Asia

Rohingya refugees face catastrophe in Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 31 May 2018

Despite hypocritical statements of concern by the major world powers, Rohingya are at risk from landslides, floods and epidemics this monsoon season.

New Malaysian government formed amid internal and global tensions

By John Roberts, 30 May 2018

Mahathir’s cabinet highlights the potential for conflict in the new coalition government.

Ex-Sri Lankan defence secretary calls for brutal big business regime

By Pani Wijesiriwardane, 29 May 2018

Gotabhaya Rajapakse is appealing to the ruling elite in preparation for the establishment of an even more authoritarian government.

War danger remains despite North and South Korean leaders holding second summit

By Ben McGrath, 28 May 2018

Trump’s cancellation of his summit with Kim was designed to wring further concessions from Pyongyang, while sending a warning to China.

Indian port workers to walk out, 30,000 municipal workers remain on strike in Haryana state

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 May 2018

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Trump calls off summit with North Korea

By James Cogan, 25 May 2018

Even as it threatens nuclear war, the Trump administration has not given up on trying to draw North Korea into a rapprochement.

Fearful of widening mass anger over police shootings

Indian authorities shut down polluting copper plant in Tuticorin

By Deepal Jayasekera, 25 May 2018

Sections of the ruling elite fear the police attacks in Tuticorin will fuel already volatile social tensions across India.

Trump offers North Korea “incremental” denuclearisation ahead of planned summit

By James Cogan, 23 May 2018

Trump and the South Korean president both exuded optimism that talks would ultimately proceed on US terms, even if not on June 12.

Sri Lankan filmmaker Lester James Peries dies at 99

By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 23 May 2018

Peries’s best films, like the great dramas directed by India’s Satyajit Ray and Japan’s Akira Kurosawa, have left their mark on Asian and world cinema.

Bangladesh students demonstrate over job quota system

By Wimal Perera, 19 May 2018

Protesting students face government repression, severe unemployment and lack of facilities.

US blames China for renewed tensions with North Korea

By James Cogan, 18 May 2018

Citing the “Libyan model,” Trump implied that North Korea would face “total decimation” if no agreement is reached.

India: Varanasi flyover bridge collapse kills 18

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 May 2018

The tragedy is a further indication that government authorities and construction companies are endangering the safety of workers and the public as a whole.

Japan maneuvering to prevent being left out on North Korean negotiations

By Ben McGrath, 17 May 2018

Japan is trying to justify ongoing military pressure on North Korea, and ultimately China, in the event of an agreement between Pyongyang and Washington.

Sri Lankan government imposes IMF-dictated increases on essential items

By Saman Gunadasa, 17 May 2018

The deeply-divided government has become a virtual prisoner of the IMF and its social austerity demands.

Thousands of Sri Lankan fishermen protest over fuel price rises

By our correspondents, 17 May 2018

Boycotts and strike action by fishermen are another expression of a growing anti-government movement of Sri Lankan workers and the poor.

North Korea denounces US “provocation” and threatens to cancel talks with Trump

By James Cogan, 16 May 2018

The Trump administration has, to a great extent, boxed both itself and North Korea into a corner.

Union sellout facilitates South Korean General Motors restructuring plans

By Ben McGrath, 16 May 2018

The KMWU isolated workers and forced through the approval of an agreement enabling a pro-business restructuring by the auto corporation.

India’s BJP government creates new category of workers who can be fired at will

By Kranti Kumara, 16 May 2018

Even the appellation “fixed-term employment” is a misnomer, since an employer can terminate a worker’s contract at any time and without providing a rupee in severance pay.

Machines: An unflinching look at an Indian textile mill

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 May 2018

Rahul Jain’s austere but effective documentary focuses on one of the hundreds of textile plants in Gujarat state on India’s west coast.

The JVP’s empty posturing over Sri Lanka’s executive presidency

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 14 May 2018

The campaign is a ploy to divert the growing social opposition of workers, rural poor and youth to the government and the capitalist system.

Delivery drivers strike in China, Korean Airline pilots and workers demand dismissal of company chairman

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 May 2018

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Japan, China and South Korea hold talks on North Korea and trade

By Ben McGrath, 11 May 2018

While North Korea dominated the summit, concerns over US protectionist measures may result in improved relations between the three Asian neighbors.

Malaysian election: A political shock in South East Asia

By John Roberts, 11 May 2018

The ousting of the 61-year UMNO-led government will have ramifications beyond Malaysia.

Sri Lankan president makes anxious calls for political unity

By K. Ratnayake, 9 May 2018

Sirisena’s speech was a response to deep divisions within his unstable government and deepening working class opposition to its social austerity measures.

Oppose Sri Lanka’s National Defence University Act! No privatisation of education!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Sri Lanka), 8 May 2018

The legislation is a further move toward the privatisation of higher education and increased militarisation of the country.

The Maruti Suzuki workers and the re-emergence of class struggle across South Asia

By Wije Dias, 7 May 2018

Wije Dias, general secretary of the Sri Lankan section of the ICFI, and a veteran Trotskyist of more than 50 years standing, spoke from Colombo to the ICFI’s International Online May Day Rally.

Chinese construction workers and crane operators protest on May Day

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 May 2018

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Despite government ban, Sri Lankan SEP and IYSSE hold successful May Day meeting

By our correspondents, 3 May 2018

Workers, youths, professionals and housewives, as well as Tamil-speaking residents from Jaffna and plantation workers from the central hills, attended the meeting.

International Monetary Fund demands Sri Lankan government cut fuel subsidies

By Saman Gunadasa, 2 May 2018

Despite rising discontent, the IMF has threatened to stop a scheduled loan payment.

Income inequality worsening in Bangladesh

By Sujeewa Amaranath, 1 May 2018

Official statistics contradict World Bank and the Bangladeshi government claims of “remarkable progress in poverty reduction.”

Trump to meet North Korean leader in “three or four weeks”

By James Cogan, 30 April 2018

Any talks could entirely break down over the definition of “denuclearisation” and a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”

Indian Stalinist congress opts for alliance with big business Congress Party

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 30 April 2018

The corporate media has almost universally welcomed the CPM’s overture to the Congress, calculating that it will strengthen the ruling elite against the working class.

SEP and IYSSE demonstrate against Sri Lankan government’s May Day ban

By our correspondents, 30 April 2018

Almost one hundred SEP and IYSSE members and supporters participated in Friday’s picket, denouncing the government ban and other anti-democratic attacks.

Trump lauds “declaration for peace” on Korean Peninsula

By James Cogan, 28 April 2018

The political shift in barely two months—from ominous threats of war to the Korean leaders hugging each other—is a measure of the volatility produced by growing US-China tensions.

North and South Korea hold “peace” summit

By James Cogan, 27 April 2018

Any concrete development toward a rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula on US-dictated terms will be viewed with immense concern in Beijing.

Seychelles opposition alliance rejects India’s plans for military base

By Rohantha De Silva, 25 April 2018

India’s move to establish a military base in Seychelles is part of its drive for strategic dominance of the Indian Ocean.

Oppose the Sri Lankan government’s ban on May Day celebrations

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 25 April 2018

The SEP calls on all workers, oppressed people, youth, students and intellectuals to join it in protesting against this blatant attack on the democratic rights of the working class.

India’s BJP government imposes death penalty for child rape

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 24 April 2018

The BJP ordinance is an attempt to divert attention from the role its leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have played in shielding those who raped and murdered an eight-year-old Muslim girl.

Australian and Chinese navy ships reportedly face off in the South China Sea

By Gary Alvernia, 24 April 2018

International media outlets gave the incident prominent coverage, depicting it as a “Chinese challenge” to Australian warships.

BJP leaders’ cover-up of rape and murder of Kashmiri Muslim girl provokes outrage across India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 20 April 2018

Asifa Bano was repeatedly raped, then killed in what police now concede was a conspiracy aimed at terrorizing and forcing the semi-nomadic Bakkarwal from Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua District.

Trump’s secret diplomacy with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 19 April 2018

The Trump administration senses the possibility of advancing US imperialism’s interests in Asia against its chief rivals, Russia and China, and potential competitors such as Japan.

SEP (Sri Lanka) calls May Day meeting in Colombo

By the Socialist Equality Party, 19 April 2018

In holding its public meeting on May 1, the SEP is opposing the government’s efforts to sabotage May Day celebrations.

Trump and Abe meet amid war and domestic crisis

By Peter Symonds, 18 April 2018

The two longstanding military allies—the US and Japan—are united in their determination to contain and confront China, but are increasingly at odds over the means for doing so.

Indian Stalinists at loggerheads over what right-wing course to follow

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 18 April 2018

At issue in the factional struggle is how to align with the Congress Party, until recently the Indian bourgeoisie’s preferred party of government.

Indian Trotskyists hold public meeting in Chennai against Internet censorship

By our correspondents, 16 April 2018

Speakers explained the connection between the attack on free speech, the drive to war and the rising struggles of the working class.

US and North Korean officials discuss Trump-Kim summit

By Peter Symonds, 14 April 2018

The cynical character of Trump’s decision to meet with Kim Jong-un is underscored by the fact that two militarists—Pompeo and Bolton—are in charge of preparing the summit.

Thousands of oil tanker drivers in Odisha, India to strike next week for higher pay

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 April 2018

The Odisha tanker drivers are employed by contractors for the state-owned oil corporations and are only paid about $US115 per month.

Malaysian parliament dissolved for snap general election

By John Roberts, 11 April 2018

The government is using every means at its disposal to undermine the opposition and reverse its poor results at the 2013 elections.

Japan activates first Marine brigade since World War II

By Peter Symonds, 10 April 2018

The new Marine brigade is not simply defensive in character but could be used during a Japanese war of aggression far from its shores.

Trump administration officials try to calm trade war fears

By Nick Beams, 9 April 2018

White House National Trade Council director Peter Navarro underscored the crucial importance of hi-tech development, both for US economic and military supremacy.

India: Modi government accelerates anti-worker privatization drive

By Kranti Kumara, 9 April 2018

A key aim of the privatization drive is to cut jobs, impose speed-ups, and further erode wages and working conditions, making India more attractive to investors.

Bangladesh garment workers jailed on bogus attempted murder charges

By Wimal Perera, 9 April 2018

The charges follow a series of provocations against workers at the Ashiana Garments plant, south of Dhaka.

Sri Lankan prime minister narrowly survives no-confidence resolution

By K. Ratnayake, 6 April 2018

The principal concern of the ruling elite is a growing financial crisis and the mounting working-class opposition to austerity measures.

Russia-Japan dispute over Kurils reflects mounting tensions in North East Asia

By Gary Alvernia, 5 April 2018

Russia is placing warplanes in the Kuril Islands in response to the Japanese government’s remilitarisation and US threats of war against North Korea.

April 8, public meeting in Chennai, India

Oppose Internet censorship! Defend freedom of speech!

By the supporters group of the ICFI in India, 3 April 2018

The supporters group of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) in India will hold a public meeting in Chennai on April 8 against Internet censorship.

Hundreds of Korean shipyard workers strike against wage and job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

31 March 2018

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North Korean leader holds unannounced talks in China

By Peter Symonds, 28 March 2018

Facing mounting threats from the Trump administration, China and North Korea are under pressure to mend an increasingly frosty relationship.

Sri Lanka records lowest economic growth in 16 years

By Saman Gunadasa, 28 March 2018

The IMF is insisting on an austerity program to further slash social and living conditions.

Scandal surrounding Japanese prime minister deepens

By Ben McGrath, 26 March 2018

The affair highlights the intimate connections between the government and far-right extremist groups like Nippon Kaigi.

Chinese president expounds on his nationalist “dream”

By Peter Symonds, 22 March 2018

Xi’s consolidation as China’s political strongman takes place amid growing US threats of trade war and war, as well as intense social tensions at home.

Maruti Suzuki workers hold protest demanding release of 13 framed-up colleagues

By Saman Gunadasa, 21 March 2018

The demonstration marked one year since Maruti Suzuki workers’ leaders were sentenced to life in prison on politically-motivated charges.

Seventy thousand Rohingya have fled Burma since “repatriation” agreement signed

By John Roberts, 21 March 2018

Last November’s agreement between Burma and Bangladesh was a ploy to deflect attention from the Burmese military’s ongoing pogrom against Muslim Rohingya.

Facebook and Sri Lankan government collaborate on social media censorship

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 20 March 2018

The Sri Lankan government is working with the giant social media corporation to establish greater political control of the Internet.

Australia-ASEAN summit held amid US-China tensions

By James Cogan, 19 March 2018

Australian Prime Minister Turnbull sought to draw more ASEAN members toward the anti-China orientation of the more openly US-aligned states.

Trump signs Taiwan Travel Act in new provocation against China

By Peter Symonds, 19 March 2018

The legislation upends decades of diplomatic protocol in which the US maintained only low-level contact with Taiwan.

A travesty of justice that must not stand!

One year since India’s courts condemned framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers to jail for life

By Keith Jones, 17 March 2018

The thirteen’s only “crime” is to have rebelled against the sweatshop conditions that prevail in India’s new, globally connected auto industry.

Sri Lankan workers’ inquiry meeting to announce findings on garbage disaster

By the Independent Workers Inquiry Committee, 17 March 2018

The meeting will discuss the political reasons for last April’s tragedy that killed more than 30 residents from Meethotamulla, a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Colombo.

Sri Lankan government continues to use draconian terror laws

By Minusha Fernando, 17 March 2018

A Human Rights Watch report reveals that torture and other brutal methods are still in use in Sri Lanka under President Maithripala Sirisena.

Forty thousand Indian railway workers march on parliament

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 March 2018

The workers were protesting against the introduction of a mandatory employee-contribution pension scheme.

Striking non-academic workers picket Sri Lankan universities

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 15 March 2018

While the strikers have shown their determination to expand their industrial action, the University Trade Unions Joint Committee is limiting the strike.

China’s NPC formally approves Xi’s indefinite rule

By Peter Symonds, 14 March 2018

The constitutional change removing the term limits on China’s president establishes a Bonapartist leader presiding over a regime confronting crises at home and abroad.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 March 2018

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Social media giants work with Indian government to censor Internet

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 8 March 2018

The Modi government’s measures are part of escalating efforts by governments around the world to silence political dissent.

North Korea offers to enter talks to denuclearise

By Peter Symonds, 7 March 2018

Trump reacted positively to the announcement of possible talks with North Korea, but maintained Washington’s threats against the Pyongyang regime.

China’s National People’s Congress to install Xi as political strongman

By Peter Symonds, 6 March 2018

The CCP rules through a police-state regime that is handing extraordinary powers to Xi, driven by fears it will confront mounting social unrest and the danger of war.

Sri Lanka university workers maintain indefinite strike as union backtracks

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 March 2018

The trade unions were compelled to call the industrial action as workers’ unrest grew.

US media airs pretexts for preemptive attack on North Korea

By James Cogan, 3 March 2018

Newspaper articles indicate that a war crime of historic dimensions is being prepared.

EU threats add to pressure on Maldives government

By Rohantha De Silva, 3 March 2018

The EU, US and India are intensifying efforts to undermine Chinese influence on the strategically located Indian Ocean island nation.

India’s highest court upholds life sentences for framed-up Pricol workers

By Kranti Kumara, 28 February 2018

There are striking parallels between the company-state frame-up of the Pricol workers and the victimization of Maruti Suzuki workers—13 of whom have been jailed for life.

Amid continuing crisis, Sri Lankan government leaders continue fragile coalition

By K. Ratnayake, 27 February 2018

The ruling coalition was on the point of breaking up before the US and India intervened to demand that the national unity government continue.

South Korean president holds talks with top North Korean officials

By Ben McGrath, 26 February 2018

North Korea has offered to hold talks with the US, but the Trump administration is insisting that Pyongyang must first demonstrate its willingness to denuclearise.

Trump uses Australian PM’s visit to threaten North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 24 February 2018

Trump warned that if sanctions on North Korea did not work he would move to “phase two,” which could be “a very rough thing.”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 February 2018

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Amid growing great power rivalry

Maldives political crisis deepens

By Rohantha De Silva, 23 February 2018

A strategically-located Indian Ocean archipelago, the Maldives has become a focal point of the increasingly explosive geopolitical competition between India and the US on one side, and China on the other.

Bangladesh opposition leader jailed for five years on corruption charges

By Rohantha De Silva, 22 February 2018

Prime Minister Sheik Hasina’s Awami League government is trying to bar Khaleda Zia from contesting the December elections.

The US signals tougher stance against Burma on Rohingya crisis

By John Roberts, 19 February 2018

Washington’s attitude to the humanitarian disaster is not determined by concern for the suffering of the Rohingya, but by its efforts to isolate China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 February 2018

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Thousands to be sacked at GM factory in South Korea

By Ben McGrath, 15 February 2018

General Motors is demanding additional cuts to auto workers’ wages and conditions as it threatens to pull out of South Korea entirely.

China boosts censorship of social media

By Robert Campion, 15 February 2018

The Chinese regime justifies censoring the Internet in terms that are indistinguishable from those of the US government and corporate giants such as Google and Facebook.

Top US intelligence official declares “decision time” on North Korea coming closer

By Peter Symonds, 14 February 2018

Amid speculation about talks between North and South Korea, the US Director of National Intelligence was skeptical that Pyongyang would negotiate away its nuclear weapons.

Japan’s ruling party pushing to end constraints on military

By Ben McGrath, 14 February 2018

While the constitution has not prevented Japan from building a military, Prime Minister Abe is working to remove all legal barriers to the aggressive pursuit of Japanese interests.

Opposition party wins Sri Lankan local council elections

By K. Ratnayake, 12 February 2018

The vote is another indication of the mounting opposition of workers, rural poor and the youth to the country’s coalition government.

Workers strike in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 February 2018

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Sri Lankan local elections: SEP holds public meetings in island’s north

By our correspondent, 9 February 2018

SEP candidates explained why an international socialist program is necessary to fight the government’s social austerity measures and attacks on democratic rights.

Earthquake hits Taiwan, killing eight people and injuring hundreds

By Eric Ludlow, 8 February 2018

Scores of people remain trapped in damaged buildings in Hualien, not far from the earthquake’s epicentre.

India strengthens ties with ASEAN countries

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 5 February 2018

Modi’s manoeuvres with ASEAN are part of India’s transformation into a frontline state in Washington’s strategic offensive against China.

Trump administration presses for more options for war on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 3 February 2018

Even as tensions appear to have eased on the Korean Peninsula with the Winter Olympics about to begin, the US is continuing its preparations for a military strike.

Seventy years after Sri Lankan independence: The record of capitalist decay and the necessity for socialism

By Vijith Samarasinghe and K. Ratnayake, 3 February 2018

Throughout the Indian subcontinent, there is no real independence from imperialism and the ruling classes have failed utterly to provide democratic rights and decent living standards for all.

India: First-ever visit by an Israeli PM used to strengthen strategic ties

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 27 January 2018

India’s burgeoning military-strategic partnership with Israel dovetails with its ever-more pronounced alignment with Washington and its principal Asian allies, Japan and Australia.

Chinese workers protest over “black lung” disease; Indian auto-parts workers demonstrate

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

27 January 2018

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