Climate Justice needed: Not Financializing Mother Nature and Greenwashing Odious Debt-PART 2
Posted on November 18th, 2023

Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake

Given the critique of Odious debt accumulated as a result of private capital market borrowing and corrupt and opaque bond trading attempts are ongoing to simultaneously greenwash the bond business and deepen debt traps  in the name of environment conservation, Debt for Nature Swaps (DFNS), Green and Blue Bonds or Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) bondscams.

What the President’s green policy speech did not mention was that the island is already in a Eurobond debt trap with the IMF compelling more borrowing from predatory bondtraders as part of its bailout business” in Sri Lanka, which entail blue and green or ESG bonds. This would in the name of ‘environmental conservation’ that entails what the Transnational Institute in Amsterdam has termed Ocean Grabbing” ‘Land grabbing” and the denial of access to indigenous communities, local farmers and fishers to their forests and fisheries areas or Marine Protection Areas (MPAs), denying them livelihoods in the name of ‘environmental conservation”.

As the financialization, datafication and weaponization of Mother Nature via carbon trading for asset stripping Global South countries like Sri Lanka, caught in Eurobond debt traps and the IMF and colonial Club de Paris bailout business appears to gathering steam in the name of environment conservation, a fundamental question arises: Should an expensive green transition be a policy priority for a debt trapped country whose citizens are reeling from the IMF and colonial Club de Paris Eurobond holders debt treatment, which seems designed to deepen the county’s Eurobond debt trap, this time with ESG bonds and scams?

After, all Climate Justice entails debt cancellation not further Euro debt bondage under the guise of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) bond scams. Green and blue debt bondage is a clear violation of the principles of Climate Justice which require the G7 Industrialized countries that put much of the pollution into the atmosphere compensate the countries of the global south that may be victims of climate change.

The Organic Fertilizer and Electric Vehicle Policy Debacle

Climate crisis narratives and related policy debacles are not new to Sri Lanka.  A couple of years ago there was a rush to switch to ban the use of chemical fertilizer and switch to organic fertilizer without a transition plan. The result was the destruction of crops and farmers’ livelihoods and corruption in organic fertilizer purchases all in the name of environment conservation by the Gotabaya Rajapakse regime—a policy which devastated crops, farmers’ livelihoods and raised fears of famine in a lush tropical country.

However, such policy mistakes do not appear to have moderated the much hyped push to a ‘green transition’ that Sri Lanka does not need and cannot afford at this time by local politicians and UN policy makers. 

Recently, the Minister of Transport has been advertising expensive electric vehicles (EVs), although the price of electricity has gone through the roof!  This means that poor people who consume electricity would be forced to subsidize the wealthy folk who buy expensive EVs. This in turn, would further drain the island’s foreign reserves and deepen the debt trap!

Form Covid-19 to Climate Catastrophe: Globalist narratives and Local Policy debacles

The President who presents himself as an economic wiz clearly has little regard for the human cost of accumulating more odious debt and exacerbating poverty at the behest of his IMF handlers and Economic Hit men who are also driving the ESG  bonds and green transition vanity project with a price tag of $100 billion, which would be passed on to hapless citizens.

Ranil Rajapakse is in thrall of UN climate experts, the IMF, colonial Club de Paris and Eurobond traders. However, there is an urgent need to de-link debt restructuring from predatory bond trading, and the odious neocolonial debt bondage program carefully choreographed by France’s President Macron who paid a midnight visit to Sri Lanka earlier year to ensure that the Eurobond creditors of the colonial Club de Paris would be bailed out once again –with green and blue bond scams masked by opaque Carbon credit calculations.

Many parts of the Global South are increasingly hostage to globalist grand narratives and totalizing fear inducing policies – from Climate Catastrophe stories and images, sans local and geopolitical context to the Covid-19 panicdemic lockdowns and mass ‘vaccination’ campaigns promoted by the WHO and other United Nations agencies increasingly focused on humanitarian Disaster Capitalism that causes more harm than good in Global South countries.

Increasingly, we seem to live in an AI contoured virtual reality of poly crises resulting from compounding policy mistakes based on big data analytics with constructed algorithms that game outcomes and turn science into fiction, while cannibalizing local realities and home truths that are now hostage to the Globalist agenda and metanarratives.

Finally, there is need to de-link Sri Lanka’s Eurobond debt restructuring from corrupt, criminal and predatory bond trading through shadowy off shore banking networks and tax heavens – a practice that is being greenwashed at this time, rather than compound the debt trap with ESG bonds and scams.

Epilogue: Bond crimes, Odious Debt and Partial Justice

With remarkable timing, Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court this week issued a symbolic ruling that the  Rajapaksa brothers – including two ex-presidents – were guilty of triggering the island’s worst financial crisis by mishandling the economy.

The case was filed by corruption watchdog Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) and another four activists against top former officials, including former presidents Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Mahinda Rajapaksa. According to TISL the court found that the actions of the respondents had directly contributed to the economic crisis. The court emphasized that the authorities should have been aware of and taken measures to address issues that negatively impacted the economy instead of exacerbating them. The judgment underscored that public officials hold a responsibility to act in the best interests of the public and are entrusted with significant powers to uphold public trust, requiring them to adhere to the directives of the constitution.

The respondents’ attempts to attribute their actions to policy decisions were dismissed, as the court emphasised that they possessed the authority and knowledge to prevent such an outcome but failed to act in the public interest. The cumulative actions and inactions of the respondents were identified as key contributors to the economic debacle.[iii]

However, what was missing from view is the external actors that forced the staging of default, principally the, Odious Eurobond Debt that triggered the Default accumulated during the Ranil Wickramasinghe regime, especially when the notorious Central Bank Bondscams of 2015 that saw the debilitation of the county’s highest financial institution, the CBSL. and sent a message to predatory bond traders that Sri Lanka was open for corrupt bond trading.

The bench ruled by a majority of 4-1, saying that the respondents were responsible for Sri Lanka’s economic crisis between 2019-2022. The ruling stated, This situation brought in a total breakdown of economic and social life of the entire society. Such breakdown ultimately led to the collapse of the public order and the complete undermining of the rule of law.”

However, it is well established that the largest proportion of Odious debt was accumulated due to borrowing from predatory hedge funds like BlackRock and J.P Morgan, that caused the island’s first sovereign default was during the United National Party regimes and Ranil Wickrasinghe was Finance Minister and Prime Minister.

Moreover, Sri Lanka’s first ever Sovereign default was in large part STAGED last year amid distracting Aragalaya protests remote controlled through foreign internet platforms and caused by the shadowy Hamiliton Researve Bank’s court case in New York.

The Odious debt and reputation damage to the CBSL, the island’s highest financial institution by the 2015 Eurobond scams on the watch of then Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe are not addressed in the case.

The case is clearly politically motivated although and hence the outcome biased. While it is certainly true that the Rajapakse brothers, 2 out of four being past and present US citizens are significantly responsible for the crisis, they were only half of the corruption. The other half was the United National Party.

However, there was no mention of the 2015 Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Bondscams the worst financial crime in the country, that occurred under the current President Ranil Wickramasinghe, with Ravi Karunaratne, Kabir Haseem Arjuna Mahendran and the burying of the Forensic Audit Report by economic hit men Dr. Indrajith Coomaraswarmy. Nor the fact that Dr. Harsha de Silva wrote foot notes in a report on the bondscam to justify it.

This means that the root cause of the crisis in Sri Lanka the bi-partisan, global-local networks of corruption and financial crime that are intrinsic in the neocolonial Eurpbond business that has caste much of the Global South into economic crisis remains hidden from view and scrutiny of the practice of the accumulation of Odious Debt, debt trapping of countries leading to Default.

Nor was there mention of the killing of the Primary Material Witness in the 2015 CBSL bond scam case that has since been buried after the assassination of Dinesh Shaffter. Indeed, the powers that be went to great lengths to deny the murder of Mr. Shaffter, while promoting a fake narrative that his death was a suicide.

Thus the IMF is free to continue to compel Sri Lanka which is a test case for many other Eurobond debt trapped countries in the Global South, to again borrow billions this year alone from predatory lenders and deepen the Eurobond debt trap while compounding the county’s loss of economic sovereignty, poverty and inequality at this time.




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