercial Banks and Licensed Specialised Banks operating in Sri Lanka are required to be guided by the restrictions imposed on them till 31 December 2021, by the Central Bank.
These restrictions appear to be short-term measures taken by the CBSL, mainly to address the Foreign Exchange Reserve quandary currently before the country overriding all other financial problems. They are applicable to all Licensed Commercial Banks including those incorporated outside Sri Lanka, which in effect brings all foreign-owned commercial banks too under the stipulations.
These restrictions infer an implied further adverse effects in relation to the bank performance due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, compared to the key indicators of the previous years. The financial statements for 2021 are still awaiting the finalisation of the external audit requirements and according to the restriction imposed the foreign commercial banks operating here will not be permitted to repatriate any of their declared profits already made. CBSL envisages according to its own estimates the LCBs to experience impediments in the growth of assets and business expansion areas due to the shocks from the pandemic-affected business environment.
These considerations are neither irrelevant nor unjustified in the context of the unpredictability and uncertainties devolving round the pandemic situation continuing unabated in a global sense. In fact, it appears to be a much more realistic approach and a sensible response to a situation in contrast to mawkish political conservatism we witness. In a practical perception, the restrictions imposed, sound more logical preventive actions which when applied commonly across the industry would not cause any particular disadvantage to any single bank.
As the regulator, the CBSL will have to be mindful of possible capital shortfalls induced or taking place due to the prevailing situation. The country is experiencing a keen concern about the need to maintain a sound and strong banking industry with guaranteed liquidity and capital adequacies. They will be more helpful to the local banks both in the State and Private sector. The conditions they are expected to adhere to are in keeping with the directive issued earlier by the President to the SOEs with a view to stop wastage and improve efficiency.
When we look at the restrictions now imposed by the CBSL it appears that they have identified the possible problem areas more specifically, maybe under the scope of their responsibility of the supervisory role and the regulatory framework of promoting corporate governance and capital requirements of the banking industry.
The private sector banks with public quoted shares are required to refrain from buying back their own shares. We have noticed some ‘unsavoury movements’ in our share market operations recently. The CBSL has stepped in, it looks like to curtail any contributory actions on the part of the LCBs in this regard.
The restrictions also extend to the curtailment of increasing the management allowances and payments to Board of Directors. CBSL has restricted this area probably with their past experience and also presuming that there is a possibility of a tendency to resort to such practices even under troubled circumstances. But it could have been more effective if the CBSL brought in this restriction to cover any and all enhancements and increases of all sorts, possible under their rights of normal operations.
Perhaps the CBSL may not be aware of the highly extravagant special allowances and perks that have been granted to the top executives of the banks particularly in the State sector. Some of these were even highlighted in the recent Parliamentary COPE inquiries causing alarm even among the not so caring legislators making them raise their eyebrows.
Banks have been directed to exercise prudence and refrain as far as possible from incurring non-essential expenditure. The restrictions specify certain areas such as advertising, business promotions, gift schemes, entertainment, sponsorships and travelling, etc. A careful examination will show that most of these expenditure items serve a different purpose than the needs superficially canvassed in their favour.
It is noteworthy that the President’s directive given earlier to the SOEs to stop wasteful expenditure also covered these areas. But what we observed was that without the intervention and overlooking by a supervisory and regulatory authority the directives did not have the desired effect. Now in the context of the CBSL effectively monitoring the adherence to these restrictions they have enforced we can expect some improvement.
In the State sector, as was revealed in the recent COPE inquiries, there have been many deceptive avenues to sidetrack compliances including procurements. There had been instances where subsidiaries owned by State banks were used as agencies to engage in high value contracts involving constructions and supplies to bypass the procurement procedures. Therefore, the CBSL will have to focus on such matters to give effect to what they have enunciated.
If the CBSL is keen in ensuring a safe liquidity position in the banks with adequate capital they have to keep a close watch on their accounting practices. Under various stratagem banks can resort to mislead even the auditors by adopting controversial gimmicks. This is commonly seen in the loan loss provisioning and other areas where even the audit eye has failed to detect. Banks have callously disregarded some of the obligations they have in making loan loss provisions as well as other general provisions falling within their fiduciary responsibilities.
Just to quote an example we can point out the case of inadequate provisions made by the two State banks in the late ’90s first detected by the international audit firms leading to a highly contentious issue of calling the two banks insolvent. The major laxity was in the provisions that the banks were required to make in respect of Employee Retirement Benefit payments. It may be of interest to the regulator to know that the position today is much worse than it was when the highlighted revelations were made then.
With regard to the loan loss provisions too, the situation that prevails in some banks is not conducive to a position of maintaining a sound liquidity in keeping with the supervisory requirements of the regulator. Several advances continue to be kept in the current category although they remain qualified over a long period to be transferred as non-performing advances.
We are also hearing about public criticisms levelled against these institutions alleging fraudulent lending operations and loans of large amounts figuring as non-performing, some of those earmarked, to be written off under the sophisticated hair cut exercises. A number of advances to be treated in this manner happen to be facilities granted in foreign exchange for overseas projects. The irony of the matter is there is no one who can be held responsible for the poor risk assessment standards applied at the time of granting these facilities.
The foreign-owned banks should be kept under surveillance of the CBSL like all other banking institutions. There are many instances of regulatory violations including huge tax evasions in this sector. We are also aware of certain questionable cultures introduced by some foreign banks., for example, the infamous oil hedging deal which cost a huge sum in foreign exchange to our country.
Any repatriation of profits or foreign exchange in the form of capital withdrawals should be carefully monitored by our regulatory authorities. Hence the imposition of restrictions in this manner is a timely and a much-needed precautionary action taken by the CBSL.
B2. Why China Focuses on its Home Market?
– Vagisha Gunasekara, China Daily Global, 27 July 2021
The new dual-circulation development paradigm, in which domestic and foreign markets reinforce each other with the domestic market as the mainstay, has been mentioned as the linchpin of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for economic and social development and the long-range objectives through the year 2035. The notion of dual circulation was first introduced at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China in May 2020, and this innovative paradigm is expected to serve as a framework to guide China through the post-pandemic period and help the country better engage with the world.
Since the global financial crisis in 2008, China has introduced strategies to expand domestic demand and supply-side structural reforms, signalling the gradual shift toward internal circulation. The CPC leadership has consistently viewed the development of productive forces as the central objective of socialist construction. The “domestic loop”, domestic circulation, is the key component of the new paradigm. Essentially, this requires policy measures at all levels to expand domestic consumption and smooth supply chains. China is currently the world’s biggest market with 400 million people forming the middle-income groups. China’s per capita GDP has been above $10,000. All of this indicates that shifting inwards is a natural choice.
The economic plan calls for measures to boost consumption of the middle-income group and remove barriers to the rational flow of production factors. Together this will create a higher-level dynamic equilibrium where supply and demand boost each other. Central to this is enhancing innovation in production. There is heavy emphasis on self-reliance in science and technology in the new paradigm, with increased government investment in research and development.
The centrality of the domestic loop, however, does not mean that the Chinese system will be “closed “in future. The policy emphasizes the paradigm is an “open cycle” in which China will work to promote the coordinated development of both domestic and foreign demand, imports and exports, as well as foreign and outbound investment. In the next five years, China will promote liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, which stresses rules-based, transparent regulatory models and a business environment that better aligns with international norms.
One of the main elements will focus on positioning China at the high end of the manufacturing value chain in a way that better serves the domestic market. This will put even more emphasis on industrial policy to boost import substitution. This is reinforced by China’s emphasis on technological innovation. The focus of China’s introduction of foreign resources is now shifting to international factors of innovation, especially attracting high-end talents, while the core of China’s international cooperation is shifting to technology cooperation. In other words, technological innovation is the field in which China expects to unleash productive forces.
China’s dual-circulation paradigm aims to build a modern and resilient economic system. The new development paradigm also underscores the upgrading of China’s economic structure, higher value-added in manufacturing and industrial and supply-chains.
This is probably the reason why China’s new economic strategy has sparked scepticism in the West. Much of this criticism, however, is hypocritical and based on double standards. When today’s major advanced economies industrialized a century ago, efforts at independence and self-sufficiency were typical to all of them, along with high tariffs and protectionism. In contrast, China’s quest for development rests on multilateralism, global cooperation and a shared future, which includes all nations that seek to cooperate peacefully for shared sustainable growth.
The author is a political economist and a visiting lecturer at the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo.
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 a backward multinational-corporate 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.
• FM recalls establishment of Amarapura and Ramanna Nikayas in talks with Myanmar envoy
• Asian Diplomats meet with Finance Minister
• US Embassy and its involvement in local politics
• English Army’s Unjust Killing of Edward Henry Pedris
• TNA’s Sampanthan calls re-merger of Northern and Eastern Provinces from US Ambassador
• TNA Leader complains against appointing Sinhala officers to Tamil areas
• TNPF threatens to mobilise people against govt. over SLNavy base in Mullaitivu
• Canadian government donates $ 26.3 million to build Tamil Community Centre in Toronto.
• LTTE violating Nike intellectual property: Sri Lanka foreign ministry
• Dissecting Robert Kaplan’s Jaundiced Reportage: “Orientalism” Savaging Lanka
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 20 C11&12, Part 21Ha
• Minister Namal meets SL-Japan Parliamentarians’ Friendship League
• National Christian Council of Sri Lanka Church Heads issue statement on multiple issues
• US-Backed JR Jayewardene and the July 1983 Anti-Tamil Violence – Jeyaraj
‘Lands and Mahaweli Development Minister Gamini Dissanayake warned Tamils that it would require 14 hours for Indian troops to come and rescue them but the Sinhalese could destroy them in 14 minutes if they wanted to’
• Is UN One World Government 2030/Agenda 21 & Corona Pandemic linked? – Waduge
‘The UN wishes to create a ‘New World Order’ with a ‘One World Government’ by 2030 as part of its Agenda 21 Goals set out in 1992.’
• US, Japan running secret war games to prep for China-Taiwan conflict
• Blinken’s single-point agenda in Delhi: Against China
‘Biden administration’s neoconservative ideology obliges it to adopt intrusive policies on issues of democracy, human rights and rule of law, which grates on the Modi government’s sensitivities’
• US diplomat says vital for India to stand together on ideals
‘India is worried that a possible takeover by the Taliban, which it sees as backed by its arch-rival Pakistan, will turn the country into a base for militants to attack India’
• US and Indian Foreign Secretary Press Conference Details
• Biden approves algorithm war in Afghanistan
• Crocodile tears and the plight of Afghanistan – EDITORIAL
• U.S.-China Talks Point To A Longer Conflict
‘The United States is the “inventor, and patent and intellectual property owner” of coercive diplomacy’
• Tunisia’s PM sacked after violent Covid protests
• Genocide and Colonialism: Challenging the Canadian State
• CIA boss claims his priority task will be to rein in the CIA and continue great game
‘Pentagon and the CIA will continue — keep Iran, China and Russia at bay in Iraq. It is a matter of time before Biden announces yet another QUAD comprising the US, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia’
• Biden Is Not Ending The ‘Forever Wars’. He Is Preparing The Path To New Ones.
‘Biden has failed to stop the U.S./Saudi war on Yemen. He is keeping troops in Iraq and Syria. His retreat from Afghanistan turns out to be fake. He is sabotaging a return to the nuclear with Iran.’
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.
• Chamber of Commerce, Hutchison Telecom & London Stock Exchange Group webinar on Data Protection Bill
• CIA-Pathfinder-IISS in Strategic Dialogue on Sri Lanka-England Relations
‘Session 1 on Maritime Security Cooperation was Chaired by Dr. Rahul Roy Choudhury with Nick Childs and Rohan Gunaratna presenting England and Sri Lanka. Session 2 on China-Sri Lanka Economic Cooperation included H.M.G.S. Palihakkara as the Chair and Ganeshan Wignaraja and Sir Hugo Swire as the speakers. Kshenuka Seneviratne Chaired Session 3 on The Way Ahead for England-SL relations, whilst the speakers were Indrajit Coomaraswamy and Stephen Evans. The Keynote Session was chaired by Desmond Bowen, Associate Fellow, IISS and former Director General of International Policy at England’s Ministry of Defence. Keynote remarks were made by Admiral (Retd.) Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Secretary… Among SL parliamentarians: Minister of State for Regional Cooperation Tharaka Balasuriya; Eran Wickramaratne and former minister Faiszer Musthapha…English participants comprised Lord Birt, Crossbench Peer; Lord Sheikh, Lord Marland and Mark Logan MP, Vice Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka.’
• Pathfinder, Russian International Affairs Council and India on Climate Change
• Navy Commander attends Russia`s Navy Day Parade in St. Petersburg
• Hundred languish in squalid detention under anti-terrorism laws – Sunday Times
• Recollections of July 1983 Anuradhapura – An Oasis Of Peace
• The ghastly tale of the killing of Tamil prisoners at Welikada in 1983
• The 1907 Attygalle murder case: The Kotelawala connection
• Police are over-stretched
• Glasgow woman raped on SL holiday finally gets justice 11 years after traumatising attack
• Standing up to politicos in Kurunegala in 1978-79
• Army helps police catch two suspects transporting gold plated antique hammer & sickle
• Spyware: New Weapon Against Democracy
• WhatsApp says NSO spyware was used to attack officials working for US allies
• Blinken comes riding the Pegasus
• US Senators Ignore Biden’s Crime Chief’s Crimes
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.
• US-funded EconomyNext attacks Central bank investment in Industry
‘…industries include pharmaceuticals, rubber products, coconut related products, spices, electronics and electrical components, ship and boat building, food and beverages, cosmetics, toys, machinery and mechanical appliances and ceramic products…’
• The IMF is Not the Only Option on the Table – CBSL Governor
• Central Bank’s 70-year journey through currencies: A valuable guidebook – Wijewardene
• Importance of stability for Lanka’s economic recovery
‘President aims to uplift the poorest of the poor families in the country by recruiting 100,000 unemployed youth from poor families in the most under-developed regions in the country. The selected youth were assigned to public sector offices to fill existing vacancies of unskilled workers’
• Why project implementation sans planning?
‘we have always had a Ministry for Planning, strengthened by a Department for Planning, replete with qualified personnel which had right along produced ‘long-term”, “mid-term” plans as well as “crash and Integrated programmes’, etc., but sadly no national plan.’
• K-shaped economic recovery from COVID shock: Winners and losers – Colombage
‘The pandemic has further exacerbated income and wealth disparities across different income groups…Certain blue-chip companies and banks have reported huge profits in 2020…Around 40% of the country’s total number of employees are in the informal sector working as own account workers and unpaid family workers….The garment industry, being a major foreign exchange earner of the country, provides employment to around 300,000 persons. Around 100,000 are employed in small and medium garment factories…Around 70% of the country’s tourist accommodation is estimated to be in the small and medium sector while the balance represents high-end hotels. There are 156 classified tourist hotels including one-to-five-star hotels, boutique hotels villas and bungalows. Also, there are 1,099 guesthouses, 725 home stay units along with hostels, rented apartments and unclassified tourist hotels totalling 2,164 establishments.
• IMF promotes prudent principles of good economic management – Sanderatne
‘Fuel accounts for about 25 percent of total imports. International prices of fuel are increasing with the global economic recovery. Fuel prices that fell to US$ 30 per barrel and averaged around US$ 45 per barrel last year has risen to US$ 70 currently’
• Colombo Uni – ‘Global Business Leadership & Challenges faced by Business Leaders’ webinar
‘Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, Dr. Shamini Perera and Ajith Wickramarachchi shared valuable insights’
• Economic Quagmire & How Margret Thatcher Smashed the Keynesian Consensus
• Only 29 of 1,338 Indian silent films have survived. One man is doggedly telling of that era
• Those who manage finances of nations
• Singapore was the number one choice by the global companies – Abeyratne
‘Singapore does not have an agriculture sector, still the global agriculture-related companies set up their regional headquarter… Industry-wise, a dramatic growth could be observed in technology sectors, healthcare and the digital economies.’
• ‘Sri Lanka Private Ltd.’ Vs. ‘Sri Lanka Incorporated (Inc.)’
‘The government becomes the fuel while the private sector becomes the engine of economic growth.’
• China’s battle against imported inflation
• The importance of Marxist materialism in an age of opinions
“In order to have a real grasp of Marxism, one must learn it not only from books, but mainly through class struggle, through practical work and close contact with the masses of workers and peasants’
• US retracts Vietnam ‘currency manipulation’ claim, repeats lie on ‘one sided’ interventions
• US can learn from Communist China, says Berkshire’s Charlie Munger
• Communist Party Just Wiped Out a Whole Industry in China; Next Target, Chinese Companies Spilling Secrets in IPOs on the New York Stock Exchange
• IMF wished to replace current world reserve currency (the US dollar) with the SDR
• US Federal Reserve starts US$500bn overnight liquidity window as Powell Bubble rages
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how the economy is usually measured by false indices like GDP, etc, and in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, while calling for privatization and deregulation, their constant moaning about debt and balance of payments without stating the need for industrial production to overcome such issues, etc.
• Sri Lanka in a balancing act with global powers for investment: P B Jayasundera
• Sri Lanka’s fertilizer, energy reforms ‘very painful’ but healthy: Jayasundera
• COPA baffled by massive rewards for Customs at the expense of Treasury
‘prominent palm oil importers Pyramid Wilma and Naratha Agro Industries were allowed to appeal in 2019 against the Attorney General’s decision that loss of revenue suffered by the Treasury’
• US State Department makes scathing references to investment climate in Sri Lanka
‘Investors noted concerns over the potential for contract repudiation, cronyism, and de facto or de jure expropriation’
• US ambassador says IMF is the best solution for Sri Lanka
• Won’t prevent U.S. companies from investing in Port City: U.S. Ambassador
• SL import ban puts hundreds of businesses in jeopardy: Japan’s Nikkei
• SL must revisit its relationships with rating agencies and multilateral agencies – Weerakody
• CBSL restrictions imposed on Licensed Commercial Banks and Licensed Specialised Banks
‘private sector banks with public quoted shares are required to refrain from buying back own shares.’
• CBSL accepts entirety of $ 58.6 m bids for SLDBs
• Shocking lapses in revenue collection revealed
• Sri Lanka’s forex crisis squeezes banks
‘importers breathing down their necks, foreign investors in the stock market demanding to take their money out and parents rushing to get additional approval to send cash to their children studying abroad’
• Sri Lanka central bank bill stock top trillion rupees after July reserve outflow
• Importers Association Threatens Trade Ministry importing items; compete with private sector
• Govt. to relax some import restrictions
‘on several product categories required to manufacture value-added and export-based products for the export market while retaining the ban on vehicle and non-essential imports’
• Presidential Secretary says IMF not the answer
• New Finance Minister should engage with IMF– Sunday Times
‘Moving towards a market-driven exchange rate, adjustment of interest rates, elimination of import controls, and pricing of energy are some of the critical issues’
• Ranil makes pitch on behalf of Lankan students hit by forex limitations
• ‘Dramatic change’ in new Sri Lanka finance minister’s 2022 budget
• Basil spearheads new measures to boost investments
‘Investment opportunities in the fishery and pharmaceutical sectors must be identified and promoted’
• Sri Lanka rejects Moody’s plans of a possible rating downgrade
• DEW: Govt revenue could be even less than 9% of GDP now
‘One of the primary reasons for the crisis and overall chaotic situation was the wide gap in direct and indirect tax’
• Former Deputy Secy of Ceylon Bank Employees Union files petition challenging Finance Bill
• Country suffers huge loss due to corrupt revenue collection system – JVP
• Finance Ministry increased Treasury guarantees to 15% of GDP
‘This allowed 23 banks and financial institutions to disburse loan facilities amounting to Rs. 1434.7 billion among 67 institutions including the KDU’
• Banks can recover US$300 million out of the US$1 billion debt paid
• Sri Lanka sending money to repay billion dollar ISB, late buyers to profit: Minister Cabraal
• Sri Lanka to recoup US$200mn from bond settlement back to forex reserves: Minister Cabraal
• Sri Lanka reserve fall after bond payment will be temporary: Minister Cabraal
• Sri Lanka rupee swap discounts ease further, exporter parallel rates up
• Govt. floats $ 110 m fresh Sri Lanka Development Bonds issue
• Friedrich Naumann Foundation & EconomyNext organize seminar on FDI
• Govt has Failed in Fiscal Consolidation – Eran
• Sri Lanka stocks reverse losing trend after ISB repayment; foreigners leave
• IMF suggests taming ‘market power’ instead of central banks as Powell bubble bites
• Central Bank scam masterminds have gone scot-free and are moralizing
• Sri Lanka state revenues up 8-pct to June, below 2021 budget targets: Treasury Secretary
• Sri Lanka not planning new import controls: Treasury secretary
• Money printing will not in any way impact the inflation of the country – S.R. Attygalle
• Discussion on mechanism to aid investors, held
• China Education Tycoon Loses $15 Billion as Shares Tumble
‘Larry Chen, the former school teacher who became one of the world’s richest people, has lost his billionaire status as China cracks down on its private education sector’
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 public servants asked to return to duty from Monday
• Sri Lanka ruling party sees conspiracy behind wave of protests, strikes
‘USAID-funded Bar Association of Sri Lanka said on July 10 that authorities should not use quarantine rules to suppress peaceful protest, violating constitutional rights of the people’
• Government must also act responsibly without provoking trade unions – Island Editorial
• Shut down ICU at KDU Hospital: Government Nursing Officers’ Association
• Nurses to launch protest-strike during lunch hour over unfulfilled promises (28)
• JVP led Hotel Workers Centre trade union protest in Aluthgama
‘Most hotel workers earn less than Rs.20,000 as their salaries and in the absence of service charges, a majority of the workers are compelled to live off salaries in the range of Rs.12-15,000’
• GMOA blames Health Ministry for delay in doctors’ transfers
• GMOA demands third shot for health personnel; AstraZeneca producer questions the need
• Comorbidities, lack of vax, negligence behind surge in Sri Lanka’s COVID-19 deaths: official
• Johnston tells politicians to leave NWP Medical Faculty issue to doctors
• Teachers paid lower than unskilled casual labour!
• Teachers’ talks with PM end inconclusively
• GMOA Executive Committee opposes KNDU Bill
• Communist Party to vote against Kotalawala Defence University Bill
• Shortage of trained teachers in secondary schools
• 500,000 additional households have fallen into poverty – Sunday Times
• Police directed to raid houses keeping children as domestic workers
• Labour Minister to overhaul colonial era labour laws pertaining to children
• Most child workers are from the plantation community
‘lower-secondary-school-age children at risk of dropping out are more likely to be boys than girls’
• The plight of an invisible workforce
• Ishalini’s death: 35 arrested, more arrests likely
• Female domestic worker at Bathiudeens jumped in front of train?
• 5th Colombo Girl Guide Company of Ladies’ College Colombo celebrated centenary.
• SL worker dies in industrial accident in Korea after working 18 consecutive hours
• Housing development in estate sector held up due to shortage of funding
• CIPM and SLIM organized webinar on “Future of Work”
• Gender-based violence
‘1/5 women are victims of physical and sexual violence. A UNFPA report stated that 95% of women who use public transport are victims of sexual harassment.’
• Ninefold increase in Oral Cancer patients in Sri Lanka
• Whither the Sangha and Buddha Sasana?
‘Many monks have become virtual managers of building projects’
• Cries of pain in banking queues
• Indian Workers, Farmers, Farm Labourers Launch Historic Campaign
• India’s Statistical Jugglery Should not Conceal Worsening Unemployment Scenario
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.
• Heavy rainfall due to soil moisture
• Earth Networks Releases 2020 South Asia Lightning Report
• Beware UN Food Systems Summit Trojan Horse (July 26)
‘For the first time ever, the World Economic Forum (WEF), a partnership of some of the world’s most powerful corporations, is partnering the UN in launching the Summit, now scheduled for September, with its ‘Pre-Summit’ beginning today…the UNFSS seems like a Trojan Horse to advance particular corporate interests, inadvertently undermining what UN-led multilateralism has come to mean.’
• Land permits issued to 230 families living in ancient Meemure village
• Revival & strengthening of cooperatives, producers and consumers is the only way out
• There is nexus between JVP and agrochemical companies
‘Even JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake, in his election manifesto, promised to introduce organic agriculture. Now, he speaks otherwise.’
• Work on the 100th herb garden commences
• EDB organises stakeholder forum on organic agricultural exports
‘400 companies, 30,000 producers, 60,000 hectares of land are involved in organic agriculture’
• Laggala farmers allege drop in harvest (Video)
• Govt. hand surfaces from rice mafia saga
• Industrial drones to uplift agriculture in Sri Lanka
‘Sumathi Information Technologies (SiT), a subsidiary of Sumathi Holdings… initiated Global Positioning Systems through hand held devices in 1994…entered into a partnership in 2017 with Dà-Jiāng Innovations (better known as DJI), the world’s leading drone manufacturer in China’
• Tea industry expected to contribute $ 200 million extra revenue to public coffers
‘More than 450,000 smallholders are spread in 13 districts (8 regions). The smallholder sector has recorded 1.5 million dependents and over 400 factory owners have emerged as the major force in tea production…The tea smallholder sector is a significant contributor operates in 60% of the total tea land and account for more than 73% of the total tea produced in Sri Lanka.’
• Sri Lanka, tea, palm oil farms to be hit by fertilizer ban: Fitch
• Baurs to bring expert team to study Sri Lanka’s agriculture ecosystem
‘Baurs teamed up with Switzerland-based Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (HAFL) of Bern University of Applied Sciences’
• Pelwatte Dairy records 148% increase in Profits Before Tax s
• Environmental damage continues unnoticed
‘The ship sank in Thambagala area – and it was one of the sites from where sand was excavated for the Port City. ‘
• 100 MT of used yoghurt cups discarded annually: Amaraweera
• Court of Appeal orders to demarcate physical boundaries of Muthurajawela Sanctuary
• Navy launches mangrove planting programme to coincide with International Mangrove Day
• Thalangama wetland: CEA amends 2007 gazette to allow elevated highway
• Ditch electric fences – human-elephant deaths are rising
‘In the past seven months, 167 elephants and 58 humans have died…in the dry zone alone there were 58 garbage dumping sites that attracted elephants close to human habitation.
• First Degree Mantaslaughter
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.
• Draft National Industrial Development Policy out, stakeholder review sought
• Nations Trust Bank: enabling an SME-led economy
‘SME businesses account for a major share of the country’s GDP. There are approximately 1.2 million SME businesses and they employ over three million people or 70% of the working population. SMEs generate more than 30% of industrial output and account for over 20% of value-added exports’
• Lanka proposes holding BIMSTEC Summit in December
‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation has seven members —India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. The grouping is more than 20 years old and was formed in 1997.’
• World’s largest star sapphire cluster found in backyard in Ratnapura
• Ratnapura, particularly Kiriella, turning into Wild West?
‘Authorities turning blind eye to mechanised gem mining’
• Bogala Graphite, Ambean Holdings make their presence felt at CSE
• Concerns raised over USA deal subverting Sri Lanka competitive LNG terminal procurement
• US Ambassador keen on IMF and conclusion of New Fortress’s energy deal in Sri Lanka
‘The U.S. ambassador also emphasised the need for Sri Lanka to work out a programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to revive the economy which, she said, is in crisis. She said no other alternate method would provide foundational requirements for the economy to regain health to grow at an accelerated pace’
• India’s IOC unit posts Rs273mn profit with finance income
• Litro says it can meet country’s LP gas demands even if Laugfs withdraws
• 70% renewable energy target by 2030 unrealistic and too costly – CEBEU
• Sri Lanka Customs reforms to ease doing business: P B Jayasundera
• India’s Adani backed container terminal finalizing design, structuring: John Keells
• China International Container Terminal to set up Service Supply Centre at Colombo Port
• Cross-border freight forwarder ExpoLanka Holdings profits Rs. 6.26 Billion surge in June 2021
• SriLankan MRO begins servicing Qatar aircraft
• Navy repairs and restores ferry between Punguduthivu and Delft Islands
• MAGA to design and build two flyovers in Colombo 2, valued at Rs. 5.2 billion
• Four-lane elevated expressway more costlier than the LRT
• Price of domestic electrical wiring reduced
‘copper, the main raw material for these products is being imported’
• AG informs Supreme Court: Bathiudeens supplied State-owned copper to bomber
• Sri Lanka to raid lunch sheet sellers, outlaw plastic garlands
• Sri Lanka cabinet nod for purchase of injection solutions from Chinese joint venture
• SL to commence manufacture of saline and affiliated liquids in September
• ‘Funds available, but Health Ministry delaying procurement of equipment’
• Strong vaccine studies in SL
• Basil puts on hold controversial deal awarded to blacklisted Indian company
• Automobile component manufacturers surpass 5,000 jobs in the Western Province – SLACMA
• Three year warranty for pre-owned Nissan, Suzuki, Datsun & Renault vehicles from AMW
• Export Development Board and Tertiary & Vocational Education Commission plan for shortages in electrical & electronics industry
• Authentic learning teaching model
‘Sri Lanka has about 290 researchers per million of the population. The number of researchers in South Korea per million of the population is over 9,000…54% of the employees in creative industries have educational qualifications equal to or below the GCE O/L
• Proposed Plantation University and its economic benefits
‘Tea Research Institute (TRI), the Rubber Research Institute (RRI), Coconut Research Institute (CRI), Sugarcane Research Institute (SRI). Of these four research institutes, two were established by English rulers over a century ago.’
• English in Mathematics
• Kotelawala National Defence University gets billions from two state banks NSB & BoC
• Folding up KNDU Act leave anything worth for Sri Lanka?
‘Withdrawing the KNDU would leave the KDU Act now in force under which all MoD supervised higher education was modernised and expanded.’
• Educational Reforms in Communist China, KDU Act & the Sri Lankan thinking!
‘China will be banning all tutoring institutions in core school subjects’
• KNDU Bill: Is it a blessing or a curse? Webinar by Veemansa Initiative
‘Speakers are Veemansa Director and University of Peradeniya former Professor of Sociology Dr. Sisira Pinnawala, LIRNEasia Senior Research Fellow Dr. Sujatha Gamage, and University of Sri Jayewardenepura Senior Lecturer Dr. Anil Jayantha Fernando, moderated by University of Colombo Professor of Economics Dr. Sirimal Abeyratna, hosted by Veemansa Director Deepthi Perera.’
• Commercial Bank partners University of Moratuwa to support research (what?)
• Covid war: Aggressive diplomacy by China
‘Why make only China a suspect? Although the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) loophole allows countries to carry out research and produce viruses in labs’
• Why is govt. purchasing 13Mn doses of least effective Sinovac?
• Eco Spindles leads plastic recycling by spinning 90 million PET bottles to yarn every year
• 100 million tons of disposable plastic ware dumped into environment every month
• Five local Green Energy Innovators in Green Energy Champion Accelerator 2021
‘judges are from German Federal Foreign Office; Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH; Ministry of Power – State Ministry of Solar, Wind and Hydro Power Generation Projects Development; Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority; Good Life X (GLX); and Hatch Works’
• John Keells Foundation Developing Skills For a Resilient and Career-Ready Youth
‘estimated youth unemployment rate in Sri Lanka in 2020 was at 25.7 percent’
• China Cracks Down On Tech – Its People Benefit
• What Signals Does Chinese PM’s Economic Situation Forum Give To Textile Industry?
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.
• Warning over new SEC Bill
‘Seminar featured SEC Chairman Viraj Dayaratne PC, former Chairman and DG Dayanath Jayasuriya PC and former Director Legal and currently LOLC General Insurance CEO Kithsiri Gunawardena, moderated by former SEC DG and Senior Advisor Ministry of Finance Malik Cader.’
• National Development Bank posts pre-tax H1 profits over LKR 6 Bn
• Union Bank concludes 1H21 with Rs. 2.1 Billion income
• Fitch Upgrades India’s Ideal Finance in SL after Mahindra takeover
• Two options left for concerned shareholders of Adam investments
‘Since 2018 the company has been mismanaged by the board of directors and their management is stuck because trading is not happening with the stock market, he said’
• People’s Leasing & Finance Debenture of Rs. 10 billion, Largest Issuance among NBFIs,
‘A 75% owned subsidiary of People’s Bank, the People’s Bank Investment Banking Unit and Capital Alliance Partners Limited acted as the joint managers to the issue.’
• SDB bank Geared For LKR 4.5 Billion Secondary Public Offering (SPO)
‘NDB Investment Bank Limited will perform the role of Financial Advisor…’
Melstacorp state capital reduction positively impacts shares of three major companies
• Chartered Financial Analysts Society Sri Lanka Guest Lectures
‘in association with Acuity Knowledge Partners on Financial Modelling and Investment note writing…’
• Sampath Bank partnership with Bancstac subsidiary Paycorp International
‘to accept online payments from American Express, Diners Club and Discover Network Cardmembers’
• Nations Trust Bank Unlisted Debenture Oversubscribed Upon Opening
‘Nations Trust Bank is an issuer and sole acquirer of American Express Cards in Sri Lanka. The Bank operates 96 branches across the country and has an ATM network covering 127 locations and 48 Cash Deposit & Withdrawal Machines, plus more than 3,700 ATMs on the Lanka Pay Network.’
• Breakthrough intl. bond settlement brings bears, not bulls to bourse
• After JPMorgan Chase Admits 5th Felony Charge, Board Gives CEO $50 Million Bonus
• US Fed to Permanently Backstop Wall Street with Standing Repo Loan of $500 Billion
• US Mega Banks Were Sitting on $6.56 Billion of Education Stocks that China Just Eviscerated
• Lot More to Investigate than Just Zombie Risk Managers in the Archegos Hedge Fund Blowup
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business aka ee Rentier focuses on diversions of the oligarchy, the domination by a merchant mafia, making money from unproductive land sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of press releases disguised as ‘news’
• Ceylon Chamber of Commerce met President (Jul. 27)
• USAID’s Sri Lanka@100 Hosts Webinar on Growth
‘featured Christian Rangen, one of Europe’s top business strategy authorities…Supported by Stax Inc., NDB Bank, SLASSCOM, AmCham, and CIMA’
• Daily FT webinar on ‘Role of Embassies in Promoting Tourism, Exports and Investments’
• Ugly sporting truths Sport scholarships thrive in culture of corruption
• Maharaja Group Chairman dead – “His life was constantly in danger”
‘From setting up first BOI Joint-Venture in the 1970’s to construction of largest hydro-electric power infrastructure to being behind receiving ICC Status in cricket, to making mobile telephony available by founding Dialog GSM, to setting up Sri Lanka’s largest media network’
• Keells records at least Rs.4.76 billion Revenue
‘Nations Trust Bank and Union Assurance also recorded an increase in profitability’
• Piramal Glass reports impressive results for 1Q
• Softlogic picks up 3.5% Asiri Holdings stake for Rs. 1.12 b
‘LF Ruffer Pacific and Emerging Markets Fund was the seller. Prior to Monday, Softlogic directly held a 50.54% stake in Asiri and after the purchase it has increased to slightly over 54%.’
• Association of Professional Conference, Exhibition and Event Organisers
‘Main board: CDC Events & Travels President Imran Hassan, Kairos Events & Weddings Vice President Janice Hakel-Ranasinghe, Aitken Spence Conventions & Exhibitions Secretary Nadeeka Leeniyagoda, M & S Travels Solutions Treasurer Shaffaath Amidon, Jetwing Events Immediate Past President Nalin Ariyaratne, Board Committee Members Aasim Mukthar – Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services, Nadun Egodage – Beyond Boundaries Global, Esther Goonatillake – Columbus Tours, Devanthi Ambuldeniya – BMICH and Ifham Aariff – Eventistry’
• Devaka Cooray appointed United Motors Chairman
‘worked with Ernst & Young for over 40 years
• Sithumina Jayasundara elected President of Insurance Institute (SLII)
• Regulating parate execution in extraordinary times
‘Parate execution is a Roman Dutch Law concept that grants a licensed commercial bank the power to sell a mortgaged property that had been secured to the bank as collateral’
• Prime Lands Residencies ends FY21 with Rs. 7.7 billion Revenue
• Top real estate developers identified in new RIU brand heath survey
‘Home Lands, Prime Lands, Kelsey Homes, JAT, Blue Ocean, Span and Fairway were found to be the top seven most popular developers in 2021’
• Rakna Arakshaka Group ventures into mixed development
• The Chamber Academy holds webinar on ‘Business Planning in the Age of AI’
‘knowledge arm of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Hutchison Telecommunications Lanka, London Stock Exchange Group – Sri Lanka and Linear Squared…’
• Wisdom from women leaders for way forward in pandemic
‘policy consistency, empowering SMEs and supporting vibrant industries…’
• Six more hospitals receive essential medical equipment from ComBank
• Food Processors Association donates Rs 1.1 million worth PMUs to National Hospital
‘German CMC Engineering Export, Westmann Engineering and EOAS Organics, Country Style Foods (SMAK), Forbs & Walker Commodity Brokers, Trans Continental Packaging & Commodities, Control Union inspections, Rohan Rodrigo Refrigeration & Air Conditioning and Finagle were part sponsors.
• Save the Children donates oxygen therapy equipment and PPEs to Health Ministry
• Japan Provides Human Resources Development Scholarships for the Sri Lankan Public Sector
• NGO ChildFund Sri Lanka and Vocational Training Authority empower mothers
• Sri Lanka participates at Innoprom Industrial Fair 2021 Russia
• Joint stamp launches in Sri Lanka and Singapore to commemorate 50 years of diplomatic ties
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.
• Extricating Ourselves from China’s Grip – A further Response
‘GAD Sirimal and unnamed African Research Assistant’
• Candour without caution dangerous naivety – Wasala
• Open letter to Mangala
‘To make this all happen, you are in luck Mangala, because the Biden Administration is now in office, and your friend Dr. Power heads USAID. Take note Mangala, lobbying internationally to bring the right kind of funding for progressive social transformation initiatives is your central task right now..’
• Identity Politics, Nationalism and Gender in Sri Lanka
• When populist-Left elements in the SLFP are relegated to a lower ground – Devapriya
• Talks between President and SLFP…
‘complaints from SLFP organisers and Pradeshiya Sabha members numbering 1,064 that they had been sidelined in the government’s development projects and several other issues.’
• Basil loyalists turned hostile towards the SLFP
• ‘Variants’ – NCM, sexual abuse, homicide, teacher-principal acrobats and KDU
• UNP launches campaign against 20A, calls for all Sri Lankans to unite
• SJB MP Ranawaka presents private members bill on Contempt of Court
• Why AKD’s Sectarian Outburst Is Misplaced & Counterproductive – Jayatilleka
• Fall of tallest tree in the forest of the electronic media, ‘Killi’ Rajamahendran – Jayatilleka
• Devolution to Jaffna Needed for United Front Against Government – David
• Mangala spearheads launch of ‘Radical Centre’ by young multi-ethnic true patriots
• Students of the Hector Abhyavardhana school of political writing – R. Philip
• “We Never Learn Lessons from the Past” – MP Imthiaz Bakeer Markar
• 07 Non-Parliamentary Political Parties summoned
• Three Ways in which Neoliberalism Changed Politics in New India
‘Today’s leaders find it easier to jump from party to party, regardless of ideology, and yet claim to represent the interests of people. Why is this so?’
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.
• Sri Lanka launches US-style Press Briefing Room
‘A Presidential Media Centre (PMC)… based on weekly press briefings conducted by White House…’
• Govt. appeals to people not to fall prey to any false propaganda against vaccination drive
• President Rajapaksa met heads of state-run media and owners of private media
• MarCom Mafia Orders Minimum Pitch for Ad Campaigns
‘The proposed minimum limit defines a project as large enough to be called for a pitch should yield a net ad spend that exceeds Rs 10 million per annum in respect of creative production for ad agencies, a spend of Rs. 5 million per event in respect of event companies, a spend of Rs. 25 million per annum in respect of digital companies, a spend of Rs. 100 million in respect of media independent companies. In addition, it proposes that clients evaluate credentials of all suitable agencies but limit the final selection to 3 agencies/companies only for pitch submissions. Lastly, it proposes that clients consider paying a minimum fee of 150,000 for the pitch work presented by the two unsuccessful bidders…’
• Around and about in Kurunegala – Deshapriya
‘last of the Wayamba kingdoms after Dambadeniya and Yapahuwa, perhaps the weakest among them’
• Sir Ernest de Silva – the Laird of Ratgama
‘Ratgama is also a village which has traditionally supplied warriors and weaponry…On the 1st of August 1938, he became the first Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon.’
• Final Kataragama Esala Maha Perahera ends (J23)
• India observes Esala Poya Day renewing its links with Buddhism
‘The International Buddhist Confederation, with the support of the Indian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Mahabodhi Society of India and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations’
• Nittawela Gunaya [1906-1986]: the greatest of them all
• Crossmatch: A moral mirror
• Sinhala-Tamil were not always antagonistic
‘Repeated invasion of Sri Lanka from South India in the ancient and medieval periods did shape the attitude of the Sinhalese towards the Tamils’
• Sivaji Ganesan was a World class Actor
‘Sivaji was no stranger to Sri Lanka. His movies ran to packed houses in the island. Several of his films were adapted and remade in Sinhala’
• Are Christian Missionaries Vestiges of Colonialism?
• Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report Dies
• Lost In Translations – The Dangers Of Being Misled By Them
‘Translation errors can seriously affect the relations between hostile nation states…”A nuanced understanding of foreign countries is impossible without reading how they communicate in their own languages,” Fidel Castro told Reuters. I fully agree with Castro’s last sentence. But I for one…will not trust U.S. funded translations of foreign text.’
• The YouTubers who blew the whistle on an anti-vax plot
‘to promote what it said was leaked information that suggested the death rate among people who had the Pfizer vaccine was almost three times that of the AstraZeneca jab’
• Scottish Nationalist Craig Murray Blog Censored, Author Jailed, Media silent
• Facebook should ban more world leaders (but not corporate CEOS?)
• A History of Empire Without Empire
‘Preface to the Chinese edition of After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405’
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