Sri Lanka

India steel workers block major highway; Karnataka underground gold miners demand proper safety equipment; Australia: INPEX maintenance workers fight for better pay

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

6 March 2021

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

Sri Lankan Tamil nationalists seek alliance with India’s Hindu-chauvinist BJP

By V. Gnana, 4 March 2021

Amid mounting US and Indian threats against China, Tamil nationalist parties called for an alliance with India’s ruling Hindu-extremist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Sri Lankan police arrest more Alton estate workers

By W.A. Sunil, 4 March 2021

The ongoing police witch hunt of Alton Estate workers has been endorsed by the Rajapakse government and is an attack on all plantation workers.

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.

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.

Eight Sri Lankan plantation workers arrested in company-police attack

By M. Thevarajah, 23 February 2021

The Ceylon Workers Congress, Sri Lanka’s main plantation union, is actively supporting company and state attacks on striking Alton tea estate workers.

Sri Lanka health workers discuss need for action committees at public meeting

Our correspondents, 21 February 2021

Over 60 people, including doctors, nurses and other health staff, the participated in the Health Workers’ Action Committee at Peradeniya Teaching Hospital public meeting earlier this month.

As infections surge, highly contagious strain of COVID-19 confirmed in Sri Lanka

By Naveen Dewage, 16 February 2021

Doctors and medical experts have warned that the country could face a health catastrophe due to inadequate health facilities and an acceleration of the pandemic’s spread.

Tamil National People’s Front collaborates with allies of Sri Lankan regime

By S. Jayanth, 10 February 2021

By joining with the EPDP militia, a faction of the Tamil National People’s Front is strengthening the Gotabhaya Rajapakse government against the working class.

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.”

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.

UN human rights commissioner calls for probe into Sri Lanka’s war crimes

By K. Ratnayake, 31 January 2021

Bachelet’s report comes amid US moves to present a new human rights resolution on Sri Lanka in order to pressure the Rajapakse regime in Colombo remain within Washington’s geostrategic orbit.

Sri Lanka online public meeting: Build workers’ action committees to win health workers’ rights!

By Health Workers Action Committee of Peradeniya Teaching Hospital, 29 January 2021

All health workers are invited to participate in this vital online meeting on February 7 to discuss how to protect ourselves and other workers from the danger of COVID-19 infections and to defend our rights.

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.

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 Lankan IYSSE holds well-attended online lecture on 200th anniversary of Friedrich Engels’ birth

By Our correspondents, 25 January 2021

Students, young workers and others participated in an enthusiastic discussion on the contemporary significance of Engels' fight for scientific socialism.

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.”

Sri Lankan education safety committee holds well-attended online meeting

By Our correspondents, 15 January 2021

Participants discussed the need to build a network of education action committees to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

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.

Anxiety in South Asia over US president’s attempted coup

By K. Ratnayake, 12 January 2021

The South Asian ruling elites are heavily dependent economically and strategically on US imperialism and the political instability in Washington directly impacts on them all.

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 webinar: Education safety committee to discuss the fight against unsafe school reopenings

By Safety Committee of Teachers and Students and Parents (Sri Lanka), 4 January 2021

Urgent action must be taken to save lives, and secure the right to education, against the Rajapakse government’s hazardous return-to-work policies.

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.

Junior doctors walk out in India’s Bihar state; Sri Lankan plantation workers strike over wage cuts; Australian health workers demand better wages and conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

31 December 2020

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

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.

999 SEP (Sri Lanka) statement on COVID-19 and against forced returns-to-work

23 December 2020

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.

Bangladeshi health workers strike over wages; Sri Lankan teachers to demand COVID-19 protection; Offshore LNG maintenance workers strike in Western Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

19 December 2020

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

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.

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.

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.

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 Sri Lanka govt propaganda campaign over Mahara prison shootings

4 December 2020

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.”

Sri Lankan government orders schools to reopen, threatening thousands with COVID-19

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 30 November 2020

In line with its dangerous and irresponsible “new normal” coronavirus policies, the Rajapakse government is sending students and teachers back to school.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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=.

Health and other workers across Asia fight for unpaid wages, COVID-19 allowances and PPE; strikes break out in Australia over new enterprise agreements

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 November 2020

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

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

Sri Lankan government lies exposed as new COVID-19 infections emerge

By Pradeep Ramanayaka, 29 September 2020

Despite the Rajapakse government’s boasting that it has curbed the pandemic, the working class is confronted with the threat that the virus could rapidly spread at any moment.

Sri Lankan plantation workers strike against wage cuts

By M. Thevarajah, 25 September 2020

The plantation companies, with the direct support of the unions, have begun imposing wage and allowance cuts and higher productivity targets.

Sri Lankan SEP holds online lecture on how to fight Rajapakse’s dictatorial moves

By our correspondents, 23 September 2020

The online lecture has been viewed by more than 14,000 people since it was live-streamed earlier this month.

India: Chennai garbage workers strike; Sri Lankan bank workers protest over contracts; Australian waterfront workers walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 September 2020

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

SEP (Sri Lanka) condemns Philippines Maoist party’s slanders against historian Joseph Scalice

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 18 September 2020

Sri Lanka is one of the countries, like the Philippines, where groups following Maoism brought one disaster after another to workers, young people and rural poor.

US defence secretary phones Sri Lankan president about increased military cooperation

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 16 September 2020

Washington wants enhanced military relations with the strategically-located island in order to intensify its war drive against China.

Constitutional amendment aims to provide Sri Lankan president with authoritarian powers

By Sanjaya Jayasekera and Deepal Jayasekera, 12 September 2020

Like his political counterparts around the world, Rajapakse’s preparations for dictatorial rule are being made in order to unleash a massive social assault on the working class.

India: Petrol refinery and agricultural marketing workers strike against privatisation; Pakistani government workers strike against pay freeze

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

12 September 2020

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

West Bengal administrative workers strike; Maharashtra nurses hold state-wide protests; private sector nurses strike in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 September 2020

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

The lessons of the 1953 mass uprising (hartal) in Sri Lanka

By Saman Gunadasa, 2 September 2020

The hartal showed that regardless of the intensity of a mass struggle, it will not succeed without a conscious Marxist leadership

Tamil National Alliance in deep crisis after Sri Lankan election collapse

By Subash Somachandran, 27 August 2020

The electoral collapse of the TNA is the product of the political bankruptcy, demonstrated over decades, of the Tamil bourgeois-nationalist perspective.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold online lecture on how to fight Rajapakse’s dictatorial moves

27 August 2020

The SEP-IYSSE lecture will explain the necessity for a socialist program to fight President Rajapakse’s escalating steps towards dictatorship.

After the Sri Lankan election, president moves towards dictatorial rule

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 25 August 2020

The SEP warns workers and youth that they face real dangers as the Rajapakse government prepares an all-out offensive against the social and democratic rights of working people.

Support grows for SEP (Sri Lanka) defence campaign

By Saman Gunadasa, 19 August 2020

The petition opposing military harassment of Socialist Equality Party candidates in Jaffna continues to gather support, nationally and internationally.

Indian social health workers hold two-day national strike; South Korean hospital doctors walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 August 2020

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

Sri Lankan prime minister admits US is behind Colombo Port deal with India

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 14 August 2020

The Colombo Port workers’ struggle has demonstrated that the US and India want Sri Lanka tied to their strategic and military moves against nuclear-armed China.

Sri Lankan election exposes historic crisis of capitalist rule

By K. Ratnayake, 11 August 2020

The election is not a “people’s victory,” but an electoral win by a party preparing for authoritarian rule under President Rajapakse who has already appointed a host of generals to his administration.

Indian railway and Sri Lankan port workers oppose privatisation; Australian supermarket warehouse employees stop work over COVID-19 infection

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

8 August 2020

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Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna wins election setting the stage for an eruption of working-class struggles

By K. Ratnayake, 7 August 2020

While President Rajapakse hopes that an absolute parliamentary majority and new dictatorial measures will allow him to take on the working class, the eruption of militant struggles will assume revolutionary proportions.

Sri Lankan Trotskyists hold final online election meeting

By our correspondents, 6 August 2020

The Socialist Equality Party held its last meeting on August 2, after a determined election campaign that reached key sections of the Sri Lankan working class and youth.

Sri Lanka: TNA election manifesto prepares imperialist-backed deal with President Rajapakse

By Saman Gunadasa, 5 August 2020

The venal Tamil bourgeoisie has lined up with the geopolitical interest of the US which is preparing war against China.

Vote for SEP candidates in the Sri Lankan national elections! Fight for a workers’ and peasants’ government and socialist internationalism!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 3 August 2020

The SEP is the only party in the elections advancing an international socialist program to fight the crisis created by COVID-19, defend democratic rights and oppose imperialist war.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold online meeting to conclude its election campaign

1 August 2020

The SEP is the only party fighting for an international socialist perspective against deepening social inequality, the danger of imperialist war and the threat of dictatorship.

India: Punjab health workers strike for permanent jobs; Asahi auto glass-making workers strike in Chennai; Woolworths Distribution Centre workers locked out in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 August 2020

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SEP election campaign in Sri Lanka: Workers denounce establishment parties

By our reporters, 25 July 2020

Over the past weeks, SEP campaigners have discussed with workers and youth the need to politically fight on the basis of a socialist program.

Indian health workers protest over COVID-19 treatment discrimination and wages; Western Australian caterers and cleaners strike on offshore gas platforms

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

25 July 2020

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

Sri Lankan SEP election meeting discusses working-class response to COVID-19 pandemic

By our correspondents, 22 July 2020

More than 2,000 people—in Sri Lanka and internationally—have watched SEP’s online event, posting comments and questions about the party’s program.

India: Over 40,000 Karnataka health workers begin indefinite state-wide strike; Pakistani doctors protest and Sri Lanka nurses demand overtime pay

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

18 July 2020

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Tamil National Alliance offers to support Sri Lankan president’s autocratic rule

By Paramu Thirugnanasambanthar—lead SEP candidate for Jaffna district, 17 July 2020

The TNA is offering to support Rajapakse’s moves to dictatorial forms of rule as long as he makes concessions, no matter how small, to the interests of the venal Tamil elites.

As support widens for SEP defence campaign

Sri Lanka army commander says allegations of military harassment of northern election candidates are “false”

By our correspondents, 16 July 2020

Army commander Shavendra Silva’s claims and his refusal to acknowledge the detailed evidence provided by the SEP are a veiled threat against all election candidates in the North.

Amid Sri Lankan elections, YouTube censors Tamil-language WSWS posts

By V. Gnana, 16 July 2020

The move aims to prevent the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka from alerting Tamil-speaking workers internationally in a timely fashion of the political dangers they face.

210 YouTube censors WSWS Tamil podcasts

15 July 2020

999 Tamil National Alliance reiterates its support for Rajapakse government

13 July 2020