South Asia

Tens of millions strike against Indian government’s right-wing economic policies

By Deepal Jayasekera, 3 September 2016

The strike is an expression of mounting opposition in the working class internationally against assaults by governments and corporations on jobs and working conditions.

Rana Plaza disaster case postponed in Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 3 September 2016

The court delay further underscores the indifference of all sections of the ruling elite for the plight of garment workers.

US war planes and battleships to start using Indian bases

By Deepal Jayasekera, 31 August 2016

With the signing of the basing agreement, India is being transformed into a “frontline” state in the US drive to isolate, encircle, and prepare to wage war on China.

Tens of millions of Indian workers to join one-day protest strike

By Sathish Simon and Kranti Kumara, 31 August 2016

The widespread support for the strike is an expression of mounting working-class anger and militancy and part of a global resurgence of class struggle.

US deepens military ties with Sri Lanka

By Vilani Peiris, 31 August 2016

Washington wants to use Sri Lanka as one of its bases in the event of war with China.

India: Kerala’s Stalinist-led government pursuing pro-business agenda

By Kranti Kumara, 17 August 2016

Kerala’s chief minister has appointed a neoliberal economist with close ties to the US financial elite and Federal Reserve as his top economic advisor.

Sri Lankan government imposes IMF privatisation demands

By Saman Gunadasa, 13 August 2016

The IMF regards Sri Lanka’s state-owned enterprises as a burden on the economy as well as a potential source of profit for investors.

Sri Lanka’s National Unity Government alliance extended

By Vilani Peiris, 29 July 2016

The deal is aimed at establishing a strong regime committed to Washington’s geo-political strategy and the imposition of the IMF’s austerity demands.

Arch-rivals India and Pakistan take opposed stands on Hague court’s anti-China ruling

By Deepal Jayasekera, 22 July 2016

While India has lined up behind Washington in supporting the provocative ruling issued in The Hague, Pakistan has backed China’s rejection of it.

US and Chinese officials visit Sri Lanka, highlighting growing regional tensions

By K. Ratnayake, 22 July 2016

China has attempted to strengthen its relations with Sri Lanka since the US-inspired regime-change that ousted former President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Foreign minister resigns as Maldives political crisis intensifies

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 July 2016

Bitter infighting, driven by the geo-strategic demands of the US and India, is deepening within the Maldives ruling elite.

Indian troops kill dozens of protesters in Kashmir

By Kranti Kumara, 16 July 2016

The past week of mass protests in Kashmir has rattled India’s Hindu supremacist BJP government and laid bare Kashmiris’ deep disaffection from the Indian state.

Amid Brexit shocks, Indian elite seeks “new opportunities”

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 14 July 2016

The Indian government is attempting to use Britain’s exit from the EU to pursue its own economic and strategic interests.

Halt the attacks on living conditions! Fight for socialist policies!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 12 July 2016

The mounting strikes and protests in Sri Lanka can only be advanced through a break from the entire ruling class and the fight for a unified international and socialist movement of the working class.

India and Iran approve Chabahar corridor, amid heightening tensions in South and Central Asia

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 7 July 2016

To access energy resources and strike a strategic blow against China and Pakistan, India plans to build a transport corridor via Iran to Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Brexit to intensify Sri Lankan economic crisis

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 July 2016

The British vote threatens to exacerbate Sri Lanka’s balance of payments crisis and deepen the widespread discontent over the government’s austerity measures.

US attempt to hustle India into Nuclear Suppliers Group stalls

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 5 July 2016

US officials have vowed to work with India to secure its entry into the NSG, while joining India in suggesting that Beijing was responsible for its rebuff.

Dhaka hostage crisis ends in a violent military assault

By Deepal Jayasekera, 4 July 2016

Whoever the perpetrators of Dhaka hostage-taking, this type of terrorism has been fomented by the US-led wars in the Middle East.

Indian Stalinists try to paper over deep rift over tie-up with Congress Party

By Deepal Jayasekera, 28 June 2016

The CPM leadership has effectively given its West Bengal unit the green light to continue its alliance with the big business Congress Party.

Sri Lankan plantation workers demand higher wages

By our correspondents, 24 June 2016

Plantation workers from Hatton and Maskeliya in the central hills district spoke with WSWS reporters about their worsening working and living conditions.

South Asian ruling elites rattled by Brexit campaign

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 23 June 2016

Commentators have generally backed the “Remain” campaign and expressed dismay about the damaging economic consequences of a British exit from the EU.

Sri Lanka: JVP calls for state of emergency in response to flood disaster

By Vilani Peiris, 17 June 2016

The JVP’s proposal shows its readiness to strengthen the capitalist state apparatus against rising social unrest.

Hurtling toward the precipice of war, Modi cements Indo-US alliance

By Keith Jones, 10 June 2016

The alliance between the Indian bourgeoisie and US imperialism represents a sea change in world geopolitics, with explosive implications for inter-state relations across Asia and the world.

Sri Lankan plantation unions conspire with government and employers

By Shree Haran, 10 June 2016

The Tamil Progressive Alliance and other estate unions have agreed to negotiate with the employers to impose a major attack on the wages, jobs and social rights of plantation workers.

Sri Lankan armoury explosion forces thousands to flee

By W. A. Sunil, 7 June 2016

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed in the highly-populated villages around the Salawa military complex, near the capital, Colombo.

Sri Lankan government exploits flood disaster to evict Colombo’s poor

By Pani Wijesiriwardane, 4 June 2016

The forced removal of slum dwellers is part of the government’s Megapolis project to serve international and local investors.

Tamil nationalists hail government on Sri Lankan civil war victims’ Memorial Day

By K.Nesan, 4 June 2016

C. V. Wigneswaran applauded the US-backed Sri Lankan regime, whose top officials oversaw the massacres at the end of the war, for its “good governance.”

Sri Lankan president attends G7 “outreach meeting”

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 3 June 2016

The gathering’s main purpose was to more firmly tie the countries involved in the Obama administration’s “pivot to Asia.”

India: Congress Party and Stalinists suffer debacle in state elections

By Arun Kumar, 2 June 2016

The Stalinists have been reduced to the third-party in West Bengal, which they ruled for 34 consecutive years ending only in 2011.

Indian Stalinists abet US war plans against China

By K. Ratnayake and Keith Jones, 31 May 2016

The CPM’s opposition to the India-US basing agreement is a sham and a political trap, aimed at tying the working class to the Indian bourgeoisie, its parties and state.

Sri Lankan flood and landslide deaths continue to climb

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 25 May 2016

Apart from perfunctory warnings for the public to be “vigilant,” the Sri Lankan government took no serious measures to lessen the cyclone’s impact.

Hundreds feared dead in Sri Lankan landslides and floods

By our correspondents, 20 May 2016

Disaster victims have blamed the government and other authorities for not providing adequate relief or moving residents to safe places.

Many dead or missing after landslides in Sri Lanka

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 May 2016

Successive governments have done nothing to mitigate the death and destruction caused by annual monsoonal rains.

UN officials say torture is “common practice” in Sri Lanka

By Minusha Fernando, 18 May 2016

The revelations constitute a damning exposure of the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government’s claims to defend democratic rights.

US refuses to finance F-16 fighter jets for Pakistan

By Sampath Perera, 16 May 2016

As tensions with Washington escalate, Pakistan has indicated it is looking for alternative jets from China and Russia.

Sri Lankan SEP holds successful May Day meeting in Colombo

By our reporters, 12 May 2016

More than 200 people joined the meeting, which was followed by the International May Day online rally.

Sri Lankan police arrest scores of Tamil youth

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 11 May 2016

The repression of Tamil youth is another attempt to divide Sri Lankan workers along communal lines and follows Colombo’s agreement to impose more IMF cuts.

Sri Lankan government begins implementing IMF austerity demands

By Saman Gunadasa, 5 May 2016

The IMF bailout agreement is based on immediate steps to slash the budget deficit at the expense of social spending and working class conditions.

May Day 2016: The political tasks facing the workers and toilers of the Indian sub-continent

By Wije Dias, 3 May 2016

Wije Dias, general secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), delivered the following speech to the International Online May Day Rally.

Sri Lankan prime minister seeks financial help in China

By Vilani Peiris, 29 April 2016

Wickremesinghe’s visit to China underscores the magnitude of Sri Lanka’s economic crisis and the geo-political tensions engulfing the region.

Under Chinese pressure, India cancels visa to Uyghur separatist Dolkun Isa

By Kumaran Ira, 28 April 2016

India canceled a visa for US-backed Uyghur separatist Dolkun Isa to attend a conference in Dharamsala.

India bullies Maldives into enhanced “defence cooperation” pact

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 28 April 2016

By cajoling the Maldives into a new defence pact, India provided the US with a demonstration of its potential as a “frontline” ally in confronting China.

Indian air chief calls growing Chinese influence a strategic threat

By Kanda Gabriel, 22 April 2016

India’s alignment with Washington’s anti-China “pivot” is inflaming explosive military and national-ethnic tensions across South Asia.

Lockheed Martin offers to site F-16 fighter jet production in India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 11 April 2016

This offer, which could only be made at Washington’s urging, is part of the US drive to make India a “frontline state” in its military-strategic offensive against China.

US seeks to develop close military ties with Sri Lanka

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 8 April 2016

The US Seventh Fleet flagship’s visit to Colombo indicates moves by the Sri Lankan government to tie the country into US war plans.

Oppose Indian government’s witch-hunt of JNU students

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Sri Lanka), 7 April 2016

The BJP government’s witch-hunt of the JNU students is part of a turn to authoritarian methods of rule.

Sri Lankan government imprisons Frontline Socialist Party leader

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 5 April 2016

Gunaratnam’s jailing is another warning of the anti-democratic methods that the government will use against political opponents and more broadly against working people.

Sri Lankan government presents phony “Right to Information” bill

By Rohantha De Silva, 4 April 2016

The legislation provides limited access to state information, while entrenching broad areas that will remain off-limits, including national security, diplomacy and economic activities.

Government-company negligence responsible for Indian flyover disaster

By Arun Kumar and Palash Roy, 2 April 2016

India’s political elite has turned a blind-eye to dangerous cost-cutting methods rampant throughout the construction industry.

Pakistan’s military expands its power in wake of Lahore terror attack

By Sampath Perera, 1 April 2016

Pakistan’s military has seized on last Sunday’s terrorist atrocity to implement plans for an “antiterrorism” offensive and to strengthen its authority over the civilian government.

India: Tata workers end strike after being isolated by the unions

By Arun Kumar, 23 March 2016

The trade unions, mainly those led by Stalinists, played a key role in pushing Tata auto workers to end the strike.

Sri Lankan parliament to draft new constitution to shore up capitalist rule

By Rohantha De Silva, 21 March 2016

Under the guise of “democracy,” the government is seeking to strengthen its hand to impose austerity and deepen its integration into the US “pivot to Asia” against China.

Sri Lankan government refuses to release Tamil political prisoners

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 15 March 2016

The ongoing detention of hundreds of Tamil political prisoners is part of a broader government attack on democratic rights.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold Jaffna public meeting on imperialist war and Tamil nationalism

14 March 2016

The meeting will expose the pro-imperialist stance of the Tamil nationalist parties and elaborate a socialist perspective to halt the growing danger of world war.

Sri Lankan government announces tax hikes before IMF loan talks

By Saman Gunadasa, 12 March 2016

The IMF-required austerity measures implemented by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will have a heavy impact on the living standards of workers and the poor.

Sri Lankan government to convert Western province into investment hub

By Minusha Fernando, 11 March 2016

The government’s “megapolis” project will see thousands of workers and low-income residents ejected from their homes.

Sri Lankan government prepares to sign economic pact with India

By W. A. Sunil, 4 March 2016

To divert rising social discontent, nationalist groups have stepped up a virulent anti-Indian campaign that serves to divide workers in the two countries.

India: Tata Nano auto workers strike over suspensions

By Arun Kumar and Deepal Jayasekera, 25 February 2016

The Nano workers’ strike is a sign of the growing social unrest created by the deteriorating living and working conditions of workers throughout India.

India: Mounting death toll as army deployed to end caste-based job agitation

By Sarath Kumara and Keith Jones, 23 February 2016

For decades the Indian bourgeoisie and its political hirelings have manipulated and incited caste and communal divisions, the better to divide the working class.

Sri Lankan Maoist party advocates “progressive Tamil nationalism”

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 22 February 2016

There is nothing progressive about Tamil nationalism, or indeed about nationalism in general, which only divides workers and blocks a unified struggle against war and austerity.

A reply to Tamil nationalist slanders against the World Socialist Web Site

An Open Letter to TamilNet

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 17 February 2016

TamilNet’s claim that the WSWS is working with imperialism to facilitate genocide by the Sri Lankan state is a grotesque fabrication.

Is the Indian Stalinist CPM heading for a split?

By Arun Kumar and Deepal Jayasekera, 16 February 2016

India’s principal Stalinist party is bitterly divided over whether to ally with the Indian bourgeoisie’s traditional party of government, the Congress, to contest elections in West Bengal.

Unions preparing to shut down Pakistan airline workers strike

By Sampath Perera, 9 February 2016

As the militant strike of 14,000 Pakistan International Airlines workers enters its second week, the unions are maneuvering to shut it down.

Bangladesh tea estate workers oppose government’s land seizures

By Wimal Perera, 9 February 2016

The government wants the land in order to expand the number of cheap labour Economic Zones.

Sri Lanka: Plantation unions suppress struggle for wage rise

By M. Thevarajah and W. A. Sunil, 6 February 2016

The trade unions are promoting the illusion that the government will force the companies to grant a 2,500-rupee ($17) increase in the monthly wage.

Maldives government releases former president

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 2 February 2016

The strategically-located island archipelago has increasingly become a focal point of Washington’s “pivot” to the Indo-Pacific region to confront China.

US navy carries out provocative operation in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 1 February 2016

Washington’s actions are deliberately confrontational and reckless, raising the danger of a military clash with China.

Indonesian authorities seize on Jakarta attack to strengthen detention powers

By John Roberts, 26 January 2016

Beneath the cloak of combatting terrorism, Suharto-era measures are being revived in response to developing social tensions.

US think tank outlines master plan for war with China

By Peter Symonds, 26 January 2016

The CSIS report represents the voice of the vast American military establishment, which regards China as the chief threat to untrammelled US strategic dominance in Asia.

CSIS report: A blueprint for US war with China

By Peter Symonds, 25 January 2016

The study is a master plan for an accelerating arms race in Asia in preparation for a conflict that would draw in the entire region and the world.

Indian Stalinist leaders divided over alliance with big business Congress Party

By Arun Kumar and K. Ratnayake, 23 January 2016

For weeks, leaders of the Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist) have been signalling their readiness to form an electoral alliance with the Congress Party for the West Bengal state elections.

Sri Lankan government tries to woo foreign investors

By Saman Gunadasa, 20 January 2016

The government’s “Sri Lanka Economic Forum” highlighted the country’s vulnerability in the deepening global economic downturn.

India-Pakistan talks may be derailed even before they begin

By K. Ratnayake, 13 January 2016

Whoever was responsible for the January 2 assault by armed gunmen on India’s Pathankot Air Force Base, its purpose was to scuttle the US-backed “dialogue” between the two nuclear-armed rivals.

One year of Sri Lankan President Sirisena’s rule: Propaganda and reality

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 11 January 2016

The government is both intensifying the offensive against the working class and tying the country to the war plans of the United States.

Sri Lankan government moves to criminalise “hate speech”

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 January 2016

The planned new laws are an attack on the democratic rights of the working class, directed in particular against any person or party fighting for a revolutionary socialist perspective.

Indian prime minister visits Russia to consolidate relations

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 January 2016

While supporting the US “pivot to Asia” against India’s regional rival China, the Modi government is maintaining New Delhi’s longstanding ties with Russia.

Condemnations of Chinese flight in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 5 January 2016

Washington’s calls for restraint are in marked contrast to its escalating provocations to challenge Chinese claims in the disputed waters.

India’s Modi makes surprise visit to Pakistan

By Sampath Perera, 29 December 2015

Modi’s Pakistan trip was a pragmatic maneuver aimed at placating Washington and shoring up the increasingly embattled Indian government domestically.

Tamil People's Forum sets a new nationalist trap for Sri Lankan workers

By V. Gnana, 29 December 2015

The formation of the TPF is a shabby political maneuver to give a facelift to Tamil nationalist groups discredited by their support for the Sri Lankan government.

Sri Lankan trade unions call off one-day stoppage

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 17 December 2015

From the outset, the unions sought to scuttle the strike, even as opposition mounted among workers to the government’s budget cuts.

India: Government negligence responsible for flood disaster

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 15 December 2015

Tens of thousands of people in the capital Chennai and across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu are yet to be rescued and properly assisted.

Sri Lankan corporate giant sues environmental activist

By Vilani Peiris, 14 December 2015

The damages action is part of the record of big business and government suppression of opposition to industrial pollution.

Sri Lanka: A socialist program to fight budget cuts

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 14 December 2015

The trade unions have reluctantly called a one-day strike to deflect mounting opposition among workers and the poor to the government’s austerity measures.

UN report says Sri Lankan government terrorising families of the disappeared

By K.Nesan, 12 December 2015

The findings constitute a political indictment of the US-led regime-change operation that brought Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to power in January.

US to base spy planes in Singapore

By Peter Symonds, 9 December 2015

The basing of P8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft in Singapore foreshadows further provocative US activities against China in the South China Sea.

Tamil party complicit in detention of Sri Lankan political prisoners

By K. Nesan, 9 December 2015

The Tamil National Alliance functioned throughout the prisoners’ hunger strike as a servant of the government, deceiving the prisoners and their families.

India: Modi announces new wave of pro-investor reforms

By Kranti Kumara, 27 November 2015

In an attempt to kick-start India’s languishing economy, the BJP government has raised or outright eliminated foreign investment caps.

India: Heavy rains and floods kill over 100 in Tamil Nadu

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 21 November 2015

The flood situation in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu is an indictment not only of the ruling AIADMK but also the opposition DMK.

Nepal turns to China for fuel to counter Indian blockade

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 2 November 2015

The conflict engulfing the small Himalayan state is another illustration of the sharp geo-political tensions building up across Asia.

Sri Lankan plantation companies to tear up workers’ rights

By W.A. Sunil, 31 October 2015

The proposed “revenue sharing” wage formula is a major attack on the already low incomes, jobs and working conditions of plantation workers.

Sri Lankan government boosts spending on security forces

By Saman Gunadasa, 30 October 2015

President Sirisena’s government is preparing an austerity budget that will make deep inroads into working-class living standards.

NSSP leader backs US cover-up of Sri Lankan war crimes

By K. Ratnayake, 29 October 2015

At every point, the NSSP has followed in the footsteps of US imperialism, justifying Washington’s actions and giving credence to its bogus “human rights” posturing.

Indian trade unions shut down Kerala plantation workers’ strike

By Arun Kumar, 27 October 2015

There is growing anger among plantation workers across the southern Indian state of Kerala over the unions’ wage betrayal.

Tamil political prisoners in Sri Lanka launch hunger strike

By S. Jayanth, 17 October 2015

Hundreds of detainees, some of whom have never been charged, have vowed to fast until death to demand their release.

“Artists have the capacity to expose the reality of war”

Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage speaks with the World Socialist Web Site

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 13 October 2015

Vithanage discusses With You, Without You and the political difficulties facing contemporary Sri Lankan filmmakers.

Sri Lankan estate workers face government-company-union conspiracy on wages

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 10 October 2015

The tea plantation companies have repeatedly rejected any wage rise and are demanding increased production quotas.

India joins trilateral “dialogue” with US and Japan

By Deepal Jayasekera, 7 October 2015

As part of its anti-China “pivot”, Washington has long been pressing India to join US-led trilateral and quadrilateral initiatives with Japan and Australia.

Sri Lankan president moves to implement death penalty

By Sanjaya Jayasekera, 7 October 2015

The agitation for the return of capital punishment is seeking to divert public concern from the real social problems and further strengthen police powers.

Sri Lankan president boasts at UN of “new era of democracy”

By K. Ratnayake, 5 October 2015

Sirisena’s democratic posturing is designed to enhance his government’s international standing and strengthen links with the US.

SEP/IYSSE meeting in Colombo: Why is the US whitewashing Sri Lankan war crimes?

5 October 2015

The meeting will discuss the implications for working people of the US-sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka.