National liberation

"The new [Sri Lankan] government has made no substantial changes", Tamil National People’s Front leader Gajen Ponnambalam said when addressing a mainly Tamil audience in Melbourne on October 14.

Ponnambalam was referring to the government of President Maithripala Sirisena, who was elected in January 2015, replacing Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Quebec’s October 1 general election campaign in Quebec unfolded as two distinct contests, writes Richard Fidler.

One contest was the competition between the Liberals and Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) for control of the government.

The other contest in the predominantly French speaking province of Canada, with a long history of struggling for national sovereignty, was between the Parti québécois (PQ) and Québec solidaire (QS) for hegemony within the pro-sovereignty movement.

Last December 21, Catalonia’s three parliamentary forces supporting independence — Together for Catalonia (JxCat), the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) and Popular Unity Candidacy (CUP) — won a 70-65 seat majority in the 135-seat Catalan parliament.

Six months of drawn-out negotiations over forming a pro-independence government then followed.

A march of almost 200,000 people in Barcelona on October 1 marked the first anniversary of Catalonia’s independence referendum.

Pro-independence Catalans commemorated the first anniversary of the banned vote, which had to defy heavy repression as the Spanish state sought to stop it taking place. Despite a brutal crackdown by the Spanish police that left 900 people injured, most who voted backed independence.

With a bold call for protests against Israel’s crimes of apartheid, US-based pop band Of Montreal has dropped out of Israel’s Meteor Festival on September 4, just days before it was set to begin.

This follows the cancellation by headliner Lana Del Rey, who nixed her performance on August 31.

Australian artists are joining the more than 140 international artists in the call for a boycott of Eurovision 2019 if it goes ahead in Israel next May, says BDS Australia.

Inspired by the conscientious artists who refused to perform in apartheid South Africa in the 1980s, Palestinian artists and cultural groups have called for non-violent pressure in the form of boycotts on Israel until it complies with its obligations under international law.

More than 1 million people marched in Barcelona on September 11 in support of Catalonia’s struggle for independence from the Spanish state. The day is marked each year as Catalonia’s national day, commemorating Barcelona's capture by Bourbon forces in 1714 during the War of Spanish Succession.

This year’s march also demanded the release of pro-independence political prisoners, who have been jailed for their role in last year’s independence referendum.

The Assad regime and its allies have been building up their forces around the rebel-held Idlib province, in Syria’s north-west, in preparation for a major offensive. Some bombing raids have already been carried out in the south and west of the province.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are carrying out guerrilla resistance against the occupying Turkish army and its militia allies in the Afrin canton, a predominantly Kurdish area of northern Syria.

Today, Tarshiha is promoted on AirBnB as Ma’alot-Tarshiha in the Galilee region of Israel and, depending on your budget, you can book somewhere chic and stylish to take in the stunning views or a more humble, village style experience. Seventy years ago though, Tarshiha was a village in Palestine.

The Institute for Postcolonial Studies hosted a forum on August 1 to discuss the November 4 independence referendum in Kanaky-New Caledonia (KNC).

Kanaky is the indigenous name for the Pacific island country known to its French colonisers as Nouvelle Calèdonie (New Caledonia). The independence movement is proposing that the combined name Kanaky-New Caledonia be used.

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