International News

By Renfrey Clarke What is it called when the leading opposition candidate in an election is excluded from the ballot, despite the express wishes of the legislature? In the Soviet Union today, you might well find it called "democracy" — to

By Peter Annear The unexpected collapse of Communist regimes across Eastern Europe in 1989 is a continuing subject of analysis and debate among politicians of all hues. From Prague, PETER ANNEAR reports in the first of a series. In the early

By Tom Jordan According to the new South African newspaper The Objector, Douglas Torr, a conscientious objector to military service, had his jail sentence set aside in the Rand Supreme Court on May 20 and will now only have to do community

'Make the union irrelevant' By Keith Locke AUCKLAND — Australians should be worried about New Zealand's anti-union legislation crossing the Tasman. The first company to conduct a national campaign against unions under the Employment

By Helen Jarvis PHNOM PENH — A more confident and optimistic mood prevails here compared to six months ago, when I last visited Cambodia. The government managed to hold firm against the opposition forces during their 1990-1991 dry season

By Norm Dixon The Papua New Guinea government has attempted to smash the class boycott by university students demanding a fresh general election. Police entered the University of PNG campus on June 19 and arrested at least four leaders of the

By Helen Jarvis PATTAYA, Thailand — This raunchy seaside resort south of Bangkok seems an unlikely location for a breakthrough in the drawn-out negotiations between the government of the State of Cambodia and the resistance forces. But on the

A commission of inquiry sponsored by the three main organisations in the French peace movement (Appeal of the 75, Peace Now, and Forum for a Just Peace in the Middle East) visited Iraq in mid-May. The independent commission of 15 was supported by

Muhammad Quneitah is the head of the Federation of Palestinian Labour Unions in the Gaza Strip. The following interview with him is abridged from the Jerusalem Palestinian weekly, Al-Fajr. Reports from the occupied territories say that Palestinian

End Kuwait trials — Amnesty Amnesty International has called for a halt to trials of "collaborators" in Kuwait, and for the commutation of death sentences already passed. An "urgent action" statement from the human rights group notes in part:

Not everyone loved the parade By Scott Braley SAN FRANCISCO — From a jingoist's viewpoint, the Armed Forces Day Victory Parade here in May was a disaster. The Chamber of Commerce had organised a splashy event to "welcome home the troops" and

Peter Annear The sudden collapse of the Czechoslovak Communist government in November 1989 was prepared by decades of Stalinism. In the second of a series of reports, PETER ANNEAR writes from Prague on how sections of the old Communist Party are

By Norm Dixon The Australian government will continue to give Papua New Guinea over $50 million annually in military aid despite admissions that this assistance has been used in atrocities committed against civilians. The commander of PNG armed

By Craig Cormick In the wake of the recent disastrous cyclone and flooding, Bangladesh self-help organisations have been busily providing local assistance to hundreds of thousands of victims still struggling to survive and re-establish their

By Norm Dixon The Melbourne-based Philippines Resource Centre (PRC) has called on the Australian government to direct emergency aid for victims of the Mt Pinatubo volcano eruption through Community Aid Abroad to the non-government, volunteer-based

By Ian Powell The New Zealand National government's Employment Contracts Act, which removed legal recognition from unions, became law on 15 May. From Wellington, IAN POWELL describes how workers are faring in the new situation. Prior to the

Blake escape pair free A British jury has acquitted veteran peace activists Michael Randall and Patrick Pottle on charges arising from their role in the escape of double agent George Blake from jail. Randall and Pottle told the court they acted on

By Greg Adamson Thirty-two years after its revolution, Cuba is training 100,000 oxen for plowing, President Fidel Castro reported earlier this year. This underlines the extreme problems faced by the small Caribbean island. Cuba's natural

By Steve Painter The Yugoslav government's military actions against the breakaway Slovenian republic will almost certainly speed rather than slow the break-up of the Yugoslav federation. Already, there are clear signs of demoralisation in the

Interview by Peter Annear and Sally Low Despite difficulties faced by some of the older Green parties such as Germany's Die Grünen, around the world there is strong interest in green politics as a genuine alternative. ROSS MIRKARIMI works for

Interview by Renfrey Clarke A chemistry graduate, Paul Soler-Sala has spent the past 10 months in the Soviet Union as a representative of the US environmental organisation Ecologia. During much of this time, he has travelled through the USSR

Number One By Andrew L. Shapiro After years of slipping superiority and encroaching mediocrity, the "We're Number One" ethos is born again in America. General Schwarzkopf assures us we're the world's only superpower; President Bush hails the

By Peter Annear Concluding a series of articles, PETER ANNEAR reports from Prague on the outlook for Czechoslovak politics in the '90s. Once Civic Forum had to turn to constructive tasks of political and economic management after last June's

Interview by Bryan Thomas FIONA BJOERLING is speaker of the Swedish Green Party. She was interviewed for Green Left by BRYAN THOMAS. How important do you think democracy is in helping to save the world? The Greens are concerned with two

By Peter Gellert MEXICO CITY — Latin American left and democratic parties and movements met here June 12-15. The gathering, a continuation of the San Paulo forum held last year at the initiative of the Brazilian Workers Party (PT), was attended

Challenge to land reform Mass anger was provoked on June 17, when National Assembly member Fernando Zelaya introduced a bill to rescind land ownership laws passed in March 1990, before the present government took office. The Sandinistas say

By Dan Connell SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt — The stark, rugged mountains of the Sinai desert and the kaleidoscopic undersea world just offshore appear to form one of the most serene spots on earth. Yet a hidden conflict pits the hordes of tourists

By Peter Annear It is not only in Yugoslavia that the crumbling of Eastern European Stalinism has reopened national dissatisfactions and disputes. For most of this year, Czechoslovak politics has been coloured by the question of Slovak

Radioactive leakage from Moruroa The presence of radioactive cesium-134 has been confirmed by analysis of plankton sampled last year in international waters close to France's nuclear test site at Moruroa in the South Pacific, according to a report

Greens call for support The Greens of Slovenia, an important part of the governing DEMOS coalition elected in April-May 1990, have appealed to all green organisations to call for recognition of the Slovenian republic. The June 27 appeal, signed

By Martin Mulligan On the 12th anniversary of the revolution, Nicaraguans suffer living standards that have plummeted since the electoral defeat of the Sandinistas in February 1990. In the last year, the annual inflation rate reached a

By Mary Judith Ress SANTIAGO, Chile — As many as one in four Latin Americans — 90 to 120 million people — could come down with cholera in the coming months, according to estimates by the World Health Organisation. The disease has reached

By Mary Merkenich HATTINGEN, Germany — The German Greens are no longer a vehicle for social change, according to Jutta Ditfurth, the prominent "Fundi" who led a walkout from the party's congress in April. Speaking to Green Left, Ditfurth

Interview by Renfrey Clarke Chemistry graduate PAUL SOLER-SOLA has spent the past 10 months in the Soviet Union representing the US environmental organisation Ecologia. He has spent much of this time travelling through the USSR meeting

By Michael Karadjis ATHENS — "Greek brothers we need your solidarity. We are homeless, hungry and penniless", read a banner at a demonstration in May of Albanian and Northern Epirotes (Albanians of Greek descent) refugees. The refugees fled

By Norm Dixon The long-held view of the African National Congress that the South African government, its army and police are behind the murderous Inkatha violence has now been proved beyond any doubt. Leaked official documents have revealed that

By Fred Weir BUKHARA, Uzbekistan, USSR — Here, in the arid steppes of Soviet Central Asia, any discussion about Uzbekistan's place in a restructured Soviet Union always comes down to a single politically explosive issue: water. The region is

By Peter Annear Since the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution of November 1989, there has been increasing debate over nationalism among the Slovak people, about one-third of the country's 15 million population. In the second of a series, PETER ANNEAR

Super-exploitation under new act By Ian Powell WELLINGTON — A scandal over the employment of a young worker at a takeaway food shop has demonstrated how vicious the Employment Contracts Act can be on young workers in isolated workplaces. It

By Irina Gluchenko MOSCOW — Will New Holland belong to France? This is the question now before the people of Leningrad, regarding the island New Holland, which is part of the city's territory. Leningrad Mayor Anatoly Sobchak plans to grant a

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