Crony capitalism and the South Korean ferry tragedy

Kim Bullimore The tragic death of more than 300 South Korean students last month has revealed starkly the menace of neoliberal economics. The students were aboard the Sewol ferry, on a school trip, when it capsized with 476 passengers and crew on board. Only 170 people managed to escape. Hopes for the r...CONTINUE READING

UN expert says there are ‘elements of genocide’ against Myanmar’s Rohingya

The following is a press release from the London Conference on Decades of State-Sponsored Destruction of Myanmar’s Rohingya. The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights, Tomás Ojéa Quintana, has said, “There are elements of genocide in Rakhine with respect to Rohingya.” Speaking...CONTINUE READING

Fear clouds the Indian elections

Nagesh Rao Nagesh Rao provides the background to the elections in India – and the looming threat of a triumph for the Hindu right when they end this month. In the lead-up to India’s parliamentary elections – which began in early April and continue through mid-May – progressive intellectuals, activist...CONTINUE READING

Indonesia – the politics of May Day, 2014

Max Lane Around 250,000 workers, members of various trade unions, mobilised in Jakarta for May Day, 2014. From all accounts, the mobilisations were similar to those of 2012 and 2013. The demands carried on workers’ banners and posters were for minimum wage rises and the banning of widespread labour...CONTINUE READING

Massive strike by Chinese workers

Sid Ziochi A huge strike began in mid-April at Yue Yuen Industrial shoe factories in Dongguan, China. Labor activists estimated that 40,000 to 60,000 workers joined the strike, making it the largest industrial action in the country in recent years. Yue Yuen is the biggest manufacturer of sports shoes...CONTINUE READING

Philippines Bangsamoro agreement unlikely to bring peace

Ben Reid The resolution of a secessionist conflict in southern Philippine island of Mindanao is unlikely to create any lasting peace. Instead it will be part of an increased US military presence. The southern provinces of Mindanao, mostly inhabited by Muslim Bangsamoro (the Moro people), enjoyed a...CONTINUE READING

Fighting for intellectual freedom in Indonesia

Yunantyo Adi S Tan Malaka, a deceased former leader of the Indonesian Communist Party, was declared a national hero in 1963. But an uproar last month in Semarang, a city on the north coast of Java, shows that he is still controversial. The Semarang Community of History Makers and Grobak Hysteria art gall...CONTINUE READING

Documenting Indonesian purges

Max Lane The Act of Killing , the acclaimed documentary about the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of communists and leftists in Indonesia, did not win favour in Hollywood. The systematic, activist-oriented promotion of the documentary, however, has helped it impact public discussion of the mass...CONTINUE READING

The scourge of the Asia Pacific

Kim Doyle In early 2013, the Australian Signals Directorate was spying on Indonesian officials involved in trade negotiations with the US. The private communications recorded were most likely relating to disputes over clove cigarettes and prawn exports. It’s hardly the stuff of international espiona...CONTINUE READING