SLG Syndication

SLG Syndication is committed to aggregating excerpts from news published by international news agencies and key insights on contemporary issues published by think tanks. Our aim is to facilitate the expansion of its reach while giving due credit to the original source.

Will the Latest Ceasefire Hold in Sudan?


Fighting continued in Sudan hours before a ceasefire agreement was to take effect between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) on Monday, May 22. The warring parties had signed the agreement on May 20. Around 850 civilians have died since fighting broke out on April 15.

Concerns remain about whether the ceasefire will hold as earlier agreements were violated. This is the first time the warring parties have signed a written agreement with a mechanism for monitoring. A Monitoring and Coordination Committee is to be established, comprising three representatives each from the SAF and RSF, and three each from the US and Saudi Arabia, which have been jointly facilitating the negotiations in Jeddah.

While welcoming the agreement, spokesperson of the Sudanese Communist Party Fathi Elfadl told Peoples Dispatch that this committee is insufficient to monitor and ensure compliance. “It does not include a single representative of the civilians who have been suffering the most,” he said. 

The warring parties have committed to ensuring the safety of humanitarian workers and allowing humanitarian assistance delivery. Elfadl said that the humanitarian corridors should not be controlled by the SAF or RSF but by organizations like the doctors’ union and the Sudanese Red Crescent. He added that neighborhood resistance committees, which have been at the forefront of mass protests and relief work, should receive and distribute the aid.

Around 24.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the Revised Humanitarian Response Plan for Sudan prepared by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

from the Peoples Dispatch / Globetrotter News Service

G7 summit escalates new Cold War


The leaders of the most powerful capitalist empires gathered in Japan over the weekend to hold a summit of the “G7” powers – the United States, UK, France, Canada, Italy, Japan, and Germany. While their deliberations, held in Hiroshima, touched on a wide range of issues, there was one common goal present throughout the meeting – intensify the new Cold War atmosphere in world politics by recklessly deepening key conflicts. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was the de facto guest of honor at the summit. Arriving on Saturday, Zelenskyy held a flurry of meetings and events to solidify his standing among the main sponsors of the proxy war that pits his country against Russia. In his main speech, Zelenskyy reminded his patrons how they are all effectively co-combatants in the war, “For almost 15 months of full-scale war, we’ve made hundreds of security decisions together. These include the formation of coalitions of defense support, sanctions against the aggressor, protection of markets, including the energy and food markets, and protection of Ukraine’s financial stability.” 

The day before Zelenskyy landed in Hiroshima, the Biden administration unveiled a massive escalation of the war. The Pentagon will now seek to facilitate the transfer of highly sought-after F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, and the training of Ukrainian pilots to fly them. For months, even the U.S. government resisted aggressive lobbying by Ukraine to secure these jets. But as the eve of the G7 summit opened, this was reversed in a move that takes the world even further down the path towards catastrophe. 

Biden met with Zelenskyy and pledged, “Together with the entire G7, we have Ukraine’s back and I promise we’re not going anywhere.” An official statement from the summit promised that “Our support for Ukraine will not waver.” Host of the summit, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, assured that the G7 will provide “strong backing for Ukraine from every possible dimension.”

While imperialist diplomacy played out in the comfort of the summit, dramatic events were unfolding on the battlefield in Ukraine. The town of Bakhmut was captured by the Russian military after months of intense fighting that became the focal point of the war. But at the same time, the Ukrainian armed forces were conducting final preparations for a highly-anticipated counter-offensive that could see the greatest risk yet of the war escalating into a direct clash between NATO and Russia.  

Hostility to China a central theme

China, which along with Russia is the principal adversary in the U.S. government’s new Cold War, was also a top target at the summit. The official declaration pledged that the G7 would, “address the challenges posed by China’s non-market policies and practices, which distort the global economy” and “counter malign practices.” It also expressed that the leaders were, “seriously concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas” and echoed separatist talking points on Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang. These issues are related to the territorial integrity of China, something that is of the utmost importance to the country’s government and could be the basis for a direct military clash. 

A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry responded to this hostility by noting, “the G7 used issues concerning China to smear and attack China and brazenly interfere in China’s internal affairs … gone are the days when a handful of Western countries can just willfully meddle in other countries’ internal affairs and manipulate global affairs. We urge G7 members to catch up with the trend of the times.”

Along the sidelines of the G7 meeting, leaders of the “Indo-Pacific Quad” countries also held a meeting. The Quad was established in 2017 as part of the U.S. strategy to encircle and contain China, and is made up of the United States, Japan, India and Australia. While it stopped short of naming China, the joint statement issued by the Quad countries all but accused the country of “destabilizing or unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo by force or coercion.” Of course, it is actually the U.S. government that for generations has based its entire foreign policy on unilateral action employing force or coercion. 

China was especially alarmed at the rhetoric coming out of the G7 summit because of several recent geopolitical developments. Last month, the right wing president of South Korea Yoon Suk Yeol traveled to the White House to meet with Joe Biden and issue the “Washington Declaration.” This aimed to solidify South Korea’s subordinate role to the U.S. war machine by deepening military coordination, including the regular deployment of U.S. submarine-based nuclear weapons to the Korean peninsula. Then, less than two weeks later, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida went to South Korea for talks aimed at bringing the two countries closer together for the sake of mutual confrontation with China and North Korea. Last December, Kishida’s government announced the country would embark on its largest military build-up since World War Two. 

It is a true irony that this gathering took place in Hiroshima – the place where the U.S. military criminally carried out the first attack in history using nuclear arms. While the leaders visited the city’s Peace Park dedicated to the bomb’s victims and spouted hollow rhetoric about disarmament, their actions at the summit brought the world closer to the brink of a catastrophic global confrontation where this type of weapon could bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it. 

Source: The Liberation

Colombian President Gustavo Petro Warns of Coup Plot Against Him


Colombia’s first leftist president Gustavo Petro sounded the alarms about a brewing coup plot against him. He told participants during an event in Sucre at which land was turned over to dispossessed peasants, “For the first time there is a president that, instead of trying to take the land away from peasants to keep it or give it to his friends, he is trying to give the land back. And now some former colonel says that this deserves a coup d’état… these coups are resisted and overcome through the mobilization of citizens.”

Petro was referring to statements made on May 11 by retired Army Colonel John Marulanda during a debate on La W radio. Marulanda said that the mobilization of retired members of the military is a sign that Colombia is “following the steps of Peru” wherein “the reserve forces were successfully able to defenestrate a corrupt president.” He added, “Here we will do our best to defenestrate someone who was a guerrilla fighter.”

On Wednesday, May 10, around 3,000 retired members of the Armed Forces mobilized in the Plaza Bolívar against Petro’s government. The retired members particularly take issue with Petro’s plan for “Total Peace,” in which the government has engaged in peace talks and negotiations with numerous armed groups and established several bilateral ceasefires. Retired army personnel also criticized progressive reforms promoted by Petro and members of the Historic Pact, such as the health care reform and labor reform. Many in the mobilization demanded “Out Petro!” and particularly opposed him for being a former member of a guerrilla group. In this context, Marulanda’s words have sparked concerns of a coup plot against Petro.

Fighting Between Sudanese Army and RSF Has Disastrous Impact in Darfur as Hundreds of Thousands Are Displaced


Over 700,000 people have been internally displaced in Sudan since April 15, when an armed conflict began between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), according to the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The IOM spokesperson, Paul Dillon, said at a press briefing in Geneva on May 9 that the number has doubled in the prior week after IOM had previously estimated on May 3 that 334,053 had been displaced, 72 percent of them in West Darfur and South Darfur States.

In the states of South Darfur, North Darfur, and Central Darfur, clashes between the SAF and RAF began soon after they started fighting in Khartoum, killing many civilians, as Mohammed Alamaldin, a civil society activist from West Darfur’s capital Genena, told Peoples Dispatch.

However, in his own state, community members—including youth, women, and elders—had managed to secure a local agreement between SAF and RSF “to wait until the winner is determined in Khartoum.”

The locally negotiated truce lasted for a little over a week before forces clashed on April 24. Amid the ensuing insecurity, the armed conflict between West Darfur’s ethnic militias escalated, killing over 250 and wounding 300 civilians between April 27 and May 3, according to Alamaldin. On May 12 and May 13 alone, 280 were killed and over 160 were injured.

from the Peoples Dispatch / Globetrotter News Service

India’s Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Suffers Blow in Karnataka State Elections


India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lost a key election in the state of Karnataka on May 10. The opposition Indian National Congress (INC) won a decisive victory in the southern state, securing 135 seats in the 234-member legislative assembly. The BJP won 65 seats, while the Janata Dal (Secular) [JD(S)] won 19 seats.

The BJP had been in power in Karnataka, having formed the government in July 2019 under controversial circumstances. The BJP toppled a coalition of the INC and JD(S) by having legislators of the two parties defect.

The BJP conducted a high-octane campaign in the state in 2023, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his second-in-command Home Minister Amit Shah. The party resorted to its usual strategies of religious polarization. However, in the run-up to the campaign, analysts pointed out that there was deep dissatisfaction with the BJP government in Karnataka.

Newsclick analyst Subodh Varma noted that a pre-poll survey had found that “68 percent of those surveyed identified corruption, 47 percent said price rise and 34 percent said unemployment were important factors in deciding which way to vote… The survey found that among poorer sections, price rise becomes an even bigger issue with about 51 percent of respondents reporting it as a major factor.” He added that these issues, along with unemployment and the crisis faced by farmers, were “[overriding the] caste and regional divisions” in the state. 

from the Peoples Dispatch / Globetrotter News Service

Erdoğan Upsets Opposition Hopes of Victory, Run-off With Kılıçdaroğlu Expected in Turkey’s Presidential Race


In the Turkish parliamentary elections held on May 14, the ruling People’s Alliance, led by the Justice and Development Party, retained its majority. However, there was no clear winner in the presidential elections and a run-off is likely to be held between incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. 

Erdoğan emerged as the front runner with more than 49 percent of the vote. His agenda is the continuation of his economic and foreign policies. Kılıçdaroğlu, the joint candidate of the Nation Alliance led by the Republican People’s Party, who was leading in the pre-election surveys, failed to win even 45 percent of the votes. He is campaigning on the promise of “change,” including a return to the parliamentary system and radical changes in foreign policy based on a pro-Western approach.

As per Turkey’s Supreme Election Council, 87 percent of the electorate, 56 million citizens, voted in the elections. The results have defied public opinion surveys published prior to the vote, which stated that Kılıçdaroğlu was ahead of Erdoğan.

The results have also dashed the opposition’s hope of benefiting from popular grievances against Erdoğan’s government, which include prolonged high inflation deepening the cost of living crisis, backlash against Syrian refugees, and the mismanagement of the February earthquake relief.

A run-off will most likely be held two weeks from now for the presidential post, as neither of the lead candidates were able to secure over 50 percent of the vote.

from the Peoples Dispatch / Globetrotter News Service

India’s Karnataka Verdict: Opposition Parties Must Capitalize on Momentum

The Karnataka mandate changes both the arithmetic and the chemistry for anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the year leading up to the 2024 national elections. That’s when Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be seeking a third term and the Karnataka result shows that he can indeed be defeated.
The BJP/Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leadership in all its wisdom chose to make Modi the centrepiece of a state campaign. This intense campaign has failed to prevent a decisive defeat for the BJP in its only holding in South India.

It’s a serious setback for the BJP as the gains for the Congress are phenomenal, and will work at multiple levels. First, the party has come back to power in a resource-rich state that should give both practical support and momentum to its 2024 campaign. Second, the Gandhi family performed as a good support structure to state leaders without seeking to over-stage them; that’s an important balance the BJP did not maintain.

Priyanka Gandhi was both combative and charismatic in her campaign outings. Many of the places where the party did well were on the route of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra (unlike places where Modi campaigned). The win in Karnataka does enhance Rahul Gandhi’s profile, yet it can be argued that the party could benefit even more were it to clarify that he does not seek public office (after all, he is technically disqualified as an MP). It would then make a virtue out of a necessity.

Most significantly, it was during the Karnataka campaign that Rahul Gandhi and Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge pitched for the social justice plank that is an article of faith with their alliance partners in Bihar and Tamil Nadu. Both demanded that the 50 percent cap on reservation be removed and a caste census be conducted even as they came with the slogan ‘jitni abaadi/utna haq’ (rights should reflect the population numbers).

Siddaramaiah, arguably the biggest mass leader in Karnataka currently and a frontrunner for the post of Chief Minister, draws his strength from the social justice plank and had pitched for upping reservation to 75 percent. It would be interesting if after the Karnataka results, the Congress concludes that a pro-poor image and the social justice pitch is the most effective counter to Hindutva in future poll battles.
The party would be hoping there will be a spill-over in other state elections due in the second half of the year. A direct contest with the BJP takes place in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan. But what’s also intriguing is the impact on Telangana that is ruled by a regional party, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), and will have assembly elections in late 2023.

The Congress has done well in the Hyderabad Karnataka region that borders Telangana. Reports from Telangana indicate a gradual revival of the Congress; not enough to unseat the BRS, but there are apparently chances of emerging as a strong Opposition in the state. There has been media hype about the BJP fancying its prospects in Telangana, but the impact of the Karnataka verdict could change equations in the neighbouring state.

Such calculations also highlight the contradictions in creating a combined Opposition for 2024. It is not a clean arrangement in states where the Congress is competing with regional forces, yet it works nicely in states such as Bihar and Tamil Nadu where the national party is a junior partner in the ruling alliances. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has been the most pro-active in seeking to forge a broad Opposition consensus before 2024.

The Congress stock will also rise in neighbouring Maharashtra — another wealthy state — where the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde faction) is believed to be losing ground. It is in states where the Congress could be seen as potentially improving its fortunes that there will be problems in the nitty-gritty of seat allocation and power sharing with allies.

Yet, there is also no denying that even ruling parties that are deeply hostile to the Congress, such as the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi and Punjab, have also changed position in recent times and called for Opposition unity.

Source: Deccan Herald

The Redress Design Award 2023 announces its 10 Finalists, including Sri Lankan Designer


The Redress Design Award 2023 has unveiled its 10 Finalists, representing the world’s top emerging sustainable fashion designers who have stood out among hundreds of applicants. These talented designers will compete at the Grand Final Fashion Show in Hong Kong in September, showcasing their innovative solutions to tackle fashion’s waste problem.

The Redress Design Award is the largest circular fashion design competition in the world, organized by environmental NGO Redress and supported by Create Hong Kong (CreateHK). The competition is unique in showcasing, educating, and empowering emerging designers who are committed to revolutionizing the future of fashion.

This year’s 10 Finalists represent nine different regions worldwide, including Sri Lanka. Among them is Ruwanthi Gajadeera, whose collection ‘kaeli – resurgence’ incorporates recycled yarn to create a handloom denim fabric, designed for recyclability with monofibres. The Redress Design Award invites the next generation of designers to use creativity, innovation, and circular design strategies to tackle fashion waste and create a better future for fashion.

The Finalists will join an all-expenses-paid educational trip to Hong Kong in September, where they will defend their collections in front of an international panel of industry-leading judges before showcasing them to the world on the runway of the Grand Final Fashion Show. The winner will have a chance to join global leading fashion brand Timberland by VF Corporation for an exclusive sustainable collaboration.

“We believe fostering talent and innovation is both good for business and a necessity for the future of our planet,” says Sean Cady, VP Global Sustainability and Responsibility at VF Corporation. “Mentoring the next generation of designers [through this competition] is incredibly rewarding.”

Redress’ headquarters being in Hong Kong, and the opportunities it offers to Redress Design Award Alumni in reaching neighbouring Asian countries and regions, are critical advantages in our efforts to push the needle toward a more circular fashion industry.”

To encourage consumer participation in driving sustainability in fashion, the Redress Design Award invited the public to vote online for their favourite Semi-finalist. The winner of the People’s Choice Award 2023, Pavneet Kaur of India, has automatically advanced to the final round of the competition based on receiving the most votes.

The Redress Design Award 2023 Finalists are:

  • Aya Letzter, Israel
  • Frances Brunner, USA
  • Jasmine Leung, Hong Kong
  • Mandy Fong Sze Man, Hong Kong
  • Molly Ryan, Australia
  • Nils Hauser, Germany
  • Pavneet Kaur, India
  • Ruwanthi Gajadeera, Sri Lanka
  • Kim Yanghun, France
  • Wen Hanzhang, Canada

The 10 Finalists will send their completed collections, including four physical looks and one digital outfit, to Redress for a professional photoshoot with Vogue Hong Kong. The garments will be safely delivered via UPS’ carbon-neutral shipping.

The Redress Design Award 2023 is an essential platform for designers who understand circularity and how the entire fashion supply chain fits together. By showcasing emerging sustainable fashion designers, the Redress Design Award is committed to creating a better future for fashion.

For more information on the Redress Design Award 2023, please visit the website at

Sri Lanka’s Anti-Corruption Bill faces opposition from Transparency International in Top Court


Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) on Wednesday (May ‍10) filed a petition (SC SD 19/2023) with the Supreme Court, challenging the Anti-Corruption Bill, highlighting several key concerns.

While TISL welcomes the long-awaited Anti-Corruption Bill, TISL’s petition was filed challenging certain provisions of the law, on the basis that they are unconstitutional, considering that the law must be enacted in accordance with accepted international norms, whilst safeguarding fundamental rights ensured by the Constitution of Sri Lanka.  

TISL has challenged 37 Clauses of the Anti-Corruption Bill in total, including clause 28(3), 161 and 119. (Refer to the full petition on our website- )

In its petition, TISL raises concerns that several provisions of the Bill are disproportionate and could have a chilling effect on whistleblowing, the right to information and the freedom of expression, and could affect the concepts of transparency and accountability.  

The Attorney General has been named as the Respondent in this petition. Attorney-at Law Pulasthi Hewamanna appears for the petitioners with Attorneys-at-Law Githmi Wijenarayana, Fadhila Fairoze, Piumi Madhushani, Harini Jayawardhana, Lasanthika Hettiarachchi and Sankhitha Gunaratne, instructed by Attorney-at-Law Niluka Dissanayake.

The case will be taken up today (12th May) in the Supreme Court.  

Pakistan: Supreme Court declares Imran Khan’s ‘arrest illegal’

In a major relief for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest has been declared “illegal” by the Supreme Court. The order came shortly after the PTI chief was presented in court. 

The SC had directed the authorities to present Khan — who was ousted as the prime minister last year in April — at 4:30pm, but he was produced at around 5:40pm, more than an hour later.

He was brought in a convoy of 15 vehicles. 

The directives to present Khan in the court came after Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial termed the PTI leader’s arrest from the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC) as a mighty disgrace to the country’s judicial establishment.

The CJP passed the remark while heading a three-member bench hearing PTI’s petition challenging Khan’s arrest. Apart from the CJP, the bench also includes Justice Athar Minallah and Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar.

At the outset of the hearing, the former premier’s lawyer Hamid Khan informed the court that Khan had come to IHC in order to secure an extension in his interim bail. When the PTI chief was getting his verification done, Rangers personnel broke into the room.

“Rangers misbehaved with Imran Khan and arrested him,” he added.

At this, CJP Bandial inquired about the case in which Khan was seeking the bail extension.

Justice Minallah inquired if a plea can be filed before the biometric verification is conducted.

At this, the lawyer said that Khan went for biometric verification because a plea cannot be filed before that.

“Why did NAB take the law in its hand? It would have been better for NAB to seek permission from the IHC registrar,” Justice Minallah asked.

– Source GeoTv