“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
e-Con e-News 29 August – 04 September 2021
From a 19th-century English Government Agent’s Diary
in the salubrious ‘vacation’ and plantation district of Nuvara Eliya:
“Went on to Kurundu Oya. I have met during this circuit – whether by accident or by design I cannot say – more than my usual number of destitutes – villagers who have lost all their lands and are now vagabonds in the same district. Their story is usually the same… somewhat as follows:
Q. Who are you?
A. We are people of Valapane.
Q. Why have you left your village?
A. Because we have lost all our property.
Q. How did it happen?
A. We were allowed to run into arrears with our paddy tax for 2 or 3 years.
It was then called up all of a sudden. No mercy was shown to us and all our property was sold.
Q. What are you doing now?
A. We are in search of employment and means of livelihood.
Q. Where are you going?
A. Nowhere in particular.
Q. Why do you not go and work on a tea or coffee estate?
A. We have tried this, but never get anything for our work.
Our earnings were taken by the Kanganies ‘for debts’.
It is ‘debt’, ‘debt’ always ‘debt’ with us…”
(from SBD de Silva’s The Political Economy of Underdevelopment)
Compound interest – unlike the traditional system of debt payment that did not impoverish – was imposed on the Sinhala peasantry by the English judiciary on behalf of alien traders and money lenders, who robbed the cultivators of their land.
People are now fast being driven into debt by banks and finance companies making a killing off disease and death. These traders and moneylenders are fronts for imperialist countries’ multinational corporations selling industrial goods, and their financial institutions, camouflaged as ‘development banks’. They are worse than the ‘drug addicts who robbed valuables from the tsunami victims who were breathing their last, in 2004’ (see ee Economy, Heartless).
• The UN, rather than being used to alienate its member states, should be calling for the cancelation of national debts, and support for modern industrialization: This is the real international human rights question.
• The capitalist media is playing a game, by one minute crying about the economy, the next about the pandemic. On this there is now no doubt: capitalism is spreading Covid to save itself by impoverishing people even further, through unemployment and wage cuts.
The government has to take over the production and distribution of food, medicine and fuel, targeting those who need it most. They have to ensure importers and linked officials do not sabotage this effort. Saboteurs’ links to the media and their multinational backers must also be exposed immediately. Also, expose the links between the ratings agencies and the banks. All this needs a national plan. (see Random Notes, Importers hoarding)
The plan must call upon all peasant and worker organizations, and all political parties, to unite to save the people from the spread of Covid. This also requires exposing the link between the disease’s spread and international lenders and their policemen, the World Bank & the IMF, who prevent investment in modern industrial production (see ee Focus).
• Our largest import bill is for fuel, so we cannot blame those who keep dreaming of obtaining our own energy from the Mannar Basin, etc. Control over the Mannar Basin is seen as one of the major reasons for the terrorist wars waged against Sri Lanka by the US, England and India.
Ships conveying fuel from West Asia, first pass us and go to Singapore and then bring it here! Sri Lanka has become an indirect colony of Singapore – “The Houston of Asia”. Both Singapore and Houston offer curious insight into what real industrialization means. (Random Notes)
Yet, uncovering huge oil reserves will only benefit the country if we control and build a modern industrial economy. Look what happened to the rich oil deposits of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T, which France’s Napoleon once tried to trade, with strategic Sri Lanka and Malta, to the English). ‘Once proud, hopeful, and wealthy’, T&T ‘is today left with nothing but a beleaguered Treasury and toxic crude poisoning our waters and food system’.
• Sri Lanka keenly awaits an implementable plan and related investment program. Many a fine plan has been devised, but implementation has always been thwarted, by sabotage, either through legislative stalling, assassination, terrorism, bribery, or by the machinations of the bureaucracy, the civil and public service, inherited from English colonialism, so beloved by our Colombots.
Any plan and its proper implementation requires strict oversight from cultivators and workers.
There is much fake debate about ‘free’ education, yet African liberator Amilcar Cabral once asserted, a country’s education system cannot be created mechanically, but must be informed by ‘the plan for the society to be created’. Cabral was from Guinea Bissau, with whom we share an invader, the Portuguese. Cabral’s forces expelled them, and yet they made him pay with his life (ee Sovereignty, Cabral)
• What kind of socialists are these? The UN is now led by a member of the Portuguese Socialist Party, who served as prime minister of Portugal – António Guterres is the 9th UN Secretary-General. He more than anyone must be reminded, the Portuguese are yet to pay reparations to Sri Lanka. He should state his position on this, or step down!
The state media should insist that Sri Lanka’s well-paid diplomats play a leading role in the world in Geneva, by rallying Asia, Africa and the real Americas. Together with people of nation-states around the world, we must somehow stage real resistance worldwide.
• The Sri Lanka government must turn the tables on the imperialists, by crying out, ‘We Charge Genocide!’ in Geneva, turning our accusers into the accused. The government can thus reinforce its power within the country, and in the world, by waking billions of people from slumber.
It’s surely the whitest comedy on this planet Earth, that our accusers in Geneva are the worst ‘human rights’ violators the world has ever seen. Yet more currently, they have been responsible for causing millions of deaths in the last 2 years. Some call it Vaccine Apartheid. Let’s call things by their true names: Vaccine Imperialism.
This ee Focus looks at the crime of the century: How imperialist nations have sought to maintain their hegemony by not just promoting the spread of disease by withholding vaccines and preventing access, but more importantly have done so by actively sabotaging modern industrial production. This is why it’s not just Vaccine Apartheid but Vaccine Imperialism.
Imperialism is particularly about maintaining economic underdevelopment by preventing modern industrial production. This ee examines how intellectual property rights (IPR) laws are used to prevent the transfer of knowledge and technology, with the World Bank and IMF leading the choir.
• When someone passes on news, ask for the source. India’s WION TV, which disseminates Anti-SL, anti-Rajapakse and Anti-China propaganda, is linked to the powerful Marwari traders Birlas and Goenkas, from Rajasthan. Profiting off the English opium trade and wars on China, the English made ‘Sir’ Badridas Goenka, the first Indian Chairman of the Imperial Bank of India in 1933.
The Bombay Plan, a World War II-era set of ISI-based proposals, published in 1944/1945 , proposed state intervention in industrial development: A Brief Memorandum Outlining a Plan of Economic Development for India, was signed by J. R. D. Tata, Ghanshyam Das Birla, Ardeshir Dalal, Lala Shri Ram, Kasturbhai Lalbhai, Ardeshir Darabshaw Shroff, Sir Purshottamdas Thakurdas and John Mathai.
The Birlas and Goenkas, linked to the fascist Jan Sangh (now the RSS-BJP combine), were given access to the private files on Indira Gandhi’s sex life by English/Indian police. The Birlas/Goenkas sponsored the rise of the Ambani Reliance empire, and are also linked to the murders (using Khalistani terrorists and Eelamist Tigers) of the Nehru/Gandhi family, which Hamish MacDonald ‘s book The Polyester Prince reduces to the wars between the Marwari Birlas and the Parsi Tatas to import DMT/PTA, for making polyester. The plot includes Amitabh Bachan and Aishwarya Rai, etc. The Ambanis were recently exposed for producing blockbuster movies promoting terrorism in Sri Lanka – So! It is not just economics, but the economists, we must expose. Not just the history, but historians. And not the news, nor the parrot messenger, but the news makers who never make the headlines. All hired guns.
• USAID is funding so-called ‘Investigative Journalism. through its IREX Media Empowerment for a Democratic Sri Lanka (MEND) Program, to buy off senior journalists ‘to conduct investigative reports on issues of ethnic, religious, or regional importance, promoting reconciliation and peace.’
Where on earth does the US gain its expertise to teach us about ‘ethnic reconciliation’? Anglo-Saxons rarely call themselves ‘ethnic’. In fact, it’s an othering word. So how is it they are using it on us in our own country? Ethnic’s etymological origins are in ‘heathen’! What the missionaries called Buddhists, et al. Heathen’s origins are traced further to Greece, referring to the ‘hordes outside the gates’. Meanwhile, USAID is funding viral videos and related parodies with their imperialist political talking points inserted?
• Last week ee reported how at least 75% of Unilever’s total pre-tax profits are sent to London. How they widen balance-of-payments deficits: by importing inputs at highly inflated prices and purchasing foreign currency for their dealings. They also remit dividends to shareholders outside the country, so there’s a net outflow of funds. All these everyday practices of multinationals are ignored by our glorified economists, who cry about our rupee depreciation and rising debts.
A shift to local foods must be accompanied by a crackdown on middlemen making a killing on people’s hunger and despair. But examples should also be made of larger forces, especially multinationals’ practices.
• Many people are rightly upset about rising prices, but many are not told we import parippu (lentils), kadala (chickpea) and mung ata (green gram) at great cost from Australia and Canada, not growing enough here.
Raising prices of such items can have a positive effect, with consumers moving to cheaper locally produced alternatives, and encouraging local peasants to grow these.
• The world’s greatest terrorist government, the USA, has made a strategic withdrawal (‘drawdown’) from Afghanistan, so that they can create even more chaos there. After raping and killing thousands of women, the US Army and their media, CNN, BBC, now claim they are worried about women’s rights. As each day goes by the US, NATO and India are being exposed as the sponsors of the terrorist ISIS groups in our world.
Legacy: US troops wrecked both civilian terminals as they evacuated from Kabul airport. All the security cameras were broken, computers destroyed, many glass panes shattered. Electrical cabling was cut, the x-ray machines were broken and even arrival/departure screens overturned. They totally destroyed the radars and tower control.
Just days later, the U.S. Secretary of State demanded that the Taliban reopen the airport to allow for more brain drain from the country. The US then begged Qatar to fix the airport as soon as possible to allow foreigners, Afghan collaborators, and those with adequate visas to leave.
The U.S. continues to withhold Afghanistan’s Central Bank reserves and has blocked the IMF and World Bank for releasing funds to Afghanistan…. Chaos is their game. Those seeking who is behind the 2019 terror will not find out from English-sponsored security and terrorist experts!
A1. Reader Comments –
• ee must twits • ee on Ratings Agency Double-Game • US blocks Nations’ Reserves
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Traders’ Games • Rentiers & Multinationals • Masses behind free education • IMF Medicine worse than Disease • RAW & China • Nigeria Shows the Way? • US Biowarfare Labs • China Under Siege • UNHRC farce • Covid & Living Conditions • Makers of US Foreign Policy
A3. Random Notes –
• USAID funding Music Videos • SJB & Hemas • Houston & Singapore – Real Industrialization • Importers Hoarding Essential Goods • Massive Capital Flight • Raise Prices on Imports • Force Exporters to Convert Dollars • Dependence on Exports • Robbing Trinidad & Guyana’s Oil
B. ee Focus
• Multinational Corporations & Covid-19: Intellectual Property Rights vs Human Rights
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
• ‘ee should join linked-in and twitter – social media. It will have a wider reach and readership around the world.’
• ‘ee is so comprehensive and informative, it needs to be out there. Possibly a minority voice. But an important one. ee’s work on the conflict of interest of the ratings agencies was extremely well done. Doubt half of the people writing nonsense in economics are aware of the background of Fitch, Moody’s etc.’
• ‘After the US blocked Afghanistan’s access to reserves, many countries having reserves in the US or in the EU (anywhere in the West) will now be looking very carefully at the ability of the US, IMF etc to seize them.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Traders playing low-down tricks on consumers have emerged so strong as to hold the public to ransom because the government subjugated consumer protection laws to the interests of its cronies in the business community… Let the government be urged to summon the political moxie to send a CAA team to inspect the paddy/rice warehouses, especially those owned by Dudley Sirisena and State Minister Siripala Gamlath, in Polonnaruwa.’ – ee Economy, Traders
• ‘Notably, importers are not considered rentiers in this line of argument. Importers in Sri Lanka enjoy relatively easier access to credit than producers. They extract rent from their contracts with suppliers and add little to no value. Their “profits” tend to be reinvested in more rent-generating sectors like real estate, rather than in value-added production.
The importer himself is a front for Multinational Corporations and cartels who have the ability to monopolize markets and control prices with the backing of powerful states (which can violently force open new markets) and multilateral institutions (which can “peacefully” open markets through conditional lending).’ – ee Economists, Rentiers
• ‘In 1947 the free education bill, to implement those proposals fully, was in danger of being defeated… At that instant a Council for the Protection of Free Education was established at the Ananda Sasthralaya in Matugama…
On the last day of the voting, Buddhist monks led by Dr. Walpola Rahula Thera, accompanied by thousands of people, walked from the Kelaniya Vidyalankara Pirivena to the State Council…
At the second reading of the bill the gallery of the State Council was packed with supporters of the bill, with Buddhist monks in charge of the situation. On May 27, 1947, the bill was unanimously passed with amendments.’ – ee Workers, Free Education won through a broad people’s movement
• ‘Ernst Wolff in Pillaging the World – The History & Politics of the IMF says IMF assistance pushed countries into greater dependence on global financial markets, making the poor poorer and making banks and investors richer. Dedication of his book ‘to those people in Africa, Asia, and South America who cannot read it because the politics of the IMF denied them the right to education’ tells the whole story…
Uwe Hessler, German Economist, in his article ‘IMF bailouts – roads to stability or recipes for disaster?’ states, the stiff medicine doled out by the fund is still subject to huge controversy. Late 1990s Asian financial crisis hit economies of South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Hessler says Malaysia stood out as a country that refused IMF assistance and advice. Instead of further opening its economy, Malaysia imposed capital controls, to eliminate speculative trading in its currency. While the IMF mocked this approach when adopted, the Fund later admitted it succeeded…
The IMF bailout package and its conditionality are based on neoliberal economic philosophy. IMF conditionality is a prescription for fiscal austerity, trade and capital account liberalisation, public sector layoffs, removing price controls and state subsidies, privatising state-owned enterprises and ‘structural adjustment policies’. Many questions on why doesn’t Prof Lakshman opt for IMF bailout package. Dr WA Wijewardane in his article ‘Prof WD Lakshman: a Social Democrat to the End’ provides the answer. He quotes Lakshman, ‘The aim of social democracy is to bring justice, equity and prosperity to everyone, not for a selected crowd.’ – ee Economists, Maliyadde
• “We must also not forget that China is a huge and important neighbour. How long can we have a hostile relationship with them?” – Former Indian RAW Intelligence Chief, ee Sovereignty, Neighborhood
• The rise of the dollar and ban on imports in Nigeria ‘has forced flour millers to collaborate with domestic wheat growers to improve production and reduce some of the upward pressure on prices. The Flour Millers Association of Nigeria is working with the central bank to develop the capacity of farmers to grow improved varieties of the grain. “This period created the need to rethink and review the local wheat value chain.”’ – ee Agriculture
• ‘The US has been refusing to respond to the international community’s reasonable doubts on the Fort Detrick biolab and the over 200 overseas bases for biological experiments, trying to cover up the truth and avoid being held responsible. The onus is on the US to give the world an answer.’ – ee Security, China
• ‘China is currently facing an increasingly severe and complex international environment. The US has implemented military threats, economic and technological blockades, financial strikes and political and diplomatic siege against China…The US has also launched biological warfare, cyber warfare and public opinion against China.’ – ee Sovereignty, People Centred
• In negotiations in advance of the debate at the Human Rights Council on August 24, the EU and other states proposed, belatedly, that the resolution could be strengthened with a Special Rapporteur. Afghanistan had 4 Special Rapporteurs before, one Cherif Bassiouni (2003-5) did not get his second term (typically this is routine) after he reported US forces were ‘engaging in arbitrary arrests and detentions and committing abusive practices, including torture’. In UN terms, the Special Rapporteur is a weak mechanism, with fewer powers and a tiny staff allocation (as little as ‘half’ a staff member, at most, 2) as opposed to a Fact Finding Mission which gets 14 staff.’ – afghanistan-analysts.org/en/reports/rights-freedom/un-human-rights-council-to-talk-about-afghanistan-why-so-little-appetite-for-action/
• ‘What passes for political leadership lurches between pretending Covid-19 isn’t an issue until hospitals are full of patients, or demanding everyone be vaccinated without changing any of their living conditions.’ – ee Security, US Covid
• ‘Every implausible US intervention or disastrous war has featured powerful cheerleading from public intellectuals and experts….often the same 3-4 dozen people.’ – ee Sovereignty, Foreign Policy Dumb
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• A flurry of ‘creative’ music videos attacking the Rajapakse government, complain of the cost of living, while also hitting China, are making the rounds. ee can only guess who is behind these so-called ‘independent’ ad agencies producing them. All of them are intensely careful not to take on any multinational entities, who are usually the funders behind these ‘independent ad agencies. However, many of the elements and the actors, etc., can be traced to the Colombot ‘arts’ scene, heavily funded by the U-No-Hu? The problem is the government has no control over NGO funding. Last week, ee reported on USAID funded ‘Creative Associates’ in Cuba. Creative Associates International is based in Washington DC, USA.
• The main opposition party, the SJB, wanted people in Sri Lanka to light on Friday an imported candle to the Covid dead, and support frontline workers, to criticize the government’s efforts. Yet SJB, UNP, etc., are demanding the government submit to the World Bank and IMF, who have actively opposed the transfer of vaccine knowledge and technology.
The SJB’s corporate supporters are responsible for the delay in obtaining vaccines and vaccination. Given the SJB’s corporatist genealogy there’s no way they can point to the main perpetrators of this crime: the pharmaceutical importers (Hemas etc.), their multinational backers (massive bio-pharmaceutical and biotech giants eg Novartis, Roche, Johnson&Johnson, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, etc.) and the imperialist states that back them up.
The Portuguese. Dutch and English governments are yet to learn a proper lesson. It is therefore imperative we teach them by turning the tables on them at the UN this month. We must put them in the dock for aiding in the mass murder of millions by preventing the production and distribution of Covid vaccines in time.
• Houston in southeast Texas (which has most of the US proven oil reserves) became the national headquarters for the US petroleum industry, from where worldwide oil exploitation is launched. They research and make most of the world’s petroleum and petrochemical equipment and machinery.
Houston’s petroleum industry provides 2/3rds of US petrochemicals. Refinery byproducts and natural gas derivatives lead to production of synthetic fibres and films, plastics, solvents, paints, synthetic rubber, soaps and detergents, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, fertilisers, pigments and dyes. Houston’s oilfield service industry (cementing, acidizing, logging, perforating, fracturing) dominates the US.
This required development of a primary metals industry (steel making, ferrous & non-ferrous foundry operations), and non-ferrous metal refining (eg aluminium, copper, lead, zinc), which directly stimulated the fabricated metals industry. Every primary metal plant produced dozens of metal fabricating plants.
Steel production links all parts of an economy. Fabricators fashion steel into oil-well casing and tubing, drill pipes, wire rope, oil and gas transmission pipelines, office towers, furniture, space-vehicle components, computer components.
Consider then how Sri Lanka obtains its fuels from West Asia via Singapore – the ‘Houston of Asia’: providing the world’s third-largest petroleum refining centre, blending and storage facilities, exporting petroleum products, the port of call for bunker and jet fuels, and spot markets (deciding Singapore-quoted prices as the benchmark) for the Asia-Pacific petroleum trade – the heart of a web of linkages that make up the Pacific Basin’s oil economy – from West Asia to Northeast Asia, from Australia to the US west coast.
Singapore is the world’s busiest port of call, the world’s largest oil bunkering centre, one of the largest builders of offshore oil drilling rigs, and the most attractive base for repair, maintenance and logistics services for the offshore gas industry. Its petrochemical complex exports ethylene-based products, and also offers independent petrol storage and blending, brokerage of shipping services and marine insurance, warehousing of equipment and supplies, and the manufacture of parts and components for the petroleum sector.
It is also a major exporter of rule-of-law and other capitalist sermons, even as it hides Sri Lanka’s perhaps biggest well-known wanted criminal, former central banker Arjuna Mahendran. Even better, Singapore hides its industrial prowess, by offering inadequate public statistics and the barest outlines of its industries. It also ordered across the board 20% annual wage increases in 1979-81, a policy by its National Wages Council, to ‘drive out’ low-technology and labor-intensive industry.
Singapore is also a type of white gated community, a major launderer of drug money (with origins in the English Opium Wars, growing the crop in India and forcing it on China), and first helped destroy the region: providing refuelling facilities for US B-52 bombers on their way to flattening Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Yet: ‘The recession of 1974-5 and the communist victory in Vietnam caused a turn-around in foreign economic policy. The precarious buoyancy of Singapore was at this time soberly reflected on by Mr Lee Kuan Yew: “We hitched a ride on the expanding world economy in these years.” He then sponsored a revival of ASEAN as a framework for regionalism.
The more or less self-expanding process of accumulation in Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea was contingent upon specific elements, both historical and fortuitous. Singapore was a well-developed entrepot of regional and world trade. The smallness of the country, demographically and territorially, accentuated the dynamic impact of its relinking with the centre. It benefited in these years from the raw materials boom in Indonesia, including oil exploration work and vast infrastructure investments, as well as from US involvement in the war on Vietnam. Moreover, the absence of a rural hinterland did away with the problem of removing precapitalist social relations and structures.’ (SBD de Silva, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment)
• Some large-scale and medium-scale companies with links to multinational corporations are still robbing the country blind.
Importers are hoarding essential goods, and waiting for prices to rise to make a killing, off the depreciating rupee and off the rising prices of goods.. They are also averting import bans.
Despite import controls, imports have not decreased but have increased significantly. These increases are mainly of needed capital goods and intermediate goods – especially the raw materials needed for industrial exports. While fuel is the biggest import, these non-fuel imports have gone up by 68%
Even though the increased imports are for industrial exports, there has been no increase in industrial production. With increased speculation based on the rupee further depreciating, traders are importing more and storing. This is why the production has not gone up, for they are just hoarding raw material.
This has resulted in massive capital flight. This may be occurring due to deals between importers and exporters. Especially when the importer and the exporter belong to the same set of related companies, the exporting company finds ways to issue invoices to the importing arm, and transfer their dollars there. The importing arm can then use those dollars to import and sell to whoever is willing to buy here.
Companies holding on to dollars then earn extra rupees by selling dollars as and when the rupee falls.
• Yet, currency speculation is not the main contributor to the rupee’s depreciation. The main contributor to the depreciation in the short run is the depletion of our reserves due to the payment of never-ending debts, much of it interest on debts. Debts incurred to pay for the luxurious lifestyles of the rich and famous.
In the long run it is the lack of domestic production not just to export to obtain dollars to buy needed imports of capital and intermediate goods, but also the lack of local modern production to make such goods for local production and consumption, so we do not have to pay for imports.
• Most countries raise prices on imports as a method to streamline consumption of foreign goods. The US offers the best example. They reduced foreign wine consumption by 80% within one week through a consumer interventionist policy under President FD Roosevelt.
In Sweden, some economists argue they can’t risk the country’s foreign reserves by importing expensive consumer goods, eg Dutch potatoes. Yet Sweden is a rich country and high-end consumption could have a positive spill-over effect on productivity.
However, in Sri Lanka’s underdeveloping economy, we should not import austerity, eg, by importing potato chips from the Netherlands.
The government can force exporters to convert their dollars. First they should create a registry for exporters, then provide them cashflow management tools for audit purposes .Then we know how much they earn and everything else .
The Customs and Internal Revenue Department have all this data, through connecting systems, since last year, and there’s a mandatory conversion percentage of the dollars they get, which was brought down to 15% from 25% this year. But it’s still hard to implement currency surrender targets, because they are beyond our regulatory control
We could force the buyers to remit the dollars to local account, because they are keeping the dollars in foreign banks. Make it mandatory for export license holders to use a local dollar account which the central bank will open for them
But this may only be true for large exporters. Sri Lanka has a lot of medium and small-size exporters. And it’s not that simple for them: eg, some do a lot of business with African countries but they too have dollar shortages. So they can’t produce the cash in dollars so quickly. As a result of dollar shortages in the buying countries there are payment delays, etc.
The other important issue, of course, is this: almost total dependence on exports.
• The English Queen’s favorite ‘Sir’ Walter Raleigh in 1595 ‘stumbled’ upon a Trinidad’s pitch lake, which then paved the streets of London. The first commercial oil well was drilled there in 1902, but the ‘once richest biodiverse waters in the Americas’, is now a ‘marine desert filled with toxic waste’. ‘The curse of coveted oil wealth has encouraged corruption, squandermania and mismanagement resulting in trade imbalances, weakened institutions, and a legacy of undervalued royalties shrouded in contract secrecy.‘ Guyana (of Booker fame) is now targeted for takeover by Rockefeller’s Exxon, as the next major oil kingdom in South America. Rather than being enriched and advanced, T&T has ended up an economically beleaguered, ecologically devastated colony of the American Oil Co (AMOCO) of Houston, Texas, US. (blackagendareport.com/corruption-pollution-and-economic-crisis-cautionary-tale-tts-oil-industry)
B. Special Focus_
• Multinational Corporations & Covid-19: IPR vs Human Rights – Peter Rossman, 01.09.2021
The multilateral trading system anchored by the World Trade Organization (WTO) is not confined to cross-border trade in physical goods. It was also designed to protect corporate knowledge monopolies. Developing countries were told that strict adherence to the rules of ‘free trade’, codified and enforced by the WTO, would enhance their productive capacity through technology transfer and upskilling. The Covid-19 crisis tells a different story. The global distribution of patent-protected knowledge is highly skewed along the North/South axis reflected in the geography of vaccine production and vaccination rates.
85% of vaccinations to date have been in wealthier countries, where Covid death rates have dropped dramatically. But at the current rhythm, it would take decades, not years, for people in low-income countries to be fully vaccinated.
Surpluses and untapped productive capacity amid desperate shortages are characteristic of the global order. But the vaccination gap is shocking even by comparison with, say, the hideously unequal access to the world’s food resources.
Two things are essential to close the gap and accelerate mass vaccination: full utilization of existing capacity and expanded vaccine production in developing countries. This requires loosening the vaccine makers’ grip on the monopoly of knowledge and technology embodied in their manufacture: the companies intellectual property rights (IPR). This knowledge is embodied in patents and other forms of intellectual property which allow their owners to determine who produces and sells the product, on what terms and when.
When governments funded vaccine development, they refused to condition their support on open access to the results. By choice, they invested the vaccine makers with exclusive rights to their production, pricing and distribution. Limited supplies sustain a sellers’ market in which, eg, Pfizer’s price of $19.50 per dose brings a profit margin estimated at 60-80%. In a February 2021 call with investors, the company’s Chief Financial Officer called this ‘pandemic pricing’ and said the company expected ‘to get more on price’ post-pandemic.
IPR, the WTO & TRIPS – The global rules governing IPR are set out in the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). To understand how and why globally enforceable IPR was brought into the WTO’s ‘free trade’ regime, an explanation is needed. We also need to take a look at the pharmaceutical industry, how its leading corporations have built global value chains built on IPR and what it means for public health.
TRIPS requires all member states ‘to make patents available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology without discrimination’, and sets 20 years as the minimum period for patent protection. For the life of the patent the owner retains the right to manufacture, distribute and import the product. It also provides specific protection for copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs, and ‘undisclosed information’ (generally known as trade secrets) and test data (eg results of clinical vaccine trials). All are relevant in the Covid-19 crisis.
Prior to TRIPS, enforcement of these rights was patchy and difficult outside national jurisdictions. Some countries provided no protection for pharmaceuticals. Others, like India, protected pharmaceutical production processes but not the products themselves, making it possible to reverse engineer a product to produce low-cost generics.
In the late 1970s, against a background of accelerating industrial production in Asia and Latin America and a worsening trade deficit, US corporations in software, pharmaceuticals and the media and entertainment sectors launched an orchestrated message of alarm: the country was losing its competitive edge and capacity for innovation due to widespread ‘theft’ of US knowhow.
Their great ‘innovation’ was to organize and lobby to bring IPR protection into trade agreements. The General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade (GATT) had been the venue for reducing tariffs and quotas. New model trade agreements would increasingly focus on strengthening the rights of transnational investors vis-à-vis governments. Stronger IPR was one of the key objectives.
Countries hosting real or imagined competitors were threatened with loss of market access and disciplined through unilateral action. Bilateral agreements were negotiated to strengthen US companies’ IPR, followed by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the US, Canada and Mexico. Europe and Japan were brought on board.
TRIPS was unanimously adopted at the conclusion of the GATT final round in 1994 and came into effect in 1995 with the birth of the WTO. TRIPS was accompanied by another of the WTO’s foundational treaties, the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures. TRIMS essentially curtailed measures to promote local content and technology transfer – essential for the development of national industrial policies, eg, the development of national pharmaceutical industries. Countries like Brazil and India developed their pharmaceutical industries before the introduction of binding global IPR rules. TRIPS & TRIMS erected barriers to that development path.
Since TRIPS, the EU, US and other wealthy countries have returned to negotiating bilateral agreements which provide even stricter IPR protection than the ‘minimum standards’ set out in TRIPS: they are ‘TRIPS plus’.
IPR & the Pharmaceutical Industry – Intellectual property rights decisively shaped the evolution of the pharmaceutical industry and its value chain. Strict control of patents enabled the companies to limit supply and maintain monopoly prices at home and abroad.
These were vertically integrated manufacturing companies which maintained in-house research and clinical trial departments. In the 1970s they increasingly turned to outsourcing in search of lower costs and looser environmental regulations, contracting out R&D, testing and manufacturing. The value chain became wider still as rapid advances in genetic engineering and biotechnology, powered by publicly funded research, increasingly focused on biologics – the development of drugs based on biological rather than chemical processes. Startups and patent applications boomed, fueling competition between the pharma giants to acquire companies, large or small, with potentially lucrative patents under development. The widening value chain intensified the need for stricter IPR to prevent knowledge from leaking.1
In 1980 the US passed legislation which authorized small businesses and universities to patent inventions developed with public funding. Previously these had automatically reverted to the government, which licensed them to generic manufacturers, or were injected directly into the public domain. Universities and startups were now integrated into a corporate-driven knowledge complex. ‘Technology transfer’ transformed public research into private patents.
Financializing Knowledge – At the same time the companies increasingly financialized, reducing expenditure on production capacity, employees and even R&D to free up cash to distribute to shareholders as dividends and share buybacks.2 For 2 of the largest, Pfizer and Johnson&Johnson, spending on buybacks and dividends 2006-15 exceeded their total net income; they turned to the loan market to finance rising returns to investors and top management using their IP assets as collateral. During this period, Pfizer returned $139-billion to shareholders while spending $82bn on R&D.3 European companies followed, arguing, like their US counterparts, that high drug prices were needed to sustain ‘innovation’.
Financialized pharma companies are best understood as organizations which manage operations as a bundle of financial rather than physical assets. Their greatest financial asset is the patents which generate 80% of their profits; competition drives a struggle for what the industry calls patent ‘blockbusters’. The ultimate blockbuster is a prescription drug, taken daily for the life of the patient, heavily marketed in a country where regulatory authorities have little capacity to negotiate on price – like the US, by far the world’s largest pharmaceutical market. Pfizer’s cholesterol-reducing Lipitor, the all-time bestselling prescription medication, brought in $125bn over the life of the patent and in some years nearly a quarter of the company’s total revenue. If a product takes off, companies can expand production through additional subcontracting while retaining full control.
This explains the vanishingly low level of corporate interest in, eg, treatments for tropical diseases and tuberculosis, major killers which primarily afflict the poor.
In the early 2000s, Canada’s Public Health Agency developed the first approved Ebola vaccine. There was no commercial interest prior to the West African outbreak of 2014. Today the vaccine belongs to Merck. But ‘It was the public sector, not Merck, that provided all of the financing, including for clinical trials, during the West African epidemic, in addition to providing the technical expertise, human resources, and infrastructure that was necessary to carry out the trials.’
The pharmaceutical industry is a highly efficient financial machine for generating income streams to investors through monopoly pricing, strict control over supplies and narrowly focused research. For all its considerable technological achievements, the industry’s patent-driven business model and financial dynamic cannot meet the needs arising from a global health emergency. Government funding made vaccines available in record time; governments hold the key to unlocking production.
Human Rights vs Intellectual Property Rights – In 1997, South Africa modified its patent law to facilitate access to cheaper generic treatments for HIV/AIDS. The following year, 39 mostly multinational drug companies sued the government to force it to drop a law which, the lawsuit alleged, ‘deprives owners of intellectual property in respect of pharmaceutical products’. Then-president Nelson Mandela was personally named as a defendant.
The US and the European Commission supported the lawsuit. Organized resistance forced the companies to drop the suit and governments to withdraw their support for it.
Following this successful struggle for access to life-saving medicines, the TRIPS rules were ‘clarified’ in 2001 to specify the conditions under which governments facing a ‘national health emergency’ could issue compulsory licenses to manufacture without the approval of the rights holders. The procedure is cumbersome and can only proceed on a product-by-product basis, country by country. Bilateral trade agreements may further limit governments from using compulsory licensing.
The pandemic by definition is global. And intellectual property rules also protect diagnostics, treatments and personal protective equipment, all in short supply. Tight control of patents has held back production and distribution.
This is why 62 countries led by India and South Africa have proposed the WTO waive member states’ obligations under TRIPS, applying to all products needed for Covid-19 prevention, containment and treatment. The proposal remains blocked at the WTO despite the support of two-thirds of the member states. This is not entirely the work of corporate lobbyists, though they are busy. It is a widespread article of faith that IPR must never be breached.
COVAX, governments’ and companies’ preferred vehicle for distributing vaccines to lower-income countries, is essentially a philanthropic public-private partnership which leaves the companies in control of their power over production, pricing and destination. It has failed to deliver. According to its website, as of July 19, 2021 only 129 million vaccine doses had been shipped.
In May 2020, in response to a call for global solidarity led by Costa Rica, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Covid-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP) to boost the supply of Covid-19 diagnostics, treatments, vaccines and other products by sharing intellectual property through non-exclusive licensing agreements with qualified manufacturers. Unsurprisingly, not a single company has signed up, but it has member-state support. Housed within the UN system, C-TAP could bring unused capacity online and channel investment and technology to developing countries to boost wider manufacturing. For this to happen, one, or a group of countries, home to companies with critical Covid-related IPR would have to come on board. They need to be pushed.
The primary obstacles to expanded vaccine production are political. It is hardly surprising, pharma companies and their lobbyists would fiercely oppose a Covid-19 TRIPS waiver. In a March 5, 2021 letter to the Biden administration, leading pharmaceutical companies present in the US claimed, ‘Intellectual property protections have been essential not only to speed the research and development of new treatments and vaccines, but also to facilitate sharing of technology and information to scale up vaccine manufacturing to meet global needs. Eliminating those protections would undermine the global response to the pandemic.’ The same arguments have been recycled in the EU communications to the WTO TRIPS Council opposing the waiver proposal.4 Against all evidence, the argument is made that IPR enforcement is the solution and not the barrier to mass vaccination.
A broad corporate consensus underpins the commitment to TRIPS. Transnational companies today rely more than ever on IPR to structure their global value chains.5 Through COVAX, the Gates Foundation has played an outsized role in the pandemic even though Microsoft holds no Covid-related patents – copyrighted software is the source of its power. There are numerous guardians of the IPR fortress.
The IPR consensus is widely diffused. Following the 2001 Doha Declaration, the WTO’s response to the fight for affordable access to HIV/AIDS treatment, 16 years of negotiation were needed to amend the key TRIPS article dealing with imports of generic medicines produced under compulsory license. 37 high-income countries, including Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, UK, US, and EU, then declared themselves formally ‘ineligible’ for such imports, even in a national emergency. This unquestioning devotion to IPR at all costs amounts to a national suicide pact, and can aptly be described as IPR fundamentalism.
Access to medicines is recognized as an essential element of the human right to health. Unions have backed the call for a TRIPS waiver. Organized action at all levels will determine which will prevail: human rights or intellectual property rights.
Long, Strange TRIPS: the Grubby History of How Vaccines Became Intellectual Property explains how US multinationals including the pharma industry built the foundations and piloted the development of TRIPS.
Information Feudalism, Peter Drahos, John Braithwaite (2002), well-researched and engaging study, tells the full story.
Knowledge Technology International has been documenting the role of IPR during Covid-19 through research and blogs.
IUF’s Trade Deals that Threaten Democracy explains how investment treaties have been layered onto the WTO rules to promote the power of transnational investors vis-à-vis governments, including thru stricter IPR.
Financialization: New routes to profit, new challenges for trade unions, Peter Rossman and Gerard Greenfield, published 2006 by the ILO’s Labor Education, explains general background to developments in the pharma sector documented in Lazonick et al. article by cited in this paper.
Intellectual Monopoly in Global Value Chains, Cédric Durand and William Milberg, analyzes IPR’s role in organizing value chains and how this control structures international revenue flows and global development.
1. On July 21, 2021 Pfizer announced it would be producing vaccine together with South Africa’s Biovac for distribution to African countries[see ee ??, on how vaccines secretly sent to EU, who didn’t need, while 10,000s died in S Africa waiting for delayed promised vax]. But NYTimes reported, ‘South African producer, Biovac, will only be handling distribution and “fill-finish” – the final phase of the manufacturing process, during which the vaccine is placed in vials and packaged for shipping. It will rely on Pfizer facilities in Europe to make the vaccine substance and ship it to its Cape Town facility.” This is the system of global IPR-based rent extraction pioneered by Coca-Cola Co. Coke makes the concentrate, licensed bottlers do the “fill-finish.”
2. Share buybacks reduce the number of shares in circulation, increasing earnings per share. Buybacks boost executive compensation, whose primary component is share options. 2006-15, the 18 largest US pharma companies distributed 99% of profits to shareholders, half of it as buybacks.
3. All figures from Lazonick et al, US Pharma’s Financialized Business Model.
4. See, eg, June 29, 2021 analysis by Médecins sans frontières.
5. Cogently demonstrated in Intellectual Monopoly in Global Value Chains, C Durand & W Milberg.
Peter Rossman: Campaigns & Communication Director for the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco & Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) 1991-2020.
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.
• Why Sri Lanka is not like Singapore – Kulatunga
‘SL inherited an economy dominated by plantations run with imported Indian labor resulting in the neglect of non-plantation agriculture… India harbored, trained, and armed separatist groups to fight against Sri Lanka.’
• TNA, CPA, SJB, says Emergency spells great danger to country
Wickremesinghe-Samaraweera pushed the country towards the US-led Quad alliance
‘With Sri Lanka entering into a Comprehensive Partnership with Japan in the first week of Oct 2015, in addition to talks on SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) and MCC (Millennium Challenge Corporation) agreements also with the US against the backdrop of President Sirisena entering into ACSA (Access and Cross Servicing Agreement) didn’t help the then government at all.’
SL’s High Commissioner-designate to India Moragoda assumes duties in New Delhi
• Thondaman wants Tamil Nadu CM to set up university for estate sector
• US firms forbidden from engaging in corrupt practices unlike in Sri Lanka! – US Envoy Teplitz
• US Foreign Affairs Committee member Dina Titus advocates stronger US-Sri Lanka bonds
‘annual session of the Sri Lanka-America Association of Las Vegas – graced by Sri Lanka Consul-General of the Western States of the U.S. Dr. Lalith Chandradasa’
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 23 Da, Part 25B&C,
• No, the LTTE Cannot Come Alive Again – Narayanaswamy
• Pakistan-Sri Lanka Ties: A Game Changer in the Region?
• Kenyan and Lankan Presidents in cordial telephone chat
• Prof Peiris explains domestic human rights mechanisms to UN’s Singer
• Tamil politicos scramble to show links with Stalin after aid package
• England to maintain ban on LTTE: Foreign Ministry
• US imperialism still a danger to world peace despite its defeat in Vietnam & Afghanistan
• War & Peace: Geneva & Human Rights – Wijesinha
• Why Foreign Minister GL Peiris Can’t Succeed – Jayatilleka
• Challenges to Pohottuwa in Geneva – 1&2 – Austin Fernando
• China assures continuous support for Sri Lanka to overcome economic & pandemic challenges
• ‘India has a Neighbourhood, Cannot Live on American Support Alone’—AS Dulat
‘Everybody has found a convenient place in Afghanistan, but what about India?’— Interview with AS Dulat, former RAW chief on India’s strategic isolation in Afghanistan…. We must also not forget that China is a huge and important neighbour. How long can we have a hostile relationship with them?’
• To Counter U.S. Hostility China Moves Towards People Centered Policies
• US-China relations at crossroads
‘The Biden Administration, in dire straits over Afghanistan, is pursuing China for help’
• Biden gives green signal to US-China thaw
• The U.S. Has A Plan For What’s Next in Afghanistan – It Does Not Include Peace
• Al Qaeda and ISIS will get buried if US and NATO stop invading other nations
‘‘terror outfits’ created and fostered primarily by the US, that give questionable legitimacy for the US, England and the NATO to invade and occupy third world countries’
• How The CIA Used ISIS-K To Keep Its Afghanistan Business
• Taliban’s aspirations for legitimacy – and a UN seat
• Whither the fate of Bamiyan Buddhas under Taliban?
• Will US utilize the opportunity regarding Kabul Bomb Blast
• U.S. completes withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan after 20-year war
• Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-10, 11, 12
‘All this must be a bitter pill for the Modi government to swallow, when India also happens to be holding the rotating UN SC presidency through this month… US intelligence has made deep ingresses into the Taliban and has gained the capability to splinter it, weaken it and subdue it, when the crunch time comes.’
• Rise and rise of Qatar in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan
‘An oligarchic regime which has a host of repressive laws and silences its domestic critics, Qatar has been remarkably successful in promoting itself as a beacon of openness’
• Afghan Crisis Must End US Empire of War, Corruption and Poverty
• Out of Afghanistan Today, Out of Africa Tomorrow!
‘Despite the lies of the mainstream media, the U.S. did not “decide to withdraw from Afghanistan.”’
• Henry Kissinger on why USA failed in Afghanistan
• Afghanistan: Russia Proposes ‘Extended Troika’ Meet in Kabul; China Reacts Positively
• Mullah Baradar Set to Head New Afghanistan Government led by Taliban: Sources
‘Baradar, who heads the Taliban’s political office, will be joined by Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of late Taliban co-founder Mullah Omar, and Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, in senior positions…
Stanekzai is considered closed to India (he trained in the Indian Military Academy long ago) and had met India’s envoy to Qatar recently for talks…Describing China as its “most important partner”, the Afghan Taliban has said it looks to Beijing to rebuild Afghanistan…’
• Lavrov: Attack on Stalin is an attack on World War II history
• Ukraine Shuts Down Opposition Media – US Ambassador Applauds ‘Daring Act’
• AFRICOM in the Congo
‘AFRICOM’s recent arrival in the Congo — ostensibly to fight ISIS — will only extend this history; we can be sure these military forces will do more to support the US looting of the Congo’s wealth than stopping terrorism….Mao said “whoever controls the Congo, controls the world.”’
• Cuban President Díaz-Canel converses with Xi Jinping via telephone
• Jamaica – Articles of English Pacification of the Maroons, 1738
• Statement of the International Delegation to Nicaragua
‘Nicaragua has managed to contain one of the most serious pandemics of the last decades with a free universal public health system’
• The U.S. Foreign Policy ‘Establishment’ Is Incredibly Dumb
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.
• Exercise – Cormorant Strike XI – 2021 begins with over 2,000 local & foreign troops
‘India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Bangladesh as players and observers are also expected to participate in this Field Training Exercise (FTX) ‘Exercise.’
• New Zealand mall terror attacker was a Sri Lanka national with ISIS ideology
‘The man was “closely watched by surveillance teams and a tactical team” as he traveled from his home in Glen Eden to Countdown in New Lynn’
• How US, Israel Birthed the Suicide Car Bomber
• Prof. Malavige complains of vaccine apartheid
• WHO Sri Lanka takes down reports after wrong referral; health minister endorses tweet
• ‘Epidemiology Unit sabotaging MoH vaccination drive’: GMOA
• Covid-19 jab controversy: GMOA questions creation of new category
‘the rationale behind vaccinating those between 20-30 years of age and the prioritisation of districts’
• Ten questions for the government – JVP seeks answers
‘Who was responsible for the delay in importing the Sinopharm vaccine to Sri Lanka?’
• Covid-19 and citizenship
‘The vast majority of those who have succumbed to the virus were un-vaccinated. The vast majority of the vaccinated who died were either over 60 years of age or had other health issues or both’
• Losing vital data relating to the registration of drugs
• GMOA clams sidelining of preventive care system reduced expected results of vaccination drive
• PHIs union urges Health Ministry to establish mechanism to vaccinate those with allergies
• Public Security Minister tells police to guard against possible revival of Islamic terrorists
• Coastal belt in India’s Ernakulam on high alert for Sri Lankans – india’s Intelligence Bureau
• Accusations over Easter Sunday carnage: Church ready to hear govt.’s explanation
• DG National Security Studies warns: Hasty recognition of Taliban likely to send wrong signal
• Focus on growing threat within as Taliban expands its hold
‘Norway’s role in Sri Lanka which led to then Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe signing a peace accord not with the moderate TNA but with the terrorist LTTE’
• De-radicalisation contorted
• Compulsory training to instil discipline, not jeopardise freedom of choice
• Controversy over dismissed high profile cases: CIABOC can initiate fresh action: DG Legal
• Lankan delegation attends world military forum in Russia
• 70 years for the “Cradle of Military Aviators”
‘flying school of the Royal Ceylon Air Force was marked on the 01st of September 1951 as the “Flying Wing” at the then Royal Ceylon Air Force Station, Katunayake’
• Sri Lanka Police marks 155 years on Friday (03)
• Memories of Special Task Force and tribute to heroes
‘Keenie Meenie Services (KMS) training given by former Special Air Service (SAS) Officers of the British Army was the strength of the STF.’
• UN Resident Coordinator: Establishment of OMP important step
• Drug for mental disorders misused
• How Localised Public Health Strategies Can Help Tackle Covid-19 Effectively
• China accuses US of politicising global response to COVID-19
‘Biden administration desperately blames China to distract its huge defeat in Afghanistan.’
• The U.S. Has 6.3 Times More COVID-19 Cases Per 100,000 than Canada.
• Why the U.S. Still Suffers from Covid
• Multinational Corporations and COVID-19: Intellectual property rights vs. human rights
• Indian Companies Go Scot-Free Despite Breach of Customer Data
• New York Times Misled the Public About Drownings During Hurricane
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.
• Will the real rentiers please stand up?
• Central Bank of Sri Lanka 71st Anniversary Oration
“Why SL needs structural transformation and what can the Central Bank do to help it”? Presented by Professor Ha-Joon Chang, University of Cambridge’
• Susil Siriwardena, a Pioneer Development Administrator no more.
‘What is very special about Janasaviya is that it contained a definite element of vocational training’
• How the International Monetary Fund adds fuel to Covid-19 fires
‘one of the reasons the Covid-19 pandemic has hit underdeveloped countries so hard is due to under investment in state capacity and social services at the behest of IMF mandated fiscal consolidation’
• U.S. Ambassador urges Govt. to leverage IMF resources
• No need for IMF support: Nivard
• Private credit expansion continues through July; but future trajectory remains uncertain
‘“We are looking at more than Rs.280 billion increase in currency in circulation since the onset of the pandemic,” said Amarasekara, Director of CB Economic Research Department. “We expect banks to absorb a large part of this currency in circulation out there and route them into more productive purposes.”
• Structural Changes Needed For Sri Lanka’s Economic Emancipation – Chula Rajapakse
‘JRJ opening the economy in 1977 was wonderful and has served SL well since. However he did so without any protection to our infant industries as advised by the 2 institutions IMF & World Bank’
• Dwindling worker remittance inflow tightens foreign exchange market – Abeyratne
‘Worker remittances contribute one fourth of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, and they account for nearly 10% of GDP…The downward trend of remittances is rather alarming, since they have served as the lifeline in dealing with the balance of payments difficulties experienced during the past several decades’
• Criticism of the Proposed National Development framework – Anila Dias Bandaranaike
• Addressing fundamental economic issues is imperative – Sanderatne
• Mangala had agreed to provide independence to the Central Bank – Wijewardena
• Sri Lanka’s macroeconomic policy setting: Cohesion or confusion? – Dushni Weerakoon
‘fiscal and debt sustainability to anchor confidence should be the priority in Budget 2022 preparations’
• Avoiding IMF and the dilemma of the Central Bank Governor – Maliyadde
• Increased int’l trade key to achieving economic recovery – Advocata’s Rajapatirana
• Excessive Price Controls will worsen Shortages – US-funded Advocata
• A Smart Lockdown – The Need of the Hour?’
• The economy can recover but those we lose will never return – UN Resident Coordinator
• Prostituting public service – Sonali Wijeratne
‘over 1.4 million public sector workers. There are a large number of pensioners. Annually, we need about Rs 1.2 trillion to pay salaries and pensions. In 2020, our annual income was Rs 1.4 trillion. We are left with Rs 200 billion to provide health services, education, transport et al.’
• Five-Year plans in India and their importance
‘The 1st ever five-year plan was implemented by Joseph Stalin in the USSR in 1928…Under Indian PM Jawaharlal Nehru, India setup the planning commission launching its 1st five-year plan in 1951’
• Mahathir Mohamad Vs IMF During Crisis 1997
‘Malaysia’s unorthodox economic approach during the Asian financial crisis won both praise and condemnation. Mahathir condemned currency trading at the Hong Kong World Bank 1997 conference’
• Mahathir vs The IMF: The 1997 Asian Financial Crisis
‘During the 1997 the Asian Financial Crisis, when Malaysia’s then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad defied the International Monetary Fund, and clashed with his deputy Anwar Ibrahim. Did Malaysia come out of the crisis for better or for worse in the long run, as a result of rejecting IMF measures?’
• US Fed hints it will start easing stimulus
• Women and the Myth of Consumerism (1969)
‘On the theory that decries the “consumerism” of individuals is a dead-end for any revolutionary organization, and how “the locus of oppression resides in the production function.”’
• Talal Rafi joins World Economic Forum Expert Network
‘Talal was on the team of experts at Chatham House London on formulating recommendations for the G7/G20 on gender equality post-covid. He is a World Bank (GYCN) climate ambassador and serves on the National Agenda Committee of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.’
• On The Breeding Of Money
‘Ancient civilizations had all come up against the same problem with exponential math: When you attach interest to loans, the amount of debt reaches unmanageable levels and has to simply be wiped clean’
• Majority of Salvadorans do not want bitcoin, poll shows
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.
• Continued pressure on rupee despite over US$ 1.2bn inflow, a strange affair: Cabraal
• Cabraal reassures on ample food stock; GL says traders creating artificial shortage
• No truth about a food shortage in the country: Govt.
• State Minister condemns attempts to create turmoil
• Commodity Prices Declined in Pettah Market.
• Food inflation (Y-o-Y) increased to 11.5% in August 2021
• Heartless traders and headless chicken
‘The prices of all essential commodities have skyrocketed. The government is running around like a headless chicken, having done precious little to control them….’
• President issues emergency regulations on essential food supplies
‘Major General M. D. S. P. Niwunhella has been appointed as the Commissioner General of Essential Services to coordinate the supply of paddy, rice, sugar and other consumer goods’
• Emergency regulations only benefit businessmen not the consumers: JVP
• Price controls discourage imports, says Essential Commodities Importers’ Association Chairman G. Rajendran
• Lockdown costing billions: Imperial College study
• Middlemen exploiting the crisis
• Amendments to provide stiffer punishments to errant traders pending in Parliament
• Four million people dependent on small and medium-sized enterprises for a living
• Govt. must intervene to regulate escalating prices of essential commodities: Handunnetti
• Central Bank extends debt moratorium till 31 Dec.
• Govt urges exporters to convert FX earnings to rupees
• Govt. calls for proposals for new Foreign Currency Term Financing Facility
• Sri Lanka re-building reserves as predicted with IMF allocation, China loan – Minister Cabraal
• Sri Lanka will decide on IMF based on local and global conditions: Minister
• B’desh releases $150 m out of $ 200m for SL under swap deal
• Regional headquarters of China Development Bank in Colombo Port City
• SL money printing drives foreign exchange shortages
• Sri Lanka budget deficit 4.7-pct of GDP up to June, debt grows faster
• CB unwittingly contributing to unofficial market for dollars
‘high-flying exporters have been opening Letters of Credit (LCs) on behalf of importers who require raw material for their respective industries but cannot do so due to CB restrictions on foreign exchange outflows.’
• Release of $200m to State banks to ease pressure on rupee
• Sri Lanka seeks forex loans amid attempts to boost reserves
• One-year T-bills now offer higher yield than what banks offer for 12-month FDs
• Seventh consecutive weekly Treasury bill auction goes undersubscribed
• Tax Amnesty: Saving grace or the devil in disguise?
• Sri Lanka to freeze hiring, halt new projects, target subsidies
‘suspend projects such as building constructions, renovation of buildings which were not commenced despite allocation of funds [and] also decided to suspend all recruitments for state service’
• Cutting down expenditure to distribute essential goods will not be a success: SJB MP
• Sri Lanka rupee crosses 230 to dollar, Rs127bn printed overnight to sterilize SRR hike
• Sri Lanka prints Rs17.6bn after dysfunctional bill, bond auctions; sugar seized
• Sri Lanka to allocate 19 bn rupees for orphan, widow, widower pension fund
• World Bank’s Contingent Emergency Response Components (CERC) Pool Sells Imports
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
• 800,000 live in the inner cities or city slums
• Sri Lanka state salaries outpace tax gain up to April 2021
• No system in place for public servants to work from home
• Minor staff at National Eye Hospital launch strike
• Saluting our frontline health workers
• Sri Lanka to declare protesting teachers, principals “closed service” to end long strike
• Education Minister keen on solving teachers’ salary issues immediately
• Malwatta and Asgiriya chapters call on the teachers and principals to call off strike
• Free Education was won through a broad people’s movement
• Education system destabilised, crippled and with no strategic direction – Tara de Mel
• FUTA condemns continuing detention of student leaders
• To leave or to stay? Bad economic policy killing aspirations of SL youth – US Advocata
‘The Central Bank data shows that in 2019 alone, the age group 25-29 recorded the highest number of departures abroad for skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled employment. This age group also recorded the second-highest number of departures for professional, middle and clerical level jobs. The UNESCO’s Eurostat data collection on education for 2020 states that the total number of SL students overseas is 24,118.’
• Is it time to leave Sri Lanka?
• ‘Leaders For Tomorrow’ launched by #VForce Youth Movement
• Sri Lanka to update MOU with England to facilitate employment for marine professionals
• HSBC opens up latest international education corridor – Canada
‘Over 21,000 students go overseas on higher education, to traditionally five key corridors such as Australia, US, UK, Malaysia and India. Canada has recorded a 95% growth over the last five years and 1600 students moved to Canada from Sri Lanka in 2020 alone.’
• Lankan woman identified as international human trafficking racket handler
• In defence of free education
• ‘Disciplining’ Humanities and Social Sciences
• The Importance of the Chinese Language as a soft skill for the future of Sri Lanka
• New Deputy Vice Chancellor of Peradeniya University
• North Colombo Medical College (NCMC) was the first private medical college in Sri Lanka
• Unilever Sri Lanka enables 100% of its employees to discover their purpose in life
• Unilever Sri Lanka embraces diversity and inclusion with differently abled staff
• Gaming syndrome’ among children, teens on the rise: Psychiatrist
• China cuts children’s online gaming to one hour
• How Amilcar Cabral Shaped Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy
‘Freire was aware that the education that was being created could not be done “mechanically”, but must be informed by “the plan for the society to be created”.’
• Tamil Nadu Handloom Silk Weavers Seek Govt’s Intervention
• Community Restaurants / Postcapitalism: Alternatives or Detour?
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.
• Refrain from buying Singapore/Japan’s Prima flour; prices increased illegally: NMCRP
• Clean Water the Key to Changing Lives in Rural SL – Community owned water schemes
• The Worlds Greatest Ancient Water Civilization – A Special Maharaja Editorial
• Meegahapallama Commercial farmers demand bridge
• Pan Asia Bank drives a project to rehabilitate tanks to support local communities
• Sri Lanka geologists investigating increase in tremors: official
• Govt. to set Maximum Retail Price for rice, sugar from today
• Govt. to invest over Rs. 750 m to establish ‘Sathosa Organic Supermarket’ retail chain
• Govt. reassures organic fertiliser for Maha season without any shortage
• Future SJB Govt. will lift chemical manure ban
• Sri Lanka organic revolution threatens tea disaster – French News Agency
‘Gunaratne, whose Virgin White tea sells for $2,000 a kilo, was removed last month from Rajapaksa’s Task Force for a Green Socio-Economy after disagreeing with the president.’
• Disease-battered rubber plantations on the brink
• Threat on food security ‘significant’ and could be ‘imminent’: Verité survey
• Nearly 4,000 mt of edible food dumped daily in Colombo
• Confectioners and bakers get government nod to import white sugar under licence
• Company probed over contaminated coconut oil imports among them
• Ten stamps issued for World Coconut Day
• Tea crop levels increase, but prices lower than in 2020
• More foreign exchange from value addition of export products from Sri Lanka
• High-profile forum held to support Sri Lankan exporters of organic products
‘More than 150 decision makers of European importers, retailers and wholesalers met …the world’s leading retailers such as REWE, Lidl and Metro as well as specialized importers of organic food…Kreyenhop & Kluge, Clama, Horst Bode, ISKG & Rila…organized by Delegation of German Industry & Commerce (AHK Sri Lanka) in cooperation with GIZ.. co-funded by the European Union (EU) and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation & Development (BMZ)….Within the EU Germany is the largest organic market…’
• Organic fertiliser: Circular economy for urban waste
• Sri Lanka to give 66 acres of state land for export aloe vera products
• Powders, liquids, empty shelves: Oh my milk!
‘the most influential company in Sri Lanka in the dairy sector also is a cooperative based company in New Zealand’
• National Sandalwood ‘Farm’
• SL to get US$ 92mn from World Bank to improve weather and climate forecasting
• Killing and dismembering of the tusker in Block 3 of Yala National Park
• Jogging track projects and hidden features
‘recently people in Gampaha District had to buy water for drinking purposes during a recent drought just after facing a severe flood in the previous year.’
• Walking park on Parakrama Samudra endangers ancient reservoir
• Extreme weather severely affects agriculture: Tea Sellers
• Story of Environmental Foundation Limited: Forty years of environmental justice
‘established EFL as a “non-profit company limited by liability”, under the Companies Act of Sri Lanka in 1981….In 1988, the organization received its very first grant from the Environment Liaison Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. That same year, it also established the Environmental Mediation Centre, with support from the Asia Foundation. A year later, EFL became a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’
• CMA Sri Lanka Webinar on Embedding Priority UNSDGs in Corporate Strategy
‘all CMA exams conducted online with the support of Pearson VUE USA.’
• Blue Sky Mining
‘Earthrestoration p/l (restore.earth) measures and sets algorithms for the generation of Oxygen and clean water from identified species and uses this data to reward rural participants’
• Their love for the ocean is deep
• Dollar Rationing Pushes Nigeria Wheat Buyers to Parallel Market
‘Wheat imports on official rate now in single digits from 100%. Millers partner with central bank to boost local wheat farming’
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.
• How Foreign Contractors have robbed Sri Lanka
• Ceylon Petroleum Corporation: What drives the losses? – US-funded Verité Research
‘The CPC controls 86% of market share in the retail petroleum sector.At the end of 2020, the CPC’s debts amounted to Rs. 529 billion – among the highest levels of debt for a state-owned enterprise in Sri Lanka… By contrast, India’s Lanka IOC –which also sells and distributes fuel to the retail market in Sri Lanka –made profits every year in the last 10 years, except for 2018.’
• Govt. to call tenders for mid-to-large scale solar and wind power plants
• Govt. steps up efforts to reach 70% renewable energy by 2030 with private sector investments
• India’s Gujarati Shreeji Shipping gets barge service supply deal for Lakvijaya Coal Plant
‘Located in Norochcholai, Puttalam, the Lakvijaya Power Station is the largest power station in SL. In 2020 it produced 5,754 GWh of electricity accounting for 37% of the total generation in the country.’
• Lakdhanavi continues to seek equity partner for US $ 190mn Sobhadanavi LNG plant
‘SL’s largest independent power producer (IPP)… a subsidiary of LTL Holdings Private Limited (LTLH), which operates several power plants in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh… LTLH has two other subsidiaries—51 percent-owned Lakdhanavi Bangla Power Limited and 56 percent-owned Feni Lanka.’
• Petronas Lubricants appoints Global Capital Holdings as distributor in SL and Maldives
• Sri Lanka seeks Iran, UAE oil credits to drive external current deficits amid money printing
‘Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has awarded a long term contract to M/s Conscio, Nigeria to import Murban Crude Oil for 9 months after receiving cabinet approval recently. Oasis Enterprises of Singapore has been awarded another long term contract to supply 92 octane petrol while Petro China in Singapore has contracted to supply 92 octane petrol, super diesel and diesel for a period of 8 months.’
• Our Power Fiasco
• Consumers in a quandary as gas supplies remain short
• Sri Lankans in panic mode; search for firewood online!
• SLT says it has nothing to do with NMRA cyber mystery
‘Serious suspicion that this had been engineered by the paid-servants of the pharmaceutical mafia’
• Japan’s Softbank-backed Indian ride-sharing company Ola readies for US $ 1bn India IPO
‘Ola has also brought Kotak Mahindra and Morgan Stanley and is also in talks with Bank of America and JP Morgan;
• Government to complete 121 mega projects this year amidst financial woes
• DIMO and Japan’s heavy machinery giant Komatsu mark 50 years of partnership
‘The Komatsu products offered by DIMO includes hydraulic excavators, wheel loaders, bulldozers, motor graders, dump trucks, hybrid hydraulic excavators and articulated dump trucks. DIMO has delivered Komatsu machinery for large-scale national projects such as the Katunayake-Colombo Highway, Southern Expressway, Central Highway, Hambanthota Port, and most recently the Port City. DIMO’s Komatsu customers also include the private sector, large-scale cement manufacturers to small-scale individual machinery owners…DIMO and Komatsu revolutionized the local Heavy Machinery industry by introducing SL’s first innovative Hybrid Excavators to the market and delivering the largest bulldozer ever to be supplied to Sri Lanka, the Komatsu D375 dozer, to Holcim…The Komatsu and DIMO partnership has also been instrumental in supplying Komatsu HD465-7R, the biggest-ever Komatsu Dump Trucks (Pay Load-55 MT), to SL for Siam City Cement (SCCL).’
• Motor vehicle imports negatively impact General Insurance sector
• SriLankan Airlines celebrates 42 years of fortitude soaring in the skies
• Smart Media’s 10-year partner on carbon credits: US-based Carbonfund.org Foundation
‘“Net-zero is a catchy watchword…the ‘Race to Net-zero’ in the run-up to COP26 – the UN climate change conference in November 2021 – is a compelling reminder of its urgency. Legislation and clear codes of practice will soon become global, together with mounting activism by civil society’
• Multi-sectoral collaboration vital for Sri Lanka to achieve Universal Health Coverage
‘Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS) together with the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) and the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health (CPIGH) of the Duke University, USA’
• Pandemic profiteering and constitutional distractions
‘Test kits are imported at USD 4 (Rs. 800) per kit with 10 testing samples, or a cost of Rs. 80 per sample. Private hospitals apparently charge patients Rs. 2,500 per sample, for a profit of Rs. 2,420 on each sample with the bulk of it going to the importer’
• Joint Apparel Associations Forum draws 5-point plan to sustain industry’s long-term growth
• Apparel industry urged to increase value addition to its EU exports
‘Fabric is a key raw material required for apparel production.’
• SL’s cardboard coffins attract Vietnam buyers; place first order
• Ceylon Chamber of Commerce successfully holds National SME Forum 2021 in Tamil
• Building a Digital Economy in Sri Lanka
‘About 70% of contributors to the economy of Sri Lanka do not understand digital operation and management…Sri Lanka had many plans, and no plan has been implemented until seeing the achieved vision. For example, in 1954, the government developed a four-year development plan with good objectives and activities and it was to put to the rubbish bin in 1958 presenting a ten-year development plan. The joke related to these plans was the person who developed a four-year development engineered a ten-year plan for monitoring the four-year investment program.’
• ASEAN luminaries call for inclusive digital trade ecosystem
‘Co-organized by NIKKEI Group and ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute (ISEAS), the “Nikkei-ISEAS Forum on Digitalizing Trade in South East Asia and ASEAN” brought together luminaries from the region including the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs, Indonesia, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), ISEAS, Honey Consulting Ltd. and Huawei…’
• ‘Shylock has stood Marx on his head’
• Home-Made Technology Behind Cuba’s weather forecasts
‘the innovation to the radars has made possible export to other countries of the region. It has been equally useful in the update to state-of-the-art technology undergone by the stations network, with some of the facilities in operation for 50, 60, and even 100 years.’
• Investments in public transit reduce air pollution and increase physical activity
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.
• Quarterly earnings surge in most sectors despite new COVID waves of disruption
• No Internal Investigations of two former Jt. COOs – Asia Capital PLC Director confirms
• 1.4 trillion asset-based NBFI sector resilience during 1Q21/22
• US-based frontier equity fund says its repatriations delayed up to a month on forex shortage
‘Frontaura Global Frontier Fund, which held shares in Hatton National Bank and LB Finance, disposed its holdings on June 10 and July 02, respectively, with a gain of 16 percent or US $1.0 million’
• Masatsugu Asakawa re-elected for second term as Asian Development Bank president
‘Asakawa was the Special Advisor to Japan’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and has a close-to-four decades’ career at the Ministry of Finance’
• Banking sector asset quality sour slightly in 2Q reversing gains made in 1Q
• CSE asks Iron One Tech Ltd. for root cause analysis after disruption
• Buyer beware: CSE game played on social media
• Fitch assigns ComBank’s Basel III sub debt up to Rs.10bn final ‘A(lka)’
• HNB 1H21 records over Rs. 100 Bn in volume on corporate payment platform
‘With an estimated 5000+ clients’
• HNB recently introduced micro leasing to the Agri sector
• CSE’s market capitalization closes in Rs.4 trn mark after record-breaking week
• Rupee depreciation negatively impacts stock market
• LOLC – the world’s largest multi-currency, multi-geographic microfinance service provider
• LOLC micro-lending model to Central Asia and into Africa
• National Savings Bank (NSB) Gross Income 1H21 Rs. 65.8 billion
• Union Assurance reports premium (GWP) of Rs.6.5 billion in 1H21
• Sanasa Development Bank bank Rs. 3.17 Billion income in 1H21
• Financial fortunetellers: A myth or reality?
‘there is a small actuarial community in Sri Lanka working mainly within the insurance sector’
• China set to open new stock exchange in Beijing
• US parents teach their children to invest in stocks
• JPMorgan Chase Charged for Tax Fraud in France, Cries “Human Rights” Violated.
• “Lending in a Crisis: Reviewing the US Federal Reserve’s Emergency Lending Powers”
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’
• Public-Private Partnership – to run or ruin sports in Sri Lanka?
‘Minister of Youth & Sports Namal Rajapaksa… allows the private sector companies to manage the high-profile public grounds as well as sports complexes such as the Sugathadasa Stadium and the R. Premadasa International Stadium.’
• Ceylon Tobacco Company appoints Pakistani Syed Muhammad Ali Abrar as Finance Director
• Janashakthi Life 2Q21 income of LKR 2.4 Bn
• Commercial Bank launches Home Loans promo with low interest rates & hefty discounts
• Cosmetics brand Dreamron ties up with Stephanie Siriwardhana as Brand Ambassador
• S&T Interiors awarded Rs 1.94 billion Hilton Colombo refurbishment
• Overseas Realty (Ceylon)’s S.P. Tao no more after 105 years
• IPG new owner for Dumballa – London-based HAMRO CEO Q Khan to own franchise for LPL 2021
• Recognising the vital role of SMEs in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector
• East Timor-Bangladesh Relations: Expectations From Each Other
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.
• Unusual growth in the number of members in Local Government bodies should be controlled
• Racism, Nationalism and Supranationalism – III
‘Misrepresentation and distortion of history by colonialists and separatists’
• SLFP, the architect of Sri Lanka’s future – Raghavan
• Raghavan attempts to give the SLFP a new facade of multiculturalism
‘His version of a SLFP may stand to lose its Sinhala Buddhist vote base further’
• UPFA to be revived, hints SLPF Senior Member
• The road ahead for the Left
‘As Marxist critics of the SJB will readily concede, there are comprador elements in the SJB that look up to the West, ask us to go the IMF, demonise China (among other non-Western allies), and idealise a conception of rights that sidesteps the issue of sovereignty.’
• Axioms of reality: Sense and nonsense in Lankan politics – Jayatilleka
‘Barring a few clusters or thin sub-stratum, the Sri Lankan elite, and the upper-middle classes, including the bulk of the officer corps of the military, will always be more West-centric than Sino-centric, for reasons of language (English), relatives in the diaspora, the education of children, etc. ‘
• Sagacious Tamil political leader Saumiyamoorthy Thondaman
• The Economics of Hate Politics
‘India’s economy has faced a massive slowdown over the past decade. This has resulted in massive job-losses. Stable jobs that give regular salaries and wages have reduced sharply. This has provided the perfect ground for spreading fake information about ‘minority appeasement’ and helped amplify the politics of hate’
• Realism, Idealism, & Deradicalization of Critical Race Theory – Rethinking CRT, Part 2
‘racism is a means by which our system allocates privilege, status, and wealth’
• Could California End Up With a Trump-Like Governor?
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.
• ‘Marketing in Post pandemic world’ by EconomyNext and Friedrich Naumann for freedom
• Most Lankans sleepwalking into cyber-attacks ignoring the obvious
• A Symphony of Business: BNS on their evolution in the music industry
‘in Sri Lanka, where intellectual property laws for musicians remain unenforced, artists face difficulties in earning from their original work. Musicians do not receive compensation from media institutions every time their creations are broadcast. Hence, they have to continue to perform in live shows or other engagements that bring in revenue’
• Place names say who we are: Nallur triumphs Nellore
‘The Perahera in Kandy was permitted even with artistes catching Covid. The Nallur Thiruvilla was banned.’
• CEO, Holmes Pollard & Stott, news presenter, Rupavahini – Pradeep Amirthanayagam
‘R. Rajamahendran…His legacy was ideating brands that would become icons in the public eye, e.g. S-Lon, Dialog, Anchor Newdale, Black Knight, Eva, Jones Tea and his beloved MTV and Sirasa.’
• Research leads to ruins of ancient settlement in dense jungles of Thoppigala
• Pilgrims’ progress to Kataragama in days gone by
• Ananda in Swaddling Clothes
• Looking back: Sagara Jalaya
• Tambapanni Academic Publishers (TAP) launched with USAID
• Battle for Buddha Gaya
• Samsung Signs Up Youth Icon Yohani as Face of Flagship Galaxy in Sri Lanka
• Jacqueline Fernandez; Lankan Star Shining in Indian Film Sky
‘Representatives of the Times of India Group Talent Management Team were there. Impressed by Jackie, they invited her for modelling assignments in Mumbai.’
• Most US-based media on Cuba is in Miami where right-wing Cuban Americans dominate
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