Asia

Pakistani leftists on Quetta bombing: 'Establishment must stop backing terror'


Pakistani lawyers take to the streets to condemn the Quetta bombing.

The left-wing Awami Workers Party (AWP) has condemned the deadly bombing of the Civil Hospital in Quetta on August 8, in which more than 97 people lost their lives. Most victims were lawyers gathered for the funeral of recently-assassinated Balochistan Bar Association President Anwar Kasi.

Philippines: Amid peace talks and mass killings, Duterte 'fine tuning message for elites'

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, elected in May on a platform that combined pledging to defend ordinary citizens against a corrupt elite with carrying out extreme repression against drug users and other “criminals”, gave his inaugural state of the nation address on July 25. The statement below was released by the socialist Party of the Labouring Masses in response.

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Malaysia: 1MDB scandal haunts PM

Reacting to what is reportedly the biggest financial scandal in history, US authorities have subpoenaed documents from Goldman Sachs relating to the dealings of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Set up in 2009 by the Malaysian government, 1MDB is supposed to generate growth and establish the country as a financial hub.

However, according to the Wall Street Journal, at least US$1 billion has gone into the pocket of a person referred to in Department of Justice documents as “Malaysian Official 1” — widely reported to be Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Philippines: Human rights groups slam mass killings

Civil society groups from across the globe, including prominent human rights NGOs, have called on United Nations drug control authorities to urge an immediate stop to the extrajudicial killings of suspected drug offenders in the Philippines.

Since May 10, more than 700 people have been killed by police and vigilantes in the Philippines for being suspected of using or dealing drugs. The mass killings are a direct result of recently-elected President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign to eradicate crime within six months.

Pakistan: Ecosocialist Baba Jan and his comrades sentenced to 40 years jail

Accused without evidence of acts that he could not have committed, since he was at the time about sixty kilometres away, Baba Jan was tortured, convicted and then acquitted on appeal. He came second in the elections in 2015 while imprisoned and was tipped to win a by-election.

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.

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