‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 19-25 December 2021
What language do bats speak? Vavuluva – Bat-ese or Bat-ish – was a 1939 poem by Rapiyel Tennakoon making fun of such pseudo-luminaries as German philologist Wilhelm Geiger, mis-translator of the famed Sinhala chronicle The Mahavamsa. The Bat is ‘Sir’ DB Jayatilleka, who preferred hiring the foreigner Geiger for a Sinhala dictionary project, which never saw the light of day. ‘Alas, Vavula likes to worship foreigners and would rather die than seek assistance from local scholars’. 82 years later, Vavuluva has become the actual official language sponsored by the import mafia, elocuted with a Brutish-Council accent of course, only squawking ‘Import-Export-Import’ (see Random Notes, Munidasa & Santha).
• ‘The Sri Lankan Government is, so far, refusing to accept the conditions put forward by the IMF for a bailout package,’ the Daily Mirror’s Vavula correspondent tells us (ee Economy, Request). But the DM dares not detail exactly what these IMF conditions are. ee can guess: sack workers and sell off ‘loss-making’ national assets. And the ‘chambers’, thinktanks and economists threaten and sing chorus. Yet why do our Vavulo like to hire business tycoons who run national institutions (what the Black-whites call SOEs: State-owned Enterprises) into the ground? (ee Focus, Tycoons)
‘We were taught a valuable lesson on the influence the USA wields in Asia’
– Eisuke Sakakibara, Japan’s Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs after the 1997 ‘crash’
• In 1997 the US forced several ‘defaulting’ major Asian economies –Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, etc. – to submit to its economic dominance. The US ‘Manila Framework’ demanded they first seek help from the IMF, etc (ee Focus, IMF No Clothes).
White forces are now further concentrating their political, economic and military forces to undermine Asia’s connectivity, targeting countries like Sri Lanka and China. The whites virulently oppose the Made-in-China 2025 initiative, which seeks to free China’s economy from subservience to white capital. This initiative offers a model to all countries seeking true independence based on modern capital-intensive industrialization. Here is why:
The iPad is produced by US-based Apple.
Apple sold over 100 million iPads in a year, 2010-11.
A ‘fabless’ – fabricationless – multinational,
Apple develops, designs, patents and sells computers & communications equipment
while it outsources the labor-intensive manufacturing process of the goods it sells.
All iPads are assembled in China.
Apple integrates 748 suppliers of materials & components into its production chain,
82% based in Asia, 351 of which are in China.
At each node in the production chain, materials are input
with added wages, management, overhead costs, & profits.
The total monetized price of these factors, in all nodes of the chain,
equals the sales price – the ‘bright value’ in a commodity chain.
The market price of an iPad in 2010-11 was $499, the factory price only $275.
Of the factory price, barely $33 went to production wages in the South,
while fully $150 of Apple’s gross profit margin went
to high design, marketing & administrative salaries,
plus research & development and operating costs sustained mainly in the white world.
– see ee Economists, Apple & Value
China accounts for only 3% of global profits in the electronics sector,
despite being the world’s largest exporter of electronics.
The US accounts for 33% of global profits in the electronics sector,
while exporting less manufactured electronics goods than China.
White multinationals, including the electronics sector (one of the world’s largest consumer industries), grab windfall profits in global production. Yet they rarely produce the goods. This is because US firms have amassed global control and power over supply chains, etc. This unequal distribution of value is also enabled by patent protection. This explains their opposition to Made-in-China 2025.
– ee Industry, Power Trumps Tech
Shipping agencies, apart from being an extra source of income,
contributed to the commercial dominance of the European firms.
As agents for shipping lines, they had a first claim on the available freight…
The monopoly power of European trading enterprise was thus based
on the pre-emption of markets and supply sources, economies of scale, access to funds,
and the lateral integration with insurance and shipping business.
– SBD de Silva, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment
• England’s Unilever announced this week that almost all of its logistics operations will now be run by ‘Danish’ cargo shipping line Maersk aka AP Moller-Maersk, from 2022-6:
Maersk owns more container ships than anyone on earth… now not ‘just a cargo shipping line’.
They are also an airline, a trucking company, a port terminal operator, and a freight forwarder.
Maersk has gobbled up ‘a piece of virtually every stage of the global supply chain’,
hoping to become a one-stop shop for logistics.
Fueled by multibillion dollar pandemic profits, Maersk this week also bought Hong Kong’s LF Logistics, which controls trade to & from mainland China, from Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and Hong Kong’s Li & Fung (once the world’s largest sourcing company, an early Chinese ‘comprador’, a buyer’s broker linking US and European multinational retailers of clothes, toys, etc., to factories in China).
Maersk also serves the US government and their contractors, managing ‘the world’s largest fleet of internationally trading US-flagged vessels’. In March 2021 Standard Chartered Bank became the first financial institution to join Maersk and IBM’s information platform TradeLens.
What links all these MNCs to Sri Lanka? In November, Eswaran Brothers Exports became the first Sri Lankan tea exporter to adopt Maersk’s TradeLens’ platform, supported by the Ministry of Digital Technology. Unilever, largest fast-moving consumer product (FCMG) multinational here, recently sold 34 tea brands, including Lipton, closely linked to Sri Lankan tea. Unilever yet dominates much of Sri Lanka’s 270,000 retail outlets, monopolizing our home market, preventing investment of its profits in local rural modern industrialization (Random Notes, Peppercube).
• Return of the English East India Company – Such monopolization recalls the role of Europe’s (Dutch, English) East India Companies (EICs). EICs captured regional and home markets. The English EIC then spawned ‘private’ banks and companies to extend English tentacles throughout Asia.
In 1833 England abolished rajakariya services in Sri Lanka to destroy the solidarity that shaped the purana gama (ancient village) and its complex irrigation system, further weakening resistance to invasion. The English government also began selling land by auction to officials, churchmen and planters, setting up plantations based on American slavery.
In 1833 the English also claimed to officially abolish African chattel slavery. They however inaugurated ‘indentured’ slavery in Asia, imposing coffee plantations and an enslaved alien workforce on Sri Lanka’s highlands. Barclay’s Bank arose out of Bank of England’s reparations (with loans from the Rothschilds) paid to English slave owners (but not to the enslaved) in the Caribbean.
1833 is also the year the English government ended their EIC monopoly over sales of Indian-grown opium in China, opening their most profitable 19th-century commerce to ‘private’ companies. This ‘privatized’ opium business created the largest banks and MNCs of today: Standard Chartered Bank, Hongkong & Shanghai Bank (HSBC), P&O Shipping, Liptons-Unilever, etc.
• Rise of the English government’s mail, opium and gold bullion shipper Peninsular & Orient Corporation (P&O): With Sri Lanka being turned into ‘Lipton’s Tea Garden’, P&O set up subsidiary Ceylon Wharfage Co. to handle their ships’ import and export cargo in the Colombo Port. Another P&O firm, Mackinnon Mackenzie, did shipping agency work. P&O engineering firm Walkers & Co. serviced ships. Walkers was later converted into a ‘Estate Jobbing Company’ making machinery for tea factories, though refusing to fully mechanize tea production. In 2004 Maersk bought P&O’s container shipping business P&O Nedlloyd. Yet P&O still dominates the seas around us, funding attacks on Hambantota port and Sri Lanka’s links with China (ee 22 Nov 2019).
1833 is also the year England’s industrial bourgeoisie finally gained access to parliament. The workers and the petit-bourgeoisie, who had led the movement for democracy, were however refused the vote. The industrial bourgeoisie thus empowered passed another of England’s infamous Poor Laws giving welfare to workers, not in their homes, but only if they entered a prison-like factory workhouse. The links between chattel and wage slavery were more firmly enchained. Blockchain indeed!
• December is ‘hamper’ time. Go to any supermarket and watch the hampers – gifts – piled high. Hampers are sent by private companies to government officials. Santa Claus is actually a pimp! Arrest him! (ee Economy).
• See how the capitalist media disguises the dirt of its most corrupt masters, in this FT article headlined ‘Former Executive claims Rs25m damages after new Chairman initiates probe’. It’s entirely written without one mention of the names of the companies or individuals involved (ee Business).
• Tokyo this week agreed to pay 211billion yen ($1.86bn) annually for 54,000 US troops in Japan. Japan and South Korea (40,000 US soldiers) have nearly half the US troops imposed overseas. The US says their army, there since the 1940s, is now there to ‘deal with China’ (ee Sovereignty).
• The US is sending us a new ambassador born in their colony of South Korea. So ee very highly recommends the tale of the more-famous 19th-century ‘abolitionist’ son of enslaved Africans, sent as envoy to heroic Haiti, a country to which Sri Lanka compares. Frederick Douglass & US Empire in Haiti shows how envoys, no matter how well-intentioned, are mere fronts for military and economic interests (see, blackagendareport.com/frederick-douglass-and-american-empire-haiti). Darker men and women are often used as front cover for the white imperialist machine. US President Obama takes the prize as the whitest man with a tan, murdering Libya’s leader and thousands there, let alone escalating wars in Syria, Yemen, etc, and imposing more US military bases across Africa. Then there’s Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia Director of the Human Rights Watch, delivering the goods that white boys usually orally expectorate. And what about Kamala Harris, set to take over the moment Sleepy Joe Biden has another ‘senior’ moment. And now here comes Miss Julie.
• Jesus was a refugee running from NATO to NATO? English and French officials let 27 refugees drown in the English Channel. 160 migrants were drowned off Libya. Dozens are missing after boat carrying refugees sank in the Aegean. Since 2014, over 23,000 people have been killed trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. Escaping NATO’s wars, fleeing into NATO’s arms (ee Workers).
• Nazi Lovers – The US and Ukraine were the only 2 countries at the UN protecting the Nazis and their legacy this week: One commentator called it ‘extraordinary’. It ain’t so strange when one considers that white settlers are the fashion models for fascism.
A1. Reader Comments –
• IMF mere tool • Awesome ee • ee Headspin • Who agrees with ee? • Dialog Monotone • No Opposition Plan Only Curses • Words & Prices
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Tea Action • What the Fitch! • Financialisation Hype • India Martial Races • Centralize, Socialize
A3. Random Notes –
• The Other Ravana & Hela Culture • DFCC, Keels & Breaking Women In • Tobacco’s Cancer Kadays • Fertilizer Importers Demand State Payment • Chambers Threaten to Relocate • What Kind of Marxist Are You? • Marxist Economists of the World Unite • Only Business Strikes are Good • HSBC vs Fitch • Academics Love the Imperialist Jennings • US Shithole Lectures & Korea • Maersk Shipping Monopoly & Unilever • History of the English East India Co., Chambers of Commerce & Opium Wars
B. ee Focus
B1. IMF has No Clothes – Part 2
B2. The Fraud of Appointing Business Tycoons to Head State Enterprises – Chandra Maliyadde
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news sent, or your comments, and place any e-link at the end. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• ‘Don’t get so fixated on IMF, Unilever. They are not for us. They are mere tools.’
• ‘This ee was a gem. An awesome wealth of information. I urge everyone to read it.’
• ‘Saw a comment that ee made a reader’s head spin. This week’s ee has gone beyond last week’s – maybe because there is much informed analysis and background by ee itself.’
• ‘Rusiripala’s comment about an expose and criticism in parliament of the Yugadanavi agreement is most revealing: Focus criticism on one minor point and pretend to be opposed to it. But why?’
• ‘Reading ee commentary about the IMF, etc, I was curious about economists in SL who agree with ee. Can ee name any ‘qualified’ economists who likely agree with ee’s views?’ (see Random Notes)
• ‘The word ‘dialogue’ suggests it takes at least ‘two’ to have a conversation. Yet Dialog telecom has removed live customer service. Making huge profits as an almost-monopoly they don’t give a…’
• ‘Politicians are talking only about corruption, but nobody is offering an industrial plan.’
• ‘In a media dominated by financial talk, words are only meant to raise or lower stock prices’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Colombo tea auction is the largest single-origin tea auction in the world where approximately 6 million kilos of tea, more than 95% of the tea produced in the country, are sold each week.’ – ee Agriculture, Stax
• ‘Fitch’s downgrade is ‘hasty,’ ‘reckless,’ ‘inconsiderate’ & ‘inconceivable’.’ – (ee Economists, CBSL)
• ‘Supporters of the Financialisation Hypothesis have claimed that two-thirds of the few hundred largest multinational companies are financial. Instead, when analysed, only 10-20% could be considered financial.’ – ee Economists, World Association of Political Economists
• ‘After the 1857 Indian Mutiny, when over 50% of the 130,000 Indian Sepoys joined the uprising against the English East India Company, the theory of ‘martial races’ was developed by Lord Roberts of Kandahar, Commander-in-Chief of the English Indian Army 1885-93. Thereafter it was believed that the best recruits would be drawn from English India’s Northwest. ‘The Punjabi Muslims headed the list, followed by the Sikhs, the Gurkhas, the Rajputs and others claiming Kshatriya ancestry… Brahmins and Bengalis, including Muslims were out. In the south, while Tamils were tolerated, the Telugus, the Coogis and the Moplahs were not encouraged to join the army.’ – ee Sovereignty, Concert
• A song to recommend: ‘Nuh say these are some serious times / All I can see around us is just violence and crime / Full time for us to centralize, socialize and realize…’: Gyptian, youtube.com/watch?v=dNidyB0KWtU
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
In 1941, Munidasa Cumaratunga formed the Hela Havula (Pure Sinhala Fraternity) to revive, promote and elevate the Sinhala language. Cumaratunga’s publishing press Pahan Paharuva released three of Rapiyel Tennakoon’s extended poems: Vavuluva (Bat Language, 1939), Hävilla (The Curse, 1940), and Da Vinaya (Discipline of the Nation, 1941). Hävilla lampooned zealous religious practices, and Da Vinaya satirized corrupt politics. The Hela Havula rejected the authority of the Mahavamsa chronicle’s assertion that the Sinhala had descended from North Indian prince Vijaya. They believed the original roots of the Sinhala were with the indigenous ‘Hela’, who Vijaya and his followers murdered and conquered.
In Vavuluva, Tennakoon unravels his own Ramayana epic, where the Sri Lankan characters, Ravana and his sister Surpanakha, are great and beautiful, unlike in Valmiki’s Ramayana. The final chapter of Vavuluva satirizes the colonial government hiring Prof Wilhelm Geiger as consultant for a government-subsidized etymological Sinhala dictionary. The majority of the Sinhala literati accepted the German’s argument about the Indo-Aryan origins of Sinhala. By 1941 the office had only completed the first 6 parts of the first volume, prompting Cumaratunga to publish a public letter in The Helio (Hela Havula’s English-language journal), volunteering his services to complete the dictionary in 2 years. Cumaratunga felt Geiger lacked Sinhala fluency. Cumaratunga authored 13 sardonic letters in both Sinhala and English criticizing Geiger’s A Grammar of the Sinhala Language: ‘To one who is already well-versed in the language, who need not run from this end to the other end of the island to learn the etymology of one small word, who need not make a forced display of his erudity by coming out in public over and over again with the etymology of a single word, that too unearthed by someone else, two years is quite ample to complete the most comprehensive Sinhala dictionary.’
The singer-songwriter Sunil Santha (1915-81), like many Sinhala musicians inspired by Rabindranath Tagore, trained at his arts college Santiniketan in Bengal. Back in Sri Lanka, he learned of Cumaratunga’s writings that criticized Sinhala musicians who trained in North India and had no knowledge of Sinhala music. Sensing that Indian cultural influence was a threat to a truly national Sri Lankan musical genre, Santha turned to Sinhala tradition. His first big hit was Olu Pipila (The Lilies Have Blossomed) for which he composed lyrics and music, and sang it solo. Santha used various ‘pure’ words coined by Cumaratunga, like redev pola (radio) and saru säriya (notation).
In April 1952, Radio Ceylon brought North Indian musical scholar SN Ratanjankar to grade Sinhala musicians for the second time, and to advise the station on creating a national music, Santha boycotted the auditions and quit his post as an A-grade musician.
He told the newspapers, ‘There are those in the Sinhala Department of the radio station who will surely protect Ratanjankar’s project to nourish Indian music. Those who were just beginning to form a national music will probably be considered like weeds…’
• DFCC Bank says it’s empowering women. Keells is “breaking the silence” about women’s oppression. We should ask women left to the mercy of finance company loan sharks. DFCC refused its mandate to invest in industry and truly empower women with modern skills. As for Keells, we await them breaking the silence of their supermarket workers’ wages, terms and living conditions, which break labor laws.
• Ceylon Tobacco Company-related PR outfit Peppercube estimating ‘the retail outlet population to be over 270,000 across the island’. Their Pepper-eX service has been tracking over 35,000 retail outlets across the country for many clients every month for the last 10 years. They began a ‘Retail Store Audit’, buying retail census and exclusive rights from Nielsen, engaging Dwight Watson, an English consultant, MD of Nielsen SL… Capture of the home market, indeed! (ee 16 January 2021)
• Chemical fertilizer corporations fund attacks and sabotage of the government’s organic policy., while demanding Rs27.3 billion – ‘a first time occurrence in the history of the fertilizer industry’.
These ‘long overdue subsidy payments’ are to private fertiliser importers, i.e. England’s CIC Agribusinesses, Swiss A Baur & Co, AgStar, Hayleys Agro Fertilizers, Allied Commercial Fertilizers, Germany’s Diesel & Motor Engineering Lanka Industrial Estate, Asia Commercial Fertilizer – some claiming to be Sri Lankan, but mere fronts for foreign multinational companies. Fertilizer-importer Media Maharaja says farmers are demanding compensation for crop damage. But it’s Maharaja et al who should be sued for destroying the soil, and our ears and eyes (ee Agriculture, Sue).
• ‘10 Chambers of Commerce’ threatened the government: if they’re not allowed to access and play with dollars as they please, their members will relocate. Well, good riddance indeed to these representatives of the import mafia: See ee Economy for the list of Chambers, all amounting to a few capitalists. See below for origins of these Chambers who first waged war to impose opium on China.
• Kachcheris do not issue licenses for socialists or poets. There are also all kinds of self-identified Leftists, Socialists, Marxists, etc. Marx & Engel’s Communist Manifesto is famous also for listing the many varieties of socialists existing in 1948. In China, a capital-C Communist is one of 90+million members of the Communist Party (CPC). And their language has no capitals (tho they have lots of capital!). An economist, like a poet, is usually what others call you. So what does ee call itself?
Many Marxists, especially of the NATO variety only discuss culture and not industry. Yet ee is strictly for ‘machine-making’ economists who wish to engender a machine-making cultural revolution. A cultural revolution is all about educating peasants and workers to take over the leadership from capitalists. This requires learning how the capitalist have run their machine-making system for their own benefit and not for the masses of peasants and workers.
• The 15th Forum of the World Association for Political Economy (WAPE) took place on 18-19 December at China’s Shanghai International Studies University, with many Marxist economists from outside China participating. Around 200 papers were presented on political economy, world capitalism, imperialism, China etc. WAPE ‘presents the opportunity for Marxist economists to reach out to each other, across the divide of language and geography around the dynamics of Political Economy. A Chinese-run academic economics organization, WAPE discusses the Chinese development model, and all developments in the world capitalist economy from a Marxist perspective (ee Economists)
• Strikes by workers are typically reported as nuisances, whereas strikes by strikes and sabotage by multinational corporations are rarely seen as strikes and reported as ‘anti-people’. ‘GMOA strike cripples hospitals in 5 districts’, ‘Patients bear the brunt’ headline Wijaya Group media stories. A Sunday Times lament, ‘Patients in 5 districts have been inconvenienced due a 24-hour strike’, carries a large photo depicting worried patients, foregrounded by an elderly man’s wounded leg in a cast, as if kicking at the reader.
No such heart-rending photos accompanied the long queues caused by governments reducing public-health spending as demanded by the IMF. The numbers of those dying escalated due to reduced surgeries after 2015. No heart-tugging stories or photos. How much of these gas explosions are setups? How much of the reports about leaf disease and shortfalls are fake? Only Unilever knows: We only have a capitalist mass media. There is no proletarian mass media.
• The IMF’s junior partners, the US-regulated financial rating agencies downgraded Sri Lanka’s economy. Fitch Ratings (linked to EconomyNext and their owner Capital Media, headed by Sarvodaya Development Finance’s Channa de Silva) and Moody’s (ICRA) declare the SL economy on the edge of default. This dominated economic headlines all singing the end of the world is near. However, England HSBC Bank is buying 8 floors of Havelock City Business Towers! Could this be a vote of confidence in Sri Lanka’s economy? What do Fitch and Moody’s know that HSBC does not know?
HSBC is a multinational bank built on the massive 19thC English trade in opium grown in India and forced on China. Havelock City is built on another national mass grave and crime scene: the site of the former Wellawatte Spinning and Weaving Mills, which was downgraded and destroyed. Industrialization could easily counter the so-called balance of payments crisis. But HSBC and other banks refuse to do so. They enjoy this never-ending debt and default game.
• Another diversionary media spectacle this week, showed some Colombo University students refusing to accept their diplomas from the new Vice Chancellor Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero. They were cheered on by Black-white Colombots. ee doesn’t know much about universities, VCs, priests or temples, but this Thera is probably more linked to the masses than these students will ever be. He has headed the Nurses’ Union (PSUNU), and his temple Abhayaramaya has been a site of resistance over the years. MEP trade unionists Kithsirimewan Ranawaka and Ananda Lal Kiribathgoda were brutally killed during a May Day commemoration at the Abhayarama Temple, Narahenpita, for disregarding the ban imposed by the JR Jayawardene regime in 1987.
Meanwhile in lala land, the Black-whites simply love the arch-imperialist VC Ivor Jennings, who set up a deformed University of Ceylon and was its first VC, 1942-55. He refused to hire one of our most brilliant political economists GVS de Silva, later architect of the classic Paddy Lands Act, which England courts sabotaged by declaring nought is not a number (ee 22 Jan 2021). Our academic Black-whites simply love Jennings, with an annual lecture dedicated to his memory. Jennings is also credited with drafting the fraudulent Constitution of Ceylon to form the Dominion of Ceylon, which keeps us subjugated. England has no constitution. They have rather used us and other countries as their ‘constitutional laboratories’ to trip us up!
• One of the pleasures of being a ‘shithole country’ (as US president Trump referred to African, Central American and Caribbean countries, etc., with some gladly applying it to Sri Lanka as well) is that one has to listen to sermons and lectures, endure whatever ordure emanates from the orifices of those who feel they can speak in such ways.
Take this carelessly (or who knows? carefully!) written Daily Mirror article: ‘The Korean Ambassador in Sri Lanka Santhush Wunjin Jong said Sri Lanka was rich in resources which could be harnessed to develop the country. He said Korea without any such resources was developed to the status of the 12th developed country in the world. Korea gained independence in 1970.’
Korea did not ‘gain’ independence in 1970. Korea is horribly divided. Yet, North Korea is the very definition of independence, while South Korea is colonized by the US. See ee Focus on how South Korea is propped up by the US.
Wikipedia – which ee likes to call Whiteypedia! – now says ‘South Korea and North Korea are entirely different countries, despite still being the same people and on the same peninsula.’ How’s that?! – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_South_Korea
• With the IMF declaring ‘high shipping costs could add to Asia’s inflation in 2022’, on December 16, Maersk struck a deal to ‘effectively run the logistics operations of Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer goods companies… providing operational management of international ocean and air transport’ for Unilever 2022-26. Maersk in-house software NeoNav will develop Unilever’s ‘International Control Tower Solution’ to manage supply chains, to build on the Virtual Ocean Control Tower, planning for ‘full end-to-end global supply chain ownership’. Such ‘4th-party logistics’ (4PL) deals, have clients like Unilever outsource ‘some or all of its supply chain to a single logistics giant like Maersk… to book cargo space on ships and planes from other 3rd-party freight providers. Shipping lines aim to control new corners of the supply chain, fueled by the multibillion dollar profits they’ve racked up during the pandemic. Other shipping lines are also expanding into air freight and freight forwarding. Amazon could launch a rival logistics service in 2022. The global supply chain is increasingly controlled by a few big logistics companies.’ Maersk’s rivals also include CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
Maersk this week also bought Hong Kong’s LF Logistics which has 223 warehouses, including 49 in China, and around 10,000 employees in 14 Asian countries, with land-based warehousing and trucking to over 250 global customers. Maersk will own 549 warehouses globally, creating the world’s 7th-largest contract logistics company behind the likes of UPS, DHL, Kuehne+Nagel. Maersk’s 70,000 clients include the world’s largest corporations. Maersk also provides the US government and their contractors with ‘multimodal transportation and logistics services, managing ‘the world’s largest fleet of internationally trading US-flagged vessels’….
• History of the EIC, 1833 – England ended the East India Company’s monopoly of the English-Asia trade, including their ‘tea’ and opium monopoly in China. There was increasing pressure from English ‘free trade’ merchants who still wanted government support (for carrying out military attacks) but not regulation. After the abolition of the EIC monopoly, opium traffic increased rapidly. The number of English opium merchants resident in Asia rose dramatically.
∞ Joseph Coolidge IV (forbear of US President Calvin Coolidge) and Warren Delano (in China as agent of NL & G Griswold) became partners in opium trader Russell & Co. Delano was great-uncle of later US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
∞ Robert Bennet Forbes of US opium smuggler Russell & Co became the foreign affairs manager for Howqua 2 (Wu Bingjian, 1769-1843, richest Hong merchant, responsible for all of China’s foreign relations with foreign traders by the Chinese Emperor.) Wu Bingjian was the third son of Wu Guorong aka ‘Howqua I’, 1731-1810, the founder of the firm, and claimed as the richest man on earth (before Nathan Rothschild). As the richest Hong merchant in the 13 Factories, and head of the Canton Cohong, one of the select authorized to trade silk and porcelain with foreigners, ‘Howqua II’ developed close ties to opium smugglers James Matheson, William Jardine, Samuel Russell, Abiel Abbot Low – investing US$26million with John Forbes in Boston. To compare, European financier Nathan Rothschild only held $5.3mn in 1828.
∞ Owners of the English ships engaged in the opium trade thru the EIC: Jardine Matheson (Scottish Keswick family), Dent & Co, Pybus Bros, Russell & Co, Cama Bros; Duchess of Atholl, Earl of Balcarras, King George IV (earlier Prince Regent), the Marquis of Camden, Lady Melville. Anglo-American families involved: the Sutherlands, Barings, and Lehmans (Rothschilds’ cousins). The Sutherlands, one of the US south’s biggest slave cotton & opium traders, were cousins of the Mathesons. The Quaker Barings banking family later set up the P&O Steam Navigation Co, the infamous English ferry company, to transport opium.
∞ After the EIC monopoly in China was officially ended, Jardine, Matheson & Co sent the first private shipments of Chinese tea & silk to England, trading Indian opium to China. The first ‘free ship’, Jardine’s Sarah, left Whampoa with a cargo of tea for London. Jardines transformed from a major commercial agent of the EIC to become the largest English trading hong (firm) in Asia. When Chinese emperor tried to ban it, Jardine, Matheson & Co called on England (1840) to invade China.
∞ England’s Lord Napier arrived in Macao. The Parsis, along with private merchants and the agency houses, also agitated economically and politically for an end to the Canton System. Parsis signed a petition to the English government 1830 Dec 21, urging action vs Chinese interference in the opium trade. 24 Parsis signed the letter to William John Napier, Chief Superintendent of Trade at Canton.
∞ Napier thwarted by the China emperor’s Viceroy, died there. James Matheson set up the Canton Chamber of Commerce, and petitioned London demanding the English military force reparations for China’s insult to Napier. Parsi Dadabhai Rustamji Banaji was made a member of the new Chamber of Commerce.
∞ After England’s opium wars, the pirates Jardine-Matheson became the first landlord in Hong Kong. It’s still the largest landlord and biggest employer in Hong Kong… until China fully takes over.
(excerpts from: A Very Personal Ingrisi History of the World: BigBang 2 Imperialism, Amoeba 2 Lenin, Krisantha Sri Bhaggiyadatta)
B. Special Focus_
B1. IMF has No Clothes – Part 2
Economists are the scientific representatives of the bourgeois class, so the socialists and communists are the theoreticians of the proletarian class – Marx, The Poverty of Philosophy
What does ee actually think about the economy, let alone about the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its triplet the World Bank (WB) and World Trade Organization (WTO)!? And what does the IMF/WB really want? Last week’s Random Notes analyzed the IMF/WB strategy to move us away from import substitution to export-led industrialization, which of course has not worked. Such ee ideas come from SBD de Silva’s The Political Economy of Underdevelopment.
What happened to the so-called Asian success stories in 1997 is worth retelling: In 1997 Japan accounted for two-thirds of Asia’s GDP and was the single largest source of Asia’s capital. The Japanese economy was in a slump, with no domestic demand for Japanese bank loans. So 1995-97, Japanese bank lending to Southeast and East Asia skyrocketed. In all ‘emerging markets’ combined – not just Asia – the net inflows of private capital, only $42billion in 1990, soared to $329bn by 1996.
Hedge funds insist they were not responsible for the Asian meltdown. They command much fewer dollars than other market players such as commercial banks. But hedge funds can help spark or accelerate a run on a currency by betting on its fall. Several hedge funds between late 1996 and early 1997 went short against the baht.
Hedging is a destructive practice, but hedge-fund managers, like US-funded thinktanks, claim they’re exposing bad government policies. Soros wrote in The Crisis of Global Capitalism: ‘by selling the Thai baht short in January 1997, the Quantum Funds managed by my investment company sent a signal that it may be overvalued. Had the authorities responded, the adjustment would have occurred sooner and it would have been less painful. As it is, the authorities resisted and when the break came it was catastrophic.’
But throughout spring 1997, speculation against the baht intensified, reaching a crescendo in the second week of May, with the attackers including Soros’s Quantum Fund, other hedge funds, and a host of traders at US financial institutions such as JP Morgan & Co and Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Under normal conditions, short-term ‘interbank market’ loans are routinely ‘rolled over’, or extended, when they expire. But once the crisis started, much of the rolling-over stopped; in other words, ‘Banks were saying, ‘Not only will I stop new lending; you have to repay what you owe me today’.’ (see ee Finance, SL interbank dollar funding costs shoot towards 50%)
Asia’s major capital suppliers soon became the largest capital withdrawers in 1997 and 1998. Japan began the withdrawal earliest and in the largest quantities. Japanese banks held $97billion in loans to the 5 Asian countries hardest hit by turmoil – Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines – 4 times the amount lent by US banks. Japanese banks ‘cut their exposures’ to the region by more than $10bn between June-Dec 1997. European banks had also lent large sums ($85bn) to these 5 Asian countries, too, but mainly to South Korea.
South Korea could not consider default a viable alternative because foreign banks would respond by refusing to grant even routine trade credits in the future. A Finance Ministry official declared: ‘We have to import most energy and raw materials – that’s the fundamental structure of the [South] Korean economy… Once we default, there would be tremendous difficulty obtaining energy and raw materials. The whole economy would halt.’
Much of South Korea’s Central Bank’s hard currency had also been deposited in the overseas branches and affiliates of South Korean banks, where it was already being used to meet debts falling due, and it couldn’t be withdrawn quickly without wrecking the banking system…
Reports on the Asian bailout try to make it look like there was a difference of opinion between Japan and the US, but also differences within and between the IMF, WB, ADB, and of course other European governments. Here’s one example:
‘The phone rang late on Saturday night, 14 Sept 1997, at the Tokyo home of Eisuke Sakakibara, Japanese vice minister of finance for international affairs. The caller was Larry Summers, US Treasury Secretary, obviously angry and apparently in no mood for conversational niceties. ‘I thought you were my friend,’ Summers sputtered. Sakakibara [no stranger to confrontation with high-ranking officials from Washington, but this time in deep] 4 days earlier had sent a confidential document to 5 Asian governments proposing Japan and its neighbors establish an ‘Asian Monetary Fund’armed with tens of billions of dollars in hard currency, and now Washington had obtained a copy. For 2 hours that night, Sakakibara tried to mollify Summers, without success. As far as his US interlocutor was concerned, Sakakibara’s plan posed a grave danger to the proper functioning of the IMF.’
The US then set up a meeting in Manila November 1997 between US and Asian deputy finance ministers. Their ‘Manila Framework’ made the IMF the centre of the official response to crises in the region, killing off Japan’s AMF. A new IMF loan facility, Supplemental Reserve Facility would provide quicker loans than usual IMF loans. The IMF, WB and other multilateral agencies would provide most of the rescue money, and only later, would bilateral loans be allowed.
Sakakibara responded: ‘We were taught a valuable lesson on the influence the US wields in Asia.’
The IMF then struck the deal with Korea. After all there are 40,000 US troops on South Korean soil. The IMF chief did not speak of bringing the chaebol (Korean conglomerates) to heel or of terminating the incestuous ties between the conglomerates and their bankers – issues he publicly harped later.
‘The $21billion IMF portion was the most the IMF had ever lent to a single country, and it was more than 6 times the amount South Korea would normally be allowed to borrow. The Koreans agreed to opening their economy to greater foreign involvement, increasing competition in the financial sector, and weakening the ability of the chaebol to pile on debt from compliant banks. Foreigners would be allowed to establish bank subsidiaries and brokerage houses in the South Korean market by mid-1998, as the US had demanded. The ceiling on aggregate foreign ownership of publicly traded companies would be raised by year-end from 26% to 50%, and the ceiling on individual foreign ownership from 7% to 50%. The nation’s opaque accounting practices would be brought much closer to international standards, with corporations required to submit consolidated balance sheets and profit and loss statements, to discourage the complex webs of loans and crossguarantees the chaebol had established among their subsidiaries. Large financial institutions would be required to submit to audits by internationally recognized firms. The Koreans also backed down on the issue of closing merchant banks.’ But life and business went on as usual…
The IMF’s ‘thought police’ – their Policy Development & Review (PDR) Department – have to ensure a program in a particular country conforms to the institution’s standards and is broadly consistent with programs in other countries.
An IMF mission team of economists carry a document to negotiate a priority list of policies for a country to adopt. Team members have to stick to this pre-agreed approach. Any changes are debated again, privately, with IMF headquarters. Revealing internal differences of opinion to outsiders constitutes a serious breach of discipline, because of the Fund’s need to convey (both to the country’s authorities and to the markets) the impression that it knows what it’s doing. (from The Chastening: Inside the Financial Crisis that Rocked the Global Financial System & Humbled the IMF, Paul Blustein)
Yet the IMF is not humbled at all! The IMF claims after the ‘Asian Contagion’ of 1997, their IMF Institute included a new curriculum to train staffers beyond macroeconomics, so as to grasp complex banking and financial sector issues. The meltdown was blamed on government practices, hot money, hedge funds, financialization, but not on the role of the US, IMF or the banks.
Banks (and the mangers of their capital pools) are behind the exacerbation or amelioration of the crises that capitalism constantly conjures. Economists claim to be divided between those who recognize the role banks play in these crises and those who rather blame our countries, in order to underdevelop us further.
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka was set up in 1950 by US Treasury agent John Exter. We are still a colony, deeply shackled to the US dollar. The CBSL may be holding out from the IMF to merely bargain for better terms. Regional and continental alliances are crucial to escape their bullying. This explains all the English media attacks against any economic alliance with China. Even as the US and the EU have extensive economic relations with China.
When the IMF says they’re rescuing us, they are just rescuing themselves, or rather so-called lenders. The IMF provides emergency loans not to set a country’s economy right, but to bail out Wall Street’s banks. They rescue white banks and corporations who sold us goods we shouldn’t have bought, but should have made, in the first place, but they prevented us from making.
The IMF favors using high rates to make the country a more attractive place for foreign investors to hide their money.The IMF usually demands higher interest rates so their moneymen can gamble with our economies, while keeping their own interest rates low to protect their industries.
These capitalists have no plan to employ people with dignity or develop new modern machine-making skills. They demand the selling of national assets to private individuals. They may be Sri Lankan of course, but these locals, tycoons or not, are merely fronts. The US or Europeans will later gobble them up.
Media appearances about the economy are highly orchestrated theatre performances targeting different audiences. In the US, the IMF has to appear in charge. In Sri Lanka, the politicians have to appear as if they’re in charge.
Because we are ‘integrated’ into the capitalist system as an underdeveloping appendage, the government cannot kick out the US-government fronts like the IMF or US-government-regulated ratings agencies like Fitch, Moody’s, S&P.
When a US credit rating agency downgrades sovereign debt of a country, that country’s debt instruments might have to be downgraded accordingly because of the sovereign ceiling doctrine. Commercial banks in the country rated as sub-investment grade can no longer issue internationally recognized letters of credit for domestic exporters and importers, isolating the country from international capital markets. This also explains this week’s Fitch Rating attacking the Bank of Ceylon.
B2. The Fraud of Appointing Business Tycoons to Head State Enterprises – Chandra Maliyadde
The drug mafia, fraudulent business operations, forces detrimental to the country, common global challenges, rising cost of living, obsolete economic tools and foreign debt burden, State Enterprises are mentioned as challenges to the 2022 budget.
The budget proposes improving business focus and financial discipline of State-Owned Enterprises (SOE). But the proposed measures are not effective, not adequate, touching only the surface. The Board of Investment (BOI), Export Development Baord (EDB) and SL Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) have pathetically failed in improving investments, exports and tourism. These agencies pay lucrative emoluments & perks to staff; conduct road-shows, fairs, conferences and Expos in foreign lands at extravagant costs; import content of material & equipment used in construction and in export products is exorbitantly high, drain out more foreign exchange than what they earn. Is there a better option than bidding ‘goodbye’ to such white elephants?
Some SOEs are gobbling a good chunk of public funds but suffer from managerial incompetency. They are created and maintained for prestige. Successive governments appointed business tycoons, owners and shareholders as chairpersons of SOEs. They run their own enterprises with record profits; they run SOEs with record losses. The secret is they own a business but do not manage; their business is managed by efficient handpicked managers. Evidence is flying high in the sky.
The budget is correct in ‘Unproductive high expenditures and weaknesses in expenditure controls have resulted, in often governments not being able to properly engage in expenditure management’. But the budget has increased provisions for ‘unproductive high expenditure’ such as highways and defence, and reduced the fuel allocations to MPs by a mocking pittance. The Budget allocates Rs280 billion for Colombo Port Access Elevated Expressway, New Kelani Bridge-Athurugiriya Elevated Expressway, Central Expressway, Kurunegala-Dambulla Expressway, Ruwanpura Expressway, Colombo-Moratuwa Marine Drive and Flyovers in the city of Colombo, and rural roads and bridges.
This type of infrastructure bears a long gestation period. They will not improve the social & economic standards of majority of people. Construction material, equipment, technology and even labour are wholly imported, draining limited foreign exchange out. Community participation and benefits will be marginal; maintenance cost extremely high, inviting more highway tragedies, adding little or no value, mostly non-paying, hardly promoting any economic activity.
The decision to issue quarterly warrants, instead of the annual warrant to Government entities, is timely and effective. Most Government institutions do not have a disbursement plan aligned to their mandate and objectives. During the early part of the year, capital expenditure is low and slow. The agencies accelerate spending haphazardly during the latter part, to avoid under-expenditure and audit quarries. They make advance payments to other Government entities to demonstrate higher disbursement. Quarterly warrants would keep agencies alert.
The Minister laments over the inefficiency and the overstaffing of the public sector. His solution to ‘inefficient over-burdened’ public sector is: ‘Steps will be taken to offer permanent appointments from January 2022 to over 53,000 graduates who are already recruited to the government service as trainees. It is expected that around Rs27,600million will be necessary for this’, and extension of the retirement age of ‘inefficient public servants’ up to 65 years.
New recruitment to public service especially graduates could be terminated. Instead, Government can introduce a lucrative (employer-employee-government) contributory pension scheme for those employed outside the public sector.
This Budget tries to revive the 5-Hubs concept that remained as wishful thinking for over a decade. We talk of knowledge hub but have failed to put our house in order. Instead of becoming a knowledge industry, education has become a money-making industry full of ‘tuition shops’ around. We talk of naval hub. But international shipping lines complain of the presence of 100,000s of small fishing boats crossing international naval routes with a faint light interfering and misguiding ship crews at night. Sri Lanka is a best tea-producing country. Dubai situated in the middle of the desert which does not grow a single tea bush, established the world tea hub while we are dangling with the 5-Hub concept.
To encourage the usage of non-toxic weedicides and production of organic fertiliser and to introduce new agro-technologies, the Budget has allocated a total of Rs61,000million. No implementation mechanism is identified. Budget is silent on how this money would be allocated, for whom for what purpose, how much, how often and beneficiary selection. More questions than answers.
The scenario unfolded after the President declared Sri Lanka is the first country in the entire universe to achieve 100% organic farming. Whether the cash-trapped Government can afford to bear such a monstrous layout is questionable. The Sri Lankan farmer is already over-subsidised and over-dependent. More Government assistance would push the farmer further down his current subsistence level. Modernisation & commercialisation of farming will remain a distant dream.
Budget allocates Rs5,000million to establish new industrial zones with land, electricity, water, access roads both internal and external to accommodate SMEs. In Sri Lanka most of the industrial estates and export promotion zones have ended up with failures and losses due to dislocation, misidentification and mismanagement. The new proposal would add a few more estates to that list. Further, providing mere infrastructure facilities would not address the woes of SMEs.
Budget says that at the time of drafting the Vistas of Prosperity & Splendour’ document, people unanimously requested rural schools with teachers of English, Science, Technological Studies , playgrounds, rural hospitals, sanitation facilities, rural roads, safe drinking water, rehabilitation of tanks and canals, electricity, telecommunication, technology, marketing and financing facilities, and protection from wild elephants. Unfortunately, the authors of VPS have vanished along with their vision and the majority of 6.9 million voters. Problems remain in bigger magnitude.
The Finance Minister explains the objective of allocating such a colossal amount for rural development: ‘Our foremost objective is to strengthen the rural economy, raise the income level of rural families, liberate them from the subsistence mentality, integrate their economic activities to the mainstream, increase GDP and minimise income disparity.’
The intention is noble, but not achievable within a span of time as short as 3-4 years. There are innumerable constraints and bottlenecks in implementation of infrastructure development programs in the rural sector. Capacity issues, unavailability of materials and equipment, lack of technical support, absence of contractors, are only a few. Further, the entire responsibility of implementation and coordination will fall upon the Divisional Secretary (DS) who has become a jack of all trades. The Finance Minister with all his wisdom has to make available more than 24 hours a day for the poor DS.
The Budget allocates around Rs15,000million to establish a mini supermarket network at the Grama Niladhari Division level, while the Trade Minister boasts about opening an additional 1,000 CWE shops. The Government-sponsored mini-supermarket network will beat CWE in inefficiency and corruption. There is a well-working supermarket structure run by private enterprises in urban/semi urban areas. Government must encourage them to establish mini supermarkets in rural areas.
In brief, the Budget carries a few pluses along with some strategic thoughts and more minuses, and wishful thinking arising from the attempt to live up to the boosted image built around its architect. This year Santa Claus has come early with a bulging bag of imaginary Rupees.
Suspension of constructing new public office building, pruning President’s Budget, conversion of the service economy to a producing economy, developing inland fishery sector, strengthening the rural economy, are among pluses.
But, some of them cannot be implemented; some are incomplete and inadequate; some are wishful thinking; some are not feasible and realistic; some are damaging. The President’s budget is pruned down but the Defence Minister’s budget is raised. Much attention is paid for inland fishery development but forgotten the fish-populous sea around the island and the large fishing community living at the mercy of rough seas and monopolistic fish buyers.
The Budget is a mirror effect of the inconsistency, incoherence and confusion prevailing at different levels of the Government. The private sector is treated as a source for tax revenue but not as an engine of growth. The Budget is not an integrated program for the year. Using the budget to build up the Rajapaksa legacy is inappropriate, and harmful. The Budget is a story of faulty and faltering, rather than a success. Funds allocation for the apparel industry, SMEs, tourism, school van operators, private bus operators, 3wheelers, wedding and entertainment, reflect the failure and the bankruptcy of the engine of growth.
The Budget allocates billions of Rupees for millions of activities without feasibility. Fortunately, it would remain only in the document as Government is cash trapped with no funds. The Minister has forgotten that the country remains a ‘developing state’ since DM Rajapaksa, his father’s elder brother, was a representative in the second State Council in 1936. And now the Finance Minister’s elder brother is running the country… – ft.lk/columns/As-I-see-Budget-2022/4-727968
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.
• Douglas Wickremaratne is no more
• US Senate confirms Julie Chung as next US envoy to Sri Lanka
‘The former Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs…Fluent in Korean, Japanese, Spanish and Khmer, Seoul-born Chung was also Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs, Deputy Chief of Mission in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Economic Counsellor at the US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, Chief of Staff to the Transition Coordinator in Baghdad, Iraq, and also in Colombia, Vietnam and Japan, and Guangzhou, China. Chung told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Sri Lanka is positioned in a strategic location at the heart of the Indian Ocean and its critical ports with access to global maritime lanes and trading routes play a pivotal role in a free and open Indo-Pacific architecture’
• Global Tamil Forum Seems Deluded at the Misguided US Sanctions on SL Army Officers
• From meeting LTTE’s Pottu, Balraj and Soosai to being Sri Lanka’s top envoy in Canada
• Sri Lanka premier Mahinda Rajapaksa on two-day pilgrimage to Tirupati, India
• Australia and Lanka partner to boost border security
‘to support the installation of Vessel Tracking and Monitoring Solution transponders on more than 4,500 multi-day fishing vessels, as well as assisting in the establishment of a land-based monitoring centre that enhances Sri Lanka’s maritime domain awareness and surveillance capability’
• Superpower’s superior democracy!
• Do US sanctions work?
• India wants Lanka to first walk the talk on China – Col. Hariharan
• 43 Indian fishermen arrested with six trawlers in local waters
• 15 Lankans face charges in Kerala over LTTE links
• 12 minority parties to sign a document on devolution of power
• Beijing bares it in Jaffna, warms up to Tamils in Sri Lanka – Indian Express
• Chinese envoy visits point close to India
‘In an apparently strategic move, China’s ambassador Qi Zhenhong visited the Northern Province, including Sri Lanka’s northern most point, Sakkotai Cape in Point Pedro overlooking India’
• Japan supports University of Jaffna to play a more impactful role in dry zone agriculture
• Japan to construct school buildings for resettled children in North
• Korean envoy meets Kandy Mayor
• UNHRC is not about human rights; it is about politics.
‘India, one of the founding fathers of the Non Aligned Movement, has abandoned that policy for all intents and purposes’
• US HRW says EU should work with intl partners to prevent abuses in Lanka
• Meeting with 17 envoys: Prof. Peiris explains unfairness of UN strategy
‘New Ambassadors from Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Hungary, Mauritania, Tunisia, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Spain and Slovenia. The new High Commissioners represent Sierra Leone, Ruwanda, Botswana, Malta, Republic of Guyana and Nigeria.
• SL is accustomed to playing China against India and leveraging on its locational advantage
• SL Can Follow Bangladesh’s Act Of ‘Balancing Capability’ In Strategic ‘Bay of Bengal’
• India deploys first battery of Russian S-400 air defense systems in western Punjab state
• Concert for Bangladesh, Victory In East, Birth of Bangladesh, Rape of Bengal – Part II, III, IV
• US plays Tibet card as India seeks modus vivendi with China
• US Sanctions Push 22 Million Afghans into Severe Starvation
• Karzai ‘invited’ Taliban to stop chaos
• Taliban recognition as a state
‘Is it a requisite for the Taliban rule to gain state recognition under international law?… Region, population, sovereignty and the ability to engage in interactions with other states are all core elements of statehood, as stated in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States. The people residing in that region must be socially organised, governed and represented by officials in order for the government to be competent and independent enough to engage in international legal relations. Significantly, if one of the constituent parts is lacking, the state does not dissolve; rather, it remains’
• When are the Indians returning to Afghanistan?
‘Islamabad meeting in Afghanistan with foreign ministers from 57-member Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC, with special invitees from the UN system, international financial institutions and some select non-member states, including the US, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, Russia as well as the EU. Unsurprisingly, India stands excluded.’
• Taliban seek ties with US, other ex-foes
• Introducing Democracy to Hong Kong and Macao
• Japan agrees to pay more for hosting U.S. troops
• Japan angry at U.S. troops in Okinawa
• Solomon Islands accepts Chinese offer for riot police help
• Iran And The Houthi Split? No, A Reporter Fell For ‘Exclusive’ Spin.
• UN to cut food aid to Yemen amid funding shortfall
• Israeli military changes open-fire rules to shoot Palestinian protesters who toss rocks
• Retired Israeli general warns of destruction in all-out war
• Nord Stream 2 is a double-edged geopolitical tool
‘Germany has suspended Nord Stream 2 certification; and, Russian gas stops flowing into Germany from December 21, 2021’
• Russia Details Security Demands to USA And NATO
‘NATO sneaking into the Ukraine endangers Russia’s core security interests…’
• What Russia Says About Its Not-An-Ultimatum Demands To The U.S. And NATO
• U.S. Navy Acknowledges Russian Weapon Superiority
• UN says more than 160 migrants drown in shipwrecks off Libya
• Madagascar shipwreck death toll rises to 85
• Venezuela rejects England’s judicial decision that prevents recovery of international reserves
• As UN recognizes Maduro, Canada increasingly isolated on world stage
• 2,289 Cuban soldiers gave their lives on internationalist missions in Africa
• Protesters in Guadeloupe angry over COVID rules occupy legislature
• Guatemalan massacre victims defy state of siege
• Chile: The Candidate of the ‘Left’ Boric and his Constant Criticisms of Venezuela and Cuba
• Citing Wet’suwet’en Law, Hereditary Chiefs evict Coastal GasLink from their Territory
• Protecting the Nazis: The Extraordinary Vote of Ukraine and the USA
• Joe Biden presidency on the skids. World must take note.
• New York Times reveals widespread pattern of civilian deaths and cover-ups in U.S. air wars
• Retired U.S. army generals warn of insurrection or civil war in 2024
• Pentagon to crack down on extremism in its ranks
• School-shooting threats on TikTok prompt closures in U.S.
• UN offices often staffed by cynical time-servers put in by the ruling class of their home state
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.
• Sharp increase in rape of underaged girls
• Police and Catholic priest avert villagers burning down bus after accident
• Four policemen killed as Sergeant opens fire in Thirukkovil
• No file in court moves from one point to another except with payment
• Vikum Kaluarachchi sworn in as Court of Appeal judge
• Prof. Tissa Vitarana rebutted by Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Forum
• Discipline is one of the most important aspects in military officer’s life: Prez
• Pakistan Navy’s PNS Tughril departs Lanka after successful naval exercise
‘Naval exercise with Sri Lanka Naval Ship, SLNS Sindurala off the western coast’
• Great friend across Palk Strait: General Bipin Rawat
• Five injured after Jaffna students clash at a hotel in Kopay
• Mullaitivu residents demand justice over killing of 12-year-old girl
• Muslim prisoners severely beaten in Badulla prison
• Sri Lanka cabinet nod for signing nuclear weapons prohibition treaty
• #Datascam: Is your data safe anymore?
• Magazine Prison was converted to hold the defendants in the 1962 Coup Case
• ‘Police Day’ launched to resolve issues of Police officers
• State power over religion helps Saudi Arabia curb radicalism
• FBI undercover teams infiltrated Portland racial justice protests
• The Mind Numbing Hypocrisy of England’s Supreme Court
• England’s Courts Capitulation to the United States on Assange
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.
• Sri Lanka minister proposes coupon system for essential food, fuel as prices soar – Vasudeva
• DEW: IMF can’t intervene in rescheduling international sovereign bonds; SJB disagrees
• Tissa Vitarana critical of budget in LSSP’s 86 the anniversary statement
‘Says its focused on small section of capitalist class. Little support for small traders and SMEs. No program for overall development of agriculture sector. Expolitation of farmers continues without any govt. support. Opposition to Yugadanavi deal welcomed’
• Writing in Times of Crisis: One Hundred Red Notes – Ahilan Kadirigamar
• Daily Mirror conversation with Dr. Kenneth De Zilwa
• As I see: Budget 2022 – Maliyadde
• Provincial GDP reflects enormous disparity between regional economies
• What did you do with all that ‘easy’ credit – when you were on a ‘high’?
‘Now that creditors are at your door, which assets will you dispose? Or will you look for new creditors to settle the old?’
• Govt in a sinister move to deny the country’s bankrupt status: UNP Ruwan
• Sri Lanka may draw down US$1.5bn China swap
• Lanka records negative economic growth of 1.5% in 3rd quarter
• Fitch downgrades BOCs Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating
• Fitch downgrades Sri Lanka’s long-term foreign-currency IDR to ‘CC’
‘Sri Lanka’s economic performance is likely to weaken in 2022’
• Moody’s ICRA Lanka urges government to seek IMF assistance to prevent hard landing
• Fitch’s decision to downgrade Sri Lanka shows nothing but recklessness : CBSL
‘that Fitch Ratings decided to downgrade Sri Lanka without waiting until the first test date of 31 December 2021 shows nothing but recklessness,’
• Stop making false allegations against rating agencies: Sajith tells Govt.
• Forget Fitch, the reality is resolving the forex crisis
• Fitch Ratings talk: ‘Bring back a new Yahapalanaya’
• Ruling party propagandists have claimed that the government does as the CB says
• Needed IMF facility would take a few months for approval – Sanderatne
• No other way to get out of crisis than foreign direct investment (FDI) and exports” – Abeyratne
• Device inequity is more pressing for virtual learners – Wijewardena
• Surging money supply pulls inflation to double-digit mark – Colombage
• IMF programs useful in building confidence: Bellwether
• No government, ever took any meaningful step in the direction of curtailing borrowing
• Advocata calculates 55 SOEs have lost a cumulative Rs. 1.2 trillion from 2006-2020
• It’s high time Sri Lanka brought SOE privatisation to the policy table: Advocata
• SL, India, Pakistan, Maldives, Nepal & Bhutan Can Learn ‘Bangladesh Economic Model’
• Neo banks and alternative finance
‘Globally, about 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked’
• Privatisation of Public Sector for Cronies, a Brazen Contempt of India’s Constitution
• Apple & Value
• World Association for Political Economy (WAPE) 15
• Another Kind of Globalization
‘4 questions on the Belt and Road Initiative for Jan Turowski, Head of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung’
• Chile: copper-bottomed? – Roberts
‘the rate of exploitation in Chile’s economy rose or fell according to the movement of the copper price’
• The Coronavirus Pandemic has Widened Global Inequalities – Toussaint
• The World has Enough Food to Feed Everyone
• Economics Books of the Year
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.
• Ten biz chambers jointly threaten Gov’t their members will relocate operations, wants IMF
• No request for IMF funding during visit: IMF
• SLPP’s National Freedom Front (NFF) ally demands restoration of price control
• Expected Foreign Exchange Inflows and the Official Reserve Position
• Sri Lanka to maintain healthy reserve position throughout Year 2022
• Sri Lanka rupee dollar swap discounts jump amid forex crisis
• January-October BoP deficit balloons to US $ 3.3bn
‘private sector is struggling to obtain foreign currencies to finance the much needed imports’
• Sri Lanka terms of trade improve amid currency troubles
• CBSL assures foreign reserves will be over $3b by next week
• Sri Lanka cabinet debates IMF bailout for second week
• Govt. hikes fuel prices
• Govt. claims fuel hike’s one-off impact on inflation is 3%
• Water tariff go up if tariff on electricity increases: Vasudeva
• Lanka IOC also hikes fuel price
• Lanka IOC stocks thrive as India considers economic relief package for Sri Lanka
• Private bus operators demand fare hike and fuel concessions
• Govt. agrees to bus fare hike
• School van fees to increase
• Bakery Owners’ Assn. to refrain from interfering with price hike
• NO price controls for bakery products from midnight
• Unfair to hike fuel prices when prices decline in global market: JVP
• Unbearably high energy prices in Europe
• Sri Lanka sees virtues of a fuel price formula as key JVP policy questioned
• JB stages torchlight protest against fuel & commodity prices
• Terrible frauds at Inland Revenue, the Department of Excise and Sri Lanka Customs
• Sri Lanka’s economy contracts in 3Q 2021-DCS
‘especially in the wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing industry, construction industry, transportation, accommodation and food serving and providing private services’
• NCPI annual average headline inflation rises to 6.2%, while Y-o-Y inflation increases to 11.1%
• Rising veg prices change consumer behaviour; health warning from top nutritionist
• CBSL will raise over US $ 3 Bn in foreign reserves before year-end; Cabraal
• Sri Lanka’s bond yields edge up
• I told foreign missions, donor agencies to go ahead and assist SL: Sajith
• Sajith hammers Govt. over “first truthful statement”
• “Every problem is attributed to the shortage of US dollars”: Ruwan W, UNP Deputy Leader
• Sinking external finances: The myth of an Indian rescue
• Smell of death, stench of gas duopoly and regulatory rot linger
• Sri Lanka imports up 24.5% in October 2021
• Exporters needing to import materials, cannot afford delays – National Chamber of Exporters
• Arrest Santa Claus – Gara X
‘Tis the hamper season. Corporations openly bribe each other and public officials. Check out the top supermarkets! Look at what the He-She-Hos (CEOs) and their executives are executing!’
• Indian MSMEs hit by Raw Materials’ Price Rise, Entrepreneurs Down Shutters in Protest
• Cuban Parliament Approves Economic Plan and State Budget for 2022
‘10 billion pesos will be allocated to science, technology, and innovation, of which 38% will be financed by the Budget and will be mainly focused on food production, energy, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and information and communications technologies’
• Shopping is going to be a lot more painful in 2022
‘Although wages are increasing too, U.S. inflation is outpacing it by some distance: The gap between the two is the biggest it’s been for more than 20 years.’
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
• Station Masters to refrain from transporting, accepting parcels, issuing tickets (Dec. 22)
• Railway suffers heavy loss as result of ticket non-issuance: Station Masters’ Union
• Railway Superintendents Union to launch strike from Thursday (23)
• GMOA doctors launch strike in five districts
• GMOA strike action suspended
• Intern Appointments should not be based on whims of trade unions : AMS
• Sri Lanka school teachers threaten trade union action again
• Hardy Advanced Technological Institute students on protest
• Woman worker killed after elevator collapse in Kadugannawa
• Sri Lankan apparel sector signs historic MoU with trade unions
‘The Joint Apparel Association Forum Sri Lanka (JAAF) is the apex body of Sri Lanka’s apparel industry while the Union Collective comprises the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union, SL Nidahas Sewaka Sangamaya and the National Union of Seafarers’
• Newly married youth in low-income category to receive lands
• Sri Lanka remittances down to 12 year low in Nov 2021
• Mandatory conversion of foreign earnings
• CBSL adds merry to season with further incentives for workers’ remittances
• Sri Lanka extends parallel exchange rate for expat workers
• Reconsider decision to shut down Consulate in Cyprus: Hadunnetti
‘6,000 Sri Lankan expatriate worker faced difficulty claiming the Cyprus Social Security Fund’
• CB Governors eligible for pensions regardless of period
‘Other public sector employees requiring at least 10 years of service to qualify’
• 2022 university intake to be increased by 10,000
• SLAF hands over Mig-27 fighter aircraft to Moratuwa Uni Aeronautical Engineering Degree
• Australia to support Sri Lanka in becoming an educational hub
• Certificates Arrived with Colonialism – Nalin de Silva
• The Strike at Ven. Muruththettuve – Nalin de Silva
• Drama at Colombo Uni graduation ceremony
• CBK lauds Colombo Uni. Students’ denial to receive degrees from Ven. Muruttettuwe Ananda
• Ven. Walpola Rahula Hamuduruwo was Vice Chancellor of Vidyalankara University.
• Graduation: Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology, largest giver of foreign degrees
• Nobody heard of the loathsome word “tuition”
• The US education strategy: steal the best brains from countries which need these brains most
• Teaching in Northern SL: Battling standardisation and Taylorism in education on the margins
• A Bigger Picture: how the Humanities can widen our perspectives
• British Council plans to reopen teaching centres for young learners
• Three dead and dozens missing after boat carrying refugees sinks in Aegean Sea
‘since 2014, over 23,000 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to seek asylum in Europe’
• English and French rescue crews let 27 refugees drown
• Amazon denied sick leave to workers who later died on the job
• How some US Starbucks Workers Emerged Victorious in Their Union Fight
• US Kellogg workers approve labor contract and end 11-week strike
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.
• White Western Advice on Agriculture
• Adaptation and sustainability integral to ancient agriculture
• Walsapugala farmers protest demanding a wild elephant reserve, continues
• Kilo of rice might hit Rs 500: All Ceylon Agrarian Federation
• Vegetable shortage and price rise inevitable: All Ceylon Dedicated Economic Centers Assoc.
• The future is now in the hands of the farmers: Duminda Dissanayake
• Essential food containers worth $25m stuck in Port due to forex crisis
• Tracified says helps 10,000 Lankan farmers to move up the value chain
‘Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), co-financed by the European Union (EU), and implemented by GIZ Sri Lanka…also: secured a project to promote Sri Lankan handicrafts in socially responsible ventures industries, engaging with Selyn and Kantala in a USAID funded project’
• Fertiliser importers tell Govt. to settle arrears of Rs. 26b
• Dr. Godahewa admits undue haste in banning agrochemicals caused irreparable damage
‘President had ordered the process to be telescoped into five years, but the project had gone pear-shaped due to someone’s decision to issue a gazette banning the import of agrochemicals’
• Food shortage ‘Gotabaya-made disaster’- JVP
• Fresh organic tender for Yala season
• Fertilisers allocated for tea industry grabbed for maize farmers
• Fertilizer: SL cannot lose a friend like China for USD 6.5 million – Johnston
• North Western Province Farmers reject liquid fertiliser
• Joint business forum to facilitate Sri Lanka’s sustainable organic Agriculture initiative
‘Sri Lanka Embassy in Germany with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce , German Agribusiness Alliance (GAA) and Sri Lanka-Germany Business Council (SLGBC) organized the Forum’
• Agriculture Ministry Secretary says, advisors responsible bungling green agriculture drive
• Agriculture Secy. warns of food crisis before being removed
• Agro sector mess: Govt. cannot absolve itself of responsibility by sacking Secy. – Opposition
• Agro sector mess: SJB says sacked Ministry Secy one of the culprits
• Why did government stop short of removing Agriculture Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage
• Indian trawlers vacuum up Sri Lankan fish stocks after wrecking their own
“During this season [July-August], we used to catch small fish varieties of neththali (anchovy), kooral, lobster, sardine, milk shark (paal sura), pomfret (Vaaval) nearer the coast and those days are gone now… I used to get around 30-35 kilograms of fish in one trip, whereas a local trawler brings at least 2,000 kilos… they wipe out everything on the seabed. What can we do?”
• ADB partners JKH for $ 80 m boost for food value chains and farm livelihoods
• Govt. fast-tracks subsidies to boost rubber crop
• Stax recognised for helping automate Sri Lanka’s tea industry
‘Stax developed a platform linking pre-auction, auction, and post-auction processes with Colombo Tea Traders’ Association (CTTA) Automation Committee Chairman Huzefa Akbarally..’
• Browns (BIL) buys two James Finlay estates
‘BIL is also engaged in fertiliser, crop care and seeds business via AgStar… Finlays has 7,285 hectares of tea farms with 20 tea processing factories…is part of Swire Group, and has tea plantations in Kenya, Argentina and China with a combined hectarage of 27,000’
• Evergreen emerges as largest tea producing group in 2021
• Planters’ Association condemns politically-connected land encroachments at Madampe Estate
• Scientific marine tourism: how ready are we?
• Animal Rights – Dolphin Detail
• Phantoms of the Night: Wildcats of Sri Lanka
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.
• Confusion over foreign ship anchored off Batticaloa coast – Alleged titanium mining operation?
• SL Govt.- US New Fortress Energy agreement a saviour
• Mixed signals from CEB on possible power shedding
• Power cuts certain as it stands- CEBEU
• Threat of power crisis looming large – engineer
• Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Managing Director resigns
• Crude oil to be purchased from Singapore on credit for 180 days
• Iran, SL sign $ 251 m oil-for-tea deal
• LAUGFS gets approval to distribute LPG
‘“To import need monthly 55,000 tons of LPG will require around $ 40 million per month. The banks are refusing to issue the foreign exchange.’
• US$200,000 as demurrage for three LNG tankers due to delayed tests – Litro
• Not certain as to how she was injured while cooking: Singer corrects Daily FT story
• New Committee at Ship Suppliers Association
‘H.D.S. Niroshana – Vice Chairman, Kadir Ishak.-Board Member. Capt. Nirmal P. Silva-Harbour Master, T.I.C. Fernando –Secretary, O.I.C. Fernando -Board Member, Deepika Wijesuriya -Board Member, J.M. Faiz-Chairman, Jose Gunaratne -Board Member, Nishantha Cooray-Board Member and S.H. Mohammed -Board Member’
• Colombo International Container Terminals celebrates 10th anniversary
• High shipping costs could add to Asia’s inflation in 2022: IMF
• SriLankan Airlines told to pay for jet fuel in dollars — or else
• Does a country need a national airline?
• Cloud Transformation: Enabling Global MNCs to Overhaul Operations
‘Sri Lankan growth-enabler Lexicon Tech is helping Hong Kong-based group SSGIL (Shun Shing Group International Ltd) transform business with Oracle Cloud.’
• Sri Lanka and Nepal eye construction links, building material trade
• Gnanam’s Tokyo Cement invests Rs.2.5bn to expand Colombo Port terminal capacity
• INSEE Cement announces 1 million ton grinding capacity expansion at Ruhunu Plant
• “Lanka Ashok Leyland laying foundation for local vehicle manufacturing”: Industries Minister
• Vehicle importers urge government to introduce credible survival plan
‘increasing import bill for spare parts for maintaining older vehicles, (leave aside the pollution factor) and the ability of each legitimate company to meet their overheads’
• Sri Lanka can achieve 80% self-sufficiency in ceramics: Wimal
• MAGA completes 528-unit urban regeneration housing project at Kalinga Mawatha
• Research work on making sauce from Palmyra successfully completed
‘The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka and the Palmyra Development Board have supported in establishing the PalmyraResearch Institute.’
• Rubber Product sector achieved 1 Bn Target in 2021
• GRI acquires specialty tyre firm Protyre in the Baltics
• First Michelin Tyre Service concept store inaugurated in Colombo by India and DIMO
• ADB-funded health sector enhancement project marred by irregularities
‘Increase of equipment and furniture estimated at Rs. 19 billion from the previous allocation of Rs. 9 billion estimated in the original budget. Procurement of reagents and consumables for COVID-19 (TRPCR test) under Contract awarded stipulates a massive amount of Rs. 112 Million…next Generation Genetic Sequencer purchased at a colossal amount of Rs. 90 million some time back is still lying in boxes at Apeksha Hospital without being utilised due to incompleteness of ancillary equipment, computational systems and trained personnel to operate these complex medical systems’
• Finance Ministry assistance sought to purchase essential medicines: Prof. Jayasumana
• Navy-manufactured thalassemia infusion systems handed over to Ministry of Health
• Govt. accused of undercutting gene sequencing done by Jayewardenepura University
• China donates medical equipment to SJB’s ‘Husmak’ initiative
• Why USA Has Never Had A COVID Plan
• US donates over 820,000 additional Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines to Sri Lanka
• Sobitha Thero urges Govt. to withdraw new licenses granted to manufacture liquor
• Spotlight on SMEs: Footwear industry buckles under dollar crisis
• Printcare to sell 45% in JV to US firm for Rs. 1.2 b
‘Ragama’s r-Pac Printcare specialises in manufacture of hang tags, fabric care labels, self-adhesives labels, heat transfer labels and hardline packaging… MJF Holdings owns 26.87% stake in Printcare whilst K.R. Ravindran owns 21% stake.’
• Advantis 3PL Plus expands Sri Lanka’s largest distribution hub ALC under phase 2
• Industrial Technological Institute has a unit for the Assessment of Industrial Pollution
• Thornton and Dane wins Rs 1.8 bn contract to build JAT Property Group’s ‘146 Residencies’
‘Directors of Thornton and Dane comprises of Messrs. Dinesh Schaffter (Chairman), Deepthi Perera (Managing Director), Piyal Hennayake (CEO), Sivasothy Sitharthan and Eng. K. P. I. U. Dharmapala’
• DIMO’s PESHA qualification recognised by IHK Germany and AHK Sri Lanka
‘Nuremberg Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) and the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Sri Lanka (AHK Sri Lanka) recognising the Diploma in Plant Engineering for Sanitary Heating and Air Conditioning (PESHA)’
• English High Commissioner at AOD Graduate School on partnering De Montfort University
• Sri Lanka based NCINGA boosts Fiji Telecom
• Manufacturing-led development in the digital age: how power trumps technology
• Maersk/LF Logistics: deal makes giant shipper even more powerful
‘Assets include freight forwarding, customs & trade services & cargo consolidation businesses’
• US Intel apologises in China over Xinjiang supplier statement
• S. Korea begins trial run of hydrogen heavy duty trucks
• International Thief Thief – Fela Kuti
‘International Telephone and Telegraphwas behind the murder of 30,000 people in Chile in 1974
• Repurposing the Canadian war industry’s resources for socially useful production
‘A 2018 study of the war sector found that it contributed $6.2-billion in GDP and 60,000 jobs to the Canadian economy’
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.
• Sri Lanka interbank dollar funding costs shoot towards 50%
• Alliance Finance Company PLC secures USD 10 mn Netherlands’ FMO in long term financing
‘In 2017, AFC became the first financial institution in SL NBFI sector to commit to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) & Paris Agreement on Climate Change after signing‘Karlsruhe resolution’.
• Standard Chartered fined £46.6m for misreporting liquidity position
• Stock market investors concerned about sudden fuel price hike
• Investor sentiment rebounds; retailers pump up Lanka IOC over fuel hike fortunes
“The LIOC is the key factor that has been moving the index up these days. After the Finance Minister’s recent visit to India, the market expects Sri Lanka to give more storage tanks in Trincomalee oil tank farm and the company to handle more fuel sales given Sri Lanka does not have dollars to import oil.”
• Retail investors drive surge in stocks: Softlogic share prices appreciate
• Big foreign investor calls for clear rules for IPO applications and allocations
• Expolanka enters BlackRock iShares MSCI Frontier and Select EM ETF
• HNB Finance acquires Prime Finance
‘buying a controlling 87.27% from Prime Lands…In 2014, Hatton National Bank bought 51% of then Prime Grameen Microfinance from Prime Lands Group and renamed it HNB Grameen. Then in 2018, HNB Grameen was renamed as HNB Finance. Prime Lands still has a 38 % stake in HNB Finance.’
• Janashakthi Group’s First Capital Holdings’ First Capital Treasuries trading on CSE
• DFCC Bank signs MOU with National Chamber of Exporters (NCE)
• Mastercard and Mahela Jayawardena Promote the Use of Digital Payments
• JPMorgan’s Crime Wave Continues
• Ready for Next Wall Street Bailout
• Bloomberg says Macho Culture and Risk-Taking on Wall Street Is Dead
• JPMorgan Chase Owns 62 Percent of all Stock Derivatives Held at 4,914 Banks in the U.S.
• Dallas Fed, Home to the Largest Trading Scandal in Fed History
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’
• JKH on course to become a ‘modern and premium’ conglomerate: Krishan Balendra
‘with over 70 companies in 7 diverse industry sectors., Keells employs over 14,000 persons’
• Former Executive claims Rs. 25 m damages after new Chairman initiates probe
• Prabhash Subasinghe appointed to Hemas board
‘founder of GRI (Global Rubber Industries and GSF (Global Sea Foods), Ayenka Holdings, Subasinghe is principal shareholder of Ceylinco Insurance PLC, with investments in Sanasa Development Bank (SDB) and Sampath Bank, immediate past Chairman of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB)’
• The tragic and needless destruction of Raj Rajaratnam, price-giver extraordinaire
• Janashakthi Insurance third quarter 2021 total income of Rs.5.2 billion
• HSBC takes eight floors of Havelock City’s office tower
• Sangakkara’s CPG lights the way for luxury real estate with over LKR 2.5 billion worth of sales
• Selendiva Investments calls for EOIs to develop GOH, York Building
• Bangladesh’s Assistance To Sri Lanka Increases Image and Presitge
• India And Bangladesh Can Benefit From Growing Trade And Economic Ties
‘Bangladesh & India share a 4096-kilometer-long (2545 miles) international border, fifth-longest land border in the world, including 262 km (163 mi) in the state of Assam, 856 km (532 mi) in Tripura, 318 km (198 mi) in Mizoram, 443 km (275 mi) in Meghalaya, and 2217 km (1378 mi) in West Bengal.’
• France And Bangladesh Can Benefit From Growing Trade And Strategic Ties
‘France is currently the fifth largest export destination for Bangladesh’
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.
• ‘One Country, One Law’ in an aggrieved and anxious nation
• Ali Sabry is having the last laugh at One Country one Law!
• Two new Secretaries appointed to Agri, Media Ministries
• The Prorogation Message
‘I invite the attention of the parliamentarians, especially the Opposition that is complaining about various sinister moves associated with the postponement of these committees, to look into the last completed COPE report on the People’s Bank. The revelations made were alarming and the strictures too were shocking. Nothing happened so far.’
• EC Chief says not informed of LG polls postponement
• It is the Sinhala who first need to Answer the Country’s Questions
• Genealogy and modernity
• Colonialism in SL – The Political Economy of the Kandyan Highlands, 1833-1886: Bandarage
• Too early to issue the President’s report card
• Prorogation: LSSP laments it was not consulted
• Sri Lanka’s foreign policy since independence: Which leader did it best?
• 60 members of both sides set to leave to England, US, Australia to spend merry Christmas
• JVP inspires calls for protests against rising cost of living
‘This is the highest ever price hike in fuel in the country’s history’
• JVP organises countrywide protests against high cost of living
• National People’s Power ready to rebuild Sri Lanka: JVP
• Do away with MPs’ pensions, maintenance of retired presidents, mansions for ministers: JVP
• JVP policies hark back to socialism where everything ‘private’ is viewed with suspicion
• “The JVP’s five lectures were like swallowing narcotic pills!”
• JVP dismisses any possibility of aligning with SLFP
• UNP musters forces to encircle govt
• Big money in politics
‘wealthy and rich businessmen spending unlimited amounts of funds to influence elections’
• Democratic Death-Wish: The NMSJ’s Weimar Constitution – Jayatilleka
‘unless the democratic parties shift in a certain direction, the suffering masses may accept—even if they do not actively opt for—the military as their savior’
• China’s challenge, JVP’s jump-start, SJB’s stance – Jayatilleka
• Militarisation vs the People: Will there be confrontation?– David
• A Radical Shift Needed – Faraz Shauketaly
• Govt. policy needs to be driven by rationality: USAID NPC Perera
• TMC’s Sweep in Kolkata Troubling, but Signals Political Realignment
‘Left Front reclaiming title of main opposition player, pushing BJP down further’
• Beyond Digital Capitalism:
• Pope and Vatican instrumental in the overturning of communism in the Eastern Europe
• It’s Still the Trump Era and Worse is Coming
• US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom talks to Daily Mirror
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.
• Whose Holiday Season is this?
• The start of pilgrimages to Sripada
• Sanghamitta Theri and the dawn of a cultural revolution
• Reminiscences of Hela Havula proponents at a Boarding House in Mt. Lavinia
• Ridi Vihare: A temple and a book
• Stories and Histories, Pasts and Dilemmas of narrative representation –Gananath Obeysekera
• SLIM People’s Awards announces partnership with Kantar LMRB as Research Partner
• Resignation hits Right To Information Commission one day after first sitting
• Free Media Movement to prepare code of ethics for digital journalists
• Nihal Ratnaike & the Chinese fable of the origin of theatre
• “Sri Lanka alas, has too many examples of money used appallingly badly for personal gain”
• Martha Piper and Indira Samarasekera authored book titled Nerve
‘Indira Samarasekera’s ENT specialist father – Dr A C Arulpragasam. Her great-grandfather is Dr S C Paul, first Ceylonese surgeon practicing in Ceylon’
• Diplomatic graduate and peeping tom at Elders’ Home
• How Indian conman Sukesh wooed and won Jacqueline
• A welcome effort to take Tamil poetry to English literary world
• Promoting Sri Lanka and its many diverse facets to the World
• Assange being oppressed because he got the suppressed news
• New York Times Covers Up Its Debunked Lies About Peng Shuai By Adding New Ones
• Boal: The Fable of Xua-Xua, the Pre-Human Woman who Discovered Theatre