“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
e-Con e-News 22-28 August 2021
• The hoarding of vaccines and the refusal to share their patents is the ‘human rights’ scandal of the century. Capitalism is prolonging the Covid plague to halt capitalist decline, while proclaiming their love for the environment and human rights. The capitalist media is also spreading confusion and fear.
• The umbilical cord between multinational corporations, ‘human resources’ personnel, labor contractors and so-called human traffickers, embassies and immigration officials, the impoverishment and wars caused by imperialist economic policies, are never fully exposed. Geneva’s UN Human Right Commission is frantically trying to hide all this by undermining its member states.
• A top economist says the underground market (mafia) is governing the economy. Yet it’s not underground, it’s very much over ground – hidden in plain sight! It’s the multinationals. Traders are mere fronts for them.
The President (with 6 million votes in his holster) should explain to the country, how our economy and politics are still held hostage by these multinationals and their Colombots, who dominate the news.
• The imprisoned MP R. Bathiudeen – saying he has powerful friends in government and opposition – allegedly threatened a doctor who told him to stay in queue. Is this a symbol of traders holding the country to ransom. Or an old story: The wealthy jump the queue, and demand others stand in line? Rule of law indeed!
• September is here. The 9th month named after a ‘7’. Schools and industries start firing up their engines in industrialized countries. August see factories retooled, new books in the curricula.
And who sets the pace? A ski-resort in summer, called Jackson Hole! Why? The world’s central bankers are meeting there (see below).
So this is the real New Year in the industrial world. They will soon announce their war budgets, scare people with Hallowe’en, and then celebrate thanksgiving for being able to rob the real Americans of their continent.
War budgets will not be publicly announced, instead there will be film festivals and the latest Hollywood movies, book festivals and book prizes, etc. We cheer from the sidelines. They then announce their next demons. They’ll shift from alleged ‘defeat’ in Afghanistan to seeking Covid’s origins in Chinese communism. Yes, it’s that time of year for their bestselling fictions.
But what is the greatest fiction? Fictitious capital!
• The BBC correspondent in Kabul asked eyewitnesses about the recent ‘ISIS attack’ at the airport, a few days after US CIA Director Held Secret Parleys with Taliban Leader. BBC reported “significant numbers of those (182) killed were shot dead by US forces in the panic after the blast.” “The Pentagon did not respond to the BBC‘s request for comments.” – The BBC will not press too hard. Also: 25-30 “British Afghans” were killed, but not mentioned in the English news. So much for being “British”!
‘The ‘western’ media are pushing for a continued war on Afghanistan or, if that is not possible, for putting devastating sanctions onto its people. To diminish Afghanistan potential is part of the continuing hostility’ Sri Lanka has certainly had our fair and lovely share of ‘potential diminishment’.
• More fiction: Colombo’s stock market is ‘scintillating’ says a US-funded news site. Local banks, corporations and stock market are announcing big gains. But none of this money is being invested in capital-intensive production. Our eminent economists – by eminent ee means repeated daily or weekly in the capitalist news media. These eminences want us to submit to the IMF and to the ‘market’, which is ‘free’, they tell us. Of course we know about this ‘free’ business. It is very expensive. And dominated by foreign banks and multinationals. (see ee Finance)
• The capitalist’s economists demand we submit to the IMF, complaining the ‘international rating agencies’ have downgraded Sri Lanka. They say this reflects ‘the sentiment of international stakeholders’ who do not like what they see. These ratings agencies are paid by the big banks and bondholders themselves. It is a blatant conflict of interest (see ee 21/11/2020).
• Why there is no overall planning during this disaster? Quite a few of those making such accusations are people who minted money from the privatization and deregulation of health and education, etc.
No Planning Allowed! This has been the policy of the US-controlled IMF and World Bank, and their salaried economists. They insist that planning is ‘communist’, and against a ‘free’ market (which just happens to be dominated by banks and multinationals with budgets larger than nation-states).
• It is no coincidence that IMF’s largest SDR allocation in history came into effect on Monday. On Friday, August 27, central bankers of the world began their annual jamboree at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, US, to hear US Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell and US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen speak, and study the thoughts of various mainstream ‘monetary economists’ (see ee Quotes)
This is the annual meeting of central banks to meet and discuss strategies. But this is not why it happens. It is for U$ imperialism to tell other governments how to run their economies.
And in line with imperialism: the Asian Bankers Association (ABA) had their 37th General Meeting and Conference virtually, August 24-27, on the theme: ‘Asian Banks: Achieving Sustainable Growth in the New Normal’. All this talk of ‘sustainable’. Is capitalism really sustainable? Who says? (ee Focus)
• September will also see the UN Food Summit in Rome. There, Unilever and other corporations, who have been preventing the sharing of vaccine recipes, will proclaim ‘Multi-stakeholderism’. They plan on trapping governments, scientists and a few civil society organizations into ‘an artificial new multilateralism’. ‘The keys of the food system’ will be handed over ‘to the biodigital mega-corporations, data platforms, and private equity firms’ who are ‘proliferating merger deals’ to become ‘tomorrow’s agrifood giants’.
• The capitalist media with its almost monopoly over information, by spin and saturation, is merely spreading fear. People are sick of this economic system. And yet if you read their business news: The only problem is government. Companies are all, as they used to say, tickety-boo. They are the best workplaces to work for. The fairest and loveliest dispositions. Where did all these ratings and indices come from? (ee Focus)
• ‘Through the IMF’s lending, surveillance, technical advice to countries. and research, it has a major influence on the global economic agenda and country-level policies.’
The IMF is preventing funds to fight Covid. They first want governments to cut workers’ wages and social assistance programs, as well as to sell off public assets. These humiliating conditions were exposed by the English NGO Oxfam this week – no doubt, in time for Jackson Hole.
However, Oxfam has their own larger agenda. Oxfam is demanding that the IMF get countries to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These ‘goals’ pushed by multinational corporations, will essentially prevent the transfer of technology. They will make our needed industrialization even more expensive by insisting we reduce our so-called Carbon Footprint, etc., using new technologies.
It is no coincidence, that the funders of Oxfam are the same as the owners of the IPR for the new technology that can help meet the SDGs. So who decides on who is ‘sustainable’ or not? The ‘Climate Finance Leadership Initiative’ is made up of the wealthiest and most powerful private capitalists.’ (ee Focus)
• The US-controlled World Bank and England’s Unilever and Standard Chartered Bank, rag-trader Brandix et al, keep magnanimously ‘donating’ ‘essential health’ supplies. Yet it is they who blocked the waiving of the intellectual property Covid-19 vaccine patents, leading to millions of deaths.
Importers are deciding who can donate charity, claims the Sunday Times, and customs officials are blocking the release of aid. Yet multinationals get to make donations of ‘health equipment’!
• Some NGOs are speaking of ‘corporate capture’ of the UN. The UN however has its origins in the white supremacist League of Nations, set up by South Africa’s Smuts, et al. They may now be more openly corporate controlled, subverting representation by nation-states. Yet, if the real decisions are made at the UN Security Council, why all this fuss about what some white countries alone think about human rights? Is it because they still control our economy?
A1. Reader Comments –
• What’s with the Unions? • Why did Japan delay the vaccines? • 6 million votes for Gota! • More Perahera Elephants • KNDU Industrial Education • BlockChain Bull! • No Health Data Collection • Family Planning & Workers’ Rights • White People or Establishment is Evil?
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Migrants Robbed by Banks? • Controlling Pharma is a Marxist Plot • Dollar Heroes • A Third World Commercial & Merchant Bank • Poverty is our biggest Polluter • Banks Rob Peasants • US’ Other Wars • Former Afghani President was World Bank Clerk • Red Army & Panjshir • US Caused Airport Frenzy • • Double-Facebook News in Cuba
A3. Random Notes –
• Importers & Donors • Mangala & Toddy • Verité’s Unverifiable Surveys • Stock Casino • Big English Words & Block Chains
B. ee Focus
• B1. Oxfam, Unilever, IMF & Underdevelopment
• B2. Sustainability Rankings: Goodness Corporates Can Buy – Moses Raj
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
• ‘The UNP’s JSS Petroleum Union leader was arrested for making false claims about a fuel shortage. I watch Sinhala news every day, and read Sinhala newspapers every Sunday. I see an unusual presence of various trade unions in the media criticising the government since Gota came to power.
Where were they during Yahapalanaya? Am I wrong in my observation? I guess they are just given more airtime now by the private media. Shouldn’t they keep in mind the bigger picture, that we are in a global recession and pandemic? So then the question is why? Also, some union action has little to do with the pandemic or the global recession.’
• ‘Why did Japan delay the vaccines? Why was the big story about Japan murdering one SL worker? The delay in sending the vaccine caused hundreds of deaths here. What was this timing all about? Was it linked to their attempt and failure to stop the use of Sinopharm; and what was India’s role in all this?
• ‘Last ee said, “690,000 people voted for the current President of Sri Lanka.” I thought it was 6.9 million!
• ‘Re: Perahera elephants – If some Colombots bothered to understand meanings associated to the roles, sequence, rituals, etc. and understood them in the historical context, they wouldn’t be so hot and bothered about elephants in the perahera. Why don’t they understand what has happened to the rural people first, who have been repeatedly massacred in far greater numbers?’
• ‘The Defence University should incorporate modern industrial education. They could spend their new funds on developing curriculum and vocational training facility by acquiring 2nd or 3rd generation industrial machinery from China, to put us on the path to develop modern industries.
I belong to the post-war generation. We should move off tourism and petty business to viable industries that capture the home market via analysis of the home market, using the capacity and capabilities of the SL army.
The state should setup a division or think tank to analyze the various options or possibilities that could happen to setup the political or military framework for industrial policies to be carried out using such 5 year plans and etc.’
• ‘Media promote words like BlockChain, AI, Crypto for everything, to sound modern. End of the day all of this is just software code, like a book or essay, it is mainly about words. They are very limited in expression, unlike natural language. They are very limited in function, unlike natural actions and interactions.
Crypto, AI, Blockchain, Algorithms, etc. are only as useful and protected as the people who interact with them, and have access to them. Building a crypto currency means nothing if your currency has no value based on industrial production. The AI cannot intuitively think but only copy afterwards. BlockChain only preserves written ledgers as long as the computing resources are finite and controlled. Let alone its real use (e.g. a blockchain database is not immune to a military intervention)!!’
• ‘Can you believe that we still do not have a means of data collection to get health data right? No computers available, no tabs, no internet connections for ground-level health staff who actually deal with all these morbidities and mortalities?
Ground-level doctors are taking their time after finishing their shifts that are overextended, and entering data into books to send to the central authorities. See, they have a greater responsibility in looking after patients, and keeping them alive than do these clerical jobs, but there is no staff for that!
You can amply see this when you go to the Epidemiology Unit of SL site and how the information is presented, including meaningful presentation of circulars, updated information, etc.
There’s still no contingency plan to activate supplies and services and to maintain the economy in a sustainable manner when the country has to be closed down in an emergency. (This curfew shouldn’t have been an emergency, they should have done it weeks ago to prevent this catastrophe?) And seems they have no means of informing in advance the farmers not to pluck their produce so that it might not go to waste. No plan to collect & distribute the produce with minimal wastage and evenly to all people of this country, when traveling restrictions are in place?
Nearly 2 years after even, there is NO proper ‘online/alternative teaching system’ where the teachers are trained to do it in a uniform manner though there is ONE national curriculum? Has the Government collected data about the facilities the children have to go on with distant learning? Isn’t 2 years enough to do that? I have directly asked the teachers. They do this online teaching paying for internet/phone bills themselves.
This is the same story with ground-level doctors as well. They have no official phones to contact patients (thus they had to give out personal numbers out of goodwill to help the public. The massive phone bills are being paid from their own pockets. If you knew how many calls have to be made just so the Doctors could get information and to keep the patients informed, to check up on patients at home frequently, to console them, to call ambulances for the sick, to find beds for patients from hospital after hospital. I am tired of enumerating all this, because people think that these just happen… like magic!!!
The problem is there is no planning by the people who are supposed to make plans to safeguard people in a time like this (and others) according to scientific knowledge we have! If officers are responsible, bring that out and replace them with functional people, I have no complaints about that! Arrogance and stubbornness have killed many lives now amounting to over 7,000. The staff looking after the sick are getting sick themselves, and everyone is utterly exhausted. They had no life since this started, and see no end to it too.’
• ‘Those opposed to family planning and abortion, etc., should also demand increased funding of public health, education, maternity rights, children and family support, and most importantly, workers’ rights, etc.’
• ‘The ‘white’ people (skin deep, I mean) from England and elsewhere I know/knew are no less kind, decent or honest than their non-white equivalents here in Sri Lanka. It is their establishment, which for want of a better word ee labels as ‘white’, which is evil?’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘The only sector getting the raw end of the deal from the bad decisions of the top brass are the migrant workers and the foreign-exchange earners who are the very same people helping to keep the debt-ridden country afloat. “The banks encash their dollars at Rs200 levels and sell them at Rs211-220 range. The foreign-exchange earners send over $600million a month. The Bank of Ceylon alone gets $200mn monthly from migrant workers. They are minting cash. This tantamount to stealing from the poor and feeding the rich.”’ – ee Economy, Losing Battle
• ‘Controlling drug prices was a brainchild of Senaka Bibile, a Marxist.’ – US-funded EconomyNext (ee Industry, Drug)
• ‘Our workers should be called dollar heroes because they are the ones who bring in valuable foreign exchange. We need foreign currency to import petroleum products and much-needed Covid-19 vaccines’ – Chamber of Garment Exporters (ee Workers, Dollar)
• ‘The proposal for a Third World Commercial & Merchant Bank, which had merchant banking functions, was modelled on the experience of the Crown Agents in London. Most developing countries at the time did not have the expertise and the skills to get the best terms from exporting and importing transactions. It was found at that time that SL was purchasing commodities like oil, rice, wheat, when prices were high in a volatile world market; and full of stocks locally when the prices were low in world markets (at a time when we should be buying). A central facility for developing countries would enable them to obtain large gains through combined purchasing and other means. The bank could also handle many financial transactions of borrowing and obtaining export credits. An institution of this kind is still relevant in today’s world for many smaller developing countries.’ ee Politics, Leelananda
• ‘This was also the time when developed countries were obsessed with the spectre of a rapidly depleting ozone layer and were frantically adopting sophisticated pollution prevention measures in their industrial production processes. This was the run-up to the Kyoto Protocols. They were equally anxious to impose these high standards in the running of ‘struggling’ industries in developing countries which were trying desperately to break free of the poverty trap. While having a conversation with the Minister on the subject, I casually expressed the view it was grossly unfair of developed countries to badger developing countries to conform to these high standards of pollution prevention, as these highly industrialized, affluent countries had built up their economic and material prosperity on decades of indiscriminate abuse of the environment and on the worst forms of exploitation of women and children.
Developing countries, on the other hand, which suffered from widespread poverty and were struggling to industrialize, could not possibly think of maintaining pristine environments by investing in costly additional facilities to minimize environmental pollution, which meant burdening the end product by the additional cost that had to be incurred thereby, which clearly meant eroding the competitive edge our exports enjoyed. Furthermore, I said, China was the least concerned, despite the pressures brought to bear on them by the West, about maintaining pollution standards, in their determined drive towards rapid industrialization, which was accorded the highest priority in their single-minded endeavour to reduce mass poverty in that country. I also said our major concern should be the alleviation of poverty through a sustained developmental thrust, as poverty was our biggest polluter.’ – ee Industry, Ministry
• ‘Even though private banks, too, are obliged to follow rules regarding a certain minimum proportion of credit going to the “priority sector” (in which agriculture figures prominently), they flouted these norms with impunity. Even public sector banks, despite doing better in this respect, took advantage of the progressive loosening of the definition of “agricultural credit”, to deny credit to peasant agriculture. The peasants were thus pushed to private moneylenders, who charged exorbitant rates.’ – ee Agriculture, Patnaik
• ‘While all eyes are on Afghanistan, the US continues its other wars of aggression across the world, claiming to “fight terrorism” – the same excuse it used to invade Afghanistan 20 years ago. Biden recently authorized air strikes on Somalia, more US Special Forces recently moved into the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the US is continuing its mission to further destabilize the Horn of Africa by pushing for so-called “humanitarian intervention” in Ethiopia. That country has been added to the nearly 40 that are under some form of deadly US sanctions that deprive countries of food, fuel, medicine. Meanwhile, the US remains entrenched in Iraq, reportedly expanding its Ain al-Asad base despite calls for its withdrawal. All this while it claims to be withdrawing its combat forces from Iraq. Over in Syria, the US continues the destabilization effort, as well as stealing Syrian resources. Meanwhile, Haiti struggles to effectively respond to yet another natural disaster because of the more than a century’s worth of US/Western imperialist aggression.’ – Black Alliance for Peace (BAP), blackagendareport.com/afghanistan-no-graveyard-useunato-axis-domination
• ‘In early 1995, Asraf Ghani, World Bank resettlement specialist (who later became President of Afghanistan), visited the project area on a mission…Ghani had brought several pieces of handheld GPS machines. I was mesmerized when he demonstrated how to use GPS to record houses, farms, small ponds, patches of forest.’ ee Agriculture, Hurs
• ‘The legend is: the Red Army met with a crushing defeat in Panjshir. But, the truth is, the Soviet campaign in Panjshir was a series of short, crisp punitive missions – 9 or so – during the 1980-85 period, which ended inconclusively largely due to the change of leadership in Moscow. Remember, by 1986, Gorbachev had already announced his intention to withdraw the Soviet contingent from Afghanistan.’ ee Sovereignty, Reflections
• ‘Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem blamed deaths at the airport on the US… ‘The USA announced we would take you to the US with us and people gathered at Kabul airport.’ 1000s rushed the airport last Monday in chaos that saw the US try to clear off the runway with low-flying attack helicopters. Several Afghans plunged to their deaths while hanging off the side of a US military cargo plane. It’s been difficult to know the full scale of the deaths and injuries from the chaos.’ (see ee Sovereignty)
• “The big issue is whether it is time for central banks to wind down on their purchases of government bonds and bills designed to pump credit money into economies, hoping to prevent meltdown of businesses during the pandemic slowdown. In the COVID year of 2020, the US Federal Reserve made purchases equivalent to 11% of US GDP, the Bank of England 14% of UK GDP and many other banks in the G7 of around 10% of national GDPs. These purchases are called ‘quantitative easing’.’ (see ee Economists, Jackson)
• ‘Facebook is the same company that operates WhatsApp, and on both networks there have been many false news stories related to the pandemic in Cuba. But if the President, PM any other Cuban leader were to say what Biden said, the media and influencer apparatus his government funds against the country would immediately set about lynching the author of such a phrase in the name of “freedom of expression”.’ – ee Media, Biden
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
The Sunday Times accuses Customs authorities of preventing donations of protective health equipment because a local company imports them. Private importers apparently decide who can make donations.
Meanwhile Standard Chartered is donating “essential medical equipment”. Which private company gave the ports, permission to do so? Was it Standard Chartered themselves? They finance the import and leasing of hugely expensive machinery. In fact, this is what banks and finance companies do. Finance imports of machinery that we should be making. (see ee Finance)
• ‘“He never used racism or religion for politics,” Marxists JVP said in its condolence message.’ Another Mangala fan said: ‘He was not one to let populist demands dictate his worldview’ – Accolades oozed out like Unilever Fair and Lovely unctions, after the death by heart attack of veteran MP Mangala Samaraweera. Some cautioned it is not polite to speak ill of the dead: Yet they proudly called him a liberal. And a democrat.
It is with all due respect, we recall he nurtured, cultivated, farmed, harvested, wholesaled and retailed the caste vote in his Matara constituency. Even the kithul trees are weeping toddy.
Mangala proudly proclaimed his privatization of SLTelecom, handing the country’s buzzing over to Japan’s NTT. He was later accused of using his credit card to pay internet gay porn sites $2,000.
He called one of the country’s most popular athletes ‘ugly as a South African’. All in jest no doubt to defend a colleague accused of sexually harassing her. He was Foreign Minister then. African newspapers were immediately informed. By liberals no doubt. And yet, to Colombots, he was a liberal.
The newspaper appreciations sections go on about how wonderful such and such a dead person was. So many good people in those good old days. What is the cut-off date when obituaries start to document these bad news days? Let’s guess? The bad old days begin, in fits and starts, in English: 1956? Then 1970… and then 2005? And again in 2019?
• Verité Research says farmers are against the ban on artificial fertilizer. How do they know? They ‘implemented… a telephone survey in July 2021 among 1,042 farmers through Vanguard Survey, a specialised survey agency in Sri Lanka.’ Is it like their sloppy survey of domestic servants, where they spoke to their mother’s’ maids? It’s no coincidence that all these US & EU funded (hell, let’s just say NATO funded!) thinktanks and media (Advocata, Financial Times, etc) have gushed tsunamis of toxic ink against the rather leaky ban on imports.
Meanwhile, one fan of World Bank surveys, notes: most of the stats are concocted by researchers sitting on the bunds of beautiful reservoirs, and sharing notes. Fictions indeed!
• Setting up for a Fall – A ‘Scintillating Stock Market’ headlines another NATO-funded medium, EconomyNext. In fact, the business news is full of adjectives describing the new heights of the casino.
Does anyone really makes financial decisions based on their reportage? These online rags are merely façade to claim some kind of fake self-importance. Like sport viewers who think they are playing the game, and know better than the players.
The capitalist media here is pure propaganda, designed to mislead. Even the ands, buts and ifs, are usually fake. With their monopoly over the news, they are also extremely sloppy:
Take their business reporting. Mostly cut-and-paste press releases from company PR departments. The same newspaper, when posting profits, etc., will refer to a “first quarter”, without being clear if it is first quarter 2021 (Jan-March), or 1st Quarter 2021-22 (April-June), etc.
• A colonized media talk big English words, like: AI, Big Data, BlockChain, etc. More simple though important terms like ‘industry’, ‘entrepreneur’, etc., are used for a someone making money off women sweating it out at home, sewing, while cooking & cleaning & looking after kids. Multitasking indeed! What such words really mean, they simply have no idea. And don’t care. (see ee Reader Comments)
The latest sexy buzz is ‘disruption’, repeated blahblah by banker, importer and politician. This fad is taken from ‘disruptive innovation (DI),’ about creating new markets and value networks, etc. ‘Disruption’ itself comes from much-proclaimed J. Schumpeter’s ‘Creative Destruction (CD)’ – about a “process of industrial mutation that continuously revolutionizes the economic structure”. But Schumpeter stole it from Marx, who in the Communist Manifesto stated:
‘The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society… Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation, distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones… All that is solid melts into air…’’
But hear this: Marx is specifically referring to production of machines by machines, of machinery & machine tools (that made machines) vs making tools alone, as marking the era of Modern Industry. MI never looks upon an existing production process as final, and is thus always revolutionary.
Let us repeat: The English King demanded parliamentary speakers and court judges wear wool, to remind them of the importance of local industry. We should get our lawmakers and judges, not to wear foreign wigs. What should they wear on their heads instead? A machine making a machine?
B. Special Focus_
• B1. Oxfam, Unilever, IMF & Underdevelopment
• ‘Oxfam’s analysis of IMF loans finds that 26 governments, primarily in Africa and the Latin American and Caribbean regions, had plans to commence or resume fiscal consolidation as early as 2020 and 2021. The most commonly proposed austerity measures in the IMF loans include wage bill cuts and freezes (31 countries), increases to or the introduction of value-added tax (VAT) (14 countries), and general public expenditure cuts (55 countries).’
Oxfam’s report Adding Fuel to the Fire, ‘reiterates the call to the IMF… to include progressive taxation through wealth taxes and capital gains taxes, the removal of tax exemptions that favour rich people, and tackling illicit financial flows such as tax evasion.’ They want the IMF ‘to encourage governments to increase social spending as a permanent measure’ for ‘free, quality, universal healthcare and education and universal social protection.’ (see ee Economists)
The problem is Oxfam makes no demands for our countries to advance through modern machine industrialization, like England did: Instead Oxfam wants us to conform to a “carbon free” economy. Which means: no industrialization.
English NGO Oxfam is part of ‘The Agenda’ to deny national control over economies. Oxfam, a ‘global development and poverty relief organization’ is part of a ‘global’ matrix of NGOs, who work to promote multinational – supranational – capitalist control over economies.
These white-controlled NGOs act as conduits for funds and information to local NGOs, fronted by kalusuddhas, who mouth high ideals but have no economic plan.
Oxfam’s multinational links involve; “funding and cooperation, policy dialogue with standard setting and monitoring, and pressure tactics’, eg, Oxfam has promoted the ‘fair trade’ campaign.
‘Fair Production’ or ‘Fair Industrialization’ is definitely not Oxfam’s concern. Nor do they appear to discuss issues of technological transfer.
English Oxfam is linked to English banks like Standard Chartered who prevent investment in local machine production, and corporations like Unilever, who operate through 10,000s of ‘small’ businesses.
• Standard Chartered (SC) Bank gave millions, for example, to Oxfam Zimbabwe. SCB’s non-executive director ‘responsible for brand values and conduct’ – Jasmine Whitbread, is a former Oxfam director and ex-CEO of Save the Children. SC Bank operates across 60 countries with 85,000 employees. SC Bank helped coal, oil and gas multinationals raise $24bn of financing, after supporting the 2015 Paris Agreement’s goals and ‘pledging’ to reduce emissions.
• Unilever funds Oxfam & UN programs. It co-founded the Business & Sustainable Development Commission. Unilever blames ‘the short-term focus of financial markets, the difficulty in evaluating social or environmental capital, and political systems too focused on the next election cycle instead of on the next generation’.
• Unilever controls the media through its numerous advertising agencies. A favorite theme of Unilever’s media is “corruption’. But Unilever is not opposed to corporate or capitalist corruption. Only the retail corruption of elected representatives. Unilever corruption is worse: it’s called business as usual.
• At least 75% of Unilever’s total pre-tax profits are sent to London. They widen balance-of-payments deficits: because they import inputs and purchase foreign currency for their dealings, and remit dividends to shareholders outside the country, so there is a net outflow of funds.
• Unilever controls much of Sri Lanka’s economy, through its forward linkages (distribution networks to 100,000 kadays) and backward linkages (suppliers). Through transfer pricing (exchanges between their subsidiaries) and market sharing agreements with other multinationals, they rob our countries of vast resources. They also refuse to share intellectual property over chemicals and machinery (as is evident in the vaccine patent scandal.)
• Unilever is displacing smaller-scale local producers and creating rather than meeting needs for poor consumers. They make super profits off the impoverished by selling them small, affordable, quantities of their daily needs, adding to their impoverishment as well as pollution. People on low incomes spend a larger portion of income on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs) than those with higher incomes.
• This week saw Unilever claiming for itself ‘The Number 1 Most Respected’ fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, for ‘the 16th consecutive year’. This ‘honor’ was bestowed upon them by Media Services Ltd’s LMD Magazine. Their main ‘attributes’ include: ‘Innovation’, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability’ and ‘HR & People Management’. Unilever failed to rank as high for its ‘National Perspective, Financial Performance, Quality Consciousness, Honesty’ etc.
• This English company fronts itself with an ‘expat’ female: Hajar Alafifi as Chairperson of a company deeply rooted in the import-export plantation economy that exploits women workers (while proclaiming their ‘inclusiveness’). Unilever has severely underdeveloped Lanka, going back to the 19th century with their roots in the English East India Company and Liptons Tea (Recalling ‘Ceylon’ was once called “Lipton’s Tea garden!”). Tea pluckers here still use their fingers!
Unilever has over 160,000 employees, and claims 2.5 billion consumers worldwide. Who are these workers? Unilever SL says it ‘offers’ direct employment to ~1,000 people… sells ‘30 market leading brands in “Home Care, Personal Care and Food”.’ Adding, ‘96% of its products including Lifebuoy, Signal, and Sunlight are manufactured locally, at its Horana “manufacturing facility”, re-certified by the now-notorious Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI).’ Unilever also takes credit for the slogan ‘Saubhagya’, which uses 5,000 women as door-to-door salespeople…
• Unilever Indonesia exposes their operations more clearly: they employ 5,000 people – 60% are direct employees yet 40% are contract workers. 300,000 people “earn their livelihoods” through UI’s “value chain”. Direct employees are provided better wages and conditions. Yet the vast majority of their workers are ill-treated.
• Most Unilever products are manufactured through Third Party Contracts with workers paid starvation wages and no other benefits at all.
Lux, Life Buoy and Vim soaps of Unilever are manufactured under the name of another soap company, with the collusion of Unilever management. Workers are hired by another contractor and have no job security, and forcibly sacked without notice.
Unilever makes billions in profits due to this exploitative contract system. Workers do not get any allowances or any of the other benefits and job security offered to Unilever’s permanent workers of Unilever. The third-party won’t even recognize them as their workers, claiming they are hired by a labor contractor. Their economists demand ‘labor flexibility.’ Oxfam won’t expose how Unilever’s major shareholder Leverhulme Trust prevents our industrialization. Why should they?
B2. Sustainability Rankings: Goodness Corporates Can Buy – Moses Raj
Scorecards, rankings, ratings and social labels ultimately benefit corporates and markets. Now, even governments use them to create inherently unfair competition.
Sustainability – Until 2030, the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be the established new mantra for global emancipation and corporate-state altruism. These 17 goals and 169 targets that range from eradicating poverty and sanitation to gender equality, infrastructure and renewable energy are successors to the UN Millennium Development Goals, whose deadline closed on a not-so-successful note in 2015.
Now, the new sustainability metric offers yet another “fresh perspective” to companies on how they can convert their mandate to be good corporate citizens into a growth opportunity. In other words, how they can help their top-lines and bottom-lines. The new kid on the corporate-sustainable-development-profit-generation block is ESG or Environment, Social and Governance Rankings, a stock market tool. In essence, ESG ratings, rankings, products and services are old wine in a new bottle, to help companies capitalise on their prosocial initiatives.
Sustainable Development genesis: Apart from the gradual erosion of culture and native identity, colonialism stood strongly with trade appropriation by way of exploration and exploitation. Comparative advantage was reduced to absolute advantage as empires took possession of colonies and controlled their trades through monopolies over cotton, tea, sugar and slaves. This pushed growth in the colonies back by a century even once the imperialists left. For instance, one of the main drivers of the slave trade was sugar production, which came to be known as White Gold for the windfall profit generated in the trade.
By the turn of the early 19th century, statistical firms rose to prominence across Europe, collecting, tabulating and setting prices. As Foucault argues, statistics allowed technocrats to define a “population”, thus shifting the model of government away from the family towards the state.
When in the 1950s countries became independent through freedom movements, it was time to bring the agenda of development back to the table. In 1972, the historic Declaration of the UN Conference on the Human Environment was adopted in Stockholm and incorporated the term “sustainable development” for the first time in an international conference. The Rio Declaration was adopted during the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, which reinforced environmental governance while ensuring that countries conducted environmental impact assessments (EIAs) as a policy. It also promoted public participation in managing natural resources and incorporated laws regarding liability and compensation for victims of pollution and other environmental damage. To achieve this mandate, countries would be ranked on their performance on these and other deliverables.
Regulatory capitalism and the metrics ecosystem: Countries needed capital as they began to chart their new course of development. The World Bank and IMF came to the rescue, bringing along long-term loan conditionalities. Classification as developed, developing and least developed, countries became the hallmark of global divisions. A circular argument was then propagated: It began by saying that the transparency and accountability of borrowing countries had to be tested before they got capital inflows, for which they had to be taught financial market civilisation so that they could gain foreign investor confidence and thereby get access to ever-expanding credit lines. “Compliance” and “ease of doing business” became paramount indicators, considered essential to lift fledgling economies from recession and encourage privatisation.
This form of regulatory capitalism led to the rapid proliferation of indicators, ratings, rankings, indices, league tables, scorecards & social labels to “evaluate and monitor” regulatory targets and entice countries to adopt so-called international market discipline—and surveillance. This sorting, naming, numbering, comparing, listing & calculating practice is now an annual activity conducted by agencies, organisations and watchdogs who have created a culture of continuous comparison and hierarchy between countries.
Some prominent “regulatory rankings” include the Access to Nutrition Index, Access to Diagnostics Index, Responsible Mining Index, Access to Seeds Index, Aid Transparency Index, Carbon Disclosure Project, Corporate Human Rights Benchmark, World Benchmarking Alliance, and the Access to Medicine Index. Such lists of rankings now shape the global outlook on whom to do business, based on calculated “results”.
Rankings have the power to alter perceptions about a brand, change consumer behaviour and create renewed loyalty. They have this power whether it is a ranking by country, region or the world. It is a hallmark of the neoliberal order that a certain “score” can come to define both presence and status, similar to caste and class. Rankings are the market’s version of social stratification. While merit has been typecast as an elite construct, the rankings keep expanding their scope of operations….
….From academic institution rankings to policy planning indices, India continues to rate and report states performance across various indicators, from Swachha Bharat rankings to corruption indices and ease-of-business. This is changing “cooperative” federalism to competitive federalism, a more market-based framework. India Inc also leverages rankings, from CSR to Human Resource management.
Greenwashing and ESG ratings:
What firms do after profits are generated has come to be known as CSR [Corporate Social Responsibility] and what firms did, before they generated profits, to “green their business strategies” is now heralded as stewardship of sustainability. How have these rankings affected sustainability credentials? While companies were expected to cause no harm to stakeholders through their corporate dealings, CSR generated social impact into actionable insights for better recall and visibility. In essence, the funds earmarked as “marketing budget” in a company to lift the brand reputation and goodwill can now be encashed by their “prosocial” conduct without actually using any funds.
The ethical stock market trade emerged when good corporate governance was packaged as an ESG product. Green investing has become the new norm. According to the National Stock Exchange NIFTY100 ESG Index, “Environmental, Social and Governance based investment strategy has gained popularity among investors globally. The underlying drive behind ESG theme-based investing lies in generating superior risk-adjusted returns from socially responsible, environment-friendly and ethical firms. Companies that are involved in any major ESG controversy shall not be considered for selection in the index… Companies engaged in the business of tobacco, alcohol, controversial weapons and gambling operations shall be excluded.’
In short, linking responsibility and profitability into ESG investing by selling ethical corporate action as a security product aids wealth creation. ESG variables are complex and change according to the industry, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It prevents a universal ESG framework, or for that matter, a robust audit covering all domains such as modern-day slavery (child labour, forced labour), human rights (wages and safety at workplaces) and sustainable procurement across supply chains.
Prima facie, this serves as a signal to companies that intend to go public to focus on non-financial disclosures. But are asset managers and fund houses interested in sustainable performance and ethical investors’ portfolios? According to a Harvard Business School study, the vast majority of investors are motivated by financial rather than ethical reasons in using ESG data. ESG information is material to investment performance. However, what information is material likely varies across country (in some countries, water pollution is a more serious issue than corruption); industry (an industry affected dramatically by climate change versus an industry affected by violations of human rights in the supply chain); firm strategy (firms that follow differentiation versus a low price strategy) and so on.
Another study by HEC Paris complements these findings by looking at Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) wherein a firm’s addition to, continuation on, or deletion from the DJSI had little impact on its stock prices and trading volumes when compared to other firms in the same industry with similar profitability. Furthermore, continuing on the DJSI attracts more attention from financial analysts, and leads to more reports being written about such firms. It also leads to an increase in the percentage of shares held by long-term investors.
So, the bottom line: ESG ratings and sustainability indices are repackaged products of “corporate goodness” in a purchasable form. Rankings can affect not just the market, but our lives, by altering our perceptions about what is ethical, what is not.
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.
• Geneva Resolutions 30/1 & Colombo Port City Economic Commission Act Webinar
• Terror hubs from Washington DC to Kabul, London to Johannesburg
• TamilNadu CM Stalin announces Rs 317 crore package for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees
• India invites TNA to visit in September before Geneva Sessions. New US Envoy in October
• India eyes bigger influence in Indian Ocean through Colombo Security Conclave
• India’s Vietnam moment in SL, US pullout and Afghan dilemma
‘UNP’s call to terminate diplomatic relations with Taliban questionable’
• Erasing the Eelam Victory part 24A,B,C,D, E
‘OHCHR has not indicated how the investigations would be carried out without cooperation from the Government of Sri Lanka’
• Jaffna Municipal Council wants UN Human Rights Council to take Sri Lanka to International Criminal Court (ICC)
• Defence Secretary Gen. Kamal Gunaratne meets Turkish Defence Minister at IDEF’21
‘Ambassador to Turkey M.R. Hassen, Defence Ministry Military Liaison Officer Brig. Dinesh Nanayakkara and the Military Assistant to Defence Secretary, Col. K.W. Jayaweera were also present’
• GL calls for enhancement of bilateral relations with South Korea, Kuwait
• High Commissioner of India Gopal Baglay calls on Foreign Minister Peiris
• US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz met Foreign Minister Peiris
‘Peiris welcomed the recent tripartite Letter of Cooperation between the EDB, the USAID and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce under the PARTNER program to offer training for Development Officers of the EDB…Other bilateral matters, including convening of the US-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue, the Joint Commission of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement and US- Sri Lanka Sectoral Dialogues.’
• USAID’s Samantha Power devastated by Mangala’s demise
• All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama grieves the demise of Mangala
• Appeals for further German investments
• Dutch and Australian envoys meet the Foreign Minister
• Sri Lanka Foreign Minister, EU envoy discuss GSP Plus action, Covid co-operation
• Ambassador to China Calls for Greater Cooperation between China and Members of the SCO
• Sumanthiran wants US as mediator here
• Sampanthan wants new Constitution as soon as possible
• Open letter to R.Sampanthan
‘One day you go to a Teplis woman, the next day you go to the Indian High Commissioner and now you want to see President Rajapakse to discuss the grievances of Tamil people.’
• State killed children for ransom – Sunday Times
• Senior Buddhist clergy deepened faultlines of majoritarian Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism – Sunday Times
• Strengthen devolved governance to overcome present crisis – USAID’s Peace Council
• SAARC Secretary General Esala Weerakoon visits India
‘Meeting with Indian Minister for External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh, Foreign Secretary Vardhan Shringla and Secretary (East) Riva Ganguly Das. He also visited the SAARC Disaster Management Centre (SDMC) in Gujarat and the South Asian University (SAU) in New Delhi.’
• India reaches out to Russia to break out of regional isolation over Afghanistan
‘The Russian leadership at the highest level repeatedly cautioned Delhi that Moscow is unhappy with the US’ efforts to create a bloc of countries in the ‘Indo-Pacific’ to contain China and Russia.’
• 75th Independence Day of Pakistan celebrated in Sri Lanka
• Lanka offers to join any regional effort to restore normalcy in Afghanistan
• 25 Sri Lankans want to stay back in Afghanistan,
• Sri Lanka recognizes Taliban authority in Kabul, accepts ‘amnesty’
• Questionable approaches of the West, & future of Afghanistan – Laksiri Fernando
• The tragedy of Afghanistan. Is there a way forward? – Anoja Wijesekera
• Ranil against recognising Afghanistan under Taliban rule
• US built up basic democratic institutions in Afghanistan – Sunday Times
• After Afghanistan, US now eyes South China Sea – EDITORIAL
• Afghanistan – The New ‘Northern Alliance’ Resistance Has Already Fallen Apart
• Reflections on Events in Afghanistan – 5, 6, 7, 8,9
‘Putin refused to discuss the US’ defeat in the war, saying, “concentrating on it for too long, emphasising this failure does not serve our interests.”’
• To Instigate Against Taliban CNN Claims Contradiction Where None Is Evident
• UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, Karima Bennoune Wants US to Remain
• US Blames Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence Agency, NATO Drone & Corruption
• Were US war profiteers — the arms industry — the ultimate winners in Afghanistan?
• Taliban warns of ‘consequences’ if Biden delays withdrawal of US troops – Daily Mirror
• CIA Director Held Secret Parleys with Taliban Leader Baradar in Kabul: Washington Post
• Expect last minute Pentagon shenanigans to sabotage US Withdrawal from Afghanistan
• How the Taliban Chased the West out of Afghanistan
• Quad meets the “Saigon moment”
• Further U.S. Hostility Against The Taliban Is Not In Its Best Interest
‘Hours ago the U.S. and England had warned of an imminent ISIS attack on the airport and had asked their citizens to stay away from the airport.’
• The Never Ending Lies About The War On Afghanistan
‘If the suicide bomber was so close to the inner perimeter checkpoint manned by U.S. forces why were so many Taliban, who manned checkpoints at the outer perimeter, killed in the incident?’
• Somalia, from the Cold War to the War on Terror
• The 1968 Prague Spring: Counter-revolution as the “Trojan horse” of Imperialism
‘the prototype for later ‘color’ revolutions’
• Russian And U.S. Prison Tales
• The Return of the Marines to Haiti
‘Once again, the U.S. Marines invade Haiti “for the umpteenth time” under the guise of humanitarian assistance.’
• Nicaragua at a Revolutionary Crossroads and in Imperialist Crosshairs
• The Great Game of Smashing Nations
C2. Security (the state beyond ‘a pair of handcuffs’, monopolies of legitimate violence)
ee Security section focuses on the state (a pair of handcuffs, which sposedly has the monopoly of legitimate violence), and how the ‘national security’ doctrine is undermined by private interests, with no interest in divulging or fighting the real enemy, whose chief aim is to prevent an industrial renaissance as the basis of a truly independent nation.
• Sri Lanka president appoints expert panel to advise on anti-terror law
‘Rretired Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, retired High Court Judge A A R Heiyanthuduwa and retired Solicitor General Suhada Gamalath as members, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said quoting Director-General of Legal Affairs at the Presidential Secretariat Harigupta Rohanadeera.’
• Two arrested with over 3 MT ammonium nitrate in Matara
• 76 individuals including Christian and Catholic priests call for the release of Hejaaz
• Fort Detrick was the center of the U.S. biological weapons program in history
• Expert advises public, private sectors invest in modern health tech as in HK, Taiwan, Singapore
• Neelika says her tweet has been misconstrued to run down Sinopharm vaccine
• Extend lockdown to Oct 2 to save 10,000 lives at 2.2 pct GDP: experts convened by WHO SL
• Blaming Opposition parties and the trade unions and not packed buses and trains
• FSP activists test Covid positive inside remand prison: Party Secretary
• GMOA: Failure to inoculate those over 60 yrs first, led to high death toll, lockdown
• Prof. Malavige says people won’t refuse jab if properly educated
• The Deadly Delta Wave Must Be Overcome For Vaccine Program To Succeed – Vitarana
• Health system’s capacity for crisis weakening at alarming rate: JVP
• Extend the lockdown – Ranil
• War widows, ex-servicemen to be inoculated with vaccines donate by China’s PLA
• Opposition complains of selective prosecution of Easter carnage suspects
• Black flag protests organised by the Catholic Church
• JVP announces support for Church’s demand for full justice
• IGP delivers statement on progress of probes into Easter attacks
• Visit to US Pacific Command Amphibious Leaders Symposium in 2016
• I.S footprints in Kerala – WION
‘The so-called Islamic State may be on the retreat in Iraq and Syria but it would be premature to predict the demise of its ideology in India.’
• Rishad allegedly threatens doctor at prison: Police, Prisons launch probe
• The Story of Rishvin Ismath, the Only Outspoken Ex-Muslim of Sri Lanka
• Govt. using police for political ends: NPP
• Senior police officers ask monk to shield them from unfair accusation on Easter Attacks
• Police Promotion Manipulation: Violation Of The Line Of Seniority
‘Since 1977. Those who looked for undue favours from police by baiting officers with assurances of recognition & promotion outside the line of seniority, often found pliant policemen ready to do their bidding.’
• Criminal Justice System (CJS) is riddled with problems of profit for justice
‘people power is the only way out of the prevailing system that is rotten to the core’
• Judges Webinar: JSC says mandatory participation clause added to prevent wastage
• Sexual Offences – Pro Bono Committee of the Law Students’ Association
‘Sexual offences in the Penal code are, rape (s.363), incest (s.364A), unnatural offences (s.365), acts of gross indecency (s.356A), grave sexual abuse (365B) and sexual harassment (s.344).’
• Colombo Mayor Ganeshalingam’s Son-in-Law Jailed in US for 115 years
• Should Vaccinations be Mandatory?
• Vietnam deploys military to support lockdown in Ho Chi Minh City as deaths climb
• What to expect from the upcoming U.S. intelligence report on COVID-19 origins
• US coalition of Black and Latino churches hope to reduce 3X COVID-19 disparity
• Big Pharma– Maximum Earnings, Minimum Responsibilities
‘The pandemic has again exposed the true nature of capitalism with profit being the primary driver irrespective of the rising inequalities.’
• Living with the Virus? Personal Responsibility Is Not Enough.
‘If the public is to hold the government to account for what has happened to date, and ensure our risks from COVID-19 and access to healthcare are not jeopardised further, then we need to ensure that this truth is not supplanted by narratives of personal responsibility’
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.
• Central Bank of Sri Lanka 71st Annivesary Oration
“Why SL needs structural transformation and what can the Central Bank do to help it”? Presentation by Prof. Ha-Joon Chang, Director of Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge’
• Adding Fuel to Fire: How IMF demands for austerity will drive up inequality worldwide
‘85% of the 107 COVID-19 loans negotiated between the IMF and 85 governments indicate plans to undertake austerity once the health crisis abates.’
• US CITI Banks expects SL to suspend debt payments tandem with IMF deal
‘“We think this was always going to be a political decision as well with some in the Government – State Finance Minister Ajith Cabraal, Presidential Adviser P.B. Jayasundera and CBSL Governor Lakshman – still publicly opposed to approaching the IMF,” CITI added.’
• Sri Lanka CCC+ sovereign rating outlook cut to negative by S&P as reserves fall
• New Ministry of Development Coordination gets wide powers
‘policies and implementing development projects under the National Budget, State Investments and National Development Programme… formulating policies, programmes and projects of relevant Departments, State Corporations and Statutory Institutions and their implementation, initiating follow-up actions and evaluation.The Department of Project Management and Monitoring coming under the purview of the Finance Ministry has been brought under the control of the new Minister, for the first time, to handle a separate division with 57 officials headed by a Director General of the Treasury.
The new Ministry is empowered to issue directives to the District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries and Heads of all other institutions, including all officers at divisional level in speedily carrying out the instructions and executing directives given by the President on settling problems of villagers. It has to expedite the execution of projects under implementation by the state institutions within the Budgetary Framework 2021 – 2023 and the implementation of the locally and foreign-funded projects within the scheduled timeframe…The other key functions are gathering and analysing information of foreign and local financing development projects and programmes and review and report the performance of large and mega scale projects and programmes to the Cabinet of Ministers. The new Ministry will facilitate development partners to review the status of project and programmes and verify the results achieved of selected foreign financing development projects and certify their status enabling lending agencies to disburse loan tranches. It has to facilitate the implementation of the National Evaluation Policy and undertake project assessments and evaluations on demand and providing feedback to the planning process and cash flow process of the Ministry of Finance…make recommendations on financial requirements of the regional development programmes based on their implementation status. Most of these functions were earlier under the purview of the Minister of Finance and State Minister of Finance with overall responsibility of the Treasury Secretary as the Chief accounting officer’
• Government Pursuing Block-Chain Technology for Digital Currencies: Minister Namal
• Cabinet reviews progress of large-scale development projects worth Rs.1.7trillion
• Central Bank acknowledges deviation in formal and informal exchange rates
• Economic Policy Eminence of President?
• De facto rationing of dollars arising out of forex crisis – Theagarajah & De Mel
‘‘Rationing’ is taking place amongst letters of credit as those who have the firepower get the benefit while others are deprived of dollars. This in turn is sucking up the amount of dollar liquidity from the market necessary to finance trade finance (imports). Meanwhile the parallel market (black market) is running a massive show buying the dollars from inward remittances and selling them to parents who are desperately waiting to send dollars to their children studying abroad at a rate as high as Rs. 240 a dollar.’
• Mangala Samaraweera’s Finance Ministry Advisor: Deshal De Mel
• Susil Sirivardana: Leader, teacher and friend
• Trade deficit weakening balance of payments & eroding external reserves – Sanderatne
• Sri Lanka rate hike beginning of long journey, IMF may be inevitable: Wijewardene
‘An IMF program also unlocks other budget support loans from development lenders’
• Rise of the black economy and shrinkage of Government power – Wijewardena
‘A day will come for the Central Bank to follow the black market and set the exchange rate at that level’
• Too late for SL currency board, tool to control central bankers, politicians – Wijewardena
• Tight monetary policy overpowered by Government borrowings from banks – Colombage
‘CBSL is now losing its grip on both the exchange rate and interest rates amidst market tensions’
• Central Bank losing the battle on the ground
• Avoiding IMF won’t help us avoid austerity – US-funded Advocata
• “ The Role of International Trade in Economic Recovery in Sri Lanka” – US-funded Advocata
‘Panel: Professor Prema-Chandra Athukorala (Emeritus Professor of Economics, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics, ANU), Dr. Sarath Rajapatirana ( Chair, Academic Program of the Advocata), HE Denis Chaibi ( Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union to Sri Lanka and the Maldives), and Dr. Dayaratna Silva ( International Trade Economist, Former Sri Lankan Ambassador to World Trade Organization). Moderated by Aneetha Warusavitarana (Research Manager, Advocata)’
• Impact of trade restrictions: KPMG and ICCSL survey
• IPS, SLMA and USA’s CPIGH forum on ‘Universal Health Coverage’
‘Institute of Policy Studies, Medical Association (SLMA) & the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health of US Duke University on ‘Planning for Universal Health Coverage Amidst the 4Ds of Health Transitions’..diseases, demography, development assistance for health & domestic health financing’
• World Bank halts aid to Afghanistan
‘The IMF halted Afghanistan accessing over $440m of new monetary reserves while the Afghanistan Bank has reserves of roughly $9bn, most of which is held in the US.
• Disaster capitalism booms while Afghanistan collapses in poverty
• Discourses on Salt and Iron
‘One of the earliest debates on state intervention – The Discourses on Salt and Iron (Yán Tiě Lùn) was held at the imperial court in 81 BCE during the Han dynasty in China. The previous emperor, Emperor Wu, had reversed the laissez-faire policies of his predecessors and imposed a wide variety of state interventions, such as creating monopolies on China’s salt and iron enterprises, price stabilization schemes, and taxes on capital.’
• Millions Murdered as Rich Nations Unleash Germ Warfare on the Poor! (Part1)
‘Post WW2, France unilaterally refused repayment of a 2.5-billion-dollar sovereign debt on a loan taken under the Marshal Plan scheme. The Americans ate humble pie’
• Imperialism Then and Now: Wealth, Unemployment and Insufficient Demand (1) – Patnaik
• The Secret To Germany’s Powerful Economy
‘The German economy thrives while the rest of Europe struggled. So what’s their recipe for success?
• Why is Germany such an Industrial Leader?
‘How is it possible that Germany could export so much when their products are not that cheap? Why can German students find a job right after they finish their studies? What is Ordoliberalism about? Today we’ll answer all these questions.’
• Spain and Germany demonstrate different economic models
‘EU leaders are arriving in Brussels for the European Council meeting. Top of the agenda will be the state of Europe’s stagnating economy, in particular unemployment. The continent’s young adults are facing an uncertain future. Millions of them can’t find work. More than half of all young people in Spain are jobless. But that figure is just over 8% in Germany’
• Relative surplus value: The class struggle intensifies
‘Capital’s entire reason for being is to produce surplus value, to increase the exploitation of the working class.’
• The rate and the mass of profit – Roberts
‘Alternative ‘multiple’ causes (like underconsumption, ‘too much surplus to absorb’, disproportion, financial fragility etc) remain unconvincing and unproven in comparison’
• Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium Agenda
• Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s wait-and-see speech reassures some investors
‘Investors had been focused on a potentially imminent decision by the central bank to begin reducing its $120 billion in monthly purchases of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.’
• Three of US Fed’s Wall Street Bailout Programs Vanish from Its Monthly Reports to Congress
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.
• Irresponsible traders exploiting frantic situation after countrywide lockdown make a fast buck
• Cabinet Decisions -23.08.2021
• Decision to provide Rs 2,000 per family during lockdown highlights deteriorating economy
• CB officials conducting discussions on IMF procedures including Article IV consultations
‘IMF SDR was made available to all countries regardless of any conditions….
• Credit disbursements to key economic segments reach double-digit growth
‘agriculture and fishing, industry, services and personal loans—has seen increased credit flows’
• Essential commodity importers to undergo a quota system
• Traders selling the dollar at over Rs. 230
• Traders’ Associations refuse to divulge who decided to close down shops
• Sri Lanka rupee falls to 221 to US dollar, margins widen with no price transparency
• Sri Lanka rupee at 222 to dollar for importers, lower rates for small transfers
• Consumer Affairs Authority introduces hefty fines for violators
• Govt. bites the bullet, seeks IMF assistance – In addition to USD 780 mn SDR facility
‘The move had been facilitated a Washington-based influential person’
• Sri Lanka sovereign bonds trebled to US$15bn over 5-years
• SL to receive US$ 250mn B’desh swap in tranches; few other inflows also expected
• Exports have surpassed the $1billion mark in July – EDB
• CB intervenes to clear containers stuck at port due to forex shortage
• Central Bank to place ceiling on rates of dollar deposits held by exporters
• Sri Lanka ‘official’ exchange rate unchanged CB Governor says, amid parallel prices
• Sri Lanka raises de facto 12-month policy rate 55bp to 5.93-pct after overnight hike
• Currency in circulation nears a trillion rupees prompting steps to absorb part of it
• Sri Lanka prints Rs29bn a day after monetary ‘tightening’
• Ranatunga promises to examine parliamentary watchdog reports on revenue collection.
• No restrictions or higher rates on foreign payments of personal nature via credit cards
• CB issues fresh circular to banks on operations during quarantine curfew
• NCPI based Inflation increased in July 2021
‘monthly increases of prices of items in both Food and Non-food categories’
• Sri Lanka re-building reserves as predicted with IMF allocation, China loan: Minister Cabraal
• IMF allocates new SDR tranche, Sri Lanka quota 578mn
• Sri Lanka bond yields up, no bids for first repo auction in 17-months
• ICRA cites several reasons to believe why inflation could be higher during 2H
‘some eye-popping inflation, a major part of that was caused by the supply chain-crushing restrictions’
• Sri Lanka fails to sell 33-pct of Treasuries with overnight rate hiked before 12-month ceiling
• Central Bank continues to buy dollars from market despite forex crunch
‘“Obviously the long-term measure is that Sri Lanka’s non-debt creating inflows will have to be increased,” said Dr. Chandranath Amarasekara, CB Director of Economic Research Department. He also alluded to efforts made by the authorities to divest part of non-strategic assets to generate foreign inflows, which could buttress the reserves while minimising or cutting off their reliance on the government coffers.
• Bangladesh BB- rating confirmed by Standard and Poor’s
‘S& P said Bangladesh per capita income was low and debt service costs were relatively high.’
• South Korea becomes first major Asian economy to raise interest rates
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
• Sri Lanka Labor Statistics
• Sri Lanka state workers ask to lift lockdown over salary cut fears
• Workers’ remittances dip by 35% in July
‘loss of momentum from April onwards due to sharp disparity in rates offered by formal banking channels and the unofficial grey market prompting migrant workers to opt for the latter when transferring funds. Lower contribution could also be linked to reduced COVID-induced uncertainty following vaccinations in most countries where Lankan migrants are based in.’
• 200,000-250,000 migrant workers leave the country
‘The number of educated and skilled labour leaving to the West is not known, as they don’t have to report to either the Foreign Employment Bureau or any other government agency…The temporary migrant worker population is estimated to be about 2 million, which does not include permanent migration…Out of the total 8.6 million labour force in the country, 1.5 million are in the public sector, 2.2 million in the agriculture sector and, over 1 million running tuk-tuks…Aa fair assessment of the concept of “under-employment” of the “employed” is the status of under-utilisation of human resources in productive activities.’
• The conflicting viewpoints of the SL embassy in Japan and the girl’s family
• New web portal pre-registers migrant workers for vaccination: SLForeign Employment Bureau
• Kumudesh offers conditional backing for making vaccination mandatory
• Garment Workers Unions say Management not following Health Guidelines
• Communist Party’s Aththa newspaper exposed case of MPs parents receiving Samurdhi
• Protect low-income earners in any lockdown – Vasudeva
• JVP challenges Bandula to live on Rs. 2,000 for 10 days
• Small enterprises, traders, daily wage earners and families affected in millions – ST
• 57,000 families in Jaffna eligible for Rs 2000 lockdown dole
• Sri Lanka decrees 4-hour work day, 2-year maternity leave for elephants
• Govt. rules out salary cuts
• Five to ten workers in every garment factory test positive for Covid-19 daily – activist
• Apparel Workers are Dollar Heroes – Garment Factory owners
• Govt. accused of reducing tests during lockdown
• CPC JSS Union Secretary Ananda Palitha arrested over fuel shortage claims
• Prof. Vitharana says recent protests did not contribute to rapid spread of virus
• Solution to contentious teacher salary issue before Cabinet today?
• Teachers take to YouTube for protests
• Conduct of the JVP and the trade unions in breach of the core principle of democracy
• Royal College, Colombo has 300 applicants for bilingual stream, with places only for 180.
• Sri Lanka foreign minister seeks Korean language boost for closer links
‘Between 2004 and 2015, more than 540,000 individuals, from 16 countries, have worked under the Employment Permit System (EPS) and all job seekers who want to work in Korea under the (EPS) should pass the Korean language, implemented by the Human Resources Development Service of Korea (HRD Korea) authorized by the its Labour Ministry. Around 30,000 Sri Lankans have gone for employment in Korea using EPS after passing Korean language exams’
• US-based Overseas Sri Lankan Academic and Research Collaboration Network launched
‘Pan US Overseas Sri Lankans (OSL)Network launched by the Embassy on 31 January 202…’
• England Study Group fund to help SL students
‘The Quarantine Support Fund is available to students applying to study at all of Study Group’s International Study Centres (ISC) including Kingston University ISC, Teesside University ISC, the University of Huddersfield ISC and Coventry University London ISC’
• Leave No One Behind: Building a disability-inclusive COVID-19 recovery plan for Sri Lanka
• SL Eye Donation Society donated over 8,000 corneas (more than 200 annually) to Japan alone
• Women are the majority in Cuba’s healthcare sector
• Attention! Pandemic fatigue in sight (página 3)
• A woman is killed almost every other day in Canada
• Gentrification and the End of Black Communities
• Jailhouse Lawyers Speak calls for National Shut ‘Em Down Demonstrations
• In the Fight of Our Lives: Working for Change, Changing Work
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.
• Sun directly over Sri Lanka from August 28 till Sept. 7
• Essential foods shortage looms – Importers Association
‘Importers claim too much intervention, dollar shortage, rupee depreciation and insufficient buffer stocks key reasons for price hikes in commodities’
• Sri Lanka bakery owners to increase price of baked goods to reflect rising costs
• As sugar prices increase by the day, importers likely to get concessions
• Sri Lanka plans lentil credit line as money printing drive forex shortages
• Organic fertilizer from Eppawala phosphate deposit
‘The Agriculture Ministry will produce 50,000 metric tonnes of organic fertilizer using the Eppawala Phosphate Deposit for the first time…implemented jointly by the Lanka Phosphate Company, the Sintech Institution and the Colombo University.’
• Govt. allocates Rs. 3.8 b to procure organic fertiliser locally for Maha
• SJB warns of monopoly in agrochemical imports
• Farmers against haphazard rush to switch to organic fertiliser – Verité Research
‘Verité Research implemented this telephone survey in July 2021 among 1,042 farmers through Vanguard Survey, a specialised survey agency in Sri Lanka.’
• SLINTEC’s post-harvest technology to commercialise in collaboration with WITCO
‘Wakkumbura Industrial Technology Company Ltd. (WITCO) is one of the leading distributors of world-renowned brands of specialty chemicals to the textile, industrial solutions, polymer, and home and personal care industries in Sri Lanka.’
• Addressing misconceptions on agricultural practices in Sri Lanka’s tea plantations – Rajadurai
• Kotagala Plantations’s Rs. 790 m Rights Issue draws Rs.1bn demand
‘Consolidated Tea Plantations Ltd. owns 45% in Kotagala and related party Lankem Tea and Rubber Plantations owns 21.76%.’
• Shawlands shines with all-time record price
• Why Sri Lanka’s export basket should take a welcome tilt to Oil Palm
‘Late Ranjan Wijeratne, when he was chairman of Sri Lanka State Plantations Corporation ( SLSPC) introduced and promoted planting oil palm in the wet zone areas and in plantations in the South.’
• Chamber of Commerce & Australia’s Market Development Facility (MDF) agribusinesses
;SL’s agriculture sector contributes to 7.8% of GDP. 29% of the labour force is employed in the sector, providing livelihood to 70% of the rural population. In the last 10 years, the sector has contributed to both the domestic food requirement and about USD 2.5 billion in export proceeds on average.’
• Appreciation Professor Anton Joseph Weeramunda
‘Joe wrote his Ph.D dissertation on “Culture and Continuity: A Study of Kinship and Land Tenure in a Sinhala Village” at the University of Washington, Seattle…. He coordinated special programmes for High-Risk Targeting of Sex workers in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka for the Community Front for Preventing AIDS, funded by USAID; Language cum cross-cultural coordination of Peace Corps Training Programme for the Center for Developmental Change, University of Kentucky.’
• Investing in a blue economy: Sri Lanka’s natural wealth, resilience, and sustainable growth
‘SL has territorial waters of 21,500 km2 and an exclusive economic zone of 517,000 km2, almost eight times the country’s land area. Coastal & marine environment harbours natural resources & ecosystems, such as coral reefs, seagrass beds, mangrove forests, lagoons, beaches, salt marshes, or estuaries.’
• Suspect held with over 9100kg illegal storage of sea cucumber in Mannar
• Calling for Ban on Trap guns, Hakka Pattas & Leopard Noose Snares
• SL drops majority of charges against three Russians accused of collecting endangered species
• Scientists identify new plant species endemic to Lanka
• SLT-Mobitel and Lanka Nature Conservationists join to organize online lecture series
• Neo-Liberalism’s Squeeze on Peasantry & Hindutva’s Nationhood Project – Patnaik
• The Hurs: A Criminalized Tribe in Pakistan
• All Must Change Utterly: We Need a People’s Green New Deal
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.
• The Ministry of Industries, Science and Technology has 47 Corporations & Statutory Boards
‘Mathew who had a sharp mind, had the not too uncommon weakness of surrounding himself with party loyalists, the more qualified of whom were selected fortunately, as Chairmen of the many Corporations coming under the Ministry while the brawny types who had their own uses, were given the post conveniently designated ‘Working Director’. This latter category had confabulations with the Minister when certain disruptive activities had to be planned and carried out like breaking up rival party rallies, street marches etc.’
• Man turning out firearms in Kiriella Factory arrested by STF
‘Use his talent. Train him and encourage him to manufacture tools under legal boundaries’
• Possible disruption in fuel as claimed by trade unionist symptomatic of crisis
‘as regards the government’s failure to settle oil import bills during the past 16 months’
• SL in talks for credit lines for big ticket imports (fuel, lentils) to alleviate pressure on BoP
• SL to obtain crude oil and petroleum products on long-term credit facility
• Rumble in the Sri Lankan gas market and fake crisis? – Daily Mirror
• Laugfs Gas still in quest to achieve ‘equilibrium price’
• Suspension of costly private power purchase, Covid give relief to CEB
• SL stands to save US$ 500mn in forex outflows if 2700MW rooftop solar power target achieved
• Sri Lanka Can Gain a Myriad of Benefits from Twinning Floating Solar and Hydropower
• The 70% Renewables Saga Again – David
• Escaping fossil fuel trap
‘The much bigger problem is in the use of fossil fuels for transport which is responsible for the major share of the annual five billion Dollar foreign exchange drain’
• 100-year Electrical Industry had been self-regulating for 60 years
‘New Electricity Act, debated for ten years, was approved by Parliament in April 2009’
• Ceylon Electricity Board 2Q higher revenues of Rs.73.4 billion, easing generation cost
• Dark side of the energy picture in Sri Lanka
‘According to Sustainable Energy Authority (SEA) data, the largest component of energy demand in Sri Lanka in 2018 is for biomass energy amounting to 46.2.followed by 41% petroleum and 12.3% electricity (energy balance 2018). Biomass is also the main source of energy in household and industry comprising of 64.9% and 74.7 % respectively which highlights its importance as the life blood of the rural sector comprising of 81% of the total population and the industrial sector.’
• Selling Carbon Credits – Smart Media
‘Smart Media turned to the reputed Carbonfund.org Foundation of the United States to offset what was not practical to reduce, by purchasing certified carbon credits’
• Adani, JKH to start work on WCT at Colombo Port in December
• Freight rates rising sharply
• Association of Shipping Agents elects McLarens’ Shehara De Silva as first female Chairperson
‘The CASA was founded as the Ceylon Shipping Committee in 1944’
• Maldives-based Sea Horse Yachts to make US$ 58mn investment in Sri Lanka
• Protest not to halt road development project in Monaragala
• 82,194 vehicles assigned to Govt. institutions: Report reveals
• Expolanka acquires US logistics firm for US $ 9.7mn
‘acquired IDEA Logistics LLC, a US-based logistics company, for US $ 9.7 million, aiming to expand its operation into Central America’
• SLASSCOM signs LOC with US Chamber of Commerce in Sri Lanka (AMCHAM)
‘Sri Lanka Association for Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM): “The local IT sector is the second largest exporter to the US from Sri Lanka…AMCHAM VP Sanjeeva Abeygunawardena, Board Member Nilupa Kiringoda and General Manager Vrai Raymond and SLASSCOM Vice Chairman Ashique M. Ali, Director Operations Nuwan Perera and Director Finance Nishan Mendis.’
• Mangala Samaraweera was proud of privatising Sri Lanka’s telecom sector
• Steep rise in prices of essential drugs and medical equipment
• Control price for oxymeters: Drug Regulation Provision State Ministry
• NMRA grants blanket renewal for registered drugs after data disappears from Govt Cloud
• Cabinet green light to import 300,000 liters of medical grade oxygen, weekly
• Sri Lanka buys 280 tons of Liquid Medical Oxygen from India
• Gas World to double oxygen production capacity
‘Gas World, a wholly owned subsidiary of Industrial Gases… established in 1992 and in 1997 taken over by “Messer Industrial Gases”, part of Messer GmbH of Germany, which was again taken over by Sumith Guruge, the local partner’
• Sri Lanka hikes drug controlled prices amid money printing
‘Controlling drug prices was a brainchild of Senaka Bibile, a Marxist.’
• India to assist SL in building of pharmaceutical manufacturing plant
‘also discussed on the possibility of the early convening of the Indo-Lanka Joint Commission, which was last convened in 2016… the six Working Groups under the Joint Commission, covering education, science & technology, tourism, trade & investment, fisheries and the power sector’
• Indigenous medicines’ prevention mission against COVID
• $175 m from ADB for SL’s fight against COVID-19
• SL receives second batch of cold chain equipment funded by Japan
• Maiden China-Sri Lanka Health Silk Road Forum inaugurated
• Laksala goes global, inks deal for first-ever franchise outlet overseas in US
• Apparel industry urges not to scuttle delivery under the pretext of Covid-19 prevention
‘need to proceed with manufacture of garment products despite the lockdown to meet orders from foreign buyers with quality and on time delivery.’
• India’s Kelani Tyres Total sales in JuneQ: 3.4 billion rupees
• Softlogic to manufacture its own electronic goods with earnings of Rs. 24.5 billion (1Q21/22)
‘planning to join other Sri Lankan manufacturers of white (electronic) goods, in producing its own electronic appliances like washing machines, refrigerators and televisions.’
• Largest brush-ware makerBPPL delivers revenues of Rs.1.0 billion strong 1Q
• Dreamron, the largest exporter of cosmetics in Sri Lanka
• Academic Affairs Board – the nerve centre of National Institute of Education
• SLIIT’s ‘Guru Viru’ commits to provide national service to the teaching profession
• STEMUP Educational Foundation unveils fully-automated Volunteer Management System
• Bengal Industrial Promotion Board Meaningless with Hands-off Land Policy
• Bangladesh’s Ashrayan-3 (Bhasan Char Project): Example For World To Deal With Refugees?
• Afghani women carpet weavers: “their minds are like computers”
• The biggest construction failures ever and worst engineering disasters in the century
• Corruption, Pollution and Economic Crisis: The Cautionary Tale of T&T’s Oil Industry
‘Oil Reserves Don’t Benefit the People of Trinidad and Tobago’
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.
• HNB CEO Alles inaugurates 37th Asian Bankers Association Conference
• First Capital advises investors to cut equity exposure, increase cash as ASPI breaches fair value
• BOC lending to large scale infrastructure projects topped Rs157.9 billion in 2020.
• BOI clarifies Rs. 60 Mn cost for renovation purposes
• India’s Ideal Finance targets more than doubling branch network
‘MMFSL is now Ideal Finance’s largest shareholder with a 58.2% stake…MMFSL’s total investment in IFL amounts to LKR 2 billion. MMFSL is a massive financial giant with over USD 11 billion assets under management, which far exceeds that of Sri Lanka’s entire banking industry.’
• Payment card crisis looms with global shortage of microchips
‘first quarter of 2021, a total of 70,514 new cards were issued, which is a 2.3 percent contraction from the corresponding period in 2020’
• CSE total market turnover hits Rs. 600 billion within first eight months of 2021
• ComBank becomes biggest lender to SME sector in 2020 among all banks
‘Our role in supporting the SME will be further strengthened in the years ahead with the US$ 50 million loan the Bank recently secured from England’s CDC Group.”
• ComBank conducts digitalisation and digital tools webinar for SMEs
• England’s ‘Global Business Outlook’ honours ComBank SL and B’ desh
• LOLC now owns 15% of Sanasa Development Bank
‘The Netherlands fund FMO has got 17.6 million shares of 11%., Ayenka Holdings has got 11% and the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO) 10%’
• Sanasa bank oversubscribed at its Secondary Public Offering
‘In 2017, SBI FMO Emerging Asia Financial Sector Fund, International Finance Corporation and Nederlandse Financierings Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V (FMO) invested Rs.1.46 Bn… NDB Investment Bank (NDBIB) was Financial Advisor and Managers for this SPO…’
• Siyapatha Finance’s Rs. 1.5 b debenture issue snapped up
‘average monthly leasing disbursement budgeted at Rs. 2 billion. ‘
• 12 more firms queuing up to go public
‘At least 12 private companies and family-owned businesses including Abans, Lanka Credit and Business Finance (LCB Finance), Co-Operative Insurance and Hela Clothing will go public on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) this year.’
• Sri Lanka Capital Market donates COVID-19 related medical equipment to 10 hospitals
‘Participating Stockbroker Firms include Acuity Stockbrokers, Asha Securities, Asia Securities, Bartleet Religare Securities, CTCLSA Securities, Candor Equities, Capital Alliance Securities, Capital Trust Securities, Enterprise Ceylon Capital, First Capital Equities, First Guardian Equities, JB Securities, LOLC Securities, Lanka Securities, NDB Securities, Nation Lanka Equities, SC Securities, Softlogic Stockbrokers and Taprobane Securities.’
• CLC Islamic Finance expands its product portfolio by introducing Wadi’ah
‘Islamic Banking Division (IBD) of Commercial Leasing & Finance PLC., (CLC)’
• Global equity funds see biggest weekly inflows in nearly 2 months: Lipper
‘US equity funds attracted the majority of the money, securing inflows worth $ 13.3 billion, while Europe and Asian equity funds lagged, bagging just $ 4.5 billion and $ 0.5 billion respectively.’
• University Canada West and CSE pursue collaborative efforts
• 248 Chinese Companies with Off-Limit Audits Are Listed on U.S. Exchanges
• US Congressional Budget Office Forecasting U.S. Debt Levels Not Seen Since World War II
• SEC Allowing 5-Count Felon JPMorgan Chase to Trade Own Bank Stock in Own Dark Pools
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’
• Unilever Sri Lanka Number 1 Most Respected FMCG Company for 16th Year
‘Unilever commenced operations here in 1938. It offers direct employment to ~1,000 people …Its current product portfolio includes 30 market leading brands in categories such as Home Care, Personal Care and Food. 96% of its products including Lifebuoy, Signal, & Sunlight are manufactured locally’
• Sunshine Holdings links to Microsoft cloud services
• Hemas revenue of Rs.16.4 billion (1Q21/22)
• Gold smuggling racket involving migrant workers busted
• Green light for online trading of gems and jewellery; reduced export charges
• Majority Japanese-owned Expolanka towers with Rs. 240 b market capitalisation
‘Japan’s SG Holdings owns 75.6% of Expolanka Holdings and Group MD Hanif Yusoof owns 7.5%.’
• LOLC regains most valuable status
• Corporate Integrity during pandemic – whistleblowing framework to uncover misconduct: EY
• Institute of Chartered Accountants host 20th Confederation of Asian & Pacific Accountants Conference
• Omani investment arm Shumookh interested also in Hilton and GOH
• “Pressure must be applied on the Chinese” – PB on Port City (Fake headlines)
• Prime Group Real-estate presents Effective Return on Investment of 75% within 2.5 years
‘In a secure, gated community’
• “PropertyGuru Awards is Sri Lanka’s most prestigious real estate event”: Dr. Nirmal De Silva
‘In Colombo the average price per perch dipped from 11.6 million in 2020 to 11.45 million in ‘21. Weighted average price of Tier 3 apartments dropped by 15% from $127 in 2019 to $110 in 2020….In 2019, year on year house price surge was 17% across the country with a quarter-on-quarter surge at 4%. In Colombo house prices increased by 50% year on year and by 15% quarter on quarter’
• SLT-Mobitel provides Piripun Property Holdings’s commercial building with advanced ICT
• Slave Island Colonial Heritage Building razed by UDA
‘the UDA expedited the process to demolish the building in order to offer the land to the Indian-owned Tata Housing Development Company… many other locations of historic importance in Colombo that have not yet been gazetted as historic Antiquities Ordinance’
• Kelsey Homes Rs.50 million in revenue in 1Q
• New SL Institute of Directors chairman Faizal Salieh says public institutions are important
‘Aroshi Nanayakkara and Dinesh Weerakkody were elected as Senior Vice Chairperson and Vice Chairman respectively. Prakash Schaffter, Vish Govindasamy, Dilshan Rodrigo, Nadija Tambiah,. Aruni Rajakarier, Ravi Abeysuriya, Manohari Abeyesekera and Charaka Perera were elected to the Governing Council with Rasakanth Rasiah, the Immediate Past Chairman serving ex-officio.’
• BoardPAC appoints Vijendran Watson as Chairman
‘Watson was the founding Managing Director of Mobitel in Sri Lanka and former Managing Director of Lanka Bell.’
• World Bank funds Sri Lanka Coronavirus vaccines, ICUs, test kits, lockdown cash
• Standard Chartered donates essential medical equipment to combat the pandemic
• Brandix donates essential medical equipment to support treatment of COVID-19 patients
• World Travel & Tourism Council warns SL if put on England’s ‘red list’
• Possibilities of Economic Cooperation between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka
• Council for Business with England calls for policy stability and facilitating trade with an FTA
‘Roshanie Jayasundera-Moraes, Executive Vice President of John Keells Holdings, was re-elected as President of the CBB of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce at a virtually held AGM on 20 July 2021. The 2021/22 executive committee comprises Linda Giebing, General Manager, Hilton Colombo Residences and Shirendra Lawrence, COO, MAS Holdings as Vice Presidents, Irfan Thassim, MD, Oceanpick, as the Treasurer and Mark Prothero, CEO, HSBC Sri Lanka & Maldives as the Immediate Past President. New committee: Ameena Ziauddin, Development Director, Norfolk Foods, Tania Polonnowita Wettimuny, MD, Inter Air & Sea Logistics, Hajar Alafifi, Chairperson, Unilever Sri Lanka, Sarath Ganegoda, Director, Hayleys, S Renganathan, MD, Commercial Bank, Arjuna Nanayakkara, Head of Shared Services, London Stock Exchange Group SL, Dougie Douglas, Founder, Point to Point Consulting, Indika Abeykoon, GM, Aitken Spence Travels, Gihan Jayasinghe, MD, Finlays Group, SL, and Derek Mansfield, Director & Plant Manager, Sri Lanka Currency, De La Rue.
• Asia has 1.3 b mobile gamers, more than North America, Europe and Latin America combined
• How Preferential Trade helps Bhutan and Bangladesh fulfill the expectations of their people?
• Two Hedge Fund Billionaires Hedge their Bets on Regeneron
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.
• Pramitha Bandara appointed Assistant Government Whip
• Racism, Nationalism and Supranationalism – I & 2
‘Millennium Challenge Corporation program was set to bifurcate SL without the people’s mandate’
• Left must ensure the SJB remains free of comprador elements – Devapriya
• Patriotism: An imperative need of the hour
• Nagananda seeks SC intervention, bribery probe
• The Colombo Aligned Summit – Leelananda De Silva
• “I knew him when he was Mangala Innocence. Innocence being his fashion label’
• Azwer’s outstanding parliamentary record
• Afghanistan: How The Tragedy Began – Jayatilleka
‘A pro-Soviet Communist Party effected a revolutionary seizure for the first time since communism suffered the Sino-Soviet split’
• Constitutional Illusions (1917) – Lenin
‘private landownership in Russia cannot be abolished, and this without compensation, except by carrying through a gigantic economic revolution, by bringing the banks under popular control’
• Noted Scholar, Feminist and Anti-Caste Activist Gail Omvedt Passes Away at 81
• Beyond Man: Race, Coloniality, and Philosophy of Religion.
• Conversations with Angela Davis
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.
• IREX/MEND Spotlight Program on Investigative Journalism – Applications open now
‘IREX’s Media Empowerment for a Democratic Sri Lanka (MEND) Program will support a limited group of senior journalists to conduct investigative reports on issues of ethnic, religious, or regional importance, promoting reconciliation and peace.’
• CPJ urges police to stop repeatedly interrogating Batticaloa journalist
• Lanka’s pre-2015 human rights discourse: A personal narrative – Samarasinghe, MP
‘a significant segment of the SL expatriate Tamil diaspora who have integrated fully into the social fabric of certain Western nations since 1956. They now influence government policy, media coverage of Sri Lanka and socio-cultural life in these host countries.’
• From ritual to performance: The sociology of Kohomba Kankariya
‘His description of Hamburg, where Hagenbeck held his famous human zoos, as an industrial hub that attracted SL’s graphite, would have been more pertinent had he dwelt on how European capital underdeveloped economies of Asia & Africa while fuelling transformation of indigenous art forms.’
• I am a tree: Standing Meditation
• Remembering the Pānadurā Wādaya
• Sacred sapling from Buddhist bodhi tree in Australian quarantine ahead of Bendigo planting
• Royston Ellis traces some antique maps of Sri Lanka
• Young and outspoken, their podcast breaks barriers
‘Sahan Dharmasena and Ronaldo Schokman started The Real Talk podcast, now sound engineer and editor Vishmika Suarez, Sahan, Vishmi Silva, Himaya Perera, Yashodha Warnakula, Chandrika Manamendra, Anjalee Wanduragala, Jaimmy Nanayakkara and Afkar Laffar. From racism, body shaming, consent, current affairs, mixed ethnic relationships and more…’
• The Ballet School of Colombo making history in Sri Lanka
‘affiliated to the Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing’
• Anuk Arudpragasam novel, A Passage North, recently longlisted for the 2021 Booker Prize..’
• National Trust lecture on Buddhist heritage of Pakistan
‘Buddhism was the main driving force in the development of art and architecture in all Asian countries’
• Taliban scraping social media – Amantha Perera Compares them to Myanmar
• Another Media/PR front for U.S. soft coup operations against Cuba
‘Creative Associates’ most infamous project was perhaps the creation of a Twitter-like application called Zunzuneo’
• Joe Biden, the liberator of the Internet?
• Indigenous Australians possess oldest continuous culture in the world
• The Media War On Truthful Reporting And Legitimate Opinions – A Documentary
• YouTube says it’s removed 1mn videos for COVID-19 misinformation
• Please note our new email address: email@example.com,
and our blog: eesrilanka.wordpress.com