In 1994, together with the other "Left" parties, including the "Communist Party", the leadership of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP, the traditional workers' party which was originally a Trotskyist party) entered the popular alliance (PA) government headed by Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga (CBK) and have been carrying out an anti-working class policy of privatisation and cuts in line with the dictates of the IMF. This has led to the rapid rise of a left opposition inside the LSSP, associated with the well-known mass leader, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the member of parliament for the Ratnapura district.

The events last week looked just like a re-run of the "People's Power" movement in 1986 when the hated dictator Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown by a mass uprising in the cities of the Filipino archipelago. So it will surprise nobody that this extraordinary sequence of events has been dubbed the "People's Power 2" movement by local activists and by the media.

In the last fifteen years the Philippines have seen several mass movements that could have led to the overthrow of capitalism. Unfortunately for a long period the Stalinist theory of two stages (first the democratic, then later the socialist revolution) has led to the derailment of the movement. Now we are moving to a new phase of struggle. This time genuine Marxism has a chance to make its voice heard among the Filipino working class and youth.

As the annual date of the State of the Nation Address of President Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) was approaching, a group of 296 soldiers staged on July 27 a siege of the Oakwood Premier luxury hotel at the Ayala Center in Makati, a financial district of Metro Manila. Based on their own statements, as reported on Tv and radio, they were asking the entire administration to resign.

Felix Zorba looks at the peace talks taking place bewteen some of the armed left parties in the Philippines and compares the behaviour of these parties with that of the Bolsheviks at Brest Litovsk in 1918. He explains the dangers involved in trying to achieve partial, or even regional, deals when the only lasting solution to the problems of the working masses is the socialist revolution.

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