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Building the League in South Asia

Martin Suchanek reports on the recent meeting of League members in South Asia

OVER THE last decade the Asian  continent has moved into the centre of world politics and economies.
We witness not only continuous wars and barbaric imperialist occupations like in Afghanistan,  we also saw the emergence of new  imperialist power – China. It is not only in growing conflict and antagonism with the US and Japan, but also with another regional power – India.
This means that the weaker semi-colonial states and governments – ranging from countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma or Nepal – are both up for further bullying by the larger powers, as well as having a certain room to manouvre.
At the same time, the combination of global instability, crisis, poverty and increasing social unevenness within these states also point to an increased tendency towards more or less overt dictatorial rule and the scrapping of democratic rights.

Work of Commission
This is the general political situation the sections of the L5I in Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well as supporters in Nepal face. Discussing and analysing these developments formed a major part of the recent meeting of the South Asia Commission of the L5I with delegates from the Asian Sections and comrades from Europe.
There we discussed our work in detail – including how to intervene in the newly emerging A nti-imperialist Alliance in Pakistan, how to intervene in the Movement for Peoples Struggles (a 5,000 strong Maoist-Stalinist split from the chauvinist JVP in Sri Lanka). For this we also had educationals on Trotskyist and Leninist tactics, including how to intervene in such developments in a principled way, utilising the united front tactic and fighting for a revolutionary action programme.
Two major parts of our discussion centred around the struggle for a new, workers party in countries like Pakistan and on tactics to overcome the extreme weakness and fragmentation of the trade union movement.
We discussed how to fight for a new revolutionary, Trotskyist organisation in Nepal under the unusual conditions of a Maoist led government urging for foreign capitalist investment. Finally, the commission also worked out a plan to gain new contacts and supporters in other Asian states, most importantly China and India.
The working class in East and South Asia is a growing class – a key sector of the world working class. But in order to be able to play a corresponding political role, it needs to be organised in new revolutionary parties. In this way, it will become a driving force in the building of new, Fifth International.

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