Democracy

Western Sahara, Africa’s Last Colony, to Resume Liberation Struggle on Hold Since 1991

The question of Western Sahara, known as Africa’s last colony, has recently gained great visibility in international media interestingly due to two drastic developments.

Is the USA Fit to Rejoin the UN Human Rights Council?

A month into Joe Biden’s presidency, the U.S. has rejoined nearly all the multilateral institutions and international commitments that it withdrew from under Trump. These include the World Health Organization and the Paris Climate Accords.

Myanmar: Heroes and Villains

Myanmar’s State Counsellor was recently deposed and arrested along with other leaders of her ruling party – National League for Democracy (NLD). The Leader of Tatmadaw, the Military, Min Aung Hlaing, announced that elections in November last year had been fraudulent and in an “effort to save democracy” the military would now rule the nation for at least one year, until new elections could be organised. Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi is accused of “importing ten or more walkie-talkies” and of violating the nation’s “Natural Disaster Law”. Some might agree that Suu Kyi deserves to be locked up. As an admired role model and Nobel Peace Prize winner, she was globally depicted as an almost saintlike being, canonized in movies like Luc Bessons’s The Lady. U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, watched the movie before she in 2011 visited Suu Kyi, who by then had spent altogether fifteen years in house imprisonment, deprived of the company of an ailing and eventually dying husband and two sons. In spite of her forced isolation she became an eloquent representative for her compatriots’ resistance and perseverance under almost fifty years of military dictatorship.

Coup in Spain, Yesterday and Today

Forty years ago, on February 23, 1981 (later known as 23-F), in the middle of the afternoon in a cold Madrid atmosphere, the most serious attack against the reborn Spanish democracy took place. An armed contingent of more than 200 Civil Guard agents invaded the Congress of Deputies and threatened the dissolution of the government and the establishment of a dictatorship.

Is This The End of Myanmar’s Quasi-Democracy?

On February 1st, 2021 the military of Myanmar overthrew the country’s democratic government in a coup d’etat followed by arresting more than 40 government officials including Aung San Suu Kyi. The military declared a year-long state of emergency under the rule of it’s Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. Troops took over the streets, a night-time curfew has been put into force. Tens of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets across Myanmar, in what is seen as the biggest street protests in more than a decade. The anti-coup demonstrators are undeterred by police attacks and increasing violence from the security forces.

Q&A: Tigray – the Fighting will Continue & Exacerbate Civilian Suffering

While Ethiopia’s federal government may have administrative control of the Tigrayan capital, Mekelle, and other main cities in the region, including Shire, Adwa, and Aksum, after removing the regional government from power in late November — armed resistance in Tigray is not over and could continue for months.

Elections in Catalonia: What Now?

The recent result of the elections for the Parliament of Catalonia has presented a mixture of repetition of certain previous aspects and some spectacular novelties. But the everlasting dimension of any parliamentary confrontation of the proportional variant remains unscathed.

Suu Kyi Appears in Closed-Door Court Session Without Lawyer as Protests Continue

Myanmar’s top generals have begun the process to prevent Aung San Suu Kyi – the country’s popular civilian leader – from ever holding political power. Both she and president Win Myint were arraigned in a closed-door court session via video link Tuesday, Feb. 16. This is the beginning of a trial that is expected to take about six months to conclude. If convicted, it will prevent Suu Kyi from standing in future elections.

Majority Rule Giving Way to Majoritarianism

Celebrated Indian writer, Member of Parliament and former diplomat Shashi Tharoor in a conversation with The Daily Star Editor and Publisher Mahfuz Anam on the occasion of the newspaper's 30th anniversary yesterday spoke eloquently on media freedom, regional politics and democracy on a virtual platform.

To Prevent Another Civil War South Sudan Must Create a New, Unique Political System

The threat of a full-blown civil war in South Sudan remains unless the country’s leaders can broaden power sharing, warns a new report by the International Crisis Group (ICG) released almost year into the country’s formation of a government of national unity.

Is Turkey a Proof that Religion and Democracy Cannot Coexist?

Over the years, Turkey has survived three Coup d'état in which its military forces took power, in 1960, 1971 and 1980. The coup in 1997, was carried out in a “post-modern way”, where generals sat down with the then prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan and forced him to resign. However the turning point in Turkey has been the failed coup attempt in July 2016, which has till date been one of the bloodiest coup attempts in its political history, leaving 241 people killed, and 2,194 others injured.

Myanmar Looks Back in Fear and Anger after Military Coup

As night fell on Tuesday, the second day of the military coup in Myanmar, two familiar scenes were being played out on opposite sides of the world.

The Afghan Dilemma for the Biden/Harris Administration

President Biden and his administration confront a very challenging situation within the United States and abroad. His predecessor, Mr. Trump, refused to accept the defeat or extend any cooperation to the incoming team.

As Army Takes Over, Fear and Uncertainty Grip Myanmar Citizens

Yangon resident Ni Ni Aye walked to her office yesterday morning. A couple of hours before, the army had staged a coup by seizing power and declaring a state of emergency in Myanmar. Ni Aye, an employee of one of Yangon’s largest technology firms, tried to call her colleagues and family, but phone services were down. So, she decided to walk to the office and see what was happening. “There were no armoured vehicles or soldiers with heavy weapons, yet everything was extremely quiet. It was very confusing; nobody had a clue on what is really happening. Then we realised, the action is all happening in the capital,” Ni Aye told IPS.

Myanmar Coup Sends ‘Chilling Message that Military won’t Tolerate Dissent’

Responding to reports this morning that Myanmar’s military has seized control of government in a coup on the eve of the country’s opening session of its new parliament, rights group Amnesty International said it “sends a chilling message that the military authorities will not tolerate any dissent amid today’s unfolding events”.

Incitement to Violence Is Rarely Explicit – Here Are Some Techniques People Use to Breed Hate

As senators plan for an impeachment trial in which former President Donald Trump is accused of inciting his supporters to mount a deadly insurrection at the Capitol, global concern is growing about threats of violent unrest in multiple countries, including the U.S. The United Nations reports the proliferation of dangerous speech online represents a “new era” in conflict.

Biden: the Task of a Good Loser

What for Donald Trump was an insult, for Joe Biden is an acknowledgment: the new president of the United States is the establishment in its purest form. No other similar case is remembered of having reached the presidency with a better preparation. For almost half a century he has been "inside the beltway." It is the sector occupied by the District of Columbia, which claims to be recognized as a state, surrounded by a huge highway. Biden would be perfectly accepted as a traffic guard, without passing the exam.

Imprisoned Saudi Activist and Other Rights Defenders Seek Justice in 2021

Two events generated significant interest and global solidarity in the final days of December 2020. A court in Saudi Arabia handed down a five years and eight months sentence to activist Loujain Al-Hathloul for publicly supporting women’s right to drive. Nicholas Opiyo, Ugandan human rights lawyer and defender of persecuted members of the LGBTQI community and political opponents of the president was arbitrarily detained on trumped up charges of ‘money laundering.’ Nicholas Opiyo was granted bail on 30 December following an outpouring of global support for his activism for justice. In handing out the verdict to Loujain Al-Hathloul, the court partly suspended her sentence raising hope that she might be released from prison in a couple of months due to time already served.

Capitol Hill ‘Insurrection’

According to the mainstream narrative, President Trump’s incitement of his supporters during the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory led to the ‘insurrection’ at the US Capitol on January 6, resulting in the banning of Trump’s social media accounts and his second impeachment by Congress.

UPDATE** Conspicuous Silence as Ugandan President Wins Sixth Term against Bobi Wine

Thirty-five years ago when President Yoweri Museveni talked, a majority of citizens listened. But now, as he approaches almost four decades in power, his message is not resonating well — particularly with the country’s youth who constitute about 70 percent of the voting population in Uganda.

Twitter, Donald Trump, and Incitement to Violence

Over the last four years, United States President Donald Trump has had in Twitter his main political communication tool. On this technological platform, he spread messages that were not entirely true, insulted and disqualified people, fired, or mocked his collaborators. Twitter was a stage for his sort of presidential reality show.

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