Asia

Hundreds still missing after South Korean ferry sinks

By John Watanabe, 17 April 2014

A ferry that sank on Wednesday carrying some 470 people could turn out to be South Korea’s worst shipping accident in decades.

US defence secretary’s provocative tour of Asia

By Peter Symonds, 12 April 2014

Hagel’s trip has been an emphatic declaration that the US will not back away from its “pivot to Asia” against China, even as its confrontation with Russia over Ukraine intensifies.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 April 2014

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

US assistant secretary of state visits Thailand amid push to overthrow government

By Tom Peters, 10 April 2014

Russel indicated that the US does not oppose the opposition’s anti-democratic campaign to oust the Yingluck government.

Possible black box signals detected in search for Malaysia Airlines plane

By Tom Peters, 9 April 2014

The source of the signals detected in the Indian Ocean over the weekend has not been confirmed.

Indian Stalinists promote fraud of “secular,” “pro-people” Third Front

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 5 April 2014

The Indian Stalinists have responded to the intensification of the class struggle by redoubling their efforts to patch together an alliance with right-wing regional and caste-based parties—once and future allies of the Congress and/or BJP.

Court ruling escalates campaign to oust Thai government

By Tom Peters, 5 April 2014

After annulling the February election, the Constitutional Court is considering a petition to dismiss the prime minister.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 April 2014

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

Growing danger of Chinese credit collapse

By Nick Beams, 4 April 2014

China experienced an expansion of credit unprecedented in world economic history—equivalent to the size of the entire US banking system.

One year after Rana Plaza collapse

Bangladesh garment workers still face dangerous conditions

By Sarath Kumara, 4 April 2014

A limited investigation shows that many garment factories are structurally unsound and lack basic fire protections.

Beautification: An exhibition by Sri Lankan artist Chandraguptha Thenuwara

By Darshana Medis and Panini Wijesiriwardane, 4 April 2014

Thenuwara’s show partially revealed a post-war Sri Lanka reality that the government wants to hide.

Manila files legal case against Beijing’s South China Sea claim

By Joseph Santolan, 3 April 2014

The real author of this latest provocation is not Beijing or Manila, but Washington.

Malaysian government deepens crackdown on opposition

By John Roberts, 29 March 2014

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and other leading figures face jail and fines on trumped-up charges.

The growing danger of dictatorship in Thailand

By Tom Peters, 29 March 2014

The Constitutional Court’s decision to annul last month’s election is a warning that the ruling classes throughout the region are dispensing with their democratic façade.

Malaysian PM: Missing plane crashed in southern Indian Ocean

By Tom Peters, 25 March 2014

Malaysian authorities say analysis of satellite data shows the plane crashed, with no survivors, but no wreckage has been recovered.

Political crisis deepens as Thai court annuls election

By Tom Peters, 24 March 2014

The Constitutional Court’s blatantly anti-democratic ruling heightens the danger of a judicial coup.

Search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane enters third week

By Tom Peters, 22 March 2014

Strategic rivalries and state secrecy continue to mar the search for MH370.

Provocative remarks by US Pacific fleet commander fuel disputes with China

By Nick Beams, 21 March 2014

A senior US admiral invokes the Crimea crisis to accuse China of expansionism.

Lack of international cooperation mars search for Malaysia Airlines plane

By Tom Peters, 20 March 2014

All the countries involved, including the US, India and Australia, are extremely reluctant to share information that could reveal their military capabilities.

Chinese real estate developer on brink of collapse

By Nick Beams, 20 March 2014

Concerns about the property market point to wider problems in China’s economy and financial system.

South Korean doctors walk out over medical privatization

By Ben McGrath, 20 March 2014

Medical residents and doctors struck for 24 hours over regulations introduced that allow hospitals to run profit-seeking subsidiaries.

Sri Lankan government detains human rights activists under anti-terror law

By Athiyan Silva and S. Jayanth, 19 March 2014

Rajapakse’s government is making a renewed attack on those who are exposing its war crimes and abuses, while fabricating claims of an LTTE revival.

Concerns mount over Chinese growth and financial stability

By Nick Beams, 17 March 2014

Is the Chinese financial system heading for a “Lehman moment”—the equivalent of the US investment bank failure that triggered the 2008 global financial crisis?

Malaysian PM declares missing aircraft deliberately diverted

By Peter Symonds, 17 March 2014

More than a week after MH370 disappeared, the questions surrounding its fate are only multiplying.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 may have veered off course

By Peter Symonds, 15 March 2014

Search operations are now focussed on areas of the Indian Ocean, hundreds of kilometres to the west of MH370’s last known position.

Sri Lanka: SEP election campaign explains danger of war

By our correspondents, 15 March 2014

War, water pollution and the impoverished conditions of rubber plantation workers were among the issues discussed by SEP campaigners in Awissawella.

Thai government faces threat of judicial coup

By Tom Peters, 15 March 2014

The Constitution Court vetoed a government spending bill and announced it will consider a petition to annul the February 2 election.

Conflicting accounts of vanished Malaysia Airline Flight 370

By Peter Symonds, 13 March 2014

The lack of clarity is compounded by the competing interests at stake—including those of Malaysia Airlines, Boeing and the various governments involved.

Japanese government seeks to whitewash crimes against “comfort women”

By Ben McGrath, 13 March 2014

The Abe government has suggested it will revise the 1993 apology for the women and girls forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military in the 1930s and 1940s.

Iron ore price slump points to mounting Chinese economic problems

By Nick Beams, 12 March 2014

A sharp drop in the price of iron ore this week cast a shadow over global financial markets amid concerns about the state of the Chinese economy.

Searches fail to locate Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

By Peter Symonds, 11 March 2014

All the sightings of debris and oil slicks have been discounted as having no connection to the vanished aircraft.

Malaysian court overturns acquittal of opposition leader Anwar

By John Roberts, 11 March 2014

The sodomy conviction follows clear support from Washington for Prime Minister Najib’s government.

Many questions unanswered about Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

By Peter Symonds, 10 March 2014

The lack of information has led to speculation about the aircraft’s sudden disappearance, including catastrophic mechanical failure, freak weather conditions and hijacking.

US presents new UNHRC resolution on Sri Lankan human rights

By Panini Wijesiriwardena, 8 March 2014

Though the draft does not call for an international probe, it is a sharp warning to Colombo to align with the US.

South Korean unions hold token “people’s strike”

By Ben McGrath, 6 March 2014

The unions called the protest to contain mounting anger among workers and block an independent movement against the Park government.

Chronic kidney disease spreads in rural Sri Lanka

By W. A. Sunil, 5 March 2014

The disease has reached epidemic levels because of inadequate health facilities and government neglect.

China: Uighur separatists blamed for railway station killings

By Peter Symonds, 4 March 2014

Attackers armed with long knives killed 29 travellers and employees at Kunming railway station in southwestern China.

New report documents Sri Lankan military’s killing of surrendering LTTE leaders

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 4 March 2014

The ICEP report provides further compelling evidence of Colombo’s war crimes.

Mining corporations pressure Indonesian government over mineral export law

By John Roberts, 3 March 2014

Indonesia’s mineral export trade virtually ceased overnight after the 2009 ban on export of unprocessed ores came into effect.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 March 2014

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

Thailand: Navy officers arrested for involvement in anti-government protests

By Tom Peters, 28 February 2014

The arrests indicate that sections of the military are actively participating in the anti-democratic campaign to overthrow the Yingluck government.

Pakistani air raids escalate in North Waziristan

By Sampath Perera, 28 February 2014

Up to 100 people have reportedly been killed, triggering a mass exodus of people fearing a full-scale military offensive, as demanded by Washington.

Obama threatens total US withdrawal from Afghanistan

By Bill Van Auken, 27 February 2014

In the face of Karzai’s failure to sign a deal granting blanket immunity to US troops, Obama is threatening to withdraw them all.

Sri Lanka: Police intimidation against SEP workers inquiry on industrial pollution

By Panini Wijesiriwardane, 27 February 2014

The SEP warns that the police surveillance is in preparation for a witch hunt against its members and supporters.

India: BJP PM candidate Modi makes provocative anti-China speech

By Deepal Jayasekera, 27 February 2014

Just days after the US signaled its readiness to do business with the BJP prime ministerial candidate, he travelled to one of the remotest corners of India to denounce Chinese “expansionism.”

Thailand: Five dead in latest attacks on anti-government protests

By Tom Peters, 26 February 2014

The opposition blamed the government for the deaths, but it has more to gain from violence that could provide the pretext for a military coup.

Sri Lankan military training against mock student protest

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 25 February 2014

Troops with assault rifles and riot police armed with batons and transparent shields were used to disperse and arrest the mock protestors, demanding free education.

GM’s job destruction and the South Korean pseudo-left

By Ben McGrath, 25 February 2014

In conditions of growing distrust and anger among workers, All Together is playing a filthy role as apologist and defender of the KCTU, KMWU and other trade unions.

Another US provocation: Obama meets the Dalai Lama

By Peter Symonds, 24 February 2014

The meeting was designed to reinforce US support for the Tibetan government-in-exile and the threat to China of Tibetan separatism.

Indian parliament votes to create new Telangana state

By Deepal Jayasekera, 22 February 2014

India’s Congress Party-led government has rammed a bitterly contested law through parliament that creates a new state—Telangana—by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.

SEP manifesto for the Western Provincial Council election

Vote for the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka)!

Fight for a socialist program against war, austerity and police state methods!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 22 February 2014

The SEP is the only party that advances a socialist and internationalist program to mobilise and unite workers against the growing threat of war, austerity and the suppression of democratic rights.

Thai court undermines government’s emergency decree

By Tom Peters, 21 February 2014

The civil court this week banned police from making any attempt to break up anti-government protests.

GM axes more auto jobs in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 20 February 2014

GM Korea plans to slash 1,100 jobs from its Gunsan factory, part of an overall assault on auto workers in Korea and internationally.

Sri Lanka’s war crimes and the US “human rights” charade

By K. Ratnayake, 20 February 2014

The working class should reject the machinations of the US and its allies, while unequivocally condemning the Sri Lankan government war crimes.

Thai political crisis worsens as four killed in clashes

By Peter Symonds, 19 February 2014

What is underway—anti-government protests, legal challenges and a looming constitutional crisis—parallels the lead-up to the 2006 military coup.

Indonesian volcanic eruption displaces tens of thousands

By Oliver Campbell, 17 February 2014

The eruption last Thursday killed at least four people in Java’s densely populated east.

Bangladeshi government appeals for military backing

By Sarath Kumara, 15 February 2014

The government’s immediate target is the official opposition, but its main concern is rising discontent in the working class.

Thai government to end rice subsidy

By Tom Peters, 15 February 2014

The subsidy scheme, which supports millions of farmers, will expire at the end of the month, further destabilising the Yingluck government.

Toyota registers record profit through ruthless restructuring

By John Watanabe, 14 February 2014

The restructuring of Toyota’s operations, within Japan and internationally, is aimed at driving down wages and increasing exploitation.

Chinese navy conducts exercises in east Indian Ocean

By Peter Symonds, 14 February 2014

Australian reportage of the event makes clear that the Chinese naval presence was regarded as an unwelcome intrusion.

Sri Lankan SEP holds public meeting on workers inquiry into water pollution

By Rohantha de Silva, 12 February 2014

Weliweriya residents and students discussed the significance of the Independent Workers Inquiry.

Tokyo election reveals widespread political alienation

By Peter Symonds, 11 February 2014

The turnout was just 46.1 percent, down from 62.6 percent in 2012, and the third lowest figure ever.

Pakistani government provides the military with further antidemocratic powers

By Sampath Perera, 10 February 2014

The Protection of Pakistan Ordinance will give the military total legal immunity.

Thailand: Election fails to resolve political deadlock

By Tom Peters, 10 February 2014

The opposition is seeking to nullify the election, while anti-government protests continued in Bangkok last week.

The revival of Japanese militarism

By Peter Symonds, 8 February 2014

The denial of crimes such as the Rape of Nanking has only one meaning—it is the ideological preparation for new wars and new atrocities.

US disputes China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 8 February 2014

The move by the US State Department to challenge Beijing’s maritime territorial claim constitutes an escalation of Washington’s campaign against China.

Sri Lankan SEP to contest provincial election

By Socialist Equality Party, 8 February 2014

The SEP is fielding 43 candidates for Colombo District on the basis of a socialist program against war, austerity and attacks on democratic rights.

Philippine typhoon survivors stage protests

By Dante Pastrana, 7 February 2014

Typhoon Haiyan and the lack of government assistance have compounded the social crisis in some of the country’s poorest areas.

Philippine President Aquino compares China to Nazi Germany

By Joseph Santolan, 6 February 2014

The Philippine president denounced China’s role in the South China Sea as akin to Hitler’s annexation of Czechoslovakia.

Trust bailout highlights massive growth of China’s “shadow banking”

By Oliver Campbell, 6 February 2014

The bailout of a Chinese trust fund could be the prelude to a financial crisis that would have international ramifications.

Japanese government promotes militarism in media and schools

By John Watanabe, 5 February 2014

The government stacked the NHK’s board with right-wing appointees to shift the public broadcaster’s political orientation.

US increases pressure on Sri Lankan government over war crimes

By K. Ratnayake, 5 February 2014

Washington will move a third resolution on Sri Lanka at next month’s UN Human Rights Council meeting.

US warns China over air defence zone

By Peter Symonds, 4 February 2014

The Obama administration has seized on an insubstantial Asahi Shimbun article to stir up tensions with China over the South China Sea.

Thailand: Anti-government protests disrupt election

By Tom Peters, 3 February 2014

Yesterday’s blockades of voting stations demonstrated the government’s tenuous hold on power.

Philippine peace deal in Mindanao followed by military assault

By Joseph Santolan, 1 February 2014

The attacks that left 52 dead give the lie to claims that the deal, brokered by US, and signed by the MILF and the Philippine government, is about establishing peace.

Thai government to hold election amid ongoing crisis

By Tom Peters, 31 January 2014

The ruling Puea Thai party will almost certainly win a majority of seats, but the election will not end the country’s political turmoil.

Japan: New political alignment emerges in Tokyo election

By John Watanabe, 31 January 2014

The election is being held amid growing public opposition to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government.

The danger of war in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 29 January 2014

Asia in 2014 bears chilling resemblance to Europe in 1914.

Sri Lankan Buddhist extremists attack two Christian churches

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 29 January 2014

Confronted with a deepening economic crisis and emerging workers’ struggles, the Rajapakse government is encouraging racialist provocations.

Pakistan air force pounds North Waziristan, massacring scores of civilians

By Sampath Perera, 25 January 2014

The Pakistani military offensive is part of a US campaign to crush opposition to its plans for keeping military bases in Afghanistan after a so-called “withdrawal.”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 January 2014

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

Thai government imposes state of emergency

By Peter Symonds, 22 January 2014

Yingluck Shinawatra’s government has declared an emergency, but it is unclear whether it will be able to enforce its measures.

US threatens international probe into Sri Lankan war crimes

By Deepal Jayasekera, 20 January 2014

Support for an international inquiry would mark a significant shift by the US, which until now has gone along with the official government cover-up.

US-South Korean war games threaten to inflame Korean Peninsula

By Peter Symonds, 18 January 2014

South Korea warned of “merciless retaliation” in the event of a North Korean “military provocation.”

Grenade attack as Thai political crisis continues

By Tom Peters, 18 January 2014

The explosion, which injured more than 30 people, is the latest in a series of attacks on ongoing anti-government protests.

An exchange with the Bangladeshi ambassador to the US

By K. Ratnayake, 17 January 2014

The WSWS replies to criticisms by Bangladesh’s ambassador of an article detailing the plight of the victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse.

Thai opposition vows to continue “shutdown” of Bangkok

By Tom Peters, 14 January 2014

Protest leaders say the blockade of major intersections will continue will continue until the government cancels planned elections and an unelected “people’s council” is installed.

Sri Lanka: Bogus union campaign for sacked Ansell strikers

By W. A. Sunil, 13 January 2014

The Sri Lankan union and its international federation isolated the almost two-month-long Ansell strike and paved the way for its defeat.

Asia: The 21st century tinderbox for war

By Peter Symonds, 11 January 2014

As the world marks 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, the danger of another global catastrophe erupting in Asia has become increasingly acute.

Thai opposition vows to shut down Bangkok

By Tom Peters, 11 January 2014

Opposition leaders had vowed to "shut down" Bangkok in the latest effort to distrupt next month's elections and create the conditions for a military coup.

Cambodian garment workers forced back to work

By John Roberts, 9 January 2014

The strike’s collapse followed a military police crackdown by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.

Sham election deepens Bangladesh political crisis

By K. Ratnayake, 7 January 2014

The election was marked by a low turnout of 25 percent, police violence and clashes between the two main rival parties.

Cambodian government bans rallies and protests

By John Roberts, 6 January 2014

Following the killing of striking workers on Friday, the government broke up an opposition protest site in Freedom Park in Phnom Penh.

Cambodian security forces shoot striking garment workers

By John Roberts, 4 January 2014

Military police yesterday opened fire on protesting workers, killing at least four and wounding 21.

Sri Lanka: Standoff between government and TNA deepens

By S. Jayanth, 4 January 2014

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has refused to take part a parliamentary committee supposedly to discuss national reconciliation.

Victims of Bangladesh building collapse neglected

By Wimal Perera, 3 January 2014

Many of the families have spent their limited compensation, leaving them in a desperate situation.

Thai military hints at a coup

By Tom Peters, 28 December 2013

Amid a deepening political crisis, the Thai army chief yesterday refused to rule out a military seizure of power.

Democrat Party to boycott Thai elections

By John Roberts, 23 December 2013

The last Democrat election boycott in 2006 set the stage for a military coup against the present prime minister’s brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.

Australian media bid to justify spying angers Indonesia

By Mike Head, 20 December 2013

The Australian asserted that the tapping of the phones of President Yudhoyono and his closest associates was part of a legitimate strategy to monitor Jakarta’s ruling elite.

Thai military leaders support new election to resolve crisis

By John Roberts, 17 December 2013

The armed forces are far from united, with powerful military figures backing anti-government protesters.