teleSUR | June 27, 2017
Caracas, June 27, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has denounced a “terrorist attack” on the offices of the Supreme Court and Justice Ministry in downtown Caracas late Tuesday afternoon.
According to the head of state, the attack was perpetrated by a member of the Venezuelan forensic police (CICPC) piloting a stolen police helicopter.
The assailants reportedly circled the Supreme Court, opening fire and dropping at least four hand grenades, one of which did not explode. The president indicated that the attack coincided with a “social function” in the Supreme Court, which he said could have resulted in “dozens of dead or injured”.
By the end of the last century, Venezuela’s old constitutional order, which for four decades had rotated power between two ideologically indistinguishable parties, was close to collapse. The crisis had started decades earlier, in 1983, when the bottom fell out of the world oil market. Then, as now, Venezuela derived most of its state revenue from the export of petroleum. By that point, the country had become heavily urban: 16 of its 19 million people lived in cities, a significant majority below the poverty line, with many in extreme poverty. Most of these urban poor resided in shanty towns sprawling up along the mountain walls that encircle Caracas, where the better-off live. In 1989, the government tried to solve the crisis of cheap oil with IMF-brokered austerity, which drove the poor down into the city, where they rioted and looted for three days. According to some observers, the military killed more than a thousand people, though the number is disputed and there has never been an official tally. The Caracazo, as the uprising became known, marked the beginning of increasingly focused opposition throughout most of Latin America to post-1970s economic orthodoxy, which held that high interest rates, balanced budgets, low tariffs, privatised industries, weakened labour laws and reduced social spending were the keys to development. Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile and El Salvador would all eventually come to elect governments trying to find a way out of the neoliberal straitjacket.
As he is about to finish the first year of his six-year term of office in June, Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is being assessed and evaluated by a broad spectrum of commentators in terms of performance and fulfillment of promises. His trust rating in poll surveys is still relatively high but this has begun to erode noticeably from the 80 percent peak of his popularity upon his election by a plurality vote of 38 per cent or 16 million of the electorate in May last year.
Those who continue to support him assert that performance in a year is not enough basis for a final judgment and that there is more than enough time ahead for him to accomplish promises that have most impressed them, such as the eradication of the drug problem, criminality, and corruption.
“Courts are comparable to brothels” 
–Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (26 June 1838–8 April 1894), a Deputy Magistrate of Government of Bengal wrote celebrated novel Anandamath. The composer of the national song, “Bande Matarm” had observed in an essay that “courts were comparable to brothels.” Anybody would expose himself to be hauled over the coals for observations as such in contempt of court. Were the British more tolerant? The novelist, decorated with coveted royal titles Rai Bahadur in 1891 and Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire in 1891, retired unmolested with glory. A recent case has obliged us to recall the inherent import of what Bankim Chandra Chatterjee had written over a century ago.Read More »
Smolny was brightly lit from top to bottom. Crowds of excited people were hurrying back and forth along its many corridors. There was great animation everywhere, but the most impetuous human stream, a real flood of impassioned people, was the one that made its way towards the end of the corridor on the top floor, where, in the most remote back room of all, the Military Revolutionary Committee was in session. The girls in the outer room, worn out though they were, struggled heroically to deal with the unbelievable crush of people who came for explanations and instructions or with all sorts of requests and complaints. Once you got caught up in this human maelstrom you found yourself surrounded by faces flushed with excitement and hands outstretched to receive some order or some mandate.Read More »
Inequality, debt, and rich getting richer are not absent in Australia, a capitalist economy. In the economy, the top 1% got richer, faster, and wage inequality and wealth inequality has increased.
“We hear a lot about inequality in Australia but the true picture is much more complicated than the headlines usually suggest” writes Roger Wilkins, Professorial Research Fellow and Deputy Director (Research), Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne.
In an article headlined “Income inequality exists in Australia, but the true picture may not be as bad as you thought” Roger Wilkins writes:Read More »
Some 350 years ago people came from far west to make us ‘civilised’, because we were a potent market for them to be exploited. And now, they are trying to make us ‘Smart’, because they feel we are ready to move from mere civilisation to smart civilisation. This is from where rises the dilemma of becoming smart and defining what smartness is actually? This smartness begins from technology and ends at eviction of Urban poor. The Neo-liberal planning shift for the growth and Urbanisation has meant that evictions in cities have become a common phenomenon. It can be done for beautification, redevelopment, cleanliness, infrastructural development or other Urban Development Activity. Sometimes evictions are also done for the safety, security and well being of the residents in slums but these are very less in number. According to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, general comment No. 7 (1997) on the right to adequate housing: “Evictions are the permanent or temporary removal against the will of individuals, families and/or communities from the homes and/or land which they occupy, without the provision of, and access to, appropriate forms of legal or other protection.” With the advent of Urban Rejuvenation and Transformation Programmes like PMAY, SBM, Smart City, AMRUT etc. the fear of evictions has increased manifold. It raises the concern of access and control over Space. A space which is central to the Urban Politics, Urban Sociology and Urban Economics. A space which has made cities, an engine of growth. The Labour and its relation with space, A manager and its relation with space and Government and its relation with space. Government has control over space, the Manager or Market has affordability of space but the labour or the poor are denied even the access of space.Read More »
Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation strongly condemns the arrest of three mine workers Rabi Murmu, Abhimanyu Mohanto and Ramesh Majhi on June 12, 2017 on false and fabricated charges of conspiring to wage a war against the Indian state and inciting violence. We understand this arrest and the imposition of severe charges as an attempt by the ruling BJD and BC Mohanty & Sons, the company operating the mine in Sukinda valley to intimidate and prevent the mine workers from forming a trade union and challenging human rights violations resulting from mass tribal displacement in the region.
Rabi Murmu is the President and Abhimanyu Mohanto is the General Secretary of the Aancholiko Khoni Khadaan Mazdoor Sangh, a union that has been organizing in the pursuit of regularizing the wages of mine workers as well as their registration in the B Register. The union has also been drawing attention to rights violations of persons displaced by the mines, with an eruption in mining licenses over the past few years in Sukinda valley, which is the chromite-rich belt of Odisha in Jajpur district. Odisha has 98% of the total chromite reserve in India, 97% of which is found in the Sukinda valley. Currently, there are 14 chromite mines in the Sukinda valley of which 12 or 13 are in operation.Read More »