England’s Standard Chartered Bank Blames Lanka for Pussyfooting on Selling National Assets
Posted on January 15th, 2023

e-Con e-News

Welcome to the 250th weekly issue of ee. Why announce this number? As a dubious index of a meagre weekly effort? Yet, scan the newspapers and you’ll find awards galore being handed out by the corporates to themselves and to each other, for all manner of even-more dubious efforts: So, why not give ourselves an award, a number, and look stupid too!: how much time wasted writing this out and you reading it! Award yourself! The English have turned us into a prize-giving nation!

• Charade or dissimulation, it’s theatre with an edge, a sharp edge that cuts, with most of those being sliced and quartered being kept off stage. The doctors misdiagnose the disease, offer fake panacea and prognoses, with the cure being put off every day, cos it’s winter in the North Atlantic and more time is needed studying these tropical hothouses where the microbes of sin and corruption proliferate like NGOs, and you can also get a tan…

• So why did a US Navy spy and expert in their ‘Integrated Undersea Surveillance System’ meet our frangible fungible finance minister? What fortunes fie-fo-fum are being sniffed under the sea lanes? Is it coincidence that Sri Lanka this week announced it had finalized ‘oil exploration rules, earmarking 900 offshore blocks’ in the Mannar Basin in northwest Sri Lanka, which ‘may’ hold around $260billion worth of oil & gas resources? The US Navy Sopy appears just as the US is escalating war games in the region (see Random Notes, Japan).

     State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe apparently met ‘Rear Admiral Eileen Laubacher, the US National Security Council (NSC)’s South Asia Senior Director’, for matters more mundane: 

the US ‘enjoys effective veto power’ at the IMF.

And the beast must be soothed…

     ‘Any country seeking support from IMF will have to tackle the pressure exerted by the US with regard to the economic reforms,’ editorializes the Daily Mirror. So Semasinghe promised the US Navy spy Laubacher (‘Love’s Baker?’), that Sri Lanka is working ‘to implement IMF-agreed economic and financial reforms’. The US National Security Council Director then sang of the US government’s ‘shared values of democracy’. (Semasinghe was accompanied by Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardhane, and Deputy Treasury Secretaries AK Senevirathne & RMP Rathnayake to assure bureaucratic fealty). Thus it came to pass:

‘Sri Lanka began a fresh austerity drive Monday,
freezing Government recruitment as new taxes
and higher electricity prices kicked in
with authorities trying to secure an IMF bailout
The IMF has also asked Colombo to trim
its 1.5million-strong public service,
sharply raise taxes
and sell off loss-making State enterprises’.

     The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has also demanded – their IMF loan must fulfill 3 preconditions: making the Central Bank independent, observing the rule of law, and setting an effective anti-corruption machinery.

     Despite all such US threats, the English media can merrily prattle over and over again that it is somehow China, which is blocking the IMF pittance.

• England’s Standard Chartered Bank’s latest ‘global’ report on Sri Lanka sweeps away any fog about democracy: While declaring ‘Polls could delay IMF deal progress, but won’t cause large deviation from current policies’ they insist: ‘Polls or no polls, the risk of political unrest remains high in 2023.’ They also accused the government of ‘pussyfooting on State-owned Enterprise & other institutional sector reforms’ (Random Notes). Standard Chartered’s origins are in the Indian opium forced on China, in slavery and apartheid…

• US Undersea spy Laubacher also met President Ranil Wickremesinghe on January 12. Here again, Laubacher was eager to hear the President elocute correctly in Royal College accents, the US government’s IMF mantra, as well as discuss maritime matters and the narcotics trade (Ranil may not have mentioned that the flooding of drugs is largely a high-net-worth product of US wars in the region, raging from Afghanistan to their infamous Southeast Asian ‘golden triangle’).

     Laubacher met Minister of Energy Kanchana Wijesekera as well, who sang those global icing tunes of ‘energy & climate goals’, and Foreign Minister Ali Sabry who sang ‘preserve human rights & promote reconciliation’.

     Laubacher was provided cover by US envoy Julie Chung, NSC Director for South Asia Regional Affairs Brian Luti, State Department Director of the Office of Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh Scott Urbom, Embassy Notetaker Daniel Moon, and USAID Acting Country Director Debra Mosel.

• Rear Admiral Laubacher surfaced her submarine in Colombo after dipping into Dhaka for a 4-day visit.

     In Bangladesh, media asked her about the US ‘shifting to democracy & human rights from its war on terror policy.’ Laubacher and other NSC representatives duly visited Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. The US has provided ~$1.9billion in ‘humanitarian assistance’ to support refugees, blaming ‘the Burmese military’ for ‘this humanitarian crisis’. Rohingya refugee camps are famed recruiting grounds for US mercenaries (recall the USA’s initial covert war on Afghanistan).

     The US hosted their 46th annual Indo-Pacific Army Management Seminar in Dhaka last fall. Laubacher reminded her hosts that the US is largest source of investment in Bangladesh. She therefore sang their faux mantra, about ‘labor & human rights, energy, trade, security cooperation, religious freedom…. She said she was worried for the Bay of Bengal, which contain ‘vital shipping lanes and undersea cables that power our economies by moving food, fuel, goods, and data’. She was in Dhaka to ensure these lanes remain ‘free and open’… blah blah blah. No Bangla asked her about how ‘open’ the North Atlantic would be to Asians dipping their warm brown submarines into such frigid climes. 

• Meanwhile, the man responsible for dancing the coup against now-former Pakistan PM Imran Khan, US Assistant Secretary of State for South & Central Asian Affairs Donald ‘Banana2’ Lu was in India from January 12. Lu then followed the US Navy spy Laubacher to Bangladesh on Jan 14…

Full Report

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