Category Archives: commoditification

Hambantota Port: Some Basic Facts from the Spot Today

Lakshman F. B. Gunasekara,** responding to a SET of QUESTIONS from Michael Roberts [in black …with His Answers in blue]

For my own edification I would appreciate your THOUGHTS on any – or all — of these specific areas …. Or alternatively if you can point me towards some authoritative article which clarify the issues in useful ways.

A = Which Ministry or department is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Port and is there any Chinese participation in this admin/supervision?

The running of the port’s harbour marine-side operations is by SL Ports Authority, but all logistics (cargo loading/off-loading, ship crew servicing, ship servicing etc etc) is done on contract by a Chinese company which is a subsidiary of the giant, Hong Kong based China Merchants Group (which has similar and more complex operations all round the world). Port security is (in addition to Harbour Police) is maintained by a Navy troops unit while the Navy runs its own small naval base facility on one side of the harbour.

ALSO SEE http://www.adaderana.lk/news.php?nid=44680 … dated 9 December 2017 with Ranil Wickremasinghe in lead role

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Rescuing Sri Lanka’s Ailing Economy: Pathways Now

W. A. Wijewardena,* delivering the Professor H A de S Gunasekara Memorial Oration 2018 — entitled “Sri Lanka’s Economy at a Crossroads: The Way to Rescue the Ailing Economy” …. also available at http://www.ft.lk/columns/Sri-Lanka-s-economy-at-crossroads–The-1972-76-Five-Year-Plan-and-its-diagnosis-of-economic-ailments/4-668469

ABSTRACT: Sri Lanka is at a crossroads today because it is snared in what is known as the middle income trap. It was easy for Sri Lanka to move up from a low income country to a lower middle income country by using its abundantly available cheap labour resources. However, moving up further to an upper middle income country was challenging since the country had to spend about 24 years in the lower middle income country category before making a breakout. Unless it attains an economic growth rate of about 9% per annum in the next 15 year period, it is unlikely that it will be able to beat the middle income trap. The way to do so is to produce for a market bigger than the market in Sri Lanka and supply goods that are demanded by that market. It requires the country to convert its production system from a simple technology based one to a complex technology one and join the global production sharing network to keep its presence in the market. The flipside is that these are challenging targets but not impossible since there are many countries that have done so with appropriate investment in science and technology leading to research, development and marketing.

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An Up-Country Village with an Ethnic Mix in Harmony

Priyan de Silva, in Daily News, 5 November 2018, where the title is Little Valley: where ethnic harmony reigns”

“I was entrusted with this grocery business by my father in 1991. I was 24 years old at the time,” said S.R.A. Bandula, weighing the few 100 grams of groceries that Valliamma had asked for. At the same time, 23-year-old Mohamed Rifad was leaning against the counter and munching on a few parippu wades while listening to our conversation. I was in the Little Valley colony situated in the Suduwella Grama Niladhari division of the Deltota Divisional Secretariat in the Central Province. The little grocery store run by Bandula and his wife Anoma Kumari is the first building on the narrow street that runs through the colony. “My father started the business when people could only afford to buy one beedi or half a cake of washing soap at a time,” recalled Bandula.

The street that runs through the colony was lined with small cottages which are in fact renovated line rooms and home to people from all three ethnic communities in Suduwella.

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A Clarification of the Bond Issue Controversy in 2015

A NOTE from Sam Samarasinghe, 11 November 2018: “Here is the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Bond Scam article, “The Bond Issue Controversy: An Analysis” that you wanted. It was published in March 2015 in The Island and the Financial Times.  In April 2015 the weekly newspaper Ravaya published a Sinhala translation. Groundviews carried the English version. We pointed out that the crux of the issue was “insider trading” a practice that is common in white collar financial crime almost everywhere. Our article tried to explain the technical maneuver that led to the fraud. The Presidential Commission that investigated the bond scam in great detail later confirmed what we stated in the article. We were not conducting a criminal investigation to find out those who were culpable. That is a job for the Criminal Investigation Department.”

Ada Derana Pic

Sam Samarasinghe and Dushyantha Mendis: “The Bond Issue Controversy: An Analysis.” in GROUNDVIEWS, 26 March 2015, https://groundviews.org/2015/03/26/the-bond-issue-controversy-an-analysis/ … where several comments can also be found

The issue of government bonds on February 27 has raised a huge controversy, involving questions as to the competence of the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), and also allegations of insider dealing. The government has been slow to respond to the public outrage the controversy has evoked. This article tries to explain the intricacies of the issues involved in this controversy. We believe that a more informed public will be better able to hold accountable those who are responsible for the events that occurred and thereby contribute to the cause of Yaha Paalanaya. Continue reading

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Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History: A Book Review

Chandra C de Silva, in book review of Sri Lanka at the Crossroads of History, edited by Zoltán Biedermann and Alan Strathern, London, UCL Press, 2017. xiv, 340 p.

The significance of this volume of twelve essays lies principally in its collective effort to reassess the importance of global connections in Sri Lanka’s history up to 1850. Previous historical writing had sporadically dealt with this theme. For instance, in the area of ancient history the writings of Sri Lankan scholars such as Senerat Paranavithane, Senake Bandaranayake, and Sudarshan Seneviratne have placed Sri Lanka in the context of archaeological research in India. Historians of medieval Sri Lanka, notably Sirima Kiribamune, W. M. Sirisena, and S. Pathmanathan paid considerable attention to extra-local linkages. Writing on more recent Sri Lankan history, Jorge Flores, S. Arasaratnam, and John Holt (to name but a select few) have made significant contributions to our understanding on how the external world was perceived and received in Sri Lanka up to the mid-19th Century. Furthermore, thanks to the scholarship of a new generation of scholars (including the editors of this volume), we now know much more on how Sri Lanka was part of the wider worlds of Sanskrit literature, Buddhist learning, Cola power, Islam, and of Western colonial empires. Nevertheless, with the growth of the nationalist movement against British colonial rule and the first half century of independence, the emphasis by many historians (including myself) has been on the study of Sri Lanka as a unit. As the editors point out, internal ethnic conflict in recent times has also led to a continued emphasis on the evolution of Sri Lanka and its peoples at the expense of how Sri Lanka engaged with the world beyond its shores.

 

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Harry Solomons: Sri Lankan Cricketing Wonderman

Sam Perry, courtesy of  ESPNcricinfo, 4 January 2017, where the title is “The man behind Sydney’s cricket-gear wonderland”

He was a kid from Sri Lanka who came to Australia with no more than A$200 in his pocket and a child in his hands. But decades later, the name Harry Solomons is synonymous with the Disneyland of cricket gear in Australia: Kingsgrove Sports Centre.

aaa--HARRY 1  Harry Solomons: “Man, woman or child, they all want a bat with thick edges and a thicker profile” Sam Perry

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Jayasekera’s Study of British Colonialism in Ceylon reviewed

Chandra R De Silva, in Sri Lanka Journal of Social Sciences 41(1) 2018, pp 65-68, with highlighting emphasis being the Work of The Editor, Thuppahi

reviewing Confrontations with Colonialism: Resistance, Revivalism and Reform under British Rule in Sri Lanka 1796- 1920, Vol. I, by P. V. J. Jayasekera (Colombo: Vijitha Yapa, 2017), Rs. 1500.

In one of the most challenging and thought-provoking history books published in Sri Lanka in the last decade, P. V. J. Jayasekera has used a wide variety of sources to challenge a number of existing interpretations relating to Sri Lanka under British colonial rule in the nineteenth century. While the book is based partly on his own doctoral dissertation completed in 1970, in Jayasekera’s own words “The scope and the foci of the original study have been substantially changed (p. ix)” in view of new theoretical approaches in the study of colonial history and the debates on history arising out of the recent ethnic conflict. Jayasekera has also carefully taken into account historical research on Sri Lanka published in the long period since he completed his dissertation. Readers should note that despite the title, Jayasekera has consciously avoided any attempt “to cover the confrontations of the Sri Lankan Tamil society with colonialism (p. xxvii)” and that, with the exception of brief references in the concluding section, information on Muslim-Buddhist relations will come to us only in the forthcoming second volume.

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