South Asia

Sri Lankan unions agree to impose share-cropper system on plantation workers

By W.A. Sunil, 15 December 2016

The new collective agreement is a prelude to a productivity-based payment regime proposed by the plantation companies.

Sri Lankan port minister threatens to sack striking workers

By our reporters, 14 December 2016

The government’s repression of the Magampura Port workers is a warning to the whole working class.

Sri Lankan government sends navy to suppress striking port workers

By our reporters, 12 December 2016

The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government has sent a message to the entire working class that it will use police-military methods to suppress their struggles.

Sri Lankan president asks Trump to end war crime investigations

By K. Ratnayake, 10 December 2016

Sirisena’s appeals to Washington expose the anti-democratic character of the Sri Lankan government and its determination to cover-up the military’s atrocities.

Indian defence minister visits Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 8 December 2016

The visit underscores India’s growing efforts—backed by Washington—to bring Bangladesh into its orbit, undercutting China’s influence.

India rebuffs Pakistan’s “peace” overtures

By Keith Jones, 6 December 2016

India has demonstrably rebuffed Pakistan’s attempts to initiate a dialogue aimed at defusing the almost three-month-long war crisis between South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed states.

SEP meeting in Colombo discusses Trump’s election

By our correspondents, 6 December 2016

Speakers explained the far-reaching and reactionary implications of Trump’s victory for workers and young people globally.

US Pacific commander visits Sri Lanka, praising new regime

By K. Ratnayake, 3 December 2016

PACOM chief Harris’s visit was part US efforts to boost military ties with Sri Lanka after President Maithripala Sirisena became president in early 2015.

Sri Lankan workers and students discuss Trump’s election

By our correspondents, 29 November 2016

Many people were keen to discuss with SEP and IYSSE campaigners the shift in world politics reflected in Trump’s victory.

Sri Lankan SEP holds meeting in Jaffna on the socialist alternative to nationalism and war

By our correspondents, 28 November 2016

Speakers explained the dangerous political agenda of the incoming Trump administration in the US and the necessity for workers and youth to mobilise on a revolutionary program.

Sri Lankan president orders arrest of “inciters of racism”

By W.A. Sunil, 23 November 2016

Under the pretext of “curbing racism,” the government is preparing for a broader crackdown not only on opposition parties but against the working class.

Indian government’s demonetisation causes mass hardship and economic chaos

By Kranti Kumara and Arun Kumar, 21 November 2016

The true aim of the Indian government's demonetisation scheme is to shore up the country's fragile banking system.

Indian rail accident kills more than 120

By Arun Kumar, 21 November 2016

Sunday’s disaster is a direct result of poor safety standards and the run-down of essential maintenance throughout India’s extensive rail network.

Indian elite welcome Trump’s election

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 19 November 2016

India’s elite calculates Trump’s hardline positions vis-a-vis China and Pakistan will provide New Delhi with a strategic boost over its principal Asian rivals.

SEP public meeting in Colombo: The international implications of Trump’s election

19 November 2016

The meeting will explain the political factors behind Trump’s election and outline the program of socialist internationalism that the working class must adopt.

Sri Lankan budget deepens austerity offensive

By Saman Gunadasa, 15 November 2016

The government has drastically increased taxes on working people while slashing funds for health, education and welfare.

Diplomatic row erupts between Sri Lanka and China

By W.A. Sunil, 12 November 2016

The public squabble between Colombo and Beijing over loans is another indication of rising geo-strategic tensions in the region.

Indo-Pakistan tensions escalate

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 8 November 2016

The ongoing clashes along the Line of Control between India and Pakistan highlight the dangerous standoff that has brought the nuclear-armed rivals to the brink of war.

Sri Lanka: Deeside plantation workers form action committee

By our correspondents, 4 November 2016

The committee’s establishment is an important step toward breaking from the trade unions, which function as industrial police for big business and the government.

SEP public meeting in Jaffna: Imperialist war, Tamil nationalism and the fight for socialism

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 2 November 2016

The Tamil nationalist parties support Washington’s war drive in Asia and have pleaded for US backing to secure privileges for the Tamil elite in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka: New anti-terror measures lay foundations for police state

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 31 October 2016

While President Sirisena postured as a champion of democracy in 2015, Sri Lanka’s planned anti-terror act is a major assault on the basic rights of the working class.

US SEP presidential candidate addresses Sri Lankan audience

By our correspondents, 31 October 2016

Yesterday’s meeting in Colombo unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the socialist anti-war conference to be held by the US SEP in Detroit on November 5.

Terror attack on Pakistani police academy kills more than 60

By Keith Jones, 26 October 2016

The attack on the Balochistan Police College is said to be the deadliest terrorist attack ever mounted on Pakistan’s security forces.

General strike in northern Sri Lanka over police killing of students

By our correspondents, 26 October 2016

The death of two Tamil students is a continuation of the police-state methods developed during the war and now increasingly being used against working people throughout the island.

Sri Lanka assists India to isolate Pakistan by not attending SAARC summit

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 25 October 2016

The Sri Lankan prime minister has unequivocally backed the Indian government’s efforts to exploit the Uri military raid to undermine Pakistan and boost India’s great power ambitions.

Police murder of two Jaffna University students exposes Sri Lankan Tamil nationalists

By K. Nesan, 24 October 2016

The police murder exposed the Tamil nationalists’ collaboration with Washington and Colombo in setting up police-state forms of rule in northern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan plantation workers protest union wage deal

By W.A. Sunil, 24 October 2016

The union-plantation association deal locks workers into increased productivity rates for the next two years in exchange for a negligible wage rise.

US SEP presidential candidate Jerry White to address Sri Lankan public meeting via Internet

21 October 2016

The US presidential elections are of enormous political significance for working people and youth in South Asia and internationally.

Sri Lankan president warns of autocratic measures

By K. Ratnayake, 18 October 2016

Sirisena, who won office on bogus slogans of good governance and fighting corruption, has moved to halt even the limited actions of the Bribery Commission and police.

Indian Stalinists aid BJP’s bellicose anti-Pakistan campaign

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 14 October 2016

India’s principal Stalinist party, the CPM, is playing a foul role in the reckless, bellicose offensive India’s ruling elite is mounting against its nuclear-armed arch-rival, Pakistan.

Sri Lanka: Chauvinist response to large Tamil protest

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 12 October 2016

The protest in Jaffna over the continued military occupation and abuse of democratic rights was denounced in chauvinist terms by the entire Colombo establishment.

Amid war crisis, Pakistani actors hounded out of India

By Kranti Kumara, 4 October 2016

The Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association has passed a resolution banning Pakistani actors, singers and technicians from Bollywood productions.

India and Pakistan teeter on the brink of war

By Keith Jones, 3 October 2016

In anticipation of a possible Pakistani counter-strike, or to facilitate their own war preparations, India is evacuating tens of thousands of people living near the border.

Sri Lankan president at the UN prostrates himself to Washington

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 1 October 2016

The accolades he received simply reflected that fact that Sirisena has dutifully toed the US line against China since coming to power in January last year.

Sri Lankan regime, Tamil nationalists reject ex-LTTE members’ poisoning allegations

By K. Nesan, 1 October 2016

The Tamil nationalist parties, like the Sri Lankan regime and its imperialist backers, are desperate to cover up the crimes of the Sri Lankan civil war.

After Kashmir attack, US media threaten to support India in war with Pakistan

By Kumaran Ira, 29 September 2016

Washington’s anti-China “pivot to Asia” is fueling war tensions between Pakistan and India, which have escalated since Islamist militants attacked an Indian military base in Kashmir.

India launches campaign to “punish” Pakistan

By Wasntha Rupasinghe, 28 September 2016

The publicly announced steps India has taken against Pakistan are of a diplomatic and economic character. But behind the scenes feverish preparations continue for a lethal “counterstrike.”

Indian workers and students speak out against US war drive

By our correspondents, 28 September 2016

Indian workers and students discussed mounting global tensions and New Delhi’s role in the US military preparations against China.

Pakistan replies with belligerence to Indian threats

By Sampath Perera, 27 September 2016

The Pakistan Air Force conducted war exercises last week, including over the skies of the national capital, Islamabad, and on the highway connecting it to Lahore.

Workers and youth at Jaffna protest speak out against US-backed Sri Lankan regime

By Subash Somachandran and K. Nesan, 27 September 2016

There is growing anger among Tamil workers and youth against the Tamil nationalists’ support for US imperialism’s foreign policy and for its client regime in Colombo.

Sri Lanka government raises VAT following IMF demands

By Saman Gunadasa, 26 September 2016

The increased taxes highlight the International Monetary Fund’s control over Sri Lankan financial and economic affairs.

Public meeting in Chennai, India: Oppose the imperialist war drive! Fight for socialist program!

21 September 2016

The Indian government’s deepening involvement in the US preparations for war against China is occurring behind the backs of the Indian working class and poor.

War danger surges as India blames Pakistan for attack on Kashmir base

By V. Gnana, 19 September 2016

Seventeen Indian soldiers were killed yesterday morning in Indian-administered Kashmir when fighters assaulted a military base at Uri.

UN chief praises pro-US Sri Lankan government

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 17 September 2016

Ban indirectly admitted that the UN did nothing to stop the wartime massacres in Sri Lanka, saying the world body had made “serious mistakes.”

Protesters continue to defy Indian state violence in Kashmir

By Kranti Kumara, 16 September 2016

India’s government is resorting to increasingly desperate measures to quell the popular protests that have convulsed the Kashmir Valley for the past ten weeks.

Death toll rises in Bangladesh factory fire

By Sarath Kumara, 16 September 2016

The Tampaco Foils disaster highlights the unsafe conditions and shoddy construction for which Bangladesh is now notorious.

Opposition plots regime change in Maldives

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 6 September 2016

The US and its allies are hostile to President Yameen, not because of his record of human rights abuses, but his ties to China.

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!

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

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.