Asia Pacific

The fight for Agent Orange justice in Australia

[This is the speech delivered at the Second International Conference on the Victims of Agent Orange in Hanoi, August 8-9,  by Agent Orange Justice - Australia Vietnam Solidarity Network (AOJ-AVSN) representative Hamish Chitts. Chitts was an infantry soldier with the Australian military and served in East Timor in the late 1990s.

International conference spurs fight for Agent Orange justice

The Vietnamese Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) hosted the Second International Conference of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin in Hanoi August 8-9. Attending the conference were participants from more than 20 countries and 30 organisations, including Agent Orange victims, victims of other toxic chemicals, scientists, lawyers and social activists. The conference coincided with an important historical event, the 50th anniversary of the first spraying of the toxic chemical Agent Orange, on August 10, 1961, by US forces in Vietnam.

Malaysia: Socialists at forefront of changing politics

On July 29, six leaders of the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) were released from prison, 34 days after their arrest on June 25. Their release was a result of the tremendous sustained and energetic campaign that received broad support, especially in Malaysia. Thirty members of the Malaysian Socialist Party (PSM) were arrested on charges of “waging war against the king” on June 25, as they were handing out leaflets calling for the resignation of the Malaysian government.

Malaysia deal guarantees more refugee misery

Signing the refugee swap deal with the Malaysian government on July 25, the Gillard Labor government has confirmed again that it is a world leader in dealing misery to refugees. The arrangement between Australia and Malaysia will exchange 800 asylum seekers who have sought asylum in Australia for 4000 refugees living in Malaysia.

Indonesia's democratic struggle and the fight for socialism

It was not just for the sake of democracy that the Indonesian people overthrew Suharto’s New Order dictatorship in May 1998, but also for justice and prosperity. It was not for reformasi (the political reform process that began in 1998) that students and the people occupied the House of Representatives, but for an Indonesia free from the threat of the gun and military spies, free from corruption and nepotism, for a prosperity in which basic commodities would be affordable. Democracy was the means to achieve human liberation from oppression. Without democracy, humanity becomes colourless and prosperity becomes a commodity owned by those in power.

China's road to capitalist restoration a rocky one for workers

In January 1992, Deng Xiaoping, the then “paramount leader” of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) made a tour of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone in China’s southern Guangdong province, situated immediately north of Hong Kong. During his tour, Deng praised Guangdong as a model to be emulated by the rest of China. According to the Communist Party’s People’s Daily, during his tour Deng also declared that the “Singaporean social order is good, because the country put it under strict control, we should learn from its experiences and should exercise better management of society”.

Indonesian children in Australian prisons

An Indonesian youth, Hadi Kurniawan, imprisoned on charges of people-smuggling, has drawn attention to the Australian government and legal system’s brazen disregard for human rights. Kurniawan’s case came to light almost by accident. Two refugee rights activists, Gerry Georgatos and Victoria Martin-Iverson, met Kurniawan at the Perth Immigration Detention Centre in January. They had no idea at that time that he would be sent to prison.

Thousands rally across Indonesia on May Day

Thousands rally across Indonesia on May Day