For the first time after many years, democracy is returning in Myanmar. Htin Kyaw, a very close associate of Aung San Suu Kyi, the top leader of the National League for Democracy, who won the election with huge majority, will be the new President of the country. This is the first time that a President without a military back ground has been elected. Suu Kyi is banned from becoming President by a Constitutional amendment made by the earlier military junta.
President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said women’s empowerment, their dignity and equality should not be made a “distant goal or fond aspiration” but should be bestowed on them as one of their “sacred” rights.
While awarding some select women achievers of the country on the occasion of International Women’s Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, Mr. Mukherjee said it was time for a “collective introspection” for changing those “societal perceptions” and attitudes that pose a hurdle in the development of women in the society and also vis-a-vis their status in country’s economy.
“I take this opportunity to convey my heartfelt appreciation of the countless women who are the silent backbone of our economy… as professionals they are second to none in their achievements and their services as doctors and nurses, as space and nuclear scientists and in government offices and politics are invaluable in forging a path of progress and growth for our people.
“Therefore, it is only appropriate that we should remind ourselves that the empowerment of women and their equality, liberty and dignity are not a distant goal or fond aspiration of the women of our country. It is one of their sacred rights. It is not a privilege that they should seek,” the President said.
“There are, nevertheless, enduring societal perceptions and attitudes which inhibit the pace of improvement in the condition and position of Indian women in our society and economy. These call for urgent individual as well as collective introspection. We must identify these weaknesses and their root cause,” he said.(Coutesey: Hindu)
Ex-president Tabare Vazquez has won Uruguay’s presidential runoff, extending the left’s decade-long hold on power — though not necessarily his predecessor’s ground-breaking marijuana laws, exit polls showed.
Vazquez, a 74-year-old cancer doctor who previously served as president from 2005 to 2010, won between 53 and 53.9 percent of the vote, and will succeed his Broad Front (FA) party colleague Jose Mujica, according to three different exit polls yesterday.
His center-right opponent, 41-year-old lawmaker Luis Lacalle Pou, took between 40.6 and 42 percent of the vote, found the pollsters, Factum, Cifra and Equipos Mori. (PTI)
The Left has retained the President ship. A welcome news!
The following Greetings and Message was sent by Com.V.A.N.Namboodiri, President, BSNLEU, to the CEC Meeting of BSNLEU which was held on 7-9 February 2014 as it was expected that he will not be able to attend the same as he had been asked to attend the Foundation Congress of Trade Union International of WFTU held at Barcelona, Spain, on 5-6 February.
Message to the CEC of BSNLEU at Rajkot on 7-9 February 2014
First of all, I greet you all, who have come to attend the Central Executive Committee of BSNLEU being held at Rajkot on 7-9 February 2014. My Revolutionary Greetings to all of you!
I would have been present in the CEC meeting as usual, in my capacity as the All India President of the Union. But being invited to attend the Formation Conference of Trade Union International of Pensioners and Retirees (TUI of P&R) to be held at Barcelona, Spain, on 5-6 February 2014 and attending on behalf of the AIBDPA, it is not possible for me to attend the CEC. Please excuse me. In case it is possible to come there, after reaching India, I will certainly attend the CEC, on the last day.
This is the first time that I am missing the CEC meeting after formation of BSNLEU in 2001. BSNLEU has grown during the last 13 years and is the recognised union since 2004, after the II Membership Verification. In all consecutive verifications including the VI Membership Verification we have been elected as the majority and representative Union. At the same time on our initiative, a second union, NFTE, is also recognised. Now the recognised unions represent more than 80% of BSNL workers between them, and theoretically represent all the workers. Our role in getting recognition for another union is appreciated by all, although certain tensions still exist at the local levels. We have to strive for close co-ordination for settlement of the workers issues.
One important agenda before the CEC is the settlement of the issues which has been raised in the deferred October Strike on which the CHQ is continuously pursuing with the management. All the issues are very important and have to be settled at the earliest. At the same time, extra effort is required where the workers are losing their salary as in the case of stagnation of majority of RMs and the loss in the wage of officials, mainly TTA, recruited after 2007.
BSNLEU has grown in numbers. It is mainly because we have been taking the issues of the workers with sincerity and dedication and had settled many important issues including a good wage revision and Promotion Policy. The bread and butter issue is most important and is the basic demand of the trade unions. But that is not sufficient. We have to move ahead. We are part of the trade union fraternity, national and international. We cannot be indifferent to the crucial developments taking place around us.
The neo-liberalisation policy being implemented by the government has put misery after misery on the people. The Government has deserted the policy of Socialist Pattern of Society, which the then government proclaimed in the 1950s, and also the Pro-PSU policy. Attack on the workers continues with even taking away many of the rights earned after heroic struggles. Recruitment is almost stopped in Government and PSUs, which was the main source of employment. Retrenchment/VRS is taking place in many PSUs despite strong opposition from the unions. The sustained struggles on the issues organised as per the call of the 11 Central trade Unions have made an impact, but yet the government is delaying action on those. BSNLEU has always been part of this great struggles and will continue so.
Communalism is raising its ugly head. Communal forces are utilsing every opportunity to divide the people and cause communal riots as happened in Muzafarpur etc. We have to expose and fight communalism and make all efforts for communal harmony. It is the working class which can take an effective role in the same.
Attack on women and even young girls are reported every day. The crime against women is not an issue of women alone. The entire society has to move to put an end to these attacks and gender discrimination.. BSNLEU will also join this struggle to liberate the woman and to end the attacks and discrimination. More woman cadres have to be developed in the union.
The attack on the left movement and cadres in W.Bengal continues with govt. Support. Hundreds of left leaders and cadres have been murdered by the Trinamool goondas. BSNLEU fully supports and give solidarity to the struggles of the W.Bengal comrades to restore democracy and defeat the attacks on the left and democratic forces.
The General elections are only months ahead. Both the UPA and NDA governments had continued with the anti-workers policies. Corruption has been institutionalized by them. There has been no limit to the corruptions exposed like 2G scam, Coalgate scam, CWG, Adarsh, Augusta and many others. The ruling parties are selling the national wealth like water, coal, minerals, spectrum etc. to the corporates for paltry sums and get kickbacks out of the same. There should be zero tolerance against corruption.
BSNL is posting loss for the last 4 years due to the anti-PSU policy of the government, which is part of the neo-liberal polices being implemented both by the Congress and BJP during the last more than 20 years. Revival of BSNL and strengthening it for a better service to the nation is most important. The Forum of BSNL Unions/Associations, the umbrella organisation, has been making all out efforts in this respect. Many struggles have been organised and maximum pressures are being put on the government and management in this connection. At the same time, as workers, we have to ensure a better and cordial service to the customers.
The Casual and Contract workers engaged for years together in DOT/BSNL are inhumanly exploited. They are neither paid their due wages nor social security measures implemented for them. Regularisation of left out casual labours are pending. Casual/Contract workers are facing harsh victimisation and retrenchment for their trade union activities. It is our duty to get them justice and to ensure that they are part of the BSNL fraternity.
AIBDPA is the pensioners organisation formed at our initiative. Today’s workers are tomorrow’s pensioners. We have to take up their issues and also to strengthen the AIBDPA.
Most of the BSNL absorbed DOT employees will retire by 2020-25. It will only be new recruitees of BSNL who will be there for the service as also for running the union. We have to bring the new generation to the leadership now to enable them to take over at the appropriate time.
Next All India Conference of BSNLEU will be held by the end of this year. We have to ensure that maximum issues are settled and the organisation is strengthened.
I hope that these and other relevant issues will be discussed in the Rajkot CEC and important decision taken.
Once again My Greetings to all of you.
With Revolutionary Greetings,
PS: Fortunately, Com. Namboodiri was able to reach Rajkot on the last day of the CEC and presided over the same on 9th February. He also addressed the Open Session organised in the afternoon of 9th itself.
Again the Socialists have won the Presidential election in Chile. Michelle Bachelet won the election with 62.2% votes. The rival candidate Conservative Evelyn Matthei, who got 37.8% of votes has conceded defeat and congratulated Bachelet.
Bachelet’s father was a top official in Chilean Air Force at the time of President Salvador Allende, who was toppled by a coup supported by the US and imperialists. Bachelet’s father was imprisoned and tortured and died consequently. In contrast, Matthei’s father was part of the junta which removed the Socialist Allende.
Michelle Bachelet was the President form 2006 to 2010 and as the same person can not be the President for the immediate next term, she could not contest and another socialist was the President.