Sri Lanka

Colombo flood victims speak to the WSWS

By our correspondents, 25 May 2016

Thousands of working class and poor families are currently living in makeshift accommodation and other shelters on higher ground.

WSWS reporters visit landslide victims in Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 21 May 2016

Survivors expressed no confidence in the government’s ability to solve the problem of landslides.

Hundreds feared dead in Sri Lankan landslides and floods

By our correspondents, 20 May 2016

Disaster victims have blamed the government and other authorities for not providing adequate relief or moving residents to safe places.

Many dead or missing after landslides in Sri Lanka

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 May 2016

Successive governments have done nothing to mitigate the death and destruction caused by annual monsoonal rains.

UN officials say torture is “common practice” in Sri Lanka

By Minusha Fernando, 18 May 2016

The revelations constitute a damning exposure of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government’s claims to defend democratic rights.

India: Tamil Nadu chief minister tries to exploit issue of Sri Lankan Tamils

By Athiyan Silva, 16 May 2016

Jayalalithaa’s promises have nothing to do with any concern about the oppression of Sri Lankan Tamils.

Sri Lankan refugees imprisoned after removal from Australia

By Max Newman, 14 May 2016

Asylum seekers have been forcibly deported to face imprisonment in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan SEP holds successful May Day meeting in Colombo

By our reporters, 12 May 2016

More than 200 people joined the meeting, which was followed by the International May Day online rally.

Sri Lankan police arrest scores of Tamil youth

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 11 May 2016

The repression of Tamil youth is another attempt to divide Sri Lankan workers along communal lines and follows Colombo’s agreement to impose more IMF cuts.

UN Ambassador Samantha Power hails Sri Lanka as human rights champion

By Kumaran Ira, 10 May 2016

Lying through her teeth, Power hailed the Sri Lankan regime Washington installed in Colombo as part of the “pivot to Asia” for overseeing a flowering of democracy.

Sri Lankan government begins implementing IMF austerity demands

By Saman Gunadasa, 5 May 2016

The IMF bailout agreement is based on immediate steps to slash the budget deficit at the expense of social spending and working class conditions.

May Day 2016: The political tasks facing the workers and toilers of the Indian sub-continent

By Wije Dias, 3 May 2016

Wije Dias, general secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), delivered the following speech to the International Online May Day Rally.

Workers and students in India and Sri Lanka endorse International May Day Online rally

By WSWS reporters, 30 April 2016

Colombo, Chennai, Bangalore and Madras residents speak out about the dangers of war and the need for a unified international struggle for socialism.

Sri Lankan prime minister seeks financial help in China

By Vilani Peiris, 29 April 2016

Wickremesinghe’s visit to China underscores the magnitude of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and the geo-political tensions engulfing the region.

IMF attaches harsh austerity measures to Sri Lankan bailout

By Saman Gunadasa, 16 April 2016

“Reforms” demanded by the IMF will produce further attacks on working class living standards.

Sri Lanka: A socialist program to fight evictions and defend the right to housing

By the Socialist Equality Party, 9 April 2016

The eviction of slum dwellers and low-income families cannot be separated from the government’s attacks on thousands of urban and rural workers.

US seeks to develop close military ties with Sri Lanka

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 8 April 2016

The US Seventh Fleet flagship’s visit to Colombo indicates moves by the Sri Lankan government to tie the country into US war plans.

Sri Lankan government imprisons Frontline Socialist Party leader

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 5 April 2016

Gunaratnam’s jailing is another warning of the anti-democratic methods that the government will use against political opponents and more broadly against working people.

Sri Lankan government presents phony “Right to Information” bill

By Rohantha De Silva, 4 April 2016

The legislation provides limited access to state information, while entrenching broad areas that will remain off-limits, including national security, diplomacy and economic activities.

Sri Lankan parliament to draft new constitution to shore up capitalist rule

By Rohantha De Silva, 21 March 2016

Under the guise of “democracy,” the government is seeking to strengthen its hand to impose austerity and deepen its integration into the US “pivot to Asia” against China.

Sri Lankan government refuses to release Tamil political prisoners

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 15 March 2016

The ongoing detention of hundreds of Tamil political prisoners is part of a broader government attack on democratic rights.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold Jaffna public meeting on imperialist war and Tamil nationalism

14 March 2016

The meeting will expose the pro-imperialist stance of the Tamil nationalist parties and elaborate a socialist perspective to halt the growing danger of world war.

Sri Lankan government announces tax hikes before IMF loan talks

By Saman Gunadasa, 12 March 2016

The IMF-required austerity measures implemented by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will have a heavy impact on the living standards of workers and the poor.

Sri Lankan government to convert Western province into investment hub

By Minusha Fernando, 11 March 2016

The government’s “megapolis” project will see thousands of workers and low-income residents ejected from their homes.

Sri Lankan government prepares to sign economic pact with India

By W. A. Sunil, 4 March 2016

To divert rising social discontent, nationalist groups have stepped up a virulent anti-Indian campaign that serves to divide workers in the two countries.

SEP (Sri Lanka) public meeting: A socialist program to defend plantation workers

1 March 2016

The meeting will discuss the socialist policies needed to defend the jobs and wages of plantation workers, which are under sustained attack.

Sri Lankan Maoist party advocates “progressive Tamil nationalism”

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 22 February 2016

There is nothing progressive about Tamil nationalism, or indeed about nationalism in general, which only divides workers and blocks a unified struggle against war and austerity.

A reply to Tamil nationalist slanders against the World Socialist Web Site

An Open Letter to TamilNet

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 17 February 2016

TamilNet’s claim that the WSWS is working with imperialism to facilitate genocide by the Sri Lankan state is a grotesque fabrication.

Sri Lanka: Plantation unions suppress struggle for wage rise

By M. Thevarajah and W. A. Sunil, 6 February 2016

The trade unions are promoting the illusion that the government will force the companies to grant a 2,500-rupee ($17) increase in the monthly wage.

Sri Lankan government tries to woo foreign investors

By Saman Gunadasa, 20 January 2016

The government’s “Sri Lanka Economic Forum” highlighted the country’s vulnerability in the deepening global economic downturn.

Tamil nationalists stage sham protest vs. Sri Lankan president’s visit to Jaffna

By Subash Somachandran and K. Nesan, 15 January 2016

The protest, two days in advance of the visit, was a shameful manoeuvre to provide cover for the TNA’s support for President Maithripala Sirisena’s government.

Tamil nationalists conceal ongoing use of torture by Sri Lankan government

By K. Nesan, 14 January 2016

A detailed report by a South African-based human rights group exposes the continued resort to state terror against the Tamil ethnic minority in Sri Lanka.

Tamil National Alliance backs austerity, pro-investor policies in Sri Lanka

By K. Nesan, 11 January 2016

The Tamil nationalist organizations in Sri Lanka are escalating their support for austerity and the use of Sri Lankan workers as cheap labor for international capital.

One year of Sri Lankan President Sirisena’s rule: Propaganda and reality

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 11 January 2016

The government is both intensifying the offensive against the working class and tying the country to the war plans of the United States.

Sri Lankan government moves to criminalise “hate speech”

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 January 2016

The planned new laws are an attack on the democratic rights of the working class, directed in particular against any person or party fighting for a revolutionary socialist perspective.

SEP (Sri Lanka) holds public meeting on 75th anniversary of Leon Trotsky’s assassination

By our correspondents, 30 December 2015

Well aware that World War II would produce revolutionary upheavals, neither Stalinism nor imperialism could tolerate Trotsky’s continued existence.

Tamil People's Forum sets a new nationalist trap for Sri Lankan workers

By V. Gnana, 29 December 2015

The formation of the TPF is a shabby political maneuver to give a facelift to Tamil nationalist groups discredited by their support for the Sri Lankan government.

Sri Lankan government lifts suspension on China-funded Port City project

By Vilani Peiris, 28 December 2015

Facing a fiscal crisis, President Sirisena’s cash-strapped government has approved the Colombo Port City and other Chinese projects.

Sri Lankan farmers protest against budget cuts

By W.A. Sunil, 24 December 2015

Farmers marched to the prime minister’s office, denouncing cuts to fertiliser subsidies and rice prices.

Sri Lankan trade unions call off one-day stoppage

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 17 December 2015

From the outset, the unions sought to scuttle the strike, even as opposition mounted among workers to the government’s budget cuts.

Sri Lankan corporate giant sues environmental activist

By Vilani Peiris, 14 December 2015

The damages action is part of the record of big business and government suppression of opposition to industrial pollution.

Sri Lanka: A socialist program to fight budget cuts

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 14 December 2015

The trade unions have reluctantly called a one-day strike to deflect mounting opposition among workers and the poor to the government’s austerity measures.

UN report says Sri Lankan government terrorising families of the disappeared

By K.Nesan, 12 December 2015

The findings constitute a political indictment of the US-led regime-change operation that brought Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to power in January.

Tamil party complicit in detention of Sri Lankan political prisoners

By K. Nesan, 9 December 2015

The Tamil National Alliance functioned throughout the prisoners’ hunger strike as a servant of the government, deceiving the prisoners and their families.

Sri Lankan housemaid faces execution in Saudi Arabia

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 5 December 2015

The impending death by stoning highlights the Sri Lankan government’s concern not to offend the Saudi regime and indifference to the plight of migrant workers.

A socialist perspective to defend Sri Lankan plantation workers

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 2 December 2015

Plantation companies, in collusion with the government and unions, are planning a far-reaching reversal of working conditions and social spending to boost profits.

Sri Lankan plantation workers sacked for demanding wage rise

By M. Thevarajah, 1 December 2015

The plantation companies are ruthlessly seeking to suppress workers’ resistance in order to impose the burden of the global crisis of the tea industry.

Sri Lankan government presents austerity budget

By Saman Gunadasa, 28 November 2015

The budget will impose new financial burdens on working people while granting significant concessions for local and foreign capital.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold public meetings on the 75th anniversary of Leon Trotsky’s assassination

21 November 2015

Trotsky’s theoretical and political conceptions are essential for the development of revolutionary leadership in the international working class.

Sri Lankan protests demand release of Tamil political prisoners

By S. Jayanth, 18 November 2015

The hartal or general shutdown in the north and east is a demonstration of the anger building among Tamil people against the government.

Sri Lankan PM delivers “economic policy statement” to boost big business

By Saman Gunadasa, 16 November 2015

The sweeping pro-market reforms being proposed will drastically affect jobs, wages and living conditions of workers and the poor.

Sri Lankan government calls “all-party conference” to appease communal forces

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 4 November 2015

The main feature of the gathering was unanimity in seeking to cover up the military’s war crimes.

Sri Lankan plantation companies to tear up workers’ rights

By W.A. Sunil, 31 October 2015

The proposed “revenue sharing” wage formula is a major attack on the already low incomes, jobs and working conditions of plantation workers.

Sri Lankan government boosts spending on security forces

By Saman Gunadasa, 30 October 2015

President Sirisena’s government is preparing an austerity budget that will make deep inroads into working-class living standards.

NSSP leader backs US cover-up of Sri Lankan war crimes

By K. Ratnayake, 29 October 2015

At every point, the NSSP has followed in the footsteps of US imperialism, justifying Washington’s actions and giving credence to its bogus “human rights” posturing.

Indian trade unions shut down Kerala plantation workers’ strike

By Arun Kumar, 27 October 2015

There is growing anger among plantation workers across the southern Indian state of Kerala over the unions’ wage betrayal.

Tamil political prisoners in Sri Lanka launch hunger strike

By S. Jayanth, 17 October 2015

Hundreds of detainees, some of whom have never been charged, have vowed to fast until death to demand their release.

Sri Lankan and Japanese prime ministers declare “comprehensive partnership”

By K. Ratnayake, 15 October 2015

The Colombo government is enmeshing Sri Lanka in the geo-political interests of the US and its allies, including Japan, directed against China.

“Artists have the capacity to expose the reality of war”

Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage speaks with the World Socialist Web Site

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 13 October 2015

Vithanage discusses With You, Without You and the political difficulties facing contemporary Sri Lankan filmmakers.

Sri Lankan estate workers face government-company-union conspiracy on wages

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 10 October 2015

The tea plantation companies have repeatedly rejected any wage rise and are demanding increased production quotas.

Sri Lankan president moves to implement death penalty

By Sanjaya Jayasekera, 7 October 2015

The agitation for the return of capital punishment is seeking to divert public concern from the real social problems and further strengthen police powers.

Sri Lankan president boasts at UN of “new era of democracy”

By K. Ratnayake, 5 October 2015

Sirisena’s democratic posturing is designed to enhance his government’s international standing and strengthen links with the US.

SEP/IYSSE meeting in Colombo: Why is the US whitewashing Sri Lankan war crimes?

5 October 2015

The meeting will discuss the implications for working people of the US-sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka: Seven killed in central hills tea estate landslide

By our correspondents, 2 October 2015

Successive governments, the plantation companies and the tea estate unions have refused to take action to prevent landslide disasters.

US-Sri Lankan resolution to UN human rights body to cover up war crimes

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 September 2015

Washington’s willingness to countenance a largely domestic “human rights inquiry” is a payoff to the new pro-US government in Colombo.

Tamil parties embrace UN report on Sri Lankan war crimes

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 26 September 2015

The Tamil National Alliance and other bourgeois Tamil formations hope to use the UN report to broker a new political deal with Sri Lanka’s pro-US government.

UN report on Sri Lanka details atrocities during the civil war

By Rohantha De Silva and K. Ratnayake, 22 September 2015

If the report is “milder” than it might have been, it is because the US wants no disruption to the new pro-US government in Colombo.

Sri Lankan currency falls sharply

By Saman Gunadasa, 21 September 2015

The floating of the currency to depreciate its value is the first major austerity move by the new “national unity government” in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan prime minister visits India

By Deepal Jayasekera, 19 September 2015

Talks between Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Indian counterpart focused on deepening economic and military ties between the two countries.

UN releases war crimes report on Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 17 September 2015

While the inquiry confirms that war crimes occurred, the UN human rights commissioner’s remarks echo the shift in US policy.

Sri Lankan president warns against “toppling” the government

By W. A. Sunil, 14 September 2015

Sirisena is desperate to shore up the new “national unity” government as it prepares to implement austerity and integrate the island into US war plans.

Sri Lankan defence seminar reflects pro-US foreign policy shift

By Rohantha de Silva, 11 September 2015

This year’s seminar was held in the context of escalating moves by the US to integrate countries in the Asia-Pacific region into its strategic build-up against China.

Tamil nationalist appointed opposition leader in Sri Lankan parliament

By K. Nesan, 10 September 2015

The aim was to install a political flunkey of Washington who will support any austerity measure or pro-US foreign policy.

US probes former Sri Lanka president’s alleged assets

By Saman Gunadasa and Deepal Jayasekera, 8 September 2015

Washington’s investigation seeks to further marginalise Rajapakse and his supporters and block any challenge to the present pro-US government.

Sri Lankan prime minister appoints huge cabinet

By K. Ratnayake, 5 September 2015

The new US-backed government is trying to cement its position and prepare to ram through harsh austerity measures.

Sri Lankan president announces “national unity government”

By K. Ratnayake, 2 September 2015

The new coalition government is an attempt by the ruling class parties to close ranks in order to impose savage austerity measures on the working class.

US shift on Sri Lankan war crimes probe exposes Tamil nationalists

By K. Nesan, 1 September 2015

By supporting the US-backed government, the Tamil nationalists are complicit in allowing the crimes of the civil war to go unpunished.

Sri Lankan political parties hail US shift on war crimes probe

By Saman Gunadasa, 31 August 2015

This stance not only exposes the pro-imperialist character of these parties but their involvement and complicity in the Sri Lankan human rights atrocities.

Sri Lankan unions promise to protect new pro-US administration

By W.A. Sunil, 28 August 2015

The pledge by unions to defend the government is directed above all at suppressing resistance by workers to its austerity measures.

US announces shift on Sri Lankan war crimes investigation

By K. Ratnayake, 27 August 2015

The announcement confirms that Washington has cynically exploited “human rights” in Sri Lanka to advance its interests, particularly against China.

After the Sri Lankan elections: Tamil nationalists support US-backed parties

By K. Nesan, 26 August 2015

The Tamil nationalist parties are emerging as key components of President Maithripala Sirisena’s attempt to install a new pro-US government in Colombo.

Britain’s Financial Times hails Sri Lankan election result

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 26 August 2015

The Financial Times editorial is a damning indictment of the Sri Lankan pseudo-left organisations that sided with the pro-US UNP in the election.

Sri Lankan corporate elite demands “tough” economic decisions from new government

By Saman Gunadasa, 24 August 2015

The “national unity government” will impose severe austerity measures and will not hesitate to use police-state measures against any resistance by working people.

Pro-US UNP leader sworn in as new Sri Lankan prime minister

By K. Ratnayake, 22 August 2015

The new coalition government will deepen the assault on the democratic rights and living standards of working people and enmesh the island in US war preparations against China.

Sri Lanka: “National unity government” to implement harsh austerity measures

By W. A. Sunil, 21 August 2015

During the election, the SEP alone warned that all the capitalist parties were united in their determination to impose the burden of the economic crisis onto working people.

Pro-US United National Party to form government in Sri Lanka

By Saman Gunadasa, 19 August 2015

While the UNP win has blocked a comeback by former President Mahinda Rajapakse, the political turmoil in Colombo will only continue and deepen.

Sri Lankan election results foreshadow political upheavals

By K. Ratnayake, 18 August 2015

Whichever party—the UNP or SLFP—finally forms the next government will accelerate the austerity agenda being demanded by the IMF.

Sri Lanka: SEP’s final election meeting warns of sharp struggles ahead

By our correspondent, 18 August 2015

The Socialist Equality Party held its final election meeting in Colombo, summing up its campaign for a revolutionary socialist program.

Sri Lankan general election signals deepening political instability

By our correspondent, 17 August 2015

Today’s election is being held in the wake of a US-backed regime-change operation in January that ousted former President Rajapakse because of his ties with China.

Paris public meeting discusses world significance of Sri Lankan elections

By our reporters, 17 August 2015

International Committee of the Fourth International supporters held a well-attended meeting to discuss the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) election campaign.

Sri Lankan general election 2015

Vote for the Socialist Equality Party!

For a socialist program against war, austerity and to defend democratic rights! For a workers and peasants government!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 15 August 2015

The SEP is standing 43 candidates in three of the country’s 22 electoral districts—Colombo, Jaffna and Nuwara Eliya.

Tamil nationalist groups adopt pro-imperialist policy in Sri Lankan elections

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 15 August 2015

The Tamil National People’s Front and the Crusaders for Democracy are aligned with the Sirisena government and US imperialism against Tamil and Sinhala workers.

Sri Lankan president to block Rajapakse as prime minister

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 August 2015

Sirisena’s letter, aimed at bolstering the UNP’s electoral prospects, underscores the deep political crisis surrounding the whole election.

The Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) replies to the United Socialist Party

By the Socialist Equality Party, 14 August 2015

Pseudo-left organisations in Sri Lanka such as the USP are preparing to play no less treacherous a role than Syriza in Greece.

Sri Lankan election: UNP uses murder scandal to smear opponents

By Saman Gunadasa, 14 August 2015

Whether the US had a hand in it or not, the latest scandal is indicative of the methods that will be employed should Rajapakse win the election.

Sri Lanka: Big business parties issue false pledges on unemployment

By Minusha Fernando, 13 August 2015

The problems facing the youth are an indictment of these parties and the capitalist system they maintain.

Sri Lankan election: 110 unions and NGOs back right-wing, pro-US UNP

By Saman Gunadasa, 12 August 2015

The organisations are not only campaigning for the United National Party but are also a “colour revolution” in waiting if the party loses.

Sri Lankan election: Pro-US UNP appeals to big business

By Rohantha De Silva, 11 August 2015

The promotion of the UNP, the country’s oldest bourgeois party steeped in crimes against the working class, as a champion of democracy is a complete fraud.

Australian Federal Police aid Sri Lankan unit implicated in torture

By Oscar Grenfell, 10 August 2015

The AFP has provided equipment and training to Sri Lanka’s CID, long accused of kidnappings and human rights abuses.

SEP campaign receives support in northern Sri Lanka

By our correspondent, 10 August 2015

The Socialist Equality Party held its second northern Sri Lankan election meeting at Karainagar, where SEP campaigners held lively discussions with local residents.