National Sections of the L5I:

South-Asia

Congress and the birth of India

14 August marks the fiftieth anniversary of India’s independence. Richard Brenner examines how the British Raj met its end, not through some enlightened decision to “give India self-government” but through the actions of the mass movement against foreign rule, led by the Indian National Congress and its foremost representatives, Mahatma Ghandi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Read more...

Reaction triumphs

With the capture of Kabul by the forces led by Ahmed Shah Massoud and the installation of an Interim Commission of the Mujahedin in power on 28 April the fourteen year long Afghan civil war came to an end. Another may follow, as Mike Evans explains Read more...

The Pakistan Peoples Party: Snare for workers and peasants

Printed in 1988

After nearly 15 years of Zia’s dictatorship, the Pakistani People’s Party, under Benazir Zardari (née Bhutto) is raising its political profile. Andy Bannister looks at Pakistan’s recent past and what lies in store for workers in the future. Read more...

The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan

Adopted by the MRCI conference, April 1988

1. In 1978 the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) seized power. It was a party based on the urban intelligentsia and the upper ranks of the armed forces. The party was based on the Stalinist monolithic model but was riven by factional conflicts. The PDPA’s programme consisted of a series of democratic reforms, based on continuing the policy of co-operation with the USSR which had been pursued by the king until 1973, and which Daoud, in conjunction with the CIA and the Shah of Iran, was attempting to stop. The seizure of power had popular support in the towns. It was, however, not a Soviet organised putsch. The Soviet Union had hitherto been content with Afghanistan as a neutral buffer state. In return the Soviet Union pumped in large amounts of aid being concerned only that the Afghan regime was “friendly”. But the effects of Soviet aid (army training, education etc) were to pro-Sovietise the majority of the army officer corps and state bureaucracy. Read more...

Sri Lanka and the Tamil question

1. The India Sri Lanka Accord of July 1987 represents the latest attempt at imposing a reactionary settlement on the national struggle of the Tamil people. The accord proposed autonomy which demanded the disarming of the only force enjoying the support of the Tamil people and reliance on Indian troops responsible for the repression of national groups inside India. It proposed a referendum in the Eastern Province in late 1988 to decide whether to continue links with the Northern Province. Read more...

Peace talks fail

For the past six months in Sri Lanka political attention has been fixed on the fate of discussions between the various Tamil guerrilla groups and the United National Party (UNP) government. Also involved in these talks was Rajin Ghandi’s government in India. Neither the ‘ceasefire’ that accompanied the discussions, nor the discussions themselves were a success from the Tamils’ point of view. Read more...

Guerillarism: a flawed strategy

Ranged against Jayawardene are the organisations of the Tamils, many of which have taken up the armed struggle. How should revolutionaries assess the role of the guerrilla organisations in the present struggle? What has the last twelve months revealed about their petit bourgeois nationalism? Read more...

Tamils under attack

July’s carnage on the streets of the capital Colombo was neither a new nor an unexpected event. Attacks on the 2.8 million minority Tamil population have been regularly aided and abetted by Sri Lanka’s 30,000 strong police force and army 98% of whom are drawn from the 11 million strong Sinhalese majority population. Read more...