“Before you study the economics, study the economists!”
e-Con e-News 15-21 May 2022
The US ambassador illegally met last week with Sri Lanka’s Army Commander General Shavendra Silva – without the permission of the President of Sri Lanka. So claims a ‘popularized’ vlogger (see ee Sovereignty, Shavi).
For what, or why? The story could be more of the relentless media fog. To undermine the President and the Commander. This week the Wijeya Group’s Financial Times apologized for using a 2018 photograph of the former PM Mahinda in a plane, as witness to his return passage to parliament last week.
Regardless of whether the commander met the envoy or not, the US government could be wishing to flag their own symbolic abolition of the power of the executive presidency. Maybe they wish to swagger about their capture and overthrow of another popularly elected head of state, and government? After all they’re only echoing the voice of the people… Ahem!
The US and EU, etc., funnel so much unaccounted funds in and out of the country, under the guise of humanitarian donations, expertise, training, aid, NGOS, etc. They hear their own voice, and mistake it for others. They also issue sermons on ‘protocols’ and the ‘rule of law’ at other times. They may feel, what’s the big deal about a big guy and a big gal getting together? It’s all very funny…
This is why another settler-colonial envoy, from Canada, saw it fit to twitter (crack?) out loud that Sri Lankans could monetize political humour for export. The US ambassador is also being funny too (Random Notes).
‘The IMF is said to have read the riot act through intermediaries to the President…
The US & India, Sri Lanka’s principal banker & protector at the moment,
would have added their voices of support for Ranil Wickremesinghe and their veto against others…’
– ee Politics, Saviour
• Going to the IMF is neither desirable nor was it inevitable (see ee Focus). This war on Sri Lanka is not a new war; no new comedy. Sri Lanka was long murunga-utherred as a ‘model English colony’, ‘oldest democracy’ (next to the largest version), ‘welfare state’, ‘highly literate’, etc. Sri Lanka now stands bound hand and foot flung onto the frontlines of the latest political, economic and military experiments. A test case in extending the new white world order into the 21st century. Sri Lanka is also being compared to a canary, guinea pig, etc. Though it’s not new. Recall ’77 JR is remembered as Thatcher before Thatcher, Regan before Reagan, Pinochet…
• Across the pond: A ‘woke’ US President is dispatching troops to Somalia. He will descend on US-occupied Japan and Korea, talking up and down about democracy. In Myanmar, the US is leading another war against another government, with their ‘social media’ declaring victory daily! Meanwhile, Australia declares war for election day:
On the day of Australia’s general election (21 May), a Sri Lankan boat was serendipitously ‘intercepted’ on its way to Canberra. ‘In a major development, Australian PM Scott Morrison told reporters, after casting his vote in his local electorate of Cook, ‘I can confirm that there’s been an interception of a vessel en route to Australia… I’ve been here to stop this boat, but in order for me to be there to stop those that may come from here, you need to vote Liberal and Nationals today.’
‘It is understood about 15 people were on board the vessel that was intercepted by Australian authorities off the west coast of Christmas Island after almost making it to land.’ During the ruling National-Liberal Coalition government’s ‘khaki’ election campaign, Australia’s war minister Peter Dutton told the country to ‘prepare for war’ (against China).
Morrison was on the verge of losing. An agency of Morrison’s PR team must have have arranged for the dispatch and ‘interception’ of the boat just as he was voting?! Corporate media has hijacked perceptions of public life and public actors:
‘We have successfully frozen their brand – ‘Rajapakse’ – into the public conversation and are steadily driving up negative perceptions. We will eventually turn it toxic, as we put all of the various cultural insanities under that brand category. The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘Rajapakse.’ We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Sri Lankans.’
The above quote is a satire on ad-speak or image management jargon (see Random Notes, Critical Race Theory). But the media is indeed chock-a-block with such ‘branding’. Unilever or their League of Multinational Corporations in Sri Lanka (see LMNC, ee 28 February 2022) would never admit to creating such a PR campaign to undermine a leadership or government (or rather snatch it more firmly into the white man’s grip?).
It makes sense that Unilever et al last year funded the start of the ‘farmer’ protests against the government’s organic policy. Unilever and other MNCs, through their innumerable local agents, are the largest importers of chemicals into the country, to concoct their pesticides & fertilizers, soaps, detergents, perfumes, etc.
• The moment the recent ‘protests’ started in Colombo, Unilever simultaneously pulled their advertising from the national television broadcasting network Rupavahini. That’s a lot of money. For Rupavahini, at least. It’s a tiny amount for multinational Unilever, which has kadays in almost 200 countries. Is it Unilever’s act of solidarity with the aragalaya, putting pressure on another government corporation, seeking to exact greater editorial control, and a better marketing contract? Unilever monopolizes SL media time through its agency Mindshare (ee Focus).
• Last ee reported on US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging the US to tighten control over supply chains, to prevent countries using their ‘market position in key raw materials, technologies or products to have the power to disrupt our economy or exercise unwanted geopolitical leverage’.
Sri Lanka has perhaps been exercising unwanted geopolitical leverage over supply chains. Or could, potentially. So Sri Lanka needs to be cut down to size to prevent it from becoming the threat of a good example.
This recalls many of the imposed facets of Sri Lanka’s trajectory towards this difficult pass, for the last 74 years & more:
Preventing investment in modern industrialization & economic sovereignty, at tremendous cost.
Promoting of super consumption.
Making the economy dependent on dollar loans, fuel, food, and imports.
Making the economy dependent on foreign whim (migrant workers, tourism, export markets)
Gaming the rupee.
Choking supply chains into and inside Sri Lanka.
Pushing Sri Lanka into chaos.
Blaming politicians, corruption and debt.
Declaring a lack of confidence.
Provoking citizens into disorganized melee.
Taunting the police and army into intervening.
Imposing IMF dictate and selling off national assets.
Crying human (minus economic) rights.
US and Indian armies invade…?
A1. Reader Comments –
• ee apathetic to Aragalaya? • What is ee plan? • Why’s ee not more suspicious of GR?
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Mannar Basin Undug • Basil & the Hidden Dollars • Backbencher costs Rs500million each • JVP & Economists • Import Costs • Bond Scam & Forex Blues • Donor Darling • Superficial Galle Face Go • Fake Colonial Debts • China Protected Auto • China’s Banks • Zelensky’s Europeanness
A3. Random Notes –
• US Envoy’s Illegally Meets General? • IMF’s Shallow Natural Life • Oil Crisis is Staged • Unilever & its Masks • Defaulters Worldwide • Geopolitical Gaming • Biblical Prophecies Come True • Media & Thief’s Mother • Mod Goviya • Carving Russia & China • IMF &Violence • Only One Ocean: Atlantic • IMF is NATO is USA • US Committing Suicide • Splitting India • Black Rights & Cold Wars • US War on Myanmar • US Troops in Somalia •
B. ee Focus
B1. Not going to IMF then & going to IMF now: Will Sri Lanka’s Problems be Solved? – State of Sri Lanka’s Economy Research Team, 14 May 2022
B2. Shouldn’t Sri Lanka have defaulted on the settlement of ISB of US$500mn on 18 Jan 2022? & that Save Forex for import of Essential items? – State of Sri Lanka’s Economy Research Team, 17 May 2022
B3. ee & the Aragalaya
B4. How Unilever Controls Media in Sri Lanka
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
• ‘ Very curious about ee’s general apathy towards Aragalaya, and wanna know why. Is it because the protestors are lumpenproletarian? Or is it contemptuous disregard for ongoing people’s struggles?
• ‘ee must tell us your plan for industrialization. Instead of going on and on…’
• ‘Given ee‘s ideological views and the legal structure of the governing system (Executive Presidency), why isn’t ee more suspicious of former US citizen Gotabaya Rajapaksa?’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘There are enough fuel and natural gas deposits in the Mannar Basin to meet the entire country’s needs for 60 years’ – ee Economists, Bandarage
• ‘Basil Rajapaksa rose to declare that Sri Lanka was not in fact suffering from a foreign-currency crisis, according to Mr Gammanpila and another person present. Criminals, he claimed, were funneling dollars out of the country’s banking system. Give him 2 weeks, he said, and he would fix it. He would not. Nearly a year later, Sri Lanka lies in economic ruin…’ – see ee Sovereignty, A Ruling Family
• ‘It is shopping time and wheeler-dealers are very busy. This is not the first time we see MPs sold and resold within days. During the 2018 constitutional coup, its creator Maithripala Sirisena himself placed the price of a single backbencher at 500million rupees. Now the same process is on. Funds amassed by tax evasion and other shady deals are now talking.’ – ee Politics, Political horse trading
• ‘The JVP-NPP & FSP-IUSF could and should clearly stand for an economic model drawing on China, Vietnam & Kerala, but have chosen not to do so. Neither of the Left parties have been able to produce from its ranks or attract a single economist of repute. Why hasn’t Prof Howard Nicholas, a scholar steeped in Marx’s economics, or leading Marxist economist Dr Sumanasiri Liyanage, been invited by the JVP or FSP to produce an economic policy platform?’ – ee Politics, Recycled
• ‘It was revealed that the cost of importing goods belonging to the categories of Watches, Telecommunication equipment and parts, Dairy products, Alcohol, Beauty products, Candles, Lamps and lighting accessories, Fruits, Rubber products (tires & erasers), Electrical and electronic items was higher and that this is 84% of the total import cost. Accordingly, it is expected to save a considerable amount of about $512million spent on the importation of these goods during the last 3 years without hindering industries and exports.’ – ee Economists, COPF Summons
• ‘Bond Scam & the foreign-exchange crisis – Many seem to embrace new PM as the saviour of the economy from its ongoing bottomless collapse. However, not a word is said about the impact of the historic Bond Scam, the crown jewel of Ranil Wickremasinghe’s good governance regime, in escalating the foreign exchange crisis we are now facing.
It will be clear soon that the bond scam sent shock waves through the government treasuries market, wiping out foreign funds that were financed in rupees for purchases made in convertible currencies. It’s a crime with consequences in financial markets that can be compared to Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s abrupt decision to ban all agrochemicals, destroying livelihoods and breeding malnutrition among mass of the people. The extent of the crime cannot be judged by the direct gains made by the firms and individuals involved, which is a mere Rs12 billion, an insignificant sum compared to the financial market as a whole.
However, the financial death warrant the bondscam sent to foreign investors of Sri Lanka’s government securities dried out all foreign liquidity from the treasuries market. 2 days before the historic scam, on Feb 25, 2015, foreigners held over US$3.4bn worth of government securities. Immediately following the bond scam, they began to divest until entire foreign holdings of treasury bonds and bills collapsed close to nothing within a matter of few years. The most significant aspect of this type of foreign debt inflows is that unless the foreigners pull out of the market they can be financed in local currency unlike any other form of foreign debt. The hole it created within the balance of payments could not be filled easily, not without a heavy price.
Covering up the mess it created in the balance of payments was no easy task; the ‘Yahapalana’ government as a result was impelled by its own hideous crime to issue more and more International Sovereign Bonds (ISBs)to boost the depleting foreign reserves as foreigners exited government securities. However, according to Verite Research and rest of the pseudo liberals, the good governance regime had to issue more ISBs than any other period in history merely because they had to finance the existing foreign debt. Verite has nothing to say about the tremendous foreign exchange outflow triggered entirely by the bond scam and the necessity it created to issue ISBs as the only means of rebuilding the depleted foreign reserves.
It should be borne in mind that, unlike foreign holdings of government treasuries, ISBs issued to straighten the mess must be financed in foreign exchange. Hence, the net foreign exchange outflow from the economy triggered by the bond scam should be equal to twice the value of government treasuries’ foreign holdings divested plus the interest payments made on ISBs throughout the rest of the period, in total over $8.6billion. This is well over 10% of Sri Lanka’s current national income; the future inflows it prevented and its impact on the current crisis further escalates this figure. Sri Lanka wouldn’t have been in this hopeless position if it had not leaked out of the domestic financial system. So good luck to all who have hopes high on sailing to economic safety with the new PM..– Dhanusha Pathirana, Facebook
• ‘Sri Lankans have been living beyond our means since the 1950s. That has not changed. But we got away with it. 16 times we went to the IMF. We were a donor darling for much of the time because we were a low-income country and able to attract high levels of concessional foreign aid which helped us to tide things over. Despite that, we never really disciplined fiscal operations; A result of a toxic combination of populist politics on one hand and entrenched entitlement on the part of the people.’ – former Central Bank Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy (ee Economists, Next)
• ‘What I cannot understand is how all types of professionals, academics, artists and priests actively participate and encourage this adventure. The agitprop is so successful that these intellectuals who had hitherto not uttered a word of protest on government misdeeds are keen to mark their attendance and endorse the protest. I was appalled to hear some intellectuals comparing the Galle Face Protest (GFP) to the freedom struggle of India. They try to elevate this Gymboree to a holy war. It is no surprise, youth joining in the fun in large numbers. For them it is a carnival, a social gathering, of course where they can vent their feelings and frustrations and be recognized. The adoption of the code of nonviolence has been the strength and the attraction of the protest.
Although it is claimed that the protesters are apolitical, when the demand is for the expelling the Head of State it becomes brazenly political.
It is doubtful whether they had any deep conviction in their demands and their goals. It is only after a little over a month that they have come out with 8 specific demands. In their 3rd demand they seem to have come to know there is a Constitution and a procedure to amend it. Other than the demand Gotago, the rest have been there in the public domain. I do not see any radical system change in those demands. What is needed is their implementation. What the protesters should have demanded is a Referendum to gauge the will of the people whether the President should resign. With the 5.5 million who were against him at the presidential election and the number of citizens tormented at gas & fuel queues and the farmers who lost their crops, such a referendum as provided in the Constitution would have been carried against the president. In the context of the selfish behavior of the Parliament during the last few weeks the demand should have been for ejecting of all 225 MPs.
The carnival is nurtured by the media which gives extreme publicity to the event and relishes giving voice cuts to any individual looking for publicity. The government has been timid and reluctant to take any action against the demonstrators which may be due to a guilty conscience. It is shocking that even with an emergency and a curfew the carnival goes on. Is the curfew not applicable to this covert operation? The violent attack on GFP is unacceptable and must be deplored unreservedly. But it has to be conceded that the unrestrained campaign on the Head of State with impunity provides a provocation inviting violent mob reaction from government supporters.
As a general principle, all demonstrations that inconvenience the public should be banned. When laws however insignificant are abused with impunity, breaking them will become fair game. That is what happened in the country during the last 2 weeks. This has become easy when the guardians of the law themselves have no protection and are victimized. The new PM seems to follow the same policy of non-interference, and already a Ranil-go-gama is at the gate of his office.’ – Sugath Kulatunga, Facebook
• ‘The transfer of financial and resource wealth from poor countries in the global South to rich countries in the North is not a new phenomenon. It has been an enduring feature throughout centuries of both classical and neo-colonialism. At the start of 1989, developing nations owed foreign creditors $1.3trillion, ie, ‘just over half their combined gross national products and two-thirds more than their export earnings’.’ – ee Economists, Bandarage
• ‘China entered the World Trade Organization in 2001 and was allowed to keep its 25% tariffs on cars as it built out its own automotive sector.’ – see ee Business, Yellen
• ‘And China has done exactly what 19th-century US, Germany, England & France did. It has kept basic utilities, basic needs, housing, and above all, finance & banking, in the public domain, as public utilities. Instead of having an independent financial sector operating on its own self-interest, the Bank of China creates the money. And BoC lends money by deciding, where do we need to have investment in real estate to provide housing for the population at as low a price as we can make it? How do we build up the industry? How do we provide an educational system with training? How do we provide health?’ – ee Economists, Hudson
• ‘Zelensky talks about the need to ‘defend the West,’ ‘Europeanness,’ ‘Western values’; and the liberal/left does not recognize the inherent assumptions of white supremacy in those terms.’ – ee Sovereignty, New White
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’) _
Why would the US envoy making an illegal call on the Army commander, concern anyone?
The good ambassador could’ve been seeking the General’s advice on how to deal with last week’s ‘mass shooting’ of 10 Black Americans by a white man in New York state (on land stolen from the Seneca people)? That murderer, sporting NATO/Ukraine regalia, and caught alive, is demanding that non-white and non-Christian people leave that continent.
US Ambassador Chung’s unphotographed tête-à-tête with the General has taken place midst the run-up to the 13th anniversary of one ending of a terrorist war. The US envoy’s rendezvous more likely circumscribed US allegations that the good General Silva is a war criminal. Did the US warn the general not to enforce the emergency, and commit further ‘war crimes’?
The US boasts the world’s leading experts on war and its crimes. Perhaps, the US is signalling a possible change of mind in how they define criminality, in exchange for some influence over shaping the turbulence of the coming months. To push anarchy to enable a military takeover, which will then justify US & Indian invasion?
The image their media broadcast, instead of the US ambassador’s busy itinerary, was a meeting with JVP leaders, perhaps to advertise and extend US intersectionality, diversity, inclusivity – ABCDLGBTQJVP?
Imperialism’s NGO-ization of the so-called Left and the Woke seeks the broadest coalition to wage their white wars on ‘heathen Asia & pagan Africa’. This war is also a political & economic war.
• Listen, also, to this: ‘The IMF team led by its SL Mission Chief Masahiro Nozaki has been continuing discussions with Sri Lanka’s Central Bank & Finance Ministry officials on policy changes to tackle the government’s balance of payment issue…’
So it’s a ‘balance of payment issue’? This is the shopkeeper’s view. The ‘woman in the kitchen’ view. It’s just a matter of debts being paid to keep loan sharks and fund managers happy.
But the real issue is about loans being taken and not being invested in modern production.
The press releases of the IMF & World Bank dominate the media, in various guises and voices. This week the World Bank announced more ‘plans’ to resolve food crises. However it refuses to state who has caused the scarcity. They would rather blame Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, when it is the US government that has prevented movement of goods through sanctions. Economic indices are reported as natural processes, rather than the results of human actions.
An important explanation for underdevelopment is drain theory, and ‘dependency’, recalling how much the imperialists have stolen from our countries. This week, the advertising-business-front SLIM declared it was working for ‘fair trade’!
But even if the trade was ‘fair’, and money, now stolen legally or not, wasn’t drained out, there is or appears to be no class ready & willing to invest in local production.
Also, all this talk of civilizational rivalry & geopolitical (is this another term for military?) analysis, ignores the Colombo ruling class is firmly white and seeks to maintain this old but not-so-old status quo…
• The allegation: ‘China offers shipment of diesel, but no response from Sri Lanka’ was not broadcast much (see ee Industry). Sri Lanka’s ‘seeming’ rejection of an earlier Russian offer too, suggests the fuel shortage is an artificial scarcity to generate further chaos to prepare for the further ingress of the IMF & NATO East (the Quad!) onto Sri Lanka’s soil. They have been driving the country to chaos, daring local leaders to take over, and if and once they do so, if we do not do their bidding, they will use this as a pretext to invade.
• ‘SL’s biz community urges President to step down, reports Sunday Times. Do those urging involve Unilever? The capitalist media excels at spreading fake news & rumors. Fake news & rumours have rocketed with the aragalaya, perhaps to shape its priorities, exclude others, especially when the aragalaya protests too much that it is not partisan. The main beneficiary of fake news is always the status quo. And who or what is this status quo? Most of the media is monopolized by a few companies. In Sri Lanka, MNCs like Unilever control the media through advertising. Did a Unilever agency direct this current PR campaign? Did they advise both sides?
• Media advertisements are always happy. Except for glossy biz news which are just embedded ads, most of the news is all bad. Foreign banks and corporations are posting even higher profits. Every day, more and more countries are declaring ‘debt crises’. ee has seen 3 news items: one saying 40 countries are going to default, another saying 54, yet another saying 70 countries. India too. Bangladesh, as well! They refuse to blame capitalism. Outside of demanding submission to the IMF, the US is instead demanding we join them in waging war on Russia, and then China. Or else.
The grandchildren of 1948. The children of 1977. The children of bribery and deferral. The chewing-gum gold-chain denim ‘new generation’ are at the gates again. Rerun. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s Perakum Yugaya of 2005 promised to ‘make’ Volkswagens here and create a ‘mod goviya’. The later-Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne explained: ‘Our farmers are half-naked creatures, showing off their buttocks and barely covering their frontal private parts. They are typically men with hollow cheeks, teeth discoloured by chewing betel. Instead, under Ranil, we will produce farmers who will be wearing Nike T-shirts and bell bottoms.’
• ‘US State Department officials have said, what we want to do is carve up Russia into maybe 4 different countries: Siberia, western Russia, southern Russia or Central Asia, maybe northern Russia. And once we’ve done that, we cut Russia off from China, then we go into China. We finance, we send ISIS and al-Qaeda into the Uyghur areas, the Muslim areas, and we start a color revolution there. And then we break up China, into a northern part, a southern part, a central part.’ – ee Economists, Hudson
• The IMF & NATO remain firmly in charge. In Ranil, they trust. S&M dominatrix-like, Ranil pronounces, ‘Pain as never before.’ And lo! In the midst of much suffering, the IMF shalt then appear after the growling and gnashing, and every choir, all religions and in all languages shall sing, IMF Hallelujah! And there shall be peace. The peace of the graveyard. The IMF role is to prevent real industrialization. That is: prevent the future. They have to stop the world from turning. This requires a lot of violence.
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) is the USA by another name. NATO is another name for the USA. Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, QSD, of Australia, Japan, India) is another name for NATO. This Quad is nothing but NATO bleeding further east.
NATO is an acronym for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. There were 5 oceans. Soon there may be only one. The Atlantic. The Northwest Atlantic has been flowing into the Helmand, Amu Darya and Indus rivers of Afghanistan since 1978 or 2001 at least. The Northeast Atlantic has been flowing in there, since 1839, that first English war on Afghanistan.
We only meet the Atlantic at South Africa’s Cape of Storms (aka Cape of Good Hope). Naval access to Mozambique et al, is controlled by France! No problem. The US has renamed this region the ‘Indo-Pacific’ to connect Colombo to the Suez. Lanka to Alaska. So soon they will make us flow back via the Arctic & Antarctic around to the Atlantic. So, soon we will all be one Atlantic Treaty Organization (ATO). Mind you, we have never heard of a South Atlantic Treaty Organization (SATO). For that would include the rest of the Americas, and Africa! Good heavens! So why do they wish to include us, darkies? The Quad may wish to rename itself the Yankee East India Company!
• The US is committing suicide but it wishes to first get India and Europe to commit suicide. Europe’s diasporas gestating in the Americas are now taking their revenge on the Europe that disowned and dispelled them. The US is getting all Europe to attack Russia. Meanwhile, they are trying to get India to attack China. First, they will get India to do further target practice in Sri Lanka.
• India has the 3rd biggest army in the world, a legacy of being England’s East India Company, and largest single colony. The US plans to sacrifice the Indian people in their escalating war against China. Just as the Ukrainian and other Baltic peoples are expendable against Russia. Their first step here is to encourage the Indian army’s further adventures in Sri Lanka. The ensuing conflagration would soon consume India itself. The white nightmare is to slice up Sri Lanka, Russia, India, and eventually China.
All its supposed soft powers, its liberalism, its calls to multiculturalism, diversity, etc, are mere masks, directed to this end of all ends.
• The earlier quote about destroying the ‘Rajapakse’ brand was borrowed from a story against ‘Critical Race Theory’. CRT insists that the ‘liberal’ changes made in mid-20th-century US society were not due to moral awakening among whites, but a product of ‘interest convergence’ and ‘cold-war pragmatism’. US diplomatic relations with Asia (Sri Lanka, India in particular) & Africa were being disrupted by communist criticism of US colonialism and imperialism. The US insisted socialist countries were only retaliating due to US attacks on conditions in Eastern Europe.
CRT’s assertions recall the curious meeting between the Anagarika Dharmapala and Tuskegee Institute’s Booker T Washington (BTW). BTW argued, whites will never share power, so don’t bother asking.
This week 10 Black American citizens were shot by a white boy wearing a tshirt saying ‘genius’. The boy claimed to be an adherent of ‘Great Replacement’ theory, who fear (is there some truth, tho?) aliens (from the rest of the darker world) and robots will soon replace them. Recall those white boys in Charlottesville, crying ‘We shall not be replaced!‘ They simply fear that what their forefathers did to the original people, and Africans, or for that matter in white settler colonial lands everywhere, could again happen, to them!
• None are more righteous than the editorial voices of the media. It is they who tell us how bad the politicians and the world are, while capitalists and their corporations are good.
The white media decided to describe the defeat and surrender of US-backed Ukrainian forces in Azovstal, (Europe’s largest steel mill & underground city) as an ‘evacuation’. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s comedian leader Zelensky has been talking about the need to ‘defend the West’, ‘Europeanness’, ‘Western values.’
Myanmar social media and online news sites make it appear ‘the end is near’ for Myanmar’s government, but the English Economist warns against premature claims of white victory. The US-backed ‘underground National Unity Government (nug)’ claims ‘that anti-junta forces control half the country’s territory’. Defectors talk of a crisis of morale in the armed forces. US-backed Burmese media quickly amplify such headlines as ‘Myanmar coup leader reveals his desperation’. ‘Their narrative of imminent victory is embraced on social media’.
‘We’re not getting the full story from the local media, who often aren’t reporting the defeats,’ says a Burmese journalist who goes by Cape Diamond, a pseudonym. Media outlets are unable to send reporters to find out facts on the ground. This is partly because journalists risk arrest, or worse, if they try to work openly. ‘Instead, they rely on citizen journalists and locals who are also revolutionaries,’ he says. ‘Even professional journalists find it hard to be objective in the face of the junta’s violence and oppression’ (ee Media, Myanmar)
• Last year, US President Biden claimed to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, saying, ‘it is time to end the forever war.’ This week the US looted Aghani diplomatic missions in the US, while backing terrorist groups to undermine the Taliban administration. US President Biden openly declared their ongoing invasion of Somalia, sending at least 450 ‘Special Operations’ forces. They will also target ‘about a dozen suspected leaders’ of a ‘terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda’. Aerially bombing as well as using Somali and African Union proxy forces, this US war that has lasted 3 administrations over 15 years.
The White House’s top counterterrorism adviser, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall has been overseeing the Pentagon plan, visiting Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti, all of which have US forces. The US is also funding Tigrayan separatists to split East Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea, even further.
Meanwhile, US military commanders have warned that the expensive short-term training missions of US Special Operations forces are eroding ‘the morale & capacity of the partner units.’ Gen Stephen J Townsend, the head of the Pentagon’s Africa Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March: ‘Al Shabab remains Al Qaeda’s largest, wealthiest & most deadly affiliate, responsible for the deaths of 1000s of innocents, including US citizens’. ‘Disrupting Al Shabab’s malign intent requires leadership from Somalis and continued support from Djibouti, Kenya, the USA and other members of the international community.’
B. Special Focus_
B1. Not going to IMF then & going to IMF now: Will Sri Lanka’s Problems be Solved?
– State of Sri Lanka’s Economy Research Team, 14 May 2022
Since early 2020 the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government appeared to implement a plan with several components for the external sector. These components included securing of multilateral and bilateral loans, monetization of selected assets, obtaining Central Bank SWAPs, promoting Hambantota Industrial & Pharmaceutical Zones, Colombo Port City and other FDIs (foreign direct investment), and increasing non-debt inflows, remittances and exports. That plan did not contemplate an IMF program. That official government stance was well known and in place, until the President announced, 15 March 2022, he was seeking an IMF program.
It will also be noted that those who were constantly urging the Government to seek an IMF program, were claiming that Sri Lanka would then be able to access funding of about US$3,000million via an IMF program and other borrowings.
In that background, it would be helpful to assess what was achieved by the Sri Lankan authorities in the last year through the alternative strategies, without an IMF program.
Analysis of publicly available data shows that the Government secured forex cash loans of almost $1,300mn from the China Development Bank, while the CBSL obtained a SWAP of $1,550mn from the Peoples Bank of China.
The CBSL also secured bridging finance’ of over $1,500mn from India through the postponement of the Asian Clearing Union (ACU) settlements and a further SWAP of $400mn from the Reserve Bank of India.
In addition, another SWAP from the Bangladesh Bank was obtained for $200mn.
All those inflows added up to $4,950mn.
In fact, it was by using these new funds, and the brought-forward reserves of the CBSL that the 3 ISBs totalling $2,500mn in 2020, 2021 and 2022 plus other maturing debt had been settled, while also providing significant liquidity support of nearly $2,000mn to the State Banks, and forex for urgent essential imports of around $1,500mn for food, fuel, gas, coal, medicines, etc.
In addition, the Government finalized a trade credit line of $1,000mn for oil imports and $1,000mn for other essential imports from India and these facilities have already been accessed from late March 2022 onwards.
Further, based on an appeal from the Sri Lankan President to the Chinese President in January 2022, China had also indicated that it was ready to arrange $1,000mn as a liquid finance facility and $1,500mn for import financing. In fact, that was officially referred to by China’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka on 17 March 2022 and Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in China on 12 April. On the basis of the above assurances from China and India, further commitments of $4,500mn were also assured.
In addition, it has also been reported at intervals that negotiations with several other Middle Eastern Governments and Central Banks were also ongoing and although by the end March 2022, those had not been successful, some of those engagements may still have potential for success in the future.
It may also be noted that the Government’s effort to raise $250mn from the partial divestment of West Coast Power, and a further $100mn from the partial divestment of the Eastern Terminal of the new Colombo Port, did not bear fruit due to political reasons, although that was also a part of the Government’s plan to raise non-debt inflows.
It may also be noted that the secondary market for Sri Lankan ISBs was trading at highly elevated levels throughout 2020-21, and it is very unlikely that the Government would have been able to access funds from the international bond markets during that Covid-stricken period, even at exorbitantly high interest rates. Hence, obtaining funds at low single-digit interest rates from bilateral sources was the better option, if not the only option, from that point of view as well.
In any event, in the light of the materialised receipts of $4,950mn and credible commitments of $4,500mn, the decision taken by the Government to pursue its stated path could be justified, since the option of bilateral support and other declared strategies was a lot less controversial and risky than pursuing a tough IMF program that could have been quite painful to the people (high taxes & interest rates, depreciated currency, sale of national assets, etc) and long-drawn out.
In fact, the situation would have been grave from about a year ago, if the aforementioned forex inflows had not been arranged by the authorities and the commitments not obtained, whilst only relying on a possible IMF programme, which could have been delayed or dragged on for whatever reason, even if the IMF had been approached an year earlier.
It must also not be forgotten, it was during the period 2015-19, while following an IMF program, that the then Government issued an additional net $10,000mn of ISBs which could be termed the origin of the current external debt problem.
As a direct consequence, the Government’s external debt shot up by 65% and forex debt servicing tripled, while the GDP was almost stagnant at around $80-84billion levels.
Sri Lanka’s external debt problem was further aggravated from 2020 onwards, by about $4.5bn of the country’s annual forex inflows suddenly drying up due to the collapse in tourism, and about $1.5bn reducing in 2021, due to the Hawala proliferation affecting Workers remittances.
In any event, it must be clearly understood that seeking a program with the IMF is a decision to be taken by the Cabinet of Ministers, and not by officials. If the Cabinet had taken a policy decision one year or even 2 years ago to approach the IMF and informed the country of the Government’s intention to do so, the entire governmental machinery including the CBSL and MoF would have complied with that decision. In fact, that happened on 15 March 2022, when the President made the official announcement that the Government would seek an IMF program.
Unfortunately, the true situation has been misinterpreted, which explains why the blame is being pinned on the former Governors of the Central Bank, former Secretary to the President, and former Secretary to the Treasury as being responsible’ for Sri Lanka not embarking on an IMF program. They seem to have forgotten that such a decision should have been taken by the Cabinet of Ministers, and not by officials.
In any event, even at this stage, it may be useful for those persons to familiarize themselves with case studies of past IMF programs’ in similar circumstances in other countries, as well as understand the repercussions of sovereign debt default’. They should probably do that before hailing a possible ‘IMF program’ and the sovereign debt default’ as Sri Lanka’s new panacea for all ills.
It may still be possible that those steps, which are today being hailed, may be the very cause of a very serious, irretrievable & unmanageable economic & social outcome that may haunt Sri Lanka for a long time to come. – lankaweb.com/news/items/2022/05/14/not-going-to-imf-then-going-to-imf-now-will-sri-lankas-problems-be-solved/
B2. Shouldn’t Sri Lanka have defaulted on the settlement of the ISB of $500mn on 18 Jan2022? Wouldn’t that have saved the Forex for the import of Essential items?
– State of Sri Lanka’s Economy Research Team, 17 May 2022
Defaulting debt is a very complicated and painful matter. It is not a casual or frivolous matter. It is well known that various people had suggested to the Sri Lankan authorities at various times to default on its external public debt. They gave various reasons as to why that should be done. Some opposition MPs also advised default, and in fact, found fault with the relevant officials and other authorities when it was not done. However, few persons realize that it is not possible to have selective defaults of particular sovereign loans, since many loan agreements with international creditors have: ‘cross-default clauses which are far-reaching. It is also likely that those persons who were calling for the default of the ISB of January 2022 were blissfully unaware that, as per the Offering Circular for the ISB of $500mn, the Sri Lankan Government had solemnly assured all prospective investors that the full faith and credit of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka will be pledged for the due and punctual payment of the principal of, and interest on, the Bonds.’
When a sovereign forex loan is not repaid, the credibility of the country will be lost, and investors will shun that country. It will not be easy for the defaulting country to obtain new forex loans thereafter. The country’s banking system will come under a lot of pressure and face very serious difficulties when opening letters of credit and carrying out forex transactions. Forex loans and investments that were previously forthcoming to the local banks would be halted or postponed. Most forex-funded infrastructure projects will stop. Foreign Direct Investors will adopt a ‘wait and see’ attitude. Small and medium-sized import-based businesses and entrepreneurs will be badly affected. Accordingly, it would be vital to have a strategy to deal with these challenges when external debt is defaulted. Failure to do so may lead to unmanageable problems.
It is also likely that those who proposed default, won’t be around to assume responsibility when the default repercussions arise, and it will be the Government and the people that will have to face the consequences. That is why if a sovereign debt default is contemplated, it is the responsibility of the authorities to initiate and undertake a discussion on the subject and thereafter take the decision. In fact, a decision to default by a country is so serious that it should properly receive the formal approval of the Cabinet of Ministers with the advice of the Attorney General as well. Further, in view of the fact that the Parliament has already voted the necessary funds for debt servicing at the time of approving the Budget and Parliament has the final responsibility for finances, obtaining Parliament’s approval may also be in order.
Hence, even though various people urged the non-payment of the International Sovereign Bond (ISB) on 18 January 2022 and/or other debts, it must be understood that such unsolicited requests cannot be considered by officials, without proper authority or approval of the Government.
In any event, up to 11 April 2022, it was Government Policy not to default, and both Ministry of Finance (MoF) & the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) had followed that policy faithfully since independence. However, as announced by the MoF on 12 April, that policy was changed when the MoF decided to default on that day. Now that the Government has already announced the decision to default, it may be presumed that all connected issues have been carefully considered and approvals obtained. At the same time, certain key government leaders and several private sector leaders who proposed this strategy of default have stated that the forex saved by not paying the loans could be used to fund essential imports. However, many analysts have serious reservations about the materialization of that outcome.
B3. ee & the Aragalaya
1. ee has many shortcomings. This week ee was accused of alleged apathy towards the ongoing ‘aragalaya’. Though ee has been warning about this import-crazy consumption-based economy throughout the last 4 years of ee’s existence. ee has been trying to spark a national conversation about the need for modern industrialization. With mixed results: A) People oppose or deny the need for real industrialization, B) When they do agree about the need for industrialization, they misunderstand or distort what real industrialization is all about. It is not handicraft, not manufacture. It is about the making and usage of machines.
• Marx wrote his most famous volumes, Capital: a Critique of Political Economy in 1867. He wrote it in German, lamenting that even in 1873, Germans, steeped in petty trade, would simply not understand what he was talking about:
‘To the present moment Political Economy, in Germany, is a foreign science. Gustav von Gulich in his Historical Description of Commerce, Industry, &… in 1830 has examined at length the historical circumstances that prevented, in Germany, the development of the capitalist mode of production, and consequently the development, in that country, of modern bourgeois society. Thus the soil whence Political Economy springs was wanting. This science had to be imported from England and France as a readymade article; its German professors remained schoolboys. The theoretical expression of a foreign reality was turned, in their hands, into a collection of dogmas, interpreted by them in terms of the petty trading world around them, and therefore misinterpreted.’ – Karl Marx, Afterword to the 2nd German Edition (1873)
So how do we attempt to extend knowledge of the need for a political, economic and military strategy to implement an industrial plan? In a country dominated by merchants and moneylenders, who think capital is money, and call manufacture industry, etc, Sri Lankans urgently need to expose these merchants and moneylenders and their media, and their sabotage of the development of modern industrial production. ee’s critics argue, capitalism will never allow Sri Lanka to succeed as a modern industrial state. This would offer the world, in capitalists’ eyes, the threat of a good example…
2. The second charge against ee is that it provides no plan, no program to implement the ideas. What should we make first, they ask? Is it iron, steel, petroleum? Is it robotics, or machines that make machines? Is it agriculture? ee should provide guidance and a strategy. So that those who wish to be leaders tomorrow will be clearer about what needs to be done. These questions are not ours alone to answer.
3. ee promised to respond to the repeated assertion by economists such Howard Nicholas, who exaggerate the successes of R Premadasa’s ‘industrialization’, and a garment ‘industry’ that makes not a pin, needle, thread, fabric or button. Nicholas, et al, also call for export-led industrialization. ee has always felt that this call ignores (& yet must address) the rural question: how to capture the rural home market? Cultivators’ children need shoes, clothes, pens, pencils, erasers, books. All this can be made here. How they will be made, with what type of machinery, and how much of that machinery could end up being made here, needs to be a part of any economic plan. A home market is crucial as a basis for industrialization. Visit any rural kaday. The entire market is now dominated by multinational corporations, like Unilever. Foreign banks, acting as agents for their national industries, and operating here under the guise of finance companies, are selling their industrial equipment at huge profit, and pushing people into debt bondage.
B4. How Unilever Controls Media in Sri Lanka
Unilever in Sri Lanka controls the media through their advertising agencies. It is they who have the power to pull together all the media forces and distributional networks across the country to create such political campaigns to both create and destroy leaders.
• Unilever, GroupM & Mindshare – GroupM is the largest media investment management & consolidation agency in Sri Lanka, controlling the advertising & communication industries. GroupM claims itself as ‘the world’s leading media investment company’ handling over ‘$50bn in annual media investment through agencies Mindshare etc. GroupM’s portfolio includes data & technology (Choreograph), investment, services…
GroupM’s primary agency Mindshare was set up in Sri Lanka in 2006, building up collaborative networks, with clients, media networks and experts in marketing communication who use data analytics and consumer insights. The agency sells products and services rooted in media: performance marketing, data visualization and collaboration, new content models, e-commerce services, IOT services, budget setting and allocation, channel planning, data management platforms and data handling services.
GroupM manages clients’ media investments, promising ‘adaptive marketing’, ‘team work, speed and provocation.’ GroupM is the primary digital agency for Unilever, Singer, Softlogic Glomark…
• Unilever & WPP – England’s WPP is the world’s largest advertising company, a multinational communications, advertising, public relations, technology & commerce holding monopoly company headquartered in London.
In September 2021, Unilever retained WPP’s Mindshare for most of its media business across Unilever’s top 6 markets: The US, England, Ireland, India, Indonesia and China, with 80% of Unilever’s global multibillion dollar media business.
Mindshare targets South Asia (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka) and Southeast Asia (Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam), Eastern Europe, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and the Nordics.
Omnicom’s PHD won Unilever’s media business in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, West Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Havas Media was given France and Spain. IPG’s Initiative was given Russia, the Ukraine, Belarus and Greece, and non-Anglo America. Asatsu-DK handles Unilever’s media business in Japan.
Mindshare will centralize Unilever’s entire media business, including data, analytics, planning, buying and social media, under a single agency in a given market. Unilever’s new ‘Get on the Frontline’ strategy, uses ‘data and empathy’.
Unilever, spent roughly $8.6billion on marketing prior to the pandemic. Underlying sales growth in the first half of 2021 was up almost 19% to $1.5bn. ‘The rapid digitization of consumer lives – accelerated even further by the Covid pandemic – has driven the convergence of media, commerce, entertainment and shopping, offering exciting opportunities for our brands.’
In April 2022, Unilever was ‘encouraged’ by GroupM’s ‘greater integration between data-driven marketing, multichannel audience planning, performance, and strategic media expertise.’
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.
• Japanese Warships ‘Kashima’ and ‘Shimakaze’ depart after 3 days
• President’s war victory message: Bid to destabilise country amidst economic & political turmoil
• India’s Security Chief meets with SL Ambassador, responds positively to aid request
‘Moragoda has met with the National Security Advisor of India, Shri Ajit Kumar Doval …Deputy National Security Advisor of India Ambassador Vikram Misri and the Deputy High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in New Delhi Niluka Kadurugamuwa also…’
• $16mn worth of assistance from people of India to start arriving
• India extending aid to crisis-hit Sri Lanka, proves long lasting relationship between two nations
• Sri Lanka defeats LTTE: If you can’t name the dead 40,000 there is no ‘genocide’ – Waduge
• Sri Lankans commemorate War Heroes Day, Tamil Genocide Day on same day
• Tamil Genocide Remembrance Day – Questions for Canada: Waduge
• Canadian declaration of ‘Tamil genocide’ may influence EU – Gen. Gallage
• Remembering the lives lost at Mullivaikkal
• Govt. rejects motion on alleged genocide adopted in Canadian Parliament
• Rajiv Gandhi assassination case: Convict Perarivalan to walk free after three decades, Indian Supreme Court orders release
• TNA-FSP talks on formulating joint strategy successful
• SJB, FSP agree on common agenda
• Indian Supreme Court orders release of Rajiv Gandhi murder convict
• USAID National Peace Council wants short timeframe to abolish presidency
• English Opposition Leader suggests taking SL to International Criminal Court
• South Korea issues special travel advisory on Sri Lanka
• Former Maldives President Nasheed appointed to coordinate international relief efforts for SL
• Sajith meets UNICEF reps in Colombo
• Canadian High Commissioner wishes to monetize SL political humour as an export
• Gold standard for political humour already set by Canada!
• National Joint Committee raises alarm over BASL, SJB constitutional reforms
• National Joint Committee Statement on the Proposed 21st And 22nd Amendments to the Constitution Submitted by the SJB / Group Of Eleven Political Parties And The Proposal Of The Bar Association To Abolish The Executive Presidency
• Masks of democracy and energy geopolitics: Is Full Spectrum Dominance the endgame?
‘Leaderless protestors at ‘Gota Gama’ were also organized anonymously via social media platforms and networks like Facebook (Meta) and Whatsapp chats via remote servers with invisible bots on the English-language based internet. Who or which intel agents and agencies backed and provided the digital intelligence?’
• First ever visit of Buddhist and Hindu Priests from Sri Lanka to Saudi Arabia
• Lanka crisis brings Indianrefugee issues to the fore
• Norway calls for far reaching political reforms
• Sri Lankan situation is fraught with danger – Bhadrakumar
‘Sri Lanka is only one of some 35 developing countries today that are struggling with post-pandemic economic recovery. The big powers have little time left for Sri Lanka amidst the birth pangs of a multipolar world order…’
• A Ruling Family on the Run as Sri Lanka Plunges Into Economic Ruin
‘Hemasiri Fernando, a former defense secretary, said that the military had calculated its own interests, and that the economic crisis was too widespread, also affecting the families of those in the military, for officers to blindly support the president despite the public anger. “They understand the hardship, because they are facing it too,” Mr. Fernando said.’
• Foreign Ministry staff won’t accept packs of food from China
‘China wanted food packs with rice, sugar, dhal and sprats in packs distributed to officials in the Foreign Ministry but strong objections by the Foreign Service Officers’ Association put paid to the move. The move has been authorised by Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage, and the China-Sri Lanka Friendship Association was to be used as the conduit for the distribution.’
• Why Should South Asian Countries be thankful and grateful to India?
• US takes control of Afghan embassy, consulates in NY, CA
• Biden’s trip to Asia: a provocative visit foretold?: Global Times editorial
‘”a wake-up call to China that America is the permanent Pacific presence and power.”’
• US President Joe Biden Begins Asia Tour; North Korea, China In Focus
• Upgraded US-South Korea alliance threatens balance, security of Asia, experts warn
• Biden on mission to corner China visits Samsung on first leg of Asia trip, but Seoul ‘won’t completely fall as US tool’
• Japan approves plan to discharge radioactive water into ocean
• Biden Returns to Time Past in Gulf – Bhadrakumar
‘No matter the denouement in Ukraine, West Asian countries are in no mood to help the US to “erase” Russia. Like the ASEAN, the GCC won’t take sides. But unlike in southeast Asia, the US has a massive military presence in West Asia. Indeed, this is a crisis situation.’
• US sanctions on Iran ‘illegal’ and ‘devastating,’ says independent UN expert
• Syrian foreign minister predicts end of illegal U.S. presence
• Former U.S. president slips and decries invasion of Iraq… oops… Ukraine
• Israel approves far-right march in occupied East Jerusalem
• Why Ukraine war has no winners – Bhadrakumar
• Fact Finding Mission to Donbass
• Ukraine SitRep – Russians Break Through U.S. Bolsterism
• NATO and Russia’s War on Ukraine: A Conversation with NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana
• How Europe Was Pushed Towards Economic Suicide
‘imposing more sanctions on the oil and gas markets which will lead to more inflation’
• Biden Approves Plan to Redeploy Several Hundred Ground Forces Into Somalia
• Notes from Ethiopia, Part 4: The TPLF Destruction of Afar
• The Sun Never Sets: Why Is Africom Expanding in Zambia?
• Is This the End of the French Project in Africa’s Sahel?
• Black Alliance for Peace Calls on Latin American and Caribbean Nations to Boycott Summit of the Americas
• Is the U.S. Covering Up its Role in Moïse’s Murder?
• The Price of Slavery: Capitalism and Revolution in the Caribbean.
• Cuba commemorates the 127th anniversary of José Martí’s fall in combat
• Venezuela praises Mexico’s stance for an inclusive Summit of the Americas
• Bolivia’s Economy is Least Vulnerable to Ukraine War: Interview
• Nicaraguan president says CELAC is meeting point of Latin America and the Caribbean
• ‘Go back to the plantation’ – Curitiba, Brazil Moves to Impeach Black City Councilor
• The New White Supremacist Consensus Part Two: Shootings in Buffalo Solidify the Consensus
• Finland-Sweden’s Dream of NATO Recruitment Fails
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.
• IGP, Public Security Ministry Secy. allowed SLPP goon attacks – Wimal
• Police had been asked to look the other way
• Pathirana says IGP, Public Security Ministry Secy. allowed goon attacks
• Govt. MPs reaped what they sowed, says SF – ‘IGP & Army Commander must not be blamed’
• JVP denies involvement in May 9 clashes, queries why army, police not summoned to quell riots
• Guessing game as to why Forces were sitting on the fence
‘Whether they were with the popular uprising with ulterior motives or with the President, seeing which way the wind was blowing’
• Amarakeerthi was lynched: Post-mortem report reveals multiple injuries
• Buses burnt, like in middle of terrorism: Lanka Private Bus Owners’ Association
• Lamborghini, Ferrari and Hummers burnt to cinders
• The Shavi Who Fooled Gota
• As armoured cars rumble into Colombo, this is what a military state signifies
• Ranil harnessed to bear Rajapaksas’ feudal yoke
• Shocking details on Sri Lanka’s black Monday revealed
• Local politicians handpicked more than two-thirds of officers in charge of police stations
• 846 officers & 11,471 other ranks of Army, SLAF promoted on Victory Day
• Promoted Senior Brigadiers meet Commander
• Sri Lanka’s ex-minister assumed police chief’s powers
• Wimal asks for PSC probe into top officials’ complicity in violence
• CID grills IGP, STF Commandant over May 9 incidents
• Drone technology used to get info to attack ministers’ houses
• BASL writes to CJ and AG expressing concern over reported attempts of unlawful interference
• State of emergency in Sri Lanka revoked
• USLA Wellington Ranaviru Commemoration
• Address to the VII International Seminar for Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases
• The Ukraine War Is Accelerating the New Space Race
‘Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 Starlink satellites into space, with plans to launch more than 12,000 by 2026….to provide internet access to populations around the world.’
• Pact between Salvadoran government and gangs denounced
• Monkeys Infected With Transmissible Diseases Are Trucked Across US
• The NYPD Killing of Rameek Smith
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.
• An Alternative to Privatization & making State Assets/Resources Profitable: Waduge
‘A country’s wealth or power comes essentially from the economic power it yields from the consolidated powers deriving from food security/energy security/monetary security/internal security/external security etc. The economy is key & priority.’
• IMF says Sri Lanka talks conclude May 24, monitoring developments closely
‘An IMF team led by its Sri Lanka Mission Chief Masahiro Nozaki has been continuing discussions with Sri Lanka’s Central Bank and Finance Ministry officials on policy changes to tackle the government’s balance of payment issue’
• World Bank, ADB & AIIB announce joint plan to help Sri Lanka
• G-7 backs debt relief efforts for Sri Lanka, draft communique shows.
• PM welcomes G7 decision to assist SL
• SL becomes first Asia Pacific country to default on foreign debt
• “India Looks A Lot Like Sri Lanka”: Rahul Gandhi Shares Graphs On Economy
‘for unemployment, fuel prices and communal violence’
• Debt advisors delayed by lack of Cabinet
• Committee on Public Finance (COPF) summons CBSL Governor, Treasury Secretary to discuss way forward
• Coming few months will be most difficult times Sri Lankans have experienced in their lives: PM
‘unable to find dollars even to buy lifesaving drugs… I assumed this duty not only as a political leader, but also as national leader who has benefited from free education at the Faculty of Law of the University of Colombo’
• More pain in Sri Lanka before any resolution to crisis – Reuters
• Sri Lanka gets “good response” from envoys, may take 3 months to finalize: PM
• PM tells Parliament statistics on economy haywire
• Daily FT-SC Securities Researchers Collective sheds key investment insights to top companies
‘research by Asia Securities Vice President Research Hilal Zainudeen – Expolanka Holdings, Capital Trust Head of Research Hasitha Leanage – LOLC Holdings and Browns Investments, SC Securities Head of Research Charitha Gunasekere – Hayleys, Bartleet Religare Senior Research Analyst Heshan Chamika – John Keells Holdings and First Capital Head of Research Dimantha Mathews – apparel and related sector trio Hela Apparel Holdings, Teejay Lanka and Hayleys Fabrics.’
• ‘Way forward’ plan devised by Finance Ministry to tackle the crisis
‘fiscal consolidation measures underpinned by an IMF programme’
• Central Bank Governor says he changed his mind about resigning
• What’s next for the Sri Lankan Economy?
• Sri Lanka as a woman: A guide for non-economists on current economic issues – Wattegama
• “If there’s no India, the country is basically closed.”
‘The public must be warned that the next three months will be “very difficult,”’
• Eran comments on SL defaulting on debt payments, says access to capital markets important
• Neoliberalism and the Sri Lanka Economic Crisis – Prabhat Patnaik
‘The Sri Lankan government’s culpability can be said to lie in taking that country into the clutches of neoliberalism, though there of course, governments scarcely have any choice.,
• Not going to IMF then & going to IMF now: Will Sri Lanka’s Problems be solved?: State of Sri Lanka’s Economy – Research Team
‘seeking a programme with the IMF is a decision to be taken by the Cabinet of Ministers, and not by officials.’
• Shouldn’t Sri Lanka have defaulted on the settlement of the ISB of USD 500 million on 18th January 2022? Wouldn’t that have saved the Forex for the import of essential items?: State of Sri Lanka’s Economy – Research Team
• Sri Lanka: Debt crisis, neocolonialism and geopolitical rivalry – Asoka Bandarage
• The Economy of Sri Lanka Part 4 B1, 2, 3 & 4
‘the government established the State Gem Corporation in 1971’
• Sri Lanka Outcome: USA Returns To South Asia – Saeed Naqvi
‘Whatever the aspiration of the protesters in Sri Lanka, the chaos they created has caused the messiah to appear in the form of the IMF’
• What is the crisis? Where are we heading? – Niyanthini Kadirgamar
‘Senior Researcher at the Law & Society Trust, Vidura Munasinghe speaks with Niyanthini Kadirgamar, PhD candidate-University of Massachusetts, Amherst.’
• Political stability urgently needed to address economic crisis – Sanderatne
‘IMF’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and a longer term Structural Credit Facility (SCF) would be politically unpopular and bring further hardships on people.’
• Youth: Losing their future – Abeyratne
‘Sri Lanka lost a few decades of potential economic growth due to its youth conflict since the 1980s. It was the “youth generation” which was born and brought up in Sri Lanka’s “welfare state”. They were born in the 1950s-1970s in large numbers as the death rates were “modern” and the birth rates were “primitive”. Modern death rates are smaller, but primitive birth rates are larger as a unique feature of the Sri Lankan demographic transition in a welfare state at the time. As a result, the Sri Lankan population doubled in 30 years (1950-1980).’
• What’s Happening in SL? Devaka Gunawardena, Rohini Hensman, Niyanthini Kadirgamar
• Continuing economic crisis in Sri Lanka and its far-reaching repercussions for women and girls
• Sri Lanka Economy: Steps that Sri Lanka must take to tide over the economic crisis
‘Sirimal Abeyratne Professor of Economics, University of Colombo, and Shiran Fernando, Chief Economist, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce…’
• Opposition committed to help find solutions to SL crisis – SJB’s Eran says
‘we will support the government in reinstating the previous tax regime and other reforms required under an International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.’
• Inflation has sky-rocketed – Ruchith Dissanayake
‘Let’s start with the obvious – the reasons for this unprecedented surge in price of goods and services. First, the incredibly foolish idea of printing money.’
• Strengthen the independence of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka
• Harsha won’t join govt. but ready to spearhead all-party economic revival plan
• Increase foreign exchange reserves by boosting exports and restricting imports
• CFA Society to discuss on lessons learned in sovereign debt restructuring in Cyprus
‘moderated by CFA Society Sri Lanka Past President, JB Securities CEO and Advocata Institute Chairman Murtaza Jafferjee CFA. Fifth Annual Sovereign Debt Restructuring Conference in March 2022, organised by Global Independence Centre, papers by Tamon Asonuma Economist in the Strategy Policy and Review Department of the IMF. Michael G. Papaioannou, TA Expert Advisor at the IMF and Professor at the LeBow College of Business, School of Economics, Drexel University. He was a Deputy Division Chief at the Debt and Capital Markets Instruments, Monetary and Capital Markets Department of the International Monetary Fund and Special Adviser to the Governing Board of the Bank of Greece…’
• Political and Economic Crises Land Sri Lanka in Perfect Storm – NewsClick‘s Purkayastha
• How SL PM can Overcome the crisis by following Bangladesh’s ‘PM Sheikh Hasina Model’
• “Gravitas Plus: Which countries could go the Sri Lanka way” on YouTube
‘Sri Lanka’s debt crisis is a warning to the world. The World Bank says a global debt storm is coming. It could engulf 70 developing countries & make their economies fall like dominoes. What are the threats they face? How can they be averted?’
• Inherited problems that led to Sri Lanka’s economic crisis – C.P. Chandrasekhar
• The making and masking of Sri Lanka’s debt crisis
‘Amid the chaos and deprivation of recent weeks, free market think-tanks have espoused a tired ensemble of neoliberal reforms – spanning fiscal austerity, monetarism, privatisation of state-owned enterprises, and freer trade – as a pathway to recovery.’
• A Ruling Family on the Run as Sri Lanka Plunges Into Economic Ruin – New York Times
• Inflation angst to stir up as ICRA Lanka forecasts further acceleration in prices
• Ceylon Chamber of Commerce discussions with key political parties on economic crisis
‘Stresses importance of having a stable govt. in place to finalise Staff-level agreement with IMF’
• Is Bangladesh Heading Toward a Sri Lanka-like Crisis?
• China becomes wild card in Sri Lanka’s debt crisis
• Repurpose development funds to import essentials: Patali
• US Indo-Pacific economic scheme doomed to fail as original TPP did
• IMF lifts weighting of dollar, Chinese yuan in SDR basket
• Egypt considers issuing bonds in China’s yuan
• Australia: turning for the worse – Roberts
• Crypto untethered – Roberts
‘Last Thursday the $1.3tn cryptocurrency industry was hit heavily when ‘stablecoin’ Tether — a critical cog in the crypto market — briefly failed to maintain its link with the US dollar…. stablecoin is a crypto currency coin that is tied to an existing fiat currency, namely the US dollar…’
• Hudson on Decline of Dollar, Sanctions War, Imperialism, Financial Parasitism
• Hudson: USA’s Real Adversaries Are Its European and Other Allies
• USA Defeats Germany for the Third Time in a Century: The MIC, BARE and OGAM Conquer NATO – Hudson
• Hudson: The Dollar Devours the Euro
• Lecture on Inflation and The Dying Dollar by Dr Tan Kee Wee
‘Is this current inflation going to go away soon? Maybe not so soon. Like the inflation of the 1970s, this inflation is here to stay. On top of that, it will undermine the dominance of the US dollar as a reserve currency. The US-Russian conflict is also undermining the dominance of the US dollar as a reserve currency. It looks like drastic measures must be taken to support the dominance of the US dollar.’
• Janet Yellen seems to be rethinking globalization too
• Yellen’s sticks and carrots
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.
• Sri Lanka to repay debts after six months
• Sri Lanka misses payment to Asian Development Bank: Prime Minister
• SL succumbs to hard default as grace period for International Sovereign Bonds (ISB) payment lapsed.
• Sri Lanka Falls Into Default For The First Time Ever
• “We have no dollars, we have no rupees.” – PM
• Sri Lanka still rated ‘Ca’ by Moody’s after default, signaling recovery rate of 35-65-pct
• Fitch downgrades Sri Lanka’s rating to ‘restricted default’
• Fitch downgrades Sri Lanka further
• Reserve Bank of India approves India, Sri Lanka trade settlement in rupee outside ACU
• Sri Lanka IMF discuss macro-fiscal plan, Finance Minister needed for policy sign-off
• Sri Lanka’s bank credit surge in rupees after soft-peg collapse
• Sri Lanka plans new budget 2022, original targets cannot be achieved: PM
• Sri Lanka money printing totals Rs588bn in the 2022 first quarter
• Manufacturing and services activities record sharp slowdown in April
• PM informs Parliament USD 160 mn received from World Bank
• Sri Lanka rupee at 364 to TT dollar, guidance rate at 359.55 on Thursday
• Sri Lanka money printing in 2022 reaches Rs588bn in first quarter
• Sri Lanka policy rate unchanged as market rates rise, money printing warnings
• Most Sri Lanka Treasury bill auction bids rejected
• Sri Lanka to crack down on foreign currency note holders: CB Governor
• SL will control interest rates with open market operations, direct bill purchases: CB Governor
• No change in interest rates, Central Bank says
• Inflation currently at 30%: CBSL Governor
• CB optimistic about controlling runaway inflation
• Sri Lanka non-oil imports down in March 2022 as soft-peg collapses
• SL’s CB call to expatriates for help with dollars
• Sajith urges Lankans abroad to send funds via banking channels
• Banks, finance and other companies requested to pay taxes upfront: Inland Revenue Department (IRD)
• India central bank sold $20.1 billion in March to defend rupee against the U.S. dollar
• Canadian inflation accelerates to new three-decade high
• Canada to ban foreigners from buying homes in warning shot to Chinese, Indian immigrants
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
• Linus Jayatilake (Sept. 1942 – May 2022): A Comrade of all Working People
• GMOA vows to thwart attempts to privatise healthcare sector
• Unfair pay cut may force GMOA to trade union action
• Economic crisis grips low income settlements in Colombo ‘Survival of the fittest’ no more a poor man’s game
‘Inflation is now at about 40% and this means you’re getting poorer by the day’
• ICUs, HDUs likely to close in hospitals: Health Professionals Fed.
• Non-essential public workers asked not to report to work tomorrow
• Military security boost for BOI zones
• Police use tear gas and water cannon on IUSF protesters
• Fuel not sold at R.121 a liter to MPs, if they want fuel, must queue – CPC trade unions
• Printing money to pay state salaries
• PM tried to give solutions, but turned down due to executive powers: Senthil Thondaman
‘Even if the President has the intention to help us, he will not be able to deliver it.’
• Workers’ remittances inflow halves in 1Q
• Scott Morrison confirms vessel from Sri Lanka intercepted while en route to Australia
‘Morrison confirmed — in the spirit of “full transparency”— that the boat had been intercepted by Australian authorities’
• Repeatedly postponed mandatory exams slated for next week
‘Unions have pointed out that the severe shortage of fuel in the country is impeding school transport, especially in the rural areas.’
• Opportunity for O/L candidates to obtain blessings
• Nobody talks of upgrading teachers
• Persons with disabilities educated on their rights
‘The Disability Organisations’ Joint Front (DOJF) had Commissioner General of Elections Saman Sri Rathnayake, and Institute for Democratic Reforms and Electoral Studies’ Manjula Gajanayake as resources for workshops in Colombo, Jaffna, Puttalam, Matara and Nuwara Eliya.’
• Kandy’s Mowbray College turns 100 on May 17
• Joint operation in Santo Domingo detains 385 undocumented Haitians
• Choosing Ourselves: Black Women and Abortion, Beverly Smith, 1989
• Conference on Diverse Forms of Global Feminist Protests
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.
• Southwest monsoon expected to set countrywide today
• No, The Ukraine War Has Not Stoked A Global Food Crisis.
‘not Russia that is withholding Ukrainian grain or cutting off seaports. Ukraine does that all by itself.’
• Sri Lanka food shortfalls, high prices feared after open account, DA/DP ban
• Mano Ganesan requests PM to provide cooked food to Colombo’s urban poor
• Sri Lanka expected to go without food in the global food crisis: PM
• Sri Lanka could face food shortage from August, warns prime minister
• ‘We are going to die:’ Sri Lankan PM warns of food scarcity amid economic crisis
• Indian shipment of rice, milk powder, medicines worth Rs 2bn en route to Sri Lanka
• Japan and WFP contribute USD 1.5mn for food
• France donates medicine worth € 300k to Sri Lanka
• Sajith meets UN Food Program delegation
• WB announces planned actions for global food crisis response
• Ven. Rathana Thero slams Govt for failed organic agriculture policy
• Over 60% crop loss this Yala season
• Agriculture was a part of our culture, but now a cultural desert leaves fields bare
• Sale of organic fertiliser mixing sand and charcoal
• Farmers to receive chemical fertilizer for Rs. 10,000 per bag
• Vegetable prices spike in Keppetipola
• Jan-April tea exports volume down, rupee earnings up
• 6.78 MnKgs under hammer this week at Colombo Tea Auction
• Bakery business could grind to halt: Bakery Owners’ Assn.
• Bakery prices up again after wheat flour hike: ACBOA
‘Many have closed bakeries around the country due to the unavailability of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The rising cost of vegetables, poultry, sugar, flour, cooking oil, gas and transport is unimaginable. This is a key reason for the closure of most bakeries,”…around 3,000 bakeries including SMEs have been closed from the total of over 7,000 bakeries at present…’
• Price of bread increased from midnight today
• Confectionery industry prioritises biscuit manufacturing as it’s fast becoming SL staple
• Lion Brewery delivers strong fourth quarter profits amid adversities
• India extends help for Sri Lanka to become self-reliant in vegetable oil
‘Palm Oil Industry Association of Sri Lanka (POIASL), recently met with India’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Gopal Baglay’
• Warning of an unprecedented nemesis to SL if the Kotmale Dam breaches by an LTTE attack
• Bairaha Farms appoints Reyaz Mihular as Chairman
‘Mihular is the Managing Partner of KPMG Sri Lanka and Maldives…’
• Fish now a luxury item on family menus
‘S.L. Manawadu from the Beruwala fisheries harbour, said trawlers will not set sail on 30-40 day deep sea fishing trips considering the costs’
• US government committed to protect endangered marine turtles in Sri Lanka
• Global ‘wheat war’ is coming – media
• India bans wheat exports as heat wave hurts crop, domestic prices soar
• India’s Wheat Fiasco!
• African Food Prices Soaring Amid Ukraine War
• Nations urged to fight food insecurity
• “It Tears You Apart Mentally and Physically”: Health Crisis Afflicting Black Farmers in US
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.
• China offers shipment of diesel , but no response from Sri Lanka
• Sri Lanka PM wants to privatize SriLankan Airlines
• Will UAE or Gulf airlines play a part in SriLankan’s upcoming privatisation?
• Import expenditure also increased substantially in February 2022, year-on-year
• Sri Lanka to impose LC deposit margins to discourage imports
• Fuel crisis: Three shipments at sea awaiting payments
• Continuing shortages of gas, kerosene and fuel leaves many burning in anger
• Sri Lanka out of petrol as economic crisis deepens – Mary Izuaka, Premium Times
• Sri Lanka to default on debt, no money for fuel, minister says – CGTN
• Rain gods save CEB despite a loss of 300 MWs from N’cholai
• Four ships due carrying petrol, diesel to end queues
• Responding to our energy addiction
• Social media posts mislead people with fake mobile numbers to buy fuel: Lanka IOC MD
• Who do we subsidize through fuel subsidies?
‘Who benefits from lower prices? Those who are the biggest users of petrol. These are citizens with vehicles, who skew towards the wealthier segments of society.’
• Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority urges halt to using grid power for hoardings, etc.
• Hopes regarding fuel, electricity thin as queues suggest darker days
• Fuel sold at higher prices from Kolonnawa storage terminal, per liter above Rs.500: SUTUF
• Ships with petrol, gas arrive at port
• Uncertainty over petrol and cooking gas supplies continues, long queues remain
• Five fuel tankers anchored at sea off the Colombo Port
• Protests demanding fuel disrupts vehicular movement in many areas
• Another shipment of 3,500 MT of LP gas arrives in Sri Lanka
• Black market petrol racket booms amidst shortage
• CPC delays fuel to apparel sector despite payment in USD
• CB uses WB grant to settle outstanding payments for fuel shipments
• LIOC stops issuing fuel to cans, containers, bottles with immediate effect
• Amid shortage, Sri Lanka suspends 4 filling station licenses for hoarding fuel
• Litro asked to distribute 60% of LP gas cylinders in highly populated areas
• Sri Lanka secures forex for fuel as protests continue
• Some organized groups threatening to set fire to fuel trucks: Minister
• LIOC to pump only vehicle tanks
• Sri Lanka to suspend fuel supply to filling stations where protestors block roads
• Police to begin crackdown on people hoarding fuel for resale
• Litro assures daily distribution of 80,000 LP gas cylinders from today
• 40,000MT Diesel under Indian Credit Line of 1.5 billion USD in total reaches Colombo
• Investment costs more than double for WindForce’s Mannar project
• Sri Lanka and Nepal discuss investment opportunities in hydropower sector
• Sri Lanka renewable firms, engineering firms promoted in Mozambique
• We need about US$ 30-40mn per month on drugs
‘Dr Anver Hamdani, the Director Medical Technology Services of the Ministry of Health who is coordinating healthcare donor activities. Around 85 percent of drugs and medical supplies are imported and the sector is severely affected by the dollar shortage’
• ICUs face threat of shutdown due to shortages of drugs, equipment
• Waste galore at State Ministry of Production, Supply & Regulation of Pharmaceuticals – COPA
• Can Sri Lanka build its own tech giants?
‘The bottom line is that you have to keep inventing.’
• Assembling the future – Illanperuma with CEO of E-W-Information Systems
• From zero to Industry 4.0 –Moonesinghe
‘The level of an economy’s industrialisation cannot merely be measured by its output of commodities. How those commodities are produced matters as much. By one criterion, Sri Lanka has not even achieved the Industrial Revolution, since it lacks the ability to manufacture machines to carry out manufacture’
• Coal Shortage? India has Estimated Total Reserves of 300 Billion Tonnes
• US to authorize US Chevron Corp to negotiate oil with with Venezuelan government
• Bolsonaro moves forward with the privatization of Eletrobras
‘Eletrobras is the largest electricity company in the region and in the coming months will become the first state-owned company to be sold by the Bolsonaro administration.’
• President of Russia Vladimir Putin meeting on oil industry development
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.
• SL’s hard default status impacts CSE negatively
• Turnover high but CSE dips due to profit taking
• Sri Lanka stocks fall on profit taking amid default woes; turnover hits 7-wk high
• Sri Lanka stocks fall on concerns over fuel shortage, political instability
• G7 statement on debt relief buoys CSE; buying interest in Expolanka Holdings
• Stock market rebounds
• Dilshan Wirasekara appointed Sri Lanka’s Stock Exchange chairman
‘Wirasekara, Director and Chief Executive Officer of First Capital Holdings’
• Sri Lankans swipe their credit cards more as going gets tougher
• JPMorgan backs Sri Lanka bonds on bets that crippling crisis to ease
• CB Governor welcomes JPMorgan backing for SL
• Private banks shun ‘politically exposed persons’
• Commercial Bank of Ceylon Q1 profit after tax of Rs. 11.775 billion
• Sri Lanka’s Hatton National Bank profits 4.9 billion rupees in March 2022 quarter
• Sampath Bank Q1 profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 6.5 billion
• Nations Trust Bank Q1 increase in impairment provisions by 112% on loans and advances
• Sanjeev Jha appointed Non-Executive Director at Nations Trust Bank
‘Former CEO Fairfirst Insurance, he currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the Boards of Paramount Health Care Services & Insurance TPA, Maxop Engineering Co. and Jaynix Engineering. … on the Advisory Board of CamCom Technologies (Pvt.) Ltd and Symbo Platform, India, consultant to Fairfax Asia subsidiary of Fairfax Financial Holdings…member of the industry advisory panel for the Birla Institute of Management Technology.’
• Pan Asia Bank’s 1Q profit takes hit from massive impairment charges
• DFCC Bank profits slump on thumping impairment provisions
‘Hatton National Bank has 14.91 percent stake in DFCC Bank being its single largest shareholder while the government via Bank of Ceylon, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Employees’ Provident Fund and Employees Trust Fund has 31.61 percent stake in the bank.
• Seylan Bank 1Q profits flat amid higher provisions and slower growth
• Amana Takaful Insurance impressive Q1 revenue growth amidst challenging environment
• China’s yuan set for biggest weekly gain since 2005
• Buffett Taking a Flyer on $3 Billion of Citigroup’s Stock – After It Loses 40% in a Year
• US Fed Chair Powell Says “Markets Are Orderly” and “Functioning.” They’re Not
• Jerome Powell’s US Fed in Two Frightening Charts
• Crypto’s Crash: 100-to-1 Leverage Goes Poof!
• Senator Elizabeth Warren Lauds the New York Stock Exchange for Investor Protections. It’s Currently Trading Multiple Alleged Frauds
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’
• CIPM to hold 6th International Research Symposium on May 25, 26
‘Johnny C. Taylor, Jr – President and CEO, Society of Human Resource Management, Washington DC, USA, Prof Fang Lee Cooke, Professor of HRM and Asia Studies, Monash Business School, Monash University, Australia, and Dr. A. K. L. Jayawardene, Senior Lecturer/Consultant, Postgraduate Institute of Management, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka will participate…Prof. Prasadini Gamage – Professor in HRM, University of Kelaniya and Council Member of CIPM will chair the symposium while Dillanjani Weeratunge, Commercial Manager, E.B. Creasy & Co. PLC, Member of CIPM will be the Symposium Secretary.’
• Attracting foreign real estate investments amidst the economic turbulence in Sri Lanka
• Sri Lanka missions abroad generate Rs.3.2 billion in 2021
• Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) Research Bureau and Fairtrade NAPP
‘funded by AICS, the Italian Agency for Development Co-operation, and supported by Fairtrade Italy to develop eco-sustainable supply chains for small farmers’
• Dialog grows 16% in Q1, forex flips NPAT to negative Rs.15.8Bn
• Teejay Lanka profit before tax of Rs 2.887 billion
• TUI cancels holidays to SL after Foreign Office issues urgent warning to English not to go
• Industry fears other tour operators will follow TUI, one of the world’s largest tour companies, halting services to Sri Lanka
• Sri Lanka Tourism running out of cash
• Cash-strapped Sri Lanka’s endless queues spur desperate but creative entrepreneurship
• BRICS welcomes new members, to better represent voices of emerging market economies
• US Target shares plummet as high inflation and supply chain clogs bite
• Attempts underway to create a more US-dominated financial and trade order
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.
• Look at that – Nalin de Silva
• Ranil, Athalgama and Mullivaikkal – Nalin de Silva
• Historic May 19 – Nalin de Silva
• Vasu’s Athalgama Struggle – Nalin de Silva
• Epidemic of Crises and Ranil’s queue – Nalin de Silva
• Practical approach to solving Sri Lanka’s crisis – Waduge
• Doesn’t JVP want to win elections? – Waduge
• Separating Bhikkus from Laypersons: Bhikku’s must enter only Bhikku universities: Waduge
• Put a few politicians and senior public officials to prison & CHANGE will start: Waduge
• Political horse trading in full swing alleges JVP
• SL’s biz community urges President to step down
• BASL insists on constitutional reforms, calls on new PM to form unity govt.
• President holds strategy session to thwart moves to defeat Govt.
• President to part with Defence Ministry, will not retain other portfolios
‘The new ministers are Prof. G. L. Peiris (Foreign), Dinesh Gunawardena (Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government), Prasanna Ranatunga (Urban Development and Housing) and Kanchana Wijesekera (Power and Energy).’
• GotaGoGama is a non-partisan protest, open to any political ideology, say young activists
• Let there be peace and non-violence
• Pro-Govt. MPs accuse JVP, FSP mobs of destroying their properties and vehicles
• The dark hours of black Monday – Sunday Times Political Editor
• Solution to the economic crisis top priority, says new PM
• Prime Minister told Parliament he did not know which side of the Parliament he represents
• Dayan Jayatilleka tells APIIT students only solution to Sri Lanka’s political issue is elections
• Despite jibes & invectives, Wickremesinghe may survive and hopefully deliver – Balachandran
‘Gotabaya Rajapaksa had also told Wickremesinghe to take all decisions and promised to sign on the dotted line.’
• Fireworks at post-mortem on Sri Lanka mob violence
• Shocking details on Sri Lanka’s black Monday revealed
• Sri Lanka’s main opposition decides to conditionally support to new government
• “Go Gota Go” = Abolish EP – Kumar David
• Whose saviour is Ranil? Sri Lanka’s or the President’s – Rajan Philips
• I was called a liar, going to the West, to the IMF – PM
• Ranil commended for taking up challenge
• Institute of Democratic Reforms and Electoral Studies wants to abolish Executive Presidency
• FSP: Ranil likely to appoint corrupt officials to CBSL
• Opposition move to take up motion against President defeated
• Defeat of motion to suspend Standing Orders: PM blames poor Opposition strategy
• Secure legitimacy and credibility
‘The most tragic way for your sixth premiership to go down in history would be for it to be perceived as you having effectively done to Sajith Premadasa what Mahinda Rajapaksa did to you during the coup’
• Fixing the economic crisis will not stop GotaGoGama – USAID NPC
• A way out of today’s constitutional impasse and the way forward: the right to recall
• Ranil Wickremesinghe becomes Prime Minister – Devapriya
‘in the same breath with which they could hail the protests as progressive, UNP & SJB allied supporters are now turning against the demonstrations, claiming they are tilted heavily to the New Left’
• Gota Re-Sets; The Aragalaya Must Re-Set & Re-Load – Jayatilleka
‘Firstly, though the Aragalaya may be difficult to broaden and may lose some of its breadth, it can be deepened, by resisting unfair economic hardships caused by creditor-and-IMF driven cutbacks and launching new waves of struggle.’
• PM Office expenses slashed from Rs.120mn to Rs.60mn
• SJB thinking how they could marginalize me: Ranil
• ‘GotaGoGama’ attack foiled by President’s intervention: Pathirana
• Five-member Cabinet to approve financial, legal advisor appointments soon: PM
• “The interim government should operate for one year”- Champika Ranawaka
‘We should evolve a common minimum programme and agree to it casting aside our ideologies based on neo-liberalism or Marxism’
• Constitutional Reform for ‘System Change’
‘In a corrupt parliamentary culture, as we have in our country, MPs are expected to be accountable only to their party bosses, financiers, family members, ruling party’s money-bags, and not to their sovereign electors. ‘
• Sri Lanka’s Disraeli may use China-India bond for Nation building – By Samitha Hettige
• Personalities and Systems
• MR did not arrive to Parliament by air, his office clarifies
• UN calls on SL to prioritise women when rolling out relief strategies during ongoing crisis
• Ranil renews call for support to set up an all-party Govt.
• Ranil recycled vs. System change: Crisis of ideas, ethics and strategy – Jayatilleka
‘The Gota-Ranil government has new quasi-allies and the power-bloc has been recomposed. A ‘partial stabilisation’ of the governmental-political crisis has been achieved. An own goal was scored.’
• Appointment of Ranil Wickramasinghe as PM was nothing short of a miracle
• Sri Lanka violence: Burnt-out super cars and ransacked hotels are remains of fury
• Prasanna, Johnston intimidating regional ‘GotaGoGama’ protestors?
• Sumanthiran blames it all on President
• Nine new Cabinet Ministers appointed
• No objection allowing compensation to MPs who lost property
• SJB to take disciplinary action against Harin, Manusha
• Rajapaksa brothers brawl continues
• Main demand is contrary to the Constitution – Ivan
• Sri Lanka’s President Is Girding Himself for the Long Haul
‘It was Wickremesinghe’s protection that allowed the Rajapaksas to evade investigations the last time they lost power, when Mahinda Rajapaksa was voted out of office in 2015 ‘
• Retired military officers’ pathetic performance as public officials
• Those who manned Administrative and Judicial institutions became a law unto themselves
• SJB, SLFP decry members switching sides as nine ministers are sworn in
• How a little protest grew to a loud people’s roar
• Political Stability Restored, But Food And Law & Order Pose Challenges: Balachandran
• Gotagogama protesters deny claims of political affiliation
• Surveying a Complicated Environment – Mao Zedong, 1941
‘hold fact-finding meetings’
• How Global McCarthyism Shaped the World
• Australians express concern about economy as they go to the polls
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.
• FT Correction and apology regarding former PM attending Parliament sessions on Wednesday
‘Air Force said the image was a flight carried out by SLAF to former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to travel to Kandy on 28 October 2018 when he was appointed as the Prime Minister in 2018 (during the previous Government).’
• Three social media admins including TV presenter arrested over recent unrest
• Artists of the people’s movement staged a protest yesterday at Galle Face
• 484 pictures & 73 videos received regarding violence: Police
• Another Sketch of 1971 Events – ACB Pethiyagoda
• Editors of 4 Ceylon newspapers invited to Burma to watch final stages of war against Japan
• On Attempting to Ban the last fiction of Martin Wickremesinghe
• Vesak: Focus on religious ceremonies not State festivals
• Vajiraramaya in Bambalapitiya is an oasis
• Temple murals that became George Keyt’s magnum opus
• Sumayya Vally’s lecture for the Geoffrey Bawa Trust
• Pegasus: India SC Extends Time for Submitting Probe Report on Use of Israeli Spyware
• The NGO-ization of Resistance (2014) – Arundhati Roy
‘the Indian state, in keeping with the requirements of structural adjustment, was withdrawing funding from rural development, agriculture, energy, transport and public health. As the state abdicated its traditional role, NGOs moved in’
• The Narrative Devices of Criticism: “Capital” vs. “Breaking Bad”
• English Info-Warriors Kill Abroad And Sabotage Politics At Home
‘English government ran a secret “black propaganda” campaign for decades, targeting Africa, Asia with leaflets and reports from fake sources aimed at destabilising cold war enemies by encouraging racial tensions, sowing chaos, inciting violence and reinforcing anti-communist ideas’
• Worldwide Devastation – The history of the English Empire’s violence
‘In 2005, Britain’s then–Labour chancellor of the exchequer, Gordon Brown, chose the backdrop of Tanzania to make a dramatic statement about his nation’s unmatched record of imperial conquest and rule. The time is long gone,” he said, when England needs to apologize for its colonial history.”
• Myanmar & Fake English Media
• Meaning of Martyrdom of Palestinian Journalist Shireen
• Liberals Drive State Censorship
• “And they lived unhappily ever after…”: A critique of the melancholy aesthetic
• Lives of journalists increasingly on the firing line