Premakumar Gunaratnam, an ethnic Tamil from Sri Lanka, who is an Australian citizen, returned to his home country in September 2011 to help organise the launch of a new left party, the Frontline Socialist Party (FLSP), a major breakaway from the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP, People’s Liberation Front). He had been a JVP activist for three decades and a member of its underground political bureau since 1994.
"The situation is pretty grim," Reihana Mohideen told Green Left Weekly on August 8 from the frontline of devastating floods that have submerged half of Manila over the last few days. "It's still raining hard and hard to get around." "This is another painful reminder of the global climate change crisis and the pain is being felt most by the poor and most oppressed."
Aboriginalpassportceremony.org released the statement below on August 6. * * * A “Welcome to Aboriginal Land Passport Ceremony” will take place on September 15 at the Redfern Community Centre on the traditional lands of the Gadigal people. More than 200 people, including newly arrived asylum seekers, will receive an Aboriginal passport. The passports will be issued by Robbie Thorpe of the Treaty Republic and Ray Jackson, President of the Indigenous Social Justice Association.
When Tamil asylum seeker Dayan Anthony was deported back to Sri Lanka by the Australian government last month, his immediate arrest and interrogation did little to allay fears he would not face harassment from authorities. His subsequent government-arranged press conference appeared to be staged for the benefit of the Sri Lankan and Australian governments.
Bolivian President Evo Morales applauded on July 10 the agreement struck with indigenous peoples from the mining town of Mallku Khota, in the north of Potosi, to nationalise a Canadian-owned mining company. Morales said the agreement ensures the state can continue recuperating natural resources to benefit the Bolivian people. The head of state met with leaders from the ayllus (indigenous communities) in this region that were demanding the concession granting to the Canadian company South American Silver (SAS) be annulled.
New episode with refugee panel featuring Hadi Hosseini (Hazara refugee and former detainee); Dianne Hiles (Chilout); Jay Fletcher (refugee reported for GLW and RAC activist), an interview with Malaysian socialist Choo Chon Kai plus activist news on Coles strikers, WikiLeaks, gas leaks and more.
The left lost United States' writer Alexander Cockburn, one of its most powerful essayists and diarists, on July 21. He was an ironist who, unlike Christopher Hitchens, did not tend to confuse irony with supercilious chauvinism and leaden sarcasm (see The Long Short War for examples of these traits).
In a speech marking the one month anniversary of the parliamentary coup that overthrow left-leaning Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, the ousted leader said on July 22 that a motivating interest for the coup-plotters was a sought-after deal between Paraguay and Montreal-based mining company, Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA). “Those who pushed for the coup are those who want to solidify the negotiations with the multinational Rio Tinto Alcan, betraying the energetic sovereignty and interests of our country,” Lugo told supporters.
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal supporters sent Olympic boxer Damien Hooper a message of support and solidarity for his action in wearing an Aboriginal flag T-shirt at the Olympics. While Hooper was sanctioned by the International Olympics Committee, there was a huge outpouring of support for his Aboriginal pride stance, particularly in an ever more corporatised Olympics shrouded by entities such as Dow Chemicals, BP and Macdonalds. Filmed by Green Left TV.
Thousands of peasant workers took to the streets of Caracas on July 26 to hand over a list of programmatic suggestions to the government and show their support for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. More than 2000 peasant activists from across 18 of Venezuela’s states took part in the march, as well as other members of the national popular movement who attended in solidarity. See also: Venezuela: Food sovereignty starts to take root
Arriving in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital, the first thing you notice is the extensive swathes of mountainside covered with poorly built, crowded, ad-hoc homes ― known locally as the barrios. Caracas’s shanty-town barrios were built in response to the influx of migrants from the countryside during the 20th century. As Venezuela struck oil in the 1920s, it became easier and cheaper to use oil money to import foodstuffs. Many small farmers lost their livelihoods and poured into the capital in search of work.
Cocaine, Death Squads & the War on Terror: US Imperialism & Class Struggle in Colombia By Oliver Villar & Drew Cottle Monthly Review Press, New York, 2011 Dedicated to “the workers and peasants of Colombia”, Cocaine, Death Squads and the War on Terror is a serious and rigorous study of Colombian society. For the authors, both lecturers in politics at Australian universities, the book represents a labour of love, condensing more than 10 years of research.
United States: Cops taser 12-year-old “A police officer tased a 12-year-old girl inside a Victoria's Secret [on] Wednesday afternoon at South County Center [in St Louis County, Missouri]. “Police say the officer came into the Victoria's Secret looking for the teenager's mom, who had warrants for her arrest. But it was the teen who got tased. “'This one goes in my chest. It was stuck in there so she had to keep on pulling trying to pull it out,' said Dejamon Baker, as she pointed to a small wound on her chest ...
Hundreds of armour-clad thugs from a private strikebreaking firm raided the site of a peaceful protest against a management-imposed lockout at the SJM car parts factory in Ansan, South Korea, on July 27. Thirty four workers were injured and many were taken to hospital for treatment of serious injuries. The private strikebreakers were fitted in full riot gear with helmets, shields, sharp iron parts and meter long clubs. They sprayed fire extinguishers to obscure the workers' vision as they went on a club-weilding rampage.
The Olympics are a sporting and social phenomenon without parallel. The Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Olympics was watched by close to 1 billion people. Viewers for individual events can be remarkable. The website Sporting Intelligence said 184 million people watched a live women’s volleyball match between China and Cuba at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. A further 450 million people watched part of it.
British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor George Osborne's desperate efforts to put an Olympic shine on Britain's economy are failing to get off the starting blocks. As they postured on the sidelines, the world saw the reality of an economy teetering on the brink of an unprecedented triple-dip recession. Asset management company Schroders chief economist Azad Zangana believes gross domestic product (GDP) will rise by 0.5% this quarter due to the Olympics.