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Depriving entire generations of their hopes for a better future, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has risen to become the world's most powerful international financial organization. Blackmailing countries and pillaging whole continents for almost seven decades now, its history resembles a modern-day crusade against the working people on five continents. In his highly compelling account, journalist Ernst Wolff specifies the dramatic consequences of the IMF's practice of loan sharking and implementing neoliberal austerity measures. While exacerbating poverty, increasing hunger, furthering the spread of diseases and fuelling armed conflicts on the one hand, the Fund's policies have on the other hand helped a tiny group of ultra-rich profiteers increase their vast fortunes to immeasurable dimensions - allegedly in the name of ensuring the stability of the global financial system.
Pillage of Plantations in Sri Lanka, under the IMF, World Bank and ADB privatization agenda, incisively analyses, appallingly dubious privatizations of valuable plantations in Sri Lanka, causing the people colossal losses, exposing shocking indifference of international developmental agencies, completely eroding public confidence, which is crucial to foster a free and open economy, with transparency. Plantations historically base of the national economy, leading tea exporter in the world, were nationalized by Prime Minister Sirima Dias Bandaranaike. Her daughter, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, who decried previous privatizations, as brazen pillage and plunder of peoples wealth by cronies, publicly avowed privatization would be transparent, free of corruption, and those in public life held accountable. Plantations privatizations were carried out by hand-picked confidantes, presided by Senior Partner, KPMG Ford Rhodes Thornton & Co., Rajan Asirwatham, under the purview of Deputy Minister Finance G.L. Peiris, also then Minister, Justice & Constitutional Affairs (now Minister, External Affairs), directly under President Kumaratunga. Though President Kumaratunga, Minister G.L. Peiris and then Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, two Oxford educated, publicly decried as dubious and fraudulent plantations privatizations, assuring legal action, no action was taken thereon, arraigning the confidantes and cronies. What is demonstrated is that pontification by political leaders, espousing enforcement of the rule of law is mere rhetoric, and in reality, socio-politically influential are above the rule of law. It discloses the unashamed tolerance of fraud and corruption by confidantes of those at the helm in a country; with governments and society uninhibitedly bestowing upon corrupt miscreants, even more recognition and position, rather than arraigning them, as warranted, before the law; whilst some duplicitously articulate transparency and good governance. This book is an invaluable and indispensable research book on real case studies for those who are interested in privatization and advocating good governance; and to comprehend socio-political realities.
`Colombo Port Bunkering Privatisation' under IMF, World Bank and ADB privatization agenda, discloses a scandalous privatization, annulled as illegal and fraudulent by a 3-Judge Supreme Court Bench of Sri Lanka, presided by Chief Justice, Sarath N. Silva; compelling Secretary, Finance Ministry / Secretary Treasury, P.B. Jayasundera to resign. It involved, John Keells Holdings Ltd., an UN Global Compact Co. committed to combat fraud and corruption. It is an `eye opener' on socio-political realities, of those holding selected and elected influential and powerful public office, including Secretary, Finance Ministry, P.B. Jayasundera, compromising national and public interest, with scant regard for the `rule of law', and hollow dictates by international agencies, on governance, transparency and level playing field. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, in a Memorandum to Cabinet Ministers opposed this privatization. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe disregarding the President had pushed the deal, with his Advisor, former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, R. Paskaralingam; approved by Economic Sub-Committee of Cabinet, including Finance Minister, K.N. Choksy, PC. It reveals condoning of fraud and corruption by confidantes of those at helm in a country; with governments and society uninhibitedly bestowing upon corrupt miscreants, even more recognition and position, without arraigning them, as warranted, before the law; President Mahinda Rajapakse re-appoints, P.B. Jayasundera, Secretary, Finance Ministry / Secretary Treasury. Susantha Ratnayake, continues as Chairman, John Keells, and helms Ceylon Chamber of Commerce; appointed Chairman, Sri Lanka Tea Board, by Government New Chief Justice, J.A.N. de Silva and other Supreme Court Judges act to accommodate necessity of President Mahinda Rajapakse, when P.B. Jayasundera is permitted to be re-appointed to same powerful position. A sole woman, Justice Shiranee Tilakawardena courageously dissents, upholding principles of moral turpitude and democracy to keep organs of State within the law - `anyone would balk at such re-appointment'; 2 pages of Judgment suppressed from media.
This shockingly explosive Book deals with the manipulative privatization of Sri Lanka Insurance, under a privatization program, pushed by IMF, World Bank and ADB; questionably mishandled by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young, contravening governmental procedures and professional standards; involving a consortium of leading corporates, controlled by one individual, portrayed as a close associate of former US President Bill Clinton. This dubious deal was annulled as wrongful, unlawful and illegal by the Supreme Court, the highest judiciary, observing that it 'shocked the conscience of Court', asserting that public assets are held in trust on behalf of the people. This Book exposes those holding elected and selected influential and powerful public office unabashedly compromising national and public interests, in the disposal of an invaluable national asset, at a ridiculous price, to parties, who had not even been pre-qualified, with one party incorporated in Gibraltar after the completion of the process, and whose source of funds channeled through a leading Bank remained a mystery. This Book appallingly reveals how pontificating professionals retrospectively manipulated the financials of Sri Lanka Insurance, facilitating a fraudulent demand for a refund from the Government. It reveals the unashamed condoning of fraud and corruption, and bestowing on corrupt miscreants even more recognition, shunning the 'rule of law'; and the absence of law enforcement; and the duplicitous stances of the Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Chartered Accountants. This book is an 'eye opener' on socio-political realities, and is invaluable to those dealing with privatization, public finance and commerce, fraud and corruption, forensic accounting, and to legal academics and professionals, and public interest activists.
View "Public Restrooms": A Photo Gallery in The Atlantic Monthly. So much happens in the public toilet that we never talk about. Finding the right door, waiting in line, and using the facilities are often undertaken with trepidation. Don’t touch anything. Try not to smell. Avoid eye contact. And for men, don’t look down or let your eyes stray. Even washing one’s hands are tied to anxieties of disgust and humiliation. And yet other things also happen in these spaces: babies are changed, conversations are had, make-up is applied, and notes are scrawled for posterity. Beyond these private issues, there are also real public concerns: problems of public access, ecological waste, and—in many parts of the world—sanitation crises. At public events, why are women constantly waiting in long lines but not men? Where do the homeless go when cities decide to close public sites? Should bathrooms become standardized to accommodate the disabled? Is it possible to create a unisex bathroom for transgendered people? In Toilet, noted sociologist Harvey Molotch and Laura Norén bring together twelve essays by urbanists, historians and cultural analysts (among others) to shed light on the public restroom. These noted scholars offer an assessment of our historical and contemporary practices, showing us the intricate mechanisms through which even the physical design of restrooms—the configurations of stalls, the number of urinals, the placement of sinks, and the continuing segregation of women’s and men’s bathrooms—reflect and sustain our cultural attitudes towards gender, class, and disability. Based on a broad range of conceptual, political, and down-to-earth viewpoints, the original essays in this volume show how the bathroom—as a practical matter—reveals competing visions of pollution, danger and distinction. Although what happens in the toilet usually stays in the toilet, this brilliant, revelatory, and often funny book aims to bring it all out into the open, proving that profound and meaningful history can be made even in the can. Contributors: Ruth Barcan, Irus Braverman, Mary Ann Case, Olga Gershenson, Clara Greed, Zena Kamash,Terry Kogan, Harvey Molotch, Laura Norén, Barbara Penner, Brian Reynolds, and David Serlin.

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