‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 21-27 November 2021
“Climate Change” is camouflaging “Regime Change”, and “Global Warming” beclouding “Global Warring.” Gaps between meteorology, astrology & ideology narrow by the nanosecond. ‘Carbon Rights’ is weaponized & capitalized like ‘Human Rights”. ‘Sustainable’ is code for keeping dead capitalism alive, as ‘global’ multinational banks and corporations rule the world, snug in imperialist bases. Indeed, a cyclone is not just on its way, it is within the gates. And it ain’t just the IMF.
• A German warship plans to park at Colombo port in January, as Germany this week demanded Sri Lanka ‘end import controls’ (see ee Sovereignty).
Yet, it is import controls that protected their nascent strivings, enabling Germany to rise as an industrial power, to become another model for such Asian countries as China and Japan in the early 20th century. ee continues our discussion of the roots of such industrialization in Asia, while noting it is the Communist Party of China that truly enacted modern (machine-making) industrial policy (ee Focus). Policies, our beloved economists are not allowed to discuss without distortion.
Meanwhile, the German blitzkrieg this week had ‘150 representatives of German brands’ strutting before Treasury Secretary PB Jayasundera at Kingsbury Hotel. Offensive it was to see German envoys, businessmen and their local importers showering tears of outrage against feeble attempts at protecting local industry.
Mercedes has 22 dealers in 50 Indian cities, with a backlog of 1,500 models! Saving precious foreign exchange for more important needs is not as profitable. They wish us to rain dollars on hail-ing and heil-ing Mercedes Benzes from Tamilnadu!
Our October 30th ee looked at how Germany intimately connected art with science and technology to industrialize from the late 19th century. Yet look at the insanity and idiocy of our ‘creative’ ‘middle class’: ‘The New Local Vision’ by the so-called Academy of Design launches Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka 2021! ‘The New Local’ vision… champions design for export as a key solution’ (see, ee Business). Their slavish version of design knows nothing about machines making machines.
• It is no wonder. Sri Lanka is ruled by an import-export plantation oligarchy, a malefic mafia of merchants and moneylenders, who are agents for multinational banks and corporations, pushing foreign industrial machines and goods, intimately entangling the government, particularly high officials, in a wild embrace. And artists, mainly employed by multinational PR agencies, march in lockstep.
It is this private-sector-dominated import-export ‘free market’ fraud that fertilizes the roots of so-called minor and mega ‘corruption’ (that the media, etc., love to go on about). This toxic linkage was accidentally confessed this week in the Daily Mirror. How it got thru their self-censors we don’t know (Random Notes).
The control of multinational banks and corporations (MNCs), many with budgets larger than most countries, is therefore key to an independent economy. MNCs control both government ‘technical and procurement’ policies and officials. MNCs aim to render words like ‘organic’ as meaningless as ‘independence.’
• ee finds it refreshing therefore that President GR is being blamed for a ‘rant’ against ‘specialists’ who ignore the larger and longer picture. Even more cogently, he accused the state’s administrative ‘structures’ of being ‘linked to fertilizer corporates.’ ee has well documented this collusion by the colonial civil service under the English, which continues unchecked to this day.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Agriculture claimed, ‘a strong lobby of agrochemical importers have been trying to influence officials in the ministry and agriculture department.’ This was stated after the Registrar of Pesticides was removed for revoking the gazette banning pesticides. The Registrar, however, claims, the revocation was done ‘on the advice of the Pesticide Technical and Advisory Committee.’
Meanwhile, MONLAR claims the government has ‘banned agrochemicals to break the existing cartel that controlled fertiliser imports and thereby help its business associates.’
Also, Lanka Sathosa (shackled to Unilever in a private-public partnership) ‘does not purchase goods through the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE)’ but has ‘instead been given a free hand to make purchases from the open market at higher prices’ (ee Agriculture).
ee therefore wonders why the Minister of Agriculture says importers ‘have been trying to influence officials’? They do more than ‘try’ or ‘influence’. Multinationals have been running the Ministry of Agriculture as well as all the Universities’ Departments of Agriculture, their professors and economists, for a long time. And not just Agriculture: Education, Health (Pharmaceutical & Biotech), etc. You name it, they run it!
Inorganic fertilizer is distilled from petroleum. Agricultural policy is intimately connected to energy policy, which is controlled by Rockefeller’s Exxon, Caltex, Chevron, etc., who operate through local agents, e.g. McLarens. Fuel tops our import bill, and it’s not surprising the US has moved to grabbing the Mannar Basin, which, with Trincomalee, is what the terrorist wars were about to begin with. It’s also no coincidence that foreign policy has been handed over to the incompetencies of Rockefeller petroleum-linked ‘Pathfinder’ operators, like the Foreign Secretary Jayantha Colombage and High Commissioner to India, Milinda Moragoda.
This week we were also treated to another charade of the northern political parties going to the US State Department and asking for more imperialist intervention, and then flying unlike geese towards snowy Toronto, where they were presumably honked by LTTE supporters and then ‘rescued’ by Canadian security officials. LTTE supporters in Canada have no independence from the white-settler state and their police to begin with, and simply do their foreign-policy bidding. It’s they who need to be rescued – for once Canada gets its economic way in Sri Lanka, they’ll be refugees again.
• ‘Sri Lanka’s current economic quagmire is due to three overlapping economic crises’, figures economist Vagisha Gunasekera. ‘Another long drawn-out global capitalist bust phase (which commenced with the 2007 financial collapse)’ has meshed with ‘a domestic economic crisis that has been unfolding since the country’s 1948 ‘Independence’; and the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption ‘of both global and national supply chains’. Gunasekera highlights the ‘urgent need for national planning and policy stability in Sri Lanka’. (ee Focus)
Yet since making and implementing our own plans has been forbidden by the ‘free market’, World Bank and IMF, the US Treasury and their dollar continues their domination of the economy.
• ‘IMF, here we go again’ has been the rumor, ever since the forced resignation of WD Lakshman as Central Bank governor. At a moment when the country was intoxicated by a ‘landslide’, Lakshman had promised a development bank, which probably signed his professional death warrant. Such acts hastened the demise of such earlier luminaries as SWRD Bandaranaike and Philip Gunawardena.
The CB governor was, as suspected, sabotaged by the private bankers disguised as public officials hidden within the entrails of the Central Bank. ee likes to point out to those who demand ‘educated’ rulers, that the CB has the highest number of PhDs per square foot under one roof in the country. PhDs paid for by the people, but not profiting the people.
• What will ‘going IMF’ mean? The Sunday Times lets the cat out of the bag by editorializing ‘The Public Sector is overstaffed to the extent of 1.5 million employees and is a burden on the country.’ Barak indeed!
It’s the powerful yet immensely wasteful private sector that is the tremendous burden. With the IMF, in remote or direct control, we’re in for that rerun, where over 50,00 workers were sacked at the behest of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, to smash the July 1980 General Strike. This signal event, demanded by the WB/IMF, then heralded the consequent turmoil that engulfed the country continuously for almost 30 years after.
Of course, sacking masses of workers will be done under the rubric of ‘Fiscal Consolidation’, with the selling of vital national corporations – as demanded by all the Sunday Times’ and other economists every day, taunting the government for ‘lacking the political will and the guts!’
As we approach the end of the year what better time to announce submission to the dictates of international capitalism than during ‘Mahaveerar’ week? – the annual commemoration of those who fought and died to fragment the country. Yet the roots of such war as always has been most evident in the ongoing blocking of an independent modern economy, wherein controlling the (especially rural) home market is key to buttressing a modern industrial economy.
• News that the JVP’s Vijitha Herath attended US-funded capitalist thinktank Advocata’s tea party, bringing together a range of actors from SLPP Basil Rajapakse acolyte Ranjith Bandara to one-time Hela helot Champika Ranawaka to Canada’s ‘Critical Student’ Suren Raghavan and the Assembly of God’s Harsha de Silva, tells us another US-orchestrated Yahapalana (Part 2) is on its way and fast.
A curious picket by ‘young socialists’ supporting Palestine also suggests that micro-attempts to slice off fractions for the present government are in full swing. Listen therefore to the video interview with Belarus President Alex Lukashenko explaining how the CIA and their English poodles create havoc to get their way (see ee Sovereignty). The EU enticing refugees – the victims of their wars waged in and on our world – also shows the despicable depths they attain to put pressure on their own working classes by threatening influxes of insecure workers, who they’re just as happy to drown in the English Channel.
• Across the Pond & Beyond – A cyclone is being sent our way from east and west: a ‘Shadow Government’ in Myanmar supported by the whites to overthrow the government, has raised millions from a ‘Revolution Bond’, claims Bloomberg News, quoting a media agency linked to the very same ‘shadow’. The New York Times reports, US C-17 military planes have landed in neighboring Djibouti to supposedly evacuate US citizens from Ethiopia, as US-supported rebels march on capital Addis Ababa. Australia is sending troops to the Solomon Islands. France is invading Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. No repeated headlines about such invasions. So-called social media is un-outrage-ified.
At one time the English wished to exchange their claim to all of Canada for Guadeloupe (a centre of sugar production). Voltaire sneered back that Canada was: ‘a few acres of snow’.
• Corporations have 3 sets of books that keep accounts. One for the public (& shareholders), one for the government, and a secret one for themselves. Their corporate media operates in the same way. The real truth is never publicized (see Random Notes).
• The failure of 17 US intelligence agencies tasked to pinpoint the origins of Corona, is not making headline news (see, Random Notes). All hype about anti-viral pill Molnupiravir, is serving to hide the scandal of the century: Multinational & imperialist prevention of vaccine production in our countries: ‘Molnupiravir VL is like a market-guarding wolf dressed as an access-expanding lamb.’ Preventing vaccine production, is part of the overall prevention of modern (machine-making) production in non-settler colonial countries. See: ee Industry, Voluntary Licensing Agreements between Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) & Big Pharma – Increasing Monopoly Power!
A1. Reader Comments –
• ee Opposes Big Data? • Black Friday Crap • Japan’s Generosity • Money out of air
A2. Quotes of the Week
• FDI Fraud • IMF to Privatise Education & Health • Don’t tax the Rich • SWRD & Ayurveda • Press-tituion
A3. Random Notes –
• Spam Profits • Public or Mafia Servants • Media censors real Stats • Fraud & FDI • Multinationals & Media • Media is the Real Fraud • Benin Bronzes • US Hiding Corona Origins
B. ee Focus
B1. Sri Lanka’s Economy Needs National Planning & Political Stability – Vagisha Gunasekara
B2. The Forgotten Ancestors of East Asian Developmentalism, Part 2 – EM Leung
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
• ‘Why is ee disparaging ‘’Big Data’? [ee replies: no, only criticizing the oligarchy that just likes to use big words but refuses to invest in modern industry]
• ‘Why do we celebrate Black Friday? All Western crap. We should do something to remember ‘Black July’ and probably get local producers and entrepreneurs to come out and do something? Was just thinking. Because that particular incident made a huge impact to our economy, noh?’
• ‘Re: Japan’s generosity: Agree. Good piece this time thanks for sharing.’
• ‘It is time to stop wasting time studying other branches of economy, and start focusing on the branch that creates money out of thin air. The monetarists that control the international banking syndicate – the Feds, IMF, World Bank, WTO – all located in Washington DC, but controlled out the city of London. Those who control the central banks of the major powers control the world. It is Not-Yet Uhuru. A Luta Continua. Cheers’ [ee replies: ee is dedicated to transforming Sri Lanka’s economy into modern industrial (machine) production]
A2. Quotes of the Week__
• ‘Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) have proved a total fraud.’– ee Economists, No Legal Budget
• ‘With the deteriorating situation of state coffers, the Government may run to the IMF and even consider privatising public services including education and healthcare, as hinted at the end of the Budget Speech claiming we have an ‘obsession with ownership’. Indeed, we should eschew such an obsession with ownership, but not of public ownership, rather private ownership and property.’– ee Economists, Crisis Budget
• ‘There has not been a significant tax reform to ensure a more progressive taxation of the rich who evade and avoid taxation. Higher indirect taxes on the consumption of the rich, such as taxes on luxury vehicles and property are missing.’ – ee Economists, Fiscal Consolidation
• ‘Sirimavo Bandaranaike was at home in Rosmead Place on the morning of 25 September 1959, when SWRD Bandaranaike was shot multiple times by a Buddhist monk, disgruntled over what he believed to be lack of support for traditional medicine.’ – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirimavo_Bandaranaike
• ‘The Press Complaints Commission (PCCSL) is supported by the Newspaper Society of Sri Lanka (NSSL), The Editors’ Guild of Sri Lanka (TEGOSL), the Free Media Movement (FMM) and the Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association (SLWJA, and is affiliated with the Federation of Media Employees Trade Union, the Sri Lanka Muslim Media Forum, the Sri Lanka Tamil Media Alliance and the South Asian Free Media Association Sri Lanka Chapter.
The PCCSL works through its secretariat and the Dispute Resolution Council (DRC), made up of 6 non-journalists, including the chairman, and 5 journalists. It is headed by former Parliament Secretary General Nihal Seneviratne. The other non-journalist members are: Devanesan Nesiah, Javid Yusuf, Dion Schoorman, Lucille Wijewardene and Gnana Moonesinghe. The journalist members: Siri Ranasinghe, P Balasingham, Daya Lankapura, Pramod de Silva, Rajitha Weerakoon. The 9-member Board of Directors comprises: Kumar Nadesan (Chairman), Sinha Ratnatunga (Deputy Chairman), Nimal Welgama, Manik de Silva, Lasantha de Silva, Frank de Zoysa, Dharman Wickremeratne, MN Ameen, Mohanlal Piyadasa. The other member of the PCCSL is Kamal Liyanaarachchi, Complaints Officer for Sinhala Print Media. Messrs Ernst and Young Chartered Accountants were re-elected Auditors of the Commission, and Messrs FJ & G De Saram Corporate Services were re-elected Secretaries.’ – ee Media, PCCSL
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• Junk mail and spam are actually data and time-wasting mechanisms that suit the multinationals that control and profit off the internet. ‘Developed countries are pushing for the adoption of WTO proposals on spam. They prefer to negotiate in the WTO than in the ITU as their economic power gives them more influence in the WTO.’ – See ee Media, Why is Spam a Trade Issue? It Suits Dominant Developed Countries.
• Our public servants are actually mafia servants. And the real mafia are the multinational banks and corporations. Corporations are the real NGOs. And the United Nations is everyday exposed as a front for the United Multinationals.
The most blatant example of state capture is the role multinationals like Unilever and Ceylon Tobacco Co play in local distribution networks, which also serve as conduits for illegal substances, to over 100,000 ‘small businesses’, compromising both official regulatory as well as security networks.
• Fabric and accessory manufacturers are whining about the Central Bank (CBSL) requiring clothes exporters to pay in local currency for supplies from the industry.
The media reports that export revenues have increased, but they do not mention how much of such exports are based on expensive imports. And when they report that the import bill has increased, they do not report how much of it is for exports, or how much of it is capital or intermediate goods (i.e. goods that help to produce something) and consumer goods.
• ‘Accumulation of debt began with Jayawardena’s free market economy from 1978. When he threw open the economy to import-export trade, Sri Lanka’s debt in 1977 was a mere US$1.1billion on current rate. From there it rose to $5.6bn by 2019… 2 inter-locked issues arise from this. First, providing tax concessions, tax rebates, tax holidays and waivers since 1978 to bring in ‘Foreign Direct Investments’ (FDI) have proved a total fraud. Export-oriented manufacture left dependent on FDIs has not provided even half the import trade cost anytime during the past 40 years. And to say they would bring more income, if more benefits and concessions are given, is a bigger lie than even the debt accrued.
…This free market economy, with FDIs deciding the size of their profits, leads to all mega and minor corruption at every level of sociopolitical life.’ (ee Economists, No Legal Budget)
• One of the great lessons that the ‘organic’ battle has taught those who wish to learn, is the total sellout of the capitalist media to multinational fertilizer (and umbilically linked petroleum) interests, but also of professors of agriculture, etc. The same for economists and so-called international experts – their monstrous mimicry by the local capitalist media of the imperialist narrative, against a self-sufficient economy, and daily escalating virulence against China.
Apparently broadcasting virulence against the Sinhala, Buddhists, China and Chinese people is not ‘racist’, for the English media. No complaints there.
• The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL), made up of businessmen and their catchers, had their annual meeting last week, declaring baldly and blandly that they are ‘self-regulating’ – self-regulation’ is another expression for ‘out of control’, like bankers, like pharmaceutical and fertilizer corporations (ee Quotes).
The public capitalist media loves to blame politicians. But the capitalist media are as corrupt, if not more corrupt than politicians they both praise and punish. Most politicians are in the pocket of the corporations, corporations that have the media in their pocket. But it’s not so much corruption, that is the problem, it is simply, their ‘business as usual’ daily practices.
The public capitalist media is almost totally unreliable. By ‘public capitalist media’, ee means the news their ‘public relations’ agencies choose to disseminate widely to the masses. Capitalists’ private communications however have to be more accurate, and take various forms, from winks and whispers to other more ‘secure’ forms. By ‘almost totally’ ee means, like the famous ‘Big Lie’ techniques, their ‘mass’ news require ‘little truths’. The Big Lie is usually attributed to the Nazi propaganda minister, Joe Goebbels, though it could more appropriately attributed to England’s notorious Information Research Department or the US Committee on Public Information.
The largest PR & Advertising Agencies are owned by multinationals Unilever and Proctor & Gamble. So-called social media is actually anti-social and corporatist.
• The English are constantly ‘revealing’ fragments of their horrific crimes from the hazy past, but not from the here and the now and the tomorrow. This week it was ‘Revealed: How Lord Salisbury hid rape by his British consul in Benin.’ But was rape their only or greatest crime, let alone in Benin. The story is about the returning of the fabulous Benin ‘bronzes’. Is that all they stole, art? The job of the English state’s spinners, like the Guardian, is to come up with mind-boggling diversions for English imperialism. The story ends with another ‘apology’: ‘The devastation and plunder wreaked upon Benin City during the British military expedition in 1897 is fully acknowledged by the British Museum…’ Oh, how good! (ee Sovereignty)
• ‘As everyone familiar with media operations is well aware, late Friday afternoon is the best time to release new information intended to attract minimal attention. A perfect example of this came a couple of days ago in the distribution of USA’s newly declassified intelligence report on the origins of Covid…
It appears that elements of the Defense Intelligence Agency were aware of the deadly viral outbreak in Wuhan more than a month before any officials in the Chinese government itself. Unless 17 US intelligence agencies have pioneered the technology of precognition, I think this may have happened for the same reason that arsonists have the earliest knowledge of future fires…’ – defenddemocracy.press/what-americas-17-intelligence-agencies-wont-say-about-the-origins-of-covid
B. Special Focus__
B1. Sri Lanka’s Economy Needs National Planning & Political Stability – Vagisha Gunasekara
Introduction – Widely accepted as the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression, the 2007-9 global financial crisis began in the US and spread across most advanced, emerging and underdeveloping economies. The recession followed a global capitalist boom period characterised by overfinancing, high commodity prices and large flows of remittances for most countries. The crisis was transmitted to underdeveloping countries like Sri Lanka via declines in trade volumes, official development assistance and private capital flows. The demand in advanced economies for imports from underdeveloping countries reduced – this too at a time when global oil and food prices were escalating.
Although this situation prefigured a foreign-exchange crisis in Sri Lanka, the country was initially able to avoid this trap due to favourable prices for leading exports, increased remittances from West Asia, commercial borrowing of US$500million by the government in September 2007, and an international inflow of foreign funds to purchase Treasury Bonds and Bills. Nevertheless, with the onset of the crisis, $438mn worth of foreign funds invested in Treasury Bonds and Bills flowed out from Sri Lanka during the last 3 months of 2008. Falling commodity prices adversely impacted exports such as tea and rubber, while the government’s attempt to borrow $300mn also failed due to the liquidity crisis in global financial markets. These factors led to a significant drop in the country’s foreign reserves and set in motion a long-term process of currency depreciation, which continues to date.
Evolving Domestic Economic Crisis – Sri Lanka’s vulnerability to global capitalist boom-and-bust cycles has been intensified by its own domestic economic crisis. For reasons ranging from populist electoral politics to inefficiencies in policy implementation across the many levels of governance, to international donor dependence which entails related sets of conditionalities, no successive government after the country’s formal 1948 Independence has been able to independently steer the economy with a well-planned, stable, long-term vision. There were glimpses of hope with state-led industrialisation in the 1960-70s driven by national plans; however, these were dismantled in the aftermath of the neoliberal reforms that began in 1977. The onset of neoliberal reforms in Sri Lanka reinforced merchant capital and bolstered a finance-dominated economy. This shift in ‘liberating market forces’ in turn led to deindustrialisation and discouraged the country from becoming a production-based economy. As a result, the domestic economic crisis has been brewing for nearly eight decades. While it has manifested in different forms in various sectors of the economy, it is most evident in eight areas: government revenue, foreign debt, foreign-exchange reserves, balance of payment, budget deficits, public and private investment, savings rate and foreign direct investment.
In the first 3 decades, post-Independence Sri Lanka maintained a healthy ratio of government revenue collection to gross domestic product (GDP) – with a long-term average of 21%. This was a direct result of a high rate of tax collection. However, since 1990, government revenue collected via taxes has steadily declined. Currently, it is at an alarmingly low 9.6% of GDP. While the civil war, which began around 1983, may seem like an obvious explanation, it does not explain the tax collection issue. This dramatic decline in government revenue seems to be directly related to a series of policy decisions, continued by multiple political administrations, to grant exemptions from taxes to wealthier people, multinational corporations, local businesses, incomes and assets. These policy decisions are invariably tied with electoral policies and other reciprocal relationships with the bureaucracies and have established a set of political and institutional processes through which the political preferences of the wealthy and powerful are translated into low revenue collection.
Sri Lanka’s debt crisis, which has grabbed international attention in recent times, is not new. In 1989, when the country was plagued with both civil war and a violent insurrection, foreign debt amounted to 62% of the GDP. In 1995, it accounted for more than 50% of the GDP, but gradually declined as a result of rapid economic growth. The post-war economic boom in 2009 resulted in a further decline of the debt-to-GDP-ratio to 30%. Since 2014, however, Sri Lanka’s foreign debt has been on the rise, reaching 42.6% in 2019. Currently, the country’s foreign debt obligation totals US$50billion (61.1% of GDP), and this has created serious balance-of-payment (BOP) problems. Mainstream global and national media frame Sri Lanka’s mounting debt problem as an example of China’s ‘debt-trap diplomacy’. While an increase in borrowings from China may be observed in the post-war period, the current debt situation directly stems from the country’s graduation to a ‘middle-income country’, limiting access to concessionary loans provided by multilateral agencies and bilateral donors. Subsequently, Sri Lanka has had no option but to turn towards international money markets, and by 2007, issued its first international sovereign bond (ISB) worth $500mn. The country’s current foreign debt composition is tilted towards commercial loans, and indicates a growing reliance on ISBs. Speculation by international rating agencies on Sri Lanka’s inability to settle foreign commercial debt obligations, especially given the foreign-exchange crisis, led to downgrades at the beginning of this year.
The gradual depletion of Sri Lanka’s foreign-exchange reserves reached alarmingly low levels during the pandemic period. By August 2021, foreign reserves were roughly US$3billion, 43% less than the previous year and $600million lower than from June this year. The country depends heavily on the following as main sources of foreign exchange: the remittances of unskilled migrant workers, apparel, tea, rubber and other primary agricultural exports as well as tourism. As a result of the pandemic, innumerable migrant workers have returned to Sri Lanka and remain without employment prospects. Tourism has halted, and other avenues of earning foreign exchange have met with pandemic-related global supply chain issues. This situation is made worse by the country’s dependence on imports, which further depletes the remaining meagre foreign reserves. Sri Lanka’s import dependency, coupled with its commercial debt burden, has direct bearing on the rapidly declining foreign-exchange reserves. In response, the government has imposed capital controls in a bid to limit foreign-exchange outflows.
BOP deficits are not new to Sri Lanka. However, the BOP deficit of $2.755billion up to July 2021 is a record high, following unprecedented levels of liquidity injected to sustain imports and repay debt, which as a result expanded unsustainable borrowings. By the end of July 2021 Sri Lanka had just $2.36billion worth of foreign exchange, barely enough to cover less than 2 months of imports, compared to $6.93bin in August 2020. This was accompanied by the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee (SLR), which fell by 7.5% against the US dollar this year. A combination of a depreciating rupee and soaring global energy prices added to inflationary pressures. Although the government kept imposing price controls on essential items, this had no bearing on the assemblage of trading networks that continue to hoard and mark up prices. The immediate impact was felt by consumers, who have had no option but to purchase gas and essential food items at very high prices.
Responses to curb the spread of the pandemic, such as lockdowns, travel restrictions and social distancing, have further affected private and public incomes. In 2019, with the election victory of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the government also reduced tax rates to stimulate the economy, though the slashing of the ‘Pay As You Earn’ tax was an unnecessary populist move. This had an immediate adverse effect on welfare spending. The government lost over SLR1.5 trillion in tax revenues alone and the decline of public sector income resulted in a fiscal deficit of over a trillion rupees during the first seven months of 2021. A combination of tax cuts and high expenditures to contain the spread of the pandemic widened the budget deficit to Rs1,014.5 billion, compared to 872.6bn in the same period in 2020. Sri Lanka’s twin deficits – BOP and the budget – are in large part due to the import-dependent, consumption-driven economy that is financed by debt. The twin deficits also tend to drive up interest rates, which in turn discourages private investment.
The growth of an economy depends on a high level of savings (both private and public) that is supposed to translate into increased investment in entrepreneurial activity. While national savings rose from 15% of the GDP in the mid-1970s to 25% in 2010, the trend has tapered thereafter. Currently, the country’s gross savings rate is 21.8%. Private investment has been on the decline since the 1990s and contracted sharply by 2001. Although there was an upward trend in private investment immediately after the end of the civil war in 2009, it started stagnating from 2012. This has been mainly due to the lack of policy & political stability of governments since the 1990s, and the monetary policy reforms thus far have not yielded any improvements in private investment. Private sector investment gradually increased from 17.3% of the GDP to 22.4% between 2009 and 2012. Since then, private investment has not responded positively to interest rate cuts. The rise in gross domestic investment, from 28.9% of the GDP in 2012 to 29.2% in 2013, was entirely due to an increase in public investment, mainly on physical infrastructure. Even though interest rate reductions during the pandemic period were once again intended to boost private investment, they have not yet yielded positive results. These are commonly attributed to macroeconomic policy inconsistencies, bureaucratic inefficiencies, and technological drawbacks. Taken cumulatively, the 8 areas highlighted above indicate that, structurally, the Sri Lankan economy has been in a slow decline, especially after the 1990s. As such, the economic odds were already heavily stacked against Sri Lanka at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Pandemic & the ‘Periphery’ – The Covid-19 outbreak which first emerged as a public health crisis in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, morphed into a global economic catastrophe that severely affected commercial activity, employment and trade. In Sri Lanka, the spread of the pandemic, the government’s response measures such as lockdowns and inter-province travel restrictions as well as fluctuations in the global markets have affected businesses across a range of economic sectors. The worst-hit sectors are manufacturing, tourism and the service industry. With nearly 70% of the country’s labour force employed in the informal sector, a significant drop in economic activities quickly led to redundancies. Three months into the pandemic, in 2020 Sri Lanka’s unemployed population rose by 100,000. By the third quarter of 2020, 1.7 million employees in the private sector were at risk of facing significant wage cuts and layoffs. Daily wage workers, migrant workers laid off by their employers and roadside vendors were some of the worst-hit segments of the population. The loss of income for thousands of households across the country has weakened people’s purchasing power. A survey conducted by the United Nations Children’s Fund/United Nations Development Program (UNICEF/UNDP) records that 71% of respondent households representing all districts of Sri Lanka have experienced either total or partial loss in income … (to be continued)
For footnotes, see: isas.nus.edu.sg/papers/crises-in-the-sri-lankan-economy-need-for-national-planning-and-political-stability
B2. The Forgotten Ancestors of East Asian Developmentalism, Part 2 – EM Leung
State Socialism goes to China – In 1898, following the failed 100 Days’ Reform in Peking, Liang Qichao, a leading thinker during China’s turn-of-the-century ‘enlightenment’ and a constitutional monarchist, fled to Japan. There, Liang grew acquainted with Western statist theories through Japanese literature, notably written by National Association for Economics (NAE) member Shiba Shirō, who had studied business and finance in the US. Shiba’s novel had a title that masqueraded the intensely political nature of its contents – Strange Encounters with Beautiful Women.5 In it, Shiba tells through the voice of Colleen, an ‘Irish beauty’, that not only has Ireland been annexed by England, but that the Ottoman Empire and India ‘are independent in name only and not in fact. Their trade is in imbalance year after year and bullion flows out of their borders. Although they are not tributary states of England, their situation is no different from offering as tribute to England the lipids [read: riches] that have been squeezed out of their own citizenry.’
After a tour of the US in 1903, Liang wrote in a travelogue that he had been converted to State Socialism, ‘an ideology that becomes sounder by the day’, which ‘uses an extremely autocratic method of organization to put into practice a spirit of extreme equality, which miraculously matches the nature of Chinese history.’6 Liang saw the nationalization of railways, mines, and factories as the policies of a future China. Elsewhere, he advocated the cartelization of industries on the US model, believing it to be a necessary reaction to 19th century laissez-faire. And, presaging the ‘State Monopoly Capitalism’ of the postwar period, Liang argued that such cartels would have to come under government control. A ‘State Capitalist Trust’ thus formed would secure government command of the economy through the private sector.
Friedrich List’s developmentalism had also begun to find an audience among Chinese students. Sections of List’s work were published in Chinese as early as 1901 in a student journal in Tokyo whose editors included Cao Rulin and Zhang Zongxiang – two Beiyang bureaucrats who would later be labelled pro-Japan collaborators by the May 4th Movement. In 1908 the Japanese-educated student leader Yang Du was invited to lecture Manchu nobles at the Summer Palace in Beijing on the topic of Japanese ‘economic militarism.’ To his audience’s embarrassment, he argued for a constitutional monarchy, but not only that – he also proposed that the Empire be reformed into an enlightened industrializing regime prioritizing production if it was to avoid a socialist uprising. Since 1908 generations of Chinese politicians and activists have pursued variations of this regime. Indeed, by the 1930s, Yang Du had been converted to revolutionary socialism and became a member of the CPC.
In 1906-7 the Chinese Revolutionaries and Constitutional Monarchists held a protracted discussion on State Socialism. Despite their differences, both sides agreed on key State Socialist principles. Among the revolutionary theorists, Feng Ziyou argued that a post-revolutionary military government should implement German and Japanese-styled State Socialism alongside land reforms. While the gentry-led Constitutional Monarchists opposed land reform, they agreed that industrial nationalization could be implemented under a constitutional empire under the auspices of ‘Social Reformism.’ In 1908 Sheng Xuanhuai, head of China’s largest steelworks at Hanyang and soon to be Minister of Communications, visited Japan and had a long conversation with PM Katsura Tarō. Under Katsura’s influence he sought to implement a railway nationalization policy in 1911, which involved the forcible purchase of the shares of local railway companies, in which many members of the budding gentry-bourgeoisie had invested. The proposal ignited the widespread protests that culminated in a Republican revolution.
But after the revolution, Sun Yat-sen, the Provisional President of the Chinese Republic, surprised the public by announcing that he would not reverse railway nationalization. He championed State Socialism against Revolutionary Socialism, arguing that limiting the growth of private capital would prevent class conflict at the foundations. Indeed, he announced that State Socialism was equivalent to the ‘Doctrine of Popular Livelihood,’ one of the founding principles of the Chinese Republic alongside Nationalism and Democracy. China, he argued, should learn from Germany in this regard. It should embark on a vast railway construction program with a target of 100,000km; he expected optimistically that the railways’ revenue would adequately fund all public expenditure.
Following Sun’s resignation, the new Republic came under the guidance of a group of ex-Imperial bureaucrats who had visited or studied in Japan. They were known as ‘Beiyang bureaucrats,’ after the North Sea military establishment which modernized much of northern China under Viceroy Yuan Shikai. Yuan Shikai succeeded Sun Yat-sen as President of the Republic. His Finance Minister Zhou Xuexi had been the ‘industrial tsar’ of Tianjin (Tientsin), where the empire’s light industries had been concentrated, and upon assuming office announced the enactment of State Socialism and the development of a dozen key industrial sectors. Minister of Agriculture and Commerce Zhang Jian was credited with building Nantong as China’s first company town, with successful textile production predicated on adequate provisions for workers. Zhang, too, approved of State Socialism, and his ‘Cotton & Iron Doctrine’ promoted import-substitution and export orientation through cotton, iron and wool production.
The Corrective Revolution & the Beiyang Leap Forward: Though the Beiyang Regime – the early Chinese Republic – has often been characterized as a ‘warlord regime,’ throughout its existence it tried, ultimately unsuccessfully, to cling onto the appearance of a constitutional representative government. In summer 1917 the fractious Chinese Parliament was dissolved, and Puyi’s monarchy briefly restored before it was repressed by German-trained General Duan Qirui’s republican troops. Duan initially formed a cabinet with Liang Qichao and his Progressive Party. These men conceived of their coup d’état as something akin to what mid-20th-century Arab leaders would come to call a ‘Corrective Revolution,’ in which traditionalist reaction, political pluralism and radicalism, and economic liberalism would be swiftly replaced by a centrist monolithic developmental regime that granted traditional elites a place in the new socioeconomic order.
Duan and Liang fell out in late-1917, and Duan governed until August 1920 through the ‘Anfu Club’, a coalition of bureaucratic and parliamentary factions most of whose leaders were educated abroad. Electoral laws were rewritten to vastly increase the property requirements for voting and for candidacy. A bill was proposed which would have turned the Chinese Senate into a corporatist chamber complete with economic representatives. The gentry-literati empowered by these reforms were expected by Liang to develop into an industrial class that would form the future bedrock of the Republic. Duan’s industrial policy, formulated with help from Liang Qichao, was shaped by the war-induced global commodity boom and the economic successes of Japan. Through ‘Economic Investigation Committees’ at both national and local levels, and by empowering technocrats in the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce previously hired by Zhang Jian, Duan and Liang tried to assemble reliable statistics using large scale geological, industrial and agricultural surveys.
The economic plans of Duan’s Regime culminated in the rollout of ‘Nishihara Loans,’ named after Nishihara Kamezō, secretary to the Japanese PM Terauchi Masatake. As a student of Kōmuchi Tomotsune, Nishihara was steeped in the NAE’s Listian tradition. Both the Prime Minister and his secretary opposed reckless military intervention in China, believing that it would only invite rivalry with the European powers in East Asia. In January 1918 Nishihara began to use economic intelligence available to the PM to compile a State Socialist reform manifesto, Strategy for Economic State-Building. In it, Nishihara argued that China’s rise was not to be feared; that its prosperity would form the basis of Japan’s future development, and consequently that Japan should treat China as a credible partner and assist its economic growth.
Nishihara’s approach was a tremendous change to the bullying tactics of Terauchi’s predecessor, Prime Minister Ōkuma Shigenobu, who notoriously raised 21 demands against China after sending an army to occupy the German colony of Qingdao (Tsingtao). These demands would have reduced China to the status of a protectorate. Duan and Liang, delighted to see this change of attitude on the part of the Japanese, and desperate to participate in WWI in order to gain a place in the postwar peace conference and reclaim the right to raise the customs tariff rate, welcomed Nishihara’s loan package with open arms. Cao Rulin (a member of Anfu’s Club Council, its de facto Central Committee) and Zhang Zongxiang, the Beiyang bureaucrats who had published List’s writings in their student journal, became responsible for negotiating and handling the Japanese loans.
Nishihara’s vision revolved around the formation of an ‘East Asian Economic League’, which included Marshall Plan-style Japanese investment in China, and the pegging of China’s currency to the gold-coupled Japanese yen. Nishihara also advocated the return of foreign railway concessions and the Boxer Indemnity, which would be used to fund industrial expansion and occupational education. The Chinese cabinet was to set up an ‘Industrialization Board’ to coordinate the use of these funds.
Building on Zhang Jian’s ‘Cotton and Iron Doctrine,’ Nishihara based his plans on those of the European-trained Chinese technocrats Ding Wenjiang and Weng Wenhao in the formulation of a ‘Great Leap Forward.’ The plans were sweeping. In Pukou, on the opposite bank of the Yangtze to Nanking, a ‘National First Steelworks of the Republic of China’ would be built and steel production would rise from 30,000 to 112,500 tons by 1921. Cotton production would rise to 907,500 tons by introducing US crops. Wool would be extensively produced in the northwest by importing new breeds of sheep. A vast new ‘Central Asian Transversal Railway’, based on Chinese plans, would link Qingdao on China’s eastern seaboard with the Mediterranean.7 This was to be an economically based, globalizing Pan-Asianism with a farsightedness rarely matched until after WWII. (to be continued…)
5. Donghai Sanshi (Tokai Sanji), Jiaren zhi Qiyu (Strange Encounters with Beautiful Women), Shanghai: Zhongguo Shuju,1935.29.
6. Liang Qichao, Ouyou Xinyinglu; Xindalu Youji (Reflections on My Travels in Europe; an Account of My Travels in the New World), Beijing: Dongfang Chubanshe, 2012. 266.
7. Archival Documents at the Modern History Institute, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences: Mianye Jihuashu. CASS-MHI, Jia-350.160; Nongshangbu Mian Mao Tie Deng Jian CASS-MHI, Jia-250.163; Zhongguo Tieye Jihuashu, CASS-MHI, Yi-G54; Nishihara, Kamezō. Keizai Rikkoku Saku (Strategy of Economic State-Building). Tōkyō: Yuhikaku. 1918; Yamamoto, Shirō, ed. Terauchi Masatake Naikaku Kankei Shiryō. 2 vols. Kyoto: Kyōto Women’s University,1985.
C. News Index______________________________________________
• ee News Index provides headlines & links to make sense of the weekly focus of published English ‘business news’ to expose the backwardness of multinational, corporate controlled ‘local media’:
(ee is pro-politics, pro-politician, pro-nation-state, anti-corporatist, anti-expert, anti-NGO)
ee Sovereignty news emphasizes sovereignty as economic sovereignty – a strong nation is built on modern (machine-making) industrialization fueled by a producer culture.
• JRJ’s racism, cold war posturing and the Indian debacle
• Foreign funding for ‘environmental projects’ sans Treasury approval rife
• NFE deal at risk over privilege matter raised by Ranil
‘in violation of the powers, privileges and immunity of Parliament.’
• Security beefed up in North ahead LTTE commemorative events tomorrow
• US gives fresh assurances to TNA on political solution
• Turmoil in Toronto as “Tigers” Target TNA Meeting – Jeyaraj
‘In what appeared to be an unwritten understanding there seemed to have been a division of labour between the West and India relating to Sri Lanka’
• TNA MPs meet German Ambassador with their woes
• Sri Lanka call by German warship under Indo-Pacific strategy
• US-made communication box washed ashore near Mannar Army camp
• USAID announces $19 million, five-year Sri Lanka Energy Programme
• Secretary of the Security Council of Russia calls on President
• Cash-strapped govt. seeks Indian lifeline: Basil to visit New Delhi
• High Commissioner Moragoda presents N.U. Jayawardena bio to grandson of late Maharajah
‘Jayawardena purchased controlling interest of Wellawatte Spinning and Weaving Mills from the Maharajah. Wellawatte Spinning and Weaving Mills was the largest private industrial employer in Sri Lanka at that time. It was nationalised in 1976 by the United Front government’
• High Commissioner Moragoda visits HCL Technologies HQ in Noida
• LTTE official flower controversy: Indian envoy claims innocence
• TNA delegation to Washington DC briefed high-ranking officials at the US Department of State
• Human Rights are central to U. S. foreign policy in Sri Lanka
‘U. S. Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu, at a meeting with a delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the Global Tamil Forum (GTF)’
• GTF-TNA pushing for bigger US intervention
‘Delegation met with Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador Donald Lu; Deputy Assistant Secretary, Ambassador Kelly Keiderling; Acting Assistant Secretary for Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Lisa J. Peterson; Ambassador Michael Kozak of the Office of Global Criminal Justice; and Director for South Asia Security Affairs and Director for Democracy and Human Rights of the National Security Council at the White House.’
• Pro LTTE group disrupts TNA MPs Sumanthiran’s & Shanakiyan’s meeting in Canada
• Biden ignores Sri Lanka for democracy summit, December 9-10
‘China and Russia are among the few countries together with Sri Lanka not invited for the summit’
• “Commemorating Maaveerar Naal is Tamil people’s right – Wigneswaran”
“Then who is going to commemorate Tamils killed by LTTE”
• If Maaveerar Naal hails LTTE dead – What do we call event to commemorate Tamils killed by LTTE?
• Killing the Tiger & Saving the Tail
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 27 A1, B1
‘The words Tamil Eelam” was used for the first time in 1923, by Ponnambalam Arunachalam when he spoke before the Tamil League.’
• Murugeysen Tiruchelvam, the ITAK’s Chief Political Strategist
• Eelam Partisan Intellectuals betrayed the nation
• Chinese investments in SL does not automatically translates into political influence – Menon
• Germany urges Sri Lanka to end import controls
‘launch of the 7th edition of Top German Brands in Sri Lanka at Kingsbury Hotel in the presence of Secretary to the President Dr. P. B. Jayasundera and about 150 representatives of German brands’
• Scotland Police will not renew training contract with SL Police
• UN Assistant-Secretary-General meets GL
‘UN Assistant-Secretary-General (ASG) for Political, Peace building and Peace Operations, Khaled Khiari, who is currently undertaking a visit to Sri Lanka’
• How Military-Industrial Complex Sidelined Peace and Disarmament: Part 4
• EU hands over new homes under ‘Homes not Houses’ project
‘implemented in the North and East of Sri Lanka. Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka and World Vision’
• Sri Lanka Can Play A Significant Role In Reviving The SAARC
• Indian BSF must stop killings along the Bangladesh border.
• Myanmar’s Shadow Government Hopes to Raise $1 Billion From Revolution Bond
• Myanmar in Indian Foreign Policy’s Blindspot
‘National Unity Government (NUG), which declared people’s defence war on September 7, 2021, has now organised a Central Command and Coordination Committee (C3C) along with Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs) to fight the military’
• Laos Could Benefit From Resolving Rohingya Crisis Between Myanmar and Bangladesh
• Vietnam Could Benefit From Resolving Rohingya Crisis Between Bangladesh and Myanmar
• Sino-Russian collusion over Taiwan, Ukraine seems improbable but isn’t
‘If Beijing were to watch passively as Russia “loses” in Ukraine, the US will only get emboldened, and China’s capacity to push back at US hegemony gets weakened. Again, if the US emerges triumphant in the Far East, Washington will impose on Russia a reset of global strategic stability on its terms, no matter what it takes’
• Russo-Uzbek ties a factor of regional stability
• Cuba and China to strengthen ties of friendship and cooperation `’
• U.S. weighs grim options if nuclear talks with Iran collapse
• Yemeni protesters condemn U.S. support for Saudi-led war and blockade
• Palestine Action in Wales Against chemical factory producing materials for drone.
• Banning of Palestinian NGOs: How Israel Tries to Silence Human Rights Defenders
• Apartheid by any other name is just as bad
‘29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, the same date in 1947 on which the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine’
• A superbloom in Turkish-UAE ties
• Belarus leader Alexander Lukashenko on Western Hypocrisy
• The White House Needs An Off-ramp From War In Ukraine
• Desperate US Sends Blinken to Africa
• Revealed: How Lord Salisbury hid rape by his British consul in Benin
• Sudan’s Anti-Coup Protesters Reject Agreement to Reinstate Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok
• Ethiopians Rally Against CNN, the TPLF, and US Aggression
• Ethiopian Leader Heads to Front Line as War Threatens to Widen
• Kenyan Families Say U.S. Govt Fueling “War on Terror” Disappearances & Killings
• Moncada 2021 Strategic Exercise begins
‘objective of the two-day exercise is to evaluate the actions to identify, prevent and handle hazardous situations, threats and attacks on the country’s security, in the context of the non-conventional war being waged by the U.S. government against Cuba.’
• Venezuela rejects Canada’s interfering declarations
• The Racist, Imperialist War on Venezuela
• Cuba calls for the full compliance of Colombia’s Peace Accord
• Rittenhouse and Verdict Mania
• Native Americans share long-ignored Thanksgiving truths
‘When the first European explorers arrived…the Wampanoag were a thriving federation of 70 villages home to as many as approximately 100,000 people. Around 1616, Europeans arriving in the New World brought viruses that devastated the Indigenous population.’
• Delusional Commitment to “Full Spectrum Dominance” leading U.S. and World to Disaster
• ‘Democracy’ Circus
‘The Biden administration has invited 110 ‘participants’ to its ‘Summit for Democracy’ which is to take place virtually on December 9 and 10.’
• The English Establishment’s capture of the Scottish Government
‘The principal legal advisor to the Scottish government is also the head of the prosecution service or crown office as it is known’
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.
• ‘One country, one law’ and forgotten manuscripts
• Citizens urged to provide opinions to ‘One Country, One Law’ PTF
• Pfizer may be harmful; import other vaccines: Prof. Tissa Vitharana
• Medical supply procurement under COPA microscope
‘Rs.10.2 million worth of medical supplies (over 4,600 items) had been purchased from 2011 to 2016 without the recommendation of the Formulary Revision Committee’
• Health sector, military & people must decide if country needs another lockdown or not: GMOA
• SL defenceless against new COVID-19 variant entering the country, warn experts
• Mobs attacks MP’s residence in Kinniya after ferry tragedy
• Environmental Investigation Agency, England & CEJ, Sri Lanka jointly lobby International Maritime Organization over its inaction after X-Press Pearl disaster
• Two suspects arrested in Mannar with 7,990 explosive sticks imported from India
• Why did Zaharan & Co commit mass suicide on Easter Sunday?
• AG reads out 855 charges against ex-IGP Jayasundara
• Religion and responsibility!
• Fmr. Prez fully responsible for Easter attack, legal action should be taken: Prasanna
• Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act++: Learning the wrong (international) lessons
• Local IS planned attacks in all 9 provinces this year, probe reveals – Prof. Rohan Gunaratne
• Kiriella wants ex-SIS Head indicted as main accused
• Intel received weeks before Easter Attacks, not raised at Security Meeting – Witness
• Church welcomes Prez’s promise to move against those named in Easter Sunday PCoI
• MP Rahuman complains his mobile phone tapped by CID without court order
• BASL gets tough with police over latest death of suspect
• Moscow, Colombo to share information on fighting terrorism, Sri Lankan president says
• SLAF US Bell 212 and drones conduct aerial traffic tracking in Colombo area
• US Visa partners with Cyber Security Summit co-organised by CICRA
• Luck or Destiny; Sirimavo Escapes: Prime Minister and 1962 Coup d’é Tat
• Conversion of the Arms Industry: Time to Cut the Pentagon Budget
• The New Virus Variant Has Lots Of Mutations – That Does Not (Yet) Mean It’s ‘Very Bad’
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 a modern industrial country.
• Central Bank Governor & Treasury Secretary outlines recovery plan at CA Budget Seminar
‘Panel discussion comprising Hasitha Premarathne, Brandix Group, Mushin Kitchilan, Hemas, Prasanna Hettiarachchi, Saaraketha Holdings and Susith Jayawickrama, Aitken Spence Hotels’
• Sri Lanka central bank appoints four assistant governors
• Crises in the SL Economy: Need for National Planning and Political Stability – V. Gunasekara
• Crisis Budget for 2022: Wrong Priorities and Flawed Solutions – A. Kadirgamar
• This is no legal budget to vote on – Perera
• Can Budget 2022 resolve national crisis? – Laksiri Fernando
‘The main crisis Sri Lanka is facing is in respect of what I would call the ‘external budget.’ This means the trade deficit, balance of payment deficit, depleted foreign reserves, exchange rate and the external debt. On these matters, no tables or accounts are given in the annexes’
• SL bound by Monetary & Financial Conference law to meet IMF in December: Ranil
• No request from Sri Lanka for IMF funding
• Sri Lanka CB chief sees negative fallouts from IMF deal
• Is the 2022 budget a step towards fiscal consolidation? – Sanderatne
‘Finance Minister identified two areas where expenditure could be reduced. These were the huge losses of state owned enterprises (SOEs) and expenditure on Samurdhi. Will SOEs be privatised?
• SL Companies Should Move to Dubai – Abeyratne
• Budget 2022: What’s the missing link? – Wijewardena
‘the three death threats were depleting foreign exchange reserves, mounting foreign debt servicing problem, and pressure for the rupee to depreciate in the market. After one month, the list has been added to by three more new death threats. They are the possibility of facing a severe food shortage due to low production, inability to import essential medicines, fuel, and foods due to lack of foreign exchange, and the Government’s gradual movement toward bankruptcy.’
• Top economist hopes other policy blunders too, reversed – Wijewardena
‘…though it’s welcome, it shows a grave deficiency in democratic economic policy governance; missing are consulting, flexibility, proper cost-benefit assessment, humility & humbleness…,” he noted
• No statement on foreign currency crisis and debt management in budget presentation – Samath
• How progressive is 2022 budget?
‘emphasising buzz words economists love to hear, such as export promotion, financial discipline, fiscal consolidation, debt sustainability, macroeconomic stability and inclusive economic development.’
• National consensus on structural reforms needed to get out of the economic crisis – Advocata
• 24th Presidential Exporters Awards
• Fitch says inflation a greater policy test for emerging market sovereigns
• SL needs to increase GDP growth: WB World Bank Chief Economist for South Asia Timmer
• Himani Vithanage wins IPS’ Saman Kelegama Memorial Research Grant for 2021
‘Nuwara Eliya has the highest percentage of students who attended school for some time but dropped out later due to financial difficulties.’
• SOEs driving force for China-U.S. trade, not an impediment
• Satisfying needs of people is the fundamental purpose of socialist production
‘Strengthen the real economy and accelerate the construction of a manufacturing power.’
• One Road One Belt (OROB) is Chinese Colonialism: Financial Times
• Stop Confusing the Fight Against Racism with Neoliberalism
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how media usually measures economy by false indices like GDP, etc., in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, constantly calling for privatization, deregulation, moaning about debt & balance of payments, without stating the need for modern industrial production.
• Central Bank likely to increase interest rates
• Sri Lanka keeps rates at 6.0-pct rates amid high inflation, forex trouble
• IMF mission in Sri Lanka here December 7-20 for Article IV discussions, no program request
• CB Chief confident economic crisis will ease by January
• Two camps have now emerged in the Cabinet regarding whether to go for an IMF bailout
• Strict guidelines for SOEs: They will reap what they sow
‘Directors must individually declare their relationships to the Board Secretary. These include close family and material business ties with the SOE, other Directors and employees, if any’
• P. B. wants quarterly reports from state agencies: ‘‘This is all. Manage it.’’
‘keynote address at an event on the Future of the Sri Lankan Economy and organised by the Colombo Development Symposium’
• Lak Sathosa garlic scam: CID ‘Murder Unit’ intervenes
• Treasury loses USD 18 mn as minister blocks CCD probe into generator fraud
• Will Sirisena name names?
• Sri Lanka sells Rs61bn in Treasuries, 3-month yield down 22bp
• Government faces dilemma in raising budget 2022 taxes
‘70 percent of the tax revenue proposed in the budget cannot be collected under the present circumstances due to financial difficulties faced by the private sector.’
• Inflation spikes to 47-month high of 8.3% in October
• Sri Lanka national inflation surges to a 4-year high after money printing
• Lunch packets up by Rs.20, plain tea by Rs.5: Canteen Owners’ Assn.
• Nothing in the budget for us, say cross section of people – Sunday Times
• Cost of living takes off to space: Price controls lifted, window dressing market – Sunday Times
‘middle men were buying up most of the local cement, creating an artificial shortage with the price being decided by the market demand.’
• Sri Lanka opposition graphically warns on commode effect on controlled economy
• Budget 2022 and impact on boosting Foreign Direct Investments
• Mixed reactions to Budget 2022 from International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka
• UNICEF on Budget Speech 2022
• Sri Lanka central bank blames usual suspects for inflation after printing money
C5. Workers (Inadequate Stats, Wasteful Transport, Unmodern Plantations, Services)
ee Workers attempts to correct the massive gaps and disinformation about workers, urban and rural and their representatives (trade unions, etc), and to highlight the need for organized worker power
• Sri Lanka’s CEB engineers on ‘work to rule’ campaign against New Fortress LNG deal
• CEB new union takes a different line
• Chief Justice nominates a fuller bench to hear Yugadanavi power plant cases
• Ease in unemployment masks Sri Lanka’s shrinking labour force
‘data leave out the people who stopped looking for work’
• Sri Lanka’s nattami porters go on strike, demand higher compensation
• Health professionals launch strike, claim some TUs have misled Prez
• Fifteen health trade unions on two-day token strike
• State sector unions threaten to strike
‘Budget 2022 had not provided relief to state-sector employees, the Sri Lanka Government Officers’ Trade Union Association wrote to the President… Rs. 58,000 was needed for a month to maintain a family of four. Given this situation, he said they expected the Government to provide a salary increase of at least Rs. 18,000 for state employees. The SLGOTUA claimed that about 37 public sector unions comprising some 1.2 million of the total 1.4 million workforce had already joined this struggle.’
• Public servants gagged: Cannot criticise Govt. on social media
‘a majority of the complaints had come against the Grama Sevaka Niladharis’
• Public officers reluctant to seek judicial remedies as they are subjected to harassment – Counsel
• GMOA flays Public Service Commission official, asks Prez to intervene
• Reducing the “burden” of the public sector
‘All Governments have only talked of this perennial problem with the IMF, World Bank and the ADB; about public sector reforms including the oversight of SOEs, strengthening expenditure control and improving financial management…Alas, the political will and the guts were lacking…’
• New Kelani Bridge by Japan, a people’s bridge, because priority was given to the displaced
• SLIIT should remain non-state and non-profit institution
• Tech industry employs 83,000 people
• University students: Protesting for what?
• Sri Lanka to crack down on Hawala remittances
‘Remittances fell to 353.2 million USD in September 2021, from 702.7 million USD in last year’
• Warning for foreign job seekers
• Foreign employment agencies are squeezing off the funds collected from migrant workers
• The brain drain disaster: Where are we heading?
‘skilled job seekers, especially carpenters, bricklayers, masons, drivers, technicians, and mechanics, have a high demand in West Asia, European and Pacific countries. Many young women, living in the peripheral areas have no choice but to work as housemaids in West Asia because they find the living conditions, and the cost of living, unbearable. Many people have become virtual slaves.’
• Great brain flight
• Members of Parliament (MP) have to serve 10 years to qualify for pension
• UN expert on modern slavery to visit Sri Lanka to assess labour conditions, laws
‘The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report on his visit from November 26-December 3 at the 51st session of the UNHRC to be held in September 2022.’
• UN tackles People Trafficking; Capital Maharaja Group gets a seat at the table.
‘Importer Maharaja’s Chevaan Daniel of CMG and Bali Process Business National Lead’
• UN General Assembly reaffirms commitment to combat human trafficking
• Ceylon Chamber of Commerce & Workplace Health and Safety Association
• Pera Uni International Management Research Sessions on Friday
• CIPM world Human Resources Congress 2021
• On the Road from Detroit to South Africa: Black Radical Internationalist Traditions
• 27 migrants killed after boat capsized in English Channel
‘31,500 people attempted to leave for England since the start of the year and 7,800 people have been rescued at sea, figures which doubled since August.’
C6. Agriculture (Robbery of rural home market; Machines, if used, mainly imported)
ee Agriculture emphasizes the failure to industrialize an agriculture that keeps the cultivator impoverished under moneylender and merchant, and the need to develop the rural home market, monetization and commercialization, to produce, rather than import, agricultural machinery.
• MONLAR accuses govt. of allowing India to play bigger role in country’s agriculture
‘government had banned agrochemicals to break the existing cartel that controlled fertiliser imports and thereby help its business associates’
• Political interference at Sathosa comes under the spotlight
‘questions have also been raised as to why Lanka Sathosa does not purchase goods through Cooperative Wholesale Establishment (CWE), and instead has been given a free hand to make purchases from the open market at higher prices.’
• Agriculture Minister says plenty of rice available despite floods
• Deduru Oya Spill gates opened; Warning issued to people in risk zones
• Heavy rains displace 2,300 families in Vavuniya, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu
‘over 7,000 acres of paddy fields in Mannar had been destroyed by heavy rains and floods’
• Traders, millers rule the roost in rice mafia
• Govt. calls for EOIs to build, operate 5 rice mills
• No change in govt.’s agriculture policy: Prez
• Explaining Fertilizer
• Introduce a subsidy scheme for tea fertilizer: Weerasumana Weerasinghe MP
• Gazette on prohibiting sale, use of five pesticides including Glyphosate revoked
‘The order has been revoked on the advice of the Pesticide Technical and Advisory Committee.’
• Minister calls for explanation on revoking Gazette banning pesticides
• Registrar of Pesticides removed with immediate effect
‘a strong lobby of agrochemical importers have been trying to influence officials in the ministry and agriculture department’
• Investigations should be carried out to inquire into fertilizer import irregularities
• Govt. has released 18,000 MTs of substandard TSP fertilizer to farmers: Anura
• Shasheendra & Mahindananda & Sirisena and Organic Blame
• Fertilizer ban lifted for all crops excluding paddy: State Minister Shasheendra
• Govt. weeding policy is cash for weeds
• In Moneragala, US Dole Banana and sugar cane cultivations provided with chemical fertiliser
• Govt.’s organic fertiliser pivot fails to shift country away from subsidy culture
‘Sri Lanka Agripreneurs’ Forum Chairman Rizvi Zaheed….is also a Director at Vidullanka and the former Managing Director at Hayleys Agriculture Holdings’
• Conditions imposed on chemical fertilizer importation
• Dispute over Chinese organic fertiliser: Govt. backs down – Sunday Times
• Protests are raising genuine concerns of farmers: Dayasiri
• Contradictory reports damage diplomatic ties with China: Shasheendra
• Farmers’ unions demand compensation for crop damage
• I was not instrumental introducing organic farming: Rathana Thera
• Question mark over state enterprises prevented from placing Indian Nano orders
• Green Light for Private Sector to import Chemical Fertilizers;
• COPE questions role of two private companies in Galoya Plantations
• EU & Technical Assistance to the Modernisation of Agriculture Program (TAMAP)
• Prime Minister Sub Committee to evaluate Regional Plantation Companies in Sri Lanka
‘A Member of the US CARE Advisory Board…’
• Sri Lankan coffee industry marks milestone with Lanka Coffee Association
• Rameswaram warns bottom trawlers licences to be cancelled if they trespass Lankan waters
• Navy brings problem of poaching by Indian fishing fleet to new Governor’s attention
• Prices of Chicken & Eggs cannot be lowered: State Minister
• Cattle slaughter ban: It’s not intentions but consequences that matter
‘there were 296,111 cattle farms and 26,284 Buffalo farms registered in 2020…Cattle are an integral part of the dairy industry, leather tanning industry and footwear and leather goods industry…annual milk production from cattle was 414 Mn litres and 78 Mn litres were produced by buffalos…Sri Lanka imported 102,355,524 Kgs of milk and milk products, and exported 1,057,079 Kgs…162,000 cattle were legally slaughtered in 2020…’
• Landslide mitigation measures in place as one lane opens for traffic at Pahala Kadugannawa
• Rains washed tonnes of plastic waste and garbage to the ocean and river beds
• Forest Governance in Sri Lanka: A political conundrum?
• Kelani Flood Memories
‘Gothatuwa Flood bund (also called Howard Bund) built by the English in 1924 as the last step in protecting Colombo from flooding, combined with the 18th century Dutch built Kollonnawa Bunds’
• Kapu Ella, You defeated me
‘from Galapatha, where the Kalu Ganga linked to Kapu Ella, the route through which the Dutch brought their laden padda boats from Ratnapura to Colombo, via the Bolgoda Lake’
• India: Statement on Repeal of Farm Laws
• What BJP-RSS Might Learn from Repeal of Farm Laws
‘The ruling party cannot push the Hindu-Muslim button every time there is a crisis and succeed’
• Largest Peaceful Democratic Protest to Occur in the World: P Sainath
‘On the occasion of one anniversary of Indian farmers’ protest’
• World’s biggest polluter – The military
• Why Our Climate Isn’t Jumping for Joy After COP26
• COP26: Dangerous Omissions, Amplifying Feedbacks, Human Fatalities
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 domination by merchants and moneylenders.
• Sri Lanka plans to auction M2 oil block with gas well in early 2022
• National Petroleum and Gas Company given green light
• Garment Multinationals oppose Central Bank getting exporters to pay in local currency
• Upcoming SL investment seminar with Confederation of Indian Industries (Gujarat Chapter)’
‘Consul General of Sri Lanka to Mumbai Dr. Valsan Vethody was assisted by Consul (Commercial) Sandun Sameera of the Mission’
• Gulf Oil appoints India’s Ideal First Choice Ltd. as Sri Lanka national distributor
‘Ideal First Choice and Bosch diesel and non-diesel spare parts and Akzonobel for distributorship of automotive paints and also as the distributor for multi-branded two-wheeler and three-wheeler spare parts available through the company’s island wide network…Gulf Oil is a part of the Hinduja Group.’
• Rubber mafia not impressed with plan to ban rubber products imports
‘Budget 2022 proposes to ban import of rubber-based products to support local industries. The move also aimed at doing away with exportation of raw rubber’
• Govt. Analyst’s report confirms gas explosions due to composition change
• No composition change in LP gas cylinders: Litro Gas Lanka
‘Sri Lanka does not have a gas regulatory body. Gas company officials said they have their own investigation units to conduct studies’
• Sri Lanka minister says cars with one passenger should be banned after printing money
• Sri Lanka seeks USD 500 mn loan from India for fuel purchase
• Sri Lanka energy minister calls for fuel pricing formula if stabilisation fund is no go
‘Trade Unions alleged that the sudden change of heart from the Government to revert to the Samaraweera formula system is to put the tax burden on the shoulders of the people after the Government realised later that it is no longer viable to use public funds to maintain the fuel subsidy in the midst of an acute shortage of dollars to import fuel into the country.’
• False Assertions Designed To Create Panic Buying and Queues at Fuel Pumps
• Should Sri Lanka engage a LNG floating regassification vessel for electric power? Part 3
• Calls to convert roofs to solar power generators
• Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals introduces drone technology to petroleum industry
• Permits required for sand transportation, mining
• About 70% of our cement is being imported
• Sri Lanka awards port project to China after dropping Japan, India
• China’s ZPMC wins Sri Lanka STS and gantry crane deal
• Colombo Dockyard opens branch office for afloat repairs in Trincomalee
• Expressways have failed to solve Sri Lanka’s traffic problem; but, they can be a major solution
• Japan was embarrassed and confused by the government over contracts
‘Japanese private sector investors in Sri Lanka “may have concerns of the future of
Sri Lanka due to the change in policy and fragile macroeconomy.”’
• INSEE Cement MOU with Hambantota International Port to improve supply chain efficiency
• PM inaugurates new aircraft apron at Japan-funded Rs. 107 billion BIA expansion
• Pahala Kadugannawa – Speaks volumes of colonial era
• CEAT radials designated Original Equipment for locally assembled Mahindra Bolero Pik-ups
• Sri Lanka ranks top in International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Indices
• Target of producing 80% of medical products locally in the next five years,
• Molnupiravir anti-viral pill to be imported through private sector
‘we will refer the matter to the Medicines Evaluation Committee for clearance.’
• Antibiotics are running out: Spread awareness, stop resistance
• GSK Driving Digital
‘Sunder Ramachandran is the Country Head and Manoj Jayawardena is Head of Finance at GSK Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Sri Lanka
• MAS Holdings on leveraging scale, the importance of purpose and future of cost arbitrage
• ‘Be Sri Lankan, Buy Sri Lanka’, indicator of ‘product excellence’
• He was joint secretary of 1st draft of 1977 UNP manifesto section on protecting local industry.
• US Ban on Chinese Cotton Damages Garment Industry in Western Tamil Nadu
• India to substantially reduce govt. stakes in state banks
• Vietnam’s Vinfast unveils electric vehicles, expects to ship from 2022
‘Vingroup has tied up with China’s Gotion High-Tech Co., Ltd of China to produce lithium iron phosphate batteries (LFP)’
• China’s industrial profits sustain growth in first 10 months
• Shanghai’s Data Exchange to fuel Fourth Industrial Revolution
‘Transparent and regulated trading of data in China contrasts with chaotic data management and harvesting in the West’
• Biden’s Play In Today’s Oil Market Is A One-Time Trick That Will Backfire
‘White House announced today that the U.S., together with a few other countries, will release crude oil from its strategic petroleum reserve’
• Voluntary Licensing Agreements between MPP and Big Pharma – Increasing Monopoly Power
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, preventing investment in modern production.
• Leasing companies seize vehicles in the tourism industry, increasing instalments for concessions
• 50% tax incentive prompting more and more companies to go for IPOs
• 10 Sri Lankans held for smuggling gold paste in India
• Colombo businessman nabbed for attempting to smuggle Rs. 14 Mn to Dubai
• Most banks earn over two billion rupees in Sri Lanka
• LankaClear’s De Zilwa cut teeth at international banking giants Citibank and HSBC
• Two members to be added to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency mining committee
‘chaired by Sujeewa Mudalige: Viraj Dayaratne, Rajeeva Bandaranaike, Dharmasri Kumarathunge, Jayantha Fernando, Sandun Hapugoda, Air Commodore (Retd) TGJ Amarasena and Milinda Rajapaksha serve as its members’
• Webinar on directors’ rights, duties, Liabilities under new SEC Act
• CSE traders making hay while sun shines
‘Ballooning market through such illiquid share price hikes will not fetch genuine investors overall’
• Sri Lanka share index down as illiquid stock tumbles
• CSE on the uptick despite October’s inflation hike
• Sri Lanka stock index closes at fresh peak; monetary policy awaited
• Sri Lanka shares edge down ahead monetary policy announcement
• Sri Lanka share index hits fresh record high; risks remain
• USD 80 million private placement by JKH in fund-raising bid with ADB
• Bank of Ceylon profits 5.49 billion rupees in the September 2021 quarter,
• Bank of Ceylon raises Rs. 5 b via latest debenture issue
• People’s Bank expands balance sheet by Rs. 350 b
• Commercial Bank of Ceylon – largest private bank –income Rs 120.050 billion in 1-3Q21
• Vallibel Finance 1H2021/22, profits Rs. 5.4 b
• Sampath Bank, NDB Bank underwrite Sarvodaya DF IPO
• National Development Bank debenture issue draws Rs. 9.2 b demand
‘The debentures were rated at A- (lka) by Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd. NDB Investment Bank Ltd., NDB’s subsidiary arm…securing $ 75 million in the form of a credit line funding from the Development Finance Corporation of the USA earlier this year.
• George Steuart’s HVA Foods to raise Rs. 249 m via Rights
• Alliance Finance Co. raises LKR 1 Bn in subordinate debt
‘structured and arranged by Capital Alliance Ltd (CAL)… AFC believes its foreign financing partners such as IFC, FMO, DWM, Tridos Bank and other impact investors will add further value’
• Asia Asset Finance successful raising Rs. 2 billion during the last quarter (Q2) 2021/22
‘Muthoot Finance owns a 73% stake of Asia Asset Finance. Muthoot Finance is one of the largest Gold Financing companies in the world with a legacy of over 70 years’
• Stax announces strategic investment by Blue Point Capital Partners to accelerate growth
• Capital Alliance IPO oversubscribed on opening day
‘CALT is one of the five non-bank primary dealers in the country. It forms the securities trading arm of the wider Capital Alliance Group (CAL), dealing in Government securities & corporate debt securities’
• Myland Development announces IPO signalling SME return to CSE
• JPMorgan Chase Making “Emergency” Payments to a Former Government Official
• Stock Market Changed Its Mind on another Four Years of Jerome Powell and Plunged
‘The Fed effectively has no exit plan to wean Wall Street off its easy money policies without creating massive ruptures in the stock market, leading potentially to more Fed bailouts and an even larger balance sheet at the Fed’
• $86Million Fines Over Stolen Bank Documents, Goldman Gets Reprieve from Federal Reserve
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business focuses on the rentier diversions of the oligarchy, the domination by a merchant mafia, making money from unproductive land sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of corporate press releases disguised as ‘news’
• Some exporters to close shop if 2.5% ripped off turnover
• Sri Lanka budget new taxes to hurt insurer profits, premiums to go up: Fitch
• Sri Lanka’s import bill rises despite restrictions
• Sri Lanka’s merchandise exports continues robust in October 2021, with a new high
• Sunshine Holdings revenue of Rs. 15.8 billion in 1HFY22
• One big ‘land sale’ in a buyers’ market
• Govt. showcases $ 6 b worth real-estate offerings
• In the absence of foreigner interest, UDA marketing prime real estate to local investors
• Controlling foreign shareholders shed 15% stake in Lanka Realty for Rs. 800 m
‘Foreign shareholder directors Northern Trust Company S/A Ian McVeigh sold 15.7 million shares at Rs. 25 each and Terry C. Smith shed an equal number… acquisition of Unity Plaza in December 2020’
• Melwa Hotels & Resorts signs BOI deal for $52m expansion of Hilton DoubleTree, Negombo
‘Melwa is a fully-owned subsidiary of Melwire Rolling, a leader in the steel market in Sri Lanka’
• Sri Lanka & Bangladesh Should Sign PTA As Soon As Possible For Ensuring Mutual Benefits.
• Increasing women in male-dominated roles: What Sri Lankan businesses can do
‘IFC-DFAT Women in Work program’
• Gwadar Port Provides Benefits For Sri Lanka and Bangladesh
• SL-Pakistan private sector steps up collaboration to boost trade, investment
• The Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone
• Colombo–Chittagong-Ranong-Chennai-Mumbai-Chabahar-Port Connectivity Potential
• Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sri Lanka 2021 launches AOD The New Local vision
‘Powered by DIMO with Kess, Kevin Murphy, Gelish by British Cosmetics & Wijeya Newspapers’
• Gautam Adani pips Mukesh Ambani to becomes Asia’s richest person
C10. Politics (Anti-parliament discourse, unelected constitution)
ee Politics points to the constant diversions and spectacles and the mercantile and financial forces funding the political actors, of policy hijacked by private interests minus public oversight.
• Who Created Religious Sectarianism
• Will Sajith be Empowered?
‘Sajith, Champika and Anura are attempting to harvest discontent for a Yahapalana Rerun’
• Grieving over False Fashions
• Local Govt. polls skipped, councils get extended terms
• Appointment of eight ministry secretaries approved by High Posts Committee
• New Chief Sanghanayaka
• Be careful what you wish for – warns President
• Gotabaya’s soliloquy before a sea of troubles
‘People will not blame the President if he turns his hawk’s eye on them and the emerging criminals who trade in soil and rubble mixed with chemicals, claiming that it is organic fertiliser, and hangs one or two as a warning to others who may be thinking of following their example.’
• Are We in the Right Direction with President Gotabaya?
• Can the Rajapaksas regain their charisma?
• SJB rally sends out new signals
• SLFP leader issues veiled threat to govt. in Parliament
• Gota’s Choice: Why the GR Presidency Went Very Wrong – Jayatilleka
• GR accuses State’s administrative ‘structures’ as linked to fertiliser corporates
• Is President Gotabaya planning to pack his bags? – David
• National Peace Council against centralisation
• SLPP’s Kuttiarachchi gets warning for defamatory comments against women
‘omen slave away on estates, in garment factories and in West Asia to earn dollars for the country, but they are not even properly represented in Parliament or other political institutions although they account for more than one half of the country’s population.’
• Tamil Diaspora, Taliban and the Muslim politics
• UNP sees importance of having its own Muslim and Tamil leaders as in past
• ACMC to take disciplinary action against its MPs who voted for Budget
• Muslims in Post-War SL: Repression, Resistance & Reform
‘Sri Lanka has always been a multiethnic, multi-cultural country’
• Mahinda Samarasinghe to leave Parliament for diplomatic posting in the US
• Ignore the Signals and Head for Disaster – Commemorating Lalith Athulathmudali
• Remembering Mangala and his dream: Series of activities from 20-26 Nov.
• Problem of being identical twin of a politician
• Sri Lanka and Thailand consolidates Theravada Buddhist ties
• Cuba: Five Years After Fidel Castro
• Voluntary work, of our own free will, with conviction
‘The first day of voluntary work, organized by Che on November 22, 1959, commemorated in Granma’
• Israel and Colombia: Models for US Demcoracy
‘A child in Israel can be sent to jail without a court order, kept there without charge, trial or conviction, or killed at the mere whim of the Zionist military….Colombia is the world’s leading producer & exporter of drugs.’
• Caroline H. Yang’s Book, “The Peculiar Afterlife of Slavery”
‘racism against Chinese workers after emancipation was linked to the United States’s failure to reckon with slavery’
• Organizing Against Racism and Class Oppression – Haiphong and Kimberley
• Interview: Queen Mother Moore, Westindian Digest, September 1982
• Elke Kahr Becomes First Communist Mayor Elected in Austria
‘“Who would have thought that the daughter of a locksmith, a Communist, would become mayor?”… Her party currently leads an alliance with the Greens and the Social Democratic Party.’
• Sweden’s first female prime minister lasted just seven hours
‘Sweden… is facing an extended period of political turmoil as a result of the rapid rise of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats.’
• The Quebec Mix: Racism, French, Austerity, Climate, Biodiversity
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 strange VPN for Cuba with 19 servers in the U.S.
• Kandyan armies kept Europeans at bay for two centuries
• A Tale about Knowledge
‘We are living close to a cyclone’
• Origins of Western Science, Evolution &Crisis
• Stanley (Sam) Samarasinghe & Prof. Kingsley de Silva
‘created the only intellectual hub outside of the Peradeniya University in Kandy at the Ford Foundation’s International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES)’
• Leftists in Zuckerberger’s Orphanage
• Balanced media coverage prerequisite for free and fair elections – Dinesh
• National newspapers resolve 207 complaints on a self-regulation basis
• Sri Lanka to amend media laws, ethics, formulate national media policy
• India Tagore Gold Medal at Sri Palee Campus of Colombo University each year
• BDO Sri Lanka and ESG Playbook collaborate to rollout ESG reporting service in Sri Lanka
• Japan’s Dentsu International has 68,000 people working in 355 offices in 143 countries.
• Ruminations on Sri Lanka’s Ancient Past IV
• Nallur temple: A powerful legacy to uphold
• Queer artistes have a hard time entering mainstream media
• Why is Spam a Trade Issue? It Suits Dominant Developed Countries
• Google agrees 5-year deal to pay AFP for online content: executives
‘Global tech giants — mostly US — have disputes with Brussels and EU member states, over taxation, abuse of their dominant market power, privacy issues and of making money from journalistic content without sharing the revenue’
• 14th Havana Biennial: Censorship and extortion behind a façade
‘Are you going to Havana? Are you sending your work? Have you thought about the negative consequences for your career? What will gallery owners and art dealers say?’
• African-American diversity versus neocolonial hegemony
• White America’s Latest Fear Mongering Code Language: CRT and Wokeness