SYRIA: Massive Vote of Confidence for Assad

EVEN the western media had to admit that President Bashar al Assad continues to enjoy massive support among his people after the holding of the recent presidential elections. The elections on June 3 witnessed a huge turnout of Syrians, not only in their war ravaged country but also in neighboring countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq where millions live as refugees. Syrian diplomats said that they were themselves surprised at the outpouring of support for President Assad among their displaced compatriots living in squalid refugee camps and poverty, outside the country’s borders.

IMCWP Working Group Meets in Cyprus

THE Working Group of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties (IMCWP) met on June 21 and 22 in Cyprus. The meeting was hosted by AKEL. Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau member and Head of the International Department represented the CPI(M) in the meeting. The meeting assumed importance due to the fact that it had on its agenda to review the entire process of the meetings, which were being regularly organised since the last fifteen years and the composition of the Working Group.

Iraq on the Boil

CHILLING reports of massacres are pouring from Iraq. Hundreds of civilians are gruesomely killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants. ISIS is an outfit created, funded and armed by the US to destabilise the region. The declared goal of the ISIS is the creation of an Islamic state in Syria (and Iraq) and the return of the Islamic caliphate, which ended after the fall of the Ottoman empire in 1924. In an offensive that took the world by surprise, the ISIS militia ran amok over vast swathes of Iraqi territory, stomping over Mosul, the second most important city of Iraq.

More US Machinations against Cuba

AN investigative report by the Associated Press (AP) in April has revealed the details of a covert US programme code named the “ZunZuneo project.” The programme, started at the end of the last decade, was aimed at destabilising the Cuban government. According to the report, the project named after a Cuban word for the call of a humming bird, was launched by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to set up a Twitter style social media.

Egypt: Back to the Mubarak Era

THE military backed interim government in Egypt, since taking over power last year, has shown scant regard for domestic and international public opinion. It had ridden roughshod over the media, banned the largest political party, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), and incarcerated its top leadership along with thousands of its members and sympathisers. Since the beginning of this year, the crackdown has extended to secular and liberal parties and individuals.

Turkey: Erdogan still a Political Force

THE results of the local government elections held in Turkey on March 30 showed that the popular support for the ruling party and its prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, despite all the scandals engulfing the government, has ebbed only marginally. In the hard fought elections, the ruling Justice and Welfare Party (AKP) won around 45 percent of the vote and retained the two major cities of Istanbul and Ankara. In Istanbul, the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), got 40 percent of the vote while the AKP got around 50 percent of the vote.

Nigeria: The Scourge Called Boko Haram

THIS year has witnessed a dramatic spurt in terrorist related violence in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous state. The radical Al Qaeda affiliated Islamist group, Boko Haram, has claimed responsibility for a series of massacres and bombings that have rocked the city of Maiduguri and other towns in northern Nigeria since the beginning of the year. The group once again attacked the capital Abuja in the second week of April. The terror attack at a busy bust station in a working class suburb of the capital killed at least 75 people.

India no Exception in Having Flawed Leaders

THERE is still an ongoing debate in the US and in some key European countries on the question of the 2002 Gujarat riots and the role of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in the bloodletting. There are signs that that Washington, London and Berlin are already mellowing in their attitude towards Narendra Modi, but civil society in those countries is reluctant to give the Gujarat chief minister a clean chit In the first week of April, a US congressional panel — the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (TLHRC) — has started hearings on religious freedom in India.

Crimea Returns to Russia

PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin, despite the loud threats of sanctions and other punitive actions by the West, went along with the wishes of the people of the Crimean peninsula and duly signed a treaty incorporating the region into the Russian Federation on March 21. The overwhelming vote by the Crimeans in favour of re­joining Russia in the March 16 referendum had left President Putin with no other choice. In his speech to the Russia parliament, President Putin pointed out that Crimea’s referendum was in line with the UN Charter which speaks of the right of nations to self-determination.


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