Five Years on with garbage, myths and lies
Sri Lanka – Singapore Free Trade Agreement
By Gomi Senadhira
This month the highly controversial Sri Lanka – Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA), which was signed in January 2018 and enforced in May 2018, completes five years in operation. Given the high level of concern among domestic stakeholders regarding the agreement. President Maithripala Sirisena appointed an independent committee of experts, in August 2018, to study the agreement and the committee handed over its report to the President in December 2018. The committee had identified a number of pitfalls in the agreement and President Maithripala Sirisena had directed that the agreement be amended as per the recommendations of the expert group. In May 2021, it was revealed that the National Negotiation Committee had reviewed the SLSFTA and identified 18 amendments to be made to the agreement. Hence, as the SLSFTA marks five years of implementation, it is appropriate for relevant government agencies to provide an overview of the significant trade and economic effects of the FTA during the period, and any efforts undertaken by the government to revise the articles in the agreement which are unfavourable to Sri Lanka. This is particularly important in trade policy because Sri Lanka is currently engaged in FTA negotiations with a number of other countries, including China, India, and Thailand. A careful analysis of the SLSFTA, at this stage, would help to avoid repeating similar mistakes in these negotiations as well. Furthermore, the way our trade negotiators and “experts” reacted to some of these public concerns on the agreement also reveals the limits of their expertise on trade agreements and negotiations, and their understanding of the commitments they had extended to Singapore! Some of their comments are so absurd that it appears that they do not even comprehend the very basics of trade negotiations!
One of the most controversial issues in the SLSFTA was the commitments undertaken by Sri Lanka to open up import and process waste/garbage from Singapore. I was the first to raise this issue in August 2018 (SL chosen as garbage dump by Singapore after China, etc. shut their doors, The Island 18th August 2018). Last year, in a study undertaken by Anushka Wijesinha, who was an advisor to the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade, and Janaka Wijayasiri state, “At times, the concern morphed into undue fears and propelled misleading views and myths…Another concern that arose quite surprisingly was that the SLFTA – and the tariff liberalisation offered – would permit harmful products such as garbage, clinical waste, nuclear waste, chemical waste etc. to be imported to Sri Lanka. The argument by those individuals and groups that raised this issue was that since waste products are included in the TLP, such items can be dumped into the country under the agreement… To be clear, the reduction or elimination of tariffs does not grant automatic entry of a product into a country – all applicable domestic regulations and mechanisms would still apply, including any applicable import licensing requirements, standards, and other regulatory approvals. The SLSFTA does not take away Sri Lanka’s rights under International Environmental Protection Treaties to which Sri Lanka is a signatory and therefore, relevant environmental laws and regulations would apply to such imported products with no exception for those imports from Singapore under the SLSFTA.” (Sri Lanka – Singapore FTA Four Years On: Policy Context, Key Issues, and Future Prospects – August 2022)
When I exposed the commitments undertaken in the agreement to allow waste, particularly plastic waste, imports from Singapore it was not done based simply on tariff liberalisation. It was done after analysing the global trade of plastic waste, the challenges Singapore was facing in exporting plastic waste, Sri Lanka’s import of plastic waste, and Sri Lanka’s commitments in the agreement under the TLP, rules of origin, and services.
The Global situation
The developed countries lawfully or unlawfully export garbage as “recyclable waste” overseas for recycling. That is because recycling is a labour-intensive and dirty industry. For example, a PET bottle would have to be washed, its cap, and the label taken off before it can be recycled. So, it is a labour- intensive process. Very often large quantities of toxic or hazardous wastes also are mixed with “clean” waste. Then it also becomes a hazardous industry. During the cleaning process toxic waste is released into local environs and workers get exposed to them. So, developed countries prefer to do this “recycling” in developing countries. To do their dirty work these global garbage traders particularly target developing countries with corrupt officials and shady businessmen where import licensing requirements, standards, and other regulatory approvals can be bent and corrupt officials would facilitate the clearing of even toxic garbage containers without any examination. In these countries, the bulk of the imported garbage ends up in the local garbage dumps.
China was the world’s largest importer of garbage and imported almost 60% of the world’s plastic waste. However, there was a growing public outcry, over many years, against the import of “foreign garbage.” in general and import of plastic waste in particular. This intensified after the release of the documentary film “Plastic China” in 2016 depicting the lives of two families who make their living recycling plastic waste imported from developed countries. In 2017 China decided to ban imports of 24 types of rubbish and notified the WTO accordingly. “We found that large amounts of dirty wastes or even hazardous wastes are mixed in the solid waste that can be used as raw materials. This seriously polluted China’s environment. To protect China’s environmental interests and people’s health, we urgently adjust the imported solid wastes list, and forbid the import of solid wastes that are highly polluted. Protection of human health or safety; Protection of animal or plant life or health; Protection of the environment,” stated China’s WTO notification.
Normally, in international trade when the import of a product is banned in one country, it will be redirected to other countries. After the Chinese ban. Increased volumes of plastic waste started to move into other traditional importers of waste for reprocessing (Thailand, Vietnam, and other countries in the region) and these countries too started to restrict the imports of waste products. So, where will the world’s waste exports end up, if not in China or South East Asia? By late 2016, the Chinese plastic waste processing industry was looking for places in South Asia and Africa to relocate this billion-dollar industry.
Situation in Singapore
Singapore is one of the world’s largest, per capita, plastic waste generators. From 2012 to 2017 the total volume of plastic waste generated in Singapore averaged around 800 thousand tons per year. In 2013 Singapore exported over 90,000 tons of plastic waste. Out of it over 57,000 Tons went to China. After China’s ban on the import of plastic waste, Singapore’s exports fell to around 30, 000 tons by 2021. In Singapore, plastic waste is either exported or incinerated. Ash from incineration is shipped to a man-made island and that landfill is also fast filling up. Furthermore, the incineration of plastic waste even under controlled conditions leads to environmental degradation. Singapore is very keen on maintaining its air quality and incineration is not a preferred option. But recycling in Singapore is expensive. So, recycling companies in Singapore used to undertake that in Malaysia, China, or other countries in the region. After the Chinese ban exports to China have stopped totally and other importers also were contemplating import restrictions. Hence, it was no secret, when the SLSFTA was negotiated Singapore was exploring new overseas locations to establish recycling operations, or dumping grounds. In 2021 Singapore generated 982 thousand tons of plastic waste and only around six percent of the plastic waste generated was recycled. (See Table I)
The situation in Sri Lanka
When the SLSFTA was under negotiation Sri Lanka had already commenced importing plastic waste. The surge in imports between 2013 and 2017 shown in the Table II, clearly indicated the presence of a small but growing plastic waste “recycling” industry in Sri Lanka. My comments in 2018 was partly based on this analysis. (See Table II)
Though trade flows indicated a possible presence of global waste “recycling” mafia in Sri Lanka, I didn’t know, at that stage, garbage “recycling” or “resource recovery industries” had already commenced thriving operations within the BOI, under the Commercial Hub Regulation Act.
That was revealed only after the media exposure in 2019, of a huge waste dump inside the BOI. At that time, a representative from the “resource recovery industry” operated in the Katunayake FTZ, brazenly claimed at a press conference that this was the world’s “fastest-growing and most admired industry”. However, the investigation revealed that this clandestine waste dump inside the BOI contained toxic waste. Then came the discovery of over 200 stinking garbage containers in the Colombo port! Again, with toxic waste! These were discovered only because dirty fluids started to ooze out these smelly containers. It was reported that the environmental and customs officials even refused to open these containers as it was unsafe to do so. It was also reported that the garbage consignments moved from the port to the BOI were not physically checked by the Customs and other regulatory agencies, and these agencies did not conduct any entry processing or check on documents, due to BOI regulations! Though the Finance Minister promised the Parliament, in July 2019, that he would conduct a comprehensive investigation into the matter and would take legal action against the culprits nothing much had happened even after four years. It is also noteworthy that these garbage containers were discovered only after the collapse of Meethotamulla Garbage Dump in 2017. If Meethotamulla had not imploded, at least some of the waste may have ended up there.
Sri Lanka – Singapore FTA
The SLSFTA was negotiated at a time when the global crisis in the garbage trade was at its peak. So, how did Sri Lankan negotiators react to the crisis? Did they see it as a threat or an opportunity? Trade negotiators are expected to analyse trade statistics before making any commitment on any tariff line. Didn’t they know that Sri Lanka was already importing plastic waste? The representatives from the BOI were involved in the negotiations. Didn’t they know Sri Lanka had established these “resource recovery industries” within the BOI? How Singaporean negotiators approached this issue. Did they request any commitments from Sri Lanka in the area of import and processing of waste? Did we provide these commitments without any requests? And finally, didn’t they even know that Sri Lanka made these commitments?
When I warned that plastic and asbestos waste will be imported for processing and recycling, the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade responded by stating “… in order for products manufactured in Singapore using non-originating raw materials (imported raw materials) to become eligible for Customs duty concessions under SLSFTA, origin criteria listed below should be complied with: I. Sufficient working or processing + comply with value addition of 35% of FOB or II. Sufficient working or processing + comply with CTH (change of tariff no at 4- digit level between the finished product and imported inputs) or… Sufficient working or processing + comply with Product Specific Rules”),” (“Garbage in, Garbage out’- Malik’s response,” The Island, October 9, 2018).
Unfortunately, our trade negotiators and advisers are not even aware that under the SLSFTA Rules of Origin, waste and scrap for recycling qualify as wholly obtained products, like plants … grown and harvested, or live animals born, raised and slaughtered in Singapore. The relevant sections are Article 4 k, l, and m, which state” … (k) used articles collected there fit only for the recovery of raw materials; (l) wastes and scrap resulting from manufacturing operations conducted there; (m) waste and scrap derived from used goods collected in the exporting Party, provided that those goods are fit only for the recovery of raw materials.“ Under these sub- articles plastic waste, asbestos waste and similar products, can be imported for the recovery of raw materials by the “resource recovery industry” which had a highly lucrative operation in the BOI zones when the agreement was signed.
The agreement clearly categorises waste collected in Singapore as a wholly obtained product under Article 4, the Ministry of DS& IT claimed waste cannot be imported under Article 5. Didn’t our International Trade Ministry and other trade “experts” understand waste collected in Singapore is covered under Article 4 and hence the limitations in Article 5 do not apply? Or was it a deliberate attempt to hoodwink the public?
Then there are a few specific rules of origin that would facilitate the dumping of dangerous products in Sri Lanka. For example, crocidolite asbestos (HS 6812) also known as blue asbestos, is considered the most hazardous type of asbestos. Sri Lanka prohibited the use of crocidolite asbestos in 1987. Singapore banned the use of all types of Asbestos in 1989. However, a significant amount of the material remains in the buildings and elsewhere in Singapore and there are strict laws governing the demolishing and removal of these materials. Shockingly this item is not only included in Sri Lanka’s TLP but our negotiators have spent time and money on formulating very simple specific rules of origin to facilitate its imports. If a product containing Crocidolite, simply changes its tariff subheading then it qualifies as a product of Singaporean origin.
Then in the Services Chapter Sri Lanka has undertaken a specific commitment on Waste Disposal Services which is reproduced below (see Table 3):
The CPC 9402 refers to “refuse collection and disposal services’ and it includes collection services of garbage, trash, rubbish and waste, whether from households or from industrial and commercial establishments, transport services and disposal services by incineration or by other means. The use of “**” against the CPC code indicates that the specific commitment for that code shall not extend to the total range of services covered under that code. Sri Lanka’s commitment clearly limits its scope to waste collected from industrial establishments not run by the Government, but no other areas are excluded.
Under these commitments, services can be provided through four modes of supply. For “Waste Disposal Services” Sri Lanka has opened up only two modes of supply, namely, Mode 2) Consumption abroad and Mode 3) Commercial presence. The term “None” under this commitment means that the country is committing itself to provide full liberalization without any limitations on market access or national treatment for the service sector and modes of supply for which commitments are written.
By opening up Mode 2 without any restrictions, Sri Lanka permits the other party to the agreement to process its solid waste in Sri Lanka. If the intention of Sri Lankan negotiators, as the government claims, was to limit this to waste collected in Sri Lanka, then mode 2 should have been left unbound. By opening up of Mode 3 Sri Lanka has allowed Singaporean Waste Disposal Services to establish a subsidiary in Sri Lanka, subject to regulations of the Central Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka. Therefore, under this commitment waste can be imported from Singapore not only to recover raw materials but also to dispose of.
Before the SLSFTA entered into force in May 2018, if a Singaporean, Chinese or any other national wanted to recycle imported waste in Sri Lanka, it was possible to do so under BOI regulations. After May 2018, any Singaporean company can establish refuse disposal services in Sri Lanka, under the commitments undertaken by Sri Lanka in the services chapter of the SLSFTA, to recycle and/or process waste!
After I raised this issue it was widely discussed. I believe the Presidential Commission also recommended that the articles which permit waste import and recycling should be amended. My article “SL chosen as garbage dump by Singapore after China etc. shut their doors,” published in the Island in 2018, was tabled in the parliament by Shehan Semasinghe. Later, in April 2022, he became the Minister of Trade and since September 2022 he is the Minister of State for Finance. In spite of all that the government had not taken any action to protect Sri Lanka from becoming a garbage dump for developed countries other than calling my claim, “… a despicable attempt … to deceive the public” and in turn releasing few press releases with incorrect information to mislead the public. Even when the government imposed a ban on imports of hundreds of products, waste items like plastic waste were not included in that list and every year Sri Lanka continues to import thousands of tons of plastic waste!
In 2019, the Philippines, in a major diplomatic row with Canada, reshipped 2,400 tonnes of Canadian toxic waste which was imported labelled as plastic waste for recycling. Other countries in the region also had taken similar action. But we in Sri Lanka are not like that. Last year alone Sri Lanka imported over 6000 tons of plastic waste! Most of it came from China, a country that banned the import of plastic waste to protect environmental interests and people’s health and safety.
(The writer can be contacted via email@example.com.)
Arahath Mahinda’s mission and betrayal by Ven. Buddhagosa
Arahath Mahinda created history in the 3rd Century BC when he not only brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka, but also catalysed the development of a rich civilisation on the island. This great achievement is unparalleled in the annals of Buddhism since the demise of the Buddha. Ven. Buddhagosa is held in high esteem among Sri Lankan Buddhists for translating the Sinhala Commentaries on the Tripitaka into Pali in the 5th Century AD.
The huge enterprise undertaken by King Dharmasoka and his son Arahath Mahinda was to spread the Theravada Dhamma cleansed of all impurities that had crept into it over time. The effort of Ven Buddhaghosa, in contrast, was to reintroduce some of these impurities back into Theravada. These impurities had been removed at the Third Dhamma Sangayanava sponsored by King Dharmasoka, where Ven. Moggalliputtatissa preached the Katavattu, which refutes and eliminates all these impurities. Katavattu has been good enough to be included in the Tripitaka. By this means metaphysical and transcendental features were removed from the Dhamma before it was brought to Sri Lanka. Ven. Buddhagosa in his translation of the Sinhala Commentaries into Pali has reintroduced these features into the Dhamma. His action had resulted in the introduction of ritual worship, and a larger than life image of the historical human being that was Buddha.
Arahath Mahinda after introducing Buddhism to Sri Lanka, worked tirelessly on two vital aspects, the practice of the Dhamma and the study of the Pali canonical texts. Historical remains of the facilities made available for the pursuit of these two aspects bear witness to the fact that people were interested in both. Ruins of libraries, lecture theatres and meditation cubicles abound in the country. Practice of the Dhamma was based on the three main features of the Gnana Marga (Path of Wisdom), ‘Dhana, Seela, Bhavana’. There were no rituals. Age old oral tradition was employed for the study of the suttas with designated disciples, in the ancient tradition of the Bhanakas who memorised the suttas and recited them at meetings for their revision. Arahath Mahinda facilitated the teaching process by arranging to make available the commentaries on the suttas in Sinhala.
It is this version of Buddhism that was written down at Aluvihare. Mahinda was careful to see that this Dhamma was established in Sri Lanka. In order to make sure that the correct tenets and dogma were studied he provided Sinahala commentaries. It was these Sinhala Commentaries that were translated into Pali by Ven. Buddhaghosa. But what was the need for this translation? One cannot think of any valid reason. Sinhala commentaries were needed for the teaching of the Dhamma to Sinhala people, and the original Pali version was available in the Tripitaka for reference when necessary. If Buddhagosa wanted to write his own commentaries in Pali he could have done that instead of translating the Sinhala version. He had a command of the Pali language but there is no evidence of how or where he learnt Sinhala with sufficient proficiency to translate complex works to Sinhala. Moreover, what has happened to the Sinhala commentaries is a mystery. Chronicles say they were burnt. Was it done to destroy the evidence? Were they destroyed by invaders? If so why only the Sinhala commentaries, why not all the written works? Did Mahaviharins collude with Buddhagosa in these activities?
Buddhagosa in his translations had made changes, added stories and anecdotes, which is not the accepted function of a translator or even a commentator. These additions are meant to raise the Buddha to a transcendental being, above the realm of this world, who is god like and could grant to humans what they pray for. Some stories describe people offering flowers and incense to Buddha (see Buddhagosa’s commentary on Kalinga Bodhi Jataka). What benefit did Buddhagosa and Mahaviharins, if they were involved, expect from these activities? In this connection Prof Marasinghe says; ‘ The hard work of Buddhagosa and the Mahavihara fraternity culminated in the formulation of a new ritual structure with attractive advantages to keep both the lay followers and the members of the Sanga happy and content
As a result, when we pass from the canonical Pali texts and the Pali commentaries we come into a totally new teaching different from the original’.
The Buddha was a normal human being. Prince Siddartha gave up lay life and went in search of an answer to the eternal suffering of humans and led a very simple life, often resting or sleeping under a tree. What he achieved did not make him a larger than life being or make him or his Dhamma a transcendental or metaphysical phenomenon. The Pali canonical texts still depict this Theravada Buddha (in Prof. Marasinghe’s words), who is totally different to the glorified Buddha in the Buddhagosa’s commentaries. Buddhagosa’s Buddha had accumulated merit in innumerable eons of samsara to achieve what he achieved. Here Buddhagosa asserts that achieving Nirvana is not possible without such accumulation of merit. Buddha has never said merit is necessary for achieving Nirvana, merit could be accumulated or that merit could be transferred from one person to another. Sri Lankan Buddhists make a futile attempt to do all this and the blame lies with Buddhagosa.
Before the advent of Buddhagosa, there were no rituals, during a period of 700 years from the 3rd Century BC to the 5th Century AD. Though there were stupas like Thuparamaya and statues of Buddha and the Bodhi Tree, people treated these as objects of veneration for recollection of the Buddha and his attainment and not for ritual worship of the theistic kind. Buddha advised people to offer alms or give away their possessions to help them get rid of attachment to these objects that are impermanent, for it was the cause of suffering. But Buddhists of today offer alms expecting an accumulation of merit as an insurance for a better life in the next birth. The concept of accumulation of merit and its transfer were discussed and rejected at the Third Dhamma Sangayanava referred to above, and therefore these concepts were not brought to Sri Lanka by Mahinda.
Practice of ritual worship is associated with theistic religions and was never advocated by Buddha, who said that one could attain freedom from suffering by one’s own effort and not by the intervention of an external agent. Buddhagosa paved the way for the entry of ritual worship into the practice of Buddhism, and the belief that worship before stupas, statues, and Bodhi trees would result in the accumulation of merit and rewards. The uniqueness of Buddhism was ruined. Let me quote Prof. Marasinghe; ‘ Thus, all aspects of the new ritual Buddhism which changed the Theravada Buddhism into a system of worship, offering and prayer, like any other theistic religion, has been very carefully planned and smuggled into practice with several bonus packages for the operators’.
WHO taken hostage by global corporate network
by Dr Wasantha Bandara,
Patriotic National Movement
According to the reports of various independent research institutes in the world, the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently contemplating bringing the entire decision-making authority of the global health system under its control. It is also reported that WHO is planning to use two main devices for that purpose: the revision of the International Health Regulation system (IHR), and the signing of a new global epidemic convention to bind all countries of the world to the organisation’s strategic plan and the guidelines based on it.
This process is called “One Health Agenda” and that will give power to make decisions in respect of all areas affecting public health under the authority of the World Health Organization. Accordingly, the World Health Organization will have the power to influence decision making at the global level in relation to many fields such as food, agricultural production patterns, animal production process, environmental protection, population variables, etc. This situation is very serious due to the fact that the big companies that provide funding to the World Health Organization have been given decision-making power over the process and fields of deploying those funds. For example, if funds are provided for a specific project, the organisation does not have the power or ability to deploy the funds according to the priority, no matter how critical the priorities are. As such it cannot be hidden that the World Health Organization currently determines technical decisions and set priorities according to the wishes of funders.
As such, many researchers have revealed that WHO is almost completely dependent on private funds for all its budgetary requirements. According to Dr. David Bell’s research reports, the biggest funder of that organisation is Bill Gates and the umbrella organisations dominated by him. Dr. David Bell accuses Bill Gates of using his funds as leverage to shut down the entire world and introduce mandatory vaccination programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is no secret that a large vaccine market was created and the accounts of large companies were fattened. It has now been revealed that the Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation invested large amounts of money for it even before the pandemic. However, even though the orders are given by WHO for epidemic control, the programmes in every country of the world should be launched with the funds of the taxpayers of those countries.
Accordingly, WHO is accused of having destroyed 200,000 small businesses in the world while 40 new billionaires were created by the end of the Covid epidemic. The whole process has been dubbed by various researchers as “epidemic industry”. Therefore, in the future, it is possible to present an “epidemic package” with measures such as new epidemics control measures and mass vaccination programmes, as well as imposing restrictions on economic and social activities and shutting down the entire world in the end. The cost will be borne by the taxpayers of the respective countries and the profits will be credited to the accounts of Global Corporate network.
Accordingly, the billionaires can ensure that the process is carried out the way they want through the International Health Regulations and the New Pandemic Convention, which gives WHO “global police powers” as mentioned above. New regulations revealed to be currently being drafted will introduce new criteria for declaring a global pandemic and health emergency. Consequently, by creating an epidemic or emergency situation that can happen or is likely to happen, it is possible to recommend actions to be taken in a real situation. For example, it is possible to completely shut down a country and create a global mass market by implementing mass vaccination programmes or preparing for other medical interventions.
According to the new international health regulations, the directives given by WHO are mandatory and all the countries that were parties in 2005 are obliged to implement those directives. Also, the new regulations empower the Director-General of the World Health Organization as an individual to independently declare a health emergency or a global pandemic. As such, the possibility of the independent expert committees to challenge the objectives of the funders is minimal. A mechanism will also be set up to ensure that the relevant orders are strictly implemented by establishing a very comprehensive centralised enforcement process. Accordingly, member countries are constrained in their ability to seek other options other than submitting to the directives of the Director General of the World Health Organization. As an extension of that, the Director General will be empowered to publish any country’s data without that country’s permission, as well as to provide it to the requesting party to be used for any purpose.
Above all, the Director General will have the power not only to deploy the resources of member countries but also to make decisions on intellectual property rights and will also have the power to censor the disclosure of information. Also, it is considered a very autocratic situation to make individual people bound by regulations. Accordingly, the public will have to be obliged as individuals to submit to the closure of borders, the imposition of travel restrictions, to follow the quarantine process, to submit to medical research, to submit to mandatory medical treatment and vaccinations.
In that way, it is very clear that in addition to binding countries and individuals by the new international health regulations, the new Epidemic Convention creates many other obligations. According to the draft currently under discussion, the power of the World Health Organization will spread beyond epidemic control. For example, a global supply chain will be created under the supervision of the World Health Organization for health supplies. In addition, each country must allocate 5% of the national health budget to maintain the emergency situation management structure of the WHO. As an extension of that, each country should create a specific governance structure for the health emergency situation management process under the supervision of the World Health Organization.
This new global pandemic agreement will expand the mandate of the World Health Organization indefinitely under the umbrella of ‘One Health Agenda’. Accordingly, the control of climate change as mentioned above is also considered as a health emergency and the power to impose restrictions and orders related to it has been submitted to the authority of the World Health Organization or in other Words the authority of the funders. In this way, the World Health Organization will have the power to impose orders overriding the local laws of a country. In such a situation, in the name of controlling climate change or in the name of controlling a related health emergency, the Director General of the world health organization will be able to take over the power to control the entire world’s food production system.
WHO is not the only organisation that comes forward to confirm the need for this so-called one health agenda. Not only the United Nations Organization, the European Union, the United Nations Children’s Fund, but also the Global Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have come forward to spend money for that and popularise the concept. Even if this organizations invest in the so-called epidemic industry in this way, the operating costs should be borne by the taxpayers of the respective countries. Hence, Dr. Bell states that the public must invest money for billionaires to make profit and ultimately to become victims of exploitation and destruction. The World Economic Forum has introduced a new theory to provide protection for this evil process. It is known as Public Private Partnership. In order to give it further legitimacy, it is termed as the transformation of the process from the dominance of shareholders to the dominance of stakeholders.
It is very clear that the end result of this private-public or private-government partnership is that the profits of the entire process are accumulated in the accounts of a handful of big companies. To facilitate this process, the World Economic Forum and the United Nations signed an agreement in 2019 and thereby impose the business interests of large companies on sovereign countries through this United Nations and its affiliated international multilateral organisation network. It is in the context that the World Economic Forum gathered in Davos, Switzerland in 2020 presented a new theory called “The Great Reset”. A key device in that theory is contractual private-public cooperation. In other words, the global multilateral institutions system is used to re-establish or reset the world according to the wishes of the global billionaires’ forum or the World Economic Forum. In that process, a Global Decision-Making system will be established.
Eventually, that so-called decision-making system becomes a global governance system or a global government of billionaires. The seriousness of the process is hidden by not naming it the global government but created as a technical decision-making system at global level. But the real situation is the creation of a global government above the independent states of the world. The World Health Organization will become the most powerful tool used to manipulate or control states in the way that the global government desires. Accordingly, the ultimate goal of the new International Health Regulations and the new Global Epidemic Convention should be understood and redefined in this greater context or bigger picture.
It can now be clearly seen that the current moment in which the world is undergoing a great economic depression is being used to pass a critical juncture related to the process of re-establishing the world. It is obviously a kind of imperialist operation. Accordingly, the next World Health Assembly will be used to adopt international health regulations. If that operation becomes a success, the relevant amendments will be put to the vote in May 2024. There, only a simple majority is required to pass those resolutions. But according to the procedure of the conference, the member countries will have a period of 10 months to reject the relevant amendments. As such, in March 2025, the process of creating a new world will begin. If a country has the courage to oppose it, only that state will have a limited space to act according to the international health regulations that have been in force since 2005.
Meanwhile, the World Pandemic Convention will also be put to the vote in May 2024, but will require a special two-thirds majority to pass it. After the adoption of the convention, if endorsed by 30 countries, all signatory countries are bound to implement the convention. But global giants are not waiting until then, and will launch an operation in September 2023 to begin a rehearsal through an operation called the Global Pandemic Response Platform. There is no doubt that it is a rehearsal to guide countries to the 2024 Agenda.
Of that proposed ‘Climate Change University’
by Dr. Ranil Senanayake
With the Sri Lanka country statement to COP21 held in 2015, Paris being ignored by the ‘Climate Change’ bureaucrats for eight years, there is concern that the agricultural community is running out of time. The recent change in management seemed to show some promise by appointing Eric Solheim as the Advisor on climate change. Thus in August of 2022 the Sri Lanka country statement to COP 21 was submitted to him in the hope that he could initiate the urgent actions that need to be attended to. Sadly, there seems to be no acceptance of this statement by the Government up until today. One trusts that the stupid public statements like “Sri Lanka will take the lead in ensuring the developing economies have the resources to mitigate climate change” have been crafted by the bureaucrats and not the advisors.
Now, we are presented with another silly political gundu, a ‘Climate Change University’. In terms of climate change, they are compromisers of our farmers and our fishermen. They are guilty of not putting in place the official machinery, to prepare for the oncoming stress factors, driven by climate change. Heat stress to our crops and the loss of ocean productivity are the most obvious. A nation would respond to such a scenario by having its agricultural scientists focus on breeding heat tolerance into our crops. We do not need a university to tell us that heat is going to be a problem. It was stated eight years ago in the Sri Lanka country statement to COP21. It said:
“(1) We are aware that the optimum operating temperature of chlorophyll is at 37 deg C. In a warming world where temperatures will soar well above that, food production will be severely impacted. We would request the IPCC to address responses to this phenomenon.”
If we are a nation unable to listen to its own voices or even the voices of others. What can be done to penetrate the echo chamber that politicians benefiting from earmarked funds have created around themselves? Globally, the scientific community are warning us that the crisis coming, we can see the wave on the horizon, but most people are still rooted in the dream that life will proceed as normal and are willing to let the corporations and politicians, calm us by moving the deck chairs a bit more, for us to enjoy our ride on their Titanic.
The oceanic levels are going up as a consequence of climate change. In Sri Lanka the current rate is around 3.6mm per annum. However, research published in February 2022 shows that sea level rise is accelerating and projected to rise by a foot by 2050. If there was any coordination on climate change, we should be mapping out the rice-growing areas prone to salinisation. We should be accessing salt tolerant rice varieties into the national rice breeding programme. We should be evaluating alternate crops for saline areas. We have the resources to respond, we do not need to wait for a climate change university to tell us that.
Without awaiting the lucrative construction of a new university, could we not consider the request of the Sri Lankan Country statement to COP 21 to be considered by the line ministries today and action plans drawn up? If we have funds for this new university is it not better to award the funds to existing institutions to respond to the oncoming crisis.
Sri Lanka Position Paper
To the UN Conference for Climate Change (COP21) Paris 1-10 December 2015
Sri Lanka is a vulnerable island in the face of Climate Change. An increase in the intensity of rainfall will erode our mountains and create increased flood damage. An increase in the sea level will render much of our productive agricultural lands saline. An increase of ambient temperatures will reduce our agricultural productivity. We are in agreement with the view that an increase of the Carbon Dioxide concentration in our atmosphere will contribute to this vulnerability.
We are aware of the great difference in carbon dioxide that is emitted from biological sources and carbon dioxide emitted from fossil sources. One has sequestered rates measured in thousands of years while the other in millions of years. Yet the cost is still the same. We would request the IPCC to address the relative costs of each.
We are aware that the optimum operating temperature of chlorophyll is at 37 deg C. In a warming world where temperatures will soar well above that, food production will be severely impacted. We would request the IPCC to address responses to this phenomenon.
We are aware that the critical Ecosystem services such as; production of Oxygen, sequestering of Carbon, water cycling and ambient cooling is carried out by the photosynthetic component of biomass. This is being lost at an exponential rate, due to the fact that these Ecosystem Services have not been valued, nor economically recognised. We would request the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to examine the value of photosynthetic biomass.
Sri Lanka will place her development agenda on a fossil free target and will promote an economic recognition of the ecosystem services generated by the photosynthetic biomass. In this way we offer to act in a globally responsible manner as well as to contribute in creating a cushioning effect for the climate extremes that are before us.
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