On June 17th the Indonesian rupiah hit a new low of 16,800 to the dollar - a fall of 10% in one day, a collapse of 30% in one week. Economists are now predicting that inflation will hit 100% and the economy will contract by 20%. The rupiah has now devalued by a staggering 66% this year and more than 80% since the economic crisis began to unfold in mid-1997.

Belgian trade union activist Mark Slane visited Indonesia in July. These are his impressions on the development of the working class movement after the May events.

Confused reports of Officers' plots, coups and countercoups which filtered through to the Western press a week ago were the first indication of a major revolutionary upheaval in Indonesia. The recent events unfolded against a now familiar background of social and economic crisis in a backward country. The regime of Sukarno - despite the superficial appearance of stability - has been exposed as rotten to the core

In 1975 the Vietnamese people gained a historic victory, driving out the US armed forces and liberating the south. After 28 years of war the country was reunited and capitalism and landlordism abolished throughout. With these heroic sacrifices, the Vietnamese workers and peasants paid the price for the defeat of the revolution of 1945,when they had power in their grasp. Why was this opportunity lost in 1945? What are the lessons of this defeat for the workers' struggle today?