Asia

India recognises transgender rights in equality victory, but gay rights still denied

India's top court officially recognised transgender rights today in a landmark ruling.
The supreme court directed the federal and state governments to allow people to identify themselves as outside the binary male/female gender definitions.

The estimated three million transgender Indians will have the same access to welfare programs for the poor, including education, healthcare and jobs to help them overcome social and economic challenges.

The court also ordered the government fight the social stigma associated with transgender people through a public awareness campaign.

Pakistan: 'Left unity a precious gain'

Farooq Tariq, the general secretary of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) in Pakistan, will be one of the international guests at the 10th national conference of the Socialist Alliance, to be held in Sydney over June 7 to 9. He will speak on “The Struggle for Democracy and Justice in Pakistan” on June 7 at the Addison Road Community Centre in Marrickville. Visit www.socialist-alliance.org for more details.

Ahead of his trip, Green Left Weekly's Peter Boyle spoke to Tariq on Pakistani politics.

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Inside China's economic miracle

China’s Rise: Strength & Fragility
By Au Loong Yu
Resistance Books, IIRE
Merlin Press, 2012
316 pages

The transformation of the Chinese economy a 20-fold rise in the size of the economy between 1979 and 2010 and huge development of private enterprise has been one of the most significant and remarkable phenomena in recent history.

However, neither the Western media and academia, nor the Chinese regime itself, provide much credible analysis on what is involved in this transformation.

Burma: Trafficking worsens with war's return

Je yang camp, located a 30 minutes drive on often unpaved or rocky road from Laiza, the capital of rebels in Kachin State in northern Burma, accommodates about 8000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The wild landscape around the camp suggests the scenery would have been far more stunning without the presence of humans.

Sri Lanka: Weak UN human rights motion excludes Tamils

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a US-sponsored resolution on “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” on March 27.

But the resolution makes no mention of the plight of the Tamil people. The word “Tamil” does not appear once.

The resolution expresses “serious concern at the continuing reports of violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, including sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture and violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly”.

India: Left group defies terror ahead of poll

Campaigning in India's general elections, to be held in phases over April 7 to May 12, has already been marked by a reign of terror that has included the assassination of left activists.

Thailand: Kangaroo court overturns democratic vote

Thailand's notorious Constitutional Court has once again worked hand in glove with the anti-democratic elite, ruling that the February 2 election was “unconstitutional”.

This is a re-run of the ruling that the 2006 elections were null and void. The 2006 ruling, along with anti-democrat protests, led to a military coup and the continuous destruction of Thai democracy.

Sri Lanka: Tamils demand genocide investigation

Addressing the United Nations Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva on March 14, Ananthi Sasitharan said: “We request this assembly calls for an international investigation on genocide, and as an immediate step, to come out with a mechanism to stop the ongoing genocide of Eelam Tamils.”

The Tamil ethnic minority in Sri Lanka is largely based on the island's north and east. With Tamils facing discrimination and violent pogroms, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam waged a decades-long armed struggle for an independent state.

Venezuela: Asia-Pacific socialists pledge continuing solidarity with revolution

The statement below was released by several socialist parties from the Asia-Pacific region. Please email international@socialist-alliance.org to add your organisation to sign the statement. *Updated signings on March 18*

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Socialists in the Asia-Pacific region pledge support for Venezuela’s socialist revolution, a year after Chavez’s death.

We must not forget Fukushima

“Forgetting Fukushima makes it more likely that such a nuclear disaster could happen elsewhere,” said Tatsuko Okawara, one of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Fukushima accident that began on March 11, 2011.

The nuclear industry, however, is trying its hardest to make us forget. It is downplaying the impacts of the accident, ignoring the fact that the Fukushima reactors are still not under control and claiming that lessons have been learned. Nothing is further from the truth.

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