Category Archives: export issues

Pictorial Angles in Michael Naseby’s Tale of His Engagements with Sri Lank, 1963-to-today

Michael Naseby’s Sri Lanka. Paradise Lost. Paradise Regained is on the market was originally due to be launched in Colombo in early April — an event knocked on the solar plexus by the Corona-virus pandemic. We will need time to acquire reviews of this large book; but let me spark interests among lap-dogs as well as cynics by presenting a election of its illustrations.

Michael Morris with family friend Mrs Veena Talwatte … & iron cages used by the LTTE for their prisoners. Continue reading

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The Asia Society Policy Institute in Melbourne Talks the Walk

The Asia Society Policy Institute opens its first international presence in Melbourne with the appointment of Richard Maude as a resident Senior Fellow. He will also serve as Executive Director, Policy for Asia Society Australia.


For more than 60 years, the Asia Society has sought to explain the diversity of Asia to the United States and the complexity of the United States to Asia, and to be a bridge in problem-solving within the region and between Asia and the wider world. With a solution-oriented mandate, the Asia Society Policy Institute builds on this mission by tackling major policy challenges confronting the Asia-Pacific in security, prosperity, sustainability, and the development of common norms and values for the region.

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Evaluating Gotabaya’s Early Moves — Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera, Island, 7 December 2019, where the title is “Gotabaya Rajapaksa Presidency: some positives, negatives and challenges”

For all intent and purposes, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s (GR) recently concluded state visit to India, his first as Head of State is considered a success. A one on one meeting scheduled for 15 minutes had lasted one hour. During this time, both leaders have supposedly found common ground and established a personal rapport, so essential in relations between countries, especially between countries with a history of thorny periods.

The newly elected Sri Lankan President, in his inaugural speech stated, “we want to be neutral and stay out of conflicts amongst the world powers.” While in India, he reiterated his intention to renegotiate the 99-year lease with state-controlled China Merchants Port Holdings which would have no doubt pleased his hosts.

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An Eye-Opener: A Study of China’s Agricultural Biotechnology Policies

Ronald J. Herring reviewing GMO China by Cong Cao (see end for details)

Cong Cao’s book GMO China is refreshing and enlightening. Unlike many authors in this genre, he knows the essentials of his subject: biology, agriculture, politics, history. He is not a campaigner. Readers learn much about the historical evolution of China’s developmental state, global connections of scientists, and the growing importance of global activists and narratives as influences on Chinese domestic policy. We learn why China became a world leader in some applications of agricultural biotechnology and pulled back from others. More important for general readers, China is the most interesting historical-longitudinal case in the global fissures on GMOs: biosafety, bioproperty, and biopolitics.

Herring of Cornell University

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Washington’s Arm-Twisting via Trade exposed by Daya Gamage

Daya Gamage, in Asian Tribune, 14 June 2019, where the title is “”GSP as a ‘bait’, Pompeo in Sri Lanka to push the (SOFA) military deal”

Washington – quite obviously to fulfil one of its foreign policy objectives in the Indo-Pacific Region – is sending a high-level delegation next week to Sri Lanka to discuss the ‘continuation’ of the U.S. Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) with the government when the Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is scheduled to visit Colombo in the following week on June 27 at a time Sri Lanka has expressed some skepticism of several (highly questionable) terms of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) the US wants Sri Lanka to accept.

Mike Pompeo 70th incumbent Secretary of State

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A Welcome Spike in Sri Lanka’s Exports in 2019

DAILY FT News Item, 18 April 2019, with title Exports off to a positive start in 2019″

  • 7.5% growth propels second consecutive month of $ 1 b plus performance
  • Industrial exports mainly contributed to growth of export earnings, driven by textiles and garments, rubber products, machinery and mechanical appliances and food, beverages and tobacco
  • Agricultural exports earnings grew YoY for first time since Feb 2018, due to growth in coconut, seafood, vegetables, unmanufactured tobacco exports
  • CB and Govt. measures apply brakes on imports to dip for third consecutive month by 17.8% to $ 1.65 b
  • Trade deficit shrinks to $ 617 m in Jan, compared to $ 701 m in Dec 2018 and $ 1.05 b in Jan 2018

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Nimal Sanderatne’s Review of Lanka’s Economic Performance over 71 Years

Nimal Sanderatne, in Sunday Times, 3 February 2013, where the title reads  Tale of lost opportunities: 71 years of economic underdevelopment amid social progress”  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the eve of the country’s 71st anniversary of independence, we cannot be content with the country’s post-independence economic performance. It has been far below our potential and expectations at independence. It has been a tale of lost opportunities. Nevertheless, our post-independence social development has been impressive with significant improvements in education, health and social amenities. Continue reading

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Dissecting Mangala’s 2019 Budget

Sam Samarasinghe, in Island, 9 March 2019, where the title is “Budget for All”

The 2019 budget is a budget for all. It is no surprise because 2019 is an election year. The government has not been shy about it. The request that it made to the IMF to extend the $1.6 billion Extended Fund Facility by one year to 2020 at the same time included a request to relax the terms and conditions on which the IMF facility was originally given in 2016. This signals the intention of the government to have a budget that will be attractive to voters.

 

 

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Sri Lanka’s Budget in Perilous Times

Sam Samarasinghe, in Sunday Times, 3 March 2019, where the title is “Budget 2019: Minister Samaraweera’s thankless task”

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has the most thankless task in government just now. That is the management of public finances. Saying that Sri Lanka’s public finances are in a mess is a serious understatement. Many people think that the budget is a magic wand that can reduce prices, create jobs and perform other economic miracles. It plays an important role in the economy but is not a panacea for all ills.

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Creeping Imperialism in Sri Lanka via Neoliberal Impositions and the UNHRC

Tamara Kunanayakam: “Introduction” to her academic article “Neoliberalism versus Sovereignty: The Case of Sri Lanka” in Sri Lanka Journal of Economic Research, Volume 6(1,) November 2018, pp.125-146…. [without the footnotes … and with underlining imposed]

A fundamental principle of international law, incorporated in a wide range of international and regional instruments, is permanent sovereignty over the nation’s wealth and resources and all its economic activities as a basic constituent of the right of peoples to self-determination and its corollary, the duty of States to respect sovereign equality in their relations with other States. It is a recognition that there can be no political independence without economic, social and cultural independence, “free from all forms of interference or pressure, direct or indirect, of whatever sort and under whatever pretext.” For independence to be complete, any future attempt to restore foreign influence or domination must be prevented forever.

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