Friday, April 27, 2018

Togo Police Crack Down on Anti-government Protesters
Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban 
11/04 - 18:31

Police in Togo have dispersed an opposition protest in the capital Lome. Reports indicate that teargas was fired to disperse protesters in Lome and in other towns across the country.

The 14-member opposition coalition calling for the resignation of the president since August last year called a two-day protest beginning today.

Reports indicate that the violent clampdown by the police led to injuries to a number of protesters. Photos shared on social media showed how a vehicle belonging to opposition chief Jean Pierre Fabre was smashed.

The government had earlier warned the protesters against the plan. They said it was a violation of the terms included in a mediation effort led by President Akufo-Addo of Ghana. The said talks have hit a stalemate after the parties failed to agree on crucial issues after two rounds.

Anti-government sentiments have been on the rise in the West African country, one of the few that has no term limits for the president. Incumbent Faure Gnassingbe has been in charge since 2005.

He “inherited” a seat his father Gnassingbe Eyadema had occupied for 38 years till his death. He is in his third 5-year term which started in 2015 and is due to expire in 2020 when elections are next held.

Aside the main push for him to resign immediately, the opposition is also pushing for return of term limits, reforms to the electoral structure and the constitutional courts.
Putin: Russia's Young Scientists Build World's Most Powerful Arms System in 7 Years
Pravda Report

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, it took a team of young scientists seven years to develop new arms systems, which he presented to the world during the Annual Address to the Federal Assembly.

At a plenary meeting of the Russian Union of Rectors, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a few details about how the new Russian weapons were created. According to Putin, Russia could develop the world's most powerful arms system in only seven years. It was young scientists who developed all the new arms, he added.

"Like I said in my address to the Federal Assembly, we create second-to-none and state-of-the-art arms systems. One of those systems was created by a team of very young scientists. I asked them where they came from and how they could invent such things. They said that they united into a scientific group after graduation and developed the world's most powerful arms system in seven years," said Putin.

During his address to the Federal Assembly in March 2018, Putin spoke about the development of new Russian weapons. He said that such a presentation would sober up any aggressor.

Pravda.Ru
See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/news/russia/politics/26-04-2018/140871-russian_arms-0/

Thursday, April 26, 2018

World War Three Is Near? The West Wants to Bypass Russia's Veto at UN Security Council
Pravda Report

Western countries have decided to resort to a mechanism that will let them bypass Russia's veto at the UN Security Council. This means that news stories on television may soon look like war-time reports.

It goes about the UN resolution that will make it possible to submit the question of the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Syria to the UN General Assembly, The Guardian says. UN ambassadors have already discussed the crisis in Syria in Sweden and intend to continue discussing it this week as well.

OPCW experts are staying in Syria now, but the organisation does not have the authority to establish those responsible for the alleged attack in Syria's Douma, the newspaper wrote.

It will be up to the UN Security Council to name the guilty. Russia has the veto right, and Moscow has already blocked more than a dozen resolutions against the Syrian authorities. In particular, Russia vetoed a US resolution on the development of a new mechanism for investigating chemical attacks in Syria.

Therefore, UN countries want to use "Uniting for Peace" resolution from November 3, 1950. If nine of fifteen members of the UN Security Council agree, it will enable them to bypass Russia's veto and put the issue to the vote at the General Assembly. The resolution presumes a disputed issue is submitted to the General Assembly, if the Security Council, for example, is unable to maintain security and peace in the world. In this case, the UN General Assembly can give the Security Council any recommendations on peace-maintaining issues.

To agree on a mechanism for establishing responsibility for the alleged chemical attack in Syria, two-thirds of the votes of the members of the UN General Assembly - all UN members - will be required.

"Uniting for Peace" Resolution has been used several times since it was adoption in 1950. In particular, it was used in 2006 on the issue of Israel's actions in East Jerusalem.

Pravda.Ru requested an expert opinion on the subject from Mikhail Sinelnikov-Orishak, an American political analyst.

"UN Resolution 377 from 1950, "Uniting for Peace," which Western countries want to use to put maximum pressure on Russia, does not conform to the UN Charter. According to Paragraph 3 of Article 27 of the Charter, issues other than procedural matters shall be deemed accepted if they receive "concurring votes of all permanent members of the Council."

"Consequently, a vote from a permanent member of the Security Council submitted against a pending decision shall be considered a vote of veto. Resolution 377, which states that the veto of a permanent member of the Security Council can be overcome under certain circumstances is known in the expert community as one of the most "contradictory acts of international law." It has been used several times in the history of the United Nations, but most often unsuccessfully.

"For example, in 1980, the UN General Assembly unblocked a resolution, which the USSR vetoed at the Security Council demanding an immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Nothing happened. Finally, what is the difference between a resolution of the General Assembly and a decision of the Security Council on the same issue? A decision of the Security Council is binding, and a resolution is recommendatory," the expert told Pravda.Ru.

Earlier, representatives of 114 countries supported the idea of a possible restriction of the use of the veto right by permanent members of the UN Security Council. Such a statement was made by Liechtenstein's Foreign Affairs Minister, Aurelia Frick.

In 2013, France put forward a similar proposal, but Russia and the United States did not support the initiative. Currently, the veto right is a privilege for the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the United States, China and France.

Pravda.Ru
See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/world/europe/25-04-2018/140855-russia_veto_security_council-0/
Historic Meeting Between North & South Korea Leaders Kicks Off 
27 Apr, 2018 03:04
Rt.com

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un shakes hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27

The much-awaited summit between Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in has begun in the "truce village" of Panmunjom. It is the first time the leaders of the two nations sat down for talks in over a decade.

The first inter-Korean summit since 2007, when Kim's late father Kim Il-sung met then-South Korean leader Roh Moo-hyun, is drawing all the eyes, coming ahead of the highly anticipated meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

North Korea's nuclear program, whose rapid advancement triggered belligerent threats from the US President, ramping up tensions in the peninsula to the boiling point in late 2017, is expected to dominate the Friday meeting, which is taking place less than a week after Pyongyang announced a freeze of all nuclear and missile exercises and a closure of a major test site.

The meeting is also of a high symbolic value. By crossing the South Korean border on foot to be greeted by Moon on the other side, Kim makes history, becoming the first North Korean leader to set foot on South Korean soil since the war between the two ended in 1953.

Kim and Moon shook hands at the demarcation line, smiling as they posed for photos. At one moment, the two leaders briefly stepped into the North Korean territory before coming back to the southern part of the border, where they were welcome by Korea’s National Guard.

Before a meeting behind closed doors began, Kim left a note in the guest book of the “peace house.” “A new history starts now. An age of piece from the starting point of history,” it reads.

The summit caps several months of swiftly mounting tension followed by a cautious thaw. September 2017 saw North Korea's sixth and the most powerful nuclear test so far, as well as the test launch of a new type of long-range ballistic missile which it claimed can reach the US.

In response, South Korea and the US held a number of military drills on North Korea's shores. Trump threatened Pyongyang with "fire and fury" in August and later derided Kim as "a rocket man on a suicide mission." The war of words, as well as the shows of force, have since subsided, and Trump has swung to hailing "big progress" in North's denuclearization and calling Kim "very honorable and very open."

Friday's inter-Korean talks come in two rounds. After the first session, which kicked off at 10:30 local time [1:30 GMT], the two leaders are set to take lunch separately and then plant a pine tree on the border to serve as a "symbol of peace and prosperity." Making the move even more symbolic is the fact that the tree is planted with a mix of soil from the both countries' mountains and water from their rivers. The sapling itself dates back to 1953, the year when the armistice agreement was struck between the South and North.

Following the ceremony, Kim and Moon will resume talks, at the end of which they will sign a pact and make an announcement, according to the South's presidential chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, who revealed the details of the summit to the media.

As symbolically significant as the talks between the two Korean leaders are, Kim's next high-level meeting is seen as both much more important and much less predictable. Kim is set to hold talks with Donald Trump in either May or June. Trump repeatedly said that he was "looking forward" to meeting the North Korean leader, but warned that he might walk away from the talks if they do not live up to his expectations.
Leaders of North, South Korea Meet at Historic Summit
Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:56PM
presstv.ir

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attend the inter-Korean summit at the truce village of Panmunjom, in this still frame taken from video, South Korea April 27, 2018. Also at the meeting are South Korea's National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon (L), Blue House Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok (3rd L), North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong (R) and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho (3rd R). (Photo by Reuters)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon have held their historic summit at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone.

During the Friday summit, the first between the two Koreas' leader in more than a decade, Kim was accompanied by his sister and confidante, Kim Yo-jong, and the 90-year-old nominal head of the North Korean state, Kim Yong-nam.

During the meeting, the South Korean president expressed hope for achievement of a "bold agreement."

"I hope we engage in frank talks and reach a bold agreement so that we may give a big gift to the whole Korean people and the people who want peace," Moon said.

According to South Korean officials, the two countries are expected to release a joint statement late on Friday, possibly called the Panmunjom Declaration, which could elaborate on issues, including denuclearization, peace, and promotion of bilateral ties. Before the summit, Kim stopped to sign a guest book in South Korea's Peace House.

"A new history starts now. An age of peace, from the starting point of history," Kim wrote in the book in Korean.

Earlier, in their first encounter at the demarcation line, the north Korean leader invited the South president to step briefly across the demarcation line into North Korea, and then the two leaders entered South Korea.

Later, the South Korean president officially welcomed Kim into the South as the two heads of states were smiling and holding hands.

Walking on a red carpet, Kim and moon were met by a South Korean honor guard as traditional music was played.

Panmunjom, the world's last Cold War frontier, was designated as the venue of meeting for officials from the North and South after the Korean war ended in a truce in 1953.

Neither North nor South Korea have jurisdiction over Panmunjom and the UN Command administers the village which sits inside the heavily mined four-kilometer Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that serves as the de facto border between the two Koreas.

The planned meeting will bring the South Korean president Moon and the North Korean leader together, with Kim crossing a military demarcation line to the South for the first time and becoming the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the Korean War ended 65 years ago.

South Korean sources said official dialog between Kim and Moon would begin at 0130 GMT at the Peace House in Pan-mun-jom in Panmunjom, an hour after the North Korean leader is scheduled to cross the border at 0030 GMT.

The North’s military nuclear and missile programs will be high on the agenda. But it is unlikely that the meeting will produce any outcome beyond a thaw in the relations, which had been tense until January this year.

According to North Korea's official KCNA news agency, Kim will "open-heartedly discuss... all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula."

After the end of the first session of the talks, the two leaders will have lunch separately and then hold a tree-planting ceremony in the afternoon, according to the South’s presidential chief of staff.

Im Jong-seok, the South’s presidential chief of staff, said a pine tree would be planted on the demarcation line to symbolize “peace and prosperity,” with the use of soil from Mount Paektu in North Korea and Mount Halla in South Korea.

Kim and Moon will sign an agreement and issue a joint statement at the end of talks, according to Im.

The North Korean leader said last week that he was ready to suspend the country’s nuclear and missile tests and close a nuclear test site as North Korea has already achieved adequate progress in the nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea says its weapons are defensive in nature and a necessary deterrent against potential hostility by the United States and its regional allies, including South Korea.

The two Koreas began mending fences in January, when Kim said he would be interested in talks being held between officials from the two countries. A series of overtures ensued.

A possible meeting between Kim and US President Donald Trump is also reportedly being planned for sometime in May or June.

However, Trump told Fox News by telephone on Thursday that it remained unclear whether he would meet with Kim.

"It could be that I walk out quickly - with respect - but ... it could be that maybe the meeting does not even take place," he said.

"Who knows. But I can tell you right now they want to meet." Meanwhile, the White House released two photos of a meeting between Kim and then Secretary of State-designate and CIA chief Mike Pompeo in North Korea over the Easter weekend.

This was Kim's first known meeting with a US official, during which they discussed the planned summit with Trump.

The diplomatic initiatives are part of efforts to reduce tensions surrounding North Korea’s nuclear and weapons program, which began after Pyongyang sent a delegation of its athletes to South Korea for the Winter Olympics earlier this year.

It then allowed representatives from South Korea to travel to the North and plan the summit between the leaders of the two countries.

Later, North Korea's leader announced the intention to hold talks with the US president. Washington and Pyongyang have no diplomatic relations.

The US has imposed many rounds of sanctions on North Korea, has substantial military presence near the country, and numerously threatened to invade it.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula were running high in 2017. Trump’s threats last year prompted North Korea to carry out its most powerful nuclear test to date and launch intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States But Kim expressed sudden interest in the resolution of disagreements with the South on New Year’s Day, and a series of overtures began.
Kim Jong Un Leaves Pyongyang for North-South Summit Meeting and Talks
Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, left Pyongyang early on the morning of April 27 for the historic north-south summit meeting and talks to be held in the south side portion of Panmunjom.

The north-south summit meeting and talks are to be held in the south side for the first time in the history of national division.

The Supreme Leader is to cross the demarcation line at Panmunjom at 9 a.m. on April 27 to meet and have historic talks with President Moon Jae In.

He will open-heartedly discuss with Moon Jae In all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula.

After rounding off the north-south summit meeting and talks from morning and afternoon to the night of April 27, he will come back to Pyongyang.

KCNA
South African Transport Minister Blade Nzimande to Intervene in Bus Strike
Wednesday 25 April 2018 - 6:16pm

File: Transport Minister Blade Nzimande is to intervene in the ongoing national bus strike on Thursday. Photo: eNCA/Bafana Nzimande

JOHANNESBURG – Transport Minister Blade Nzimande is to intervene in the ongoing national bus strike.

Nzimande is set to meet with stakeholders on Thursday in a bid to find a resolution to the crippling impasse.

On Wednesday, the strike continued after talks with Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant failed to break the deadlock between unions and employers.

Bus drivers across the country took their feet off the pedal last week, demanding better salaries.

The strike, now a week old, put severe pressure on taxi ranks, with long queues inconveniencing commuters.

eNCA
SACP Supports the Ongoing Bus Drivers Nationwide Strike, Calls for Solidarity
20 April 2018

The South African Communist Party (SACP) fully supports the bus drivers strike as led in the main by the South African Transport Workers Union (Satawu) with the involvement of other trade unions in the sector`s collective bargaining council. The SACP further congratulates Satawu for the leading role that the union is playing in the collective bargaining process and the strike.

The employers have offered a meagre 7 per cent wage increase and rejected other substantive demands of the workers. Workers are presently demanding a 12 per cent salary increase for all drivers across the board; a basic wage of R8 000 as opposed to the current R6 000; a full pay for dual drivers travelling long distances; and a nightshift roster from 4pm to 6am, as opposed to the current one, 8pm to 3am.

It is clear that bus companies have been violating the law for a long time without any consequences. Some of these demands raised by the workers stem from a flagrant violation of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act by the employers. Employers have been reaping the benefits of free labour for an overdue period.

In more concrete terms, employers have been raking in very high profits at the expense of workers. In line with the capitalist mode of production, they have at one and the same time sought to, and have in most cases have succeeded, to push down costs of operation to as low as possible by resisting salary increment for workers. It is in this context, for instance, that these companies have been implementing a dual driver system, through which employers are enjoying free labour, in that the second driver who is not at the wheel when the trip commences is deemed to not be on duty and only paid a R400 allowance per month. Workers demand full pay for both drivers. Workers having been providing free labour whilst employers cash in absolute surplus value - the profit made from the workers who are required to be at work but are not paid for being on duty!

The SACP will continue to support SATAWU (South African Transport and Allied Workers; Union) and all affected workers in this strike. We will work closely with Cosatu in the just struggle for a living wage, better working conditions and decent work in general.

The SACP is also calling on the bus companies to refund passengers the money for the tickets the companies have sold. The workers want to use the money for alternative transport during the course of the strike.
--
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YCLSA Statement on the Passing of the Mother of the Nation Mama Winnie Nomzamo Madikizela Mandela
03 April 2018

The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) would like to join the people of the world and South Africa in mourning the mother of the Nation and freedom fighter. We sadly lower our red flag to salute Comrade Winnie Madikizela Mandela an astute fearless soldier for the liberation of the African poor majority and women in particular. We convey our revolutionary heartfelt condolences to the Madikizela and the Mandela families on this great loss and we agree that the movement as a whole has lost a great woman and a soldier for radical struggles of the emancipation of the downtrodden.

Comrade Winnie will never be forgotten by the people of South Africa, she struggled with them and led from the front. She believed that the revolution is about the masses and she rooted herself among the people. She is undoubtedly our hero who the apartheid regime failed to break, she survived all its atrocities to live in a democratic South Africa. Because she understood that our people must be totally emancipated, she still stood by the poor and stayed with them in the township responding to people's calls whenever a need arose till her death.

We will always remember the support she continuously gave to different generations of student leaders. Comrade Winnie loved young people and stood by the youth at all material times. She understood that young people must always raise their views sharply and must never fear to make mistakes. She was a friend of the youth and she taught us perseverance and loyalty to the movement. She believed in the struggle for free quality education and we will ensure that its implementation does not leave out needy young people because of limited space. The YCLSA will continue to call for the expansion of infrastructure in higher education and making TVET Colleges institutions of first choice for skills development.

Mama Winnie stood by women all the time and was a woman of her own views. From her, we are inspired to continue being critical without fear or favor. She believed in the liberation of women and she despised patriarchy. Our movement must critically address gender inequality and women emancipation in its ranks. Women must never be made to feel like second class members in their own organization because Mama Winnie fought against such. We thank her for her contribution to the liberation of our people and ourselves like Mama Winnie, Dora Tamana and many other great giants recorded in our history, we echo Lenin's words and say everything for the revolution and nothing against it.

The struggle against capitalism continues and now more than ever, socialism in our lifetime. Aluta continua!

Issued by the YCLSA National Committee
For more information contact YCLSA National Secretary
Cde Mluleki Dlelanga
0786429004

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Statement of the YCLSA National Committee Lekgotla Plenary Session
18 March 2018

The Young Communist League of South Africa (YCLSA) convened its National Committee Lekgotla from the 16 -18 March 2018, COSATU House, Johannesburg. The Lekgotla was attended by National Committee Members, Provincial Committee Officials and District secretaries. The Lekgotla received, discussed and adopted the political, organizational and financial reports. The National Committee Lekgotla was addressed by the SACP 1st Deputy General Secretary, Comrade Solly Mapaila on the current political developments and the road map of the SACP towards the State and Popular power as was resolved in the 14th National Congress in July 2017; the Ambassador of Western Sahara, Ambassador Bachir on the developments and needed interventions; and by the Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Training, Comrade Buti Manamela.

The National Committee Lekgotla started by paying tribute to our fallen heroes for the period under review and observed a moment of silent in honour of Comrade Teenage Monama, Cde Fezeka Loliwe, Cde Brian Matyila and Cde Alois 'Charles' Setsubi. Furthermore, the Lekgotla expressed its views on the following issues;-

The State of the Youth

The national Committee Lekgotla dedicated the time on analysing the generic challenges facing young people in our country and a special emphasise was made on the necessity of young people to understand their generational consensus. We further characterised the youth question in particular on how to socialise the youth. Currently young people continue to suffer unemployment, poverty, equality and landlessness.

We arrived on a social perspective that youth must be viewed as assets to society. The asset perspective views youth as having the potential to contribute actively and meaningfully to society. Youth are seen as benefactors of development and not simply as beneficiaries of development. This social perspective sees youth in a position to help rather than to receive assistance.

This viewpoint resonates with youth as agents of change capable of leading their own development with society's support. It empowers youth away from problems such as crime, teenage pregnancy and drug abuse to one of enhancing potential. Youth become agents for addressing service delivery challenges such as involvement in the building of houses as opposed to being passive recipients of housing programmes. A switch to such a social perspective would offer tremendous rewards for society, not to mention youth and their families. The decision makers in our society have placed little value in the potential of youth leading to young people becoming undervalued by society and overlooked in policy. The asset perspective has been more beneficial to improving the levels of youth participation and the quality of youth leadership.

The SACP, State and Popular Power

We have noted the desperate media reports to present the Party of Socialism to be divided. This is to defocus the people, the Party and its leadership from the radical campaigns the SACP has been advancing for the South African working class. We re-affirm the unity of the Party as such peddling of fallacious rumours will not succeed because the Party remains intact and more united than before.

The YCLSA National Committee Lekgotla welcomed the SACP 14th National Congress resolution on the SACP, State and Popular power and fully understand that it was not a mechanical process that the Party took the decision, there was a political context and process that was followed. We fully understand the decision and the political process that will be followed as part of the implementation of the resolution. The YCLSA is committed to the implementation of the 14th SACP National Congress resolution on this question and the National Committee Lekgotla resolved to embark on the activities, campaigns and programmes seeking to contribute with concrete foundations towards envisaging the implementation and attainment of the State Power in our lifetime. Using our Operation Khula, we are going to build YCLSA and SACP branches as part of laying needed foundation for the State and Popular Power. We are indeed happy to know that the issue of State and Popular Power is always in the agenda of the Party. We will also prepare discussion paper in contributing to this debate of the development of the modalities on the State and Popular Power.

The State of Higher Education & Training and Fee-Free Education

The National Lekgotla extensively discussed the state of higher education. We have noted the ineffectiveness of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) has continued to affect poor and working class students, we call on the DHET to take very radical decisions that will see NSFAS delivering and ensuring that poor students receive the desired service and are able to study without the existing NSFAS frustrations. We further call on all former Colleges of education and agriculture to be reopened with immediate effect to address the question of lack of space and infrastructure in higher education. Our call for curriculum transformation will be taken to greater heights through our engagements with academia.

We have agreed that 2018 will be a year of the TVETs in the YCLSA. To build active branches and to transform the management of TVETs so that students are not depoliticized and refused activism. We will engage the DHET to assure us of measures that are put in place to ensure that TVET funding and TVET infrastructure does not get compromised in any way.

The Lekgotla welcomed the pronounced implementation of the Fee or Free Education by the government. We also note with great interest the steps taken so far towards implementation of this important campaign. We will continue to monitor the implementation of this decision. Although it's not enough, we are of the firm view that the implementation of this pronouncement will positively contribute to the upliftment of the working class and poor standard of living.

On the ANC and New Administration post Former President Jacob Zuma era

The Young Communist League of South Africa National Committee Lekgotla noted the contemporary developments in the ANC and the country generally. It is our firm view that should the Alliance become a strategic political centre for accountability, monitoring and evaluation, there will be least challenges within the Alliance. The speedy implementation of the Transformation of the education sector coupled with the Free Quality and Compulsory Education, the Radical Socio-Economic Transformation, the National Health Insurance (NHI), the support of the youth dominated cooperatives, the expropriation of the land without compensation to the hands of state and the creation of decent jobs prioritizing the youth will be closely monitored by the YCLSA.

We further welcome the new appointments to the Cabinet in particular of our SACP General Secretary, Cde Blade Nzimande. These new appointments signal the beginning of a new era of much hope and anticipation for a better, more effective and transformative government. We further congratulate all the SACP members who were appointed in the Cabinet. From them, we are expecting none other than delivering of the services and goods for the working class. We hope this new administration will indeed be considerate and take into consideration the Alliance in all its decision making processes.

The hard work to rebuild confidence and credibility in the state and government institutions must be the pre-occupation of not only individuals but the collective. The YCLSA commits to support the new administration on all progressive initiatives and will not hesitate to be extremely critical on those that do not promote the interests of the working class and poor. The current political period requires deployees who are dedicated and capable in the execution of the duties and responsibilities entrusted to them.

It important to indicate from the beginning that our support to this new administration this time around will not be a blank cheque. We are committing to be among those who will be holding this new government to account on its non pro poor and working class policies. It is our firm view as the YCLSA that the policies of the ANC - led Alliance are not implemented generally. It is against this background that we will be calling for the implementation of the ANC-led Alliance polices.

On the question of the expropriation of Land

The YCLSA also welcomes the ANC resolution on expropriation of land without compensation which has also been passed by parliament as a resolution to amend the constitution and allow expropriation without compensation. Sadly, few contributions to the public debate are informed by the available evidence. And poorly informed commentators often misrepresent the issues. Compounding this is a serious problem - the absence of reliable national data on many aspects of the land issue. Land policy, at the centre of the storm, is flailing around in the dark. Land reform has been slow, with government reporting that, so far, around 9% of commercial farmland has been transferred through restitution and redistribution. In reality, there is only the haziest of understandings of how well or how badly land reform is doing, and why.

Nobody knows precisely how much agricultural land has been privately purchased by black farmers and how much has been acquired via land reform. Government's latest land audit is also not particularly useful. It provides some evidence of continuing patterns of racial inequality in land ownership. But it can't identify the racial, gender and national identity of the 320 000 companies, trust and community based organisations that own 61% of all privately owned land. Neither of these audits is able to identify zones of need and opportunity for land reform. Information of this kind, crucial for well-planned redistribution, simply doesn't exist. There is almost zero information on how many people have actually benefited from land reform, patterns of land use after transfer, and levels of production and income.

The YCLSA therefore demands an overall extensive and thorough land audit by National government which must be capacitated for consultation and engagement all spheres of government and corners of South Africa. The YCLSA also demand the revisit of the SACP resolutions on Land Reform which must be informed by consultative local forums to feed into the Regional, Provincial and ultimately National Land Reform Summit. This is because the land reform programme should be driven by the movement but owned by the people. Our people over the years have eagerly willing work the land for agricultural purpose, there is therefore a need to expand the government capacities to re-capacitate young people and women on how to work the land. As part of expediting land reform, the so-called illegal miners by capital in the former mining towns must be formalised and assisted with registration and formalization as a way of rehabilitating the mining dumps and economic activities of such former mining towns.

Building a more modern, militant and disciplined YCLSA

The National Committee Lekgotla emphasized that our main pre-occupation should always be on how we mobilize young people to join YCLSA, to appreciate the struggle for socialism that will never be delinked with strong SASCO, COSAS and ANCYL. Also our approach on strengthening the organization is to continue to strengthen an YCLSA branch, YCLSA District, YCLSA Province and YCLSA National Committee as to advance the struggle for socialism. As we do so we continue to champion the needs, interests and aspirations of the youth in our country, to be the youth voice and struggle for socialism.

Issued by the YCLSA National Committee

For more information contact YCLSA National Secretary

0786429004
SACP Condemns Imperialist Attacks on Syria Spearheaded by USA
23 April 2018

The South African Communist Party (SACP) condemns the attacks on the Syrian Arab Republic spearheaded by imperialist forces, the United States with Britain and France carried out on 14 April 2018. The imperialist allies hit three targets, including the capital of Damascus, on the manufactured reasoning of preventing the proliferation of chemical weapons. These attacks which were not even backed by international law and the Charter of the United Nations came hours before inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) were due to arrive in Syria to investigate an alleged Syria attack on the opposition.

The world should not be fooled into believing that the US-led assault has anything to do with protecting the people of Syria or introducing democracy. Just like the 2003 Iraqi invasion, the real reason for the attacks on Syria is interest on the natural resources of Syria, such as oil, and control of the Syrian economy.

The interests of the United States, it must be remembered, are the interests of its ruling class. The government, together with the military, merely run the affairs of the United States` capitalist class. It is this class which has direct interests in the natural resources of Syria and generally the whole Middle East. As such, unless the oppressed working class of the United States and all other countries rise up and fight for their interests, capitalist United States will continue dropping bombs on other sovereign states. In the process these acts will create the so-called terrorist organisations. In the end, the citizens of those imperialist states will be forced to fund a military war against these organisations which are a direct creation of imperialist aggression.

The United States has made its business to violate the national sovereignty of other countries. The organisation known as the Islamic State (IS) is a direct creation of the United States` illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, aiming to expropriate and control oil and oil prices. Since 2011 the United States has fuelled the war in Syria by supporting Al Qaeda linked military groups, purporting to contribute to peace efforts in that country.

To counter these attacks, it is important that progressive and left forces across the globe unite in the fight against the imperialism currently spearheaded by the United States capitalist regime. In solidarity with the people of Syria and all other victims of imperialist aggression, the SACP will continue to conscientise and mobilise the South African working class and build louder voices against imperialism.
NEHAWU Statement on the North West Department of Health Strike and SASSA Crisis
24 April 2018

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union [NEHAWU] convened this press conference to brief both the media and the public on the strike in North West province and the crisis at the South African Social Security Agency [SASSA].

On the strike at the North West Department of Health

The strike in North West began on the 19th February 2018 after the department refused to concede to a number of demands submitted by the union. It is a cause for concern that the strike has dragged on for more than two months with no solution in sight. Our attempts at resolving the impasse have been met with sheer arrogance and disdain by the department of health. On numerous occasions we have tried to bring the department to the negotiating table and our efforts have yielded no positive results as the employer blatantly refused to engage us.

The national union vows to intensify the current ongoing strike action in North West government because of the intransigence and heightened levels of arrogance displayed by the provincial government. Instead of engaging the union on the current impasse they elected to engage us through the media thus prolonging the strike unnecessarily. Our members and workers are highly agitated by the way the provincial government has handled their demands and the subsequent strike. Their actions prove beyond reasonable doubt that they do not care about workers nor do they care about the millions who rely to government services.

As NEHAWU, we will not back down until all our demands are met and the provincial government gives us clear timelines on when the necessary changes will be effected. We hold a strong view that our demands are reasonable and that if left unresolved will lead to the total collapse of the government system in the province, a situation we had hoped will be avoided.

The national union vehemently rejects the slanted narrative that the current crisis in the public healthcare system is because of the current strike action. Before the commencement of the strike action the department was already confronted by challenges of lack of medication, lack of linen and bedding, lack of proper meals for patients, lack of medical equipment, overworked staff as a result of staff shortages, premature deaths of patients, and long queues in healthcare institutions. The communities were affected by these challenges way before the strike and some of these challenges are the reason we decided to embark on a strike action.

We have noted the utterances made by the troubled Premier in relation to the permanent absorption of Community Health Workers into the Department of Health. As NEHAWU, we want to inform the public that this is a total misrepresentation of facts and that the fight by the Union in 2016 for the absorption of CHWs stopped because the wife of the premier was part of the NGO beneficiaries who were supposed to handle the payments of stipends of the CHWs. This is one of the many reasons why the Premier has always hated NEHAWU because we have always been on the forefront of fighting the looting of government resources by greedy politicians.

The national union further notes the victimisation of our members who have taken it upon themselves to blow the whistle on the massive corruption that has been taking place in the department and are flexing their muscles by charging those who have any incriminatory information. In this regard, we demand that charges against all whistle-blowers in the department be withdrawn and that corruption allegations raised by Mr Itumeleng Mogorosi and others be investigated and the guilty parties be brought to book. As a transformative Union, we will never allow ourselves to be silenced and to co-exist with corruption wherever we are organising and we will defend our members whenever they raise alarms on corruption irrespective whether perpetrators are administrators, politicians or even workers.

We applaud the communities of North West province for standing up for proper service delivery from the provincial government they voted in. We fully support the call for the Premier to resign as we believe that the crisis in the Department of Health took place under his nose and that it is impossible not to be aware of the gross corruption taking place in the department.

However, we are opposed to any violence and vandalism of property. Communities have a right to hold accountable the people they voted into power and to ensure that the deliver on the promises they made before elections.

As NEHAWU, we view the deployment of the army into the healthcare facilities as an insult to collective bargaining. Instead of engaging the union on its demands the department elects to gloss over the problems that engulfs the public healthcare sector in the province. The deployment of the army is not a permanent solution and at some point the department would have to engage NEHAWU with a view to end the impasse.

In this regard, the union calls upon the provincial government to return to negotiating table as the failure will mean that communities will be without basic healthcare services for much longer. At this point, we want to inform the public that the national union has written a letter to the Office of Presidency of the Republic of South Africa specifically asking the President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa to give us an audience regarding matters resulted into the impasse in North West province in order to find the lasting solution(s) before it's too late.

On SASSA

The national union condemns with the contempt it deserves the victimisation and intimidation of our members at the South African Social Security Agency [SASSA]. Our members and workers have been forced to perform duties outside their scope of work as SASSA begins to phase out the illegal and invalid Cash Paymaster Services [CPS]. Members and workers who refuse to perform these duties which include the Biometric Enrolment of Beneficiaries are threatened with letters of suspension.

Furthermore, our members were tricked into believing that they were attending a Biometric Identity Access and Management workshop only to find out that they were being trained to perform Biometric Enrolment of beneficiaries which were we not consulted as NEHAWU. The training should have not taken place considering that the new function they are forced to perform has an adverse impact on their condition of service.

The employer reiterated the lie we were consulted and that labour requested the training the Biometric Enrolment of Beneficiaries. On the 20th April 2018 at the SASSA National Bargaining Forum the employer was proven wrong where both labour and employer listen to the recordings of the meeting of the 31st October 2017 which the employer alleged that they consulted with labour on the matter. The recordings proved that we were never consulted and we never requested the training. The meeting was on the presentation made by the employer on Biometric Identity access and management for staff. The recording also proved that we requested a project plan of what impact the training is going to have on our members. Furthermore, in the meeting of the 13th February 2018 the bargaining forum requested a human resource plan that will speak to the impact that the migration from CPS to SAPO will have on any prospective change on the condition of service of our members. The employer promised to provide the plan on the 16th February 2018, and that never took place.

This demonstrates the problematic attitude that SASSA management under the Acting CEO, Ms Pearl Bhengu continues to impose, which undermines the Labour Relations Act [as amended] and the SASSA National Bargaining Forum.

The national union notes the misleading letter supposedly written to the General Secretary by the acting CEO but sent to SASSA centres across the country creating a false impression that NEHAWU has been addressed in relation to all its concerns with intentions to silence NEHAWU members. Unfortunately, the said letter was responding to NEHAWU internal communication as it was not directed to the acting SASSA CEO. We regard this act as interference with NEHAWU operations which she had no business with.

In this regard, the national union will not fold its arms and watch this valuable institution to the working class being destroyed and also victimising members and workers in the agency through acts of arrogance and intransigent leadership.

As NEHAWU, we will not fold our arms while our members are made to pay for the blunders of former Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, and he cronies who did everything in their power to keep the illegal and invalid CPS contact in place. On numerous occasion the Constitutional court invited the former minister to show cause for why she should not be held personally accountable for her role in the social grants crisis.

We therefore, call on SASSA to desist from these dishonest tactics and properly engage the union to ensure operations run smooth and that there is labour peace at the agency. Failure to heed this call will leave us with no option but to go on a strike action which might affect more 17 million social grant recipients.

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat

Zola Saphetha (General Secretary) at 082 558 5968; December Mavuso (Deputy General Secretary) at 082 558 5969; Khaya Xaba (NEHAWU Media Liaison Officer) at 082 455 2500 or email: khaya@nehawu.org.za Visit NEHAWU website: www.nehawu.org.za
COSATU May Day Statement 2018
The Congress of South African Trade Unions is ready to celebrate and commemorate this year's International Workers Day "Mayday" all across country on the 1st of May 2018. The federation has about fourteen marches and rallies all across the country; this will ensure that workers are involved and are able to participate in the celebrations. Our National May Day rally will be in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro at Isaac Wolfson Stadium and will be addressed by the President of COSATU S"dumo Dlamini, President of the ANC Cyril Ramaphosa, General Secretary of the SACP Cde Blade Nzimande and SANCO President Cde Richard Mdakane.

The choice of Nelson Mandela Metro was deliberate to liberate our people from the exploitative and suppression of the workers and their communities from the chains of Trolip and the DA. Under the leadership of the notorious DA in the recent weeks ,we have noticed the collapse of service delivery. This is the highest charging on municipality rates; leading in electricity cut and generate income on reconnecting fees. The outsourcing is very high, business is being given to outsiders, and costs of doing business are intolerable.

It is for this reason that workers and the communities want to restore NMM under the Alliance control, restore the sound relationship between the Municipality workers and management, re-building the NMM as an economy hub, make service delivery accessible and affordable.

COSATU celebrates the 2018 May Day under the theme: "Building Unity and Cohesion of COSATU to advance the National Democratic Revolution. This theme reflects our focus of building our engines, protecting jobs and pushing for economic transformation. We will continue to lead our members and unions in their struggles and campaigns, as a way of building strong workplace organisations, and also consolidating their unity, cohesion and organisational power.

May Day gives workers an opportunity to reflect on the struggles, sacrifices and victories of the workers since 1886, when workers stood up and demanded eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. The struggle for a living wage and for better working conditions continues.

Workers under the leadership of Cosatu and working within the Alliance led by the ANC have noted achievements for example the right to strike without fear of dismissal; the right to refuse to do dangerous work, increase UIF benefit in case of retrenchments; free schooling; paid maternity leave; free tertiary education for the children of the poor and the working class and many more.

This May Day takes place during a very difficult period for the workers. We have seen an increase in VAT, increase in Fuel levy and a possible increase in electricity tariff. The current electricity and petrol price increases are not just hitting the poor hard but they are also hampering economic growth and employment creation.

We have lost over 480 000 jobs since 2012, when corporations were given tax breaks. The wages have stagnated and many workers are struggling to feed and clothe their families.

We support all the efforts to kick-start our economy by government. It is deeply worrying for us that South Africa is currently said to have the highest jobless rate of more than 60 emerging and developed countries in the world. This is happening at a time when there is an on-going investment strike by big business in this country. In 2016 big business boasted that they had an estimated cash of close to R600 billion in South African banks that they are not investing.

According to data from the South African Reserve Bank though, as of December 2014, corporate cash balances had reached R1.35-trillion.This amount is the equivalent of 38% of South Africa's gross domestic product that big business is refusing to invest back into the economy despite retrenchments and economic stagnation. They argue that there is policy uncertainty. This is surprising because the SA government has adopted the National Development Plan, the New Growth Path and the Industrial Policy Action Plans. We are calling on the business sector in this country to invest in the economy and stop their investment strike.

COSATU will also be using this opportunity to demand action on the implementation of the radical economic transformation so that we can address the unemployment rate of 35%.

COSATU has consistently argued that South Africa needs an alternative development strategy that will be focused on addressing the triple crisis of unemployment, deepening poverty and inequality.

We demand quality economic growth that will be more inclusive. The state must take the lead to transform the legacy of underdevelopment and we want a developmental state to implement a developmental agenda.We need to work on developing an alternative production system that is based on domestic demand and human needs.

Workers want growth that will optimally harness our resources and increase absorption of the labour force into productive employment and income generating activities. We continue to call for a politically governed redistribution of wealth and opportunities from the formal to the non-formal sectors of the economy. COSATU wants government to intervene on behalf of the poor and pushback against the tyranny of the market.

There will be no radical economic transformation while we still have labour brokers that exploit our people. Any radical economic transformation programme should include state ownership or control commanding heights of the economy banks, mines, including the nationalisation of the Reserve bank. We cannot continue as workers to remain enslaved in waged labour, while our economy remains highly monopolised and foreign owned at the hands of a white minority.

There will be no radical economic transformation if government fails to intervene to stem the unfolding de-industrialisation and on-going job losses. We demand the introduction of capital controls to stem the tide of capital flight if we are to have any transformation of the economy. We remain unwavering in our demand for the implementation of the Alliance summit decision calling for the redrafting and fundamental overhaul of the core economic and labour chapter of the NDP. We want the review and withdrawal of the Employment Incentive Tax Act that feeds employers and Independent Power Producers {IPP's} without a jobs plan.

We are deeply troubled deterioration in health and safety adherence in many workplaces and incidents of violence, especially in the mining sector, where we have seen twenty three workers die since January 2018.This May Day will be an opportunity for workers to mobilise and take a stand against slave working conditions and recommit to continue to fight against slave wages, retrenchments and poor working conditions.

We reiterate our support for the on-going Bus Strike and we are happy that the Department of Labour is trying to reconcile the parties. Government gives these Bus companies subsidies and therefore government cannot be a spectator.

We are troubled by the government delaying tactics in the Public Service Wage Negotiations. We urge unions to maintain their unity and push back against what we consider to be indifference from government.

We support the Municipal workers in their on-going negotiations and all the workers that are currently engaged in wage negotiations across the sectors of the economy. We are calling on employers to take seriously the wage negotiations and give workers decent wage increases.

We shall be using this May Day to mobilise and make sure that workers stand ready to defend their rights and fight for decent wage increases. We shall also be ensuring that workers stand ready to pursue these following campaigns that were adopted by the COSATU CEC:

Recruitment, retention and membership service campaign.

Provident fund/ social security reform
Living wage campaign
Banning labour brokers
Anti-privatisation
Public transport
Opposition to e-tolling
Anti-corruption campaign
National Health Insurance
Occupational Health Safety

Lastly, we call on all workers to come out in their numbers to attend May Day celebrations and call on government to declare May Day a non-trading holiday. We warn all those employers with the tendency to intimidate workers from attending May Day rallies to refrain from such tendencies. We urge workers to approach COSATU or our trade union offices if they are facing any kind of intimidation.

This 2018 May Day is first building block towards 2019 General election and the victory of the ANC to the best interest of the working class and the poor. We call our members and their communities to come and celebrate with us.

For the Eastern Cape May Day we are gathering at Njoli Square, KwaZakhele, in Nelson Mandela Metro at 8:00, proceed at 9h00 to KwaZakhle Police Station to handover a memorandum to NMM representative and Department of Labour at 10h00 and thereafter proceed to the Isaac Wolfson stadium where the marches would be addressed by the leadership of the Alliance.

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794
SADTU Calls on Members Not to Take part in Wednesday's General Strike
24 April 2018

South Africa's biggest teacher and education workers' union SADTU and an affiliate of COSATU, will not take part in a nationwide strike planned by SAFTU on Wednesday, 25 April, 2018.

We want to categorically refute the lies peddled by some SAFTU leaders claiming that COSATU will join their strike on Wednesday.

This is done deliberately in order to cause confusion among our members.

We urge SADTU members not to be misled to heed SAFTU's mischevious call to embark on an UNPROTECTED strike that will result in no work, no pay.

On 27 September, 2017, we embarked on a national protected strike called by COSATU over corruption and state capture that was undermining our democracy and sovereignty. NEDLAC issued a Section 77 Certificate to ensure the strike was protected. Members who are going to take to the streets on Wednesday need to know that their strike is not protected because their union, SADTU has not called for the strike.

Secondly, SADTU will never support the strike because as an affiliate of COSATU, we support the National Minimum Wage that will see an increase in salaries of more than 6 million workers who are currently earning less than R3500 a month , which is much more higher than the R1800 which business and employers were insisting on.

SADTU and COSATU members should know the difference between a Living wage and Minimum Wage. Our demand for a Living Wage remains and we see the National Minimum Wage as one step towards realizing our Living Wage demand.

SADTU members will, in their large numbers, attend Cosatu rallies and marches all over the country on Tuesday, 1 May, 2018. COSATU is our home , our durable weapon with a proven track record of struggle and not a fly by night movement built on egos and populism.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat

Contact:

General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke; 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi; 082 709 5651
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi; 082 719 5157
DPRK Meeting Commemorates Proclamation of Socialist Labor Law
A meeting took place on April 17 at the Central Hall of Workers to mark the 40th anniversary of the promulgation of The Socialist Labour Law of the DPRK authored by President Kim Il Sung.

It was attended by O Su Yong, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, Ro Tu Chol, vice-premier and chairman of the State Planning Commission, relevant officials, and officials and working people of industrial establishments in Pyongyang.

Delivering a report, O Su Yong said that President Kim Il Sung authored The Socialist Labour Law of the DPRK, which was adopted and promulgated at the Second Session of the Sixth Supreme People's Assembly on April 18 1978. It provided a solid legal guarantee for dynamically stepping up socialist construction by providing better conditions and environment for the independent and creative working life of people and further developing labour administration, he added.

Through the efforts to enforce the law the people-centered Korean-style socialist labour system proved its advantages and vitality, and the Korean people continued to make proud achievements, miraculous and innovative, in socialist construction by fully displaying the revolutionary zeal and creative ability, he noted.

He said the most advantageous socialist labour system of the country developed onto a new high stage under the outstanding idea and guidance of Chairman Kim Jong Il.

The President’s and the Chairman’s ideas and exploits for the solution of the labour issue have been carried forward by Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, he noted, calling on the working people to give full play to the advantages and features of the Korean-style socialist system by fulfilling their civic duty in their workplaces and displaying the fine trait of revolutionary comradeship and the spirit of collectivism in their working life.

KCNA
Full of Confidence in Victory
All the service personnel and people of the DPRK are brimming with confidence in victory and optimism at the news of the Third Plenary Meeting of the Seventh Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea in which Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un declared the victory of the “simultaneous-push” line and put forward a new strategic line of concentrating all efforts on socialist economic construction.

Pak Kwang Ho, vice-chairman of the WPK Central Committee, described the April plenary meeting of the Party Central Committee as a political event of radical significance in implementing the socialist cause of Juche.

“Our struggle for socialist construction, which has been advanced under the leadership of the great Party and the uplifted banner of the simultaneous-push line, can be said to be a course of the endeavour to hit two strategic targets,” he said. “One is to build the greatest defence capability to reliably defend national sovereignty and another is to channel efforts into economic construction so as to provide the most excellent people in the world with the happiest life.

“The great victory of the Party’s simultaneous-push line means the successful conclusion of the struggle of our people, who made strenuous efforts tightening their belt to secure a powerful treasured sword with which to defend peace, as well as the attainment of a major strategic goal that should be achieved primarily in the building of a thriving socialist state.

“Our service members and people are convinced that the new strategic line of concentrating all efforts on economic construction will also be implemented victoriously as the Party’s simultaneous-push line has been brought to victorious completion as they are led by the Supreme Leader.”

Kim Yong Il, manager of the Sunchon Chemical Complex, also dubbed the victory of the simultaneous-push line a triumph of the truth that the DPRK’s determination is a science and victory and a historic event which clearly demonstrated the invariable truth that what the WPK is determined to do comes true. “I was firmly convinced through the plenary meeting that we were definitely right in steadily following the simultaneous-push line tightening our belt and I feel proud that we have defended our sovereignty and dignity to the last by our own efforts.”

The victory achieved under the outstanding leadership of the WPK has also given great strength and courage to the soldiers of the Korean People’s Army who are showing off the militant spirit of a powerful revolutionary army on all the defence lines and at sites of grand construction projects.

They unanimously say that this victory is of great significance in accomplishing the socialist cause of Juche and pledge themselves to firmly guarantee with arms the drive to implement the Party’s new strategic line.

By Jong Sun Bok PT
Consolatory Visit to Chinese Embassy and Hospital
Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, visited the Pyongyang-based Chinese embassy at 6:30 a.m. on April 23 to express his deep sympathy over an unexpected bus overturn accident that claimed heavy casualties among Chinese tourists to the DPRK.

He expressed heartfelt sympathy and deep condolences to Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and president of the People's Republic of China, the party and government of China and the bereaved families of the victims.

He said that the unexpected accident brought bitter sorrow to his heart and that he could not control his grief at the thought of the bereaved families who lost their blood relatives.

The Korean people take the tragic accident as their own misfortune, he said, stressing that the Party and government of the DPRK would take follow-up measures with utmost sincerity with a wish to alleviate the pain of the bereaved families even a bit.

Chinese ambassador Li Jinjun, hardly repressing his deep impression over the fact that Chairman Kim Jong Un personally visited the embassy early at dawn, busy as his schedule was, and expressed heartfelt condolences and sympathy, said that he would immediately report it to General Secretary Xi Jinping and the Chinese party and government and convey it to the bereaved families as it is.

He said that they came to realize once again how much Chairman Kim Jong Un, the Party, government and people of the DPRK value the traditional Sino-DPRK friendship, adding that this has been evidently proven again to be unbreakable and great friendship. He stressed that they would closely cooperate with the Korean comrades in taking follow-up measures over the accident.

Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un visited the hospital that evening and personally learned about the treatment of the wounded.

He called on the wounded and warmly sympathized with them and consulted their future treatment with medical workers of the government hospital while learning about the conditions of the patients.

The ambassador and staff members of the Chinese embassy repeatedly expressed their gratitude to Chairman Kim Jong Un for showing deep care and personally taking detailed measures as regards the recent sudden accident though he was busy with his important political schedule.

KCNA
Technical Innovations Bring Production Boom
The Ryongsong Machine Complex processes facilities needed by industrial sectors in time.

PAK KWANG HUN
THE PYONGYANG TIMES

The Ryongsong Machine Complex has made innovations in the production of custom-built equipment.

Its technical personnel are pushing the production of dozens of kinds of equipment to be supplied to major construction projects, industrial establishments, coal and other mines through the collective technical innovation drive.

The Songun Foundry overfulfils its daily production plan by concentrating on the supply of workpieces for thermal power generating facilities. It has developed a new casting device of high practical use to raise the actual completion rate of workpieces and improve their quality. It ensures the continuity of casting work and saves much raw and other materials and manpower by applying a mould of new material.

Machine workshop No. 1 normalizes the production of large toothed wheels conducive to increasing the ability of crushers at mines. The pressure angle of toothed wheels has rationally been altered to improve the durability and capacity of crushers.

The machine-tool workshop has made a large gear to be used in thermal power plants to unload fuels and entered into continuous production. It has introduced a rational processing method to save 20 percent of molten iron and reduce the processing time by one fifth and manpower by half as compared to the past.

The Songun compressor workshop has developed a tester to evaluate the quality and durability of major parts of heating equipment. According to the results of its introduction, the tester has been confirmed to be effective in shortening the period of manufacture, removing additional modification and reducing manpower and time in assembly. It has also established a grinding process for major parts of compressors to raise the precision of processing and increase their mechanical life.

A sci-tech achievement show held at the complex last February presented lots of new technologies which contribute to reenergizing production and upgrading equipment. Among them, over 60 technical innovation plans are practical ones which will prove effective in production.

The complex overfulfilled the first quarterly economic plan by 3.7 percent. It is working hard to increase productivity and build up its own technical force.

By Choe Kwang Jin PT
DPRK Economic Construction Pushed Ahead
A dynamic endeavour is being made in the country to implement the new strategic line of the Workers’ Party of Korea on accelerating the advance of the revolution by concentrating all efforts on socialist economic construction.

While giving precedence to economic affairs in the overall work of the Party and state, measures are being taken to tap the country’s human, material and technological potentials for economic development.

Leading economic officials of the Cabinet and national agencies arrange work scrupulously to bring about rapid economic growth and step up the work to reenergize the overall economy by concentrating all efforts on the main link of the whole chain.

The vanguard sectors of the national economy are advancing in the van of the grand march of economic construction.

Since the April plenary meeting of the WPK Central Committee, the Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex has more than doubled the production of Juche iron every day.

The Hwanghae Iron and Steel Complex has also boosted molten iron output per charge by introducing a rational raw material mixing ratio and smelting method.

The Hydroelectric Power Management Bureau has overfulfilled its daily power generation plan by over 15 percent every day.

A surge has been brought about in production by increasing the efficiency of generating equipment and controlling water scientifically at Jangjingang, Hochongang, Sodusu and Kanggye youth power stations, and the Wonsan Youth Power Station carried out the monthly power production plan at 160.8 percent as of April 19.

Similar efforts are being made by chemical and machine-building industries.

Since the plenary meeting the Hungnam Fertilizer Complex, a leading chemical fertilizer producer of the country, has produced hundreds of tons of Juche fertilizer more every day.

The Taean Heavy Machine Complex has also made a good job of processing of equipment to be sent to major construction projects including the Tanchon Power Station and the project for the establishment of the C1 chemical industry.

Service members and other builders of the Wonsan-Kalma coastal tourist area have completed the excavation work by removing well over a million cubic metres of earth in a short time. While concrete tamping for the foundation is nearing completion, many construction units have already launched into the building of ground structures, which are springing up like mushrooms after rain.

Such factories in light industry as the Wonsan Leather Shoes Factory, Pyongyang Condiments Factory and Kyongryon Aeguk Soda Pop Factory are striving to turn out more famous products and commodities favoured by the people in hearty response to the militant call of the Party.

By Jong Hwa Sun PT
US Must Be Sit in Human Rights Dock
The US State Department published a "country report on human rights for 2017" on April 20.

The US takes issue with human rights performance in other countries by publishing the country report every year as if it were a "human rights judge".

This time it arbitrarily judged human rights performance in 199 countries, viciously slandering the DPRK over its "human rights issue".

By nature, the US is the worst human rights abuser with neither justifications nor face to talk about human rights of other countries.

As for gun-related crimes alone, a man-killing crime which is cancer-like in this country has been committed one after another in various regions, including California, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida.

No wonder, former US president Obama during his office admitted that he came to realize as president that progress is hard and there are some points disappointing in the society.

For the US to take issue with "human rights" issue in other countries and make profound confusing of the right and the wrong while shelving the hideous human rights performance in its own country, where all sorts of injustice, deprivation of rights and social evils stalk, is a wanton distortion of genuine human rights and an intolerable challenge to international justice and conscience.

In a bid to give impression that it is interested in "defending human rights", the US is finding fault with human rights performances in other countries with its misguided human rights stick as a yardstick, and becoming vocal that democracy is violated and freedom is suppressed. But its true aim is to disintegrate those countries which are disobedient to it and to create a pretext for political, military and economic aggression and pressure.

The US is faulting the DPRK, the most advantageous, dignified and cradle of genuine life of working people in the world, with ungrounded data. It is a revelation of its sinister intention to check the advance of the DPRK and bring down its social system.

The US is in the human rights dock as it is the hotbed and kingpin of human right abuses.

However, it is talking about "human rights issue" of other countries under the helmet of "human rights judge". This is quite ridiculous and reminds one of a thief crying stop the thief.

The US had better mind its own hideous human rights issue, before poking its nose into others' affairs while styling itself as an "international human rights judge".

KCNA
Greetings to Kim Jong Un from Equatorial Guinean Party Leader
Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, received a message of greetings from Jeronimo Osa Osa Ecoro, general secretary of the Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea, on April 10.

The message said that all the members of the party and its supporters extended their most heartfelt congratulations, on behalf of Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, its founder-chairman, to Kim Jong Un and the WPK and all the Korean people on the 106th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, eternal President of the DPRK.

KCNA
Young People Vow to Implement New Strategic Line
The Korean young people are determined to take the lead in implementing the new strategic line of the Workers' Party of Korea.

Mun Chol, first secretary of the Pyongyang Municipal Committee of the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League, said:

The new line makes young people burn their hearts with boundless national pride and self-confidence.

True to the Party's militant call "Let us further accelerate the advance of our revolution by concentrating all our efforts on socialist economic construction!" we will demonstrate to the world the mettle of the Korean youth in the efforts to open up the avenue for prosperity in the spirit of self-reliance and with indomitable perseverance.

Kim Yu Chol, researcher of the State Academy of Sciences, said that he will make active contribution to strengthening the might of the socialist independent economy in every way.

Pak Chol Min, first secretary of the Central Committee of the Kimilsungist-Kimjongilist Youth League, said:

Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un said that the whole country will become astir when young people are in high spirits, and the prosperous future will be brought earlier when their steps are faster.

I will work hard to make young people create in succession new legendary tale of heroic youth at challenging and labour-intensive posts of socialist economic construction.

KCNA
We Will Demonstrate Fighting Spirit and Traits of Paektu Youth to the World
Bearing in mind the intention of the Party that put forward our young people in the vanguard of the ranks of the general onward march as masters of the times, we will stoke the flames of a continuous offensive, continuous advance and continuous innovations more fiercely at all the sites of renovating Samjiyon County.

We will boldly introduce new techniques and building methods and dynamically conduct the socialist emulation drive and other mass movements so as to finish the projects at each stage without fail according to the schedule.

We are firmly resolved to demonstrate to the world the fighting spirit and traits of the young people of Paektu who follow our Party in the struggle of implementing its new strategic line.

Kim Kang Chol, regimental commander of Paektusan
Hero Youth Brigade of 216 Division
First Revolutionary Armed Force—Korean People’s Revolutionary Army
Eighty-six years have passed since President Kim Il Sung founded the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army.

On this occasion, the Korean people look back with deep emotion upon the immortal exploits performed by the President who paved the way for the building of the Juche-oriented revolutionary armed forces by founding the KPRA.

With a high ambition to win back his country deprived of by the Japanese imperialists (1905-1945), Kim Il Sung embarked on the arduous road of revolution with the two pistols bequeathed to him by his father as a valuable asset.

At the Kalun Meeting held in summer of Juche 19 (1930) he put forward the line of the anti-Japanese armed struggle and the strategic policy of organizing and waging an armed struggle mainly in the form of guerrilla warfare at the Mingyuegou Meeting held in winter of 1931.

He paid primary attention to building up armed ranks.

While training the members of the Korean Revolutionary Army founded in July 1930 and those of party and young communist league organizations to be the backbone of the armed ranks, he saw to it that armed units were formed with young people tempered in such para-military organizations as the Red Guards, Workers’ Pickets and Children’s Vanguards in Antu and its surrounding areas.

With the backbone prepared, he first organized a small guerrilla unit with young communists and expanded it to other areas.

He also channelled efforts into obtaining weapons.

Upholding the slogan “Weapons are our life and soul! Oppose armed force with armed force!” advanced by Kim Il Sung, the soldiers of small guerrilla units and members of revolutionary organizations wrested weapons from the Japanese aggressor troops and pro-Japanese elements everywhere they could and, at the same time, made swords and spears at smithies.

He laid a mass foundation for armed struggle in many rural areas along the Tuman River in a short span of time by launching positive activities for creating favourable circumstances for guerrilla warfare.

Regarding the formation of an allied front with the Chinese nationalist anti-Japanese armed units as an urgent problem to be solved in the course of making preparations for founding the guerrilla army, he held face-to-face negotiations with the leaders of the Chinese nationalist anti-Japanese armed units and led them to join the anti-Japanese allied front.

Moreover, he ensured that such problems as the command structure and uniform of the guerrilla army were resolved in an original way in conformity with the requirements and characteristics of guerrilla warfare.

After fully making the subjective and objective conditions for building a revolutionary armed force, he proclaimed the founding of the Anti-Japanese People’s Guerrilla Army at Xiaoshahe, Antu County of China on April 25, Juche 21 (1932).

The founding of the AJPGA was a historic event that realized the centuries-old desire of the Korean people who craved for the birth of their own revolutionary armed force.

Later, the AJPGA was reorganized into the KPRA in March 1934 in keeping with the requirements of the developing reality. Under the commandership of Kim Il Sung, the KPRA launched an active armed struggle against the Japanese imperialists, defeated them and achieved the historic cause of Korea’s liberation on August 15, 1945. It was developed into the Korean People’s Army, a regular revolutionary armed force, on February 8, 1948.