‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 08-14 May 2022
The US Treasury, which controls the IMF, etc., is sending a team to Sri Lanka.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s speech in April to the Atlantic Council in Washington offers clues into the ‘failure’ of Sri Lanka’s supply chains.
In her speech, Yellen demands a new Bretton Woods framework and a revamp of the IMF and World Bank institutions (she was speaking just before their spring meetings).
Yellen coins a new trope for their ‘post-neoliberal era’ – ‘friend-shoring’. The US now favors ‘the friend-shoring of supply chains to a large number of trusted countries‘ that share ‘a set of norms and values about how to operate in the global economy’. She marks NATO’s war on Russia, and the failure of several major countries to support the US sanctions on Russia as ‘a pivot point for the global economy.’
In future, US trade policy would no longer involve merely leaving markets to their own devices (!), but rather would uphold certain ideals – from national sovereignty and a rules-based order to security and labor rights. She wishes the USA’s objective to be not just “free but secure trade”.
Countries will not be allowed to use their ‘market position in key raw materials, technologies or products to have the power to disrupt our economy or exercise unwanted geopolitical leverage’ (See Random Notes).
‘All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy, 1877
All ruling families do not rule in their own way. Nor are all ruling families unloved. Take the Wijewardena family of Sri Lanka. All the whites and Black-whites love them.
US, English and Japanese envoys all rushed to greet the newly appointed Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremasinghe, a relative of many of Sri Lanka’s leaders, kindred to the Wijewardenas. Even GoGoGama has gone gaga: ‘The group of representatives of the public protest at the Galle Face Green in Colombo has handed over their joint declaration to the newly appointed PM’ (Newswire).
Who chose this ‘group of representatives of the public protest’? And how were they chosen? It doesn’t matter. The capitalist media (which, in Sri Lanka, is dominated by a Wijewardena-Unilever nexus) wants to keep choosing our ‘representatives’. Besides, the chambers of commerce, business leaders, etc., all love this PM too. In Ranil, they trust (see ee Politics).
‘Markets reacted positively with the Colombo Stock Exchange
up almost 10% on the back of the appointment,
while the currency exhibited some stability due to moves by the Central Bank
likely encouraged by the political stability its Governor demanded just days before.’
Their collective relief and confidence is almost edible.
Earlier in the week, this 6th-time-PM’s nephew-in-law Deshal de Mel, Research Director at US-funded thinktank Verité, was reappointed by the Finance Ministry as an advisor. The new Prime Minister has also appointed committees to beg the import mafia: ‘the respective trade associations and officials to find solutions to fuel, gas, medicine and fertilizer shortages’.
Former ministers in the Yahapalana government are heading these committees: Vajira Abeywardena and Palitha Range Bandara will ‘place proposals on providing essential food items without a shortage after consultations with officials and trade associations… The PM’s cousin, former minister Ruwan Wijewardena, will ‘put forward solutions on minimizing medicine shortages’… former minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam will report ‘on the fertilizer shortage’… former Minister Sagala Ratnayake is looking into the ‘shortage of fuel & gas’.
The media cannot tell us exactly which foreign banks and multinationals these ‘shortage ministers’ will be talking to.
This ocean they call Indian that rocks and cradles us. For 500 and more years supply chains that crisscross this ocean have been controlled by heavily armed merchant networks (aka criminal gangs) under the dominant imperialist powers.
Their MNCs control most world trade; the importers, whose orifices these ministers have to lubricate, are merely MNC agents, and also relate to the same set of families and ‘market minorities’:
‘Central Bank governor N Weerasinghe said they observe that importers somehow have been finding dollars to bring goods such as TVs, refrigerators, mobile phones and the like, when the dollars could not be found for essential imports. He urged consumers also to defer such purchases if possible for another 6 months or so because the priority today is to have medicine, fuel, gas, etc to run a working economy.’ (ee Economy, Daily Guidance)
The CB governor, a former US-IMF employee, is admitting there are more powerful forces than the government. If so, it is these importers who really run the country, regardless of elections and parties. Their main aim is the further weakening of the Sri Lankan state. In particular, to prevent the modern industrialization of the country.
• Who exactly was behind the escalation of last week’s violence, that flared on all sides? Some blame it on unidentified ‘helmets’. Some say these ‘helmets’ belong to a ‘revolutionary party’. Others say these ‘helmets’ work for several masters. Is there a 3rd force whose main aim is to inflame both sides? Not so, says the marketer of all marketers:
‘Sri Lanka violence could tarnish image as democratic liberal market country’ warns the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM). SLIM’s job is to celebrate the country’s criminal and advertising and PR sector. SLIM promotes imported goods. One doesn’t need to be brighter than sunlight to guess who this ‘SLIM’ is. Think of oodles of multinational soap bubbling through our drains, keeping our lawyers’ and business leaders’ white shirts white. We are, adds SLIM, a ‘country that respects principles of democratic governance!’
SLIM then lays down the line, the gospel of the hour, the good news: ‘A number of government MPs’ homes and offices were torched by angry mobs around the country Monday and Tuesday, in a wave of spontaneous violence that was triggered by an unprovoked attack on peaceful anti-government protestors by supporters of ex-PM Mahinda Rajapaksa.’
The ‘country is in a transition economically and politically’ says SLIM. SLIM believes ‘timely & immediate steps, driven by consensus among all concerned, is what will help Sri Lanka navigate the challenging transition peacefully and emerge as a resilient nation. In initiating such positive efforts, SLIM shall stand with the committed stakeholders in an unhesitant manner, in all possible ways,’ it said (see ee Economists, SLIM)
So the white messaging is very clear, and comes at us from 100 ‘sponsored’ angles: The Rajapakses are almost solely blamed. With one voice, this white message is broadcast by all their news services and social media trolls. A worldwide and historically wrought economic meltdown is also blamed on this one family. A lack of democracy however is also being blamed on the institution of the Executive President.
• Most of the NGOs calling for the abolition of the Executive Presidency are funded by countries with powerful executive presidencies and imperialist states. Such NGOs, including the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Centre for Policy Alternatives, National Peace Council, etc., are heavily funded by USAID, etc. These very same NGOs are also demanding the economy come under the US Treasury’s IMF. The IMF’s 17th panacea, like the 16 panaceas before, will further entrap us (ee Focus, Vallejos).
• The new PM, is from a Colombo-centric clan, a leading gang of families installed throughout the long horror-scape of colonialism. A family, imperialism has long grown comfortable with. A family that holds monopoly power over the media (Wijeya Group), of course with the assent of such leading banks and multinationals as Unilever, etc. A look at the fat glossy advertising supplements of their newspapers is all one needs to see their love of the imported good life. His family belongs to one of the criminal gangs among a few religious ‘market minorities’, who have looted the country: in this PM’s case – the Anglican church, whose leader is the monarch of England, and head of its military forces and settler colonies.
• The IMF will make us even more dependent on imported goods as they seek to extend their control. Their multinational corps, through their sponsorship of media and other patronage networks, dominate distribution and also undermine and prevent investment in local industrial production.
They will seek to maintain us as an entrepot for consumption, a drug and money laundry, tax hideout and tourist resort. They aim to keep us subjected to the whims and fancies of the import-export plantation oligarchy that has ruled us for the last 500 years and more. They call it neoliberalism, but it aint that new or liberal (ee Economists, Neoliberalism’s Colonial Origins).
A1. Reader Comments –
• Facebook Loves GotaGoGama • ee Gutter Rag • ee must Explain Links
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Soapy Frauds • Who are the Political Influencers • Corporate Arrogance • No Commissions from Russian Oil • Nepal’s Indian Power • Industrial Emphasis • Red Army Debt
A3. Random Notes –
• DFIs Holding Banks Hostage • US Blocks Supply Chains • Canada’s role in Ghana Coup • Zionists & Nazis
B. ee Focus
B1. Argentina Demands Justice From the IMF – But who will provide it?: Fernanda Vallejos
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
• ‘When you type GGG on FB, a text delight animation appears!’
• ‘Re: India preventing Sri Lanka from accessing Russian oil. If ee is a public document for circulation, make it authentic with proper sources… the childish attempt to connect the dots and expecting your readers to do so makes ee another rag gutter sheet’
• ‘ee could spend more quality time and space explaining the intrinsic connecting economic and financial interests of the fake Lankan oil scarcity, the obvious IMF-manufactured Indian veto power over Lankan buying Russian oil – since India and Russia are supposed to be on the same BRICS economic and financial page. Try also to highlight the Indian military boots on Lankan soil and how it is tied to the Indian-IMF default. These proxy war games are very complicated and we need to completely simplify the manufactured matrix. India is also in a quandary. Now, it has to do the dirty work of Uncle Sam and his Western cousins. It’s not yet Uhuru. Aluta continua. Cheers.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Sri Lanka can’t even produce a bar of soap locally. All the chemicals needed to produce are imported, and all that the business elite engaged in soap business does is mix these chemicals in different proportions. These are merchants disguised as local producers. They get sweeping tax breaks for raw material imports when they pose as producers. This scam has been going on ever since the mid-1950s when governments tried to impose import restrictions to promote local production. So the collapse of the rupee is blowing up the domestic prices of essentials like soap sky high. All that the business elite know is how to do is mis-invoice trade and shift the existing foreign exchange flows out of the country into their offshore accounts, at the expense of rest of the population.’– Dhanusha Pathirana
• In Sri Lanka the blame and the responsibility for key decisions on economic and politics is cast on political authorities. Hardly any deeper search is made to identify the parties who influence those decisions. The Central Bank of SL is the premier public institution in the country. It is staffed with highly qualified and well-trained economists who enjoy the best salaries and perks in the public service. The Monetary Policy in the country is determined by the Monetary Board of the CBSL. Senior officials of the CBSL are seconded to the Ministry of Finance at the highest level as Secretary of the Treasury and other important positions. It is this coterie of CBSL officials who dictate the Fiscal Policy of SL. … In addition, the Secretary of Finance who is seconded from CBSL is a permanent member of the Monetary Board.’ – Sugath Kulatunge
• ‘What was perhaps most disappointing and disheartening was the complete lack of integrity shown by many corporate leaders, some of whom I still regard as friends. We even saw recently some titans of industry sitting before COPE and stating that their internal expansion decisions were made in ignorance of the seriousness of the country’s economic crisis. Their reactions to questioning from an MP, a representative of the people, smacked of an arrogance that even they could ill-afford at this moment.’ – ee Economists, Debate Flawed
• ‘The main reason is that India is buying oil from Russia at a steep discount while we are buying from India at a premium price. The Russian interest-free credit facility for oil and gas, already approved by them, does not allow commissions to the higher-ups in the government. So they have accepted the Indian credit line that’s ripping off Sri Lanka while handing out fat commissions to the political elite… the current energy minister said there’s no warnings by the West to Sri Lanka on doing business with Russia couple of days back.’ – Dhanusha Pathirana
• ‘Nepal’s Economy Hammered by Power Outages – Nepal relies heavily on electricity imported from India, where generation is running low amid one of the worst power crises in years.’ – ee Industry, Nepal
• ‘How much emphasis to be put on electronic device assembly, chips, laser-device assembly as opposed to say heavier manufacturing (neither can be done without overseas investment, technical support and product marketing partners) is a trade-off of national concern.’ – ee Economists, David
• Victory Day, May 9 (1945) – ’24 years of discipline and labor have created an eternal glory, the name of which is the Red Army. Anyone who loves freedom owes such a debt to the Red Army that it can never be repaid… In 1942 you saved the world from the forces of barbarity, offering resistance alone, almost without help.’ – Ernest Hemingway
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’) _
Underdevelopment Banks – Local Sri Lankan banks are not just being held hostage by so-called Development Financial Institutions (DFIs). DFIs are on the verge of taking them over.
Some people may believe that ‘development banks’ are something desirable. The last-but-one governor of the Central Bank promised to set up a development bank to promote our own industrialization. They removed him before he could do that. But there are development banks and there are development banks.
Development Banks or DFIs set up by imperialist countries promote their own industries and prevent industrialization in our countries. Foreign DFIs in Sri Lanka have ‘invested’ in local banks and financial institutions, mainly to get them to promote the sales of their industrial goods: machinery, vehicles, etc. The most famous DFI is the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank Group, which has been investing in Brandix, Commercial Bank etc. Then there is FMO – the Dutch development bank, which has invested in Sanasa Development Bank (SDB), etc. There are many more.
Sri Lankan banks were this week complaining that foreign DFIs are not only withholding funding, but are demanding immediate upfront payment. Sunday Times reported: ‘Banks struggle to secure funding lines… amidst the crippling forex crunch in the country and a junk rating’.
‘At least 6 banks said the funding lines by DFIs have dried up or these institutions are waiting on the sidelines to make a commitment after the intended bailout from the IMF. When the government is downgraded to default grade, the banks in the country are also automatically put in the same grade, as they cannot get a better rating than the sovereign, senior economist Dr WA Wijewardena told tBusiness Times…
A senior banker at a mid-sized bank added that the biggest challenge for banks which have taken funding lines is repaying the DFIs. He said the forex shortage is adding to the problems: ‘Now rates are prohibitive and we can’t virtually access any finding lines’; the Central Bank should help in this regard… ‘Now the biggest issue is dollar liquidity. Despite customers holding balances in their dollar accounts, they cannot send cash out for children’s overseas education for example.’ (sundaytimes.lk/220508/business-times/banks-struggle-to-secure-funding-lines-481823.html)
• US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is calling for the creation of a new Bretton Woods system, tied to the US definition of the values of liberal democracy … ‘The US will support supply chains involving only those countries that respect moral values and norms of behavior.‘
‘We will also need to modernize our existing institutions—the IMF and the multilateral development banks—so they’re fit for the twenty-first century, where challenges and risks are increasingly global. And finally, we need to build trust and cooperation to improve our ability to provide the global public goods that are needed to address these challenges. I’ll now present a set of propositions on how to turn some of our problems into opportunities to move forward. First, we need to modernize the multilateral approach we have used to build trade integration. Our objective should be to achieve free but secure trade. We cannot allow countries to use their market position in key raw materials, technologies, or products to have the power to disrupt our economy or exercise unwanted geopolitical leverage. So, let’s build on and deepen economic integration and the efficiencies it brings on terms that work better for US workers. And let’s do it with the countries we know we can count on. Favoring the friend-shoring of supply chains to a large number of trusted countries, so we can continue to securely extend market access, will lower the risks to our economy as well as to our trusted trade partners’ (see ee Economists, Yellen).
• Canada as Settler State Unsettling the World – Numerous anti-colonial leaders in Africa had by the 1950s also identified Canada as a supporter of imperialist US policies on the continent. Congo’s Patrice Lumumba (eventually murdered) described Canada as ‘just another imperialist power,’ while Egypt’s Nasser characterized Canadian peacekeepers in Africa as ‘a force serving neo-imperialism’. One can see evidence for these accusations in Canada’s extensive support for the perpetrators of the coup against Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah, and the reaction of Canadian leaders to his ouster, which ranged from conspicuous silence to undisguised celebration.
The military officers who deposed Nkrumah received training from Canadian advisors. Canada’s junior staff officers ran a training program at the Ghanaian Defense College, and Canada’s high commissioner in Accra CE McGaughey noted, ‘All the chief participants of the coup were graduates of this course.’ McGaughey lauded this fact, writing in an internal memo to External Affairs after the coup: ‘a wonderful thing has happened for the West in Ghana and Canada has played a worthy part.’ Furthermore, he applauded the new military government for having ‘thrown the Russian and Chinese rascals out’.
After Ghana secured its independence from Britain, Western powers took notice of the crucial role that the military could play in Western power projection in the country. In addition to the training course, several Canadians occupied senior positions in Ghana’s conservative Ministry of Defense. Colonel Desmond Deane-Freeman, Canada’s military attaché to Ghana, noted that the purpose of having Canadians in these positions was to impart ‘our way of thinking’ onto indigenous African officials. In 1965 McGaughey noted that in the postcolonial period, Ghana’s military had changed ‘less than any other institution. It is still equipped with Western arms and… is Western oriented.’
McGaughey’s cables note that, among some sectors of Ghanaian society, Canada’s influence over the military and its strategic deployment of aid policies aligned with the political goals of the US and Britain. Indeed, it’s difficult not to note that Canadian aid to Ghana increased considerably following the coup. Yves Engler explains: ‘During the 3 years between 1966 & 1969 the [military government] received as much Canadian aid as during Nkrumah’s 10 years in office… Ottawa was the fourth [largest] major donor after the US, England, and [the] UN.’
Nevertheless, McGaughey lamented, ‘for some African and Asian diplomats stationed in Accra, I gather that there is a tendency to identify our aid policies particularly where military assistance is concerned with the aims of US and English policies.’ Oddly, he voiced his inability to understand why US and English policy agendas were not ‘above criticisms or suspicion’ in Africa and Asia.
While the post-Nkrumah military government destroyed the president’s socialist project and massively liberalized the country’s economy, later governments would go further, accepting IMF structural adjustment programs and transitioning toward an even greater export orientation. Cynthia Kwakyewah and Uwafiokun Idemudia describe the immediate impact of these policies on the Ghanian economy:
Ghana was forced to devalue its currency, adopt a flexible exchange rate, decrease inflation, reduce public services and government spending (especially on education, health, and welfare), eliminate trade barriers, privatize public enterprises, and stimulate economic growth through export.
Canadian investments in Ghana grew in combination with the country’s liberalization, especially in the mining sector. Gold is the country’s most profitable export, and by 2005, 11 major Canadian mining companies operated there: Birim Goldfields, Nevsun Resources, Moydow Mines International, St Jude Resources, PMI Ventures, AMI Resources, AXMIN, Alcan, IAMGOLD, Golden Star Resources, and Akrokeri-Ashanti Gold Mines. This massive resource wealth does not translate to profits for the people of Ghana. In fact, the modern Ghanaian state is a model of Western-backed liberalization in West Africa, allowing foreign companies to repatriate up to 95% of their profits from the mining industry.
Canada’s material support for conservative anti-Nkrumah elements in the Ghanaian military is well-documented. One must also situate the country’s role in Nkrumah’s removal within the broader history of Canadian aversion to pan-Africanist integration, evidenced by its anti-Lumumba stance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, its welcoming of the 1987 coup against Thomas Sankara, and its lengthy and extensive support for apartheid in Southern Africa, which only dwindled when world opinion began to turn against the fascist regimes. Nkrumah’s removal was ‘a wonderful thing for the West’ insofar as it toppled one of the most significant pillars of pan-Africanism on the continent, paving the way for the wider dismantling of the project’s political efficacy.
In 2012, Canada’s Governor General Michaëlle Jean visited Ghana and laid a wreath on Kwame Nkrumah’s tomb. Such a commemorative gesture reads as wholly disingenuous given Canada’s role in removing the pan-Africanist leader from office and the unwillingness of Canadian leaders to acknowledge this fact, let alone assume a degree of responsibility for its historical consequences.
• ‘Israeli PM, Naftali Bennett, condemned Russian foreign minister Sergey V Lavrov’s comment that Jews were ‘the biggest antisemites’. The Israeli Foreign Ministry also summoned the Russian ambassador to Israel to explain Lavrov’s remarks, while Israeli FM Yair Lapid demanded an apology.
Ironically, the father of Israeli foreign minister Lapid is linked to the attempt to cover up the murder of Jews in Hungary by Nazis and later founding leaders in Israel. Hungarian Jewish journalist Tommy Lapid (father of Yair, current Israeli FM, leader of the Yesh Atid party) is linked to attempts to whitewash Rudolf Kasztner, a leader of a small Zionist grouping in Budapest towards the end of WWII. After dealing with Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, Kasztner got the Nazis to agree to deport 1,684 Hungarian Jews, the so-called ‘Kasztner Train,’ who eventually escaped to Switzerland. While he sent thousands more to their doom in Auschwitz. Kasztner deliberately put selected strong Zionists who wanted to emigrate to Palestine on his list. He deceived those Hungarian Jews who did not want to emigrate, making them believe the Nazis were no danger to them. Kasztner knew they were being sent to their deaths, and actively kept this secret from other Jews in Hungary and the wider Jewish world. Kazstner made his way to Palestine, and by 1952 became a spokesman for Israel’s Ministry of Trade. On March 3, 1957, rightwing extremists shot Kasztner dead.
B. Special Focus_
B1. Argentina Demands Justice from the IMF – But who will provide it? – Fernanda Vallejos
Over the past 2 months, thousands of people have taken to the streets of my country, Argentina, expressing outrage over a record-breaking loan from the International Monetary Fund that threatens to plunge us into a perpetual debt crisis. The IMF granted us the loan in 2018, and our Congress resumed deliberations over its repayment Thursday. But the financial body has inflicted misery on my people for decades.
The IMF’s engagement with Argentina follows a now-familiar pattern: The fund’s loans are accompanied by demands to cut public services, pay & entitlements, and sell off the public realm. The wealth of the few must be protected, the technocrats and loan managers seem to say, from the demands of the many. The results are now tragically familiar too: Inequality, poverty and insecurity soar.
You’d think that we’d have learned our lesson, yet in 2018 the IMF granted the largest loan in its history to Argentina – $56.3billion – locking us into years of austerity and privatization policies while shackling our country to an infeasible debt repayment schedule. This is why next month Progressive International will convene economists, lawyers and expert witnesses to hold an inquiry into the IMF. The probe will review cases of IMF illegality, impunity, and disregard for human rights that stretch across decades and continents and will demand compliance and accountability from the fund.
The timing of the IMF’s 2018 agreement with Argentina, completed the year before a presidential election, was no accident. The details were hidden from the public and those of us in Congress tasked with providing oversight. Our finance minister, Martin Guzmán, has claimed the US representative on the IMF board at the time admitted that the intention was for the loan to sway the election in favor of rightwing incumbent Mauricio Macri, an ally of then-US President Donald Trump. The IMF’s bet on Macri’s re-election gave it action both ways. The fund’s likely preferred candidate lost, but the winner, Alberto Fernández, was stuck with the loser’s loan – and a $20bn repayment scheduled for 2022. His government has been weighed down by the burden of billions in repayments in the middle of a pandemic, while stuck in negotiations with the IMF to agree on repayment terms.
Meanwhile, we looked on as the loan allowed the wealthy to take their money out of the country. Undeterred, the IMF continued disbursing each installment of the loan, financing capital flight and leaving the people of my country to suffer the consequences.
Many of us began to investigate the legality of this loan. Now we have the proof: In December 2021 the IMF published an explosive internal review of its 2018 loan agreement with Argentina. The report admitted to systematic failures in the design and delivery of the loan. It not only violated our laws here in Argentina, but many claim that it also violated the IMF’s own bylaws. Despite repeated warnings from staff, the IMF failed to comply with its duty of due diligence in the provision of the largest loan in its history.
The evidence is now clear, but there is seemingly no established mechanism of accountability for justice to be served – a painful reminder of the level of impunity in which the IMF operates. Yet my country’s story isn’t unique. Our neighbor Ecuador negotiated a loan with the Fund in 2020 that forced the sacking of thousands of public health workers and the privatization of its central bank, resulting in severe recession and increases in poverty. The people of Greece, Pakistan, Kenya, and many other countries have suffered in similar ways.
It’s time to change the story. The IMF must be held to account, and there must be consequences for the lasting damage it has caused to the people in countries like my own. But who will provide the justice that we so desperately and determinedly seek?
There is a route to justice available that we should seize on: Move the International Court of Justice to investigate the IMF for illegitimate lending. The Progressive International inquiry is a first step toward building evidence for a case against the IMF and ending its impunity once and for all.
It is evident that the IMF is responsible for endorsing the process of capital flight that followed the granting of its loan to my country. It clearly operated in breach of its own bylaws and articles of agreement in what appears to have been a brazen attempt to pursue the agenda of its largest contributor, the US government, at the expense of a country in deep financial distress. The IMF has an obligation to repair the damage caused to our people when it granted this loan. We must pursue justice for this tragedy that our communities were forced to endure and seek reparations.
In Argentina, we have seen history repeat itself time and again, as the IMF continues to operate with impunity, instilling its form of financial colonialism without ever being held to account for the damage it leaves in its wake. By taking this case to the International Court of Justice, Argentina can reclaim its sovereignty and show that the IMF is not beyond the reach of international justice – and pave the way for other countries to follow suit. (firstname.lastname@example.org, theintercept.com/2022/03/10/argentina-imf-debt-protests)
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.
• Subramanian Swamy wants Indian Army in SL
‘At present anti-Indian foreign forces are taking advantage of people’s anger.’
• India categorically denies reports on deploying troops to Sri Lanka
• Unfolding the enigma of Sara Jasmine
• Intelligence agencies alert on regrouping of ex-LTTE cadres
• SL denies Indian intel claims of ‘LTTE regrouping to launch attacks’
• India says credit lines to overcome crisis not an endorsement of the current regime
• Lines of credit extended to Sri Lanka may go through rough patch: India’s Exim Bank
• India’s Exim Bank may recast $1.3 billion Sri Lanka Loans
• Moragoda thanks India for supply of 65,000 MT of urea immediately, waving off export ban
• India has not stopped visas for Sri Lanka citizens: HC
• Sri Lanka’s New Prime Minister Wickremesinghe ‘Wants a Closer Relationship’ With India
• Sri Lanka PM meets India envoy, England calls for stability
• Sri Lanka prime minister meets US, Japan, China envoys
• Sumanthiran agrees with Ranil to lead forthcoming law reform committee
• Would Mahinda Rajapakse set fire to his own house? – Waduge
‘Such an operation cannot be done with local brains. Therefore, we have to wonder who are the brains behind the chaos that erupted. From where did the pluck the helmet gangs for the job?’
• National Joint Committee (NJC) sets preconditions for abolition of Executive Presidency
• Upcoming visit of US treasury team
• Why did Nandasena let the US Government thinktank, ‘Pathfinder Foundation’, direct, control and manage Sri Lanka’s economy?”
• Was Dear Mother Lanka Raped By Unscrupulous Political Opportunists Over The Last Month?
• US says watching Sri Lanka’s situation very closely
• Street anger boils, unions and the West denounce emergency
• While protestors burn down houses of government ministers US Ambassador condemns violence against peaceful protestors
• US Ambassador meets Dinesh Gunawardena
• US envoy looks forward to working with Ranil
• US envoy discusses Sri Lanka’s crisis situation with Anura
• Are we returning to Dutch-East-India Company rule? – Waduge
‘The key target was the PM who is able to command the majority votes. Sending him home sends entire vote base astray with no alternate options.’’
• India announces operational details of $1b credit line
• White countries condemn attack on peaceful protestors
• Violence: HRW urges world to pressure Sri Lanka to respect fundamental freedoms
• Emergency regulations must be immediately revoked: ICJ
• Australia issues stronger travel advisory on Sri Lanka
• Amnesty International asks SL to rescind emergency, shooting orders immediately
• Namal tells of their plans to Indian news site
• Inside US Meddling Machine: NED, US-Funded Org Interfering in Elections Across the Globe.
• US Indo-Pacific strategy adrift in an illusion
‘ASEAN countries have mixed views on Ukraine. Myanmar at one end is supporting Russia, while Singapore instinctively embraces Washington’s sanctions against Russia. Vietnam and Laos, with strong connections to Moscow since Soviet era, abstained at the UN General Assembly votes reprimanding Russia. The ASEAN countries are concerned over the increases in the cost of oil, gas, grains and fertilisers due to the conflict in Ukraine and call for a diplomatic solution to the crisis.’
• USA Seeks ASEAN Proxy Willing To Poke China
• Canadian Diaspora Condemns Anti-Muslim Violence in India
• Canadian Diaspora Condemns Brazen Calls for Muslim Genocide in India
• No to a New Monroe Doctrine in the Pacific
‘The U.S. and Australia have fiercely opposed the new security agreement between China and the Solomon Islands. They are attempting to construct a Monroe Doctrine in the Pacific, imposing US hegemony over the region as part of their long-term strategy of China containment.’
• Assad renews Syria’s bonds with Iran
‘Although the conflict has ended, Syria still remains under foreign occupation…its economy is in ruins’
• Tehran says Vienna talks can conclude successfully if U.S. honors Iranians’ rights
• EU stumbles over Russian oil slick
‘sanctions won’t deter the Russian operation in Ukraine, while the ensuing turbulence in the world oil market will not spare European economies too.’
• Ukraine – Congress Passes The Bucks, Realism Sneaks In, Poland Plans For More War
• Munk Debate: Russia-Ukraine War, Walt, Mearsheimer v McFaul, Sikorski
• Why Did Lloyd Austin Call Sergei Shoigu?
• If Ukraine Is Winning Why Is The U.S. Requesting A Ceasefire?
• Cape Verde: Ulisses Correia Admits Kidnapping of Alex Saab was an Exchange for Cooperative Security
• Why Non-Alignment is Urgent for the Global South
• West African “Coup Contagion” Analysis
• Summit of the Americas in ‘Danger’ as Caribbean States Threaten Boycott Over Cuba and Venezuela Exclusion
• UN visits Honduras to create anti-corruption commission
• U.S. government admits at least 53 burial sites at Indigenous boarding schools
• At least 500 Native American kids died in schools
• Pope to visit Canada in July to meet residential school survivors
• Fact Sheet on the National Endowment for Democracy
‘subverted lawful governments and cultivated pro-US puppet forces around the world under the pretext of promoting democracy’
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.
• USAID Moves On The Bar Association
• White water cannon truck from India not for Lanka, for UN in Mali
• Fort Police apply for court order to clear access to Presidential Secretariat
• Protesters face arrest if they disrupt normalcy
• Heavy military presence in Colombo & suburbs
• Sri Lanka President re-appoints temporary secretaries who lost jobs
‘President Gotabaya Rajapksa has re-appointed retired Retired General Kamal Gunaratne to the defence ministry, retired Major General Jagath Alwis to the Ministry of Public Security and Mahinda Siriwardana to the Finance Ministry.’
• SLPP MP, private bodyguard on their way home from TT killed
• WP Senior DIG Thennakoon assaulted
• Prison Dept. confirms 58 inmates missing from Monday
• Shoot-on-sight orders issues; Defence Secy. urges protestors not to resort to violence
• Sri Lanka emergency law a deadly blow to democracy: Free Media Movement
• Police probing destruction of politicos’ property
• Did Call From JVP Lal Kantha end up In Burning Residences of PM and SLPP Politicians?
‘Like what the Canadian PM Justin Trudeau did to the Truckers Protest which happened a few months ago in Ottawa and then in other cities in Canada, all their bank accounts should be probed immediately and frozen and details of those who funded them must be made public. Using the “EMERGENCY” they should be brought before the “Rule-of-Law”.’
• Defence Secy blames ‘revolutionary party’ for spree of violence
• Minster Prasanna Ranatunga refused treatment (Video)
• Human Rights Commission summons SIS Head Suresh Sallay
• China calls WHO chief ‘irresponsible’ for saying zero-COVID strategy ‘not sustainable’
• UN raises concern over Haitian gangs’ recruitment of children
• US psychologist details torture of Saudi prisoner at CIA black site
• Germany finds hundreds of Nazi-linked staff in security agencies
• Investigation Shows Hundreds of US Cops Being Trained by Far-Right Extremists
• The United States, by itself, accounts for 40 percent of total arms expenditure.
• In the US, with more than 140 mass shootings taking place this year alone.
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.
• US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Russia sanctions and ‘friend-shoring’ supply chains
• It’s time for a new Bretton Woods
• New PM commences discussions on formation of foreign consortium for financial assistance
• Political stability key to economic recovery: CB
• Sri Lanka violence could tarnish image as democratic liberal market country: Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM)
• Sri Lanka central bank chief threatens to resign amid worsening political instability
• The Economy of Sri Lanka Pt 4 A
• Sri Lanka’s Demise: What has to be done immediately
‘The causes are many, mainly by the country closely following the IMF’s Structural Adjustment Programme was imposed at the end of 1977 when President Jayawardena requested financial help’
• Sri Lanka IMF technical talks to continue
• Do the BASL proposals answer the economic crisis in Sri Lanka? – Waduge
‘it has not provided any solution apart from going to IMF and a string of constitutional changes that are meant to only weaken Parliament and subtly transfer powers to civil society with financial independence.’
• Deficit and surplus – Chandrakeerthi
• Lanka can overcome its problems while avoiding foreign debt traps – Vitarana
• How does Sri Lanka hope to get out of the present crisis? – Sunil Abhayawardhane
‘development of Trinco oil facility…should’ve been done at the time of independence, but never was.’
• An economic programme for the colour-revolution – Kumar David
• Seek debt jubilee & debt cancellation as IMF talks loom this week under Emergency Law – Rajasingham
• Sri Lanka: Debt Crisis, Neocolonialism and Geopolitical Rivalry – Asoka Bandarage
‘The young ‘Gota Go Home!’ protesters who demand President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s resignation seem to be unaware of the global dynamics of the Sri Lankan crisis. Perhaps local and foreign interests guiding the protests may want to keep it that way. They are certainly not encouraging the protestors to join global calls for much-needed debt cancellation, debt swaps and regulation of capital market borrowing to prevent debt crises occurring in the first place.’
• The hard road to economic recovery, stability and growth – Sanderatne
The only means of resolving the debt and balance of payments problems are through an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme of assistance.’
• Combination of IMF austerity and unpopular regime a powder keg waiting to go of
• Treasury Secy. gets advisor to chart long-term economic revival path
‘Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana’s entire time is consumed to resolve the dollar crisis and finding money to pay salaries and other government bills, which leaves no time for him to develop strategies for the future…He however didn’t reveal the name of the economist who would be appointed to assist Siriwardana.’
• Deshal de Mel, Research Director at Verité Research rejoins Finance Ministry as advisor
• Undial and Hawala: Is the risk worth taking?
‘victims of illegal Undial/Hawala. They include, Sri Lankan expatriates, Sri Lankan students studying in foreign countries, and Sri Lankan businessmen involved in import and export trade.’
• A child’s guide to currency board systems – Part I: How colonial Ceylon did it?: Wijewardena
• A child’s guide to currency board systems – Part II: The performance of Ceylon’s currency board: – Wijewardena
• Is this a ‘Lost Cause’? – Rienzie Wijetilleke
‘there are 320,000 peons and drivers in the public sector accounting for 17 per cent of the workforce. That the peons are non-productive is a fact as maybe most drivers. It is also stated that of the 1.5 million public servants, the country’s requirement is for only 800,000. ‘
• Formation interim entity made up of non-politician specialists – Tissa Jayatilaka
• BASL seeks appropriate programmes with IMF
• SJB and partners to support national programme based on BASL proposals
• SJB gets update on state of economy from CBSL and Treasury chiefs
• Economic Crisis: Comparison of two governments
• Institute for Health Policy’s (IHP) Index of Consumer Sentiment fell
• Prohibit financing state owned enterprises.
• IMF to continue technical talks until new govt. is formed
• India’s Interest Rate Hike Could Cause More Unemployment
‘The RBI has followed the now globally discredited economic dogma that the only way to tackle high inflation is to hike interest rates and reduce money-supply.’
• Soaring food, fuel ramp up social unrest risk for emerging markets
• Neoliberalism’s Colonial Origins (Essay) – Ndongo Samba Sylla
‘the main principles underlying the fiscal and monetary paradigm of the neoliberal era (1980-2021) – sound finance, regressive taxation systems, central bank independence, and the direction of the credit system by oligopolistic banks – were already applied in the European colonies, particularly in Africa.’
• The Dollar System in a Multi-Polar World – James K. Galbraith
• Inflation: wages versus profits – Roberts
‘a general pattern of the labour share of income falling during the early phase of recoveries characterized most of the post-World War II recoveries, though it has become more extreme in recent business cycles’
• Are major advanced economies on the verge of a wage-price spiral? – BIS Bulletin
• Brazilian presidential candidate (and favorite) Lula: “Instead of depending on the US Dollar, we will create a common currency for Latin America”
• US Fed Confronts Why It May Have Acted Too Slowly on Inflation
• First IMF report issued after nuclear war – Bright prospects for global recovery: Milanovic
‘The Press Release is issued by the IMF and by the Bank for the Reconstruction of the Formerly Belligerent Areas (FBA, Russia, Europe, US)’
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.
• Banks struggle to secure funding lines
• Hard default looms as ISB Coupon repayment grace period expires in five days (May 18)
‘Sri Lanka will be further downgraded….As per the Ministry of Finance debt suspension list, apart from $78 million ISB Coupon that fell due on 18 April, some of the others that fell due until 11 May included $51.38 million ISB Coupon 3 May, and $46.5 million ISB Coupon 11 May. Those falling due from 20 May includes $19.9 million ISB Coupon on 3 June, $15.88 million ISB Coupon on 28 June, a further $34.13 million on 18 July and $1 billion ISB Maturity on 25 July. Debt suspended include IMF debt repayment and those due to other lenders.’
• Open Accounts Payment methods suspended; importers in quandary
• Usable forex reserves slide to $50 m from $103 m
• Central Bank cancels media conference after protestors attacked
‘’a media conference called at 2 pm to discuss “”New measures taken to strengthening the stability in the Domestic Foreign Exchange Market” after protests turned to violence in the city.’
• CBSL Governor calls for political stability to rescue economy
• Sri Lanka tightens bank dividends, profit repatriation to preserve capital
‘Central bank has ordered banks not to declare dividends and foreign banks not to repatriate profits until 2022 financial accounts are finalized and audited as an economic crisis impacts banks’
• Sri Lanka central bank advances more dollars to banks
• Sri Lanka pegs in both directions in March amid ‘float’
• April official foreign reserves at US$ 1.8bn; usable reserves at paltry US$ 50mn
• Sri Lanka rupee at 375 against TT dollar, debt markets closed
• Sri Lanka central bank to announce dollar/rupee trading band
• Central Bank to provide daily guidance to banks on foreign exchange rate
• Sri Lanka will have to print money unless taxes are raised: CB Governor
• Rupee depreciates 44% against US$
• CB will print money when it is absolutely warranted to avert a bigger crisis: CB Governor
• Trade deficit narrows in February from December peak as imports slow
‘total departures for foreign employment were recorded at 22,074 in the month, contributed mainly by the unskilled (6,548), domestic aid (6,451) and skilled (6,294) categories’
• Export earnings exceed USD 1 billion for ninth consecutive month
• New Sri Lanka PM to steadfastly push forward BRI projects in the country
• Chinese swap unusable even for Chinese imports
“This swap was an accounting trick of Cabraal, and should not be included in the reserve figures. Besides, Yuan swap doesn’t make much sense as most Chinese exporters invoice in US dollars – meaning we have to pay in US dollars for most Chinese imports, not in Yuan”
• Sri Lanka private credit, imports showing signs of slowing: CB Governor
• SL won’t face hunger crisis, economic situation will get worse before it gets better: new PM
• Sri Lanka guidance rate for dollar/rupee at 360, kerb 407
• Recovery of Stolen Assets – Parts I & II
‘Several developed countries such as the USA, England and Switzerland have sound mechanisms in place to recover stolen assets.
• Argentinean protesters reject IMF debt and protest rising prices
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
• FTZ workers insist it was managers that had asked them to participate in the protests
• CEB engineers warn of strike unless…
• Central Bank’s Executive Officers call on political parties to resolve economic crisis
• Protest by Central Bank workers outside its headquarters in Fort
• Sri Lanka trade union alliance launches continuous strike protesting state-backed violence
• Sri Lanka trade unions call off continuous strike
• Government Legal Officers’ Association strikes, seeking justice
• If Prez remains keeps mum, massive TU action may turn into large scale struggle: TUCC
• Outward labour migration tops 100,000 so far this year
‘reimposition of the Family Background Report (FBR), which has been viewed by some to be gender discriminatory, as the main cause for the relative decline.’
• The economic crisis and the northern response
‘’ In the north, ethnicity, Tamil nationalist politics and the interests and perspectives of the Tamil middle and professional classes play a major role in shaping the protest culture.’
• Pandal makers are finally getting an opportunity this Vesak
• ‘Adhyapane api kawa!’ (‘We ruined education!)
• May Day – May Day May Day!! – Franklyn Amerasinghe, former EFC Director-General
‘see that any demonstration does not make the position of the employer weaker as this would inevitably lead to a more chaotic situation’
• Take Back the Unions for Their Members – Amandla
• Spanish coast guard rescues 71 migrants in rubber boat off Canary Islands
• Honduras retakes its sovereignty by limiting corporate enclaves
‘where investors could govern as though they were independent entities, taking advantage of separate tax schemes, security forces and labur regulations.’
• 280 migrants rescued from abandoned tractor-trailer in Southern Mexico
• May Day 2022: Canadian imperialism, Hitler’s Ukrainian accomplices, and NATO-Russia war
• Poll reveals 30% of French have less than €100 in the bank
• The Ontario Healthcare Crisis: Election Primer
‘Ford government is privatizing an array of healthcare services, including in seniors’ care where 4,500 residents and staff have died as a result of COVID-19 alone, one of the worst records in the world.’
• Starbucks CEO promises raises and benefits only to non-union workers
• Amazon workers describe union busting tactics
• Joe Biden and the Democrats Have Nothing to Offer Organized Labor, the ALU Included
• Obama and Liberals Killed Abortion Rights
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.
• Govt. imports rice despite bumper domestic harvest
• Mahaweli Ganga swells as several reservoirs release excess water amidst heavy rains
• Academics’ Movement to Safeguard Agriculture (AMSA) on crisis in Agriculture Sector
• Plantation sector and foreign exchange crisis
• HNB strengthens partnership with DIMO to enhance local agricultural mechanisation
• Minister M.D. Banda an exemplary leader; 1965 Food Drive in a class of its own
• Kattupalli: ‘Stalin, Step in & Set Things Rights’ Say, TM Krishna, Prabhat Patnaik, Others
‘The fishing families are on an indefinite strike without any income since July 2, 2021, demanding the government intervene and ensure the guarantee of jobs is kept.’
• Cost of the Ukraine War Felt in Africa, Global South
• India, Pakistan must brace for even worse heatwaves
C7. Industry (False definitions, anti-industrial sermons, rentier/entrepreneur, etc)
ee Industry notes the ignorance about industrialization (versus handicraft and manufacture), the dependence on importing foreign machinery, the need to make machines that make machines, build a producer culture. False definitions of industry, entrepreneur, etc, abound, and the need for a holistic political, economic and military strategy to overcome domination by merchants and moneylenders.
• Sri Lanka possesses an abundance of minerals.
• Manufacturers at National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) meeting say garment buyers shifting orders to Bangladesh.
• Heavy losses at CPC from spot purchases of fuel
‘Sri Lanka has received around 440,000 MT of various types of fuel from India with more to follow’
• Protests erupt in several places after gas supplies failed to arrive
• Renewable Energy Associations say rising interest rates on their bank loans are unsustainable
• Energy security and the executive presidency
‘powerful energy cartels, will never allow a prime minister who is dependent on his parliamentary majority to deregulate and liberalise their industry’
• Overall operations of the Colombo Port have also come to a standstill
‘’ The stoppage of a day’s work at the Colombo Port would result in the economy losing millions of US dollars, which the country cannot afford, due to the grave shortage in foreign exchange. The Port of Colombo handles around 7.2 million TEUs, out of which 81 percent are transshipment containers’
• Reports of low quality petrol adding to motorists’ woes
• Govt. to use Indian credit line to buy gas
• Fuel, gas distribution temporarily suspended in Sri Lanka amid curfew – Sri Lanka Petroleum Private Tanker Owners’ Association (SLPPTOA)
• Fuel distribution that was temporarily suspended, resumes
• CEB Seeks 100% Tariff Increase but Blocks 4000 MW of Lower-Cost Renewable Energy Generation: What’s the Logic? – Anil Cabraal
• CPC Chairman claims to have adequate stocks of diesel
• Wind Power to our rescue
• Emirates airline cuts annual loss to US $ 1.1bn as travel rebounds
• How can construction industry survive with present economic crisis?
‘payments outstanding to contractors and consultants on work performed on contracts in roads, school buildings and water supply projects alone exceed Rs. 100 billion.’
• Flaws in the building construction sector
• Indian fishermen pay the price: Many seized bottom trawlers sent back as scrap metal
• Unclear medicine pricing in Sri Lanka: The cost to the consumer
‘Sri Lanka imports around 85% of required medicines. With price limits set on priority medicines, its supply is dependent on a sustainable pricing system’
• Warning of dengue epidemic: Dollar crisis, fuel issues stall control programmes
• Sunshine abandons plans to acquire Hemsons
‘Founded in 1948, Hemsons introduced the British Drug House (BDH) chemicals to Sri Lanka and commenced trading in high-quality laboratory chemicals and equipment. Later, it moved to concentrate on and specialise in the laboratory and communication sectors. It currently holds the market leadership in the laboratory equipment sector.’
• Ambulance Service in dire straits
• Nepal’s Economy Hammered by Power Outages
‘Nepal relies heavily on electricity imported from India, where generation is running low amid one of the worst power crises in years.’
• SE Asia ‘cautious’ on US chips alliance despite US attempt to exclude China from supply chain
• Mapping Faultlines: Algeria, Spain, Morocco and Tussle Around Natural Gas
‘The role of Morocco in the US game plan in the region, the energy requirements of European countries, and how the US and its allies are sacrificing the people of Western Sahara at the altar of strategic dominance.
• Venezuela and OPEC agree to strengthen cooperation
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.
• 25% of foreign currency transactions take place outside banking system
‘Grey market crackdown alone could bring some sanity to forex market: CB’
• Emerging market fund manager says international funds won’t bet on Sri Lankan equities yet
• ComBank appoints Sanath Manatunge as MD/CEO, Sellathurai Prabagar new COO
• Weaker rupee lifts ComBank Q1 profits amid massive Fx gains and higher interest income
• World Bank’s IFC key role in supporting CBSL design country’s Green Finance Taxonomy.
• National Development Bank (NDB) navigates macroeconomic turbulence with moderate results for 1Q
• Sri Lanka stock market gains before deadly violence amid rising political risks
• Sri Lanka stocks up after two-day curfew; new PM speculation boosts sentiment
• Lankan mutual funds’ outflows rise amid economic turmoil
‘. Total Sri Lankan mutual fund assets are still heavily skewed to money market funds (MMFs), despite AUM decline in the asset class,” Fitch said. MMFs remain the largest asset type, accounting for 53 percent of the total mutual fund assets at end-1Q22, down from 68 percent at end-2020.’
• Sri Lanka stocks hit 1-month high on political stability hopes after new PM appointment
• Stock Patterns Are Impossible – Without Brazen Manipulation the US SEC Chooses to Ignore
• Scandalized Dallas Fed Keeps It All in “The Family” by Appointing Lorie Logan as President
• “Massive Buyers’ Strike” for Tech; Bitcoin as an Inflation Hedge Exposed as a Bad Joke; Megabanks in Freefall
• Crypto Market Is Now Larger than Subprime Market that Triggered Global Financial Crisis
• Citigroup’s Stock Price Is Still Down 84 Percent from the Year of Crash in 2008
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’
• The sordid story of Krrish case; Hambantota Hospital, Airbus deals and a ghost Italian
• The audit profession has failed miserably in their role as keepers of public trust
• COYLE-led professional associations present plan to ‘Restart Sri Lanka’
‘Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Yarlpanam; United Trade and Industry Association, Dehiwala;, the Matara District Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Nugegoda Entrepreneurs and Professionals Alliance; Minuwangoda Trade Association; Lanka Business Ring; Nawalapitiya Traders Association; Entrepreneurs Lanka; Mahanuwara Sinhala Welanda Peramuna; Kiribathgoda Sinhala Merchant Association; Galle District Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Event Management Association-Sri Lanka; Lanka Confectionary Manufacturers Association; Kurunegala Sinhala Welada Peramuna; All Ceylon Bakery Owners Association; Association of Container Transport; Association of Clearing and Forwarding; and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka’
• National Chamber of Exporters & USAID roll out second PCQI certification for exporters
• Political VIPs notably absent at Japanese FDI project launch
‘Opposition MP Patali Champika Ranawaka: ‘Japan, our ‘biggest’ post-independence friend who had no political interest in helping us, was dropped by the government without any courtesy.’’
The revenues however recovered substantially to Rs.2.02 billion for the full year ended on March 31, 2022, from Rs.777.9 million.
• SLTDA secures US $ 417.5mn foreign investment to develop Uchchamunai island, Kalpitiya
• Limited private tourist agency representation in state institutions under Tourism Act
• Dollar crunch pause tourism promos
• Kingsbury revenues Rs.2.02 billion for year ended on March 31, 2022
• Sir Hugo Swire, Deputy Chairman, Commonwealth Enterprise Investment Council (CWEIC) on Port City Colombo
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.
• ªProtests to intensify in the coming days despite state of emergency
‘When fuel supplies under Indian assistance is fully utilised, there is no means for financing fuel imports…’
• Presidential powers to be curbed under 21st Amendment
• A state of political and economic emergency
‘The Organisation of Professional Associations (OPA), the Bar Association (BASL) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICASL) have to come forward…’
• Protests to intensify in the coming days despite state of emergency
• Sri Lanka without ministers, ministries without secretaries
‘The destruction of Sri Lanka’s public service began with permanent secretaries appointed by a civil service commission being abolished in 1971.’
• What Mirihana outrage signifies
‘irony of history that these elitist groups protest along with petty-bourgeoisie, toiling masses and different elements of the lumpen proletariat’
• SJB divided on whether its leader Premadasa should join interim govt.
‘It said it would enter into a joint programme for nation building within a specific plan and a timeframe in line with the proposals put forward by the BASL’
• FSP is the only political presence at Galle Face.
‘Whether this can cause an ‘infection,’ and how all this will unravel, only time can tell’
• Premier Rajapaksa to meet SLPP MPs, local councillors tomorrow
• Large number of supporters of PM to gather outside Temple Trees
• Gang attacks jeep of Mahason Balakaya leader and family in Lewella
• Pro-Gota Fake Opposition, Anti-Gota Real Opposition
• Vasudeva’s ultimate surrender: Once a revolutionary, now a roadblock
• Gotagogama: Why I’m not a total fan – Rohan Pethiyagoda
• Opposition Leader invites BASL to facilitate talks between President and other parties
• Violence erupts across Sri Lanka as anti-govt mobs rain fire on ruling party MPs
‘Opposition Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake soon arrived at the site where he was seen expressing solidarity with the GotaGoGama protestors who had gathered round him to complain. Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa who also arrived not long after was in for a significantly less than warm welcome as some of the protestors attempted to assault him.’
• Lanka Turmoil Intensifies, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Quits, Nationwide Curfew
• Sri Lanka’s cricket stars react to May 09th violence
• Grave repercussions if govt. fails to protect rights of people: Ceylon Chamber of Commerce
• World Bank concerned about “perpetration of violence”
• Chartered Accountants Sri Lanka condemns attack on peaceful protestors
• Private sector calls for Interim PM and asks President to heed voice of the people
‘The Joint Chambers are the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka, Joint Apparel Association Forum, Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs, International Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka, National Chamber of Commerce, Exporters Association of Sri Lanka, Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka, Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce, AMCHAM Sri Lanka, Ceylon National Chamber of Industries and CA Sri Lanka.’
• Protest outside Trincomalee Naval Base as MR and family allegedly inside
• Gnana Akka’s house and shrine destroyed
• Sumanthiran calls for arrest of Mahinda
• Cardinal hails youth, peaceful protestors; urges Govt. to go home
• EC Chief: Time not opportune for election; interim administration need of the hour
• JVP admits it has been behind Galle Face protest
• Religious leaders appeal for calm
• Yesterday’s violence in pictures…
• SJB wants President to resign after appointing Sajith as PM
• My father will not flee Sri Lanka: Namal
• Indian High Commission denies MR fleeing to India
• Measures needed may not be strictly constitutional – Tisaranee Gunasekera
• Sri Lanka ex-PM Rajapaksa protected in Trinco dockyard: Defence Secy
• Military rescues Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister in pre-dawn operation as violent clashes leave 7 dead
• Lesson for SL youth; Selecting a new Prime Minister – By Prof. Samitha Hettige
• The outburst of violence forced Lankan Prime Minister’s resignation – Balachandran
‘Gotabaya’s defense is that he can be sent out only by passing an impeachment motion, and that, he knows, is a very complicated and arduous process involving the judiciary also.’
• Sri Lanka: Turning Point for the Movement to Get Out of Crisis and Dictatorship – NewsClick
• Prez promises to appoint new PM, Cabinet soon
• Tight security for houses of Devananda, Cader
• Communist Party calls for interim administration
• Leader of the UNP, Ranil Wickremesinghe sworn in as the Prime Minister
Don’t you want uninterrupted electricity, petrol, or diesel. Not doing so is cheap petty politics,” Wickremesinghe told journalists. “We can’t do it alone but need help from other countries and institutions such as the IMF. We must return to a nation enjoying three meals per day, garner value for the Rupee and secure a future for the youth,” the Premier stressed
• Cardinal, Omalpe Sobitha Thero against Ranil as PM
• Ranil’s appointment as PM: JVP issues ominous warning
• Sri Lanka’s battle for premiership: Opposition leader throws hat in the ring at last minute
• Aragalists and the challenge of re-mapping Sri Lanka – Seneviratne
• Between autocracy and anarchy: Thinking the Sri Lankan revolution– Jayatiileka
• From war hero to target of angry crowds: Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa falls from grace
• Ranilagama & Aathalgama – Nalin de Silva
• Restructuring Political Economy – Nalin de Silva
• An Opportunity for Ranil – Nalin de Silva
• Garment exporters urge restoration of political stability
• Exports under threat due to implications stemming from political instability: National Chamber of Exporters (NCE)
• Sajith tells President he is ready to be PM
• GotaGoGama campaigners list demands to new PM, Govt.
• 10 independent parties not to accept positions in new Govt.: Wimal
• Sri Lanka’s major opposition parties refuse to work with new PM Ranil Wickremesinghe
• Main Opposition Won’t Join New Government: Sri Lanka Latest – Bloomberg
• ‘You can’t throw out a president’: Namal Rajapaksa on Sri Lanka crisis
• Moves to form 15 member Cabinet amidst protests against PM appointment
• President asks SJB if it will join interim Cabinet
• Colombo HC lawyers slam TT, police over recent mayhem
• ‘Appointment of Ranil as PM not change of direction protesters yearn for’
• Aragalaya agenda after Ranil – Jayatilleka
• Political crisis: A way out – Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga
• The inverted October coup in May 2022 – Harim Peiris
• Socio-political upheavals drive away foreign tourists and investors
• SLPP independent but will support RW
• ‘Yellow for Democracy’ condemns new PM appointment; lists 6 urgent demands
• Paradoxes of a schizoid republic – Lakshman Gunasekera
• Why don’t I join the new governance which is made out of public opinion? – Harsha De Silva
• Sri Lanka main opposition will not join govt, will back “correct” decisions: opp. leader
• Sri Lanka president appoints four cabinet ministers
• Business leaders think Ranil should be supported
• Sri Lanka: Is ‘Mr Clean’ eyeing the presidency?
• New Lankan PM Wickremesinghe gets international backing
• Nearly 90 arrested in connection with 9th May events: Police
• JVP at Fifty-Seven
‘The JVP was set up on May 14, 1965…’
• Being Chavista – Jorge Arreaza
‘As Ezequiel Zamora said: “Property that is not the product of work is theft.”’
• US progressives join the War Party
‘The darling of the progressive foreign policy community, Bernie Sanders’ foreign-policy adviser Matt Duss, recently defended the policy that arguably brought us to this point, NATO expansion’
• To Honor Odessa Anti-Fascists, Stop Weapons to Ukraine!
• Former Black Panther Sundiata Acoli to be released after half-century in prison
• Oslo Freedom Forum: The ‘school for revolutionaries’
‘Where might you find a North Korean defector, a self-confessed Serbian troublemaker, a Tiananmen Square protester and members of punk group Pussy Riot in the same room? While Hong Kong’s students continue their protests and stumbling negotiations with the territory’s authorities, democracy activists from around the world, some of whom have helped their struggle, gathered together.’
• Why ‘Bolivia is the Centre of the World’ for People’s Movements
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.
• ‘Pity the water was not deep enough to drown them’ – Island
• Police identify 59 social media groups used to gather people for violent acts
• Freedoms in peril when journalists are silenced
‘World Press Freedom Day organized by UNESCO New Delhi and European Union (EU) in partnership with Sri Lanka Press institute this week in Colombo…A special keynote address was given by Namini Wijedasa, Deputy Editor (Investigations) of the Sunday Times.’
• Take a walk through the lungs of Kandy, Udawattekele
• High point of the Karave elite trying their hand at indigenisation
• A wooden bridge, an iron house, and Barbara then – Somasiri Devendra
• Architect Anjalendran featured in ARTRA Magazine
‘Anjalendran’s mother Lingavathy, was one of four daughters of the famous C Suntheralingam CCS, Oxford qualified mathematician, who took to politics and was MP for Vavunya’
• Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Sri Lanka extends Rotation 1 of ‘Encounters’
• Internationally known South African architect to deliver Bawa Memorial Lecture
• Gao Yunxiang’s “Arise Africa! Roar China!”
• CLR James’ Classic Book on the History of Human Liberation
• Matthew VanDyke – Some 3 Letter Agency Dude With An Obsessive Compulsion For Publicity
• Soft Power after Ukraine – Nye
• The Killing of Shireen Abu Aqleh and Israel’s Increased Use of Arbitrary Lethal Force
• Chilean journalist Francisca Sandoval, shot covering May Day rally, dies of wounds
• Review of Adolph Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” by George Orwell
• Musk declares US $ 44bn Twitter takeover ‘on hold’
‘he wants to defeat spam bots, authenticate all humans and make its algorithms open source.’