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Thailand: Royalist right, ultra-nationalists want war with Cambodia


Made with Slideshow Embed Tool. Anti-war rally at Victory Monument, Bangkok, on February 7,2011. The more or less spontaneous protest was held between 5pm and 7pm.

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

China, Vietnam and the islands dispute: What is behind the rise of Chinese nationalism?

By Michael Karadjis

February 2, 2011 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Over the last year or so, tensions have been heightened in the dispute over two island groups in the South China Sea (also known as the East Sea in Vietnam), involving rival claims to some or all of the islands by Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and even Brunei. The first three of these countries claim all of both island groups.

The islands in question are known in English as the Paracels and the Spratlys, in Vietnamese as the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, and in Chinese as the Xisha and the Nansha. Both island groups are uninhabited rocky islands and reefs; there is neither a Vietnamese population oppressed by the current Chinese occupation of the Hoang Sa nor a Chinese population oppressed by Vietnamese rule over most of the Truong Sa. Thus there are no questions of self-determination of actual peoples. Therefore, international law would seem to be the best way to judge the status question, unless further negotiations settle things differently.

Los lazos del gobierno srilanqués con Israel exponen su duplicidad

Donald Perera, embajador de Sri Lanka a Israel, en su oficina de Tel Aviv.

[English at http://links.org.au/node/1841.]

Por Chris Slee

Thailand, South Korea: Solidarity with Egypt's struggle for democracy


February 1, 2011. In front of the Egyptian embassy, Bangkok. Made with Slideshow Embed Tool

On February 1, 2011, about 100 members of Thailand's mass democracy (Red Shirts) and student movements gathered outside the Egyptian embassy in Bangkok to send solidarity and support to the people of Egypt fighting to rid their country of the dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak. The protest was organised and supported by the Student Federation of Thailand (SFT) and member organisations, Thai Youth for Democracy, 24 June Group and other democratic networks.

Egyptians and Koreans stand with one voice to denounce the Mubarak regime

By Roddy Quines, Seoul

`All repressive regimes must go!' -- Asian socialists in solidarity with the uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and the Middle East


Made with Slideshow Embed Tool.The Egyptian community in Sydney and their supporters held a rally in Hyde Park North on January 30, 2011. Photos by Peter Boyle.

Statements from the Socialist Party of Malaysia, Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Labouring Masses) Philippines, Socialist Alliance (Australia), Labor Party Pakistan and Socialist Aotearoa.

* * *

Socialist Party of Malaysia solidarity statement with the People's Uprising in Egypt, Tunisia and the Middle East

Martin Hart-Landsberg: China and the jobs issue

"Approximately 90 per cent of China’s high technology exports to the US are produced by multinational corporations and many of them are being bought and sold in the US by other multinational retailers."

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

January 21, 2011 -- Reports from the Economic Front -- The president of China, Hu Jintao, just completed a visit to the United States and, not surprisingly, many people used the occasion to raise the jobs issue. The US economy continues to suffer from high unemployment. And the US continues to run an enormous trade deficit with China, a deficit that dwarfs any other bilateral deficit. The connection made is as follows: China is an unfair trader. Its state policies, including subsidies and labour repression, are a major reason for the destruction of the US manufacturing sector and jobs.

This nation-state framing encourages us to see US workers in direct competition with Chinese workers, with their gains largely coming at our expense. It also tends to promote a simple response: force China to quicken its embrace of market forces so that its economy will become more like ours. Unfortunately, this framing misleads more than it helps to clarify current economic dynamics. It also leads to a counterproductive response.

[단독]홍익대 투쟁에 대한 국제적 지지가 조직되다

http://left21.com/article/9168

2011-01-22

저 명한 국제적 지식인들과 좌파단체·노동조합 등이 홍익대 미화 노동자 투쟁에 연대 메시지와 서명을 보내 왔다. 1월 22일 현재까지 미국의 저명한 경제학자 마틴 하트-랜즈버그, 세계적으로 저명한 마르크스주의자이자 영국 사회주의노동자당 중앙위원인 알렉스 캘리니코스를 포함해 지식인, 좌파·노동조합 주요 활동가 27명과 2개 단체가 동참했다. 아래 명단은 1차분이고, 이 서명은 앞으로도 계속 진행될 예정이다. 이 서명은 다함께 국제연락팀 박준규가 주도적으로 조직했다.

연대서명과 메시지(1월 22일 현재까지 1차분)

Thailand bans Giles Ji Ungpakorn's `Thailand's Crisis and the fight for Democracy'/วิกฤตการเมืองประชาธิปไตย เราจะโค่นอำมาตย์อย่า

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

January 18, 2011 -- After struggling to read my book for more than a year, the Thai police have finally banned Thailand's Crisis and the fight for Democracy. No one is allowed to import it. But I have nearly sold out! What is even more amusing is that there is a Thai version which is available on the internet to download for free.

Anyone who wants a copy of the Thai version can just e-mail me at ji.ungpakorn@gmail.com, or read or download below.

You can also read excerpt's from Thailand's Crisis and the fight for Democracy at http://links.org.au/node/1792 ("Behind Bangkok's war in southern Thailand") and http://links.org.au/node/1754 ("Class and Politics in Thailand).

South Korea: Struggles by 'irregular' workers multiply, solidarity needed

January 11, 2011, irregular cleaning staff at Hongik University in Seoul protest their unfair dismissal.

[For more background to the South Korean irregular workers’ struggle, see Chris Kim’s excellent article on the Hyundai irregular workers’ strike in Ulsan: “South Korea: ‘Just the first round’ by ‘irregular workers’ at Hyundai Motors”, Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, December 16, 2010.]

By Roddy Quines

Thailand: 60,000 Red Shirt protesters bring Bangkok to a standstill

Red Shirt protest. Photo from twitpic page of thethaireport.

By Mong Palatino

January 11, 2011 -- Global Voices -- Red Shirt anti-government protesters in Thailand mobilised tens of thousands of their members in central Bangkok on January 9, 2011, as they continued to press their demand for more democratic reforms in government. Police estimated the crowd at 30,000 but rally organisers claimed they gathered 60,000 in the streets.

Martin Hart-Landsberg: What’s happening on the Korean Peninsula?

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

December 31, 2010 -- Reports from the Economic Front -- What’s happening on the Korean peninsula? If you read the press or listen to the talking heads, your best guess would be that an insane North Korean regime is willing to risk war to manage its own internal political tensions. This conclusion would be hard to avoid because the media rarely provide any historical context or alternative explanations for North Korean actions.

For example, much has been said about the March 2010 (alleged) North Korean torpedo attack on the Cheonan (a South Korean naval vessel) near Baengnyeong Island, and the November 2010 North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island (which houses a South Korean military base).

The conventional wisdom is that both attacks were motivated by North Korean elite efforts to smooth the leadership transition underway in their country. The take away: North Korea is an out-of-control country, definitely not to be trusted or engaged in negotiations.

But is that an adequate explanation for these events? Before examining the facts surrounding them, let’s introduce a bit of history. Take a look at the map below, which includes both Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong Islands.

China, Mao and the global neoliberal offensive

Review by Chris Slee

The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy
By Minqi Li
Monthly Review Press, New York, 2008

January 4, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Minqi Li’s The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World Economy deals with a range of topics including the history of the Chinese Revolution, China's role in the world economy today and the future of the world economy. This review will not deal with every aspect of the book, but will focus on Minqi Li's discussion of China's history, economics and politics, and its current role in the world.

`Development', capitalism, NGOs and people's movements in Bangladesh: an interview with Anu Muhammad

The National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources Power and Ports organised a "Long March" in October 2010 to oppose the plunder of Bangladesh's natural resources. More photos at http://www.shahidulnews.com/2010/10/long-march/.

December 28, 2010 -- Anu Muhammad is an eminent Marxist and a renowned academician from Bangladesh. He is currently serving as professor in the Department of Economics in Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka. He is also general secretary of National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources Power and Ports and has been involved in various people's movements in Bangladesh. He, along with the committee, played an instrumental role in the success of the Phulbari Movement against Open Pit Mining in Phulbari, Bangladesh. He writes extensively on globalisation, social transformation, gender issues, NGOs and energy issues, and has authored more than 20 books.

China: Workers' strikes -- what did they win?

By Boy Lüthje

December 23, 2010 -- Labor Notes -- 2010's auto worker strikes in South China reverberated throughout the country and overseas. As workers in supplier companies for Honda, Toyota and other auto multinationals downed tools, the international business press expressed fear over the rising power of workers in China.

At the same time, a tragic series of suicides at Foxconn—the world’s largest contract manufacturer of computers and iPods—exposed the inhumane nature of low-wage mass production for global brands such as Apple, HP and Nokia.

Both events shook unions and the public in China—and experts thought they could be a watershed moment for labour relations in the country.

But the workers’ activity disappeared from the media radar almost as quickly as it arrived. What happened?

Workers vs. boss—and government

South Korea: `Just the first round' by `irregular workers' at Hyundai Motors

Hyundai Motors workers' sit-in at Hyundai's plant in Ulsan.

Chris Kim reports on strikes and factory occupations at Hyundai Motor Company in South Korea, which is building solidarity among regular and irregular workers, and among workers internationally.

December 16, 2010 -- Socialist Worker (US) -- "Even a worm will squirm when it is being stepped on" is an old Korean idiom that basically means that even the most powerless creature reacts against an aggressor. However, when such a worm is transformed into a fearful dragon, it will do a lot more than just squirm, to the point that you had better think twice about stepping on it.

That's what happened at one of South Korea's most profitable companies, Hyundai Motors, when the company's irregular workers mobilised with strikes and factory occupations during the middle of November, after decades of being "stepped on". Before we start with that fateful day of November 15, we need to take a look at how it progressed.

Philippines: Successful Asian regional conference discusses socialist strategy

Delegates and international participants. Photo by Macario Sakay.

By Partido Lakas ng Masa international desk

December 11, 2010 -- A successful "socialism conference" was held in Manila from November 27 to 28. The conference was organised by the socialist Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM, Party of the Labouring Masses) and the socialist-feminist regional network, Transform Asia. The conference was attended by 100 delegates, leaders of the PLM from Metro Manila and other leading socialists of the Philippine left, as well as 13 international guests.

The international organisations represented were the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM); People’s Democratic Party (PRD-Indonesia); Working People’s Association (PRP-Indonesia); Political Committee of the Poor-People’s Democratic Party (KPRM-PRD-Indonesia); Left Turn Thailand; Socialist Alliance (Australia); the Left Party (Sweden); the General Confederation of Nepalese Trade Unions (Gefont); the Vietnamese Union of Friendship Organisations; and the Centre for Environment and Community Asset Development (Vietnam).

Sri Lanka: `This is a struggle for all of us. Not only Tamils but also for Sinhalese who value democracy' -- Bahu

Speech by general secretary of the Nava Sama Samaja Party (NSSP) Vickramabahu Karunaratne ("Bahu") at the Tamil National Remembrance Day, November 28, 2010, in London.

* * *

I am thankful for the organisation of this event for giving me the opportunity to shed my tears in memory of those who gave their life to the liberation of Tamil homeland.

Tamils have been killed by successive Sinhala-chauvinist governments in Sri lanka, last but not the least by the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime. Not only Tamils, but also thousands of Sinhala youth who were sent for aggression in the Tamil homeland and to attack Tamils. Thousands of these young Sinhalese died in an alien land.

Malezyjska farsa minimalna

Rani Rasiah

2010-12-05 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/lewica.pl -- 1 maja 1996 Jawatankuasa Sokongan Masyarakat Ladang (JSML), sojusz pracowników plantacji należący do Jeringan Rakyat Tertindas [Sieć Opresjonowanych (JERIT, akronim oznaczający ‘krzyk’), malezyjskie zrzeszenie grup obywatelskich], rozpoczął kampanię na rzecz wprowadzenia minimalnego miesięcznego wynagrodzenia dla robotników. Wzywał on do całkowitego zerwania z opartym na skrajnym wyzysku, kolonialnym systemem wynagrodzeń, w którym robotnikom wypłacano dniówki o wysokości zależnej od rynkowej ceny oleju, pogody i zbiorów - czynników całkowicie niezależnych od pracowników.

Poparcie opinii publicznej dla płacy minimalnej w wysokości 750 ringgitów wzrosło, kiedy w trakcie kampanii rzucono światło na skandaliczny kontrast pomiędzy zamożnymi, acz bezwzględnymi potentatami, a żyjącymi w biedzie i zacofaniu 300 tysiącami pracowników. Co więcej, ujawniono, że największym udziałowcem we wszystkich większych firmach plantacyjnych był rząd, pod przykrywką agencji w rodzaju Permodalan Nasional Berhad i Amanah Saham Nasional.

ก้าวต่อไปของเสื้อแดงใจ อึ๊งภากรณ์

ปัญหาเฉพาะหน้า

ปัญหาสำคัญเฉพาะหน้าที่คนเสื้อแดงต้องร่วมกันวิเคราะห์ ร่วมกันคิด ในความเห็นผม มีห้าประเด็น ผมจะขอร่วมแสดงความคิดในเรื่องนี้...... ปัญหาเฉพาะหน้าคือ

Thailand: Challenges facing the Red Shirt movement today

On November 19, 2010, thousands of Red Shirts remembered those killed six months earlier. Photo by Lee Yu Kyung.

[Read more about the democracy struggle in Thailand HERE.]

By Giles Ji Ungpakorn

December 1, 2010 -- Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- As we approach the end of 2010, the pro-democracy movement, the Red Shirts, is at a crossroads. On the other side, the military junta and the royalists have not even begun to solve the political crisis or to stabilise their power. Since the royalist PAD protests and the military coup in 2006, the junta and the royalists have not only destroyed democracy, they have also destroyed the legitimacy of the monarchy, the military and the judiciary in the eyes of millions of Thais.

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