Asia

Sri Lanka: Action committee of Abbotsleigh Estate workers holds inaugural meeting

By our correspondents, 18 December 2018

The meeting passed resolutions calling for independent action committees to fight for decent wages and conditions, and pledged support to “yellow vest” protesters in France, US auto workers and jailed Maruti Suzuki workers in India.

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court refuses to hear SEP’s legal action against May Day meeting ban

By our correspondent, 18 December 2018

The government’s intention was to sabotage May Day demonstrations and rallies, a tradition established by workers before the end of British colonial rule in 1948.

The international significance of the Sri Lankan plantation workers’ strike

By Deepal Jayasekera, 17 December 2018

In the midst of the strike, workers at the Abbotsleigh Estate turned towards revolutionary politics and forms of organisation, establishing an action committee independent of the unions, under the political guidance of the Socialist Equality Party.

Sri Lankan plantation workers end strike action under protest

By Saman Gunadasa, 15 December 2018

Sri Lanka plantation workers denounced the unions and returned to work on December 14, after a nine-day strike for a doubling of their daily wage.

China’s economic slowdown: The political issues confronting the working class

By Nick Beams, 15 December 2018

The China slowdown is part of a global process, exposing the fraudulent claim that the global economy had finally “turned the corner” after the deep recession produced by the financial crisis a decade ago.

“Five Eyes” intelligence agencies behind drive against Chinese telecom giant Huawei

By Nick Beams, 14 December 2018

An Australian Financial Review report details an “unprecedented campaign” by the members of the network to prevent Huawei supplying equipment for their next-generation wireless networks.

Sri Lankan Supreme Court rules against President Sirisena’s decision to dissolve parliament

By Deepal Jayasekera, 14 December 2018

The court’s decision will further intensify the infighting within the ruling elite.

Indian state elections show mounting social anger against ruling Hindu-supremacist BJP

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 14 December 2018

The BJP lost power to the Congress Party in three states that are part of the “Hindi heartland,” its traditional power-base—Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

Hyundai, Kia workers strike in South Korea in opposition to attacks on wages

By Ben McGrath, 12 December 2018

The imposition of a new tier of low-paid workers in Gwangju is just the precursor to broader attacks on workers’ conditions.

Sri Lankan plantation companies reject workers’ wage demand

By W.A. Sunil, 11 December 2018

Despite an indefinite strike, the employers are insisting that profits must be defended by subjecting workers to super-exploitation.

Japanese government rams through new immigration law

By Gary Alvernia, 11 December 2018

While portrayed as a “liberalisation” of existing policy, the law reflects concerns within ruling circles over the economic impact of Japan’s declining workforce.

China summons American ambassador over detention of Huawei executive

By Peter Symonds, 10 December 2018

The highly provocative actions of the US are part of the Trump administration’s wider campaign to prevent Chinese corporate giants from challenging American technological supremacy.

Canada-China relations sour after Ottawa kidnaps Huawei executive

By Roger Jordan, 10 December 2018

At the express instructions of the federal Attorney-General, the Crown is arguing Meng Wanzhuo must remain in captivity pending the adjudication of her extradition to the US.

Indian workers face slave-like conditions in Sri Lanka

By R. Shreeharan and Ivan Weerasinghe, 10 December 2018

Young men recruited from a Jharkhand village to work on a high-voltage power-line in Sri Lanka have not been paid for three months.

The kidnapping of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

By Andre Damon, 8 December 2018

Meng’s arrest and confinement—without bail and on tendentious and opaque charges potentially carrying a sentence of 60 years—amount to little more than a kidnapping.

Sri Lankan plantation strike: Abbotsleigh workers march to demand action committees and socialist policies

By our reporters, 8 December 2018

Yesterday’s march was organised by an action committee of Abbotsleigh Estate workers, following political interventions by the Socialist Equality Party.

Pakistan municipal workers protest for outstanding wages; Sri Lankan housing workers fight layoffs; New Zealand teachers reject new pay offer

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 December 2018

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

At Washington’s behest

Canada arrests top Chinese executive for “sanctions busting”

By Keith Jones and Roger Jordan, 7 December 2018

The arrest and impending extradition to the US of Meng Wanzhou is a diplomatic and geopolitical provocation that has effectively blown up the US-China trade-war “truce” after less than a week.

Sri Lankan president uses executive powers to run government

By W.A. Sunil, 7 December 2018

Sirisena’s autocratic actions are another dangerous sign that dictatorial forms of rule are being prepared in Sri Lanka.

Japanese police detain Zengakuren activists for nearly three weeks

By Ben McGrath, 7 December 2018

The police measures used against this student group are part of a broader attack on basic democratic rights.

Jaffna (Sri Lanka) meeting celebrates 80th anniversary of the Fourth International

By R. Shreeharan, 6 December 2018

People from all over the Jaffna district heard Socialist Equality Party leaders explain the contemporary relevance of the Trotskyist movement’s historic struggle.

The Maldives: Pro-US President Solih sworn in

By Rohantha De Silva, 5 December 2018

Tolih’s administration will bring the Maldives into line with Washington’s military preparations for war against China and reorient the island-nation towards India.

Sri Lankan court blocks functioning of Rajapakse cabinet

By K. Ratnayake, 4 December 2018

An appeals court temporarily ordered that Rajapakse and his ministers cease exercising their powers—intensifying Sri Lanka’s political crisis.

While Modi touts India’s growth rate,

Four jobless youths commit suicide

By Kranti Kumara, 4 December 2018

There are more than 10 million annual entrants into India’s labor market. Yet a recent study found that less than a million new jobs were created in the first three years of the Modi-led BJP government.

Sri Lanka: Factional deadlock remains in lead up to Supreme Court ruling

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 3 December 2018

President Sirisena has failed in his attempts to secure a parliamentary deal with the opposition UNP and TNA aimed at ending the country’s continuing political crisis.

India: Contract health workers remain on strike in Bihar; South Australian teachers strike over pay and conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 December 2018

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

Taiwan elections reveal widespread hostility to the ruling DPP

By Robert Campion, 30 November 2018

The results reflect discontent over deteriorating living standards and fears about the rising tensions between the US and China.

Colombo court detains Sri Lankan defence chief over civil war crimes

By Rohantha De Silva, 30 November 2018

The court magistrate said the military chief had to be denied bail because he could influence witnesses or disrupt ongoing investigations into the abduction of Tamil youth.

Around 100,000 Sri Lankan plantation workers walk out again for pay rise

By our correspondents, 30 November 2018

The plantation unions are determined to prevent industrial action by estate workers that could trigger mass action by other sections of the working class.

Rajapakse-aligned MPs boycott Sri Lankan parliament

By W.A. Sunil, 28 November 2018

The ongoing crisis has shattered the carefully cultivated image of parliament as an august and democratic assembly, engaging in serious discussion on issues of public interest.

US-South Korean tensions over stance towards North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 28 November 2018

US ultimatums to Pyongyang to denuclearise are threatening South Korean efforts to reduce tensions and engage with North Korea.

Amid Sri Lanka’s political crisis, the USP sets “left” trap for the working class

By Vilani Peiris and K. Ratnayake, 27 November 2018

The pseudo-left United Socialist Party’s call for a left alliance is aimed at promoting the illusion that one or other ruling faction can be pressured to defend the rights of working people.

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka intensifies as opposition takes control of parliament

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 24 November 2018

The UNP-led opposition has submitted a motion to suspend funds to Rajapakse’s office of prime minister.

Ten thousand taxi drivers end protests in India; 1,600 rubber plantation workers strike in Bangladesh; New Zealand secondary teachers vote to strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 November 2018

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

Chinese president visits the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 22 November 2018

Xi Jinping visited Manila in the midst of Washington’s escalation of economic warfare against Beijing and advanced preparations for direct military conflict.

SEP (Sri Lanka) holds successful public meeting on political crisis

By our correspondents, 22 November 2018

The speakers stressed the necessity for the working class to adopt a socialist and internationalist program, in opposition to all factions of the ruling elite.

Sri Lankan political crisis exposes bankruptcy of Tamil nationalist parties

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 22 November 2018

After four years of a US-backed “Good Governance” government that collapsed last month, not a single issue facing the Tamil workers and poor has been resolved.

Sri Lanka: UNP demands Facebook protect identity of party supporters

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 November 2018

UNP allegations that state authorities could be collaborating with Facebook to target its supporters came amid escalating infighting within the Sri Lankan political elite.

At APEC, PM puts Australia on frontline of US confrontation with China

By Peter Symonds, 21 November 2018

Australian Prime Minister Morrison lined up with US Vice President Pence at the recent APEC meeting, as China’s policies were denounced across the board.

Pakistan prime minister visits Beijing amid heightened US-China tensions

By Pradeep Ramanayaka, 21 November 2018

If Khan was hoping for an immediate financial bailout from China, he was disappointed as Beijing offered no specific aid and signed no significant agreements.

SEP (Sri Lanka) to hold lecture on “Lessons of History and the Fight for Socialism Today”

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 21 November 2018

The lecture in Jaffna will focus on the political lessons of key strategic experiences of the 20th century for the working class and their contemporary relevance.

US vice president beats war drums in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 20 November 2018

Mike Pence in effect issued an ultimatum to China: either accept a subservient, semi-colonial status, or confront the full force of US diplomatic, economic and ultimately military weight.

Sri Lankan parliament adjourned amid ongoing political crisis

By K. Ratnayake, 20 November 2018

While claiming to be champions of “democracy,” the rival factions of the ruling class are both committed to implementing the IMF’s austerity demands and suppressing any opposition from working people.

Sri Lankan president’s “all party conference” fails to overcome political crisis

By Rohantha De Silva, 19 November 2018

Sirisena’s meeting followed three consecutive days of bitter and violent fighting in the parliament between the Rajapakse and Wickremesinghe factions.

Sri Lanka: Second no-confidence motion passed as violent clashes erupt in parliament

By W.A. Sunil, 17 November 2018

While the UNP and Sri Lanka’s parliamentary speaker claim victory for another no confidence vote, nothing is resolved.

Trump manoeuvres ahead of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 17 November 2018

The central demand of the Trump administration is that Beijing scrap its “Made in China” program and adopt a subservient economic position in relation to the US.

Indian chrome miners strike over safety; Western Australian mine workers walkout over “wage theft”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 November 2018

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

The political crisis in Sri Lanka: Its lessons for the international working class

By Keith Jones and K. Ratnayake, 16 November 2018

Only the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) fights for the working class to assert its own class interests, independently of and in opposition to both rival bourgeois camps.

Sri Lankan parliament rejects Rajapakse as prime minister

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 November 2018

The major global powers are monitoring the developing political and constitutional crisis and firing off warning signals.

Sri Lanka crisis escalates as Supreme Court overturns Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament

By K. Ratnayake, 14 November 2018

The Supreme Court made its ruling after hearing 12 fundamental rights petitions challenging Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament on November 9.

Chinese regime cracks down on student labour activists

By Robert Campion, 14 November 2018

The repression is another sign of growing unrest in the working class and fear in the CCP regime that the involvement of students will politicise the strikes and protests.

Sri Lankan political crisis deepens: Prime minister splits from president

By W.A. Sunil, 13 November 2018

None of the factions of the ruling class will defend the basic rights of working people, but will ruthlessly impose the austerity dictates of the IMF and big business.

Fire at workers’ apartment in South Korea leaves seven dead

By Ben McGrath, 12 November 2018

Public safety continues to be ignored under the South Korean administration no less than under previous conservative governments.

Imelda Marcos convicted on seven counts of graft in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 12 November 2018

The ruling handed down against Marcos after three decades of delays is an expression of the sharp crisis of political rule under President Duterte.

US-China talks signal worsening confrontation

By Peter Symonds, 12 November 2018

For years, first under Obama, then under Trump, the US has been engaged in an aggressive effort to undermine China economically, and encircle it militarily in preparation for war.

In another anti-democratic act, Sri Lankan president dissolves parliament

By K. Ratnayake, 10 November 2018

Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament exposes the degenerated state of parliamentary democracy and the Sri Lanka ruling elite’s moves towards dictatorial forms of rule.

Tamil nationalists support US-backed factions in Sri Lankan political crisis

By K. Nesan, 10 November 2018

The TNA is pursuing the same pro-imperialist course that led it to back the US-led regime change operation, that brought President Sirisena to power in 2015.

The kiss of death: Stalinists seek to tie Tamil Nadu auto strikes to right-wing parties

By Arun Kumar, 10 November 2018

Opposing all attempts to broaden the struggle, the Stalinists convened an “all party” meeting, where they touted the leaders of opposition parties and their affiliated unions as the strikers’ allies.

US, Japan conclude massive war games targeting China

By Ben McGrath, 10 November 2018

The Keen Sword exercises have placed additional pressure on China while further militarizing the western Pacific.

Thousands of Indian contract workers remain on strike; 29,000 New Zealand primary school teachers to take national strike action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 November 2018

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

Safety questions emerge after 189 people die in Indonesian plane crash

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 November 2018

Indonesian authorities said the plane had suffered mechanical issues on the four flights before it crashed in the Java Sea.

Sri Lankan political coup: Rajapakse makes bogus promises to ease social crisis

By Saman Gunadasa, 8 November 2018

In a bid to deflect the opposition of working people, the newly installed prime minister announced token measures to assist workers, peasants and the poor.

Plantation unions move to shut down wage struggle amid Sri Lankan political crisis

By W. A. Sunil, 7 November 2018

The long-running plantation workers’ pay dispute has won powerful support from young people and other sections of the Sri Lankan working class.

Sri Lankan crisis: SLFP holds rally to defend political coup

By K. Ratnayake, 6 November 2018

Sirisena and Rajapakse appeared on the same platform, praising each other to the hilt, as major global powers press for the reconvening of parliament.

Indian Trotskyists to hold meeting on 80 years of the Fourth International

6 November 2018

The meeting in Chennai, which will also mark 50 years of Sri Lanka’s SEP, will outline the lessons of the protracted struggle for Trotskyism in South Asia and internationally.

Wigneswaran’s Tamil People’s Alliance: A trap for Sri Lankan workers

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 6 November 2018

Amid an international radicalization of the working class, the TPA aims to divide workers along ethnic lines and block the growth of the Socialist Equality Party.

Sri Lankan political crisis: Pseudo-left NSSP promotes UNP campaign

By K. Ratnayake, 5 November 2018

NSSP leader Karunaratne is desperately attempting to tie workers to the pro-US UNP and prevent the development of an independent movement of the working class.

Anwar Ibrahim wins seat and returns to Malaysian parliament

By John Roberts, 5 November 2018

Anwar’s re-entry into parliament will only heighten tensions in the unstable ruling coalition currently headed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Trump manoeuvres in lead-up to talks with Chinese President Xi

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2018

The aim is either to extract major concessions from China or, failing that, create the best conditions for pressing ahead with trade war measures.

Sri Lankan crisis: Washington intervenes to maintain its political influence

By Deepal Jayasekera, 3 November 2018

The Trump administration, which is preparing for war against China, does not want to lose political domination in strategically-located Sri Lanka.

Mass strikes by transport workers and government employees in India

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 November 2018

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

Falling growth rate sparks concern in China’s ruling circles

By Nick Beams, 2 November 2018

A Politburo statement reflected the growing anxiety in Beijing over the economy and the impact of US trade war measures.

The JVP’s fraudulent attempt to capitalise on Sri Lanka’s political crisis

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 2 November 2018

The JVP, a Sinhala supremacist party of the political establishment, is posturing as an opponent of both competing factions of the ruling elite.

Sri Lankan crisis: UNP rally demands reconvening of parliament

By our correspondents, 1 November 2018

The demonstration was part of a campaign to regain power after President Sirisena sacked UNP leader Wickremesinghe as prime minister.

Japanese PM visits China in bid to improve relations

By Peter Symonds, 1 November 2018

Abe’s efforts to end bitter exchanges with China come after both countries have been hit by the Trump administration’s trade war measures.

Fight for a socialist solution to the political crisis in Sri Lanka

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 31 October 2018

The SEP calls on the working class to reject the cynical manoeuvres of all factions of the ruling elite and to mobilise independently to fight for its own class interests.

Chinese president tells military to prepare for war

By Peter Symonds, 30 October 2018

Xi Jinping’s speech was a response to the Trump administration’s aggressive actions in intensifying trade war and overtly readying for military conflict with both China and Russia.

Infighting deepens between rival factions of Sri Lankan elite

By Deepal Jayasekera, 30 October 2018

The government’s ultimatum for Wickremesinghe to vacate the prime minister’s residence has set the stage for bloody clashes and political violence.

Sri Lankan president’s cynical justifications for his political coup

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 29 October 2018

Sirisena’s self-serving speech was to justify his anti-democratic actions as well as appeal to layers of the population opposed to the government’s attacks on living standards.

Under US pressure, Maldives president accepts election defeat

By Rohantha De Silva, 29 October 2018

The pro-US shift in Maldives will only intensify geopolitical tensions, particularly between Washington and Beijing.

Indian state government arrests at least 14 union leaders

By Kranti Kumar, 29 October 2018

The Hindu-extremist BJP government in the northern Indian state of Haryana has arrested union leaders after 200,000 workers took action in solidarity with striking public transport workers.

Sri Lankan President Sirisena sacks prime minister

By K. Ratnayake, 28 October 2018

The coup is an expression of the huge political crisis confronting the Sri Lankan ruling class amid a profound economic crisis, rising geo-political tensions and a resurgence of the class struggle.

Thousands of youth demonstrate in Sri Lanka to support plantation workers’ wage struggle

By our correspondents, 27 October 2018

The protest in Colombo was the first time that Sri Lankan workers have conducted such a campaign via social media.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Strikes in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan

27 October 2018

The stoppages are part of an emerging movement of the working class the Indian sub-continent.

Pakistan caught up in intensifying US-China rivalry

By Pradeep Ramayake, 27 October 2018

Amid a worsening balance-of-payments crisis, Pakistan desperately needs an estimated $12 billion, but is under pressure from the US to distance itself from China.

Indian court dismisses Maruti Suzuki workers’ bail application

By Keith Jones, 23 October 2018

There is incontrovertible evidence the Maruti Suzuki workers have been jailed for life as the result of a crude frame-up, but the judge callously refused to hear any of it.

Another US provocation against China: Two warships sail through Taiwan Strait

By Peter Symonds, 23 October 2018

The naval operation follows an inflammatory speech by US Vice-president Mike Pence earlier this month criticising China on all fronts.

Sharp decline in numbers in latest China Rich List

By Robert Campion, 23 October 2018

The fall reflects the impact of a slowing Chinese economy, the impact of the US trade war measures and sharp falls in China’s share markets this year.

China growth slows to lowest level since financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 22 October 2018

While the trade war launched by the US has yet to make a significant impact on growth, the official Chinese statement referred to what is called the “severe international situation.”

India seizes “shadow bank” to avert potential “catastrophic” impact on financial system

By Kranti Kumara, 20 October 2018

Financial observers have said the collapse of IL&FS could have been India’s “Lehman Brothers moment”—a reference to the September 2008 bankruptcy that triggered the global financial meltdown.

Nineteen sentenced to death over 2004 grenade attack in Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 20 October 2018

The harsh sentences dovetail with a broader crackdown on political opposition by the Awami League-led government.

Divisions erupt within Sri Lankan government

By K. Ratnayake, 20 October 2018

Allegations that President Maithripala Sirisena told a cabinet meeting that “Indian intelligence” was planning to assassinate him, have brought deep rifts within the government to the surface.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Police attack striking workers in India and Bangladesh

20 October 2018

Police opened fire on garment workers demanding unpaid wages in Bangladesh, while Indian authorities attacked protesting health workers.

As Pakistan seeks IMF bailout, US intensifies pressure on Islamabad

By Sampath Perera, 16 October 2018

Washington has served notice that it intends to leverage Pakistan’s current account crisis to disrupt Islamabad’s economic and strategic partnership with China

Sri Lankan tea estate workers step up demands for higher pay

By M. Thevarajah, 13 October 2018

Demonstrations by estate workers underscore growing working-class opposition to the attacks of the government and employers.

Indian sanitation workers union shuts down month-long strike; Western Australian bus drivers strike over pay

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 October 2018

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

US places alleged “Chinese spy” on public trial

By Mike Head, 12 October 2018

The timing of the unprecedented extradition points to a new stage in the US drive to prevent China from becoming an economic or military threat to US global hegemony.

The struggle for socialism and the importance of history: David North interviewed on Radio Sri Lanka

12 October 2018

David North, chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, was interviewed at length on Radio Sri Lanka’s “Coffee with Dan” program early this week.

Tamil Nadu police arrest hundreds of striking Indian autoworkers

By Arun Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 11 October 2018

Strikes and protests have broken out in Tamil Nadu companies that employ the majority of India’s 7.6 million auto manufacturing workers.

Pompeo visit heightens US-China rift

By James Cogan, 10 October 2018

Testifying to the fraught state of relations, China’s foreign minister publicly lambasted the United States.