“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
e-Con e-News 26 September – 02 October 2021
Vultures, dressed in eagles’ feathers, are circling. The odour of distemper, blood and oil and gas swirls thicker.
They come ‘donating’ medicines and fancy second-hand equipment – for which we will eventually pay by buying parts, etc. But they prevent modern production of these goods here, by murder wholesale or retail (see ee Focus, Senaka Bibile)
One of ee’s central aims is to discuss how underdevelopment is based on forcing (many times second-hand) industrial machines and goods on non-settler colonies. Imperialist countries and settler-colonial economies promote a culture of machines that make machines for themselves. Modern industry goes beyond handicrafts, assembly and manufacture, constantly producing new technologies and skills.
Such a discussion is prevented here, where the media and education system shapes a culture that refuses to explain the difference between a ‘consumer culture’ and a ‘producer culture’: concealing that science and art are products of technology.
Mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology make everything we see around us. The arts, commerce, etc., only ‘market’, sell and use what these other subjects make. Yet many who study the ‘sciences’ are stolen abroad to build other nations. So let’s see who prevents our producer education:
• World Bank bribes (actually we end up owing them!) worth 2.4 billion rupees are being paid to 300 Education Ministry officials to pursue postgraduate studies in England. Much of this money will end up in England to pay for fees, books, technology etc.? (see ee Workers, Bribery Commission)
It’s no wonder that the US-controlled World Bank and Japan-controlled Asian Development Bank control educational curricula in Sri Lanka. The WB’s and ADB’s set of narrow guidelines are adopted uncritically by the University Grants Commission in SL (ee 24 July 2021).
It’s not only education, look at how faithfully the media reproduces the press releases of the World Bank on building ‘climate-resilient roads to enable food supply’ – without one question as to what on this good earth such ‘loans’ entail and who’s being bribed, to do what? To prevent what? (ee Agriculture)
• Terrorism and the wars inflicted on Sri Lanka have been intimately linked to control and exploitation of the Mannar Basin and its abundant energy reserves. In a fraud, considered greater than the bond scam, the Mannar Basin is being handed over, lock, stock and barrel, to a US company, which will operate outside the laws of the country, much like the English sterling companies that plundered us even after 1948 (see Random Notes)
As a result of this sellout to oil conglomerates (we note Rockefeller-linked Pathfinder etc., and related diplomats are very quiet) note the change in the tenor of the white ‘human rights’ lobby’s demands that Sri Lanka must kneel down (ee Focus).
• The New Central Bank governor ‘s road map (do all road maps lead to Gaza?) wishes bankers to be more transparent and exporters to return their dollars and not speculate on ruining the rupee, importers not to smuggle in imports, retailers and wholesalers to ‘avoid’ hoarding and price gouging! These importers and exporters remain an alien imposition, no matter what Sinhala and Buddhist masks they affect. Wishes, indeed!
• Name & Jail Criminal Bankers & their Paid-off Economists – The capitalist media’s economists insist bankers complied with the Central Bank’s request not to devalue the US-controlled dollar exchange rate. But then they ‘unofficially facilitated a separate market among exporters and importers’ outside the formal banking system for their foreign exchange requirements! So now we know the link between over and under world!
Yet capitalist economists demand the government uphold the rule of law. Even blaming the government for the operation of what they call – not a ‘black’ market – but ‘grey’ (there are 50 shades when it comes to the wealthy!). But truly it’s the usual white market undermining the country. These illegal outfits are run by these ‘trade’ bankers who pay our dear beloved economists to daily hosanna: Imports! Exports. Holy! Holy! Holy!
• Daylight Trade Bankers’ Robbery: The Central Bank this week exposed that exporters were hoarding almost $3billion in earnings overseas, speculating on devaluation of the rupee, and widening the deficit. Capitalist media economists like to whine about deficits but are coy about exposing the role of private companies. At the same time, various ‘exporters’ are crying, ‘Not Us!’ The CB fears naming these hoarders and speculators, perhaps because CB and Treasury officials privately profit from these anti-national acts.
• What is the greater crime, robbing or owning a bank?, asked the poet. ee answers: The greater crime is owning a bank and preventing depositors from accessing the hoard to invest in modern production. Parking that money in London or New York, and stealing the dollars remitted by workers slaving in West Asia by selling them inflated, imported, industrial consumer goods that could be made right here. (Random Notes).
• EU officials have been allowed entry to verify if SL’s ‘human rights’ practices qualify for their economic ‘privileges’. The media gives this GSP+ nonsense a lot of coverage.
Yet Sunday Times states: ‘It’s not a sign, however, of the country having been placed on notice, authoritative sources here insisted. Nor is there any danger of the GSP+ being revoked.” (ee Industry, EU Team)
If this is so, why is the media so full of such constant blabber about threats from Geneva, about imminent sanctions despite Sri Lanka having support at the UN Security Council.
Human rights is a game which enables both imperialists as well as their local puppets to avoid taking steps to ensure a truly equitable society based on modern industry. Last week ee recorded how GSP+ was used to prop up drug-smuggling police states in the Americas – all import-export plantation economies.
• The UN is still beholden to its white creators, whose peoples make up just 14% of the world’s population. To prevent true democracy, a hijacked UN is attacking its constituent nation-states while entering into the deep more open embrace of capitalism’s corporations:
‘An estimated 385 million cases of acute pesticide poisonings are reported worldwide each year. 44% of farmers and agricultural workers around the world are poisoned annually’. Yet last week’s UN Food Summit exposed how chemical multinationals Bayer, Cargill, Syngenta, et al, are hijacking UN policies on food production. The UN Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) is about to partner CropLife International – the mega lobbying group of over 300 other pesticide companies. (zephyrnet.com/bayer-does-not-belong-at-the-un)
• ee has stopped reproducing media wailing from the chemical import (fertilizer, pesticide) lobby. From the Planters’ Association to the Agriculture professors and experts, near and far, they repeat the same gospel, without answering who will pay compensation for the massive health costs of poisoning both cultivators and food consumers. Neither will British American Tobacco’s Ceylon Tobacco Co, which apparently claims to pay enormous taxes, but doesn’t since they pay massive bribes to top Treasury Officials under the table, to augment salaries and other expenditures of the public sector. The lengths these chemical and other companies will go is recalled in the murder of Senaka Bibile, who dared challenge the multinational pharmaceutical mafia (ee Focus).
• Roshan Rajadurai, Plantation Service Group Chairman, complained this week about the chemical import ban to the 167th annual meeting of the Planters Association, crying Sri Lanka’s tea exports ‘bring’ $1.3billion a year. He should tell us where this $1.3bn is ‘brought’ or ‘taken’ to, and where it’s been invested.
The monopoly of the license export firms to profit off plantation commodity auctions should be abolished and the profits must be invested in mechanizing production and upgrading workers’ skills. So who is this Planters Association, that apparently has long been the real rulers of the country? (see Random Notes)
• One of England’s earliest ‘companies’, was the 1551 Company of Merchant Adventurers (in full: ‘Mystery & Company of Merchant Adventurers for the Discovery of Regions, Dominions, Islands, and Places unknown’. Those who went to the Americas, stole land, killed and enslaved people – were called planters. Those who stayed in England and invested their money in the companies were called adventurers. Each was to share in the profits. The difference between the planters here and there, is those ones became settlers and created modern industries that competed with England, etc (Random Notes).
A1. Reader Comments –
• A Sinhala ee is need of the hour • Army & Heavy Machinery • White-Collar Thugs & WD Lakshman • Beware of EU Bearing Organic Gifts • Government Investment Benefits Enemies • Exporters hiding Dollars • Yohani, RAW & CIA • SLPP, Alcohol & Petrol Sheds • ee is Diverting • Unilever & East India Company
A2. Quotes of the Week
• New Fortress & Subprime Slumlord • Hoarders & Government Dine Together • NM & IMF • France in Indian Ocean • Huawei & US Media Falsehoods • US Anti-China Policy • Trudeau & PR • Billion Barrels of Oil Underground in Canada
A3. Random Notes –
• England’s Sterling Companies Operated outside SL Law • US Grabs Mannar Basin • SL as Oil Colony of Singapore • Media Fuels Shortages • DJ Wimalasurendra & GVS de Silva’s Dreams • NGOs Gather in Mannar • Trade Bankers Robbing Dollars • Bankers set up White Market • Exporters Pay Economists • High Finance & Media Massage • Economists Should Declare Assets • SBD de Silva & the Treason of Economists • Knowledge & Debate • JVP & Sinhala • Business Media Wastelands • Athukorala & IMF Love Affair • Abeyratne & Brain Substitution • Wijewardena Wants Witchhunt • WB-funded NGOs • Telecom Companies’ Unregulated Robbery
B. ee Focus
B1. Selling off Mannar Basin’s Energy Reserves & the Future – Vagisha Gunasekera
B2 Senaka Bibile: A Revolutionary Mission in Healthcare – Tissa Vitarana
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: email@example.com
• ‘ee is doing a great job with the Sinhala versions of your write-ups. It’s the need of the hour. Please keep it up.’
• ‘Is the army progressing with the making of machines? Look at DIMO’s 50-year link with Japan’s Komatsu for heavy machinery’ (see ee Industry, DIMO)
• ‘Sad WD Lakshman stepped down, but he was too mellow and not up to the task of dealing with people who are basically white-collared thugs. It will require a great deal of sagacity to come out of this mess.’
• ‘I hope the organic farming initiative goes smoothly but I did see EU pledging ”support” to organic farming even while threatening to revoke the GSP+. Hopefully the government doesn’t fall for these tricks.’
• I’m concerned about the government’s investment policy or lack of it. The government shouldn’t approve each and every approval they get because we’re short of money. That would be a boon to SL’s enemies.’
• ‘Exporters are hiding their dollars. The government must stop subsidies for them. What they’re doing is criminal!’
• ‘I notice this Yohani being promoted everywhere even making it to Bollywood and being tweeted about by the US ambassador. Clearly another game of subversion by the Indians and US. There’s something there they wish to achieve by this.’
• ‘Top SLPP politicians own liquor shops and petrol sheds in many places. Is that true? ee gives no insight into the interest of SLPP MPs. ee should investigate who funded the SLPP into power? ee defers from giving answers, pretending to have no say. Not all ministers are good guys. It is important to look at the funders of people in power as much as people who are out of power. Why can’t they shut down the imports of alcohol and close liquor shops?’
• ‘Why does ee focus so much on Unilever? The capitalist system is bigger than these multinationals. Unilever in Sri Lanka, Anglo-American Co in South Africa, are all products of the 19th century English East India Co.’
A2. Quotes of the Week__
• ‘The chairman and chief executive of New Fortress Energy is Wes Edens, US billionaire deemed the ‘new king of subprime lending’ by the Wall Street Journal in 2015 (and a ‘slumlord’ by community protesters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin). He’s also a big donor to the US Democratic Party and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team.’ – ee Industry, Hackles, Also: ee Focus, is Edens a front for JPMorgan?)
• ‘The traders who are accused by the government as hoarders stockpiling essential foods, are the same close associates of the government who were seen dining together at luxury hotels during the presidential election. The government keeps telling us, there are racketeers involved. On some days, if you visit the presidential secretariat, you will be able to see these racketeers sitting at the same table.’ – ee Agriculture, Food
• ‘”We cannot brush aside and completely ignore these international institutions; we can repudiate their terms only if we are prepared to face the far-reaching distortions… The Government’s effort to put its own house in order is not the result of IMF advice but is the obvious thing to do in the national interest.” – NM Perera, Finance Minister of the United Front Government, 1970-75…The negotiation with the IMF failed well before because NM wasn’t prepared to touch the politically-sensitive subsidy on rice’ – ee Economists, Athukorala
• ‘France also happens to be a serious Indo-Pacific power with significant sovereign interests, which hosts some 1.5 million citizens and more than 90% of its large EEZ (9mn km²) and maintains a military presence of 8,000 personnel to take care of this vast area.’ – ee Sovereignty, Gyre
• ‘Both the Washington Post & NYTimes falsely assert that Meng Wanzhou ‘admitted to some wrongdoing’. That is absolutely not so. She pledged ‘not guilty’ and signed an ‘agreement on facts’. Whether these facts support the accusations against her, which her defense denies, would be for a court to decide.’ – ee Sovereignty, China
• ‘Diplomatically, China had expected Wall St firms to lobby to stop the USA’s anti-China policy. And indeed, many Wall Street executives did point out to the US government that China offered many opportunities for the USA to make money, and urged not to treat it as an enemy. But the military-industrial complex has its own agenda, along with the neocon and neoliberal advocates of unique US unilateralism. I think, ever since China’s officials met in Alaska with Mr Blinken earlier this year, they see the handwriting on the wall, as have Russia and other SCO members. They’ve accepted that the world economy is fracturing between the US-centered “free world” (central planning by Wall St and unilateral diplomacy from Washington) and the multilateralizing rest of the world.’ – ee Economists, Hudson
• ‘The Lead US Consultant for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada, the upset winner in federal elections last night, was Precision Strategies [which has helped them] map the path to victory in specific ridings (precincts) across the country – data work, paid digital ads, field, strategy.’ – ee Media,
• ‘No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there.’ – Justin Trudeau
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
Sterling companies profiting off Sri Lanka operated outside of our laws. Sterling companies here were represented by the Ceylon Association formed in London in 1888, to safeguard colonial capitalist interests (likewise, the Caribbean was controlled by the West India Committee, and Malaysia by the Association of British Interests).
Large-scale financing of colonial export agriculture began in the 1880s. Growth of corporate ventures financed by the capital market in England led to the ‘eclipse of the resident investor as well as the growth of absentee capital’. Foreign capital in the colony conformed to the interests of the metropolitan economy. ‘Metropolitan industrial capital’ controlled the mercantile firms who in turn controlled the plantations. Even though the Colombo Agency firm and London firm were technically ‘agents’ and ‘secretaries’ of the plantation companies, it was the London firm that controlled the whole operation.
The principal-client relationship was based on the Colombo agency managing the plantation while the London agency managed the company; e.g., ‘the management and sale of plantation produce – a source of vast commercial profits – was also vested in the London office.’ Locally established English interests were overridden by foreign shareholders, boards of directors and head offices in London. English bank branches here could not recruit staff or decide their responsibilities and functions.
Local-registered English companies had their own organizations in Lanka: Planters’ Association, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, European Association – all of which liaised with London’s Ceylon Association. Sterling companies in Lanka could only be owned by English citizens, and subject to English law; and for years after ‘independence,’ functioned ‘outside the legal framework of the country’. Subordination of colonial economy to merchant and manufacturing interests in England was supported by Colonial Office and the subscribers of capital in London.
• US Grabs Mannar Basin – Fuel is our most expensive import expense. Having our own sources of energy to fuel our industrial renaissance would surely ensure our independence as a modern nation-state. Preventing access to our own independent sources ensures our continued subservience. The tankers bringing fuel from West Asia, sail past us and go to Singapore first, where it’s refined, and then sailed back here to be sold to us. We are a colony of Singapore – the Houston oil capital of Asia. No wonder Singapore’s leaders feel they can give us lectures on good governance, rule of law, etc., even while harboring well-known Sri Lankan criminals.
So-called fuel shortages have been a persistent theme in the news over recent weeks, especially the shenanigans of Laugfs and Litro. It doesn’t matter that the roads, even during lockdown, have been chock-a-block with racing luxury cars with only one driver in each. That supermarkets and shops with AC full on, have their doors wide open. This is to portray ‘Business as Usual’, to inspire confidence in high-flying investors.
The dream of DJ Wimalasurendra (architect of Laxapana) was to make Sri Lanka energy self-sufficient through our own hydroelectricity. He was sabotaged by English power company Pearson, which went on to own the Economist and Financial Times of London, and is now the biggest seller of educational materials as well as examinations! It’s indeed ironic how many Sri Lankan students still pay Pearson to buy their expensive books and to pass their examinations, paying exorbitant amounts to study abroad, while the World Bank ‘funds’ the Ministry of Education! (ee 1 Aug 2020, Who’s Afraid of Wimalasurendra)
The dream of economist GVS de Silva (architect of the brilliant Paddy Lands Act, which was also sabotaged) was to get villages to organize and produce their own energy sources as well as make the equipment needed for such generation (ee 24 April 2021).
If imperialists grab Mannar Basin, their dreams will remain dreams for another 100 years. It’s no wonder USAID and other imperialist ‘development’ agencies are funding projects on the northwest coast.
• The normally loquacious capitalist media (then again, most media are capitalist) only briefly mentioned new CB Governor Nivard Cabraal’s ‘conversation with private sector representative… during his meeting with the country’s exporters and importers’. After, Cabraal tweeted the meeting was ‘very helpful… Their commitment to stabilise our economy is very encouraging…’ And that was it!
It was later revealed (we’re sure its understated), there were ‘$985million average monthly exports between Jan and Aug but repatriation of proceeds were only $640mn, exposing a “significant” gap of $345mn monthly, raising “serious concern whether exporters comply with regulation on 100% repatriation of export proceeds”.’
In fact, officially there are ‘$1.67billion average monthly imports… timely conversion could have reduced gap between imports and exports to $685mn’. The government supports exporters with lower taxes and other incentives. Undue speculation and reluctance to convert export earnings has led to a $1.9bn build-up of foreign currency deposit balances with the banking sector
Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, and Thailand having export proceeds repatriation laws varying from 3 months to 2 years of export. Some exporters have ‘used low-cost local borrowing to import inputs leading to further tension in the domestic market.’
The CB claims it will ‘strengthen systems to ensure monitoring and implement measures for complete repatriation of export proceeds within a reasonable period.’ – ft.lk/top-story/Exporters-hoarding-2-76-b-in-earnings-overseas-CB/26-723545
• On 9 September 2021 former Governor Prof WD Lakshman requested bank CEOs via email to execute dollar/rupee transactions at the range between Rs200- 203. This came at a time when banks were quoting the US$ around Rs220. The banks outwardly complied but created a separate market among exporters and importers. WDL was ‘retired’ soon after – dailymirror.lk/business-news/CB-asks-banks-not-to-facilitate-forex-deals-outside-official-banking-channels/273-221180
• All this makes ee realize, media economists are bribed by the import-export plantation oligarchy to keep up their daily cry for ‘exports, exports’ etc. Perhaps these economists too are parking dollars outside the country.
• The language of high finance requires that every pronouncement in the media, by politicians, bankers, corporations, private and public, plus their economists, has to maximize quick profits. Such words massage the markets up or down depending on the short-term advantages required: price disturbance is the game.
• Economists must also declare their handlers. Transparency is needed not only from politicians but all sectors: corporations, officials, judges, military & police, teachers, lawyers & doctors, etc. (ee Politics, Declare)
• ee is a tribute to SBD de Silva, for what he taught us about the need for a modern (machine-making) industrial base to enable an independent nation-state. His lament was, the so-called ‘Left’ or ‘Socialists’ or ‘Marxists’ did not analyze and critique the dominant economists who justify the continuation of the colonial import-export plantation economy.
• ee has no doubt we alone are inadequate to the task, without the history nor the research skills nor the scholarly acumen to deconstruct their arguments and offer real alternatives.
We do see these economists – paid lackeys of the merchants and moneylenders (themselves, fronts for the foreign banks & multinationals) – repeat the same mantra day in and day out. Like Caliban, we just wanna cuss them out. On the other hand SB did point out, it was vital to spark a national conversation and debate the issues of modern industrialization ee tries to explore.
For SB: ‘knowledge has to be tested and developed through a process of confrontation’. This need first found public expression in the scientific journal and the device of the learned paper. ‘It is astonishing’, said Keynes, ‘what foolish things one can temporarily believe in if one thinks too long alone… the development of science [is] a process of interchange… an individual’s work must be adjusted to already existing work and also pave the way for others.’
SB’s other lament also was the limitations of a party like the JVP, which harvests and wastes the ample discontent. The JVP he insisted was marooned in Sinhala and did not know the world? Again, we don’t know if it’s a fair criticism. After all, there are those who know English and yet do not know the English (or the basis of their power in the English industrial revolution) or the world.
Over the last 3 years, ee has spent most days (when not working for a living) collecting the local English bizness media. In one way, it’s been a sheer waste of time, On the other hand ee sometimes finds a gem or two after bathing in more useless mud than a Ratnapura miner, a gem that pierces light on the game.
• Here’s a sample of economists’ misguided mutterings this week:
– Economist Prema-Chandra Athukorala provided his version of Sri Lanka & the IMF: Myth & Reality in the Financial Times. Athukorala usually blames welfare expenditure for causing Sri Lanka’s underdevelopment, and distorts the policies of import-substitution (IS), which have been usually sabotaged. IS was attempted not as a conscious political, economic & military industrial policy, but as a quick panacea to reduce balance of payments deficits.
Domiciled in an Australian university, Athukorala writes, since 1965 Sri Lanka has been a ‘repetitive client’ of the IMF, entering into 16 economic stabilisation programs during 1965-2000. ‘Macroeconomic management of the country has been under IMF programs for approximately 33 years of the 55-year period.’
After all this time, he yet insists it was not faulty IMP prescriptions but bad government policies.
He thus attacks former CB Governor WD Lakshman’s ‘claim’ that ‘the determining hand of the IMF-WB group in shaping and implementing of the ‘open economy’ is abundantly clear’. Athukorala says, Lakshman ‘could not be further from reality’. He instead insists, JR Jayawardene’s post-1977 ‘major reforms such as trade liberalisation and exchange rate depreciation and the opening up of the economy to foreign direct investment were based on the recommendations of the Indian economist BR Shenoy.’ But again, not fully implemented. Yet Shenoy, a pupil of Hayek, et al, were just what the Rockefeller Foundation, et al., ordered.
– Sunday Times Economist Srimal Abeyratne claims, ‘When World War 2 was concluded, it was in the 1940s that “import substitution” policies became the passion and the fashion in “under-developed” countries. The intellectual backing was provided by several political economic ideologies such as the Structuralists, the Dependency theorists, and the Neo-Marxists.’ This economist is a professor. Sadly, he knows not that import substitution was used as far back as the 1700s and 1800s, practiced by all those countries he now calls ‘developed’. Our legal profession wears wool, because the 14th century English demanded wool be ‘worked’ in England.
• Financial Times economist WA Wijewardena always signs off his columns rather expectantly, as ‘a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank’. As if he’s hoping to be promoted to Governor before he soon departs this world. He tries hard to please his paymasters. He attacks, rather venomously, the recently retired CB governor, referring to those policies as ‘the Lakshman Shock’. He then expresses some hope, hinting he has some insider information that the new Governor Cabraal will undo Lakshman’s policies.
He goes further and attacks economist Ha Joon Chang, who delivered the annual Exter oration marking the 71st anniversary of the establishment of the Central Bank. He refers to Professor Chang as a ‘virus’ that must be eradicated, calling for a witchhunt to root out the officials Lakshman had introduced to the bank.
He states, Chang should have been advised that ‘post-independence’ Sri Lanka had ‘attempted to introduce high technology, high skills, and better management techniques through government intervention and not through the private sector.’ But he gives no examples. Nor does he give examples of how when ‘the private sector had broken away from the Government crutches, the story had been a success.’
He then demands a type of witchhunt against Lakshman appointees: ‘In the past when such a virus was introduced to the Bank by an outside academic, its Economic Research Department went into a full analysis of same to prevent its multiplication and thereby taking the Bank to its tipping point.’
Wijewardena has spent most of his 500 columns flogging the hack economic theories of the World Bank. His perennial quacking is about ‘the rule of law’. Yet he occasionally slips, as when he justifies the so-called black market. In other columns on alcohol and sin taxes, he has stated, if you cannot beat the devil, you must befriend him. His questions and answers with a ‘child’ about heavy economic issues, reek of a type of paedophilia where clearly adult complexities are forced on a young mind.
• The World Bank has always been controlled by the US, England etc. When it saw its power being eroded by Asian and African nation-states demanding parity (like in the UN) it sought to do an end run around them by funding NGOs (as documented in Elaine Dewar’s Cloak of Green). Now all of a sudden they’re acting as if WB reports were issued whole out of the independent foreheads of bank bureaucrats. When you read deeper, these ‘rankings’ were always ‘negotiated’ indices, determined by the interests of the ruling economic powers. When the white man controls it, it is ‘objective’.
• In 2016 international tenders were called to construct a 350MW LNG power plant in Kerawlapitiya. The 2 main contenders were China Harbor and Yugadanavi, a state-owned company, with shares owned by: the Treasury 51%, EPF 23.9%, Lanka Transformers 18%, Lanka Electricity Co 7.1%.
The government gave it to China Harbor, and Yugadanavi filed a case against the government. In 2020 President Gotabaya Rajapaksa cancelled the tender given to China Harbor and gave the right to Yugadanavi, which at that time looked good. ‘However there was a conspiracy.’:
In July, Presidential Secretary PB Jayasundara informed the Ministry of Power and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) that Cabinet approved selling shares of the Yugadhanavi Power Plant to US New Fortress Energy. He made the announcement ‘at a sudden meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat’. EPF trustees rejected the sale, so the Government decided to sell the 51% shares owned by the Treasury. Then Foreign Investment State Minister AN Cabraal replied, the US company came to the government as an investor and, as it was not a procurement, there was no need for a tender process. (ee Focus)
• While their advertising displays young children laughing, etc., the telecom companies remain for all practical purposes unregulated and are robbing children and adults blind. Dialog does not even answer its ‘helpline’ now. Calling them incurs further costs. Machines respond and ask you to press buttons, which keep you on hold and then lead to nowhere, and charge you for the luxury of not being helped. Kafka the deadly absurdist rules. No human responds unless you wish to buy something new. This is also true for Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, etc, etc. They all proclaim ‘democracy and human rights’.
Meanwhile so-called democratic (read: imperialist) governments now rule via so-called social media. Unelected corporate-trained technocrats manipulate and spin issues to prevent discussion of the capitalist control of the real economy (see ee Media).
B. Special Focus_
B1. The Real Deal is the Side Deal! – Vagisha Gunasekera
Selling off Mannar Basin’s Energy Reserves & the Future
Energy firm New Fortress Energy (NFE) a front for US banks using a US slumlord, announced 2 business deals with the Sri Lankan government – a ‘definitive agreement’ – on September 21, 2021.
What is being headlined as the main deal is the acquisition of 40% of the shares in West Coast Power (WCPL) – the owner of the 310MW Yugadanavi Power Plant based in Colombo. WCPL has a 25-year agreement to sell power to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) (island.lk/acquisition-of-yugadanavi-power-plant-and-right-to-build-new-lng-terminal-us-firm-says-agreement-finalised/).
The second NFE business deal, which is actually the real deal, is being downplayed as a ‘side deal’: the ownership of the rights to develop a new LNG Terminal off the coast of Colombo.
After NFE issued a press release on the 21st, CEB trade unions and several political parties voiced public concerns about ‘selling the company’s shares’ to a foreign company. This, they argue, is yet another example of the government stripping national assets to bring in much-needed foreign exchange.
There may be legitimate reasons for opposing the sale of shares of Yugadanavi to New Fortress, yet this is not the first time the government has taken such a decision. The WCPL-CEB combo keeps on losing money, and the government may have resorted to NFE primarily to benefit from the US$250mn injection as part of this share deal (newsfirst.lk/2020/02/25/ceb-projected-to-suffer-rs-100bn-loss-this-year-why-is-the-ceb-hemorrhaging-money/). WCPL, an operating company belonging to Lanka Transformers (LTL), was set up as a joint venture between CEB and Bonar Long of Scotland in 1980 (ltl.lk/history/).
The catch in the NFE deal is not the sale of shares of WCPL, but in the ‘side deal’ – the rights to develop a new LNG terminal off Colombo’s coast. Government communiques mainly highlight the sale of shares, while NFE is actually ecstatic about the prospect of owning an LNG plant off Sri Lanka’s coast.
In fact, the LNG deal with NFE was an unsolicited proposal that was mysteriously added to a last-minute cabinet meeting, and was approved within minutes. NFE’s unsolicited proposal did not follow the formal procurement process to secure the LNG terminal facility and pipelines to Sri Lanka through a competitive bidding process where the bids on terminal facility and pipelines are now in the final stage of evaluation.
The salient features of NFE’s unsolicited proposal are as follows:
1. To purchase 40% of shares of West Coast Power Private at a purchase consideration of US$250million.
2. To execute the LNG terminal project, which includes a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU), Mooring System and Pipelines.
3. Supply Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to WCPL, Sobadhanavi (SBL) and other plants which will come to Kerawalapitiya, plus the more lucrative possibility of the CEB plants at Kelanitissa as well.
4. Inclusion of very high Take or Pay (TOP) gas volumes, than the actual minimum requirement of the country with strict conditions that NFE has to be paid, irrespective of whether the contracted volumes are consumed or not.
5. Contract term initially for 5 years with almost definite compulsion for further extensions.
6. Exclusive rights of supplying LNG for Sri Lanka electricity generation.
7. NFE being granted all tax exemptions/benefits/investment incentives available under Sri Lankan law.
8. Any taxes/charges which are not exempt will be a pass-through cost.
9. Governing law of the contracts are the laws of England & Wales.
The Framework Agreement (FA) was already signed between the GOSL and NFE on 7 July 2021. Cabinet recently gave approval to enter into the Gas Supply Term Sheet, Share Sale & Purchase Agreement (SSPA) of WCPL, Gas Supply Agreements with WCPL and SBL, and subsequent media reports reveal that some of these agreements have already been signed.
The unsolicited proposal from NFE contradicts the provisions of procurement policies and principles of National Energy Policy as well as the SL Electricity Act, where a competitive bidding process has to be adopted to procure electricity as well as fuels, and to also keep the first LNG terminal and LNG supply under the state control.
The US company will tie up exclusive rights for supplying LNG to Sri Lanka for 5 years initially, while definitely compelling extensions forever, which is a great threat to national energy security. Existing and future power plants in Colombo could controlled by a US company through LNG supply, greatly hampering the country’s electricity supply availability and reliability. Supply of LNG under this contract may not be limited to the electricity sector but could also be extended to other sectors such as transport and domestic usage in the years to come, which will give huge control to a foreign company.
Contrary to policies and procedures followed by most countries in the world with regard to energy sources, bundling together contracts for an LNG terminal, pipelines and LNG supply into a single unsolicited contract and handing them over to a foreign company is a severe threat to national security as well as energy security, with Sri Lanka held hostage forever.
The transaction costs under the NFE’s LNG supply contract could be in the range of US$3billion for 5 years and could go up to US$6 billion for 10 years, as the country will be forced to buy LNG from NFE for the plants in Kelanitissa as well, since there would be no other alternative
A huge national crime will be committed if such a massive contract, which could easily be the biggest contract in the country, is obtained through an unsolicited proposal without following a due competitive bidding process.
The pricing formulas offered for LNG supply are extremely disadvantageous to Sri Lanka. The purchaser needs to pay the LNG supplier the cost of TOP gas volumes whether or not the purchaser uses the particular gas volumes. The TOP volumes included in the NFE’s LNG supply contract are extremely high. It can cause a huge additional financial burden on the CEB and GOSL up to US$400 million for 5 years including the additional undue gain from the LNG pricing formula, which is extremely high compared to international competitive prices.
If and when Sri Lanka fails to use the TOP LNG volume in a month, the purchaser has to pay the cost for TOP volume for that month and then has to subsequently pay again for the next month’s actual usage of the same LNG still stored in the seller’s facility. It amounts to selling the same LNG quantity twice. Higher TOP contracts will also influence the merit order (whereby power is dispatched from power plants) in the country and can lead to corrupt practices. Under the NFE contract for the terminal facility, CEB has to also pay a minimum of US$253mn for 5 years for FSRU separately as the capacity charge in addition to LNG payment.
It is now abundantly clear that the real target for NFE is not the ‘main deal’ of selling Yugadanavi shares for US$250mn investment in shares of WCPL but the securing of the multi-billion$ LNG supply contract without competition and with exclusive rights to supply LNG to the whole country.
No official discussions or consultations were held with the CEB or Ministry of Power on this unsolicited proposal, and the Ministry of Finance singlehandedly managed the entire process. The GOSL is going to sign the agreements with NFE, and not the CEB as is usually done, hence the country will be totally entrapped, with dispute resolution extremely difficult.
The law governing the contracts is the Law of England & Wales, where Sri Lanka will be in a very disadvantageous and powerless position. In the Cabinet paper dated 6 Sept 2021, the Minister of Finance has quoted & compared all figures from the financial proposal of the ongoing tenders initiated by the CEB. This is totally against National Procurement Agency (NPA) guidelines and good governance. It sets a bad precedent for all types of procurement in the country and will severely hamper credibility, transparency and confidentiality. This will greatly discourage genuine investors coming to our country. This is also a gross violation of Clause 3.8.2 of National Energy Policy.
Moreover, NFE is granted all tax exemptions/benefits/investment incentives, while bidders through the CEB’s competitive bidding process are subjected to a payment of a 24% corporate tax and personal income taxes. The Ministry of Energy is working fast on the exploration of natural gas in the Mannar Basin. This will be of no use locally as the entire LNG supply of the country will now be supplied through the NFE contract. The oil and gas exploration process in the Mannar Basin is already rife with tussles over the bidding process to attract investors. Minister of Power & Energy Udaya Gammanpila, on the advice of the recently appointed advisor to the Petroleum Resources Development Secretariat (PRDS) Saliya Wickramasuriya, has cancelled the international competitive bids called in 2019. In a letter to the Presidential Secretary, Sealion Power, an English consortium declared that their company was recommended by the Director General of PRDS in 2019 (sundaytimes.lk/210620/business-times/mannar-basin-oil-exploration-drags-on-in-tender-dispute-446756.html).
The NFE press release highlights the offshore LNG storage & regasification terminal: ‘New Fortress will initially provide the equivalent of an estimated 1.2 million gallons of LNG (~35,00 MMBTU) per day to the Government of Sri Lanka, with the expectation of significant growth as new power plants become operational’. (island.lk/acquisition-of-yugadanavi-power-plant-and-right-to-build-new-lng-terminal-us-firm-says-agreement-finalised/).
This is hardly surprising for NFE – a company considered a ‘risky investment’ due to its high debt to EBITDA ratio (36.9) – to capitalize on this deal (simplywall.st/stocks/us/energy/nasdaq-nfe/new-fortress-energy/news/is-new-fortress-energy-nasdaqnfe-a-risky-investment). [NFE also may be a front for high US finance: JPMorgan Bank, which has 731.96K shares in NFE (docoh.com/company/1749723/NFE), has been repeatedly charged with rigging markets, and buying up power plants and critical infrastructure in 22 countries. In 2013 a JPMorgan Chase unit was forced to pay $410mn in fines for ripping off electric utility customers in California & US Midwest (wallstreetonparade.com/2021/07/someone-is-buying-up-power-plants-and-critical-infrastructure-in-22-countries-the-trail-leads-to-jpmorgan-a-bank-repeatedly-charged-with-rigging-markets).]
Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance is deliberately attempting to highlight the first agreement as the ‘main deal’. They have envisaged opposition to the deal and possibly calculated that popular opposition will be to the sale of shares. If there is strong opposition, they will cancel the ‘main deal’ to appease the opposition, and let the ‘side deal’ slide through. The ‘side deal’ is the ‘real deal’! This is what NFE wishes to be seen as: benevolently injecting $250mn into the foreign-exchange reserves of Sri Lanka.
Notes: NFE Unsolicited Proposal: Threat to Energy Security: CEBEU
• B2 Senaka Bibile: a Revolutionary Mission in Healthcare – Tissa Vitarana
Senaka Bibile, a great Sri Lankan professor of Pharmacology, was murdered 44 years ago on Sept 29, 1977, and this brief article is written in his memory. In my view he is one of Lanka’s greatest products and achievers, and all Sri Lankans, especially the young, should know what he did and endeavour to emulate him, to serve all humanity and society, regardless of personal gain or profit.
With limited means coming from rural Bibile in Badulla district, he won a scholarship to Trinity College, Kandy (which he repaid once he became a doctor, so that another poor student would also benefit, starting a new tradition). He excelled in his studies, despite taking to sports and music. He passed out of the Medical College, Colombo, with a First Class and several distinctions (surgery etc). Instead of becoming a rich surgeon, he chose to join the Pharmacology Department to teach about the proper use of medicines, and try to prevent poor patients dying due to the high price of medicines, which was a major health problem at that time. He then obtained a PhD in Pharmacology in the UK.
Back in Sri Lanka he became Professor in the Colombo Medical College for a long period, before becoming the founder Professor of Pharmacology in the Medical Faculty of the University of Peradeniya, and the Dean as well. Among his many innovations was the setting up of an Institute for Research into Medical Education. He did much original research in pharmacology itself. Senaka gave all his lectures without a note in front of him, and they were so clear and precise that it remained in our mind.
He joined the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) while a student, where he became a convinced socialist interested in serving the people. Through Marxism he learnt what caused the poverty around him and the LSSPs path to eliminate it in Sri Lanka…
Senaka began his campaign to bring down the cost of medicines by preparing a List of Essential Medicinal Drugs. Going by their scientific names he had about 250 on his list. He found that each was being imported under different brand names, sometimes 10 or more. Each company would try to capture a larger share of the market by intensive advertising, which raised the price further. I am sorry to have to mention that some of my medical colleagues were being offered various perks (trips abroad, etc.) and some succumbed and prescribed that brand. The poor patients, as the Government Hospitals were always short of drugs, had to go to private pharmacies. Many who could not afford the full course only bought 2 or 3 days’ supply. The outcome was not only no cure, but the problem of drug resistance emerging among the bacteria (e.g. antibiotics). New antibiotics had to be found to save lives. The drugs were often more costly. The poor suffered more.
State Pharmaceutical Corporation – Senaka then established a State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC). Dr NM Perera and TB Subasinghe supported Senaka’s idea of the SPC calling for worldwide tenders based on the scientific names, not only for the needs of the Government hospitals but also for the private ones. The outcome was a large number of bids with intensive competition among the powerful Multinational Corporations (MNCs) and producers of generic products (scientific name based, which supply the MNCs) which are much cheaper but of as good quality. The SPC was able to obtain good medicines at very low prices.
To give one example. Roche MNC of Switzerland, which sold Diazepam (generic name) under the name Valium, brought the cost of a tablet down from about 92 to 52 cents, a drop of 40 cents. But Ranbaxy of India offered a tablet at 2 cents (SL). Senaka contacted international organisations that check on all product preparation procedures and give Certificates of Good Manufacturing Practices for a price. The report on the Ranbaxy product was good. The SPC accepted the Ranbaxy product and saved 50 cents on the bid price and 90 cents on the Roche retail price. The Government drug bill came down steeply, and State hospitals were able to give to every patient the medicine for practically every illness free of charge. The price in private pharmacies also came down markedly. Senaka was able to achieve his ambition. Indeed Sri Lanka began to have a free health service.
Essential drugs – Senaka’s other ambition was for Sri Lanka to produce its own requirement of essential drugs and if possible export them to earn foreign exchange. What many countries do, including rich countries like the USA, is to get the tablet in powder form from the generic producers in countries like India and tablet them under their trade name and sell at a much higher price. The formulation of the powder is a lengthy, expensive process, involving much research etc.
Senaka wanted Sri Lanka to do its own formulation. He mooted the idea of establishing a State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation (SPMC) for this purpose. He started on it and prepared the foundation, but did not live to see the final outcome. Much of that work was taken on by Dr Gladys Jayawardene. When I inquired some time before 2015, over 40 of the most widely used medicines were being produced by the SPMC.
Though it is supposed to have gone up to well over this number during the time of the Yahapalanaya Government after 2015, I have been informed that a private company in SL is supplying the tablets to the SPMC who then sells it as an SPMC product to SPC for Government hospitals. Many hands are involved and many commissions are said to be made. Whether the formulation is done in Sri Lanka is also uncertain. It may be abroad. I am also told that this nasty practice is continuing under the present Government. This should be fully investigated and if what is being said is correct, immediate corrective action must be taken. I request the new Minister of Health to do so without delay.
Senaka was in high demand to visit Third World countries to introduce his method. The night before his final visit abroad, to Guyana, while having dinner with him, he said they are trying to frighten him not to go, by phone messages saying his life is not safe and not to go to Guyana. There are suspicious circumstances about his death. I and my wife Kamini went to meet Leila at the airport to receive the ashes of this great man who was lost to the world at the age of 54. What a loss.
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.
• The People With the Most to Lose in a U.S.-China Cold War
‘During the standoff between Washington and Moscow, it was mostly people in poor, developing countries who paid the price…The fight against the Tamil Tigers would go on for two more decades, taking thousands of lives and gaining international notoriety. The battle with the JVP would last for only a short period, and is remembered by few outside Sri Lanka. Yet it was among the deadliest conflicts at the time.’
• Government reluctant to properly present Sri Lanka’s case
‘the UN Chief here…has had the audacity to make public comments on the country’s internal affairs and get away with such behaviour’
• UNHRC on Blinkers
• President & the Tamil Diaspora
‘It is not clear as to why the President has turned to the Tamil Diaspora to resolve Tamil demands’
• SLCFA commends China’s tremendous achievements without plundering others
• Bringing Sri Lanka back into India’s fold – Balachandran Courtesy NewsIn.Asia
‘The visit of Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to Sri Lanka from October 2 to 5…’
• Indo-Lanka naval talks: Focus on joint efforts to curb illegal use of fishing craft, poaching
• ‘Pushback Against China’: Indian Firm Signs 35-Year Lease to Run Strategic Port in SL
‘India’s Adani Group firms up Colombo Port deal’
• India Foreign Secy to visit ahead of Year-End China-backed Port City groundbreaking
• Indians discuss possible assistance to North with NP Governor
• TNA trying to unite Tamil political factions for benefit of people – MP Sritharan
• UN a toothless tiger… or an appendage of the US?
‘The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), an arm of the United Nations announced that he was ‘depriortising’ investigations into alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan!’
• Those who voted for government are quite probably at a loss about President: USAID’s NPC
• Sri Lanka – English Ministers discuss Trade, Investment, and Domestic Reconciliation Process
• English High Commissioner Hulton concerned over ‘high profile cases’
• Future Japanese aircraft carrier expected in Colombo as a warship
‘Since 2015, over 30 Japanese warships have visited Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka and Japan on Oct 1, 2015 entered into a Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (SF)’
• German Military Attachés on a working visit to Colombo
‘Two German military officers responsible for Sri Lanka, Capt Gerald Koch and LtCol Jan Cihar, will be in the country from October 3-8…to prepare the port visit of the German frigate BAYERN, planned from January 9-13 2022.’
• Sri Lanka Courts get AV equipment from US for Covid-19 era hearings
• US continues assistance towards Sri Lankan Lifesavers
• LTTE Terrorism-Church Links – Can someone explain these photos?
• The Catholic Church & the LTTE – Gamage
‘A very influential Indian diplomat – J.N. Dixit – who served in Colombo, 1985-89, wrote: “what was fascinating was that the Tamil Catholic clergy kept arguing in favour of the LTTE throughout my tenure in Sri Lanka.”’
• JVP accuses govt. of arousing communal feelings for political gain
‘Now, it is trying to pit Buddhists against the Catholics’
• Sri Lanka Easter Sunday Mass Murder: People seek Truth & Justice from AG’s Dept & CID
• Does Terror Ideology stem from Hate Verses – Gnanasara Thero & Minister Weerasekera
• The Flag And The Cross
• How did Afghan women gain and lose rights before and after the Taliban?
• US, England prepare to re-engage Taliban
‘Evidently, there is some heartburn in London and Washington that the Sino-Russian caravan is on the move on the Silk Road while they are stuck up in New York.’
• The Taliban and the UN’s democracy dilemma
• What Biden told the Indians
‘It goes to the credit of Secretary of State Blinken that so soon after kicking India’s butts and leaving it in the lurch to write off its $3 billion investments in Afghanistan, he got EAM Jaishankar to sheepishly get back into the American cart. ‘
• Quad is turning & turning in widening gyre
‘India gains nothing out of antagonising China or being used as a proxy diplomatic weapon and, certainly, it has no reason to carry the burden of others’ rivalries with China. Fundamentally, India has its own strategic interests, like the ASEAN countries, and is a stakeholder in the stability of the Asian continent.’
• Why Bangladesh should Use Gwadar Port?
• PPFA reiterates demand to revitalize Hinglaj temple in Baluchistan
• The Revenge of White Colonialism Motivates the AUKUS Alliance Against China
‘Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is a leading think-tank in anti-China propaganda.’
• The Dangerous Turn in the Arms Race in the Pacific
• A new Anglo-Saxon Club of Three – AUKUS
‘New Zealand has declared its waters out of bounds for AUKUS submarines.’
• Justin Trudeau’s botched Asia policy puts Canada at the back of the bus
• Iran Sanctions – How To Say F… Y.. In Diplomatese
– moonofalabama.org/2021/10/iran-sanctions-how-to-say-f-y-in-diplomatese.html • Biden makes eye contact with Saudi Crown Prince
‘Sullivan picks the most authoritarian, repressive regimes in the West Asian region for his first visit’
• Ethiopian Mystery: The Case of the 428 Disappearing Food Aid Trucks
‘Are they perhaps full of Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) troops and ammunition on their way to and from the war’s front lines?’
• Building the Movement to Shut Down AFRICOM
‘October 2021 is the 13th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM…. to militarily occupy Africa, with thousands of U.S. troops now stationed in some 30 African countries with dozens of U.S. bases across the continent’
• 20 years After Durban: Africans and Afro-Descendants Colonized or Emancipated?
‘The 20th anniversary of the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) is an opportunity to analyze the state of African-descended people. Reparations for centuries of crimes against humanity must still be paid.’
• US Congress Outlines New Phase of Economic Attacks & Hybrid War on Nicaragua’s Sandinista Government
• The Meaning of Macron: Lessons from the Fifth Republic
‘progressive elites have historically made a conscious attempt to break with the working-class and turned to variations of the bloc bourgeois strategy believing that the working class is a shrinking electoral constituency with a fading sense of class identity, and one that was increasingly at odds with ‘post-material’ values.’
• Rise of centre-left in Germany
‘The EU itself is calibrating its compass even as Euro-Atlanticism is on the wane and Europe’s confidence in the transatlantic leadership of the United States has noticeably diminished…’
• German election: unsteady as she goes
‘Manufacturing still accounts for 23% of the German economy, compared to 12% in the US and 10% in the England. And manufacturing employs 19% of the German workforce, as opposed to 10% in the US and 9% in England…he number of temporary workers in Germany has almost trebled over the past 10 years to about 822,000, according to the Federal Employment Agency.’
• How Centuries Old Local Differences Still Influence German Politics
‘The Left (Linke) is nominally socialist. Over the last two years their leadership has emphasized ‘wokeness’ instead of socialism which led to a loss of their long term supporters.’
• U.S. Congressional Support for More War spending and AUKUS Anti-China Pact Exposes Cynicism of Biden’s UN Speech Calling for More Diplomacy
• The Aims of World War I & II and Their Relations to the Darker Peoples of the World, 1943
• 150 Years of Canadian Colonization: And Our Right to Self-Determination
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.
• Private healthcare sector demand share of BIA PCR testing
‘the Association of Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes (APHNH)’
• The Elephant in Sri Lanka Part 1, 2, 3 & 4
‘Onesicritus (360-290 BC) said the elephants in Sri Lanka were bigger and more warlike, than those found in India. Aelian (175-235 AD) records that the elephants in Sri Lanka were physically stronger and bigger in appearance than those in India, also more intelligent.’
• Senior DIG AC Dep: a police legend
• Risks Of Granting Refugee Status (13.9.21) To Another SriLankan Under Surveillance By Sri Lankan Security Personel On Charges Of ” Links To Terrorism”
• SimCentric Technologies simulation based military training software developer in Sri Lanka.
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.
• What inflation really means
• Despite doomsday forecasts by economists advocating debt restructure, SL has several options
• Leading asset manager highlights why SL should avoid debt restructuring
• Central Bank of Sri Lanka 71st Annivesary Oration – Prof. Ha-Joon Chang
• Job of Governor Cabraal to prepare policy for Government submission to IMF – Wijewardena
• IMF conditions vital for the country– Sanderatne
• Debt restructuring programme from IMF will push us back 10 years – Cabraal
• Sri Lanka and the IMF: Myth and reality: Parts 1&2 – Athukorala
• Rise and fall of import substitution in a International context – Abeyratne
• Freeing Central Bank from political interference is essential for price stability – Colombage
• Pathfinder ‘In Conversation’ webinar on ‘Should Sri Lanka be afraid of going to the IMF?’
‘Central Bank former Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy will conduct a discussion with Nadeem Ul Haque, who with the IMF, implemented Public Structure Reform in Sri Lanka’
• Sanasa Forum sponsored by Global Affairs Canada & EFFEC International Desjardins Project
• US Advocata believes trade, not manufacturing and production, will reverse Sri Lanka’s fortunes
• Losing by focusing on the winners – US Advocata
‘Sri Lanka [has] become a nation full of people who detest imports. But they forget that local industries depend significantly on raw materials and parts.’
• Case of conflict of interest: The Governor’s connection
• What the Government should do to get rid of the present financial crisis ailing the country?
• If I was the Minister of Finance – Chandra Jayaratne
‘approach the International Monetary Fund and leading International Investment Banking Specialists’
• Review: Roland Boer – Socialism with Chinese Characteristics: A Guide for Foreigners
‘Boer explains the role Marxism plays in China, what is specifically Chinese about it and a number of liberal and Western Marxists’ (mis)representations of Chinese socialism, which Chinese scholars and Boer view as inadequate and methodologically faulty’
• China’s Fortune Cookie Crumbles
‘What China’s doing is creating a precondition for a profitable industrial economy over a large area to benefit from. It’s participants are going to need transportation. You’re going to need ports. You’re going to need roads. You’re going to need pipelines and is focusing on the interconnections, on the infrastructure.’
• Imperialism, China and Finance
• Non-capitalist China is on track to become the world’s largest economy – David
• Yanis Varoufakis: Angela Merkel Was Bad for Europe and the World
‘The massive surpluses that empowered Germany under Mrs Merkel are the result of forcing German and, later, European taxpayers to bail out Frankfurt’s inane bankers on condition of engineering a humanitarian crisis in Europe’s periphery (Greece in particular) — a means by which Merkel’s government imposed unprecedented austerity upon both German and non-German workers (disproportionately, of course).’
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.
• Exporters hoarding $2.76 billion in earnings overseas: CB
‘$985 million average monthly exports between January and August but repatriation of proceeds were only $640 million, exposing a “significant” gap of $345 million monthly’
• CB charts short-term Road Map for stability and growth
• Rubber product exporters express concern over CB allegation on repatriation $3 billion
‘SL Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber Products: “…any analytics must have a 12-month window and need to do an age analysis of the trading system rather than coming into conclusion based on three months of data…It does not help to motivate or to build the image of the country and the multinationals who have kept faith in the sector.”’
• Central Bank to make surrendering of export earnings mandatory
• Overseas banks refuse to honour Sri Lankan LCs
‘commercial banks making supernormal profits solely on the exchange rate.’
• Central Bank asks banks not to facilitate forex deals outside official banking channels
‘separate market among exporters and importers outside the formal banking system for their foreign exchange requirements, which were unofficially facilitated by banks.’
• CCPI based Inflation decreased to 5.7 per cent in September 2021
• Sri Lanka Central Bank issues circular on Stage III Covid linked bad loans
• 100% cash margin rule on non-essential imports removed
• Cabraal removes Sri Lanka bond auction price controls
• Sri Lanka CB rate hike, SRR has not met original objectives: Jayasundera
• JVP predicts dark days with shortages and sharp price increases
• G-Sec yields shift upwards across maturities after Central Bank lifted controls on bills
• T-bill yields jump for second week in a row signalling higher borrowing costs
• Sri Lanka debt rises to 104-pct of GDP by June 2021
• Budget 2022 takes new social direction
• Foreign funding continues to flow in for Sri Lankan banks despite sovereign pressure: Fitch
‘Among the large banks, which secured medium to long term funding lines from development financing institutions from 2020 to date include NDB and DFCC, which are set to receive US$ 50 million and US$150 million each from the US International Development Finance Corporation; Commercial Bank, which received US$ 50 million from the International Finance Corporation in 2020 and another US$ 50 million from the CDC Group in 2021; and US$ 60 million received by HNB from Proparco…beside the equity injections made to Commercial Bank and NDB via foreign currency capital in 2020 and 2021 respectively.’
• Impairments on dollar bonds to be moderate at BOC despite hefty exposure, says ICRA Lanka
• Sri Lanka CB Governor meets envoy of forex reserve rich Bangladesh
• Central Bank of Iran offers support for Iran-Sri Lanka trade ties
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
• 100,000 health workers on five-hour strike
• Docs threaten TU action over interns
• Sri Lanka’s GMOA threatens trade union action over “arbitrary” doctors’ transfers
• Trade unions slam govt. over excluding worker representation from pandemic decision-making
• Sri Lanka teachers unions angered by police minister’s call for “tough” measures
• Sri Lanka trade union collective threatens to join school teachers on strike
• Workers’ remittances show first-time negative YTD
‘In August, inflows amounted to $ 446.6 million, a sharp contraction of $ 218 million or 33% from a year ago.’
• Domestic inquiries’ importance in Labour Law
• Cabinet nod to ban 20 new occupations including domestic services for minors
• Teachers union goes to Bribery Commission over foreign scholarships
• No gender equality for women in politics and commerce
• Unilever Sri Lanka’s Horana factory recruits first-ever female workforce
• South Asia immigration barriers hindering industrial hub potential
‘Joining Gunaseela, Buildtek Consultants, Bhawani Rana, Fortuna Group, Nepal, Asim Jamal, SANOFI, Pakistan…the ‘Restart Asian Economies’ series organised by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), South Asia.’
• Changing Face of the Trade Union Action (Part one )
• Pandemic related economic restrictions sparked wave of resignations, retirements: CB survey
• USA “Race Norming” and Health Care Jim Crow
‘causes Black people to be undertreated for pain, undiagnosed for serious illness, denied life-saving treatments because of an idea which is inherently white supremacist and very much unscientific.’
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.
• How To Blame Poor Countries For A Food Crisis – Samarajiva
‘Don’t worry about capitalism collapsing, just look at these dumb darkies!… My friend Amita Arudpragasam wrote an article in Foreign Policy called How to End Sri Lanka’s Food Crisis…the article is very wrong.’
• Powerful millers floor govt., do away with ceiling price for rice
‘with the abolition of the gazette meant to regulate the rice market, the whole strategy initiated by the government in late August was in tatters’.
• Remove arbitrary minimum & maximum prices and restrictions on domestic rice/paddy trade
• Sri Lanka to import 100,000 tonnes of ‘healthy’, non-organic rice, as prices soar
• Faced with shortage, govt. throws open sugar market to competition
• Sri Lanka’s 167 year old Planters’ Association to hold online AGM
‘membership includes representatives of 23 Regional Plantation Companies, which manage about 40% of the country’s tea, rubber, coconut and oil palm and the management of over 330 factories.’
• Sri Lanka killing US$1.3bn export industry to save US$30mn: Planters Association
• Does Sri Lanka Really Have a Food Crisis?
• Export Agriculture revenue tops Rs. 63 billion in 2021
• Irrigation, chemical inputs & pesticides — has left the natural environment weaker
• Govt. cancels fertiliser import order from China after contamination
• Despite ban, palm oil imports to Sri Lanka continues unabated.
• Garlic scam: Whistleblower ready to assist CID
• Stink of corruption is so nauseating top CAA official quits in disgust
‘internal memos on the purchase of the stock of garlic weighing 56,000 kilos from the Ports Authority and selling it to a private trader will help trace them. ‘
• Sathosa never sold numerous dry rations to traders straight from the Port
• President’s UNGA speech and the agrarian crisis
• (Video) Hundreds of Indian Trawlers in Sri Lankan waters
• Bottom trawling by Indians: Top level naval meeting on Wednesday
• Sri Lanka in talks for milk credit line from New Zealand
• Sri Lanka milk importers cry for $14 million dollars
• World Bank approves US $500Mn loan for roads to connect agricultural supply
• Spotlight on Somawathiya Reserve Merrymaking trespassers see the blues!
• A second chance for mangroves
• How about ‘elevated jogging track’ in place of missing south bund on Kelani left bank?
• Bharat Bandh: 10 Hours That Could Shake Modi Govt, as Support for Farmers Gets ‘Bigger’
• Pernicious dominance of Western corporate interests over the world food system Food System Summit turned blind eye to democracy deficit
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.
• Midnight LNG deal with US firm raises hackles in Sri Lanka – Bandarage
• New Fortress Energy Unsolicited Proposal: Threat to Energy Security: CEBEU
• Energy consultant slams deal with NFE as being dubious and ambiguous
• Those against US energy deal to take up issue with Prez
• Dullas opposes handing over LNG supply monopoly to US-based New Fortress Energy
• Energy Minister warns New Fortress deal could impede SL’s prospects in gas & oil production
• ‘How the US Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Power Plant’?
• GoSL-New Fortress agreement: Engineers frown on modus operandi, gas supply contract
• Prices for LNG arriving at New Fortress plant will be cheapest: Gammanpila
• Gammanpila faults FT headline on cheapest LNG price
‘FT stands by its headline.’
• Gammanpila slams Govt. over New Fortress LNG monopoly but not transfer of 40% Stake
“Allowing a US-based firm to have a monopoly on the LNG supply till 2028 would be a serious concern in terms of attracting investors to explore for gas in the Mannar basin,” he added.’
• Formation of Siyolit Ltd. could sabotage State-run Litro Ltd.
• Govt. claims unaware of $2.5 billion CPC loan
‘Lankadeepa reported that negotiations had taken for the loan with a US-based company called ‘Concept Global’’
• Vitol CEO sees global gas market set for reasonably bullish 5-year outlook
• Global oil demand seen reaching pre-pandemic levels by early 2022
• Oil may hit US $ 100 this winter and spur economic crisis, says BofA
• CEA Chairman claims Fuel Oil Disposal permit issuance in order
• Lanka seeks investment in 7000 small-scale solar projects
• Mining: Environment Minister wants end to plunder of resources by outsiders sporting gold bracelets, chains, while poor villagers are left with nothing
• Inchcape Shipping Services forms JV with JKH to offer full suite of services
‘an estimated 31,000 vessels a year traversing SL’s East-West trade route connecting the major industrial centres of North America, Western Europe and Asia… joint venture, Inchcape Mackinnon Mackenzie Shipping (Private) Ltd, was launched in July… the country’s primary supplier of marine bunker fuels and lubricants, Lanka Marine Services, which is part of the John Keells Group’s ports and shipping business along with South Asia Gateway Terminals… With Sri Lanka an important location for switching crews as well as taking onboard spares and provisions Inchcape facilitated the repatriation of hundreds of Indian seafarers from the US, Manila and Singapore at the height of the pandemic.’
• SL boat industry promoted in Southern Africa
‘Kapila Sumanapala – Neil Marine Company, Z.M. Hairu – Hairu Naval Craft Engineering, Sumithra Fernando and Sachitra Fernando – Dhanusha Marine, D.V. Abeysinghe – Colombo Dockyard PLC, and Indra Rajapaksha – BAFF Polymech participated’
• ADB Financial assistance to MSME industrialists – Weerawansa
‘“The Guarantee Fund is available for industrialists who invent market-winning products, but do not have the capital..as they are unable to obtain bank loans…SME sector contributed over 55-65% to GDP.
• Top level EU team here tomorrow to review GSP+ compliance
‘The delegation is here from September 27 to October 5: Nikolaos Zaimis, Senior Adviser on Trade and Sustainable Development; Ionnis Giogkarakis-Argyropoulos, Head of Division South Asia, European External Action Service (EEAS); Guido Dolara, Coordinator GSP Trade Preferences; Lluis Prats – Head of Unit, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission; and Monika Bylaite, Desk Officer for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, EEAS.’
• Joint Apparel Association Forum Demands GSP+
• DIMO & Heavy Machinery Giant Komatsu celebrate 50 years partnership in Sri Lanka
• Pioneering residential traditional medicine treatment centre for COVID19
• New Principal Advisor to the Ministry of Technology
• How US screwed even Allies to favour US companies – “Huawei & Alstom: A tale of 2 companies”
‘In 2013, French industrial conglomerate Alstom’s executive Frederic Pierucci was arrested, and Alstom was then”dismembered” by the U.S. Five years later, Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou was also arrested and Washington is trying to ban Chinese telecom giant Huawei around the world. Now Meng has returned, but America’s suppression of other countries’ tech development continues. How many more “prey” will fall into the “American Trap”?
• ‘No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil in the ground and just leave them there’
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.
• Thilanga Sumathipala appointed Asia Capital Chairman
‘family-owned conglomerate Sumathi Ventures, was the linchpin in the historic transformation of Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) from a public private partnership to a public quoted company. …AC’s controlling shareholder is Malaysia based Investor Dato Sri Vijay Eswaran’
• Cargills Bank losses in June quarter
‘Rs.48.2 billion assets and Rs.36.9 billion in loans and advances gave loans worth of Rs.5.2 billion in the six months to June 2021…Cargills group in concert with CT Holdings had 65 % stake in Cargills Bank while the Monetary Board of the Central Bank held another 4.98% stake on behalf of the Employees’ Provident Fund.’/
• Aruni Goonetilleke new Chairperson at HNB
‘last role was at People’s Bank, after Standard Chartered Bank – Singapore…
• Sarvodaya Development Finance appoints S.N. Senthilverl to its Board of Directors
‘previously served Pan Asia Power and Dollar Corporation…Senthilverl Holdings is third largest shareholder of SDF, Sarvodaya Development Finance…Sarvodaya Movement works with over 5,000 villages, with a client base exceeding 175,000 clients.’
• Merger out; Sinhaputhra owners to invest in Nation Lanka via private placement
• Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan trading like an aggressive hedge fund kingpin
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’
• Commercial objectives behind anti-vax campaigns: Medical Expert
• Business Sentiment – Confidence at a Four Month High
• Insurance Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka Report Q2 2021
‘The GWP for Long Term Insurance and General Insurance Businesses was Rs. 105,310 million…The total assets of insurance companies increased to Rs. 814,589 million at end of 1st half of 2021…Out of 27 insurance companies (insurers) in operation, 13 are engaged in Long Term (Life) Insurance Business, 12 companies engaged in General Insurance Business and two are composite companies (dealing in both Long Term and General Insurance Businesses)…68 insurance brokering companies were registered…’
• Overview of new Securities and Exchange Commission Act
• Edirisinghe, Madanayake appointed to CT Land Board
‘Board will comprise of Chairman R. Selvaskandan, Deputy Chairman J.C. Page, L.R. Page, A.T.P. Edirisinghe, V.R. Page, T. Senthilverl, S.C. Niles, P. Edirisinghe and S. Madanayake’
• ICT/BPM Country Brand Promoted at the ICT Digital Week in Luxembourg
‘Representatives of Arimac Lanka Pvt. Ltd, EC Holdings Pvt. Ltd., Potenza Pvt. Ltd and four Startups namely Augustory Pvt. Ltd., CabbageApps Pvt. Ltd., Inteligenza Hub Pvt. Ltd, Shades IT Solutions Pvt. Ltd formed the Sri Lanka delegation.’
• Stanley Jayawardena, Unilever Sri Lanka’s first Sri Lankan Chairman.
• Prime Lands, country’s top residential property developer to infuse equity into Prime Finance
• Australian :Different raises US$ 25mn to buy property in Sri Lanka
• Lyca Group Chairman Allirajah Subaskaran new owner of Jaffna LPL franchise
• Women in Management, International Finance Corporation launch 11th Women Awards
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.
• Mechanism to declare assets & liabilities at the time of handing over nominations, proposes EC
• The SLPP Takes Leave of SWRD
• SWRD’s flirtation with federalism – David Jeyaraj
• Three-Lettered Ranil & Scholars Wanting IMF & KFC
• National Administrative System – Revisiting and Rationalising Towards Greater Efficiency
‘Sri Lanka was able to monitor and manage the country situation, including the vaccination programme, because of our long standing Primary Healthcare System.’
• Sri Lanka has designated nearly 100 Honorary Consuls in various countries
• President Premadasa, a committed human dynamo
• ‘Life in Maoist Belt Hinges on Barrel of Gun’ – India
• W. E. B. Du Bois On Stalin (1953)
• Teaching Politically and the Problem of Afropessimism
• 18 Theses on Aristocratic Marxism
‘1. Aristocratic Marxism defines itself in opposition to moralism….’
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.
• SL’s internet penetration tops 20mn people as pandemic upends lifestyles
• Popular actor quits famous teledrama over mocking teacher protests
• Most embassies in SL take to social media.
• Yohani, Sri Lanka’s multifaceted ‘Manike’ (Gem), has been snatched by India?
• Life and Times of Sinhala Cinema’s Super Hero Gamini Fonseka
• How AP, Reuters And SCMP Propagandize Their Readers Against China
• Communications battlefield of data mining, digital & social media, political marketing & permanent campaigning.
‘Power is concentrated among staff who sit atop the government hierarchy and are not accountable to Parliament.’
• To Disparage Taliban NYT, CNN Quote Hoax Twitter Account, Create Fake Story
• 60 Hours After Publishing Fake News On Afghanistan New York Times Still Spreads Story
• Corporate media stirred global hysteria to push postwar hostility toward new Afghan govt
• Military leaders saw pandemic as opportunity to test propaganda techniques on Canadians
• Big data, social media & political fundraising laws transform elections: Micro-targeting voters
• Controversial Tory-linked PR firm working to oust Trudeau in Canada’s election
‘“a 24-hour meme machine”, known for producing simple and often shocking content aimed at triggering strong emotions. In a 2019 speech, co-founder Guerin told an Australian audience that “You’ve got to surprise people, you’ve got to shock people, you’ve got to unlock an arousal emotion in people… The particular emotions that we need to unlock are arousal emotions. We’re talking anger, excitement, pride, fear.”’
• US Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) dead under Biden as under Trump, Obama and Bush