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Malaysia: Dozens detained as cops block protests over BN takeover of state parliament

Dr D. Jeyakumar.

By Peter Boyle

May 8, 2009 -- Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific -- Police detained dozens of opposition activists, lawyers and legislators on May 6-7 as protests erupted around Malaysia's ruling National Front's (Barisan Nasional -- BN) removal of the opposition People’s Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat) state government of Perak, one of five states won by the opposition in the March 2008 general elections. Among those arrested was Dr D. Jeyakumar, the federal MP of the Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM).

Earlier this year, the BN induced three opposition state assembly members to turn "independent" and support the BN to take over the Perak state government. May 7 was the first day of sitting of the state assembly since the BN power grab. The opposition has called for new elections to the state assembly and opinion polls indicate taht the opposition could win a bigger majority if new elections were called.

April 30: Vietnam celebrates Liberation Day

By Peter Boyle

April 30, 2009 -- Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific -- There are two unforgettable images of Vietnam's Liberation Day on April 30, 1975. The first is the image of liberation fighters entering the Independence Palace (now Reunification Palace) in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). The second is the hasty evacuation by helicopter from the roof of the US embassy.

Thirty-four years later Vietnam will celebrate not just the end of a 16-year war of aggression by the US, Australia and other imperialist and pro-imperialist states but also the end of the two-decade-long economic blockade that was subsequently imposed by the US on this poor and war-ravaged nation.

LPP: 'A new Pakistan is emerging'

Statement issued by Labour Party Pakistan (LPP) at a press conference in Lahore addressed by LPP spokesperson Farooq Tariq, in the company of Ammar Ali Jan, LPP Lahore youth secretary, secretary LPP Punjab Imtiaz Choudry, Lahore LPP committee member Rana Ashraf, secretary Carpet Workers' Union Niaz Khan and Kashif Aslam of the Progressive Youth Front. Thanks to Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific for this article. Ammar Ali Jan will be one of several international guests at the the World at a Crossroads conference in Sydney, Australia, April 10-12. For more information, or to book tickets, visit http://www.worldatacrossroads.org.

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Pakistan: Eyewitness report -- `the power of the state was helpless in front of the power of the street'

[Ammar Ali Jan, youth secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan in Lahore (LPP), will be one of several international guests at the the World at a Crossroads conference in Sydney, Australia, April 10-12. For more information, or to book tickets, visit http://www.worldatacrossroads.org.]

By Ammar Ali Jan

Lahore, March 16, 2009 -- Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific -- We all are ecstatic about what happened in Lahore on the March 15, 2009. This day will be remembered as one where the power of the state seemed helpless in front of the power of the street. The most crucial moment during the day was the battle at the GPO that galvanised the entire city into action. The scene of almost 150 people battling a repressive police and forcing it to retreat will remain in the collective memory of our nation for a very long time to come.

First-hand report from Pakistan on the political showdown

By Ammar Jan Ali in Lahore

[Ammar Ali Jan is youth secretary of the Labour Party Pakistan in Lahore. He will be one of several international guests featured at the the World at a Crossroads conference in Sydney, Australia, April 10-12, 2009. For more information, or to book tickets, visit http://www.worldatacrossroads.org.]

March 15, 2009 -- Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific -- I have been active in the lawyers' movement since it started in March 2007 against the illegal sacking of the Chief Justice. I have been participating in the movement from Lahore. I am a member of the Progressive Youth Front (PYF) as well as Student Action Committee (SAC). Through these platforms, we have been convincing young people to take part in this epic journey that can change the destination of Pakistan. Many have registered with us and we will be bringing many youngsters to the Long March on Monday, March 16.

Pakistan: Victory for Pakistan's Long March!

Farooq Tariq

[Farooq Tariq is a leader of the Labour Party Pakistan. A representative of the LPP will be attending the World at a Crossroads conference in Sydney, Australia, April 10-12. For more information, or to book tickets, visit http://www.worldatacrossroads.org. Below are a collection of some of Farooq's regular reports on the situation in Pakistan over the past week. Thanks to Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific for making the reports available (more are available there) to Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.]

By Peter Boyle and Farooq Tariq

March 16, 2009 -- Mass resistance to the Peoples Party of Pakistan (PPP) government's attempt to suppress a massive people's movement for the restoration of deposed Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudry appears to have triumphed after a massive showdown in the streets of Lahore yesterday.

China and the global capitalist economic meltdown

By Peter Boyle

Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific (ASAP) -- As the US, Japan and Europe slide into recession, the leaders of many smaller countries are desperately hoping that continued strong growth in the Chinese economy, which has contributed about 15 per cent of world economic growth in recent years, might save them from this meltdown.

There's hope and then there's hard facts. Recently the latter has replaced those desperate hopes with terror. A measure of this was the November 4 decision of Australia's Reserve Bank to make a bigger than expected interest rate cut. Any temptation by holders of large mortgages and other debts in Australia to reach for the champagne was killed by the realisation that this decision, in the words of one business correspondent, "was a recognition by Australia's top policymakers that the Chinese economy is no longer providing a firewall to insulate the Australian economy from the international crisis".

 

Malaysia: Socialist assemblyperson for system overhaul; praises example of Venezuelan revolution

Dr Nasir HashimFrom ASAP, August 1, 2008 -- Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim, Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM) president and state assemblyperson for Kota Damansara in Selangor, expressed his hopes to the Uncensored talk show host Francis Paul Siah on Malaysiakini.tv last week.

"There's so much work to be done'', he exclaims, reiterating his common theme of ``working for the people'' in the 30-minute show. First on his to-do list: "Damage control" and assuaging the economic plight of the poor.

However, while he's ``glad to meet with the ordinary people", Nasir also wants the people to know that he expects them to "jointly work on solutions" with him. "I don't want dependency on me or politics for every want", he said. "Maybe 50% with me, 50% somewhere else."

Timor Leste: Xanana Gusmao govt depletes Petroleum Fund, arrests protesting students (+ video)

By Tomas Freitas

Dili, July 8, 2008 -- On Monday July 7 at 9am, approximately 100 students held a protest on their campus, the East Timor National University, against the members of the national parliament. The students are not happy about the MPs who are about to buy a imported luxury car each for themselves. The students protested peacefully by holding banners, yet 21 students were detained by the Timorese National Police.

Timorese law states that there may be no demonstrations within 100 metres of government buildings. However the students were protesting on their own campus. The location of the campus is indeed less than 100 metres from the National Parliament; however this is the students' campus, an important place for expression of free speech and demonstrations.

It is not clear who issued the order to arrest the students but it is widely believed that the order came from Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao himself.

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