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There are still about 12.3 million people worldwide who work in some form of bonded or forced labour, according to a May 12 International Labour Organisation (ILO) report.
I am a Sinhalese from the majority community in Sri Lanka, not from the brutalised Tamil community. I have campaigned for five decades for the right of the Tamils to live with equality, dignity and safety in the country of their birth.
The Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) has criticised the fast-tracking of approval for a 3km tunnel under the Ranger uranium mine operated by Energy Resources of Australia.
“We don’t live in the territories, we cannot throw stones and we cannot participate in the legitimate resistance against occupation”, Haneen Zoabi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset (parliament) told Green Left Weekly.
A three month long industrial dispute at the West Gate Bridge strengthening project in Melbourne has ended. Unions and construction giant John Holland reached a settlement on May 15.
SYDNEY — Mohan Rajan, a young Tamil activist, told Green Left Weekly he was concerned that two violent incidents between the Tamil and Sinhalese communities in Sydney on May 18 “overshadowed the human catastrophe” in Sri Lanka.
“Soldiers, our race salutes you!” state the Sinhala-language slogans on huge placards plastered across Sri Lanka’s countryside.
Nepal’s political stalemate of sorts continues.
SYDNEY — On May 15, the Australia Western Sahara Association (AWSA) organised an event at Leichhardt Town Hall to mark the beginning of the struggle for independence in Western Sahara 36 years ago.
Malalai Joya is the youngest elected representative to Afghan’s parliament. In 2007, she was unjustly suspended for “insulting” other members of the parliament. Joya is an opponent of the US-led occupation and a strong supporter of women’s rights. She opposes the brutal, misogynistic polices of both the Taliban and the fundamentalist forces the US have installed. Her memoir, Raising My Voice: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice, is due to be released later this year.
On May 18, human rights activists rallied outside Australian foreign affairs minister Stephen Smith’s office in Perth to protest against the treatment of Burma’s democratically elected leader, Aung San Suu Kyi.
MELBOURNE — Locals into Victoria’s Environment organised a 5000-strong protest against the federal government’s climate change policies on May 17.
The national president of the US organisation Veterans for Peace, Mike Ferner has written an open letter to US President Barack Obama published below. VFP involves veterans from past and current US wars. Its members “draw on our personal experiences and perspectives gained as veterans to raise public awareness of the true costs and consequences of militarism and war — and to seek peaceful, effective alternatives”. For more information, visit .
When the United Nations describes the Sinhalese army’s attacks on the Tamil areas of Sri Lanka as a “bloodbath on the beach” you know a massacre is going on.
British comedian and activist Mark Steel discusses the growing scandal about expenses claimed by British members of parliament in the article published below. The scandal is causing widespread outrage and forced the resignation of House of Commons speaker Michael Martin on May 19 — the first time in 300 years the speaker had been forced out. The scandal has engulfed MPs from the ruling Labour Party and the Conservative opposition. This article was originally published in the British Independent.
Despite some new health spending on infrastructure and research, the recent budget failed to address the growing public health care crisis.

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