Asia

US deploys new “military assets” to Nepal as death toll from earthquake grows

By Thomas Gaist, 28 April 2015

In contrast to the rapid deployment of military resources, the financial response of the major powers to the disaster has been paltry.

South China Sea disputes dominate ASEAN summit

By Peter Symonds, 28 April 2015

While the summit did not embrace the Philippine demand for an immediate halt to Chinese land reclamation on disputed islands, the final statement did take a more hard-line stand.

Earthquake kills thousands in Nepal

By W.A. Sunil, 27 April 2015

Though an earthquake is the product of enormous natural forces, the extent of death and destruction has definite social roots.

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.

Call for new international economic order at Asia-Africa summit

By Nick Beams, 23 April 2015

Japanese Prime Minister Abe did not include a significant phrase offered in previous apologies for Japanese war crimes in his remarks to the Asia-Africa summit meeting.

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.”

New Zealand shared intelligence with Bangladesh’s repressive agencies

By Tom Peters, 18 April 2015

Documents leaked by Edward Snowden show that NZ’s spy agency, the GCSB, has supported Bangladesh’s notorious security apparatus for at least 12 years.

Japan’s ruling party wins local elections

By Ben McGrath, 17 April 2015

The near-record low turnout is another indication of broad public alienation from the political establishment and parliamentary set-up as a whole.

Burmese regime signs draft ceasefire with ethnic separatists

By John Roberts, 16 April 2015

The peace accord is part of the government’s bid to meet the demands of the US and its allies in return for a further relaxation of sanctions.

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.

Massive fire at Chinese chemical factory

By Ben McGrath, 11 April 2015

Industrial accidents in China are a regular occurrence amid the corporate drive to boost profits at the expense of safety and health standards.

US defence secretary warns China over Asian maritime disputes

By Peter Symonds, 9 April 2015

Ashton Carter is visiting Japan and South Korea to integrate their militaries more closely into the Pentagon’s preparations for war with China.

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.

US admiral threatens Beijing over South China Sea

By James Cogan, 2 April 2015

Prominent figures in Washington are attempting to make China’s alleged activities a major issue of geopolitical tension.

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.

South Korea pushes for inclusion in US anti-missile system

By Ben McGrath, 20 March 2015

Tensions between South Korea and China could rise if the US established an anti-ballistic missile battery on the Korean Peninsula.

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.

South Korean president calls for Japanese apology

By Ben McGrath, 6 March 2015

Compared to past speeches Park Geun-hye appeared to pull her punches on the crimes of Japanese imperialism in the 1930s and 1940s.

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.

The US “pivot to Asia” and the Australian leadership crisis

By Peter Symonds, 25 February 2015

A major obstacle to Malcolm Turnbull’s ambitions to take over as prime minister lies in Washington.

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.

US historians criticize Tokyo’s efforts to whitewash war crimes

By Ben McGrath, 16 February 2015

American historians have signed a statement condemning the Japanese government’s attempts to whitewash the military’s abuse of “comfort women” in the 1930s and 1940s.

Japanese PM calls for constitutional change in keynote speech

By Peter Symonds, 14 February 2015

Central to Abe’s “reform” agenda is the removal of constraints on the use of the military to prosecute Japanese imperialism's strategic interests.

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.

Hong Kong protest falls short of expectations

By Ben McGrath, 7 February 2015

The small turnout was a reflection of the political dead-end into which so-called pro-democracy leaders steered last year’s weeks-long protest movement.

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.

ISIS kills Japanese hostage

By Ben McGrath, 26 January 2015

The apparent murder of one of the hostages held by ISIS, Haruna Yukawa, comes as Japan plans to expand its military presence in the Middle East.

Japan: Two workers killed at TEPCO nuclear plants in Fukushima

By Ben McGrath, 26 January 2015

The deaths are another reminder of the ongoing dangers at the tsunami-affected Fukushima Daiichi complex, and the official disregard for workers’ health and safety.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 January 2015

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

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.

Indonesian president speeds up executions of prisoners

By John Roberts, 19 January 2015

Widodo’s law-and-order campaign is an appeal to the most reactionary elements in Indonesian society.

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.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 January 2015

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

Japanese government boosts military spending

By Will Morrow, 16 January 2015

The government left no doubt that the increase is part of preparations for war with China.

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.

Chinese President Xi Jinping targets CCP party factions

By Ben McGrath, 14 January 2015

In the name of fighting corruption, Xi Jinping is going after political rivals in order to pursue more pro-market restructuring.

South Korea deports Korean-American woman accused of supporting the North

By Ben McGrath, 13 January 2015

President Park Geun-hye’s government has whipped up a series of “red scares.”

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.

Evidence mounts of safety violations contributing to AirAsia plane crash

By Will Morrow, 7 January 2015

The more information that emerges about the crash, the more it becomes clear that it was not an unforeseeable tragedy.

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.

Japan: New laws to loosen restrictions on the military

By Ben McGrath, 5 January 2015

If passed, the legislation will give the government far broader scope to go to war in the name of “collective self-defense.”

New Year’s Eve stampede in Shanghai kills 36

By Will Morrow, 5 January 2015

The government’s refusal to take basic safety precautions for the New Year celebrations created the conditions for the tragedy.

Pseudo-left USP plays double game in Sri Lankan presidential election

By Vilani Peiris, 5 January 2015

The USP claims to be running an “independent” campaign, but in reality is providing back-handed support for the pro-US opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena.

Australia to be maintenance base for controversial F-35 jet fighter

By James Cogan, 3 January 2015

The decision underlines the degree to which Australia is being integrated into US preparations for war in the Asia-Pacific region.

Cybersecurity investigators raise doubts about North Korean responsibility for Sony hack

By Niles Williamson, 31 December 2014

While Washington quickly assigned blame to Pyongyang for the hacking attack, independent cyber security investigations point to an inside job.

Wreckage of crashed AirAsia flight found in Java Sea

By Will Morrow, 31 December 2014

The three day search concluded last night with the discovery of debris and the confirmation of the deaths of 162 people on board AirAsia Flight QZ8501.

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.

Search continues for missing AirAsia flight

By Will Morrow, 30 December 2014

While there has been no explanation for what caused the plane to crash, aviation experts have focussed on the severe weather conditions.

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.

Vietnam backs Philippine case against Chinese maritime claims

By John Roberts, 30 December 2014

Hanoi rejected China’s claims in the South China Sea and called on the court to take Vietnam’s interests into consideration.

AirAsia flight lost over Java Sea

By James Cogan, 29 December 2014

No wreckage of the aircraft has been found and initial searches have been suspended due to stormy conditions.

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.

South Korean court disbands opposition party

By Ben McGrath, 24 December 2014

The ruling is an attack on basic democratic rights, aimed at silencing political criticism and opposition.

Sri Lanka: SEP presidential candidate addresses Colombo meeting

By our correspondents, 20 December 2014

The SEP campaign aims to build a socialist and internationalist movement of the working class against imperialist war and attacks on basic rights and living conditions.

US pushes for trilateral anti-missile cooperation in North East Asia

By Ben McGrath, 18 December 2014

Washington is pressing South Korea and Japan for defense collaboration as it continues its military build-up in Asia aimed against China.

Japanese PM flags propaganda offensive to “restore Japan’s honour”

By Peter Symonds, 13 December 2014

The ruling LDP is preparing to accelerate plans for Japan’s remilitarisation, including on the ideological front, if it retains office in tomorrow’s election.

Thai junta maintains firm grip on power

By Tom Peters, 13 December 2014

Thailand’s military dictatorship, tacitly supported by Washington, is continuing to crack down on opposition and cement its hold on power.

Solomon Islands: Former target of Australian regime-change operation re-elected prime minister

By Patrick Kelly, 11 December 2014

Manasseh Sogavare is returning to office seven years after he was removed from power through a lawless dirty tricks campaign.

Taiwanese local elections reveal widespread disillusionment with government

By Ben McGrath, 10 December 2014

The KMT government suffered one of its worst defeats in recent elections, driven by declining social conditions.

Former Chinese security chief arrested on corruption charges

By Peter Symonds, 8 December 2014

President Xi’s anti-corruption campaign is part of his pro-market agenda of opening up the Chinese economy as well as a means to remove key factional rivals.

Malaysian government retains draconian Sedition Act

By John Roberts, 6 December 2014

While the government will use the Act against its political opponents, it is also part of the police-state measures that will be used against the working class.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 November 2014

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 November 2014

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

Sri Lankan plantation workers denounce government over landslide tragedy

By our correspondents, 20 November 2014

Strikes and demonstrations condemned the Rajapakse government, plantation managements and trade unions for leaving families exposed to disasters for years.

Director Carlos Reygadas at the Colombo film festival: But what is cinematic art?

By Saman Gunadasa, 18 November 2014

Several works by the Mexican filmmaker were highlighted at the recent Colombo film festival. The primitive realism and worship of the unconscious in Reygadas’ approach to cinema is considered here.

Obama at APEC: US steps up economic offensive against China

By Nick Beams, 14 November 2014

US trade policy is based on a drive to secure domination of the world economy, using both military and economic means.

Threat of war hangs over ASEAN summit

By Joseph Santolan, 14 November 2014

The tensions throughout Southeast Asia, centered upon the disputed waters of the South China Sea, have reached their sharpest pitch in decades.

Canada deeply implicated in US anti-China “pivot”

By Laurent Lafrance, 14 November 2014

The Conservative government is integrating Canada ever more fully into Washington’s “pivot to Asia.”

ASEAN summit opens in Myanmar

By Joseph Santolan, 13 November 2014

The summit’s first day was marked by an avoidance of the question of the South China Sea.

Obama escalates pressure on China at APEC summit

By Mike Head, 11 November 2014

The US president’s performance highlighted the rapid intensification of Washington’s aggressive stance globally.

US general suggests delaying troop withdrawals from Afghanistan

By James Cogan, 8 November 2014

General Campbell’s comments reflect concerns in Washington that its puppet government in Kabul could fall to the Taliban.

Bank of Japan’s shock stimulus further destabilizes global economy

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2014

The Japanese central bank’s surprise announcement of new monetary stimulus measures has led to accusations that it is trying to export deflation and warnings of a currency war.

US-Japan conflicts stall Obama’s Trans-Pacific economic pact

By Mike Head, 28 October 2014

The impasse points to the underlying conflicts between the interests of the US and those of its current allies such as Japan.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

18 October 2014

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Uncovering the Maritime Silk Road

By Matthew MacEgan, 14 October 2014

Archaeologists across the globe are beginning to tackle larger questions about the interconnectivity of societies across continents and oceans.

Hong Kong protests swell after talks called off

By Peter Symonds, 11 October 2014

Protest leaders threaten to escalate their actions unless the government responds to their demand for full and open elections in 2017.

Hong Kong protests ebb

By Peter Symonds, 4 October 2014

Protesters came under attack from thugs who took advantage of growing public frustration over the disruption to daily life.

Hong Kong chief executive seeks to defuse protests

By Peter Symonds, 3 October 2014

In his effort to end the protests, Leung had the support of sections of the official opposition that are just as fearful as Beijing of spiralling social unrest.

Indian contract workers continue strike at state-owned energy company

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 3 October 2014

Striking Neyveli Lignite Corporation contract workers in the southern India state of Tamil Nadu are defying a high court back-to-work order.

India strengthens strategic ties with Vietnam

By John Roberts, 26 September 2014

The Indian and Vietnamese presidents issued a joint statement on the need for security in the South China Sea that was clearly aimed against China.

Chinese president visits Sri Lanka to strengthen strategic ties

By Deepal Jayasekera, 20 September 2014

President Xi’s South Asian tour is an attempt to counter aggressive moves by the US and Japan to line up countries in the region behind the US “pivot” against China.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

20 September 2014

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Floods in South Asia kill hundreds

By Wimal Perera, 18 September 2014

The rivalry among various states in South Asia, rooted in the 1947 communal partition of the sub-continent, has prevented any coordinated effort to control the flooding.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 September 2014

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Pakistani talks to end anti-government protests collapse

By Sampath Perera, 12 September 2014

The political impasse facing Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government has deepened, with protest leaders continuing to call for his resignation.

Australia-India uranium deal strengthens economic and strategic ties

By Peter Symonds, 6 September 2014

The uranium pact removes an obstacle to closer military relations between Australia and India as part of broader US efforts to forge an anti-China bloc.

India: NLC contract workers launch indefinite strike

By Arun Kumar, 6 September 2014

Workers are demanding permanency of jobs, wage hikes and higher bonuses.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 September 2014

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Pakistani military intervenes in political crisis

By K. Ratnayake, 30 August 2014

The direct involvement of the army in the current political turmoil is an ominous sign that further inroads into democratic rights are being prepared.

Tokyo holds talks with North Korea over Japanese abductees

By Ben McGrath, 29 August 2014

Japan’s moves have provoked concerns in Washington that Tokyo’s diplomacy will cut across US strategy in North East Asia.