Asia

Sri Lanka elections called


Protest demanding investigation of war crimes. Jaffna, Sri Lankan-occupied Tamil Eelam, February 24.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has dissolved parliament and called elections for August 17. Sirisena was elected president on January 9, replacing Mahinda Rajapaksa.

China's stock market crash: Heading for a great leap backwards?

Australia managed its way through the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in better shape than most countries, mostly due to two factors.

The first was $83 billion in Australian government stimulus spending, the third largest in the world as a percentage of GDP, behind the US and South Korea.

The second was resilient demand for iron ore and coal exports to China which came from an initial US$4 trillion in Chinese stimulus spending organised through the country’s banks.

Pakistan: Extreme heat wave kills more than 1000


Protest by Awami Workers Party-Sindh against exacerbation of heatwave by corruption and electricity privatisation. Hyderabad, Sindh, June 28. Photo: Awami Workers Party-Sindh/ Facebook.

The death toll in Pakistan's devastating heat wave shot past 1000 on June 25. This makes it the worst heat wave to hit the country's southern city of Karachi in at least 35 years.

Iran: 'If people unite, the regime will fall'

“Iran is not a safe space,” Bahman, an Iranian refugee living in Australia and active in Iranian Workers Solidarity, told Green Left Weekly.

Bahman was responding to Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop’s recent visit to Iran, where she tried to persuade the Iranian government to accept asylum seekers sent back to Iran involuntarily.

Pakistan: Baba Jan contests election from jail

On May 18, Baba Jan was declared the official candidate of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) by the returning officer of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly constituency Hunza 6. Baba Jan is in jail serving a life sentence.

This is the first time in the history of the Hunza Valley that a political activist will contest general elections from jail.

Gilgit-Baltistan is a Himalayan territory administered by Pakistan.

Nepal disaster: Cuba, Venezuela rush in aid, assistance

As Nepal struggles to revive from the catastrophe caused by the April 25 earthquake that registered 7.8 on the Moment Magnitude Scale and its aftershocks, Latin America's socialist governments are busy soothing the wounds of the Nepalese people.

The orange-coloured team of Venezuelan aid workers and white-coloured medical team from Cuba have brought to the people of Nepal the spirit of Argentine-born Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara and Venezuela's late revolutionary president Hugo Chavez.

Latin America and Caribbean to help Asia's stranded refugees, Correa says

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa announced on May 16 that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will provide assistance to the thousands of Asian immigrants stranded off the coast of Thailand.

“This world is crazy, it shows a total disregard for human life to have people stranded on a boat, dying of starvation without being allowed to get off the boat,” Correa stated during his weekly presidential address.

Philippines: Deadly fire at factory with record of abuse


Protest at Kentex factory, Valenzuela City, Metro Manila, May 15. Photo: Partido Lakas ng Masa/Facebook.

Revelations have continued emerging over safety and labour abuses at the Philippines factory where 72 people died in a fire on May 13.

Nepal: Poor hit hardest amid disaster

Already struggling to cope with the devastation caused by the April 25 earthquake that measured 7.8 on the Moment Magnitude Scale, Nepal was hit on May 12 by a major aftershock with a magnitude of 7.3 MMS. By May 14, there had been 158 aftershocks.

The May 12 aftershock appears to have killed far fewer people than the initial quake, but the combined death toll is more than 9000 and rising. Most casualties have been in Nepal but there have also been deaths in India, Bangladesh and Tibet.

After protests, Indonesia lets journos into occupied West Papua

"After international pressure, today the Indonesian President has claimed that all foreign journalists are now free to report in West Papua without travel restrictions,” the BBC reported on May 11.

“This is historic news as for 50 years the Indonesian government has banned foreign journalists from entering West Papua."

A global day of action on April 29 featured protests in several cities that called on the Indonesian government to allow free and open access into occupied West Papua for international journalists, humanitarian agencies and human rights groups.

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