837

May 17

If the military-backed government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajia dissolved parliament, announced fresh elections and ordered a cease fire, the violence would end immediately and the Red Shirts would all go home.

Since the start of the latest bloody crackdown on May 13, the death toll in Bangkok, as of May 17, is 35, all civilians, except one air force personnel, all killed by the army. If you include the deaths from the April crack down, Abhisit is now responsible for 65 deaths with 1669 injured in order that his military-backed government can stay in power.

Proportional, not preferential

The proposal by outgoing British PM Gordon Brown to have a referendum on the electoral system is fraught with danger for Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats.

Brown proposes a referendum on the British first-past-the post system and the Australian preferential vote system. A vote for the Australian system would be a death warrant for the Lib Dems.

Did you hear the one about the election everyone lost? On May 6, Labour, the party in power, lost 100 seats and with it the chance to continue in government after 13 years. The Conservatives lost the victory all the polls had been promising them for the past 18 months.

The Liberals suffered perhaps the most devastating humiliation after Cleggmania turned out to be a complete and utter mirage. The man who apparently wowed us so much in the TV leadership debates actually lost a number of seats rather than gaining any.

The Liberal Democrats have committed to support about $10 billion in public spending cuts as part of their coalition deal with the Conservative Party, Counterfire.org said in a May 12 article. An abridged version is below.

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Liberal Democrat (LD) leader Nick Clegg is deputy prime minister (not bad for a leader who lost seats in the election) and another four members of his party will be in cabinet as part of the power-sharing deal signed with the Conservative Party (Tories).

It’s another election year and we’re witnessing another round of racist fear-mongering. Along with refugees, Muslims are in the crosshairs once again and the Liberal/National Coalition opposition is trying to grab votes by playing on people's worst instincts.

On May 6, Liberal Senator and parliamentary secretary Cory Bernardi called for a ban on the wearing of the burqa, after a case of armed robbery was committed by someone allegedly using the burqa as a disguise.

This statement was release by organisations in the Asia-Pacific region on May 13. If your organisation would like to sign on, please email international@socialist-alliance.org.

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We, left and progressive organisations from the Asia-Pacific region, express our solidarity with the resistance of the Greek people against the harsh austerity being imposed upon them by the governments of the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

One hundred people rallied in Brisbane Square on May 14 to commemorate Al Nakba —— “the catastrophe”. Al Nakba took place on May 15, 1948, when Israeli forces drove hundreds of thousands of Palestinian civilians out of their lands, and consolidated the Jewish state.

For the first time ever, a member of the British Green Party, Caroline Lucas, was elected to parliament in the May 6 general elections. Printed below is a May 7 statement from GreenParty.org.uk

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Greens all over Britain were celebrating this morning as the news was announced that party leader Caroline Lucas had won the Brighton Pavilion seat.

The federal government’s $672 million Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Project (SIHIP), has failed to improve Aboriginal housing in the Northern Territory. Only a handful of houses have been built and adequate repairs to existing current housing stock have not been made.

Announced in 2008, SIHIP promised 750 houses for chronically overcrowded Aboriginal communities. The project is running over budget but still failing to meet the needs of remote communities.

Since October, dozens of social leaders have been shot and eight killed in the struggle between Spanish-based oil and gas multinational Union Fenosa and communities in the west of the country.

On October 24, Victor Galvez was shot 32 times as he left his office, where he was meeting with neighbours whose electricity supply had been cut off by one of Union Fenosa’s subsidiaries.

Opposition to Union Fenosa began with the privatisation of electricity supply in 1999, with the multinational as the main beneficiary.

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