The Unilever Elephant in the Teacup Battles the Ghost in the Machine
Posted on November 19th, 2023

Courtesy  e-Con e-News

Posted byee ink.Posted inUncategorized

Before you study the economics, study the economists!

e-Con e-News 12-18 November 2023


Guess what? Karl Marx turns out to be the ghost in the machines of the largest and most strategic technological corporation in the world today. But first…

     There’s a lot unsaid about the visit of England’s Trade Envoy to Sri Lanka, Mervyn Evan Davies. This ‘Lord’ is said to have come to ‘experience’ the wonders of Unilever’s Horana factory & Rupee printer De La Rue. Both Unilever and De La Rue are English multinational corporations (MNCs). Yet Davies didn’t grace the monopoly Ceylon Tobacco Co (CTC) factory, owned by England’s British American Tobacco (BAT). It is perhaps not good for Davies ‘brand’ to be associated with a cancer-maker who refuses to pay its share for the country’s ill-health. Davies, also former head of Standard Chartered Bank (SCB), did however meet with the CTC’s Suresh ‘The Cancer’ Shah. Cancer Shah is the man who directs the selling off of the country’s national enterprises at the State Enterprise Restructuring Unit (SERU!).

     Davies is another criminal ‘lord’ from a Welsh ‘coastal seaside resort’ where social services have been ruined after being turned into a ‘tourist hotspot’ for English carpetbaggers. Indeed, we should recall that the English word ‘welsh’ is ‘often offensive’, meaning a failure to honor (a debt or obligation incurred through a promise or agreement), ‘on account of the formerly alleged dishonesty of Welsh people!’ The Welsh had to wear that infamous ‘Welsh Knot’ of wood around their necks if they dared speak Welsh!

     Welshing the Banks – This week it was announced that control over the Bank of Ceylon & People’s Bank was to be ‘opened up’ to ‘strategic investors.’ Who could be more ‘strategic’ than the Welsher Davies, a man linked to the top English banks, once the SCB boss of their local ‘coolie’ & CEO Bingumal Thewarathanthri, who also happens to be chairman of the very untransparent Sri Lanka Bankers’ Association (SLBA).

     Thewarathanthri, this week, bravely called for the jailing of tax evaders (like ‘in other countries’). And yet there are no greater vanishing ‘tax magicians’ than English MNCs like Standard Chartered & Unilever etc, who basically employ the top auditors and accountants in the country to beatify their ‘transfer pricing’ and fake invoicing. This week even saw the CEO of PickMe point to unnamed ‘global digital companies’ operating within Sri Lanka, who ‘‘legally’ remove huge ‘digital’ ‘revenues to safe havens in other countries.’ That these are the same digital MNCs opposing a so-called Online Safety Bill, needs further exposure.

     In fact, both media & politicians are healthily avoiding to mention the brutal removal of exchange controls in 2017, leading to the hemorrhaging of foreign reserves out of the country – which Cancer Shah is very much implicated in. They are also zealously avoiding the prevention of these banks’ investment in and sabotage of modern (machine making) industry, which is the scandal of the century & those centuries preceding, choosing instead to finance importers!

     Joke after joke it is then, how this week also saw the Supreme Court rule the ‘3 Rajapaksa brothers’ – as former President, Prime Minister & Finance Minister – along with former top banking & treasury officials, were ‘responsible for the economic crisis in the country’, and ‘violated public trust’. An ‘unelected’ government this week also bypassed the National Labour Advisory Council (NLAC) and set up yet another ‘national labour tripartite body’ to draft a New Employment Act.


‘In my opinion, the private sector is a bit reluctant to make investments in new technologies, as they depend on poor labourCertain industries & businesses encourage poor labour and we need to be honest about that’ – Labour & Foreign Employment Ministry Shan Yahampath at the Shippers’ Academy Colombo Forum (see ee Workers, Govt calls for private sector participation)

Now remember: ‘poor’ is an Elizabethan construct for English people chased out of their villages by ‘farmers’ (aka bailiffs) – ‘poor’ is a term ee never uses. The minister Yahampath however does not name these ‘certain industries & businesses’ that ‘encourage poor labour’. But we can easily guess who sets these trends:


‘A 51%-owned subsidiary of the Anglo-Dutch Unilever in India, Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL) is India’s largest manufacturer of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCGs), such as shampoo, detergent, toothpaste, shaving cream, soap. After a merger with Brooke Bond Lipton in 1996, HLL also became the largest producer of tea in India and the largest company in the Indian private sector as measured by market capitalization. (see ee Focus)

• So…so…so…Who’s Afraid of Unilever? This ee therefore examines – with that English ‘trade commissioner’ in Colombo – the games Unilever (who supposedly for over ‘85 years has been raising the industrial sector’s contribution to the national economy’) plays with a country’s workers & economy, ‘with its over 100,000 outlets & 50 distributors in Sri Lanka’. Unilever claims their most famous brands are ‘manufactured here’. Not true! They operate through third-party sweatshops, importing chemicals, machines, etc. In fact, given the sellout of our so-called scholars and the failure to dig deep, we have to almost ‘astrologically’ conclude that most large companies in Sri Lanka – eg, palm-oil-plantation-linked Sunshine Holdings, whose chief Vishy (Vicious?) Govindasamy was recently made a Central Bank governor of Sri Lanka – are actually ‘fronts’ for Unilever, the world’s biggest buyer of palm oil.


This week, 2 major English newspapers carried an advertisement – fancy-dressed as a news item – by Unilever: ‘World’s number one tea brand Lipton Yellow Label with expertise of 130 years of tea blending’. The key word here is blending. The story fails to mention that Unilever is in fact ‘sophisticating’ (despoiling) Sri Lankan tea, mixing it with other countries’ teas, nor is there anything reported about major changes in tea plantation labor relations worldwide midst their near-religious prevention of the use of technology.

     The Planter’s Association – one of the most powerful lobbies in the country – claims tea workers are far better off than other plantation workers. ee therefore looks at some history of the state subsidizing the plantation interests – yes, welfare for Unilever. (see ee Focus)

     ee figures they cannot let it be known how tea sector actors & media are afraid to criticize the multinational giant that keeps operating outside the laws of the country. Worse, there is also a failure by our trade economists & academics to analyze the major role Unilever plays in both the politics & economics of the country. Hence, let’s call these ee insights, ‘strategic astrology’!

     This week ee heard that far more welfare is given to capitalists than to the impoverished:


‘Given that the tax exemptions mainly benefit the shareholders of corporations who are not merely rich, but are super rich, Sri Lanka typically extends welfare for the rich & the super-rich that far outweighs the small amounts the government transfers to the poor through programs like Aswesuma’ – Sharmini Coorey (ee Economists, SL continues to flout key principles of tax policy)


Then why is the media so full of saturation around the welfare stipends provided to the daily impoverished? With all this talk of banks & MNCs, this ee examines another major ‘debt’ issue: the entrapping of rural people, particularly women, in the Fatal Flaw of the Microfinance & Credit Regulatory Authority, which claims to regulate money-lending & microfinance business and provide protection to borrowers. Apparently, this Regulatory Authority ‘cannot handle the mess that big finance has created; instead… lets the culprits go scot-free and eliminates ‘space for innovative and productive community lending’ (ee Focus). And guess what people are getting into debt for? More foreign equipment & other industrial goods…

     The more these so-called ‘modern’ goods & foods, and their salesmen (at one level all are men, tho farther down in the chain they use women as well), are allowed to enter villages (all over the world!), the worse people’s health and wellbeing get. ee Focus continues sharing the Communist Party of Sri Lanka’s Alternate Program – this week looking at Health. The CPSL points out, ‘Despite low national income & low level of health expenditure, Sri Lanka improved basic health indicators to levels that are comparable to more-developed countries in the world.’ These indicators are however under major attack by the biotech & pharma capitalists and their chief importers, like more Unilever zombies such as Hemas, etc. The USA, with its scandalous all-for-profit health (disease) system, is perhaps jealous?


• Traders, Traitors… & the Budget: Imagine, what would happen if local media in a nano-moment of forgetful honesty added Trader to their names? The Sunday Trader, Island Trader, TraderNext, The Trader Times, The Morning Trader, Trader1st, Tradevocata – Ada (or is it Ado?) Velendha!

     Indeed, this week we learn that local manufacturing dropped even further down due to increased imports! And yet, Capital Alliance Ltd (CAL), a ‘leading investment bank in Sri Lanka’, called for ‘allowing more vehicle imports’, which they said ‘could garner Rs450billion tax revenue’! Ha!

     Budget & Cricket – It’s no wonder that this thrada trader media provided more diversion on cricket rather than these issues ee highlights. The enormous amount of paper and electrons dedicated to cricket – which has been corrupt from the very first ball, in a game where ball-guards preceded helmets by a century – shows what really excites our trade media. Of course, even this cricket ‘scandal’ (it’s no scandal, it is a bookie operation!) does not breakdown the fact that none of the bats & balls & other equipment (let’s not even mention the TV industry!) are even made in Sri Lanka.

     And so, this trader media, with their trader economists & ‘postcolonial’ trader academics, are suddenly running Gaza-shy here, after all that talk of rule of law, democracy, human rights... The choirs & the twittering birds have gone silent, as if a major deluge is on its way. Even Anglo-Yankee-soaked liberals now recall yet another English ‘opium war’ criminal & Prime Minister, Palmerston:

‘We have no eternal allies,

and we have no perpetual enemies.

Our interests are eternal and perpetual,

and those interests it is our duty to follow.’


• Finally, and lo & beholdee learned this week about the real historical force behind Europe’s richest tech company and key computer chip machine maker ASML – Karl Marx!

     Apparently, the physics & materials research laboratory of the Dutch electronics conglomerate Philips, is called NatLab, much like AT&T’s famous Bell Labs. Through NatLab, ASML’s tradition of machine knowledge originated under the Philips industrial empire. NatLab was founded in 1914 by the founders of Philips themselves, the brothers Gerard & Anton Philips, who had founded the company with their father in the 1890s to manufacture lightbulbsTheir father was a first cousin of Karl Marx; and their grandfather Lion Philips, a wealthy tobacco merchant, was Marx’s main financial sponsor!

     Actually, he was not just Marx’s main financial sponsor; he held the key to Marx’s mother’s inheritance. And he was delighted to learn from Marx that it is the making of machines that is the true wealth… So, how’s that for this week’s resonating revelation about the real ghost in the machine? (see ee Focus)


‘If money comes into the world with a congenital bloodstain on one cheek,

capital comes dripping from head to toe, from every pore, with blood & dirt.”

– Karl Marx, Capital


Sri Lanka, one of the truly richest countries in the world – rich in land & labor – has been tainted as bankrupt, and after 500 years of invasion, the imperialists demand further ransoms. Note here the silence of the rating agencies in West Asia. Why haven’t they downgraded Israel like they have Sri Lanka? Are war’s terrors, productive investment, or…? And what of that pimp’s intangible ‘investor confidence.’ Given people’s horror at the US wars in Palestine a& Ukraine, shouldn’t the US Dollar – which trusts in god – have been bunker-busted?! But, no….

 ‘I think it’s about time we stopped… apologizing for our support for Israel.

There’s no apology to be made. None. It is the best $3bn investment we make.

Were there not an Israel, the USA would have to invent an Israel

to protect her interest in the region. The US would have to go out & invent an Israel.

– Senator Joe Biden, 1986,


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