‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 11-17 September 2022
Our political education must take place
within revolutionary educational structures.
If it doesn’t, we will believe that World War II started
in 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. It actually began
in 1937 when Japan attacked China.
– ee Media, Decolonizing the Mind
Sri Lanka must prepare for Europe resorting to war. This time within their borders again. War is the polite word for mega-machine mass slaughter, perhaps even involving nukes this time. This wave of ‘fascism’ and war in Europe is being largely pushed by the USA, with active European collusion inspired by that parasitic continent’s decadence, and long-due collapse. Sweden just elected a ‘fascist’ ruling party. Germany and Japan are arming behind headlines blaming China, Russia and free Korea, etc.
Europe, England, their settler allies and ‘honorary’ whites loom large to us, because they have monopolized our economy and political life for beyond too long. They subvert our lives. Note the daily sermonizing, threats and warnings about Sri Lanka losing access to their precious markets and overvalued currencies. If we don’t behave.
We are wedged between our supposedly ‘middle-class’ wannabes demanding imports (and import-dependent exporters hoarding dollars abroad), tourism, netflix, etc. While the whites keep blocking our access to finance, fuel & food. And more importantly they sabotage any attempt by us to develop our own means of industrial production.
They scatter sermons, monitors and ratings, while delaying and blocking our access to needed commodities. They then demand steady encroachments on the country’s sovereignty, resources and laws, signaling their aim to rouse greater chaos in order to sustain their economic and political power.
• The USA is still refusing to return the Central Bank of Afghanistan’s reserves they stole when the Taliban chased them out of Kabul in August last year. This week the US said they will instead put $3.5billion – a fraction of the stolen money – into a new Swiss-based ‘trust’ fund, housed in the Bank for International Settlements! (see ee Sovereignty, Swiss Trust).
• The farce looms all the more grotesque, as this week also witnessed an escalating US push for their media to bawl out about Sri Lanka’s ‘economic crimes’ alongside their ‘human rights’ gospel. Who is upset about such crimes? US senators, state department operators (USAID, etc), their NATO allies (England’s Core Group) and their NGOs.
The violence and the depredations of the IMF’s 17 intrusions, the crimes of Europeans and their off-white sponsors over 500 years, will not be surveyed. Instead, an imperialist sponsored ‘Office of Reparation’ (with a hijacked Kadirgamar Institute in tow) will stunt their purview to the last 2 decades alone, to ensure it serves their narrow and short-term goals. (Random Notes, Reparations)
• Such are the egoistic eggs US war criminal Aunty Sam (USAID chief Samantha Power) came to lay on and hatch during her recent junket to Sri Lanka. USAID’s Power had said she would be meeting all the political parties. There’s a stout photograph of Aunty Sam meeting the fully suit-ed and verti-ed and salwar-ed Tamil leaders A Sumanthiran and M Ganesan, the Muslims’ R Bathiudeen and R Hakeem, the SJB’s S Premadasa, the JVP’s Harini Amarasuriya, and the SLFP’s Dayasiri Jayasekera.
ee can’t however ferret out any media links to Aunty Sam meeting the ‘ruling’ SLPP. Her Twitter account doesn’t divulge much either, unlike her visit to Pakistan where there’s a tweet with photo op from each meeting. Yet right after her visit, SLPP rainmaker Basil Rajapakse was summoned to Washington, and none of Aunty Sam’s chickens twittered about blocking his passage to the runway.
Samantha Power, a lost-Irish settler and war criminal, responsible for the ongoing mass murder in many countries (see below for the US war on Ethiopia & Haiti), starred in the US invasion of Libya and assassination of their leader Muamar Ghaddafi – as US ambassador to the UN, joining US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who Aunty Sam had once called ‘a monster’). This ee examines the US (& Power’s) role in destabilizing two particular countries – Ethiopia & Haiti, and how they link to Sri Lanka.
• USAID-funded Verité Research is Aunty Sam’s first crowing fighting cock to start flapping its flightless wings on cue. Verite is to host ‘The Lure of Chinese Loans’ on 22 Sept 2022: ‘Sri Lanka’s Experiment with a Speical Framework to Finnnace It’s Infrastructure Investments.’ Note the spelling mistakes for such ardent advocates of their King’s English! or rather, US State Department babble. Verité is not using their precious dollars to hire even a proofreader. And with such sloppiness, they wish to use anti-China rhetoric to justify how much better private companies will do after the selling of national resources – privatization! Verité crows (& a media choir will now ululate): ‘SOEs have gone bad due to Chinese debt & we have no choice but to sell ‘em!’ (This ee Focus covers JVP leader AK Dissanayake’s call for examining the scandals and privations of previous privatizations.)
Aunty Sam’s other clucking cock is Verité’s fellow US-dollarized thinktank Advocata, whose chairman is Murtaza Jafferjee, CEO of the Borah Jafferjee Brothers JB Securities Ltd. Advocata’s report The State of State-Owned Enterprises 2022 was presented at their Reset Sri Lanka conference in August.
This Advocata report, also prepared by USAID staffer Rehana Thowfeek, details some of the 500 and more major national assets, such as Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, Ceylon Electricity Board & SriLankan Airlines, which Advocata would like to pawn off to their sponsors, US capitalists.
US Advocata makes clear that Sri Lanka’s ‘general population is not prepared to allow disposal of enterprises despite their record of making large losses year after year.’ The whites will therefore provoke chaos to ‘soften’ the opposition. They will block access to essential goods (while demanding imports of toilet paper, etc). – see ee Focus, Haiti
•The role of the USA in blocking our access to food, fuel & finance was exposed this week at 2 venues across the world. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley testified before the US House Committee on Financial Services, about the recent penalties on banks outside NATO fortresses:
‘Look at the countries who are listed [as money-laundering risks]
and you will see they are all former colonies, people of colour’
(ee Random Notes)
Mottley also pointed out how the US & EU impose expensive compliance mechanisms. They control our economies under the guise of fighting money laundering, corruption, pollution, human rights, etc – when they are the greatest offenders!
It is based on being judged deficient in expensive processes & procedures which,
when spread across transactions, are cheaper for large money centres.
And when few countries are left on a list over time,
the criteria for listing & requirements change.’
The other revelation about the US blocking of food & fuel was made at this week’s 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on Sept 15-16, by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin:
A vivid example of [NATO’s] egoism is the decision of the European Commission
to lift sanctions against Russian fertilizers.
We know how important fertilizers are for solving the food problem.
Of course, we welcome the decision to lift the sanctions.
But it turns out that these sanctions, in accordance with the explanation
of the European Commission of Sept 10 this year,
were lifted only for the EU member states.
It turns out that only they can purchase our fertilizers.
What about the developing, poorest countries in the world?
‘When we talk about the export of grain from Ukraine,
do you know who is exporting it? US companies,
they are the owners of this grain mainly, in a significant part.
It turned out that the lands in Ukraine have long been sold to US companies,
this is their grain, and they export their grain.
That’s why, apparently, there were so many conversations on this score. No matter.’
The SCO also keenly observed the need for a new international economic order:
‘We call on the countries of the world to jointly create
an open, transparent and efficient international energy market,
reduce trade barriers, avoid excessive volatility of world prices
for commodities in the energy industry, and maintain a healthy,
stable and sustainable international energy market.’
– excerpt, Statement by SCO Council of Heads of State
on Ensuring International Energy Security
• The US moves to target China & Russia make more sense where the US and white monopoly over the UN and IMF, politics and economics is being increasingly challenged. This was most evident at the SCO Conference in beautiful Samarkand, where India, China and Russia’s leaders met and joined hands. An occasion largely under-reported or distorted in the white media (ee Focus, SCO). Here again is Russian President Putin:
Now I would just like to repeat: fundamental transformations have been outlined
in world politics & economy, and they are irreversible. The growing role
of new centers of power is becoming more and more clearly manifested,
interacting with each other not on the basis of some rules imposed from the outside,
which no one has seen, but on the universally recognized principles
of the supremacy of international law and the UN Charter:
ensuring equal and indivisible security, respect for sovereignty,
national values and interests of each other.
• Across the Pond – The US keeps providing more enlightenment, while ensuring power cuts, etc. Regardless of Biden or Trump, closer to home, and across the pond, the US war machinery is funding the terrorism of another powerful merchant and bureaucratic minority to prevent an independent self-sufficient country, in this case, our ancient ally, Ethiopia.
The Horn of Africa sees $800billion a year in trade through the Red Sea, where the Suez is one of 2 choke points. The CIA apparently pays Egypt’s military $1.5bn to control the Suez.
USAID Chief Samantha Power, US Congress members Tom Malinowski, Brad Sherman, Ilhan Omar & Gregory Meeks, etc, are funding separatism in Ethiopia’s Tigray province (which borders Egypt, where a vital hydroelectric dam is planned), to destabilize the government in capital Addis Ababa. The US House Resolution 6600 – the misnamed Ethiopia Stabilization, Peace & Democracy Act – aims to impose harsh sanctions not only on Ethiopia but also on its close ally Eritrea.
The US also hates Eritrea, which by refusing World Bank & IMF money, presents the ‘danger’ of a good example to the rest of Africa. Ethiopia & Eritrea are defending themselves against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Malinowski’s bill demands the Ethiopian government’s total capitulation. ‘Sanctions will be lifted, only after: the Government of Ethiopia has ceased all offensive military operations associated with the civil war and other conflicts in Ethiopia.’ (ee Sovereignty, The US Instigates Conflict in the Horn of Africa)
The current war on Sri Lanka and its ‘economic crimes’ may also be examined through the US plan to impose their infamous 2019 Global Fragility Act (GFA), beginning with Haiti. The GFA aims to control Haiti’s economy by also controlling its foreign relations.
‘With Russia & China increasingly assertive and influential worldwide,
Washington recently rolled out its gambit to maintain global hegemony and gather
former colonies & neocolonies under its wing: the US Global Fragility Act.
Haiti is the first target of the GFA.
Haiti’s ‘fragility’ is caused by decades of US interference,
and the restoration of its sovereignty is the way to resolve that nation’s problems.’
(ee Sovereignty, The Global Fragility Act).
US multinational corporations are demanding greater access to Haiti’s raw materials, like gold, etc, and to dictate the minimum wage in labor-intensive garment factories. The GFA plan involves declaring the country and its economy unstable (‘fragile’), preparing Haiti for the US’s 4th military invasion there. GFA has clauses to encourage input from ‘local civil society groups’. These NGOs merely provide window dressing. Stay Tuned.
The GFA happily ignores that it is the US (& their partners: France, Canada, who also belong to a ‘Core Group’ harassing that country) who have kidnapped and murdered their leaders (from Toussaint L’Overture in 1803 to Jean-Bertrand Aristide 2004 to Jovenel Moise 2021) and created chaos, to install an unelected leader.
On 15 July 2022, the UN Security Council (UNSC) extended the mandate of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti, for a further year. Citing gang violence, they also banned the sale of small arms, light weapons and ammunition to what it calls ‘non-state actors’. The US rejected China’s call for a full embargo on weapon sales. Instead, the UNSC will impose sanctions via travel bans and asset freezes against Haiti’s ‘gang leaders’ & ‘human rights abusers’. (As African rapper Tupac Shakur, murdered in Los Angeles recalled, the USA is the biggest gangster in the world, ee Media)
‘US ‘guidance’ and aid have devastated Haiti’s economy, agriculture, human rights, and sovereignty. The US fears Haiti might approach BRICS (alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), seeking investment, aid, and trade. President Moïse was assassinated (present US envoy Julie Chung was in Haiti before being posted here) on 7 July 2021 due to his plans to strengthen relations with Russia.
The Caribbean remains a US lake flowing through the Panama Canal. The US insists it is they and the presently unelected leaders of Haiti, who have ‘the authority to negotiate bilateral agreements on behalf of Haitians’. And they already have ‘selected’ a former Haiti Central Bank governor to be the next President.
Haitians may disagree. Like Sinhala people, Haitians have a long long history of resistance to colonialism. And we shall surely prevail.
‘None of them can stop the time’
• The ee News section has inflated to 75% of each issue. Why? We feel like those abused night-soil carriers of yore, prior to underground sewage lines, collecting crap. The compendium may also drown out more important news. Yet ee asks readers to especially examine the stories that have several links, sometimes with identical verbiage. They help identify who is bribing the media to guide economic culture: Such foreign institutions as the US embassy to a hijacked UN, IMF, World Bank, and various corporations that make up the import-export plantation mafia. But it also points to their need to divert us from the fundamental issue of our need for a modern industrial plan.
For instance, JP Morgan and US investment funds on Wall Street exercise a huge monopoly control over the so-called ‘free market’ in finance, fuel and subsequently, food. It is they who have prevented us for making fixed long-term contracts with Iran or Russia, instead demanding we go through the ‘free market’, which they control through speculation.
To add to the impudent role recently exposed, of the World Bank now regulating the import of fertilizer, etc, this week saw the UN World Food Program and the Food & Agriculture Organization, etc, wringing their pale paws about ‘malnutrition’. Their distribution of food to Tamil-speaking regions alone has also been criticized for playing their usual divide & rule games. They have no love for anybody. The UN claims 60% of families in Sri Lanka are currently ‘eating less, and eating cheaper, less nutritious food.’ What they do not state is that most people have for a long long time been ‘eating less’ while ‘buying more!’
These UN agencies wish to boost crop production, which they claim will increase food for all through the market mechanism. Yet, increased production alone will not reduce food inflation. Prices also reflect higher costs triggered by the forced currency collapse, global agribusiness & their local agents in the import-export mafia.
Without exercising control over foreign-exchange flows, and preventing the export of dollars enabled by the business mafia in the import-export sector, the rupee’s value cannot be restored. The price of essential food will not be reduced despite increasing production, due to the control by the merchants and moneylenders who control the valuable rural home market, and divert surpluses to fatten Colombo. Without capital controls, hunger, malnutrition and suffering will gallop forward despite efforts to increase food production.
Also, the major issue has always been rural unemployment and underemployment, and the failure to invest in modern industrial production. This too requires control over our rural home market, hijacked by Unilever, et al.
A1. Reader Comments –
• Arrests at Buckingham, Send in the NGOs • Sword over Ranil • CPSL vs FSP Media • Digital Yuan • US Prisoners Make Solar Panels • India Turns on Colonial NGOs • Cricket & US F16s • Argentine Assassins • IMF’s Small Change • Vikings Flee • IMF Elections • Gota Gotta Come • UNHRC Fail • Steno Media
A2. Quotes of the Week
• Privatising Banks • US War on Rice • ABCD of Food Monopoly • Aunty Sam Loves SL Privates • Oriental Female • Oily Oligarchs • CIA Cancers for Leaders
A3. Random Notes –
• SL Press & US NED • IMF Deadlines • Banks & White Regulation • Indonesia’s Fuel Jumps • War & Headlines • Haiti & Labor Laws • Twitter’s Fake FanBots
B. ee Focus
B1. JVP Leader Questions Wisdom of Promoting Privatisation – Rathindra Kuruwita
B2. Malnutrition – Sugath Kulatunga
B3. The Global Fragility Act: Washington’s new tool for controlling an indomitable Haiti – Travis Ross
C. News Index
A1. Reader Comments
ee thanks Readers who send articles of interest. Please excerpt or summarize what is important about any news sent, or your comments, and place any e-link at the end. Email: email@example.com
• ‘Sri Lanka can export Saliya Peiris, Paki Saravanamuttu, Jehan Perera and a planeload of NGO Kaputas, to England. Why? There are lots of Human Rights Violations taking place after their Queen’s death: Andrew was heckled by a man: “You’re a sick man”; heckler arrested. Another anti-Monarchy demonstrator was arrested after shouting at Charles “Who elected him?” A female was arrested for holding a placard “Not my king”. Another woman arrested for holding an “Abolish monarchy” placard. A 74-year-old man arrested for “breaching the peace”. Mourners who brought tents were not allowed to camp. Yet how many tents were given by the English High Commission to Galle Face carnival, we don’t know? Mourners who join the 10-mile queue there were warned they could wait up to 30 hours! But were prohibited from bringing food, water, banners, placards, flowers, teddy bears, and advised to “dress appropriately”. After airport-type security, they’re not allowed to stop near the coffin. Hundreds of household staff at Clarence House were given marching orders days before the Queen is even buried. None of the above is reported in SL media. BBC never reported, the Queen visited Sri Lanka or SL leaders had audience with the Queen. Even former US-installed President Sirisena was given an audience. Later he boasted, “Queen shook hands with me without wearing gloves”. The talk was Queen doesn’t touch dogs wearing gloves.’ (see BBC reporting on DPRK (North Korea) overlaid on Queen funeral procession – youtube.com/watch?v=aNBqjKFS1_c)
• ‘Re: Helmer’s essay, Are India and Russia waiting to see if US punishes Ranil for saving Gota, or how the Rajapakses will be sidelined?’
• ‘Re: Helmer’s essay, I persevered somehow till the end and concluded it was way over my head. For now, and for always, the world will be just this: animosity, conspiracy, suspicion, and actual front & back stabbings will be there. It’s our farcical idea there should be world peace & cooperation that’s upsetting everything! We should have ‘යතා භූත ඤාණ දස්සන‘!’
• ‘The media is promoting the FSP, but the CP & LSSP still command more votes than FSP which is at best a cult with good PR. No mention of the Uttara Lanka Sabhagaya (Supreme Lanka Coalition) in any of these media articles, or about any of the traditional Left and anti-imperialist forces. Just quoting a few NGO careerists and clout chasers.’
• ‘Solar panels in the US are made by prison labor, but the US spreads disinformation that Xinjiang solar panels are made by forced labor. What a classic example of projection.’
• ‘Re: India raids top NGO offices. A turnaround over colonial masters?’
• ‘This cricket victory feels like India is trying to compensate. We might end up winning the entire tournament too! By the way, the US has started selling F16s to Pakistan again after stopping in 2016. To nudge India a bit maybe? India seems to want to settle differences with China amicably and not become a vassal of the US…’
• Did ee see the news about the assassination attempt on Argentina’s Vice-President? I think this VP is pro-people and leftist and globalists are threatening her?’
• ‘What is the point of destroying further our already battered economy for a paltry $2.9billion from the IMF?’
• ‘Why is Norway running away? I think their announcement is mostly aimed at SL right? tho they mention 4 other embassies they’re closing. They were about to move in to a new posh building too!’
• ‘Are we really going to change our electoral laws etc for the IMF/USA? It’s one of the reforms they demand?’
• ‘I feel for Gota honestly… My goodness, the harassment the West has meted out to that family. What does ee think about MR making a new group? Does ee think Gota will come back to politics? I hope so… They need to start a people’s movement… get the public involved and invested in decolonisation, gaining true independence… be revolutionary!’
• ‘What was wrong with the election in 2019? It was a reaction against IMF policies but people don’t know what should replace it.’
• ‘What does ee think about the UNHRC bringing up economic crimes in SL? More attempts to corner the R’s? Amazingly, the draft resolution says local mechanism should be reenergised. No more calls for foreign judges? Maybe they want to extricate themselves from this Geneva farce so they came up with this. There were calls for referrals to the ICC before the session began. A planned fail!’
• ‘SL’s puppet media are mechanical copy typists, auto-stenographers who will soon be replaced by robots. They just repeat, rather than question how whites can even dare judge us.’
A2. Quotes of the Week_
• ‘There are fundamental objections to the plan of the government to privatise at least some of the public sector banks. These centre around the fact that such a move will change the pattern of deployment of credit, away from productive activities toward speculation, away from peasant agriculture toward big business (with dangerous implications for peasant viability, food security and employment), and away from domestic to global destinations.’ – ee Economists, Privatising Banks
• ‘The ‘free’ supply of wheat flour/grain under US PL480 changed our food habits and made us addicted to wheat products. The problem got aggravated with the entry of the Prima project where we provide them with the grain, milled by them and sold to us minus the bran & wheat germ. This situation could have been corrected when the Prima BOT agreement terminated after 20 years. But CBK sold the complex back to Singapore and allowed them to continue to give us refined flour devoid of nutrition.’ – ee Focus, Malnutrition
• ‘A handful of transnational corporations control the cereal market, thus forming an oligo-pole, constantly increasing their profits & assets to the detriment of the interests of the people. On a global level 4 corporations, 3 US companies & the other French, control 70% of the international cereal market. They have a fundamental influence in pricing and supply: Archer Daniels Midland, De Bunge, Cargill & Louis Dreyfus, often referred to as ABCD.’ – ee Agriculture, International Food Crisis
• ‘‘You have such an incredible private sector, such entrepreneurship. But the government, over so many years has largely stood in the way of unlocking that potential instead of fueling it. Mangala used to say, government has no business running business. And you know what was done in the Telecom sector? If that could be done in other sectors in an expeditious & transparent way, to unlock the potential of your people, it would be incredible,’ reported the President’s Media Division quoting the Administrator, and Former US Ambassador to the UN.’ – ee Sovereignty, USAID
• ‘It musters facts and figures, as well as sexist pitches like the Malaysian government investment brochure which boasts, ‘the manual dexterity of the Oriental female is famous the world over. Her hands are small and she works with care… Who, therefore, could be more qualified by nature and inheritance to contribute to the efficiency of a bench-assembly line than the Oriental girl?’’ – ee Workers, Remembering Barbara
• ‘The past week the 6 major multinational oil giants – ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, TotalEnergies, Eni – reported combined profits of over $64billion in 2022’s 2nd quarter alone. The orgy of profiteering is not limited to these 6. Smaller US companies Valero, Phillips 66 & Hess posted a massive combined quarterly profit of $8.62bn. In total these 9 companies reported over $72bn profits over 3 months.’ – ee Economists, Oil giants
• ‘There are chilling references to the CIA’s practice of using cancer-spreading technology to eliminate objectionable Latin American leaders – Argentina’s Kirchner (thyroid cancer), Paraguay’s Lugo (lymphoma), Brazil’s Lula da Silva (laryngeal cancer) & D Dilma Rousseff (lymphoma) – and, of course, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez (tracheal cancer).’ – ee Security, 75 Candles
A3. Random Notes (‘Seeing Number in Chaos’) _
• The imperialist English-led Core Group of countries attacking Sri Lanka is stressing ‘the importance of re-energising the Office on Missing Persons (OMP), and the Office for Reparations.’ The hijacked Kadrigamar Institute this week echoed these white priorities and revealed this ‘office’ is now ‘Formulating a National Action Plan for Reparations’. This ‘Office’ is an ‘independent’ body set up under the Office for Reparations Act, No. 34 of 2018 to manage Sri Lanka’s reparations regime and grant reparations to victims of conflict, which was passed in Parliament and came into operation on 22nd October 2018.’
ee welcomes a tribunal on economic and political crimes. However the US and their English media wish to limit its scope. Whereas, historically, Sri Lanka’s anti-imperialists have focused on the Euro invasions post-1505, and more particularly on the English imposition of the import-export plantation system, post-1830s, Aunty Sam’s US dollars wish us to focus on attacking their enemies.
And as usual, the US refuses to take its own medicines.
In exchange for the enslaved Africans (who were dropping their tools on the plantations and about to take over in the US south), supporting the North in the US war of 1860-65 (called a ‘civil war’), the US government promised each African, ‘Forty Acres and a Mule’. This promise was not kept and, in fact, the US went on to dismantle the ‘Reconstruction’ governments of African people in the South, by launching a war of terror, lynching et.al. on African peoples.
Several years ago, the JVP, when heading the Uva Provincial Council, called for reparations from England for the genocide there in the Vellasa, which reproduces that devastation to this day. They wish us to forget.
• Sri Lanka Press Institute Concludes 2022 AGM – The Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI)’s 19th Annual General Meeting last Wed (7th) was attended by the Newspaper Society (NS), The Editors’ Guild (TEG), Free Media Movement (FMM), Working Journalists Association (WJA). SLPI programs are conducted with the US Embassy, National Democratic Institute, World Health Organization (WHO), International Center for Journalists, UNESCO, Norwegian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Deutsche GiZ, and the International Organization for Migration. SLPI Chairman Kumar Nadesan (NS) & directors Sinha Ratnatunga, Manik de Silva, Mohanlal Piyadasa (TEG), Seetha Ranjanee, Udaya Kalupathirana & Lasantha de Silva (FMM), Lasantha Ruhunage & Duminda Sampath (WJA)…Ernst & Young were reappointed auditors, FJ & G de Saram reappointed as company secretaries. Affiliated SLPI organisations are the South Asia Free Media Association, Tamil Media Alliance, Muslim Media Forum & Federation of Media Employees’ Trade Union. – ee Media, SLPI
• ‘The real McCoy will be the one-year Budget due in December. The Government, Central Bank, Treasury and RW’s inner circle will have to line up with IMF stipulations. The IMF’s $2.9bn pitch (Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva approved the Staff-level agreement), not verbatim but conscientiously abbreviated as follows:
“Raise revenue to support fiscal consolidation from one of the lowest revenue levels in the world. The program must make major tax reforms; income tax more aggressive, broaden corporate tax & VAT and reach a primary surplus of 2.3% of GDP by 2024. Introduce cost-recovery-based pricing for fuel and electricity to minimize fiscal risks from state-owned enterprises. The IMF welcomes the already announced substantial revenue measures and energy pricing reforms. Mitigate impact of the crisis on the poor and vulnerable by raising social spending, improving coverage and targeting safety net programs.
Restore price stability through data-driven monetary policy, phasing out monetary fiscal financing and a stronger central bank. Pursue flexible inflation targeting. A new Central Bank Act is a cornerstone of this. Rebuild foreign reserves through a market-determined and flexible exchange rate. Safeguard financial stability by ensuring a well-capitalised banking system. Reduce corruption, improve fiscal transparency, public finance management and the anti-corruption legal framework.” – ee Politics, Ranil-SWOT
• Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley on Bank Rules: ‘Look at the list of countries and you will see all are former colonies, people of color. Look at the countries remaining off this money-laundering risk list, in spite of being able to open a bank account in hours in Delaware or Wyoming, Luxembourg or Zurich; see where the divide comes…
Our economies cannot function on their own. We do not make enough clothes, we do not produce our own food, our own equipment; therefore, unless we are able to trade with the rest of the world we’re at risk of becoming financial pariahs. We are here because the listing process that’s taken place, whether through the Financial Action Taskforce or OECD or further, as a result of actions taken for enhanced due diligence by those who take the listings from FATF & OECD. It means, those correspondent banks, over the course of the last 10-12 years have made a judgment that we’re simply too small, in order to get involved because the enhanced due diligence means increased cost of regulation, increased cost of compliance. Rather than do business with us, they say thank you, but no thank you. What it has meant is, almost every country in our region over the last decade, with exception of 2 or 3, have had a loss of more than 30% of correspondent banking relationships. The truth is, we have also seen others use alternative mechanisms…therefore what we face is: the very thing that you set out to achieve (avoidance of terrorism financing & money laundering), on which all agreed, is likely to happen because you’re driving people underground. There is no benefit in driving our citizens underground or making our countries uncompetitive such that our economies are at risk of becoming underdeveloped or failed states.
Correspondent banks are leaving because FATF has listed them as countries requiring increased monitoring against money laundering. This is not because they found any material international money laundering there. But additional monitoring causes additional costs, primarily fixed per jurisdiction, so disproportionately higher per transaction in small jurisdictions. Where profits are small, these increased costs make the business unviable. And if a financial institution is fined for missing money laundering in a jurisdiction, these fines are often related to institution size, not the profits from there, further worsening the attractiveness of small jurisdictions. A Bank for International Settlements study shows, the best predictor of loss of correspondent banking relationship is if the FATF has listed a country and transaction volume is small.
On average, listed countries spend more of their GDP on anti-laundering processes & consultants than large developed economies, but this has little impact because the FATF list is divorced from where international money laundering occurs. It is not, eg, where the vast majority of laundering of sanctioned Russian money was found, in the UK, US, Switzerland, Luxembourg. None of those appear on the current FATF list. It is based on being judged deficient in expensive processes and procedures which, when spread across transactions, are cheaper for large money centres. When few countries are left on a list over time, listing criteria & requirements change. This costly compliance process, which US consumers of financial services and others pay for, results in the listing of countries that pose no risk to the integrity of the global financial system, eg Barbados, Burkina Faso, Jamaica, Mali, Senegal, South Sudan. Larger money centres that money launderers prefer to lose themselves in are never on the list. This supports money laundering. After trillions have been spent on this process, there is more money laundering, not less.
But it also means there is a simple solution. The US Treasury participates in the FATF and the listing process. Treasury states, it believes in objective and risk-sensitive listings. An outcome, that requires climate vulnerable countries like Senegal and South Sudan to spend scarce money getting off a list they should not be on, but gives a pass to Luxembourg and Switzerland, is untenable.
We ask the US Treasury to adhere more closely to the principle of risk sensitivity and not to participate in listings of countries where the lists pose a material risk to a country’s development and there is no evidence that the country poses a material risk to the global financial system. This will protect financial inclusion locally and internationally, guard the international network against underground alternatives, and toughen the fight against money laundering. It will turn the big guns away from countries where little money laundering occurs to those where much does. Perhaps that is why it is not happening.’ – see ee Economists, Mia Mottley
• ‘Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy has seen fuel costs jump 30% in the last month alone. Meanwhile, Russia is offering its oil at a 30% discount to the international rate, Indonesia’s tourism minister has said. Indonesia could potentially join other Asian countries including China & India which have shown a willingness to purchase Russian crude while Western countries shun business ties with Moscow due to its invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, Europe is imposing a partial embargo on Russian oil by the end of the year, and the G7 is pushing for a cap on Russian oil prices that will keep supplies flowing while also limiting the Kremlin’s revenue. Indonesia will have to walk a political tightrope as it’s set to host the next G20 meeting this November in Bali. Widodo has invited both Ukrainian President Zelenskyy & Russia’s Putin to attend.’ – ee Industry, Indonesia
• ‘Ukraine’s bloody offensive, hailed by the white media as a victory for NATO’s forces, was timed, at much sacrifice, for the 5th fundraising meeting for NATO’s war, at the US base in Germany. Ramstein Air Base, the US Air Force base in Rhineland-Palatinate, a state in SW Germany, serves as the HQ for the US Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa and also for the NATO Allied Air Command.’ – ee Security, Ramstein
• Haiti – ‘In Avengers of the New World, historian Laurent Dubois chronicles how prior to the Haitian revolution, noticing the potential for small slave uprisings to balloon larger, the French crown instituted various reforms (1685 Code Noir, 1780s royal decrees) to curb plantation managers’ barbarism in the colony of Saint Domingue. The reforms provided the enslaved with off-days, food & shelter, and limitations on beatings. Reforms proved ineffective as French colonists in St Domingue rejected them in favor of more bloodthirsty cruelty. Apparently, as historian CLR James documented in Black Jacobins, pouring burning wax on enslaved bodies and roasting them on slow fires was seen as the best means of social control. These tactics inflamed Black Rage, leading to the defeat of the most profitable colony in the Caribbean and the establishment of the first Black republic.’
The colonial world took notice. Historian Gerald Horne documented the fear of the US via Vice President of the time, Thomas Jefferson, in Confronting Black Jacobins: “If something is not done, and soon done,” he advised darkly, “we shall be the murderers of our own children,” as “the revolutionary storm now sweeping the globe will be upon us.” Thomas’s fears proved real as a revolutionary storm of Black Rage via slave uprisings incubated worldwide, particularly in the US post-1804.
To manage this colonial pandemic and “foster a new image” of power, white capitalist empires slowly began transitioning their rule from the iron fist of hard power to the unseen hand of soft power, as Mowatt describes “for the sake of capitalism”. Mowatt also comments: “While the capabilities of hard power (force, coercion, warfare) were always ready, the use of soft power (culture, values, ideals) had become the preferred method of moving forward.”
White capital embarked on the mission of stabilizing territories for smoother laundering. Among a few examples is the Congress of Vienna from 1814-15 which balanced territory among warring European States [the English coup d’etat in Montane Sinhale – ee], the 1823 Monroe Doctrine which declared US hegemony over the Americas landmass, the US Civil War 1861-65 which settled slavery and westward expansion, and the “Scramble for Africa” via the Berlin Conference 1884-85 in which white capital met “on long tables during catered meals” where, as Mowatt notes, “the continent of Africa was carefully carved up and re-designed for the purposes of extraction.” Following these mobster-like parlays was an inflation of State power that better absorbed the opposition.
State-fabricated society expanded through now conquered territories, centralized in cities. The city builds the fronts – law, schools, media, religion, government, business, etc – for the State of white capital that reaches to the countryside.’ – ee Media, Laundering Black Rage
• Twitter – ‘The impression that if you are the world’s richest man you can have fun with the rules of the game is one thing. As problematic is the idea that Mr Musk might end up controlling one of the world’s most powerful means of communication at a time when fortunes are won and lost on “story stocks” – those driven by narratives discussed on forums like Twitter. Musk knows all about the power of the platform. No CEO has the Twitter presence that he does. He has an army of 82.6mn followers, many of whom have helped amplify his tweets promoting Tesla, making the site in effect the main marketing department for the $1trn company. Tesla, which on April 20th reported record 1st-quarter sales, goes from strength to strength. Twitter helped fuel its rise.
It may not be just his Twitter “fanboys” who have bolstered the Tesla narrative. According to David Kirsch of the Robert H Smith School of Business at University of Maryland, tweets generated by “fanbots”, or what he claims are pro-Tesla algorithms, accounted for 23% of all messages on Twitter containing the hashtag #TSLA between 2010-20, or 36,000 tweets. The findings are still under review, and do not include comparisons with other firms’ fanbots over the same period. But widespread use of fanbots could suggest that Twitter has even greater power to blare out corporate propaganda than previously assumed.
Citizen Musk: Propaganda is not a word widely associated with business. The world has plenty of reasons to worry about politicians buying media assets to peddle ideologies. Less so tech titans. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, for instance, is thought to be an arm’s-length owner of Washington Post. Musk is more complicated. What he builds is the work of genius. But when it comes to Twitter, he is often childish and capricious. Imagine if Rockefeller had bought himself the Twitter of his era. He, too, would have had fanboys. And Tarbell’s exposé might have been trolled out of existence.’ – ee Media, Elon Musk’s Twitter saga is capitalism gone rogue
B. Special Focus_
B1. JVP Leader Questions Wisdom of Promoting Privatisation – Rathindra Kuruwita
Those who claim that privatisation is the panacea for Sri Lanka’s economic ills have to present information about privatized institutions first, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said on Wednesday at a conference on privatisation of state assets.
Dissanayake said, the SLPP had campaigned in 2019-20 on a platform of protecting and developing state assets. Therefore, if it embarked on a path of privatising state assets, it should first go for an election and seek a new mandate. Dissanayake said, Sri Lanka had been privatising state assets since the 1980s and an overwhelming majority of those projects have led to disaster.
“In the ‘80-‘90s we privatised textile mills and paper manufacturing plants. Of course, there were issues with the quality of their products, but we have to understand this was the 1980s. Now, these factories are closed, and we import almost all textiles now, burning a lot of foreign exchange. We also have a severe paper shortage and there are complaints that we don’t have paper to print school textbooks, exercise books, term test papers, and print newspapers. We privatised tea plantations, and these plantation owners claim they can’t pay a daily wage of Rs1,000. So, before telling us why we should privatise the rest of state-owned enterprises, the proponents of privatisation must show us the data on the impact of previous privatisation endeavours.’
The JVP leader said, those who support privatisation often show Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) as an example of the benefits. Dissanayake said, advocates of privatisation claim that before privatisation it took 6-7 months to get a connection and that once the SLT was privatised everything changed.
‘Is this what actually happened? If you look at the technological evolution of the telecommunications industry, the late 1980s and early 90s saw boosts in digitisation and wireless technologies. The privatisation of SLT took place at a time when these technological developments were taking place. We benefited from technological developments in other parts of the world. The driver of efficiency in telecommunications in Sri Lanka was technological breakthroughs in the west, not privatisation,’ he said.
Dissanayake added, during the current economic crisis, those who represent powerful business interests have done a good job of convincing people that the best course of action is to privatise state assets. ‘People are suffering and when they see electricity bills or suffer from fuel hikes, they have been told this is happening because the Ceylon Electricity Board & Ceylon Petroleum Corporation are owned by the state. They think the prices have gone up because there are too many workers in these institutions.’
However, if the inefficiency of state-owned enterprises (SoEs) is the reason for electricity and fuel price hikes, what could explain the dramatic rise in the prices of items like cement or biscuits or milk powder? the JVP leader asked. ‘The government plays no role in producing cement. When it comes to milk powder, Highland only has about 5% market share and is still cheaper than other brands. The advocates of privatisation are silent on this. Or they tell us milk powder is bad for the body, or we should not buy cement or biscuits. So, are we going to blame the inefficiency of the private sector for the price increase in biscuits? It is obvious that the current price hikes have little to do with the ownership.’
Dissanayake said, the government is not proposing to only sell loss-making institutions. Among institutions that are earmarked for privatisation are profit-making entities like the SLT, SL Insurance Corporation and SriLankan ground handling & catering.
‘Catering and ground handling departments of SriLankan make a lot of profit. I’ve looked at the annual reports of SriLankan catering from 2011-21. They have been profitable in all years except 2020, profitable even in the 2021-2 financial year. It’s obvious why they made losses in 2020. If you look at ground handling, they are doing even better. They made a 5billion-rupee profit last year. The government is getting ready to sell them and I am sure there are many people ready to buy them. But what about the airline? No one will buy the airline because liabilities are higher than assets and this is a really bad time to run an airline. The government is ready to absorb all the losses of the airline, but even then there are no buyers. We will end up selling the profit-making entities & holding on to loss-makers. This will only make things worse,’ he said.
The JVP leader said, there are 3 main drivers that animate those who support privatisation. Some are adherents of minimum government and believe the government must not be involved in any businesses. On the other hand, the government is desperate for dollars.
‘From 1980 we have failed to earn the dollars we need. In 2022 there is a gap of $8billion to meet imports. If we had not defaulted we would have had to pay $6bn for debt servicing. How have we filled this gap? We used to make some money from tourism & foreign remittances. We filled the rest of the gap through borrowings and selling assets. Now we are scraping the bottom of the barrel.’
Dissanayake added, another thing that animates privatisation advocates is the opportunity to make money out of these transactions. When large state institutions were privatised, those involved in the process made a lot of money. ‘When Hingurana sugar was sold, the institution had 7,000 acres of cane, a 300-acre plant nursery, a factory, and 70 million rupees in the bank and sugar in store. It was sold for less than sugar in the store. If we look at the current context, Minister Nimal Siripala is desperate to privatise SriLankan catering and ground handling because one of his deals went wrong a few months ago.’
The JVP does not believe the state should hold onto everything and try to involve itself in every sector. However, the government has the responsibility to ensure that goods and services are available freely at a decent price, in good quality. ‘We can control some aspects of the market through regulation. We can also intervene through the cooperative system. If you look at Amul, India’s dairy giant that makes billions of dollars in profit, is a cooperative. Fonterra, the producer of Anchor brand, is a cooperative. Imagine what we can do if we get small- and medium-scale rice millers into a cooperative and help them with finance and technology? We could easily break the monopoly of big mill owners and reduce the price of rice. Look at the tile sector, 2 businessmen run the sector, and now apparently people have to wait for months to get tiles. If we believed the advocates of privatisation, this shouldn’t be the result of privatisation. A JVP government won’t allow monopolies.’ (island.lk/jvp-leader-questions-wisdom-of-promoting-privatisation)
B2. Malnutrition – Sugath Kulatunga
It was refreshing to see our Parliament debating for 2 days on a critical problem of child malnutrition facing the country, without wasting time on splitting hairs on political issues. It is sad that the debate was triggered not on a finding of the government but on a statement made by UNICEF based on a report in 2018 on acute malnutrition and protein deficiency in our children. UNICEF had described a desperate situation and made an urgent appeal for donations. The media sensationalized the comments without revealing the date of the findings. With Covid ravaging the economy during the last 2 years the situation must be much worse today. The crisis has aggravated with devaluation and food inflation reaching close to 100.
UNICEF may have gone to town now, due to the developing national disaster and to raise funds. The fund-raising objective for the agency is like the unsupported statement made by the WHO head visiting Sri Lanka after the Tsunami, when she said there would be more deaths by disease than caused by the Tsunami.
Whether the international bodies sound an alarm or not, the bitter fact is there is a severe problem of malnutrition and protein deficiency in children and pregnant mothers among the economically less privileged segments of our community. The present spike in bread and wheat flour prices will make the problem more acute among the urban poor and the plantation community. Especially in urban areas the convenient breakfast is bread. The increase in bread prices will make many schoolchildren skip breakfast. In this background we are heading for a stunted nation with poor health and underdeveloped brain power.
The present tragedy is that the media and politicians make loud noises about the problem but rarely any useful and specific suggestions on solutions. In Chinese, weiji is the word for crisis: composed of 2 parts, wei meaning danger’ and ji meaning opportunity – hence the saying ‘Every crisis is an opportunity!’
Opportunities and problems do not fall from manna. They are manmade. The present crisis in nutrition has its roots in dismal political decisions, administrative laxity, and social dogma.
The ‘free’ US supply of wheat flour/grain under PL480 changed our food habits, made us addicted to wheat flour products. The problem got aggravated with the entry of the Prima project where we provide them with the grain, milled by them and sold to us minus the bran and the wheat germ. This situation could have been corrected when the Prima BOT agreement terminated after 20 years. But CBK sold the complex back to Singapore and allowed them to continue to give us refined flour devoid of nutrition. Consumption of refined flour products minus these nutrients is suggested as one reason for malnutrition among schoolchildren who consume convenient food for breakfast. Food technologists have not considered developing a breakfast cereal with local grains and pulses, as done even in some African countries.
Protein deficiency is highlighted as a main outcome of malnutrition in children and pregnant mothers. Animal proteins are more important in filling this need. In the Agriculture Plan of Philip Gunawardhana in late 1950s there was a comprehensive plan for self-sufficiency and wide availability of animal products. This plan was neglected by succeeding governments. If the artificial insemination programs implemented at that time were continued, by now SL would have an upgraded and productive cattle herd for milk production; instead, recent governments have been interested in overnight solution of importing cows, which was a scam and a disaster. SL should go back to AI where quality semen can be easily imported. Government can follow the example of the privately run Ambewela Farm.
Milk is a major source of nutrition. Sri Lanka has been good at slaughtering the national cattle herd but not done enough to upgrade them.
The dairy farmer is not given a fair price for the liquid milk, whereas the price of milk powder has continuously increased, with the present price fixed at Rs2400/kg (1kg milk powder requires 8 liters of fresh milk). Amul, which is the largest dairy cooperative in India, pays 60% of the cost of their milk packs to the producer. If processing, packaging & marketing cost is calculated even at 50 % of total cost, fresh milk could be paid 1200/8 = Rs150. At this price there will be more production and availability of fresh milk. It is also necessary to check the quality of milk-powder packets in the market for sugar content, and liquid milk cartons for adulteration with water. There is hardly any cream in cartons labeled full cream.
In India the goat is considered the poor man’s cow. In the East Asia flocks of ducks in thousands are seen in rural areas. These sources of animal products are not adequately tapped.
In the early ‘60s Agriculture Ministry banned the import of eggs and launched an islandwide program on small-scale deep litter and free-range poultry to increase availability, reduce prices and increase egg consumption. This was backed with easy loans from Peoples’ Bank and enhanced veterinary services. In a few months the country was made self-sufficient in eggs. This also increased the consumption of eggs and chicken, and provided productive employment to many small breeders.
Fish is an excellent food to prevent malnutrition. But all governments have neglected tapping marine resources even within our 200mile economic zone. Today fish prices have gone beyond even the middle class. Freshwater fisheries had a good start but were banned by a previous President. It’s restored now. But fish that can be bred on small scale is not promoted. Breeding of catfish, possible in earthen ponds (mud ponds) can be a cheap source of protein. Catfish can also be a good export commodity. Vietnam exports around $2billion worth of catfish to the US where it is considered a delicacy.
Recently the media reported medical authorities’ recommendation that powdered fried sprats added to meals as a protein good source. A better and cheaper source would be dried Murunga leaves, with 25% protein. Hybrid Murunga plants can provide leaf harvests in 6 months. Seeds can be imported from South India.
SL has a variety of Yams which are not part of people’s regular diet. Our authorities do not seem to be in touch with international agencies engaged in development of yams. This has deprived diversity in our diet. Sri Lankans consume more rice in meals than vegetables, meat, fish. In Eastern countries like Thailand and the Philippines a normal meal has only one cup of rice but plenty of other items. We also do not consume fruits like they do. Our horticulture has been neglected. Lack of variety in our diet is another cause of malnutrition.
There is also a cultural factor which discourages meat eating specially of beef, the cheapest meat in the past. Slaughter of animals is looked down upon, whereas there is no objection on killing of fish although fish die a painful death of suffocation when taken out of water.
There is a serious social problem where fathers, family breadwinners, get addicted to drugs, alcohol or tobacco. A substantial amount of the meagre earnings is spent on such addictions depriving children of healthy meals. The government is totally committed against drugs, but alcohol and tobacco continue to be rich sources of government revenue. Restrictions on legal alcohol would lead to more consumption of illegal brew, but the more harmful tobacco is given free leash. It is easily controlled by banning the cultivation of tobacco, which no government is prepared to do.
Pulses are a rich source of nutrients, and most can be cultivated here. But the free-trade policy allowed their imports, discouraging production locally. Masoor dhal is the most popular pulse, imported in large volume at high price. Before 1977 a local substitute, Maha Illuppalama or Mi Dhal, was produced, but disappeared with masoor dhal imports. More of this and other pulses and groundnuts should be produced here, to improve variety and richness in our diet. Sorghum is a hardy cereal which tolerates arid and infertile conditions, called the poor man’s maize. It was grown widely some time back but is imported now.
In the past children were given a wholesome lunch in the school. This helped to improve their health and encouraged them to attend school. This in the long run will save in our health budget.
The SL Agricultural authorities have concentrated on rice, where they have done well, but neglected other crops and horticulture. They can contribute more to improve the nutrition deficiency in the population.
Let us believe in wei-ji. (see ee Agriculture, Malnutrition)
B3. The Global Fragility Act: Washington’s new tool for controlling an indomitable Haiti
– Travis Ross (originally in Orinoco Tribune)
The US government has selected Haiti to be the first Global Fragility Act (GFA) ‘partner’ in the Western Hemisphere. Also in the GFA’s pilot group are Libya, Mozambique & Papua New Guinea, along with West Africa’s Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Togo. The GFA has been largely applauded by US policy commentators and thinktanks as something novel and enlightened, but it’s essentially a reformulation of Washington’s same-old imperial policies under new nomenclature.
What is the Global Fragility Act? The GFA was signed into law on December 20, 2019, by President Donald Trump with full bipartisan support. It is endorsed by the Biden administration as a means to ‘advance America’s national interests on the world stage’ at ‘the dawn of a decisive decade.’ The Biden administration hopes the GFA will establish the US as a ‘trusted partner – a force for peace and stability in the world.’
The GFA outlines a ‘peace building’ strategy to ‘stabilize conflict-affected areas and prevent violence and fragility.’ It emphasizes building relationships with ‘local civil society’ by ‘strengthen[ing] the capacity of the USA to be an effective leader of international efforts to prevent extremism and violent conflict.’
This ‘capacity’ also includes ‘planned security assistance’.
A report on the GFA by the Alliance for Peace-building, a coalition of NGOs that advocated for the GFA’s passage, also emphasizes the ‘critical role of the Department of Defense’ in the ‘implementation related to the Global Fragility Strategy’ by ‘ensuring a broad range of security assistance activities’ which would enable ‘the US to successfully execute military objectives by, with, and through its partners in fragile states.’
Funding is managed by US Agency for International Development (USAID) and its parent, the US State Department. (Afghanistan was a prototype for the new State/Defense collaboration where ‘the partnership between the military and USAID was described as ‘unusually close,’ the report notes)
Patrick Quirk, senior director at the International Republican Institute (IRI) of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), describes the GFA as ‘an integral part of the Biden administration’s strategy for global democratic renewal’ to maintain the US’ ‘geo-political and economic position.’ According to Quirk, the GFA is ‘an opportunity for the US to posture itself to reduce violence and fragility in a manner that positions it to secure short-term interests’ and ‘compete with its geopolitical rivals.’
Bilateralism over Multilateralism – The GFA’s bipartisan support reflects a general consensus in both of the US ruling class’ political wings – Republican & Democrat – that Bretton Woods multilateral institutions like the United Nations no longer suffice for the protection of US foreign policy goals and might even impede them. China and Russia have shown a growing willingness to use their veto power at the Security Council to prevent the imperialist countries – France, Britain, US – from having their way with the world body.
In a speech last year, Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the Biden administration’s top foreign policy priorities, among them the US’ rivalry with China. He described China as ‘the only country with the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system – all the rules, values and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to.’
A ‘world work[ing] the way we want it to’ includes ensuring that US multinational corporations have access to the raw materials they want.
In a recent speech, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said ‘we cannot allow countries like China to use their market position in key raw materials, technologies, or products to disrupt our economy and exercise unwanted geopolitical leverage.’
The push to implement the GFA is the US government’s attempt to develop bilateral relations with ‘fragile states’ to gain access to ‘key raw materials’ and prevent China from gaining ‘unwanted political leverage.’ Washington wants to ensure that ‘geopolitical leverage’ remains in US hands.
In a recent article for the American Enterprise Institute, Katherine Zimmerman writes, ‘the GFA is an opportunity to drive the necessary change’ that will prevent ‘adversaries such as China and Russia to expand their influence.’
Echoing the bipartisan consensus on the GFA’s goals, Paul B Stares, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and GFA advocate, encouraged the act’s other proponents to ‘align our priorities to what will now be front and center in US foreign policy going forward,’ especially after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: ‘countering Russian influence, Chinese influence, and dealing with other malign actors on the international stage.’
Why is Haiti a ‘Priority’ for the GFA? – So where does Haiti fit into this geopolitical framework of ‘countering Chinese and Russian influence’ in so-called ‘fragile countries’? According to Elizabeth Hume, the Alliance for Peace-building’s executive director, Haiti represents ‘the first bite at the apple. If all goes well, eventually every country, every conflict-affected and fragile state would be a GFA country.’
Meanwhile, Frances Z Brown, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, sees the GFA’s ‘bilateral agreements with fragile states’ as a way to prevent China and Russia from ‘preying upon weak governance.’
Writing for the US Institute for Peace, Keith Mines claims, ‘Haiti represents the very definition of fragility,’ where a ‘staggering void of governance prevails.’ Mines omits from his analysis that the US and its CORE group allies appointed unelected de facto PM Ariel Henry and hence are the primary authors of this ‘void of governance.’ Nonetheless, Mines concludes that the US State Department’s decision to make Haiti a priority under the GFA is both ‘both welcome and logical.’ Mines is enthusiastic for the GFA’s 10-year plan that will ‘allow for the integration and sequencing of US diplomatic, development, and military-related efforts toward the political goal of a lasting and resilient peace.’
Anyone familiar with past US ‘assistance’ or ‘commitments’ to Haiti should be alarmed about the Biden administration’s enthusiasm for implementing the GFA’s ‘new framework’ on Haiti as a ‘partner.’
…Countering Russian influence, Chinese influence, and dealing with other malign actors on the international stage.’
Georges Fauriol, former NED VP, is a senior associate for the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS). He endorses the GFA, claiming it is ‘what is needed to help Haiti regain its footing.’ (Fauriol was one of the IRI strategists who helped overthrow President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004.) He views Washington’s strong support for Ariel Henry as ‘ambivalent’ and its central role in supposedly inter-Haitian negotiations as ‘essential’ for preserving Haiti’s ‘governing structure.’
One would be safe in assuming that this ‘governing structure’ that must be preserved includes compliant leaders who will give preferential treatment to US capitalists in Haiti by ensuring rights to exploit mineral resources like gold and dictate the minimum wage in cheap labor textile factories.
Old Wine, New Bottles – The GFA fundamentally represents a repackaging of US interventionist policies. Its clauses encouraging input from ‘local civil society groups’ are merely window dressing that will not change US policies one iota.
For over a century, the US has violated Haiti’s sovereignty & undermined its democracy by launching invasions, orchestrating coups, backing dictators. Ariel Henry remains an unelected leader ruling by decree and dictat due to diplomatic support from the US government and its CORE group allies.
Haiti is a priority GFA ‘partner’ because the Biden Administration wants to maintain US hegemony there. An agreement to implement the GFA in Haiti could help facilitate a fourth US military occupation of the country. Given the growth of Haitian armed groups in the past few years, US troops would likely face far fiercer resistance than they did in their 1915, 1994 & 2004 interventions.
With its 2022 July 15 Resolution 2645, the UN Security Council also remains ‘seized of the matter’ regarding Haiti, although under the UN Charter’s Chapter 6, not Chapter 7, which authorizes the deployment of a multinational ‘peace-keeping’ force. Although Russia or China might veto it, there remains the possibility that the Security Council could decide to declare Haiti a ‘threat to international peace and security’ so as to deploy another MINUSTAH, the UN’s ‘stabilization’ force that occupied Haiti from 2004-17. But the bilateral GFA may obviate this option.
The Biden administration also wants to prevent Haiti from developing closer diplomatic relations and economic ties with Russia and China. Some have speculated that the US may have green-lighted President Jovenel Moïse’s 2021 July 7 assassination, due to his alleged plans to strengthen relations with Russia. Meanwhile, Haiti remains one of only 14 countries worldwide which recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, the so-called ‘Republic of China.’ The People’s Republic of China has sought to woo Haiti to drop Taiwan and formally establish diplomatic relations with it, just as neighboring Dominican Republic did in 2018. In 2017 China offered to overhaul Port-au-Prince’s crumbling infrastructure with a $4.7bn aid package if Haiti would recognize it and join its Belt & Road Initiative. So far that hasn’t happened, and the GFA aims to keep things that way.
Washington fears that desperate Haiti might approach BRICS (alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), seeking investment, aid, and trade. Most Haitians feel that US government guidance and aid has had devastating effects on Haiti’s economy, agricultural sector, human rights, and sovereignty, and view it with skepticism at best.
It is no wonder that the Biden administration seeks to ward off multipolar suitors – BRICS or otherwise – by harnessing Haiti with the GFA.
Who Can Legitimately Negotiate on Behalf of Haiti? – It also remains unclear how the GFA can be implemented in Haiti anytime soon. Who has the authority to negotiate bilateral agreements on behalf of Haitians, locking Haiti into ‘peace building’ deals under the GFA that could last a decade? Ariel Henry certainly doesn’t have the legitimacy or authority. This is one reason why Washington is pushing so doggedly for rapid elections.
If Ariel Henry continues to falter in his mission to deliver an elected government, Washington may turn to the other sector of Haiti’s bourgeoisie which is vying for control of government, the Montana Accord group, headed by figures like Magali Comeau Denis and Ted Saint Dic, who supported the coups against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
The Montana Accord is vague about its international posture, with its Article 45b specifying a need for a ‘re-evaluation of Haiti’s diplomatic representation’ based on a ‘Roadmap’ developed by the organizations which back the Accord. While the Montana group’s ‘Monitoring Office’ (BSA) has selected interim leaders for a transitional government – Fritz Alphonse Jean, former governor of Haiti’s Central Bank, as president and former senator Steven Benoit as PM – they also would not be popularly elected officials and their timetable for elections is at least 2 years, which Washington surely feels is too long to wait. Although Aristide’s party, the Lavalas Family and Fort National-based anti-imperialist grassroots group MOLEGHAF have withdrawn, there remain nominally leftist members in the Montana Accord coalition which may also make Washington uneasy.
Some of those ‘civil society’ groups signed a recent open letter to President Biden, The authors were clear: ‘Haitian people strongly demand their confiscated independence, their freedom to choose from now on by themselves and for themselves their leaders, as well as the political, economic & social orientation to be given to their country.’
Such statements do not augur well for Haiti joining any ‘partnership’ with the US government in the framework of the GFA.
(Travis Ross, co-editor of Canada-Haiti Information Project – blackagendareport.com/global-fragility-act-washingtons-new-tool-controlling-indomitable-haiti)
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-UNHRC – are countries ready to face the Ugly Truth?
‘ Which country took Tamil youth including Prabakaran & trained them in camps across India?…How many Christian/Catholic NGOs were located in North & East when LTTE reigned?…’
• Geneva 51 session: Wimal questions legitimacy of India’s call for implementation of 13 A.
• India demands “pound of flesh’ at the UNHRC
• TAK & TNA members join hunger strike in solidarity with PTA prisoners
• President: Final settlement with Tamils in a few months
• Geneva 51 session: Wimal questions legitimacy of India’s call for implementation of 13 A
• Northern Province reaches out to Singapore and Malaysia
• What if Black Americans demanded Internal Self-Determination from USA?
• Goodbye Michelle Bachelet
‘The only time she had the courage to speak the truth about China, the US has pounced on her and she was compelled to resign’
• ‘Peoples in far flung lands admired and loved the Queen of England’ – Sunday Times
• England’s Core Group ready to help Sri Lanka prosecute corrupt public officials (see C3)
• President leaves for England; his maiden overseas visit as head of state
• God Save the King – which King?
• Strangulation without giving a dime’s worth of support – Nalin de Silva
• Geneva challenge: Sabry needs to review ‘case’ anew – Shamindra Fernando
‘The Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, National Defence College and Kotelawela Defence University should at least now initiate thorough examinations of accountability issues and make recommendations to the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence.’
• Wimal strikes again – calls Human Rights Council a golden temple for traitors
• First time UNHRC trying to identify economic hitmen who’ve destroyed Sri Lankan economy
• Lankan High Commission in Delhi opens ‘High Commissioners’ Gallery’
• India plans to stop financial aid to Sri Lanka after IMF bailout: Report
• Govt. earmarking 10 SoEs for liquidation
‘The 10 bankrupt SoEs earmarked for liquidation are Sri Lanka Rubber Manufacturing & Export Corporation, Janatha Fertilizer Enterprises, Lanka Salusala, State Trading Corporative Wholesale Co., Lanka Fabric, North Sea, Ceylon Ceramic Corporation, Lanka Cement Company, Lanka Cement Corporation and Lakdiva Engineering Co..’
• Godahewa compares move on SriLankan Catering with H’tota port sell-off
• Tamil diaspora rules out investing till devolution
• Indian Think-Tank Calls For Security Redlines on Indo-Lankan Ties – Balachandran
‘New Delhi-based think-tank, Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), on August 29 and September 8, give an idea of how the Indian Establishment is viewing developments in Sri Lanka’
• SL President gives 6 months for parliament to decide electoral reforms; If not, referendum
• SL will not join any big power as we don’t want conflict in the Indian Ocean: Prez
• Hambantota is being unfairly singled out to bash Sri Lanka, says Lankan President
• Bandula Gunawardena apologizes to Russia for arresting flight
‘We do not want to arrest any aircraft in Sri Lanka,”
• Sri Lanka, Russia continue talks on loan for Russian oil products: Minister
• Sri Lanka considering joining Russia’s payment system Mir – minister
• Expect to resume Colombo-Moscow flights by mid-October: Bandula
• China concerns about IMF misrepresenteation
• UNHRC’s resolution on Sri Lanka a product of politicization – China
• China firmly supports Sri Lanka at the 51st UNHRC session
• China pledges support to SL at UNHRC but mum on debt restructuring
• President must stop appointing politicians as Chairmen of District Development Coordinating committees
‘District administration in this country is already killed or at least paralyzed by the Indian political intruder, Provincial Councils, since 1987’
• Sri Lanka’s Policy of Appeasement betrayed the Nation & Armed Forces at UNHRC
• UNHRC to call for action against political leaders and officials involved in economic crimes
‘reduce military spending, decisively tackle corruption and increase investments in health, social security, and education through international cooperation’
• Marikkar blames Rajapaksa clan for UNHRC ‘Economic Crimes’ allegation against SL
• Acting UN rights chief says impunity contributing to Sri Lanka’s economic crisis
• UNHRC draft resolution notes economic progress but slams oppression
• Accusations of committing economic crimes at UNHRC, a first for SL: SJB
• SL concerned over UNHRC reference on ‘economic crimes’: Sabry
• ‘Lawyers of the Aragalaya’ add two more names to the list of “Economy Killers”
‘Attorney Manoj Nanayakkara listed: former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, former CBSL Governors AN Cabraal and W.D. Lakshman, and former President’s Secretaries P.B. Jayasundera and S.R. Atygalle, former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa…’
• US Senators move resolution calling for international approach to address SL crisis
‘Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said he was joined by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in introducing the resolution.’
• Rajapaksas enriched themselves at expense of Sri Lankan people – US Senator
• US envoy invites fellow Australian, Indian, Japanese diplomats to new US Embassy premises
• GoSL assures UNHRC credible truth-seeking mechanism planned
• SL tells UNHRC it’s committed to ensuring human rights through credible domestic process
• At UN event, India’s delivers sharp message to Lanka on Tamil minority, economy
• India pulls up Lanka over ‘lack of progress’ in resolving ethnic issues – The Telegraph (India)
• India expresses concern over Lanka’s lack of progress on solution to Tamil issue
• India seeks full implementation of 13th Amendment, & PC elections at the earliest
• India urges political solution to ethnic issue involving Tamil minority in SL
• Indo–Sri Lanka FTA would be revived and upgraded – President
• New impetus to boost Indo-Lanka ties
• Bankruptcy, relief and UNHRC
‘Our benefactor India, demands the government implement the Indo- Lanka Agreement, signed by then Indian Prime Minister Gandhi and President JR Jayawardene. Admission of wrongdoing is the first step toward reconciliation.’
• Tamil diaspora to push for war crime probe at UNHRC
• TNA restarts anti-PTA signature campaign on 10 Sept
• Eelam Tamil Self Rule Party’s Ananthy Sasitharan to address UNHRC
• Muslim diaspora to take PTA use to UNHRC
‘Sri Lanka Muslim Expatriates’ Council International Affairs…’
• US Envoy Julie Chung speaks at the 72nd All-Ceylon Young Men’s Muslim Association
‘president of the Sri Lanka Bar Association Saliya Peiris was the guest-of-honour…Expolanka Group CEO Hanif Yusuf and Executive Director of the PAFFREL Rohana Hettiarachchie were awarded…’
• US calls for accountability for protest-related violence in Sri Lanka
• ‘Aragalaya’ activists to address UNHRC today
‘Social activist Shehan Malaka, Attorney-at-Law Nuwan Bopage, and author Sunanda Deshapriya are among the “aragalaya” members who have reached Geneva,’
• Sandya Ekneligoda highlights Govt. sponsored impunity during address in Geneva
• UN Human Rights Chief calls for transparent probe on Easter Attacks
• Amnesty Intl urges UNHRC to strengthen its oversight of Lanka
• Rights Groups urge strong UN resolution on Sri Lanka
‘Amnesty International, Forum Asia, Human Rights Watch, and International Commission of Jurists’
• Unending wrangling between the UNHRC and Sri Lanka
• Govt. repression meets national and international opprobrium – USAID NPC Perera
• Government to take route of appeasement with UNHRC, Western Core Group and Tamil Diaspora
• Core Group on Sri Lanka to present draft resolution at UNHRC session
• Sri Lanka’s tussle at the UNHRC: The Council responds to Sri Lanka’s human rights mandate.
• Foreign Minister gives emphatic reassurances at UNHRC sessions in Geneva
• Sri Lanka will replace PTA; & 22A leads to salient changes – Foreign Minister
• Formulating a National Action Plan for Reparations: An Interview with the Head and Director General of the Office for Reparations
• National Joint Committee lambasts 22A; says ineffective 19A in different wrapping
• Chinese loans allow developing countries to avoid IMF-imposed structural reform
• The Billion-dollar bribe & Balkanization of Sri Lanka
• Reply to ‘Separate State will be beset with poverty and destitution’
• President tells US, Sri Lanka focusing on competitive export markets to reach prosperity
‘Scotland Yard to be brought in to review and finalise Easter attack report’
• Grassroots Attention required from private lenders: Humanitarian agencies collective
‘Sri Lanka Unites, LEADS Sri Lanka, and Foundation of Goodness’
• Sri Lanka needs political reforms, space for civil society: Power
• Political reform agenda and economic agenda go hand in hand – Samantha Power
• US Citi Bank Foundation and UNDP helps uplift lives of 5,200 farmers
• US with FAO announces $40Mn funding for Lankan paddy farmers to buy Triple Super Phosphate (TSP) fertilizer
• USAID chief urges China to assist Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring – IANS
• Sri Lanka needs responsible borrowing, China co-operation on debt: USAID
• US hopeful creditors would help Sri Lanka ride out crisis situation – USAID chief
• Samantha meets cross sections of people to assess Lankan crisis
‘She met representatives of the farming community in Ja- Ela yesterday.Power heard from farmers firsthand about the previous government’s ill-thought-of policy of banning chemical fertilisers in April last year and pushing them into poverty and how they plan to overcome present challenges.’
• Mano asks Samantha Power to ensure moratorium on PTA
Sajith Premadasa, Mano Ganesan, Rauf Hakeem, M. A. Sumanthiran, Dayasiri Jayasekara, Rishad Bathiudeen, and Harini Amarasuriya met Power. Premadasa asked her to urge the government to adhere to human rights obligations. Ganesan asked her to ensure US support for a moratorium on the implementation of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). Sumanthiran briefed her on the need to scrap the PTA.’
• USAID to provide addition $65 million in assistance to Sri Lanka over five years
‘The assistance falls under the Development Objectives Assistance Agreement (DOAG) signed by Mr. Gabriel Grau, Mission Director for USAID Sri Lanka and Maldives’
• Japan to grant USD 3.5Mn emergency humanitarian assistance to SL
‘going through the World Food Program, the International Red Cross, and the UNICEF in order to directly benefit the Sri Lankan citizens.’
• US, England and EU ask SL to reform PTA
• US HRW slams SL’s new state ministry appointments
• Lanka relegated to bottom slot at UN General Assembly sessions
• Sri Lanka delegation holds talks with UN Core Group on Sri Lanka
• Lanka must ‘reverse the drift towards militarisation’: UN
• Sri Lanka situation fragile, called for accountability- UNHRC
• Sri Lanka gets dressing down at UNHRC
• Sri Lanka rejects any follow-up action on UNHRC resolution: FM
• GOSL and UNDP Map Out SDG Investment for Private Sector to Support Recovery
• Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) Secretary General in Sri Lanka
• Sri Lanka has potential to benefit and learn from closer engagement with Vietnam
‘Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh declared independence from France on September 02, 1945 and Its 77th National Day was celebrated last week in Colombo.’
• Australian companies continue to see Sri Lanka as a highly prospective place to invest and do business, says High Commissioner
• Norway closing embassy here, but projects will continue
‘diplomatic staff will be increased at the Norwegian embassies in Bucharest, Kiev and Vilnius, as well as the Mission of Norway to the EU and Norway’s Permanent Delegation to NATO in Brussels.’
• India upset at US F-16 support to Pak as reward for ammo supply to Ukraine
• South Asian activists discuss youth politics, communalism, in Pakistan
‘Organised jointly by AGHS Legal Aid Cell, Voicepk.net and South Asians for Human Rights’
• US to move $3.5bn in Afghan assets to Swiss-based trust
• A Case for India: A Glimpse into how the English Plundered India and Destroyed a Great Civilisation
• Queen Elizabeth: A Book That Objectively Looks at English Colonial History
• Big picture of Indo-Sino disengagement in Ladakh
‘Jaishankar said much of Asia’s future depends on how the ties between the two countries develop in the foreseeable future, and for the ties to return to a positive trajectory, they must be based on mutual sensitivity, mutual respected and mutual interest, he was clearly addressing China.’
• Macron tells Marcos of France’s commitment to Indo-Pacific region
• The SCO Samarkand Summit: Dialogue and cooperation in an interconnected world
• Xi and Putin Meet in Uzbekistan for Security Summit
• SCO Summit Meeting with PRC President Xi Jinping
• Samarkand summit: What China has proposed to boost SCO unity, cooperation
• Meeting with Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif
• Meeting with President of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi
• Looting Syrian oil, U.S. forces smuggle dozens of tankers into Iraq
• Israeli strikes cause carnage at Syria’s airports and raise fear of escalation
• Israel has detained over 135,000 Palestinians since Oslo Accords
• Senior Hamas delegation in Moscow for talks with Russian foreign minister
• Defending Palestinian Civil Society: Understanding Canada’s Role
• The Izium Withdrawal – A Catalyst For ‘Starting In Earnest’
• Russian regrouping in Kharkov will speed up Battle of Donbass
• Russia Retaliates For Ukrainian Strikes On Russian Controlled Electricity Networks
• A Peace Proposal For Ukraine
• Ukraine conflict – day 202: Russia shrugs off significant losses, Zelenskyy’s plea for arms
• Ukraine needs $7 billion a month in aid, President Zelensky says
• Ukraine sliding into a real war
• As he arms Ukraine, Biden readies new weapon pipelines for Eastern Europe
• Olaf Scholz and Vladimir Putin Talk Past Each Other as Ukraine Pushes for Formalizing Ukraine’s NATO Lite Status
• Ukraine is still a corrupt basket-case economy with unstable institutions.
• Course Correcting Toward Diplomacy in the Ukraine Crisis
• The Kharkov Counterattack – No Big Success – No Large Defeat
• Ukraine SitRep – Hit On Dam Endangers Ukrainian Troops – Russians Defeat More Counterattacks
• Ukraine – Dissecting Some War Propaganda News Items
• The U.S. Instigates Conflict in the Horn of Africa
‘U.S. interference against Ethiopia and Eritrea and how the TPLF, Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, continues its incursions with help from Washington. He speaks to us from Lynchburg, Virginia.
• WHO chief, TPLF leader Tedros silent about his party’s theft of World Food Program fuel
• Behind the Mau Mau: George Padmore, 1953
‘George Padmore’s account of English rule and Black resistance in Kenya reminds us that “Queen” Elizabeth is both the symbol and beneficiary of the savagery of colonialism and white supremacy.’
• Economic Freedom Fighters Statement on the Death of Queen Elizabeth
‘England, under the leadership of the royal family, took over control of this territory that would become South Africa in 1795 from Batavian control, and took permanent control in 1806.’
• France’s Influence in Africa Faces Strains From Locals, Foreign Competitors
• The Global Fragility Act: Washington’s New Tool for Controlling an Indomitable Haiti
• Queen Elizabeth’s death stirs calls in Caribbean for reparations and abolition of monarchy
• Antigua and Barbuda plans referendum to become republic
• Venezuela denounces acts of sabotage at thermoelectric plant
• Twelve Venezuelan plane crew authorized to leave Argentina
‘The US Justice Department asked Argentina to allow it to seize the Venezuelan aircraft because “it is subject to sanctions.” To justify this new act of economic piracy, Washington argued that the transfer of the Boeing 747 from the Iranian company Mahan Air to Emtrasur violated US export laws.’
• U.S. Southern Command General Laura Richardson visits Ecuador
• 9/11 terror attacks: Mystery within mystery
‘Terrorism was used as a tool by big powers to achieve political goals, in SL, which has been battered by terrorism for thirty long years, a similar controversy rages over the Easter Sunday terror attacks,’
• Grief and questions after English police kill unarmed Black man
• The Specter of Germany Is Rising
• Doing ‘Whatever It Takes’ to Keep Europe in ‘Intervention Lockstep’
• A ‘depopulated, partitioned United States is easier to exploit and control’
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.
• 75 Candles – Russian chief spy says he won’t congratulate CIA
‘The US agency’s 75-year history is made up of scandals, provocations, and meddling in other countries’
– oborona.ru/product/zhurnal-nacionalnaya-oborona/75-svechej-na-torte-cru-nekotorye-itogi-deyatelnosti-amerikanskih-rycarej-plashcha-i-kinzhala-43903.shtml (Russian)
• Sri Lanka wants 13 gangsters extradited from Dubai
• Economic stability has to be achieved while ensuring national security: State Defence Minister
• Easter Sunday attack: Court names Maithripala as a suspect
‘President’s Counsel Rienzie Arsekularatne with counsel Thejitha Koralage, Udara Muhandiramge and Thilina punchihewa appeared for the complainants’
• Six persons linked with Easter Sunday bombings indicted
• Police Log: September 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17 2022
• Big plans for restructuring as Police marks 156 years
• English National’s FR application dismissed
• Aragalaya’s Fundamental Right farce: When lawyers distort facts
‘The relentless painting of a dire human rights situation in Sri Lanka are acts which will undoubtedly damage the economy, incite hatred and violence and further destabilise the country.’
• Forced disappearances: Courts moved against Gotabaya again
• Vedda Chief to meet Prez for IUSF Convenor
• Vedda Chieftain speaks in defense of ‘Aragalaya’
• Magisterial inquiry against Fr. Pieris to continue
• Alleged procedural irregularities hold up $ 20 million court automation system project
• Supreme Court on 22A: Serious errors
• Udeni Rajapaksa new SLAF Chief of Staff
• Indian and Lankan fishermen nabbed with 434 Kg of Kerala Ganja
• JRJ & 1962 Coup
‘Jayaweera went around accusing JRJ of being involved in the military coup of 1962. Later it appeared that he had rushed to judgment. After interviewing John Kotelawala in England on this incident Jayaweera recanted and wrote to the papers that it was Dudley who was culpable and not JRJ.’
• A Brown-skinned Sinhala in the legal profession in Melbourne
• Fifth NATO meeting in the Ramstein format
‘The US announced a strategy of long-term armed support of $675 million, NATO announced a “winter package” help (mainly equipment), Germany promised training in demining, and Norway provided 160 missiles’
• ‘I Don’t Know That I Would Even Call It Meth Anymore’
‘Different chemically than it was a decade ago, the drug is creating a wave of severe mental illness and worsening the USA’s homelessness problem.’
• How Weed Became the New OxyContin
‘Big Pharma and Big Tobacco are helping market high-potency, psychosis-inducing THC products as your mother’s ‘medical marijuana’’
• Crackdown on anti-monarchy protests in England sparks outcry from civil liberties groups
• Queen’s Counsel’ no more, ‘King’s Counsel’ return to English courts after 70 years
‘About 1,900 elite English lawyers and hundreds of others in Commonwealth countries’
• New Research Finds CIA Used Black Americans as Drugs Experiment Guinea Pigs
• US Justice Department Was Corrupted by Trump and Attorney General William Barr
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.
•JVP Leader questions wisdom of promoting privatisation
‘SLPP had campaigned in 2019 and 2020 on a platform of protecting and developing state assets.’
• Privatising Banks Could Lead to Economic Catastrophe – Prabhat Patnaik
• We have finetuned the art of begging for Aid and forgotten before 1977 we managed our economy without begging – Karunaratne
• Debate on constituting National Council on Economy on Sept. 20
‘the National Council will have the jurisdiction and general responsibilities to determine the general priorities of Parliament to guide the formulation of short, medium and long-term national policies, agree on short and medium-term common minimum programmes in respect of the stabilization of the economy.’
• Cabinet sub-committee headed by Prez appointed to ensure economic recovery
‘six members, including the President and the Prime Minister.’
• Ranjith and Dilum appointed as acting ministers
‘State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has been appointed as the Acting Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization and National Policies. Meanwhile State Minister of Investment Promotion has been appointed as the Acting Minister of Investment Promotion.’
• No objection from CB chief to tabling IMF deal: Speaker
• Sri Lanka GDP likely plunged on debt default, political turmoil
• Govt. to reveal IMF deal to Cabinet and Opposition Leader
“Sri Lanka had 16 IMF programs in the past, and during that time when the Government reached a Staff-Level Agreement, the contents have never been disclosed in the Parliament or to the Cabinet.’
• Official creditors need guarantees on terms which IMF considers necessary
‘Gramercy Funds Management…Vontobel Asset Managemen…JPMorgan Chase and Co….
Rothschild & Co., financial advisors to the creditor group…White and Case, the creditors’ legal advisors, as well as Clifford Chance, and Lazard – legal and financial advisors to the Sri Lankan government… Mackay Shields…’
• IMF chief hopes to see Sri Lanka’s public creditors quickly engaged
‘“My message to the large creditors, to China, the private sectors is that the larger your share is, the bigger your responsibility,” she said. “It is in your interest as creditors to prevent a problem from exploding.”’
• IMF chief outlines criteria that must be fulfilled to speed-up assistance rollout
‘four criteria that need to be fulfilled; transparency, the establishment of rules, efforts to bring creditors onto one platform, and political will.’
• Lazard initiates talks with India, China & Japan on restructuring Sri Lanka debt
• Govt. keeps fingers crossed till debt restructuring reaches agreement
‘In May, Lazard Institute of France was hired by Sri Lanka, along with international lawyers Clifford Chance LLP Institute,’
• SL likely to face uphill task to reach ambitious IMF-set primary surplus target
‘Deputy Chief Economist at Institute of International Finance (IIF) and former IMF economist Sergi Lanau’
• Crisis-hit SL president to visit Japan, Manila from Sept 25-30 amid debt restructuring talks
• ADB meets Sri Lanka President to discuss areas of support
‘Director General of the South Asian Department of the Asian Development Bank Kenichi Yokoyama, Chen Chen, Director of the Sri Lanka Mission, Utsav Kumar, Deputy Director of the Sri Lanka Mission, and Sagala Ratnayake, Chief of Staff to the President.’
• Chinese envoy discusses Sri Lanka’s economic situation with ADB reps
• Changes to tax structure in 2019 led overall tax base to shrink, says Verité Research
• Profit Making State Organizations Going Bankrupt
• India overtakes China in support for Sri Lanka
• Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives among biggest debt burdens to China: US Forbes
• Repeating the debt cycle when the solution is to exit it – Jayatilleka
‘President Wickremesinghe is now piggy-backing on the crisis and the IMF recommendations to drive through a dogmatic, free-market fundamentalist, obsolete economic strategy’
• Foreign debt sustainability and fiscal consolidation imperative, difficult and challenging – Sanderatne
‘immediate reduction in the fiscal deficit and its progressive decrease in the next few years are vital for economic stabilisation and growth.’
• The main issue is restoring a market-determined and flexible exchange rate – Abeyratne
• Child’s guide to Ranilnomics: Part II: Wijewardena
• ‘IMF should take SL’s expenditure management issues seriously’ – Anushka Wijesinha
• Sajith blames Rajapaksa trio for SL’s economic woes
• CBSL must be independent and accountable, reforms will happen: Harsha
• CB independence doesn’t mean lack of accountability: Harsha
• Sri Lanka needs to prepare a check-list of niche market exports – Kussi Amma Feizal
‘We need a policy of importing products/produce that are cheaper for consumers here, rather than costly producing them locally and channel all our resources to producing high-value items that will compensate against the cost of imports.’
• GL Faults Parliament for Deterioration of Public Finances
‘The former Vice Chancellor of the University of Colombo said that the World Bank recently went to the extent of questioning Sri Lanka’s auditing standards. Calling the World Bank move nothing but a disgrace and an affront to the once proud service’
• Recovery options for heavily indebted Sri Lanka – Weerakkody
• Whites need to modify China’s political banking policy
‘World Council for Public Diplomacy and Community Dialogue’s Andy Vermaut, president of the fundamental rights movement Postversa set up first worldwide “China Debt Trap Conference” on September 8, 2022 in the Brussels press club…with Monica Andrei, European Commission’s International Programme Manager, and Razvan Hoinaru, policy consultant with the European Parliament’s IFRS Permanent Team… Manel Msalmi, President of the European Association for the Defense of Minorities, International Affairs Advisor to Meps at the European Parliament, and Conference Co-Organizer.. Paulo Casaca, the founder and executive director of the South Asia Democratic Forum and a former member of the European Parliament…David Vander Maelen, a conference co-organizer and president of the Hiking for Children, Tibet Support Group Belgium’
• EU Recession Fears Spark Concern in Southeast Asia
‘An EU recession would have the heaviest impact on Southeast Asia’s merchandise exports, tourism and investment sectors,’
• IMF confirms plan to expand emergency aid
• Guterres to take up ‘debt swaps’ with IMF, WB
• Jean Drèze, An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions
‘The mantra in the era of liberalization has been the need for flexible labour markets—code for managerial despotism and attacks on the trade unions, legislatively and on the ground.’
• Zambia’s bondholders slam IMF debt relief targets as ‘arbitrary’
‘Zambia’s international bondholders have criticised the International Monetary Fund’s debt restructuring framework as “arbitrary” and for excluding the country’s domestic debt’
• Cancel Zambia debt say experts to BlackRock, Zambia’s creditors & G20
‘The country’s public lenders, including China, have agreed to take part in a debt restructuring, on condition that private lenders also do so on the same terms’
• Multiple crises halt progress as 9 out of 10 countries fall backwards in human development: UNDP
• Mia Mottley Talks De-risking and Correspondent Banking at US Congress
• Big Ideas to Stir the Blood: Reimagining Reparations as USA’s Marshall Plan and Not Just a Payday
‘International law requires that reparations be made for human rights violations.’
• No Pandemic Intellectual Property Waiver at WTO a devastating global failure
• The World Trade Organization After the 12th Ministerial Conference
‘pro-corporate, anti-worker, and anti-development outcomes on all major issues of access to medicines, agriculture, digital trade, and the future of the WTO itself.’
• Why are Energy Bills so High in Europe?
• Oil giants reap record profits from war, pandemic and skyrocketing prices
• Energy company profits 2022: who owns BP, Shell, Centrica – why are they making so much money?
• Electricity Markets, Climate Change, and the European Energy Crisis
• Economist Richard Wolff: Sanctions Against Russia, Inflation & Class War
• Life expectancy and human development in the 21st century – Roberts
‘The big pharma companies had avoided putting funds into malaria vaccines for decades, preferring to develop anti-depressants and cancer drugs that could sell well in the richer countries.’
• The closing scissors and profits – Roberts
‘Global corporate profits growth is heading south, according to analysis by JP Morgan economists….Why does tracking the change in the profits of the capitalist sector globally matter? As I have argued in numerous places, profits are the driving force of capitalist investment and therefore employment and income growth. If the profitability of capitalist investment falls and eventually leads to a fall in total profits, it is the strongest indicator of an impending slump in capitalist production.’
• Escalating Plunder – Robert Brenner
• Our Ancestors Thought We’d Build an Economic Paradise. Instead We Got 2022
• Ransom Capitalism
‘Bailouts are an ideal intervention for a decaying neoliberal politics: they maintain capital flows, rising asset prices and the upwards redistribution of wealth, while supporting the minimum needs of enough of the population to prevent total social breakdown.’
• Why the US Federal Reserve has made a historic mistake on inflation
‘US Democrats are searching for villains to blame, from greedy bosses to Vladimir Putin.’
• Fed Tightening, Shaky Mega Banks, and a Sharp Decline in Household Wealth
• Rethinking Monetary Sovereignty: The Global Credit Money System and the State
‘Creeping dollarization subjects states across the world to monetary and financial decisions made in the USA’
• England’s new prime minister makes no apologies for favoring the wealthy
C4. Economy (Usually reported in monetary terms)
ee Economy section shows how media usually measures economy by false indices like GDP, etc., in monetary terms, confusing money and capital, constantly calling for privatization, deregulation, moaning about debt & balance of payments, without stating the need for modern industrial production.
• Sri Lanka GDP Likely Plunged on Debt Default, Political Turmoil
• Sri Lanka GDP contracts 8.4-pct in 2022 second quarter
• Economic downturn worsens in 2Q
• Mighty US dollar likely to inflict more pain on struggling Lankan economy
• Services sector leads rebound of economy in August; manufacturing catching up
• Fitch Ratings slashes global GDP forecasts
• Over 21,000 water connections cut by Water Board
• Mysterious funds approach Sri Lanka in this crisis
‘When the government is downgraded to default grade, the banks in the country are also automatically put in the same grade as they cannot get a better rating than the sovereign, which opens up opportunities for such funds’
• Private credit from licensed commercial banks continues to fall as economy in serious decline
• Economic crisis could delay Lankan banks’ transition to final BASEL III standards: Fitch
• Revenue loss due to compromises by tax officers, consultants and taxpayers
• Bittersweet indices on Sri Lanka’s export and import unit values
• Govt. to review suspended imports list every fortnight
• Govt. revises import curbs selectively
• Sri Lanka President relaxes import ban on over 150 items
‘industrial machinery, a series of building materials, machine parts, tools, ball bearings, agricultural implements, toilet paper’
• IMF board releases over $1.1 bln in Pakistan bailout funds
• World Bank may club two policy loans with many tough conditions
‘Advancing the approval of PACE-II loan means Pakistan will have to take all prior actions, which is not feasible in present circumstances’
• Dollar heads for longest losing streak in a year
• Asia-Pacific corporates likely to shift to local financing: Fitch
‘as more restrictive monetary policy in the US widens the cost differential between onshore and offshore borrowings… based on the agency’s assumption that US policy rates will rise at a more aggressive pace than local policy rates.’
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
• Lakvijaya power plant employee feared drowned after falling into sea
• Armed robbery at filling station in Ratmalana
• 10,000 lose jobs with restaurant and canteen closures
• FTZ workers ready to fight for cost of living allowance
‘Convener of the National Centre for Free Trade Zone Workers, Gamini Ratnayake, there were148,000 workers in FTZs and their basic salary starts at Rs. 16,500’
• Another ‘aragalaya’ demanding relief
• Women activists protest in Fort
• Heated exchange between protesters and police
• Fisheries Corp. owes employees Rs. 620 mn: CFC Employees’ General Union (EGU)
• Public sector vacancies will be filled from excessive staff at state establishments: Minister
• Online violence emerging as important workplace issue: World Bank’s International Finance Corporation Study
• Workplace violence, harassment costs Sri Lankan businesses millions: World Bank’s International Finance Corporation Study
• Social welfare schemes undergo reforms benefiting vulnerable groups
• Controversial Social Security Contribution levy comes into effect
• Govt. begins search to identify families who deserve welfare benefits
• Econ woes exacerbate mental health crisis
• Hospitals postpone routine surgeries to preserve medical equipment during emergency: GMOA
• Decline in employment as firms cut staff, impose hiring freezes
• Committee of Officers to review State sector recruitment process
• Recruitment frozen to public sector
• Five year no pay leave won’t apply for teachers, health sector etc: official
• Circular issued to send 60+ year old employees on compulsory retirement
• If Ven. Sobhitha doesn’t pay his bills, disconnection of power inevitable: Minister
• Association of Seafarer Recruiting Agents (ASRA), Merchant Shipping Secretariat and the Ministry of Ports and Shipping set up National Marine HR policy
• Court urges Japan to release video of SL student/worker before she died
• Bureau of Foreign Employments (SLBFE) warn people against racketeers promising foreign jobs
• 7 Sri Lankan students held by Russian forces in Kharkiv region rescued – Ukrainian president
• Azerbaijani border guards detain SL citizens in Beylagan
• US Korea offers job opportunities; salary ranging from Rs. 850,000
• New Saudi envoy says more jobs available for skilled Lankans
• Thousands brave long wait for Qatar Airways Group recruitment
• Passports to pursue prosperity peak
‘over 700,000 passports during the first eight months, creating an all-time high of travel documents’
• More than a million Lankans have left the country in past 20 months
• Navy continues crackdown on illegal migrants, 85 detected off Batticaloa
• Navy nabs 26 more persons suspected to be on illegal migration attempt
• Worker remittance income up in August amid govt. incentives
• Expatriate remittances up 16% to $325 million – Overseas job departures exceeds 200,000 in 2022
• Govt. to rollout migrant worker pension scheme from October
• Several Sri Lanka Consular Division offices closed over system breakdown
• The Power of Manpower –Revenue Seeker for Sri Lanka’s Economy
• Christian influence in education in Sri Lanka – Nalin de Silva
‘Sinhala Buddhist education would have been better if it had been prepared in a different format.’
• Richmond College & King Sri Wickrama Rajasingha’s Reign – Nalin de Silva
• Cricket and us – Nalin de Silva
• In Younger Days
• Female students cut school due to high costs in sanitary napkins
• Mind the gap: Sexual & Gender-Based Violence policy and the reality
• BOI partners National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority to upskill school leavers
• APIIT Signs Mou With Nestlé Lanka For APIIT Athwel
‘APIIT Sri Lanka is the largest provider of British degree programmes in Sri Lanka.’
• Older people: “The Agony and Ecstasy”
• Sri Lankan origin woman Vanessa Nathakumaran first in queue for Queen’s lying-in-state
• India Gender Bias Behind 93% Gap in Earnings Between Men and Women: Oxfam Report
• African Refugees, Asylum Seekers Facing Discrimination, Prolonged Detention In Lithuania
• Report: 50 million people in situations of modern slavery on any given day
‘International Labour Organization (ILO), Walk Free and the International Organization for Migration report 2021 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery’
• Record numbers of migrants die at the U.S.-Mexico border
• Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flies 2 planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard
• 115,000 U.S. railroad workers prepare to strike Friday to demand safer working conditions
• Thousands of U.S. nurses go on strike, demanding better working conditions and higher wages
• Starbucks labor organizer resigns from Buffalo, New York store
• McDonald’s Faces Worldwide Reports of Sexual Harassment
• The Sickness of the US Left and the Path to Recovery
• Remembering Barbara Ehrenreich & Work Left Undone
• How Barbara Ehrenreich Exposed the ‘Positive Thinking’ Industry
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.
• Oceans and its seabed key frontier for the future
• President stresses need for national plan to ensure food security
• Instead of Remedying It, WFP Creates Selective Hunger in Sri Lanka
‘WFP carries out selective, illegal and discriminatory treatment for one community, the Tamils only, in the North, East and Nuwara Eliya’
• Debate on state of malnutrition in country
‘The UNICEF report had placed Sri Lanka 6th on the list using malnutrition data from 2016…The controversy is that they have taken data from different countries referring to different years. They have taken data from India from 2017, whereas the data from Eritrea is from 1995. As such, there is a significant difference in the year they are referring to when coming to the final results. So, we can’t take this report as a complete report,’
• Joint FAO-WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission (CFSAM) report on Sri Lanka
• FAO, Agriculture Ministry sign MoU for essential fertiliser distribution
• Over 39% of Lankans not consuming adequate diet
• ADB and Japan support food security and livelihood recovery in Sri Lanka
• Japan extends fresh $ 3.5 m grant for food security and health
• Sri Lanka will not go hungry: ICI-CIC Peradeniya University Prof. Buddhi Marambe
• Multi-sector combined mechanism launched to ensure food security and nutrition: PMD
• Govt. kicks off drive to revive rural economy; food security
• Japan’s Dentsu calls upon SL youth to address food wastage through creativity
• How shortsighted and greedy Govts. destroyed agriculture
• India’s rice export ban to not affect Sri Lanka
• Govt. unable to purchase paddy for want of funds
• Two State banks fail to give Rs. 2 bn to Paddy Marketing Board (PMB)
• Govt. to gradually curtail rice imports
• Agri Minister upset over delay in rice import ban
• Sri Lanka may halt rice imports to maintain farmgate paddy prices: Minister
• In the absence of competition from PMB, large rice mill owners snap up paddy output for a song
• News reports of ‘poisonous rice’ completely false and misleading – Actg. Registrar of Pesticides
• Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) & UNDP to procure 200 MT of maize seeds for Maha season
• Promises of flour from Türkiye and Dubai as traders told not to increase price of bread
• Sri Lanka coconut auction price down 5.1-pct
• 50kg Urea for farmers, for free: Amaraweera
• Govt. to import cattle from India, Pakistan
• No intolerable price hike on eggs, chicken at year-end: Poultry Assn.
• Chicken flies high; fetches Rs.1,450 per kg: Poultry Traders Assn.
• 30% hotels, canteens, restaurants, food carts, 50% of school canteens closed: AICOA
‘Due to shortage and price increase of bread flour, eggs, meat, fish’
• Indian criminal trade thrives re-exporting sea cucumber via Colombo
‘illegally harvested by Indian bottom trawlers…the catch is recorded as local harvest …and later transported to Colombo through agents for export. The illegal marine cargo would be declared as a Sri Lankan-origin export to South East Asian countries.’
• Rajanganaya sour plantain growers earn USD 28,000 from exports in six months
• Glyphosate ban to be lifted
• Chili farmers ready to supply 20% of country’s demand
• Sri Lanka agriculture ministry launches green chillies cultivation drive
• Lanka’s crisis powers 22% spike in Indian tea exports
• Industry challenges come to fore at Tea Exporters Association 23rd AGM
• Tea Exporters Association Sri Lanka hosts its 23rd AGM
• Offerings at Colombo Tea Auction limited to 4.2 MnKgs this week
• August tea exports down 2.47 MnKgs from previous year
• Kush Farm raided in Nuwara Eliya
• Wild elephants grow to 7,000, tuskers decline
• Elephantine battle erupts over counting of jumbos
• World Bank under fire for backing project to reap short-term profit at the expense of forests
• Rates go wild at SL wildlife parks
• Sigiriya residents want wildlife sanctuary gazette revoked
• Wildlife conservation: A view from Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC)
‘Are we headed in the right direction? This month’s Nations Trust Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) lecture by Ranjan Marasinghe, Director – Operations, DWC’
• Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka: Are We Headed in the Right Direction?
• More studies reveal the ecological services of bats
• How Climate Collapse Is A Biological Process
• Nearly half of Darjeeling tea estates are on sale
• Deficit in India Paddy Sowing Narrows to 4.52%; Lag in Pulses, Oilseeds
• Agricultural Drone in Thailand
• International Food Crisis and Proposals to Overcome It
‘Contrary to a notion that spread in 2022, the global food crisis started before the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the rise in the cereal prices due to speculation.’
• UN warns 345 million people face starvation worldwide
• Poorest nations push for compensation at UN climate talks
• Harvard’s Venezuela Coup Leader Ricardo Hausmann loves “green development”
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.
• US$ 22.83 mn, €18.75 mn EU donation for sustainable industrial development from UNIDO
• Govt.’s lethargy towards gem and jewelry sector costing SL $1 billion in for-ex annually
• SL’s gem and jewellery industry recounts Queen Elizabeth II and her love for gemstones
• Two state ministers in power and Energy Ministry assigned separate duties: Kanchana
• Power and Energy Minister extend support to implement UN-assisted programs in SL
• Four fuel ships near Colombo; Govt. to raise funds
• Sri Lanka unloads fuel, crude after forex shortage delay.
• Milco to probe Ambewela Factory staffers over fuel pilfering
• LOLC’s Group’s Browns Investments eyes coal supply deal to Norochcholai
• Longer power cuts likely in Sri Lanka if coal shipment not secured: union
• Cabinet to seek AG’s advice to fast-track settlement on $ 1.5 b coal procurement dispute
• LIOC’s Rs. 320 m grease plant starts operations
• President and Australian HC in preliminary discussions on renewable energy investments
• Dip in rubber prices amid lower demand from local shippers and foreign buyers
• Sri Lanka’s NDCU says dengue controls resumed after fuel received; unions rejects
• Fuel quota pledge: Tuk drivers fume over Govt. inaction
• 400 school transport vehicles grind to a halt
‘400 of the 48,000 vehicles that transport schoolchildren across the island have withdrawn from providing their services, stated the All-Ceylon School Children Transport Association (ACSCTA).’
• Shock for CEB: Rs. 14.6bn not paid by consumers
• CEB hits panic buttons as court case holds up delivery of fresh shipments of coal
• Sri Lanka power regulator launches hotline to explain new electricity tariff
• Lengthy power cuts to return, warn CEB engineers
• Electricity and eligibility: Targeting cash transfers in Sri Lanka: CIA Mick Moore
• Procurement of LP gas: Ex-COPE Chief alleges embezzlement of funds amounting to Rs 1.3 bn
• Protracted cooking gas shortage attributed to a dispute among government cronies
• Litro to take legal action against those making allegations on WB funds
• Litro: WB satisfied with procurement process
• Previous Litro chairman spent Rs.20 million to stop Auditor from scrutinising accounts!
• Interim measures for energy needs
‘Whenever the idea of setting up an oil refinery in Sri Lanka is mooted, the immediate but unimaginative response is that it is a long-term project.’
• Dialog Enterprise and University of Moratuwa’s new fuel-monitoring system
• Sri Lanka receive UNDP / ADB capacity building assistance for selected infrastructure sector
• Hayley’s Alumex invests Rs. 1b to boost capacity, exports
• GRI opens Corporate Office in North Carolina, USA
‘GRI produces high-grade speciality tires using pure natural rubber in Sri Lanka.’
• Industrial production plunges in July amid massive social unrest
• Health officials sound the siren on worsening medicinal drug shortage
• State Pharmaceutical Corporation to make emergency purchases of essential drugs
• First ever Int’l Confab on vaccines in Sri Lanka
‘The organizing committee in Sri Lanka includes Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Forum of Sri Lanka (VIDFSL), the Sri Lanka College of Microbiologists, Sri Lanka College of Pediatricians and the College of General practitioners’
• SL Air Force promotes indigenous medicine
• Sri Lanka to re-allocate US$100mn to buy medicines
• Cabinet approves to redirect AIIB’s $ 100 m to procure medicine
• UNDP and WHO steps in to donate medicines to Lanka
• $1mn WHO grant for ’21 Covid Home Care utilised improperly?
• Sri Lanka targets medicine orders for three months, instead of one order per month
• Sunshine’s Lina Manufacturing delivers first-ever locally produced Metered Dose Inhalers to Ministry of Health
• Sri Lanka govt hospitals prioritising critical surgeries over routine procedures
• Medical waste piles up at govt. hospitals
• India’s Jay Jay Mills undertakes maiden project at Eravur zone with US$ 35mn investment
• Reforming Education: Challenges to Change
• Education Minister to import raw materials including papers and ink under Indian credit line
• Govt. seeks Indian loan to print school textbooks
• Rationalise free school textbook programme
‘Just imagine students attending prestigious schools, and travelling in luxury vehicles being given textbooks for free just like the children of poor people.’
• As crisis worsens, tots drop out of preschools
• Coir Mill at Kalpitiya burned
• Govt. import ban hampers all sports in SL
• Kingslake, Sri Lanka’s leading manufacturing solutions expert partner Don Carolis
• Indonesia hikes fuel prices by 30% to rein in ballooning subsidies
• Indonesia will consider ‘all of the options’ as steep Russian oil discount and G7 price cap loom
• Venezuela receives third oil tanker built by Iran
• Soaring energy prices ordeal for European leaders as protests erupt in more countries
• BP and Shell overall profits around £30bn in the first half of 2022.
• US congressional probe calls out oil companies for an unprecedented global crime
• The Disconnect between Productivity and Profits in U.S. Oil and Gas Extraction
• EU plans ‘comprehensive reform’ of electricity market
‘measures include a cap on electricity producers’ profits that would raise 140 billion euros ($140 billion) and “cushion” consumers from high prices’
• Foxconn and Vedanta to build US $ 19bn India chip factory
• The chip shortage is so bad companies are ripping them out of washing machines (April 2022)
• Billionaire wants to buy South African airports:
• Prison labor helps US solar company manufacture at home
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.
• Leading foreign banks HSBC and Standard Chartered in SL claim profit fall in 1H 2022
• Crisis in Co-operative Insurance Board
‘The company, owned by numerous multi-purpose co-operative societies, banks and thrift societies, had informed the Colombo Stock Exchange of an incident on 31 August some directors allegedly holding an impute board meeting.’
• Sampath Bank fined Rs. 1 mln for compliance violations
• Banks court funds via creative deposit products in a bid to defend margins
• Foreign holding in G-Secs gains 23% following IMF staff-deal
‘Sri Lanka has seen continued bleeding of foreign investments in its government securities from the beginning of 2015 and the situation has worsened since 2020 when the rating agencies slashed the country’s sovereign rating.’
• Edirisinghe Trust Investments (ETI) Finance depositors protest in front of CBSL
• Thousands Sri Lankans lose billions of rupees in a fake Crypto scheme
• Pradeep Amirthanayagam appointed Chairman of People’s Bank’s People’s Leasing
‘Owns Holmes Pollard & Stott, former Director of Lankan Alliance Finance, Bangladesh and People’s Merchant Bank, trained at BBC HQ Bush House, now Vice President, Society for the Uplift and Rehabilitation of Leprosy Affected Persons (SUROL), Director of Anura Bandaranaike Foundation.’
• LOLC General and LOLC Life enter into strategic partnership with Cargills Bank
• Aberdeen Holdings sells 4.5 percent stake in Ex-Pack Corrugated Cartons for Rs. 240 million
• Equistone-backed Acuity Knowledge Partners buys Cians Analytics
• Sri Lanka raises Rs.48.7 bln via T-bonds (S13)
• Sri Lanka offers 2032 bonds on tap at 29-pct (S14)
• Sri Lanka sells Rs80bn in mostly 3-month bills, down 18bp (S14)
• T-bill yields ease across maturities with auction seeing full subscription (S15)
• Yields in Sri Lanka T-bills fall; rupee guidance peg steady
• Sri Lanka bond yields flat, rupee guidance rate down 20 cents (S12)
• Sri Lanka’s rupee guidance peg weakens, yields in govt securities down (S14)
• Sri Lanka’s rupee guidance peg edges down; yields in govt securities pick up
• Sri Lanka’s stocks fall in mid-day trade (S13)
• Indices close in red (S14)
• Sri Lanka shares gain over 1.5-pct in mid-day trade
• Sri Lanka stocks close at fresh over 5-month peak on bank, hotel shares
• Colombo stock market rebounds sharply; net foreign inflow rises to Rs. 673 m (S15)
• Sri Lanka shares gain over 2.5-pct in mid-day trade
• Sri Lanka shares close at 5-1/2 month high amid strong foreign inflows
• CSE’s ASPI crosses 10,000 points mark
• CSE exceeds 10,000 points after 24 weeks (S16)
• With extending of CSE trading, ASPI crosses 10,000 points, turnover exceeds Rs. 5 billion
• Sri Lanka bourse edges down from 5-1/2- month high: sees strong foreign inflow
• Expolanka Holdings-linked share transaction boosts foreign inflows (S17)
• AIG Was Brought Down by Derivatives in 2008.
C9. Business (Rentierism: money via imports, real-estate, tourism, insurance, fear, privatization)
ee Business focuses on the rentier diversions of the oligarchy, the domination by a merchant mafia, making money from unproductive land sales, tourism, insurance, advertising, etc. – the charade of corporate press releases disguised as ‘news’
• Game on, casinos!
• Sri Lanka to issue no-sex casino licenses for 20-years
• Annual average increase of 14% seen for Western Province Lands in the last 5 years
• People’s Bank acquires properties of CML MTD Construction
• AIA Insurance partners Commercial Bank of Ceylon
‘Both AIA & Commercial Bank are longstanding partners of International Finance Corporation (IFC).’
• USAID Angel Fund focused on helping its portfolio weather economic storm
• Sri Lanka Port City, BOI transferred out of Ranil’s main ministry
• Lotus Tower entry ticket fiasco: Chinese Embassy urges to buy a ticket to see with own eyes
‘A ticket claiming to be that of the Lotus Tower is being circulated on social media with information on exemptions for Parliamentarians and Chinese Nationals.’
• Lotus Tower: A way forward for broadcasting
• Sri Lanka’s Chinese-built tower on the lookout for bids for revolving restaurant
• Towering story of pride and waste
‘The Lotus Tower is owned by Telecommunications Regulatory Authority but managed by Lotus Tower Management Co. under the Treasury, with an independent Board of Directors.’
• Sri Lanka’s Chinese-built Lotus Tower limits visitor time to 20 minutes
• Opening day income of Lotus Tower revealed
• Tall towers, empty stomachs
• Ceylon Chamber requests patience from companies before shutting shop
‘following Decathlon, a French sporting goods retail company, deciding to suspend all its operations’
• No businessmen should be appointed as ministers: SJB
• Hameedia’s perfect presidential fit
• Stationery importer Atlas, Sarvodaya to raise $1.5 mln for underprivileged Sri Lankan children
• MMBL-Pathfinder Group JV forex earnings to reach US$ 200mn this year
• Accounting and Financial Management Association (AFMA) organises Fusecura’22
‘AFMA is the student body of the Department of Accounting, Faculty of Management Studies and Commerce, University of Sri Jayewardenepura’
• Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Sri Lanka (WCIC) national awards
• Daraz’ Women in Ecommerce Conference to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka
• DuPont: The Most Evil Business in the World
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.
• An election to be held in Sri Lanka before March 30
• Galle Face Protest & How “Operation 2.0” Was Foiled? – Thoradeniya
• Pohottu As USA Proxy Part 8Lg, Lh
• Break-ups in SLPP thwarted with the swearing in of 37 state ministers
‘The beneficiaries of perks and privileges form the bulk of the backers of Basil Rajapaksa, the ideologue of the SLPP and the man behind its phenomenal rise and ignominious fall. For his party’s support to President Ranil Wickremesinghe, he wanted to make sure, the parliamentarians received’
• Anger over bloated new govt
• Until constitutionally enabled to dissolve parliament next year, President remains hobbled.
• Ranil-SWOT: A Reappraisal – David
• Gorbachev: The Mystery of Roads Taken & Not Taken – Jayatilleka
‘the goals and ideas of a reformed socialism in the realm of economics, were increasingly subverted and displaced by ideas of free-market capitalism and nihilism towards the state.’
• Sri Lanka was ‘changed utterly’ by J.R. Jayewardene – Jeyaraj
• Sri Lanka’s crisis and the dilemmas of small states
• Premadasa says RW dedicated to protecting Rajapaksa dynasty
• Wimal criticizes new State Ministry appointments
• AKD reveals the privileges of new State Ministers
• Eran questions whether country needs so many ministers
• Records show poor attendance by parliamentarians as 9th Parliament marks 2 years
• Strengthening the executive presidency and the farce of empty promises
‘By its very nature, the State in Sri Lanka is both violent and coercive. It is the State which spawns violence in reaction to its actions.’
• Gender Equality Bill final draft to Prez within this month
• CBK denies son set to enter politics
• Where will Govt.’s crackdown on ‘aragalaya’ activists end?
• Set up Saddam Hussein Village in Eravur as founder of Iraq-Sri Lanka Friendship Association
• GR, BR, and MR: From heroes to the Zero Draft in Geneva
• Sri Lanka’s Mangala Samaraweera sorely missed: USAID chief in poignant tribute
• Sri Lanka MP acquitted of murder charges appointed state minister
• Sri Lanka’s Left Turn
‘We did not join as [the Frontline Socialist Party] because the people there did not like the state, Parliament, or political parties,” party spokesperson Pubudu Jayagoda said. We did not reveal our name but decided to contribute’
• Wimal Weerawansa ordered to appear in court with MC
• Ranil’s exit will be more fearsome than Gota’s: Hirunika
• New location for Aragalaya: Presidential advisor
• Sellaheva’s [‘Gnanakka’ of 1950s?] Blunt Declaration on Queen’s Visit Toddler
• Sacking PM and other matters
‘President Wickremesinghe may be constitutionally empowered to sack Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, but both of them are at the mercy of the SLPP, which is under Basil’s thumb.’
• Chief Govt. Whip denies move to replace PM
• Sri Lanka cabinet overwhelmed, claims spokesman defending new appointments
• SLPP ‘independents’ reject SLPP reunion
• As anti-government protests are decreased, SLPP trying to bulldoze its way through
• Removing PM not essential to executive power
• President at beck and call of Rajapaksas – Sajith
• No option left but to remove incumbent President, government using force: FLSP
• FSP calls on people to oust govt.
‘Jude Namal from the Fisher Organisations Collective, M Wijendran of the Independent Fisher Activists Committee and W Maximan for the Fisher Workers Association also addressed the press conference’
• Ranil’s responsibility is to 134 MPs who elected him President – Dilan
• Invisible hand controlling the SLPP – Prof. G.L Peiris
• Mahinda Deshapriya’s advise to youth – Learn how to do an Aragalaya first
• SJB breathes fire at ‘Ranil Rajapaksa’ Govt.
• Sri Lanka’s 60 Shades of White – When lawmakers become lawbreakers
• If protests not suppressed, Government would’ve collapsed completely – Victor Ivan
• MHM Ashraff; From Muslim Leader to National Statesman – Jeyaraj
• Statement and update on country situation: Direction Sri Lanka
• Brawl at wedding leaves 6 hospitalised; 10 arrested
‘although the services of the swimming pool had not been reserved, a group of people who had attended the wedding had jumped into the pool’
• Government repression against students performative: IUSF
• Chile’s Boric Is Becoming More Right Wing by the Day
• Latin Americans Reject Resource Plundering by Same NATO Countries Fueling Military Conflict in Ukraine
• The death of Queen Elizabeth and Tory makeovers in government
• That’s Enough Monarchy Now
‘Still more absurd is the millions in feudal income that goes with that title, all real money paid by actual ordinary people as feudal dues.’
• Canadian Green Party misgendering kerfuffle may be its death knell
• Sweden’s new government will be led by far-right party founded by neo-Nazis
• England extending the timescale of exploitation by war profiteers
‘do not be surprised to see all the neoliberal parties – Tory, Labour, Liberal, SNP – broadly agree in the next week over a deal on energy bills. They are doing it for their joint promotion of war – which though will keep the super profits of both the arms and the energy companies rolling in’
• Black Politics in San Francisco, Part 2
‘Where a Black mayor, London Breed, continues neo-liberal and pro-police policies and where gentrification and displacement continue.’
• JPMorgan Chase pays $127,500 to Congress members who oppose federal voting rights protections
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.
• National Security Search Engine: Google’s Ranks are Filled with CIA Agents
• Chinese Embassy responds to article in The Morning
• English with a Smile!
• Tupac Shakur interview, the USA is a biggest gang in the world
• Decolonizing the Mind
‘The publisher of the Washington Post played a key role in Operation Mockingbird , the CIA’s plan to control the media.’
• Laundering Black Rage, Part 2
• South Korea Fines Google, Meta $72 Million Over Privacy Violations
• ‘Twitter Can’t Protect its Data’: Whistleblower Tells US Congress
‘Twitter knowingly allowed the Indian government to place its agents on the company payroll, where they had access to highly sensitive data on users.’
• Foreign correspondent Avani Dias alleges van raided by police 24hrs after interview with Prez
• 3W Group (the Third Wave Group) celebrated its 25th anniversary
‘renowned conglomerates, blue-chips, industry associations, UN and INGOs, SOEs to SMEs..3WGE opened new branches in Kandy, Negombo, Kurunegala and Battaramulla.’
• Managing the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs – Anecdotes: Leelananda de Silva
• Child of the Lakehouse
• Sri Lanka Press Institute (SLPI) Concludes 2022 AGM
• Strides taken include safety of women journalists and tackling misinformation
• Editors resolve 169 complaints under the ‘Right of Reply’ option
• Public Relations and Communications Association Asia Pacific (PRCA APAC) appoints Country Representative for Lanka
‘PRCA is the world’s largest professional PR body, representing more than 35,000 PR professionals in 82 countries worldwide…It also manages the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) – the umbrella body for 41 PR associations and 3,000 agencies across the world, and LGcomms – England’s national body for local government communicators.’
• US State department offered me a Leadership Grant for Drama and Journalism
• Sri Lanka’s Colombo International Book Fair kicks off with 400 stalls
• Suri (Efuru): Portrait of the modern African woman in Sinhala
• Can you remember the Bioscope days?
• Ceylon, first in the world to have the Queen’s portrait on currency – Sunday Times
• Bangalore Nrityagram dance ensemble and Chitrasena Dance Company in New York
• How Modern Civilization Is So Temporary
• Benin bronzes go on last exhibition in Berlin before repatriation
• FBI Surveillance of Aretha Franklin
• Fake White Jazz music tour organized across Lanka to mark European Day of Languages
• How Big Business (Ambani & Adani) Captured India’s TV News
‘Gautam Adani, one of the wealthiest men in the world, has launched a takeover bid of NDTV. If this goes through, a large part of India’s TV news will come under the control of two big corporates’
• Late Braj Basi Lal, Virtually a Sangh Parivar Member in Garb of Archaeologist
• Democracy and Narodism in China – Lenin
• How Lenin Studied Marx (1933) – N. Kruspskaya
• Lenin on ‘sex theories’
• James Connolly on a Visit of King George V (1911)
• Philippines: ‘Communist’ Book Bans Raise New Censorship Fears
• Elon Musk’s Irony: Bots, the Impetus to Abandon His Twitter Deal, Have Propelled Tesla
• Scammer Musk says he will ban Twitter spam bots, but he has always used spam bots to create fake Tesla Fan Boys and hype himself
• Will Twitter make Elon Musk a better pied piper?
• Elon Musk’s Twitter saga is capitalism gone rogue
• Twitter shareholders approve Musk’s $44 billion buyout offer
• Over one thousand New York Times staffers refuse working at office