‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 05-11 September 2021
‘If you read the media reports, you can realize the reasons…
There have been so many reports without asking me.’ – Central Bank Governor WD Lakshman
‘I have been silent all this time while Sri Lankan media has been misquoting me,
stating things that I never said, taking a single sentence out of a 30-40-minute webinar, and taking the whole thing out of context. I am just sick and tired of the media doing this to me.
This must stop! Why are they doing this? Is there no stop to this? Don’t they know the harm they cause by misquoting things and even worse posting things that I never said?
Also, to all the media out there, you take just one sentence out of the whole webinar
and put it as a headline, how misleading is that?’ – Immunology Prof. Neelika Malavige
The good medical professor could delve deeper and divulge exactly who – which multinationals and banks and embassies – are behind wild-ass media pettifoggery. Then again she may end up like Senake Bibile. The ghost of Senake Bibile, architect for a people’s pharma, and of those who have been made more ill and killed by BigPharma, hang over the huge profit margins of private pharma importers like Hemas, etc., who gained from his assassination.
• Too Big to Name? – The media is too afraid to name the foreign banks and multinationals who control our economy (and media). They are also afraid to name the English Quad behind the April 2019 Attacks.
The media buries and distorts vital information, yet look at the US-government-funded thinktank Advocata’s ability to get their press releases printed in every single capitalist rag. US dollars have also bought off the Sri Lanka Economics Association, where all Advocata-funded economists will spout their anti-import anti-protectionism rhetoric at a SLEA September 16 webinar. So why are they so afraid of protectionism? (see ee Focus)
This ee also provides a gossipy excerpt about how corporations buy off editors & journalists. Yet, ‘tis bigger than that: Banks, corporations and their advertising agencies control media houses. Such exposés rarely see the sunlight (soap) of popular literature, let alone media. Fair&Lovely foreign banks and their embassies insist on choosing our Central Bank Governors and our media editors (see ee Economists).
• Our media just loves, loves, loves New Zealand’s PM, and our media – social, anti-social & corporate – just hates, hates, hates our more popularly elected President. This ee looks at how the NZ white-settler government’s Public Relations (Communications!) budget is now $90 million, a 50% increase in 4 years. NZ now has more PR ‘professionals’ than journalists. A new technocratic caste hath arisen, dedicated less to substance than spin. PR = Pimping Relentlessly (see Random Notes).
• It’s about time someone exposed our irresponsible import media. Twitterati and Facebookies are up in arms against import restrictions. ‘Down with protectionism!’ they cry. Yet protection holds the key to the rise of all developed economies. So, again, who’s afraid of protectionism? (ee Focus).
Paid scribes therefore spout nonsense against ‘militarism, despotism, totalitarianism’, yet the state appears powerless. The military cannot even prevent people from carrying the Delta (or is it Delhi?) variant on joyrides to surf Arugam Bay, etc. Police get bribed by Ceylon Tobacco Co vendors flagrantly disregarding public health. The Navy alone cannot block our porous borders. Traders are a notoriously cunning and unpatriotic class, and only a political, economic and military strategy, with peasants and workers in control, can ensure the modern industrialization of the country.
• Is there a fuel crisis? So says the capitalist media. But look at the capitalists and the wannabes on the roads and how they behave. Watch them, attempting to run down people, as if they’re in a hurry to develop the country! An oil price rise of 10% would send economies across the world into meltdown, claims one ee Reader, who prays at the shrine of the Brent oil price index every night and morning, before and after sleep.
In place of the pompous catalogue of the – inalienable rights of people –
comes the modest Magna Charta of a legally limited working day. – Marx
• The Sri Lankika government has historically played a vital outsized role in the world. They should lead the charge at the UN, by crying out ‘We charge Genocide’ in Geneva this month. Highlight the mass murder by the World Bank-IMF-WTO preventing vaccine production, on behalf of their Euro and Anglo-American sponsors. Let alone their hypocrisy in preventing modern production in our countries, by enforcing pre-industrial low wage labor-intensive assembly and manufacture! Human rights, indeed!
It is Sri Lanka after all that hosted the early meeting of the Non-Aligned Conference in 1954. ee was reminded of our role by an African-American who refused to fight in the US wars on SE Asia. Few know however of the double-game our kalusuddha leadership at the time played.
We Charge Genocide was the name of the petition submitted to UN on December 17, 1951, by African-Americans led by the famous Paul Robeson (Random Notes).
• Our governments may be in power, but they do not have power. Foreign banks rule us. It’s one thing to raid food warehouses hoarding needed goods. How about raiding the foreign banks and expose their shameful anti-national activity? Then again, is it all hidden in a ‘cloud’?
The government must set up a rating system for exporters, as long as this export game is being played. Only those exporters who return dollars to the country, will be lent dollars to buy imports. State banks need a framework for such lending, and also open greater links to Chinese banks, to pay for any needed imports directly. Also, the rise in exports was not accompanied by a concomitant increase in industrial production? (see Random Notes).
• The outgoing Central Bank Governor’s last act of defiance was to write a letter directed at the foreign banks (& their local fronts who claim to be banks). Lakshman asked their international trading arms not to indulge in short-sighted speculation on the rupee/dollar by parking their dollars outside the country (so as to make a killing by thus devaluing rupees). He hoped these exporters would use those dollars to pay for the expensive imports these exporters need to make their exported goods.
Such activity is mainly conducted by the large foreign banks, Standard Chartered, Citibank, HSBC, Deutsch Bank, etc., on behalf of multinational like Unilever, etc. We await the day a few of those foreign bankers are paraded in chains before crowds on Galle Face Green, or even better along the jogging tracks on ancient reservoirs.
There are at least 90 ‘tax havens’ in the world, many of them run by the ‘City of London’ (the English finance ghetto) and Swiss Banks. They also play a role in promoting low-skill low-wage production. (Random Notes).
• The EU threatened again this week to take SL to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the import restrictions. Remember when the US threatened to get the WTO to prevent the ban or even labeling of fake GMO foods in Sri Lanka.
Yet the import restrictions will help local production. Medium-size Rice Flour mills in Hambantota are functioning at full capacity because a major biscuit maker has shifted to rice flour for their biscuits, as wheat flour imports are now very expensive. But the media will never headline this.
• The attempted switch to organic agriculture has zapped a lightning xray into: 1) The almost total stipendiary genuflection of the agricultural professoriat and the media before chemical fertilizer multinationals. 2) The total sellout of the so-called environmental movement that maintains a steadfast eco-silence. The funding of this eco ‘movement’, the IUCNs, the WPNS, etc., by the oily-Rockefeller, is paying eco-dividends? Where? Those who lament, echo and hear the fall of a single tree in a forest far away from their mansions and SUVs? Can’t spare a word for ‘organic’ anymore?
• ‘You know, there’s no such thing as society’ – declared Margaret Thatcher in 1987: 10 years after JR Jayawardene had declared the Dharmishta Samajaya – The Just Society – unleashing the ‘open’ economy, repression of workers, terrorism and war. More ghosts. Those who undermined the public health system in the name of ‘free trade’, non-state intervention, etc., are still offering laissez-faire panaceas, while not counting the bodies….
A1. Reader Comments –
• What to Remember 20 Years Post-90-11 • BBC’s Sudden Concern for Women in Afghanistan • Electronic Imports vs IT Service Exports • Students Can’t Even Afford Laptops, Forget Digital Talk • Fantastic ee on IPR • Floods & Gods • Guess Who Undermines Peasants & Workers? • Jacqueline F & Media Pimps • Rich Import Monopolies Favored? • US$ & IMF Bitter Medicine
A2. Quotes of the Week
• UN Tribunals Dollar Dependent • Central Bank Governor on Sabotage by Economists & CB Officials • The Mighty Mahaweli • US Embassy Threats on GM FoodBan • Stockmarket & Swindles • Pandemic & Self-Reliance
A3. Random Notes –
• English Robbery & Tax Havens • SL’s US-inspired Non-Alignment • Asia & Africa Aids the white West • New Zealand’s Jacinda MakeUp • Food is the Cash of Cash • BCBSL Governor’s Veiled Goodbye • Soviet or English Spy in Central Bank?
B. ee Focus
B1. Who’s Afraid of ‘Protectionism’? – Shiran Illanperuma,
B2. How to Buy an Editor: Media & the Rise of the Polyester Prince
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
• ‘Exactly 20 years ago a Trini friend phoned us to turn on TV to see the tumbling centre of World Trade… At least now CGTN News helps us truly remember: Chicago Professor Rob Page records, the post- 9-11 war in Iraq only created more terrorists – from 100, to 80,000 in 10 years, same in Afghanistan; US Brown University has a ‘Costs of Wars’ project: the US ‘war on terror’ led to the murder of 900,000+ & cost $8trillion+, displacing over 59 million people and counting – most now refugees hosted by West & other Asian countries. One Afghan woman told the US: ‘Your 9-11 is our 24-7’ – Tragically right on… These are the numbers and truths the world should never forget.’
• ‘Note the continuous reports in BBC and other media, of how women will be suppressed and attacked and even maybe killed if they do not obey ‘Muslim rules’ after Taliban takeover. Where was BBC when England was waging war on everyone in Afghanistan? NATO has not been defeated in Afghanistan. They created 60 million refugees in Pakistan, mostly women and children! They have profited from chaos and continue to profit. The so-called decline of the white man is just fog.’
• ‘Look how hip our so-called IT executives try to be. But, our electronics imports are $1.18 billion and our ICT service exports are only $104 million. They don’t even know how to make a chip. Only write programs. But machines will soon write programs too.
There are ways to learn certain things online, but how many have access to a laptop, etc., to study? Some students use whatever they get from Mahapola for household expenses. Even small loans are spent to fulfill household needs. So, they really can’t afford laptops to study. With the pandemic, lots of people brought up this issue, of the quality of internet. Just before Dialog/ SLT decided to launch 5G, a survey found out nearly 65-70% of our population are still using 2G. We gotta improve infrastructure before we talk about digitalization.’
• ‘Fantastic ee on IPR vs Human Rights. So much to learn. Please link it to social media.’
• ‘Re: New York Flooded – Had similar storms hit some ‘bad’ country, there would be quite a few comments from religious types in the US, how this was due punishment dished out by their god.’
• ‘ee says the plan must call upon all peasant and worker organizations, and all political parties must unite to save the people from the spread of Covid. ee should add, the political party that claims to be concerned about peasants and workers is the main force undermining any such united action by them.’
• ‘Re: WION and Marwari Traders, “Sri Lankan” actress Jacqueline Fernandez’ career rise is also linked to the same interests?’ (see Random Notes)
• ‘After the 100% cash margin on imports was imposed this week, importers of raw material for exporters are asking exporters to give them dollars (instead of rupees) to import. The exporters may say they can’t convert the 25% into rupees. The import addiction is hard to shake off.
Does the cash margin apply to needed industrial inputs? There are 2 issues here: 1) The importers, whether the items they import are on the list or not, do not have dollars, a general issue now, not for large rich importers, but for medium and small-scale ones. A lot of the packing material for exports, e.g., are imported by this lower category of businesses. 2) Some of the items on the list (check HS codes) are also needed for exports.
Can this problem be solved, honestly? The policies seem to favor the rich importers and exporters, while the smaller ones are taking a hit. We may end up with huge monopolies. This may not be a bad policy, but it will wipe out the smaller players in the short to medium term. It is going to be politically unpopular. The government should have a solid plan to redirect them elsewhere, into production, but finding markets, etc., will take time. I don’t think the government has a plan for this.’
• ‘The capitalist system is hooked to the massive US dollar liquidity being poured into the system, ensuring a massive rise in debt. If the US defaults, they will unleash a tsunami of defaults. This is why their economists promote the IMF’s structural adjustment shock therapy. This adjustment enables them to force governments to sell off national assets for dollars, further promoting the addiction to US dollars & dollar hegemony.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and UN High Commission for Human Rights (OHCHR) are all donor dependent, primarily on the EU and other white nations, who look out for their interests and those of the US.’ – ee Sovereignty, Rwanda
• [CBSL Governor] ‘referred to society or the system of party politics as not having systemic commitment to move out of the “developing” status, and not being able to agree on a clear policy framework and to stick to it for a long enough period of time. He also found the lack of widespread acceptance of what he called “political economy ideology”… only a minority of economists subscribed to these political and economic perspectives. Among the large numbers of educated professionals in the Central Bank also, the conditions are no different.’ – ee Economists
• ‘Mahaweli, the longest river (335km)… has the largest river basin (10,500 of SL’s total 65,000 sq.km)… Having garnered further waters from Knuckles via the Hulu Ganga, from Pidurutalagala via the Ma Oya, from Horton Plains via the Uma Oya and even as far as the Badulla and Passara hills via the Badulu Oya and Loggal Oya, …it’s the only Dry Zone river to be fed by the SW Monsoonal rains… with the largest bay at Koddiyar in Trincomalee… Its largest tributary, the Amban Ganga, too is a creation of the Knuckles western slopes, and the less plentiful Hasalaka Oya and Heen Ganga, which gather waters off the range’s eastern slopes… Moving down the Kotmale Oya, further nourished by the Nanu Oya is the Upper Kotmale Reservoir and Hydropower scheme…The river is then joined by the waters of the Devon, Pundal and Ramboda Oya and flows into the famed & beautiful valley of Kotmale, once the sanctuary of legendary King Dutugemunu during his youth… It meanders around the upper-middle-class suburbs of Kandy, where we encounter the Polgolla Barrage… an 8km-long underground penstock northward to Ukuwele power station. Ukuwele then releases these spent waters into the Dhun Oya, which in turn connects to the Sudu Ganga, then emerges further north as the Bowatenna Reservoir… to become the Amban Ganga, making the Mahaweli the only river to feed its own tributary… Waters diverted from Bowatenna are channeled through a tunnel to Lenodara, and from there enter the Dambulu Oya… starting from Demada Oya, a tributary of the Amban where an anicut built by Dhatusena diverted waters to the Wilimiti Oya, a tributary of the Dambulu… via the Ibbankatuwa Tank, north into the gigantic Kala Wewa – Balalu wewa complex and the Kala oya basin… Waters from the Kala Wewa are transferred via the famous Jaya Ganga… to Devanampiyatissa’s 3rdC BC Tissa Wewa in the ancient citadel of Anuradhapura… to the more modern Rajanganaya further west via the Kala Oya itself. The excess waters of Tissa Wewa find their way into the Malwatu Oya, the country’s longest river, and off that via the Yoda Ela into the famed Giant’s Tank over 50km NW of Anuradhapura… to irrigate the famous Rice Bowl of Mannar. A bifurcation at Dambulu Oya built in 1976 also takes Mahaweli waters into the ancient and popular scenic Kandalama tank… and to the Hurulu Wewa …primary repository source of Sri Lanka’s 5th longest river, the Yan Oya… infusing water into ancient Padaviya Tank. Originally built to trap the waters of the Ma Oya, the actual origins of this very ancient tank are yet debated but speculated as having been built by Saddhatissa (137-119 BC). 165km from its original diversion at Polgolla, this will be the furthest point north yet traversed by the Mahaweli’s waters… Waters thus blessed flow beyond Bowatenna as the mighty Amban, the Mahaweli’s largest tributary…’ – ee Agriculture, Mahaveli
• ‘The SL government drafted a Food Act which would ban GMOs in their country. The Agricultural Counselor from the US Embassy in India threatened Sri Lanka with a challenge of the ban under the WTO which would have cost the country $190million in penalties if SL did not lift the ban. The Food Act was supposed to enter into force in Sept 2001, but due to the pressure by the US and Australia the ban was deferred indefinitely.’ – ee Agriculture,
• ‘In every stockjobbing swindle everyone knows that some time or other the crash must come, but every one hopes it may fall on the head of his neighbor, after he himself has caught the shower of gold and placed it in safety. Après moi le déluge! [After me, the flood] is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation. Hence Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the laborer, unless under compulsion from society’ – Marx, Capital Vol 1
• ‘The two characteristics immanent in the credit system are, on the one hand, to develop the incentive of capitalist production, enrichment through exploitation of the labor of others, to the purest and most colossal form of gambling and swindling, and to reduce more and more the number of the few who exploit the social wealth; on the other hand, to constitute the form of transition to a new mode of production.’ – Marx, Capital Vol. 3
• ‘Persistent global pandemics will inevitably lead to more national self-reliance and export controls for key goods and materials.’ – The Fears of Roubini, ee Economists
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• The preponderance of English, Euro and Anglo-American ‘tax havens’ around the world is linked to the ‘fall of the English empire’. Since the English government gets companies resident there to pay taxes, those stealing their moneys out of former colonies like Sri Lanka were allowed to set up in small English ‘possessions’ – usually little islands – paying lower taxes. They deprive nation-states of their legitimate share of tax revenue, which can build roads, hospitals, generate electricity. Al Capone, the gangster, was not jailed for murder and extortion, but for not paying taxes.
Many of our fake ‘industries’ are held down as labor-intensive production because they are laundries for ‘dirty’ money from England and the rest of Europe, as well as the Americas. They use the ‘over-invoicing’ method, eg, claiming they pay high wages, but this money goes to contractors who then place the money in offshore accounts and pay low wages to local workers.
• World War II ended in 1945 only for the white man, but they did not end their wars on most of the world.
In the shadow of the horror of the US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, and the English partition of India (dividing Punjab, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Sindh, Baluchistan), the US took over from England and France as the main threat to the world.
The US & allies continued waging deadly wars on East Asia (China, HongKong, Taibei), Northeast Asia (Korea, 1950-3), Kenya (1952-60), Southeast Asia (1955-75), destabilizing governments & assassinating leaders: Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Sri Lanka (1959), Congo (1961), Indonesia (1965), Ghana (1966), Sudan (1969), Sri Lanka (1971), etc.
To reinforce their dividing of Korea, the white man and their allies (US, England, France, Canada, S Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, Netherlands, Turkey, Luxembourg, Greece, Philippines, Thailand, Ethiopia, Colombia) invaded Korea, using an illegal UN Security Council resolution to wage war: The USSR had boycotted the Council due to the exclusion of the People’s Republic of China, and Taiwan being allowed on the Council instead.
In the absence of UN justice, the Colombo Powers Meeting was held from 1954 April 28 – May 2, with Lanka, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Pakistan. The Battle of Dien Bien Phu was raging in Vietnam, March 13 – May 7, ending with the French defeat. The US threatened to use a nuclear bomb on Vietnam, then invaded in 1955.
The Colombo Powers Meeting was where the term ‘non-aligned’ was first used. However, the truth is we should be ‘aligned’ – i.e. to our own interests and to ensuring we free ourselves from imperialism.
The US and England, intent on sabotaging any alliance between Asia and the rest of the world, coached their puppet PM John Kotelawala to undermine the alliance. He offered to host the planning conference in Colombo. He took the lead in attacking socialist governments, with the US demanding bases in SL, and demanding the government abrogate the SL-China Rubber-Rice Pact. The Colombo meeting was also bogged down by the division of Kashmir, the ongoing invasion of Palestine dividing West Asia (with the Suez crisis brewing), and the ongoing wars waged on South and East Asia. Indonesia called for an African-Asian/AA Alliance. Only Myanmar highlighted economic challenges.
England still had military bases in Ceylon. Right after the AA planning meeting in Colombo, after the Vietnamese had delivered a devastating blow to the French in Vietnam at Dien Bien Phu (with the US threatening to drop an atom bomb), PM John Kotelawela, who’d just replaced Dudley Senanayake (with father DS also proving not fully reliable for the US), allowed air passage via Ceylon of French troops in US Globemasters to SE Asia in June 1954,, after India had refused to permit use of Indian facilities. This incident had ‘emphasized’ Ceylon’s ‘importance as a communications link’ to the US. (see ee 19 Oct 2019)
A supposedly ‘Top Secret’ memo, US Military Requirements in Ceylon, 1 Dec 1954, records, from the time Ceylon was made ‘independent’ in 1948, the US War Department kept pushing for military communication ‘installations’ here, especially for ‘allied strategic air operations’.
The US Ambassador and first SL PM DS Senanayake had informal talks on setting up a US ‘Navy Communications facility’ for an officer with 20 men. DS stalled, saying he was awaiting clarification of the England-Ceylon Defense Agreement of 1947, which alone claimed to defend Ceylon. Yet on a secret basis and without the use of ‘US Navy Personnel on shore’, the Government of Ceylon permitted the US to lease oil storage facilities from the English navy in Ceylon.
The Government of Ceylon kept saying prospects for positive negotiations on bases were unfavorable, and ‘a substantial quid pro quo would be required’ to enable boots on the ground. After all, the US had cut off all aid due to our Rubber-Rice Pact with China.
Ceylon did not attend the Manila Conference in Sept 1954 in the Philippines, where the Asia Collective Defense Treaty, set up the SE Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) in 1955 in Bangkok, to ‘block further communist gains in SE Asia’.
The US Department of State was notified of the delay in securing heavy-bomber-staging base rights for transit and landing for the USAF in 3 airfields in Ceylon, with navy and army needs requiring also to be modified.
PM Kotelawala was then taken to Washington, where he promised to regard ‘communism’ as the ‘primary danger’ in Asia. The US Secretary told him, Communist China had ‘not given proper indications of desire for peace’, while the US Ambassador offered ‘modest’ economic assistance in exchange for reducing Rubber to China by 50%! (Foreign Relations of the US: Diplomatic Papers, 1952-54, Vol 11, by US Department of State)
The Asian & African (‘Nonaligned’) Conference was held in Indonesia in 1955…
• ‘The size of the shadow financial system in the world can be gauged from the fact that while OECD countries transferred over $1.07 trillion (~1.7% of the world’s GDP) worth of overseas development assistance or foreign aid, predominantly to developing economies, between 1999-2009, the floodgates had opened for the wealthy elites in developing economies to do exactly the opposite. In the same period, there was an illicit transfer of wealth from developing countries to the developed world to the tune of over $8 trillion (larger than the combined size of the economies of China & India). This was the estimated amount that the rich in developing countries illegally moved to the West, much of it through tax havens. More often than not, these wealth transfers were permanent – as fixed assets like real estate, bullion, equity investments, or as interest and principal payments on loans – rather than in the ubiquitous form of ‘cash in savings or fixed deposits’.
‘The OECD provides the following explanation of illicit financial flows: “Illicit financial flows range from something as simple as a private individual transfer of funds into private accounts abroad without having paid taxes, to highly complex schemes involving criminal networks that set up multilayered multijurisdictional structures to hide ownership. They may have arisen from illegal or corrupt practices such as smuggling, fraud or counterfeiting; or the source of funds may be legal, but their transfer may be illegal, such as in the case of tax evasion by individuals and companies. The shadow financial system has significantly contributed to the drying up of government treasuries.”’ – Paranjoy Guja Thakurta, Thin Dividing Line, 2017
• Imaging NZ’s Jacinda– There’s a high rate of suicide in New Zealand, particularly among Sri Lankans. However, the NZ Health Ministry is considered highly skilled at hiding the actual state of mental health in that country. NZ’s much-hyped anti-Covid campaign has also avoided major criticism using Public Relations spinners.
New Zealand now has many more public relations practitioners than journalists: 10,000 people work in PR, with only 1,000 journalists working in print and broadcasting. Following the corporate/company model, the NZ government provides a good example of how to keep information secret and the public ignorant about crucial issues. Their government was elected by promising loudly ‘to be open and transparent, but it is an artfully-crafted mirage’.
Ministers do not give interviews on important topics (except for exclusives with “cherry picked” journalists). They feed journalists ‘with virtually meaningless press conferences that do not serve the public interest and are distractions from what is actually important’.
Unsatisfactory media events like PM forums leave many questions unanswered: The flow of information about programs is tightly controlled, and heavily politicized.
Again, just like corporations, there is an increased number of communications staff hired by governments ‘to massage the media and produce good public relations’ by an ‘army of well-paid spin doctors’. The number of communications specialists has ballooned. Each minister has at least 2 press secretaries (PM has 4).
Political leaders now employ more social-media experts than policy advisers. This encourages parties ‘to make inroads into swing voters by appealing to outrage-ification and triggering, (law & order, terrorism, immigration, etc.) rather than ‘via any real promise of material progress in people’s standard of living’.
PR professionals work directly for politicians, government departments, or local government authorities. ‘Communications’ is a booming sector of politics and government. Over the last 5 years, public sector communications staff numbers have risen 60%. Job opportunities in political PR doubtlessly only improve during election year. Agencies are contracted to provide film and photographs to the NZ media for all events that the PM attends, and to collect social-media content.
Private contractors and consultants are profiting out of government spending propelled by the pandemic and big IT projects; with a general increase in consultants and contractors
The Ministry of Health is ‘notorious for stymieing even the simplest requests. Health’s information gatekeepers are so allergic to journalists they refuse to take phone calls, responding only (and sporadically) to emails’.
The Public Service Commission has been caught gagging the Ministry of Health, for damaging the government’s public reputation. Communications staff removed important information from the report on mental health, and significantly delayed its release. The Public Service watchdog has refused to hold an inquiry into mental health report, but criticizes Ministry of Health for harming public confidence.
Senior officials battled for 2 years to remove data from a report on mental health, because it made the government look bad, with ‘a lot of data and negative statistics’. They demanded ‘dramatic edits and huge delays to the Government mental health report’.
The restructuring of the health system created a greater need for information and debate. But district health boards have been gagged by the Public Service Commission to prevent health board members from making ‘political comment’. Yet most of the board members are elected: ‘so political comment is literally their job, just as it is for local authority members’ and MPs. Yet the Ministry of Health plays down anything controversial, dragging out responses to any questions delving under the surface.
The public gets to see the PM every day at 1pm press conferences. She replies to Instagram posts and questions from journalists alike, and appears to be her own press secretary (she has a degree in communications). However, a deep team shapes PM Ardern’s message to the public, usually not seen by that very public. They handle interview requests and shape how people all see big events, like budgets.
Her chief press secretary (CPS) sets out the PM’s communications with the wider public. He (having worked on Obama’s first campaign) leads a team of 4 to handle incoming questions for the PM, sets up interviews and press conferences, and accompanies her through various media engagements, always recording every media appearance.
The CPS helps write speeches for the PM, also shaping the messaging from most of the ministers. They all have their own press secretaries but will defer to ‘PMO’ (PM’s Office). Above the press team is the PM’s chief of staff, who makes sure the PM’s ‘outward communication’ is “a big part of leading a country”.
The Finance Minister has 2 press secretaries (PSs), since ‘Economic messaging is a bit more complicated than most other messaging and a lot of it is intended for a more specialist audience’. The PSs set up the FinMin’s speeches at various banks, making sure analysts have a reasonable idea of the Government’s fiscal intentions, also helping Treasury’s communications team set up “the Budget lockup”, when journalists and analysts are locked in a room for several hours while the Government unveils its annual budget.’ (Details from press agencies)
• Lenin said food is the cash of cash? ee commentators were asked, why it’s more important to raid food warehouses or intercept foreign bank dealings than to arrest a few Standard Chartered, Citibank, HSBC directors? Food prices determine which layers will live and die even. Simply because people can’t live without food, therefore food circulation (demand & supply) controls the overall economy. If wages = minimum price required to reproduce the worker, then it follows that fluctuations in the cost of food determine the level of surplus value and therefore profit. Production is fundamentally about building value layers. The basic Rate of Return (ROR) in any economy is in food prices. Food prices determine the price of all the other ROR layers.
• The Wijeya Group’s Financial Times reacted negatively to the CB Governor’s recent request to foreign banks not to think about hoarding dollars acquired through exports (so as to speculate) but to use those dollars to finance imports? Insulting the Central Bank action as ‘immoral suasion’, FT editor Nisthar Cassim doubted ‘foreign banks active in international trade financing will toe the Central Bank’s line’.
CBSL Governor WD Lakshman’s ‘urgent’ September 6 memorandum to ‘All Chief Executive Officers of Licensed Commercial Banks, and National Savings Bank, that the prevailing conditions do not at all warrant excessive foreign exchange volatility and any further depreciation of the exchange rate’, noted ‘Excessive speculative behavior is observed amongst certain market participants bringing in more pressure on the value of the currency. This is seriously inimical to the interests of the people of this country and its long-term sustainable development.’ He added: ‘The excessive volatility in the exchange rate results in adverse adjustments in domestic prices of essential goods, leading to extremely negative and undesirable effects on living conditions of the general public’; and asks for ‘the continuous co-operation of all bank CEOs to support these endeavours’. The good governor noted: ‘Needless to say, the CBSL has necessary tools and intervention instruments, to be used to ensure that financial institutions, duly comply in the greater national interest that is overwhelmingly paramount.’ Yet he warns banks against working ‘in silos to safeguard their private interests’, hoping they’d ‘view the economy and the foreign exchange market, from a macro perspective’.
‘Banks and other stakeholders will also do well when the macro-economy is stable. By allowing the stability of the macro-economy to deteriorate, you will be contributing to difficulties also for yourselves. In addition, I observe there was an increase in the momentum of the country’s export growth in the recent past. As economic growth accelerates with such export growth, there will be some expansion in imports as well. The export growth that is taking place must help to finance this required import expansion. Hence the need for repatriation of export proceeds, which the banks must facilitate.
The financial sector community is assured that the international value of the currency will be further strengthened due to the recent receipts of SDR allocation from the IMF and through SWAP arrangements. Several other inflows of notable size are expected during the remainder of the year, gradually easing out the pressure in the domestic foreign exchange market. Furthermore, as you all know, the CBSL has been making some interventions as well, in the form of foreign exchange sales and affording access to foreign currency at the agreed rate range.
Thus, as responsible members of the financial community of this country, I most categorically require and request your active and tangible cooperation in order to ensure the exchange rates is maintained at the formally agreed rate range of Rs 200-203 per US$ and correspondingly, to ensure that the rate does not deteriorate beyond this agreed rate range.’
• Michael Greenberg was recruited as economic advisor to the Central Bank of Ceylon in 1958. He returned to London in 1960, as assistant, then chief, editor of The Banker, a monthly published by the Financial Times of London, and then became chief economist at the London stockbroking company De Zoete & Bevan. He noted, ‘in London most people shared the Marxist analysis of capitalism learned in Cambridge in the 1930s, but were, by contrast, quite content with the implicit inequalities’. He was a scholar of Chinese economics and history, and wrote the classic British Trade & the Opening of China, about China’s invasion and exploitation by England in setting up the colony of Hong Kong. He was accused during the McCarthy hearings of being a Soviet spy, but was never charged with espionage.
In 1942 Greenberg had become a China specialist at the Board of Economic Warfare and assistant to the agency’s head. He later worked as a foreign affairs economist in the Enemy Branch Division, of the Foreign Economic Administration.
Greenberg left the US permanently in 1947 after being interviewed by the FBI. He lost his US citizenship due to absence from the US and was denied a passport by the English Home Office, even as late as the 1970s. His English passport was never restored, and the accusations continued to hound him throughout the 1950s.
B. Special Focus_
B1. Who’s Afraid of ‘Protectionism’? – Shiran Illanperuma, 5 Sept 2021
Protectionism – the word evokes entirely negative connotations in debates over economic policy in Sri Lanka. Conventional wisdom is that restrictions on imports produce an ‘inefficient’ allocation of resources and ‘super profits’ for domestic monopolies at the expense of consumers. Seen in historical perspective however, the picture is more complicated.
Describing Adam Smith’s and the English Government’s ‘cosmopolitan doctrine’ of free trade, German economist Friedrich List, in 1841: ‘It is a very common clever device that when anyone has attained the summit of greatness, he kicks away the ladder which he has climbed up, in order to deprive others of the means of climbing up after him.’ List pointed out the hypocrisy of England, which, ‘by means of protective duties… has raised her manufacturing power… to such a degree of development that no other nation can sustain free competition with her’, only to turn around and ‘preach to other nations the benefits of free trade’.
The French too, were wise to England’s machinations, knowing full well how tariffs protected England’s beer breweries from competition from French wine. Le Moniteur Industriel, a leading French protectionist paper in the mid-1800s, accused England, ‘does not go so far in her devotion to the theories of free trade. From competition that she does not fear, she is willingly faithful (to free trade). But free trade that touches her domestic production is another matter: she will hear none of it.’
England’s great wall of tariffs – Modern England may be best known for the financial services offered in the city of London, but it is still a global leader in manufacturing of high-tech goods like integrated circuits, engines, robotics, computers. In the early 1700s, however, it was still an exporter of agricultural raw materials (wool) to countries like Netherlands and Belgium more advanced in manufacturing.
It was only in 1721, when Robert Walpole became the country’s first de facto Prime Minister, that something resembling what would today be called ‘industrial policy’ – or derisively labelled ‘protectionism’ – was launched. Walpole introduced some of the first import-substitution policies, which helped kick off England’s Industrial Revolution behind a great wall of tariffs.
England’s average tariff rate – import tax revenue divided by the total cost of imports – surpassed 30% in the 1830s. Average tariff rates first declined after 1846, when the Corn Laws (a system of tariffs designed to protect English agriculture) were repealed as manufacturers demanded cheaper imported food to push wage costs down. But average tariff rates dipped below 10% only after 1860 and the signing of the Anglo-French free trade agreement.
What is notable in this sequence of events is that reduction of tariffs only followed England’s development as a manufacturing power and the acquisition of captive markets (for raw materials import and manufactures export) through colonization and unequal treaties. In 1843 the Nanking Treaty opened up the Chinese market; in 1858 the English Raj was established in India. By the time England adopted free trade, it had no real competition to speak of.
While England opened up in the 1860s, the US threw up its own great wall of tariffs when Abraham Lincoln became President with the backing of industrialists in the north. Lincoln’s protectionism echoed that of founding father Alexander Hamilton, whose ‘Report on the Subject of Manufactures’ – presented to Congress in 1791 – was arguably the first formal blueprint of a cohesive industrial policy including elements of import-substitution, development banking, and infrastructure and public works development.
Interestingly, it was the slave-holding south that was the strongest lobby for free trade, as cotton planters made a killing exporting to England. They squandered profits on conspicuous consumption of European manufactures and feared US tariffs would provoke England to throw up her own. This bears some resemblance to Sri Lanka’s ‘Planter Raj’ who exported tea, rubber and coconut produced by cheapened labour, while resisting import-substitution industrialization.
The US experienced its ‘Gilded Age’ of rapid industrialization, expanding infrastructure and rising wages 1870-1900, while hiding behind hefty average tariff rates of over 20%. Only in the aftermath of WWII, when competitors like England, France, Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union were in tatters, did the US begin to liberalize and promote free trade. By the 1950s, the US composed around half of global GDP and had little to worry from external competition.
South Korea: A protectionist Tiger – The 4 Asian Tigers of South Korea, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong are often presented as examples of the universal applicability of liberal economic theory. However, the role of protectionism in their early stage of development is either downplayed or erased entirely.
Singapore and HK adopted forms on import-substitution but opened up owing to the fact that they were entrepot city-states lacking natural resources and an agricultural hinterland. By contrast, Taiwan and South Korea maintained import controls for much longer, thereby developing their agriculture systems and food processing capabilities.
South Korean institutional economist Ha Joon Chang, while delivering the 71st Anniversary Oration of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka recently, describes how South Korea developed its automobile industry behind the protection of steep tariffs and outright import bans.
The now world-famous Hyundai Motor Co began as a construction company in the 1940s and only attempted automobile manufacturing in the 1960s through partnerships with foreign companies. During its first venture, Hyundai produced a mere 8,000 cars in 3 years. But in the next 40 years, with protection from external competition (automobile imports banned until the 1990s), and a heavy dose of subsidies to help compete in the world market, Hyundai outproduced Ford & General Motors to become the third largest automobile company in the world.
The sheer scale of South Korean protectionism during its rapid industrialization under military leader Park Chung Hee 1963-79, show average tariff rates on industrial goods reached a dizzying 70.6% in some years – more than double England’s average tariffs during the peak of its industrial revolution.
South Korea’s ‘closed economy’ during this period grew at an average of around 10% a year. Manufacturing as a percentage of GDP grew from 12.84% to 21.84%. Merchandise exports as a percentage of GDP grew from 2.18% to 27.89%. In short, Korea’s export-oriented industrialization under Park occurred in tandem with extremely high levels of protectionism, some of which continues to this day as we will show later.
This is not to say that import-substitution and tariffs alone produced the ‘Miracle on the Han’. To be sure, a range of other factors including land reform, development banking, export discipline and stable long-term political leadership played a role. Moreover, protections were not unconditional, and were tied to performance targets, as they should be.
How protectionist is SL really? – In 2020, Sri Lanka initiated a range of import controls including a total ban on automobile imports in order to stem foreign currency outflows. This sparked comparison to the period 1956-77, when deteriorating terms of trade forced subsequent administrations to adopt elements of import-substitution industrialization policies similar to what was done in England, the US, Korea.
While not without problems, a range of new industries emerged during this time, including the manufacture of steel, rubber tires, ceramics, glass, handlooms, radios, bicycles, and automobiles. Many private sector companies today are the product of infant industries birthed under the so-called ‘closed economy’ which laid some groundwork for Sri Lankan industrialization.
Sri Lanka began import liberalization after 1977. Today, you can go to any local supermarket and find Canadian wheat, Australian legumes, Indian sugar and onions, Pakistani potatoes, New Zealand milk, Austrian cheese. Meanwhile, the middle class drive Japanese cars to work in offices equipped with Singaporean computers. Our tastes are quite cosmopolitan indeed, and the economy is more or less ‘open’.
However, many economists seem to think this isn’t enough, and portray Sri Lanka’s trade policy as that of a fortress of protectionism. How accurate is this? Compare the average tariff rates for agricultural and non-agricultural goods in Sri Lanka and a range of other South, Southeast and East Asian economies using data from the World Trade Organization (WTO).
The country with the highest average duty on agricultural products is the high-income South Korea – with an average duty rate over double that of Sri Lanka! Liberal India and Thailand also have agricultural duties higher than SL. Malaysia appears to have the lowest average duty, and the only one that is in single digits.
Bangladesh and Pakistan immediately stand out as the 2 countries with the highest average duty on non-agricultural products. Interestingly, China, India, Vietnam and Thailand, which are generally presented to us as positive examples of liberalization, have higher average duties than Sri Lanka. Only Japan, Korea and Malaysia are more open to non-agricultural goods than SL.
Simple average tariffs are not a perfect indicator, and they cannot factor in the possibility that some tariffs may be so high as to discourage imports entirely. However, it is still a useful tool of analysis to provide a ballpark estimate of the relative openness or closeness of an economy to imports. As the data shows, Sri Lanka is not the hyper-protectionist fortress it is portrayed to be, and indeed many industrializing or industrialized Asian peers, including Korea, Vietnam, India, Bangladesh and Thailand, continue to employ protective tariffs.
The historical experience of developed capitalist economies shows that protectionism in and of itself is not necessarily a barrier to growth, and in many cases can help spur domestic innovation and structural transformation. To be effective however, import restrictions have to be targeted, stable, and supported by a complementary fiscal, monetary and institutional framework.
(The writer is a Global Macro Research Analyst at Econsult Asia, an economic research & management consultancy firm with an alternative development outlook) – themorning.lk/whos-afraid-of-protectionism
B2. How to Buy a News Editor: Media & the Rise of The Polyester Prince
The Rise of the Ambanis: The key to profits in the Indian synthetic textile business through the 1970s was access to supplies of the basic filaments and yarns. India already had a few factories making rayon (derived from cellulose material, usually wood, pulp, developed 1891 in France), and more modern artificial fibres derived from coal and petroleum including nylon (developed 1935 by Du Pont) and polyester (first produced 1941 in England and later branded as Dacron, Fortrel, Terylene).
In 1969, the managing agency system, whereby families such as the Tatas wielded control over affiliated companies with very little equity, was abolished, and the Monopolies & Restrictive Trade Practices Act intensified the industrial licensing regime first introduced in 1951. The ‘convertibility clause’ gave the government’s financial institutions (development banks, insurance companies) the option to convert a proportion of long-term loans to companies into equity, and the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act 1973 sharply restricted the freedom of Indians to hold foreign currency or assets.
From 1970 supreme power had been appropriated by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Coordination, headed by the PM. The PM’s office became the main decision-making authority. Those who managed to get industrial licences also managed to see to it that others did not. Up to 1979, India’s capital markets were quiet places.
In March 1977, Indira and Congress were swept from power, but she gave Ambani a parting gift: exempting all polyester yarn imports under licence.
The new Janata [People’s] Government now came under Morarji Desai, Indira’s former finance minister who had opposed her nationalisation policies in the late 1960s. The new Janata minister for commerce, Mohan Dharia, allowed any licence holder – not just exporters of nylon fabric – to import a specific quantity of polyester yarn.
In 1978 the first supplies of yarn began reaching Indian markets. Ambani’s Reliance became the major polyester importer in India, supplied by the Italian company Ital Viscosa and Japan’s C Itoh group (Itochu, whose international arm became Marubeni), and Asahi Chemicals in Japan.
Indira returned to power in 1980. The first big party staged to welcome her was hosted by Congress MPs from Gujarat, and paid for by Ambani. Indira was now against state intervention in the economy. Indian business leaders demanded drastic relaxation of the licence controls on capacity expansion and diversification vested in the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission. October 1980, Reliance received one of 3 licences given by the government for manufacture of polyester filament yarn. Reliance now sourced from the US chemicals firm EI Du Pont de Nemours using their technology, via New York firm Chemtex Inc.
Ambani’s friend, Bengali politician Pranab Mukherjee in 1982 became Minister of Finance. His ministry not only helped set trade policy, including tariff levels and anti-dumping duties, in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance, but conducted the system of import licences through the powerful office of the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports.
The Ministry of Finance also supervised the Reserve Bank of India, the central bank. Through its banking division the ministry also effectively directed the 26 nationalised banks through highly politicised board and senior management appointments. It supervised the insurance companies and other financial institutions such as the Unit Trust of India, and controlled entry to the share markets by Indian companies. Under a series of secretaries that included Manmohan Singh (finance minister in the 1990s), RN Malhotra, M Narasimhan and S Venkitaramanan, the Ministry of Finance engineered a revitalisation of India’s capital markets in the early 1980s.
In 1979 Ambani’s company barely made it to the list of India’s 50 biggest companies, measured by annual sales, profits or assets. By 1984 Reliance was in the largest 5.
Until 1993 when the newly empowered Securities and Exchange Board of India applied new rules, India had no explicit law against insider trading, though companies were forbidden by company law from buying their own shares. It was accepted as normal, however, for companies to see that their share prices were boosted by friendly brokers and underwriters ahead of issues, and often for sensitive information to reach some investors ahead of the public. Share market research was not so much concerned with intelligence about a company’s performance as about which particular stock was being targeted for concerted price ramping and by whom.
Dhirubhai Ambani’s willingness to ‘salaam’ anyone and his cultivation of junior staff and newcomers had by the early 1980s created a huge network of friends in politics, government ministries and financial circles [by allocating shares or debentures].
Many companies had their friends in the bureaucracy. Officials looked to post-retirement jobs or opportunities for their children. ‘Moles’ were not just in the ministries of direct relevance to Ambani’s Reliance – Finance, Industries, Commerce, Textiles, Petroleum, but in the PM’s Office and Home Affairs. A signature was barely on a document or file in the Ministry of Finance, eg, before Dhirubhai was informed. The inside trading was not just in the affairs of Reliance Industries Ltd, but in the affairs of the Government of India.
The intervention went beyond information-gathering, to the point of influencing or even controlling key bureaucratic appointments, and thereby influencing policy or its interpretation. In many parts of India, government jobs have long been allocated by auction, the highest prices being fetched by those in revenue raising and policing agencies where the opportunities for corruption are greater. …In New Delhi, police promotions and transfers are brokered by a well-known city journalist.
In Bombay, the competition was intense among the handful of senior bureaucrats with financial sector experience for the chairmanships & chief executive positions of the government financial institutions. Dhirubhai was active in lobbying when top posts fell vacant in banks, insurance companies and statutory authorities.
Before him, GD Birla may have been equally master of the Licence Raj, and keen to buy public and perhaps divine favour by the building of temples and colleges… his family owned Hindustan Times, one of India’s strongest English-language newspapers.
The Licence Raj had unleashed packs of inspectors against private wealth, and businessmen had learned to be lectured by politicians and officials about the superiority of economic planning and directed investment.
Dhirubhai shared a certain contempt for the journalist. ‘Throw some scraps to the street-dogs and crows before you feed yourself.’ He recognised how powerful the press could be in moulding the thinking of the public and the politicians. The huge advertising spend of Reliance gave him an automatic hold over many of the less established newspapers and magazines. By the early 1980s the new technology of computerised composition and photo-typesetting had led to an explosion of publishing in India, particularly in regional languages where it overcame the technical problems of complex scripts in an economical way.
Advertising from Reliance was an important source of revenue. After a newspaper editor had offended Reliance, Reliance had immediately cancelled all advertisements.
A Gujarati publication in England then suddenly began printing a series of articles critical of Reliance. After talking to the publisher, it was reported back: ‘Sir, it is a plea for advertising.’ The plea was answered, and the articles stopped. ‘You could multiply these examples by a million.’
Underpaid financial journalists are used to receiving gifts from businessmen wanting publicity, and their proprietors are happy to have their salary bill subsidised in this way. Press conferences are followed by buffet meals and drinks, and envelopes containing cash or gift vouchers are handed out by public relations officers on the way out. The envelope system has flourished most intensely during bull runs on the stock exchange when new company floats and issues have come thick and fast, and even a paragraph in a big English-language newspaper means recognition for a new company promoter.In Paris, waiters are known to pay the proprietors of certain fashionable restaurants for the privilege of being able to wait at the tables and collect tips. In Bombay, some would-be business correspondents are willing to eschew salary altogether and even offer a monthly fee to the newspaper in return for being accredited as its reporter. Reliance was a pioneer of envelope journalism.
Some in senior positions would get regular monthly payments, or issues of Reliance shares and debentures at par. The reporter was not the final arbiter of what got published. Ambani also cultivated desk editors and even editors. One who accepted Reliance debentures for himself, and help in arranging bank finance to pay for them, was Girilal Jain, editor of The Times of India for much of the 1980s.
Close journalists also became an extension of Dhirubhai’s intelligence network, asking rival businessmen for their frank views ‘off the record’ about Reliance and then reporting them back. On the theory that rumour and gossip are more keenly heeded because they carry an aura of exclusivity, the pressmen would be used to plant opinions about the merits of Reliance activities and the failings of other companies. Occasionally the journalistic network would turn up details of illegal or embarrassing activities by rivals that could be used to obtain peace, or failing that, turned over to authorities for punitive action or harassing investigation.
Journalists fall into the perennial trap of getting too close to a source that had given them many good stories – and then having too much friendship or ego involved to admit any negative news. And especially for the news magazines that were the liveliest and fastest-growing section of the Indian media in the 1980s – the last decade before privately owned television arrived with satellite broadcasts – the Ambanis were a colourful and fresh story. It was a highly effective image-making operation. But, perhaps inevitably, some accidental slips allowed the public glimpses of Dhirubhai’s secret manoeuvres.
So who was behind these revelations about the Ambanis. We can only guess? Perhaps only Hindustan Lever and the Tatas can tell us.
– Info gleaned from: The Polyester Prince: the Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani, Hamish McDonald, 1998
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.
• Outgoing Central Bank Governor told banks to serve greater national interest first
‘during critical times banks should not work in silos safeguarding private interests’
• EU threatens SL to respect WTO rules; urges not to put country’s exports at risk
‘EU accounts for over 22% of SL’s exports; Lankan exporters enjoy GSP Plus access to the region’
• Forcing SL Government To Accept The Accord Was A Mistake: Says Former IPKF Chief
• Writing Letters to Michele Bachelet Causes Turmoil Within the TNA
• Over a decade after triumph over LTTE, Lanka still troubled by Western agenda
• New Zealand Premier Jacinda Ardern identifies attacker as ‘Sri Lankan national’;
“never mind the fact that the attacker was a legal resident of her country”
• Lanka’s Ambassador in Myanmar questions NZ response to terror threats
‘de Silva questioned the rationale in New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern naming the ISIS inspired terrorist as a Sri Lankan instead of as a person accepted as a refugee nearly a decade ago’
• Indian Army delegation in Sri Lanka
‘to discuss with their Sri Lankan counterparts the roadmap for bilateral defence cooperation, including Mitra Shakthi – the biggest bilateral military exercise in the region’
• Army-used land in Mullaitivu released to regional state authorities
• 48th session of UNHRC to be held between September 13 and October 6, 2021
‘predominantly virtually, through remote access and with limited physical presence at the Council’
• UN Special Rapporteurs recommend to review PTA
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 23 Db&Dc, E, F, G
‘BBC is not as independent as it says it is. Its contract with the government says that BBC must consult with the Foreign Secretary before it prepares programmes for the World Service… The largest number of expatriate Ceylon Tamils therefore are in Canada, totaling 157,000 in 2016. The second largest group is in UK, totaling 120,000 in 2007…. In August 2021, Canada announced funding to nine Sri Lanka NGOs to the tune of CAD 300,000 under a programme labeled Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. These nine Organizations includes Centre of Human Rights and Development, Transparency International Sri Lanka, Verité Research, as well as Colombo Friend in Need Society.’
• No truth about non-acceptance of ‘credentials’ of Moragoda: High Commission of India
• Mangala and the North
‘The indebtedness of women trapped by predatory microfinance companies were addressed by a multi-pronged strategy of debt write-off, interest rate cap and expansion of credit through local credit co-operatives. Furthermore, investment in small co-operative industries spotted across the region sought to generate livelihoods.’
• Sri Lanka and the Non-Aligned Movement at UNHRC, Geneva
• Sri Lanka seeks stronger economic ties with Iran amid US sanctions
• Afghan envoy in Colombo refuses to recognize Taliban
• BBS challenges 22 organizations to make public statement rejecting Wahhabism, Salafism
• Back to vicious cycle or new cycle? – USAID Peace Council
• Grappling with Geneva – Jayatilleka
• Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-13
‘the likelihood of the Panjshir revolt metastasising to a pan-Afghan anti-Taliban resistance is zero’
• Reflections on Events in Afghanistan-14
‘Panjshir has fallen to the Taliban with a bang — and a whimper’
• Taliban get a US and England-primed government?
• US army & coalition must be held accountable for human rights violations in Afghanistan
“The US, England, Australia and other countries must be held accountable for violation of human rights committed by their militaries in Afghanistan and the current UNHRC session should cover this.”
• Afghanistan – US State Department Sanctimoniously Laments About ‘Lack Of Female Leaders’
• Myanmar shadow Govt. declares ‘people’s defensive war’
• Why should Myanmar Strengthen its relations with Bangladesh?
• China: Everyone Can Sense That a Profound Transformation is Underway!
‘A number of major state and Party media outlets have simultaneously republished a relatively obscure essayist’s screed on sissy-boy celebrities, get-rich-quick capitalists, and lessons that the collapse of the Soviet Union might hold for China.’
• Facing stalemate in ties, Biden and Xi discuss avoiding conflict in call
• How U.S. Levant Policies Defeated Themselves
‘Israel wants the US to do the impossible: pressure Lebanon into disarming Hezbollah and resume talks over the disputed Mediterranean Sea border for gas extraction.’
• Out of Afghan frying pan & into Ukrainian fire? US empire builders have another pawn to fuel their apocalyptic chess game
• The African Union, Israel and the Futility of Appeasement
• The US Military Swarms Over Africa
• US & UN Treachery in African Great Lakes: Why Rwandan Refugees Don’t Want to Go Home
• Guinea and the Military Coup Incubator, AFRICOM
‘Doumbouya, deemed the primary leader of the coup, was trained by the French military in France and, before turning against him, was called in 2018 by Condé to head a new Special Force Unit. Doumbouya and many others in the Guinean’s military also had AFRICOM training in Operation Flintlock 19. Operation Flintlock 19 occurred in early 2019 and, with participation from 34 African and other partner nations, was the largest annual exercise hosted by AFRICOM.’
• First National Congress of Socialist Movement of Ghana Charts a New Course for the Region
• PM of Barbados Mia Motley puts “disingenuous” BBC Reporter “in her place”
• Despite worldwide opposition, Biden extends law sustaining the blockade
• Dec. 17, 1951: “We Charge Genocide” Petition Submitted to United Nations
‘Paul Robeson & William Patterson submitted a petition to the UN…W. E. B. Du Bois was scheduled to accompany Patterson to Paris, but the U.S. State Department prevented him from leaving the country… Robeson too was prevented from leaving the country. They and other CRC leaders were harassed and persecuted by the FBI and other federal agencies for the rest of their lives.’
• U.S. is Waging Domestic War and Preparing for More
• US Liberals Praise Biden at the Expense of True Peace
‘Majority of those who call themselves the “Left” in the USA are really just liberals in disguise.’
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.
• High suicide rate among Lankan youth in NZ
‘Our CVs have been rejected without interviews based on our names, only jobs such as supermarket workers, taxi drivers, mechanics and accountants running our own practice at best, have been available to the majority of us. Subsistence living with little possibility of owning boats (in the city of sails that is Auckland) and living in the “posh” suburbs have been our lot.’
• Prof. Malavige says media misquoting her, posting lies
• Defence Sec. urges public not to be misled by false claims on Easter attacks
• Vaccine delay due to switching from local private agent to State Pharmaceutical Corporation
• Deletion of NMRA data: SLPP MPs accused of protecting culprits
• Sinopharm best for kids – Prof. Vitharana
• Waiver of registration questioned: Import of covid drugs, products shrouded in controversy
• Prescription for anti-depressants are done merrily by Sri Lankan Psychiatrists
• US donates Explosive Ordnance Disposal equipment to support UN missions
‘The recipient also thanked Lieutenant Colonel Travis Cox, the Defence Attaché… The Head of the US delegation Commander Ross Peters, the Chief of the Office of Defence Cooperation expressed the willingness of the US Embassy to assist the Sri Lanka Army in future, too.’
• Delegation of Sri Lankan Armed Forces visits New Delhi
• Deputy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Upul De Silva calls on Commander of the Navy
• Lankan military officers receives scholarships for first time at Indonesia Defence University
• Public Service was stripped/relieved of action and responsibility for bribery and corruption.
• Sri Lanka toes China line on COVID origin investigation
• “A Real Flood of Bacteria and Germs”: Communications Intelligence and Charges of U.S. Germ Warfare During the Korean War
• How are cyber-security incidents handled in Cuba?
• CIA, LAPD, FBI and Mafia Plotted Elaborate “Hit” Plan to Prevent RFK From White House
‘Yet even after over 50 years, high government officials like Vice President Kamala Harris are still trying to cover up the truth about Robert Kennedy’s murder.’
• Why You Should Get Vaccinated But Don’t Need A Third Shot
• Canada donates soon-to-expire COVID-19 vaccines to Africa as global shortage worsens
• Federal Investigation of 9/11 Ignored Firefighters Who Heard Explosions
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.
• Unpleasant events force CB Chief to hasten resignation – Financial Times
‘He also denied reports that would be taking up the post at the IMF as the Alternative Executive Director for Sri Lanka.’
• Who’s Afraid of ‘Protectionism’? – Illanperuma
• The Political Economy of a Grain of Rice – Gunasekera
• The IMF Can’t Save Sri Lanka
‘“a mass movement to develop the productive forces, increase the technological consciousness, widen the intellectual horizon, and unleash the suppressed creative energy of the entire rural community”;
• Nivard Cabraal as the new Governor of the Central Bank
• Economic Association (SLEA) webinar ‘Road to Sri Lanka’s Economic Recovery’ on Sept. 16
‘speakers will be Prof. Sirimal Abeyratne , Head Department of Economics, University of Colombo, Dr. Sarath Rajapatirana ,Former Economic Adviser, World Bank and Prof. Sirimevan Colombage, Professor of Department of Social Studies, Open University of Sri Lanka.’
• An Abused child’s guide to SDRs and SDR allocation – Wijewardena
‘As long as that dollar is accepted by other countries in the chain, there is no harm in producing that dollar by USA.’
• Avoiding IMF prolongs SL’s macroeconomic instability – Colombage
• Tax amnesty: The new tax scandal – AOG’s Eran Wickremaratne
‘Sri Lanka’s overall tax system of indirect taxes means that the poor disproportionately pay more in taxes than a wealthier family. The Finance Bill codifies this’
• Mangala and End of road for economic liberalism in Sri Lanka?
• A reset of economic fundamentals in Sri Lanka; Is IMF the only hope? – Gonsalkorale
• Sri Lanka needs to focus on key human capital outcomes-World Bank
• PIM monthly montage to discuss dwindling dollar dilemma
• Excessive price controls will worsen shortages, says Advocata
• Sri Lanka’s economic crisis poses challenges for India – Srejita Nandy, India Exim Bank
‘The Colombo port is crucial for India as it handles 60% of India’s trans-shipment cargo.’
• Soros’ Dream: To Turn China Into a Neoliberal Grabitization Opportunity – Hudson
‘Soros lays out his plan for how U.S. retaliation may punish China by withholding U.S. funding of its companies (as if China cannot create its own credit) until China capitulates and imposes the kind of deregulation and de-taxation that Russia did after 1991’
• Booms and bezzles – Roberts
‘Major stock markets are hovering near all-time highs and commodity prices (food and materials) are rocketing’
• The Stagflation Threat Is Real – Nouriel Roubini
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.
• Treasury woos FDIs for multi-billion-dollar opportunities
‘‘Investment Opportunities in Rising Sri Lanka 2022’…
• The Central Bank import restrictions of over 600 non-essential goods explained
• Customs officers told to be extra vigilant
• Central Bank recognises LRA as credit rating agency
• Sri Lanka Finance Minister says country facing twin external and domestic crises
• CB move regressive; makes IMF bailout more challenging
‘move to fix the dollar to a permissible range’
• Presidential Media names Pyramid Wilmar, Global Trading Company, Wilson Trading & R.G. Stores as hoarders
• Prevailing shortages are artificially created
• First Time Public Security Ordinance (PSO) used to ensure the availability of staples
• Commissioner General of Essential Services fully authorized to advise other public officials
• Finance Bill passed in Parliament with amendments
• Govt. moves fast to force down sugar and rice prices
‘A leading importer said the recent cessation of sugar imports had caused prices to rise because of short supply but the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) disputed this, pointing out that 584,000 metric tonnes of sugar had been imported between October 14, 2020 and June 30 2021, an amount exceeding the monthly requirement of 35,000 metric tonnes.’
• ‘Food emergencies’ and strangulating the open economy
• Dollar shortage cripples gas, milk importers
• Shortages, half-truths and mistruths
• CB’s monetary stimulus since pandemic’s onset amounts to whopping Rs.2.7tn
• SL receives $ 1.1 m from IMF SDRs, CDB
• Avenues to raise funds via Panda and Samurai bonds still remain open for Sri Lanka: CB
‘In comparison, Sri Lanka annually has about US $ 4.0 billion worth of foreign debt repayments through 2025’
• Banks shun forex deals after dollar fixed at Rs. 203
• Supplementary estimate of Rs. 73 Bn presented in Parliament
• Customs approve Rs. 46.43Bn exports, netted Rs.9.34bn revenue during quarantine curfew:
• China-owned ports report Rs 1b dividend to Sri Lanka Ports Authority
• Sri Lanka big business reaps huge profits during pandemic
‘SL’s nine top companies amassed 364 billion rupees ($US1.8 billion) in earnings between April and June, collectively pocketing 21 billion rupees profit in the first quarter of their financial year…The IMF has insisted that any country receiving its loans must implement “restructuring programs” to overcome its economic difficulties. In other words, these loans will be paid for by even more ruthless austerity attacks on the working class and the poor by the Rajapakse government.’
• Local banks’ Return on Equity surges on strong earnings in first half
• Sri Lankan rupee depreciates against USD, English pound and Indian rupee by more than 10%
• Sri Lanka should stop printing money, get IMF help; price controls a useless drama: Hakeem
• Sri Lanka could run out of ink due to money printing: Rahuman
• Sri Lanka’s trade deficit with China crosses US $ 2bn in first half
• Lebanon’s Central Bank chief caught smuggling cash into France: Report
• Closely Watched Atlanta Fed’s GDP Forecast Cuts U.S. Growth by 41 Percent
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
• Declining workers remittances impact on foreign reserves
• Kin of dead Sri Lankan urge Japan immigration to fully disclose video
• Northern teachers keep teaching
• TUs raise alarm over COVID-19 concerns in Lankan workplaces
‘Hotel Workers Centre trade union General Secretary pointed out that last month during the stay of a visiting cricket team at a leading hotel about 40 of their staff became positive.’
• Flight Attendant Union (FAU) criticizes Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA)
• Trade Unions collectively denounce property handover to China
• Does SL gender-based employment segregation increase women’s vulnerability amidst Covid?
• Cabraal pushes for pension with arrears for all Central Bank governors
• Lankans in Afghanistan say Govt ignoring evacuation pleas; ambassador denies charge
• Youth & Discipline
• Suspension of educational process ihas negative and dangerous repercussions shortly
• Remote learning is setting back millions of South Asian children: UNICEF
• Teachers Strike and some Key Issues
‘a senior trade unionist active in the dispute had a good laugh at how the government has not put the teachers under pressure to be sensible, by withdrawing their salary payments’
• Address child issues, shortfalls in learning for better human capital outcomes: WB
‘Sri Lanka Human Capital Development (HCD) Report for 2021, a child born in Sri Lanka today will only be 60% as productive as she would be with full education and health when she reaches 18’.
• School closures lead to inequities in learning opportunities in SL: UNICEF
• India announces scholarship for Lankan students
• Intellectuals are being failed by institutions in India
• Malaysia’s Top Glove says U.S. lifts import ban over forced labour
• Mandarin language a tool of empowerment and an Arsenal for the future
• A ‘Fatiguing Climb’: Capitalist Competition and Working-Class Formation
‘the “political economy of labour markets” seems a rather dry and technical ordeal…’
• US Democrats, Abortion and Phony Politics
• The Other Pandemic: Violence Against Healthcare Workers
• Defend and Transform: Mobilizing Workers for Climate Justice
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.
• The Mahaweli
• Big powers may wage war for our fresh water resources
• Freshwater heavily polluted; refining cost surges
‘freshwater sources are now so polluted that the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) is spending increasingly more money to refine drinking water, the National Audit Office (NAO)’
• Another tremor experienced in Sri Lanka’s South
• Are we making rational decisions in the rice sector?
• Most economic centres in chaos, vegetables remain unsold, farmers in trouble
• Govt. to set up Mahaweli Special Economic Zone for 4 districts to boost rural development
• Warehouses of Sirisena, Gamlath et al raided, stocks seized
• Sri Lanka’s emergency regulations are to control food mafia: agriculture minister
• Agriculture Minister: Some millers make Rs. 50 bn in profit per cultivation season
• An outline of a Proposed Master Development Plan for Meemure
• US Embassy webinar for Sri Lankan coconut and coconut-based products
• Govt. intervenes to ensure no wheat flour price increase
• Advocata’s BCI tracks 30% increase in August food prices
• Sri Lanka hikes import duty on onions to Rs40 per kilogram
• Govt. expedites organic fertiliser production
‘deploying two state-owned companies and 27 locally registered manufacturers to meet the requirement of farmers during this Maha season’
• Organic fertiliser imports to cost over $63 m
• Sri Lanka’s food fight
‘The agricultural counsellor to the US embassy in New Delhi, Weyland Beeghly, heavily criticized Sri Lanka’s move on a recent visit to Colombo.’
• Genetically Modified Food ban In Sri Lanka
‘the US Government or WTO should not impose any conditions on or institute legal actions against Sri Lanka for the action taken for the best interest of the people in Sri Lanka.’
• U.S. & biotech corporations impose genetically modified organisms worldwide under WTO threats
• Scarecrows deployed to protest paddy prices
• Govt. to give over 2, 700 acres of State land to private investors to develop dairy farms
‘Gamma Pizzakraft Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd, the sole franchisee for Pizza Hut and Taco Bell in Sri Lanka, owned by India-based Sapphire Foods,will get 250 acres from Kottukachchiya farm belonging to NLDB on a 30-year lease basis.’
• 95 persons nabbed for engaging in illegal fishing
‘residents of Kinniya, Echchalampaththu, Muthur, Lankapatuna, Nilaveli, Illuppukadawai, Trincomalee, Mannar, Pooneryn, Kalkuda, Valaithottam, Valaichchenai, Kalmunai, Kiranchi, Settiparayalam, Kovilkuduirippu and Kuchchaveli, from 18 to 59 years of age.’
• Illegal filling of lagoons in EP using soil from tanks; Amaraweera calls GSMB to submit report
• Damaging the Prakrama Samudraya Relapanawa
• Sustainability the Brandix way
‘In 2019 we also set ambitious Sustainability goals for 2023 as we continue to align our strategy to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals’
• 53 out of 97 Lankan fauna threatened with extinction
• ‘No person can own elephants in Sri Lanka’ – Jagath Gunawardena
• Wildlife activists oppose returning 14 seized elephants to ’’owners’’ with court cases pending
• British Council report highlights urgent need to include young people in climate change policy
• The Belt and Road helps Afghan farmers to survive amid chaos
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.
• Govt. initiates 500 production villages, supports 200,000 self-employees and start-ups
• Upbeat Minister Gammanpila says success in gas and oil exploration can save national economy
• Renewable energy sector poised to receive US $ 200mn inflows over next 6-8 months
• India’s IOC reported earnings of Rs.882.6 million for financial year ended March 31, 2021
‘promises to commission SL’s first grease manufacturing plant this year in Trincomalee… LIOC’s first fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2021, the company reported earnings of Rs.273.1 million’
• Will Sri Lanka lose the Port of Colombo ?
• Introduce combined treatment method of Western, Ayurvedic practices: Rathana Thera
• Ivermectin divides doctors while NMRA gives waiver to import drug to stop black market sales
• CEO of Epic Lanka Technology arrested by CID
• DIMO elevates Sri Lanka’s Healthcare Sector with diverse solutions
‘DIMO has supplied Radiology and critical care equipment from globally-renowned brands such as Siemens and Drager’
• $5.1b export target for 2021 will be tough, says apparel industry
‘‘Be inspired by the pandemic: Resilient corporate success of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry,’ was organised by the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).’
• India’s Jay Jay Mills signs up for $4m expansion to Trincomalee
• Japan’s Expolanka continues acquisition spree
‘fully-owned subsidiary EFL Global Logistics Ltd. in Singapore had bought 100% equity of Complete Transport System LLC USA for $ 6.1 million on 8 September.’
• Some Lankan exporters shifting manufacturing to West Africa
• Gnanam’s Anton expands to East Africa; steps foot in Kenya taking Sri Lankan PVC
• Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association advises the Government on Sustainable Electrification
• DIMO facilitates sales of pre-owned Luxury European vehicles
• National initiative to nurture digital technology awareness in Southern region
‘to achieve $3 billion exports by 2024…. the country will need 300,000 workers (in this sector), while the current number stands at approximately 175,000’
• Gnanam’s HatchX – disruptive fintech accelerator making another impressive run in 2021
‘Launched by Hatch in partnership with USAID’s Lankan Angel Network (LAN), and funded by the Ford Foundation…’
• Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe, First Sri Lankan DG of Colombo Plan Staff College in Manila.
‘• What’s behind the decision to close Yale-NUS College?
‘The Faculty of Engineering and the School of Design and Environment will form the College of Design and Engineering, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Science will form the College of Humanities and Sciences’
• Yale-NUS, Singapore’s first liberal-arts college, closes its doors
• Ford to stop making cars in India
‘Ford will continue to operate its engine factory in Sanand which exports engines for its Ranger pick-up trucks globally. It will continue to rely on India-based suppliers for parts for its global products.’
• Cuba’s largest medicinal oxygen plant back in operation
• Meta – This Blog(ger) Needed A New Laptop
‘laptop prices have gone up by some 100% when compared to four years ago.’
• The Corporatization of American Science
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.
• Non-bank finance company sector asset quality gains reversed in June quarter
• SEC surveillance on a stock market guru
‘Eight stocks – Expolanka, Royal Ceramics, Vallibel 1, Harleys, LOLC Development Finance PLC(NIFL), Browns Investments, Commercial Leasing & Finance PLC (CLC), and LOLC have been instrumental in pushing the index to these highs over the past eight months.’
• Sampath Bank subsidiary SC Securities wants further monetary tightening to check prices
• National Development Bank’s proposed listed debt up to Rs.8bn rated ‘A-(lka)(EXP)
‘NDB recently infused Rs.9.46 billion raised via a combination of a rights issue and private placement with Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for developing countries, ‘
• SL’s fastest growing rural lender NGO Sarvodaya on the next phase of village regeneration
‘Of its Rs8 billion loan portfolio, over a billion are leases funding tractors’
• Profit-takings by foreign investors dampen CSE trading
• Perceived Tax Amnesty Act benefits bring bounce to bourse
• Former Director General of Internal Intelligence was Chairman of National Savings Bank
‘World Bank report on NSB was unwarranted, imbecilic, and humiliating’
• Janashakthi Group’s First Capital Holdings Rs. 2.09 billion in Profits After Tax
• SL seeks Thai investments at Colombo Port City – Gen Prayut seeks talks on FTA
• Swiss system is helping criminals to evade taxes
• Colombo Stock Exchange commences Executive Programme with University Canada West
• JPMorgan Chase has created its own digital coin called JPM Coin
• Natalie Edwards Imprisoned for Blowing Whistle on Wall Street Banks’ Laundering
‘flow of dirty money around the globe by big name banks such as JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Bank of New York Mellon.’
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’
• Jamiyyathul Ulama asks businesses to refrain from hoarding essential goods but serve people
• Insurance industry gets further tailwind from mortgage protection policies
• Higher taxes could soon make coconut arrack privilege of only the wealthy: Harry J
• Coca-Cola’s journey in Sri Lanka began 60 years ago in April 1961
‘The Coca-Cola system has invested US $ 99 million in Sri Lanka over the past two decades and created thousands of jobs directly and indirectly’
• Kassim-family owned Expack Corrugated Cartons plans IPO on CSE
‘SL’s largest corrugated cartons manufacturer…is part of Kassim-family owned diversified conglomerate, Aberdeen Holdings (formally known as Expolanka Investment) accounting for over 18 percent market share. Capital Alliance Limited (CAL) and Asia Securities have been appointed as the joint managers and financial managers to the issue…. Ex-Pack also supplied 12,350 technically complex ballot boxes to SL Election Commission for the 2020 General Election.’
• UDA vested with draconian powers
• Ceylon Institute of Builders writes to Basil on ensuring infrastructure project continuity
‘CIOB President Dr. Rohan Karunaratne, with copies to State Minister of Rural Housing, Construction and Building Materials Indika Anuruddha Herath, Construction Industry Development Authority Chairman Eng. (Professor) N.T. Sohan Wijesekera, and Chamber of Construction Industry CEO and Secretary General Eng. Col. (Retd.) Nissanka N. Wijeratne….
• On’ally Holdings to rectify free float issue after UDA’s court case resolved
‘On’ally Holdings PLC owns and operates the Unity Plaza building in Bambalapitiya…its controlling shareholder is Lanka Realty Investments’
• Sri Lanka’s Green Tape says online procurement taking off
‘Some of the buyer companies that work with Green Tape are Sunshine Holdings, Access Engineering and McLarens’
• Echelon’s Daring CEOs – Keells’ CEO Ramesh Shanmuganathan
‘Shanmuganathan is also a Non-executive Director of Nations Trust Bank as well as Executive Director of numerous subsidiaries of the John Keells group.’
• BPPL Revenue grew to LKR 3.4 billion
• Kelsey Homes appoints Chairperson of Qserve to the Board
‘First Capital, Janashakthi Life, Orient Finance and Kelsey Homes as Janashakthi Group… Directors comprises of Eardley Perera – Chairman, Prakash Schaffter, Roshni Fernando, ACM Gagan Bulathsinghala, Arul Sivagananathan and Prof. Chitra Weddikkara.’
• Sri Lanka-Malaysia Business Council’s 27th AGM held virtually
‘Khalid Farouk, Managing Partner, Ilham Inspiration Ltd elected President of SLMBC, Mohamed Hameez, Managing Director, Spillburg Holdings and HSIN Haw Li, Business Development Manager, Public Bank Berhad were elected as Vice Presidents. Keerthi Jayasuriya, Chairman/CEO of International Scholar Educational Services to serve as the Immediate Past President. The committee elected; Amana Bank PLC, Acorn Aviation, Aitken Spence Shipping, FMG Plastic, Flexicare Lanka, Mansoor Gems and Softlogic City Hotels’
• Expose on Ambani is Just the Tip of the Iceberg, Says Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
‘The network of offshore companies and Swiss bank accounts that were used to divide Dhirubhai Ambani’s foreign assets after his death is being probed by the income tax authorities’
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.
• JVP, TNA to vote against emergency regulations and Finance Bill
• JVP non-starter formula to support government
‘Government should present a programme on how to tackle the national health crisis and present it to the people’
• MEP calls for a mixed electoral system
• Sri Lanka: Debt, Development, and Democracy? Former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe
“I ask myself one question, who built up China? Who made them the second largest economy? Not the Chinese. Who came and invested there? If American car companies sell more cars in China than the US, that alone answers that question”.
• A political history of post-1977 Sri Lanka
• The New Repressive Rules & Left-Democratic Resistance– Jayatilleka
‘With trade union organizations paralyzed or smashed through arrests and sackings, the path will be open for the sell-off of assets and lands, for encroachments and spoliations, for the diversion and deprivation of water, urban real-estate scams and the implementation of the KNDU.’
• Reimagining Socialist Parties and Practice
‘A party of the radical socialist left should challenge the economistic rhetoric imposed either by the international institutions of fiscal supervision or simply by the neoliberal hegemonic discourse’
• Theory of Intersectionality Emerges out of Racist, Colonialist Ideology, Not Radical Politics—Rethinking the CRT Debate Part 3
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.
• A Very Well-Organized Misinformation Plot by Indian And Western News Sources.
‘agencies like Gravitas, DW Germany & Al Jazeera, etc depicted long queues of people at food stores’
• Recreating Sri Vikrama Rajasinha’s cosmic city
• National streaming hub set up to monitor TV educational channels
• GroupM Sri Lanka welcomes Arshad Ahamed as Director Strategy
‘Senior Strategic Planner at J. Walter Thompson (now Wunderman Thompson) in charge of strategic planning before moving out to join the MAS Bodyline…He moved to GlaxoSmithKline…GroupM is the world’s leading media investment management firm, a WPP company and is the parent company to the agencies Mindshare, Wavemaker, Mediacom, Essence & m/SIX.’
• The Donoughmore Commission in Ceylon
• Island quotes Al Jazeera quoting English spy media outlet Bellingcat on Taliban Defeat
• Considering Coomarasamy
‘The Victorian-era Arts and Crafts Movement criticized industrial capitalism, partly on grounds of worker impoverishment but more prominently on grounds of exalting consumerism over ‘producerism.’
• Self-reform and financial transparency in Indian media need of the hour’
‘Can the mainstream newspapers and satellite news channels be compelled to make their annual balance sheets public in India?’
• CNN ‘Exclusive’ Repeats MoA’s Year Old Reporting
• New Zealand’s year of style over substance
• U.S. Corporate Media Watch
” Why do you think it’s so hard for them (especially liberals) to see CNN as an imperialist organization?’