South Asia

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.

US and India intervene to avert Sri Lankan government collapse

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 17 February 2018

The US and Indian ambassadors met the president and prime minister to reverse a publicly-announced termination of the coalition agreement that underpins the Unity government.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 February 2018

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

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.

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.

Political crisis erupts in the Maldives

By Rohantha De Silva, 7 February 2018

After the Maldives president imposed a state of emergency, the opposition leader called for an Indian intervention into the small Indian Ocean state.

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.

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.

Indian unions betray Tamil Nadu bus strike

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 13 January 2018

The unions ordered workers back to work without any of their demands being met and despite the fact that they had defied a court order to end the strike for a week.

India: Workers defend WSWS supporters against attack by union leaders

By our correspondents, 13 January 2018

The willingness of workers to defend the WSWS team is a reflection of growing sympathy for a socialist and internationalist perspective and hostility towards the unions.

India: Bus strike cripples Tamil Nadu transport services

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 10 January 2018

While the trade unions offer to compromise, the strikers have defied court orders, media propaganda and government threats to hire outside drivers and conductors.

Striking Tamil Nadu bus workers speak out

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 10 January 2018

WSWS reporters spoke with several striking bus workers in Chennai who are engaged in the bitter struggle with the Tamil Nadu state government for higher wages.

Local government election in Sri Lanka: Support SEP campaign against austerity and war! Fight for a workers’ and peasants’ government!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 9 January 2018

The SEP is campaigning for the international socialist program needed by workers, youth and the poor, who are increasingly coming into struggle against the government’s attacks on their democratic rights and living standards.

Bangladeshi teachers end “fast-unto-death”

By Nancy Hanover, 8 January 2018

“It is better to die here than return home with empty hands,” said one of thousands of Bangladeshi teachers fighting for a government-paid salary.

US suspends security aid to Pakistan as part of Afghan War push

By Jordan Shilton, 6 January 2018

The deepening of US-Pakistan tensions is bound up not just with the Afghan War, but also the growing polarization of the region between the Indo-US and Sino-Pakistani military-strategic alliances.

India: Fourteen die in Mumbai fire

By Rohantha De Silva, 3 January 2018

The restaurant fire underscores the impact of India’s pro-market reforms, in which all safety concerns are subordinated to profit.

US and India pressure Sri Lanka over port deal with China

By Saman Gunadasa, 30 December 2017

Mounting government debt has forced the Colombo government to turn to China for financial help.

Indian ICFI supporters call public meeting in Kolkata to mark Russian Revolution centenary

29 December 2017

The Kolkata meeting will discuss the political and theoretical struggles led by Lenin and Trotsky and their significance for today.

Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) stands for local government elections

By our correspondents, 23 December 2017

The SEP is the only party contesting the elections on an internationalist and socialist program against the looming threat of a world war, social counter-revolution and dictatorial rule.

Maldives and China sign free trade agreement

By Rohantha De Silva, 22 December 2017

Maldives has become a focal point of geo-political rivalry between the US and India on one side and China on the other.

SEP in Sri Lanka pays tribute to Keerthi Balasuriya

By our correspondent, 20 December 2017

Balasuriya’s untimely death in December 1987 “cut short an invaluable and devoted service to the cause of international socialism.”

Indian Trotskyists hold meeting for release of Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondents, 16 December 2017

The Sriperumbudur public meeting was held despite the illegal attempt by Indian police to disrupt it.

BJP and Congress Party stoke reaction in Gujarat state election

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 14 December 2017

While the Congress Party is benefiting from popular anger over mass joblessness, it has mounted a foul campaign, competing with the BJP to prove its Hindu bonafides and making reactionary casteist appeals.

Sri Lankan unions betray railway workers’ strike

By W.A. Sunil, 14 December 2017

Rail unions axed the strike because it represented a direct challenge to the government’s austerity policies and threatened to draw in other sections of workers.

Sri Lankan railway workers defy government ban on strike

By W.A. Sunil, 12 December 2017

The government’s intervention against the stoppage is part of a broader crackdown on social and political opposition.

Free the Maruti Suzuki autoworkers

Indian ICFI supporters to hold a public meeting in Sriperumbudur

27 November 2017

The meeting will discuss the internationalist foundations of the struggle to release the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers. The speeches will be given in Tamil and English and streamed live via Facebook on December 10 at 10am.

Sri Lanka: IMF-dictated budget deepens austerity and privatisation

By Saman Gunadasa, 25 November 2017

Colombo’s socially regressive budget, which will heavily impact on the working masses, is to repay debt and interest to global finance capital.

Indian Stalinists split over whether to openly ally with big-business Congress Party

By Wasantha Rupasingha, 24 November 2017

The rival CPM factions have no fundamental or principled differences, but merely disagree over which rightwing course the party should pursue.

Sri Lanka: Racialist attack on Muslims in Gintota

By Ratnasiri Malalagama and Nandana Nanneththi, 21 November 2017

Extreme-right Sinhala-Buddhist groups are operating under the patronage of the Sri Lankan government.

Sri Lankan government bans Lanka e-News web site

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 20 November 2017

The ban on LeN is a direct attack on basic democratic rights and a warning to all sections of the media that the Sri Lankan ruling elite cannot tolerate any criticism.

Successful public meeting in Colombo marks the Russian Revolution centenary

By our correspondents, 18 November 2017

About 150 workers, students, youth, professionals and housewives attended the event and around 300 watched it live via the Internet.

India strengthens its relations with Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 11 November 2017

India is pursuing its geo-political interests, while also acting on behalf of Washington.

Sri Lankan SEP and IYSSE commemorate Russian Revolution at Peradeniya University

By our correspondents, 11 November 2017

SEP/IYSSE members campaigned extensively at the university and in neighbouring areas prior to the meeting provoking animated discussions on the political lessons of the October Revolution.

Indian power plant explosion kills at least 35 workers

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 8 November 2017

The blast was a product of sub-standard safety conditions that are endemic in Indian factories and power plants.

India’s 1-percent grabs nearly a quarter of all income

By Saman Gunadasa and Kranti Kumara, 6 November 2017

The poorest 50 percent of Indians must make do with an income share of just 15 percent, eking out their existence on an average annual income of just US $705.

European Union intervenes in Maldives

By Rohantha De Silva, 6 November 2017

The EU visit had nothing to do with defending “human rights” but to ensure the domination of western powers over the strategically located Indian Ocean archipelago.

Global Hunger Index highlights South Asia’s social misery

By Saman Gunadasa, 3 November 2017

While millions of people lack basic food security, governments are cutting social spending and allocating billions to the military.

Tillerson touts US-India partnership on South Asian tour

By Deepal Jayasekera, 2 November 2017

The US secretary of state made clear that New Delhi is central to Washington’s aggressive strategy against China.

Nepali Stalinist parties form a new alliance

By W.A.Sunil, 31 October 2017

The alliance is a political trap for working people under conditions of growing popular opposition to the government and the political establishment as a whole.

US, India push anti-China campaign at Sri Lankan maritime conference

By Naveen Devage and K. Ratnayake, 30 October 2017

Senior military figures from Washington and New Delhi warned against any threat to the US-dominated “rules-based order” in the Indo-Pacific.

Tillerson delivers stern warning to Pakistan

By Sampath Perera, 28 October 2017

In a visit of just four hours, Tillerson spelled out Washington’s demand Pakistan join the US in dramatically escalating Afghan war violence or brace itself for reprisals.

The Sri Lankan garbage disaster: A crime of capitalism

By Vilani Peiris—convenor of the Committee of the Independent Workers Inquiry, 28 October 2017

The Meethotamulla disaster was the result of criminal negligence by successive Colombo governments and finds its parallels in similar catastrophes around the world.

Sri Lankan SEP/IYSSE calls public meetings to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution

27 October 2017

The Colombo meeting will discuss the political and theoretical lessons of the October Revolution for workers, students and young people being propelled into social and political struggles today.

Tillerson calls for “dramatic deepening” of Indo-US alliance

By Deepal Jayasekera, 24 October 2017

An enhanced Indo-US alliance, Tillerson told the Center for Strategic and International Studies, is vital to counter a rising China that refuses to heel to the US-led world order.

Sri Lanka: Phony moves toward democratic constitutional change

By K. Ratnayake, 24 October 2017

For all its claims to be establishing a democratic constitution, the government is taking repressive measures against workers and preparing dictatorial rule.

“Google is censoring websites to block dissident views critical of the US establishment”

India: Students and workers in Kolkata oppose Google censorship

By Ritwik Mitter and Arun Kumar, 19 October 2017

ICFI/WSWS supporters spoke to students about Google censorship, the Indian government’s attacks on democratic rights and the US war drive against China.

Sri Lankan government enforces UN sanctions against North Korea

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 14 October 2017

Colombo has increasingly integrated Sri Lanka behind Washington’s war preparations against China and North Korea.

Indian economy in a downward spiral

By Kranti Kumara, 11 October 2017

The Indian economy, touted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a high-growth haven, is increasingly mired in crisis.

Students oppose Indian government’s new university entrance exam

By Yuvan Darwin and Arun Kumar, 11 October 2017

The suicide of a Tamil Nadu student over the NEET entrance test has triggered demonstrations throughout the southern Indian state.

Sri Lankan academics oppose Google censorship

By our correspondent, 7 October 2017

Google’s actions are “a gross abuse of monopolistic power” and related to its close links to the US state apparatus and the Pentagon.

US pushes for closer Sri Lankan involvement into war drive against China

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 3 October 2017

The US is planning to slash foreign aid to Sri Lanka this year apparently to underscore its displeasure about the Colombo government’s recent investment deals with China.

Indian workers and students in Chennai support campaign against Google censorship

By our correspondents, 3 October 2017

“Blocking information is a dictatorial measure; governments and big companies are trying to prevent us from finding critical information,” said one worker.

Modi government blocks Rohingya refugees entering India

By K. Ratnayake, 30 September 2017

Modi’s backing for the Burmese repression of the Rohingya is driven by anti-Muslim communalism and his strategic aim of undermining China throughout the region.

Sri Lankan president presents rosy picture at UN General Assembly

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 September 2017

Behind hypocritical statements on democracy, reconciliation and poverty-alleviation, Sirisena’s government is preparing a dictatorial regime.

Sri Lankan unions betray power workers’ strike

By W.A Sunil, 28 September 2017

The JTUA leadership surrendered to the government’s threats, pledging not to take future industrial action over outstanding demands.

Sri Lanka: JVP leader assures business that it defends capitalism

By K. Ratnayake, 25 September 2017

The JVP played a key role in the regime-change campaign to remove Rajapakse as president and promote Sirisena’s so-called “good governance movement.”

Sri Lankan plantation workers protest job cuts and new productivity demands

By M. Thevarajah, 23 September 2017

The protests are another indication of growing working-class opposition to government and company attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.

Legal appeals of framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers expose travesty of justice

By Saman Gunadasa, 23 September 2017

“The (legal) doubt,” declares one of the appeals, “is not only overwhelming, but in fact, there is hardly any aspect on which the prosecution’s case is at all believable.”

Sri Lankan government passes IMF-backed tax bill

By Kapila Fernando, 22 September 2017

The tax act is part of a series of social assaults by the government on the directives of the International Monetary Fund.

Sri Lankan free trade zone and harbour workers denounce Google censorship

By our correspondents, 21 September 2017

“We oppose exploitation and inequality. We oppose world war and Google censorship of the WSWS.”

Sri Lankan power workers on strike

By W.A. Sunil, 19 September 2017

The ongoing stoppage is against the government’s austerity measures being imposed at the behest of the International Monetary Fund.

India: Unions suspend Tamil Nadu government workers’ strike

By our correspondents, 16 September 2017

The walkout indicates workers’ determination to push back the escalating social assaults by India’s Modi government and the state governments.

South Asian floods: Death toll climbs to 1,300

By Arun Kumar, 13 September 2017

Despite countless warnings, India’s government and state administrations were totally unprepared for the floods.

India, China attempt to reset relations after border crisis

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 12 September 2017

India and China sought to use last week’s BRICS heads of government summit to “reset” their relations after almost coming to blows during a 73-day border standoff.

Sri Lankan president desperately tries to rally support

By W.A. Sunil, 12 September 2017

Factional conflicts deepen within the ruling class amid an explosion of popular opposition to government attacks on living conditions and democratic rights.

Sri Lankan SEP Jaffna meeting discusses political bankruptcy of Tamil parties

By our reporters, 11 September 2017

The speakers explained the necessity for Tamil and Sinhalese workers to build a revolutionary party based on an internationalist socialist perspective.

Journalist who exposed Hindu right assassinated in Bangalore

By Kranti Kumara, 9 September 2017

Gauri Lankesh is the fourth prominent critic of Hindu supremacism and fundamentalism to be assassinated in as many years.

US and India use Indian Ocean Conference to reinforce their strategic interests

By Pradeep Ramanayake and K. Ratnayake, 8 September 2017

The geo-strategic conference gave another indication of US and Indian preparations for war against China.

Sri Lankan university workers defeat union attempts to victimise SEP member

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 5 September 2017

SEP member Dehin Wasantha has a three-decade record of fighting for the rights of Sri Lankan workers, students and the poor on the basis of socialist internationalism.

Government indifference leads to vast death toll in South Asian floods

By Arun Kumar, 1 September 2017

Despite regular floods and monsoons, governments in India, Bangladesh and Nepal have not implemented any serious measures to protect ordinary people.

Indian ICFI supporters hold meeting against US-led war drive

By our correspondents, 31 August 2017

Despite police efforts to block the meeting, participants discussed how Washington’s war plans and India’s partnership with the US are intensifying geopolitical tensions in the region.

Sri Lanka’s port deal with China increases concerns in US and India

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 30 August 2017

The US has been pursuing a military and strategic buildup against China and wants Sri Lanka kept in its orbit.

India, China pull back from clash over Himalayan ridge

By Keith Jones, 29 August 2017

The principal factor in the deterioration of Indo-Chinese relations is India’s integration into Washington’s military-strategic offensive against China.

Growing concerns in Bangladesh over India-China tensions

By Rohantha De Silva, 28 August 2017

The rivalry between these two nuclear armed countries could develop into a war has far-reaching implications for South Asia and internationally.

Sri Lankan president sacks justice minister

By K.Ratnayake, 25 August 2017

Wijedasa Rajapakse’s dismissal is a calculated move by the government to posture as opponents of corruption and undermine political opponents.

Sri Lankan government establishes phony Office on Missing Persons

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 21 August 2017

None of the UNHRC’s resolutions on war crimes in Sri Lanka have had anything to do with concern for the human rights of the victims.

At least 21 children die in an Indian hospital as oxygen supplies run out

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 17 August 2017

In a desperate attempt to save the lives of their dying children, parents used pumps to force air into their lungs.

Sri Lankan foreign minister resigns amid intensifying government crisis

By W.A. Sunil, 16 August 2017

The resignation was a desperate political manoeuvre to avoid a political rift in the government under conditions of growing social unrest.

Tamil nationalists back stepped-up police-state repression in Sri Lanka

By K. Nesan, 16 August 2017

Over the last three weeks, police and Special Task Force units have arrested about 100 people in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Jaffna peninsula.

Seventy years since the communal Partition of South Asia

By Keith Jones, 16 August 2017

The Partition was one of the great crimes of the 20th century—a crime that has shaped, or more precisely deformed, the entire subsequent history of South Asia.

Sri Lankan free trade workers express solidarity with framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers in India

By our reporters, 1 August 2017

Workers responded enthusiastically to the international defense campaign and related their own experiences of sweatshop conditions and fighting state repression.

Pakistan plunges deeper into crisis as prime minister ousted on corruption charges

By Sampath Perera, 31 July 2017

The immediate beneficiary of Sharif’s ouster and the weakening of the PML (N) government is Pakistan’s politically powerful military.

Maldives president mobilises military and police against opposition MPs

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 31 July 2017

Intense political infighting in Maldives is driven by US-India geo-political manoeuvres against China.

Indian Stalinists support Modi government in military standoff with China

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 29 July 2017

India’s Stalinists have pledged their support for the BJP government in the India-China border crisis, even as they concede that the crisis has been provoked by India’s emergence as a “subordinate ally of US imperialism.”

Aisin Automotive workers in India’s Haryana state face a new company-government witchhunt

By Jai Sharma, 28 July 2017

The workers are being subjected to a joint company-government vendetta for fighting slave labor conditions in an attack similar to that faced by Maruti Suzuki workers.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.