South Asia

US-backed “human rights” resolution to pressure Sri Lanka to break ties with China

By K. Ratnayake, 2 March 2021

The resolution has nothing to do with defending human rights but is to ensure Colombo is fully aligned with Washington’s confrontation against China.

Release jailed Sri Lankan estate workers! Defend all workers from company-police conspiracies!

By Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 28 February 2021

The SEP and the IYSSE calls on plantation workers and the entire Sri Lankan working class to demand the immediate release of the eight arrested Alton estate workers.

999 Deepening social crisis driving ongoing protests in Myanmar

27 February 2021

Sri Lankan government mobilises army to break health workers’ strike

By Sakuna Jayawardena, 26 February 2021

None of the health service unions, nor any other trade union, has opposed or condemned the Rajapakse government’s deployment of the military.

Sri Lankan government proposes tiny wage rise to deflect plantation workers’ unrest

By M. Thevarajah and W.A. Sunil, 25 February 2021

The government, in collaboration with the unions, is desperately attempting to dissipate the rising anger of plantation workers over wages and company productivity demands.

How to fight for democracy in Myanmar

By Peter Symonds, 23 February 2021

The only social force capable of carrying out a consistent struggle for democratic rights is the working class, as part of the broader struggle to refashion society to meet the pressing needs of the majority—that is, along socialist lines.

An explosion at an Indian fireworks factory kills 20 workers

By Shibu Vavara and Saman Gunadasa, 18 February 2021

The human carnage in the fireworks industry is a result of the criminal indifference of successive governments for the lives of one of the most oppressed sections of the Indian working class.

Management presses to impose “discipline” as strike by Indian Toyota workers enters fourth month

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 13 February 2021

As the strike by Toyota Kirloskar Motor workers enters the fourth month, the Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is conspiring with management against the striking workers.

Air pollution crisis in South Asia causing massive loss of pregnancies

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 12 February 2021

The ruling elites of South Asia have no interest in allocating the urgently necessary resources to implement air pollution abatement measures to save millions of lives, including the unborn.

Calls for a general strike against military junta in Myanmar

By Peter Symonds, 9 February 2021

Demonstrations over the weekend, estimated in the tens of thousands, continued on Monday despite police attacks and threats of military violence.

UK dismisses UN Maritime Court ruling that it has no claim to Chagos Islands/Diego Garcia

By Jean Shaoul, 9 February 2021

The maritime court confirmed the legitimacy of Mauritius’s claim to the Chagos Islands, calling Britain’s continuing administration of the islands “unlawful” and criticised its failure to hand the islands back. The ruling implies that the UK’s leasing of Diego Garcia to the US is also illegal.

Sri Lanka: Hundreds of thousands of estate workers strike for a wage rise

By Our correspondents, 8 February 2021

The Ceylon Workers Congress called the strike in order to dissipate workers’ anger over the continual refusal of plantation companies to grant the long-running demand for a 1,000-rupee daily wage.

Sri Lankan educators' safety committee salutes Chicago teachers

Teacher-Student-Parent Rank and File Safety Committee statement (Sri Lanka), 8 February 2021

“We will campaign among teachers and students in support of the Chicago teachers’ struggle, explaining this important experience. The Chicago struggle is our fight.”

Modi regime steps up repression of farmers opposing its pro-agribusiness laws

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 6 February 2021

After witnessing the massive security presence and layers of police barricades at one of the protest camps on the Delhi border, a group of MPs said the farmers were being treated like “prisoners in jail.”

For an independent movement of the working class to fight the privatisation of Colombo Port! Oppose anti-Indian campaign! Fight for a socialist program!

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 5 February 2021

The struggle against the privatisation of Colombo Port sharply highlights the geopolitical issues confronting the working class in Sri Lanka, South Asia and internationally.

Amid mounting social discontent, Pakistan’s opposition parties to step up campaign for new elections

By Sampath Perera, 5 February 2021

Seeking to exploit popular anger over rising prices and joblessness and IMF-dictated pro-market measures, a ten-party alliance of opposition parties is demanding Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Islamic populist PTI resign.

Bangladesh government begins to forcibly remove Rohingya refugees

By Wimal Perera, 4 February 2021

The government is moving some 100,000 Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char, a cyclone-prone island, while planning to send others back to Myanmar, from where they fled.

Indian government presents budget amid economic crisis, swelling social opposition

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 2 February 2021

The budget represents a further escalation in the Modi government’s class war assault on India’s workers and toilers.

Military seizes power in Myanmar

By Peter Symonds, 2 February 2021

The military’s move is no doubt conditioned by the turn to authoritarian forms of rule internationally amid the deepening crisis of capitalism triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic—not least in the US.

Modi launches mass repression against two-month-long farmer agitation

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 30 January 2021

India’s BJP government has seized upon the “violence” and “anarchy” that erupted in Delhi during last Tuesday’s protest against its pro-agri-business laws to launch a long-prepared campaign to suppress the farmers’ agitation through state intimidation and violence.

Striking Indian Toyota worker speaks on slave labour conditions at Toyota Kirloskar Motor factory outside Bangalore

By Arun Kumar, 30 January 2021

A striking Toyota worker in India speaks out on the slave labor conditions they have been subjected to working for the company.

Sri Lankan stock market hits record high amidst rising COVID-19 infections

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 January 2021

While the government’s policies are massively benefiting wealthy elites, the poor face escalating attacks on social conditions.

Indian farmers’ agitation against Modi government’s pro-agribusiness laws enters third month

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 26 January 2021

The farmers’ agitation has compounded the enormous social and political crisis facing the Modi regime and India’s ruling elite as a whole.

Human rights study exposes brutal conditions in Sri Lankan prisons

By N. Rangesh, 26 January 2021

The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka report is a damning indictment of successive governments.

Sri Lanka: Hundreds of plantation workers strike to defend jobs and social rights

By Our correspondent, 23 January 2021

The determined fight by Gartmore Estate workers to defend their jobs and basic rights is an expression of rising unrest throughout the country’s plantation sector.

US prompts new “human rights” resolution to push Sri Lanka to line up against China

By Pradeep Ramanayake and K. Ratnayake, 19 January 2021

By all indications Washington is behind the move intended to press President Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s government to break from Beijing’s “influence.”

Indian external affairs minister visits Sri Lanka to counteract growing Chinese influence

By Rohantha De Silva, 15 January 2021

Concerned that the Rajapakse regime is turning to Beijing for financial assistance, Jaishankar’s trip appears to be a thinly-veiled warning to Colombo.

999 India's Supreme Court lays groundwork for state assault on farmers' protest

13 January 2021

Bangladesh pandemic cases surpass half a million, with over 7,810 deaths

By Wimal Perera, 13 January 2021

Prime Minister Hasina boasts about helping the poor as hunger deepens across the country.

Pakistan: Eleven miners killed in sectarian attack buried following week of protests

By Sampath Perera, 13 January 2021

Although Pakistan’s military has turned much of Balochistan into an armed camp, Islamist forces continue to mount deadly attacks on the Shiite Hazara minority with impunity.

Indian Toyota workers continue strike in defiance of company-government repression

By Arun Kumar, 8 January 2021

Striking Toyota workers also face mounting pressure from the Congress and Janata Dal opposition parties, and the isolation of their struggle by the Stalinist-dominated unions.

Sri Lankan president orders all state employees to commit to his election manifesto

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 7 January 2021

These preparations of Rajapakse are aimed at cementing his autocratic rule and taking on the working class.

Sri Lanka prison massacre autopsy confirms victims were shot

By W. A .Sunil, 5 January 2021

After the bloodbath, the Rajapakse government is taking further measures to tighten the repressive conditions in prisons.

Sri Lanka online lecture: “Two hundred years since the birth of Friedrich Engels”

By International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Sri Lanka), 4 January 2021

The lecture is based on the WSWS article on the 200th anniversary of birth of Friedrich Engels.

Indian farmers’ agitation enters second month

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 31 December 2020

The farmers launched their Delhi Chalo (Let’s got to Delhi) protest on November 26, the same day as tens of millions of workers participated in a general strike to protest the BJP government’s pro-investor “reforms.”

Political crisis deepens after Nepali parliament dissolved

By Rohantha De Silva, 31 December 2020

The conflict within Nepal’s ruling Stalinist regime is driven by geo-political pressures and the escalating economic and social crisis exacerbated by COVID-19 within the landlocked country.

Hands off COVID-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones!

By Health Workers Action Committee of Sri Lanka, 30 December 2020

Sri Lankan health workers denounce the persecution of data scientist Rebekah Jones and hail her determination to protect lives by exposing the real extent of the coronavirus pandemic in the US.

No to forced work amid raging pandemic! All non-essential production must be shutdown with full compensation to workers!

By Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 24 December 2020

Factories, tea estates and government institutions are now dangerous hotbeds for COVID-19, a situation caused by the Rajapakse government’s defence of corporate profits.

India: Karnataka factory inspectors find workers’ abuse at the Wistron iPhone plant

By Kranti Kumara, 22 December 2020

The report, issued after an uprising by workers at the Wistron factory in India has revealed slave-like working conditions and wage delays, which are common among Apple iPhone manufacturers throughout Asia.

The Indian farmers’ agitation and the socialist strategy of the working class

Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 22 December 2020

Indian workers must intervene as an independent political force in the crisis precipitated by the farmers’ agitation and rally the rural masses under their leadership to fight the Modi government and bourgeois rule.

COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates Sri Lanka’s high child poverty rate

By Yasara Sooriyanayaka, 22 December 2020

A UNICEF report reveals that most Sri Lankan families do not have adequate incomes and confront many hardships in raising their children.

Sri Lankan government detains young Muslim poet on bogus charges

By S. Jayanth, 21 December 2020

Ahnaf Jazeem is the latest victim of the Rajapakse government’s anti-Muslim witch hunt and its escalating attacks on the democratic rights of writers, artists and intellectuals.

Colombo chief medical officer reveals Sri Lankan government’s “herd immunity” policy

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 18 December 2020

The dangerously low COVID-19 testing rate in factories monitored by the Board of Investment is threatening the lives of tens of thousands of workers and their families.

Sri Lanka: Lively discussion at Health Workers Action Committee online meeting

By Our correspondents, 17 December 2020

The meeting discussed the need for an independent initiative of workers to defend the health service, in unity with the international working class.

Indian government and big business fear farmers’ protest could trigger eruption of working class opposition

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 16 December 2020

In the face of mass and escalating opposition from farmers, Narendra Modi and his far-right Bharatiya Janata Party government are doubling down on their drive to implement a raft of pro-corporate agricultural “reforms.”

India moves to strengthen strategic relations with Sri Lanka and the Maldives

By Rohantha De Silva, 14 December 2020

Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s trip to Sri Lanka was aimed at securing maritime cooperation to counteract Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean region.

As farmers intensify protests in north India, working-class anger erupts in Karnataka in the south

By Keith Jones, 13 December 2020

Both the farmers and the Karnataka telecom manufacturing, Toyota, and bus transport workers are resisting the attempts of India’s capitalist elite, spearheaded by the Modi government, to exploit the pandemic to intensify the exploitation of India’s workers and toilers.

Workers around the world must defend striking Indian Toyota workers from repressive government measures

By Arun Kumar, 12 December 2020

Fearful of the growing support for the monthlong strike by Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) workers in southern India, the Hindu-supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state government is ramping up its attempts to criminalize the strike.

Sri Lankan president calls on companies to exploit pandemic for cost-cutting

By Saman Gunadasa, 11 December 2020

Rajapakse’s speech underscores the necessity for the working class to undertake a political fight on a socialist program against this big business government.

As Indian farmers step up protests against pro-agribusiness “reform,” Modi prepares mass repression

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 11 December 2020

Indian farmers are threatening to expand their protests after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government reiterated that it will not repeal the three pro-agri-business laws it rushed through parliament last September.

“They are not alone in this”

US autoworkers speak in support of strikes in South Korea and India

By Shannon Jones, 9 December 2020

US autoworkers have extended support to fellow workers at Kia and General Motors in South Korea and Toyota workers in India who are facing increasing threats as they fight for decent pay and working conditions.

Modi maneuvers as support for Indian farmers’ protest swells

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 8 December 2020

Millions of people will join protests across India today to express support for a farmers’ agitation that has become a major challenge to the far-right BJP government and its social incendiary pro-investor policies.

Sri Lankan government activates lie machine to cover up prison killings

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 5 December 2020

Colombo has reacted to opposition to the shooting of unarmed protesting prisoners with increased repression.

999 Chinese defence minister visits Nepal to boost military ties

5 December 2020

999 Sri Lanka govt propaganda campaign over Mahara prison shootings

4 December 2020

Indian Toyota workers continue month-long strike against speedup

By Arun Kumar, 2 December 2020

Over 3,000 workers at two Toyota Kirloskar Motor-owned car assembly plants in Bidadi are continuing a four-week-long strike in defiance of the state government’s back-to-work order.

Mass farmer protest rattles India’s far-right BJP government

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 2 December 2020

The farmers are protesting a pro-corporate agrarian “reform” that Modi and his BJP rushed through parliament in September, at the same time as they were attacking workers’ right to strike and gutting restrictions on mass layoffs.

Eight protesting inmates demanding COVID-19 protection shot dead in Sri Lankan prison

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 1 December 2020

The brutal Mahara Prison killings are not an aberration but are in line with the increasingly repressive methods being employed to suppress opposition to the government’s COVID-19 response.

Statements of support from Sri Lanka in defence of Dr. Scalice against Stalinist slanders

By Our reporters, 1 December 2020

“In a period where the working class rallying behind a genuine revolutionary leadership is decisive, Scalice’s exposure has a huge contemporary relevance.”

MAS factory workers in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka, discuss concerns over pandemic

By Subash Somachandran, 28 November 2020

Workers’ concerns have been deepened because of the disastrous pandemic situation globally and in Sri Lanka.

Millions of Indian workers join national general strike against Modi government’s social attacks

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 27 November 2020

Yesterday’s strike was a powerful blow against the Modi government’s relentless barrage of Hindu chauvinism targeting Muslims and religious minorities, and other ruling elite attempts to promote caste and communal divisions.

Pseudo-left Fourth International Bureau announces suspension of NSSP

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 26 November 2020

For three decades, the Pabloites have sanctioned every opportunist twist and turn of its Sri Lankan affiliate as it has sought to subordinate the working class to one or other section of the ruling class and its two major parties.

Tens of millions of workers to join all-India general strike

By Keith Jones, 26 November 2020

As a direct consequence of the reaction of ruling elites to the pandemic, focused on profits and share prices, social opposition in the working class is erupting.

India’s ruling elite welcomes Biden-Harris victory in US presidential election

By Deepal Jayasekera, 26 November 2020

The warm welcome for the President-elect is based on the calculation that a Biden administration will be no less committed than Trump’s to expanding the anti-China Indo-US “global strategic partnership.”

Sri Lankan budget: Tax bonanza for big business and increased burdens on working people

By Saman Gunadasa, 25 November 2020

The Rajapakse government’s tax concessions for the rich and cuts to education and other vital social services will drastically hit workers and the poor struggling to deal with the impact of COVID-19.

Sri Lankan artists discuss COVID-19 and its impact on their creative work, living conditions

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 November 2020

Musical performances, theatre, film and teledrama production, book exhibitions and similar activities have almost entirely come to a halt. Kapila Kumara Kalinga and Malaka Devapriya spoke to the WSWS about the situation.

India’s unprecedented economic contraction deepens mass social misery

By Kranti Kumara, 20 November 2020

So meager are the earnings of India’s workers and toilers, three-quarters of the population in rural areas would not be able to afford the cheapest possible nutritious diet even if they spent all of their earnings on food.

Oppose Sri Lankan government’s repressive essential services order against port workers fighting COVID-19

By The Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 20 November 2020

The Rajapakse government’s assault on the democratic rights of port workers is a warning to the entire working class.

Toyota workers in India continue strike, defy state back-to-work order

By Shibu Vavara and Arun Kumar, 20 November 2020

Behind the state government’s strikebreaking order is the broader aim of the ruling class to make India a cheap-labor alternative to China.

COVID-19 drastically impacts Bangladesh students and youth

By Wimal Perera, 18 November 2020

Students, like other poor sections of the society, have been ignored by the Awami League government.

Sri Lankan government and opposition greet US president-elect Joe Biden

By K. Ratnayake, 14 November 2020

US governments are hostile to the cash-strapped Colombo regime increasingly looking for financial assistance from China.

Sri Lankan government lifts limited lockdown despite rising infections

By W.A. Sunil, 12 November 2020

From the beginning of October, the grossly understated official number of cases has increased dramatically by more than 10,000, while the death toll has risen by 33, or more than tripled.

COVID-19 pandemic creating a social disaster in India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 10 November 2020

Contrary to Modi’s lies, a humanitarian crisis is being generated in the world’s second most populous country.

SEP (Sri Lanka) outlines socialist alternative to pandemic and authoritarianism

By Our correspondents, 9 November 2020

The speakers stressed that the crisis in Sri Lanka and internationally could only be resolved through the independent political mobilisation of the working class=.

Indian Stalinists use Bihar elections to deepen their alliance with big-business Congress Party

By Arun Kumar, 7 November 2020

Under conditions of mounting social opposition, the Stalinists are doubling down on their efforts to harness the working class to the Congress and other right-wing parties.

Indian Magna Cosma workers continue strike against victimisation and for recognition of new union

By Shibu Vavara and Sasi Kumar, 6 November 2020

The strikers are challenging the Canadian conglomerate’s super exploitation of a multi-tier workforce, with just 75 permanent workers alongside 350 contract workers and 200 trainees.

Sri Lankan government rejects total lockdown amid surging COVID-19 infections

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 5 November 2020

The Rajapakse regime’s decisions are aimed at continuing corporate operations, particularly factory production for exports, forcing workers to stay on the job.

Bangladeshi jute mill workers demand reopening of closed mills

By Wimal Perera, 3 November 2020

Despite police harassment, workers retrenched from state-run mills have staged several demonstrations against the closures and plans for privatization.

US Secretary of State insists Sri Lanka lines up against China

By Saman Gunadasa, 31 October 2020

The US has been hostile to China’s influence in strategically important Sri Lanka, as preparations for a US-instigated war against China are escalated.

Indian health and public sector workers strike; Chinese courier drivers protest over unpaid wages; hospital workers and nurses threaten strikes in Australia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 October 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Amid tense India-China border stand-off, US and India boost military-security partnership

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 29 October 2020

India’s BJP government has exploited the ongoing military border standoff with China to integrate India still more fully into American imperialism’s incendiary military-strategic offensive against Beijing.

Half of India’s population could be infected with COVID-19 by next February

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 29 October 2020

A government appointed committee has warned of a potential second wave of infections in winter leading to a sharp rise in the percentage of the population hit by the coronavirus.

999 COVID-19 in India

28 October 2020

Rally welcoming relaunch of WSWS

The relaunched website facilitates the development of the world party of socialist revolution

By Wije Dias, 27 October 2020

The remarks below were given by Wije Dias, general secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan parliament boosts president’s autocratic powers

By K. Ratnayake, 26 October 2020

The move towards dictatorship in Sri Lanka coincides with the drive by the ruling classes in every country towards fascist and autocratic rule.

Bangladeshi union shuts down port workers national strike; Assam rail workers demand festival allowance; Western Australian workers protest after worksite death

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

24 October 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Mounting evidence of systemic Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 24 October 2020

The atrocities flowed inevitably from the nature of the war—a brutal operation to crush all resistance to the US military occupation of the impoverished country.

Sri Lankan workers must rally the rural poor against Rajapakse’s “herd immunity” policies

By Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) statement, 22 October 2020

The true situation was hidden from the outset because the government refused to implement rigorous anti-COVID-19 measures when the virus first impacted on the country in late January.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold online meeting on a socialist program to fight COVID-19

By The Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 22 October 2020

The event will discuss the policies necessary for workers, the rural poor and youth to combat the coronavirus disaster and the Rajapakse administration’s austerity and anti-democratic measures.

World Bank: South Asian economies hit hard by COVID-19

By Saman Gunadasa, 20 October 2020

The report bluntly warns that “more people will be added to the ranks of the extreme poor in South Asia than in any other region in 2020.”

999 COVID-19 deepens South Asia economic crisis

17 October 2020

Sri Lankan free trade zone employees told to keep working as infections rise

By Wimal Perera and Kapila Fernando, 17 October 2020

“The lives of workers have been thrown to the wolves in order to protect the profits of the big capitalists,” one worker told the WSWS.

Andhra Pradesh textile workers strike; 400,000 Assam tea plantation workers walk out; Western Australia: Offshore LNG platform employees in Western Australia take action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 October 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

US Secretary of State Pompeo to visit Sri Lanka amid rising anti-China provocations

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 15 October 2020

Pompeo’s visit is another step in Washington’s policy of pushing its Asian regional partners into direct military confrontation with Beijing.

North and East of Sri Lanka paralysed by mass anti-government protest

By Subash Somachandran, 15 October 2020

Social opposition is mounting among workers and the poor across Sri Lanka against the Rajapakse government’s continuous attacks on social and democratic rights.

COVID-19 outbreak exposes Sri Lankan government claims that pandemic is under control

By Naveen Dewage, 13 October 2020

The previous, relatively low number of COVID-19 infections in Sri Lanka is mainly the result of the government’s refusal to carry out systematic testing.

Sri Lankan government presses ahead with plans for a presidential dictatorship

By Saman Gunadasa and K. Ratnayake, 10 October 2020

Facing an economic catastrophe exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Rajapakse wants new anti-democratic measures to suppress the eruption of mass social struggles by the working class.

Bangladesh’s Awami League government intensifies anti-democratic attacks on its critics

By Wimal Perera, 6 October 2020

Prime Minister Sheik Hasina has responded to the social crisis exacerbated by COVID-19 by suppressing information on the disease and persecuting journalists.

India to reopen schools, despite COVID-19 death toll surging past 100,000

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 October 2020

The Modi government long ago abandoned any effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and is insisting workers be forced back on the job to produce profits for big business, whatever the cost in human lives.

India: 13,000 teachers in Delhi strike over unpaid wages; Government doctors protest in Pakistan; LNG offshore maintenance workers to walk out in Western Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

3 October 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.