Asia

Sri Lankan government deploys army to break oil workers’ strike

By Shree Haran and W. A. Sunil, 27 July 2017

The government’s turn to military repression is aimed at intimidating the entire working class.

US accuses China of unsafe mid-air encounter

By Peter Symonds, 26 July 2017

The incident involving a US spy plane and Chinese fighters highlights the acute tensions generated by Washington’s repeated threats to attack North Korea.

Independent Inquiry Committee holds meeting on Sri Lankan garbage dump collapse

By our correspondent, 26 July 2017

The Independent Workers’ Inquiry called by the SEP will expose the class roots of the Meethotamulla disaster and the culpability of successive governments.

In landslide vote, Philippine legislature extends martial law

By Joseph Santolan, 25 July 2017

The wholesale embrace of martial law by the Filipino ruling elites is a sharp expression of the crisis of class rule around the globe amid intensifying class tensions.

India: Stalinist-backed “common opposition” candidate crashes out in presidential election

By Deepal Jayasekera, 25 July 2017

The Stalinists parties have responded to the Indian ruling elite’s embrace of social reaction by redoubling their efforts to subordinate workers to the political establishment.

Rampant dengue epidemic in Sri Lanka

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 25 July 2017

Public health service cuts have resulted in poor sanitation and preventive measures, creating breeding grounds for dengue fever and other diseases.

South Korea extends deadline for talks with the North

By Ben McGrath, 24 July 2017

Seoul has reassured Washington that its proposal is not meant to undermine the larger demand for the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

Top leadership contender in China abruptly ousted

By Peter Symonds, 20 July 2017

Sun Zhengcai was removed as party boss of Chongqing and replaced by a trusted protégé of President Xi Jinping.

Three months after the Meethotamulla disaster in Sri Lanka

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 19 July 2017

The government’s callous disregard for the plight of thousands of victims of the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse is a sharp warning to the working class as a whole.

Indian-US-Japanese naval exercises in Indian Ocean target China

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 July 2017

India’s hosting of the Malabar exercises is part of its integration into the US military-strategic offensive against China.

South Korea proposes military talks with North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 18 July 2017

Seoul’s offer is likely to aggravate differences with Washington, which were largely papered over during the summit between the leaders of the two countries last month.

China establishes military base in Djibouti

By Peter Symonds, 17 July 2017

China’s military involvement in Africa takes place amid rising geo-political rivalries that threaten its considerable investment in, and trade with, Africa.

Police kill young worker in northern Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 14 July 2017

The shooting is not an accident but another manifestation of the ongoing police and military repression of Tamil residents in the war-torn northern region.

US threatens China over North Korean sanctions

By Peter Symonds, 13 July 2017

The Trump administration is preparing secondary sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals even as it demands Beijing’s support for far tougher UN bans on North Korea.

Modi visit consolidates Indo-Israeli military-strategic partnership

By Deepal Jayasekera, 13 July 2017

Modi’s visit, the first by an Indian prime minister to Israel, was capped by an agreement to expand military-security cooperation.

Sri Lankan government appeases Buddhist hierarchy

By K. Ratnayake, 11 July 2017

The government is resorting to Sinhala Buddhist supremacism amid a deepening political crisis stemming from widespread opposition to its austerity measures.

US strategic bombers conduct provocative drill near North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 10 July 2017

The military exercise involving US B1-B bombers just before the G20 summit, was aimed at pressuring all countries, especially China, to take tough action against North Korea.

Japan’s ruling party trounced in Tokyo regional election

By Ben McGrath, 7 July 2017

The election is regarded as a barometer of national political sentiment, showing falling support for the Abe government.

Ahead of G20 summit

US exploits North Korean missile test to threaten war and isolate China

By James Cogan, 6 July 2017

The Trump administration is returning to the bellicose anti-China stance that characterised his campaign in the presidential election.

North Korean missile launch intensifies war danger

By Peter Symonds, 5 July 2017

Washington, not Pyongyang, is primarily responsible for creating the explosive situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Japanese PM plans to submit constitutional revisions this year

By Ben McGrath, 5 July 2017

Prime Minister Abe’s plan has upset some within his party who feel the changes do not go far enough in removing restrictions on the military.

Socialist Equality Party holds public meeting on Sri Lankan floods disaster

By our correspondents, 5 July 2017

The meeting discussed the recent catastrophe, which killed at least 300 people, and the other social disasters created by the capitalist class.

India and China trade war threats amid border stand-off

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 4 July 2017

India and China have rushed troops to a remote border region, in what is widely being described as the worst stand-off between the two countries since they fought a war in 1962.

Trump’s frosty phone call with Chinese President Xi

By Peter Symonds, 4 July 2017

Trump is adopting a more confrontational stance toward China in an effort to pressure Beijing to force North Korea to bow to US demands.

US warship intrudes into Chinese-claimed waters in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2017

The US naval provocation, following the approval of a large arms deal with Taiwan and US sanctions on Chinese companies, heightens the risk of war with China.

South Korean president aligns with US war plans against North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 3 July 2017

With his election out of the way, President Moon sought to reassure Washington that he remained committed to the military alliance.

Photo Essay—Sri Lanka: The housing crisis and Colombo’s poor

By Shantan Kumarasamy and Panini Wijesiriwardane, 3 July 2017

A photo essay on the conditions of life for the many thousands living in makeshift housing around Colombo.

US threatens war with North as South Korean president arrives in Washington

By James Cogan, 30 June 2017

Moon Jae-in, far from seeking to curb Washington’s threats, has fallen into line with the steady build-up toward confrontation with North Korea.

Trump and Modi trumpet Indo-US “strategic convergence”

By Deepal Jayasekera, 28 June 2017

India is increasingly serving as a frontline state in US imperialism’s strategic confrontation with China.

Over 150 people die in oil tanker explosion in Pakistan

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 27 June 2017

In an exercise in political damage control, the prime minister expressed his “sympathy” for the victims and announced compensation for the families of the dead and injured.

Lawyer for framed up Maruti Suzuki workers: The court “committed violence” to the “principles” of law

By our correspondents, 27 June 2017

Rebecca John, who represented the Maruti Suzuki workers in the final stages of their four-and-a-half-year-long court case, spoke with the WSWS last month as she completed work on an appeal.

Ex-CIA chief calls for “firm” Australian action against China

By Mike Head, 26 June 2017

David Petraeus’ appearance at the Liberal Party dinner was the latest intervention into Australian politics by visiting senior figures within the US military-intelligence complex.

Floods devastate Bangladesh and parts of India, killing more than 185

By Rohantha De Silva, 26 June 2017

Those most affected are the rural poor, low-wage workers and rickshaw pullers living in flood- and landslide-prone areas, where living costs are relatively low.

Sri Lankan free trade zone workers call for release of Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 23 June 2017

Workers at Sri Lanka’s oldest and largest free trade zone condemn the frameup and jailing of Indian autoworkers and call for a united international campaign.

US demands “much greater” Chinese pressure on North Korea, or else

By Peter Symonds, 22 June 2017

While continuing to press China over North Korea, the Trump administration is warning that the US will resort to other measures—including military action—if there are no results.

South Korean president tries to smooth disagreements with Washington

By Ben McGrath, 22 June 2017

Seoul has suggested reaching out to Pyongyang as the US ramps up pressure on North Korea.

Trump takes another step towards war with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 21 June 2017

By declaring that Chinese pressure on Pyongyang has “not worked out,” Trump is left with few options but to launch reckless military attacks on North Korea.

Infighting in Tamil party signifies deep political crisis in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 21 June 2017

Factional clashes within the Tamil elite have nothing to do with defending democratic rights but are tactical differences over how best to advance their own interests.

On-the-Spot from New Delhi

Lawyer for Maruti Suzuki workers denounces frame-up

By our correspondents, 21 June 2017

“The police were not looking for suspects,” senior advocate Rebecca John told the WSWS. “They were only interested in rounding up as many workers as possible.”

South Korean president offers phony welfare pledges

By Ben McGrath, 20 June 2017

The new government’s promises are a smokescreen to obscure its pro-capitalist policies, counter mounting discontent and prevent the eruption of social unrest.

US ex-basketballer heads to North Korea to “open door”

By Peter Symonds, 15 June 2017

Given the accelerating US confrontation with North Korea, the chances that Rodman’s visit can open meaningful talks between the two countries appear remote.

China, Japan take tentative steps to revive relations

By Kurt Brown, 14 June 2017

China’s top foreign policy official held three days of talks with senior Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

India and Pakistan admitted to Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 14 June 2017

Despite India and Pakistan becoming full SCO members, there has been no de-escalation of war tensions between the two nuclear-armed South Asian rivals.

Indian authorities seek to imprison more Maruti Suzuki workers on frame-up charges

By Shannon Jones, 13 June 2017

The Haryana state government is appealing the acquittal of 117 Maruti Suzuki workers on bogus charges and demanding harsher sentences for 18 other workers.

South Korea delays THAAD battery installation

By Ben McGrath, 13 June 2017

Washington is concerned that the new government in Seoul is pursuing closer relations with China.

Four years since the Rana Plaza disaster

Bangladesh apparel workers still confront appalling conditions

By Sarath Kumara, 13 June 2017

Four years after the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, garment workers continue to labour in unsafe conditions for very low wages.

India: Madhya Pradesh police shoot protesting farmers

By Deepal Jayasekera, 9 June 2017

Mass demonstrations by farmers are intensifying the crisis of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

Following new UN sanctions, North Korea tests more missiles

By Peter Symonds, 8 June 2017

A US nuclear-powered attack submarine docked in South Korea on Tuesday—the latest step in Washington’s military build-up near the Korean Peninsula.

Sri Lankan flood victims denounce government response to disaster

By our correspondents, 8 June 2017

Flood and landslide survivors say they have not received adequate emergency food supplies and fear destitution.

Sri Lankan students demand release of framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 7 June 2017

Kelaniya University students denounced the jailing of the Indian autoworkers and supported the international campaign to free them.

Floods in Sri Lanka: Government responsible for another social disaster

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 5 June 2017

The deaths and human suffering are results of the callous disregard for the lives of ordinary people by successive governments dedicated to defending the profit system.

Political lessons of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in China

By James Cogan, 5 June 2017

Each year, the Stalinist regime mobilises its police state apparatus to prevent any commemoration of the massacre, which was aimed at suppressing a potentially revolutionary movement of the Chinese working class.

Shangri La Dialogue: US Defence Secretary, Australian PM threaten North Korea, China

By Peter Symonds, 3 June 2017

The premier Asian strategic conference is taking place as the US threatens war against North Korea and continues its relentless military build-up.

Silence in the Courts—a film about judicial corruption in Sri Lanka

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 3 June 2017

Prasanna Vithanage’s documentary deals with the sexual assault of two village women by a magistrate and the subsequent cover-up.

Terror scare inflames martial law crisis in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 2 June 2017

Over 22 million Filipinos on the southern island of Mindanao have been living under conditions of military dictatorship for the past week.

Germany turns to Asia

By Johannes Stern, 1 June 2017

In the midst of a historic crisis in transatlantic relations, Berlin is working systematically to expand political and economic ties with Asia.

Sri Lankan government claims EU tariff facility will solve economic ills

By Saman Gunadasa, 1 June 2017

The GSP+ will not resolve the problems facing the economy, but will result in further attacks on workers’ wages, conditions and basic rights.

Senator John McCain visits Australia to reinforce US alliance

By James Cogan, 31 May 2017

McCain issued appeals and warnings to the Australian ruling class not to deviate from its strategic alignment with the US.

US anti-missile test sends warning to North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 31 May 2017

The successful interception of a dummy ICBM demonstrates to North Korea and also China that the US can launch a nuclear attack and counter any attempt to retaliate.

Thousands of workers on strike at Freeport mine in Papua

By Oscar Grenfell, 31 May 2017

The industrial action at the second-largest copper mine in the world reflects mounting social unrest in Indonesia.

Japanese government pushes “anti-conspiracy” laws through lower house

By Gary Alvernia, 30 May 2017

Defying public opposition, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing ahead with the bill that defines 277 types of crimes to which criminal conspiracy can apply.

North Korea tests missile as US deploys third aircraft carrier

By James Cogan, 29 May 2017

The test follow steps by the US and its allies that would have heightened fears in the North Korean regime of the possibility of attack.

Over 150 dead and half a million displaced in Sri Lankan floods

By our correspondents, 29 May 2017

While flooding and landslides are annual events, successive governments have failed to develop any serious mitigation measures or emergency responses.

War clouds over South Asia

By Keith Jones, 27 May 2017

South Asia is becoming more and more geo-politically polarized between an India allied with US imperialism and a Pakistan backed by Beijing.

Sri Lanka: SEP holds meeting and picket in Hatton for release of Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 27 May 2017

Plantation workers, youth and housewives from Hatton and plantation estates participated in the SEP campaign.

Political tensions in Indonesia after jailing of Jakarta governor

By John Roberts, 27 May 2017

Basuki has withdrawn an appeal over his jail sentence in line with ruling elite concerns about possible unrest generated by intense social divisions.

US warship carries out “freedom of navigation” exercise in Chinese-claimed waters

By James Cogan, 26 May 2017

China’s foreign ministry said the move “undermined China’s sovereignty and security,” and risked causing “unexpected air and sea accidents.”

Moody’s downgrades China’s debt rating

By Nick Beams, 26 May 2017

The sharp reaction of the Chinese finance ministry to the Moody’s downgrade decision signifies that that economic and political contradictions facing the Xi Jinping regime are increasing.

Indian establishment lauds military’s use of Kashmiri youth as “human shield”

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 24 May 2017

Predictably the military’s announcement that it would convene a court of inquiry to investigate the incident has proven to be a cruel joke.

Sri Lankan plantation unions embrace Indian prime minister

By R. Shreeharan, 23 May 2017

The Sri Lankan government spent about 20 million rupees on buses and other expenses to transport workers from the central hills plantations to a meeting with Modi.

UN Security Council to meet again after North Korea missile test

By James Cogan, 22 May 2017

The test followed actions by the US and its allies that would only have heightened the North Korean regime’s fears about an imminent military assault.

Another undercover report of super-exploitation in China’s iPhone factories

By Robert Campion, 22 May 2017

A student exposes some of the horrendous working conditions enforced by the Beijing regime, on behalf of conglomerates such as Apple.

Japanese government exploits Korean crisis to whip up war scares

By Gary Alvernia, 20 May 2017

Post-war Japanese governments have attempted for decades to find ways around the limitations on military force in the constitution.

Indian prime minister visits Sri Lanka to strengthen ties

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 19 May 2017

Modi arrived after India and the US expressed concerns about the Colombo government’s economic ties with Beijing.

North Korea accused of cyber attacks in mounting demonisation campaign

By James Cogan, 18 May 2017

A propaganda campaign is underway in the US and international media that is ominously reminiscent of the 2002-2003 hysteria over Iraq and “weapons of mass destruction.”

The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers—Part 5: Judge Goyal mangles the law to sustain the legal vendetta

By Eric London and Keith Jones, 18 May 2017

Far from constituting a blow for justice, the court’s exoneration of 117 of the accused workers was a maneuver aimed at sustaining the legal vendetta against the principal accused—the leaders of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union.

Sri Lanka: IMF orders government to speed up austerity measures

By Saman Gunadasa, 17 May 2017

The IMF has delayed a scheduled loan payment until the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government fully implements the bank’s austerity demands.

China hosts international launch of One Belt, One Road initiative

By Nick Beams, 16 May 2017

In launching the initiative, Chinese president Xi Jinping emphasised the need for “win-win co-operation,” but there are significant tensions surrounding the project.

India intensifies repression in Kashmir

By Kranti Kumara and Wasantha Rupasinghe, 16 May 2017

India’s former National Security Advisor has warned that the ruling elite has lost control of the situation in Kashmir, with unarmed youth repeatedly risking their lives to impede security operations.

US, South Korea emphasise alliance after North Korean missile test

By Ben McGrath, 15 May 2017

Concerns persist in Washington that the new Moon administration in Seoul could undermine attempts to pressure Pyongyang.

Burmese government rejects international inquiry into anti-Rohingya pogrom

By John Roberts, 15 May 2017

Suu Kyi’s rejection of any scrutiny of the treatment of the Rohingya minority points to the geopolitical interests that govern relations between Burma and the West.

India: ICFI supporters hold May Day meeting in Bangalore

By our correspondents, 12 May 2017

The event was part of the Trotskyist movement’s commemoration of the centenary of the October 1917 Revolution.

Sri Lankan prime minister strengthens ties with US allies

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 11 May 2017

Despite seeking Chinese investment, the government remains committed to the provocative US-led military build-up in the region.

Democrat Moon Jae-in wins South Korean presidential election

By Ben McGrath, 10 May 2017

Backed by sections of the ruling class, Moon’s election is aimed at defusing widespread concern over social inequality and war, and blocking any movement against the profit system.

SEP (Sri Lanka) calls for workers’ inquiry into Meethotamulla garbage dump disaster

By the Socialist Equality Party, 9 May 2017

The Socialist Equality Party will initiate an independent working class investigation into the April 14 catastrophe that killed 32 people and displaced over 150 families.

South Korean presidential frontrunner stresses agreement with Trump

By Ben McGrath, 8 May 2017

On the eve of South Korea’s election, DPK candidate Moon Jae-in is attempting to placate fears in Washington that he will cut across war plans in the region.

Japanese PM plans to remove constitutional shackles on the military by 2020

By Peter Symonds, 8 May 2017

Abe is seeking to modify Article 9 of Japan’s constitution, which nominally renounces war as a means of settling international disputes and vows never to maintain military forces.

US show of force intensifies pressure on North Korea and China

By Mike Head, 5 May 2017

Two military displays in two days have escalated the tensions on the Korean Peninsula produced by the Trump administration’s threats of military action.

“There is an air of worker rebellion in India and China”

A conversation with Professor Immanuel Ness on the Maruti Suzuki workers

By Jerry White, 4 May 2017

Brooklyn College Professor Immanuel Ness, who has written extensively on the class struggle in India, was part of a team that investigated the persecution of the Maruti Suzuki workers.

SEP Sri Lankan May Day meeting discusses threat of world war and lessons of Russian Revolution

By our correspondents, 4 May 2017

The central theme of the Colombo meeting was the struggle to mobilise the working class on the basis of socialist internationalism against the drive to war.

US sends B-1 strategic bombers over South Korea

By Peter Symonds, 3 May 2017

The US military build-up has raised tensions on the Korean Peninsula to fever pitch, threatening to trigger a devastating conflict.

May Day 2017

Defend the 13 framed-up Indian Maruti Suzuki workers

By Keith Jones, 3 May 2017

The Maruti Suzuki workers have been framed-up and sentenced to life imprisonment through a conspiracy between the company, the police, the courts and India’s main parties.

Trump suggests talks while preparing for war with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 2 May 2017

Trump’s offer to meet Kim Jong-un is effectively an ultimatum: accept US terms for negotiations or confront the prospect of war.

South Korean election candidates back US war preparations

By Ben McGrath, 2 May 2017

Widespread opposition to the THAAD antiballistic missile battery and the drive to war can find no expression in the presidential contest.

Trump invites Philippine President Duterte to the White House

By Joseph Santolan, 2 May 2017

As part of the advanced preparations for war with North Korea, Trump has called the Philippine president with an invitation for a state visit to Washington.

May Day 2017

The fight for international socialism in South Asia

By Wije Dias, 2 May 2017

The region is caught up in the whirlpool of geo-political tensions produced by the drive towards another imperialist war, amid rising class struggle.

Sri Lanka: Jaffna picket demands release of framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 1 May 2017

Jaffna workers, youth, fishermen and housewives joined an SEP/IYSSE picket and public meeting to protest the witch-hunt and jailing of Indian autoworkers.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 April 2017

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

Trump threatens “major conflict” with North Korea

By Mike Head, 28 April 2017

The US president invoked the danger of war, while claiming to be seeking a diplomatic solution to the Korean crisis.

Sri Lanka SEP holds picket in Jaffna to free Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 28 April 2017

Despite the anti-democratic intervention of student union leaders, most Jaffna University students supported the campaign.