South Asia

The world has reached the grim milestone of one million COVID-19 deaths

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 September 2020

With some 33 million infected out of nearly eight billion people, “herd immunity” remains a distant prospect and winter could bring conditions for a rapid resurgence of the pandemic.

Social health workers demonstrate in Tamil Nadu; Vietnamese garment workers strike over pay; Qantas baggage handlers protest against job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

26 September 2020

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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.

India’s health minister downplays raging pandemic to conceal ruling elite’s criminal “herd immunity” policy

By Saman Gunadasa, 24 September 2020

With the economy now largely reopened, the government has placed all responsibility for containing the virus onto working people.

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

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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.

Indian police and BJP government extend witch-hunt against anti-CAA protesters to filmmaker Rahul Roy

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 16 September 2020

Monday’s interrogation of Roy and his wife comes after the Delhi police spuriously implicated prominent cultural and political figures in the BJP-fomented communal violence.

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.

Indian workers speak out against Modi, trade unions on COVID-19 pandemic

By Sasi Kumar and V. Gnana, 15 September 2020

WSWS reporters interviewed workers in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu on the situation facing Indian workers during the pandemic.

India-China border conflict remains on knife’s edge

By Jordan Shilton and Keith Jones, 12 September 2020

US support for India and efforts by major European powers to boost their military-strategic presence in the Indo-Pacific could cascade the border crisis into a catastrophic war.

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

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India’s Supreme Court punishes prominent lawyer for criticizing its role in assault on democratic rights

By Kranti Kumara, 11 September 2020

Time and again, India’s Supreme Court has aided and abetted the anti-democratic actions and Hindu communalist provocations of the Modi government.

India-China border tensions flare anew, posing threat of catastrophic military conflict

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 September 2020

India’s increasingly aggressive stance against China is being stoked by Washington.

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

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Thousands of workers strike at Indian arms factories; Indonesian police attack paper mill workers; South Korean doctors continue strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 August 2020

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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.

Pakistani university workers oppose job cuts; Offshore gas platform workers strike in Western Australia; New Zealand health workers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 August 2020

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Millions of Indian workers strike to protest attacks by Modi government amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 August 2020

Millions of workers have joined strikes and protests opposing the government’s attacks on their wages and working conditions.

India: Motherson’s “inquiry” rubber stamps sacking of strikers

By Arun Kumar, 17 August 2020

The ongoing persecution of Motherson autoparts strikers was facilitated by the Maoist Left Trade Union Centre’s betrayal of the 140-day walkout.

Modi government intensifies repression one year after its constitutional coup against Kashmir

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 15 August 2020

The Modi government’s illegal abrogation of Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and imposition of a state-of-siege in the Muslim-majority region have been conspicuously ignored by the US and other major imperialist powers.

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 August 2020

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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.

South Asian governments ignore millions of monsoon flood victims

By Wimal Perera, 13 August 2020

While the suffering of flood-hit people mount amid the monsoon rains, South Asian governments refuse to provide them necessary assistance.

Hospital fire in southern India kills 10 COVID-19 patients

By Arun Kumar, 12 August 2020

With the pandemic spreading rapidly in the country, the circumstances of the fire point to criminal negligence on the part of governments and hotel and hospital authorities.

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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War crimes in Afghanistan covered up by UK Ministry of Defence

By Jean Shaoul, 6 August 2020

Documents, written by SAS officers and military personnel, provide evidence of war crimes.

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.

Consecrating an historic crime:

Indian PM Modi to lay cornerstone for Hindu temple at site of razed Ayodhya mosque

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 August 2020

Facing mounting popular anger over its ruinous response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BJP government is doubling down on its Hindu supremacist agenda.

COVID-19 infections rapidly spread across Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 1 August 2020

The worsening coronavirus crisis in Bangladesh is a direct result of inadequate public health spending by successive governments.

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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India set to surpass two million COVID-19 cases within days

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 30 July 2020

While the government claims that it is mounting a “successful battle,” the virus is rampaging across the India, with half a million new infections in the past 12 days.

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

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South Asian floods kill hundreds and displace millions

By Arun Kumar, 24 July 2020

The flooding comes as Indian and Bangladeshi residents were attempting to recover from Cyclone Amphan, which destroyed or damaged 260,000 houses in May.

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.

Bangladeshi government cracks down on opposition to jute mill privatisation

By Wimal Perera, 21 July 2020

The police arrest of two activists is an attempt to intimidate workers opposing the government’s destruction of thousands of jute mill jobs.

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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As India approaches 1 million COVID-19 cases, Modi government continues to deny community transmission

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 17 July 2020

The absurd claim that India is not experiencing significant community transmission is part of the government’s reckless back-to-work drive and its criminal “herd immunity” policy.

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.

UNICEF report: COVID-19 exacerbating hunger and other maladies facing South Asia’s children

By Naveen Dewage, 15 July 2020

According to the UNICEF report, close to 1 million more South Asian children could die in the coming year due to lack of access to food, vaccines, and timely medical care.

Massive worker participation in three-day India Coal strike

By Kranti Kumara, 11 July 2020

Last week’s strike had a huge impact on Coal India’s output, indicating that a large majority of its more than 500,000 regular and contract workers joined the walkout.

Neyveli Thermal plant explosion in southern India kills 13 workers

By Arun Kumar, 10 July 2020

The explosion at the government-owned mine and power plant is a result of the corporation’s refusal to replace outdated and dangerous facilities and equipment.

Surge in infections gives India third highest COVID-19 cases worldwide

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 9 July 2020

The surge is a direct result of the Modi government’s homicidal “herd immunity” policy, which prioritizes the profit interests of big business over the lives of workers and their families.

Letters demand Sri Lankan defence secretary stop military harassment of SEP candidates

By our correspondents, 9 July 2020

This campaign is part of broader struggle to defend the democratic rights of all working people against dictatorial measures.

India takes economic reprisals against China as border frictions continue

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 8 July 2020

Although several rounds of talks have been held, both New Delhi and Beijing continue to maintain an enhanced military presence along their disputed border.

Modi government prosecutes anti-CAA protest leaders on bogus terrorism charges

By Kranti Kumar and Shuvu Batta, 7 July 2020

Turning reality on its head, the Delhi police, acting on the orders of the BJP government, is trying to blame anti-CAA protest leaders for the anti-Muslim riots that convulsed northeast Delhi in late February.

Sri Lankan Trotskyists hold first online election rally

By our correspondent, 7 July 2020

The SEP is the only party advancing an international socialist program in the Sri Lankan national elections.

Vote SEP in the Sri Lankan general election

Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) to hold second online election rally

6 July 2020

The SEP’s online meeting will discuss critical political developments in Sri Lanka and internationally and the tasks facing the working class.

Pandemic spirals out of control in South Africa, India, Brazil

By Bryan Dyne, 4 July 2020

The official tallies in each country of daily confirmed coronavirus cases have become exponential, indicating that whatever containment measures were implemented to halt the spread of the virus have essentially collapsed.

Sri Lankan president orders Central Bank to give more credit to big business

By Saman Gunadasa, 4 July 2020

While providing huge financial concessions to the banks and big business, the government is imposing greater economic burdens on workers and the poor.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 July 2020

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Hundreds of thousands of Indian coal miners launch three-day strike against privatisation

By Arun Kumar, 3 July 2020

Facing an economic crisis that has been greatly exacerbated by the pandemic and the ruling elite’s selfish class response, the Modi government is pushing through a “quantum jump” in pro-investor “reforms.”

Pandemic rages across South Asia as total cases near 1 million

By our correspondents, 1 July 2020

The governments of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are rushing to “reopen” their economies even as COVID-19 cases and deaths are growing exponentially.

Pandemic surpasses 10 million COVID-19 cases and over 500,000 deaths globally

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 June 2020

COVID-19 cases in the United States have careened out of control, with health care systems in Texas, Florida and Arizona nearing collapse.

Indian and Pakistani health workers strike over coronavirus safety; Australia Paper maintenance workers locked out

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

27 June 2020

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India rapidly emerging as epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic in Asia

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 25 June 2020

As a result of the Modi government’s abandonment of lockdown measures, the coronavirus is spreading like wildfire in both urban slums and rural areas.

NSSP leader contests Sri Lankan elections on United National Party slate

By Vilani Peiris—leader of the SEP slate for Colombo district, 25 June 2020

The NSSP’s decision to contest with the UNP is a further expression of the right-wing political degeneration of this middle-class formation and other pseudo-left groups internationally.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold first election rally online on June 28

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 24 June 2020

The SEP meeting will discuss the crucial political developments in Sri Lanka and internationally and the tasks before the Sri Lankan working class.

Sri Lankan soldiers kill Tamil youth in Jaffna

By Wimal Perera, 23 June 2020

The shooting of Thiraviyam Ramalingam is part of the army occupation of the North and East and President Rajapakse’s increasing militarisation of his rule.

Sri Lankan SEP holds online meeting on global protests against police murders

By Wije Dias, 22 June 2020

Wije Dias, General Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka, delivered the main speech at an online meeting on the global protests against the police killings and moves towards autocratic methods of rule.

US stokes India-China conflict, blames Chinese “aggression” for border clash

By Keith Jones, 20 June 2020

Senior US official David Stilwell provocatively told a press briefing that the Chinese army had “invaded” the “contested area” between India and China.

India and China remain on knife edge as war tensions continue

By Shuvu Batta and Keith Jones, 19 June 2020

While proclaiming they want to de-escalate, India and China are each demanding the other stand down and pouring additional troops and weapons into their border regions.

Sharp spike of coronavirus deaths in India

By Saman Gunadasa, 19 June 2020

Right-wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi has categorically ruled out a second lockdown even after India registered more than 2,000 deaths on Tuesday and over 13,000 new infections on both Wednesday and Thursday.

Dozens die in India-China border clash

By Keith Jones, 17 June 2020

It is the enmeshing of the India-China rivalry with the strategic confrontation between China and US imperialism that makes the border dispute so combustible and incendiary.

Over 1,170 COVID-19 deaths as pandemic surges in Bangladesh

By Wimal Perera, 15 June 2020

The Awami League government ignored warnings by medical experts who publicly opposed any lifting of the lockdown.

Three months since the cruise industry shutdown

Mauritian government and cruise companies hold stranded crew for ransom

By Tom Casey, 13 June 2020

The government’s repatriation plan has incurred bitter opposition from crew members of all nationalities, as well as from the families of Mauritian crew who anxiously await their relatives’ returns.

India: A massive explosion in Gujarat chemical plant kills 10 workers

By Arun Kumar, 13 June 2020

The tragic loss of life and terrible injuries are a direct result of government and company indifference towards mandatory work safety measures.

Sri Lankan police violently suppress protest against the killing of George Floyd

By our reporters, 12 June 2020

The police attack is a message from the Rajapakse administration that it will not tolerate any opposition from workers, young people and the poor.

UK: Indian cruise ship crew members still awaiting repatriation

By Paul Bond, 12 June 2020

Around 650 Indian crew members of TUI/Marella cruise ships are still laid up in waters off Southampton on the south coast of England.

COVID-19 cases rise rapidly after South Asia’s governments abandon lockdowns

By our correspondents, 10 June 2020

India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have all recorded dramatic increases in COVID-19 infections and deaths over the past week.

Sri Lankan president establishes military taskforce: Another step toward dictatorship

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 9 June 2020

The working class can stop the threat of a dictatorship only by mobilising its independent strength to overthrow capitalism.

More Australian war crimes exposed in Afghanistan

By Jason Quill, 6 June 2020

The exposure of Ziauddin’s killing highlights the years of coverups by successive Australian governments, both Liberal-National and Labor, of military abuses in the Middle East.

India-wide protests by military armament and power industry workers; Australian airport workers demand JobKeeper pay

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

6 June 2020

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

Sri Lankan health workers protest wage and transport cuts during pandemic

By W. A. Sunil, 4 June 2020

While hospital workers across all grades and union affiliations participated in the protests the unions are seeking to head off a confrontation with the government.

Indian government abandons lockdown measures as coronavirus infections soar

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 2 June 2020

An epidemiologist who is advising the government on its plan to “reopen” the economy blithely acknowledged that it will result in a catastrophic loss of life, declaring that “India may see at least two million deaths.”

SEP (Sri Lanka) calls for action committees to counter COVID-19 and defend jobs

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 2 June 2020

In defending their rights, workers cannot rely on the trade unions which have become appendages of big business.

Explosion at Indian thermal power plant kills four workers

By Arun Kumar, 1 June 2020

The tragic deaths are a result of the management’s hasty moves to resume work, in line with the Modi government’s instructions to reopen the economy.

Coronavirus cases surpass six million globally

By Bryan Dyne, 30 May 2020

New epicenters in Eastern Europe, South America, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent are rapidly causing massive public health crises.

Bangladesh COVID-19 deaths soar past 500

By Rohantha De Silva, 30 May 2020

The death and infection curves are still rising, but the Awami League government is reopening the economy in the interests of big business.

After ignoring migrant workers’ plight, the Indian Supreme Court now acknowledges unfolding social tragedy

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 30 May 2020

The court’s intervention reflects concerns fear by India’s legal authorities that mounting mass anger will erupt against the entire capitalist elite and its state.

Indian autoworkers strike for COVID-19 safety measures; Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers demonstrate

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

30 May 2020

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

Sri Lankan government responds to rising COVID-19 infections by abandoning expatriate workers

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 May 2020

The Rajapakse government’s ruthless attitude towards the stranded migrant workers is matched by its hostility to ordinary people inside Sri Lankan.

Mumbai health care system overwhelmed as COVID-19 surges across India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 28 May 2020

”It’s a war zone,” said a doctor employed at one of the main hospitals in India’s second largest city.

COVID-19 destroys almost half a million tourism jobs in Sri Lanka

By our reporters, 28 May 2020

Big tourist companies demand more funds to revive their businesses, not out of sympathy for workers, but to boost profits.

Sri Lankan Everbest garment workers protest job and wage cuts

By our reporters, 26 May 2020

The trade unions, like the counterparts around the world, are assisting the government and the employers.

South Asian countries ease COVID-19 lockdowns despite sharp rise in infections

By our correspondents, 25 May 2020

The absence of health care infrastructure across the region means that huge numbers of cases are going undetected, and many are dying due to a lack of basic medical care.

Gulf States force India and other South Asian states to repatriate impoverished migrant workers

By Shuvu Batta, 25 May 2020

The migrant workers, whose labour has helped keep the Gulf States oligarchs basking in luxury, are being deported as COVID-19 renders them an economic burden and political threat.

Ninety-seven die in Pakistan International Airline crash

By Sampath Perera, 25 May 2020

The plane was in the air for 10 to 15 more minutes after its initial aborted landing attempt, according to eyewitnesses.

Sri Lankan government understates COVID-19 figures to recklessly reopen economy

By Naveen Dewage, 23 May 2020

The low number of infections in Sri Lanka is because few COVID-19 tests are being conducted—an average of less than 600 per day between February 18 and May 20.

Indian police detain thousands of sacked migrant workers; Pakistani health workers demand unpaid wages and allowances

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

23 May 2020

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Sri Lankan president demands legal immunity for the military

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 21 May 2020

The real purpose of Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s defence and promotion of the military is to prepare for another savage war against the working class.

Seven Sri Lankan families homeless after plantation fire

By M. Thevarajah, 20 May 2020

Fires frequently occur in the old and rundown estate plantation line rooms.