World

The decades-long struggle of the West Papuan people for self-determination has intensified in recent months — and Australia’s role in aiding and abetting the Indonesian occupation is once again being brought under international scrutiny.

A global day of action on September 14 drew attention to the Turkish government’s controversial Ilisu dam project on the Tigris River in Turkish Kurdistan. The dam is already being filled and if completed would flood the 12,000-year-old town of Hasankeyf, 199 villages and 136km of the Tigris River valley.

Union leader Esmail Bakhshi, student and civil rights activist, Sepideh Gholian, and four activist journalists were sentenced to long prison sentences by the Iranian regime on September 7.

“We are winning the struggle with Indonesia,” said Benny Wenda, chair of the United Liberation Movement for West Papua (ULMWP) in a statement released on September 10.“Politically, legally, morally, our arguments have prevailed.” 

Sri Lanka has a long history of discrimination against Tamils.  In 1948 Tamil plantation workers were deprived of citizenship.  In 1956 Sinhalese was made the sole official language, denying the Tamil language equal status, writes Chris Slee.

The Venezuelan government has blamed Colombian President Ivan Duque’s policies for the reignition of armed conflict in the country, writes Paul Dobson.

A new phase of armed conflict in Colombia has emerged with the declaration by some former leaders of the FARC-EP (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — People’s Army) that they are reorganising and rearming as an insurgent force, writes James Jordan.

I spent last week in the Brazilian Amazon in Porto Velho, Rondonia, on the edge of what is called the arco do incendios. The “arc of fires” is a region stretching along the yet-to-be-paved highways 319 and 230, between the towns of Humaitá and Apui in Southern Amazonas, a state that still had 98% of its virgin rainforest intact as of last year.

Trump’s EPA should be renamed the Environmental Destruction Agency for its drive to repeal these regulations and other environmental protections, writes Barry Sheppard.

Tecber Ahmed Saleh, a health worker for the Ministry of Health of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara), is touring Australia, advocating for international recognition of her country. She spoke to Tony Iltis.

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