Asia

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.

Amid ongoing protests, Japan’s upper house to discuss military bills

By Ben McGrath, 27 July 2015

According to opinion polls, more than 60 percent of the population opposes security legislation that allows Japan to take part in US-led wars.

Socialist Equality Party campaigners win support in Sri Lanka’s plantation district

By our correspondents, 27 July 2015

SEP supporters spoke with workers and youth in the Nuwara Eliya district who expressed deep opposition to the establishment parties and the trade unions.

Further revelations in South Korean hacking scandal

By Ben McGrath, 25 July 2015

Suspicions that the NIS spied on political opponents continue to grow as more information comes to light.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 July 2015

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

Japanese government ramps up tensions with China

By Peter Symonds, 23 July 2015

By demanding a halt to China’s oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea, Tokyo is adding another potential flashpoint for conflict with Beijing.

Japan competes with China over port investment in Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 22 July 2015

In line with the US “pivot,” Japan hopes that its Bangladesh investments will boost its political weight in South Asia and undercut Chinese influence.

Veteran filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki denounces government plans to remilitarise Japan

By Richard Phillips, 21 July 2015

Miyazaki’s denunciations of the Abe government are another indication of widespread anti-war sentiment in Japan.

Chinese state banks commit $200 billion to stem market selloff

By Nick Beams, 20 July 2015

The massive bank intervention was one of a series of measures initiated by the government and financial authorities to halt the plunge in share values.

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.

South Korea’s intelligence agency purchased spyware from Hacking Team

By Ben McGrath, 16 July 2015

The latest revelation further underscores the anti-democratic character of the South Korean state and its spy agencies.

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.

Australian Greens senator talks of war with China

By James Cogan, 15 July 2015

Scott Ludlam epitomises the cynical manner in which a layer of the Greens occasionally pose as “left” and “anti-war.”

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.

Washington’s hypocritical denunciations of Chinese “land reclamation” in the South China Sea

By Oscar Grenfell, 14 July 2015

The outposts of Vietnam and other claimants in the region cover a far broader expanse than those of China.

Report urges closer US-Australian military collaboration against China

By Peter Symonds, 14 July 2015

The joint US-Australian think tank report documents the extent to which Australia has already become a major base of operations for the US military in Asia.

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.

Malaysian prime minister engulfed in corruption scandal

By John Roberts, 11 July 2015

The Wall Street Journal allegations have fanned a crisis that threatens Najib’s political position and could destabilise the ruling UMNO.

Obama welcomes Vietnam’s Communist Party head

By Peter Symonds, 10 July 2015

Trong’s very presence in the White House sends a strong message regarding Hanoi’s closer ties to Washington, directed against Beijing.

US lawyers argue Manila’s case against China in The Hague

By Joseph Santolan, 9 July 2015

The legal case, which aims to invalidate China’s territorial claim to the South China Sea, is part of Washington’s campaign against Beijing.

The significance of the Chinese stock market rout

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2015

The Chinese regime sought to create a social base of support in better-off sections of the middle class, which are now being hammered by the stock market plunge.

China’s share plunge casts lengthening shadow over global markets

By Nick Beams, 7 July 2015

The Chinese government has thrown the “kitchen sink” at the falling share market but to no avail.

Chinese government desperate to halt market slide

By Nick Beams, 6 July 2015

The Chinese central bank’s commitment to provide funds to financial markets indicates growing concern in government circles over the depth of the stock market fall.

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.

Chinese stocks continue to fall despite attempted counter-measures

By Nick Beams, 3 July 2015

The World Bank has again described the Chinese financial system as unbalanced and potentially unstable.

Ongoing tensions in South China Sea as Chinese-led investment bank formally launched

By Oliver Campbell, 2 July 2015

The establishment of the bank, a blow to US plans for hegemony in the Asia-Pacific, was accompanied by a ratcheting up of Washington’s campaign against China.

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.

Obama administration uses bilateral talks to ramp up pressure on China

By Oliver Campbell, 27 June 2015

The talks took place amid an escalation of Washington’s diplomatic, military and economic campaign against China.

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.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 June 2015

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

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.

MERS outbreak exposes South Korean government’s lack of preparation

By Ben McGrath, 23 June 2015

The spread of the virus has been compounded by a lack of preparation and measures for dealing with the sick.

Child suicides highlight growing social crisis in China

By Oliver Campbell, 22 June 2015

The apparent suicide deaths of four young children in the impoverished Guizhou province underscores the desperate plight facing millions of rural poor.

Japanese protests denounce new military legislation

By Ben McGrath, 20 June 2015

Thousands gathered over the weekend to oppose bills to expand the role of the armed forces and its capacity to wage war.

Delay on TPP prompts warnings to US from Asia

By Nick Beams, 19 June 2015

The US has received a blunt warning about shifting relations in Asia from Singapore’s foreign minister.

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.

Philippines: Maoist union leads Tanduay contract workers toward defeat

By Dante Pastrana, 15 June 2015

More than 200 contractual workers at the Tanduay Distillery plant are waging a desperate struggle to regain their jobs after being sacked for seeking to regularise their employment.

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.

Death toll rises following ferry sinking in China

By Ben McGrath, 6 June 2015

Details of safety violations have emerged after one of the worst maritime disasters in China’s recent history.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 June 2015

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

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.

Philippine Maoists support US war drive against China

By Joseph Santolan, 5 June 2015

BAYAN and the CPP have worked to whip up anti-Chinese nationalism, denouncing China as an “imperialist” power poised to invade the Philippines.

Philippine President Aquino compares China to Nazi Germany

By Joseph Santolan, 4 June 2015

The Philippines is playing a crucial role in Washington’s ratcheting up of military pressure on Beijing.

South Korean teachers union faces ban

By Ben McGrath, 4 June 2015

The anti-democratic court ruling is designed to prevent teachers and other public employees from voicing their political opinions.

US defence secretary challenges China at Singapore security forum

By Peter Symonds, 30 May 2015

Ashton Carter demanded that China halt its “unprecedented” land reclamation in the South China Sea and declared the US would continue its provocative overflights.

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.

Protests in Japan denounce US military presence

By Ben McGrath, 27 May 2015

Numerous rallies have been held recently, on Okinawa and elsewhere in Japan, against the planned relocation of a US Marine base on the island.

Agreement signed on China-backed investment bank

By Nick Beams, 23 May 2015

Tensions over the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank surfaced again this week when Japan announced it would provide $110 billion for infrastructure investment.

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.

Police crackdown on protest in western China

By Ben McGrath, 22 May 2015

The demonstration over plans to re-route a planned rail line away from Linshui county highlights the worsening social crisis in many areas of China.

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 Modi woos and warns China

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 21 May 2015

Overshadowing Modi’s entire visit was the heightening of tensions across the Indo-Pacific region as a result of Washington’s “pivot to Asia.”

US secretary of state berates North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 20 May 2015

Kerry used his trip to South Korea to deepen military ties, supposedly in order to counter the threat posed by North Korea.

Second major quake in Nepal deepens political crisis

By W.A. Sunil, 18 May 2015

Nepal was hit on Tuesday by a 7.3 magnitude after-shock that killed over 125 people, injured more than 2,300 and destroyed hundreds of homes.

Controversy erupts over American B1 bomber deployments to Australia

By James Cogan, 16 May 2015

Above all, the denials surrounding US war plans against China are directed at keeping the working class in the dark about the dangers of conflict.

Thai military sends boat carrying hundreds of Rohingya refugees “out to sea”

By Thomas Gaist, 16 May 2015

The savage treatment of the Rohingya migrants is an acute manifestation of a growing international refugee crisis comparable in scale and brutality to that produced by World War II.

Closer Chinese-Russian ties on display in Moscow

By Peter Symonds, 15 May 2015

The Chinese President Xi was given pride of place, seated alongside Russian President Putin, during the military parade through Red Square to mark the end of World War II.

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.

China’s Xi meets head of Taiwan’s Kuomintang

By Ben McGrath, 8 May 2015

Xi Jinping and Eric Chu met to discuss collaboration as Taiwan seeks to join international trade agreements and China’s AIIB.

Thailand’s draft constitution enshrines dictatorship

By Tom Peters, 6 May 2015

The junta’s constitution would ensure that the military and the courts maintain control of the country.

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.