International

Thailand: Democracy Trampled

THE Thai army junta which calls itself the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) that seized power from a democratically elected government on May 2014 now seems intent to permanently convert electoral politics in the country into a farce. In the first week of August, Thais were told to vote in a referendum that in effect sought to curtail their democratic rights.

National Conference of Indian Workers’ Association (Great Britain) Held

THE national conference of the Indian Workers’ Association (Great Britain), one of the oldest NRI organisations, took place in Derby on September 11. Delegates from across the UK assembled to discuss and deliberate upon the report presented by Joginder Kaur on behalf of the Central Executive Committee of IWA (GB). The conference was organised in a hall dedicated to all the founders of the Association. Derby is home to the former national president of IWA (GB), late Prem Singh Perdesi, and the incumbent national general secretary Joginder Kaur Bains.

ICWA Organises Public Mela in Surrey

THE Indo-Canadian Workers’ Association (ICWA) of Canada organised its annual Public Mela on August 14 at Stetson Boyal Stadium in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. This year’s mela was dedicated to the Gadhar martyrs of 1916 -- Babu Harnam Singh Sahri, Sohal Lal Pathik, Beer Singh Bahowal, Uttam Singh Haans and Easher Singh Thudike among others. The event also marked the 300THanniversary of martyrdom of Banda Singh Bahadur. The mela started with the inauguration of an exhibition on Gadhar heroes.

Ongoing Saudi led Massacre in Yemen

IT has been more than 16 months since the military coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched a war on Yemen, the poorest nation in the Arabian peninsula. The other members of the military coalition are the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Sudan, Morocco and Kuwait. Most of the bombing raids are being conducted by Saudi planes these days. The UAE air force which was very active in the earlier phase of the campaign is now only playing a limited role. The UAE forces on the ground are concentrating their firepower on the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Daesh (Islamic State).

Europe: Growth of Far Right and Challenges

In Germany, for the first time since the Second World War, a far right-wing party, Alternative for Germany (AfD) is emerging as a major political force. The growth of various right-wing parties in Europe, the latest being the AfD, has forced some commentators to call it as the 'spectre haunting Europe'. Some of the commentators had even started questioning the future of the Left as a political force in these changed circumstances. Of course, writing epitaphs for the Left in general and communists in particular, is nothing new in Europe.

NATO on the Warpath

THE two day NATO summit held in Warsaw in the second week of July was billed as the most important one since the end of the Cold War. It was held in the wake of the “Brexit” vote and the looming threat it poses to the very concept of European unity. Britain has been America's foremost ally within the European Union (EU) and NATO. With the exit of the United Kingdom, the EU is theoretically better positioned to follow a more independent foreign policy. An important goal of the Warsaw summit was to project unity.

Historic Colombia Peace Accord

The signing of the draft peace accord between the government of Colombia and the country's main rebel grouping, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Havana on June 23, had heralded the end of the longest running civil war in Latin America. In the last week of August, the two sides formalised the cease fire agreement in Bogota.

South China Sea: The UNCLOS Verdict

Beijing was expecting an adverse ruling on the South China Sea from the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an International Tribunal at the Hague and has taken the judgment on the dispute on July 11 in its stride. Senior officials have said that the situation in the South China Sea should not be allowed to escalate. The Chinese government had announced some months before that it would ignore the decision of the tribunal, saying that it had no jurisdiction over the case as the main dispute was over land in the form of islands and islets in the South China Seas.

Turkey’s Failed Coup

THE ‘failed’ coup of July 15-16 in Turkey is now over. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has consolidated power – becoming even more powerful than before. He has ordered the arrest not only of over six thousand military and judicial figures, whom he has blamed for the coup but also thousands of teachers and professors as well as journalists who have been in the sights of the ruling party. Rumors abound: who is responsible for the coup? Erdoğan persists with the view that the culprit is the US-based Islamic scholar Fetullah Gülen. He wants him to be extradited to Turkey.

Modi's Foreign Policy: Westward Ho!

Two years after Prime Minster Narendra Modi took over, India's foreign policy has significantly changed its contours. Without taking parliament and Indian public opinion into confidence, the Modi government has gone ahead and virtually changed the country's traditional non-aligned status. The pro-western tilt that had started during the earlier NDA and UPA regimes has become even more pronounced in the last two years, despite India being a member of groupings like BRICS and IBSA. So much so that the Obama administration now wants India to be given the exalted status of a non-NATO ally.

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