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Stories and issues from the Asia Pacific region with a labour and grassroots perspective. Regular interviews with activists from countries in the Asia Pacific region. Produced by Australia-Asia Worker Links.

Stories and issues from the Asia Pacific region with a labour and grassroots perspective. Regular interviews with activists from countries in the Asia Pacific region. Produced by Australia-Asia Worker Links.
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South Carlton, VIC


Asian Talk


Stories and issues from the Asia Pacific region with a labour and grassroots perspective. Regular interviews with activists from countries in the Asia Pacific region. Produced by Australia-Asia Worker Links.






PO Box 45 South Carlton, VIC 3053 Australia +61 3 9663 7277


Refugee Tamil family battles government repression

Ever since the infamous Tampa Affair in 2001, Australia asylum seekers and refugee policies has been marked by xenophobia, cruelty and government intransigence. Even thought there has been a mass movement since the Tampa affair against these policies, both major parties continue this hard line stance. The latest victims of this repression has been a Tamil family of four who had been quietly living in the regional Queensland town of Biloela. Priya, Nadesalingam and their children, Kopika, 4,...


The politics of the Hong Kong protests

In early June, massive protests exploded in the city state of Hong Kong against the local government's proposal to introduce a bill allowing the extradition of people to mainland China. The demonstrations have numbered up to two million people on the streets. Even against mounting repression by the police and paid thugs, the protests have now continued for over three months. While the original extradition bill has been withdrawn, the protest movement is now fighting for much wider political...


Workers regionally meet up in Taiwan

East Asia is one of the industrial hubs of the world with countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China producing and exporting goods all around the world. The working class in these countries numbers in the hundreds of millions.Due to conflict and wars, workers have not historically had many links between these countries. This is now changing and a recent Labor Notes Conference brought hundreds of these workers and activists together.APC interviewed an Australian delegate to this...


Kashmir under siege from Indian Government

While the political situation in Kashmir has always been tense, with India and Pakistan engaging in military conflicts a number of times over this disputed territory, the recent India's government abrogation of Kashmir's special constitutional status has plunged the region in uncharted waters.In contrast to previous flashpoints, this time the changes are driven by internal politics and by the nationalist and xenophobic drive by Modhi's government to create a Hindu Indian state.The APC team...


The fight against Indonesian occupation in West Papua continues

Ever since the sham Act of Free Choice in 1969 when the Indonesian Government engineered a vote for West Papuans to join up within the Indonesian state, conflict has never stopped.The Indonesian government, and its capitalist allies, have always kept a close control West Papua as the region is incredibly rich in natural resources in areas such as mining, timber, farming and fishing.APC interviewed West Papuan Independence activist O'Neil Waromi on the latest upsurge of resistance and...


Fight against repression in Thailand continues

Somyot Pruksakasemsuk, a long time union and democracy activist in Thailand, was jailed for 11 years in 2011 under the repressive Lese Majeste Law - Article 112. He was pardoned in 2018 after serving seven years in jail.Somyot had been a labour and human rights activists for decades. He was jailed because of his opposition to military rule and the power of the Monarchy.APC interviewed him recently in Malaysia (he is barred from entering Australia) about the ongoing struggle against...


Organising workers in Malaysia

The trade union movement in Malaysia was destroyed decades ago in a combination of outright repression and slow strangulation by restrictive laws.While workers have continued to organise in this period, it has been difficult to develop strong militant unions. In the last couple of years, a new leadership team has revitalised the hospital cleaners union. It still faces lots of challenges.Jiselle Hanna, a member of the APC team, was in Malaysia last month on a trade union visit. Jiselle talks...


Nuclear war is still a threat

The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were both devastated in August 1945 by atomic bombs dropped by the USA military. The devastation these bombs caused shocked the world.In the decades after 1945, millions of people campaigned to limit and abolish atomic weapons. Unfortunately they are still around and these bombs, and the industry and research that develops them, are a serious threat to working class people everywhere.APC spokle to Denis Doherty from the Hiroshima Day Committee in...


South Korean workers fighting hard on multiple fronts

Low wages, outsourcing and sub contracting are a scourge for workers all around the world with companies using these methods to 1) increase profits and 2) cut costs by shifting responsibity and dangers to workers.South Korea is no different in a part of the world where governments like Japan, China and Taiwan are trying to help their respective capitalists by keeping workers as un-organised as possible. The Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) has been engaged in an increasingly...


Resistance continues to grow against government terror in the Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte's 'War on Drugs' has been going on for more than three years. During this time there has been a normalisation of extra judicial killings, impunity for death squads, vilification of human rights defenders and arrests of activists. His death squads have murdered over 25,000 people.These massacres has had a terrorising effect on on urban, working class communities in the Philippines. Nevertheless, opposition and organising against this repression is growing both...


The ongoing war in Yemen explained

Yemen is often described as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The country was already one of the poorest in the region and years of war have ravaged the countryThe origings of the current situation can be traced back to the Houthi movement, an Islamic religious-political-armed movement that emerged from Sa'dah in northern Yemen in the 1990s as a response to local grievances. It overcame adversity and repression to take the capital, Sana’a in 2014. Saudi Arabia then decided to...


Iran - Usa tension amid the ongoing Arab Spring

The recent tensions and threats of war between the USA and Iran have roots to the origins of the Islamic Republic following the 1979 Revolution that overthrew the despotic dictatorship of the Shah.Since then, Iran has continued to remain a regional power, especially after surviving the 10 year long war with Iraq. The current tensions are different front the past in that they come after years of popular uprisings in the region and have seen new players emerge, with alliances becoming much...


Workers bracing for tough times after Indian election

India is the world's biggest democracies and its elections campaings are huge undertakings. This year's election saw the chrismatic leader, Narendra Modhi, of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claim a landslide victory. This victory cements the Hindu nationalist leader as the country’s most formidable politician in decades.Modhi's first tenure as Prime Minister has seen a wave of intolerance and violence unleashed against religious and caste minorities with his supporters advocating the...


Massive protest shake up politics in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a special administrative of China with its own set of laws and regulations separate from most of mainland China. Hong Kong is in a transition period following the withdrawal of the UK as its colonial power in 1997.Since then, the city state has seen spikes in political activities and protests when major changes to its laws have been proposed. In the last few months, the Hong Kong government, headed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, proposed to introduce a new law that would allow...


Power Radical Radio - Radiothon 2019

3CR Radio was started in 1976 by working class communities to provide an avenue for workers, their families and their communities to tell their stories and struggles in their own voices.The radio is run by the broadcasters, members and listerners. 3CR Radio self funds and relies on its listerners to fund the station.Today is Radiothon time for 2019, so donate to keep us on the air. You can donate in person, over the phone, via post or online.Asia Pacific Currents provides updates of labour...


What do the Indonesian elections mean?

As Indonesia is the largest country in South East Asia and the most populous Islamic country in the world, elections are closely followed.The recent elections saw the incumbent Jokowi defeat the ex General Prabowo. Economic and social issues where the main issues of this election. Given the widespread poverty in Indonesia, there are a lot of expectations for what President Jokowi can deliver to workers in his second term as President.APC talked to Yasinta Sonia, the Deputy Director of...


More repression to come after Philippines elections

The mid term elections in mid May were seen by everyone as a test for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his authoritarian rule and policies. Human rights and labour activists were hoping that by exposing Pres. Duterte's corruption, lies and murderous campaings in the War on Drugs and martial law in Mindanao, it would weaken his allies and elect senators, governors and mayors that would become his opponents. Unfortunately Duterte's allies used the media and state bureaucracy to their...


Another Nakba Day for Palestinians

The APC team apologises for the recent 6 weeks interruption of APC podcasts This was due to issues beyond our control.We are now back :-) It has been 71 years since the founding of the state of Israel in West Asia and the problems arising from the dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian from their lands have not been resolved. The struggle by the Palestinian for their land, their rights and the right to return has taken many forms over this time. Every year on May 15,...


Chinese workers and the long road to organise

The massive Tianjiayi Chemical factory explosion in eastern Jiangsu province in late March, where at least 78 workers were killed, and many hundreds injured, is another tragic example of the weak Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws in China.One of the main problems in achieving safer workplaces is the weal bargaining power of the great majority of Chinese workers.APC was able to interview Geoffrey Crothall, the Communications Director of China Labour Bulletin, on the background to this...


Indonesian dock workers link up internationally to fight together

Hutchinson is a Hong Kong based global stevedoring giant with a network of port operations that comprise 319 berths in 52 ports, spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia.Hutchinson is also renowned as a union busting company. Whether in Australia, INdonesia, Malaysia or Pakistan, it directly works to target, victimise and isolate labour activists. Currently two Pakistani dock workers, Marvia Islam (Union President) and Moeed Murad,...