e-Con e-News

Mahaveli & Kelani: Selling Out Our Future in 48 Hours


Templeton wants its Advocata
Award Dollars Back Doubled

blog: eesrilanka.wordpress.com

Before you study the economics, study the economists!

e-Con e-News 04-10 December 2022

Our President met with NATO Indo-Pacific QUAD alliance envoys, from the US, India, England, Japan & Australia, on December 6. In case the President didn’t understand their English, European Union envoys met the Prime Minister. All these whites (or ‘honorary whites’) are dying to lecture & threaten. Or so the media tells us.

     The President then promised a probe into corruption (which in WhiteHouse English is spelled ‘Rajapakse’). A Rs10-billion local government election is promised. A capitalist wish list (or wet dream) of a budget was passed in its third reading, promising to sell off the real crown jewels so to speak. A capitalist thinktank says they could sell it all off in 48 hours! And there flickers the Laxapana that once powered the dreams of Wimalasurendra’s 100,000 lights… (see ee, 1 August & 5 September 2020, Who’s Afraid of Wimalasurendra?, etc.)

• Threatening to divide the country, they dish out lectures to us on human rights (what rights are not human?) and reconciliation. Meanwhile this week, the US passed another trillion dollar military spending bill (saying $858billion, and not a trillion – but you know how their invoicing works!)

     Anyway, England is calling in the army to smash strikes. English police, military & prison guards are the only sectors prevented by law from walking out. Yet PM Rishi Sunak now hints new legislation will ban strikes in (suddenly)’critical’ sectors such as transport, health, education. In Germany, 3,000 armed police & troops, captured 130 premises and arrested 25 individuals across 11 German federal states, as well as in Austria and Italy, to attack internal enemies. While the frenzied media game continues, to turn the spotlight away from the real imperialists, through a process called ‘inversion’ & ‘projection’. This involves accusing others of NATO’s own great crimes.

The visit of German Foreign Minister (‘Green’ & post-Pacifist) Annalena Baerbock

to New Delhi had an anti-climatic ending.

Baerbock waxed eloquently about Germany as a paragon of democratic values

and claimed affinity with India. She hoped to persuade Modi government

to disengage from strategic partnership with ‘authoritarian’ Russia.

However, when Baerbock returned home, the cat was out of the bag

– an (alleged) coup attempt in her country by the far-right nationalist group

‘Reichsbuerger’ movement, which denies the existence

of the modern German state and its trammels of democracy.

(Bhadrakumar, see ee Sovereignty, Demons creep up from Europe’s attic)

• The 1950s US doctrine of ‘plausible deniability’ allows US secret police agencies to act as paramilitary groups, lying & covering their tracks to ensure no trace of US government responsibility for criminal activity (ee Quotes). This doctrine enabled the coverup of the assassination of SWRD Bandaranaike and a host of other national leaders, from Iran’s Mossadegh, to Guatemala’s Arbenz, Congo’s Lumumba, Indonesia’s Sukarno (& soon returning home to greet the USA’s Kennedy).

     We recall this because the capitalist media likes to claim that all leaders are corrupt, etc. The truth is every time we produce an accountable national leader, NATO eliminates them. Or…

     7 million people voted by a ‘landslide’ in 2019, for a new Sri Lankan government president who promised to establish a new national economy and minimally realize the aspirations of the majority of people. About 6 million voted against him. So easy it would be to keep rousing ‘oppositions’ until NATO gets its way.

     The tools of the 1950s have been upgraded. This week, President Pedro Castillo was ordered arrested by Peru’s supreme court. An unelected leader, with no political background, was installed. The US has now used such ‘judicial’ & ‘constitutional’ mechanisms to oust popular leftish leaders they don’t like, as in Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, earlier in Brazil. In Argentina, judges, court officials & businessmen were taped conspiring to overthrow an elected government. Americanos (the real ones) say economic and political elites are using the judicial system and mass media as instruments to attack progressive leaders. A pink tide prophesies no rosy dawn.

Ho, Ho, Ho(s)!! Here’s a good example of corruption. A cool $100,000 was recently awarded to US’ thinktank Advocata in Colombo by the Templeton (formerly Templeton Religious) Trust. Congratulations gushed. Wow! It’s been a season of prizes. Booker Prize. Commonwealth Award. Then here comes yet another ‘Western’ award for accolade-thirsty citizens to gargle gaga-s with. But there’s always a price. Cos there really is no free lunch as Advocata always tells us (unless it’s their US-government santa clauses bailing out big banks!).

     So the green ink was not even dry on these newly printed green US Treasury Dollars, when a ‘Franklin Templeton expert’ is invited to speak on ‘SoE Restructuring Options’ by the Wijeya News Group’s Daily FT, Sri Lanka Institute of Directors, International Chamber of Commerce, Chartered Accountants, and MBA Alumni Association of the University of Colombo. Yes, the English Echo Chamber Orchestra. Last Thursday.

     This Franklin Templeton expert – with the high-sounding title Deputy CEO of Corporate Strategy – Marius Dan, suggests the US would be delighted to buy & trade Sri Lanka’s national assets. He appears afraid for us and kindly wishes to help Sri Lanka avert ‘doing any fire sales now’, and ‘losing any control’. Marius D and the English media want to privatize these ‘state-owned enterprises (aka SoEs. Sores? Get it?). So he says throw these ‘Sores’ on the Colombo and London Stock Exchange, and ‘list’ them under a ‘National Investment Fund’ (NIF). They could be dispensed in ‘48-72 hours’!

     An NIF would be ‘a good way of raising short-term funds’ to fill ‘gaps’, by ‘monetizing’ them when the government needs to dip through its empty pockets. This could ‘help the Government raise $400-500million’. Fire sales indeed! Champaka Ranawaka this week reported plans to privatize the Kelani & Mahaveli rivers (ee Focus). That religiously green $100,000 (that did St Sebastian College proud) could be listed as an SME investment!

     ee recalls this Templeton expert Marius Dan’s boss Mark Mobius kindly suggested not using the word ‘privatization’. This was earlier, when invited to speak by Keells, Mobius also pushed the ‘independence of the Central Bank’ from elected oversight, and the creation of a ‘Currency Board’ outside the country, perhaps on Wall Street! Mobius then forecast the need to shape any upcoming ‘Hong Kong…social media’ flash mobs and riots. That was in February 2022. Prophetic indeed!

     Now the parliament is being held hostage under threat of carnage. An opposition MP requested ‘all the participants of the ‘Aragalaya’ to think about what the replacement will be if the Government is overthrown’. How fun or funded will the next aragalaya be?

Advertised as ‘a devout Presbyterian-born’,

raised in rural Tennessee, John M Templeton

launched his ‘mutual funds’ (later Franklin Templeton Investments)

in the 1950s. Templeton is also ‘a longstanding donor’

to capitalist economic thinktanks

like the Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute

and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation

Atlas and Cato were involved in setting up Advocata in Sri Lanka.

(ee 15 October 2022, US Aragala Rewards Their ThinkTanks)

Atlas, Cato, Advocata, Verite, Mobius, Marius and Franklin! They all sound rather morpheus (dreamy?) and crypto cryptic. All who’s missing is Murtaza. It would be one thing if there was a long-term plan to invest in industry, set up a National Industrial Bank. No such plan.

     This is why ee would be happy to tag this Franklin Templeton & Templeton (Religious or not) Award as ‘linking to’ yet another US State Department operation (a warning the US government gets FB, Twitter, et al, to append to any media they deem is pro-Russia or China). They certainly whistle the same dixie: It’s import-export plantation, or aragala! – see Random Notes  

• Who’s in charge? The Central Bank governor has been (or appears to have been) forced to retract his accusation that exporters have not converted exports proceeds. That they’re not hoarding the country’s dollars outside. We haven’t heard from the governor himself it seems, but a well-publicized press release by the Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) – MAS, Brandix, etc – tells us so. An unofficial retraction through unofficial media. These ‘apparel’ exporters were reported as being ‘up in arms’ over the governor’s earlier statement. However, it appears nothing can be done about it because it all very legal! (see Random Notes)

‘The Joint Apparel Association Forum asserts

that its membership strictly abides by the Central Bank laws

on repatriating export income, reiterating that the apparel sector

brings back the entirety of its export proceeds to Sri Lanka’

This JAAF press release does not state what these ‘laws’ are and when they were passed. Nor does it mention how much of these ‘proceeds’ buy over-invoiced Dollar imports. The propaganda, ooops PR, continues:

Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe

affirmed this in an interview on December 8 stating,

‘Of the exports in September & October, exporters

have repatriated or brought 100% of export earnings into our banking system.

I want to make it very clear that based on the data for those 2 months,

exporters are not keeping money abroad’.

Then the JAAF contradicts itself. So it is not the entirety:

‘The CBSL investigations have confirmed

that 25% of export proceedings in average

have been directly converted to rupees by the exporters’

(See ee Economists, CBSL Governor sets record straight)

• ‘President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday (08) agreed to establish a Parliament Select Committee to investigate and identify politicians and officials responsible for the current economic crisis.’ The US, English and EU governments would like the PSC to focus all its forensics on when the Rajapakses are/were in power. And the oft-quoted figures from the US NGO Global Financial Integrity conveniently only provide numbers from 2012.

      So within those narrow parameters (1948 anyone?) let us recall again: how foreign investors were wooed to ‘invest in Sri Lanka, gain and take profits away at whim’. Recall how excited this Ceylon Chamber of Commerce was 5 years ago. The new Foreign Exchange Act No12 had just been imposed in July 2017, under US-funded Yahapalana’s regimen: ‘The concept of foreign exchange control has now disappeared from our dialogue’, gloated Rajendra Theagarajah, chairman of the Ceylon Chamber then to a visiting New Zealand business delegation in Colombo (see ee 04 June 2022, So Where Have All the Dollars Gone?)

• A fog emanating from India is enveloping Sri Lanka. It is both poetic and real. It cannot be from vehicle exhaust, because Sri Lanka is still struggling to find finance, fuel, fertilizer & food: Or so the media quoting the UN, and politicians quoting the UN, tell us. And we are being inundated with promises of ‘aid’…

     Meanwhile, both Qatar and Singapore who sell us oil and gas at exorbitant prices are swimming in the stuff. Qatar is airconditioning its open-air World Cup football stadiums. They even promise to cool the entire Olympic marathon! Singapore is holding racing-car competitions. And tis the season of 24-hour electric lights (with traders all Tra la la la & Ho Ho Ho under imported mistletoe). So, while these envoys & their thinktanks extol ‘free trade’ and dangle their GSP+ etc, they’re closing their own markets to foreign access, using greenwash & ‘human rights’!

• It’s always dangerous to criticize anybody who has more ‘ink’ than you. However, most of the information referred to in ee commentaries are based on events or non-events about Sri Lanka reported and exaggerated in the English media, links to which may be found in ee News segments. Yet, one important takeaway from ee archives is how much the English media squeezes our eyes through the US-NATO peephole into the world. Even government ministers quote statistics about the country’s food situation or health, based on UN or faraway experts. ee News shows how the English media is mostly a foreign aka alien imposition on the country, and mostly repeats what is fed into it by Western (Japan a& Australia included in this strange geography) embassies, greased by Dollars, imported luxuries and scholarships for their children, etc…


A1. Reader Comments

• RAW Chief in July 1983 Colombo Also • New Insights • When will power cuts stop?

A2. Quotes of the Week

• India’s Tiger Trainers • Dollars for Monkeys & Blue-Eyed Babies • The Industry Japan Won’t Sell • Industry needs Rural Home Market • Plausibly Denying Murder • Chambers Salivate at SoEs • FBI’s Facebook Enemies • War-crimes not for US Army • German Army on the Loose • Laws for Banks but No Enforcement

A3. Random Notes

• Excellent Journalists, Corporate Stenos & Presstitution • Multinationals control 40% of Asian Trade • Dollar Robbery and Exchange Control Act No 12 of 2017 • Hedge Funds, Green Bonds & Islets • UDA Landbank • US & EU Shuts their Markets • Mobius Astrology • Dollarizing Imports • France’s Peasants & Morocco’s Krim

B. ee Focus       

B1.  Privatization of Water & the Mahaweli & Kelani Rivers

B2. Jiang Zemin in Sri Lanka – Sugath Kulatunga

C. News Index

….Continued on: eesrilanka.wordpress.con

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