e-Con e-News

Trade Bankers Strangle Sri Lanka’s Economy


How Unilever Corrupted Sathosa…Chemical Importer Maharaja’s Sirasa Leads Attack On Organic…Trade Bankers holding SL Economy Hostage…EU Upset About Banning Imports of Benzes and BMWs..EU GSP+ Promoted Drug Smuggling Police States… Media, Police, Politicians, Petro & Industrial Policy

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Before you study the economics, study the economists!

3rd Anniversary Issue

Trade Bankers Strangle Sri Lanka’s Economy

e-Con e-News 19-25 September 2021

Binara Poya rose just before the autumn equinox of the northern hemisphere this year, auguring the drip drip drip of October’s intermonsoonal showers. Midst the Vassana retreat of the Sangha, the onset of the Maha rice season signals new life & new growth.

     Binara Full Moon recalls the inauguration of the Bhikkhuni Sasanaya, and the annual celebration of the Vaedhi Perahara by the Mahiyangana Stupa, marker of the Buddha’s first visit to Lanka. Vaedha hunters lay down their weapons this season as animals tend their new born.

     The historic role of the Sangha and the Vaedha people in the resistance to imperialist invasion is being erased. So is the English genocide of the Sinhala, of the Vaedha people in particular, the assault on the Sangha’s leadership, and robbery of the temple lands. Mahiyangana-Bintänna-Alutnuvara – once considered among Asia’s great city complexes – was plundered and destroyed by English troops. It is on those ruins that the merchants and moneylenders of today rule the roost in all their ugly decrepitude. On those graves, the bankers play….      

     Binara, the 6th full moon in the Sinhala calendar, also marks the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival where millions of families reunite after harvest. Such continent-wide festivities, ancient and widespread, evoke little delight in our merchant media. Yet they’ll no doubt soon celebrate victories of the white-settler states, as recalled in the imperialist North Atlantic’s Halloween and Thanksgiving antics, clouding more deadly trillion-dollar military budgets awarded to drive wars against our world.

     Last week, the US and English gifted billions to their war industries to provide Australia’s navy with nuclear submarines, to also scour and rob the vast resources of the Indian Ocean (see ee Quotes).

ee was launched 3 years ago, on 21 September 2018, as a one-page tract. The news then eerily echoes today. The first issue led with ruling Yahapalana officials welcoming a US government MCC delegation promising to ‘invest’ in transport and land. Also, the Yahapalana government had just imposed a 100% margin requirement to import vehicles while warning of ‘further depreciation’ of the rupee. Rather familiar, no? Of course the use of passive voice: ‘further depreciation’ does not state exactly who depreciates the currency. Welcome, then, to the Trade Finance Association of Bankers! It’s on their behalf, these mercenary economists of the media keep crying out for import, imports, imports, exports, exports, exports, balance of payments, debt, debt, debt….

Holding Sri Lanka’s Economy Hostage – The media and their economists will not expose this Trade Finance Association of Bankers. Theyhelp multinationals steal dollars. Their local merchants and moneylenders refuse to invest in modern industrialization. They fleece rural depositors, sucking out their money and wasting it on luxury consumption in Colombo, failing to reinvest in modern agricultural development (Random Notes).

• This brings us to the ongoing sabotage of Sathosa (Cooperative Wholesale Establishment, CWE), the oldest national corporation, set up to control prices of essential consumer goods. Intended to be the largest ‘state’ retailer, it could have been the main competitor to the powerful multinational Unilever, whose tentacles stretch across the country, undermining the rural home market, which should be the solid basis for modern industrialization.

Sathosa has been taking goods from the Colombo port, to sell to private suppliers

and repurchase at higher prices, at the expense of state coffers and consumers, for a long time…

no public official can carry out mega rackets without political backing.

ee Agriculture, Den of Thieves

In 2016, then-PM Ranil Wickremesinghe and now-imprisoned Rishad Bathiudeen, then Minister of Industries, entrapped Sathosa into the deeper embrace of the Unilever Corporation, calling it a Private-Public Partnership.

     Sri Lanka’s Fast-Moving Consumer goods (FMCG) sector is monopolized by multinationals, proclaiming “local brands.” But none of these “local brands” use local supplies or make any machinery or parts locally. Their imports of chemicals and machines are financed by these “trade” bankers, who park their profits outside the country!

     Sathosa’s more profitable arm, Sathosa Motors (SM, importing Japan’s Isuzu vehicles) had earlier been ‘people-ized’ (errr…privatized) in 1992. Most of its shares were sold to Japan’s Itochu Corporation, whose international arm became Marubeni (of garment biz fame). Itochu’s shares in SM were then bought by Japan’s Kumagai Gumi-linked Access Engineering, with profits squeezed from the Southern Expressway project, etc. (Random Notes).

The EU promoted the Andean drug trade and related police states through its so-called GSP+. Yet all our economists, the dollarized thinktanks, the UN and Human Rights Watch, etc., are vociferously promoting GSP+, when it’s clearly a fraud, and worse, aided and abetted criminal impunity! (ee Focus, WTO)

     This ee Focus continues to explore links between media, police, politicians, petroleum and industrial policy: the rise of India’s Gujerati Ambani’s Reliance Corporation and their battle with the Parsi Wadia Group.

• The UN still won’t thunder loudly about the great vaccine scandal? A powerful anti-vaccine clamour dominates social media, singing falsetto to press releases singing the goodwill of pharmaceutical corporation importers, who with the World Bank, IMF and WTO block local vaccine production. Very few recall the murder of Senake Bibile to privatize pharma policy in Sri Lanka. Hail Hemas!

• The news is instead full of capitalist philanthropy: ‘Commercial Bank provides Covid support to 4 more hospitals, taking total to 24 hospitals’, donating ‘essential medical equipment.’ No media asks who usually supplies this ‘essential’ medical equipment, and who sells the parts when such equipment breaks down?

     Recall: when one ship brings second-hand Japanese cars, 20 ships bring parts: This is why Panchigavatte, is the most expensive real estate in the country! And yes, Sathosa Motors has a kaday there!

•Hundreds of South Asia’s farmers die every year from spraying chemicals, and the environmental ‘movement’ maintains an ear-drum-bursting silence. The media instead amplifies agricultural professors and experts against organic policy. Chemical importer Maharaja’s Sirasa TV led the attack on those making links between chemicals and kidney disease, subjecting activists to all kinds of threats. Yet they’re all great ‘democrats’! Over to you, MTV!

     The main funders of the environmental ‘lobby (led by IUCN, World Wildlife, etc) are the petrol multinationals and the Rockefeller & Ford Foundations. Assembly of Imported Gods’ Harsha de Silva is crying that Energy minister Gammanpilla is inviting Rockefeller’s Exxon to grab the Mannar Basin. Selling the Yugadanavi Power Plant to the JP Morgan Bank will help silence the US Human Rights choir (see ee Quotes).

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