CPI (ML) protests against attack on Gaza
Activists of the CPI (ML) New Democracy staged a demonstration here on Monday, in protest against the Israel’s military offensive against Gaza. The pro-Palestinian activists led by party district secretary Ch.Venkateswarulu came in a procession from their party office. They shouted slogans against Israel’s military campaign. Members of the CPI(ML) ND frontal organisations including Progressive Organisation for Women(POW) and Progressive Democratic Students Union(PDSU) joined the protest and set ablaze the effigy of Israel. The protesters pressed for an end to Israeli military action in Gaza .
Maoist alliance urges govt to reject hydropower proposal
KATHMANDU, JUL 22 – Five parties including the major opposition UCPN (Maoist) have urged the government to reject the Indian hydropower proposal , concluding that the proposal from the southern neighbour is against national interest . A meeting including the leaders from UCPN (M), CPN-Maoist, Matrika Yadav-led Maoist party, Mani Thapa-led Revolutionary Communist Party and CPN-Unified led by Pari Thapa in the Capital on Tuesday made the decision to the effect. The meeting which convened at CPN-Maoist headquarters in Buddhanagar concluded that the Indian proposal came with the intention to create monopoly on Nepal’s water, energy resources, urging the government to take call on the matter only after reaching national consensus.
NEPAL: DISRUPTIVE ALLIANCES – ANALYSIS
On June 28, 2014, five main Maoist parties of Nepal, including the Pushpa Kama Dahal aka Prachanda-led Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), the Mohan Baidya aka Kiran-led Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist-Baidya), the Matriya Yadav-led CPN-Maoist (CPN–Maoist-Matriya), the Mani Thapa-led Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) and Pari Thapa-led CPN-Unified (CPN-U), at a special function at Buddha Nagar in the national capital, Kathmandu ,signed an agreement to constitute an alliance. Addressing the function, Prachanda observed that the alliance was formed “with an aim of unification among the communist parties”.
Addressing the same function, Mohan Baidya, however, qualified that unification with the UCPN-M would be possible only after it agreed to the six-point proposal floated by CPN-Maoist-Baidya’s politburo on June 14, 2012. The proposal included accepting Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as the key ideology; accepting Peoples’ Revolution as the party’s working procedure; rejecting the parliamentary system; use of force for transformation of the revolution; correcting past political aberrations; and an organization based on the central principle of the peoples’ revolution.
Indeed, on February 2, 2014, the CPN-Maoist-Baidya at its politburo meeting had concluded that unity with the UCPN-M was still possible if the latter showed willingness to “correct” its political line of peace and the statute adopted through the Hetauda Convention of February 2013, which incorporated theoretical principles that mandated the governance of the party with a focus on participatory democracy, shunning the military structure that the party had earlier embraced. Baidya had asserted, “We are ready to bring a proposal for party unification if they [UCPN-M] stand ready to correct their present political line. They must think over this critical situation. If they show readiness to correct themselves, unification is possible any time.”
Since the split, which took place on June 19, 2012, the Baidya-led CPN-Maoist-Baidya has mostly remained outside the political mainstream and had boycotted elections for the second Constituent Assembly (CA), held on November 19, 2013. Despite the stridency of is political positions, it had, more or less, been pushed into political oblivion. The Prachanda-led UCPN-M, however, has also suffered a humiliating defeat in the CA elections, winning just 80 seats in the 601-member Assembly, and was relegated to third position in the CA. Significantly, it was the largest party in the first CA, winning 229 out of the 601 seats in the elections held on April 10, 2008.
Recognizing that factionalism and a progressive splintering of the party was part of the cause of the electoral reverses, Dahal had, on many occasions in the past, called for reunification with the Baidya group. Significantly, commemorating the 19th ‘People’s War’ Day on February 13, 2014, Dahal, recalled the party’s humiliating loss in the CA elections and observed, “We won when we were united and lost after the split. This shows the necessity of unification between revolutionary forces, wherever they are. It’s time to listen to the heartbeat of the people who are repeatedly urging party unification”.
Speaking at a separate function, on the same day, Baidya, reiterated that the “party was moving ahead successfully towards its aims when it was united”. On March 13, 2014, a joint statement signed by Dahal and Baidya, observed that the Government was arresting their leaders and cadres in connection with war-era cases. Both the parties urged that all war-era cases should be dealt through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), as the present sequence of arrests was against the spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Such cases were not to be dealt with in a piecemeal manner, through regular court proceedings, the joint statement observed.
It was against this backdrop that the five parties agreed, on June 26, 2014, to form a Working Alliance Committee (WAC), comprising of the chiefs of the parties, to work together on a common agenda, though the unification of the parties led by Prachanda and Baidya remained elusive. The June 28, 2014, agreement to constitute an alliance was the outcome of this process. As expected, soon after the alliance was formed, these parties started talking of agitational politics.
In a meeting of the WAC held in Kathmandu on June 30, 2014, during an extensive interaction on the subject of federalism, the constituent parties expressed their readiness to hit the streets to press the Government to incorporate their agenda in the constitution being drafted. Compounding the issue further, on July 11, 2014, UCPN-M and six Madhesi parties – including the Madhesi Peoples’ Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D), Madhesi People’s Rights Forum-Nepal (MPRF-Nepal), Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP), Federal Socialist Party-Nepal (FSP-Nepal), Sadbhavana Party (SP) and Tarai Madhesh Sadbhavana Party (TMSP) – formed an alliance, the Federal Republican Front (FRF), to push for their demand of identity-based federalism. The purpose of the alliance was purportedly to press the big parties – Nepali Congress (NC) and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) – to embrace ‘the people’s aspirations for change’.
Conspicuously, after forging two separate alliances – one with the Maoist factions and another with the Madhesh-based political parties – the UCPN-M is now mulling an interventionist role in national politics. A standing committee meeting of the party held on June 29, 2014, discussed possible protest programmes to be launched inside and outside Parliament. Party Secretary Giriraj Mani Pokharel thus observed, “We have realized that we need to play interventionary role in national politics, so we are working out our future course of action.”
The newly formed alliances, however, remain edgy. For instance, though the UCPN-M and the CPN-Maoist-Baidya have formed the WAC along with three other parties, unification remains elusive, despite overtures. On fundamentals, the two parties remain irreconcilable, and, expressing doubts whether the UCPN-M was serious about party unification, CPN-Maoist-Baidya Secretary Dev Gurung, on June 19, 2014, noted, “Though they are talking about party unification, it just looks like propaganda, as they have not done any homework with regards to our six-point condition.”
Day 3: Clashes, shutdown in Kaimoh
Kulgam, July 21: Amid complete shutdown, clashes continued in Kaimoh area of this south Kashmir district for the third consecutive day Monday. Reports said a complete shutdown was observed in Kaimoh town and its adjoining villages of Khudwani, Redwani and Frisal to protest the killing of a teenager, Suhail Ahmad Lone—a 9th grade student—in CRPF firing in the area on Saturday. Shops remained closed while traffic was off the roads. Shutdown was also observed in Kulgam town and its adjoining areas.
Eyewitnesses said police and paramilitary forces were deployed in strength in Kaimoh areas to thwart any attempts at protests. However, they said, youth came out on the roads and fought pitched battles with the forces who lobbed tear-gas shells to quell the demonstrations.
Over 1,000 Yue Yuen staff in Zhuhai block roads in protest
More than a thousand workers from the Yue Yuen shoe factory in Zhuhai, a city on the southern coast of Guangdong province, have stopped work to protest inadequate housing and insurance, reports Chinese-language citizen journalism site Boxun. The protesting workers, who blocked roads leading to the factory for about two hours from 8:30am on July 21, told reporters on the scene that the company has refused to pay for staff housing and has acquired temporary insurance coverage for permanent workers.
One witness said online that the protesters took more extreme measures such as stopping work and blocking roads because they wanted to attract the attention of the local government and the municipal labor bureau in the hope that their legal rights can be protected.
Militants infiltrating industrial protests in Ghana – Dr. Aning
With the increasing spate of industrial action across the country, a security expert with the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) is cautioning leaders of such demonstrations not to allow their actions to degenerate into violence. Dr Kwasi Aning is even more worried about the potential of militants in the West African sub region infiltrating the demonstration to cause mayhem in the country.
Ghana has seen a groundswell of industrial action across the country over the past few months with workers protesting what they say is the high standard of living in the country. Hikes in fuel prices, utility prices and fall in the cedi have created a lot of discontent against the government. Ahead of an intended nationwide strike and demonstration on Thursday by the Trades Union Congress, members of the Industrial and Commercial Workers on Monday hit the streets in protest over high cost of living in the country. Simultaneously, residents of Oduman in the Ga West Municipal Assembly also embarked on a demonstration to protest the poor roads in their neighborhood.
The Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) are on strike and the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) also threatening another strike in protest over unpaid book and research allowance which is in arrears. Speaking to Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoh the security expert with KAIPTC said these strikes and demonstrations have a potential security threat on the country.
Railways workers threaten more protests after Eid
The Pakistan Railways workers have opposed the proposed privatisation of the largest state-owned transportation network and warned to launch protest campaign against the move after Eid. This was decided at a meeting of the Railways Workers’ Federation and its affiliated unions and units on Monday with Manzoor Razi, the president of federation, in the chair. The meeting asserted that in the first phase, a movement against proposed privatisation of railways, corruption in the department and for seeking workers’ right will be started after Eid under the aegis of Railway Workers Federation and in the second, sit-ins at the offices of railway divisional superintendents across the country would be staged.
Addressing the meeting, Razi said that the RWF had been formed to give an independent and larger platform to the railways’ workers and unite all unions under one umbrella in order to strengthen workers unity and their struggle for rights. He said the railways had already been handed over to private companies as some trains have been given to private operators; parcels and ticketing business was outsourced and now the track access has been provided to some parties at 15 paisas per ton per kilometer. While denouncing, what they described, a shoddy sell-off deal, the PRW said it would not accept loot and plunder by capitalists in the name of privatization, adding “the trains were being sold for peanuts.”
Eight killed as Turkish military, Kurdish rebels clash
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, July 22 (Reuters) – At least eight people were killed in clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish rebels on the country’s Syrian border, the army said on Tuesday, apparently the most serious outbreak of violence since the militants declared a ceasefire last year. A local official earlier pointed the finger at smugglers, after an armed group crossing the border from Syria into Turkey ignored calls to stop and opened fire on an army outpost.
Three border guards were wounded, two of whom later died, after they came under attack from around 15 people trying to cross into Turkey, the Turkish General Staff said in a statement. Reinforcements were deployed and at least six “terrorists” from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or its affiliate, the Syria-based Democratic Union Party (PYD), were believed to have died in the clash, the army said.