South Asia

Workers must adopt a socialist internationalist program to oppose Sri Lanka’s authoritarian, communalist Rajapakse regime

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 7 December 2019

Rajapakse’s aim is to secure the two-thirds parliamentary majority necessary to repeal a key constitutional amendment and give the president sweeping authoritarian powers.

Sri Lankan president prorogues parliament to try to consolidate his rule

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 December 2019

Gotabhaya Rajapakse is aiming to seize all governmental powers and thereby strengthen his hand against the working class and his political rivals.

Maoist union leaders isolate striking Motherson autoworkers in India

By Arun Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 5 December 2019

Union leaders are attempting to divert Motherson workers along reactionary Tamil nationalist lines.

Thousands of Sri Lankan estate workers strike over workloads and wages

By M. Thevarajah and K. Kandipan, 5 December 2019

Strikes have erupted already in tea plantations following last month’s presidential election.

Indian auto parts workers demand union rights; Bangladesh cargo workers on indefinite strike; French Polynesia hotel workers expand walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

30 November 2019

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

Sri Lankan president appoints minority government and puts security forces on alert

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 November 2019

While the new administration will continue draconian “national security” measures, it confronts deep-seated popular opposition to the attacks on social and democratic rights.

UK defies UN deadline to hand over Chagos Islands/Diego Garcia to Mauritius

By Jean Shaoul, 26 November 2019

The UN meeting in May condemned Britain’s occupation of the Chagos Islands and a non-binding ruling by the International Court of Justice calling on the UK to relinquish its hold on the territory within six months.

US puts new Sri Lankan president on notice

By K. Ratnayake, 20 November 2019

While Pompeo couched his message to Rajapakse in terms of “human rights,” Washington’s real concern is that the new president will re-orient Sri Lanka towards China.

Former top military official wins Sri Lankan presidential election

By K. Ratnayake, 18 November 2019

Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s election marks a sharp shift towards autocratic forms of rule, amid a deepening crisis of Sri Lankan capitalism and the rising resistance of the working class to austerity measures.

Sri Lankan presidential election: Workers must prepare to fight moves towards police-state rule

By K. Ratnayake, 16 November 2019

Calls by the major candidates for “strong government”—code-words for the development of dictatorial methods—are a response to the growing opposition of workers and the poor to government austerity.

Indian Honda contract workers still on strike; West Bengal teachers demand pay rise; maintenance workers take industrial action at Australian paper mill

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

16 November 2019

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

Sri Lanka: SEP presidential candidate exposes pseudo-lefts’ pro-capitalist program at university debate

By our correspondents, 13 November 2019

Wijesiriwardena explained the underlying principles of the Socialist Equality Party’s socialist internationalism and the necessity for the independent mobilisation of the working class in every country.

Sri Lanka: Pseudo-left NSSP promotes UNP presidential candidate

By Vilani Peiris and K. Ratnayake, 11 November 2019

The NSSP and its presidential candidate are trying to tie the working class to the United National Party and capitalist rule.

Build a mass movement to free class-war prisoners Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

By SEP (Sri Lanka) presidential candidate Pani Wijesiriwardena, 9 November 2019

Assange and Manning are being persecuted because the US and its imperialist allies are preparing for war and want to silence all honest journalists and fighters for the truth.

Honda motorcycle and Kerala state transport workers strike in India; Pakistan health workers oppose privatisation

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 November 2019

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

India: 48,000 striking Telangana transport workers defy back to work order

By Kranti Kumara, 7 November 2019

Over 48,000 drivers, mechanics, conductors and other workers at the state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation have defied a November 5 back-to-work order.

Why the Sri Lankan Tamil parties appeal to the UNP and SLPP presidential candidates

By Pani Wijesiriwardena--presidential candidate of the Socialist Equality Party, 4 November 2019

The Tamil parties, like their bourgeois counterparts in Colombo, fear the unity of workers across ethnic lines.

CIA death squads responsible for spike in Afghan civilian casualties

By Bill Van Auken, 2 November 2019

A Human Rights Watch report documents extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and attacks on medical facilities by militias trained, funded and directed by the CIA.

Bangladesh: Sixteen sentenced to death over brutal murder of student

By Rohantha De Silva, 2 November 2019

The Bangladeshi government is exploiting outrage over the brutal murder of a young woman to step up its law-and-order attacks on democratic rights.

Sri Lanka: SEP presidential candidate addresses meetings in war-ravaged north

By our reporters, 30 October 2019

The SEP presidential candidate explained that the democratic rights of the oppressed can be achieved only in the struggle for socialism.

More evidence of cover-up of Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 26 October 2019

The damning disclosures underscore why the government is intensifying its efforts to suppress media freedom.

Eightieth birthday tribute to Sri Lankan Trotskyist Nanda Wickremasinghe

By David North, 26 October 2019

Nanda Wickremasinghe, who turned 80 on October 15, is a founding member of the Sri Lankan section of the ICFI.

Sri Lankan SEP holds inaugural presidential election meeting

By our correspondents, 26 October 2019

Speakers explained that the Socialist Equality Party is the only one presenting an international socialist program for the working class and the poor.

Sri Lankan SEP and IYSSE hold successful meeting on India’s Kashmir lockdown

By our correspondents, 19 October 2019

“The Modi government’s anti-democratic moves are not just directed against the Kashmiri people, although they are the immediate target, but against the working class as a whole.”

Sri Lankan railway unions end strike, after “promises” from President Sirisena

By Pradeep Ramanayake and K. Ratnayake, 9 October 2019

Sirisena’s assurances are worthless but always seized on by the union bureaucracy to shut down industrial action and impose a sell-out.

Sri Lankan SEP announces presidential election campaign public meetings

9 October 2019

The Socialist Equality Party meetings will discuss the vital social and political issues confronting workers, youth and the poor.

Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka to contest the November presidential election

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 5 October 2019

The election has been announced amid rising opposition to the government’s austerity measures and the eruption of mass strikes by public sector workers for higher pay.

Growing strike wave challenges Sri Lankan government

By K. Ratnayake, 28 September 2019

The Sri Lankan trade unions are hostile to a unified movement of working people against the Colombo government’s IMF-dictated austerity policies.

India’s top court greenlights New Delhi prolonging Kashmir state-of-siege indefinitely

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 September 2019

India’s Hindu-supremacist BJP government has imposed an unprecedented security clampdown to suppress mass opposition to the constitutional coup it mounted against Kashmir August 5.

Thousands of Sri Lankan university workers demonstrate in Colombo

By our correspondents, 19 September 2019

In contrast to the efforts of the unions to shut down the strike, workers’ opposition is growing, not only to the government but also to the unions and capitalist parties.

Hundreds of thousands of Indian auto workers face sackings and wage cuts

By Saman Gunadasa, 18 September 2019

The assault on Indian workers is part of the escalating global attack on the jobs, wages and working conditions of auto workers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia.

Sri Lanka: Tamil People’s Council calls rally to stir up Tamil nationalism

By M. Thevarajah, 14 September 2019

The reactionary “Rise up Tamils” campaign aims to divide Sri Lankan workers along ethnic lines as they are coming into struggle against Colombo’s austerity measures.

India: Kolkata students and workers demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By Ritwik Mitter and Arun Kumar, 11 September 2019

ICFI supporters spoke to students at Jadavpur University in Kolkata and workers from BSNL, the Indian government-owned telecommunication company.

Build action committees! Expand the strike!

A socialist perspective for the Sri Lankan university employees’ struggle

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 10 September 2019

Non-academic university staff, who are beginning an indefinite strike today, should expand their struggle by appealing to other sections of the working class.

Hong Kong administration seeks to split protest movement

By Peter Symonds, 5 September 2019

By withdrawing the extradition legislation, chief executive Carrie Lam is seeking the support of conservative protest leaders to pave the way for the suppression of more militant layers.

India: Motherson autoworkers strike indefinitely in Tamil Nadu

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 2 September 2019

About 500 permanent workers from Motherson Automotive Technologies & Engineering remain on strike to demand recognition of their newly-formed trade union.

Sri Lankan president “lifts” emergency but armed forces mobilised to “maintain security”

By W.A. Sunil, 29 August 2019

When emergency rule was imposed after the April terrorist bombings, the SEP warned that the real target of the government’s measures was not terrorists, but the working class.

Sri Lankan PM backs Indian repression in Kashmir

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 28 August 2019

The support for New Delhi’s anti-democratic measures in J&K reflects the fact that all factions of Sri Lanka’s ruling elite are moving towards the imposition of dictatorial rule.

State of siege in Kashmir: A warning to the international working class

By Bill Van Auken, 17 August 2019

Western governments and media have maintained virtual silence over the police state crackdown against 13 million Kashmiris.

India’s unprecedented lockdown of Kashmir in eleventh day

By K. Ratnayake, 15 August 2019

India’s Hindu supremacist BJP government has imposed a brutal lockdown to suppress mass opposition to its subjecting Indian-held Kashmir to permanent central government domination.

020 Kashmir

14 August 2019

Persecuted Sri Lankan writer released on bail

By Vimukthi Vidarshana, 13 August 2019

Although Shakthika Sathkumara is out on bail, the threat to his freedom of expression and that of other artists remains.

New Delhi’s assault on Kashmir and the fight against communal reaction, imperialism, and war

By Keith Jones, 10 August 2019

With the aim of inciting communal reaction against mounting social opposition and strengthening its hand against Pakistan and China, India’s BJP government has illegally stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status.

Indo-Pakistani conflict sharpens with New Delhi’s assault on Kashmir

By Keith Jones, 9 August 2019

In response to India’s aggressive and patently illegal moves to tighten its control over disputed Kashmir, Pakistan has taken a raft of retaliatory measures and issued thinly-veiled war threats.

To enforce Monday’s constitutional coup

India dramatically intensifies repression in Kashmir

By Keith Jones, 8 August 2019

India’s ruling elite has rallied behind the BJP-led state assault on Jammu and Kashmir, even while conceding that it is a “roll of the dice” fraught with domestic and geopolitical “risk.”

Sri Lankan parliamentary parties back extension of emergency rule

By Saman Gunadasa, 7 August 2019

The endorsement came four days after President Sirisena declared that the railways and public transport were essential services, effectively banning strikes in those sectors.

India’s Hindu supremacist government abrogates Kashmir’s autonomy

By Keith Jones, 6 August 2019

Yesterday’s actions will enflame tensions with Pakistan, and constitute a further stage in the Indian ruling elite’s turn toward authoritarian forms of rule and promotion of Hindu communal reaction.

Sri Lanka: Colombo University students call for release of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 6 August 2019

“American imperialism is now seeking its revenge against Assange because he told the truth.”

Jailed Sri Lankan writer Shakthika Sathkumara defends Julian Assange

By our reporters, 6 August 2019

“The system that has put Assange behind bars is the same system responsible for putting me behind bars in Sri Lanka.”

Bangladesh primary school teachers demand government nationalise schools

By Wimal Perera, 5 August 2019

Even if non-government primary schools are taken over by the Hasina government there is no guarantee that teachers and school staff will be regularly paid.

Indian doctors hold national 24-hour walkout; Chinese auto workers strike; Australian railway workers vote for industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 August 2019

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

Millions displaced and hundreds killed by monsoonal floods in South Asia

By Rohantha De Silva, 31 July 2019

South Asian governments have responded with apathy and indifference toward the poverty-stricken people severely impacted by the floods.

Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka intensifies the campaign to free Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 22 July 2019

The Sri Lankan Trotskyists held a well-attended public meeting in Colombo and a powerful rally in Jaffna.

22 July 2019

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna calls for removal of Sri Lankan government

By K. Ratnayake, 18 July 2019

Under conditions of political crisis, in which the main parties of government are widely discredited, the JVP is proposing itself as the party capable of saving the capitalist system.

Sri Lankan prime minister promotes US defence agreement

By Vijith Samarasinghe and K. Ratnayake, 15 July 2019

Although Wickremesinghe has tabled a planned Status of Forces Agreement with the US, its contents and political implications remain a secret for millions of Sri Lankans.

Tamil Nadu government bans strikes in auto component industries

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 6 July 2019

The ruling class's major goal is to transform India into a premier center of global auto manufacturing by imposing brutal working conditions.

Sri Lankan railway unions cave in to government’s strike ban

By Saman Gunadasa, 1 July 2019

The RTUA’s betrayal has once again demonstrated that workers cannot defend their democratic rights and fight for jobs and decent working conditions through the trade unions.

Sharp downturn in Sri Lankan economic growth

By Dilruwan Vithanage, 27 June 2019

International credit rating agency Moody’s revised down its prediction for this year from 3.4 percent to 2.6 percent.

Severe water shortage afflicts Chennai, India’s fourth-largest metro area

By Arun Kumar, 25 June 2019

While the authorities have sought to blame the crisis on the failure of the monsoon, the real cause of the acute water shortage is the criminal indifference of successive central and state governments to people’s basic needs.

“Water has been made a commodity for profit”—Chennai residents speak out on city’s water crisis

By a WSWS Reporting Team, 25 June 2019

WSWS reporters spoke with workers and other impoverished residents of Chennai about the severe water crisis afflicting India’s fourth largest metropolitan area.

Sri Lankan government moves to criminalise “fake news”

By Naveen Dewage, 19 June 2019

Colombo’s new laws to censor and control the internet and social media are moves towards the establishment of dictatorial forms of rule.

Sri Lankan workers need a socialist program to defeat Colombo’s police-state preparations

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 12 June 2019

All factions of the warring Sri Lankan bourgeoisie are united in the use of communalism to divide the working class and in moves towards police-state rule.

Sri Lankan Trotskyists win strong support for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

By our correspondents, 7 June 2019

University students voice their concerns about the US-led assaults on Assange and Manning and speak out in defence of free speech.

Sri Lankan Muslim ministers resign amid growing threats of anti-Muslim violence

By K. Ratnayake, 6 June 2019

Every faction of the ruling elite is systematically using Islamophobia to divide the working class along ethnic and religious lines as part of its preparations for autocratic forms of rule.

Arch-communalist Modi sworn-in as India’s prime minister for second time

By Deepal Jayasekera, 1 June 2019

Big business, reports the Economic Times, wants the government placed on a “war footing” to rapidly implement “investor friendly reforms.”

Pakistan government prepares savage austerity following IMF “bailout”

By Sampath Perera, 31 May 2019

Washington is seeking to exploit Pakistan’s fiscal and economic crisis to disrupt Islamabad’s growing economic and strategic ties with China.

Why ISIS launched a terror attack on Sri Lanka

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 29 May 2019

The US has, over the past four years, taken steps to transform Sri Lanka into an important base for its military operations throughout the region, including the Middle East.

Stalinist CPM and CPI suffer meltdown in India’s national election

By Deepal Jayasekera, 27 May 2019

The Stalinists’ electoral debacle is the outcome of their decades-long political suppression of the working class and key role in implementing a “pro-market,” “pro-investor” agenda.

Germany continues deportations to Afghanistan

By Marianne Arens, 25 May 2019

Just days before the European elections, the charter flight to the war-torn country exposes the deadly practice carried out by both the federal and state governments.

Indian big business propels Modi and his Hindu supremacist BJP to a second term

By Keith Jones, 24 May 2019

For decades the Stalinists have justified their support for right-wing governments by claiming this would block the BJP’s path to power, but the end result is that the BJP and Hindu right are a greater menace than ever.

Tamil nationalists support anti-Muslim witch-hunt in Sri Lanka

By V. Gnana and K. Nesan, 24 May 2019

The bourgeois Tamil National Alliance is joining hands with the government as it sets up a police state targeting the entire working class.

The Indian elections and the fight to free the Maruti Suzuki class war prisoners

By Saman Gunadasa, 23 May 2019

Completely blacked out from the election campaign has been any discussion of the plight of the 13 Maruti Suzuki workers who have been jailed for life on frame-up murder charges.

Indian Elections:

Stalinist CPM faces debacle in its West Bengal “bastion”

By Deepal Jayasekera, 22 May 2019

Much of the CPM’s apparatus has defected either to the right-wing Trinamool Congress or the Hindu supremacist BJP of Narendra Modi.

Ten years after civil war ends, Sri Lankan ruling elites prepare for class war

By Pradeep Ramanayake and K. Ratnayake, 22 May 2019

The entire political establishment is preparing another bogus “war on terror” which is targeting the island’s Muslims, but will also be used to suppress the opposition of the working class.

Muslim victims of violence in Sri Lanka speak to the WSWS

By our reporters, 17 May 2019

WSWS reporters visiting Minuwangoda, a bustling town in the Gampaha district of Sri Lanka, discovered a ghost town.

Defeat the government’s police-military dictatorial plans

SEP/IYSSE public meeting in Colombo on Sri Lankan emergency declaration

17 May 2019

The meeting will discuss the revolutionary socialist perspective needed to defend the democratic and social rights of working people.

ICFI supporters hold rally in India to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By our correspondents, 16 May 2019

The rally in the capital of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu attracted the attention of workers and youth.

Washington uses terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka to strengthen ties with Colombo

By Rohantha De Silva, 11 May 2019

The “assistance” in the terror investigations is to bind Sri Lanka ever-more closely as Washington steps up its aggressive confrontation with China.

Imperialist war, the working-class upsurge in the Mideast and North Africa, and the strategy of Permanent Revolution

By Keith Jones, 10 May 2019

We are publishing here the text of the speech to the 2019 International May Day Online Rally delivered by Keith Jones.

Anti-Muslim witch-hunt after terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 8 May 2019

Alongside a vicious campaign of anti-Muslim propaganda, hundreds of people have been arrested in house-to-house police operations.

India’s election and the revolutionary program to oppose austerity, war and communal reaction

By Keith Jones, 8 May 2019

The BJP’s turn to militarism and unabashed communal reaction is animated, above all, by its fear of growing social opposition.

SEP (Sri Lanka) holds successful May Day meeting in Colombo, despite government efforts to bar celebrations

By our reporters, 3 May 2019

Some 200 workers, students, youth, professionals and housewives from areas throughout the island attended the meeting.

Sri Lankan SEP denounces political parties’ support for President Sirisena’s police state measures

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 2 May 2019

The SEP warns that the main target of the repressive measures is not Islamic extremists, but working people and their struggles against the government’s austerity agenda.

Tea plantation workers need a global strategy

By Saman Gunadasa, 1 May 2019

Tea plantation workers in India, Kenya and Sri Lanka can end their brutal exploitation only by breaking from the unions and fighting for a unified socialist and internationalist strategy.

As class struggle sharpens,

Indian Stalinists stump for right-wing bourgeois government

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 1 May 2019

India’s Stalinist parliamentary parties have redoubled their efforts to subordinate the working class to the parties and putrid state institutions of the Indian bourgeoisie.

Sri Lankan president steps up military crackdown

By K. Ratnayake, 27 April 2019

The all-party conference convened yesterday in the wake of Sunday’s terrorist bombings rubberstamped the draconian police-state measures being rapidly brought into force.

Sri Lankan president calls “all-party conference” to rubberstamp emergency powers

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 25 April 2019

Following Sunday’s terrorist bombings, the conference has been called to shore up capitalist rule amid an acute political crisis.

After terrorist bombings, Sri Lankan government imposes draconian national emergency

By K. Ratnayake and Peter Symonds, 23 April 2019

The World Socialist Web Site condemns the horrendous bombings, which indiscriminately killed innocent men, women and children, and have already provided the pretext for sweeping anti-democratic measures.

At least 290 killed in terrorist bomb attacks in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 22 April 2019

Despite an intelligence alert 10 days before, both the government and police failed to warn the public and took little or no action to prevent the terrible bombings.

Sri Lankan bomb survivors and local residents denounce terror attacks

By our correspondents, 22 April 2019

“The aim of this attack could be to instigate communalism and turmoil. It must be totally condemned.”

SEP and IYSSE in Sri Lanka rally to defend Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 17 April 2019

Sri Lankan media outlets, including Veerakesari, Sri Lanka’s main Tamil-language daily newspaper, covered the SEP and IYSSE demonstration in Colombo.

SEP (Sri Lanka) calls urgent picket to defend Assange and Manning

16 April 2019

The protest called by the SEP and IYSSE will be held at 4 pm today at Fort Railway Station, Colombo.

Communalist taunts, bellicose threats, phony promises

India’s election descends into the mire

By Keith Jones, 16 April 2019

With each week, the election campaign in the world’s “largest democracy” grows more toxic.

Sri Lankan writer imprisoned at instigation of Buddhist extremists

By our correspondents, 13 April 2019

The SEP and the IYSSE condemn the arrest of award-winning Sri Lankan author Shakthika Sathkumara and demand his immediate release.

Arbitrary wage cuts imposed on Sri Lankan estate workers

By W.A. Sunil, 12 April 2019

The Thomson Reuters Foundation research report shows that illegal pay deductions and high workloads are widespread in the plantations.

Samjhauta Express bombing:

Indian Court allows violent Hindu supremacists to go scot-free

By Kranti Kumara, 9 April 2019

In what is a consistent pattern in cases involving Hindu communalist violence against Muslims, an Indian court has exonerated four Hindu extremists implicated in a 2007 bombing that killed 68.

Sri Lankan government prepares new anti-terrorism laws

By Dilruwan Vithanage and Saman Gunadasa, 9 April 2019

The new bill surpasses the hated PTA measures and will be used to suppress the upsurge of opposition against Colombo’s harsh austerity measures.

Office workers killed in building fires in Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 6 April 2019

Hundreds of residents have been killed or injured in recent years by the regularly occurring fires in the city.

UNHRC ignores Sri Lanka’s failure to investigate war crimes

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 3 April 2019

The UNHRC resolution bogusly praised Colombo’s “positive steps” on human rights and gave it two more years to implement previous unfulfilled pledges.