Sri Lanka

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.

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.

NSSP leader denounces Sri Lankan doctors’ strikes as “medical terrorism”

By K. Ratnayake, 22 July 2017

NSSP leader Wickremabahu Karunaratne is backing the police repression of protests and strikes by Sri Lankan workers and youth.

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.

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.

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.

Australian government summarily deports more Sri Lankan refugees

By Max Newman, 11 July 2017

Six asylum seekers were captured by the Australian Navy and forcibly deported to face possible torture and imprisonment.

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.

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.

Sri Lankan police attack protesting students

By Kapila Fernando, 24 June 2017

On the orders of the government, police severely beat and baton-charged demonstrators inside the health ministry building.

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.

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.

Sri Lankan plantation unions help companies impose “share-cropping” system

By M. Thevarajah, 17 June 2017

The so-called revenue-sharing system will slash plantation workers’ already poverty-level living conditions and hard-won social rights.

Sri Lankan government calls for police “action” against anti-Muslim violence

By K. Ratnayake, 16 June 2017

Muslim-owned shops, houses and places of worship have been attacked by extreme-right Buddhist formations for two months.

Sri Lankan government to tighten police-state laws

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 12 June 2017

Colombo’s planned “anti-terror” laws are even more repressive than the country’s notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act.

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.

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.

Over 200 killed in Sri Lankan floods, now cyclone hits Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 2 June 2017

Thousands of Sri Lankans face the threat of dengue fever, cholera, diarrhea and dysentery due to the lack of basic sanitary and health facilities.

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.

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.

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.

Sri Lanka in a balancing act over China’s One Belt, One Road project

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 25 May 2017

At last week’s Beijing forum, Sri Lanka’s prime minister Wickremesinghe tried to appease Washington and New Delhi by declaring that Colombo is only interested in the project’s “economic benefits.”

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.

Sri Lankan plantation workers support campaign to release framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By M. Thevarajah, 20 May 2017

Sri Lankan plantation workers in the hill country spoke to the WSWS, condemning the frame up of Maruti Suzuki workers and describing their own increasingly difficult working conditions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Media pundits, pseudo-left back Sri Lankan president’s call for authoritarian rule

By K. Ratnayake, 6 May 2017

The government’s proposal for Field Marshal Fonseka to “take responsibility for disciplining the country” is a recipe for a police state to suppress working people.

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.

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.

Sri Lankan president calls on former army commander to “discipline the country”

By K. Ratnayake, 28 April 2017

The government has linked the move to reinstate Sarath Fonseka as military chief commander to the need to suppress a growing movement of the working class.

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.

Tamil workers in northern Sri Lanka support Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 27 April 2017

Residents in the small town of Chavakachcheri, near Jaffna, said social conditions for Tamil workers were like those confronting the persecuted autoworkers in India.

Sri Lankan government seeks to suppress garbage disaster protests

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 25 April 2017

The move to outlaw protests against garbage dumps has broader implications for all basic democratic rights.

Sri Lanka: Jaffna residents demand release of Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 22 April 2017

A picket and meeting in Jaffna next week will demand the release of the imprisoned Indian autoworkers.

India: ICFI supporters protest to demand release of Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 19 April 2017

The demonstration attracted the attention of hundreds of Special Economic Zones workers in Sriperumbudur, an Indian auto manufacturing centre.

Sri Lankan plantation and railway workers condemn Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our correspondents, 18 April 2017

Workers on tea plantations in Sri Lanka’s hill country and railway quarters in Colombo demanded the release of the 13 Indian framed-up autoworkers sentenced to life in prison.

At least 26 dead in garbage dump collapse in Sri Lanka

By Vijith Samarasinghe and Wimal Perera, 17 April 2017

The tragedy has provoked shock and outrage across the country, compounding the political crisis facing the government.

Sri Lankan government sponsors a sham celebration of the Russian Revolution

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 15 April 2017

The event was a congregation of right-wing politicians, pseudo-lefts and anti-Marxist representatives of academia who are deeply hostile to the heritage of the Russian Revolution.

Sri Lankan artists express solidarity with the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By our reporters, 13 April 2017

A number of Sri Lankan artists have sent statements to the World Socialist Web Site  calling for the release of jailed Maruti Suzuki workers in India.

Sri Lanka: SEP meeting demands release of Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 6 April 2017

The Colombo event was organised as a part of the ICFI’s campaign to free the framed-up Indian autoworkers.

Sri Lankan university students condemn Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our correspondents, 3 April 2017

Students and workers in Colombo, Kandy and Jaffna denounced the heavy sentences imposed on framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers in India.

Sri Lankan SEP and IYSSE hold picket to demand freedom of Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 1 April 2017

The well-attended SEP/IYSSE picket attracted the attention and interest of workers and youth who were returning home from work or school.

Sri Lankan SEP/IYSSE to picket and hold public meeting for release of Maruti Suzuki workers

30 March 2017

The campaign to overturn the frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers requires the independent mobilisation of the working class in India, throughout South Asia and internationally.

Sri Lankan workers support campaign to free framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 28 March 2017

Socialist Equality Party campaigners distributed the ICFI statement “Free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers” in Sinhalese and Tamil.

Sri Lankan government moves to privatise major state corporations

By Saman Gunadasa, 27 March 2017

State-owned enterprises will be turned into “self-sustained” commercial ventures.

IMF demands “decisive action” on Sri Lankan austerity cuts

By Saman Gunadasa, 16 March 2017

The global institution has ramped up its pressure on the government to further slash social spending and speed up the privatisation of state-owned enterprises.

Nationalist groups in Tamil diaspora seek deal with Trump at UN

By Athiyan Silva, 16 March 2017

While the US has abandoned its call for investigation of Sri Lankan civil war atrocities, the Tamil nationalists continue to promote Washington as an ally of the Tamil people and aid its anti-China war drive.

US steps up military exercises in South Asia

By Saman Gunadasa, 9 March 2017

Billed as a humanitarian operation, Washington’s Pacific Partnership is part of its military buildup against China.

Sri Lanka asks UN to delay human rights inquiry

By W.A. Sunil, 8 March 2017

The appeal to the UN Human Rights Council is another attempt to manipulate or suppress any investigation of war crimes in Sri Lanka.

US Congress members visit Sri Lanka to boost US interests

By Saman Gunadasa, 3 March 2017

Visits by delegations of senior officials from the US, India and China indicate intensifying strategic tensions.

IMF head to visit Sri Lanka to demand more austerity measures

By K. Ratnayake, 2 March 2017

Christine Lagarde will use the financial crisis faced by the Colombo government to dictate terms.

Sri Lankan elite discusses “frightening economic situation”

By Saman Gunadasa, 22 February 2017

The country has been severely hit by the continuing global downturn and a prolonged drought that has destroyed key crops and driven up the prices of staple foods.

Sri Lankan regime whips up hysteria over alleged assassination attempt on TNA parliamentarian

By K. Nesan, 18 February 2017

The law-and-order, anti-Tamil hysteria whipped up over the alleged assassination attempt against M. Sumanthiran has all the hallmarks of a state provocation.

A wave of class struggles in Sri Lanka: Workers must fight for a socialist program to defend their rights

By the Socialist Equality Party, 18 February 2017

The series protests of private and public sector workers are a sign of the mass social upheavals to come against the pro-US government and the capitalist class as a whole.

Sri Lankan president calls for “sacrifice” at Independence Day celebration

By Saman Gunadasa, 16 February 2017

Sirisena’s call for “economic freedom” was not to ease the burdens on the masses but to ensure the “freedom” of businesses to boost profits.

Sri Lankan president insists on retaining emergency powers

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 14 February 2017

The government’s decision underscores its readiness to use draconian measures against political opponents, workers and the poor.

Sri Lankan foreign minister raises concerns over Trump’s economic policies

By Minusha Fernando, 11 February 2017

Harsha de Silva told a Colombo meeting of business chiefs that the US president’s trade policies would drastically impact on the Sri Lankan economy.

Former diplomat admits India’s role in Sri Lankan communal war

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 10 February 2017

Shivashankar Menon’s account confirms the political and military support given by India to the Colombo government to crush the LTTE with large-scale civilian casualties.

Sri Lanka: Tamil parties launch communal campaign to divert social tensions

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 9 February 2017

The political aim of the Batticaloa protest is to divide Tamil workers and the poor from their class brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka’s south.

Sri Lankan riot police attack Colombo port workers

By our reporters, 7 February 2017

The police set up barricades and used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a protest of port workers against privatisation.

Former Sri Lanka president intensifies efforts to resume power

By K. Ratnayake, 3 February 2017

The escalating conflict reflects deepening political instability within the ruling elite.

Sri Lanka: Pseudo-left NSSP celebrates alliances with capitalist parties

By Pani Wijesiriwardane, 1 February 2017

The NSSP has intensified its campaign to defend the current government as the government implements the IMF’s austerity demands and faces growing opposition from workers.

Central Bank governor says Sri Lankan economy “hospitalised”

By Saman Gunadasa, 27 January 2017

The bank chief, whose remarks exposed the depth of the country’s economic crisis, urged the government to step up IMF austerity measures.

Former Sri Lankan president threatens to topple government

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 10 January 2017

Rajapakse hopes to return to power in 2017 by exploiting the growing political and economic crisis facing the government.

Provincial councils oppose Sri Lankan government’s investment bill

By W. A. Sunil, 31 December 2016

The government’s planned development ministry and its wide-ranging powers highlight Colombo’s desperate efforts to attract foreign investment.

IMF lowers Sri Lanka’s growth forecast

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 December 2016

The IMF report warned that the Sri Lankan government faced weaker capital inflows, growing debt and a falling rupee.

Sri Lankan SEP and workers’ action committee oppose attacks on plantation workers

By our correspondent, 28 December 2016

The Upcot public meeting discussed the necessity of a break from the unions and the establishment of independent action committees to fight for socialist policies.

Pentagon sends advanced surveillance team to train Sri Lanka’s military

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 22 December 2016

In line with Washington’s enhancement of India’s military capability, the US military is establishing interoperability with the Sri Lankan armed forces.

Sri Lanka: Political lessons of the Hambantota port strike

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 21 December 2016

Colombo’s military repression of the eight-day strike points to the urgent need to build a revolutionary leadership of the working class.

Insider’s book sheds light on Sri Lanka’s regime-change operation

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 20 December 2016

A parliamentarian’s recent book contains some inside information on how leading figures in the country’s ruling elite conspired to oust Rajapakse.

UN agency says government torture and abductions continue in Sri Lanka

By Saman Gunadasa, 19 December 2016

Seven years after the defeat of the separatist LTTE, Colombo’s huge police-state apparatus is being used against the working class and oppressed masses.

Sri Lankan SEP and Deeside Workers Action Committee call meeting to defend plantation workers

15 December 2016

The meeting will discuss a program to defend plantation workers’ jobs, wages and social rights.

Sri Lankan unions agree to impose share-cropper system on plantation workers

By W.A. Sunil, 15 December 2016

The new collective agreement is a prelude to a productivity-based payment regime proposed by the plantation companies.

Sri Lankan port minister threatens to sack striking workers

By our reporters, 14 December 2016

The government’s repression of the Magampura Port workers is a warning to the whole working class.

Sri Lankan government sends navy to suppress striking port workers

By our reporters, 12 December 2016

The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government has sent a message to the entire working class that it will use police-military methods to suppress their struggles.

Sri Lankan president asks Trump to end war crime investigations

By K. Ratnayake, 10 December 2016

Sirisena’s appeals to Washington expose the anti-democratic character of the Sri Lankan government and its determination to cover-up the military’s atrocities.

SEP meeting in Colombo discusses Trump’s election

By our correspondents, 6 December 2016

Speakers explained the far-reaching and reactionary implications of Trump’s victory for workers and young people globally.

US Pacific commander visits Sri Lanka, praising new regime

By K. Ratnayake, 3 December 2016

PACOM chief Harris’s visit was part US efforts to boost military ties with Sri Lanka after President Maithripala Sirisena became president in early 2015.

Sri Lankan workers and students discuss Trump’s election

By our correspondents, 29 November 2016

Many people were keen to discuss with SEP and IYSSE campaigners the shift in world politics reflected in Trump’s victory.

Sri Lankan SEP holds meeting in Jaffna on the socialist alternative to nationalism and war

By our correspondents, 28 November 2016

Speakers explained the dangerous political agenda of the incoming Trump administration in the US and the necessity for workers and youth to mobilise on a revolutionary program.

Lessons of protests against murder of Jaffna University students in Sri Lanka

By K.Nesan and V. Gnana, 24 November 2016

Workers and youth must be unified across ethnic lines in struggle against nationalism, both Sinhala and Tamil, and against the imperialist war drive in Asia.

Sri Lankan president orders arrest of “inciters of racism”

By W.A. Sunil, 23 November 2016

Under the pretext of “curbing racism,” the government is preparing for a broader crackdown not only on opposition parties but against the working class.

SEP public meeting in Colombo: The international implications of Trump’s election

19 November 2016

The meeting will explain the political factors behind Trump’s election and outline the program of socialist internationalism that the working class must adopt.

Sri Lankan budget deepens austerity offensive

By Saman Gunadasa, 15 November 2016

The government has drastically increased taxes on working people while slashing funds for health, education and welfare.

Diplomatic row erupts between Sri Lanka and China

By W.A. Sunil, 12 November 2016

The public squabble between Colombo and Beijing over loans is another indication of rising geo-strategic tensions in the region.

Sri Lanka: Deeside plantation workers form action committee

By our correspondents, 4 November 2016

The committee’s establishment is an important step toward breaking from the trade unions, which function as industrial police for big business and the government.

SEP public meeting in Jaffna: Imperialist war, Tamil nationalism and the fight for socialism

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 2 November 2016

The Tamil nationalist parties support Washington’s war drive in Asia and have pleaded for US backing to secure privileges for the Tamil elite in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka: New anti-terror measures lay foundations for police state

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 31 October 2016

While President Sirisena postured as a champion of democracy in 2015, Sri Lanka’s planned anti-terror act is a major assault on the basic rights of the working class.

US SEP presidential candidate addresses Sri Lankan audience

By our correspondents, 31 October 2016

Yesterday’s meeting in Colombo unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the socialist anti-war conference to be held by the US SEP in Detroit on November 5.

Sri Lankan students and workers discuss US SEP’s election intervention

By our correspondents, 29 October 2016

SEP and IYSSE supporters are widely promoting the forthcoming Colombo public meeting to be addressed by US SEP presidential candidate Jerry White via the Internet.

General strike in northern Sri Lanka over police killing of students

By our correspondents, 26 October 2016

The death of two Tamil students is a continuation of the police-state methods developed during the war and now increasingly being used against working people throughout the island.

Sri Lanka assists India to isolate Pakistan by not attending SAARC summit

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 25 October 2016

The Sri Lankan prime minister has unequivocally backed the Indian government’s efforts to exploit the Uri military raid to undermine Pakistan and boost India’s great power ambitions.

Police murder of two Jaffna University students exposes Sri Lankan Tamil nationalists

By K. Nesan, 24 October 2016

The police murder exposed the Tamil nationalists’ collaboration with Washington and Colombo in setting up police-state forms of rule in northern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan plantation workers protest union wage deal

By W.A. Sunil, 24 October 2016

The union-plantation association deal locks workers into increased productivity rates for the next two years in exchange for a negligible wage rise.

Bangladesh government accused of “kneecapping” opponents

By Sarath Kumara, 22 October 2016

The Hasina government, which confronts widespread opposition, is increasingly resorting to police-state methods to maintain its rule.