South Asia

Garment workers protest in Bangladesh as COVID-19 spreads

By Wimal Perera, 15 April 2020

Employers have shuttered the plants, sacking thousands of workers and refusing to pay outstanding wages.

As COVID-19 pandemic surges across India, business presses for quick return to work

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 14 April 2020

Due to the criminal negligence of the Modi government and the Indian elite, the country’s workers and toilers face a combined health and socio-economic catastrophe.

Three years since Indian court ordered 13 framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers jailed for life

By Kranti Kumara, 13 April 2020

The World Socialist Web Site urges workers around the world to redouble their efforts to free these class war prisoners, whose only “crime” was to challenge a brutal work-regimen, cheap-labour and precarious contract jobs.

Sri Lankan SEP holds online meeting on COVID-19 pandemic

By our reporters, 13 April 2020

SEP General Secretary Wije Dias exposed the Rajapakse government’s reactionary response to the disaster and outlined a revolutionary socialist program for the working class.

Against rising social opposition, Sri Lankan prime minister calls for “unity” against COVID-19

By K. Ratnayake, 11 April 2020

Hundreds of thousands of workers have no income and poor farmers in the rural areas have no means of selling what they grow.

India: Punjab health workers and poor farmers protest over inadequate COVID-19 supplies; Queensland public health workers demand promised wage rise

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

11 April 2020

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

Police in Pakistan beat and arrest health care workers protesting over Coronavirus safety concerns, lack of PPE

By Dr. Zayar, 9 April 2020

Police brutally attacked several hundred medical staff after they marched to the house of the Balochistan Chief Minister in Quetta to protest the lack of personal protective equipment or PPE.

Social crisis looms in Pakistan as COVID-19 pandemic surges

By Sampath Perera, 9 April 2020

Pakistan's health authorities expect the outbreak in the country will increase rapidly this month to hit 50,000 cases by April 25.

Sri Lanka government intensifies crackdown on social media

By Vimukthi Vidarshana, 9 April 2020

The arrest of social media users exposing Colombo’s inadequate responses to COVID-19 will be extended to online publishers and media outlets.

Sri Lanka: Billions to big business as government prepares new attacks on working people

By Saman Gunadasa, 8 April 2020

No meaningful government funds have been provided for personal protection equipment for health workers, ventilators for patients or kits for mass coronavirus testing.

US military calls for another $20 billion to counter China

By Peter Symonds, 7 April 2020

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, an Indo-Pacific Command report to the US Congress sets out plans for a further military build-up in the region directed against China.

Letter from Indian-held Kashmir:

Emergency amidst Emergency—Modi government denies Internet access imperiling lives

By Muzamil Yaqoob and Nilanjana Bhattacharya, 7 April 2020

The Indian state has refused to comply with World Health Organization guidelines to lift the internet lockdown in Kashmir, denying doctors and the public access to critical information in a life-and-death situation.

Indian medical staff speak to WSWS on COVID-19 pandemic

By Yuan Darwin and Nanda Kumar, 6 April 2020

Indian medical staff are struggling to fight COVID-19 under conditions of a run-down public health system and high-population densities without basic facilities.

Amid India’s calamitous lockdown, Modi seeks to censor coronavirus reports

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 4 April 2020

India’s Supreme Court has ordered media outlets to publicize “official” government-authored coronavirus reports, and threatened prosecution if they disseminate “fake news.”

Nepal: Masses confront enormous hardships from coronavirus pandemic

By Rohantha De Silva, 4 April 2020

Nepal’s government has made no serious effort to ensure that the country’s overwhelmingly poor population will have daily essentials, medicine and health safety equipment.

India: Maoist-led union alliance betrays Sanmina workers

By Yuan Darwin, 3 April 2020

The Sanmina workers walked out on strike on March 3 to demand a pay rise and reinstatement of victimised militant workers.

Sri Lankan medical experts demand mass coronavirus testing

By Naveen Dewage, 2 April 2020

The dangerous conditions facing millions of Sri Lankan workers, farmers and the poor are the result of decades of government cuts to the health system and other vital services.

India’s calamitous lockdown punishes poor while undermining efforts to halt spread of coronavirus

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 30 March 2020

The Modi government’s ill-prepared, three-week lockdown has resulted in chaos, including large disorganized movements of desperate poor people, thereby providing conditions conducive to the rapid spread of COVID-19.

Sri Lankan president grants clemency to war criminal

By Vimukthi Vidarshana, 30 March 2020

By releasing a war criminal Rajapakse has declared that the military will have the immunity for past and future crimes against the masses.

Coronavirus crisis in Sri Lanka: A program for the working class

the Socialist Equality Party, 28 March 2020

The Rajapakse government is exploiting the pandemic to prepare a presidential dictatorship and impose even deeper attacks on the working class and the poor.

Sri Lankan doctors speak out over coronavirus dangers facing health workers

By Sakuna Jayawardena, 28 March 2020

Hospital workers are making a huge effort to treat the rising number of patients, but they lack the protective gear they need.

Pakistan: District government workers strike over unpaid wages; New Zealand plastics workers strike over COVID-19 concerns

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 March 2020

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

Indian prime minister’s coronavirus lockdown threatens social disaster for millions

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 26 March 2020

Modi has not outlined any comprehensive program to deal with enormous difficulties that millions of workers and rural poor will face.

Sri Lankan Trotskyists begin election campaign with online meeting

By our reporters, 26 March 2020

The rally attracted the attention of a politically enthusiastic and significant audience in Sri Lanka and internationally.

Sri Lankan workers and young people endorse SEP’s election program

By our reporters, 26 March 2020

“The coronavirus pandemic has proven that the nation-state system is irrational.”

Nepal declares one-week coronavirus lockdown

By Rohantha De Silva, 25 March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic will have dire consequences in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in Asia.

Two Sri Lankan prisoners killed and six injured amid national coronavirus lockdown

By Saman Gunadasa and K.Ratnayake, 23 March 2020

Reports indicate Sri Lankan prisons are so congested that, in some cases, 5,000 inmates are crammed into facilities meant to accommodate 800 people.

Medical expert warns India could be next coronavirus hotspot

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 March 2020

The Indian ruling elite’s response to the unfolding disaster has been criminally negligent, with only 14,175 tests conducted in a country of 1.3 billion people.

As coronavirus cases surge in Pakistan, its prime minister preaches “no need to worry”

By Sampath Perera, 21 March 2020

If the rapid spread of the deadly virus is not halted, it will prove catastrophic for millions of people in Pakistan, an impoverished South Asian country of more than 200 million.

Fight for an international socialist program against war, social devastation and dictatorship

Vote Socialist Equality Party in the Sri Lankan general election

Manifesto of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 21 March 2020

The working class needs a revolutionary leadership in its struggle against capitalist reaction and the preparations for a presidential dictatorship.

Sri Lankan government responds to COVID-19 by mobilising the military and helping the financial elite

By Saman Gunadasa, 18 March 2020

There are concerns in ruling circles that the lack of health facilities and job security, along with wage cuts, will lead to major social struggles.

Modi feigns concern for regional cooperation to fight coronavirus, as pandemic spreads across South Asia

By Wasantha Rupasingha, 18 March 2020

The poverty to which capitalism has condemned the majority of South Asia’s 1.9 billion people makes the region exceptionally vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sri Lankan SEP to launch election campaign with live streamed online public meeting

18 March 2020

The SEP is fighting for the independent mobilisation of the working class for international socialism and against deepening social inequality, imperialist war and the threat of dictatorship.

Bangladesh government downplays COVID-19 threat as job losses mount

By Wimal Perera, 16 March 2020

While the Awami League government is seeking to aid industry owners, workers are bearing the brunt of the health crisis.

Coronavirus pandemic threatens to overwhelm India’s dilapidated health system

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 14 March 2020

Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party government are stubbornly refusing to mobilize state resources to stem the spread of the virus.

Tamil Nadu sanitary workers demand permanent jobs; Sri Lankan plantation workers strike; New Zealand bus drivers resume industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 March 2020

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

Sri Lankan president militarises administration to stop strikes and civil unrest

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 13 March 2020

Ex-military officers appointed by Rajapakse to civil sector posts have begun openly expressing their hostility to fundamental democratic rights.

Modi government shields instigators of Delhi anti-Muslim violence

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 12 March 2020

The Delhi police, in line with their actions during last month's riot and the ruling BJP’s communalist policies, are targeting Muslims, the riot’s victims, rather than the true perpetrators.

India restricts drug exports due to coronavirus impacts, threatening global drug supply

By Kranti Kumara, 9 March 2020

As India is a major global supplier of generic drugs, there are widespread fears that the export restrictions will lead to pharmaceutical price-hikes and shortages in countries around the world.

Modi government leaves millions of Indians vulnerable to coronavirus

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 9 March 2020

Given India’s high population density and dysfunctional public health system, its population is threatened by any rapid spread of the coronavirus.

Sri Lankan government withdraws from UN resolutions in order to boost the military

By W.A. Sunil, 7 March 2020

Rajapakse’s government is moving toward dictatorial rule amid mounting economic problems and social tensions.

Sri Lankan president dissolves parliament, calls national election

By K. Ratnayake, 6 March 2020

Rajapakse and his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna hope to win a two-thirds majority in order to reinstate, and expand, the president’s anti-democratic executive powers.

Record fall in key China production index

By Nick Beams, 2 March 2020

China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced over the weekend that the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 35.7 in February, down from 50 in January, hitting an all-time low.

Sri Lankan government, companies and unions conspire to impose harsh wage deal on estate workers

By M. Thevarajah, 2 March 2020

A scheme is being prepared behind the backs of workers to impose exploitative new work models.

Over 200,000 teachers strike in Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 29 February 2020

Thousands of teachers marched to the education ministry in Colombo as public school teachers across the island struck to defend free education and demand better salaries and conditions.

Sri Lankan teachers denounce the government and unions

By our reporting team, 29 February 2020

“It’s time for all workers—teachers and workers from the railway and the banks—to fight together and not be divided by their professions or trade unions.”

India: Death toll in BJP-instigated violence in Delhi rises to 38

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 28 February 2020

After three days during which Delhi was convulsed by horrific communal violence, authorities claimed yesterday that “order” had been restored to India’s national capital.

Trump hails Modi as his supporters engulf Delhi in communal violence

By Keith Jones, 26 February 2020

It is Trump’s “true friend,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and his government that are politically responsible for the Hindu supremacist violence that has claimed at least 13 lives.

Sri Lanka: IMF presses new government to implement austerity

By Saman Gunadasa, 25 February 2020

The Rajapakse government is desperately trying to patch up the ailing economy, which registered just 2.6 percent growth in 2019—the lowest since 2002.

As Trump embraces Modi, communal violence convulses India’s capital

By Keith Jones, 25 February 2020

Modi is politically responsible and elements in his BJP directly culpable of instigating communal violence that has killed at least 10 people.

A “ceasefire” in Washington’s Afghanistan debacle

By Bill Van Auken, 22 February 2020

After 18 years of war, the killing of nearly 2,400 troops and the squandering of roughly $1 trillion, Washington is negotiating a deal it could have had with the Taliban without a shot being fired.

Tamil Nadu public transport workers demonstrate; Sacked Sri Lankan government workers protest; Jetstar baggage handlers on strike in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

22 February 2020

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

Sri Lankan school teachers join rising opposition to Rajapakse government

By Kapila Fernando and Pradeep Ramanayake, 21 February 2020

In opposition to racist provocations whipped up by Sri Lanka’s ruling elite, teachers from the north and east of the island participated in the Colombo protest.

US imposes travel ban on Sri Lankan army chief

By K. Ratnayake, 19 February 2020

Washington is demanding every faction of Colombo’s political elite line up with its war preparations against China.

Sri Lankan government prepares to privatise Kahatagaha graphite mines

By Naveen Dewage, 17 February 2020

Kahatagaha mine workers will face management demands for increased production and job cuts to make the company profitable.

India: BJP loses Delhi election as voters reject communalism

By Rohantha De Silva, 15 February 2020

Delhi has been a focal point of the nationwide protests against the BJP’s anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act.

India: Punjab government teachers protest against privatisation; Sacked Sri Lankan government workers demonstrate; New Caledonia miners strike against long hours

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 February 2020

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

“Shoot them down”—India’s government incites violence against opponents of its anti-Muslim citizenship law

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 13 February 2020

The BJP government has been shaken by the mass opposition to the CAA, which it rushed through parliament and into law last December.

Indian budget inflicts more austerity amid job crisis, deepening economic slowdown

By Kranti Kumara, 12 February 2020

The budget was unveiled five months after the Modi government announced a slew of impromptu pro-big business measures, including a massive corporate tax cut and accelerated privatization drive.

Folk singers charged for violating Bangladesh’s draconian Digital Security Act

By Wimal Perera, 12 February 2020

In an outrageous attack on democratic rights, Baul singers Rita Dewan and Shariat Sarker face prosecution on bogus claims of “hurting religious sentiments.”

Police crackdown on sacked workers after Sri Lankan president’s “Independence Day” speech

By Saman Gunadasa, 10 February 2020

The police action is a warning that the Rajapakse government will not tolerate any challenge to its big-business, cost-cutting agenda.

Sri Lankan union leader Saman Ratnapriya paid off with a parliamentary position

By Rohantha De Silva, 8 February 2020

The United National Party has rewarded Ratnapriya for his treacherous service to the previous Wickremesinghe government, and his more than 20-year defence of capitalist rule in Sri Lanka.

India: 10,000 Karnataka midday-meal workers strike indefinitely; Tahiti workers strike against Macron’s pensions “reforms”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 February 2020

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

Sri Lanka: The ruling elite’s hollow national independence celebrations

By K. Ratnayake, 6 February 2020

The past seven decades of so-called “independence” has seen successive governments viciously suppress the masses and defend capitalist rule.

India: One million public sector bank workers strike for higher pay and against privatisation

By Arun Kumar, 6 February 2020

The two-day national walkout demonstrated public sector bank workers’ determination to fight the Modi government’s austerity, privatisation and job-cutting policies.

Sri Lanka: Presidential commission orders halt to trial of naval officers over abductions

By S. Jayanth, 5 February 2020

The attempt to use the presidential commission to interfere in the work of the attorney general is a threat to basic democratic rights and legal norms.

Sri Lankan Tamil party leaders ready to work with President Rajapakse

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 4 February 2020

Having previously stated that Gotabhaya Rajapakse had “authoritarian tendencies,” the Tamil National Alliance leadership is offering to help the new president impose his pro-business program.

BJP to table Indian budget amid mounting economic crisis, popular anger

By Kranti Kumara, 1 February 2020

The rapid unravelling of India’s economy has shocked Indian big business and such representatives of global capital as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

India: Maoist union betrays 140-day Motherson auto parts workers’ strike

By Arun Kumar, 1 February 2020

Having isolated the strikers since August last year, the union has ordered the auto-parts workers to end their strike without winning any of their demands and abandoning 79 victimised colleagues.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

1 February 2020

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

Sri Lanka: Pseudo-left blames working people for Rajapakse’s election victory

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and K. Ratnayake, 31 January 2020

The responsibility for Rajapakse coming to power squarely rests with the pseudo-left groups, such as the NSSP, as well as the trade unions, the JVP and the Tamil bourgeois parties which promoted the UNP as the lesser evil.

Sri Lankan president’s bogus wage increase for plantation workers

By M. Thevarajah, 30 January 2020

Rajapakse’s fraudulent proposal is bound up with preparations for a major restructuring of the tea industry in Sri Lanka and a massive social assault on the low-paid plantation workers.

Sri Lankan president declares wartime missing persons dead

By S. Jayanth, 29 January 2020

As the former defense secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapakse presided over the military and was responsible for the death squads that abducted and killed Tamil youth, journalists and critics during the war.

Sri Lankan graphite mine workers strike over pay and conditions

By our correspondents, 25 January 2020

This week’s walkout is the first workers’ strike this year against the new Rajapakse government.

Indian midday-meal workers strike for higher wages; Australian rail workers strike again

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

25 January 2020

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

Sri Lankan president announces major tax concessions for foreign investors

By W.A. Sunil, 24 January 2020

Colombo has reactivated its Strategic Development Projects Act in a desperate attempt to boost foreign direct investment.

Mumbai hospital workers demand outstanding wages; South Korean car workers strike; Australian tram drivers vote to walk out

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

18 January 2020

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

Sri Lankan SEP holds public meeting: How to fight the new Rajapakse regime

By our correspondents, 16 January 2020

About 150 workers, youth, professionals and housewives, including party members and supporters from Colombo and outstations, attended the event held in Colombo Public Library Auditorium.

Sri Lankan Central Bank chief demands “structural reform”

By Saman Gunadasa, 15 January 2020

Lakshman’s statements indicate that the government is preparing to further impose the burden of the country’s economic crisis on the back of the working people.

Indian workers in general strike call for unity

By our correspondents, 14 January 2020

Striking workers discussed with the WSWS the central political issues in the struggle against the Modi government and its program of austerity and communal reaction.

The Indian general strike and the global fight against communalism and war

By Keith Jones, 11 January 2020

Tens of millions of workers, youth and rural toilers participated in Wednesday’s all-India one-day general strike, transcending communal, caste and ethno-linguistic divides.

India: Haryana public transport workers strike against outsourcing; Pakistani journalists oppose salary and job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

11 January 2020

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

India: Mass outrage over Hindu supremacists’ violent assault on JNU students

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 10 January 2020

All the circumstances surrounding the attack point to it having been carried out with the connivance, if not at the behest, of the Narendra Modi-led BJP government.

Sri Lankan president outlines big business, communalist policy to parliament

By K. Ratnayake, 10 January 2020

Rajapakse’s demagogy about fighting terrorism, extremism and disruptions to public order are aimed at justifying state suppression of inevitable struggles against his government by workers and the poor.

Massive all-India general strike protests Modi’s pro-investor, communalist policies

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 9 January 2020

The strike’s size and scope did vary across the country, but there is no doubt that it had a massive impact, and attested to the growing militancy and immense social power of the working class.

Indian workers need a revolutionary socialist program to fight Modi, capitalist austerity, and communal reaction

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 8 January 2020

While tens of millions of workers and youth will join today’s general strike to fight the BJP’s “pro-investor” and communalist policies, the unions and Stalinist parties are seeking to tie the mass opposition to Modi to the big-business Congress Party and the Indian state.

Sri Lankan police arrest two former government ministers

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 4 January 2020

The Rajapakse government’s attacks on political opponents is a warning to the working class.

Indian army chief denounces mass protests against BJP government’s anti-Muslim citizenship law

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 30 December 2019

More than two dozen people have died in the protests, most at the hands of police in Uttar Pradesh.

Mass protests continue in Tamil Nadu against Indian government’s communalist citizenship laws

By a WSWS reporting team, 28 December 2019

Thousands of Tamil Nadu residents demonstrate across the south Indian state in defiance of government and police repression.

The fight against communal reaction in India is the fight for socialism

By Keith Jones, 21 December 2019

India has been convulsed by a growing wave of mass protests in opposition to the Modi government’s Hindu supremacist citizenship law.

Mass protests erupt against Modi-led Indian government’s Hindu supremacist agenda

By Keith Jones, 17 December 2019

Demonstrations against the BJP government’s Hindu supremacist “Citizenship Amendment Act” continued yesterday, spreading to cities across India.

Sri Lankan authorities delay on whether to prosecute award-winning writer Shakthika Sathkumara

By Vimukthi Vidarshana, 16 December 2019

Sri Lanka’s ruling elite is whipping up religious communalism to counter the development of unified mass action by workers, youth and the rural poor against government austerity and attacks on democratic rights.

Sri Lankan SEP/IYSSE to hold public meeting on how to fight the new Rajapakse regime

14 December 2019

We urge workers, young people, intellectuals and everyone concerned about these vital issues to attend our meeting and participate in this important political discussion.

World Bank economist warns of worsening crisis in Sri Lanka

By Saman Gunadasa, 12 December 2019

International finance capital is demanding the new regime in Colombo fully implement the IMF’s austerity measures.

Sri Lankan president appoints former military officers to head state institutions

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 11 December 2019

Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapakse confronts a deepening economic crisis and widespread anti-government sentiment among workers, youth and the rural masses.

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

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.