South Asia

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

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.