Draft Resolution on the
1. Global capitalism remains trapped in a protracted recession which has been widely acknowledged as the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Even though the Obama administration now talks of a growing recovery and ‘the beginning of the end of the crisis’ five years on since the spectacular collapse of several gigantic financial firms in the US, the crisis shows no sign of abating. The epicentre of the crisis has been the US economy, still the biggest in the world, but in the era of global capitalist integration the crisis today is being felt across the world. In sectoral terms, finance was where the crisis erupted with great intensity, but since contemporary capitalism is predominantly financial capitalism, the crisis has affected every major aspect of the global economy. What began as a financial crisis has grown into a protracted and comprehensive economic crisis.
2. The method adopted by the US, and now increasingly by the European Union, to combat the crisis has been to bail out banks and other financial firms tottering on the verge of bankruptcy while imposing harsh austerity measures on the working people. As a result while on the one hand many big corporations have been saved from certain collapse at the cost of increased public debt of governments, the working people have been hit hard by growing joblessness and declining wages. The latest annual Global Employment Trends report of the International Labour Organization (ILO) forecasts that jobless numbers around the world will rise in 2013 to 202 million people, topping the erstwhile record of 198 million in 2009 and will continue to grow till 2017. This however is a gross underestimation because the figures do not include the millions of unemployed in countries like India who are not officially registered as unemployed. The ILO estimates that in 2011 unemployment affected 75 million young people aged 15–24 worldwide, representing more than 12 per cent of all young people.
3. The economic crisis has triggered powerful popular protests across the world against ruling policies, challenging the neo-liberal dogma and even toppling governments. Three movements in particular have attracted global attention: the Occupy movement in the US, the Arab Spring and the anti-austerity protests in Europe. More recently the movement against sexual violence that erupted in India in December 2012 also seems to have struck a global chord promising a new wave of women’s political assertion moving away from an increasingly NGO-led appropriation of the women’s movement. In the case of the Arab spring, the economic crisis served more as a backdrop while the quest for liberation from deeply entrenched authoritarian rule in these countries served as the most powerful trigger. The protests peaked in 2011 and are still continuing under changed circumstances. In the US, Obama reaped the short-term benefit of the Occupy movement, winning his second term defeating the prospect of a more rabid rightwing restoration under the Republicans while in the Arab world four governments have already been toppled and large-scale unrest and even civil war continues to rage in several other countries. Using the turbulent situation the US has deepened its politico-military intervention in the region even as Islamist parties seem to have emerged as the most powerful political trend throughout the Arab world. For the communist and other progressive forces in different parts of the world, the current crisis of global capitalism certainly opens up a great opportunity to rise and press ahead against the forces of authoritarianism, war and capitalist devastation.
4. The so-called ‘war on terror’ (it should really be renamed as war of terror) launched by the US in the wake of 9/11 continues to spread to newer areas in Asia and Africa. With the plea of combating terrorism and aiding democracy, the US and its NATO allies have made it into a permanent war with ever newer excuses and targets. After finishing off Saddam Hussein and occupying Iraq, the US-NATO axis targeted Libya and eliminated Muammar Gaddafi, the once formidable ruler of Libya, and is now busy securing a regime change in Syria. Likewise, after killing the al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, the US and its allies, France and Britain, are now busy discovering the ghosts of al-Qaeda all over Africa. Western troops have already entered Mali and Niger ostensibly to ‘protect’ the rulers and ‘guard’ the mines and oil fields. The Pentagon already has an African command (AFRICOM) with American military presence spread over as many as 35 countries in Africa. Grabbing Africa’s rich resources and countering China’s growing economic ties with African countries lies at the heart of the aggressive US strategy being pursued in active collaboration with France and Britain, the former colonial powers which once controlled large parts of Africa.
5. Contrary to the popular expectation of securing an early end to war which had helped Obama become the first Black president of America at the end of the disastrous Bush era, the war has thus kept spreading under the Obama presidency. Obama has of course effected certain changes in Washington’s war strategy. He has been trying to invest less in direct occupation, laying greater emphasis on so-called ‘targeted killings’ by bombing from unmanned aerial vehicles – the infamous drone strikes – and assisting various Arab rebel groups in the American project of regime change. The drone strikes are being carried out in utter secrecy and in flagrant violation of the sovereign rights of countries including long-time US allies like Pakistan and the number of people killed in drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia runs into thousands, most of them common civilians including women and children whose names do not figure even remotely on the lists of ‘targeted terrorists’. Obama has now vested himself with the power of ordering the execution of even US citizens without any transparency or reference to any process of law.
6. Next to the US and supported to the hilt by it, the other source of war and aggression in the world is Israel. Israel serves as America’s most reliable military arm in Asia and the staunchest ideological ally in its construction of Islam as its main enemy and particularly in policing the Arab world. Defying all peace agreements and UN resolutions Israel continues to occupy Palestine and perpetrate endless war-crimes. In fact, with Iraq and Libya under US control, Syria tottering on the brink of yet another US-led regime change and Iran encircled by the US and other NATO powers, Israel sees the present juncture as a great political and military opportunity to expand its occupation of Palestinian territory. The recent attack on Gaza, the killing of innocent Palestinian people and the massive and systematic destruction of essential services clearly smacked of Israel’s motive to flatten all of Gaza and drive Palestinians away by expanding exclusive Jewish settlements on their land. Palestine has virtually been turned into a vast concentration camp – an ironic re-enactment of the Nazi era holocaust on the land and people of Palestine. Against this background, the recent UN General Assembly resolution according Palestine the status of a “non-member observer state” thereby implicitly recognising the sovereignty of the state of Palestine, a motion passed with 138 votes in favour, 9 against (including US, Israel and Canada) and 41 abstentions (including Britain and Germany), however belated and symbolic, marks a moral and psychological victory of the Palestinian people. The US-Israel nexus remains the greatest global enemy of peace and freedom, and anti-imperialist forces across the world will therefore have to sharpen their struggle against this nexus. In this context it is heartening to note that rebuffing America’s desperate attempts to isolate and coerce it, Iran successfully hosted the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran in August 2012.
7. Alongside the economic crisis and the US-led campaign of permanent global war, the world today is also acutely experiencing the third dimension of capitalist devastation – the energy crisis and ecological disaster. The US and its western allies are desperately trying to tighten their grip over key energy resources like oil, gas and coal; they are also increasingly grabbing land in third world countries and pushing for cultivation of bio-fuels to secure their own energy needs while destroying the agricultural economy and food security and sovereignty of the developing countries. The so-called war on terror is very much a war for grabbing resources and securing a monopoly control over the global energy economy. Meanwhile, even as the inherent danger of nuclear energy is widely acknowledged in the advanced capitalist countries and almost all of them are moving away to other sources of safer and cheaper energy, yet despite the alarming experience of Chernobyl and Fukushima, the US and other big nuclear powers are busy selling their outdated nuclear technology to countries like India.
8. Global warming or climate change is no longer just a threat for the future; it has already assumed ominous proportions for all forms of life in the planet. The Kyoto protocol of 1997 had fixed targets for the advanced countries – the main players responsible for the developing ecological disaster – to reduce their per capita emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. But the US and some other advanced countries derailed and sabotaged the Kyoto process and finally in the climate change conference held in Durban in 2011 they succeeded in transferring a disproportionately heavy burden on to countries like China and India by dumping the parameter of per capita emission and thus sacrificing any notion of equity and justice in combating the climate crisis. The advanced countries are also trying to use the third world as the dumping ground for all their toxic waste. The battle for an ecologically sustainable model of development must therefore squarely challenge the continuing injustice being inflicted by the advanced countries.
9. The phenomenal rise of information technology, especially the tremendous growth of the internet as a medium of communication and mass dissemination of information has opened up huge possibilities of anti-corporate anti-imperialist resistance. The enormous potential of this new medium has already begun to be felt as a weapon of revelation of corporate-imperialist secrets, as a tool of social and political mobilisation in physical as well as ideological terms and as a mode of resistance to the very basis of capitalist monopoly in the realm of knowledge and information. This is why the power of capital and the state is desperately seeking ways to curb and subvert internet freedom. Foiling this conspiracy and expanding the horizons of information technology and internet freedom to deliver bigger blows to the offensives of capital and corporate-imperialist state has emerged as a key challenge for people’s struggles across the world.
10. The US dream of absolute and permanent domination in a unipolar world faces its most serious challenge in the economic arena. While the US has been hit hard by the current recession, China, now the second largest economy in the world, has been affected much less and is slated to overtake the US by 2020 as the world’s largest economy measured in terms of purchasing power parity. The economic rivalry between the two powers is understandably sharpening despite a high degree of interdependence. European Union, if recognised as a single entity as in the WTO, is already bigger than the US. Driven by China, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa – South Africa has been included in the group since the group’s third summit held in China in April 2011) has emerged as a powerful economic group – even though the crisis has stolen much of its initial shine. The countries listed as emerging economies (different institutions have different lists – the World Bank recognises South Korea and Indonesia apart from Brazil, Russia, India and China as the six major emerging economies) are widely acknowledged as a major power rivalling the old G7 countries (US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan) and hence G7 has taken the initiative to accommodate a number of emerging economies in G20. The biggest economic weapon in the hands of the US is the exclusive global recognition of its currency as the international standard for exchange and the day the dollar is pulled down from this position of supremacy the balance of the world economy will change drastically. Ending the domination of dollar and replacing it with some alternative arrangement is the most urgent global economic reform that the world needs.
11. In the military and political arena the US however still retains its supremacy even though an objective trend towards multipolarity can also be discerned. The trend towards multipolarity – as evidenced primarily by the emergence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) comprising China, Russia and four other countries emerging from the disintegration of the USSR and the expansion and consolidation of the European Union – had slowed down in the wake of the rise of the US-led global alliance against terrorism. But with the US getting bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan and its economy taking a heavy beating in the ongoing crisis, the American grip has started loosening. Concerted and sustained opposition by Russia and China has prevented the US from having its way with regard to Iran and now Syria. The SCO is steadily evolving into a powerful bloc with both economic and military cooperation, and its domain is expanding with the induction of Iran, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan as observers. Turkey, a NATO nation, participated in the 2012 SCO summit as a dialogue partner.
12. While the trend towards multipolarity works through the complex web of international relations, the renewed spurt in mass resistance and popular protests across the world – reflecting a simultaneous intensification of two basic contradictions, viz., the contradiction between labour and capital in advanced capitalist countries and the contradiction between imperialism and the third world – has the potential to overcome the spiral of terrorism and imperialist intervention and tilt the political balance against the US-led neo-liberal order with its disastrous trajectory of severe economic crisis, permanent global war and growing ecological disaster.
13. Since 1978 China has increasingly moved in the direction of a regulated market economy with strong state intervention which it calls building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The large-scale adoption of market economy has considerably aggravated social as well as regional disparities within China even as it has emerged as the second most powerful economy of the world. In our Eighth Congress we had observed that in course of pro-market, pro-private capital reforms China has “moved further away from any meaningful progress towards socialism”, with “[r]apidly growing capitalist relations in the base… naturally having its impact on the superstructure – on the politics, policies and priorities of the ruling party as well as conduct of its members.” The drift has continued since, marked by growing cronyism and corruption; forcible land acquisitions and horrible working conditions and low wages in private (including MNC-owned) factories and mines, frequently leading to rural rebellions and workers’ strikes which are, as a rule, sternly dealt with and sought to be kept secret; marginalisation of national minorities resulting in incidents like the Xinxiang clashes (2009); cultural degeneration including spread of bourgeois consumerism as well as feudal-patriarchal trends in society and state institutions; and similar maladies.
14. The CPC has, of course, been trying to cope with the problems under a series of guidelines like “Socialist Core Value System” and “Socialist Harmonious Society” issued previously and “Scientific Outlook on Development” issued in its latest (18th) party Congress, but in the absence of a thoroughgoing ideological-political course correction, there is hardly any evidence that China’s spectacular economic growth is contributing to democracy, equality or, to use an old slogan, “Socialist Spiritual Civilisation”. What is worrying about China is not its departure from the established 20th Century patterns of socialism or its innovative attempts to cope with new challenges in a very difficult international setting, but the conspicuous absence of the essential emancipatory vision of a revolutionary social transformation – one that reduces social disparities and elevates the basic masses from a position of mere recipients of benefits from a state power standing above them, to one of real rulers of the land. However, it is significant that even while practising increasing integration with the global capitalist economy, China has dealt with the inevitable negative impact of the current recession in a far better manner than the US, the EU and Japan by means of prompt policy decisions that have become widely recognised reference points for other countries. We should continue to study the developments in China and stand for improved ties between India and China bilaterally and also through multilateral platforms like BRICS and SCO while resolutely opposing the US policy to use India as its pawn in the US gameplan of encircling and containing China.
15. While China today hardly inspires or reflects the global anti-imperialist and socialist imagination, Latin America has emerged as a vibrant bastion of the Left movement in the global arena. Latin American people, in the recent past, have elected several governments that boldly oppose neo-liberal policies and have strong anti-imperialist leanings. Bolivia and Venezuela have nationalized key industries and Ecuador has closed a US military base. This is noteworthy in a region that was known for violent implementation of neo-liberal policies under US supported dictatorships from Chile to Argentina just a few decades ago. Cuba and Venezuela have co-founded the Bolivarian Alliance for our Americas (ALBA) that now has eight member states, including Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. ALBA is building an alternative to the US dominated trade with the aim of regional economic integration based on mutual social welfare, bartering and economic aid. To further deepen Latin American integration and challenge American domination, ALBA has been followed up with CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, comprising 33 sovereign countries in the Americas excluding USA and Canada.
16. Cuba continues to be the greatest source of inspiration for Latin American people resisting imperialism and building solidarity in the region. The towering presence of Fidel Castro at the helm of the Cuban state and the Communist Party ended after five decades, with Fidel paving the way for Raul Castro, the current President of Cuba and also First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Cuban agriculture in particular was deeply affected. Starting in the 1990s, Cuba developed ecological methods in agriculture and is moving towards a path of food sovereignty. Cuba recently implemented some economic reforms, including limited private entrepreneurship, that are of concern but it is too early to assess the impact. It has increased trade relations with China making it the second biggest trading partner of Cuba after Venezuela.
17. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently won yet another emphatic victory with a margin of 10% in a landslide election with a voter turnout of 80%. He won 20 out of the 22 states. The socio-economic reforms started in Chavez’s first term have started to show results. Venezuela has the lowest inequality level in the region and poverty has been reduced from 70.8% (1996) to 21% (2010). Barrio Adentro, the primary health-care programme that involves more than 8,300 Cuban doctors in 7,000 clinics, has saved 1.4 million lives. With the declared goal of establishing 21st Century Socialism, the Bolivarian revolutionary process in Venezuela has started reforming and challenging the capitalist system from within. President Chavez’s recent illness has provided an opportunity for the Venezuelan oligarchy working in concert with imperial powers to try and destabilize the country, but the deepening of democracy since 1998 has intensified the political participation of the Venezuelan people and serves as a powerful deterrent against destabilisation. For instance, communities are now empowered to debate and allocate budgets according to their local social needs in over 30,000 communal councils.
18. Bolivia has emerged as another key pillar of the ongoing leftward shift in Latin America. President Evo Morales, who first won office in December 2005 with 54% vote share and retained office in 2009 with 64% vote after the country adopted a new constitution through referendum, is only the second person of indigenous origin to become a President in Latin America. The indigenous people’s movement continues to play a big role in Bolivia.
19. Confirming and strengthening the continuing broad-based popular momentum for the Left in Latin America, Ecuador’s incumbent President Rafael Correa has secured a thumping victory in the Presidential elections held in February this year. Dedicating his victory to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez who has returned to Venezuela after weeks of cancer treatment in Cuba, Correa has called for still greater unity of Latin America to counter a ‘very cruel neo-liberal globalisation’. Apart from achieving a significant reduction in poverty through increased social spending and defaulting on millions of dollars of foreign debt declared illegitimate, the Correa government has taken a bold stand against US intervention as reflected in its decision to refuse permission to US forces to use an airbase in Ecuador, expel American diplomats for meddling in Ecuador’s internal affairs and offer asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who remains at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
20. The ongoing Leftward shift in Latin America is rooted in a long legacy of anti-imperialist and socialist mobilisation. However, the threat from US imperialism has not abated. The military coup in Honduras in June 2009 against President Manuel Zelaya could not have taken place without the overt or covert support of the US. Zelaya was implementing some pro-people policies like raising the minimum wage and affiliating with ALBA. The people of Latin America are however quite vigilant. Trade unions, peasant organizations, women’s organizations, and social movements of Afro-Latin Americans and indigenous people are organizing and mobilizing against their oligarchies and imperialism. In spite of the possibility of setback in individual countries the overall assertion of the Latin American people and the Left continues to gather momentum.
21. Parts of Europe too have been witnessing a resurgence of youth movement and working class struggles lending strength to a potential revival of the Left. This is happening against the backdrop of a severe Eurozone crisis (17 countries of the European Union use Euro as their common currency while 10 EU members still have their own currencies) and governments enforcing harsh austerity measures even as the Eurozone experiences a youth unemployment rate of 22% (more than 30% in Italy, Portugal and Slovakia and more than 50% in Greece and Spain). The best performance of the European Left in recent elections has been witnessed in Greece where Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left, a coalition of more than a dozen Left groups and trends now registered as a party) came close to emerging as the leading party – its vote share increasing from 3.3% in 2004 (the first election it faced) to 16.8% in May 2012 and 26.9% in June 2012. Currently it is the main opposition party with 71 members in the 300-member Greek parliament. The PCF, the French Communist Party too put up a notable performance in the 2012 President election polling 11.10% votes, the highest since 1981. Large sections of the Left in Europe have also come together to operate as the Party of the European Left and it has already held three Congresses since its foundation in 2004.
22. Historically, periods of severe economic crisis have however also been witness to the rise of the extreme right – and the European Left does have to confront the racist anti-immigrant and anti-Islamist politics of the radical right. The elections in Greece for example also witnessed the rise of the Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi outfit which won 7% vote and 18 seats in the Greek parliament.
23. In Africa, the Left had secured a crucial victory with the overcoming of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The South African Communist Party (SACP) is in a tripartite alliance with the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). But in spite of organic ties with the SACP and COSATU, the ANC-led government is vigorously implementing the neo-liberal policy trajectory and workers’ struggles are facing severe repression. The shocking massacre of 34 striking platinum mine-workers in Marikana near Johannesburg has brought back memories of the brutality of the apartheid era. Adding insult to injury, the ANC government, instead of taking action against the police, chose to invoke an apartheid-era law to implicate fellow strikers for the state brutality that left 34 miners killed and another 78 seriously injured. With the SACP and the COSATU-affiliated National Union of Mineworkers stigmatizing the strikers and the breakaway independent union they have joined, South Africa is now witnessing the birth of a new phase of radical trade unionism and genuine communists are now faced with the task of resisting not just MNCs and the corporate-imperialist drive of recolonisation but also the government that runs with communist support.
24. In Asia, the biggest recent mass advance of the communist movement was witnessed in Nepal where the communist-led mass upsurge succeeded in abolishing the monarchy and initiating the process of republican transition. But the process of constitution-making has made little headway since 2008 even as four Prime Ministers have already held office and almost all possible combinations have already been tried out. Apart from the complexities of coalition/consensus politics, two issues have proved to be particularly thorny – the process of incorporation and rehabilitation of the Maoist military cadre and the mode and degree of federalism to be envisioned in republican Nepal. The first issue has been more or less resolved but the second issue is being hotly debated as hitherto deprived/underrepresented regions and social identities look for a better deal under the new arrangement. Meanwhile, the Maoists in Nepal have undergone a split even as all major parties have agreed to have an interim government headed by the sitting chief justice to oversee fresh elections to the Constituent Assembly. We stand for warm and equal relations between India and Nepal and wish to see the people of Nepal consolidate the gains of the anti-monarchy upsurge and advance as a democratic republic under the leadership of our Nepali comrades. We must also remain vigilant and determined against any possible intervention on the part of the Indian state obstructing the process of Nepal’s republican transition or imposing any kind of Indian domination on Nepal.
25. Pakistan has been passing through extremely tough and turbulent times. The Afghan crisis has spilled over into Pakistan and even as Pakistan collaborates with the US in combating terrorism, the US continues to violate Pakistan’s sovereignty and pulverise the country with deadly drone attacks. The judiciary in Pakistan has assumed a highly pro-active role – last year it ousted and disqualified Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani of the Pakistan People’s Party on charges of contempt of court for not prosecuting President Asif Ali Zardari in corruption cases and this January it ordered the arrest of the incumbent Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on corruption charges. Meanwhile, with the next general elections approaching, which if held on time will be the first instance of an elected government completing five years and paving the way for its successor, a Pakistani cleric holding Canadian citizenship has suddenly surfaced from Canada promising to turn Pakistan into a corruption-free moderate state. The Tahir-ul-Qadri phenomenon, likened by some to the Anna Hazare phenomenon in India, is widely believed in Pakistan to have been propped up by the Army.
26. The US-NATO military campaign in Afghanistan has now been going on for more than 11 years. Even as US-NATO forces are now talking of an exit plan and withdrawing forces by 2014, US has already signed an Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement with Afghanistan which will allow the US to access and use Afghan facilities and also grant the possibility of keeping US forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014. As an ally of the US, India has already been heavily involved in Afghanistan. The scaling down of western involvement in Afghanistan is likely to pave the way for a heightened India-Pakistan rivalry over Afghanistan. With India and Pakistan already locked in a permanent conflict situation over Kashmir, any intensification of rivalry on the Afghan front will further vitiate India-Pakistan relations and deepen American intervention and turn the entire region increasingly volatile. Complete withdrawal of US-NATO military involvement from Afghanistan and Pakistan and restoration of the full sovereignty and right of these two countries to determine their future is a fundamental prerequisite for enduring peace in the region. We consider peace and friendship between India and Pakistan of paramount importance and must remain ever vigilant against the constant anti-Pakistan campaign of jingoistic forces in India.
27. The Rajapakse government of Sri Lanka decimated the LTTE through an unmitigated genocidal war campaign. An internal inquiry report of the UN released in November 2012 estimates that the civilian casualties could go up to 70,000 while a World Bank population data finds a hundred thousand Tamils missing since the final war against LTTE rebels in 2009. The UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution urging Sri Lanka to address the issue of war crimes but the ‘Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission’ set up by the Sri Lankan government has given a clean chit to the Sri Lankan army saying it adopted a ‘zero civilian casualty’ policy and any loss of civilian lives should be treated as ‘collateral damage’. The Sri Lankan government’s concept of ‘reconciliation’ calls upon Sri Lankan Tamils to accept Sinhala supremacist domination even as Sri Lankan Tamils are still counting the dead. Reconciliation in Sri Lanka cannot proceed on the basis of subjugation of the Sri Lankan Tamil community, the international community must make sure that the ghastly war crimes against Sri Lankan Tamils are probed in full and exemplary punishment is awarded to the guilty.
28. India’s relations with her eastern neighbours, Bangladesh and Myanmar, are of crucial importance. The ‘Look East’ policy being pursued by the Indian Government over the last two decades has emerged as a key aspect of India’s foreign policy. While India uses this policy to reach out to the ASEAN countries, secure greater economic leverage and contain the insurgencies in the North-East by preventing the rebel groups from taking shelter in Bangladesh and Myanmar, there is also an unmistakable convergence with the US policy and its strategic goal of containment of China. India’s relations with her eastern neighbours must be independent of the US policy and priorities and based on ties of equality and mutual cooperation. India must positively address the concerns of Bangladesh of which India is almost the exclusive neighbour (with the exception of the small border that Bangladesh shares with Myanmar).
29. While initially supporting the movement for restoration of democracy in Myanmar, ever since the adoption of the Look East policy, India began to develop close ties with the military rulers there. Following the release of pro-democracy movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest in 2010 the prospect of fair elections has improved in Myanmar. The country however continues to experience considerable ethnic violence. Tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims are being forced to flee Myanmar and look for refuge in neighbouring Thailand, Bangladesh, India or Malaysia.
30. Bangladesh is currently witnessing a powerful mass awakening calling for punishment of the culprits of war-crimes committed during the liberation war of Bangladesh four decades ago. Resurrection of the spirit of the liberation war in today’s environment could potentially not only effectively isolate the rightwing and fundamentalist forces but also challenge the neo-liberal economic framework which threatens to reduce the whole of Bangladesh to a sweatshop of cheap labour and a laboratory of corporate plunder.
31. While supporting the cause of greater regional cooperation among countries of South Asia, we must try to forge closer ties among the forces of the South Asian Left and solidarity among people’s struggles against imperialist intervention and corporate plunder. Recent bilateral exchanges with comrades of Nepal and Bangladesh have strengthened our mutual understanding. While defending the immediate and basic interests and aspirations of the working people, the Left movement in Pakistan is faced with the challenge of waging simultaneous struggles against the machinations of imperialism, the military-dominated authoritarian state and terrorism-inspired disruption. We wish the Left and progressive forces in Pakistan every success in this difficult battle. The communist movement in India and all over South Asia must make its fullest contribution to the process and prospect of the resurgence of the Left in international politics.