THE African National Congress (ANC) is in a deep crisis and if the recent election results are any indicator, is in a real decline. This crisis naturally has a reflection on the South African governing tripartite alliance – ANC-SACP-COSATU. South African Communist Party (SACP) and Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), recently, have been openly expressing their dissatisfaction on ANC led government and called the ANC leadership responsible for deviating from the path of National Democratic Revolution (NDR).
MORE than 1500 Palestinian political prisoners incarcerated for years in high security Israeli jails have been on an indefinite hunger strike from April 17. The date is observed every year as “Prisoners Day” by Palestinians in the occupied territories and Israel. More than 6500 Palestinian prisoners, including an estimated 300 children, are languishing in Israeli jails, living under bleak conditions. The Israeli government has passed a law which allows for the arrest of children aged 12 and above for “terrorist offenses”.
IT has been some time since visiting international heads of state offered to mediate on the Kashmir dispute while on official visits to India. The president of Turkey, no doubt took New Delhi by surprise when he politely suggested in an interview the need for India and Pakistan to calm down the volatile situation in Kashmir and offered his good offices to mediate between the two countries. Erdogan fancies himself as the pre eminent leader of the Muslim world. He has been outspoken about the treatment of Muslim minorities in other countries.
THE whirlwind campaign launched by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to further enhance his already wide ranging powers in April has narrowly succeeded. Turkey's Election Commission officially confirmed the win for the “yes” camp in the referendum on the new constitution. The Election Commission stated that 51.41 per cent of the electorate voted in favour of the amendments backed by the Turkish president and the ruling AK Party.
THE thorough-going economic and political crisis in which France is now enmeshed (outlined in part one of this article) has speeded up and intensified processes of change within the French Left. Older organisations, including those which once exercised hegemony on the Left, have seen their influence and membership curtailed and their strategies displaced. Their decline has been matched by the emergence of new forces with a diversity of structures, strategies and goals.
FOR the last six weeks, Venezuela is in the grip of violent protests organised by the opposition groups demanding the ouster of democratically elected president Nicholas Maduro. According to certain reports, 42 people have lost their lives in these protests. A substantial section of the mainstream media is blaming the Venezuelan government for the ongoing protests and violence. Many people around the world are genuinely worried after learning about the developments in Venezuela through the media.
FOUR months after Donald Trump took over the presidency, America finds itself more deeply enmeshed in the conflicts that his predecessors in office had left unresolved. Trump on the campaign trail had railed against America's foreign military involvements and military alliances like NATO. He had promised that if elected, he would ensure that America will no longer play the role of a self appointed “global cop”. In his short inaugural speech, his main emphasis was putting “America first” and improving the nation's economy and crumbling infrastructure.
THE sudden reversal of the Trump administration’s policy on Syria just two days after an alleged chemical explosion in the Jabhat al Nusra (an al Qaeda affiliate) controlled town of Khan Shaykhun in the rebel dominated Idlib province on April 4, did not come as a big surprise to many, given Donald Trump's flip-flops on other major issues since taking office. More than 70 civilians, some of them children, were reportedly killed in the attack by the Syrian air force on Khan Shaykhun. Idbib is described as “the heartland of Jabhat al Nusra”.
THE former Pakistan army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif did not have to wait long for his next job. The Saudi Arabian government selected him as the head of a so-called Islamic army that has been in the works for some time now. It is a proposed “counter terrorism” alliance of around 39 Sunni states funded mainly by the Saudi monarchy and the rich Gulf emirates. The headquarters of the proposed military alliance will be based in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The Saudi government had announced plans for its creation in December 2015 as it embarked on a fratricidal war against neighbouring Yemen.