Saturday, January 29, 2011

NPA did not violate CARHRIHL in using landmine in Cagayan ambush

NPA did not violate CARHRIHL in using landmine in Cagayan ambush*

Salvador del Pueblo
Fortunato Camus Command
NPA-Cagayan Valley
January 28, 2011

AFP officers again show absurd ignorance of international laws and protocols of war by incessantly harping on the NPA’s alleged violations of the use of landmines after the Danilo Ben Command-NPA ambushed PNP officers on January 23, 2011 in Rizal, Cagayan.

Killed in the ambush were Inspector Antonino Rueco, police chief of Rizal town; SPO2 Maryann Rueco, PO1 Erminio Rueco, PO2 Jose Baquiran and PO1 Joven Jimenez. Wounded was SPO4 Edison Lagua.

Philippine Army spokesman Col. Antonio Parlade and AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta claim that the NPA violated the Comprehensive Agreement on the Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CAHRHRIHL) by using a command-detonated landmine in the said ambush. But the landmine used by NPA fighters were command-detonated explosives (CDX), and not pressure-triggered, to ensure the safety of civilians. As the name connotes, these CDX are manned and triggered on command and, as such, are legitimate weapons of war. This is in accordance to the Ottawa Treaty and pertinent provisions of the CAHRHRIHL.

The AFP well knows that Inspector Rueco and his team were legitimate targets of NPA military action. The forces of Rizal PNP led by Inspector Rueco have been active, since April 2010, in military operations that they conduct jointly with troops of the “Alpha” Company 17th Infantry Battalion, Special Action Force, SWAT, Regional Mobile Group of the PNP and CAFGU elements in the towns of Rizal, Lasam, Sto. Nino, and Piat. Inspector Rueco and his men have also long extorted money from manning police checkpoints that pretend to be “anti-logging” checkpoints, aside from being bodyguards to corrupt reactionary local officials and oppressive landlords.

In fact, the 17th and PNP has lost more than a platoon of elements as casualties in NPA military offensives since last year in western Cagayan alone, and they intend to hide this defeat by desperately recycling false allegations of the NPA’s use of landmines.

It is also malicious and ignorant for government officials such as Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo to unfairly imply that the Cagayan ambush is a show of the NPA’s bad faith in the ongoing peace negotiations between the Government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front, as can be read from his statement in a January 24 Philippine Star newspaper article. While the ambush was the first tactical offensive to be launched after the preliminary talks started, a legitimate tactical offensive by the NPA does not endanger the peace process. As the NDF participates in negotiations for political, socio-economic and other needed reforms, it does not mean that the NPA will cease carrying out its responsibility as the people’s army, including launching tactical offensives against the enemy, implementing land reform, and building organs of political power in the countryside. The end of hostilities and disposition of armed forces, which Robredo seems to ignorantly expect at this stage of the peace negotiations, is in fact the last item of the negotiations.

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Revolutionary youth group Kabataang Makabayan condemns bus attack, warns intensified US military intervention in the country- NDF

Revolutionary youth group Kabataang Makabayan
condemns bus attack, warns intensified US military intervention in the country*

CPP Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
January 28, 2011

The Kabataang Makabayan (KM), the Filipino revolutionary youth group expresses its strongest condemnation of the bus blast in Manila this week that killed five and injured 16 passengers and called it "a senseless act of violence".

"We condemn this attack at the same time that we call on the Filipino people to be vigilant on any unnecessary measure the Aquino government will impose upon the people which will further curtail basic liberties, intensify military and intervention from the United States."

"Already the bus attack was used expediently by the military to justify its demand for a P42.13 billion additional budget for so-called modernization program to run in five years, in a hearing the day after the bus attack," added Guerrero.

The revolutionary group's spokesperson also underlined that the government of Aquino seems to be inept in handling "crisis cases" like this from the outset just like how the resulting malady in the Luneta bus hijack.

"Aquino government is quick at resorting to inefficient and yet repressive actions giving full and excessive force to state security forces unleashed against civilians and the public."

Meanwhile, Guerrero lambasted recent Department of Foreign Affairs Sec. Romulo's open admittance that the coming dialogue with the United States will emphasize on security and terrorism. "The cat is out of the bag.The Aquino government is not but most keen to cement US' intervention in our country's internal affairs in the guise of fighting international terrorism."

"We call on the democratic and patriotic forces to fight the deepening intervention of US in our country and expose the subservient role of the Aquino government. Aquino's Oplan Bayanihan is the local counterpart counter-insurgency plan based on the US Counter-insurgency Manual."

The KM, an allied to the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) which is set to hold formal Peace Negotiations with the Philippine government in February, "calls on the Filipino youth and people to demand national sovereignty and freedom from the US, among other civil and economic demands as part of the substantive agenda in the peace talks".

"Despite protests and demands to dismantle the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) giving legal blanket to US military presence in the Philippines, Aquino regime is willingly posed to adhere to this historic servility in military as well as political and economic terms with US. We the people have to assert in the coming negotiations the freedom from the clutches of US in all aspects, as it will also pave the way to economic, social and political emancipation of the Filipino people. We call to end the VFA and other agreements with the US."

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U.S. Arms Expansion Policy Blasted--Rodong Sinmun (KCNA)

U.S. Arms Expansion Policy Blasted--Rodong Sinmun

Pyongyang, January 29 (KCNA) -- The total amount of the U.S. defense budget for fiscal year 2011 is larger than that of the military expenditure of all other countries of the world. It is hardly understandable that the U.S. military expenditure is increasing at fast speed, in view of the present changed international environment. Rodong Sinmun Saturday said this in a bylined article.

This arms expansion is aimed to continue to intensify military intervention and aggression against other countries, the article noted, and went on:

The U.S. moves for arms expansion is sparking off a new arms race and plunging the world economy into chaos.

Other big powers are steadily increasing their military expenditure following the U.S. suit.

The Asia-Pacific region is the area of the fiercest arms race in the world.
Several countries are allotting big share of their state budgets to the defense field in fear of their state security being threatened.

Intensified arms race is increasing as much the danger of war.

The DPRK and Iran have actually become targets of next attack by the U.S. It is massively deploying its forces in areas around the DPRK and Iran.

The U.S. arms expansion is a criminal act against history and peace. It had better stop it, clearly understanding that its policy for arms expansion will do harm to the world, to say nothing of itself.

Songun, Ever-victorious Banner of Country and Revolution--Rodong Sinmun (KCNA)

Songun, Ever-victorious Banner of Country and Revolution--Rodong Sinmun

Pyongyang, January 29 (KCNA) -- Rodong Sinmun Saturday dedicates a by-lined article to the 8th anniversary of leader Kim Jong Il′s work "The Songun-based Revolutionary Line Is a Great Revolutionary Line of Our Era and an Ever-Victorious Banner of Our Revolution".

This work, published on January 29, 2003, clarifies the idea that independent, strong armed forces are needed to save the destiny of each country and nation and lead the revolution and construction to victory. It also expounds the resolute stand of the Workers′ Party of Korea that the Korean People′s Army guarantees peace, the socialist country and worthwhile and happy life of the people.
The article says:

The great reality of our country, witnessed over the past eight years since the publication of the work, proves that the banner of Songun raised by the WPK is an ever-victorious banner and that prosperity of the country and happiness of all generations to come can be achieved only under the Songun politics.

The Songun politics is an invincible treasured sword for defending the independent dignity of the country and the nation. It is a banner of single-minded unity, the source of invincibility of the Korean revolution, and a powerful treasured sword for prosperity of the country.

The Korean people do every thing in their own way, holding high the banner of independence despite the complicated and acute situation.

The historic WPK Conference held last year was a significant event that fully showed the might of single-minded unity of our revolutionary ranks around the headquarters of the revolution.

The soldiers′ ideological and moral power prevails over the whole country and all the people bring about amazing events one after another to hasten the day of victory in building a thriving nation by following the example of the army. This is the proud reality of our country advancing under the banner of Songun.

U.S. Economy in Deep Recession-KCNA

U.S. Economy in Deep Recession

Pyongyang, January 29 (KCNA) -- The U.S. federal government′s deficit is forecast to hit nearly 1.5 trillion dollars in the 2011 fiscal year, according to predictions unveiled by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on Jan. 26.

The figure is 200 billion dollars more than the last fiscal year.

Meanwhile, invisible is a sign of significantly reducing the present unemployment rate any time soon.

Experts are of the view that the U.S. Administration is in trouble by the continued financial crisis and high unemployment rate and that the U.S. is worried about another serious economic crisis likely to come at any time.

S. Korean Authorities′ Suppression of Pro-reunification Patriotic Personages under Fire-KCNA

S. Korean Authorities′ Suppression
of Pro-reunification Patriotic Personages under Fire

Pyongyang, January 29 (KCNA) -- Shortly ago the Seoul Central District Court sentenced Rev. Han Sang Ryol, a pro-reunification champion of south Korea, to five years in prison and five years of suspension of qualifications on charge that he visited Pyongyang last year on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the publication of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration.

It also inflicted penalties upon three pro-reunification champions including the co-representative of the Solidarity for Progress of south Korea on the groundless charge that they sympathized with the assertion of the north in June last year.

A spokesman for the North Side Committee for Implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration in a statement on January 29 branded these actions as outrageous acts of wantonly violating the elementary human rights of human being, conscience and the freedom to discuss reunification and conduct activities for it and unpardonable fascist tyranny escalating confrontation between compatriots.

Rev. Han′s objective of Pyongyang visit and what he did during his stay here can never be a crime as he did entirely laudable and just activities for preserving and implementing the north-south joint declaration and achieving national reconciliation and unity and independent reunification, the statement held, and went on:

Neither genuine human rights nor any progress in the inter-Korean relations is expected as long as fascism and confrontation are rampant and harsh political persecution and suppression of pro-reunification champions are going on.

The south Korean authorities should roll back their policy of confrontation with fellow countrymen, abolish the "National Security Law", the fascist law dating back to the old era, retract the unreasonable punishment imposed on the champions and set them free at once.

If they persist in the suppression of the pro-reunification patriotic personages, blocking as ever contact and visits between the north and the south contrary to the aspiration and requirements of the compatriots, they will not be able to escape self-destruction in face of stronger rebuff and denunciation from the public at home and abroad.

Rodong Sinmun on Irresistible Trend of Times-KCNA

Rodong Sinmun on Irresistible Trend of Times

Pyongyang, January 28 (KCNA) -- Popular masses are heading for independence. This reflects the common desire and hope of humankind to live and develop free from aggression, war, domination and subjugation. No force on earth can stem this trend of the times. Rodong Sinmun Friday says this in a bylined article.
It says:

If the popular masses are to build a new independent world and achieve progress and prosperity, they should put an end to aggression, war, domination and subjugation.

The imperialists are the main target of the struggle. The people desirous of independence should see through the imperialists′ hegemonic nature and methods and hold high the banner of struggle against imperialism.

Their hegemonic nature and ambition can never change.

The imperialists are desperately working to establish domination over the world, taking advantage of the equilibrium that has been upset on the international arena. They are running the whole gamut of means and methods including military aggression, sanctions and pressure to achieve their hegemonic goals.

Unity leads to victory while split leads to defeat. Aware of this truth, the world progressive countries are striving to boost their unity. Many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are working hard to achieve regional progress and integration by their concerted efforts.

This proves their will to settle regional issues by their concerted efforts, protect the interests of the countries and nations and accelerate the building of independent prosperous new societies and a new world.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Quattromondial Monument and the Left

The Quattromondial Monument and the Left

by Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro

While I went in the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, I sought a monument that is, modern and strikingly different from the age-old cement and iron-casted statues of the past. I found it nice so to speak, but on the other hand, lies a different interpretation that I had to think.

Quattromondial Monument

This Monument, inaugurated last Friday, said that it was to symbolize the University’s legacy to the nation, the Church, and the family. And it features four human figures carrying a globe, all representing the major groups of the Thomasian community—the male student, the female student, the mentor, and the monk-scholar.

But on the other hand, I also think that this larger-than-life 10-meter monument made of bronze and glass by rendered by Ramon Orlina, may also carry a different perspective-especially of a Left-wing one.

Russian Lenin's Tomb, called

One of the models for the Proposed Lenin's Tomb in Russia

That monument seemed similar to one of the proposed models of Lenin's tomb in Moscow. Made by an unknown architect and designer so to speak, it shows a globe being carried by four people like the monument in UST, but it all represents the major groups of a Socialist community what Marx and Lenin envisioned-the male Worker, female Peasant, Soldier and the Student. Carrying a globe of the word with a red star on top, signifying Socialism and its initiator, Russia.

The Quattromondial monument, according to UST's Varsitarian, also stated that the globe being carried by the four beings stands for globalization, an inevitable event in the 21st century. And the image also displays the University’s concern for the adverse effects of progress and its efforts to adapt to change.

Good to say to, but Globalization can't be an inevitable event as more and more People around the world are getting tired of what Globalization set so. The Philippines, being a Third world country, remains in a state of poverty all due to its present conditions as a Semifeudal, Semicolonial country, and Globalization, being an idea of the modern-day oppressors, doesn't support humanity, but of course, exploiting it. Since the Dominican Friars spoke of Globalization as inevitable, so is the masses's struggle for Internationalism, that is, far greater than the former; and as the tide of progress continues in this century, of adapting certain changes to ensure stability, lies doubts that involves contradictions-such as the conservatism of the Dominican Order and the progression of the studentry and even the young members of the Order itself. We must also remember that since they are moving in the signs of the times, may possibly come forth the ideas involving Faith and the Society such as Liberation theology, Christian Social Teaching, National Democracy, even Modernism and other products of the Enlightenment-that is, detrimental to the conservatism laid upon by years. They may've speak of "Globalization" yet will they accept the Theology of Liberation, of genuinely ensuring the rights and welfare of the students, like scrapping a decree regarding long hair and the like?

After all, that monument in UST, personally to say is a homage to the original monument according to the drawings laid for the late Lenin's grave.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

In Egypt, water cannon, tear gas

In Egypt, water cannon, tear gas*

In Egypt, police used water cannon and tear gas,
in dispersing the demonstrators

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Egyptian police began to disperse thousands of demonstrators on the capital's central El Tahrir Square. According to information received, a unit of the riot police some time ago began to use tear gas grenades and water cannons, pusjing protesters in the surrounding streets.

From 20 to 30 thousand people gathered Tuesday night in downtown Cairo in the "Day of Anger" - anti-government protests organised by the main opposition parties and movements of the country in the wake of recent events in Tunisia. Protesters have promised to hold an indefinite strike until such time until their demands are met - the resignation of the government, dissolve parliament, raise in wages. Previously, authorities have warned they will not allow protesters to remain on Tahrir square.

Reportedly, the protesters resisted police, periodically engage them in skirmishes. Riot police, trying to calm the raging crowd, is also actively beating protestors with rubber truncheon. To the area have been sent dozens of ambulances.

On Tuesday, in clashes with security forces, three people were killed , including two protesters and a policeman having received a fatal injury from a stone thrown from the crowd, reports ITAR-TASS.

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General anti-government strike begun in Tunisia

General anti-government strike begun in Tunisia*

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Initiated by the largest trade union - the Tunisian General Labour Union, the General anti-government strike began on Wednesday in the second-largest city, Sfax of Tunisia, which is considered the industrial capital of the country, according to Arab media.

The action was initiated in Tunisia's largest and most influential trade union - the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT), who played a crucial role in the recent change of government in the country.

Protestors gathered in the streets of Sfax on Wednesday demanding the resignation of the government of Mohammed al-Ghannouchi, as well as the dissolution of the rules at the deposed president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Constitutional Democratic Party unity.

In addition, people's protests on Wednesday continued in other major cities in Tunisia, including in the capital, where demonstrators once again tried to break through a police cordon and break through to the building of the Tunisian government.

Previously reported that the teachers of secondary schools and lyceums of Tunisia on Monday began an indefinite strike, demanding withdrawal from the government in the country all members of the ousted regime. The strike coincided with the day classes resume in Tunisian schools and high schools, which were suspended in early January in connection with the riots.

In the morning in Tunis, children and their parents almost universally expected closed school doors with the announcement of the strike.

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The Path of Revolution for the Colonies and Semi-Colonies: The New Democratic Revolution

The Path of Revolution for the Colonies and Semi-Colonies:
The New Democratic Revolution*

From the blogsite "Democracy and Class Struggle"

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Democracy and Class Struggle publishes this text prepared by Indian coimrades on the Path to Revolution for Colonies and Semi Colonies for a discussion on the New Democratic Revolution in view of current Global developments especially the upsurge of peoples struggle in the Arab World..

Immediately after the establishment of the Chinese Peoples’ Republic the international communist movement gave open recognition to the significance of the Chinese path of revolution, for the colonies and semi-colonies. In the 27 January, 1950, editorial of For a Lasting Peace, For a People’s Democracy, the organ of the Cominform, it was stated, “The path taken by the Chinese people… is the path that should be taken by the people of many colonial and dependent countries in their struggle for national independence and people’s democracy.

“The experience of the victorious national-liberation struggle of the Chinese people teaches that the working class must unite with all classes, parties, groups and organisations willing to fight the imperialists and their hirelings and to form a broad, nation-wide united front, headed by the working class and its vanguard—the communist party…

“A decisive condition for the victorious outcome of the national-liberation struggle is the formation, when the necessary internal conditions allow for it, of people’s liberation armies under the leadership of the communist party.”

Thus, the universal applicability of Marxist-Leninist theory developed by Mao—i.e. Mao Tse-tung Thought—was recognised, and began to become the guideline for genuine revolutionaries throughout the world, particularly in the colonies and semi-colonies.

Mao’s formulation of the Chinese Path of Revolution had been developed in his numerous writings during the advance of the Revolution. Lenin had already pointed out that in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution it was the proletariat and not the bourgeoisie that would lead the bourgeois democratic revolution. Mao in his work On New Democracy, carrying this understanding ahead, further pointed out that in this era, any revolution in a colony or semi-colony that is directed against imperialism, no longer comes within the old category of the bourgeois-democratic world revolution, but within a new category; it is no longer part of the old bourgeois, or capitalist, world revolution, but is part of the new world revolution, the proletarian-socialist world revolution. Such revolutionary colonies and semi-colonies can no longer be regarded as allies of the counter-revolutionary front of world capitalism; they have become allies of the revolutionary front of world socialism. Thus, in order to differentiate from the old bourgeois democratic revolution, he called the revolution in the colonies and semi-colonies a New Democratic Revolution. On this basis he elaborated the politics, economy and culture of New Democracy.

Mao also developed on the understanding of the united front that Lenin and Stalin had given. He showed that the bourgeoisie in the colonies and semi-colonies was divided into two parts – the comprador bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. The comprador bourgeoisie, who depended on imperialism for its existence and growth, was always an enemy of the revolution. The national bourgeoisie was a vacillating ally who would sometimes help the revolution and sometimes join the enemies. Thus the united front under the leadership of the proletariat would consist of a four class alliance – the proletariat, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. The enemies of the revolution were imperialism, the comprador bourgeoisie and the landlords.

According to Mao the revolution in the colonies and semi-colonies would not follow the path of insurrection followed by the Russian Revolution where the main cities were captured first and then control taken over the countryside. He showed the Chinese path of protracted people’s war which involved the areawise seizure of power in the countryside, the building of guerrilla zones and base areas and the final encircling and capturing of the cities. To achieve this Mao laid down the military principles of revolutionary war. He taught how to build up the Red Army, which was an absolutely necessary weapon of the revolution. Starting from guerrilla warfare and then moving to mobile warfare and finally to positional warfare, Mao showed the way how a small force can rely on the vast masses to build up the forces needed to defeat a formidable enemy.

Finally, basing himself on the Marxist-Leninist understanding of the state and the dictatorship of the proletariat, Mao elaborated the theory regarding the form of the state in the revolutions in the colonial countries. On the basis of the theory of New Democracy, he formulated the understanding of the new- democratic republic.

This new-democratic republic he said would be different from the old European-American form of capitalist republic under bourgeois dictatorship which is the old democratic form and already out of date. On the other hand, it would also be different from the socialist republic of the Soviet type under the dictatorship of the proletariat. For a certain historical period, this form too was not suitable for the revolutions in the colonial and semi-colonial countries. During this period, therefore, a third form of state was necessary to be adopted in the revolutions of all colonial and semi-colonial countries, namely, the new-democratic republic under the joint dictatorship of several anti-imperialist classes. Since this form suits a certain historical period it is therefore transitional. Nevertheless, according to Mao, it is a form that is necessary and cannot be dispensed with.

This state was established after the victory of the Chinese Revolution in the form of the People’s Democratic Dictatorship. Mao explained the essence of the people’s democratic dictatorship as the combination of two aspects – democracy for the people and dictatorship over the reactionaries. The people are the working class, the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie. These classes, led by the working class and the Communist Party, unite to form their own state and elect their own government; they enforce their dictatorship over the running dogs of imperialism—the landlord class and bureaucrat-bourgeoisie, as well as the representatives of those classes.

Mao further pointed out that the Communist Party had to lead the process of transformation of the People’s Democratic Dictatorship into a Socialist State. The people’s democratic dictatorship, led by the proletariat and based on the worker-peasant alliance, required that the Communist Party should unite the entire working class, the entire peasantry and the broad masses of revolutionary intellectuals; these are the leading and basic forces of the dictatorship. Without this unity, the dictatorship cannot be consolidated. It is also required that the Party unite with as many as possible of the representatives of the urban petty bourgeoisie and national bourgeoisie who were ready to co-operate and with their intellectuals and political groups. This was necessary to isolate the counter-revolutionary forces. If this were done it would be possible, after the victory of the revolution, to speedily restore and develop production, cope with foreign imperialism, steadily transform a backward semi-colonial agricultural economy into an industrial country and build up a socialist state.

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CPP condemns EDSA bus bombing

CPP condemns EDSA bus bombing

CPP Information Bureau
January 27, 2011

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today issued the following statement:

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns in the strongest terms possible the bombing last Tuesday of a passenger bus along EDSA in Makati City. This most despicable act of violence resulted in the death of at least five ordinary working class people and injuries to at least 15 others.

The CPP, the New People's Army (NPA) and all revolutionary forces under the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) express sympathy with the bombing victims and their loved ones.

The CPP denounces the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for insinuating that either the NPA or the MILF had responsibility in the bombing. There is even the fantastic tale that the bombing was perpetuated by a newly formed military command jointly formed by the NPA and MILF. The NPA does not engage in such senseless acts of violence that cause death and injury to ordinary people. The MILF also outrightly denied having anything to do with the bombing.

It is curious that the bombing was carried out a day or two after Philippine media was rife with speculations about the involvement of high-ranking police and military officers in a car theft syndicate. Certain government officials have expressed the view that the bombing was meant to draw the attention of investigators away from the car theft syndicate.

It is also curious that the bombing was carried out just a few days before the scheduled Strategic Dialogue between top security and defense officials of the Philippine and US governments. The bombing is now being portrayed as a confirmation of a recent US advisory about an imminent terrorist attack in the country, thus proving the need for continued "anti-terror cooperation" between the US and the Philippines and the continued presence of US troops in the country, and drowning the clamor for the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and other unequal military treaties.

One only has to recall how in 2002, US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative Michael Meiring accidentally set off a bomb he was preparing in his Davao City hotel room. Meiring is believed to be responsible for the wave of bombings in Davao which paved the way for the arrival of US forces in the pretext of fighting "terrorist threats." He was immediately whisked off secretly by operatives of the US National Security Agency and rushed home by the US embassy. The Meiring incident shows the malicious extent to which the US intelligence and military and their local cohorts would go in staging terror scenarios to justify US military intervention.

It is also curious that the bombing was carried out amidst some positive developments in the realm of peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the NDFP, which fascists and ultra-reactionaries have been trying to scuttle and saddle with difficulties. Preliminary consultations for the resumption of peace talks between the Philippine government and the MILF are also about to begin. These dark forces operating in the defense and security agencies have gone to great lengths to hinder progress in political negotiations and assert the primacy of the military in the counterrevolutionary war effort and in the so-called "maintenance of peace and order."

Just as in the past, it is doubtful whether the real perpetrators and masterminds of Tuesday's bus bombing will ever be brought to justice. The CPP and all revolutionary forces vow to extend all possible assistance to the victims and their families and friends to attain justice for their loved ones and punish the demons behind this crime.

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CPP dares AFP to file case before JMC and international bodies over land mine use

CPP dares AFP to file case before JMC
and international bodies over land mine use*

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
January 26, 2011

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today dared the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to walk its talk and file a case before the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) over its complaints about what it claims to be the illegal use of land mines by the New People's Army (NPA).

"We dare the AFP to formally file a complaint before the JMC and even international courts and try to prove their claim of the NPA's violation of the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL) and the international rules of warfare, particularly the protocols on the use of mines and explosives," said the CPP. "Until then, all these complaints by the AFP over the so-called illegal use of land mines by the NPA are nothing but blabber."

Yesterday, AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Jose Mabanta claimed that the NPA violated the CARHRIHL when it ambushed several police officers aboard a police vehicle in Rizal, Cagayan the other day. NPA fighters triggered a command-detonated explosive to disable the vehicle before moving in to pin down the targets.

The CPP pointed out that Article 2 Section 15 of the CARHRIHL asserts the people's right "not to be subjected to forced evacuations, food and other forms of economic blockades and indiscriminate bombings, shellings, strafing, gunfire and the use of land mines".

According to the CPP, this provision clearly aims to protect civilians from being endangered by the reckless and indiscriminate spread of pressure-triggered land mines which, as defined by the Ottawa Treaty, are "designed to be exploded by the presence, proximity or contact of a person." This does not include command-detonated explosives (CDX).

"The NPA's use of CDX, which are constantly manned and triggered on command, in fact, surpasses the Ottawa Treaty in terms of ensuring the protection of civilians," added the CPP. "There has never been an incident where a civilian was recklessly hurt by the NPA's employment of CDX as legitimate weapons of war."

Meanwhile, the CPP castigated the AFP spokesperson for "undermining the peace negotiations by insisting on using it as an instrument for pacification."

"The AFP spokesperson is betraying the true color of his outfit when he insists that by engaging in peace talks, the NPA should stop launching tactical offensives," said the CPP. "The AFP apparently only wants to use the peace talks as an instrument of pacification, to coerce or beguile the armed revolutionary forces to surrender or silence their weapons."

"The way General Mabanta puts it, the AFP appears completely uninterested in the peace negotiations as a means to address the comprehensive range of socio-economic and political issues that are at the roots of the ongoing civil war," said the CPP.

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By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
International League of Peoples' Struggle
27 January 2011

The International League of People’s Struggle (ILPS) salutes the brave people of Tunisia for their great victory in rising up and toppling the corrupt and repressive regime of Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali. This US-supported dictator who fled Tunisia on January 14 had ruled the country with an iron hand for 23 years.

The protests that eventually led to the ouster of Ben Ali were sparked by the sacrifice of a young college graduate, Mohamed Bouazizi. He had a college degree but unable to find work was selling fruits and vegetables in the streets of Sidi Bouzid, a city in central Tunisia. The police confiscated his wares saying he had no license. In protest, he set himself on fire in front of the city hall.

This act became the catalyst for the people’s uprising, igniting demonstrations and riots throughout Tunisia in protest against high unemployment, rising food prices, political repression and poor living conditions in the country. Weeks of street protests followed mobilizing broad sectors of society. Ben Ali declared a state of emergency in an effort to crush the uprising. But the people prevailed and Ben Ali was forced to flee into exile.

Tunisia suffers from high unemployment of more than 14%. The unemployment rate for young people is even higher at more than 31%. Tunisia’s economic problems stem from IMF-dictated neoliberal policies and aggravated by the rampant corruption of the ruling clique.

Ben Ali came into power in 1987 in a bloodless coup when a team of doctors pronounced the incumbent President Habib Bourguiba unfit to rule due to senility. Habib Bourguiba had led the struggle for independence against the French and introduced progressive socio-economic policies. The US found in Ben Ali a willing ally in carrying out the “free-market” policies that the imperialists have been trying to impose in Africa and the rest of the third world. He was also considered by the US as a key ally in the region in “fighting Islamic terrorism” and in maintaining “stability”.

The neoliberal policies promoted by the US and carried out by Ben Ali included attacks on the rights of labor, trade liberalization and privatization of public services. These policies have been responsible for the high unemployment and other economic problems in Tunisia these past years.

The protests continue despite the resignations of Ben Ali and his prime minister with the people demanding sweeping changes. They are demanding the complete clean up of government from the remnants of Ben Ali’s clique and the dismantling of Ben Ali’s party the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD).

The US and other repressive regimes in the region are now afraid that the social turmoil in Tunisia might spread to other countries. Protest actions have broken out in Algeria over lack of housing and high food prices. In Jordan, demonstrations led by trade unions and Left parties have called for the resignation of the Rifai government over high food and fuel prices. Protesters in Egypt demonstrating in solidarity with the Tunisian people chanted "Kefaya" (enough) and "We are next, we are next, Ben Ali tell Mubarak he is next."

The French, German and British ruling cliques had always praised Ben Ali for being a “friend” of civilized Europe for “keeping a firm hand on all those Islamists.” They are now hypocritically calling for democratic reforms in Tunisia and the rest of the region.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggle wholeheartedly supports the Tunisian people in their present struggle against unemployment, government corruption and repression and in their long-term struggle for national and social liberation from imperialism and local reaction. We welcome the spread of people's resistance to the US and oppressive regimes in the Middle East.

We call on all progressive forces and people in the world to give their support to the legitimate aspirations of the people of Tunisia and other countries in the Middle East for national liberation, democracy, social justice, development, international solidarity and peace.

Education in the Philippines: To Enlighten or just to Consume?

Education in the Philippines: To Enlighten or just to Consume?

By Lualhati Madlangawa Guererro

From the University belt to the halls of Diliman and every other temples of education around the Philippines, carries a problem that is, difficult to be solved upon, as well as an object of protests-especially when it comes to financial reasons and worse? On the status of Education in general in the country-if it is to Enlighten or just to Consume.

I, like any other student, think about this kind of problem regarding the Education situations prevailed nowadays. That we are compelled much to take this and that, to pay big, to endure anything as expected just to earn a degree and to wear a black toga for the picture. But, are we sure that what we study made us to Enlighten? Or being pressed by the system to Consume and after finishing, having a job contradictory to the profession? Sounds desperate as expected!

But most people remained apathetic about it-especially as they enter the four corners of the institution, paying higher tuition fees just to reach their dreams regardless of the difficulty and inconveniences they had to endure. Yes, that they even experienced water dropping from the ceiling and chalk dust from the board.

And yet they still continue to pay regardless of the increasing percentage of fees just to pursue. Most of them came from the working class, and most of them end up stopped out of financial reasons and other related issues being said so; some tried to return but still, end up as expected.

Sorry to say about these words but to tell frankly, that Education nowadays in the Philippines are far from its objectives. They are just obliging the youth to take subjects to consume than to enlighten-all thanks to the West, who sponsors education as a tool for modern-day slavery, all in aguise of enlightenment, but not really as expected nowadays.

Speaking of education just 'to consume' than 'to enlighten'? Of Western interference in Educational as well as in Socio-Cultural affairs in the Philippines? Where does it all started?

According to Zureta, the globalization of education began in Asia with the University of Santo Tomas taking the lead 400 years ago in the year 1611. That the Spaniards, with their God, Gold, and Glory, nearly destroyed the Philippine Civilization and replaced with their Civilization, that according to them as advanced and far reaching just like their motto "Plus Ultra" or Further Beyond. And UST, being the first Church and State supported Institution, alongside from other religious orders spread the use of Religion and Education as a tool both to enlighten and to forcibly consume by the natives in their "Civilizing" the entire archipelago.

Natives are deeply affected by these: their traditions were burned after being accused as Satanic or Witchcraft related, that they forced to pay tributes and do forced labor, that the Colonizers tolerated ages-old elitism of the Maharlikas made them compel to revolt yet failed since they are scattered and more into specific issues until the advent of Gomburza, Rizal, and the Proletarian Bonifacio. Other ones such as Bayot, Novales, are more into the Insular and of the Mestizo gentry that, like the natives, end up defeated by their Castilian superiors.

Same as during the American period. The Americans really emphasised on Education all through Public, Secular kind of Education being imposed to by the State. Numerous public schools are being built on the purpose of training them into Teaching personnel, future members of the State Machinery, and as expected, Semi-Skilled workers like those in PUP, then as PCC. The University of the Philippines posed as a Secular alternative to the Religious-centric Ateneo and UST, that they created members of the State Machinery willing to serve the Colonial Government followed by the Commonwealth. And again, the Americans imposed decrees trying to stunt the growth of People-centric Patriotism, whilst tolerating Conservatism and Patriotism that was catered to the Elite like those of Quezon and Osmena.

Until today, the repressive conditions on Education marks the continuation of that tradition. That the West tolerated it, this time fueled by Commercialization, Golibalization, Deregulation, Privatization or even Monopolization of every educational institutions by the Elite; imposing such actions that is, detrimental to the Studentry and to the People as well. The increase in Tuition fees, Exorbitant fees, even charges that seemingly end up in the coffers than for development. If there is, like in the University of the East for example, are rather for painting walls instead of major overhaul since they got much profits into it out of their 5 % increase.

Most people are expecting this hell of a kind mess set forth by the rotten social order when it comes to the Education problem. That a wave of protests lies in response to budget cuts and increase in Tuition and other fees, followed by Scholastic fascism and other related acts detrimental to Academic freedom and to the Studentry in general. Education nowadays really meant not to enlighten the youth, that in a policy wherein putting emphasis to cheap labour and making the Nation backward, education is as if a packaged good to be consumed-that knowing how to read and write, to obey without critical thinking as a requirement for the modern-day slave trade.

Yes, and how come?
In the University of the Philippines, the Revitalized General Education Program insisted Students to take what is what being "served" by the College instead of through free will. One anecdote said:

"...But such was not the case, as I discovered the moment I saw the course outline for the BS Applied Physics program which identified each and every subject that I had to take. I was disappointed, to say the least, and I even questioned why I had to take certain subjects like Kas 1 (Philippine History) and Kas 2 (World History), when I had already taken classes which more or less covered the same topics all throughout high school. Apparently, the “cafeteria style” of college general education, as it is called, while popular in universities in other countries such as the United States, was unheard of in UP. The only choice UP college students had, with respect to their college subjects, was the few electives they were allowed and, generally, how to schedule their classes."

Like in America as what the writer said, UP tried to emulate the "Cafeteria style" approach when it comes to General Education, but seems that, like in a Cafeteria, what is served is being served, no other menu except what is being written. And the subjects? Aside from a rehash from their previous years, are rather acting as requirements just to earn a diploma, ready to be consumed than a means to enlighten.

As another writeup said:

"A UP student is required to take at least 45 units of GE courses, ideally before taking major courses. These are divided into 15 units each in Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Philosophy, and Natural Sciences and Mathematics. These courses are intended to enable the student to live meaningfully and to contribute to society."

Yup, that 45 units may have been equivalent to bigger amounts to be paid by an individual since UP imposed its tuition increase and on the advent of budget cuts what every UP student angered about with. Yes, that GE subjects are beneficial in its appearance, yet, like the others, are being forced to be consumed by the students all for the sake of earning a diploma! After all, are we studying in a school or in a prison wherein forced feeding is implemented?

And after graduation, what conclusion will that ex-student will be? Will that person easy got a job? Ya, but what kind of job? In a call centre? Abroad? or to be a part of the massed ranks of the unemployed? The Educational system the West and the system encouraged got its long term effects as we noticed. Yes, there are jobs as a conclusion, but are they really high paid and suitable for their vocation according to their course major?

Whether you are in Public or Private, Iskolar of the Nation or Thomasian imbued with Unending Grace, the Education you attained are to be consumed than to enlighten. That you pay too much fees and endure the long hours for the goddamn sake of good grades, diploma, and honours-while ending up in a massed ranks of unemployed, semi-skilled workers, or slaves with portfolio. The system tolerates this, but are you willing to tolerate it?

We'll expect more arduous protests imbued with Struggle this time. as the UST hymn saidth: "Ever your valiant Legions, Imbued with Unending Grace!"

The masses are thy Legions, and their struggle for National Democracy is their unending Grace!

DPRK Stand on Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula Remains Unchanged-KCNA

DPRK Stand on Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula Remains Unchanged

Pyongyang, January 26 (KCNA) — A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the DPRK released following statement Wednesday:

Thanks to the sincere efforts of the DPRK there are now a series of possibilities on the Korean Peninsula for defusing the tense situation, which was inching close to the brink of war, and restarting the process for its denuclearization. Efforts are being exerted by countries around it to promote them.

It is the common aspiration of the international community and the urgent need of the times to ensure peace and stability of the peninsula through dialogues and negotiations and push ahead with its denuclearization.

However, the forces keen to pursue their selfish goals through increased tension and confrontation are becoming craftier step by step in their efforts to obstruct dialogues.

The peninsula is the region where hostile relations are intertwined doubly and triply due to the state of instable ceasefire that has lasted for more than half a century. It is important, therefore, not to miss the hard-won opportunity but keep alive the atmosphere of dialogue in order to avoid vicious cycle of growing tension.
It is necessary to guard against the assertions intended to unilaterally put up preconditions or deliberately set the order of various dialogues.

It is the genuine stand for dialogue to make sure that multi-faceted dialogues have their proper agendas and untie knots one by one on the principle of finding common denominators while putting aside differences.

The nuclear issue on the peninsula surfaced due to the U.S. threat of a nuclear war and its hostile policy towards the DPRK and it is, therefore, essential to find a modality of dialogue for eliminating its root cause.

The DPRK remains unchanged in its stand to denuclearize the whole peninsula.
Invariable is the DPRK′s will to comprehensively implement the September 19 Joint Statement in the spirit of equality and according to the principle of simultaneous action.

One party′s action is bound to be interpreted by the other as a provocation as long as hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S. and between the north and the south go on in the peninsula.

It is the DPRK′s stand to stop actions regarded by each other as provocations by building confidence through dialogues and negotiations. It is willing to make concerted efforts to put this into practice.

The present situation of the peninsula standing at the crossroads of detente and the vicious cycle of increasing tension requires the countries concerned to make a courageous decision to use the opportunity of dialogue from a broad perspective and with the awareness of the mission they assumed before the times.




London 27th January

The UK Korean Friendship Association together with the Juche Idea Study Group of England and Association for the Study of Songun Politics issued the following joint statement.

We wholeheartedly condemn the puppet fascist authorities of south Korea for jailing the Rev Han Sang Ryol,an honest fighter for peace and reunification of Korea.The Rev Han Sang Ryol did not commit any crime but simply visited the northern part of his country the DPRK to promote inter Korean understanding,peace and reunification.It is absurd that this should be treated as a crime,indeed the actions of the Rev Hang deserve praise and acclaim rather than a jail sentence as it was an act based on patriotism.

The fact that the south Korean regime is prepared to jail those who visit the DPRK and campaign for peace and reunification shows that south Korean regime is insincere towards dialaogue and peace and does not really want reunification.

We call on the south Korean authorities to revoke the penalty imposed on the Rev Han and free him from jail.




Three people were killed and dozens more injured in clashes between police and protesters at an anti-government rally in the Albanian capital of Tirana on Friday, January 21. It was reported by Agence France-Presse.

According to The Daily Mail, officials in Tirana said about 22 protesters were injured and 17 police injured in the clashes. According to The Washington Post, the authorities reported more than 130 injured. A source from AFP at a hospital in Tirana reported 55 wounded, among whom, 25 were police officers and 30 were protesters.

The cause of death of three protesters was gunfire. There was no report on whether or not firearms were used. All three died on their way to hospital. At the time, there were no police official reports on the number of deaths. There was no information about exactly who shot the protesters, which resulted in their death. Law-enforcement agencies were reportedly armed with guns, firing rubber bullets at the demonstrators. In addition, tear gas and water cannons were used by the police against the demonstrators.

At the opposition rally, called for because of revelations of corruption in the country's top leadership, some 20,000 people took part, reported The Washington Post. The rally participants called for early elections in the country. The action grew into heavy clashes with police after protesters started to throw stones at police. During the riots, 15 police cars were burned. Observers have called the events in Tirana, the largest and most bloody protest actions in the country over the past few years.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

US Branded as Wrecker of Peace by Belgian Party-KCNA

US Branded as Wrecker of Peace by Belgian Party

Pyongyang, January 24 (KCNA) -- The Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Belgium condemned the United States for trying to tighten its military domination in Northeast Asia.

The grave incidents in the Korean Peninsula last year show that the U.S. is the mastermind of straining situation and harassing peace and stability, said it in its solidarity letter to the C.C., the Workers' Party of Korea on Jan. 17.

What is urgent, above all, for peace in Northeast Asia and the rest of the world is to crush the machination of the U.S. imperialists, the letter said:

It went on to say:

The reunification of the Korean Peninsula can be possible only when it is free from interference and threat by the U.S. imperialists.

This means that the U.S. forces should be withdrawn from south Korea and a peace treaty concluded between the DPRK and the U.S. to put an end to the state of ceasefire.

We wish the Korean people success in this important struggle for peace of the peninsula and the rest of the world.

Rev. Han Sang Ryol Sentenced to Prison Term in S. Korea-KCNA

Rev. Han Sang Ryol Sentenced to Prison Term in S. Korea

Pyongyang, January 24 (KCNA) -- The Seoul Central District Court sentenced Rev. Han Sang Ryol to five years in prison and five-year suspension of qualifications on Jan. 21, according to Yonhap News of south Korea.

The south Korean authorities arrested him as soon as he crossed Panmunjom at north-south borderline after visiting the DPRK last year. They persecuted him long and at last sentenced him to severe punishment.

The court also sentenced Co-representative Han Chung Mok and several members of the Solidarity for Progress to prison term and other punishment on charges of waging anti-U.S. actions.

Nepal – People’s Liberation Army Says They Will Not Hand Over Arms

Nepal – People’s Liberation Army Says They Will Not Hand Over Arms*

Kathmandu, 7 January

“We don’t hand over the arms to the caretaker government; the arms will be with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which is in the process of integration,” said PLA Chief Nanda Kishor Pun ‘Pasang’ talking with correspondent of The Red Star today.

Clarifying the issue of the arms that has been raised by the government to be the expression of breaching all the understandings and the agreements committed before. He added that the weapons are the weapons not stolen from anywhere or given by the government; rather the weapons are exchanged by the blood of the warriors who were/are fighting against the feudalism and comprador capitalism.

The caretaker government or one of the concerned actors of the peace process has no ethical right even to pronounce this word. No one concerned actor has its right to violate the procedures of ongoing peace process and push the nation into a long term violation.

In course of talk, Pasang added that he is not dissatisfied with the leaders of the party; we are talking for the exit from national complexities that are created objectively within the party and tough conspiracy in the nation by the elements, who want to derail the peace process.

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Conor McCabe of Dublin Opinion

January 23rd, 2011

Earlier yesterday, RTE reported that Sinn Féin would facilitate the passage of the Finance Bill in order to speed up the dissolution of the Dáil.

This is a statement released last night by Pearse Doherty, finance spokesperson for Sinn Féin, which brings clarification to RTE’s news report.

Sinn Féin opposes Finance Bill and calls for election now

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has said that Fine Gael’s offer to facilitate the passage of the Government’s Finance Bill has exposed the fact that Fine Gael policies are no different to those of Fianna Fáil. He said the Taoiseach should call a General Election now.

Pearse Doherty said:

“The offer today by Fine Gael Finance Spokesperson Michael Noonan to facilitate the passage of the Government’s Finance Bill has exposed the fact that Fine Gael policies are no different to those of Fianna Fáil.

“Sinn Féin is totally opposed to the Government’s Finance Bill, published on Friday.

“This Bill, if passed, would put into legislation cuts introduced in the Budget.

“It would be totally wrong to push through this legislation for which the Government has no mandate only weeks in advance of an election.

“The Taoiseach needs to call an General Election now. It’s time to let the people have their say. Let the parties present their economic proposals and budgetary alternatives and let the people decide.

“Fine Gael and Labour want to facilitate the Government in passing the Finance Bill. They signed up to the consensus for cuts and they have said they won’t reverse the cuts introduced in the budget.

“Sinn Féin opposes the savage cuts outlined in the Budget and contained in the Finance Bill and has set out a clear and credible economic alternative which for which we will be seeking a mandate.”

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“A big storm is imminent”: 21st century communism in Nepal

“A big storm is imminent”:
21st century communism in Nepal

Noaman G. Ali,
BASICS Community News Service, Canada

“We are ready to convert academic institutions into barracks. And ourselves into soldiers,” says Ramil Bhum, a student leader from Nepal’s far-west region of Seti Mahakali.

Sitting on the grass outside a large hall of Tribhuvan University on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Bm is surrounded by a group of international observers, of whom I am one. We’ve been invited to observe the 18th national convention of the All-Nepal National Students’ Union (Revolutionary), or ANNISU-R.

With 1.4 to 1.8 million members, there is no doubt that ANNISU-R is the largest, best-organized and most militant of students’ unions in this poor, land-locked country of 30 million. It is a mass organization of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), the country’s largest political party.

“A big storm is imminent in Nepal,” says Krishna Bahadur Mahara, a Maoist leader, sitting with us now in the large conference room on the roof of his party’s headquarters. “Our party is not confused about our immediate and ultimate goals. Our immediate goal is the people’s federal republic, then socialism, then communism.”

Communism? Conventional wisdom in the West is that communism means tyranny, mass murder, inefficient economies, and perpetually grey skies. It’s good in theory, bad in practice. If anyone speaks seriously of communism, it’s usually a member of a small and marginal group.

Yet, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and its associated mass organizations count millions of farmers, workers, students, small-business owners and many more as members. Millions more support the party indirectly. Why?

Bache Lal Sardar, another student leader in ANNISU-R from Saptari district in the east, explains one of the reasons, “I am from a marginalized, indigenous dalit (untouchable) community. I have observed the exploitation of dalits from close up. I began thinking of revolution, and how to make it a success.”

Feudalism, backed by a caste system, is widespread in Nepal. Landless peasants or peasants with small landholdings are dominated by rich landlords with vast holdings. The most exploited and oppressed segment is that of the dalits, the untouchables. Inequality is the order of the day.

When the Maoists began a People’s War in 1996, one of their goals was to weaken the feudal system and abolish the institution of untouchability. They would do so in many instances when they took over an area by force of arms. Structural inequalities die hard, but the Maoists would not tolerate discriminatory practices. Dalits and peasants flocked to the party.

In Chaimale, a village in the hills twenty kilometers southwest of Kathmandu, local Maoist cadres show us the house of a landlord. “During the People’s War, it was the party office in the area,” chuckles Shambhu Maharjan, a party cadre for thirty-three years. According to him, the landlord’s holdings were redistributed to peasants, but the house itself was given back upon the ending of the War in 2006.

Though the Maoists signed a Comprehensive Peace Accord with the traditional, status quoist parties in order to put an end to Nepal’s monarchy and establish a federal republic, things aren’t very good in the village.
Kreethima and Sangeeta, both 16-years old, stopped attending school in grade seven. Sangeeta’s little sister, Shokmaya, 14-years old, is in grade five. The three are fetching water from the village tap. “We know that without education there is no future, but our fathers cannot afford to send all of us to school,” Shokmaya says.

Her family isn’t from Chaimale, but came here from a poorer village in eastern Nepal. “It was dangerous work in our poor village. It hurts that we never had enough money.” They still don’t. She speaks to me in Hindi, translating for the other two—she learned it when her family went to India. Millions of Nepalese go abroad, to India or the Gulf, to find work.

Shokmaya and Sangeeta’s father was recruited by the Maoists in their village, but he was repulsed by their slaughter of cows (holy to many Hindus in Nepal) and their appropriating villagers’ foods. Though the girls show an antipathy to the Maoists, other villagers come up to Bishal Maharjan, another party cadre (no relation to Shambhu Maharjan), to shake his hand.

Bishal is young, and joined the party fourteen years ago, in his teens. The party was illegal, and when his membership was exposed, he joined the People’s Liberation Army to fight in the People’s War. I asked him why he joined the party? why not just go to school?

“I realized that for the freedom of our people, struggle is essential. When your conscience feels that struggle is a major part of liberation, how can you just go to school?”

That’s why many of ANNISU-R’s members see themselves not only as students, but as soldiers, soldiers in a struggle for liberation and development, a struggle to revive in the 21st century the hope that communism once signified for millions of the world’s most wretched and oppressed.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Attain Peace based on Justice and Progress-CPP (NDF)

Attain Peace based on Justice and Progress*

Editorial, Ang Bayan
21 January 2011

The preliminary talks between the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) on January 14-18 in Oslo, Norway bore fruit as the two panels agreed to proceed to the formal talks on February 15-21 and implement a concurrent ceasefire.

The talks had been suspended for the past six years due to the Arroyo regime's collusion with the US to include the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), New People's Army (NPA) and NDFP chief political consultant Jose Ma. Sison in the US' terrorist listing. The regime also persistently violated past agreements and relentlessly waged counterrevolutionary war, sowed terror and perpetrated human rights violations. It likewise showed no interest in resolving the political, socio-economic and other roots of the civil war raging in the country.

Albeit difficult, the preliminary talks have had positive results. For one, the Aquino government has explicitly stated that it does not consider the CPP, NPA and Sison as terrorists. The GPH peace panel has pledged to comply with the Joint Agreement on Safety and Immunity Guarantees (JASIG), which includes guaranteeing immunity from arrest of NDFP consultants who have gone into hiding and facilitatng the release of detained consultants. The two sides also affirmed all previous agreements, agreed to commence negotiations on socio-economic reforms and revive the Joint Monitoring Committee (JMC) to oversee both parties' compliance with the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). The GPH also expressed its openness to accede to the NDFP's demand to have other political detainees released.

The GPH peace panel agreed to guarantee the liberty and participation in the peace talks of three NDFP consultants (Rafael Baylosis, Randall Echanis and Vicente Ladlad). They had been attending talks and consultations on various agenda related to the negotiations before being slapped with trumped-up murder charges. To avoid state persecution, they were forced to go into hiding after arrest warrants were issued against them. One of them, Echanis, was arrested in January 2009 and temporarily released in August 2010.

The GPH peace panel has also promised to expedite the release of 14 other consultants within the first two rounds of the formal talks. They are Emeterio Antalan, Jovencio Balweg, Edwin Brigano, Pedro Codaste, Edgardo Friginal, Angelina Ipong, Randy Malayao, Alfredo Mapano, Glicerio Pernia, Maria Luisa Pucray, Eduardo Sarmiento, Eduardo Serrano and Jaime Soledad. All of them are NDFP consultants who were arrested after the Arroyo regime suspended its compliance with the JASIG in 2004. Added to this list is Tirso "Ka Bart" Alcantara, the Southern Tagalog region's representative to the peace talks, who was arrested on January 4 under the Aquino regime, even after the GPH had resumed compliance with the JASIG.

Considering the ruling regime's reactionary character and the sheer number of issues that have to be resolved and over which the GPH must be held accountable, the NDFP must continuously demand and ensure the GPH's fulfillment of its promises. This, the NDFP must do before forging other agreements.

Foremost among the agreements that the GPH must comply with are the JASIG and the CARHRIHL.

Aside from the release of detained NDFP consultants and staff, the NDFP has requested that the GPH comply totally with the JASIG by stopping criminal proceedings against consultants and other JASIG-protected NDFP personnel to enable them to freely participate in the peace negotiations. Many of these consultants had been branded as "enemies of the state" and slapped with trumped-up charges under the previous regime's "legal offensive."

The NDFP must also demand from the GPH the release of CPP, NDFP and NPA officers and members arrested during the December 16-January 3 ceasefire. Their arrests while traveling, visiting loved ones or seeking medical attention are but a few of the many violations of the GPH armed forces to the provisions of the concurrent ceasefire.

There are other issues regarding compliance with the JASIG that must be raised in future talks. The Aquino government must solve the abduction of other NDFP consultants, among them Leo Velasco, Rogelio Calubad and Prudencio Calubid and their staff. One of Calubid's companions who was able to escape has testified on how they were seized and tortured and how his comrades were summarily executed. The abduction and torture of NDFP consultants and staff and the continued refusal to surface them is a despicable violation of the JASIG and CARHRIHL and the overall peace process.

In accordance with the CARHRIHL, the revolutionary forces also demand the immediate release of close to 400 political detainees, just as the Aquino regime had released around 400 military detainees who had rebelled against the Arroyo regime. The concrete methods of releasing the political detainees must likewise be discussed. Their release must not be conditioned on any form of humiliation, such as forced admissions of guilt.

The GPH must also comply with a long-standing provision of the CARHRIHL to indemnify victims of human rights violations under the Marcos dictatorship. The NDFP must extract a concrete commitment from the GPH to comply with this provision within the year. Giving proper indemnification to the victims forms but part of their quest for justice and is not being done in exchange for withdrawing all cases against the Marcoses. Granting indemnification to opportunist groups whose only interest is to claim the money and abandon all demands for justice does not constitute compliance with the CARHRIHL.

The masterminds and main perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, abductions, torture, terrorism and other fascist crimes against activists, serious critics of the regime and even innocent persons must be prosecuted, tried and punished. The Arroyo regime's human rights violations as well as continuing violations under the current regime must be immediately and systematically investigated, and the assistance of human rights organizations sought for this endeavor.

There must be continued vigilance and opposition to the maneuvers and dirty tactics of ultra-reactionaries and militarists within the Aquino regime who want their counterrevolutionary policies and measures to prevail and their fascist crimes, human rights violations, demonization of the revolutionary movement and derailment of the peace process to continue.

Even as the Aquino regime's declaration that it does not consider the CPP-NPA as terrorists is already positive, it should not stop at this. The Aquino regime must also undertake decisive measures to thoroughly do away with the results of the Arroyo regime's collusion with the US and other imperialist powers to falsely and maliciously include the CPP and NPA in their lists of "foreign terrorist organizations."

The NDFP faces a reactionary regime in the peace talks, with both parties holding diametrically opposing views on many issues, including the fundamental socio-economic issues that comprise the next substantive agenda. The agenda will cover the difficult issues of land reform, national industrialization and assertion of national sovereignty.

The foreseen difficulties in the negotiations cannot be underestimated, and the outcome remains uncertain. The NDFP must be principled, sharp and determined in facing the many challenges it confronts in the peace talks.

Nonetheless, it must seize this opportunity to put forward the interests and agenda of the revolutionary forces and the people and attain whatever it can for as long as it sees hope from the GPH side to continue the peace negotiations.

It is important for both parties to continue with their goodwill measures in order to create the best atmosphere for the conduct of the peace talks. The NDFP must strive to attain the maximum benefit possible for the revolutionary movement and the people through negotiations without laying down their arms.

The surest means of advancing the peace process and laying a firm foundation for peace based on justice and progress is for the revolutionary forces and the people to continue gaining strength by firmly and perseveringly waging armed struggle and vigorous people's struggles.

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Regarding the recent demolish of houses in San Juan and other related issues
affecting the Urban Poor, the struggle for decent life and against the rotten order

By Katleah Iskre Ulrike

Early in the morning, we've witnessed in the news another urban poor defiance against the rotten social order. Back then we've witnessed about San Roque in Quezon City, but this time we've witnessed a recent event-the houses in Barangay Corazon de Jesus in San Juan City, and its resistance unleashed by its residents.

To some people, they are being called as "Squatters" regardless of its legality due to the decrees given to them by two presidents, and worse? Having their houses be demolished by a City Government being ruled by a "Pro-Poor" administrator. Isn't it obvious that they've been fooled enough just to do this goddamn work?

According to some reports, there are 1,800 more households to be displaced if the demolition succeed. And it can be recalled that some 200 homes were already destroyed last June 28, 2010 to pave the way for the completion of the construction of a new city hall and planned establishment of the government center of San Juan. And most of these houses demolished lately are from Barangay Corazon de Jesus, the land the Government once recognized the resident's legality to stay.

How wonder why the present administration agreed to this action laid. It was even said that the land of Barangay Corazon de Jesus has already been awarded to them by past administrations of Cory and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo through Executive Order 164 and Presidential Proclamation 54, respectively.

Yes, we've seen their houses demolished and took pity on the displaced people who may possibly once voted for an Ejercito as Mayor, but still these people remained valiant and kept on resisting against the order- that 40 persons were injured, including the municipality's Engineer Danilo Mercado, who was hit on the head by stones thrown by residents.

But then, the demolition team countered the people's resistance with tear gas, according to the report. And again, most people would took pity on these people, yes, their houses being demolished, yes, their bodies being beaten by the policemen, what's next? Being moved to a so-called "Resettlement area" full of nothing? That requires paying much and if not be expelled and accused of trespassing? Another pity if we expect so!

After all... these people are "poor" yet "struggling to live." The ones who voted for an Ejercito, the ones who enjoyed the welfare and paying taxes despite working in a low payed, less benefit jobs, but at least having a roof, food, school, anything. But to other's interpretation-be called as illiterate, misguided fools. God forbid, but the ones who interpret are the ones who are foolish, the same beings who took pity on the victims if we look upon to.

Lately, former President Erap Estrada had visited them, telling that they are to be moved in a relocation site, and reprimanded the policemen for using tear gas and not implementing "maximum tolerance", but obviously, it is purely considered to be a lip service than reality. Why? How come the Government agreed in demolishing houses in San Juan just for that goddamn sake of having a new Government Center? On that same area wherein according to the residents as "legal?" They are all victims of brutality as we expected, then Estrada lately visited them and telling via DZIQ that the policemen should do "Maximum tolerance" and not to use tear gas?

Is this what Noynoy's straight path towards progress? That they disregard the Executive order and Presidential proclamation regarding these residents just to build a new City hall? In case of the Ejercitos, is this their "relief"? Remember, they are the ones who rally for erap and his "Kung may ERAP may Ginhawa" (If there's ERAP there's Relief) during the last elections!

Since the start, we witnessed all of these events concerning the Urban Poor, their plight, and their resistance against the rotten order. We've witnessed San Roque last year, and lately in Barangay Corazon de Jesus in San Juan; and it really shows that with or without Presidential Decree or whatsoever, the demolition will still commence "in the name of change and development." How come people around us accept so this kind of act, will this inculcate relief, especially if they moved to a relocation site? Or a burden, especially if they start again from scratch?

To end this writeup short, this event, like any other urban poor related tragedies, will be one of the events be written in the history of the common man in the Philippines, that they are the wretched of the earth, victims of everything around the society, willing to resist as we expected-that according to Arnold Repique, representing the Urban Poor in San Juan:

"Like what our heroes fought before here in Pinaglabanan against Spanish colonizers in our glorious past, the modern-day sons and daughters of San Juan will once again revolt for our legitimate demands for decent housing, livelihood and social justice."

'Liberation caravan' reaches Tunis

'Liberation caravan' reaches Tunis*

Hundreds of protesters overwhelm security forces surrounding office
of interim PM as they rally in the capital.

23 Jan 2011

Hundreds of Tunisians have defied a nighttime curfew and travelled hundreds of kilometres in what they call a "Liberation caravan" to join protesters in the country's capital, where anger at the interim government continues to grow.

The protesters entered the capital, Tunis, on Sunday, tearing through the barbed wire surrounding the office of Mohamed Ghannouchi, the interim prime minister, and demanding an end to his government.

The protesters began marching on Saturday night from Menzel Bouzaiane, a small town in the same province as Sidi Bouzid - the site of the self-immolation suicide attempt that set off a month of protests and ultimately ousted former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The crowd walked on foot for about 50km before boarding buses to Tunis, where they arrived on Sunday and began assembling in front of the interior ministry - the site of many anti-government demonstrations.

'Security overwhelmed'

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Tunis, said that the security service outside Ghannouchi's office were "completely overwhelmed".

"They're chanting the same slogan that has echoed across the country - 'Down with the regime, down with the former party, down with the interim president and with the prime minister,'" our correspondent said.

"They're saying that the fight will continue for as long as it takes, until they see a radical change in Tunisia."

Meanwhile, the country's state news agency reported on Sunday that allies of Ben Ali - Abdelaziz bin Dhia, Ben Ali's spokesman and chief adviser, and Abdallah Qallal, a former interior minister and head of Tunisia's appointed upper parliamentary house - had been placed under house arrest.

The agency said police were searching for Abdelwahhab Abdalla, Ben Ali's political adviser, who has disappeared and that Larbi Nasra, the owner of Hannibal TV and his son have been arrested on suspicion of "treason" for working on Ben Ali's return from Saudi Arabia (where the deposed president currently is currently in exile).

Nasra, the agency reports, is related to Ben Ali's wife, Leila, and while the channel was taken off the air for about two hours, no official reason was given for why its transmission was interrupted other than to say that it was an error.

PM under pressure

Al Jazeera's Ayman Mohyeldin said that the fact that protesters - who in previous days have been joined by police officers and members of the national guard - have now defied a curfew and poured into the capital from the countryside is quite significant.

"It shows you that it's not an isolated, handful of people that are leading these protests," he said, reporting from Tunis.

"It's people from all different walks of life, from all different parts of the country."

Our correspondent also reported that Ghannouchi had defended his choice of ministers, however, in an effort to dampen the anger, Ghannouchi, a former ally of Ben Ali, pledged to quit politics after elections that he says will be held as soon as possible.

Follow Al Jazeera's coverage of the
turmoil in Tunisia
In an interview on Tunisian television on Friday, Ghannouchi said he would leave power after a transition phase that leads to legislative and presidential elections "in the shortest possible timeframe".

Despite resigning his RCD membership, he has been struggling to restore calm under a new multiparty government that the opposition complains retains too many members of the party. Fouad Mebazaa, the interim president, also resigned his RCD membership.

"My role is to bring my country out of this temporary phase and even if I am nominated I will refuse it and leave politics," Ghannouchi said.

He did not specify when the elections would be held, though the constitution requires a presidential vote within 60 days.

Ghannouchi also said that all of the assets held abroad by Ben Ali's government had been frozen and would be returned to Tunisia after an investigation.

The prime minister also announced that the state would provide compensation to those who died during the uprising, as well as their families.

The army and the justice department have been ordered to preserve any documents and evidence that can be gathered during the unrest in order to investigate the old government, our correspondent said.

Ban on political groups lifted

The transitional government has also said that it would lift a ban on political groups, including the al-Nahda (Renaissance) party.

The exiled leader of the formerly banned party, Rachid al-Ghannouchi, told Al Jazeera on Saturday that al-Nahda is democratic and should not be feared and rejected any comparison between him and Iran's late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

"We are a moderate Islamic movement, a democratic movement based on democratic ideals in ... Islamic culture. Some people pull Khomeini's robe over me, while I am no Khomeini nor a Shia," he said.

Mohamed Ghannouchi, the interim prime minister - of not relation to Rachid al-Ghannouchi - has said that the Nahda leader cannot return to Tunisia until a 1991 prison sentence is lifted.

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