Democracy

The woman dubbed Myanmar’s ‘next Aung San Suu Kyi’ warns political system has ‘failed’ the country

Exclusive: The woman who some have likened to Aung San Suu Kyi has declared her nation’s political system has “failed”. By Brett Mason, Nick Baker SBS A young female activist is hoping to help bring “real” democracy to Myanmar – succeeding where her former idol Aung San Suu Kyi has “failed”. Twenty-seven-year-old Thinzar Shunlei Yi is one of several youth activists in the Southeast Asian nation pushing her government to better deliver for its people. Myanmar transitioned from military rule ... Read More »

Sudan: Stopping a Spiral into Civil War

Sudan’s political transition is in great peril following the unprovoked killing of dozens of protesters. ICG The African Union has rightly suspended the country’s membership. Western and Gulf powers should take urgent steps to compel Sudan’s interim leaders to accept a civilian-led transitional administration.  On 3 June, Sudan’s security forces launched a bloody crackdown on unarmed protesters in Khartoum, clearing a sit-in outside the country’s military headquarters and bringing its political transition to a… The horrific rampage left dozens dead ... Read More »

‘Pendulum has swung too far’: Senator pushes for US-style press freedom protections

The Centre Alliance Party is drafting a bill to enshrine US-style press freedom protection in the constitution. By Rosemary Bolger, Amanda Copp SBS Key crossbench senators will push to amend the constitution to include a US-style press freedom protection in the wake of two unprecedented police raids targeting Australian journalists. Centre Alliance senators Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff will introduce legislation proposing an amendment similar to the First Amendment to the United States constitution when Parliament returns next month. “A ... Read More »

Why the raids on Australian media present a clear threat to democracy

The Australian Federal Police has this week conducted two high-profile raids on journalists who have exposed government secrets and their sources. Rebecca Ananian-Welsh The Conversation On Tuesday, seven AFP officers spent several hours searching News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst’s Canberra home, her mobile phone and computer. The AFP linked the raid to “the alleged publishing of information classified as an official secret”. This stemmed from Smethurst’s 2018 article, which contained images of a “top secret” memo and reported that senior government officials were considering ... Read More »

How Brexit is playing into Erdoğan’s hands in Turkey

Turkey is losing its champion in Europe, just as the president distances himself from the EU – and democracy Elçin Poyrazlar The Guardian In the early hours of 4 October, 2005, Jack Straw, the then British foreign secretary, and Abdullah Gül, his Turkish counterpart, walked, tired-eyed and hand-in-hand, into a packed press conference in Luxembourg. The EU had just opened membership talks with Ankara, in what seemed like an answer to the centuries old-question of whether the west should open ... Read More »

The raid on the ABC shows we need a law to protect journalists and their sources

Parliament has passed a slew of national security laws that limit and even criminalise the fundamental work of the press Peter Greste The Guardian Recent raids by the Australian federal police on the News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst and the ABC are a serious threat to the most fundamental role that the media plays in a democracy. By definition, democracy is government by the people. Politicians act on behalf of those who employ them; that is, us Australian voters and ... Read More »

Article “On Victory Day” by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for International Affairs magazine, June 4, 2019

The month of May and the fireworks are now behind us. The country and the world celebrated Victory Day, which is a holiday of war veterans, home front workers, and all the people of Russia and other victorious nations. Sergey Lavrov International Affairs There was a grand parade on Red Square and a wreath laying ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The march of the Immortal Regiment – a civil initiative that has acquired a truly global dimension ... Read More »

‘A wake up call to the world’: Not one country on track to reach gender equality by 2030

Out of 193 countries, a new global index has found Australia is ranked number 10 in the world when it comes to gender equality. Maani Truu SBS Australia has just cracked the top 10 when it comes to measuring gender equality, but there is still a lot of work to do, the first global index to track progress towards international targets has found. The SDG Gender Index, developed by Equal Measures 2030, has reported that not one country is on ... Read More »

Money politicians shouldn’t take

As the old saying goes, always follow the money. A beautiful, flourishing future is possible for Australia but only if we can effectively tackle the vested interests that are holding us back as a country. David Ritter The Canberra Times Every year, large sums are donated by the fossil fuel industry to politicians and political parties, while Australian people are being robbed of decent climate action. It isn’t right or fair, but vested interests will always use their power and ... Read More »

A quiet revolution sweeps Europe as Greens become a political force

Unexpected success in the EU elections has turned the erstwhile ‘fringe idealists’ into potential kingmakers in Brussels Emma Graham-Harrison The Guardian On election day in three European capitals at the end of May, voters swept an insurgent party to the top of the polls for the new European parliament. But, contrary to widespread media speculation in the run-up to the poll, it was not the far-right populists who triumphed at the ballot box in Brussels, Berlin and Dublin. Instead, in ... Read More »

Guaido renews call for Maduro to step down after Norway talks

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido renewed calls for President Nicolas Maduro to resign on May 31 while campaigning in the birthplace of former leader Hugo Chavez, following inconclusive talks in… SABANETA-Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Guaido — who is backed by the United States and is recognized as interim president by more than 50 countries — has been leading a push to oust leftist firebrand Maduro, who has presided over a… During a brief speech before a handful of followers in the small town of Sabaneta, Guaidocalled for ... Read More »

Turkey puts novelists including Elif Shafak under investigation

Prosecutors target authors whose fiction tackles difficult subjects such as child abuse and sexual violence Alison Flood The Guardian Turkish prosecutors have launched investigations into writers of fiction including the award-winning novelist Elif Shafak, in what campaigners are describing as a serious threat to free speech. The move comes in the wake of a vicious debate on social media in which novelists tackling challenging subjects – such as child abuse and sexual violence – have been accused of… After a ... Read More »

Why we should care about Julian Assange? Because next time they come for us…

Wikileaks co-founder, Julian Assange, in 2010 published information provided to him by then-US Army Pfc. Bradley E. Manning that comprised nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and… Murray Hunter OnLineOpinion Among those documents was a collateral murder film clip that showed US Apache helicopters killing people in Iraq including two local Reuters news agency employees, exposing a US military cover-up. The military had claimed that the helicopters were responding to an active firefight and that all killed were ... Read More »

Assange a victim of torture and Australia shares blame, says UN expert

London: Julian Assange has been subjected to intense psychological torture comparable to some of the gravest cases from “interrogation prisons” around the world, a United Nations expert says. Nick Miller WAtoday He accuses the UK, US and Sweden of a “consistent failure” to protect Assange’s human rights – and Australia of a “glaring absence” where it should be helping one of its citizens. But the Australian government has emphatically rejected any suggestion Australia is complicit in any torture of Assange, saying ... Read More »

To tackle climate change, immigration and threats to democracy, Europe’s fractious new Parliament will have to work together

The European Union has survived its latest contest between pro-EU and anti-EU forces. Garret Martin The Conversation Helped by high turnout, pro-EU centrist and leftist parties together won more than two-thirds of seats in the European Parliament elections held in 28 countries from May 23 to 26. Populist parties intent on destroying the EU from within made only modest gains, increasing their share from 20% to 25% of the 751 seats. The European Parliament – one of the three institutions ... Read More »

Elton John: ‘I am a European – not a stupid, imperialist English idiot’

The singer says Brexit has made him ashamed to be British, while performing in Verona during his final world tour Ben Beaumont-Thomas The Guardian Elton John has said he is ashamed of the UK over its voting for and handling of Brexit. While performing on Wednesday in Verona on his last ever world tour, Farewell Yellow Brick Road, he said: “I’m ashamed of my country for what it has done. It’s torn people apart … I am sick to death of politicians, ... Read More »