South Asia

US-Sri Lankan resolution to UN human rights body to cover up war crimes

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 September 2015

Washington’s willingness to countenance a largely domestic “human rights inquiry” is a payoff to the new pro-US government in Colombo.

Tamil parties embrace UN report on Sri Lankan war crimes

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 26 September 2015

The Tamil National Alliance and other bourgeois Tamil formations hope to use the UN report to broker a new political deal with Sri Lanka’s pro-US government.

UN report on Sri Lanka details atrocities during the civil war

By Rohantha De Silva and K. Ratnayake, 22 September 2015

If the report is “milder” than it might have been, it is because the US wants no disruption to the new pro-US government in Colombo.

Sri Lankan currency falls sharply

By Saman Gunadasa, 21 September 2015

The floating of the currency to depreciate its value is the first major austerity move by the new “national unity government” in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan prime minister visits India

By Deepal Jayasekera, 19 September 2015

Talks between Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and his Indian counterpart focused on deepening economic and military ties between the two countries.

UN releases war crimes report on Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 17 September 2015

While the inquiry confirms that war crimes occurred, the UN human rights commissioner’s remarks echo the shift in US policy.

India: Over 80 killed in Madhya Pradesh explosion

By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 September 2015

Saturday’s tragedy resulted from the widespread practice of storing explosives in residential areas to maximise profits.

Sri Lankan president warns against “toppling” the government

By W. A. Sunil, 14 September 2015

Sirisena is desperate to shore up the new “national unity” government as it prepares to implement austerity and integrate the island into US war plans.

Sri Lankan defence seminar reflects pro-US foreign policy shift

By Rohantha de Silva, 11 September 2015

This year’s seminar was held in the context of escalating moves by the US to integrate countries in the Asia-Pacific region into its strategic build-up against China.

Tamil nationalist appointed opposition leader in Sri Lankan parliament

By K. Nesan, 10 September 2015

The aim was to install a political flunkey of Washington who will support any austerity measure or pro-US foreign policy.

Chinese slowdown impacts Asian economies

By Peter Symonds, 8 September 2015

The downturn in the Chinese economy is reverberating around the world, nowhere more so than in Asia.

US probes former Sri Lanka president’s alleged assets

By Saman Gunadasa and Deepal Jayasekera, 8 September 2015

Washington’s investigation seeks to further marginalise Rajapakse and his supporters and block any challenge to the present pro-US government.

India invites Japan for naval exercises with US

By Arun Kumar, 5 September 2015

The decision by Prime Minister Modi to hold trilateral naval games involving India, the US and Japan has been encouraged by Washington as part of its aggressive “pivot” against China.

Sri Lankan prime minister appoints huge cabinet

By K. Ratnayake, 5 September 2015

The new US-backed government is trying to cement its position and prepare to ram through harsh austerity measures.

Millions of Indian workers strike against Modi government’s pro-market reforms

By our correspondents, 3 September 2015

While workers are determined to defend their jobs and living conditions, the unions used the strike to let off steam and keep workers tied to the political establishment.

Sri Lankan president announces “national unity government”

By K. Ratnayake, 2 September 2015

The new coalition government is an attempt by the ruling class parties to close ranks in order to impose savage austerity measures on the working class.

US shift on Sri Lankan war crimes probe exposes Tamil nationalists

By K. Nesan, 1 September 2015

By supporting the US-backed government, the Tamil nationalists are complicit in allowing the crimes of the civil war to go unpunished.

Indian unions to hold one-day national strike

By Deepal Jayasekera, 1 September 2015

The unions have called the September 2 strike not to mobilize workers and the rural toilers against the Modi government and its neoliberal policies but to contain the growing opposition to them.

Sri Lankan political parties hail US shift on war crimes probe

By Saman Gunadasa, 31 August 2015

This stance not only exposes the pro-imperialist character of these parties but their involvement and complicity in the Sri Lankan human rights atrocities.

US announces shift on Sri Lankan war crimes investigation

By K. Ratnayake, 27 August 2015

The announcement confirms that Washington has cynically exploited “human rights” in Sri Lanka to advance its interests, particularly against China.

Britain’s Financial Times hails Sri Lankan election result

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 26 August 2015

The Financial Times editorial is a damning indictment of the Sri Lankan pseudo-left organisations that sided with the pro-US UNP in the election.

Sri Lankan corporate elite demands “tough” economic decisions from new government

By Saman Gunadasa, 24 August 2015

The “national unity government” will impose severe austerity measures and will not hesitate to use police-state measures against any resistance by working people.

Pro-US UNP leader sworn in as new Sri Lankan prime minister

By K. Ratnayake, 22 August 2015

The new coalition government will deepen the assault on the democratic rights and living standards of working people and enmesh the island in US war preparations against China.

Sri Lanka: “National unity government” to implement harsh austerity measures

By W. A. Sunil, 21 August 2015

During the election, the SEP alone warned that all the capitalist parties were united in their determination to impose the burden of the economic crisis onto working people.

The significance of the SEP’s vote in Sri Lankan elections

By Deepal Jayasekera, 20 August 2015

The support for the SEP indicates a turn by an advanced section of workers and the oppressed masses towards the perspective of socialist internationalism.

Pro-US United National Party to form government in Sri Lanka

By Saman Gunadasa, 19 August 2015

While the UNP win has blocked a comeback by former President Mahinda Rajapakse, the political turmoil in Colombo will only continue and deepen.

Thai junta exploits Bangkok bombing

By Tom Peters, 19 August 2015

While the perpetrator of Monday’s attack has not been identified, the US-backed military regime is using it as a pretext to mobilise the armed forces and intimidate opponents.

Sri Lankan election results foreshadow political upheavals

By K. Ratnayake, 18 August 2015

Whichever party—the UNP or SLFP—finally forms the next government will accelerate the austerity agenda being demanded by the IMF.

Sri Lankan general election signals deepening political instability

By our correspondent, 17 August 2015

Today’s election is being held in the wake of a US-backed regime-change operation in January that ousted former President Rajapakse because of his ties with China.

Paris public meeting discusses world significance of Sri Lankan elections

By our reporters, 17 August 2015

International Committee of the Fourth International supporters held a well-attended meeting to discuss the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) election campaign.

Sri Lankan general election 2015

Vote for the Socialist Equality Party!

For a socialist program against war, austerity and to defend democratic rights! For a workers and peasants government!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 15 August 2015

The SEP is standing 43 candidates in three of the country’s 22 electoral districts—Colombo, Jaffna and Nuwara Eliya.

Tamil nationalist groups adopt pro-imperialist policy in Sri Lankan elections

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 15 August 2015

The Tamil National People’s Front and the Crusaders for Democracy are aligned with the Sirisena government and US imperialism against Tamil and Sinhala workers.

Sri Lankan president to block Rajapakse as prime minister

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 August 2015

Sirisena’s letter, aimed at bolstering the UNP’s electoral prospects, underscores the deep political crisis surrounding the whole election.

China: More than 50 dead in Tianjin factory explosion

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 August 2015

The Chinese regime has responded nervously to the disaster, which is intensifying its political crisis.

Sri Lankan election: Pro-US UNP appeals to big business

By Rohantha De Silva, 11 August 2015

The promotion of the UNP, the country’s oldest bourgeois party steeped in crimes against the working class, as a champion of democracy is a complete fraud.

SEP campaign receives support in northern Sri Lanka

By our correspondent, 10 August 2015

The Socialist Equality Party held its second northern Sri Lankan election meeting at Karainagar, where SEP campaigners held lively discussions with local residents.

Sri Lankan irrigation department residents discuss SEP policies

By our correspondent, 6 August 2015

Irrigation department and other local workers in Ratmalana, near Colombo, voice their anger over rising poverty and increasing exploitation.

Tamil National Alliance presents pro-imperialist manifesto in Sri Lankan elections

By K. Nesan, 5 August 2015

The election manifesto aligns the TNA with the policies of Washington and the Colombo government installed in a US-engineered regime-change operation.

Sri Lanka: JVP election manifesto woos big business

By W. A. Sunil, 4 August 2015

Under conditions of widespread alienation from the two main capitalist parties, the JVP is trying to show the ruling elites that it is a viable alternative.

Manifesto of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) for the 2015 general election

Against war and austerity! Fight for a workers’ and peasants’ government and a socialist program!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 3 August 2015

The SEP’s campaign aims to mobilize workers and youth in opposition to war and attacks against democratic rights, on the basis of socialist internationalism.

Unidentified gunmen fire on Sri Lankan election rally

By Peter Symonds, 1 August 2015

The violent attack is another symptom of the political tensions underpinning the bitter rivalry in the August 17 election campaign.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalate despite Modi-Sharif meeting

By Sampath Perera, 1 August 2015

India’s 15-month-old BJP government continues to integrate New Delhi ever more completely into Washington’s anti-China “pivot.”

Sri Lanka: SEP campaigns against evictions in Colombo

By our correspondents, 31 July 2015

SEP candidates spoke in Wanathamulla, where residents have been the target of government “slum eviction” operations.

Witch-hunt continues against Sri Lankan tea estate workers

By M. Thevarajah, 30 July 2015

The victimisation of Ingestre workers is part of an escalating offensive by plantation companies to slash costs and drive up productivity.

Sri Lanka: Pseudo-left USP willing to ally with any capitalist party

By R. Shreeharan, 29 July 2015

The United Socialist Party takes no responsibility for the disasters that its previous alliances with bourgeois parties have helped bring about for the working class.

The international significance of the Sri Lankan general election

By Peter Symonds, 28 July 2015

The political crisis in Sri Lanka is an acute expression of the breakdown of global capitalism, which is fueling bitter geo-political rivalries and social counterrevolution against the working class.

Sri Lankan president pledges to block rival

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 July 2015

Sirisena’s willingness to use his autocratic powers to prevent Rajapakse becoming prime minister exposes the fraudulent claim that his election represented a “democratic revolution.”

Japanese government pushes militarist legislation amid mass protests

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 July 2015

The passage of the laws marks a further stage in the militarist “reinterpretation” of Japan’s nominally pacifist constitution.

Socialist Equality Party fields 43 candidates in Sri Lankan general elections

By our correspondent, 16 July 2015

The SEP’s election slates are headed by leading party members with long-standing records of fighting for socialist internationalism.

Sri Lanka: SEP meeting defends victimised plantation workers

By our correspondents, 15 July 2015

Central hills plantation workers attend SEP public meeting in defiance of ongoing union and police harassment.

SEP to stand in Sri Lankan general election

By the Socialist Equality Party, 13 July 2015

The SEP is the only party advancing an internationalist and socialist program against war, austerity and attacks on democratic rights.

Colombo’s “fastest growing tourism” status obtained at the poor’s expense

By Vilani Peiris, 4 July 2015

The transformation of Colombo into a destination for wealthy tourists is the product of ruthless attacks on the inner-city poor, including mass evictions.

Support grows for victimised Sri Lankan tea estate workers

By our correspondents, 1 July 2015

Plantation workers denounce frame-up charges against Deeside estate workers.

Malaysia’s opposition coalition breaks apart

By John Roberts, 30 June 2015

The collapse of the three-party pact changes the political landscape and points to growing instability.

Sri Lanka SEP calls public meeting to defend victimised plantation workers

30 June 2015

The Glenugie tea plantation workers were victimised for playing a leading role in a three-day strike in February against an arbitrary increase in workloads.

Sri Lankan president dissolves parliament amid political uncertainty

By K. Ratnayake, 29 June 2015

Since the January 8 presidential election, Sirisena and his minority government have faced one crisis after another.

Over 1,100 killed by heat wave in Pakistan

By Sampath Perera, 27 June 2015

The victims have died because of electricity outages, water supply shortages, inadequate healthcare facilities and government indifference.

SEP public meeting assesses political turmoil in Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 26 June 2015

A successful meeting in Colombo examined the turmoil confronting President Sirisena’s government.

SEP/IYSSE public meetings to discuss Sri Lankan political crisis

25 June 2015

The Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality are holding public meetings throughout Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s Punguduthivu: An island devastated by war

By Subash Somachandran and M. Kalaimaaran, 24 June 2015

Unbearable social conditions and de facto military rule continue after nearly three decades of war in Sri Lanka’s north.

US drive to war dominates Philippine presidential election discussions

By Joseph Santolan, 18 June 2015

The stakes in the 2016 presidential election are qualitatively higher than in previous contests, with the paramount question being war with China.

Sri Lanka: Reinstate victimised Deeside plantation workers!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 15 June 2015

What took place at the Deeside division is a rehearsal for broader attacks by government and the corporate elite on all sections of the working class.

Indian prime minister visits Bangladesh to strengthen ties against China

By Deepal Jayasekera, 12 June 2015

Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart declared that bilateral relations had entered a new phase.

Sri Lankan government facing deepening financial crisis

By Saman Gunadasa, 8 June 2015

The government is raising commercial loans to cover payments on existing loans, heightening the political uncertainty in Colombo.

US defence secretary boosts military ties with India

By K. Ratnayake, 5 June 2015

As Washington ratcheted up its confrontation with China over the South China Sea, Carter’s trip to India emphasised greater naval cooperation.

India: One year of the Modi-led, BJP government

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 30 May 2015

The BJP has moved India sharply right, lending support to the US’s anti-China “pivot,” imposing austerity and pro-market “reforms,” and inciting Hindu supremacism.

Sri Lankan plantation companies reject wage increase

By Madhava Jayawardena and Pani Wijesiriwardena, 30 May 2015

Amid falling global prices, employers are demanding higher daily quotas from plantation workers.

Sri Lankan president postpones parliamentary election

By K. Ratnayake, 29 May 2015

Sirisena has refused to set a poll date, breaking his promise to dissolve parliament on April 23 and call an election.

Murder of Tamil student sparks protests in northern Sri Lanka

By Subash Somachandran, 23 May 2015

Sinhala extremists have reacted to protests in Jaffna over the killing of an 18-year-old schoolgirl by whipping up anti-Tamil communalism.

Growing danger of landslides in Sri Lanka

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 22 May 2015

The refusal of successive Sri Lankan governments to initiate basic safety measures has led to growing numbers of landslide disasters.

Sri Lankan landslide victims still in makeshift accommodation

By S. K. Irangani, 22 May 2015

The situation facing Meeriyabedda Estate landslide victims highlights the desperate social conditions facing Sri Lankan plantation workers and their families.

India’s BJP government presses forward with big business “reforms”

By Deepal Jayasekera, 15 May 2015

The newly-enacted “reforms” will further enrich local and global investors at the expense of the working class and rural toilers.

Historians condemn Japan’s whitewashing of war crimes

By Ben McGrath, 11 May 2015

Nearly 200 historians published a statement last Tuesday calling on Tokyo to cease distorting the history of comfort women.

Sri Lanka: Evicted Colombo shanty dwellers face desperate situation

By Vilani Peiris, 9 May 2015

Some of those forced out are living in wooden huts without water or sanitation.

Sri Lanka: Campaign for International May Day wins warm response

By our correspondents, 24 April 2015

University students and workers in Colombo are signing up for the May 3 global online rally.

Indian Stalinists reaffirm right-wing “political-tactical” line

By our correspondents in Visakhapatnam, 18 April 2015

This week’s congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) formally reaffirmed the policy under which it has propped up a series of rightwing governments dedicated to pro-market “reform.”

Sri Lankan government postpones constitutional amendment

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 11 April 2015

The proposed changes are not to defend democratic rights but to hoodwink working people as the government prepares to impose its austerity agenda.

Sri Lankan police crackdown on protesting students

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 3 April 2015

The police attack on university students makes clear that the Sirisena government is rapidly moving to impose new austerity measures.

Sri Lankan tea plantation workers oppose Glenugie estate witch-hunt

By M. Devarajah, 28 March 2015

The charges are a crude attempt to intimidate the workforce, following a three-day strike against increased work quotas.

India bans BBC documentary on 2012 Delhi gang rape

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 27 March 2015

In a blatant attack on free speech, India’s Hindu supremacist BJP government has banned India’s Daughter, a BBC documentary on a notorious 2012 gang rape and murder in Delhi.

Sri Lankan police arrest estate workers following strike against quota increase

By M. Devarajah, 21 March 2015

The arrests are part of a police-media witch-hunt against workers who struck for three days against an increase in their daily picking loads.

IMF rejects Sri Lankan request for loan bailout

By Saman Gunadasa, 20 March 2015

The IMF’s blunt message to Sri Lanka is for new social attacks on the working class and poor.

Mounting anger over Bangladeshi ferry disasters

By Wimal Perera, 9 March 2015

Ferry owners maximise their profits by violating safety rules and regulations in league with government authorities at the expense of passengers’ lives.

Tamil party in Sri Lanka calls for international war crimes inquiry

By S. Jayanth, 7 March 2015

The TNA is attempting to put maximum pressure on the new Colombo government to secure a significant devolution of power to the Tamil elite.

Sri Lankan pseudo-left dresses up US regime-change as a “democratic revolution”

By K. Ratnayake, 6 March 2015

The grubbier the political whitewash, the bigger the lies and historical falsifications—and it so proves to be the case with NSSP leader Karunaratne.

Sri Lankan opposition parties seek to bring back Rajapakse

By W.A. Sunil, 28 February 2015

Racked by political instability and economic crisis, both wings of the ruling elite are preparing for deep attacks on the working class.

Sri Lankan police attack estate workers protesting police killing

By M. Devarajah and A. Shanthakumar, 18 February 2015

The arrest of scores of demonstrators is a major attack on democratic rights by President Sirisena’s administration.

Sri Lankan plantation union pressures workers to end strike

By M. Devarajah and W.A. Sunil, 13 February 2015

The National Union of Workers intervened yesterday to shut down a strike by 600 plantation workers from the Glenuige Estate over increased workloads.

Top US diplomat heaps praise on new Sri Lankan government

By Deepal Jayasekera, 6 February 2015

Washington’s support for Sri Lankan President Sirisena is above all because he is reorienting the country’s foreign policy away from China and firmly towards the US.

New York Times columnist advises how to protect pro-US government in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 23 January 2015

Law professor Ryan Goodman suggests a targeted “human rights” campaign to prevent members of the previous government returning to power.

Indian elite welcomes change of government in Sri Lanka

By Deepal Jayasekera, 17 January 2015

India’s over-riding concern is securing Sri Lanka’s shift away from Beijing.

SEP wages powerful campaign in Sri Lankan presidential election

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 15 January 2015

The SEP alone fought for the political independence of the working class from all the pro-capitalist candidates.

New Sri Lankan president appoints his cabinet

By Deepal Jayasekera, 14 January 2015

The overwhelming majority of ministers are drawn from the right-wing and pro-US United National Party.

The outcome of the Sri Lankan election and its international implications

By Deepal Jayasekera, 12 January 2015

What has unfolded since Sirisena deserted Rajapakse’s government is a US-sponsored regime-change operation.

India’s Modi regime imposes big business “reforms” by executive fiat

By Kranti Kumara, 9 January 2015

The ordinances were aimed at demonstrating to big business that the government is ready to use authoritarian methods to impose neoliberal reforms.

Tamil nationalists support US-backed opposition in Sri Lankan election

By K. Nesan, 7 January 2015

The TNA is backing Maithripala Sirisena, who is just as responsible for the government’s crimes during the civil war and the attacks on the working class.

JVP campaigns for pro-US opposition candidate in Sri Lankan presidential election

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 6 January 2015

Having long ago integrated itself into the Colombo establishment, the JVP has increasingly accommodated to Washington.

Sri Lankan opposition candidate issues pro-US, pro-business manifesto

By W.A. Sunil, 31 December 2014

One of the central purposes of Sirisena’s manifesto is to send a clear signal that he will shift foreign policy decisively towards the West.

Financial Times points to US regime-change intrigue in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 30 December 2014

The newspaper highlights the “unexpectedly well-organised opposition campaign” that has emerged in the presidential election—with Washington’s support.

Sri Lanka: NSSP leader campaigns for right-wing, pro-US presidential candidate

By Pani Wijesiriwardena—SEP presidential candidate, 27 December 2014

The NSSP’s election campaign is part of the international line-up of pseudo-left organisations behind US imperialism and its aggressive drive for global hegemony.