‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 30 July – 06 August 2022
The Indian footprint was made among other ways by the jackboot of the Indian army.
We know that Rajiv Gandhi, when the Indo-Lanka Accord was signed,
bragged that it was the beginning of the Bhutanization of Sri Lanka.
– ee Sovereignty, Friendship & ‘Friendship’
The US National Security Advisor states: The US needs a clear threat
To rally the world and play the role of savior of mankind.
China could be that organizing principle for US foreign policy…
The problem, he sees, is that people are not going to believe
that China is a global threat, their view of China is too positive.
The USA needs a ‘Pearl Harbor Moment,’
a real focusing event to change their minds, something he calmly stated
‘would scare the hell out of the American people’.’
– ee Sovereignty, Nancy
• The US and India would have invaded and destroyed the Sri Lankan army and reduced its headquarters to dust, if President Gotabhaya Rajapakse had not been removed. So says former defeated presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka,. He was backed in 2010 by the same US-India imperialist coalition behind the removal of President Rajapakse on July 09 (ee Sovereignty, That Sarath, This Sarath).
• Asia mourned the 77th anniversary of the horrific US atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945.
Unfazed, the US, after sacrificing 10,000s of people in the Ukraine, yet facing defeat by Russia, seeks to provoke another nuclear holocaust by inciting China, hoping to undermine this week’s ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting in Cambodia.
• US state secretary Anthony Blinken flew in for the first time to meet India Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and PM N Modi, on Wednesday July 28, claiming ‘the China challenge has become acute for both US and India’ (ee Sovereignty, US Secretary). India is praying for US permission to keep supply chains open for vaccine manufacture (see, WTO ban on local vaccine production in SL, below).
Both the US and India hope the US-framed Rajapakse-relative Jaliya Wickramasuriya’s off-court revelations, along with threats of invasion and violence (signaled by the May 9th burning of 74 MPs homes) will keep the SLPP leadership hostage to their demands (ee Security, Plea bargain helps Jaliya get off lightly).
• Another fake NGO hunting dollars – the misnamed Belt & Road Initiative Sri Lanka (BRISL) – was quoted by Indian news agency ANI, as saying a Chinese ‘spy’ ship would soon be entering Sri Lanka’s waters. Soon, the news headlines and related US-embassy ‘social’ media trolls were agog screaming ‘Chinese spy ship.’
Yet an Australian warship – Ocean Shield, returning 46 Sri Lankan ‘illegal immigrants’, was allowed to enter the Port of Colombo on Friday.
The US and Indian prevention of Russian and Chinese ships in the Indian Ocean is also meant to undermine Sri Lanka’s independence (ee Sovereignty, Foreign Ships).
Midst imperialists screaming, ‘free & open Indo-Pacific’, India says it will ‘secure the Indian Ocean’ when its first aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya starts patrols this month. India’s 2nd aircraft carrier INS Vikrant will also be commissioned 15 August (ee Sovereignty, India’s 2nd).
• This week saw the 3rd anniversary of India’s abrogation of Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh’s autonomy. In August 2019, India banned all internet services there to prevent people’s access to media. High-speed internet is only available now in their high-income urban ghettos, with costs exceeding most middle-class household budgets. A lesson to remember.
• There’s an escalation in unattributed anti-China news stories (no bylines, no news agencies) which, by content analysis alone, can be traced to the Galle Road’s Kollupitiya-Galle Face stretch (US and Indian embassies), and sometimes off-Galle Rd in Bambalapitiya (where the tax-escapee Brutish Council still reigns).
• On Saturday, August 5, a conference hosted by US-funded thinktank Advocata, led by Indian Borah merchant Murtaza Jafferjee, announced their plans to hijack Sri Lanka’s economic policy, lands and resources (see ee Focus below, also see very interesting blog: avocadocollectiveblog.wordpress.com, for further details about Advocata, Sally & CIA’s Hausmann, etc.)
Deploying their monopolies over information, dollars, fuel and food to drain, choke and whirl the world’s non-settler colonial economies into a tailspin – with their lapdog media vociferously and unrelentingly censuring China and Russia – whites worry such widespread defaults will send their own banking and corporate behemoths, built on squeezing superprofits off non-settler colonial economies, crashing, as in 2008.
The largest risk looming is a worldwide sovereign debt crisis,
with Sri Lanka being only the tip of the iceberg
– ee Economy, US Fed rate hike
• August’s Perseid meteor showers set to peak on the 13th: may not be able to outsparkle the more&more&more revelations that keep leaking out about the US & Indian role in exacerbating turmoil in Sri Lanka. Despite the USA’s so-called social media, like Twitter, suppressing Russian and Chinese sites, the latest exposés about the white role here come from great Zimbabwe – favorite bugaboo of the kalusuddhas and their white masters (see Random Notes).
• It is now clear as the mud on green Galle Face that the US and India will keep using their military might to threaten the country’s leaders with death, blocking essential supplies of fuel and food, and promoting record dollar outflows by stepping up attacks on the rupee, with their openly capitalist and camouflaged social-media keeping up a steady drumbeat of economic illiteracy and political idiocy about the retail corruption of politicians and their cronies. The truth is even more enlightening.
• Sri Lanka’s colonial import-export plantation oligarchy keep denying their role in the bleeding of dollars, even as 80% of SL’s export earnings are hoarded in white countries. Even the docile IMF-house-trained Central Bank (CBSL) Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe had to publicly refute exporters’ claims that loan repayments and raw material imports, etc, demanded 80% of their foreign earnings.
The private oligarchy keeps benefiting from the float of the rupee. The country is not getting export proceeds in keeping with laws, and the CBSL is not enforcing penalties for noncompliance. (ee Economists, 20%)
• IMF goes on Summer Vacation – While Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa had to phone US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman (linked to global business strategy firm Albright Stonebridge Group) to request speedy disbursement of IMF funds, Bangladesh appears to have also been ordered at gunpoint to kneel before them.
The IMF, with the most expensive economists in the world – who if by their own criteria were to be used to evaluate their performances, would be charged with causing mass murder and deprivation – began their summer vacations on August 1st.
The US IMF’s Chief Economist, France-born University of California-Berkeley’s Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas meanwhile, joined his Washington musical conductors, in blaming Sri Lanka for not crawling to them earlier, and warned the rest of the world of the consequences of such tardiness (see ee Economists, IMF Chief Economist)
This messaging has also been picked up ‘by SLPP supporters, who while correctly critiquing the Aragalaya earlier, have now become crazily anti-socialist’, comments an ee correspondent.
Our liberals fashion themselves as leftists, socialists, and Marxists, though they are more accurately petit-bourgeois anarchists and nihilists (until they get dollars!). ‘Corruption’ provides an endless source for outragification. They refuse to study that it’s not just the ‘transfer of capital, enterprise and technology’ from the already developed countries, but the prevention by merchants, usurers and landlords (the import-export mafia!) of ‘an appropriate class structure, and a corresponding set of production relations, within which accumulation takes place’ and ‘conditions the scope for the reproduction of capital’ to invest in modern (machine-making) industrialization – see SBD de Silva, The Political Economy of Underdevelopment.
• The 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO), June 12-17 in diverse-inclusive-equitable (DIE!) Geneva, saw white countries block any possibility of providing inexpensive vaccines, antiviral drugs and diagnostics to the world. Not a word in national media. The drug-import mafia reigns supreme!
No Sri Lankan media (we don’t have journalists, we only have impermanent clerks reproducing amnesia) is allowed to examine how the SL Business Chamber of the Pharmaceutical Importers, led by Hemas et al, even prevent local production of saline (salt water!) and helped worsen fatalities during the Covid attack (ee Industry, WTO & Vaccinations).
• Across the Pond: The white-settler superpower USA dispatched their ‘Special Envoy’ Mike Hammer to the Horn of Africa, to Ethiopia, Egypt & United Arab Emirates (UAE), July 24. To help settle disputes between Egypt & Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project. So they say! The US is sponsoring a terrorist separatist war in Ethiopia, on the Egyptian border, to prevent this important dam, and further undermine African unity!
A1. Reader Comments –
• US/India Plan to Invade • ee‘s Bull • Diaspora Masks • Cardinal too Black for Pope • Dubai Visa Fraud • Fake Income Classifications • No IMF Help Soon • CEB Privatisation • SL Birth Rate Falls • Advocata Reset Danger • JR’s Free Trade Mess • Ranil/Gorby Dolls on Sale • Dumbass to the world • USA’s Extra-Parliamentary Arson
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Church Banks on Whites • US Naval Embargo • CBSL & Export Dollar Frauds • Fake Indian Free Trade • Jaishankar & Blinken • US Fed’s Dollar Games • CIA & Aragalaya NED Funds • US Sanctions Crash Europe • Rules-Based Means US Hijack • Biden’s Foreign Policy RatPack
A3. Random Notes –
• Zimbabwe Exposes US Role in SL • US NGO Land Grab • London Club Bankers Hush • Russia, Ranil & Color Revo • Indian Ocean Great Game Wide Open • US sets Fire to World Economy • Banker Calls for Attack on Welfare • IMF Wants China-SL Haircut First • War & Industrialization • NATO’s Labor Party
B. ee Focus
B1. The US/IMF’s Advocata holds a Missile to Sri Lanka’s Head
B2. Creeping Neoliberal Stranglehold on Sri Lanka – Tamara Kunanayakam
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
• ‘There was a plan to invade if things went against their strategy. We can’t rule that out…’
• ‘ee is just one view. It could be just the right one, but just one view. I feel it’s the true insight into what’s going on. But I don’t think ee has the solution, just ramblings, just bull.’
• ‘Last week’s ee Focus: Do not believe Charith Gunawardena. Do not believe anything out of a Lankan with any ties to England, no matter what masks they wear! They are all controlled by MI5/MI6. Even when they say things that sound right. It’s just talk, words cost nothing. They need to show their own brown populations – our diaspora – and also the liberally minded whites, that white governments aren’t the ones doing this…’
• ‘We have a Cardinal with aspirations to become the next Pope. He will realise that it is only a pipe dream. He has to understand, although a Catholic, he is a Black Asian. Sounds like he’s trying to contest for the big chair or someone.’
• ‘Many businesspeople in Dubai are promising Sri Lankans jobs and visa. They first ask them to work in Sri Lanka on the promise of a visa and then after getting the work, they refuse to pay…’
• ‘’Going Sri Lanka’, has now been made a trope for the trajectory of global economic contagion.’
• ‘Why is it so unlikely for SL to be reclassified temporarily as ‘low-income country‘? Didn’t an inaccurate classification start all this? How could it now be accurately classified as anything else?!’
• ‘The IMF chief in SL is supposed to be very skeptical about a bailout (Extended Fund Facility, EFF) anytime soon. They’ll say SL has to expedite debt restructuring, and push China to do what they did for Zambia.’
• ‘What does it mean to ‘restructure the CEB‘? Is that stealth privatization?’
• ‘SL’s demography is also in danger. Our birth rate has fallen, too many have migrated, and we have an acute labor shortage.’
• ‘Advocata – neoliberal advocates! The word ‘Reset‘ spells danger. Appears that they are working hand in glove with World Economic Forum. Wolves in sheep’s clothing!’
• ‘They say we misallocated resources and didn’t embrace markets! Ha! Ha! JR’s open economy forced-open our doors to unnecessary markets. Unregulated Free Trade is a major reason for the current economic mess.’
• ‘If any leader acts like Gorbachev and remains their good boy or girl, after they destroy our motherland, they will get an honorary visa to Uncle Sam’s Wonderland. Like the Gorby Dolls that were there to welcome Gorby, they will also sell Ranil Dolls and make a buck there also.’
• ‘A certain population knows that fuel prices in the world have gone up. The thing is the majority aren’t made aware of the things happening around the world. They act dumbass or are made dumbass.’
• Re: Iraq Parliament, Looks like the storming public institutions/buildings thing will be a permanent fixture going forward whenever a country is not pro-West enough…’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘Church banking on West’s support, calls anti-govt protests “People’s Resistance Movement in Sri Lanka”! Backlash will come from Sinhala Buddhists if Church acts like state within state. Church grew by taking advantage of conducive climate for ‘conversion’ of downtrodden Hindus.’ – MK Bhadrakumar, Twitter
• ‘A US Department of Defense ‘Sea Vision’ training exercise in the months of June-July [put] the island at the center of the Indian Ocean… effectively under a fuel embargo. As US Marines instructed the SL Navy, the country was starved of Russian oil and gas that could have saved its USDollar-debt-trapped-economy from further freefall and IMF inroads.’ – ee Sovereignty, Pelosi’s Pivot
• ‘In August 21, then Governor Prof WD Lakshman appointed a working committee and liaised with customs and started putting in place the EPMS (export proceeds monitoring system)…It seems EPMS is still not functioning at CB level. Also, CB doesn’t provide the information on actual amounts of foreign exchange proceeds received on a monthly basis.’ – ee Economists, Only 20%
• ‘The Free Trade Agreement with India did not turn out to be very helpful in securing for Sri Lankan businesses access to its huge market, despite the hype put about by the government and its ever willing supporters in the media… its major success was in helping Indian manufacturers of a couple of products using raw materials from Southeast Asia to circumvent high tariffs in India by temporarily basing part of their processes in SL – trade which slightly improved Sri Lanka’s balance of payments while it lasted, but came to an abrupt end when India changed its tariff regime.’ – Kath Noble, Hotchpotch (ee Economists)
• ‘US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken met with Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar [at] the ASEAN Regional Forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia… They discussed Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and emphasized that both nations stand with the people of Sri Lanka and support their aspirations for a return to economic and political stability through democratic and constitutional processes. Secretary Blinken condemned the Burmese military regime… They also noted our shared efforts to promote a free, open, secure, and prosperous Indo-Pacific.’ – ee Sovereignty, US Secretary
• ‘The tightening of financing conditions by the US Federal Reserve and other major central banks has exacerbated developing economies’ macroeconomic-management challenges, by heightening exchange-rate volatility, increasing liquidity risks, and widening spreads’ – ee Economists, Extension
• ‘The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)’s purpose was to channel money, equipment, political consultants, and other expertise to other countries in order ’to strengthen democratic electoral process … through timely measures in cooperation with indigenous democratic forces’.’ – Gerald Sussman, Branding Democracy: US Regime Change in Post-Soviet Eastern Europe
• ‘Austria depends on Russian gas, German industry also depends on it, and if it collapses, the Austrian one will crash down also; we will face mass unemployment.’ – Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer
• ‘A “rules-based World Order” offered and promoted by the West, is basically the unipolar World where the US subordinates to its own will everybody else in the EU and its allies in Asia. This is not even an offer, it is an ultimatum.’ – Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of Russia.
• ‘The war in Ukraine is the culmination of a 30-year project of the US neoconservative movement. The Biden Administration is packed with the same neocons who championed the US wars of choice in Serbia (1999), Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Syria, Libya (2011), and who did so much to provoke Russia…. The neocon track record is one of unmitigated disaster, yet Biden has staffed his team with neocons. As a result, Biden is steering Ukraine, the US, and the EU towards yet another geopolitical debacle. If Europe has any insight, it will separate itself from these US foreign policy debacles.
The neocon movement emerged in the 1970s around a group of public intellectuals, several influenced by University of Chicago political scientist Leo Strauss and Yale University classicist Donald Kagan. Neocon leaders included Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, Paul Wolfowitz, Robert Kagan (son of Donald), Frederick Kagan (son of Donald), Victoria Nuland (wife of Robert), Elliott Abrams, and Kimberley Allen Kagan (wife of Frederick).’ – ee Sovereignty, Latest NeoCon
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’) _
• Zimbabwe Exposes US role in SL – ‘On June 15, the West, through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), held a dinner at a venue on Julius Nyerere Ave where they sought to discuss Chinese influence in Zimbabwe. Some private media outlets are actually being paid to rubbish Zimbabwe-China relations. Among them is the Information for Development Trust, a purportedly independent journalism centre, being used to attack Chinese investment in Zimbabwe. The intention is to alienate the masses from the ruling ZANU PF and arouse public outrage that will result in demonstrations.
US hand in the protests in SL – The US mobilised ‘regime-change’ agents in Sri Lanka. The US embassy in Sri Lanka allegedly released millions of dollars to online media houses and CSOs meant to mobilise people for an uprising against the government. Prior to the Saturday invasions, the US ambassador to SL, Julie Chung, met with opposition leaders and various organisations. Chung posting on her Twitter said: “Social media influencers, bloggers, and other online commentators play a major role in sharing news & shaping public opinion. Great chat w/these SL digital creators about fighting disinformation & promoting truthful reporting to keep Sri Lanka’s citizens engaged & #informed.”
June 29, Chung met leaders from the opposition SJB to “hear their perspectives on Sri Lanka’s economic and political challenges, claiming that opposition parties play a vital role in any democracy, including promoting transparency and good governance.”
July 5, Chung, meeting representatives from the SL Ministry of Justice, said: “Equal access to justice is critical to economic stability.” In support of the Ministry’s efforts to ensure the rule of law, USAID SL committed $15 million to “provide training, modernise equipment and help more women play an active role in Sri Lanka’s legal system.” July 7, Chung also met SL journalists to discuss: “US support for SL’s efforts to address the economic crisis, our many initiatives aimed at promoting prosperity and inclusive governance in Sri Lanka, and our unwavering commitment to free speech and an independently pass.” Again, on the same day, she met SL graduates of the US-funded International Military Education & Training Program where they discussed “today’s many challenges and how our robust defences partnership bolsters efforts to ensure the military remains accountable to the people and upholds the country’s democratic ideas.”
The scenario in Sri Lanka can be likened to several attempts, previous and current, by the US to foment protests that would lead to the installation of a puppet government in Zimbabwe.
NED is considered to be the CIA’s 2nd wing and has been involved in innumerable uprisings, attempted coups and acts of neocolonial regime change since its inception in 1983. Although it purports to be an NGO, NED receives at least 90% of its funding from the US Congress earmarked for USAID. Feb 2022, NED unwittingly released a report containing the names of its conduits who would be used for regime change in Sri Lanka: $325,000 given to the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs to support Grassroots Youth Leadership & Political Engagement; $30,000 to Centre for Justice & Change for Leadership Development, for the promotion and protection of human rights; $100,000 to Freedom of Expression & Access to Independent Journalism; $106,556 to Accountability & Tracking Transnational Economic Crimes; $60,000 to Human Rights Advocacy Gathering & Archiving Women’s Experiences, among others. Any of this ring a bell? We have seen the same list with the same narrative on NED’s funding of certain organisations in Zimbabwe.’ – ee Sovereignty, Zimbabwe
• ‘US NED Grants: Project Title, Improving Legal Literacy on Land Rights; Organization Name, Law & Society Trust; Project Region, Asia, Project Country, Sri Lanka, 2020, Award Amount $67,670. Project Focus, Human Rights; Description, To facilitate coordination between civil society & government authorities for the implementation & reform of existing laws & ordinances on land rights. The organization will manage a nationwide network of organizations focused on land rights, convene government officials and citizens on land laws and policies, document land disputes, and advocate for new, equitable laws.’
• London Club’s Wall of Silence – The IMF has ‘specifically’ told Sri Lanka to bring a sustainable debt restructuring proposal through negotiations with China as well, says President Ranil Wickremesinghe… agreement has to be reached with official creditors to go to the London Club (of private creditors aka Bankers). 2) SL has to look at local debt as well. And, since ‘Sri Lanka has a long history of reversing IMF deals when there is a governmental change… All parties must abide by this agreement.’
‘The country should focus on foreign debt first and navigate through without getting caught-up in the geopolitics of the Asian region. The country is unable to seek assistance from London Club in facing the current economic crisis. The London Club is an informal group of private creditors on the international stage, similar to the Paris Club of public lenders. After looking after foreign debts, the 2nd key issue is to look at local debt.
‘As Wickremesinghe told TASS in an exclusive interview this week, the country is hit hard by the worst crisis in modern history, and the nation’s politicians cannot yet find parallels to a similar crisis in this century or in the last century or the century before.’ – ee Sovereignty, Tass
• ‘Russia & SL’s Color revolution – Myanmar becomes the 2nd country after Iran in the Indian Ocean region that has voiced unequivocal support for Russia. Conceivably, Lavrov may now have to visit Colombo too, once the new government is formed.
It is difficult to assess whether the mayhem in Sri Lanka on July 9 had anything to do with the impending visit of a SL government delegation’s weeklong trip to Moscow the next day (scheduled for July 10-16) to hold crucial talks with various Russian economic ministries regarding Russia’s help to tide over the crisis. But it remains a reasonable assumption.
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson’s remarks on July 11 regarding the Sri Lankan situation pointedly mentioned, ‘Notably, the day before the unrest began, some Western diplomatic mission heads openly urged the local police not to obstruct ‘peaceful protests.’ It added,
‘We believe that the developments in Sri Lanka are its internal affair and the political process in that country, which we regard as friendly, will develop further in keeping with its constitution and effective laws. We expect a new government to be formed and are ready to cooperate with it. We believe the situation will return to normal before long and that the new SL authorities will take the necessary measures to ride out the crisis in the national economy.’
Indeed, Ranil Wickremasinghe, then PM, also told Tass in an exclusive interview about the unprecedented nature of the political turmoil : ‘the island nation’s politicians cannot yet find parallels to a similar crisis in this century or in the last century or the century before.’
It appears that Moscow anticipated that the US-backed unrest in SL would fail to produce a regime change that the ‘Collective West’ wanted. Interestingly, President Putin in his congratulatory message to Wickremasinghe on his election as president noted, ‘I am counting on your activities as Head of State to foster further development of constructive bilateral cooperation in various spheres for the benefit of our peoples and in the interest of strengthening regional stability and security.’
A glance at the map of Indian Ocean would show why relations with Iran, Myanmar and Sri Lanka have become so consequential for Russia. The ports in Iran, SL and Myanmar are vital to sustaining an effective Russian naval presence in the region. The strategic compulsions are amplified in Russia’s revised Naval Doctrine, which Putin decreed on July 30, reflecting the ‘change in the geopolitical and military-strategic situation in the world.’
Russia & World’s Oceans – The 56-page document (in Russian) explicitly states that Russia’s national interests ‘as a great naval power extend to the entire world’s oceans & Caspian Sea’. It acknowledges the lack of overseas naval resupply points & bases, which are crucial for expanding the Russian Navy’s operational range, while spotlighting ‘the strategic course of the US to dominate in the world oceans’ poses ‘challenges & threats.’
However, the doctrine envisions the creation of such a facility in the Red Sea. It also includes plans to construct a new shipbuilding facility in Russia’s Far East to build ‘large-capacity vessels’ including ships suitable ‘for the development of the Arctic,’ as well as ‘modern aircraft carriers for the Navy.’ Currently, Russia has only one aircraft-carrying naval vessel, the Admiral Kuznetsov cruiser, which has been out of commission and undergoing repairs.
Meanwhile, the US has been steadily strengthening a maritime cooperation grid with Indian Ocean states…
Geopolitical crosscurrents – In the above backdrop, India’s gravitation toward the US-led security alliance system is a contradiction. …Perhaps, UAE and India are playing both ends. But they are also regimes lacking strategic culture and prone to whimsicality attuned to Washington’s agenda.
The great game in Indian Ocean region is wide open.’ –ee Sovereignty, Myanmar
• The US Federal Reserve made the 4th interest rate hike in 2022, which ‘will undoubtedly pour new oil on the ‘fire’ of a growing world-debt crisis. The worst inflation in 40 years still seems to be rising unabated… Then the US Labor Department announced that June consumer price index hit a new high… leaving the Fed no other choice but to continue ‘Volcker 2.0’-styled drastic rate hikes… at its upcoming Sept Nov & Dec meetings. It also left the world no choice but to struggle with ‘the Fed crunch’.
The Fed rate hikes have led to a sharp rise in the USDollar. Over the past 5 months the dollar rose… A large number of emerging & developing economies are suffering the most. Wall Street Journal has estimated that the dollar has risen by over 10% in relation to most developing economies currencies. Vietnam has earmarked $130billion from its exchange reserve to defend its currency. Chile has used $25bn to defend its peso. Turkey, India, Indonesia & Thailand have announced various measures to defend their currencies.
The strong dollar has caused a massive capital outflow from emerging markets. JP Morgan estimated, by July 10, $52bn of capital had flown out of the emerging markets over the past few months, the largest in 17 years.
Developing world sovereign debt crisis expanding – The sharp currency depreciation & massive capital flight are aggravating the sovereign debt positions across a vast number of emerging economies, especially in low-income developing countries.
Even before the current Fed rate hikes and the dollar’s rise, the developing world had already been badly hit, twice. The first hit was Covid-19, which pulled 100 million people back to absolute poverty and increased the total external debt of developing countries by $500 billion. The 2nd hit was the Ukraine crisis. Soaring oil and gas prices have lifted the import bill and fiscal pressure in selected West Asian & North African countries. Every $10 in oil price rises will add 0.3% in fiscal deficit in Turkey and 1.3% in Lebanon. Egypt, Tunisia, Ghana & Kenya also have similar difficulties. Egypt, eg, saw its currency depreciate by 15% and turned to the IMF for financial relief.
Soaring world food prices, following a hefty rise of 40% in 2021, have been aggravating the difficulties of the developing world, especially those in W Asia & N Africa, South Asia and Sub-Sahara. Kristalina Georgieva, IMF managing director, and UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres have warned of the danger of world famine.
The World Bank has already warned that a dozen least-developed countries will experience debt defaults next year. That would be the largest debt crisis in developing countries in 30 years.
The current Fed hikes and strong dollar are giving those developing nations fresh and deadly blows. As rate hikes have pushed the dollar up considerably, led to a hefty increase in the dollar-debt services cost for developing countries and huge capital outflows that have drained their dollar reserves. A recent IMF report found that the debt burden by the middle-income economies was the highest in 30 years. 10% of all the middle-income economies are already facing a debt crisis with another 50% facing serious problems.
Sri Lanka has provided a textbook case for all. Its economy was first hit by Covid-19. Its exports, mostly apparel, and tourism income fell sharply. The country was later hit again by the Ukraine crisis as it depends on oil & food imports. Soaring food & oil prices drained its reserves quickly. Again, the dollar rise hit hard as the SL rupee fell from 202/$ Feb 25 to 359.51, a fall of 43.8%. By May 19, Sri Lanka had only $2bn of official reserves, against a total foreign debt of $51bn, and declared a state bankruptcy.
If the Fed hikes and subsequent aftermath continue, there will be an extremely high risk of a debt crisis chain reaction in the world’s developing economies. Simultaneously, worldwide financial turbulence and recession accompanied by high inflation is looming on the horizon. It also looks certain that the world will miss the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals target.
Global joint efforts are imperative.
In the face of this major risk threatening the world, all the national governments and international institutions should lose no time in their efforts to avoid or minimize this debt crisis.
1) the US government, namely the Fed &Treasury Department, should keep exchanging information and coordinating with other national governments in macro and monetary policies, so as to cushion the shock of each rate hike. One of the top urgencies is the New Plaza Accord, to be discussed and agreed upon by the world’s developed and developing economies, which can result in the world’s central banks’ intervention in the global exchange markets collectively to slow the dollar’s rise.
2) multilateral mechanisms, including IMF, G20 & Paris Club, should increase necessary debt-relief tools and policy coordination. Special Drawing Rights lending by the IMF, while effective, should also be more inclined toward low-income developing economies. The 2022 G20 Summit, scheduled in Indonesia in Nov, should reach meaningful arrangements on debt relief, exemptions and reschedule arrangements. Additional regional contingency payment arrangements should also be encouraged.
3) globalization and multilateralism, instead of fragmentation, must be upheld. Some Western countries have fabricated a totally unfounded story that China is to blame for the Sri Lanka debt crisis. Most of SL’s sovereign debt was lent by the Asian Development Bank and other institutional investors, including some on the Wall St. China accounted for only 10% of SL’s total foreign debt. The fragmentation approach will only offset the joint efforts of the entire world.
4) reform of the international payment system must speed up. The current debt crisis tells us once more that the dominance of the US Dollar in the global payment and settlement system is a global problem. Sovereign debt lending could be done in different reserve currencies, increasing the share of the euro, renminbi, pound and yen. The share of the dollar in reserve currencies should be gradually brought down to lower than 50% against the current 60%. Sovereign borrowing and payment should be in currency baskets. By this approach, the dollar risk and subsequently, the debt crisis risk, will be reduced meaningfully.’ – ee Economy, US Fed rate hike.
• Anila Dias Bandaranaike, former Assistant Governor, SL Central Bank, on ‘Vulnerability & Deprivation in Sri Lanka today – Rethinking Social Safety Nets’:
All social network programs should be revamped to overcome the current crisis affecting the country… The formal private sector includes those who contribute EPF & ETF, while the informal sector consists of 60% of those who have no social security and includes paddy farmers, vegetable farmers, fishermen, and construction workers employed as carpenters and masons and plumbers hired by contractors.
Others include 3wheeler drivers and those who provide transport to office workers and lorries that transport vegetables. Also add to this segment, migrant workers who remit money to the country that is equal to exports.
The informal sector is the backbone of the country. The social safety net is handled by the Samurdhi -Divinaguma program for million people. Meanwhile 23,000 Samurdhi workers are in 14,000 Grama Niladhari divisions to look after 1.8 million families who were provided with Rs65billion by the state. These families were provided with Rs4500 for a month, whereas they needed Rs12.000.
Samurdhi workers are a real burden on coffers,whereas the Grama Niladharis can handle their work. The number of Samurdhi workers should be reduced to save money for the government.– ee Workers, Samurdhi
• IMF Stalls, Demands China Take Haircut First – ‘Another new issue is that the IMF wants Sri Lanka to discuss a debt restructuring plan with China, our biggest lender, and until then the negotiations with the IMF will be on hold… fellow columnist Prof Sirimal Abeyratne says: prosperity lies with exports and foreign direct investment. Meanwhile, former Governor of the Central Bank Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy…believes it will take the Sri Lankan economy at least 5 years to get back to where it was, provided certain tough steps are implemented by the new Wickremesinghe government…
Multiple garment and tea firms are looking for overseas locations for business owing to serious disruptions to production because of the uncertainty in Sri Lanka. Apparently, customers and buyers are concerned about delivery schedules, given the political uncertainty. Garments and tea are among Sri Lanka’s largest exports… buyers are worried that there could be repeated political changes since the protesters are now demanding President Ranil Wickremesinghe resign.
‘Take garments, eg: Started as a cottage industry in the 1970s, it transformed to a huge industrial enterprise in the mid-1980s with entrepreneurs like the Amaleans, Omars and Hirdaramanis taking the industry by storm and servicing the world’s biggest brands.’ – ee Business, Garments transformed
• The Return of Industrial Warfare – Royal United Services Institute aka Royal United Service Institute for Defence & Security Studies – current President is the Duke of Kent
Can the West still provide the arsenal of democracy? – The war in Ukraine has proven that the age of industrial warfare is still here. The massive consumption of equipment, vehicles and ammunition requires a large-scale industrial base for resupply – quantity still has a quality of its own. Mass-scale combat has pitted 250,000 Ukrainian soldiers, together with 450,000 recently mobilised citizen soldiers, against about 200,000 Russian and separatist troops. The effort to arm, feed and supply these armies is a monumental task. Ammunition resupply is particularly onerous…
This reality should be a concrete warning to Western countries, who have scaled down military industrial capacity and sacrificed scale and effectiveness for efficiency…
The Capacity of the West’s Industrial Base – The winner in a prolonged war between 2 near-peer powers is still based on which side has the strongest industrial base. A country must either have the manufacturing capacity to build massive quantities of ammunition or have other manufacturing industries that can be rapidly converted to ammunition production…
Flawed Assumptions – The 1st key assumption about future of combat is that precision-guided weapons will reduce overall ammunition consumption by requiring only one round to destroy the target. The war in Ukraine is challenging this assumption. Many ‘dumb’ indirect fire systems are achieving a great deal of precision without precision guidance, and still the overall ammunition consumption is massive. Part of the issue is that the digitisation of global maps, combined with a massive proliferation of drones, allows geolocation and targeting with increased precision, with video evidence demonstrating the ability to score first strike hits by indirect fires.
The 2nd crucial assumption is that industry can be turned on & off at will. This mode of thinking was imported from the business sector and has spread through US government culture. In the civilian sector, customers can increase or decrease their orders. The producer may be hurt by a drop in orders but rarely is that drop catastrophic because usually there are multiple consumers and losses can be spread among consumers. Unfortunately, this does not work for military purchases. There is only one customer in the US for artillery shells – the military. Once the orders drop off, the manufacturer must close production lines to cut costs to stay in business. Small businesses may close entirely. Generating new capacity is very challenging, especially as there is so little manufacturing capacity left to draw skilled workers from. This is especially challenging because many older armament production systems are labour intensive to the point where they are practically built by hand, and it takes a long time to train a new workforce. The supply chain issues are also problematic because subcomponents may be produced by a subcontractor who either goes out of business, with loss of orders or retools for other customers or who relies on parts from overseas, possibly from a hostile country.
China’s near monopoly on rare earth materials is an obvious challenge here…
Finally, there is an assumption about overall ammunition consumption rates… Indeed, the Government Accountability Office estimated that it took 250,000 rounds to kill one insurgent. Luckily for the US, its gun culture ensured that small arms ammunition industry has a civilian component in the US.’ – rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/commentary/return-industrial-warfare
• England’s Rule of Law – News has leaked out on how England’s Labour Party apparatus, and Labour HQ staff, came to be dominated by a self-perpetuating clique of Blair-ites, and how this resulted in their seeking to subvert Jeremy Corbyn after the latter’s election by the new mass membership franchise.
2 HQ staff senior members were ‘caught hoping that Labour would decline in the opinion polls following a Corbyn speech pointing out Western invasions in the Middle East cause terrorism at home: Those crazy people who now make up our membership never want us to win, in any case they are communists and green supporters.’
Senior Labour HQ staff member Jo Greening was ‘actually hoping the general public blames immigrants, rather than Blair’s invasion of Iraq, for terrorist attacks’. Let that sink in.
The Blairites at HQ had indeed set up a separate operation at Ergon House in the 2017 general election to covertly channel funds and resources away from other seats to assist the defence of sitting specifically selected Blairite MPs’ (see ee Politics, The Forde Report)
B. Special Focus__
B1. The US/IMF’s Advocata holds a Missile to Sri Lanka’s Head
‘Most Sinhalese are Buddhist, and it’s not helpful to give any kind of foremost place to Buddhism…
Obviously, most Tamils, or many Tamils, are Christians… But there’s a significant Muslim community,
and then there are the Burgher people, and… Sikhs as well.’
– Simon Hughes (now gay) English MP, Liberal Democrat Party President,
set up All-Party Parliamentary Group on Tamils; Eelam House set up
in his constituency, Bermondsey & Old Southwark, late 1990s
by the LTTE leader in London, Shanthan (ee Sovereignty, Wise up Simon)
‘Advocata is an independent policy think tank based in Colombo‘. This is what Advocata says about itself.
Almost every word in this sentence is a lie, including the ‘is’ and the ‘an’ and the ‘in’. Every news medium repeats Advocata’s self-definition without fail. It’s important to know what ‘independent’ means to Advocata. Advocata loves this word!
1) Advocata is funded by the US government. 2) It’s not a tank and doesn’t think: It just repeats the imperialist – IMF aka US Treasury aka Wall St – gospel.
The word independent has taken on a life of its own. Like a kite broken from its string. From earth. From reality.
‘Independent’ now means exactly the opposite – pendant. Hanging off some neck. Or gear.
The call for an ‘independent Central Bank’ has come to mean ‘independent’ of the needs of the (SL) state but dependent on the whims of the US, English, EU, India & Japan states!
Note how independent is also used to mean non-party, or not partisan, as in the recent ‘Aragalaya’. It may take a while to unearth the hidden ‘springs’ that sprung these independents’ springing…
This week, the 10 million mouths of the capitalist media reported, SL President Ranil Wicremasinghe has a 25-year plan for its ‘public debt’ and for making SL, a competitive export economy. Export to where & to whom, it does not tell.
Advocata, the US-funded thinktank has compromised (a polite word for corrupted) not just Sri Lankan state’s economic policy-making machinery, but its media as well. Most of the economic commentators appearing in news media are now generously funded by Advocata aka the US state.
If such accusations are fake, these economists and commentators should set an example for their much-vaunted ‘transparency’ and ‘rule of law’, and openly declare their assets and links to banks, multinational companies (MNCs) and the import-export plantation oligarchy. But they are too shy, perhaps.
From rating agency Fitch-linked Echelon and EconomyNext to Wijeya Group’s Daily Mirror, Sunday Times & Financial Times, to Maharaja’s MTV & Sirasa, they all sing from the same songbook, all sing for their supper, catered by the same chef in Washington. No surprise therefore that the lyrics all resonate with IMF’s demands.
Before ee gets into the details of Saturday’s Advocata conference, let’s introduce some of the dramatic personae:
The Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka’s main economic policy thinktank, financed by Dutch government, was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1988, and located in Sri Lanka’s Finance & Planning Ministry (ee Focus):
In 2006, IPS claimed ‘full financial independence‘ but obtained funds from Holland, Canada, England, Norway; US Hewlett Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
IPS then provided cover for the unpopular policies and foreign interference in Sri Lanka’s economic policy. In April 2015, only 3 months after PM Wickremesinghe was appointed, and the infamous bondscam perpetrated to finance the UNP’s political party patronage system, the PM made Razeen Sally IPS Chairman.
IPS claims it is ‘independent’, but only from the SL State, not from Western governments or their oligarchs. From 1988, it was run by a Resident Coordinator from the Dutch Institute for Social Studies. In 2006, IPS announced it was moving to ‘full financial independence’, but the Dutch Government financed a new office building, with donors including Canada, England, Norway, US corporates, banks & equity funds channeled through the Hewlett Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Canada’s Thinktank Initiative then promoted setting up thinktanks to influence policy changes.
IPS was to provide cover for unpopular policies and external involvement. IPS Chairman, Razeen Sally is Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, the most prominent US neoliberal thinktank founded by fellow Mont Pelerin member Ed Crane; also Founder/Co-Director of Cato-related European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) linked to most-influential US neoconservative thinktank Brookings Institution.
Sally and other IPS Governing Board members (Indrajit Coomaraswamy, MIM Rafeek, SS Mudalige, Sarath Rajapathirana) were placed in key positions in the Yahapalana government, which then played the stock market with International Sovereign Bonds, which are now sinking SL. In July 2017, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera appointed Sally as his Senior Advisor.
In Jan 2016, IPS helped set up the SL Economic Forum, with Harvard University’s Center for International Development (led by war-criminal & Venezuela coup-leader Prof Ricardo Hausmann), George Soros & his Open Society Foundation, the US Administration and multinationals (MNCs), to prepare the Government’s 3-year economic development plan, known as Vision 2025.
IPS aggressively promotes the sale of public assets & State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to Western MNCs; demanded replacement of Public Utilities Commission Board members with so-called independent directors, meaning foreign, because Sri Lankans were called corrupt by Sally.
Advocata was launched May 2016 at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, with Chief Guest, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprise Development Eran Wickramaratne, also State Minister of Finance. Its already formulated inaugural report, The State of State Enterprises, disclosed the Advocata project: sale of all SOEs, non-strategic and strategic. It argued reform should go beyond the 55 strategically important SOEs, which, it claimed, had made enormous losses; a comprehensive productivity study should determine whether to shut down, privatize or hold under a holding company.
3 months later, Development Strategies & Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama used Advocata findings to justify ‘far-reaching privatization plans’ targeting SriLankan Airines.
A month later, Cabinet approved the PM’s proposal to hire US firm McKinsey & Co for US$2.3million to establish a Central Program Management Unit in his office, for ‘accelerated economic transformation’ to monitor projects fast-tracked under a new Development (Special Provisions) Bill that would give sweeping powers to restructure and transform the economy.
Advocata then pushed for Budget 2017 to sell the million acres vested in the Land Reform Commission, of ‘prime real estate blocks’ in major cities, occupied by schools, government ministries & other facilities, which ‘greatly outweigh their economic value’. Foreign takeover would include fixed assets occupied by the military through downsizing (from below,seeee B2 Focus)
Advocata & the Catholic Church
Why has Advocata chosen a Latin name, we don’t know. Latin’s Advocata for ‘lawyer’ is also traced to Advocata Nostra (Our Lawyer) that the Catholic’s Virgin Mary advocates for believers before god. It refers to a little-known shrine in Rome (belonging to the ‘Legion of Mary’ aka Marians); the hymn Salve Regina recited at the end of the Holy Rosary, contains the words Advocata Nostra. Advocata’s origins in Sri Lanka, or rather its naming by some personnel, may be traced to the ‘Catholic Action’ movement.
The Catholic Action Movement was set up late 19th century by the Vatican, to counteract Europe’s rising socialist movement, and then spread around the world. The coup against the socialist Salvador Allende government in Chile in 1974, that murdered 30,000+ people, was backed not just by Nixon’s US government (with $6mn provided by US telecom octopus ITT to grab Chile’s copper mines) but also by Opus Dei, a shadowy wing of the Catholic Church, much akin to the Jesuits aka The Society of Jesus – Opus Dei is said to be behind the successful PR fashioning of present Pope Francis as a modern ‘liberal’ sacerdotalist (see ee Media).
The Catholic Action Movement in Ceylon was set up by Belgian priest Hans Schram, who organized Catholic Action nuclei within the predominantly Christian officer corps of the armed forces and police (later involved in the 1959 assassination of PM SWRD, & 1962 coup aka Catholic Coup attempt against PM Sirimavo, etc.), as well as political parties and unions.
Leftist unions were targeted by employers who promoted Catholic Action groups in such MNCs as Shell, Carson’s, Baur’s, James Finlay, Bosanquet & Skrine. The Young Catholic Workers’ Movement, eg, helped start the National of Union of Clerks. They planned strategy with the Belginan Schram at the Catholic Workers’ Movement office across from Fort Railway Station. Another famous funder of Catholic Action was the Ceylon Theatres Group of companies that ran film distribution & cinemas, headed by Sir Chittampalam Abraham Gardiner, a ‘Chevalier’ of the Roman Catholic Church, owners of Cargills, Millers.
Cargills Bank owns Capital Alliance (CAL), which was the ‘Platinum Sponsor’ of this week’s Advocata Conference (Gold sponsor, Expolanka Holdings; Silver sponsor, John Keells; event partners, Jetwing Hotels, German Naumann Foundation & US Atlas Network) – for more on Germany’s Naumann, see ee 31 Oct 2021.
Church officials opposed the government takeover of Catholic Schools: by1960-64 Sirimavo Bandaranaike government, because it eroded their control over education and jobs. More importantly, businessmen were upset with the government’s attempts at nationalization (language, oil companies); hatched the 1962 coup d’état in the Colombo Club, which was then across from Galle Face Green.
The English government had instituted a policy of sending Englishmen and foreigners away and Ceylonizing business. The Lankans who had been set up by the English to look after their interests – Chairman of Carson Cumberbatch, Basil Jesudason, Colonel FC de Saram of Leechman & Co, Edmund Cooray of Browns & Co, Mallory Wijesinghe of Bartleet, also opposed the restrictions in remitting dollars and pounds abroad, claiming their import-export restrictions were detrimental to the business community.
In addition to de Saram & Jesudason, Col Morris de Mel & Commander Royce de Mel were Catholics. In fact, some coup leaders were provided ‘safe houses’ by the Catholic Action Movement.
• One clue into Advocata’s religious cassock, which covers its supposedly unemployed genitalia, is the appointment of Koralawella ‘poor boy’ Dhananath Fernando into a status with the rather weighty-sounding appellation, Chief Operating Officer.
Dhananath Fernando was introduced to Advocata operator Razeen Sally by the ‘humanitarian organization’ Candle Aid Lanka, earlier AFLAC (Association for Lighting a Candle) in Moratuwa. Sally, better known for his opposition to Sri Lanka’s ‘welfare’ state, is an AFLAC director.
This rather luminous (or should we say, fully-bright, or perhaps pious) Candle Aid was founded in 1995 by Capt Elmo Jayawardena, a Singapore Airlines pilot, linked to the Catholic Action Movement.
Whispered as a ‘poor boy makes good’ (aka ‘Outhouse to Whitehouse’) success story – beyond the ‘poor’ boy’s hearing – Fernando was then made the COO and a ‘founding member’ of the Advocata Institute. ‘Graduating’ from the Atlas Leadership Academy in Washington, Fernando was then ‘awarded’ the Asia Thinktank Shark Tank Championship title for demanding more imports for SL’s construction business. This Shark Tank champion was chosen by: Linda Whetstone, Chairperson, US Atlas Network (founded by Whestone’s father ‘Sir’ Anthony Fisher); Terry Kibbe, US Cato Institute; Siegfried Herzog, Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom; with shades ‘of color’ provided by Chatib Basri, former Finance Minister of Indonesia & Ash Centre Senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, and guess who? – Razeen Sally from US Cato Institute (Sally’s father was jailed for foreign exchange fraud in the 1970s.
• Now when Advocata and their barking poodles, call for an independent Central Bank and an ‘independent’ judiciary (they don’t specifically call for an independent ‘army’ but we can guess), they mean independence from the Sri Lankan Legislature or more specifically the SL State. But they don’t mean independence from the states of the imperialists. In fact, they wish the Central Bank’s functions transferred to New York, or more specifically Wall Street!
• SL’s most recent Aragalaya – ‘Revolution of Color’ aka ‘Mother-Father of all Constitutional Coups’ – took on a multicultural, religious & secular patrimony. Funds have flooded in from not just the war and civil budgets of the US, EU, England, etc., but also from the Indian, Catholic and Muslim import mafia.
The link between ‘race’ & ‘capitalism’ is indeed exploited to all egoistic ends. These ‘religious’ fractions are ‘money sects’, and merchants manipulate these beliefs to their own ends, even if their interests run contrary to the vast majority of their followers. The major challenge so far has been the imperialist failure to totally corrupt the Sinhala Buddhist – Theravadin – majority in the country. They keep trying….
In early 2022 JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake was hosted at a Colombo 7 mansion by top Muslim (import-mafia) businessmen. He was offered ‘millions’ to run as an ‘independent’ candidate. One businessman was thoroughly impressed by AKD’s ‘valiant’ refusal, saying he’d always be a member of the JVP. It’s unclear however if millions did pass hands, to fund the extra-parliamentary activity that soon erupted. As for the Catholic Church, it’s good to recall their deadly role in Sri Lanka. The current Pope’s recent trip to Canada, to add another ‘apology’ for the genocide of original pople in their ‘residential schools’, saw the Pope refuse to revoke the 1452 Catholic Doctrine of Discovery, which allows them to invade the world, at will, and, install chattel slavery, (which remains the basis for Canada’s legal system).
In Sri Lanka’s first election’ in 1947, the Christian establishment put up posters with churches burning! They declared that churches would be set on fire if the socialists won the election.
That 1947 Ceylonese parliamentary election took place before ‘independence’ was actually granted, and was held under English rule & their Soulbury Constitution, which in the name of giving a place to ‘minorities’ provided special parliamentary seats for unelected white men. This is the type of constitution that present-day NGOS are all lusting for. DS Senanayake’s United National Party (uniting all the anti-national merchant minorities) fell short of a majority, and formed a coalition government with the All Ceylon Tamil Congress, which had won the most ‘Tamil’ seats.
In this 1947 election, Burgher planters wielding shotguns had prevented plantation workers from voting. ‘Upper-caste’ Jaffna Tamils beat up ‘lower-castes’ trying to vote. DS Senanayake himself and his relatives stood outside polling booths, with ‘pollas’, preventing villagers from voting. Thus it was, Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948 came to be curtailed by its ‘dominion’ status.
The English, arguing India would take over SL if they left, nevertheless retained military bases, and English remained the official language, with administrative system, civil service & courts and military saddled with English officials, and the economy by English capitalists.
In the 1952 election, the Catholic Church openly declared, it was a mortal sin to vote for a Marxist, and those who voted for Left parties would not be buried in Church cemeteries (meant, a family had no proof to send children to a Catholic school)…
• Three months after US-funded Advocata’s 2016 launch at the hijacked Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, the SL government announced in August 2016, that it had far-reaching privatization plans for Sri Lanka’s national enterprises (which capitalists caricature as SOEs).
‘In the hands of the private sector, they can earn more profits,’ promised Development Strategies & International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, promoting Advocata’s privatization plans.
‘According to Advocata, an independent policy thinktank, 55 strategically important SOEs in SL have made a cumulative loss of Rs 636billion during 2006-15,’ Daily Mirror reported then. ‘The cumulative profit of the profitable SOEs during the same period has been Rs 530bn, excluding the Employees’ Trust Fund. The statement by the minister suggests the government is ready to go the whole hog in privatizing both the strategic as well as non-strategic SOEs despite the immense political risk forthcoming.’
Samarawickrama noted, the government had already reached the final stage of ‘entering into a public-private partnership (PPP) to restructure the loss-making national carrier, SriLankan Airlines,’ although the private partner in that venture had not yet been disclosed.
In Dec 2016, SL’s Daily FT reported, Super Group Partners Co Ltd, joint venture between Trans Maldivian Airways & Singapore Airport Terminal Services, was the leading firm in airline partnership privatization. SL Airlines had also begun smaller partnerships with other private firms, eg leasing some aircraft to Pakistan International Airlines (ft.lk/article/584049/SriLankan-Airlines:-Tumultuous-landing-and-proper-PPP-take-off)
In Dec 2016, Atlas Network, Advocata’s funder, congratulated their ‘partner’: ‘The Sri Lankan government for starting to privatize its SOEs, with more plans for moving even more SOEs into competitive markets, a move spurred by the Advocata Institute’s convincing policy research and advocacy’.
Atlas is funded by Rockefeller octopus ExxonMobil, and vulture funder John Templeton, whose offspring Mike Mobius was a few weeks ago riding a train in Sri Lanka, and salivating over it. Exxon & Templeton appear in the job bios of many Advocata board members.
The Sunday Leader cited Advocata Institute’s research findings that SriLankan Airlines ‘was the country’s 3rd-largest loss-making SoE 2006-15,’ accounting for ‘over a 5th of the total losses of the country’s SoEs (categorized as strategically important by the Treasury) from 2006-15.’
Advocata’s landmark report The State of State Enterprises in SL has been widely influential in this ongoing reform process. (atlasnetwork.org/articles/reforming-and-privatizing-state-owned-enterprises-in-sri-lanka)
In Dec 2016, it was also revealed, a super ministry, would be set up through the Development (Special Provisions) draft bill to fast-track foreign investments. The draft bill would then pave the way for a ‘super minister’ superseding all other branches of the government. Advocata’s Razeen Sally, then Chairman of SL’s Institute of Policy Studies, state-funded policy thinktank, empathized with then PM Ranil Wickremasinghe, who had sought to set up this special agency as a measure to lure significant foreign investments, ‘which Sri Lanka has been lacking due to policy inconsistency, bureaucracy and corruption’.
‘You need, ‘one-stop-shop’ to jump-start things, specially big-ticket foreign investments. And that’s the rationale behind this development agency which is yet to be legalised. And as a short-term measure, this agency makes sense in outline,’ Sally noted.
The draft bill had met with severe resistance at provincial-council level and also from some partners of the Yahapalana coalition government, rejected by provincial councils in Uva, Northern & North Central provinces (dailymirror.lk/print/business-news/Fears-voiced-over-special-development-agency-becoming-fertile-ground-for-cronies/273-121260)
RESET! – Inna Yankee Gangsta Style
It is not simple coincidence. US-funded thinktank Advocata just hosted a ‘Let’s Reset Sri Lanka’ ReformNow Conference at the BMICH, on August 5-6. Exactly one month earlier the Ukraine Recovery Conference was held 4-5 July, in Lugano, Switzerland.
Last ee reported, July 4-5, top officials from the US, EU, England, Japan & South Korea met in Switzerland for a so-called Ukraine Recovery Conference. Salivating over massive potential contracts, preparing to plunder war-ravaged Ukraine applying tasernomics – shock therapy: privatization, deregulation, slashing worker protections; calling to cut labor laws, ‘open markets’, drop tariffs, deregulate industries, & ‘sell state-owned enterprises to private investors’. All sound familiar?
The URC is also sponsored by the Council of Europe, European Bank for Reconstruction & Development, European Commission, European Investment Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development. The 2023 Ukraine Recovery Conference will be hosted by England.
• At the US-funded stink-tank Advocata’s ‘Let’s Reset SL’ ReformNow Conference, BMICH, Aug 5-6: The buffet was ‘Unlocking Land for Development, robbing of national industries (SOEs, SL Airlines), followed by stripping Samurdhi (welfare), dismantling labour laws (so-called flexibility), etc.
Advocata is chaired by regional Indian Borah merchant Murtaza Jafferjee. The Conference is sponsored by Cargill aka Chittampalam Gardiner family-owned Capital Alliance (CAL, one of 5 non-bank primary dealers, also one of the largest brokers of foreign institutional investors into SL, and forms the securities trading arm of the wider Capital Alliance Group, which deals in government securities & corporate debt securities, a ‘leading’ investment bank in SL), ExpoLanka, John Keels and Germany’s Friedrich Naumann Foundation (In 2013, CID investigated the Naumann Foundation, operating here since 1974, for going ‘beyond its legal limitations in SL’, for funding opposition parties and their foreign junkets – ee 2021 Oct 24-31: Germany Delivers Sermons on Freedom to SL)
‘SL’s first ‘reset’ economic conference drawing [sic!] a panel of international and local experts who have guided countries through turmoil to prosperity. Spanning across 2 days – we break down the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka and the reforms that can be implemented to overcome it. Having exclusive access to closed-door sessions at the #ReformNow Conference will open doors for myrade [sic!] of networking opportunities with fellow like-minded participants.’
So, let’s examine Advocata’s program this week: ‘Sri Lanka is in the midst of its worst economic crisis since independence. Lengthy queues to purchase fuel, daily blackouts, and sharp shortages of essentials now marks the everyday reality of Sri Lankans. Especially the poor. Given this context, the Advocata Institute has organised Sri Lanka’s first ever reset economic conference prioritizing economic recovery and growth.’
The conference ‘welcome’ from President Wickremasinghe, started with: ‘Learning from Thailand’s reform experience after the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997′; starring Harvard-trained Veerathai Santiprabhop (former Governor of Bank of Thailand) and Murtaza Jafferjee (Advocata Institute Chair)
Santiprabhob is a director of Unilever-linked Univanich Palm Oil Co in Thailand, and linked to England’s Plant Science Group. Unilever is the largest owner and buyer of palm oil plantation products in the world, for its ice-creams, cosmetics, soaps. Santiprabhob is also linked to Thailand’s largest private healthcare group, Bangkok Dusit Medical Services, state-owned PTT Exploration & Production (owned by Thailand’s largest corporation), Aksorn Education, one of Thailand’s largest private education companies, and other MNCs. He’s also Chairman of Central Bank Governance Group by The Bank for International Settlements.
Santiprabhob like many such economists was house-trained in the US. His 1994 Harvard thesis, ‘Financial Liberalization in SE Asia’, with Dwight H Perkins (1980-95 director of Harvard Institute for International Development, then director of Harvard’s Asia Center). Santiprabhob began working at the IMF in Washington DC. When Thailand was crashed in 1997, he was sent as co-director of their Economic Policy Research Institute, Fiscal Policy Office, Ministry of Finance; Co-director of Economic Policy Research Institute, Fiscal Policy Office, Min of Finance; Bank of Thailand Governor 2015-20. It was a disaster.
Thailand & the IMF’s Deliberate 1997 Snafu:
When Thailand’s economy was sent crashing in 1997, the IMF as usual blamed the Thai government for stubbornly refusing to face reality. Familiar? The IMF & World Bank had encouraged ‘developing’ countries to open their economies to foreign capital. Thailand’s GDP expanded, from 1986-1997, one of the highest in the world. Based on a weaker US dollar, Thai exports, made less expensive on world markets, grew ever faster. In 1992 the IMF helped Bangkok to become an international banking centre, attracting ‘foreign investment’, to reinvest in China. Thai middle classes however indulged in a spending spree, especially on autos. Thailand’s economy had been based on heavy investment at the beginning in factories by foreign multinationals, especially Japan auto and electronic companies. Then the dollar began a rebound in mid-1995, and in 1996 Thai exports fell. Thailand was then teased with an excess of easy foreign loans, and invested in a burgeoning property market. Rentier time!
In March 1996, the IMF sent an Article IV mission. They recommended greater exchange-rate flexibility, but ignored that their financial centre was not investing in other countries but overheating the local property market. Throughout 1996 foreign fund managers, especially hedge funds, began to attack the Baht. In Jan 1997, George Soros’ Quantum Funds started selling the Baht short (making money by expecting it to fall). This sent a signal that the Baht was overvalued. The IMF then warned the Thai government to be even more ‘flexible’. By early 1997 Thai banks etc., were reporting increases in non-performing loans. In March 1997, IMF sent a mission to prepare 1997 Article IV report: recommended devaluation. In May 1997, IMF again demanded devaluation. The IMF later decided, the IMF’s demands were foolish! The IMF however demanded to know how much hard currency the central bank held. The Thai government refused to answer, and the IMF let it be known to their friends: Thailand could be attacked.
Soros, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs heightened their attacks on the Baht, and Thailand ordered its banks to stop lending money outside the country. This hurt the hedge funds. In June 1997, the Finance Minister resigned over tax policy. Thai banks and companies began selling baht en masse to acquire dollars. Foreign creditors suddenly grew stingy. The central bank then decided to let the baht float. In July 1997, the IMF accused Thailand of not wishing to subject their economy to IMF approval, and decided to impose a ‘mission’ on the country, because the ‘Thai government refused to face reality’. In late July, the Thai Central Bank shared his secrets with the IMF chief…
In August 1997 Thailand, the nation’s currency, Baht, which had already been heavily devalued, plunged further almost immediately after the approval of an IMF-led rescue totaling $17 billion. However, despite the fact that Thailand was practicing austerity, the IMF demanded even higher taxes and budget cuts. The same took place after IMF rescues in Indonesia, Russia, Brazil. All this was later blamed on IMF penchant for overprescribing austerity, eg, the excessive fiscal stringency it demanded of Thailand. The IMF also claimed no expertise (!) in banking issues, as when it demanded the closing of 16 banks in Indonesia without providing a proper safety net for the remainder of the country’s banking system (from Paul Blustein, The Chastening).
• Joining Advocata’s Session 1 was: Premachandra Athukorala, Prof of Economics, Australian National University, Senior Advisor to Advocata Institute, and Centre for Civil Society President (see, lankaweb.com/news/items/2019/09/19/questions-to-ask-advocata-on-millennium-challenge-corporation). ee has a long memory about Athukorala:
ee 2021 July 3 noted: If the whites (& their white-Black Sahibs) later succeed in overthrowing this government, their history writers will blame the GR government for failing after one term due to its import-substitution policy, while omit mentioning Covid & the imperialist debt trap. As the media do with Sirimavo Banadaranaike’s 1970-77 government, refusing to mention the rise of MNCs, OPEC oil price rises, food famines.
This whiting out of memory was recalled this week in Wijeyawardene Group’s Financial Times, in Prema-chandra Athukorala’s ‘Rethinking Sri Lanka’s Industrialisation Strategy’. Athukorala was called ‘a gung-ho neoliberal’ in 2013 in The Island, for criticizing Mahinda Rajapaksa and import-substitution policy. This article, since removed from their ‘morgue’ (as media archives used to be called), noted the ‘surprisingly positive yet completely unpublicised effort to promote local industry’ in that MR administration; it added, Athukorala was not ‘very keen on either the ISI policy or Mahinda Rajapaksa’ but had to admit they had an impact (kathnoble.wordpress.com/2013/09).
Athukorala’s articles on ‘industrialization’ this week continued hitting at the 1970-77 government but went further, whitewashing the wasteful garment industry, claiming it’s no longer a fancy ‘tailor shop’. The main scandal about our so-called industrial exports, and the garment ‘industry’ in particular is this: More than half of any revenues gained by exports goes to paying for imported inputs at inflated prices (financed by Standard Chartered Bank etc) 16% of our import bill is for garment inputs..’
P Athukorala 2 – In 2021 Sept 26 ee noted: ‘Economist Prema-Chandra Athukorala provided his version of ‘SL & the IMF: Myth & Reality’ in the Financial Times. Athukorala usually blames welfare expenditure for causing Sri Lanka’s underdevelopment, and distorts the policies of import-substitution (IS), which have been usually sabotaged. IS was attempted not as a conscious political, economic & military industrial policy, but as a quick panacea to reduce balance of payments deficits.
Domiciled in an Australian university, Athukorala writes, since 1965 Sri Lanka has been a ‘repetitive client’ of the IMF, entering into 16 economic stabilization programs 1965-2000. ‘Macroeconomic management of the country has been under IMF programs for approximately 33 years of the 55-year period.’
After all this time, he yet insists it was not faulty IMP prescriptions but bad government policies!
He thus attacks former CB Governor WD Lakshman’s ‘claim’ that ‘the determining hand of the IMF-WB group in shaping and implementing of the open economy is abundantly clear’; Lakshman ‘could not be further from reality’. He instead insists, JR Jayawardene’s post-1977 ‘major reforms such as trade liberalisation and exchange rate depreciation and the opening up of the economy to foreign direct investment were based on the recommendations of the Indian economist BR Shenoy.’ But again, not fully implemented. Yet Shenoy, a pupil of Hayek, et al, were just what the Rockefeller Foundation, et al, ordered. (ft.lk/columns/Sri-Lanka-and-the-IMF-Myth-and-reality-Part-1/4-723662, and …Part-2/4-723719)
P Athukorala 3: – In 2021 Oct 16 ee noted: Wijeya Group (Sunday Times, FT, etc) and their stable of economists, all brayed together celebrating Australia-based Prof Prema-chandra Athukorala’s 70th birthday. They were hoping perhaps for Swedish warmongers to bestow their Nobel Prize on Athukorala. No such luck. The donkeys praised Athukorala’s recent introduction to the IMF’s 16 panaceas for Sri Lanka, which he claims failed because successive governments did not properly implement them.
Athukorala’s superficiality, and obsequiousness towards the IMF, might be too much even for Nobel, who likes to play with the Stiglitzes & Sens (a set of craftier apologists for capitalism).
Wijeya Group house boy WA Wijewardena recalls how Athukorala noted the airbags supplied to Toyota by a factory in SL, meant the factory (Lanka Harness, LH) is ‘sharing the production of Toyotas with the original Japan-based company. The profits to be earned from a single part may not be that much; but, when you produce for a massive global operation, it will come to billions of dollars.’
Wijewardena clearly knows not the difference between money and capital, let alone modern industry. An earlier paean by WAW about the LH factory, spent half the article on the owner’s singing!
ee examines this foolish assertion, and the history of this interesting company, noting 90% of the parts including the machines for this manual assembly come from Japan. Our economists are simple accountants, unaware what ‘industry’ or ‘capital’ really means. How to blame our journalists then for not knowing the difference between handicraft, assembly, manufacture & REAL modern industry!
Japanese auto and other industries have for a long time shifted ‘labor-intensive’ industries that use workers for low-skilled tasks, while preserving for themselves the high-skilled, capital-intensive industry, refusing to share their know-how, let alone sabotaging efforts here, as detailed by the LH owner. The ‘garment’ fraud is famous for using our ‘quotas’ to simply sew on a particular part, or add a label saying ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ in order to capture or expand markets.
As for Nobel’s ‘false’ economic prizes, it represents a failed attempt to prevent public oversight over the economy, as represented by the continued attempts, here as well, to make the Central Bank independent of democratic control, leaving it open to the ravages of international banks.
P Athukorala 4 – In 2022 25 June ee noted: For example, it’s conventionally held by merchant economists like WA Wijewardena, Prof Prema-Chandra Athukorala and Harsha de Silva, that wasteful unproductive infrastructure projects of the Government and over-estimating expenses and embezzling project funds escalated Sri Lanka’s foreign debt problem. The crisis is therefore reduced to corruption and mismanagement in the State sector. However, we must note that the largest share of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt is not accounted for by project loans, and the Government regularly borrowed from international capital markets and bilateral sources to boost foreign reserves and meet balance of payments deficits. In this light, former Auditor General Gamini Wijesinghe publicly announced, Sri Lanka does not have physical assets equal to Government foreign borrowings. This can be explained by capital flight through import over-invoicing. The importer gains access also to Government’s foreign borrowings aimed at meeting balance of payments deficits and boosting foreign reserves such as ISBs and bilateral loans. These foreign inflows including hard-earned labour remittances were transferred out of the economy in billions each year by the corporate elite thru import over-invoicing, the so-called engine of growth of the liberal economist. It explains the absence of physical assets equal to Government foreign borrowings over the years and also shows that market mechanism on its own only ensures the welfare of the elite, as opposed to an efficient and fair resource distribution promised in economics textbooks. It rather ensures economic and social devastation for the mass of the people in the third world.
In this context Sri Lanka is currently facing the stage reached by most African countries in late 1980s when import over-invoicing drained foreign-exchange liquidity in domestic financial markets to the extent that it is no longer possible and capital transfer through the trade account is then more or less restricted to export under-invoicing (see GFI report, 2021). Collapse of Sri Lanka’s exchange rate by nearly 90% since early March and the runaway inflation it triggered, hand in hand with the disappearing real value of wages, should be understood in this context.
P Athukorala asserts, the ongoing crisis was triggered by the non-tradable sector accounting for around 70% of the GDP. However, it is clear from the discussion above that despite the over-expansion of the non-tradable sector and the ensuing stagnation of production, Sri Lanka would not have faced a balance-of-payments catastrophe in the absence of capital flight through trade mis-invoicing. This is clear by annual average current account deficit remaining approximately half of capital transfers through trade mis-invoicing 2009-18, disregarding the gains lost through non-investment of capital in the domestic economy.
• Advocata & Privatizing SriLankan Airlines
Advocata’s 2nd panel discussion on Saturday was Air India Privatisation – takeaways for SL, ie, for potential privatization of Sri Lankan airlines, with Delhi-based aviation journalist Ashwini Phadnis, former BOI boss Thilan Wijesinghe, and Soros-linked libertarian thinktank Centre For Civil Society’s Akhilesh Tilotia.
Phadnis was promoting privatization in 2017, saying Air-India was virtually grounded by ‘maximum government, minimum governance’. In 2021 she claimed the privatisation of Air India by Tata would ‘be good for industry as the government will not have to keep pumping money into an airline burdened with debt.’ Oct, reports emerged that Tata would ‘combine its joint venture with Singapore Airlines – Vistara – Air India, and AirAsia India. 2022 April 25, she wrote, Air India would no longer enjoy a priority in allocation of international traffic rights, after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has dropped a clause which gave Air India an advantage over other private airlines. Last ee noted privatization in India was causing havoc and great danger in the airline business.
Welfare is the penance the rich pay for refusing to develop the economy
• Advocata Attacks Welfare: Session 3, Resetting Samurdhi: Social Safety Nets, was presented by the Institute of Policy Studies’ Ganga Tilakaratna, Stephen Kidd (from England’s Dept for International Development, which provides ‘foreign aid’) and Gayani Hurulle, Senior Research Manager at LIRNEasia (tagged a ‘Young Economist’ who signed up to the National Movement for Social Justice’s Common Minimum Program for Economic Recovery (dailymirror.lk/opinion/Common-Minimum-Programme-for-Economic-Recovery/172-238973).
• Advocata Attacks Taxation: Session 4, Taxation, Stability & Growth, had Advocata’s Roshan Perera, Director at SL Central Bank, ‘an independent consultant’, serving on boards of IPS, SL Institute of Directors; and EW Balasuriya & Co’s Senkadagala Finance, and the Union Bank. Her ‘world-class academic credentials’ are from John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She was joined by Mick Moore, considered a long-time US government agent in SL, linked to the Institute of Development Studies at University of Sussex, founding CEO of the International Centre for Tax & Development (funded by England’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Norad).
• Advocata Undermines State Economic Security: Advocata Institute’s latest policy product tracking the performance of SOEs, was then presented by long-time Advocata houseboy Ravi Rathnasabapathy
At Session 5 Centralizing the State’s Ownership Functions: ‘Currently SOEs are gazetted under various ministries which is fraught with inherent conflicts for the respective ministries are policy makers and in some instances the regulator. Should SOEs be managed and owned under a government owned conglomerate like structure to improve performance, capital allocation and governance? Speakers: Mangala Samaraweera acolyte Daniel Alphonsus, LIRN-Asia’s Rohan Samarajiva (who helped destroy local telecom), and John Keells & Union Assurance’s Ajit Gunawardena
Advocata’s Board of Directors:
Chair Murtaza Jafferjee: whose regional Borah merchant ‘minority’ has links in India, West Asia, and East Africa (many so-called Sinhala oligarchs are said to be fronts for this Borah merchant minority).
Sarath Rajapatirana: then President Sirisena’s Economic Advisor, from the World-Bank-linked American Enterprise Institute, aka ‘intellectual command post of the neoconservative campaign for regime change in Iraq.’ funded by Rockefeller’s ExxonMobil, and been caught offering academics $10,000 plus travel expenses and bonuses to push the AEI agenda. His co-author, Deepak Lal was President of the Mont Pelerin Society, and on Nestle’s payroll.
Anarkali Moonesinghe: Director at John Keells, Deputy CEO at USAID’s Lankan Angel Network, daughter of Sumi Moonesinghe (subject of a long and dreary series in the Island ).
Henry Ergas: National University of Singapore and Prof of Infrastructure Economics at Australia’s University of Wollongong, opposes regulation of mining multinationals (BHP), and media monopolies.
Frank Lavin – CEO of Export Now [see below, ee Focus B2, for CIA links]
Nishan de Mel: Executive Director, Verite Research, ‘agents for promoting MCC in Sri Lanka’. He was Executive Director, International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) & Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI).
Fredrik Erixon: cofounded European Centre for International Political Economy (linked to CATO Institute) with Razeen Sally 2006, worked at the World Bank and JP Morgan, and as an Adviser to the English government.
Parth J Shah: founded India’s Centre for Civil Society, a ‘libertarian think tank’. Premachandra Athukorala: Professor of Economics – ANU (see above).
Razeen Sally: Prof at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS (Economic Advisor to former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera), on board of Catholic Candle Aid SL
Rohan Samarajiva: Chairman, Lirneasia, handed over the control of Sri Lanka’s telecom network to Japan’s NTT.
Sujata Gamage: Senior Research Fellow, LIRNEasia
Reuben Abraham: CEO, IDFC Institute, funded by India’s largest infrastructure finance bank, also on the board of India’s Centre for Civil Society, director at the Soros Economic Development Fund (set up SONG, SME venture fund with Google & Omidyar Network), Associate Fellow at the US Council on Foreign Relations…
Suri Ratnapala: Prof of Law, Queensland U (eager to tell us on Wiki, ‘his mother… was member of a prominent family in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka’) [see below, ee Focus B2]
Sirimal Abeyratne: Professor in Economics, Colombo Uni, weekly Wijeya Group columnist…
B2. Creeping Neoliberal Stranglehold on Sri Lanka
Tamara Kunanayakam, Island, June 2018, Sri Lanka, a sovereignty, non-negotiable!
Sri Lankan sovereignty – its supremacy in domestic policy and its independence in foreign policy – is under a 2-pronged attack. In Sri Lanka, the neoliberals seek physical appropriation of territory and all that it contains, targeting the very substance of sovereignty and independence – the inalienable right of the people to full and permanent sovereignty, including possession, use and disposal, over all their wealth, natural resources and economic activities. Without permanent sovereignty, there can be no independent domestic or foreign policy; without it, independence and sovereignty are but empty shells.
At the UN Human Rights Council, their ideological counterpart, the US neoconservatives lead the attack. US-led resolution co-signed by the Sirisena-Wickramasinghe Government legitimises unilateral intervention in its internal affairs and permits instrumentalisation of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to draft laws that facilitate appropriation and provide a long-term guarantee.
The larger objective is gaining control over the strategically located island to maintain US global hegemony by combating the reemergence of a potential rival identified in the 2018 US National Defense Strategy as the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by China and Russia, not terrorism.
Sri Lanka is fast losing its economic sovereignty. Policy choices are being ceded to the US Administration, IMF/World Bank, Western aid agencies, corporate-backed thinktanks, transnational corporations, and a small clique of legal and financial consultancy firms in the multimillion-dollar privatisation business, giving advice, then profiting from that advice. People and nation have become dispensable commodities; their labour, wealth, natural resources, economic activities are on auction with foreign bidders determining their worth.
Sri Lanka is meekly following Washington further down the destructive path of neoliberalism, which, 4 decades later, has failed to bring about the promised wellbeing for all. According to 2018 World Inequality Report, global inequality has grown since 1980 with the top 1% increasing their annual income by 205% and the top 0.001% by 636%, whereas average annual wage of the bottom 50% has stagnated. A 2017 Oxfam index ranks SL 138th out of 152 countries in terms of relative commitment to reducing inequality, worse than Haiti.
Even ardent promoters of neoliberalism admit it has failed. On the 2008 financial collapse, David Rothkopf, a former senior US Commerce department official said, ‘This is a watershed. This is the end of 25 years of Reagan-Thatcherism, ‘leave it to the market, less government is better government’. That is over – period.’ Martin Wolf, economic guru of Financial Times, called the day Bear Stearns collapsed ‘the day the dream of global free-market capitalism died.’ French President Sarkozy agreed, ‘(The) idea of an all-powerful market without any rules and any political intervention is mad. Self-regulation is finished. Laissez faire is finished. The all-powerful market which is always right is finished.’
The myth of the private sector being more efficient than the public sector has also exploded. The most important study on the efficiency of all European State enterprises privatized between 1980-2009 revealed they performed worse than those that remained public. A 2015 UNDP study found no model of ownership (public, private, or mixed) intrinsically more efficient than the other. A telling case is British Metronet Rail, a Public Private Partnership (PPP), which became insolvent before the 5-year deal ended and was brought under court administration, costing the public over £400million.
The role played by the Yahapalana partners in this onslaught is not a matter of bad management, bad governance, incompetence, incapacity, or an absence of vision. They have been placed in the positions they occupy precisely because of a shared vision.
The neoliberal project – The neoliberal project, a revival of 19th-century laissez-faire ideology, has its origins in the Mont Pelerin Society (MPS), a secretive organization founded in 1947 by Friedrich von Hayek of the Austrian School of Economics, with Milton Friedman of the Chicago School, later Economic Adviser to US President Reagan, Allan Walters, who became Chief Economic Adviser to British PM Margaret Thatcher, other neoliberals, members of the US oligarchy and European aristocracy.
Its project is Hayek’s globalist vision – an end to the constitutional nation-State and the global expansion of the oligarchy’s interests unhampered by State sovereignty. A supranational world government, as expressed in the International Paneuropean Union, would replace the nation State, a vision shared by the Nazis. Deregulation and liberalization will render impossible any State action on behalf of nation and people, giving free rein over the national economy to global corporate interests. It will no longer have control over the value of what the nation produces, its wealth, natural resources, economic activities, workforce, currency, or even be able to fulfill its international human rights and labour obligations.
The State will be transformed radically from an entity in which popular sovereignty is vested and duty-bound to protect the interests of people and nation into one that serves the interests of a small oligarchy, becoming more not less authoritarian. Its role will be to deregulate all legal and administrative controls that interfere with their operations, and then re-regulate to protect them from popular anger. The most discussed solution is imposing constitutional limits to popular power as best guarantee. The terms ‘rule of law’ and ‘good governance’ in HRC Resolution 30/1 and in IMF/World Bank/Western conditionalities refer to this new system of law and government. In Sri Lanka, it is known as Yahapalanaya.
Civilizing mission – The project is advanced as a civilizing concept, associating Western civilization with progress and development, equating ‘big government’ with totalitarianism. Today, in the human rights language, this civilising mission is translated as Responsibility to Protect. Legitimising their worldview as ‘common sense,’ neoliberals have imposed the meaning of terms such as productive, progressive, scientific, modern, independent, freedom, etc. from the point of view of the key actors in global markets.
Infiltrating Government – MPS shapes economic policies by infiltrating and controlling governments through a powerful elite-led global policy-planning network of over 500 thinktanks and numerous business schools, corporate-backed Foundations, media, and University economics departments transformed into ideological centres of neoliberal strategy. Funded mainly by US corporates and North American Governments, they produce neoliberal ideas and language under cover of supposedly impartial hubs of expertise propagating them through the mass media; training of business, political and social leaders, economists, journalists, and other professionals; drafting laws for parliamentarians, ministers, and heads of State; preparing publications for conferences and seminars; and introducing speakers for meetings and social encounters.
Transfer of power from public institutions to global corporates – Past decades have seen a massive transfer of wealth, resources, and power from public institutions to foreign corporates. Studies show the most significant shift has not been from public to private, nor State to market, but from local and national political agencies to global concentrations of economic power. In 2016, the 10 largest TNCs earned more than all countries in the world, their total worth $285billion equivalent to the wealth of 180 countries; 737 global banks, insurance companies and industrial groups controlled 80% of the value of all the world’s companies.
Corporate influence especially over countries of the South manifests itself through its sheer economic power; its ability to manipulate transfer prices through intra-company trade, inflating import prices and underpricing exports also to avoid taxation or circumvent limits to profit repatriation; its ability to wield influence in the political affairs of sovereign States – directly or indirectly, and when necessary, even obtain Western intervention to further or protect their interests. As a result, States’ ability to protect and promote the public interest has been significantly undermined, and citizens’ authority usurped.
MPS influence in SL – An eminent Sri Lankan MPS member is Ranil Wickremesinghe, under whose influence it held a Special Meeting in Kandalama, 2004, as PM. His influence over policy needs no comment.
The 2 most visible MPS-linked thinktanks in Sri Lanka masquerading under the guise of impartiality, providing cover for the political establishment and profoundly influencing policy changes and far- reaching reforms – including Constitutional – are the Institute for Policy Studies & Advocata Institute. They illustrate how Western governments, corporates and their think-tanks function together to hijack State sovereignty; how foreign-funded, foreign-controlled entities unaccountable to people and State penetrate Government and work from within – without any impediment – to implement an alien agenda. They highlight the importance of knowing the sponsors and donors of reports from alleged thinktanks that advocate sale of the country, and the lobbying connections of its authors.
Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) – [see ee Focus B1.]
IPS was involved in organising the January 2016 Sri Lanka Economic Forum under the patronage of the Yahapalana President and PM, bringing together – directly or indirectly – the Harvard University’s Centre for International Development, which works with the PM’s Office, BOI and the Development Strategy and International Trade Ministry, George Soros and his Open Society Foundation, the US Administration, and Corporates to prepare the Government’s three-year economic development plan that became Vision 2025. The PM’s Office declared it set the stage for in-depth analysis and discussion on developing government policy along areas identified by the Harvard team led by the Director Prof Ricardo Hausmann. Subsequently, the PM’s Office and Finance Ministry reportedly sent teams to Harvard for a study course.
The Harvard operation, kept secret until the last minute, was funded by $multi-billion hedge-fund crook George Soros, whose ‘spiritual mentor’ Karl Popper was an MPS founder. Soros became known as the world’s premier currency speculator after demolishing the British monetary system in 1992 in a single day and pocketing more than $1billion at the expense of the British taxpayer.
IPS aggressively promotes the sale of public assets and State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) to Western corporates and replacement of Public Utilities Commission Board members with so-called ‘independent directors,’ meaning foreign, because according to Sally, ‘having independent anybody in Sri Lanka is very difficult at the moment.’ In an interview to Advocata Institute, Sally declared that the ‘first best solution to the running of SOEs in Sri Lanka is to have a timetable to privatize.’ To combat popular opposition, he recommended starting with partial privatization putting into a holding company enterprises that operate in a commercial sphere, then ‘gradually’ increasing private sector stakes until ‘the time is right politically’ to move into majority private ownership.
Advocata Institute – [see above, ee Focus B1]
…Development Strategies and Trade Minister, Malik Samarawickrama [would later use] Advocata findings to justify ‘far-reaching privatisation plans.’ Atlas Network, founded by MPS member Antony Fisher to which Advocata belongs, declared it was a commitment to privatise strategic and non-strategic SOEs despite ‘immense political risk.’ It claimed Advocata was ‘widely influential in this ongoing reform process’ and had ‘spurred’ the move to privatise, its report becoming the Government’s ‘go-to reference’ on SriLankan Airines giving ‘the final push needed to get the government to put the struggling business up for sale.’ Sri Lanka was among 10 countries Atlas considered it had ‘invested successfully’ and won.
One month later, Cabinet approved the Prime Minister’s proposal to hire the US firm McKinsey and Company for $2.3mn to establish a Central Program Management Unit in his Office for ‘accelerated economic transformation’ to monitor projects fasttracked under a new Development (Special Provisions) Bill that would give sweeping powers to restructure and transform the economy. He proposed that Nika Gilauri, former Georgian PM under the pro-Washington neoliberal regime, be senor expert on the project.
Advocata recommendations for Budget 2017 included ‘reactivation’ of so-called Dead Capital, a doctrine articulated by Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto, MPS member associated with Advocata partner, Property Rights Alliance. It was referring to the some 987,000 acres vested in the Land Reform Commission with special mention of ‘prime real estate blocks’ in major cities like Colombo occupied by schools, government ministries, and other facilities, which ‘greatly outweigh their economic value.’ Foreign takeover would include fixed assets occupied by the military through downsizing.
‘Reactivation’ would involve obtaining the value of Dead Capital through accounting property rents at market value and establishing a Land Asset Sales Programme ‘to dispose of surplus or underutilised land’ to be run by ‘an independent body free of political influence to minimise corruption.’ Vision 2025 outlines a programme of legal reform on the lines proposed by Soto.
To accelerate the process, Advocata organized a forum in October 2017 to coincide with the release of the annual Economic Freedom of the World Report by Canada’s Fraser Institute, in which Sri Lanka was given a low ranking, primarily because of ‘weaknesses in the legal system and property rights.’ Atlas and Fraser, both thinktanks founded by MPS member Antony Fisher, partnered the event. A month later, the Central Bank Governor announced legislation to establish a land bank, consideration of land titling, removal of ‘archaic’ laws, and a comprehensive review of land use/crop mix.1
February 2018, a delegation from the US-based financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard visited Sri Lanka to discuss divestment to foreigners. As privatization advisor, Lazard involves both its advisory services branch and asset management branch. On numerous occasions, Lazard has undervalued the price of a company, enabling the latter to purchase the stock at low prices and sell it for a considerable profit, as it did with UK’s Royal Mail and Spain’s Airports and Air Traffic Management.
16 May, Advocata – not IPS – invited Harvard Centre Director Prof Hausmann to speak on Accessing knowhow for development, joined by McKinsey & Company hired earlier by the PM. Hausmann was on a civilizing mission: ‘Sri Lanka may have the talent and the people for the current economy, but does it have the talent and the people for the economy it wants to have?’ he queried. In the arrogance characteristic of the Western colonizer, his argument for reforming Sri Lanka’s immigration laws was, ‘it is often easier to move brains to new countries than to move new know-how into brains.’
Hausmann’s success stories to underpin the argument were the Big 3 US automakers – Ford, GM, Chrysler, and Silicon Valley. He didn’t say that the US government had to bailout out the Big T3 for $0.7billion during the 2008-10 economic crisis, effectively nationalising GM and Chrysler, that car sales are down again and that President Trump is pushing for 25% tariffs on car imports! Nor did he say that the 1992-2002 Silicon Valley dot.com bubble led to the stock market crash and that the tech bubble today is larger than in March 2000 with venture capital-funded start-ups in some cases overvalued by as much as 50%.
Advocata’s connections to the US Administration and MPS are direct and indirect. No. 1 on its Board is Franklin Lavin, served as Reagan’s Political Director and Deputy Executive Secretary on his National Security Council Staff under National Security Advisers Carlucci, former CIA Deputy Director, and Colin Powell.
An influential Board member is Prof Suri Ratnapala, on the MPS Board of Directors 2008-10; on the panel of intellectuals appointed by the PM advising the Steering Committee on the new Constitution. Another link to MPS is Fredrik Erixon who, with IPS Chairman Sally, co-founded and co-directs the European Centre for International Political Economy. Yet another is senior Visiting Prof of Economics Chris Lingle.
Advocata belongs to the Washington-based Atlas Network of nearly 500 organizations in 93 countries founded by MPS member Antony Fisher with the support of Milton Friedman & Margaret Thatcher. Corporates are an important source of funding and thinktanks associated with it are discretely funded by the US State Department and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) chaired by Judy Shelton, a senior fellow at Atlas and adviser to Trump’s Presidential campaign.
The Network functions as an extension of US foreign policy and has been involved in regime change and destabilisation in Latin America, and elsewhere. In Honduras, it played an important role in the military coup against Manuel Zelaya; in Argentina, it helped topple Cristina Kirchner; in Venezuela, it supported the 2002 military coup against President Chavez and protests against successor Nicholás Maduro; in Brazil, it diverted public anger away from a bribery scandal involving all major political parties to focus on President Dilma Roussef, leading to her impeachment 2016.
MCC, US Government in PM’s Office: Another vehicle for intervention in Sri Lanka is the Millennium Challenge Corporation, with a Project Unit physically located inside the PM’s Office within the strategic Policy Development Unit; claims to be ‘independent,’ but is a US government body chaired by the Secretary of State, on its Board of Directors, the Treasury Secretary, USAID Administrator, and US Trade Representative.
MCC manages the Millenium Challenge Account, which is primarily a policy initiative to influence the regulatory environment and rule of law in the South.
Given its strategic location in the PM’s Office, the question is posed whether and to what extent it is involved in shaping the country’s economic and trade policy and drafting Vision 2025, unveiled only a few months after Cabinet approved establishment of the unit. MCC’s so-called partnerships are based on coercion and prior implementation of political conditionality unlike traditional foreign aid conditionality, which is based on actual ‘good governance’ results. Also unlike traditional aid, MCC assistance involves an annual re-selection process that permits coercion on a permanent basis, depriving the State of space for sovereign decisions.
The indicators used to measure performance are themselves highly political. For instance, the Heritage Foundation, one of the most influential US thinktanks co-founded by Mont Pelerinist Ed Feulner, who was among the first to be appointed on Donald Trump’s transition team, provides data on trade policy.
Freedom House, which receives 80% of its income from the US Government and has carried out destabilization missions under the CIA against legitimately elected governments, evaluates ‘ruling justly.’ Other institutions used by MCC include the World Bank and the top neoconservative thinktank Brookings Institution.
An alternative – possible & necessary: Neoliberals think only in terms of neoliberal dogma, as do religious fundamentalists, they have no critical thought. In the words of French philosopher Paul Nizan, ‘The bourgeoisie working for itself alone, exploiting for itself alone, slaughtering for itself, must believe it works, that it exploits, that it massacres for the final good of humanity. It must make believe it is right, and must also believe it.’
The scale of the crisis of legitimacy and effectiveness of their recipe in Europe and the US must compel us to reflect on alternatives, to recognise that human beings not profit matter, that only a return to principles upon which our sovereignty and independence are founded will enable us to determine our destiny. International law and policy widely recognise that political independence can be only assured through economic independence, possible only if people can exercise their inalienable right to own, control and develop – on a permanent basis – all their wealth, natural resources, and economic activities in the national interest and for their own development and wellbeing. All States are duty bound to respect the right and remove all obstacles to its realization.
Already in the 1986 UN Declaration on the Right to Development, the international community recognised the widespread failure of the Western, free-market, export-led, growth-centred model, based on foreign debt, to achieve social progress and wellbeing for all. It rejects the notion that Western civilization defines progress and development and calls for a development strategy in which the human person and people are central subjects not objects, not just workers and consumers, but architects of their destiny. There is no single model; it cannot be imposed from the outside. Social progress can be achieved only through solidarity and cooperation – not competition, and must be based on social justice and equality, not profit and growth.
There is an undeclared, covert war against Sri Lanka, conducted by a Holy Alliance between Yahapalana, the US Administration, & the corporate world. The result will be more deadly than the almost 30-year-war against LTTE terror and separatism. Failure to resist will result in us losing total control over our territory, wealth, natural resources & economic activity. Our national identity and culture will be dismantled, our ability to determine domestic policy and foreign policy will be lost, and along with it, our independence and sovereignty.
Many things can be negotiated, but principles, never. Sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity are non-negotiable!
Tamara Kunanayakam, Economist, Chairperson, UN Working Group on the Right to Development (2011-15), former Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN at Geneva (thuppahis.com/2018/06/27/creeping-neo-liberal-stranglehold-on-sri-lanka)
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.
• That Sarath, This Sarath – Nalin de Silva
‘This Sarath says that even if it is possible, the army should not fire. That is because foreign forces can destroy the country’s military headquarters…That Sarath led the army to protect that constitution’
• US secretary of state in India; will meet PM, Jaishankar today (July 28)
• Zimbabwe is not Sri Lanka!
‘Here is a timeline on US interference in Sri Lanka’
• China and India: friendship & ‘friendship’ – Malinda Seneviratne
• Sri Lankan governmental delegation’s visit to Moscow was put off (July 09)
• Condemn US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan! – Communist Party of Sri Lanka
• CPSL blasts US Speaker Pelosi visit to Taiwan as malicious infringement of China’s sovereignty
• Sri Lanka-China Friendship Association (SLCFA) blasts Pelosi’s ‘reckless move’
• Countries must refrain from provocations – President
• President reiterates Lanka’s firm commitment to one China policy
• Reap the benefits of strategic location in emerging Indian Ocean centric economic power bloc
• India’s second aircraft carrier INS Vikrant to be commissioned on August 15, 2022
• Sri Lanka President reiterates sovereignty with Chinese envoy amid fresh Indian concerns
‘Trincomalee in which India had been eying one of the most strategic ports in Asia since 1980s….Colombo-based political analysts and former military officials have told Economy Next that India’s intelligence agents helped to put up an unlikely coalition to defeat former leader Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2015 when Rajapaksa administration allowed two nuclear submarine to be docked in Colombo port which is used for Indian transshipment of goods. India, however, has denied such interference’
• Foreign ships, even naval vessels, arrive in Sri Lanka each year
‘but India is making an issue over Yuan Wang 5. They feel it’s a challenge and this kind of thing will keep on happening.’
• PM Dinesh thanks Indian counterpart for humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka
• SL committed to ‘one-China’ policy: President Wickremesinghe says after Pelosi’s Taiwan visit
• China, Sri Lanka laud long-lasting friendship
• Creeping Neoliberal Stranglehold on Sri Lanka (2018) – Kunanayakam
• Foreign Think Tanks influence SL: Mont Pelerin Society, Advocata, Institute of Policy Studies
• Regime Change Role of International Republican Institute (IRI) in Sri Lanka
‘hat do we know about the Federation of Sri Lankan Local Government Authorities that IRI is working close with & funding it via USAID, English Govt & Canadian Govt.’
•US Capitol Hill Investigations & Charges Key to Sri Lanka’s Investigation & Charges
• Lessons for Sri Lanka: What US means when it delivers “Democracy” via NED to China
• US Ambassador prevented former president protecting the Presidential Secretariat
• US Ambassador influenced Prez GR as part of its regime change plot – Wimal
• Aragalaya will drag Sri Lanka into chaos and anarchy : Weerawansa
• Powerful Catholic sect continues to destroy Sinhala Buddhist culture – Nalin de Silva
• TNA MP seeks explanation over Ravi K’s visit to Mannar
‘Projects shouldn’t be implemented without consulting the people’s representatives in the Northern and Easter Provinces’
• China believes current predicament faced by Sri Lanka is only temporary
• Sri Lanka’s crisis an opportunity for more democratic, inclusive govt: Blinken
• US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Foreign Minister Ali Sabry in Cambodia
• Heightened crackdown on dissent in SL – US Human Rights Watch
• Closely monitoring ‘fast-moving situation’ in SL – England
• English woman’s passport seized over posting over protest in Colombo
• English instagrammer in SL for medical reasons: Immigration
• Wise up, Simon Hughes!
• English High Commissioner Sarah Hulton meets Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena
‘Secretary to the Prime Minister, Anura Dissanayake and Head of Political Desk of British High Commission Mathew Deith also took part’
• Queen Elizabeth congratulates Ranil
• Canada’s Prime Minister on the ‘39th anniversary of Black July’
‘”In the months that followed the events of Black July, the Government of Canada implemented a Special Measures program to respond to the violence in Sri Lanka, which helped more than 1,800 Tamils resettle in Canada…Canada is now home to one of the largest Tamil diasporas in the world’
• Italian envoy calls on Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe
• Norway concerned about crisis in Sri Lanka: Norwegian Foreign Minister
• Norway provides NOK 13mn to WFP, UNICEF and UNFPA in Sri Lanka
• Nary a word about the Western ‘Vulture Funds’ that fed on Sri Lanka’s distress
• Sabry briefs foreign envoys of Prez’s strategy
• Minister Sabry attends ASEAN Regional Forum
• Yuan Wan 5 at Hambantota port: Lanka seeks amicable solution with China and India
• Lanka nod to China ship, India wary – The Telegraph
• Sri Lanka clarifies on Chinese research vessel to dock at Hambantota Port
• Ahead of arrival of Chinese vessel in Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu to scale up security along the coast
• Now, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, too, concerned about Chinese vessel
• Pelosi’s Taiwan time bomb as Lanka faces dilemma over Chinese research vessel
• India, China Ministers at summit as PLA ship in neighbourhood irks Delhi
• Sri Lanka caught between China and India over Beijing’s ‘spy ship’
• After India Questions ‘Real Purpose’, Sri Lanka Asks China to ‘Defer’ Spy Ship Yuan Wang 5’s Arrival
• Sri Lanka asks China to defer visit of research vessel at Hambantota
• Japan hopeful for Sri Lanka’s political stability, swift progress in IMF negotiations
• Pelosi’s Pivot as Cold War & Colonialism rebound: Militarization and Indian Ocean Greenwash – Rajasingham-Senanayake
• High Commissioner Milinda Moragoda meets Tamil Nadu MP Kanimozhi Karunanidhi
• US State Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Jaishankar
• India remains committed to assist Sri Lanka in its economic recovery: Jaishankar tells Sabry
• 3 Years Since India’s Abrogation of Article 370 protection to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh
• Pakistan Gen Bajwa calls US Deputy Secretary of State Sherman to request speedy IMF funds
• Moscow prioritises ties with Myanmar
• China is still playing the long game on Taiwan – Bhadrakumar
• How China Warns Of Pelosi’s Taiwan Trip
• China Announces Countermeasures in Response to Nancy Pelosi’s Visit to Taiwan
• On The ‘Woke’ Flight To Taiwan
• How Pelosi’s Visit Hurts Taiwan
• China fires missiles in ‘unprecedented’ drills around Taiwan
• Pentagon chiefs’ calls to China go unanswered amid Taiwan crisis
• Is Nancy Pelosi’s Trip to Taiwan the ‘Pearl Harbour Moment’
• Asymmetric federalism – Hong Kong in the PRC
• Hiroshima marks 77th anniversary of criminal U.S. atomic bombing
• Port Chabahar – The Ace Up Tehran’s Sleeve
‘in southeastern Iran at the mouth of the Gulf of Oman, the Port is an ideal strategic location connecting India with Afghanistan and Central Asian countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan’
• Russia wants for Iranian nuclear deal to be revived ASAP
• 21st Century Order: Putin’s trip to Tehran last week was of singular importance’
• U.S. approves $5 billion in missile sales to Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
• Kosovo delays plan for north amid tensions
• Africa Remains at the Center of a 21st Century Cold War
‘Mike Hammer, the U.S. Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, began a tour to Ethiopia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates on July 24.’
• Declassified report on covert U.S. drone strike leading to civilian deaths in Nigeria
• The International Decade for People of African Descent : Who have these 10 years served?
• Morocco king favors restoration of diplomatic ties with Algeria
• Ukraine Is the Latest Neocon Disaster – Jeffrey D. Sachs
• Ukraine war is losing its sparkle. Where’s the Lady with the Lamp? – Bhadrakumar
• Ukraine Needs Solutions, Not Endless War
• Ukraine – Mines, Missiles, War Crimes And A Warning To Zelenski
• Ukraine SitRep – On The Ground Report – Ukrainian Frontline Collapses
• President Maduro qualifies as robbery the retention of Venezuelan gold in Bank of London
• Nicolas Maduro says U.S. intends to steal Venezuelan plane held in Argentina
• ‘Tools of Russia’: FBI Raid on US Black Political Party Seen as Part of ‘Black Scare/Red Scare’
• The Black Alliance for Peace Condemns FBI Attack on the African People’s Socialist Party
• Charade of pleading to London for Scotland’s right to decide
‘The Lord Advocate’s “reference” to the English Supreme Court on whether the Scottish Parliament has the power to instigate an Independence Referendum is carefully wrought to get the answer “No”….Scotland will only ever achieve Independence by acting on the International Court of Justice’s ruling that domestic legislation of the state being seceded from cannot constrain the right to self-determination of a people’
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.
• BASL Chief counters allegations, denies seeking political office
• Protesters at Galle Face ordered to vacate the area before 5 pm on Friday
• Protesters at Gota Go Gama file writ petitions against the eviction
• ‘Aragalaya’ won’t be allowed to operate outside the law -Prez
• Familiar religious face at Aragalaya files FR in Supreme Court against possible arrest
• Liberal Youth Movement too challenges Emergency Regulations
‘The FR petition has been filed by Namini Panditha and Rusiru Egodage, the conveners of the Liberal Youth Movement…Gehan Gunathilake will appear on behalf of the petitioners..’
• Sri Lanka lawyers sign declaration in support of arrested protestors
‘President’s Counsel Geoffrey Alagaratnam said: “True. Today the Aragalya might seem to be a little confused. It is up to the lawyers to give it direction.”
• Sri Lanka protest site to remain till Aug 10, attorney general pledges to court
• Nine Sri Lankan Navy Sailors Jump Ship in the USA
‘a 50-person team deployed from Sri Lanka in June in order to join RIMPAC 2022, the world’s largest international naval exercise. After RIMPAC, they were scheduled to help crew a new Sri Lankan Navy ship: the former USCGC Douglas Munro, which was recently decommissioned and transferred to Sri Lanka under a foreign military aid agreement’
• Deployment of army personnel to disperse Galle Fort protest: Eleven lawyer file FR petitions
‘The vast majority of Sri Lankans left the country for foreign employment in the unskilled and domestic aid (mostly housemaid) categories, with only 7,977 departing the country for skilled labour.’
• Questions for Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith – Waduge
• Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith blames UN & Foreign Conspiracy for Easter attacks – Waduge
• Easter Sunday attack suspects still engage in politics: Cardinal
‘Those who set off bombs in three churches and a few hotels in 2019 are still engaged in politics and also work as police officers…“Catholics in the Mutuwal area… launched a struggle (aragalaya) during the catholic schools were taken over by the government in the 1960s’
• Illicit drugs in Sri Lanka contribute more than 20% of the total money supply
• Shooting reported at Mt. Lavinia court premises
• BASL calls IGP to probe recent shootings & dead bodies found on Galle Face beach
• Activist Dhaniz Ali jailed for using mobile phone inside cell
• Sri Lanka opposition MP Harsha de Silva barred from visiting arrested protestor
• Pathum Kerner released on bail
‘Rienzie Arseculeratne PC with counsel Chamindri Arseculeratne, Udara Muhandiramge and Thilina Punchihewa appeared for the suspect’
• Violent incident near Parliament Road: Police seek public assistance to identify individuals
• Men disguised as policemen carried out forced search on Frontline Socialist Party headquarters
• SJB challenges clearing of MP on the basis of committee report
‘re-appointment of SLFPer Nimal Siripala de Silva as Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister in spite of serious bribery accusations directed at him’
• Bribery claims involving Japanese contractor: Lawyer asks govt. to come clean over allegations against Nimal Siripala
• Retired Senior DIG laments woes police now have to face
• Vandals damage two statues at Silawathura St. Anthony’s Church in Mannar
• Wildlife identifies cop as chief suspect in killing of majestic tusker
• Court refuses to make Hirunika a suspect
‘Farman Cassim PC, Hejaaz Hizbullah, Hafeel Farisz with Budwin Siriwardena , Sanjeewa Kodithuwakku appeared for Premachandra and the rest.’
• Police handling of Rs. 17Mn found at President’s house, undisciplined
• Court orders release of Mahanama Thero on bail
• Police Log: August 1, 5, 6, 2022
• Plea bargain helps Jaliya get off lightly
• Air Force days …
• Peacefulness declines to lowest level in 15 years fuelled by post-Covid economic uncertainty and Ukraine conflict – Global Peace Index of the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP)
‘5G mobile technology, the social media revolution, and the greater affordability of drones have changed warfare… South Asia was the region with the highest frequency and intensity of violent demonstrations where India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan recorded their highest levels since the inception of the GPI.’
• Thailand admits to using phone spyware, cites national security
• USAF, US Navy, US Army, NATO: Spying over Europe
• Canada seeks extradition of French priest accused of abusing Indigenous children
• JPMorgan Whistleblower Claims Bank Fired Her for Reporting Suspicious Payments to Former English Prime Minister Tony Blair
• US Secret Service, DHS, FBI: Trump Appointees Remain at the Helm of Agencies Involved in What the Public Perceives as Evidence Destruction and Coverups
• Meet Ken Klukowski, a Trump Administration Cooperating Witness in the Justice Department’s Criminal Investigation of January 6
• “I’ve Delivered”: New Disclosures Demolish President Biden’s Denials on Hunter Dealings
C3. Economists (Study the Economists before you study the Economics)
ee Economists shows how paid capitalist/academic ‘professionals’ confuse (misdefinitions, etc) and divert (with false indices, etc) from the steps needed to achieve a modern industrial country.
• Sri Lanka unable to seek assistance from London Club
• Social market economy need of the hour for Sri Lanka: President
• Former Bank of Thailand Governor calls for privatisation of public institutions in Sri Lanka
• Agreement with IMF is the only way out of economic crisis: President
• President Demands All-party consensus for IMF deal
• Only 20% of Forex enters banking system out of US$1 billion export proceeds per month.
• US Advocata’s Let’s Reset SL conference to focus on economic reforms
• IMF prepares for policy discussions with new administration
• Prez says IMF accord pushed back after unrest
• IMF Chief Economist says Sri Lanka’s IMF Delay a Lesson to Other Countries
• SL expects to sign staff-level agreement with IMF by end-August: Prez
• Discussions with IMF to continue this month: Prez
• SL to restart IMF bailout talks, President Ranil Wickremesinghe calls for unity government
• Govt. retains two foreign firms to restructure ISBs
‘ISBs were the biggest portion of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt. Sri Lanka had issued ISBs worth about 18 billion US dollars, from 2007 to 2019,..A lot of investors have bought them. There are many investors from the US, England, France, Germany, etc. We have to identify them, and this is a complex process’
‘The Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting on Monday has approved hiring a debt restructuring rating recognition agent and a communication agent for the external debt restructuring program.’
• Sri Lanka leader proposes 25-year plan for crisis-hit nation
• Sri Lanka says talks with IMF resumed, debt advisors doing analysis
• Country unable to seek assistance from London Club – President
‘The London Club is an informal group of private creditors on the international stage, similar to the Paris Club of public lenders’
• Sri Lanka President hints on possible wealth tax for economic, social stability
• Sri Lanka debt advisors looking at local debt: President
‘Most local debt is sold at low rates to the Employment Provident Fund of private sector workers. Others are held at banks. If local debt is re-structured, it will be even more difficult for the government to fund the deficit’
• Sri Lanka president raps MPs backing him now over opposing FDI
• President reiterates, difficult times never seen before ahead
• China responds to USAID Samantha Power’s comments on debt to Sri Lanka
• Tax revision caused revenue loss of Rs 500-600 bn and triggered collapse: Godahewa
• If It Ain’t Fixed, Break It
‘They starve public services of resources, and then complain that they’re performing poorly. ‘
• The IMF and the World Bank are vacillating giving frivolous reasons – Karunaratne
‘It is actually by following the IMF’s Structural Adjustment Programme provisions to the very letter from 1978 that we have come to this state of anarchy.’
• The Peril of going to the IMF: Is there an alternative?
• The Rise of the Foreign Exchange Black Economy & the Collapse of the Sri Lankan Economy – Part Two: Pathirana
• The number of HNWIs in Sri Lanka is forecast to increase by 90% by 2031
• Sri Lanka’s economic hotchpotch (2013)
• Antagonism and Contradictions in Sri Lanka – B. Skanthakumar
• Indian aid and policy priorities for Sri Lanka – Wignarajah
• Understanding China’s Role in SL’s Debt Restructuring Efforts –Latiff and Wijesinha (IPS)
‘China’s general approach to debt distress is to seek bespoke negotiations and preferential treatment – something that Sri Lanka must avoid at all costs’
• Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) proposals for the Interim Budget 2022
‘1. Prioritise imports for industrial expansion and food security needs… 2. Focus on increasing exports in sectors that use minimum foreign raw materials…’
• Continued political uncertainty & social unrest could set back economic recovery – Sanderatne
‘there are diplomatic overtures at the highest level to regain foreign confidence’
• Economic crisis is a foreign exchange crisis formed by weak export performance – Abeyratne
• Ranil’s biggest woe: What to do when fiscal and monetary policies have failed and are still falling? – Wijewardena
• New government has to implement structural reforms to make economy more market oriented
• No clear laws to assess national debt: Auditor General
• This Tropical Island Is Being Crushed by War in Ukraine
• Fears voiced over special development agency becoming fertile ground for cronies (2016)
• SriLankan Airlines: Tumultuous landing and proper PPP take-off (2016)
• Can SriLankan be privatised?
• New Director-Genera P.A. Jayakantha appointed to Civil Aviation Authority
• South Asia Debt Woes Evoke Fears of Another 1997-Style Crisis – Bloomberg
• Friedman views on currency boards explained by Cato’s Hanke amid Sri Lanka soft-peg crisis
• Why is Bangladesh going for IMF help?
• US has no rights to use IMF loans to serve own interests
‘Even more worrisome is that the IMF intends to ban Pakistan from seeking more Chinese loans’
• Is the West punishing Pakistan because of China?
‘IMF is taking time to release the next tranche and attaching tough preconditions is linked to the China factor…The IMF Executive Board is supposed to meet in the third week of August to formally approve the staff-level agreement allowing the Fund to release the next tranche.’
• Bangladesh requests loan from IMF; economists say ‘reforms in financial sector’ needed
• Brazil’s Da Silva Proposes A Latin American Currency ‘To Be Free Of The US Dollar’
• Extension of dollar-denominated swap lines reassured investors
• National Bureau of Economic Research
‘The NBER is well known for providing start and end dates for recessions in the United States…’
• Mexican President proposes a five-year global truce to work for development
• Yanis Varoufakis: Inflation as a Political Power Play Gone Wrong
‘A half-century long power play, led by corporations, Wall Street, governments, and central banks, has gone badly wrong. As a result, the West’s authorities now face an impossible choice: Push conglomerates and even states into cascading bankruptcies, or allow inflation to go unchecked.’
• Yves Smith: Economics Cons the World (2010)
‘If a sociologist or an anthropologist had a bad theory would anybody care? The tenuous theories of economists are road-tested on all of us. That’s the problem.’
• Calling a recession and blaming it on interest rates – Roberts
‘the NBER economists have become the arbiters of an official recession…But the NBER always calls a recession in the long line of US recessions over the last century well after it has already happened.’
• Now It’s Official: Financial Times Profiles Venture Capital Crash – Yves Smith
• Michael Hudson: US Diplomacy as a Tragic Drama
‘what the US likes to depict as promoting democracy is actually extending the reach of neoliberalism’
• Inflation in a Time of Corona and War – Servaas Storm
‘Not only the Fed, but central banks all over the globe are raising rates rapidly in the most widespread tightening of monetary policy for more than two decades…US inflation is also being driven by the pricing power and higher profits of corporations…’
• Bank of England warns the UK will fall into recession this year
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how media usually measures economy by false indices like GDP, etc., in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, constantly calling for privatization, deregulation, moaning about debt & balance of payments, without stating the need for modern industrial production.
• Colombo inflation breaches 60%; food inflation tops 90%
• Central Bank calls for ‘fair play’ by all stakeholders of economy
“Certain market players continuing to ignore the regulations imposed would deprive the people of the support expected from the government in difficult times.”
• SL’s usable forex reserves down to less than $500 m in June 2022
• Drop in Sri Lanka’s official reserve assets in July
• Dollar liquidity situation seen improving
• Exporters deny Sri Lanka Rs 287b a month by parking offshore
• Exporters say will fully comply with regulations on repatriation of proceeds
• Apparel industry says fully compliant with Central Bank’s export repatriation laws
• India, SL resume efforts to finalise Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement (ETCA)
• Heavy interest payments on public debt
‘Out of every Rs.100 in government revenue Rs. 30 to Rs 67 is drained off to service the interest on public debt during the past several years’
• Hefty losses at foreign funds with holdings in Sri Lankan equities
‘The Tundra Sustainable Frontier Fund A SEK had about 3.14% exposure to Sri Lanka, and lost 10.52% this year, while Harvest Asia Frontier Equity J JPY Acc and Holberg Rurik A declined 9.6% and 14.5%… The iShares MSCI Frontier and Select EM ETF witnessed US50.12 million worth of net selling in first half of year, while Coeli Frontier Markets I SEK had outflows worth US$19.6 million.’
• India expects US $ 8-9bn in trade with Russia and Sri Lanka in two months
‘India reported a record trade deficit of US $ 31.02 billion for July, three times higher than in the same period last month, due to a fall in exports and high imports…’
• India lifts rate to pre-pandemic level to fight inflation
• China’s U.S. Treasury Holdings Dip Below $1 Trillion for First Time in More Than a Decade
• US Fed rate hike ‘pours oil’ on global debt-crisis ‘fire’
• Oil prices hit lowest since Ukraine invasion amid recession fears
• Zambia debt relief pledge clears way for US$ 1.4bn programme, says IMF
‘Kevin Daly of emerging markets investor abrdn, who chairs a committee of holders of Zambia’s Eurobonds, welcomed the bilateral creditors’ statement, but repeated a call to be given access to the IMF’s Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA), which forms the basis of negotiations… That’s where you could have delays with the restructuring, if all of a sudden we get the DSA and … (it) is just way too conservative, in terms of the forecasts,”’
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
• Death toll due rough weather in Sri Lanka increases to five
• SJB Trade union leader arrested in Sri Lanka for desecrating Presidential Flag
• General Secretary of Ceylon Teachers’ Union Joseph Stalin arrested by Police
• Sajith visits Stalin in police custody
• Sri Lanka trade unions protest over leader’s arrest
• Sri Lanka’s Free Media Movement condemns union leader’s arrest, calls for release
• Sri Lanka reduces bus fares by over 11 percent; minimum fare down to 34 rupees
• All-island private buses to go on strike from tonight
• Island wide private bus operators on strike over fuel issue, fare revision
• NTC Director General offers protection & fuel for buses operating from Bastian Mawatha, Pettah
• Private bus union bosses demand more diesel
• CBEU claims ad hoc reforms in CEB will not be acceptable to international lenders
• Samurdhi workers are real burden whereas Grama Niladharis can handle their work
‘23,000 Samurdhi workers in 14,000 Grama Niladhari divisions look after 1.8 million families provided with Rs. 65 billion by the state, at Rs. 4,500 for a month where as they need Rs. 12.000’
• Govt. told to use household electricity consumption to determine welfare eligibility
• Social Justice Commission to distribute benefits of economic growth fairly among all
• Growing resurgence of COVID leads to pointing fingers once again
• Over half a million passports issued in first seven months
• Outward labour migration in 1H tops 2021 full-year figure
• 46 ‘illegal immigrants’ brought back to SL by Australian Border Force
• 20 Lankans deported per week from Malaysia over visa violation: Defence Ministry
• Sri Lankans deported every week over visa violations
• US-Occupied Korea & UNICEF hands over newly built schools in Kilinochchi district
• England’s Chevening Scholarships are now open
‘High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Sarah Hulton said: ‘If you are someone who is passionate about driving change, whether on a local or global scale…’
• VC opposed efforts by Urban Development Authority to take over land belonging to University
• John Keells introduces equal 100 days of maternity and paternity leave
‘strengthening Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I)’
• Muslim women in India allege bias in hiring for jobs
• Demography is the key to our geopolitical future
• Bolivian government presents policy against trafficking in persons
• Texas and Arizona bus thousands of migrants to U.S. capital
• Ex-Black Panther Albert Woodfox, 44 years in solitary confinement, dies of COVID-19
• Final Declaration of the Workers’ Summit of the Americas
• It’s Time for Salting to Make a Comeback: The New Terrain for Union Organizing
• After Tailoring Windfall Tax Cuts for His Wealthiest Donors, US Senator Johnson Wants to Eliminate Social Security and Medicare as Entitlement Programs
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.
• Over $300 million is spent every year on importing apples, oranges, and grapes
• Sri Lanka Going Hungry: The Growing Food Shortage
• Food crisis: An economic spiral towards malnutrition
• Rising prices reduce access to food for millions in Sri Lanka: WFP
“Around 200,000 fishermen are out of their livelihoods because this country doesn’t have fuel following import restrictions,”
• Agriculture Ministry urges govt. to halt rice imports
• Rice import ban without considering relevant data?
• Poultry industry urges Govt. to promote exports
‘The local industry exports eggs, chicken, and value-added products such as processed meat to Nepal, Maldives, and West Asia’
• Minimal price variance between better teas & poorer counterparts remains concern for producers of good quality tea
• Sri Lankan organic companies shine at Germany’s BIOFACH 2022
‘SL Export Development Board (EDB), the European Union (EU), Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and Import Promotion Desk (IPD), supported participation of 11 SL companies’
• Ample water resources to use as fuel by converting to hydrogen energy
• Why We Need Climate Communism
• What if mangroves could float on top of the oceans?
• Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) Leopard Day 202
‘How Sri Lanka benefits from ecological and economical roles of leopards’
• Lebanon Detains Vessel Accused of Carrying Stolen Ukrainian Grain
• Nicaragua accuses Washington of violating WTO rules in sugar trade
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.
• Indian Oil Co. (Lanka) records 1Q net profit of at least Rs.9.93 billion
‘I am so indebted to my workforce at Trincomalee Terminal’
• US Chevron Lubricant Lanka holds over 50% lubricant market share
‘Chevron Ceylon held a 5% stake in the company. The second single largest shareholder Barca Global increased its stake in the company during the three months to 5.39%, from 4.19%’
• The WTO and Vaccinations: Greed and Profits Win
‘After two years of the WTO “postponing” – or blocking – the India-South Africa proposal for a waiver on patents for COVID-19 vaccines and medicines, the club of the rich countries – the European Union, the United States and the UK – ensured that no worthwhile patent waiver measure was passed.’
• Lanka Coal Company (LCC) to buy 4.5 million tons coal on long-term credit basis; CEB engineers protest
• CEB uses hydropower mainly for power generation
• Indian Oil Co. and Indian CEO Forum continue to give back to Sri Lanka
• Export earnings from rubber and rubber products grow by 7.1% YoY
• Supreme Court says fuel distribution can be streamlined further through SLTB
• Energy Minister reveals the main reasons for CPC losses
• Sri Lanka “need to seriously consider” nuclear energy feasibility – President
‘India in February 2015 sealed a nuclear energy agreement to sell light small-scale nuclear reactors’
• Rave reviews for QR fuel
• What The 1970s Oil Shock Can Tell Us About Today
• Dinesh Weerakkody appointed as Port City Economic Commission Chairman
‘former Chairman of Hatton National Bank and Commercial Bank of Ceylon, Weerakkody is Vice Chairman of the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, immediate past Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chairman of the Sri Lanka Institute of Directors. He is currently an Advisor on Treasury Affairs to President. He is a former Chairman of the Employees’ Trust Fund Board, International Chamber of Commerce and National Human Resource Development Council. He was also an Advisor to Prime Minister (2001 and 2004), National Policies and Economic Affairs Ministry and Tourism Development Minister’
• Colombo Port City Economic Commission details its activities during 1H 2022
• South Asia Gateway Terminals commissions German DIMO New Reach stacker
• Dutch Lanka Trailers exports trailers through Hambantota International Port (HIP)
• SriLankan denies video content on unavailability of meals in business class
• Sri Lanka faces drop in apparel orders
• MAS Holdings enters new venture with BAM Knitting
• Michelin Sri Lanka planning to invest in ‘largest tyre warehouse in Sri Lanka’
‘Michelin Sri Lanka, formerly Camso Loadstar, the market leader in solid tyres, air tyres and tracks in the export market’
• Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) calls for further easing of gem export process
‘80 percent of untouched gems yet to be mined’
• We’re Going Into Fossil Fuel Withdrawal
• Schumer Strips Anti-China Security Provision From Major Semiconductor Bill
‘The CHIPS Act puts a staggering $250 billion for domestic science investment and education, making it the largest domestic industrial investment scheme in U.S. history.’
• Mexico and Bolivia promote alliance for lithium production
• The Return of Industrial Warfare – England’s Top War Think Tank
• Russian Gas Embargo “Impossible,” Austrian Chancellor Says
• Oil prices edge up on supply concerns after drop to near 6-month low
• Price gouging at the pump results in 235% profit jump for Big Oil
• Big Oil Companies See 235% Increase In Profits Thanks to Months Of Sky – High Gas Prices
• US Oil Companies Dodging Congressional Hearing Rolling in Billions While Consumers Suffer
• Will the Neon Shortage Cripple Computer Chip Production?
‘Ukraine dominated global production of this essential semiconductor process gas. What now for the global integrated circuit industry?’
• Pelosi meets TSMC chairman for ‘photo-op’ amid family’s chip stock scandal
• US reportedly mulls new ‘desperate’ move in chip crackdown against China
• Looming chip glut highlights more prominent role of China
• US pushes chip bill to encircle China, but ‘unable to lure firms to decouple with mainland’
• United States Ratchets up Chip War Against China
• China’s CATL, world’s largest battery maker goes ahead with plans to deliver lower-cost lithium iron batteries to Ford Motor Co
• Canada’s ITI acquires D2V Analytics – ITI x D2V Analytics: Data intelligence to enhance IT intelligence
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.
• President raises concerns about CSE operations
‘SOEs will not be listed on CSE where a few can benefit’
• Ex-IGP Wickramaratne appointed as Chairman of Sanasa Life Insurance
• Stocks jump over 2% after President’s policy statement; turnover hits over 2-mo high (A2)
• Non-nationals seeing greater value in listed equities; end July net CSE foreign inflow Rs. 784m
• Lanka IOC stocks contributing to CSE’s bullish trend
• Stock market sustains new found bullish sentiment (A3)
• Sri Lanka shares up for 6th session; turnover hits over 4-month high after policy statement
• Stock market gathers more strength (A4)
• CSE bullish yesterday pinning hopes on political stability (A5)
• Brace Yourself for Federally-Insured Bank Failures Caused by Crypto
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’
• Biz confidence still at a 21-year low: LMD-NielsenIQ Business Confidence Index (BCI)
• John Keells Holdings in exchange gain of over Rs.10 b
• Expolanka June net profits surge Rs.20.1 billion amid rupee depreciation, strong logistics
‘SG Holdings Global Pte. Ltd. holds 75.62 percent stake in Expolanka while Group CEO Hanif Yusoof owns 7.52 percent of the shares as the second single largest shareholder.’
• LIOC Q1 Net Profit after Tax at least Rs. 9.93 billion
• Donald C. Perera PC, chairman, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation
• Garments transformed in mid-1980s by entrepreneurs like Amaleans, Omars & Hirdaramanis
• Procter & Gamble Boasts “Biggest Annual Sales Increase In 16 Years” After Excessive Price Hikes
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.
• The President deserves praise – Gunadasa Amarasekera
‘they get their hirelings across the globe to condemn the governments concerned for violating Human Rights. This is how the game is played. The name of the game is ‘disaster imperialism’. Iraq and Libya have proved its efficacy and success.’
• Ranil’s role is over – He was made president by the West and India
• Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had left the country for a medical checkup
• All-Party Pandemonium – Nalin de Silva
• System Changed! Amen! – Nalin de Silva
• Unheard Voices of Youth and Women, Referendum and All-Party Government – Kulatunga
• Pohottu As USA’s Proxy Part 8Da, Db, E, F, G, H, J, K
• Restrict Religious Leaders to their place of Worship & away from politics: Waduge
• Sri Lanka: President Wickremesinghe says not the time for Rajapaksa to return
• Patali Champika says no invitation to form all-party govt
• State terror will spare none – JVP
• Generational wisdom to the fore?
‘The son of the ‘Father of Socialism’ is PM in the government of the nephew of the father of Capitalism, JR!’
• Sunday Times Threatens to Eat PM
‘remember the fate of the 17th century Dutch prime minister Johan de Wit…’
• Anatomy of Sri Lanka’s failed revolution – Balachandran
For most of the three-month Go Home Gotabaya” movement, the agitators were peaceful, drawn as they were from the educated English-speaking middle classes… Top political commentators are now referring to the US envoy’s alleged role in fomenting violence and wonder if that was part of a larger design to destabilize and dominate Sri Lanka.
• Sri Lanka protesters divided on leaving main camp amid crackdown – Al Jazeera
• TNA to support forming of all-party government
• First person to forcibly enter Presidential Secretariat on July 09 arrested
• Fonseka’s call to arms!
‘Sajith is unlikely to be accepted by the “Aragalaya”: for when Sajith visited the Galle Face green to pledge solidarity with the Aragalists, they beat him!’
• Unite JVP, FSP, SLFP and the 10 smaller parties and Dullas faction to fight Ranil-Rajapaksa civilian-military junta
• SLPP leadership is biggest obstacle to form an all-party government
• Sampanthan, Wimal, Champika ready to join all-party govt.
• President tells Wall Street Journal time not right for Gotabaya to return home
• Church defends protest live wire Fr. Jeevantha Peiris against possible arrest
• Hoping the Ranil we knew re-emerges – USAID NPC Perera
• Ranil’s Repression: Return to the ’80s – Jayatilleka
‘Emergency has been declared to smash the student unions, the trade unions, the peasant unions, the fisheries unions, the women’s organizations, i.e., the organized mass movement, to blast open the resistance to ‘stabilization’ and ‘structural adjustment’ programs of neoliberal ‘shock therapy’.’
• Women leaders, women’s voices: the need for substantive representation
• Let the warring parties be urged to hold their horses
• SJB accepts President’s invitation for discussion on political reforms
• NPP will not join all-party govt: AKD
• The President’s new clothes: A tragedy: S. Jayatilleka
• Understanding required system change – Ranil Senanayake
• President must save himself from his cronies who are all out to make up for lost time
• Will give up politics if undue influence inflicted on SJB MPs to join all-party govt: Sajith
• Govt. formed by Ranil-Rajapaksa camp not an all-party arrangement – JVP
• Nobody knew from where the money flowed to finance the ad-hoc activities in GotaGoGama
• We will not allow Ranil to destroy this country – Arjuna Parakrama
• SJB demands an end to State-sponsored terrorism
• Ranil in P’ment deep dives into disaster suffered by SL from disunity
• President unveils comprehensive series of political reforms
• President a key figure responsible for current crisis: AKD
• Intolerance and counterrevolution: Persecuting the Aragalaya spirit – Jayatilleka
• Sri Lanka to hold crucial talks on formation of all-party govt. to combat economic meltdown
• Minority parties extend support to form All Party Govt
• ‘Aragalaya’ to rally in Nugegoda
• Ceylon Chamber urges all MPs to support all-party national government
• Sajith wants to start non-violent people’s movement against govt. excesses
• SJB faces prospect of losing more MPs to the UNP
• Dullas and GL SLPP faction to refuse positions in an all-party Govt
• Discussion between President and SJB ends on a positive note: MP Harsha de Silva
• SJB divide on proposed all-party Govt, Sarath Fonseka its not helpful
• USAID’s National Peace Council says ground realities should correspond to President’s words
• Aragalaya 2.0 from Nugegoda today
• Lankans in Los Angeles stage protest against Govt repression
• NATO, Cold War, JFK assassination, Nixon & Watergate, Operation Gladio & Ukraine War
• Globalism has remolded Western leftists into ultralefts
• White men make up a third of Canada’s population but a majority of MPs — here’s why
• For Canadian campaigns looking to turn support into Parliament seats, not all ‘ethnic communities’ are created equal
• The Forde Report and England’s Labour Right
‘Forde traces the history of the party apparatus, how Labour HQ staff came to be dominated by a self-perpetuating clique of Blairites, and how this resulted in their seeking to subvert Jeremy Corbyn after the latter’s election by the new mass membership franchise.’
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.
• Ranil’s Tale
• Civil society and Western media have also twisted the aragalaya into something it is not
• How The Economist Is The Worst Propaganda
• Rajni Perera, chosen to receive the 2022 MOCA Artist Award
‘Perera is a painter and sculptor known for exploring ideas of systemic power through science fiction imagery. Perera lives and works in Toronto, with roots in Sri Lanka.’
• Firstlight Media platform running on Google Cloud launched an entirely new Tamil service
• Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, the Marxist who explained philosophy by linking it with science
• The PAIGC’s Political Education for Liberation in Guinea-Bissau, 1963–74 (Part 2)
• Polls Show Almost No One Trusts US Media, After Decades of War Propaganda and Lies
• Grand narratives then and now: Can we still conceptualise history? (1998) – Helena Sheehan
• The Birth of Poetry (1937) – Christopher Caudwell
• Poetry: A Heightened Form of Ordinary Speech?…This poetry is not “pure” poetry in any modern sense. We may describe it as a heightened form of ordinary speech, without committing ourselves to this as an adequate definition of poetry. This heightening is shown by a formal structure — metre, rhyme, alliteration, lines of equal syllabic length, regular stress or quantity, assonance — devices that distinguish it from ordinary speech and give it a mysterious, perhaps magical emphasis. There are repetitions, metaphors and antitheses which, because of their formality, we regard as essentially poetic.
• The PR Guru Behind the Pope Who Is Charming the World
‘Under Burke’s tutelage, the Vatican has also gone on the PR offensive: hawking positive news bites instead of waiting to do disaster control’