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The GIST [The Economic and Political Weekly, SL, December 5, 2020]

Summary

for the full account, go to www.eesrilanka.wordpress.com

“It is time the country moves up from conditions of merchant capital dominance to those of industrial capital dominance. An approach to generate profits through improving value addition in production processes is urgently needed.”
– Central Bank Governor WD Lakshman

An irrigation engineer made an impassioned speech to the president against foreign funding of major engineering projects. Foreign loans hugely inflate costs far beyond what may be accomplished by local workers. The speech does not mention why such costs are inflated, and who is responsible. Foreign industrialists pay off a chain of local beneficiaries, to keep buying foreign machines, and prevent local production of such capital goods.

The imperialist ADB this week promised $400million to uplift secondary education. All this slush money ensures our children will never be trained to develop a producer culture.

  • The US, England, EU and India are ready to unleash Tigers and other terrors on us, again:

We import half a trillion rupees of machinery every year. Rs1.5 trillion of fuel, vehicles and garment inputs every year. That is Rs2 trillion on such imports alone. “When the procurements were made in public sector institutions for machinery, EU standards were made a requirement… Although we have workers who could produce the same machinery, they cannot sell their products to public sector institutions because of these so-called EU standards.”

We import potatoes from Germany and the Netherlands. Apples and pears from France, grapes from Italy. In 2018, Sri Lanka exported US$11.1 billion and imported $18.7 billion, resulting in a negative trade balance of -$7.57 billion – http://oec.world/en/profile/country/lka.

The white threats are preemptive strikes. The opposition hyperbole likens government regulations to North Korea and China! Barking, on behalf of their imperialist sponsors. They don’t wish us to even think of, let alone develop, a production economy.

‘Those who argue for so-called “debt restructuring” or “debt reprofiling” must realise this means reforms of austerity. In my view, Sri Lanka is already undergoing some austerity, but on our terms. This is evident when the ongoing programme of import compression is considered. In my view, SL is introducing ground-breaking reforms to improve the domestic production economy, enhance exports and reduce foreign debt dependence. It is commendable that SL is following this approach without being prompted by any foreign agency, while continuing to honour all its financial obligations!’ – Central Bank Governor

  • The IMF & World Bank promise funding for combating Covid, for education, women, etc, at the same time refusing to cancel ‘debt’! Most of this debt has come from paying for foreign machines, goods, experts, as well as bribing local players (politicians, officials, engineers, official & unofficial security – yes, professionals!) to prevent local production.

Multinationals will superprofit off vaccines, despite the greenwash and pinkwash about helping the environment, women, menstruation, education, etc. Women and children constitute most of the impoverished. Media publicize little of the demand for public provision of vaccines, let alone pads, how governments with socialized healthcare give it free to the people.

Covid has come in a way as a blessing. The second wave promises a bounty! Yet Covid or no Covid, a war economy has been inevitable in Sri Lanka. A wasteful parasitic class still rule, no matter who is nominally ‘in power’. Minting billions in profits, they use plagues to their benefit. They manipulate the ample discontent in the country, which has long preceded the present.

2 thoughts on “The GIST [The Economic and Political Weekly, SL, December 5, 2020]
  1. Covid is not a blessing. Multinationals hope to wipe out small businesses during this pandemic. And so far it’s working. It will only leave open more room for privatization.

  2. Agreed….I believe the line “Covid is a blessing” was meant to be double-edged. Capitalism going into ever more frequent crises….is using it for their benefit. “small” businesses anyway are always being gamed. What exactly is a ‘small” business that does not depend on major ‘big’ inputs in a multinational-dominated world? A government if it wishes to transform the country, can also use this ‘opportunity’ to free us for the merchant stanglrehold…

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