Asia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

South Korean auto unions hold token strikes

By Ben McGrath, 26 August 2014

Employees of South Korea’s two largest auto manufacturers walked off the job last Friday for four hours.

Thai coup leader installed as prime minister

By Tom Peters, 23 August 2014

The installation of General Prayuth indicates that the junta is entrenching itself and intends to rule directly, rather than through a quasi-civilian government.

US condemns China over close aerial encounter

By Peter Symonds, 23 August 2014

The Chinese intercept of a US spy plane took place 200 kilometres from Hainan Island, home to sensitive Chinese air and naval bases.

Philippine Supreme Court controversy: A revealing glimpse into Washington’s machinations

By Joseph Santolan, 22 August 2014

The entire Jardeleza affair reveals the colonial-level control which Washington exercises over Philippine politics, over Manila’s legal case against China in particular.

Sri Lankan unions call off health workers’ strike

By our correspondents, 22 August 2014

By ending the strike, the heath unions have demonstrated that they function as agents of the government against workers.

Sri Lankan Central Bank chief covers up debt crisis warnings

By Saman Gunadasa, 20 August 2014

The Rajapakse government is frantically borrowing, at high interest rates, to sustain “economic growth.”

US war drive in Asia continues apace

By Peter Symonds, 16 August 2014

Even as the US engages in provocations against Russia and in the Middle East, the Obama administration is proceeding with its “pivot to Asia” against China.

Court in Cambodia convicts two former Khmer Rouge leaders

By John Roberts, 16 August 2014

The court proceedings were designed to cover up the crimes of the major powers, above all the US, in Indo-China.

Signs of serious problems in Chinese and Japanese economies

By Nick Beams, 15 August 2014

The sharp slowdown in credit expansion in China and the contraction in Japan will impact on the world economy.

Pakistani opposition parties launch anti-government protest

By Sampath Perera, 15 August 2014

The so-called “Freedom March” is demanding Prime Minister Sharif’s resignation and the formation of an unelected interim government.

US stokes South China Sea tensions at ASEAN summit

By Peter Symonds, 11 August 2014

The US proposals were not designed to ease tensions in the region, but rather were aimed at painting China as the aggressor.

Japan’s defence white paper targets China

By Peter Symonds, 9 August 2014

The Abe government is exploiting the “China threat” to press ahead with plans for Japanese remilitarisation.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold public meeting in Colombo on world war threats

9 August 2014

The SEP meeting will discuss the imperialist war drive and the fight for socialism.

Fifty years since the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

By Patrick Martin, 7 August 2014

The US Congress voted near unanimously to authorize open-ended military action in Vietnam after a falsified account of supposed clashes between US naval warships and North Vietnamese PT boats in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Influential Washington think tank pushes US war drive in the South China Sea

By Joseph Santolan, 2 August 2014

The worsening tensions in the South China Sea have been fueled at every turn by Washington, with the CSIS think tank playing a leading role.

Indonesian election conflict continues, but financial markets set agenda

By John Roberts, 18 July 2014

Regardless of which candidate is declared the winner next week, the global markets are dictating sweeping restructuring and austerity measures.

South Korean government voices concern over Japanese “collective self-defense”

By Ben McGrath, 12 July 2014

While the militarization of Japan is currently targeted at China, it is alarming Seoul, a key ally of the United States.

Indonesian presidential election produces disputed result

By John Roberts, 11 July 2014

With both Widodo and Prabowo claiming victory, weeks of political uncertainty, court challenges and social unrest could lie ahead.

Sri Lankan government to deport Pakistani and Afghan refugees

By W. A. Sunil, 11 July 2014

The Rajapakse government’s decision is a blatant violation of democratic rights and international law.

UN appoints panel for inquiry into Sri Lankan human rights violations

By W. A. Sunil, 5 July 2014

The UNHRC probe into alleged war crimes signals intensifying US-led Western pressure on Colombo.

Three Philippine Senators arraigned on corruption charges

By Dante Pastrana, 5 July 2014

President Benigno Aquino III’s anti-corruption campaign is in reality a drive to crush opposition in any section of government to his sharp turn toward US imperialism.

Sri Lankan minister confirms Australia’s handover of Tamil refugees

By Mike Head, 4 July 2014

The forced transfer of asylum seekers to the Sri Lankan navy is an attack on basic democratic rights, as well as a blatant violation of international law.

China-Vietnam talks fail to end tensions over oil rig

By Ben McGrath, 24 June 2014

As part of its “pivot to Asia,” the US has deliberately stoked territorial disputes between China and its neighbours, including Vietnam.

Dilapidated, overcrowded public schools in the Philippines

By Dante Pastrana, 20 June 2014

An estimated 21 million students are crammed, in shifts, into buildings that are falling apart, lacking facilities, chairs, textbooks or even chalk.