On the cover image the US Navy in the Indian Ocean
by Darini Rajaisngham-Senanayake
Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake, is a Social and Medical Anthropologist, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. All links to Gospa News articles have been added aftermath.
On the eve of the inauguration of Brazil’s leftist President Lula da Silva, January 1st, out-going Jair Bolsanaro headed to the United States. A few days earlier, ultra-nationalist ex-President and erstwhile US citizen, Gotabaya Rajapakse, had slunk back into the United States via Dubai on an Emirates Airlines Flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka in the third week of December 2022.
Gotabaya Rajapakse had done his time and could now return home to the US while the corporate media was distracted by decoys set up for the mafia-style chilling killing of Mr. Dinesh Shaffter, scion of a respected and powerful business family and primary material witness in the Bond scam at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in 2015.
During the Aragalaya protests that hit global headlines earlier in 2022, President Gotabaya was an embarrassment and not welcome in his second homeland, the US, or in many other countries. Thus the once powerful President and former war-winning Defense Secretary became a homeless gypsy for a couple of months in the Empire at large, and a sad spectacle. He was taught a lesson for past arrogance and henceforth would abide by Uncle Sam, and go quietly into the night.
President Gota once said that he planned to retire in America where his son works for the government. What he did for the Empire during his second coming as Sri Lanka’s Head Honcho, was for the most part on track but not quite fast enough. Thus, he was out-maneuvered by another US ‘Force’ backed hybrid project — the Aragalaya or so-called “peoples protest’, organized on-line via remote servers also with Diaspora digital activists crafting a hybrid virtual reality.
The Aragalaya Chaos Strategy enabled sufficient distraction for Sri Lanka’s first ever Debt Default to be staged in April 2022, and the subsequent unseating of President Gota and installation of a ‘Force’ favourite; Ranil Wickramasinghe, a.k.a Ranil Rajapakse, who had authorized the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), Bondscam in 2015. Ultra-neoliberal Ranil Wickramainghe was appointed in a constitutional coup to carry out ‘debt restructuring’ with the IMF and the colonial Club de Paris. The later an informal group of OECD countries represent International Sovereign Bond (ISB), traders who are responsible of the country’s first ever Sovereign Default as a result of an accumulation of Odious Debt by corrupt politicians.
Ranil Rajapakse would smoothen the path to a quick IMF Firesale of strategic Sri Lanka’s lands, marine areas, energy, transport and telecom infrastructure assets, and ensure that the Bond traders, behind Sri Lanka’s debt default got a good settlement, also with a planned 1 billion worth of Blu-Green Bonds. Prominent among Sri Lanka’s private creditors who hold almost 50 percent of dollar denominated debt is BlackRock which got huge US Government Covid-19 bailout funds after copious USD money-printing! In fact, Donald Lu, Secretary for South and Central Asia on a trip to Sri Lanka confirmed that the “Force” backed the President. Lu was earlier named by ousted Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who suffered an assassination attempt in 2022, as a regime change specialist!
Ex-president Gotabaya had initially delayed going to the Washington twins, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and World Bank (WB) for ‘help’ to pay mounting International Sovereign Bond Debt, but was eventually guided by his brother and fellow US citizen, then Finance Minister of Sri Lanka, Basil Rajapakse, to deliver the desperately sought Staged Default for Washington’s progress into the strategic Indian Ocean island as Cold War hotted up. The Third brother, Prime Minister and Sinophile, Mahinda Rajapaksa was trumped by his Diasporic siblings and their American ambition.
Meanwhile, protestors and international academics have call for out-right cancellation of all International Sovereign bond debt. ISBs they argue should bear the losses incurred in their high-risk predatory bond deals with Central Banks of corrupt and incompetent Afro-Asia post/colonies, increasingly subject to cascading Exogenous Economic Shocks: ISIS terror attacks, Covid-19 lockdowns, climate catastrophe narratives, Debt traps etc.
Timeline for Full Spectrum Dominance: Virtual Reality in the Post/Colony
By now all sides of the equation are remote controlled to greater or lesser extent: This is termed Full Spectrum Dominance (FSD), in US National Security Doctrine of the national security agency with its fantacies of Big Data Surveillance and control in the New Global Security Environment, which includes, Over the Horizon operations (OTH), as ongoing in Afghanistan. [i]
The CIA/ NED/ USAID stage managed and funded sequence of events and dramatic timeline of 2022 with the Aragalaya protest chaos strategy, enabled the Washington Consensus and Colonial Club de Paris to purse the Default due with ISB debt and tighten their grip on Strategic Sri Lanka’s Economic, trade and National security policy and maritime zone that holds crucial Submarine Undersea Data Cables (UDC), despite the best intentions of many good citizens, genuinely fed up of the political corruption, who hit the roads protesting in those heady days of Sri Lanka’s ‘Arab Spring’. There was massive local currency depreciation ex-ante and ex-poste the Staged Default, instantly beggaring the county and triggering a spiral of inflation.
All this was done to target China whose alternative STATE-LED Capitalist development model and Belt and Road (BRI), project for global connectivity and trade are seen as an existential threat to Western hegemony and the nuclear sub-club War Machine (NATO-AUKUS). Meanwhile, India moving to assert itself as a ‘global power’ in this long predicted ‘Asian 21st Century”, remains the Wild Card, juggling China, Russia and the US.
The US has signaled it would confront China in the maritime domain and hence invented the “Indo-Pacific” and AUKUS for nuclear Submarines some years ago. Enter, Sri Lanka at the center of the Indian Ocean as a key player, where there was a copious plastic spill by a mysterious ship MV Pearl from Dubai to Singapore that sank outside the Colombo port in 2021. Thus, USAID this week lunched a 5 year Deep Dive, Plastic cleanup operation into the Seas of Sri Lanka without any mention of Submarine Data Cables![ii]
The million-rupee question at this time is: will the two Asian Giants who are NOT members of the Colonial Club de Paris that represent the bond traders responsible for the country’s Default, work together to ensure that the county does not become an Economic Proxy War site, like Ukraine is in the US-led NATO proxy war against Russia? Or even Afghanistan or Haiti.
Sri Lanka is the canary in the Coal mine of many post-Covid-19 lockdown panicdemic debt trapped Global South countries and being carefully monitored. China and India, which have been termed ‘civilizational powers” are significant bi-lateral creditors of the country, which have themselves been at the butt-end of European colonialism. China, has would not easily forget the Opium Wars and its “Century of humiliation’ at the hands of British and French Imperialism and has repeatedly rejected pressure to join the OECD Colonial club de Paris, Bond trap cartel.
Its geopolitical ‘wheels within wheels” and ‘turtles all the way down’ in the virtual reality of the post/colony where Full Spectrum Dominance (FSD) and Over the Horizon (OTH), operations are the name of the hybrid cyber-war game! Advantage US, as English is the dominant language of the Internet and social media where Psy Ops take center stage. FSD includes massive Psychological Operations through datafication, Artificial Intelligence (AI) generated shades of virtual reality and Disinformation, with contradictory Big Data, models, algorithms and indices, designed to cause Cognitive Dissonance, anxiety and fear by gaming the corporate and social media narrative in a Post-Truth Risk Society permanently wired to small screens– from cell-phones to laptops.
Meanwhile the real data and evidence, like the forensic audit reports of the 2015 Bondscam remain beyond the reach of citizens, just like certain key chapters in the investigation into the Islamic State (IS) claimed Easter Sunday 2019 attacks that were redacted and embargoed.
Exogenous Economic Shocks: Eroding National Sovereignty
How does South Asia’s richest and only upper Middle Income Country with the best human development and social indicators (HDI), in the region, become a debt-trapped train wreck stripped of National Sovereignty in just four years? Was it pumped and dumped, and if so, by whom? What Complex systems models were used to game theorize outcomesin Sri Lanka?
The island that clearly suffers from a Geostrategic Resources Curse, but the series of cascading. staged hybrid war-style Exogenous Economic Shocks (EES), and the Gotabaya Rajapakse regime’s policy mistakes are legendary. These include two years of militarized economically devastating and unnecessary Covid-19 lockdowns albeit on the instructions and advice of the World Health Organization, which consolidated the path to Debt trap and the ISB Debt Default.
The Covid lockdown saw the Greatest transfer of wealth in Human History, with many countries in the Global South go into near debt Default. Sri Lanka is by no means an outlier when it comes to induced sovereign bond debt traps. The Covid-19 lockdowns and mass militarized injection/vaccination campaign of the population, in line with the Great Reset Global Governance agenda of the Global 1 percent, debilitated institutions, advanced Digital Colonialism, and enabled a pandemic of corruption and Disaster Capitalism.
Covid lockdowns were more egregious than the tax cut that followed the previous Exogenous Economic Shock—the mysterious ISIS-claimed Easter Sunday hybrid-war style attacks of 2019 on the tourist economy—whose masterminds are yet unknown. Those tax cuts were to boost a slumping economy at a time when the World Bank had upgraded Sri Lanka to MIC thus preventing access to concessionary borrowings, and forcing recourse to private market borrowing at predatory interest rates in the wake of an Exogenous Economic Shock, or IS terrorism. Subsequently, the CIA had notified Minster Harin Fernando that the mastermind of the IS claimed attacks was an internet bot called “Sonic-Sonic” or was it “moronic-moronic”? This was duly announced in Parliament after the CIA had removed materials evidencefrom the crime scene- the Suicide Bombers phones.
The other policy blunder was the Organic Fertilizer fiasco due to UN Climate Catastrophe narratives and Green Transition advice. In a midnight deal, Gota sold the Yugadanavi Power Plant to a US outfit, New Fortress company, for a clean green and ultra-expensive LNG transition, also jeopardizing Sri Lanka’s Energy security.
Various UN agencies did their part to assist the policy train-wreck towards Debt bondage, with Covid and Climate catastrophe stories. So too Blue-Green bonds have been promoted by the UNDP in IMF PC debt restructuring talks, alongside purchase of expensive green tech. vehicles, solar panels and wind energy projects etc. for which land and marine areas are being appropriated. This would kill two birds with one stone- increase the profit margins at both endsfor BlackRock, the holder of the largest chunk of Sri Lanka’s ISBs, via partner Adani– to be gifted key coastal areas for green energy projects in Mannar and Poonerryn, while indigenous communities, fishers and farmers are denied access to their traditional lands, fishing grounds in the name of corporate funded environmental conservation.
The UNDP Green Transition chorus has compelled small countries with incompetent leaders to bear the costs of ‘Loss and Damage’ caused by the Industrialized West although islands like Lanka have not caused climate change and need not rush to get expensive green technology especially after the Covid-19 Lockdowns. This has given rise to concerns about climate colonialism and climate hypocrisy.
President Gota’s Green Masterplan for policy train wreck was also crafted with the advice of his Viathmaga SB Diaspora buddies. The organic fertilizer debacle enabled various corporate-funded UN agencies all in the Humanitarian Disaster Capitalism industry to claim that Sri Lanka, a fertile and lush tropic country on major trade routes would soon face a Famine! Thus UNICEF, FAO, WFP and other agencies could raise funds for various humanitarian activities in the island, where people were primed with handouts for the IMF’s magnanimous Digital Cash Transfer project for the Global Reset. But protesting Sri Lankan citizens do not want to be subjects of IMF handouts. Rather they seek Debt Justice and Climate Justice and a flat playing field to do their own thing!
Epilogue: Semiotics of a Crime: It’s the Bonds, Stupid!
The Semiotics of the guillotine style killing of Mr. Shaffter left in his own car in broad daylight at the Colombo General Cemetery (Kannatte), after driving down roads packed with CCTV cameras, indicates a crime staged by perpetrators assured of immunity and impunity. It was a crime designed to send a chilling message to those who may seek the truth about various local and global bond trades and financial crimes that led to Debt Default, or dare speak truth to power.
Dinesh Schaffter was a primary material witness at the Presidential Commission that investigated the 2015 Central Bank bond scams, alleged to have been authorized by then Prime Minister and current President Ranil Wickramasinghe a.k.a Ranil Rajapakse, also to fund his party’s election campaign. The court case is on-going at this time. Mr. Shaffter whose company had placed bids at the time had inside knowledge, and was willing and able to testify. The CBSL bondscam had sent a global message that the country’s highest financial institution was open for corrupt bond trades.
At this time there are calls for transparency and information disclosure on local and international bond trades, the CBSL Forensic Audit Reports, national asset valuations, and the identities of the bond holders, as well as, ongoing de-dollarization. The IMF and Colonial Club de Paris are pushing for a quick Debt restructuring deal for the Creditors at this time along with, a Firesale of strategic assets (lands, marine areas, energy, transport and telecom infrastructure), along with USD 1 billion worth of blu-green Bonds or DFNS in this strategic island at the center of the Indian Ocean trade, energy and UDC routes.
Protestors meanwhile have called for a moratorium and ban on borrowing from private capital market Bond traders give the Odious nature of the Debt. As the IMF pushes or ‘quick settlement” citing the ‘economic pain’ of Sri Lanka which the local and global corporate media revel in, disaster capitalism is unfolding.
Sri Lanka is losing its energy, economic and trade policy sovereignty and independence on the eve of its 75th year also amid increasingly, totalizing climate and pandemic disaster narratives, promoted by various UN agencies. So too, the Right to Self-Determination of Peoples, National Policy autonomy and State Sovereignty — founding Principles of the United Nations System have been turned on their head as various UN agencies that are funded by big corporations (big Pharma and Green tech), promote their products, Neocolonialism and SuperImperialism.
Finally, the not insignificant good news is that strategic Sri Lanka may well benefit from the current cycle of climate change, given the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Many climate change models and empirical reality (rather than Virtual Realty) indicate that the island blessed with two annual monsoons will get more rain and hence have more arable land and clean, green hydro-electric energy in years to come although sea level rise may be cause for concern.
The corporate and social media these days rarely bring good news in post/colonies. Rather staged and cascading exogenous economic shocks generate uncertainty, anxiety and fear that serve to keep society and economy destabilized and colonized. Welcome to 2023 and (virtual) reality in a Post-truth age!
Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake, is a Social and Medical Anthropologist, based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. All links to Gospa News articles have been added aftermath.