DPRK condemns US 'gangster-like mindset'

Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un

The run up to the on off on summit between US President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore on 12 June saw Trump, Vice President Pence and John Bolton, his fascistic National Security Advisor, threaten that if North Korea didn't agree almost immediately to destroy its nuclear capabilities then it would end up like Libya, and Kim would face the same fate as Gaddafi. Yet just over one month after the summit Trump told members of the US Congress that there was 'no time limit, no speed limit' on the DPRK giving up its nuclear capabilities.

 

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Rohingya flee violence

Since 25 August, almost 430,000 Rohingya, 1,400 of them orphaned children, have fled Myanmar amid some of worst violence seen against them. A further 30,000 members of other small minority groups have also been displaced, with around 214 villages completely razed and still smouldering; flames and smoke visible from neighbouring Bangladesh. After an attack on an army base and police posts by Rohingya militants, Myanmar state officials reacted with massive force, beating and firing at unarmed Rohingya children, women and men, and using rocket launchers.

 

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The Central Asian Holocaust of 1916

The Baku Congress

The Central Asian Holocaust of the First World War, when Tsarist imperialism massacred at least 500,000 Khirgiz Tartars in 1916 is little known today but forms part of the twentieth century Koroglu of the Turkic Peoples. It took place in the midst of the First Imperialist War of 1914-18 when Russian imperialism was facing a major crisis in its war against German imperialism.

The massacre was mentioned in the Manchester Guardian of 28 November 1917:  'While Western Europe has heard about Armenian massacres, the massacre of the Central Asian Moslems by the Tsar’s agents has been studiously hidden.'

 

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Kashmir: the struggle for independence

Joy Bose

The struggle for Kashmiri independence is central to Indian and Pakistani politics and the conflict between the two nations. Both countries claim Kashmir as their own, with no regard to the wishes of the Kashmiri people. Its partition in 1947 was the inevitable outcome of the manoeuvres of British imperialism in the first half the last century as it attempted to split the Indian independence movement along religious lines. Today, two-thirds of the 10 million population of Indian-occupied Kashmir are Muslims.

When the British left India in 1947, 77% of Kashmiris were Muslims, but its ruler was the Hindu Maharaja Hari Singh. At the time of independence India was to be divided into two states, with Muslim-majority regions going to Pakistan. Accordingly Pakistan claimed Kashmir, but Singh was reluctant to accede. To put pressure on him, Pakistan launched a guerrilla invasion, only to drive him into Indian hands. The arrival of the Indian army in Kashmir led to the India-Pakistan war of 1948, ending in a UN-sponsored ceasefire agreement, the demarcation of a line of control between India and Pakistan and since then, de-facto partition. The UN resolution included a promise to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir about its future, which Nehru and subsequent rulers of India ignored. The unresolved situation has led to three further wars between India and Pakistan: 1965, 1971 (mainly over Bangladesh but also involving Kashmir) and 1999.

 

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Philippines: militarising disaster

’What the disaster victims need urgently are food, water and medical attention, not US warships bringing in emergency rations to justify their armed presence in Philippine sovereign waters... If the US government were really interested in providing assistance to countries who have suffered from calamities, then it should increase its funds to civilian agencies that deal in disaster response and emergency relief, not in fattening its international military forces and taking advantage of the people’s miseries to justify their presence.’

Communist Party of the Philippines, 15 November 2013.

On 8 November, Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, hit the Philippines. The second-deadliest typhoon to have hit the country, it has left up to 10,000 people dead and thousands more injured. Total damage to infrastructure is estimated at up to $240m or more according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council.

 

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Chin Peng 21 October 1924-16 September 2013

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 235 October/November 2013

Chin Peng - Revolutionary Communist

21 October 1924-16 September 2013

I make no apologies for seeking to replace such an odious system with a form of Marxist socialism…If you saw how the returning British functioned the way I did, you would know why I chose arms.’

Chin Peng, former leader of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP), died on 16 September aged 88. A ferocious fighter for socialism and national liberation, he died in exile in Bangkok, having been banned from his homeland in 1989.

 

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General Vo Nguyen Giap: 25 August 1911 – 4 October 2013

‘We fight for the liberty and independence of our country, for the people’s liberation, for socialism and peace. Our cause is just; we shall win.’

Vo Nguyen Giap, general of the Vietnam People’s Army, died on 4 October aged 102. The bourgeois press called him the Red Napoleon, to the Vietnamese he was Ge Luo, Volcano under the Snow. General Giap was a legendary hero of the resistance to Japanese, French, British and US imperialism, he died in hospital in Hanoi. On 13 October hundreds of thousands of people lined the route from the National Funeral House in Hanoi to the airport to bid farewell to and salute General Giap as his coffin passed by, en route to his home province of Quang Binh in central Vietnam.

 

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Genocide Against Sri Lankan Tamils Continues – British ruling class complicit

sri_lanka_killing_fieldsTwo years after the Sri Lankan government with British and US support defeated the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the British government continues to be complicit in the oppression of the Tamil people. On 16 June the UK Borders Agency (UKBA) plans to deport around 60 Tamil asylum seekers to Sri Lanka by charter flight, and a second charter flight has been booked for 21 June. London Law firm Ravi Solicitors have compiled evidence that in at least 14 cases, the names and documents submitted by a Tamil asylum seeker as part of their asylum claim have been handed to the Sri Lankan High Commission.  UKBA have not denied this accusation.

On 14 June Channel 4 aired a documentary ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’, featuring devastating video evidence of horrific war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan government in the final stages of its war against the LTTE. The documentary was shown to diplomats at the UN on 3 June, and has been cited by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns, as evidence of ‘definitive war crimes’. This follows a report published in April by the UN Secretary General concluding that as many as 40,000 people were killed in the final weeks of the Sri Lankan army’s offensive, double previous UN estimates.

 

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Southeast Asian crisis: gnawing away at the foundations

First published in FRFI 141, February / March 1998

The smugness of international bankers and US government officials that they have contained the southeast Asian economic crisis should deceive no one. While the world's major stockmarkets may, for the time being, have recovered from the dramatic falls of last autumn, the southeast Asian crisis is gnawing away at the foundations of the international capitalist system.

The massive $100bn IMF-led rescue operation has prevented an immediate collapse of the major southeast Asian economies and delayed the impact of the crisis on the dominant imperialist nations. In the third week of January, IMF managing director Michel Camdessus felt able to reject fears that the Asian crisis would unleash a deflationary wave throughout the world economy. The US economy, he said, was well able to absorb the shocks, the impact on the European Union would be marginal, and the threat to the emerging markets in Latin America and eastern Europe was limited. Confidence is everything when the foundations are rotten and it was, after all, what investors on the stockmarkets needed to hear.

 

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Tamils held in camps

FRFI 210 August / September 2009

Since 18 May, when the Sri Lankan government claimed a total defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), 300,000 Tamil refugees have been held in camps throughout Sri Lanka. President Rajapakse’s government banned the media from reporting on the conditions in these camps. However, on 10 July senior international aid workers reported an average of 1,400 people dying every week in the giant Manik Farm camp alone.

In FRFI 209 we reported the barbaric assault on the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. This came after unprecedented global demonstrations that MPs and politicians worldwide paid lip service to, then ignored as thousands were slaughtered. David Miliband, the Labour government’s Foreign Secretary said he was ‘gravely concerned’ by the conflict. However, Britain continues to license sales of arms and military equipment to the Sri Lankan state and the UN Security Council agreed to a $1.9 billion loan which will aid the genocide further.

 

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Barbarous assault on the Tamils

FRFI 209 June / July 2009

The last stronghold of the leadership of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was overrun by Sri Lankan government forces on 18 May. The Sri Lankan state fought a war of extermination. The scale of the slaughter inflicted is intended to confirm the completeness of victory for Sinhalese chauvinism and total defeat of Tamil national liberation. The Times (29 May 2009), citing UN sources, reported over 20,000 Tamil civilians killed, 45% of them children, in the last three weeks of fighting. Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa said no civilians were killed. Three doctors who worked in the war zone are under arrest, charged with fabricating casualty figures. 300,000 refugees are held in 42 camps surrounded by razor-wire and armed guards. This murderous operation copied the attacks in Jenin, 2002, Fallujah, 2004 and Gaza, 2008-09. The same methods were deployed.

 

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Indonesia into the vortex

FRFI 143 June / July 1998

A vortex of imploding debt is swallowing up entire economies and governments. Indonesia's financial crisis ignited the fires that burnt down Jakarta. The complacency with which capitalist commentators greeted last year's Asian currency and stock market falls - talk of necessary adjustments, temporary aberrations - has given way to grim mutterings of a global crash. They are right. Trevor Rayne describes the context of the Indonesian uprising.

'For miles the streets of Jakarta look like the set of a disaster film. Hundreds of shops, houses, public buildings, police stations, hotels, discos, shopping centres and markets were burnt.' Richard Lloyd Parry, The Independent, 15 May, 1998

Tanks and armoured cars criss-crossed the city, squadrons of troops on motorbikes raced around looking for targets, but the anger of the workers and the poor could not be suppressed. The official tally of the 15 May outpouring is 3,000 buildings destroyed, including 500 banks, 1,000 cars and 500 motorbikes, at a cost of $230 million. The National Commission on Human Rights say 1,188 people were killed.

 

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East Timor: a fire fuelled by imperialism

FRFI 151 October / November 1999

On 30 August, after 23 years of bloody repression by Indonesia, 98.6 per cent of the people of East Timor turned out to vote in a UN-sponsored referendum. Despite intimidation by Indonesian-backed militia, the result was a massive vote for independence and freedom and against limited autonomy under Indonesian rule. Within two weeks, East Timor had been destroyed, its cities reduced to smoking shells, hundreds of East Timorese murdered and almost the entire population driven from their homes. Only then did the United Nations send in peace-keeping troops. One of the first acts of the their commander, Major-General Peter Cosgrove, was to shake hands with the Indonesian military -- who actively participated in the carnage -- and praise them for their 'first-class assistance'. But a willingness to ignore Indonesian crimes, however heinous, has always been the hallmark of the west's attitude to East Timor.

 

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Bhopal – still waiting for justice

In the early hours of the morning on 3 December 1984, methyl isocyanate (MIC), a lethal toxic gas, leaked from a chemical plant in Bhopal, India. Within the next 24 hours 8,000 people had died. A further 15,000 were to die over the next few years with an estimated 500,000 left with chronic and debilitating injuries. Twenty years on and a person still dies every single day from the effects of the accident.

It was quite possibly the biggest industrial accident in history. An avoidable accident, resulting from the relentless pursuit of profit that capitalism has spread around the world. Throughout the 1970s India increased its exposure to the free-market and sought more foreign direct investment. A lot of it was found through the transformation of world agriculture labelled as the ‘Green Revolution’, which brought to India agricultural multinationals such as a company called Union Carbide.

 

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Burma: people on the march

FRFI 199 October / November 2007

As we go to press, the outcome of the mass uprising against the tyrannical military junta in Burma remains unclear. Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in protest against a regime infamous for its brutality against the poor and the indigenous populations of the country.

 

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Maoist party wins election

‘This victory is a command by the Nepali people to establish lasting peace’ Prachanda, April 2008

On 10 April, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN(M)) won elections for a Constituent Assembly with 31% of the vote: they gained 120 of the 240 directly-elected seats and 100 of the seats allotted through proportional representation. The Maoists’ spectacular victory was a shock for the regional and global powers who presumed that the bourgeois Nepali Congress Party and its allies would form the government. The Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (UML) had 110 and 103 seats respectively. The US embassy in Kathmandu had scornfully predicted that the CPN(M) would garner a mere 10% of the vote.

 

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EDITORIAL / FRFI 141 Feb / Mar 1998

FRFI 141 February / March 1998

Southeast Asian crisis: gnawing away at the foundations

The smugness of international bankers and US government officials that they have contained the southeast Asian economic crisis should deceive no one. While the world's major stockmarkets may, for the time being, have recovered from the dramatic falls of last autumn, the southeast Asian crisis is gnawing away at the foundations of the international capitalist system.

The massive $100bn IMF-led rescue operation has prevented an immediate collapse of the major southeast Asian economies and delayed the impact of the crisis on the dominant imperialist nations. In the third week of January, IMF managing director Michel Camdessus felt able to reject fears that the Asian crisis would unleash a deflationary wave throughout the world economy. The US economy, he said, was well able to absorb the shocks, the impact on the European Union would be marginal, and the threat to the emerging markets in Latin America and eastern Europe was limited. Confidence is everything when the foundations are rotten and it was, after all, what investors on the stockmarkets needed to hear.

 

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