Thousands of Red Shirt supporters rallied at a concert in the Thailand seaside resort city of Pattaya on September 4, in what was one the biggest mobilisations since the military bloodily dispersed their mass protest camp in Bangkok on May 19, 2010, killing 91 and injuring thousands more.
A series of problems and challenges are facing the Bolivian government of President Evo Morales, the country’s first indigenous head of state, and the process of change it leads has emerged. There has been a range of commentary on these challenges. Green Left Weekly publishes these two pieces as part of our ongoing coverage of the Latin American revolution. The article below is by Eduardo Paz Rada, editor of Bolivian-based magazine Patria Grande. It has been translated by Federico Fuentes. * * *
Many analysts have rushed to give their opinions regarding the “crisis of the MAS” and its consequences. Yet, the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS — the party of President Evo Morales) has always been in crisis — if by crisis we mean internal disputes for power and the existence of personal interests. Despite this permanent “crisis”, the MAS was able to cohere the majority of plebeian sectors through a kind of corporative alliance.
On July 21, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth published an interview with Donald Perera, Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Israel. Perera, the former Sri Lankan Air Force commander and Chief of Defence Staff, thanked Israel profusely for its support in the fight against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
“We won. It’s over, America. We brought democracy to Iraq.” Those were the words of a soldier from the 4th Stryker Brigade, supposedly among the last US combat soldiers to leave Iraq, quoted in the August 20 www.DailyMail.co.uk two weeks ahead of President Barack Obama’s August 31 deadline for withdrawal. The Obama administration is claiming the withdrawal of combat soldiers represents a new day for the country. “Politics, not war, has broken out in Iraq”, US Vice-President Joe Biden told an August 23 convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, www.CSMonitor.com said that day.
“The Iowa egg producer that federal officials say is at the center of a salmonella outbreak and recalls of more than a half-billion eggs has repeatedly paid fines and settled complaints over health and safety violations and allegations ranging from maintaining a ‘sexually hostile’ work environment to abusing the hens that lay the eggs. “In the past 20 years, according to the public record, the DeCoster family operation, one of the 10 largest egg producers in the country, has withstood a string of reprimands, penalties and complaints about its performance in several states …
“A federal judge has blocked the Obama administration from funding human embryonic stem cell research, ruling that the support violates a federal law barring the use of taxpayer money for experiments that destroy human embryos … “The ruling stunned scientists and other advocates of the research, which has been hailed as one of the most important advances in medicine in decades because of its potential to cure many diseases …
“An inquiry into the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, a corruption finding against a NSW Maritime lawyer and, to top it off, the resignation of a cabinet minister who admitted accessing adult and gambling websites on his parliamentary computer. “Even by the standards of the eternally scandal-ridden Labor government, yesterday was a bad day for public administration in NSW.
NSW Christian Democrat Senator and right-wing Christian fundamentalist Fred Nile, who has built a career as a “moral crusader”, was caught in a NSW parliamentary audit that revealed his parliamentary computer had been used to access pornographic sites. The September 2 Daily Telegraph said: “An audit of parliamentary computers conducted two months ago identified the Christian Democrat MP as one of the biggest viewers of adult content … up to 200,000 suspect hits have been recorded under Mr Nile's log-on, sources said.”
The world of international cricket has been rocked by allegations of a betting scandal involving players in Pakistan’s national cricket team. British tabloid News of the World published allegations that Pakistan players had bowled “no-balls” at an exact moment in the game in return for money from bookmakers. The scandal has also raised speculation of Pakistan players being involved in match-fixing on behalf of bookmakers. Three Pakistani players have been suspended from international cricket and charged by the International Cricket Council over their alleged role in the scandal.