Asia

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.

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.