The Civil Service is still held hostage by the import-export plantation oligarchy
‘Before you study the economics, study the economists!’
e-Con e-News 17-23 October 2021
There’s jokey anecdote about a visiting delegation from China in the 1980s, who were meeting government officials in Sri Lanka. They were introduced to a ‘Permanent Secretary’ in a powerful Ministry. ‘What in the heavens is a “Permanent Secretary?”’ One Chinese official is supposed to have asked.
It was then carefully explained how the Sri Lankan government is actually run by unelected permanent bureaucrats from a civil service selected via an examination, while politicians are temporary – they come and they go based on quadrennial elections decided by money. The Chinese official is said to have been highly perplexed and quipped, ‘In China, the politician is permanent!’
• And so it has come to pass that another Sri Lankan government, popularly chosen to advance the still incomplete project of nidhahasa, has been buffeted and sabotaged from day one by all manner of external and internal manipulations and crises. The most feeble attempts to invest in any modern industrial policy keep being thwarted. For how long will this ongoing coup d’état since 1948 keep going?
Merchants and moneylenders linked to US, English, Euro, Indian & Japanese multinationals, continue to hold the country and its politicians hostage. Politicians appear mere part-timer actors in a fulltime game called the state run by a permanent civil service.
While politicians are maligned in the media, there tends to be high praise for so-called ‘independent’ bureaucrats who, we’re told, are just trying to do their job, free of partisan colorations. The truth is however far distant from the current reality. Civil servants are a product of an old, corrupt, white colonial education system dedicated to reproducing an unjust class system. The media as well.
ee continues to ponder the links between top government officials and multinationals. We excerpt from W. Andradi’s book, Sri Lankan Subordinates of the British, the class and imperialist origins of the permanent bureaucracy that runs the country. Other sections of his interesting book, detail how corrupt the inherited colonial import-export plantation system always has been, despite claims otherwise (see Random Notes & ee Focus).
• Ominous & Eerie is the silence of Unilever & Ceylon Tobacco in the acrimonious media clamor against the ban on carcinogenic agro-chemicals. Unilever and Ceylon Tobacco are humongous global players in the fertilizer and chemical business and the control of advertising-bribed media. Thus, we only hear from ‘distinguished professors’, pouring out of a decaying woodwork like white ants fleeing pesticides, raging about how ‘dangerous’ it is to promote organic agriculture!
Last week ee reported the domination of the media (including so-called social media) and the advertising business by multinational banks & corporations, led by Unilever, Ceylon Tobacco Co., etc.
ee has long recorded the establishment, and the goals of the League of Multinational Corporations in Sri Lanka (ee 14 Feb 2020). These MNCs are the largest importers of chemicals (‘toilet preparations’ anyone?) here. They lead the ongoing coup to overturn a popularly elected government.
• White countries are waging overt and covert wars on East Africa, Myanmar, China. Unlike our leaders, the targeted East African and Myanmari leaders do not have secret bank accounts in the white world. So those leaders cannot be whitemailed and made to submit to demands to sell their resources to them! Hence, the US & EU are moving to take away any trade privileges these countries, they’re waging war on, may still have (Random Notes).
• The JVP & FSP claim they support Cuba, Venezuela, etc. Yet Venezuela and Cuba support China as a socialist country! However, the JVP and FSP call China ‘imperialist’! The JVP and FSP also equate China with ‘American’ imperialism. Yet Cuba & Venezuela are also American! (Random Notes)
• Drug importer Hemas bribes media editors to promote stories that headline they’re producing pharmaceuticals locally. Yet, they have no such plans. All their chemicals and machines are imported! Such stories about local production are also to make government ministers happy, Hemas tells their media agencies. Yet Hemas like the rest of our merchants and moneylenders remain major importers. They, like our economists, act as if they have absolutely no idea what industrial (machine-making) production really is.
Hemas and other top corporate officials have been included in a ‘reconstituted’ Monetary Policy Consultative Committee. This means they will prevent investment in any industrial policy. ee wryly notes the absence of peasants or workers on such august bodies that supposedly advise the Central Bank. No doubt the exclusive inclusion of such corporate persons is to emphasize the CB’s ‘independence’ from democratic control, as constantly demanded by our brain-dead economists.(ee Economy).
• Much-touted Colombo University Economics Professor and weekly Sunday Times columnist Srimal Abeyratne will not educate himself on what he speaks of. He is quoted in this week’s Daily Mirror, saying: ‘We haven’t improved our investment climate, especially when comparing it with neighbouring countries. India is one of the top foreign direct investment countries in the world, but Sri Lanka hasn’t progressed because our investment climate hasn’t improved to win investor confidence.’
India’s largest foreign investor is from Africa – Mauritius, an Indian-settler controlled country! It is a notorious tax hideout (see Random Notes). Also recall, the OECD and other ‘respectable’ economic thinktanks have changed the definition of FDI to include rentier investment! FDI figures no longer register ‘real’ investment in production, manufacturing, or services in foreign lands!
FDI and the cries against import bans, and the promotion of exports, etc., are constant themes among our corrupt economists. Check out CS Weeraratne’s response to Abeyratne on import substitution – with a calmness ee is simply not capable of (ee Focus).
Continued on: eesrilanka.wordpress.com