‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 02-08 January 2022
Ceaseless as waves jostling the shores are the spectacular duels and diversions of the capitalist media. Their gloomy blue moaning, suppurating white foams, spit sprays of silvery verbiage crashing upon the Black rocks of our primordial recalcitrance, eroding the golden sands and soils of our national waistlines. They froth up mists, fogs, and vomit out the sporadic carnivorous sea-crocodile, demoted MP, a Mumbai Jacqueline here and a Manhattan Ghislaine there.
All to befuddle and blow away any rational national conversation here about a plan for a modern industrial renaissance. All to prevent a program for removing and going beyond the rule of merchants and moneylenders who thrive under US imperialism and its NATO variants.
Turn page, switch channel, click away, and lo, ‘Business’ and Finance’ news are all glowing serendipity by the second, soaring stock markets, giving themselves and others awards, with their rating agents sticking their thumbs up, yet downgrading the state to private muscleman and masseur. Bad ratings or not, imperialist banks disguised as ‘development’ banks are gorging ‘confidently’ on local finance companies and banks.
• The 2,000-member Association of Professional Bankers (APB) will meet for their 32nd convention on 18 January. The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) ‘Country Officer’ will strike the keynotes. Perhaps he can explain the IFC (aka US Treasury) stake in the ‘private’ Commercial Bank, and how Anglo-American and Euro ‘development’ banks are using microfinance companies to fleece peasants as well as funding NGOs to divert rural priorities. Where do multinational corporate/MNC profits go? Why do they not reinvest in modern industry here?
Meanwhile, the main harangue of fertilizer-importing multinationals led by England’s ICI-CIC, etc., who are behind the media barrage against ‘organic’, is the dearth of dollars owed to subsidize chemical imports. MNC capitalists may complain, but it’s they, not the Central Bank, who irrigate the flow of dollars and the value of the rupee (see ee Focus, SL Central Bank has No Control over Movement of US Dollar, Garvin Karunaratne)
Finance companies are also swallowing other finance companies under the Central Bank’s Master Plan for the Consolidation of Non-Bank Financial Institutions. Consolidation is a sumptuous IMF term. Yet, while muttering about ‘rule of law’, etc., John Keells and Arpico’s Central Finance are ignoring the SL Monetary Board deadline to reduce their Nations Trust Bank stakes. Their ownership is far over the maximum 15% allowed for a single entity/person to hold in a bank. Send in the seizers!
This ever-cacophonous media are ‘radio silent’ about such private-sector ‘corruption’. Their prime-time slots, which could be dedicated to mass education – are all muted into glittering ‘superstar’ sycophancy by their MNC sponsors. The unleashing of the media and their frothing foaming, barking biting, on cue and in concert midst the wider whitewash, is therefore never a coincidence.
• This media somehow gushed all over the Delkanda market when MP Susil Premajayanth went to buy a lottery ticket. Susil then lamented soaring vegetable prices with the media. The media were then there when this State Minister of Education Reforms, Open Universities & Distance-learning Promotion was sacked. They followed him from high office to ‘humble’ 3wheeler. He said he’d go back to pettifogging at his former Hultsdorf sanctum. Unless he hits the daily ‘developmental’ jackpot with that lottery ticket! Why conduct such media inquiries at a ‘market’ alone, and not at the banks of the Kelani delta, where all rural surpluses flow ‘under the bridge’ to Quadrangular seas (now more likely by e-transfer by simply thumping computer keys). And what of the hijacking of Trincomalee’s oil tanks?
• Media never dedicate miles of their purple prose to parasitic urban-rural relations and agricultural policy. Yet cameras and microphones are now always pointing where curious rubber diseases sprout, harvests yellow, and ‘farmers’ rally. But nowhere in sight when finance companies send their imperial seizers and salesmen to cajole and threaten cultivators who fail to pay instalments for imported goods. The media never interview the workers in the massive MNC FMCG sales networks of Unilever, CIC, CTC, etc., nor dare divulge MNC complicity in the robbery of the (rural) home market.
• ‘We are a much-nannied society. We live on subsidies from womb to tomb. We enjoy free healthcare, free education, subsidized electricity and water. Our farmers get their irrigation water free,’ concludes Sugath Kulatunge (ee Focus). This is the penance our oligarchy has to pay for refusing to develop the economy. Many of these ‘social’ programs originated in World-War-2 English bribing peasants and workers to maintain colonial power, as Japan was poised to pounce. The bribes continued after 1948 to buy off votes to reinforce the colonial import-export plantation business and prevent industrialization. In England, the state’s ‘bulk-buying’ programs to control food prices lasted until 1955, after their industries were back on their feet. This ‘nanny state’ label was amplified under Margaret Thatcher, who in the 1980s nannied the capitalists’ whining, to smash the working class, and then dismantle social programs. Unshackling a spree of deregulation, ‘liberalization’ and privatization. Yet, 1977-JR was Thatcher, before Thatcher was Thatcher (1980).
• This week’s English media-heiress Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking crimes verdict was timed in the US for December 29, to fade with the fogs of the holiday hangover dry-news-generator season. The fog diverted from a rapist English prince on the run from US law. We were shown instead his mother’s ‘Queen’s Baton’ tossed like hot vadai between tea workers in a Melsta Madulsima Plantation.
These tea workers should demand modelling-agency rates as poster-girls for England’s Commonwealth Games. The Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) could warn them about how workers are treated in ‘supermodel’ plantations. Ask Ghislaine. Meanwhile Unilever is washing its hands of directly commanding tea workers here, even as they stick their suckers deeper into the teapot, to dilute the blends of the Ceylon Tea brand, they insist is theirs to tamper. (Random Notes)
• ‘US colonial police penetrated private social space to collect derogatory data on Filipino political leaders, whether radical or conservative, revolutionary or collaborator.’ The media’s obsession with sex and other scandals while the US imposed its first major colony in Asia over a century ago, titillates Alfred W McCoy in Policing America’s Empire: the USA, the Philippines, & the Rise of the Surveillance State. The colony’s underside interwove ‘addiction, avarice, blackmail, cowardice, scandal, torture, venality, and violence.’ The US invasion of the Philippines shaped their colonial regime from its start in 1898, ‘to crush a national revolution and then contain the dreams that inspired such’. The most modern methods involving covert warfare, digging up and throwing dirt at their opponents, character assassination and cooption, were applied and developed, then shipped back to mainland USA. It was the Philippines that gave birth to ‘the father of US military intelligence.’
Yet their antecedents in earlier colonial repression across the world, and even within the white-settler colonial project, need more analysis. Many of the US army veterans in the ‘Geronimo’ wars on the people and land of the Apache southwest, ended up honing their skills in the ‘kill chain’ in the Philippines.
The US used such methods to extend their tentacles through their 20th century invasions, Covert and openly bloody US wars were also treated as laboratories to hone colonizing stratagems. These may resonate with Sri Lankans:
Haiti is now run by a US-led Core Group of whites, who deliver their dictat via their white envoys, and use assassins to kill and threaten leaders (ee Quotes). Another other such experiment is being carried out in the Horn of Africa, where US-led NATO and ‘certain’ UN agencies are waging war using their ‘ethnic studies’ arsenal to fragment Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, just across the pond from us. (Random Notes).
A1. Reader Comments –
• One ee Idea at a Time, please. • Budget & Multinational Dollars • ee Should Get Real
A2. Quotes of the Week
• MP Whimpering • The Gamaya and VAT • Pharma Highs • Rural Finance on Fire • IMF Band-Aid • Haiti’s White Core • Marx’s Ratings Agency • Tawney on Papal Remittances
A3. Random Notes –
• CP/LSSP dogs JVP/FSP • ee’s Most Popular • English Wine US Trade • Unilever Payola • Unilever Muddies Ceylon Tea • US Advocata Crocodile’s SOE-eyes • Economists & Jelly Sanity • US Anthropology & the Kill Chain • Pathfinders as Bloodhounds Smell IMF • Tigray’s New US Tigers
B. ee Focus
• B1. Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has No Control over Movement of US Dollars – Garvin Karunaratne
• B2. A Crisis of the Nannied – Sugath Kulatunge
• B3. Sex & the US Colony: Honing the US Surveillance State in the Philippines – A.W. McCoy
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news sent, or your comments, and place any e-link at the end. Email: email@example.com
• ‘ee should focus each issue on one idea alone.’
• ‘The 2021 budget reduced taxes imposed on the dividends of MNCs by 25% in 2021 and 50% in 2023. The condition is that they increase their exports by 30% and 50%.’
• ‘ee is talking high economics. ee needs to first simply explain the basic ideas of your arguments.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Some in good faith, seek course correction. Others are settling political scores with the SLPP leadership. Several former ministers who failed to secure Cabinet portfolios berate the current ministers in a bid to have the public believe they would have done a better job,’ – ee Politics, Purge
• ‘The superrich of this country own vehicles that do only 3 or 4km/litre. The weight of this is borne by the value added tax (VAT) paid by villagers in remote areas who might not have even seen such vehicles. This isn’t fair’ – Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila.
• ‘Maithri said he was aware of the moves initiated to upset the plans to cover smoke cigarette packs with 80% medical warnings, but stopped short of divulging the names of the culprits… Sirisena claimed that each one of the 400 registered drug companies doled out 2.5million to make a one billion payment to a government bigwig, but again failed to divulge the names of the accused.’ – ee Politics, Maithri
• ‘Half a dozen years ago, we started hearing the protests of mostly rural women, and that too from the war-affected Northern and Eastern Provinces, who wanted to see microfinance banned or burnt, but buried either way. They would not consider a eulogy for microfinance, they wanted to curse it; the trauma of being chased by collectors, pawning or selling what little they had to repay loans, and sometimes even pushed to attempt suicide, they wanted to see microfinance banished to hell.’ – ee Economists, Eulogy
• ‘Today economic think-tanks and individual economists have joined the chorus of IMF but do not explain why or why not. It is argued that IMF helps a country to reduce the risk of loan default, build up confidence among investors and exporters, and enabling to borrow at a low cost. IMF will teach the country to borrow from Peter to pay Paul. ‘Structural Adjustment Policies’ is the panacea IMF prescribed for all ills. This includes budget deficit reduction, removing price controls and state subsidies, privatising state-owned enterprises, liberalising foreign trade and exchange systems, adopting flexible interest and exchange rates, and removing barriers to foreign capital flows. In simple words, ‘Let us dump any damn thing on your backyard’. More imports; more foreign exchange draining out. What advice to a debt-ridden, foreign-exchange-short country? IMF remedy remains unchanged for last 70 years of its existence. We have been paying homage to IMF to get a new plaster on the wound.’ – ee Economists, Maliyadde
• ‘Haiti has become a laboratory for a new form of foreign intervention, led by the USA and its allies, and also by multilateral organizations. For the last 4 years those who rule Haiti are the members of the Core Group, made up of the ambassadors from the US, France, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Canada, the EU, as well as representatives from the UN and OAS. The Core Group does not govern Haiti directly; instead, its members exercise influence through the power of their diplomatic missions. The Core Group maintains control of all major political decisions in the country, including the controversial decision of appointing Henry as Moïse’s successor.’ – ee Sovereignty, Haiti
• ‘If Marx’s theory of crises is to be validated, it must have some predictive power – namely that slumps in capitalist production will happen at regular recurring intervals, primarily due to changes in the rate of profit on capital and resulting movements in the mass of profits in a capitalist economy’ – ee Economists, Forecasts
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’)_
• A fine meme doing the rounds, compares 2 policy canines: The JVP/FSP platform reviles ‘corrupshun’, wanting to sell used luxury cars to repay loans, as a placid obedient dog. Yet a muscular dog standing tall on its own 2 feet representing the Communist Party and LSSP of yesteryear, calls for mechanization of plantations, dry-zone renewal, upstream multipurpose dams, rapid industrialization, co-operative & workers’ councils.
ee argues it’s not corruption but the regularized economic relationships of underdevelopment that prevent industrialization. Yet ee’s most popular 2021 blog posts were about the Pandora exposures, pharma companies like Hemas preventing production, the white Civil Service game, the import mafia and the IMF, how media editors are bought. In 2020, the most popular ee were, more interestingly: the US hitman Pompeo threatening to divide Sri Lanka, Marx on the Mahavamsa, Brandix’s brandishments, the undermining of Philip Gunawardena, DJ Wimalasurendra, SWRD Bandaranaike, and the history of industrialization.
• A familiar theme in the English media: how the English and whites are not as ‘corrupt’ as us. After all, English media is written for the white embassies and MNC agents. So ee had to reach far this week to find English Foreign Secretary Liz Truss hosting a dinner for a US trade delegation headed by the US Trade Secretary, at a private club owned by a Tory donor, billing their government Rs823,000 (£3,000). English clubs markup wines by 300% (ee Media, Booze). US trade delegations supposedly do not openly get fooled by wining and dining. The English government is having a hard time because ‘powerful protectionist lobbies in, inter alia, the spirits and financial services sectors in the USA are strongly negative, and the US farming lobby – the most obvious potential beneficiary – would only gain in the event of a relaxation of English food standards that appears, thankfully, politically impossible.’ So the US is trying to push their genetically modified food on the English. And the English try to get them drunk.
Payola is the name of another US media ‘scandal’, where record producers were supposedly caught paying radio stations to play their songs over and over again. This might kerplunk a chord with those familiar with the synchronicity of tv, supermarket, hotel music, where the same songs are still looped endlessly. What may be less familiar are the links between, e.g. FMCG-importer Unilever and its public relations, advertising and marketing octopus, in shaping not just consumption but the political priorities of countries, and media headlines.
• Unilever Tampering Tea: Conglomerate Browns’ extensive plantation holdings employ large workforces. This week they bought Hapugastenne and Udapussellawa estates from English agency house Finlays. Finlays’ blending and packing operations will now ‘source teas from multiple origins including Hapugastenne and Udapussellawa via the Colombo auction.’ Local companies will operate fulltime as super-kanganies.
This follows news claiming Unilever recently sold ‘its global tea business’ Ekaterra to the USA’s CVC Capital Partners. ‘Ekaterra is the largest tea firm, accounting for 10% of the total global tea market, with US$ 3.6 billion in annual sales. Ekaterra purchases 5% of the world’s tea output, including from its own plantations in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and a factory in Turkey. Ekaterra’s 34 tea brands include Lipton. ‘Ceylon Tea’ makes up 30-35% of the Lipton blend. Yet the deal excludes Unilever’s tea business in India, Nepal & Indonesia, in its Pepsi Lipton ready-to-drink tea joint ventures and ‘associated distribution businesses.’ The deal ‘poses challenges and opportunities’ for Sri Lanka’s industry. Lipton accounts for less than 10% of Ceylon Tea exports.
Lipton, in tea-speak, is ‘still very strong on certain origins of Ceylon Tea such as Dimbulla and Western High grown teas as well as some Uva tea varieties’. When Tata Group bought Tetley in 2000, it reduced the dominant Ceylon Tea component in its blend by replacing it with cheaper Indian tea origins.
Unilever claims its black tea retail sales declined by $27million from 2015-20 in developed countries. A tea broker blamed Unilever for its price-focused approach for the current state of the Lipton brand. ‘Some in the global tea business felt that Unilever is responsible for making tea a yellow label thing through generalisation of tea and bringing it all under one brand. The future of tea should not be about selling at the cheapest price by making farmers and workers starve.’
‘The tea auctions are a colonial system that ensures a steady supply of cheap raw tea to firms in foreign countries which process and sell finished products at a higher profit margin.’
• A sea-crocodile just snorkeled to the rescue of a vacuous media, who snatched their morsel of flesh to fry up bloody headlines. Last month it was gas cylinders. Next week perhaps omicron? Meanwhile the doom‘n’gloom gang keep up their wailing about debt and default, demanding devaluation. None demand modern industrial production. These wailers include the old ‘footnote clique’ who worked overtime to prevent the exposure of the Central Bank bondscam. They speak of ‘rule of law’ even as they uphold illegal trading, which they euphemize as the ‘kerb market’. A favorite IMF-cued plan is that Sri Lanka must sell off its 527 state-owned enterprises, as echoed by US thinktank Advocata and reproduced in every English rag.
• The University of Colombo Economics Professor’s weekly Sunday Times column relates a sad story. Yet boringly familiar in English media. This scholar Abeyratne has to write against import controls. He eulogizes Delasalle Motha who set up Motha Confectionery Works Co in 1960 making ‘jelly’, which needed English gelatin and essence. ‘He didn’t want to import it from anywhere else’, as it was ‘high quality jelly crystal’.
But then (the stereotypical tale unfolds) in 1970, a ‘hard phase’ of import controls and foreign-exchange restrictions began to take their toll …The country’s foreign debt had increased to over 15% of GDP from less than 5% in 5 years’. (He doesn’t name the UNP regime under economic czar Gamani Corea that bestowed this debt) Blah blah blah. Motha becomes an alcoholic, goes insane. Nowhere does this good prof ask, why the ingredients were not or could not be made in Sri Lanka. Or why Motha could not try. The scholar is another hired ‘gunman’ for the import mafia.
• Enabling the Kill Chain, David Vine, 2007, records how anthropology, long the handmaiden of empires, ran to assist warfare in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the ‘war on terror’. The US military, CIA, other government agencies and military contractors began recruiting ‘a small but growing number of anthropologists and other social scientists to provide cultural knowledge and analysis, ethnographic research, and what the military calls ‘human-terrain mapping’ to bolster counterinsurgency and other combat operations. Generally those involved wear military uniforms. Some were armed.’ They became crucial links in what a US politician called, ‘The Kill Chain.’ This anthropologizing soon goes home, like the chickens to roost, where the first settler eggs were hatched.
• Down the Garden Path: The origins of ‘Pathfinders’ and ‘Scouts’ are very much linked to the ‘English Department’. In England’s many colonial wars they operate as ‘frontliners’. England recruited ‘natives’ to track and hunt down their own people, to translate and gather information from the captured during torture etc (like for anthropologist Leakey during England’s wars on Kenya). They used this throughout the Americas, Asia and Africa. Learning ‘woodcraft’ from the Original Peoples of the Americas. They called the perfect scout, an ‘Indian child of nature’. Eventually the best scouts were whites, like the richest reggae singers are now. In Kipling’s poem ‘The Explorer’ leads the adventure of Empire, as the pathfinder for the pioneer and the settler. The fictional characters in 18thC US James Fenimore Cooper’s novels, the white settler who grows up among natives is the Deerslayer, Hawkeye, Long Rifle, the Pathfinder, the Trapper… ‘the Scout above all Scouts, the hunter above all hunters, Indian friend and Indian Killer.’
• US Rocky Pathfinder advises: ‘Rescheduling bilateral, commercial and multilateral debt requires different treatments. Bilateral debt rescheduling is negotiated with the Paris Club of creditors. It is not possible to approach the Paris Club without IMF support. – island.lk/a-pathfinder-perspective-sri-lanka-no-choice-but-to-restructure-external-debt/
• US Ethnic Games in Ethiopia – ‘At the same time as facilitating TPLF aggression, spreading their propaganda and criticizing PM Abiy’s government, the Biden Administration has imposed sanctions on Ethiopia: In May visa restrictions were introduced against anyone deemed ‘responsible for, or complicit in, undermining resolution of the crisis in Tigray’, together with ‘wide-ranging restrictions on economic and security assistance’. This affects US financial support, and is potentially extremely damaging. At the same time, a request was made for the World Bank and IMF to also withhold funding. 4 months later, 17 Sept, President Biden signed an Executive Order, ‘Imposing Sanctions on Certain Persons with Respect to the Humanitarian and Human Rights Crisis in Ethiopia.’ The rather vague dictate includes the Government of Eritrea as well as any ‘military or security force that operates or has operated in Ethiopia on or after Nov 1, 2020.’
Yet… Within the chaos of conflict, a powerful sense of national unity has emerged; the people have a common enemy – the TPLF, as well as the US, and western media, which has lost all credibility among Ethiopians. It is essential that this sense of togetherness is maintained and that fragmentation along ethnic/tribal lines, which the TPLF agitated when in power, is minimised. Introduced as a way to divide and rule, the TPLF’s policy of Ethnic (or tribal) Federalism split communities, enflamed resentments and fostered the creation of ethnocentric political groups, some of which, the Oromo Liberation Front eg, now working with the TPLF in an unholy alliance, have morphed into armed insurgencies.’ (ee Sovereignty, In Ethiopia Conflict by US Design)
B. Special Focus__
B1. Sri Lanka’s Central Bank has No Control over Movement of US Dollars – Karunaratne
Sri Lanka’s economy finds itself in a situation where one wonders whether the government has allowed it to drift. Perhaps, studying how countries have suffered and faced similar crises in the past may offer us some ideas. In 1997, the economies of Asian giants Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea crashed. Yet in 1995, the World Bank said Thailand was the world’s fastest growing economy.
Of Thailand, Phongpaichit and Baker (Thailand’s Boom & Bust, 1998) say, ‘in 1996, export growth slumped from over 29% to zero. The stock market lost two thirds of its value. The country was battered by speculators into a sharp depreciation – the biggest finance company collapsed. Two thirds of all finance firms were suspended. The IMF was called in to arrange the largest ever bail out’.
Of all countries whose economies crashed, Malaysia stands out as the one country that emerged victorious. Other countries had to beg for assistance from the World Bank and the IMF. Indonesia was bailed-out with a loan of $43billion, South Korea with a $56bn bailout, Thailand with a $17bn loan package. All loans to enable the countries to survive for the moment and pay later. As a result, their foreign debt increased exponentially.
The financial upheaval in Indonesia saw the fall of its leader Suharto. Nicholas Kristof, NYTimes Jakarta correspondent, wrote of what happened to President Suharto: ‘What overthrew Suharto was not a guerrilla insurgency, but a conspiracy far more subversive – capitalism, markets and globalisation; Suharto’s sleuths never figured how to handcuff them.’
It has to be understood that Sri Lanka today has been held hostage by international capitalism working through its agent, the IMF. There was one country that did not go begging for aid – Malaysia. Mahathir Muhammed, the legendary PM, took charge of the economy, collected all the dollars from all banks…Mahathir declared war on the IMF by doing the exact opposite of the IMF advice. He did not go on bended knees to the IMF. Instead he effectively controlled the economy of his own country. He imposed strict controls on the use of foreign exchange. He did not allow anyone to spend the money on the import of unnecessary goods. He clamped severe restrictions on the use of foreign exchange. This even went to the extreme of stopping foreign exchange for Malaysians studying abroad. There was mayhem in student circles in England. Some students took leave… went back. Others were compelled to work as waiters and kitchenhands’ (How the IMF Ruined SL& Alternative Programmes of Success, 2006, 238)
In 1958 Mahathir even stopped foreign investors from taking away money. In his own opinion, ‘Any country at all which says it cannot control its banks and its banking system – they are not fit to be governments and they should either resign or be overthrown’ (Daily News, Feb 1, 1999).
Malaysia was the one and only country to get out of the East Asian Foreign Currency Crisis. Even today the SL Government does not collect the dollars that come in. The bulk of the dollars are collected by private and foreign banks and private moneychangers, who are allowed to fix their own buying and selling rates. The private dealers collect dollars or rupees within minutes, while it takes at least half an hour of form filling and passport checking at State banks. That is how the government went bankrupt. State banks collect only a fraction of the dollars that come into the country.
A funny thing happened on 2 Jan 2001, 2 decades ago. Our 2 State banks, Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank, did not have enough dollars to pay a large oil bill, and went hat in hand to foreign banks in Colombo. Those that had collected dollars raised the price to Rs106, when the rate had been Rs85, and the 2 State Banks were forced to buy at the higher price. The rupee was devalued overnight.
The Central Bank, when questioned, said it had control over only the domestic rupee (Island, 17 Feb 2001).
In other words, the private banks collect dollars that come in, and sell them as they like, even today the banks & private dealers fix their own rates. What all this indicates is that even today our government does not control the foreign exchange that comes in. Naturally, today we are facing the music of not having dollars to pay for essential imports.
What can be done? Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal has ruled out the possibility of going to the IMF. Because the IMF will insist on devaluing the rupee, increasing interest rates, privatising state commercial ventures, drawing further loans and living on them, like what we did in the past.
Our leaders are quick to declare they will pay loan instalments due next year, amounting to $4-5billion. Do we need to service & pay any loan outstanding to the IMF and WB, as we have done everything they have asked and we are now facing a crisis due to their wrong advice?
Are we yet collecting all the dollars that come in? No. We allow private and foreign banks, and private dealers to collect, fix rates and sell as they like. This, they have done for decades, and at least now we have to collect all dollars that come in like what was done before we embraced neoliberalism in 1977. Are we yet being fooled by foreign investors who trade and calculate profits in local rupees, but take away profits in US dollars?
Are we not yet being fooled by foreign travel agencies that book hotel stays, get the hotel to collect in local rupees, but get paid by invoices in dollars going out of our reserves? Hotel bookings by foreigners have to be made in dollars here.
Before President Jayewardene foolishly submitted to neoliberalism and started living on loans, we had a closed economy. Then, we had 2 budgets: a local rupee budget that attended to all development work. We had a separate foreign budget with the dollars we collected from imports. Then we spent the dollars we had, first on essentials, and if we had anything left, we gave small allocations to import cars and electrical items. We never dispensed funds for foreign travel unless it was necessary for our country. Nor did we allocate any foreign funds for students to study abroad. Should we not revert to that system?
How we managed our finances from Independence till JR started licking the boots of the IMF is of import. The fundamental fact is that at the end of 1977 Sri Lanka did not have foreign debt.
As much as we have had to restrict imports, let us have a program to produce locally all what we import. Not long ago we had the Divisional Development Councils Program of 1970-77, when we made seafaring fishing boats and Crayons (Matara) equal to Crayola now, paper made out of wastepaper (Nuwara-Eliya – Kotmale), agricultural farms (in every District) and many more, all done with local rupees, all carried out by local staff. We can easily do it again in months. That will also provide incomes and employment to the unemployed.
Perhaps, a rethinking of priorities and a firm resolve to go ahead is what is required today. – island.lk/way-ahead-for-lankan-economy/
B2. A Crisis of the Nannied – Sugath Kulatunge
We are a much-nannied society. We live on subsidies from womb to tomb. We enjoy free healthcare, free education, subsidized electricity and water. Our farmers get their irrigation water free and are given a guaranteed price for their main products. Besides all these we also enjoy the fundamental right to defend these rights. We do not for a moment think, there are no free meals… Somebody else is paying for it.
One has to be happy with the present predictions of serious food crisis by March this year. I hope the nanny-mollycoddled population and the government are groping for solutions and pushed in different directions by a next election and percentage-minded politicians, a gutless set of bureaucrats and one-track-minded professionals will wake from their slumbers and get down to work. Subsidies are not properly targeted. The fuel subsidy benefits the owner of a luxury limousine or 3wheeler owner. It is the same with education and health subsidies.
Public Servants and Shop and Office workers enjoy 104 days of weekends and 25 public holidays. No government has had the courage to demand a reduction of holidays and do more work when salaries are increased. No wonder that productivity has suffered and FDI is discouraged.
We have had a series of crises in sugar, cooking gas, fertilizer, and vegetables, some of which are associated with scams. We expect an acute crisis in rice soon. We continue to be troubled by the balance of payments and the burden of debt which are outside this note.
Crisis in Sugar – This was a crisis which could have been avoided. The first messup was in the sugar swindle. Here it is the Consumer Affairs Authority and the Ministry in charge which did not go by the clear provision of the CAA Act. When the CAA ended the price control of sugar (at Rs 80), the CAA should have entered into an agreement in terms of Article 14. (1) where the CAA is empowered to enter into such written (binding) agreements as it may deem necessary, with any manufacturer or trader or with any association of manufacturers or traders to provide for – (a) the maximum price above which any goods shall not be sold; (c) any other conditions as to the manufacture, import, supply, storage, distribution, transportation, marketing, labelling or sale of any goods.
The CAA did not do it and allowed the traders to sell sugar over Rs200, making massive profits. The state minister lamented that the Ministry had no power to act. Only conclusion that one can come to: this was purely a crisis created by the CAA and the Ministry of Trade.
Crisis in LPG – This foul-smelling crisis in cooking gas was again allowed to aggravate by the Ministry of Trade. It was quite obvious that the explosions were due to what was inside the cylinders. What is outside i.e. regulators, burners, tubes had been used for years without any problem. The Minister and the regulatory authorities were unable to get the gas companies to declare the composition of the gas inside the cylinders. Even today they have not revealed that information.
Crisis in Vegetables – In the past, there were a few serious attempts to increase food production. The first one I remember was the grow more food campaign launched by Dudley Senanayake, with an emphasis on the production of rice…
The next prominent campaign was launched as a cultivation war (waga sangramaya) by Mrs Bandaranayake. At that time there was a grave shortage of food – mainly rice, so much so, people were requested to skip a rice meal one day of the week and were encouraged to eat manioc and pulses. The UNP went to town against the consumption of manioc. They invented reports of manioc poisoning and people dying of eating manioc. Today manioc consumption is recommended even to control cancer.
It is unfortunate that our Agriculture authorities have not done much research on foods other than on rice, of which they have excelled: eg, manioc as a food has been overlooked, though the staple food of around 800 million people in the world. There are so many varieties of yams which are not seriously promoted. In this country, even a temporary shortage of food items is used as a platform to denounce the ruling government. There’s never a national approach to rectify the perennial problem. Breadfruit trees are one of the highest-yielding food plants known. A single tree can produce 50-150 fruits per year can be propagated through tissue culture. But the Agriculture authorities did not think it was important. Today a fruit is Rs150 plus.
To make an immediate impact in vegetables we can adopt greenhouse technology, which has been implemented successfully by the EDB for vegetable cultivation from a few years back with the cooperation of leading exporters of vegetables. Idle land around cities could be leased out to supermarkets to grow vegetables under greenhouses.
A strategy that has tremendous potential to increase the production of vegetables and fruits is home gardening. It has been promoted with fits and starts but not on a continuous and comprehensive scale. One does need a vast space of land to grow a few papaya trees or a few chili and brinjal plants which can be grown in pots. Of course, it’s not as dramatic as exhibiting the exorbitant price of a single chili in public. There is no efficient system for the supply of seeds and provide instructions. The present government had a program for the distribution of quality seeds, but it fizzled out.
Railway land, in the centers of production of fruits and vegetables, could be used with cooling facilities, as collection and packing centers of fruits and vegetables. Thereafter the products could be transported in crates to wholesale distribution centers in consumption areas in refrigerated wagons. It’s suggested the railway learn from Assam Rail which uses reefer wagons to transport perishable products all the way to Calcutta. GMR is perhaps the biggest landowner of developed land in the country. All that idle land from Dematagoda to Fort could be used for development.
Village Fairs have been the centers of exchange of rural products. At present they lack even basic facilities. They need to be improved.
As I was writing this I heard the belated news of the incentives for home gardens. This is good news but this exercise too has to be well planned. There are 24 agro-ecological regions in the country which represent combination of particular characteristics of climate, relief and soil and farming systems (CR Panabokke). This advantage should be made use of to get optimal results. There has to be ground-level planning to prevent gluts in the market. Media should give more space for dissemination of information on agriculture. It will be useful to make home gardening a compulsory subject in schools and have school gardens. It is also useful to introduce new crops popular in other countries.
Crisis in Milk Foods – Not only self-sufficiency but an increase in the consumption of milk foods was envisaged 60 years back in the agriculture development plan of Philip Gunawardhana. The quality of the local herd was to be upgraded through artificial insemination and stud services. The Animal’s Act prevented cross breeding with local bulls. Dairy farms with improved breeds like fresian and Ayrshire were maintained in upcountry farms for dairy products as well as for breeding stock. Thamankaduwa Livestock project was launched to breed cattle crossed with Jersey. A large herd of Jersey heifers were imported and bred in Ambewela. Ridiyagama buffalo farm was meant to supply quality breeding material.
There is no need to import cows as the quality herds in the existing farms can supply all the semen needed. The bull calves from these herds can be distributed to stud centers islandwide. The government can learn from the private-sector farm in Ambewela on importing semen, animal feed, and establishing pastures.
Food Self-Sufficiency is generally considered as referring to staple foods. It is a mistake to consider that we have achieved food self-sufficiency when there is no import of rice. In 2020 SL produced 5,000 million MT of Paddy. When this is converted into rice it is around 3,200 million MT of rice. The same year we imported 1.29m MT of wheat. This means that we were only around 67% self-sufficient in our staple cereals.
Conclusion – What we see today is that the nursemaid has heard the crying babies and come to soothe them with some sweets stolen from the same babies (as duties & taxes). I for one would have liked the crises other than that of LPG to continue so that the necessary structural changes could take place. It is bitter medicine.
B3. Sex & the US Colony: Honing the US Surveillance State in the Philippines – AW McCoy
• ‘The illiberal character of US colonial rule over the Philippines was evident in its reliance on innovative forms of information and disinformation for political control. Through relentless surveillance and centralized intelligence, US colonial police penetrated private social space to collect derogatory data on Filipino political leaders, whether radical or conservative, revolutionary or collaborator. By the systematic collection and selective release of such incriminating information, the colonial government protected its allies from gossip and damaged or destroyed its critics with scandal. To suppress countervailing criticism, the regime enacted harsh punishments for subversion or libel of its public officials, relying on the colonial courts to punish erring newspaper editors harshly. As this mix of police pressure and political co-optation turned Filipino activists into spies and collaborators, the militant nationalist movement imploded by 1912 amid suspicion and betrayal, leaving conservative politicians in control of public space through patronage politics….
…Operating first under conditions of martial law and then under a colonial government that denied Filipinos full civil liberties, the US regime deployed police surveillance to track suspected subversives, both Filipino and foreign. In this tropical hothouse of institutional hybridization, the colonial police fused military intelligence methods with the latest in civilian law enforcement to achieve an exemplary efficiency. The Philippines Constabulary created a secret service, the Information Division, that became the first US agency with a fully developed covert capacity. The Manila Metropolitan Police, equipped with its own Secret Service Bureau, soon became the most modern police force anywhere under USA. At the apex of this colonial intelligence community, the US Army’s Division of Military Information conducted intelligence, counterintelligence, and foreign espionage. Any crowd that formed in Manila was soon thick with spies from these 3 secret services.
With a complexity and coherence that belied the speed of its formation, this nascent US security state combined uniformed forces for raw coercion, and secret services for covert control. Battle hardened in a dirty war against Filipino nationalists and ardent in their embrace of imperialism, these US colonial police and their native auxiliaries soon mastered techniques of surveillance, intelligence, and penetration. Most important, the US Army’s application of military science to municipal administration created something of a revolution in policing. Combining militarized coercion, information management, and covert operations, the army created a police force far more advanced than either its Spanish antecedents or its US contemporaries.
US colonial policy transferred local ‘pacification’ after 1901 to the paramilitary Philippines Constabulary, whose ranks were filled with former Filipino insurgents. The US army’s formation of indigenous forces in the colonial Philippines, the constabulary and the Philippine Scouts, was its first experience training an allied security force, a precursor to the postcolonial strategy of ‘force projection among third world allies’ through bilateral security agreements, military aid, and training missions.
Colonial rule also fostered long-term institutional change in Washington’s national security apparatus. The colonial regime in Manila developed a comprehensive internal security doctrine, drawing information technologies from the US metropole, merging them with imperial innovations, and then repatriating these novel procedures, tempered and tested. When high imperial rule over the Philippines ended in 1916, colonial veterans came home to play a key role in development of the US Army’s expanded intelligence operations during WWI.
Washington relied on its colonial veterans to establish a national security apparatus for both domestic surveillance and foreign espionage, founding the army’s Military Intelligence Division and later its Military Police. The US Army’s overall commander in Europe, Gen. John Pershing, had built his military career in the Philippines. In selecting his senior officers for the European campaign, General Pershing drew on Philippine veterans for key staff and field positions… The former chief of the constabulary, Harry Bandholtz, became Pershing’s provost marshal general and at the close of war founded the Military Police (MP) to manage the chaos of occupation and demobilization in Europe. Philippine veterans were also prominent, notably the former chief of Manila’s Secret Service and a former senior officer in the Philippine Scouts, both of whom trained MPs for the postwar occupation of Europe.
As fear of enemy espionage grew in the first months of war, empire provided Washington with the requisites for greatly expanded state security operations. Just as repressive colonial sedition and libel laws had silenced Filipino radicals by 1907, so parallel US legislation under the Espionage Act of 1917 allowed the jailing of antiwar dissidents such as Eugene V Debs.
The US Army relied on Col Ralph H. Van Deman, the former chief of army intelligence in the Philippines, to establish its Military Intelligence Division. Applying colonial lessons from data management to operational doctrines, Van Deman built the MID… into a division of 1,700.
Just as colonial security had relied on hundreds of Filipino agents, so Van Deman forged close alliances with US civilian auxiliaries for the counterintelligence work that became his division’s main wartime mission. To search for suspected subversives among German Americans, the colonel collaborated with a nationwide vigilante group, the American Protective League, to launch the largest mass surveillance yet conducted by any modern state, domestic or otherwise. The league’s legion of 350,000 citizen-spies used its extralegal powers to amass, with allied groups, an archive of over a million pages of surveillance reports in just 18 months of war. Van Deman was ‘the single most important figure in shaping this civilian mission and consolidating its base,’ using ‘military intelligence… to curb movements for change.’ The Philippine experience made him ‘the father of US military intelligence.’
In the tumultuous, anti-Bolshevik aftermath of war known as the ‘red scare,’ MID continued its covert campaign against radical unions while senior US Army commanders applied lessons from the colonial Philippines to crush a radical miners’ revolt in the West Virginia coalfields – the only armed uprising against the US state in the 20th century. This alliance between federal agencies and civilian adjuncts forged during World War I would remain a defining feature of US internal security operations for the next half century. Empire also invested US intelligence doctrine with a problematic racial paradigm for the perception of threat. Viewing the Philippines through a filter of social Darwinism that bred both superiority and insecurity, US colonial police acted as racial exemplars ruling over supposedly lesser breeds: Chinese, Filipinos, Spanish mestizos, Muslims, and highland tribes. Indeed, a parallel study of English and French intelligence in the Middle East mandates found that their ‘threat assessment was inherently politicized by the dominant ideology of imperialism with its coded hierarchies of racial difference.’ Back home, these colonial veterans imbued the new U.S. domestic intelligence apparatus with an imperious dominion over those deemed other, and thus lesser, whether ethnic communities, political dissidents, or ordinary workers.
These security operations in the years surrounding WWI introduced a recurring tension between the US’ 18th-century constitution and its 20th-century surveillance. Two decades after US information revolution had created a capacity for mass surveillance, empire became the means for transforming technological potential into state practice. Once it had adopted the colonial model for its internal security, the federal government cultivated a repressive capability manifest during periodic political crises throughout much of the 20th century. From the anti-German hysteria of WWI through the anti-communist purges of the early cold war, there were clear signs of fundamental conflict between the constitutional protections of individual liberty and growing state surveillance.
Inspired by their experience of social engineering in colonized societies, US leaders would apply similarly coercive methods to shape their own polity, acculturating immigrants, banning drugs and alcohol, barring aliens, policing subversives, rehabilitating addicts, and rebuilding cities. Just 6 years after Manila prohibited opium smoking in 1908, e.g., the US Congress passed the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914, the start of US drug prohibition and the first federal law restricting individual rights over the body. Similarly, the US public health service at both the state and federal levels drew on a militarized imperial model, introduced in Cuba and perfected in the Philippines, for domestic control of epidemic disease. Colonialism was thus mutually transformative, forming a modernized Philippine polity and transforming the United States into an activist state with powerful internal security agencies.
For 60 years after its independence in 1946, the Philippines would continue to serve as a laboratory for the perfection of US power, collaborating in the development of new military doctrines to meet a succession of challenges to US global hegemony. During the 1950s, US advisers pioneered unconventional tactics to defeat Filipino peasant guerrillas, creating a novel counterinsurgency later applied throughout the third world. A decade later, as student demonstrations roiled democracies worldwide, Manila’s university belt became Washington’s testing ground for police riot-control techniques. During the 1980s, as the USA recoiled from its demoralizing Vietnam defeat, the Philippines, along with Central America, served as a proving ground for a reinvigorated counterguerrilla doctrine called ‘low intensity conflict.’ After the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the Pentagon developed a distinctive concept of ‘population centric warfare’ in the southern Philippines that it applied, starting in mid-2009, to an intensified pacification of Afghanistan. In a latter-day iteration of imperial mimesis, the global war on terror also produced innovations in electronic surveillance and biometric identification that are, once again, migrating homeward to circumscribe civil liberties in the USA.
– Excerpted from Policing America’s Empire, The USA, the Philippines, & the Rise of the Surveillance State, by Alfred W. McCoy
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.
• Predicament of war-winning Sri Lanka military
‘In spite of issuing a five-year multiple visa to retired Maj. Gen. Udaya Perera in Aug 2019, the US, in early Dec, 2021, barred him from entering the country’
• Erasing the Eelam Victory Part 25 D1
‘The LLRC report wanted the government to consider the accountability of UN and international organizations in the Eelam war. Government should scrutinize UN activity in the war, LLRC said.’
• Sri Lanka unlikely to seek IMF bailout; Cabinet fails to reach consensus
• Trinco Petroleum Terminal : An attempt to provide Oil Tank Farm completely to India?
• SL, India sign Trincomalee Oil Tank deal to lease 14 tanks to India Oil unit for 50 years
• Trincomalee Oil Tank deal a historic betrayal in the making: MP Kabir Hashim
‘The oil tanks were lost, then the Trincomalee Port will also be lost’
• The two ‘Trinco Oil Tanks’ nobody is talking about.
• FR filed challenging Cabinet decision on Trinco Oil Tank Farm agreement
• FSP picks holes in Trinco Tank Farm deal
• Abort Immediately Indian Oil Tank Deal – SVP
‘Statement by the ‘Socialist Vanguard Party for the Restoration of a United and Sovereign Sri Lanka’
• Ministry of Defence should take decisions on Trinco oil tanks: Ruwan
• Deal on Trinco oil tanks ‘historic’ and mutually beneficial, says Indian Oil Co.
• Seized Indian trawler to carry people instead of fish
• Indian LTTE supporters demand Govt. to release Tamil Nadu fisherman
• India assured to assist Sri Lanka during ’difficult times’
• Indian banks reluctant to extend LCs to Sri Lanka
‘State Bank of India… HDFC Bank…IndusInd Bank…Exim Bank.. while large MNC banks like HSBC, Citi, and Standard Chartered extend trade finance with certain precautions, they have the comfort of dealing with their respective Lanka office as the counterparty’
• Seven Tamil Parties Seek Modi’s Help for Implementing 13-A in Full
• Sampanthan’s letter to Modi held up
‘MPs Mano Ganesan and Rauff Hakeem had not signed it’
• Arjuna blasts govt. for closing down Palaly International Airport
• Lanka’s geopolitical course correction to overcome economic crisis
• Jaffna is too far from Beijing
‘Beijing and New Delhi took diametrically opposite sides when the Sri Lankan government was accused of human rights violations during the war at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva’
• TNA bluntly tells China to keep out of North and East
• Tamil groups slam moves to invite govt. to Prabhakaran’s hometown for Kite Festival
• Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi begins tour to Maldives, Sri Lanka in outreach
• South Korea responds positively to SL’s call for enhanced dollar assistance
• Special investment zone in SL for South Korean entrepreneurs midst unequal BOP
‘…SL exports into RoK are USD71 million, while RoK imports into SL, USD192 million….USD 300,000 of equipment in ‘aid’ has already been received…The Minister requested RoK cooperation in accelerating vaccination of 22,000 Sri Lankans working in RoK.’
• Korean ambassador Santhush meets Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith
• ‘Pakistan Today’ Helps To Connect People Between Bangladesh And Pakistan
• Blowback from Afghanistan
‘The problem today is the Pakistani elite in their craving to be accepted as part of the so-called liberal international order feel ashamed to be seen as the Taliban’s mentors’
• Syrian Ambassador to China on “International Forum on Democracy: Shared Human Values”
• Japan-Australia defense, security treaty will inflame regional tensions
• CSTO to send peacekeeping troops to help quell unrest in Kazakhstan
The US-Directed Rebellion in Kazakhstan May Well Strengthen Russia
• Ukrainians Are Far From Unified on NATO: Let Them Decide for Themselves
• Israel expresses concern at being labeled as apartheid
• Neocolonialism haunts Horn of Africa
• Ethiopia Conflict by US Design
• The Deadly, Destructive Costs of Ethiopia’s Illusory Independence
‘African diaspora must shed its longstanding romantic self-delusion about Ethiopia and remain mindful of imperialists’ history of fickle, Machiavellian manipulation of warring forces in the Horn of Africa’
• CELAC foreign ministers’ meeting begins in Argentina
‘XXII Summit of Foreign Ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), began its plenary session in person and virtually, with the attendance of some 30 delegations’
• Canada’s mining oligarchs and their role in Honduras’ 2009 coup
• US Exceptionalism and US Projectionism
‘Washington believes in US Exceptionalism so thinks that the way it does things is the only right way to do those things, then US Projectionism kicks in and guides Washington to project the way it does things on to others.’
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.
• More than 2,000 killed in fatal road accidents in 2021
‘2,419 people killed in some 2,325 fatal road accidents…Among the 13,469 injured persons, 5,263 sustained severe injuries while 8,216 sustained minor injuries.’
• Armed robbers escape with nearly Rs. 1 million in cash and jewellery in Vavuniya
• More private jets in Sri Lanka? Airport officials mum on manifest
• SSP Thalduwa: Critically wrong on criticism of the president
‘no criminal liability attaches to the making of statements that insult or defame the president’
• Lawyer draws Human Rights Commission judge Marasinghe’s attention to deaths in custody
• European Union insisting PTA should be amended or abolished
• Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) leads commandos to narcotics smuggling ring
• Easter Attacks suspects dies in hospital; Police tells Court
• Court dismisses Sirisena’s request to nullify Easter Sunday charges
• Killing of five Trinco students: Emblematic case of impunity
• 41st Anniversary of 9th Intake Cadets of Sri Lanka Navy
‘Commander Dushantha Chelliah is here on vacation from the USA , so we decided to have a quick batch get together…Admiral Colombage was there…the Foreign Secretary’
• No 10 Fighter Squadron of Sri Lanka Air Force celebrates 26 years
‘founded on 5th January 1996 with the induction of five (5) new graceful tailless delta Kfir single seaters and a twin seater based at SLAF Katunayake under the command of Sqn Ldr P Gunasinghe’
• Marriage registrars want controversial ‘crime-free’ partner knot loosened
• A military nod for marriages to ‘foreigners’ and other associated Sri Lankan idiocies
• Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to last English Commander of RCyAF, Air Vice Marshal Ronald Barker
• Dutch Police set dogs on protesters at massive anti-lockdown rally
• Who Hacked Poland’s Opposition using Pegasus spyware?
• As Guantánamo detention center turns 20, Pentagon builds a new secret courtroom
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.
• Way ahead for Lankan economy – Garvin Karunaratne
• JVP: Short-term plans need to focus on investments that could ensure dollar earning
• State of economy of a state – Maliyadde
• A Concession to the Economy – Nalin de Silva
• How to manage our foreign exchange in this time of Crisis – Karunaratne
‘reject the IMF and go it alone as Governor Cabral opines, but follow the blue print of how we ran the country in the Dudley Senanayake days- 1965 to 1970.’
• Learning from Past: Divisional Development Councils Programme Offers Hope – Karunaratne
• Crisis choices: Economic fundamentalism or economic realism? – Jayatilleka
• Debt and a Eulogy for Neoliberalism – Kadirigamar
‘The market has failed, and the first step now should be for the state to take over the external sector and prioritise imports necessary for the people.’
• Sri Lanka in the Age of Uncertainty – Devaka Gunawardena
‘both the Government’s proposed solution and those of its neoliberal Opposition are wrong-headed in ways that mirror each other’
• A Crisis of the Nannied – Kulatunga
• Tennakoon says economy cannot be saved by printing money alone
• India developing Trinco oil tanks deal – Dushni Weerakoon, Institute of Policy Studies
• The best option is to seek assistance from the IMF – Sanderatne
• Sri Lanka will have to seek IMF assistance or expect the worst of exchange rate – Wijewardena
• Import controls, then and now! – Abeyratne
• No matter who governs, thanks to former governments, we must suffer austerity – Usvatte-Aratchi
• Antidote to hoarding is to flood the market – Usvatte-Aratchi
• Traitorous undermining by hoarding essential food, creating a blackmarket – Chula Rajapakse
• Going to the IMF still an option? – Weerakkody
‘a new framework led by the muscle of the G20 and supported by private sector creditors will be critical to unlock IMF financing for debt-ridden countries’
• Running a company when country is bankrupt
• Sri Lanka’s JVP economic pillars questioned as forex shortages, default risk worsens
• SJB Centre for Economic Policy expose Govt. failures for SL’s morass
• Government must go to the International Monetary Fund: Harsha
• Sri Lanka inflation will get worse if money is printed for relief: Harsha
• Are those in governance of Sri Lanka’s financial stability hallucinating?
• US Pathfinder highlights validity of their May 2020 report to resolve current economic crisis
• Sri Lanka has 527 state-owned enterprises: US Advocata
• IMF conditions would erode the purchasing power of salaries and savings
• An Economic Round Table – a farce in a fallen economy?
• ‘There is no money left’: Covid crisis leaves Sri Lanka on brink of bankruptcy – Guardian
• SL currency woes stemmed from government’s heavy-handedness: forex analyst at JP Morgan
‘Vinuja Singharachchige, a Forex Analyst at JP Morgan, is a former researcher at Advocata Institute’
• Improving forex from export revenue is wishful thinking: Verité Subhashini Abeysinghe
‘manufacturing sector dependent on imported raw materials’
• Sri Lanka inflation soars as Modern Monetary Theory demon roars – EconomyNext
• Business Sentiment – Confidence at A Seven Month High
• ASEAN economic resilience and small states
• The Chinese ‘Debt Trap’ Is a Myth – The narrative wrongfully portrays both Beijing and the developing countries it deals with.
• World Bank, IMF turned poor Third World nations into loan addicts
• International community embarks on third decade for the eradication of poverty
• IMF is asking Pakistan to make the Central Bank Governor independent of political control
• Planning, Democracy, Socialism: Learning from Kerala
‘Kerala, India has been an important reference point in this history of experiments in popular and democratic planning’
• China’s Excellent, Very Good Year. 2021 was China’s best year. Ever.
• Economic policies of new Sudan government indistinguishable from predecessor
‘Western governments were satisfied by the technocratic image of the new PM Abdalla Hamdok, who had formerly worked for the United Nations (UN) and was now implementing their policies of choice’
• An Extremely Condensed Summary of “Capital” (2020)
• Covid Fueled by Neoliberal Austerity
• Price controls: do they work? – Roberts
• Forecast for World Economy in 2022 – Roberts
‘by the end of this year, most major economies will have started to slip back towards the low growth, poor productivity trends of the Long Depression of 2010s, with prospects of even slower growth over the rest of the decade’
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 allocated US$500Mn to settle International Sovereign Bonds maturing on Jan 18
• A Rs 229 billion economic relief package announced
• Cabinet nod for Basil to gazette Special GST Bill
• Money circulating in the economy expanded by 15.4 per cent
• JVP sees more money printing to give relief package
• CBSL sells over half of gold reserves: Harsha
• Sri Lanka foreign reserves US$3,137mn in Dec, gold reserves down
‘Sri Lanka’s gold reserves were valued at 176.4 million US dollars in December, down from 354.4 million US dollars in November. After printing money in the late 1980s India airlifted her gold reserves in 1991 to ‘safe custody’ in the UK to pay international creditors, as part of floating the Indian rupee and getting into a IMF program with serious reforms./
• National Transport Commission announces revised bus fares
• Eye-watering prices of essentials, shortages set to worsen
• Annual loss incurred by the Treasury from Sugar duty reduction was calculated fraud.
• Inflation hits double-digits in December rubbishing Central Bank’s transitory claims
• Record money printing in 2021 as Central Bank-held Treasury bill stock tops Rs.1.4tn
‘Investors tend to pull out funds from emerging and developing markets to developed market treasuries which provide them with positive returns with little risk compared to markets with junk ratings.’
• Treasuries yield edge up, all bills sold after government announced 229 billion rupee handout
• Sri Lanka central bank goes US$1.6bn in to the red in Nov 2021
• Sri Lanka slaps price controls on forex swaps despite tight dollar liquidity
• If reserves increased, why not issue dollars? –Harsha
• Central Bank revises maximum housing loan rate to reflect rising interest rates
• Sri Lanka inflation soars as Modern Monetary Theory demon roars
• Weekly Treasury Auction fully subscribed for the first time in four weeks
• Sri Lanka bond yields flat at close
• Sri Lankan families forced to forego meals as economic crisis intensifies – LaPrensaLatina
• Barter trade with Sri Lanka is not fair – Iranian Labour News Agency
• What Sri Lanka Can Learn From Duty-Free-Quota-Free Facility By Thailand For Bangladesh?
• SL simply can’t continue asking for financial assistance from China – Palitha Kohona
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
• Govt Analyst summoned to probe death of 24-year-old technician due to A/C explosion
• CEB trade unions issue warnings over a power outage
• CEB officials blamed for blocking report on December blackout
• Trade unions demand Rs.5,000 allowance to be extended to private sector
• Railway strike results in Rs 25 million loss due to free rides; TUs warns of more strikes
• Circular on teacher-principal salary anomaly issued
• Development Officers Service Union demand positions in teacher service
• GMOA dispute doctor transfer boards: Keheliya’s word final – Prime Minister
• GMOF guns for docs involved in kidney transplant racket exposed by Indian intelligence
• Kelaniya Uni Students’ Union protest
‘demanding retraction of expulsions of student leaders and years long suspensions given to others’
• Colombo-Negombo road blocked by SJB protest
• Multilac & Macktiles Group gives lead for salary increase of Rs 5,000 to private employees
• Lab technologists allege disastrous health policies have led to spread of Omicron here
• Sri Lanka orders housing loans to salaried employees be given at prime lending rate
• Worker Remittance Inflows Lose Steam: Important how we Revive them?
• SL expat employees more resolved to withhold dollars
• Lankan expats NOT subjected to conversion rule: Cabraal
• Sri Lanka targets 2.5mn tourists, 300,000 expat workers in 2022
• Sri Lanka labour minister fails to hike parallel exchange rate for migrant workers
• Lankan dollar salary earners face forcible conversions by banks
• Sri Lanka to raise state salaries, pensions, agriculture subsidies
• Bala Tampoe was arguably the greatest union leader of Sri Lanka for all time
• Expolanka partners Sarvodaya to launch ‘Sabrina Yusoof Women’s Empowerment Initiative
• Is jealousy outward sign of social capital deficit and diluting social ethic?
• Cultural revival, education reform, and study of history
• Caste and Education in the North
• Ceylon Chamber corporate digital communications workshop for Vavuniya university students
‘English Tea Shop, Lalan Rubber (Pvt) Ltd., Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC, Horana Plantations PLC, Kelani Valley Plantations PLC, Damro Exports (Pvt) Ltd. and Pussellawa Plantations Ltd.’
• Bringing Precarity Home: Digitized Piece Work and the Fiction of Flexibility
• Free Transit Movement Making Inroads
• Dozens of migrants seek refuge on Mediterranean oil rig
• Ernst & Young powers Amazon Trading’s English Tea Shop Organic using ESOP model
‘to help build a ‘significantly employee-owned organization’
• Memorabilia of an Internationally Recognized Self-Made Astronomer from Karaitivu, Jaffna
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.
• Commemorating 70 years of China-Ceylon Rice-Rubber Pact: A landmark agreement in 1952
• Drinking Water for Gothameegama, Katharagama – A Corporate Project by Solex
• Melsta’s Madulsima Plantations hosts Queen’s Baton for 2022 Commonwealth Games
• Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offers to assist SL to develop digital strategy for agriculture
• Country to face acute shortage of flour amidst forex crisis – All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association (ACBOA)
• 15% food price increase in a single month – Advocata
• If there’s a scarcity food will be imported – Agriculture Minister
• G2G MoU signed to import 100,000 tons of rice from Myanmar
• Sri Lanka farmgate rough rice prices sharply up: millers
• Govt invites all Sri Lankans to grow vegetables as food prices soar; offers inputs
• Indian chilli exporters in a bind over delay in dues from Sri Lanka
• Top UN official commends Sri Lanka’s green agriculture programme-PMD
• Maha season ruined, Yala will be a disaster’: SJB
• We can get required rice, onion, vegetables and fruits using the Indian Credit Line: UNP
• President should bear responsibility for food crisis: Tilvin
• Illegal fertilisers are smuggled in boats called “bottu urea” mainly from India
• Fertilizer crisis: Farmers facing difficulties due to lack of fertilizer (Video)
• People’s Bank pays USD 6.9 mn to Qingdao Seawin
• Environment Ministry takes agriculture to fallow lands with borrowed method from Indonesia
• Swiss IPEK SA company to acquire 33 % in of cold chain operator Tess Agro PLC
• US$5.5 million from Russia to World Food Programme for projects in Sri Lanka
• Rubber prices have gone up to their highest level in Sri Lanka
‘Sri Lanka has a 30% share of the global solid tyre market and more than 10 internationally renowned companies manufacture and export products under international brand names…over 100 rubber and rubber-based export companies have about 50,000 workers…rubber industry gives 300,000 people via direct and indirect jobs’
• Environment Ministry to cultivate 500 hectares of rubber
• ‘Highest ever export earnings from tea, rubber and cinnamon this year’
• Sri Lanka brews strong cuppa in 2021; but productivity snags persist
• James Finlay divests control of Hapugastenne and Udapussellawa Plantations to Browns
‘Browns owns Maturata Plantations, one of the largest tea producing companies with 19 individual estates that stretch over 12,000 hectares and employ a workforce of over 5,000 individuals…Finlays ‘s blending and packing operation will sources teas from multiple origins including Hapugastenne and Udapussellawa via the Colombo auction.’
• Evergreen’s Brombil in Pelawatte becomes largest tea producing factory
‘with ~4,500 smallholders supplying green leaf to the factory. The factory employs over 400 people’
• DFCC Bank recognises key cinnamon export clients
• Sri Lanka’s northern fishermen switch to China-backed sea cucumber boom
• A dozen Indian fishermen detained in Sri Lanka, released
• Reyaz Mihular appointed to Bairaha Farms Board
‘Managing Partner of KPMG SL & Maldives joins board with Chairman M.T.A. Furkhan, Managing Director Y. Naleem, R. Yakoob, M. Naleem, K. Naleem, H. Abeygunawardena, M.I. Wahid’
• Milk powder shortage to last till end of the month: Milk Powder Importers Association
• Do not eat dollars
‘why have we been eating Dollars for 73 years? Dollars of imported purported ‘food’, most of them made in factories, with lots of chemicals to add colour, flavour’
• Meeting the national vegetable oil demand: Can Madhuca (‘Mee’) oil contribute?
• Jack of many tastes
‘independence fighter Arthur V Dias, a landowner/planter, pioneered a jackfruit propagation across the island in 1918 earning himself the endearment Kos Mama’
• Pomegranate: Why we should eat more of it
• Lanza threatens to resign against Govt. takeover of Muthurajawela
• Global singer Cher slams local officials for exploiting twin elephants
‘After the ‘Rally for Animal Rights and Environment’ (RARE) movement shared a video on its Twitter’
• The Dairy Industry Is Determined to Pour Itself Down Our Throats
‘In its illogical support of Big Dairy, the U.S. government is misleading the public and padding the pockets of one industry over another’
• Whistleblower warns baffling illness affects growing number of youth in Canadian province
• Profit-driven society structured to spread of infectious diseases and block effective measures
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.
• If online permit system not ready within 3 months, Geological Survey & Mines Bureau director board will dissolve: Amaraweera
• FR petition challenges Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm deal with Indians
• DEW endorses dissident ministers’ stand on secret Yugadanavi deal
• Inter University Bhikku Federation protests against the LNG agreement with USA
• Emergency power purchase the answer, but private power suppliers too handicapped by shortage of fuel
• Power outages on the cards in Sri Lanka as CEB struggles to pay for furnace oil: unions
• Sri Lanka rations electricity as dollar crisis worsens
• ‘National Enterprises Authority’ to manage 5 State-Owned Business Enterprises (SOBEs)
‘In 2020, banks provided credit facilities amounting to Rs. 920 billion to the 52 SOBEs and Treasury assistance given to SOBEs was at Rs. 75 billion’
• Govt. to provide jet fuel to overcome kerosene shortage
‘Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery closed due to lack of foreign exchange to purchase crude oil…supplies from the long-time Singapore contractor will begin on 26 Jan’
• Public Utilities Commission asks external consultants to look at Ceylon Electricity Board woes
• CPC veteran: Frequent shutdowns will ruin precious oil refinery
• No Litro Gas official has been held accountable, much less punished,
‘unaware of the power of the so-called kitchen vote, which can either make or break governments’
• Sri Lanka’s Litro gas to add 180,000 cooking gas cylinders to market
‘“We are trying to import machinery to improve quality and to speed up the manufacturing process to cover the time spent at the filling stations due to quality control of canisters,” …More than 800 cooking gas explosions have been recorded in Sri Lanka since October 2021.’
• Sri Lanka’s Laugfs says unable to import cooking gas due to dollar shortage
• Litro calls for EOIs for supply of 60,000 tons of LPG for March
‘supplied in ocean tankers, discharged at the Litro Gas Terminal Lanka, Conventional Buoy Mooring (CBM), located off Kerawalapitiya or at the Port Discharge Facility of the Hambantota Port.’
• SJB: Why has CID baulked at probing Litro Gas?
• Johnston hints at ‘conspiracy’ behind gas explosions, promises to reveal ‘truth’
• Several weeks needed to solve gas shortage
• New tariff system for rooftop solar
• China manufactures giant tunnel boring machine for Sri Lanka
• Forex crisis hits vital export sectors as shippers demand payment in dollars
• Shipping lines demanding relevant freight charges be paid in US dollars
• Kuwait Airways pulls out as dollar crunch hits airline operations
‘Companies presently operating into SL are Emirates, Qatar Airways, Fly Dubai, Air India, Gulf Air, Rossiya Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Saudia, Air Arabia, Oman Airlines, Air Asia, Air France, Etihad Airways, Jazeera Airways, IndiGo, Aeroflot, China Eastern Airlines, Edelweiss Air, Azur Airlines, Air Astana, Lot Polish Airlines, Neos Airlines and Vistara Airlines’
• 500 buses for SLTB to be purchased from India’s Ashok Leyland
• Sri Lanka Police to procure 750 jeeps from India’s Mahindra and Mahindra
• Double digit growth in taxi-hailing industry
‘taxi-market which was at $ 69 billion in 2019 is expected to hit $120 billion by 2027,’
• Role of cyber security policies and standards in 5G age
• Six multinational technology industry giants present at ICTA’s ‘National Digital Consortia’
‘six esteemed global tech giants Microsoft, Oracle, Google, Huawei, Amazon Web Services and Zoom’
• Institute of Marketing (SLIM) MOU with Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM)
• Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT) and OREL IT partner
• For SL tech hub, digital maturity in all areas of economic activity is key
‘hosted by Daily FT and SLID, ICCSL; SLASSCOM and University of Greenwich…State Minister of Digital Technology Namal Rajapaksa, Indian Minister of Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Industries and Commerce, and Information Technology of Telangana Rama Rao, Axiata CEO Hans Wijayasuriya, University of Buckingham’s Harin Sellahewa, HCL’s Vistas Srimathi , New Zealand Amazon Web Services (AWS) Haren Sam (Samarasekera), Kiu Global CEO Steve Landman, ICTA Chairman/Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Director-General Oshada Senanayake, Huawei Chief Digital Officer Michael McDonald, moderator Jeevan Gnanam’
• Microsoft Sri Lanka announces 2021 Partner of the Year Awards winners
• Virtusa Announces Rajeev Mehta as New Chairman of the Board
• Ceylon Institute of Builders thanks Govt. for approving price escalation claims
• Metals and Metal Use in Ancient Sri Lanka
• DIMO introduces the all-new Komatsu PC210-10M0 Excavator to Sri Lanka
• DIMO launches 2022 calendar showcasing ancient Sri Lanka to modern society
• Oxford trailblazer in SL to help set up more nanopore sequencing facilities
‘The manufacturing facility of his company which is based at the Oxford Science Park in England’
• DSI receives patent rights for new category of footwear for the first time
• Tender manipulation leaves Police short of breathalysers and cash
‘a false website claimed it was a US entity connected to a manufacturing facility in France and had delivered samples with phony pricing to its competitor with malicious intent’
• Japan Sri Lanka Technical and Cultural Association holds 35th AGM
‘Tyrell Roche (Treasurer), Nimal Perera (Immediate Past President), Gamini Marambe (President), Mizukoshi Hideaki, Japan’s Ambassador, Dayasiri Warnakulasooriya (Vice Patron), Chandana Amaratunga (Senior Vice President), Mangala Samarajeewa (Vice President) and AnuruddhaGamage (General Secretary), Priyantha Herath( Committee Member), Dulanjana Silva (Committee Member), Gayani Punchihewa (Committee Member) and Nirosh De Silva (Asst. General Secretary)
• Chinese rivals more sophisticated, forcing Germany to put top-shelf on Chinese market
• Sri Lanka And Bangladesh’s Opportunities From Upcoming BIMSTEC Summit
• What India Needs to Learn From Spiralling Gas, Electricity Prices in Europe
• Toyota dethrones GM as US sales leader after nearly a century on top
• Maersk overtaken by Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC) as world’s largest container line
• Using & Abusing Djibouti: How the US Transformed a Tiny African state Into a Hub of Imperial Aggression
• The mutation of the vaccine apartheid
‘low vaccine uptake in Africa is a direct result of wealthy countries’ vaccine hoarding and nationalist policies. And efforts to rectify this inequity have been blocked by the same governments that have an excess of vaccines. For example, a waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines is a crucial mechanism to increase their availability. But while South Africa and India applied for the waiver from the World Trade Organisation more than a year ago, the application has been blocked repeatedly by countries like France, Germany, Spain and Canada’
• Cuba Defeats Covid-19 with Learning, Science, and Unity
• Attack Against Haiti’s De Facto Prime Minister on Independence Day (+Core Group)
• 2021 Latin America and the Caribbean in Review: The Pink Tide Rises Again
• Germany shuts down half of its remaining nuclear plants
‘Germany’s remaining three nuclear plants — Emsland, Isar and Neckarwestheim — will be closed by the end of 2022’
• Shall US Drop Calls Or Airplanes? – Airlines & Wireless Companies Fight Over 5G Activation
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.
• Association of 2,000 Professional Bankers (APB) 32nd convention on 18 January 2022
‘keynote by International Finance Corporation Country Officer Victor Navaranjan Antonypillai…Dreamron CEO Kishu Gomes, Global Technology Executive Madu Ratnayake, ICTA Chief Digital Economy Officer Anura De Alwis, Sri Lanka Police Senior DIG Crimes and Traffic Ajith Rohana, TechCERT CEO Dileepa Lathsara, Dialog Axiata’s Sandra De Zoysa, ICTA Chairman Oshada Senanayake, and Sri Lanka Customs’ Sudattha Silva, Hatton National Bank’s Chiranthi Cooray, Maliban CEO Ravi Jayawardene, and Commercial Bank’s Isuru Tillakawardana’
• John Keells seeks more time from Central Bank to reduce Nations Trust Bank stake
‘JKH currently holds 29.48 percent of the issues shares of NTB, despite maximum of 15 percent allowed for a single entity/person to hold in the bank’
• LOLC merge LOLC Finance and Commercial Leasing & Finance
‘under Central Bank’s master plan of non-bank financial institution consolidation’
• Commercial Leasing and Finance to absorb Sinhaputhra
• CBSL locks out PTL from Primary Dealer business for six more months
• LB Finance secures $8 million loan from Swiss investor & Dubai’s Alpen
‘ LB Finance employs 3,606 people’
• Alliance Finance secures US $ 5mn funding from Swiss-based Enabling Qapital
‘medium-term financing facility from EMF Microfinance Fund AGmvK, Liechtenstein’
• CBSL extends suspension of Perpetual Treasuries
• Mahindra IDEAL Finance now in Kadawatha
‘PBT (Profit Before Tax) LKR 288.4 million from gold loans, SME loans, personal loans, leasing facilities for motor cars, three wheelers, agriculture vehicles and commercial vehicles’
• David Pieris Group’s financial services arm Assetline Leasing expands in northern province
• HNB FINANCE introduces Auto Loan facility
• Credit to private sector recovers in November from October lows
• Private sector back in borrowing mode
• Nov. credit card spend up as people loosen purse strings
‘banks in total had issued 8,820 new cards during November, bringing the total credit card base in the entire banking system to 1.9 million.’
• ComBank’s ATM network dispensed Rs 91.8 bn. in December & Rs 848.4 bn. in 2021
• Illiquid share manipulation to stop by month-end in the Colombo Stock Exchange
• Sithumina Jayasundara appointed CEO of HNB General Insurance
‘Jayasundara is the current President of the Sri Lanka Insurance Institute (SLII) and a founding Council Member of The Association of Chartered Insurance Professionals (ACIP) in Sri Lanka’
• Lasitha Wimalaratne appointed CEO of HNB Assurance PLC
‘Wimalaratne is the current Secretary of the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL), and is the immediate Honorary Past President of the Sri Lanka Insurance Institute (SLII)’
• Thimal Perera appointed DFCC Bank CEO
‘Been with HSBC, Commercial Bank of Qatar, Barclays Bank, UAE and Hatton National Bank. He serves as a Director of Synapsys, Acuity Partners…’
• Sri Lanka stocks up for 7th session despite worst foreign outflows in 4 months
• Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Commissioner Naresh Abeysekera resigns
• News Blackout on the Fed’s Naming of the Banks that Got Its Emergency Repo Loans
• Wall Street Banks Literally Own the New York Fed
• Wall Street Banks Alibi for $11.23 Trillion in Emergency Repo Loans from the Fed
• Smoking Guns in the Fed’s 2019-2020 Emergency Repo Loan Bailouts
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’
• BOI investors want exemptions on dollar conversion
• Renuka Holdings subsidiary Galle Face Properties and Sampath Bank to build Galle Face Icon
• Equity aids the vigilant, not those who sleep on their property rights
• Hela Apparel bets big on Egypt operations to boost group revenue
‘caters to Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and European supermarkets, including Tesco and ASDA… Deshan Pushparajah of CAL Investments Bank, Hela Apparel Holdings CFO Moiz Rehmanjee, Hela Chairman A.R. Rasiah, Hela CEO Dilanka Jinadasa and CT CLSA Holdings Group COO Zakir Mohamedally’
• Browns Investments gets bullish; buys Rs. 3.2 b more strategic assets of Sierra
• England auto services provider Miraj diversifies into hotel business
• The national single window: Paving the way for paperless trade – US Advocata
• Bangla AI giant Algonomy set to acquire SL’s Linear Squared
‘powering digital-first strategies for retailers and brands’
• India’s Aparajitha Corporate Services to automate bribery, corruption & corporate risks
• Ceylon Chamber of Commerce MOU with Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry
• India-China trade surge muffles beating war drums
• Global M&A volumes hit record high in 2021, breach $ 5 trillion for first time
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.
• It’s a collective responsibility to face setbacks as a team – President
• Claims and demands: The flip side of longing for ‘belonging’
‘Tamils had over 40% in the public service – mainly in the commerce, banking, customs, educational institutions, and the percentage of Tamil students in the universities too was over 40’
• Govt. must reach an agreement with opponents: Wimal
• Susil Goes to Market – Nalin de Silva
• Presidents sacks state minister who said laws being “drafted elsewhere”
• Government backbenchers tell Government seniors to ‘shut up’
• A Junta may be Triggered by the JVP – Jayatilleka
• Coming crack-up, President’s plans and Tamil timing – Jayatilleka
• “Rulers have lost ability to govern…“Premature dissolution possible”: JVP demands election
• Evaluating trends in the JVP-NPP – David
• Anura and Harini
• Gotabaya and the Sangha – Nalin de Silva
• “Everyone will turn into thieves if they are elected to the Govt” – Former President
• Towards a future free from fears of Islamism – Parts I & II
• Revisiting Sinhala and Tamil nationalism
• “I am ready to take tough or bold decisions to fulfill the aspirations of the people” – President
• People think all appointees are Viyathmaga and that’s totally wrong
• Sajith starts Northern tour
• In 1922, Sri Lanka was bickering over a Tamil seat in the Western Province
• NMSJ’s Proposals on Constitutional Reform—A rejoinder: Wickramaratne
• Regaining a losing Paradise – Part II Reforms for a Just Society
• No single term for compromise in Sinhala
• Revisiting presidential system of government
• Question franchise & party system in search of ‘democracy’ and governance
• IMF: Let Maithri handle – Democracy and the 52-Day Coup
• Singapore maintains 36 resident overseas missions against our 67
• The driving force of Colonial Ceylon’s temperance movement – FR Senanayake
‘only after 1815 that the English Colonial Government systematically introduced alcohol to the masses’
• The Cuban Revolution Forges Ahead (1959-2022): Friends of Cuba – Sri Lanka
• VP Singh’s Action-Packed Career in a Bipolar Political Arena
• Checkmating Christianity: What India Can Learn From Japan
• Political Dynasties Fueling Crises in Africa, Analysts Say
• Ukraine: What Does it Have to Do with Black Folks?
• Liz Truss and the Booze: Entertaining a US Trade Delegation
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.
• Rupavahini Corporation Chairman Reginald Cooray resigns
• Colombo District Court issues injunction order against YouTube
‘from publishing defamatory videos on YouTube that could tarnish the reputation of the Russian Education Center (REC Campus)’
• How to Escape Google
• Pedophiles, the rich, the powerful and Ghislaine Maxwell – Editorial
‘rich and powerful are beyond the reach of the law’
• Problem arises when the media doesn’t properly interpret annual reports- Treasury Secretary
• Reports of Banks forcibly converting forex balances false: Cabraal
• Niroshan Premaratne appointed ITN Chairman
• Institute of Marketing (SLIM) National Sales Congress (NASCO) Awards open for entries
• Celebrating next generation of marketers at SLIM Graduation Ceremony 2021
• Filmmaker slams government over plight of pandemic-hit artists
• First archaeologist in Sri Lanka who appreciated archaeology under the sea
• Bright Stars of Colombo Chetty Community – 1976
• He leaves behind a legacy of research work on Muslim issues
• Malay contribution to enrichment of Lanka for centuries
• Great Days of Colombo, the story of our big city
‘Colombo grew from very small beginnings as a simple Moorish port’
• RASSL holds Prof. Ariyapala Memorial Lecture
‘delivered by Prof. Kusuma Karunaratne, Professor Emeritus, University of Colombo’
• Over 50 local and foreign artists to explore ‘Language is Migrant’
• The Spiritual Dialogue on Olympics and Civilizations
• Restitution of Colonial Looted Art is Only the Start
• The insufferable hypocrisy of Western governments hell-bent on destroying Julian Assange
• Recent Black books to help us get through the year ahead
• Don’t Look Up Movie Reflects the Cynicism of Capitalist Decay, for Better and for Worse