Britain's Indonesia massacre revealed

Anti-communist pamphlets (photo: Davidelit | CC BY 3.0)

On 19 October 2021 a report from The Guardian revealed the role of Britain’s spies in anti-communist slaughter in Indonesia. Documents kept secret far beyond the 20-year limit imposed by British law showed how the work of the Cold War Information Research Department (IRD), set up in 1948 by Ernest Bevin’s Foreign Office, contributed to the United States (US) and British-backed attack on the largest communist party outside of the communist countries. New light has been shed on the overthrow of President Sukarno’s government, one of the leading members of the Non-Aligned Movement. US military, embassy officials and secret forces orchestrated the massacre of up to 3 million Communist Party of Indonesia members, anti-imperialists, humanitarians and ethnic minorities aided by British spies, propagandists and special forces; from October 1965 to March 1966. These documents now show this would not have been possible without the imperialist British Labour Party. NATHAN WILLIAMS reports.


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Nagorno-Karabakh: Turkey strengthens its position in the Caucasus

The Caucasus map

After six weeks of fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno-Karabakh, the two sides accepted a ceasefire proposed by Russia’s President Putin on 9 November. Armenians will retain governance of the capital Stepanakert but have ceded territory to Azerbaijan that they won in fighting in 1992-94. Had they not agreed to the deal, Armenia stood to lose all of Nagorno-Karabakh. Nagorno-Karabakh is largely Armenian and Christian; Azerbaijan is Turkic and Muslim. While formally in Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh has been run as an autonomous state by Armenians since 1994. Azerbaijan demanded the return of the land and control over its administration.     


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The conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh

A house in Tovuz District, Azerbaijan damaged by artillery attack from the Armenian Armed Forces on 14 July, according to the Azerbaijani side.

Within minutes of the noon ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan on 10 October, both sides accused each other of committing violations. The agreement to end hostilities had been negotiated in Moscow with Russia. Clashes that started on 27 September with armed forces of Azerbaijan fighting those of Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh (Mountainous Karabagh), escalated over the weekend of 3-4 October with towns and cities being shelled and hit by missiles. Before the ceasefire, at least 300 people were reported to have been killed and 70,000 displaced.


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Kashmir: eight months of lockdown

People queue for food in occupied Kashmir

The lockdown of Kashmir after the removal of the state’s special constitutional status in August 2019 led to an international outcry. However, the BJP government of India continues to charge forward with its brutalisation of the region. Despite the release of Kashmiri MP and former chief minister Farooq Abdullah and a minor lifting of the communication ban, this remains a half-hearted attempt by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to paint an illusion of progress in the area.  AMEER JAY reports.


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Kashmir: self-determination or barbarism

Protests in Kashmir (image: FarsNews)

On 5 August, the far-right Hindu nationalist government of Indian prime minister Nar­endra Modi, with its newly won majority, unilaterally abolished the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir (enshrined in Article 370 of the Indian constitution). For decades, Kashmiri people have been fighting for the right to self-determination. With the abolition of Article 370, the Indian state has made its colonial occupation of Kashmir official.

Although the abrogation of Article 370 has been a persistent demand of the ruling far right coalition, what shocked many on the Indian left and centre was the fact that the ruling BJP could take away key conditions of the Indian union without any serious opposition. Lamenting only the future of Indian federalism, the Constitution and the rule of law, they ignore the fact that Kashmir’s ‘autonomy’ was already merely a word in the face of decades of violent occupation.


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