THE big victory for the alliance of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) in the federal and provincial elections is a politically significant development for Nepal. It will have its repercussions in South Asia too.
THE WFTU Asia Pacific regional conference of women workers was held in Hanoi, Vietnam on December 6-8, 2017 as a prelude to the World Working Women’s Congress scheduled to be held in Panama from March 8-10, 2018. The conference was hosted by the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL). 14 women trade unionists from seven countries – Bangladesh, India, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka, representing 10 affiliated unions, participated in the conference. From India, A R Sindhu from CITU and K Mallika from AITUC attended the conference.
THE ‘Save India Convention against Assault on Women’s Citizenship Rights’, organised by the All India Democratic Women’s Association was held in Mavlankar Hall, New Delhi on December 8. More than a thousand women delegates attended from Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal to pledge their solidarity and support to the struggle against the anti-women policies and socially reactionary politics of the BJP-RSS regime.
SEVEN year old Aadhya spent the last two weeks of her life at a ‘state of the art’ private medical facility, her survival dependant on an artificial ventilator. Her brain had probably stopped functioning several days before she died, but we will never know for sure. While a young child suffered silently, for she had lost the ability to cry, Fortis hospital in Gurgaon – a corporate run Frankenstein – was busy planning how they could extract more from Aadhya’s frantic parents.
END of November saw the fury of Ockhi cyclone in the three southern districts of Tamil Nadu namely Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi. In this, Kanyakumari bore the brunt while the cyclone was changing its direction towards the western coast. This district is well known for its coconut, rubber and plantain trees besides paddy, which form the economic backbone of the district. The strong gale uprooted each and every tree in the district besides numerous electricity poles bringing the normal life to a stanstill. More than 2,000 houses were fully or partially damaged.
THE union cabinet decided to completely privatise the Dredging Corporation of India (DCI) at its meeting on November 2. Subsequently, the government formed an inter-ministerial group on November 22 to speed up the privatisation process. CITU general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Tapan Sen wrote a letter to the prime minister on the same day, opposing the privatisation of the DCI. On December 4, a permanent employee of the corporation, N Venkatesh, committed suicide near Vizianagram in Andhra Pradesh.