‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 28 August – 03 September 2022
The current rage is to curse power cuts, politicians, and to spread despair, defeatism. So who will tell our children of the strivings to harness our own sources of energy? Of the luxurious exertions of the import-export merchants in smashing these endeavors? Who will tell of the deadly vandalism of waterways to undermine the solidarities of rural production? The murderous prevention of national pharmaceutical production? Don’t wait for Hemas who once again this week announced a ‘state-of-the-art’ pharmaceutical manufacturing facility. Or Abans Auto ‘manufacturing’ Hyundai automobiles. Or for another report from USAID’s Centre for Policy Alternatives. Theirs are no alternatives. They will not alter. And they are no natives. To them, ain’t no one else in this world but the IMF.
Indeed, flowing into 75 years of 1948 independence, are the sagas of the exiling of Anagarika Dharmapala, the undermining of Devapura Jayasena Wimalasurendra, the murder of Senaka Bibile, the thwarting of Arumadura Nandasena Silva Kulasinghe, and innumerable unnamed others, against the repeated bloody annihilations of generations, the crippling of leaders and the collapsing of an economy to hold us hostage.
All this is part of Sri Lanka’s economic history yet to be written. Just as the USA and their IMF hijack national economic policy for the 17th time. A history to more accurately, center the sabotage of repeated attempts at modern industrialization. And more crucially, the history of preventing the growth of a conscious working class – a proletariat, who can daily undergird a program for the future.
Rock a bye baby on the treetops
When the wind blows
The cradle will rock
When the bow breaks
The cradle will fall
Down will come baby, cradle and all…
This was an early English ‘rock’ song, a lullaby taught to Sri Lanka’s anglomaniac ruling and wannabe classes. The baby here is an independent Sri Lanka, which was early thrown out of the cradle. A more overweight infant middle class was snuck in its place. This baba was taught for ‘free’: Independence meant filling their mouths with English elocution, their eyes with Yankee Hollywood, their bellies with foreign meats and fruits, whiskies and wines, their bodies with woolen suits (plus accompanying AC), and their homes with imported machine modernity.
The cradle is the so-called welfare state, that actually nurtured this ruling and wannabe class of the truly corrupt. The tree is the tree of life that needs sustenance and pruning to keep it strong and growing in the right direction. Yet who supplied ‘the wind that blows’? Sri Lanka instead experienced an infantile Maidan.
• The World We In – We hear daily lectures on financial reserves and human rights, etc. One year after the USA’s ignominious retreat from Afghanistan, stealing that country’s reserves, NATO has moved to threatening nuclear war in Europe, with the US pushing NATO toward the Arctic to supposedly counter Russia and China.
Russia reminded this week, that all these US and allied military exercises are data collection probes. In the East, both the US-occupied colonies of Japan and Korea have decided to shove aside all displays of ‘sustainable’ this-and-that, and focus on the real global-warmer – nuclear power (see ee Industry, Korea). As for the so-called ‘international community’ aka ‘the whites’: After the USA pushed Lithuania to recognize Taiwan, China now refuses to import German or other products that include Lithuanian-made components. That’s foreign policy.
• Going with the Wind: The US and English embassies are working overtime to erase their fingerprints in the recent regime-change fiasco. Those examining the role of the English in the recent ‘Aragalaya’ and ‘regime change’ fiasco, point to long-term planning scenarios – an ‘aragalaya’ long in the making.
ee 02 November 2018, reported, ‘USA posts ‘Ukrainian Experts’ in Colombo Embassy, noting ‘The counterrevolution is mobilizing internationally and the US embassy in Colombo, which has 4 officers posted from the Ukraine, will attempt to destabilize the new Government.’ ee was quoting a Sri Lankan ambassador, while posted in Russia, before he changed his rock tunes.
ee 15 Nov 2018 followed up with ‘English High Commission Appoints Terrorism Expert: An ominous development’ – the English government moved Neil Richard Kavanagh as 1st Secretary (Political) at the English HC, Colombo. His qualifications include making the 2016 New Year Honours List OBE (Ordure of the British Empire). What is more impressive is: he was the Head of Terrorism Response Team, Counter-Terrorism Department, Head of Terrorism Response Team, Foreign and Commonwealth Office. ‘For services protecting British nationals overseas…’ 4 months later, the Easter terrorist attacks took place.
We may have to wait to learn more. Yet their confessions about the past may be to hint at more recent outrages. England’s media strategy on its genocidal wars is to admit to holocausts long past. After all English history officially allows new memories 50 years apart due to its rules about the release of secret cabinet documents. Its ‘confession’ last week, about their role in the 1965 Indonesian genocide (the US & Dutch yet to declare their roles, other than in silly Hollywoodizations – eg, The Year of Living Dangerously) points to what their present efforts at destabilization of countries could well amount to (see ee Focus, Indonesia).
• Privatization is all the Rage. The media is full of the ostensible losses of so-called State-owned Enterprises (SoEs). It’s therefore important to recall the role played by government officials who do not represent the country’s interests, in destroying these national assets. Indeed, selling one’s country to Uncle Sam and their English & EU poodles is financially rewarding. Many government officials and their children are educated in the US and often speak English with a yankee accent.
‘They know where their baguettes are buttered’– ‘Retired’ government officials are eagerly recruited by multinationals and their thinktanks. Though they do not retire their insider information. Former Chief Justice Kanagasabapathy Sripavan (2015-17) was made Chairman of Sri Lanka’s Commercial Bank in December 2020. ComBank is supposedly private, but is controlled by the US World Bank’s International Financial Corporation (IFC). Indeed, such an NGO is actually an AGO – Another Government’s Organization!
Sripavan was also Chairman of the Judicial Services Commission, Chairman of the Incorporated Council of Legal Education, Chairman of the Judges’ Institute, and Chairman of the Superior Court Complex Board of Management!
Sripavan had been a Legal Consultant for the National Savings Bank for 2 years, when he was appointed a Judge of the Court of Appeal in May 2002 (when Ranil Wickremasinghe was PM). He was elevated to the post of President of the Court of Appeal in March 2007. As Head of the Court of Appeal Unit in the Attorney General’s Department, he handled ‘a large volume of work both in the Court of Appeal and in the Supreme Court including Bills and Fundamental Rights Applications. In March 2008 he was elevated to the Supreme Court Bench. His judgements promoting privatization were reported to have caused ‘colossal losses to the State’ especially in regards to the robberies committed by foreign banks, eg England’s Standard Chartered Bank, the USA’s Citibank, Germany’s Deutsche Bank.
Sripavan only ‘stepped down’ from ComBank in February this year. Timely indeed.
Ranjan Ramanayake’s pettier ‘revelations’ notwithstanding, ‘Rule of Law’ and ‘Separation of Powers’ are mere bourgeois smoke and mirrors (with the sword in full view). Meanwhile, ComBank and other local private banks are setting us up for a fall. They are suddenly all claiming losses. Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting the ‘US recession could be banks’ guilty pleasure’:
‘When it comes to the possibility of a recession, some US bank executives are saying the quiet part out loud. Not only would the largest lenders survive even a savage economic downturn, but they may emerge stronger from it.’
• Ooops! Last ee copied the man’s wrong name. The name of the United Nations (UN)’s ‘Human Rights’ man prowling the much-besieged corridors of power (or no power) in Sri Lanka:
‘A team from the UNHRC headed by the Director of the Asia Pacific Division, Rory McGovern, is now in Sri Lanka on a fact-finding mission… to submit a report to the UNHRC on their findings.’ (sundaytimes.lk/220821/columns/mahinda-says-he-would-have-advised-gotabaya-not-to-flee-the-country-492475.html)
His name is not McGovern, but Rory Mungoven. Why did the Sunday Times ‘Political Editor’ get his name wrong, we don’t know? Maybe they underpay subeditors. Or maybe it’s satire: After all, the UN is trying to impose a parallel Over-Government! Ubergovernment! – McGovernance aka McPalanaya.
Who else is on the UNHRC team, is not broadcast – at least, out loud. McGovern or Mungoven, his credentials make him out to be an out-in-plain-sight ‘agent’. (An agent masked in a ‘liberal-leftist’ brand, apparently. Whatever ‘liberal-leftist’ means. It could mean avenging evangelical wielding weapons of mass destruction and distraction).
The ‘Australian’ Rory Mungoven wrote his 1986 Sydney University BA thesis on ‘The victims of Petrov’ – about ‘the Left-Liberals’ netted in a fake Soviet-spy scaremongering campaign by the Australian state and its media in 1954. (Then, too, the exposure of Soviet spies was made to coincide with the 1954 national election, much like the recent sighting of an ‘illegal’ Sri Lankan boat during their May election, to massage their settler passions.)
Ten years after the USA’s World Bank began funding NGOs to undermine the majority of Asian and African governments in the UN, Mungoven surfaces around May 1998. Five NGOS – Quaker UN Office, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Federation Terre de Hommes, Jesuit Refugee Service, and Radda Barnen (Save the Children Sweden) – launched a ‘global effort’ in Geneva to pressure governments (not to stop war, but) to adopt a standard for child soldiers.
In June 1998, the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers (CSUCS), to sanctify uses of persons over 16 for violence, was launched. In May 2000, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution. Rory Mungoven then appears as a CSUCS spokesman coordinator.
In 2002, Mungoven was US Human Rights Watch’s Washington Advocacy Director. In 2004 he already became a senior Human Right advisor attached to the ‘UN country team’ in Sri Lanka.
In 2012, Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, named Navanethem Pillay, then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as an agent of the US and EU. Kunanayakam also highlighted Mungoven’s role: ‘As far back as 2006, the SL Government refused to succumb to pressure from the previous High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, and certain Western powers, to open an OHCHR field office in Sri Lanka. Rory Mungoven was then stationed in Colombo as the UN Human Rights Advisor. A cable sent to the US State Department by the then US Ambassador to SL, Robert Blake, and released by Wikileaks, reports Mungoven as having said, what was essential for Sri Lanka was not technical assistance, but a robust UN monitoring & protection mechanism in the field!’ (dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/7107)
In 2015, Mungoven appears as Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director. In 2018 Mungoven is Liaison Officer of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Myanmar. ee has omitted his other assignments to ‘trouble spots’ around the world, or should we say ‘spots troubled by the English’ – Afghanistan, Nepal, etc.
On 6 March 2022, the Sunday Times noted: ‘The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), senior staffer Rory Mungoven had many rounds of talks with the Cardinal before the High Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka was released. The office also engaged civil society members, media personnel, organisations based in Sri Lanka and those in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) via an internet link.’ (sundaytimes.lk/220306/columns/sacking-of-two-ministers-exposes-division-in-ruling-coalition-475393.html).
On 23 March, Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Pentagon official, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Amanda Dory, Nuland’s Washington deputy for the region, Donald Lu, and US ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung met with President Rajapaksa. A week later, the ‘aragalaya’ began…
In April, Nuland again warned Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka would face sanctions if: ‘Malign influence countries could displace any US agreements being signed. We will mitigate this risk by staying tied in with our allies, friends and partners along with steady engagement across the SL services to ensure the US remains a partner of choice. Congressional scrutiny could limit the amount of funding available to Sri Lanka for Security Cooperation/Security assistance.’ (see ee Sovereignty, Aeroflot)
‘By staying tied in with our allies, friends and partners’? Staying tied? And are these ‘allies et al’, those who were aroused and arrayed in the last few months to vent their vapors?
‘Along with steady engagement across the SL services’ – ‘Steady’? Who exactly are ‘The Sri Lankan services’, ‘across’ whom the US has ‘steady engagement’? The armed forces?
Several months of Aragalaya later, September 2022 finds Mungoven, almost 20 years later, in Sri Lanka again, now as UNHRC Director of the Asia Pacific Division, in Colombo at the same time as the IMF delegation is in town, or rather in the capital, midwifing the introduction of an ‘Interim Budget’.
In July the IMF was given strict public orders on Sri Lanka by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The USFRC handles ‘foreign-policy legislation and debate in the US Senate, oversees and funds foreign aid programs. The Senate Committee tweeted ‘Any IMF agreement with SL must be contingent on the Central Bank of SL’s independence, strong anti-corruption measures & promotion of the rule of law. Without these critical reforms, Sri Lanka could suffer further economic mismanagement & uncontrollable debt.’ (see ee 2 July 2022)
The US SFRC dictat was re-delivered by the IMF team head in Colombo: ‘Sri Lanka’s 2023 Budget needs to be consistent with the economic reforms program and macroeconomic framework under the IMF program’, on Wednesday before they flew away. 2 days later: the Budget is presented. Four days later, former President Gotabhaya Rajapakse returns.
The high priests of finance fly in and fly out and climb to the top of the popular sanctum and echo the cries practiced by choirs for several years, if not for decades now: ‘Remove the power of a state to choose and value its own currency. The USA will give you what you are worth.’ The high priest shrills most high: ‘No money printing! Independent central bank! Sell yo grandmother’s lands and jewels and workers’.
The oft-printed words ‘global’, ‘international’ & ‘independent’ are now the opposite of whatever promise or progress they were meant to offer. ‘Independence’ is a word we hear of now only with regard to preventing the Central Bank from fulfilling its functions to, by and for the people of this country – and depend instead on the dictat of foreign banks, who monopolize the so-called free market.
A1. Reader Comments –
• IMF Out of Line • South Korea Born-Again • Missing Sailors • Moragoda Que • Republic Day! • Adani front for BlackRock • Ranil in the City • ee Brainless? • SLA Catering Fraud • CPC Betrayal
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Libya-Lebanon Here • IMF Game Plan • Julie in the Jungle • Buddhism & Ceylon • JVP Sunil on Commerce • Gobry’s Hubris • US Oil Playpen • Military Games • IMF & Ukraine Land Robbery
A3. Random Notes –
• Economists Double-Talk • Ceylon Tobacco Unrolled • Ranawaka Scientific CEB Tariff • Vijitha on CEB Monopoly • China’s Industrial Strategy • Anglo-US Slave Supply Chains •
B. ee Focus
B1. England’s Slaughter in Indonesia: A secret propaganda war
B2. Privatization – Sugath Kulatunga
B3. Scant Budget References to Modern Industry
B4. US Refuses to Quit Indian Ocean Nuclear Base
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news sent, or your comments, and place any e-link at the end. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Re: “Stepping up structural reforms to address corruption vulnerabilities” Is it normal for the IMF to talk about corruption like this? There are references to it in the Article IV report also. It’s not part of their mandate, right? Here we go, ‘Independent Commissions’ . Basically put the country under unelected officials. End of democracy. It’s not normal. Because corruption is not a technical matter’
• ‘Re: South Korea, the religious composition of the country has changed dramatically from 25 years ago. I don’t know whether that has an influence on politics.’
• ‘Re: 100 SL Navy sailors in Hawaii, Is ee serious? That is ridiculous!!! They’re making up stories about sailors going missing…?’
• ‘Re: Moragoda’s India-SL Maritime Framework. Why do we need such a framework at all? Who is Moragoda working for?’
• ‘What we truly need to celebrate is Republic Day! So proud we wrote our own constitution! Not even India has attempted it! Does ee know the Indian constitution imparts constitutional supremacy?’
• ‘Isn’t Adani just a front for BlackRock? So why is it trying to control India’s heavy industry?’ I recall ee linking WB-linked International Financial Corporation to the Adani-owned Kerala port of Vizhinam, built to compete with Colombo Port. The IFC was Vizhinam’s principal consultant, and its market study & project options report were prepared by English shipping consultants Drewry (linked to P&O).’
• ‘Re: Perp Walks – Ranil putting his people into port city commission? And China has nothing to say to this? Ranil’s people are the US’s people!’
• ‘Mona huittaka da me tharam liyanne….kauda pako move kiyawanna….thota mole nadda???’
• ‘I saw Sri Lankan Airlines Catering flyers at Glomark. I immediately suspected privatization. They only ever try to make things work when they want to sell it. SLA Catering is the most-profitable division. This makes it clear that the objective is plain old privatization, and not ‘restructuring loss-making SoEs’’
• ‘Handing over petrol sheds? What is wrong with the SLPP?! How hard it was to nationalize Ceypetco in the ’60s. We went thru US sanctions for that. And now we’re just gonna give it all away on a platter? The story of how nationalization has been undermined, is yet to be written.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘If Ranil+225 do not act wisely, Libyan/Lebanon-type anarchy is in store for the country.’ – ee Sovereignty, Balkanization
• ‘Restoring price stability through data-driven monetary policy action, fiscal consolidation, phasing out monetary financing, and stronger central bank autonomy that allow pursuing a flexible inflation targeting regime. A new Central Bank Act is a cornerstone of this strategy’ – twitter.com/IMFNews/status/1565203703501668353
• ‘The subversion often takes place in broad daylight. Prior to the storming of the Presidential residence in early July, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka – Julie Chung – met with opposition leaders and various organisations involved in the protests. She tweeted that it was “great to chat with Sri Lankan digital creators about fighting disinformation (!) & promoting truthful reporting (!!)”. On June 29, Chung met with the opposition Samaji Jana Balawegaya to “hear their perspectives…on promoting transparency and good governance.” On July 5, Chung met with representatives of the Ministry of Justice of Sri Lanka. On July 7, Chung met with journalists to express “US support for Sri Lanka’s efforts to address the economic crisis” and the alleged US “unwavering commitment to free speech” (!). Later that day the US Ambassador met graduates from the US funded International Military Education and Training Programme, where she expressed support for “efforts to ensure the military remains accountable to the people and upholds the country’s democratic ideas.” (!!!) It is not difficult to see what is going on.’ – see ee Sovereignty, US Backed Colour
• ‘The Buddhists wish – and quite rightly – since in this country where they form 70% of the population, Buddhism should be recognized as the predominant religion of the people. In the rest of the world, Ceylon is regarded as essentially a Buddhist country, and they want this claim established here as well… They will not be content to remain in the position of inferiority to which they have been reduced by 450 years of foreign occupation…– Gunapala Malalasekera, ACBC President, Times of Ceylon, 15 Jan 1956
• ‘The Government should make policies. The Government does not have a role to engage in commercial ventures.’ – Sunil Handunneththi, JVP, quoted in Full Interim Budget Speech 2022 by President Ranil Wickremesinghe
• ‘He was not only a man in a hurry but relished the sheer headiness of it, goaded in no small measure by his acolytes in the West who were only too well aware of his susceptibility to flattery and were determined to breach the citadel that Joseph Stalin built. The country paid heavily for Gorbachev’s ‘hubris’.’ – indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/death-of-mikhail-gorbachev-8123602/
• ‘US oil diplomacy aims to control the world’s oil trade so that its enormous profits will accrue to the major US oil companies… The aim of… sanctions is to keep the world oil trade firmly under US control, because oil is energy, and energy is the key to productivity and real GDP.’ – ee Sovereignty, Hudson
• ‘Russia’s security tsar, Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of the country’s security council and a longstanding colleague of President Putin, alluded to the dangers ahead when he recently cautioned the SCO member countries against participating in military exercises in the Central Asian region with the US. Patrushev said, ‘I would like to reiterate to our partners that, above all, the Americans need such events in order to study the potential theatre of military operations, specify the positions of potential targets and adjust digital maps for high-precision weapons. I really hope that all the SCO member states by now realise the extremely high risks that these US initiatives present for our security.’ – ee Sovereignty, Taliban
• ‘Well aware of the threat of dispossession, the Ukrainian government imposed a moratorium on land sales to foreigners 20 years ago. For years thereafter, the US Department of State, the IMF and the World Bank repeatedly called for this restriction to be removed.’ (see ee Politics, Ukraine’s Tale)
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’) _
• ‘At the end of July, an economic adviser working for Bank of America wrote a memo that got leaked. It made bluntly explicit the long-standing common knowledge among savvy investment advisers: those ‘economic policies’ debated among politicians, economists and dutiful mass media operate at 2 different levels. On the public level, debaters discuss what ‘we’ need to do to fix ‘our economy’s problems.’ It reeks of that ‘we are all in this together’ language that reminds us of commercial greeting card poetry. On the other, private level, insiders discuss how the government should respond to economic problems in ways that boost employers’ profits even if at employees’ or the public’s expense. Insiders express their preferred solutions in that nicely neutered term: ‘policies’.’ – ee Economists, Behind ‘Economic Policy’ Façade, It’s Class War
• Cigarette prices increased due to VAT – was one budget-related headline this week. Buried underneath this is the story never told of Ceylon Tobacco Co, owned by British American Tobacco (BAT, huge English MNC) making mega profits in Sri Lanka. With a huge sales distribution network that operated without blinking throughout the pandemic, fuel shortages and power cuts, CTC-BAT’s story is of not investing 1 cent in the production and repair of the industrial machinery they use within the country. Yet at the same time CTC-BAT shrugs off their criminal connivance in a huge public health scandal, pushing their still-carcinogenic products, with costs shouldered by a state and its health services they also wish to diminish.
• SJB’s Patali Champika Ranawaka on Electricity Hikes: ‘The reduced powercuts are not the result of good Government management but rather the reduced demand for power. ‘The demand has dropped by 20%. The economy has also collapsed as a result. There is a clear correlation between the supply of electricity and the development of the economy.’
According to him, this is in no way good news, as the economy seeking to revive will also lead to an increased demand for electricity and might lead to a crisis situation once more.
Ranawaka said a scientific tariff revision should ideally take place every 6 months. ‘I proposed this while in the Cabinet but it was not put into action. This is why the CEB is now facing massive debts’ – Ranawaka also pointed out, the principles of social justice must be followed.
‘There are 3.1 million users who take up less than 60 units a month. They are not a burden to the CEB as they only use 6% of the power generated. Their needs can be covered with cheaper hydropower. Therefore, imposing such a hike on them is a severe injustice.’ he said.
• National People’s Power MP Vijitha Herath said the people are being burdened by the results of mismanagement by politicians & officials lasting for years. He said the CEB did not suffer losses due to overstaffing as claimed.
‘If there’s overstaffing that’s also the fault of politicians since 1969 who hired staff. If there’s an electricity mafia today, politicians should also be blamed for that, as they made the policy decision to make private power purchases. No one has worked according to the National Generation Plan and they have instead gone for emergency power purchasing continuously allowing for a private sector monopoly in the industry. The people have been made the scapegoats now but those responsible are going scot free.’ (ft.lk/news/Opposition-proposes)
• ‘China did not follow the World Bank’s policy of steering governments to borrow in dollars to hire US engineering firms to provide export infrastructure. It industrialized in much the same way that the US and Germany did in the late 19th century: By heavy public investment in infrastructure to provide basic needs at subsidized prices or freely, from healthcare & education to transportation & communications, in order to minimize the cost of living that employers and exporters had to pay. Most important, China avoided foreign debt service by creating its own money and keeping the most important production facilities in its own hands… The success of China’s industrial policy with a mixed economy and state control of the monetary & credit system has led US strategists to fear that Western European and Asian economies may find their advantage to lie in integrating more closely with China and Russia. – see ee Sovereignty, Hudson
• The whites seek to prevent industrialization in Sri Lanka at all costs. Citing environmental protection, they place as many barriers as possible. Take this week’s headline on garment fraud: JAAF pledges support for technology-intensive solutions to build resilience in supply chain disruptions. JAAF = Joint Apparel Association Forum. The story claims, England-based startup Kavida has ‘collaborated with the American Chamber of Commerce in SL to launch ‘Resilient Sri Lanka’, a new industry forum aimed at facilitating supply chain resilience in the manufacturing sector. JAAF claims, ‘a framework to ensure compliance with global trade legislation placing a greater onus on the supplier to prove they have robust systems & risk analysis mechanisms in place and have done their due diligence’.
B. Special Focus_
B1. England’s Slaughter in Indonesia: a secret propaganda war
In early 1965, a specialist from the Foreign Office’s cold war propaganda arm, the Information Research Department (IRD), Ed Wynne landed in colonial Singapore.
Wynne and his colleagues were to launch ‘one of the most successful propaganda operations in postwar English history. To overthrow the leader of the world’s 4th-most populous country and incite the mass murder of more than half a million of its citizens. The CIA later described it as ‘one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century’.
Pamphlets purporting to be written by ‘Indonesian patriots’, were in fact written by English propagandists, calling on Indonesians to eliminate the PKI, then the biggest communist party in the non-communist world. They then set up a military dictatorship that lasted 32 years.
In 1963, England had carved the separate state of Malaysia out of Indonesia.
The communist party of Indonesia (PKI) had 3 million members and was close to China. In mid-1965, sections of the army accused a ‘30 September movement’ of an attempted coup, which was made a ‘pretext for mass murder’.
The IRD had been set up by the 1945 Labour government, and was closely linked to MI6, conducting CIA-type cold war propaganda operations. The South East Asia Monitoring Unit (SEAMU) was set up, escalating tactical ‘psywar measures’ against Indonesian troops. SEAMU conducted ‘black propaganda’, apparently produced by patriotic and anti-communist Indonesian émigrés abroad. Their propaganda newsletter included ‘as many personages in the hierarchy of government, army and civil service as we can find’.
To disguise the English origin of the newsletter it was sent into Indonesia via Asian cities including Hong Kong, Tokyo, Manila. Within a year 28,000 copies of the newsletter, written in Indonesian and called Kenjataan2 (Facts 2), were sent to the minister of defence, ‘other generals, newspapers on the right side and even President Sukarno himself’. One Foreign Office official commented: ‘A premature PKI coup may be the most helpful solution for the west – provided the coup failed.’
The unit sprang into action with radio broadcasts and the production of a special issue of the newsletter. It starts with a nod towards moderation, but is a virulent call to arms designed to inflame and encourage the destruction of the PKI.
‘No, we do not cry out for violence,’ the IRD propagandists wrote, ‘but we demand in the name of all patriotic people that this communist cancer be cut out of the body of the state.’ The PKI ‘is now a wounded snake’, they wrote: ‘Now is the time to kill it before it has a chance to recover.’
The IRD’s incendiary newsletter was sent at the key moment, as the success of Suharto’s bid for power and the army’s operations against the PKI hung in the balance.
The mass killings of PKI party members and alleged supporters were triggered by local army commanders or the arrival of army special forces, about 3 weeks after the botched coup had been put down by Suharto.
During that period the media in Indonesia was full of ‘black propaganda’ against the PKI and its alleged atrocities, whipping up popular anger against communists and legitimizing ‘already-planned moves against the PKI and President Sukarno’. The ‘special issue’ and other inflammatory newsletters in the series were sent to about 1,500 recipients. A SEAMU report notes intelligence that readers ‘were influenced in the required direction’.
The newsletters were approved by IRD in London before dispatch. Copies sent to senior Foreign Office officials were destroyed after reading at IRD’s request. As the massacres progressed in the autumn of 1965, IRD’s unit in Singapore reassured their readers as to the necessity of the slaughter.
In Newsletter 21: ‘Unless we maintain a vigorous campaign to eradicate communism… the red menace will envelop us again… We are fighting for our lives and the very existence of Indonesia and we must never forget that. The cats are waiting to pounce!’
In Newsletter 23 the IRD propagandists praised ‘the fighting services and the police’ for ‘doing an excellent job’. Sukarno, then trying to restrain the generals, was wrong: ‘Communism must be abolished in all its forms. The work started by the army must be carried on and intensified.’ The authors finished by equating the PKI to Hitler and Genghis Khan.
The English ambassador to Indonesia, Andrew Gilchrist, to escalate the propaganda effort, asked for one of the Foreign Office’s leading propagandists, Norman Reddaway to be sent as ‘coordinator of political warfare’ against Indonesia with the support of the chief of the defence staff, Louis Mountbatten.
Reddaway’s brief was simple. In an interview in 1996 he said he’d been given a budget of £100,000 by the Foreign Office and was told ‘to do anything I could do to get rid of Sukarno’. Only now do we know what ‘anything’ fully meant.
A secret assessment of IRD operations by Reddaway, written to the head of IRD in July 1966, after Sukarno was effectively removed from power, is in England’s National Archives. Reddaway claimed that his unattributable briefings to the press were effective in moving global opinion and the propaganda operation was a great success. ‘The news machine was our bludgeon: the newsletter and our unorthodox operations our stiletto,’ he said.
In another released document he reported, IRD and the generals were ‘singing in harmony’.
Former Foreign Office official Derek Tonkin, who was the London desk officer for Indonesia 1963-66, said last month he had not seen the propaganda newsletters as he was too junior, but that in those early days after the 30 Sept attempted coup, no one could possibly have foreseen what a bloodbath would ensue.
But, he admits, ‘it might not be easy to escape the charge that England initially helped in some small measure to instigate the demise of the PKI in what was to be a very ghastly manner’.
As for Reddaway, according to Tonkin, ‘he was a bit of a loose cannon and like many propagandists was perhaps overcommitted to his mandate’. Reddaway and his team were ‘rather a law unto themselves, but the FO knew that he would be when they appointed him’.
In the 1996 interviews Reddaway boasted of manipulating the English and other global media to take an anti- Sukarno and PKI line, but insisted IRD only passed on true facts and did not use ‘black propaganda’.
As ever with IRD, Reddaway told us a partial truth. According to a memo he had written: ‘The bludgeon was surprisingly effective because we were able… to supply publicists with information which they could not find from other sources because of Sukarno’s censorship.’
Reddaway identified the most useful recipients of his output as the news agencies, ‘less choosy about their fare and they are more anonymous’, and radio men: the BBC’s World Service and Indonesian Service in particular. One of Reddaway’s main sources was, naturally, the English ambassador in Jakarta, Gilchrist, with whom he exchanged a weekly update throughout the period. In July 1966, in one letter to Gilchrist, Reddaway celebrated that it was ‘the first time in history that an ambassador had been able to address the people of his country of work almost at will and virtually instantaneously’.
To feed the operation Reddaway was also drawing upon signals intelligence, or Sigint. He was in an excellent position to do so. Singapore was the location of a GCHQ monitoring site, RAF Chia Keng, hidden within a larger RAF communications station in eastern Singapore. GCHQ’s high-security listening ‘bungalows’ had opaque glass brick windows that hid about 50 civilian staff on each shift. The base was perfectly located quickly to get full and direct reports about developments in Indonesia. According to Campbell, ‘GCHQ could break and read Indonesian codes without difficulty. The government was among many third world countries using equipment supplied by Swiss-based company Crypto AG. For over 50 years Crypto AG supplied secretly sabotaged cypher machines, with built-in backdoors to which the CIA and GCHQ had keys.’
A revealing memorandum, dated 30 October 1965, from Reddaway to Brian Tovey, later director of GCHQ, then on posting to Singapore, highlighted the contribution which Sigint could make. Reddaway told his colleague the GCHQ material can ‘help the generals to persecute the PKI more effectively’.
The newsletters remained the core work of Ed Wynne and his colleagues in Winchester Road. A key theme was to encourage their influential readers to support the army’s campaign against the communists. They urged Indonesian patriots: ‘The PKI and all it stands for must be eliminated for all time.’
We now know, to do that they included sensationalized lies. On 5 November the pro-military Jakarta Daily Mail claimed, on the day of the Untung coup 100 women from PKI’s Gerwani women’s organization had tortured one of the generals using razor blades and knives to slash his genitals before he was shot.
The story of the torture and mutilation of the generals by the Gerwani women became part of the founding myth of Suharto’s regime, used to justify the destruction of the PKI. It was also a pretext for murder. A lie propagated by the Indonesian army, regurgitated and repurposed to incite IRD’s influential readers.
The army’s propaganda story was recycled back into Indonesia in January 1966 in Newsletter 23 with a report on allegations made by 2 PKI members interrogated by the army. One linked Sukarno’s foreign minister Subandrio to the construction of a ‘torture room’ for the use of PKI prisoners; the other, referencing Jakarta Daily Mail: a member of PKI’s Gerwani women’s organisation, ‘one of those ‘honoured’ with the task of mutilating the generals’.
‘These newsletters are horrendous. If you hadn’t told me who had written them I would have thought it was Indonesians. It is quite unbelievable that they did this. There were Gerwani women in my mother’s social circle and they were like members of the Women’s Institute. Very gentle.’
The IRD was deliberately silent on the massacres. One document from December 1965 says they should ‘do nothing to embarrass the generals’ and the newsletter carefully itemises accounts of isolated incidents of PKI brutality but makes no explicit mention of the army’s killings.
In fact the policy went further. In SEAMU’s report for 1965 Wynne wrote they’d used the newsletter for ‘continued attacks on the guilty men… and indirect support for the cleanup and control by the generals’. The generals, Wynne noted, ‘we treat gently’.
By early 1966 the mass murders in Indonesia, if not their scale, were well known. In January Robert F Kennedy compared the massacres to ‘inhuman slaughters perpetrated by the Nazis and the communists’ and asked when people would ‘speak out… against the inhuman slaughter in Indonesia, where over 100,000 alleged communists have not been perpetrators, but victims?’
By February, dismissing the idea of ‘advertising the blood-bath’ as reducing the chances of ‘getting a new management in Indonesia’, Reddaway observed, ‘I am delighted that a good number of communists have been disposed of, but their killers are predominantly military and Muslim.’
By March 1966 the murderous campaign against the PKI that resulted in more than half a million deaths was largely over. On 11 March President Sukarno was forced to hand over power to Gen Suharto, the end was in sight.
On 14 March Reddaway wrote to Gilchrist: ‘I cannot see how in the short term things could have gone any better during the last 10 days. I know the Indonesians under their new management are not going to be easy bedfellows, but I cannot avoid a little (unattributable) Te Deum over the change in the situation between 29 Sept & 12 March.’
Wynne regarded the operation as a success. In his 1966 annual report he proudly says his operation was ‘fairly successful’ because all his enemies (Konfrontasi, Sukarno, Subandrio, the PKI) were ‘destroyed’. His memory of these tragic events was one of ‘excitements’.
According to Prof Scott Lucas of the University of Birmingham, the declassified documents show: ‘England was prepared to engage in dirty deeds which ran contrary to its purported values.’ They reveal, he says, ‘how important black propaganda was to give the illusion that England could wield global power – even if many people might be killed for that illusion’. (theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/17/slaughter-in-indonesia-britains-secret-propaganda-war)
• The mention of England’s IRD (Information Research Department) recalls that the founding works in the tradition of demonizing Stalin are by Robert Conquest, England’s erstwhile IRD intelligence agent and employee.
The complicity between ‘international’ conservatives, liberals and socialists was enhanced by the highly dubious work of Robert Conquest, the conservative anti-communist operative who worked for the Information Research Department (and who derived much of his ‘data’ from the time with this anti-communist propaganda unit). The IRD churned out anti-communist propaganda. Conquest’s dubious ‘historical’ methods were based on émigré hearsay. Using émigré word-of-mouth lines he constructed accounts of ‘ethnic cleansing’ and the Ukrainian ‘holocaust’ (or Holodomor), apart from co-writing a curious work called What to Do When the Russians Come: A Survivors Handbook (Conquest and White 1984).
B2. Privatization – Sugath Kulatunga
The Government has already met a few of the anticipated IMF conditionalities. The Sri Lankan Rupee has been devalued, subsidies reduced in essential services like electricity and water, cost-reflective pricing, imposed and interest rates increased. The next thing the IMF will insist is privatization of State-owned Enterprises (SoEs). We now hear the baying of the wolf pack of many politicians and economic pundits urging the government to get on the job and privatize SoEs, to make them efficient and profitable and ease the burden of losses to the state. The majority think that a wave of the magic wand of privatization will turn the white elephants to cash cows.
Historically in Sri Lanka, SoEs have actually made significant contributions to industrial development, employment creation and essential-services provision. Before 1977 many SoEs came into existence out of a nationalization wave born out of compulsions of state control or to fill gaps in the production of essential goods or services. Other than corporations established under specific Acts, SoEs were formed under the Government Sponsored Corporations Act No19 of 1955 and the State Industrial Corporations Act No49 of 1957. As of now it is estimated that Sri Lanka has 527 SoEs.
Economic analysts presently take a more-balanced view of the effectiveness of privatization. Few dispute the positive results of privatization of firms operating in competitive, or potentially competitive, markets, but experience has yielded a deeper understanding of the complexities of implementing such policies, especially in infrastructure sectors such as electricity, railways, or water and sewerage, and particularly in lower-income, less-developed economies. There is greater recognition that privatization needs to take place in a supportive institutional and policy framework if it is to live up to its potential; and there is better realization of the socio-political challenges that inevitably accompany this always contentious activity. (papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?)
Privatization should not lead to monopolies, and if it leads beyond the private sector’s institutional and professional capacity it will be counterproductive.
If some of the many SoEs that do not make an elemental contribution to the economy, or provide an essential service, a selective and judicious privatization is justified. But when one looks at the past privatization episodes in Sri Lanka, one shudder to think of the consequences. Privatization became a fetish during the JR regime on political grounds, and more as an opportunity to enrich themselves and their henchman. A reputed economist and the head of the Institute of Policy Studies, Saman Kelegama in 2001 cites a case where in Sri Lanka an SoE valued at US$100million was sold at only US$7mn on the grounds that the government only wanted to get the privatization policy itself moving.’
In many episodes the buyer of SoEs did not continue operating the enterprise but sold the machinery for scrap, like in the case of Kantale Sugar. A similar tragedy happened with the CTB (Ceylon Transport Board) Werehara workshop which was considered one of South Asia’s best-equipped and efficient workshops. One cannot recall a single privatized SoE during this period operating more efficiently and profitably. Most now no longer exist.
During the regime of Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaratunga (CBK), selling of the ‘family silver’ in the way of selling off SoEs was an easy way to balance the budget. Fortunately, the Supreme Court found that some of those deals in the sale of valuable national assets were illegal and restored them back to the State. In addition, CBK was fined and her accomplice, the Secretary of Finance was banned from the public service. The bigger crime of the pair was the selling back to Prima Flour Mill for a pittance, an asset that was to be handed over to Sri Lanka on the terms of the BOT agreement. As a result, the country has since lost its grip on food security.
It cannot be denied that behind the economic rationale of privatization is a lurking ideological political obsession which prevents these advocates from examining the issue in depth and considering alternate strategies. Firstly, it must be accepted that it is not the ownership but the management of an institution which is of paramount importance for its success. Secondly, all SoEs cannot be put into one basket. Some deal with the ‘commanding heights’ of the economy and are of strategic importance, while some are purely commercial and others non-commercial. It is also important to learn from the lessons of Sri Lanka’s past experience as well as the knowledge of international insights on privatization.
Even after several episodes of privatization it is reported that Sri Lanka’s now 527 state-owned enterprises could be categorized under: 55 Strategic SoEs, 287 SoEs with commercial interests, and 185 SoEs with non-commercial interests (Advocata).
The typical criticism of SoEs is that they are not profitable as they are not free to determine the price of their products or services. While it is important to maintain a cost-reflective pricing mechanism in SoEs, it has to be conceded that SoEs have to strike a fine balance between helping the Government achieve its socioeconomic objectives while ensuring the enterprise’s financial viability. This challenge stems from the engagement of SoEs in the provisioning of essential products and services, which are sometimes not commercially viable; for instance, the provision of public transport to rural communities or electricity in geographically challenging areas such as in mountainous regions (CBSL).
Without rushing into a frenzied bout of privatization, it would first be useful to learn from the experience of privatization in Sri Lanka and abroad. Before resorting to surgery, it is essential to diagnose the malady. The problems of SoEs arise from 3 sources ie, political interference, poor systems, and bad management. Political interference can be curtailed by laws, made by Ministers to issue instruction only on policy, and that too in writing through the ministry secretary who is the chief accounting officer. All other interventions should be considered as illegal. Political interference occurs mainly in recruitment where Ministers insist on their list of candidates. It would be necessary to introduce an institution parallel to the Public Service Commission, vested with similar powers and functions. Even Provincial Councils have their independent Public Service Commissions.
With regard to systems, we need not invent new systems when we have a functional system in our public service, tested over at least 74 years since independence. The public service’s Financial Regulations (FRs) & Establishment Code was updated only on rare occasions when necessary. The Export Development Board at its first Board Meeting decided that the EDB will follow the Financial & Establishment rules of the government, and any necessary deviations would be dealt with by the Board. The EDB deals with significant amount of funds in grants and financial assistance schemes, and has had no necessary deviations and no audit queries. The critics of government rules are those who neglect forward planning, or create emergencies with dishonest intentions. Deviations from FRs are allowed when reasons are adduced justifying the need for such deviation. In government departments even with ‘profit and loss’ accounts, annual accounts are finalized unfailingly on the 31st of December. But in the case of SoEs most of them do not even submit their accounts for several years.
Efficient management is the key to success of any enterprise in the public sector or in the private sector. A good management can set up a new organization and introduce an untested system effectively. A good example is the CTB, where with nationalization a brand-new system had to be set up to operate a massive islandwide organization. This was accomplished by a handful of administrators seconded from the civil service. Until the CTB became the employment exchange of politicians it was run efficiently providing an essential service and making profit. In fact, in 1964 the CTB paid a significant dividend to the Treasury.
Before privatization of a SoE it would be useful to examine the original objectives of establishing the particular entity: eg, the Cooperative Wholesale Establishment was for wholesale trade and to serve the cooperative sector. Now the CWE (Sathosa) focuses on retail trade. The CWE must compete with the import-trade mafia controlling the price of major commodities like sugar. The State Trading Company (STC) was mainly to deal with restricted imports. The STC could become a center for information on import trade serving the private sector. There are small SoEs which could be merged. Others which only act as middlemen or conduits could be eliminated.
Counting a chair and a managing director for each SoE, the 527 SoEs would consist of over 11,000 personnel. At present these individuals are picked on an adhoc basis where political loyalty becomes the dominant criterion. Most of these henchmen have no long-term interest in the success of the enterprise and would only be keen to please the Minister and stoop to corrupt practices.
With over 550 SoEs there would be a need for a special cadre of around 1,000 top managers to run these entities. This number exceeds the cadre in SLAS (Administrative Service) Special Class and Class 1, presently around 700. This cadre should be professionals seconded from the management cadres of the public service or selected out of present holders in SoEs. Both officers on secondment and in-service personal should be absorbed through examination and interview by the proposed SoE Service Commission. SoE service may be structured in 2 or 3 grades. All holders of SoE posts should be given high-level training in business management. Their salaries should not exceed the salaries of the parallel SLAS grades but they should be entitled to profit sharing. The posting of individuals into specific posts should be based on the needs of the job description of each post.
The feasibility of a forming a holding company for the, say, 10 most strategic State-owned Enterprises, on the model of Temasek of Singapore and SASAC of China, should be considered. This should have the independence of business policy and operations similar to what is already enjoyed by the Port City.
Privatization decisions are of national importance and should be done carefully. All such decisions must be approved by the parliament to avoid CBK type scams. (lankaweb.com/news/items/2022/08/28/privatization)
B2. Scant Budget References to Modern Industry
• President proposes to issue 20% stake of state-owned banks, such as Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank, to employees and depositors.
• 61,000 low-income families will be given an allowance of Rs10,000 per month for a period of 4 months.
• Program to ensure food security will be launched together with the UN and other international organizations, says the President.
• Rs40billion allocated under US aid for agricultural requirements of the Maha season
• ‘There is no proper program in the budget to create a productive economy to recover from the current economic crisis. Also, as a remedy for the foreign exchange crisis, there is no mention in the budget of extremely important measures to overcome the crisis, such as developing the service economy by using the advantage of Sri Lanka’s location, the Exclusive Economic Zone (Exclusive Economic Zone) and obtaining foreign assistance to extract the resources of the Continental Shelf. There is also no proposal in the budget to increase the direct tax contribution of the state revenue’. – MP U Gammanpila
• The Interim Budget, so loved by all capitalist media, has very scant references to industry, let alone modern industry. So all Presidential claims to eliminating ‘debt’ remain just that, mere claims:
“9. Non-Tax Revenue – 9.1 Measures will be taken to enhance non-tax revenue, including royalties received for government assets. I also propose to take actions to attract foreign investors and/or technology holders to establish joint ventures with Sri Lankan partners for industrial investments with advanced technologies to ensure better utilization of our mineral resources and increase value addition without jeopardizing the interests of the national economy and the sustainable use of resources.
19.5 The recent increase in the kerosene prices has created difficulties for the owners of small boats which are used for fishing industry and for those in the plantation areas that have no electricity services. I will provide a subsidy for these areas.
22. Research & Development – • Improving R&D is important to improve Sri Lanka’s global competitive ranking in order to be successful. • I propose Rs100million to establish a mechanism to promote R&D and commercialize the same, particularly with the startup culture, with the assistance of local universities and technological institutes.
Promotion of local packaging products – • There is a need to reduce wastage of agricultural produce by way of improving the marketing and storage time. Therefore, food packaging industries using local raw materials should also be promoted to preservation and marketing of agricultural produce. • Accordingly, 50% import duty concession is offered on import of advanced new technology equipment/accessories for food packaging. Apart from this, the Palmyra Development Board, National Design Center and Export Development Board should jointly introduce new packaging programs and contribute to the promotion of the export market through innovative packaging. • I propose to allocate Rs250 million to implement this proposal.
24. Promotion of tourism industry: Microscale self-employment – Vocational Training Centre
28.2 Accordingly, work is being done to provide formal training in food & beverage preparation, fish drying and vegetable dehydrating, sewing knitting, beeralu weaving, brass industry, Black Smithing as livelihoods around the training center, online self-employments based on the Gig economy and other life occupations. After the training, certificates also being provided.
32. Manufacture of e-bicycles – Manufacturing of electric bicycles should be encouraged as a local industry with a view to reducing fossil fuel consumption. • Therefore, tax concessions will be provided for imported accessories/parts required in the manufacture of electric bicycles locally with more than 50% value addition.”
B3. US Refuses to Quit Indian Ocean (IOR) Nuclear Base
‘In contrast to the expansive US military presence in East Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the only substantial US military presence in South Asia and the IOR is the US Navy Support Facility on the English-controlled atoll of Diego Garcia in the southern Indian Ocean. The US military is currently operating on a lease from England that expires in 2036. (The original 50-year lease the US signed in 1966 was extended for 20 years in 2016)
The facility’s mission is to ‘provide critical support to US and allied forces forward deployed to the Indian Ocean, while supporting multi-theater forces operating in the CENTCOM, AFRICOM, EUCOM, and [INDO]PACOM areas of responsibilities in support of overseas contingency operations.’ (US Department of Defense, ‘Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia In-depth Overview,’ //installations.militaryonesource.mil/in-depth-overview/navy-support-facility-diego-garcia, accessed July 28, 2022)
The US maintains several thousand soldiers on the island (English military personnel rotate through the ‘joint facility’) and an unknown number of platforms on the island, which was used as a staging ground during US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Critically, Diego Garcia has hosted nuclear-capable US bombers, tenders and support ships for US nuclear submarines, and a wharf and facilities suitable for an aircraft carrier.
Arguably the greatest threat to US access at Diego Garcia is the intensifying dispute over sovereignty of the islands. In 1965 England granted former colony Mauritius independence but retained control of the Chagos archipelago, including Diego Garcia, paying 3 million pounds to Mauritius for this new ‘British Indian Ocean Territory.’ In recent years Mauritius has escalated its attempts to reclaim sovereignty of the atoll from England, winning favorable opinions at the International Court of Justice, an International Tribunal for the Law of the Seas, and in votes at the UN General Assembly.
Mauritian officials suggest they have no intention of evicting the US should their sovereignty over Diego Garcia be recognized, even offering to lease the island base back to the US for 99 years. Some US officials are nevertheless concerned that Mauritian sovereignty could complicate US operations there, given the country’s opposition to the presence of nuclear weapons and the potential application of numerous international conventions and treaties that could impose constraints on US operations and activities there. The US would also likely face increased lease-rent payments. (Chirayu Thakkar, ‘Overcoming the Diego Garcia Stalemate’, War on the Rocks, warontherocks.com/2021/07/overcoming-the-diego-garcia-stalemate)
Publicly, Indian officials have cautiously supported Mauritius’ sovereignty claims, though privately many prefer to see the US retain some presence in the Indian Ocean to balance the growing presence of the Chinese navy there. The US government should pursue creative solutions to the problem, including potential arrangements in which the UK and Mauritius adopt a ‘co-management’ arrangement without prejudicing their respective sovereignty claims. Any arrangement, however, should avoid compromising the US military’s access to the atoll.
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.
• Sri Lanka’s Arrest of Aeroflot Plane was the Straw that Broke President Rajapaksa’s Back
‘In Moscow the Russians interpreted Wickremesinghe and Rajapaksa to be making a public show of asking for Russian help in order to persuade Washington to rescue them instead.’
• Sri Lanka: US Backed Colour Revolution in Colombo
‘“Colour revolutions”, of course, are not genuine revolutions at all, and benefit only the corporate elite behind them. US imperialism is not in the habit of backing any variety of genuinely progressive politics but is well practiced in clandestine regime change operations under a façade of “good governance”. Colombo is only the latest target.’
• Welcome Gotabaya – Nalin de Silva
• Pohottu as USA Proxy Part 8Ld
‘ragging was master minded by the Student Union, which in turn was led by the Inter University Federation of Students (IUFS).’
• Call for separate state attributed to US Ambassador fake
• Had the Catholic Church A Secret Agenda Against Other Religions during The Aragalaya?
• Sumanthiran bugged by Ranil signing in Sinhala
• Assets of Sri Lankans with LTTE links seized in India over money laundering charges
• PTA unconstitutional, says TNA
• Lease the Northern and Eastern Provinces to Tamil Nadu – David
• Developing cultural and historical ties between India and SL through the “Murugan Trail”
• Navy seizes Indian poaching trawler in Lanka’s waters
• Balkanization of Sri Lanka & Victor Ivan’s Plan (Part 2)
• 13-A is Sri Lanka’s death trap
• All-party govt. essential to defeat Intl. agendas: UNP
‘Mini budget will not focus on construction of roads or buildings bur will only focus on tax reforms’
• Why are India & China fighting over a colonial created artificial border line? – Waduge
‘Has it occurred to India, that the West’s use of the Church, LTTE Diaspora, UNHRC and the ‘Tamil minority’ card is a stepping towards this ultimate goal? The West has not minced its options about balkanizing India as it did to the Soviet Union & Yugoslavia.’
• Russian company steps forward to supply coal for Norochcholai
• Sweden lifts travel advisory on Sri Lanka
• Pierre Poilievre MP, Canadian Conservative Party Leadership Candidate
• Three-member committee appointed to look into Tamil Diaspora’s concerns
• Speaker unveils portrait of Sir D.B. Jayatilaka at High Commission of Sri Lanka in New Delhi
‘Sir Baron had first come to India to negotiate food shipments to Ceylon by the Government of India, and was later appointed as the first Representative of the Government of Ceylon to New Delhi.’
• Lankan envoy in India says IMF agreement gives much-needed confidence to lure investors
• China sugarcoats debt requests but highlights interference by UNHRC
• Envoy says India-Sri Lanka should build framework to discuss maritime concerns like the Chinese ship
• Indian flights to Jaffna next month
‘The airport first opened to commercial international flights with the landing of the inaugural Alliance Air flight from Chennai on October 17, 2019.’
• Who is pouring oil on the flames in Sri Lanka?
‘There are many causes for Sri Lanka’s economic crisis, among which the foreign exchange crisis is the main factor.’
• Chinese Ship Yuan Wang 5 Episode Warrants a Review of India’s Foreign Policy vis-a-vis Sri Lanka: Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE)
• Chinese ‘spy ship’ visit shows Rajapaksas still run Sri Lanka
• How this Chinese Ship Docked at Hambantota Challenges India’s Place in South Asia
• What the Chinese envoy to Sri Lanka wrote that made India call out his behaviour
• ‘Chinese missile tracker ship prospecting Indian Ocean bed south of SL’– Venkat Narayan
• South Asian countries are tying their fortunes to China’s infrastructure schemes — and failing
• English PM pledges support to SL for establishing inclusive government to bring stability
• Duty free export opportunity to England
• 100 years of Russian gas for India
• Maldives Environment Minister Ali Solih stabbed near Male
• Bangladesh will never face situation like Sri Lanka: Sheikh Hasina
• Myanmar donates 1,000 tons of rice to Sri Lanka
• Afghanistan: Life Beyond the Scars – Survivors remember those killed in U.S. airstrike
‘A Brown University study says 700 civilians died from airstrikes in 2019 alone.’
• Doing business with Taliban Govt
• ‘US Has Nothing to Offer Africa, China Does’: South African Researcher
‘China recently cut import tariffs on 98% of all taxable goods for the world’s 16 poorest countries, including Djibouti, Rwanda, Togo, Mozambique, Eritrea, Central African Republic, Guinea, Sudan, and Chad’
• What is Washington’s definition of “constructive response”?
• Sri Lanka rerun, Iraq protestors storm presidential palace, take dip in pool
• Truth behind killing of Darya Dugina: Fingers pointing at Kiev now shifting toward Israel
• Death of Mikhail Gorbachev: The leader the nation was unprepared to follow
‘Gorbachev’s best obituaries are sure to originate from the West for whom his legacy is about the disbandment of the CPSU and the dismantling of the Soviet state. Hundreds of billions of dollars worth state assets were transferred to the West in the upheaval that followed dissolution of the Soviet Union.’
• The Pizza Ad Guy Is Dead
• Pizza Hut Gorbachev TV Spot Commercial
• Denounced by communists as the Soviet leader who precipitated the collapse of the USSR
• Rise And Fall Of Gorbachev: My Two And A Half Interviews
• Remembering Gorbachev
• Russian ex-president envisions military junta in Kiev
• Ground beneath Zelensky’s feet is shifting
‘Ukrainian military may stage a coup and enter into peace talks with Russia’
• Game of Nuclear Chicken in Zaporozhye – Prabir Purkayastha
• US must arm Ukraine now, before it’s too late: 20 US experts & national security professionals
‘he U.S. should send ATACMS munitions, fired by HIMARS with the 300km range necessary to strike Russian military targets anywhere in Ukraine, including occupied Crimea.’
• Ukraine – A ‘Counteroffensive’ That Was Destined To Fail
• Ukraine – A Frontline Report – Vanishing Foreign Weapons
• Ukraine Tries To Prevent IAEA Inspection Of The Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant
• Europe’s Economic & Social Suicide – Provoked by The US, Helped Along by Europe’s Leaders
• Cuba’s Foreign Minister condemns the extension of US Sanctions
• Haiti Under the Rule of the United States, Dantès Bellegarde, 1927
• Venezuela and Colombia reestablish diplomatic ties with the arrival of their ambassadors
• Suspect arrested after failed assassination attempt on Argentine vice president
• Chile Heads Towards Historic Plebiscite on New Constitution
• Michael Hudson: The USA’s Real Adversaries Are Its European and Other Allies
• Biden Launches Divisive Attack On MAGA
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.
• India’s first homegrown aircraft carrier puts it among world’s naval elites
• Sri Lanka Police marks 156 years today
• Jeyaraj murder: Former ASP and Ex-LTTE cadre acquitted and released
• Govt. plotting to weaken armed forces: SF
‘through the budget proposal which called for the review on the defence strategy called “National Security – 2030”’
• Field Marshal wants people on the roads
‘I was told that if such a thing happened in England, citizens would have taken to the street and remained there until the IGP resigned. I call on Lankan people to learn from the British.’
• Sri Lanka’s reforms should be applicable for military as well – MP Ponnambalam
• 20 Tamil prisoners convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA)
• 1,250 cases completed by current Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Board
• The old playbook of the PTA will not work today
• Anti-terror Act rides again
• President wants to project a tough guy image.
• Stop labelling student protestors and activists as terrorists – Group of feminists
• Prez has challenge to setup credible mechanism to probe disappearances: Sandya Eknaligoda
• PM: Protesters won’t be dealt with under PTA
• Former Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran reveals his address in Singapore!
• Will the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) provide an explanation?
• Legal implications of Aragalaya protests’
• Conman bought house for Jacqueline Fernandez in Sri Lanka
• Should There Be a New Grouping for the “Non-Nuclear Five” of South Asia?
• South Asia: A New US Strategy
‘following the 2015 national elections in which Rajapaksa was unseated by President Maithripala Sirisena. That year, Sri Lanka welcomed its first visit by a U.S. Secretary of State in 30 years.’
• Police Log: August 30, September 2, 3, 2022
• A life in the law: some hurtful experiences of a Lankan lawyer in Australia
• Russia denounces aggressive hybrid warfare by the West
‘More than seven thousand punitive measures were applied against this country, including the freezing of half of the assets of the Central Bank, with more than 500 billion dollars’
• CURB Fights Incarceration in California
• The Struggle Against Cop City in Atlanta
‘from Atlanta to discuss the building of a police training facility that is popularly known as Cop City’
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.
• Wealthy beggars
‘Premajayantha, wearing a full suit, had symbolically received the donation by cupping his hands like a beggar for the US diplomats to pour some grain thereinto.’
• JVP demands President make IMF conditions public
• An employment and production creating programme- the need of the hour: Karunaratne
• Paris Club to initiate debt relief program for Sri Lanka
• Top global specialists to address FT-ICC-SLID Banking webinar today
‘Challenges in The Banking Sector – way forward for Sri Lanka’ with Reserve Bank of New Zealand former Acting Governor Grant Spencer and BDO Ireland Head of Advisory, National Asset Management Agency Member (2009-2018) and ACCA Global President 2017 Brian McEnery…followed by panel with FJ&G de Saram Banking and Finance Partner Tilani Ford Saram, Ernst & Young Managing Partner Manil Jayasinghe, Union Bank Chairman Atul Malik, Commercial Bank Deputy Chairman Sharhan Muhseen, and Sampath Bank Managing Director Nanda Fernando’
• A model for a production economy, enquiry from Tripitaka
‘This strategy aims at increased food production by making available the inputs such as seed, planting material, tools and implements etc. for those who engaged in farming’
• Various weaknesses and wrong policy decisions led to debt default – PM
‘to inherit a good future for our future generations.’
• Out of hiding from bond scam villainy: Central Bank Governor Arjuna Mahendran,
• Sri Lanka to enact new central bank law amid fears of flexible policy
• Central Bank independence: Issue to the fore again, but will Government have foresight to do it? – Wijewardena
• Privatization – Sugath Kulatunga
• China hopeful of feasible solution on Lanka’s debt crisis
• After rejecting for decades, SL politicians now want SOE restructuring amid IMF deal talks
• Lanka’s economic destiny in IMF hands
• US will support SL through IMF, if agreement reached: Julie Chung
‘US-SL bilateral trade already supports more than 180,000 workers supplying exports to the US and contribute billions to the Sri Lanka’s economy,” she tweeted.’
• US to redouble efforts to support crisis-hit Sri Lanka: Ambassador
• IMF delegation works to reach consensus on EFF arrangement
• Sri Lanka reaches tentative deal with IMF for $2.9 billion bailout
‘“For Sri Lanka, the IMF was the only game left in town,” said Murtaza Jafferjee, chairman of the Sri Lankan economic think tank Advocata.’
• SL secures IMF staff-level pact for US $ 2.9bn EFF facility
• Staff-level agreement with IMF on $ 2.9 bn, four-year EFF
• SL clinches deal with IMF for 4-year EFF of $ 2.9 billion subject to debt restructuring and prior actions
• Urgent-IMF to provide emergency $2.9 bln loan to Sri Lanka
• IMF calls for quicker deal by creditors to prevent Sri Lanka crisis worsening
• IMF, Sri Lanka: The need for speed, sensitivity and for restructuring and reform
• Sri Lanka’s 2023 budget should be consistent with IMF program: Breuer
• IMF funds conditional upon Budget 2023 and creditors’ agreement
• Money printing fueling inflation; CBSL autonomy paramount – IMF Mission Chief
• IMF bailout pact subject to conditions: Fitch Ratings
• Political instability poses risks to implementation of reforms, IMF funding distribution: Fitch
• Onus on Debt Negotiations after Sri Lanka’s IMF Staff Agreement: Fitch
• Sri Lanka has made good progress in negotiations with IMF – CBSL chief
• Fitch to move SL out of ‘Restricted Default’ upon completion of commercial debt restructuring ?
• Finance Ministry says working on implementing prior actions agreed with IMF
• CB chief optimistic about talks with IMF
• People benefitting from CBSL governor’s decisions: Sabry defends Dr. Weerasinghe
• To stabilize the economy, rate of economic development should be brought to a positive level and inflation should be controlled – CBSL Governor
• CBSL Governor reveals what triggered worst economic crisis in Sri Lanka’s history
‘huge tax cuts in 2019 and extensive money printing to settle debts’
• If IMF reforms not implemented, Sri Lanka goes back to square one – CBSL Chief
• Conspiracy against CBSL Governor: Sajith questions ulterior motives
• SJB MPs storm out of meeting with CBSL Governor
• SJB vows not to let govt offset loan obligations to China by giving away national assets
• PM updates Parliament on IMF Staff-Level Agreement
• President calls the public to get ahead of IMF targets
• Prez wants IMF deal to be stepping-stone to reducing debt
• Visiting IMF delegates call on Opposition Leader
• Economic crisis could be overcome with IMF interventions: Eran Wickramaratne expresses hope
• Response to economic revival plan pathetic: Harsha disappointed
• Sri Lanka in ‘final stage’ of IMF talks; budget deficit widens
• ‘IMF has spoken diplomatically about minimising corruption’: US Georgetown Devarajan
• EU welcomes IMF – Sri Lanka agreement
• Positive response from International community over IMF mission statement on SL
• IMF agreement gives confidence, grateful to India, says envoy Moragoda
• Sri Lanka Institute of Directors (SLID) commends govt. reaching agreement with IMF
• Sri Lanka seeks to meet creditors armed with IMF deal
• China ready to find solutions for SL debt, hopeful for feasible solution – Chinese Embassy
• China says ready to support Sri Lanka to ease debt burden
• Verité Research highlights perils of deviating from competitive bidding to lure Chinese funding for infrastructure
• Tokyo will coordinate with other Sri Lanka creditors on debt: Japan Finance Minister
• Japan calls for creditor nations’ talks on SL debt restructuring
• This to be the beginning of a new economic era: Prez
• Patronage appointments expected to take place before the presentation of his interim budget
• The government is to appoint 30 state ministers before the formation of the next Cabinet
• Tough task of economic recovery reconstruction and development – Sanderatne
‘IMF conditions that would be laid down for obtaining both bridging finance to overcome the current difficulties, as well as an Extended Fund Facility would lead to severe hardships.’
• Import restrictions and price controls will threaten the reform process – Advocata
• How a Fiscal Council can help Sri Lanka regain fiscal credibility – Lakmini Fernando, IPS
• Govt. urged to do its utmost to discourage demands for domestic debt restructuring
• Devastating economic crisis and the interim budget – Daily Mirror Editorial
‘Faced with a foreign currency shortage government has slapped a ban on over 400 items it considers as non-essential imported goods…The tourist industry is Sri Lanka’s biggest foreign currency earner… is going to hit a stumbling block, if tourists are not provided with what they (tourists) consider basics, or are priced out of the market. There are over 500,000 persons who are directly and indirectly involved in the tourism trade.’
• Crouching crisis, hidden debt By Sanja de Silva Jayatilleka
• Is Sri Lanka heading for authoritarian statism? – Seneka Abeyratne
‘quick debt to equity swaps with ports, airports, Sri Lankan Airlines, large state-owned plantations, and other state-owned facilities or lands’
• Russia Mulls Big Purchases of ‘Friendly’ FX to Stem Ruble’s Rise
‘buy…$70 billion in yuan and other “friendly” currencies this year to slow the ruble’s surge, before shifting to a longer-term strategy of selling its holdings of the Chinese currency to fund investment.’
• Squeezing Workers to Control Inflation Won’t Work Any Longer – Prabhat Patnaik
• Behind ‘Economic Policy’ Façade, It’s Class War – Wolfe
‘A class analysis of economic policy reveals that its goals include much more than solving an immediate economic problem. Policies are carefully selected and pruned to leave intact the employer-employee structure of enterprises and thus the basic economic system’
• US recession could be banks’ guilty pleasure
‘Bank of America has cut its mortgage lending by roughly $130 billion since 2009, while lending an equivalent amount to clients of the bank’s wealth and investment management division’
• The Political Theory of Capital: Fetishism of Commodities – George Comninel
• Jay Newman Wants to Be the Wolfe of Wall Street
The sovereign-debt investor, best known for a fifteen-year legal fight with Argentina, channelled Tom Wolfe and John le Carré to write “Undermoney,” a financial thriller
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.
• Total SOE Losses in the first four months of 2022 Outweigh Annual Losses in 2021 (Unsigned)
• NPP questions spate of appointments to PMD
• Electricity, petroleum production, fuel supply, and health, declared as essential services.- PMD
• Colombo inflation surges to 64.3% in August
• Sri Lanka’s president to cut spending in interim budget – Reuters
‘expect to have a staff-level agreement in place to advance talks for an emergency loan of around $3 billion. The IMF team has also discussed restructuring Sri Lanka’s debt of about $29 billion’
• Allotment of 20 percent shareholding in state banks to the depositors and staff of those banks
• Full Interim Budget Speech – 2022
• Crisis-hit Sri Lanka’s interim budget aims ambitious revenue, debt cut targets
• Ceylon Chamber hails interim budget; says implementation is key
• Budget will hit the middle class and underprivileged hard
• Sri Lanka main opposition, dissident MPs to sit out crucial budget vote
• Make way for a new mandate: AKD stresses in Parliament
• SJB and Dullas faction of SLPP to refrain from voting for Interim Budget
• It’s a good budget – Mahinda Rajapaksa on Budget Amendment 2022
• Poor cannot buy even 10 eggs from interim budget allowance : Eran
• Sri Lanka parliament passes 2022 interim budget with 120 votes in favour
• Second reading of Appropriation Bill passed with a majority of 115 votes
• VAT to be increased to 15%
• IMF staff-level deal comes with Wealth Tax
• Sri Lanka tax revenues grow 29-pct up to May amid inflation
• State revenue reaches pre-pandemic levels in first five months
• Private sector credit continues to decelerate as financial conditions tighten
• Significant amount of ‘confirmed’ forex flows failed to materialise: Finance Ministry responds
• LKR depreciation benefits exporters, forex earners
• CBSL to reimpose ban on open accounts
• Police to expand probe on illegal foreign currency traders, methods
• Sri Lanka to deploy money laundering law against public amid forex trouble
• CB mandates banks to start recording UINs of depositors
• India Now World’s Fifth Largest Economy, Overtakes England
• Adani becomes world’s third richest trailing only Musk, Bezos
• IMF board releases over $1.1 bln in Pakistan bailout funds
• Japanese yen slips to 24-year low against dollar
• Zimbabwe Banks on Cows as Inflation Soars
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
• Statement from Airport & Aviation Services Sri Lanka (AASL)
• Electricity, petroleum production, fuel supply, and health, declared as essential services.- PMD
• Injunction order issued against Nurses TU action
• Union blames loss-making state ventures on governments using them as job banks
• Trade unions’ dilemma over IMF programme
• Vested interests scuttle important amendment to Industrial Disputes Act-Union
• Ruination of CEB blamed on yahapalana minister
‘the CEB taking approximately 6,000 workers who had been employed via ‘manpower’ companies 15 to 20 years ago… The failure on the part of successive administrations to resolve that issue caused frequent strikes and work stoppages’
• Majority of public workforce will NOT survive in private sector or be recruited at all” – Minister
• Sri Lanka reduces retirement age among measures to rationalize state-sector
• Sri Lanka 2022 interim budget proposes new targeted welfare system
• Sri Lanka main opposition proposes cash transfers for those affected by electricity tariff hike
• Opposition proposes dole for lower income classes hit by electricity tariff hike
• Domestic debt restructuring could bankrupt the country’s largest pension fund
• MRI’s Nutrition Department Head says country still can reduce severity of malnutrition
• Sri Lanka told to ensure toll on malnourished children will not worsen
‘The education of 4.8 million children, already hampered by two years of interrupted learning’
• Millions go hungry– while billions worth of food go into landfills
• UNICEF: Devastating crisis for children in SL is a cautionary tale for South Asia
• Opposition demands debate on UNICEF report on child malnutrition
• PM stresses need to strengthen social security net
• Disrespect for human rights, abuse of power & gender inequality causes gender- based violence
• Compulsory tax registration proposed for all aged above 18 years
• Household water bills worsen misery, while lawmakers owe Rs 13 million
‘The NWSDB has 2.8 million connections of which 2.6 million (92%) are domestic users. Records from the board show that 60% of the 2.6 million users use less than 15 units, or 15,000 litres a month.’
• Kerosene price hike sparks anger from hill country to coastal areas
• ‘Natamis’ recover from economic crisis
• Illegal migration attempts: Navy nabs 44
• Universities are a coward’s paradise
• Stepping up to become a scientist
• Mathematics Special Course
• Sri Lankan trained nurses to England
• The yesteryear request for education reforms made in the 80’s
• Free education is the canary in the coalmine
• Bridging the gap between university education and job market requirements
• Nawaloka College of Higher Studies (NCHS), partners with Federation University, Australia,
• Tell No Lies, Claim No Easy Victories (1965) – Amílcar Cabral
• Lufthansa Flights Grounded Across Cities as Pilots Strike for Higher Pay
• Biden’s Student Loan Scam
‘US people owe $1.7 trillion in student loan debt’
• Tip, Don’t Order: Starbucks Workers in US Launch Unique Campaign for Community Support
• Elderly Patients Forced into Long-Term Care: Ontario’s Healthcare Crisis
• Ontario’s Bill 7 Rife with Discrimination Against the Elderly
• Report Reveals Deep Racism in England, 120,000 Workers Quit in Last 5 Years
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.
• PickMe Chairman: secure digital land registry system to democratise property ownership and unlock land capital
• Corruption: Ignominy of an external WB audit on fertilizer imports
• Fertiliser saga – Kussi Amma Feizal
‘CIC-ICI’s Peradeniya University Weed Science Senior Prof. Buddhi Marambe point out that it’s a good move by the government to provide 70 per cent of the fertiliser.’
• Sri Lanka to lose millions of USDs as well as fertilizer to Chinese Company (unsigned news)
• Sri Lanka-China fertilizer kerfuffle: Committee appointed on money paid for shipment
• Govt to waive off small-scale paddy farmers’ loans obtained from state banks
• There will be enough water for Maha season, say agriculture and irrigation officials
• Food ration scheme likely in interim budget 2022
• 600,000MT of substandard rice imported due to chemical fertilizer ban: Amaraweera
• Sri Lanka coconut prices fall at auction
• Sri Lanka bakery owners demand price controls for wheat flour
‘“We don’t buy eggs. We read on the internet that six Thai eggplants (thalana batu) is equivalent to one egg,” said Malkanthi Fernando, who has stopped buying eggs due to high prices. ‘
• Bread, buns, Parata and Koththu to cost more
• Trade Ministry to revise Maximum Retail Price (MRP) on eggs
‘As opposed to 15 large-scale suppliers he said 80% of the industry were SMEs.’
• Price of bread could rise to Rs.300? – All Ceylon Bakery Owners’ Association (ACBOA)
• Govt. to boost local dairy production to overcome shortages due to import ban
‘Organic Food Production and Exports by SMEs in Sri Lanka’ conference held
‘European Chamber of Commerce (ECCSL) in partnership with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (AHK Sri Lanka)…as part of the ‘Support to Small and Medium Enterprises in the Organic Agriculture Sector Programme’; the Multi-Donor Action (MDA) jointly co-financed by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.’
• Sri Lanka’s mid-grown Ceylon tea prices up 13-pct
• Cigarettes to cost more after VAT hike
• Rohitha denies any wrongdoing in hotel construction near Sinharaja
• The Physical Impossibility Of Climate Collapse In The Mind Of Someone Living
• The Food Crisis is bigger than Ukraine
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.
• Electricity, petroleum production, fuel supply, and health, declared as essential services.- PMD
• Sri Lanka minister seeks parliament panel help to import Russian crude
• Sri Lanka pays USD 295 per MT of coal while Russian companies sell it at USD160!
• Thanks to its generosity to gas station owners, CPC bleeding to death, says FSP
‘The problem is many ministers, and senior officials, have gas stations and they profit from this.’
• Move to privatize CEB on IMF conditions; similar move thwarted by JVP in 2005: Vijitha
• SLPP MP Godahewa accuses government of plan to privatize Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC) and Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT)
• Sri Lanka’s CPC earns up to Rs.50 profit from litre of petrol now – Minister
• Sri Lanka CPC assets, accounts to be audited: Minister
• Sri Lanka infotech, mobile telephony in a fix after import ban
• FITIS warns Govt. ban on imports to severely affect critical IT Infrastructure
• TRCSL approves tariff hike for mobile, fixed, broadband & pay-TV services
• “Sri Lanka Customs does not provide micro-level data on individual importers.’’
• Overwhelming response from global firms to join SL’s petroleum industry
• Despite CPC assurances about fuel supplies, large number of gas stations remain closed
• CPC leaves shed owners in limbo
• Sri Lanka energy minister proposes parliament committee on fuel, coal procurement
• Sajith tears into govt. over mega corrupt deal
• Lanka Coal Company (LCC) chairman drops bombshell
• Spotlight on Norochcholai Coal Power Plant Ongoing power cuts: nation’s fate darker still ?
• Entrust fuel, coal procurement process to opposition: Minister
• Sri Lanka to liberalize aviation fuel distribution
• Jet fuel shortage worsens SLA’s woes
• Sri Lanka Airlines billion dollar debt to be trimmed before sale
• Answering Aviation Aragalaya
• Twenty-four foreign firms interested in Sri Lankan petroleum business: Official
• ‘Only electric-powered vehicles will be purchased for the use of the public sector’: Budget
• Confederation of Micro, Small and Medium Industries (COSMI) in Hambantota
‘Sri Lanka has more than 1.4 million micro and more than 500,000 are from the informal sector… our research & development expenditure (% of GDP) which was 0.13% in 2017. In 2017 Vietnam was 0.53%, 4 times higher than Sri Lanka. Singapore was 1.92% in 2017—15 times higher than Sri Lanka’
• Upto 700 fuel stations to be handed over to foreign oil companies
• Coal supplies: UAE-based company gets contract amid host of unsolicited proposals
• Electric shockwaves hit industries
• New electricity tariff structure leaves room for considerable improvement – Advocata Institute
• Solar companies awaiting new tariff
‘Sri Lanka has over 6.5 million electricity customers and only 40,000 of them have so far installed rooftop solar systems.’
• Sri Lanka launches tender for 100 MW solar park
• Export earnings from Rubber and Rubber Finished products decreased in July 2022
• Sri Lanka construction sector in deep crisis, govt arrears rise up to Rs150 billion
‘Some industrial machinery imports including metalworking machinery, packing machines and ball bearings halted.’
• Elevated highway: Top officials push for Chinese company on unfavourable terms
• Sri Lanka to sell 49-percent stake of national carrier’s catering, ground-handling units
• Maximum retail prices of several medical devices revised
• Beat Drug shortages and Pharma Mafia by Implementing the Bibile Formula
• Imported Hemas drug manufacturing factory
‘in keeping with international standards maintained in European Union (EU) countries. The plant is in the process of securing international accreditation, which would take about two years, it is understood.’
• Ceylinco Life invests in substantial stake in Kings Hospital
• Sri Lanka’s demand for legal booze drops by 40 %
• Japan bins garbage-truck deal with Jaffna MC, seeks refund
‘The latest JMC project cancellation came in the wake of projects of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) being suspended after the government declared a debt default in April. Parliament was told recently that some twelve projects were halted until the International Monetary Fund established a roadmap on Sri Lanka’s debt sustainability.’
• Paper crisis depriving information oxygen to Lanka’s readers
• Import ban delivers hard blow on soft tissue paper industry
• Phoenix’s new collection of crates & pallets now available
• Sri Lanka’s merchandise export earnings over USD 1,100 Mn in July
• India develops its first cervical cancer vaccine
• Gazprom says H1 net profit $41.8 bln, will pay dividends
• Korea Pares Back Renewables as It Taps Nuclear for Climate Goal
• Energy-starved Europe is about to learn the worth of Washington’s friendship
• What’s next for the James Webb Space Telescope?
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.
• FR case filed by Ceylinco F&G depositors postponed as SC bench not properly constituted
• Deutsche Bank donates Rs. 16.5 m to provide relief to Sri Lankan citizens
• Sarvodaya Development Finance PLC records impressive 1Q
• Janashakthi Group’s Orient Finance Q1 2022-23 profit before tax of LKR 66.4 Million
• Sri Lanka sells 9-year bonds at 29.52-pct, 2025 bonds offered on tap (A30)
• Sri Lanka’s rupee guidance peg against US dollar falls; Govt securities hardly traded
• Sri Lanka stocks recover from near 3-wk low in moderate turnover; more gains expected (A30)
‘John Keells Holdings closed 2.2 percent up at 125.7 rupees a share, while Aitken Spence gained 4.6 percent to 130.5 rupees.
• Sri Lanka shares over 1-pct gain in mid-day trade
• Colombo bourse marks 10 consecutive days of net foreign inflow
• CSE slips in mid-morning trade ahead of interim budget presentation
• Bourse’s fortunes pick-up in the wake of IMF deal speculation (A31)
• Stock investors welcome interim budget; turnover hits Rs. 4.3 billion (S1)
• Sri Lanka stocks end at 5-month high after IMF deal announcement
• CSE moves up in the wake of SL-IMF deal as local corruption comes into focus (S2)
• Stock market gains by over 2% on IMF deal; net foreign buying persists
• CSE’s net foreign inflow exceeds Rs. 1 bn amidst IMF agreement
• SL stx at over 5-mth high after IMF statement: market sees foreign inflow for 14th session
• Significant net foreign inflows to CSE (S3)
• Goldman Sachs’ Secrets Spill Out in New Book by a Former Managing Director
“I felt like human poison. I ruined everything I touched – marriages, careers, and relationships. After working for years in this awful environment, I’d become just as toxic as Goldman Sachs.”
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’
• Investor Map launched to direct private capital to SL’s SDG priorities
‘Manjula De Silva, CEO, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC); Renuka Weerakone, Director General, Board of Investments (BOI); Hanaa Singer, Resident Coordinator, United Nations in Sri Lanka; Chamindry Saparamadu, Director General, Sustainable. Development Council in Sri Lanka; Malin Herwig, Officer-in-Charge, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka; Dulani Sirisena, SDG Integration Specialist, UNDP in Sri Lanka; and Shiran Fernando, Chief Economist, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC)’
• Sysco LABS world’s largest foodservice company celebrated Pride Month 2022
• Ajantha takes reins of CMI UK, Sri Lanka Branch
‘Ajantha Dharmasiri, the immediate past Director of the Postgraduate Institute of Management, was recently honoured as the President of the Chartered Management Institute, UK (CMI) – SL Branch.’
• Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) TAGS Awards of 202
‘All corporates should prepare and present financial reporting in compliance with Sri Lanka accounting standards with financial and non -financial information to develop the capital market in the country.’
• SLIC Insurance among the most profitable state entities
• Credit card balances slump reflecting spending squeeze amid soaring inflation
• AIA reports financial results for first half of 2022
• Renuka Hotels sells 1.35% Aitken Spence stake for Rs. 825 m
• Indian flights to Jaffna next month
• Tourism on the rebound in Sri Lanka
• Visit Sri Lanka for six-star vacation on three-star budget
• Together they made it happen in Australia for the love of Sri Lanka
‘celebrity guests had included the Prime Minister of New South Wales (NSW), Dominic Perrottet and high-achieving lawyer and banker Shemara Wikramanayake.’
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.
• Radical Thoughts of G V S de Silva: Country, City, Communism – Prof. Kanishka Goonewardena
• The Feudal Cloth – Nalin de Silva
• Sri Lanka’s “independent” parties to launch grand coalition on September 04
• Dullas faction forms the Freedom People’s Congress
• Maithri vows to form Govt. with leftist Opposition parties
• SLPP breakaways vow never to work with Rajapaksas again
• Police disperse IUSF protest at Maradana
• 25 arrested during IUSF protest in Maradana
• Sri Lanka PM seeks ideas for new oversight committees amid COPE, COPA controversy
• System change is a blind slogan – Rasika Jayakody
• “I am built to always speak the truth, but I can’t do that anymore.”: Ranjan
• Ranjan recording telephone calls ruined the lives of many
• Gotabaya’s popularity wave destroyed Sri Lanka: Sajith
• PM calls on all political parties to expedite formation of National Council
• Any attempt to promote Gota’s participation in politics, controversial – USAID NPC Perera
• Fascists, neo fascists, and SL’s future
• Namal’s advice to RW on what to do next
• Kegalle SJB organizer arrested over death of woman at SJB office
• Sajith sees start of exodus from govt.
• The most harmful, tenacious are the so-called ‘ethnic’ and ‘religious’ identities
• NMSJ Chairman offers plenty of armchair advice
• A clean break with the corrupt SLPP administration has to be engineered without further delay
‘An early general election seems to be the only way out whatever the practical difficulties it may entail’
• President Gotabaya Rajapaksa returns to Sri Lanka
• MPs visit former President at his residence
• Sri Lanka Parliament to meet again from September 06-09
• Ranjan takes his battle to the People
• JVP Leader punches plenty of holes in govt.
• SJB says Ranil cannot achieve his goals as he is surrounded by SLPP fraudsters
• The USA’s Progressive Industrial Complex and Our Fascist Future
• Ukraine’s Tale of Two Colonizations – Žižek
‘Meanwhile, my sources in Russia tell me that President Vladimir Putin has assembled a group of Marxists to counsel him on how to present Russia’s position in the developing world.’
• One Man Has Set Up a $1.6 Billion Slush Fund to Fuel the Radical Right’s Takeover of Congress; Get Ready for a Dirty Tricks Campaign
‘Donor-Advised Funds, meaning they are dark money groups that don’t publish the names of their donors but do take advice from the donors on where to secretly sluice the money’
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.
• Slaughter in Indonesia: England’s secret propaganda war
• National Liberation and Culture (1970) – Amílcar Cabral
• http://www.army.lk website wins Bronze online award
• ECAFE, ESCAP and Mrs. B’s keen eye for detail
• New mechanism introduced to ensure peoples’ right to information
• MAS Holdings finalist in Reuters Responsible Business Awards 2022
• Newsprint shortage in Sri Lanka
• Young Journalists’ Training Programme – Communication and Media Unit of University of Kelaniya
• ‘CineMa’, a bitter reality on Lankan cinema
• The story of Kusumasana Devi who left a legacy for this country
‘The British administration left a legacy for the people of the country, but they could not live up to the standards that were expected of them… The British had a knack for protecting Royalty and that was why they left 23 acres, some say seven acres of Land at Kegalle to build the monument or rehabilitate the Palace in the memory of Dona Catharina or Kusumasana Devi; the mother of King Rajasinghe of Gannoruwa fame. But what has come of this British grant is that the politicians seem to have divided the land to their close associates. In recent times the then Archaeological Commissioner H. C. P. Bell also gazetted the land for a Palace of Dona Catharina’.
• Leelananda became an international civil servant
• Between the Prescriptive and Descriptive: The Challenge for Dictionary Makers
‘Professor Hoole’s dictionary has the subtitle: “Raising Alarm Bells on Sri Lankan English”’
• Nallur Kandaswamy Devastanam festival draws huge crowds after peak pandemic closure
• Pop Singer A. E. Manoharan Flopped as a Film Actor
• Amunugama was President Jayewardene (JRJ) permanent secretary to Ministries of Information and Broadcasting and State
• ‘Systemic racism’ in Canada – Asoka Weerasinghe
• Letter from Ceylon – Tamara Deutscher
‘it is clear as daylight, that the young Marxists of the East run the risk of . . . becoming permeated with nationalist ideology.’
• Lewcock European Colonial Architecture in Africa and Asia
• Chilaw’s Poet Laureate: Joseph Jasper Herschel Gamini Benjamin Pandittesekera
• Aragalaya art: Preserve it for posterity
‘call on the government, private citizens, the corporate sector, and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, to protect and preserve what is left of the art’
• Sri Lanka likes to laugh but our political reforms are no joke
‘elect a new generation of serious men and women with serious solutions’
• Portrait of a portraitist from the mists of time
‘“I am the greatest photographer of all time”: Julia Margaret Cameron’
• Between 60,000 and 80,000 Chinese people came to Australia during the colonial period,
‘with the greatest influx, during the 1850s, oriented towards the goldfields’
• US Decision-makers Cannot Handle End of White Supremacy: Former Vice Presidential Candidate