International

Bangladesh Set for Polls amidst Turmoil To Avoid Constitutional Crisis

AMIDST continuous violence and refusal of the main opposition party BNP and allies to participate in the poll, Bangladesh is going for election to constitute its 10th parliament on January 5, 2014 next. Ruling Awami League leaders said without the participation of the main opposition party, elections to national parliament is not a happy thing. But there is no other alternative other than going for election as the tenure of the present parliament will end on January 24 next. To avoid a constitutional crisis, elections have to be held before the tenure of the present parliament expires.

Moves Afoot to Disband Pro-Unification Party

ACCORDING to a report issued by the secretariat of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea on October 24, 2013, a South Korean conservative group has urged the country’s ministry of justice, often considered to be a pliant body, to form a "team of experts to take measures against political parties and organisations violating (the) constitution," and has staged the farce of making a legal examination to facilitate the disbanding of the Unified Progressive Party.

The Snowden Effect: US Facing International Opprobrium

LATEST revelations emanating from the dossier compiled by the American whistleblower, Edward Snowden, have provided irrefutable proof that the Obama administration has been spying on friends and foes, on its own citizens and foreigners alike. The international community is now fully aware that the American security agencies, if they so wish, can decipher the political and social tendencies of millions of global citizens at a flick of a button.

Rally Concludes Ghadar Party Centenary

ORGANISED in Bradford on November 24, a rally concluded the series of events marking the centenary of the Ghadar Party in Great Britain. (This revolutionary party was formed at San Francisco, USA, in November 1913.) A perfect setting for the concluding tribute to the Ghadar Party martyrs and heroes in this centenary year was provided by an event that was organised in collaboration with the South Asia Peoples Forum, representing the people from Pakistan and India in the Indian subcontinent, and the Indian Workers Association Great Britain (IWA-GB).

IWA-GB Conference Enters New Era

THE Indian Workers’ Association Great Britain (IWA-GB) concluded its national conference at Leicester on November 23. The conference celebrated the 75th anniversary of IWA-GB and marked the launch of a new era in the organisation. One may note that the new central executive committee of the organisation has Joginder Kaur Bains as its national general secretary, the first woman in this position.

Saudi Arabia: Frustration, Petulance and Anger

THE Kingdom of Saudi Arabia did something unprecedented in the annals of post-war diplomatic history. It refused to take up its seat in the prestigious UN Security Council after strenuously lobbying for it and winning the support of 176 states. The Saudi foreign ministry had initially declared that the winning of a seat in the Security Council was a historic achievement and a vindication of its stance on issues relating to Syria, Iran and the region. The Saudi ambassador to the UN, Abdullah al Moullami went to the extent of describing it as a “defining moment” in the country’s history.

Libya in Chaos

LIBYA has been surely but steadily sinking into anarchy since the killing of Muammar Gaddafi on October 20, 2011. The regime change, supervised under western military tutelage that followed, has failed to provide either stability or security. If any further proof was needed of the state in which the country finds itself after the death of Gaddafi two years ago, it was graphically provided by the kidnapping of the country’s prime minister, Ali Zeidan, on October 5.

On the US’s Asia Pacific Strategy

THE US has once again reverted to the Asia Pacific region as the focal area in its efforts to assert “full spectrum dominance” and arrest the growing influence of a rising China. It should be remembered that the US has fought two wars in the region since 1950 --- first in the Korean peninsula and later in Indochina. Before that the US army had fought in the Philippines, first against the Spanish colonial rulers and then against the Filipino nationalist forces. The US did of course play a leading role in ousting the Japanese imperial forces from the region during World War II.

WFTU Holds Asia Pacific Regional Meet

THE World Federation of Trade Union (WFTU) held its Asia Pacific Regional (APR) meeting in Port Dickson, Malaysia on October 25-26, 2013. The National Union of Banking Unions (NUBE) hosted the meeting. Around 140 delegates represented some 15 countries and several trade unions internationals (TUIs), the sectoral organisations of WFTU. The countries represented were India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Nepal, Philippines, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Iran, People’s Republic of China, Sudan and Argentina, some by observers.

Terror Attack in Nairobi

NAIROBI, the capital of Kenya, was among the first major cities to experience an Al Qaeda terror attack. In fact, the 1998 dual attack on the American embassies in Nairobi and Dar-as-Salaam, the capital of Tanzania, announced the terror organisation’s arrival on the world stage. This time the terror attack in the Kenyan capital, which started on September 21, was a prolonged and bloody affair which lasted for more than three days.

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