Asia

Sri Lanka: A Tamil man was just tortured, but Aus. gov't still pressuring Tamil asylum seekers to return


The children of Santhiyogu Anton, who was abducted, tortured by Sri Lankan security forces. Photo from Tamilnet.

Santhiyogu Anton, a 38 year old Tamil man, was abducted and tortured by Sri Lankan military intelligence on June 29.

After previous experiences of harassment by military intelligence, Anton had sought the assistance of the Catholic Church. He was allowed to stay at a church near the city of Mannar.

Obama backtracks, keeps thousands of troops in Afghanistan

President Barack Obama, calling Afghanistan's security situation precarious, said on July 6 he would keep US soldier levels in the country at 8400 through the end of his administration. He had pledged to cut soldier numbers to 5500 by the year's end.

Obama's plan still calls for a cut in US soldier levels from the current roughly 9800.

Tamil academic: Oppression 'normalised' in Sri Lanka

Kumaravadivel Guruparan, a law lecturer at Jaffna University, told a meeting in Melbourne on June 12 that the pervasive oppression of Tamils in Sri Lanka is leading to the "normalisation of abnormalcy".

Guruparan was delivering the annual Eliezer memorial lecture, in honour of Professor C J Eliezer, a noted mathematical physicist and campaigner for Tamil rights.

India: Left wins Kerala, bucking national rightwards shift

A long political campaign in the south Indian state of Kerala has again been played out according to the pattern followed for the last few decades. The Communist party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) defeated the incumbent Indian National Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in May 19 elections.

The elections continued the state’s recent history of swinging between the UDF and the LDF. The two fronts have alternated in power since 1982.

Philippines: Controversial populist's win a sign of crisis

The May 9 election of controversial populist Rodrigo Duterte as president of the Philippines is a sign that capitalism is in crisis in the Philippines, chairperson of the left-wing Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) Sonny Melencio told a conference in Sydney on May 14.

Melencio told the Socialism for the 21st Century conference: “People were fed up with the old 'trapo' [traditional politician] and elite forces that have long ruled the government since the overthrow of military dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.

Pakistani socialist: 'We are fighting for women's liberation'

Sarah Eleazar is a Pakistani journalist and member of the socialist Awami Workers Party (AWP). She co-edits Tajdeed, a left research journal in Urdu.

Eleazar will be a featured guest at the Socialist for the 21st Century conference in Sydney on May 13-15. She spoke with Green Left Radio on Melbourne community station 3CR in March about the fight for women’s liberation and socialism in Pakistan. The first part of an abridged transcript is below.

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Kashmiris around the world to hold vigils for human rights

The killing of six Kashmiri civilians in Indian-occupied Kashmir have moved Kashmiri communities around the world to organise a coordinated series of vigils on Friday April 22.

"These innocent civilians were murdered by the Indian armed forces during a protest march, after reports of a sexual assault on a minor girl by the Indian troops," said Anjun Rafiqi, one of the organisers of a candlelight vigil planned in Sydney.

Indian activist on resisting Modi: 'Student protests will spread'

India has been hit by a wave of student unrest, centred on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which has been spurred by government attacks. These attacks include demonising protesters and arresting activists simply for criticising the actions of the Indian state. JNU student union president Kanhaiya Kumar is among several activists charged with sedition.

Papua New Guinea: Logging giants dodge tax, social responsibilities

A new report has found huge tax evasion by foreign logging companies that are running rampant in Papua New Guinea. The Great Timber Heist was released by the Oakland Institute on February 16.

The PNG rainforest is the third largest in the world. It covers about 80% of the country, 60% of which is untouched forest.

Philippines: Thirty years on from the 'EDSA Revolution' — celebrate with more struggle


A secene from the peoples' power' uprising that ousted the US-backed Marcos dictatorship 30 years ago.

The EDSA Uprising of February 25, 1986, overthrew the Philippine's brutal US-backed dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos. The uprising was named after the Manila thoroughfare where events unfolded. It is often known as “EDSA 1” to distinguish it from later uprisings that occurred in EDSA.

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