Of Climate Anxiety, Bond Scams and Murder most foul: Cui Bono in a Post-Truth World? Part 1
Posted on January 4th, 2023

Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake

 If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute’ runs a wry idiom in New England where the weather may change dramatically in minutes. However, these days blaming the weather for pretty much everything is fashionable– be it global warming or cooling, no rain, or too much rain, drought, floods or a snow blizzard in winter.

Recently the news was filled with stories of anthropogenic climate catastrophes; from ‘poisoned fog’ from land-locked, dust bowl New Delhi, directly targeting windblown coastal Colombo, to cattle dying due to Cold weather in the Eastern Province. Additionally, there were bio-warfare lab made Fall Army Worms (Sena Catapillar), and coconut White Flies destroying crops in a mysteriously coordinated attack on national Food Security this holiday season as imported goods flooded Sri Lanka on the (neo)liberal, US ‘Force’-backed, President’s orders– rapidly deepening the Dollar debt trap ex-post the Staged Default. 

Meanwhile, two United Nations Climate conferences (CoP-27, CoP-15), the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), offered contradictory messages about who must bear the cost for Loss and Damage” caused by climate change amid a global and local corporate media blitz of climate disaster stories with narratives of Famine in the background. Indeed, climate and debt anxiety cross-messaging with electric car and green technology advertisements, as well as, disinformation following two years of a confusing Covid-19 infodemic increasingly characterizes an anxiety gripped ‘risk society’ in a post-truth world.

At the CoP-27 Anthropocene Climate Catastrophe show in Egypt last month, countries of the Global South called for the industrialized North which is currently responsible for over 92 percent of cumulative carbon emissions to pay up for Loss and Damage” to the environment.[i]

Land and Ocean Grabbing for Blu-Green Debt Bond-age

Strategic Sri Lanka at the center of the Indian Ocean, which succumbed to a Staged Default for the first time in its history as an independent country this year is currently in IMF and colonial Club de Paris (PC), debt negotiations that include Green and Blue Bonds or debt-for-nature” swap (DFNS).

A Blue-Green deal of up to USD 1 billion in climate-focused finance is planned according to a Reuters report. [ii] However,  Global South countries had pointed out that industrialized Euro-American nations that caused the carbon emissions and Ozone holes must to pay up for any green transition at Cop-27, rather than appropriate the forest lands and ocean resources of debt trapped countries in the name of ‘environment conservation’ that take the form of Corporate Green Bonds or DFNS.[iii] Moreover, the valuation of the Blue Ocean and Green forest ‘assets’ to be traded are opaque, with no mention of the Submarine Undersea Data Cables in the strategic island’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone.

The proposed blu-green bond trade as part of debt restructuring would again benefit the unknown international sovereign bond (ISB), holders and hedge funds of OECD countries, which include BlackRock, that staged the Default in Sri Lanka amid a triple whammy of Covid-19, climate catastrophe and Debt disaster narratives in the global and local corporate media.

Meanwhile, A recent  2020 OCED report found that the richer nations have never reached the promised $100 billion for climate financing, and what’s worse is that instead of providing the promised climate fund, a majority of the climate finance from high-income nations to low-income countries took the form of loans that deepen debt traps. [iv]

The IMF and PC are pushing for a quick debt restructuring deal in Sri Lanka that would include Green and Blue (forest and ocean) Bonds, and the un-bundeling and sale of strategic lands coastal areas and energy, transport, and telecom State Owned Assets (SOE), infrastructure amid expert’ narratives of Famine and climate crisis. These narratives enable disaster capitalism a la Naomi Klein’s classic work ‘The Shock Doctrine’, this time with a blue-green mask in a strategic Indian Ocean island in the cross-hairs of Geopolitical tensions as Cold War hots up in the Indian Ocean region.

Some have suggested that the forests and oceans of Sri Lanka are doubly valuable, even priceless, due to the island’s Geostrategic location on major trade, energy and Submarine or Undersea Data Cable Routes (UDC), in the age of Big Data and the Information Economy. The island has been also dubbed an Unsinkable aircraft carrier” with the country increasingly an Economic Proxy War site in the West’s confrontation with China, much like Ukraine is a proxy war site in the confrontation with Russia. The Sino-Russia pact of ‘limit-less’ cooperation in the long predicted Asian 21st Century seems to have unnerved the West!

Meanwhile in small print, there was also the news that India would enable Sri Lanka to trade in Indian Rupees, aiding the quiet de-dollarization process in this dollar debt trapped island which was till recently listed as South Asia’s only Upper Middle Income Country by the World Bank. Before the dramatic default-triggered currency devaluation Sri Lanka had the highest GDP per capita and best social indicators in the region.

Odious Debt bondage and the Semiotics of a Chilling Killing: Cui Bono?

Recently, a member of a powerful business family was assassinated in a mafia style staged crime that seemed designed to send a chilling message and silence those among the business community and wider society who question the official narrative and quantum of debt, bonds, and bondscams at the CBSL in a world where debt data like Covid-19 fatality rates and artificial Intelligence (AI) generated weather data are a numbers game with contradictory models.

Mr. Dinesh Schaffter, scion of a powerful and respected business familywas a primary material witness at the Presidential Commission that investigated the 2015 Central BankBond Scam that is widely alleged to have been authorized by then Prime Minister and current President Wickramasinghe 2015 also to fund his party’s election campaign. Dinesh Shaffter, the Managing Director of First Capital Holdings a company that had also placed bids at the time had raised questions regarding the bond auction: Subsequent court action revealed insider trading allegedly by Perpetual Treasuries, with PM Wickramasinghe’s friend Singapore Mahendran then CBSL head, and his son-in-law Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries – all part of the bond scam network.

The Semiotics of the guillotine style killing with the victim, Mr, Shaffter left in his own car at the Colombo General Cemetery (Kannatte) indicates a crime Staged to send a chilling message to those who may seek the truth or dare speak truth to power. This at a time when a group of high powered international academics have called for transparency and information disclosure regarding the identities of the bond holders whose names are kept secret while the country is mortgaged in IMF and PC negotiations to pay and benefit bond holders.

The academics have also called for ISB holders who lent at predatory rates claiming ‘high risk” should bear the cost of their predatory practices and take the losses, rather than the IMF and colonial Club de Paris act as their Debt Collectors, while passing on the burden of this Odious and illegitimate debt transacted between two corrupt parties (corrupt politicians and hedge fund bond traders), to the citizens of debt trapped countries in the Global South who had little to do with these transactions and are denied the Right to Information on the identities of the Bond holders.

It’s the Bonds, Stupid!  The Right to Information

Forensic Audit reports on the 2015 bond scams were embargoed by Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswamy the Governor of CBSL who is now an ‘advisor’ on debt restructuring talks with the IMF. Is it not time to first reveal the findings of the 2015 Bondscam audit reports in full to the Parliament and people of Sri Lanka?  Three Governors of the Central Bank were involved in Bondscams and/ or Cover up ‘investigations’ include: Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Arjuna Mahendran  and Indrajit Coomaraswarmy.

However, rather than call for information disclosure, opposition members trade in salacious stories about beds, bestiality, bondage and the sexual preferences and exploits of the President (who now enjoys Presidential immunity), as well as his advisors which are widely circulate in corporate and social media channels to distract from the thickening plot of past and future bond scams conducted with impunity and immunity to beggar the country by successive Ranil Rajapakse governments.

The staging and semiotics of the assassination of Mr. Dinesh Shaffter, who was to depart for London on the eve of his death points to powerful local and global-interests and networks behind the scene, drunk with a sense of immunity and impunity. The perpetrators of the crime in broad daylight in central Colombo clearly felt well protected; and no investigation could or would touch them as the progress of the investigation shows.

The chilling killing would simultaneously stymie any bondscam investigations and search for information on the identities of the Bond holders. This is also evident in the on-going cover up ‘investigation’ including the absurd narrative that the victim committed suicide.

 It is clear that Dinesh Shaffter knew too much and was willing and able to ask questions at a time when bond trading related to the country’s Debt Default is under scrutiny with calls for transparency and information demanded from International Sovereign Bond (ISB), traders and bond holders who were complicit in the Default being made by academics and civil society groups as the IMF prepares to asset strip the county to benefit Euro-American creditors.

Finally, the semiotics of Mr. Dinesh Shaffter’s assassination and the ongoing cover up ‘investigation’ are similar to the ISIS claimed Easter Sunday attacks that also targeted Chinese owned Shangri La Hotel where the leader of the Suicide attacks, Zaharan died with another Suicide bomber in 2019. This was shortly after the World Bank had ‘upgraded’ Sri Lanka to an Upper Middle Income country forcing the country to borrow from private capital markets/ bond traders to recover after the hybrid economic war style Easter attacks. At that time Ranil Wickramasinghe was Prime Minister.

Four years after the mysterious Easter Sunday 2019 crime, the smoke-screen of investigations by various local and international intelligence agencies has thickened, while investigators and court cases continue to ignore prima facie evidence regarding the external, geopolitical motives and local-global and Diasporic transnational networks that are as clear as daylight behind the 2019 ISIS claimed Easter Sunday crime.

[i] https://www.fairplanet.org/story/understanding-climate-colonialism/

[ii] http://www.adaderana.lk/news/86223/sri-lanka-in-talks-for-usd-1-bn-debt-for-nature-swap-deal-report

[iii] https://www.fairplanet.org/story/understanding-climate-colonialism/

[iv] http://www.cadtm.org/Financing-the-30x-30-agenda-for-the-Oceans-Debt-for-Nature-swaps-should-be

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