e-Con e-News

IMF Threats, IFC Munificence & The Anti-Investment Trader Mafia in Sri Lanka


This is an intro to this week’s E-Con-E-News post on www.eesrilanka.wordpress.com

‘Take it or leave it’ – Was this an International Monetary Fund threat against the Sri Lankan government this week? This MCC-type ultimatum was delivered by Japanese IMF mission chief for SL, Masahiro Nozaki, through the Wijeya Group’s Sunday Times. The IMF claims their funds would “also unlock substantial multilateral and bilateral financing (possibly debt relief as well)”. This memo came in between India’s External Affairs Minister tramping in and the Rothschild banking scion come-a-sightseeing…

• A government MP this week asked “international investors to roll over bonds maturing this year”. The refusal by ‘fund managers’ to roll over (let alone cancel) debt and demand immediate payment sparked the 1997 Asian financial meltdown. A national discussion should be ignited on how exactly this debt was incurred and for what. Loans were not invested in modern production, but in foreign machines and ‘experts’, interest on interest, etc.

• The IMF and related banks aim to prevent investment in local ‘modern industrial production’. This ee cursorily examines the role played in the privatization of national enterprises and resources. The media is also not fully reporting parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) hearings, preferring to headline losses and looting by management. But who chose this management, and were the losses – ‘LIHOP’ – Letting it Happen On Purpose? The media will not tell. They cannot tell.

• What is the link between US-controlled IMF-WorldBank and the continuing colonial control of our shipping and ports? ee looks at the WB-linked International Financial Corporation’s involvement in the Adani-owned Kerala port of Vizhinam, built to compete with Colombo Port. The IFC was Vizhinam’s principal consultant, and its market study & project options report were prepared by English shipping consultants Drewry (linked to P&O).

An Island article this week – batting for Adani perhaps – notes shipping is ‘mainly controlled by massive global ship operators and owners’ who have invested billions of dollars in ship hardware. Major economies and developed countries control well over 80% of the world’s container cargo throughput. The media should explore the links, eg, between the infamous English shipper Peninsular & Orient Corporation (P&O) and the Standard Chartered Bank.

Jaffna netball player Samantha Power, appointed USAID head, promises to growl at ‘democratic backsliding’. And Biden is getting ready to reward one of the USA’s ‘most successful promoters of insurrections abroad in modern times’ – Victoria ‘Fuck the EU’ Nuland – as new Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs. Nuland is well known for funding the bloody coup d’etat in the Ukraine, and promoting the invasion of Iraq! Yes, that kind of ‘human rights’!
‘18% of US population (living in 26 predominantly white rural States) elect 52 of USA’s 100 Senators’

Cued and coached by US Embassy memos, local media gushed about ‘democracy’ being saved by the US, having withstood ‘mob’ siege that such glories would never happen here. From economists to gossip columnists to religious & linguistic separatists – all declared Sri Lanka is worse.
‘SL’s disgrace, Trump’s worst hurrah, and Biden’s finest hour’ – Sunday Island

The media are typing thrillers about brave US politicians confronting the Capitol intruders. People oohing and aahing about ‘riots’ in Washington, utter not a word about ongoing US-led horror in Congo, Libya, Yemen, Syria. They’re of course parroting the US capitalist party line.

White and Off-white Leftists, meanwhile, are comparing US events to: Fascism. Nazis. Weimar Republic. Reichstag. Hitler’s Putsch etc. Yet, all rarely admit the long twilight of colonial outrage, that the US is an expansive white settler state, which installed chattel slavery, and has gone on to invade the rest of the world.

ee therefore reiterates a thesis on the difference between white settler states, where investment in modern industrial production is allowed and non-settler colonial states, where it’s not.

• In a non-settler colonial economy like Sri Lanka, a predominant unspoken policy has been the prevention of investment in modern agricultural & industrial workers and production.

Imposing migrant workers over local workers (in plantations, ports, railways), the intermittent annihilation campaigns and driving away of local workers to foreign lands, have well served this purpose. Flooding any available investment into non-productive activity: Making money off land, money from imports, and money from money. Rentiers dominate!

The non-settler colonial white man saw it necessary to be seen not doing any work. ‘He spends like a suddha’ is a wry Sinhala trope. In the settler countries, a rebellious white working class demanded equality with the ruling whites, enabling long-term investment in machine capitalism. Of course, local people – and in most of the Americas, Black peoples – are denied access to such a producer culture.

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