Editorial

From Soulbury Independence to Geneva Governance

Summary

An intro to this week’s undressing of economists, economies and economics in E-Con E-News (www.eesrilanka.wordpress.com)

Swiss Nestlé should be hosting and feting the Sri Lankan delegations to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. They should be getting their Swiss milk maids and manservants in lederhosen to yodel the praises of the SL government in Geneva. Their cuckoo clocks should be cooing.

Successive Sri Lankan governments have allowed Nestlé, ‘largest food company in the world’ to hold dairy farmers and the milk industry in Sri Lanka hostage to their monopoly?

Nestlé has never been charged in a Sri Lankan court of law for lying that their formulas are better than breast milk? Instead Nestlé have penalized health officials who have spoken out, as in the Dr. Priyani Soysa case. (For instance, the first link that google provides to her name, is the trial against her, even though she is considered a trendsetter in promoting breast feeding and maternity leave, which Unilever opposes!).

Then there’s all the Nestlé machineries and parts, whether for chilling, bottling, capping, packaging, vending, sold to us by Nestles. They will never allow us to make that machinery here. That’s where the money is.

But it is not only Nestlé. We can ask the same from Anglo-Dutch Unilever, who with Nestlé’s, go together like tinkiri thay. Same for Swiss Baur & Co, who has profited off the sales of toxic fertilizers and pharma to Sri Lanka.

Multinationals control the “commanding heights of the economy.” It is they who control 80% of world trade. It is they who insist “human rights’ must not include “economic rights”.  Meanwhile, both Nestlé and Unilever are big donors to the UNHRC.

This then explains why US, England, EU and their settler banks & MNCs making billions off Sri Lanka, are so quiet. Silent as lambs (or is it the silence of butchers?) – on this more slimy than snowy road to Geneva’s finger-wagging ski resorts.

Where is the CTC-led League of Multinational Corporations in Sri Lanka? – formed with 7 MNCs: Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC, ie, British American Tobacco), Baur & Co, Heineken, HSBC, Lanka IOC, Mastercard, Unilever, in 2018. Why are they so quiet? These powerful multinationals with war chests bigger than many countries’ budgets, whose side are they on? A silly question, of course.

This is the reason: The LMNC demands ‘everything needs to be fixed in the context of international standards, in terms of human rights & labor law too.’  Everything? Fixed? International Standards? Who decides? The constituent nations of the UN or…?

This explains a lot, no? It’s these multinational banks and corporations, their fund managers, their ‘aid’ agencies, their iNGOs and their ‘social’ media that constitute the ongoing imperialist invasion.

What is their agenda? To set up a supranational level of governance, far above Colombo, let alone Hambantota or Jaffna, where we’ll all be ruled by MNC-controlled corporates, robots and their algorithms.

The MNCs count on gaining more concessions from the government as they weaken the state, post-Geneva. Unilever has captured our home market, while making fake claims of manufacturing their products here, preventing any modern industrialization.

• The EU, with Germany in the lead, said this week, it’s going to take the SL government to the WTO over import restrictions! Fancy that! (ee Sovereignty, WTO)

At the same time, we’re told there’s a divergence of opinion between good ole England, our old enslaver, and Germany, about the punishment the UNHRC should inflict on us for contravening their narrow capitalist version of ‘human rights’.

Of course we know about all these good-cop/bad-cop routines. Canada plays that game – when PM Sirimavo Bandaranaike kicked out the US Peace Corps and English bases after the attempted coup, Ottawa came bearing ‘gifts’ to develop old English RAF base, Katunayake airport, etc. This is a game the Scandinavians also play: Faking a soft imperialist ‘social democracy’, while their MNCs and banks rob our economy, via ‘gender-positive’ microfinance, etc.

• Ports, P&O & Gold – The silence of these multinationals about the attack on Sri Lanka is actually no mystery. Economics and politics are closely linked: the attacks on Hambantota port and China originated with P&O to prevent competition to their Nhava Sheva Port terminal in India.

Jawaharlal Nehru Port aka Nhava Sheva Port (JNP), is the largest container port in India. JNP International Container Terminal is leased to a consortium led by P&O (now DP World). The 4th JNP Container Terminal is owned by Port of Singapore Authority, run by Temasek. Both P&O and Temasek wish to stunt the growth of Lanka’s Port.

So, more ee Serendipity: this week we learned how P&O was not only a shipper of opium, passengers as well as other freight, but had the monopoly over specie shipment, i.e., it carried the gold, silver and money throughout the English empire. Not only that: P&O was linked to maintaining the power of London’s bankers, eg Bank of England, Standard Chartered etc. P&O also set up the HSBC (ee Focus, P&O Gold)

A vital national conversation is simply drowned out in the dominating media. Instead, diversions are manufactured and broadcast by the minute. This conversation should be about how we can design and implement a plan for modern industrialization. ee reproduces a very interesting discussion on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in a Planned Economy.

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