On National and International Situation

and priorities and based on ties of equality and mutual cooperation. India must positively address the concerns of Bangladesh of which India is almost the exclusive neighbour (with the exception of the small border that Bangladesh shares with Myanmar).

31. While initially supporting the movement for restoration of democracy in Myanmar, ever since the adoption of the Look East policy, India began to develop close ties with the military rulers there. Following the release of pro-democracy movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest in 2010, her party has been re-registered and it won 43 of the 46 seats where by-elections were held in 2012. But democracy in Myanmar continues to be fragile and under the continued shadow of the military. Another challenge democracy in that country is the question of the rights of religious and ethnic minorities. Ethnic violence has forced tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims to flee Myanmar and look for refuge in neighbouring Thailand, Bangladesh, India or Malaysia. The newly elected Government of Myanmar is yet to come out with an unequivocal commitment to the rights and safety of the Rohingyas.

32. Bangladesh is currently witnessing a powerful mass awakening calling for punishment of the culprits of war-crimes committed during the liberation war of Bangladesh four decades ago. Resurrection of the spirit of the liberation war in today’s environment could potentially not only effectively isolate the rightwing and fundamentalist forces but also challenge the neo-liberal economic framework which threatens to reduce the whole of Bangladesh to a sweatshop of cheap labour and a laboratory of corporate plunder. But the large-scale confrontation between the state and the Jamaat-BNP camp, the killing of scores of people in police firing and reports of violent attacks against Hindu and Buddhist minorities as well as journalists and progressive voices have tended to overshadow the protests and vitiate the atmosphere, posing a serious challenge to the movement that seeks justice, democracy and progressive resurrection of the liberation war ethos in Bangladesh.

33. While supporting the cause of greater regional cooperation among countries of South Asia, we must try to forge closer ties among the forces of the South Asian Left and solidarity among people’s struggles against imperialist intervention and corporate plunder. Recent bilateral exchanges with comrades of Nepal and Bangladesh have strengthened our mutual understanding. While defending the immediate and basic interests and aspirations of the working people, the Left movement in Pakistan is faced with the challenge of waging simultaneous struggles against the machinations of imperialism, the military-dominated authoritarian state and terrorism-inspired disruption. We wish the Left and progressive forces in Pakistan every success in this difficult battle. The communist movement in India and all over South Asia must make its fullest contribution to the process and prospect of the resurgence of the Left in international politics.