South Asia

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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 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.

The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers—Part 4: The police and company conspire against the workers

By Eric London and Keith Jones, 26 April 2017

Police colluded with Maruti Suzuki, fabricated evidence, and systematically failed to carry out basic forensic tests as part of a bogus investigation aimed at framing up militant workers who challenged sweatshop conditions.

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.

Modi’s “Make in India” campaign and the battle of the Maruti Suzuki workers

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 25 April 2017

In arguing for the hanging of the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers, the prosecution denounced the workers for imperiling the Modi government’s efforts to woo profit-hungry investors.

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.

ICFI supporters in India call meeting on “World War and the Russian Revolution”

22 April 2017

Speakers will explain that the only way to prevent another world war is the mobilisation of Indian workers as a part of an international anti-war movement.

Indian elite hails US bombings in Syria and Afghanistan

By Deepal Jayasekera, 21 April 2017

Leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janatha Party and the opposition Congress Party support the US military attacks.

Indian bus workers strike against privatisation

By Arun Kumar, 19 April 2017

The Haryana bus stoppage underscored the intensifying class tensions across the state and India as a whole.

India strengthens defence ties with Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 18 April 2017

The Indian government, in line with US geo-strategic manoeuvres, is attempting to reduce Bangladesh’s military and economic reliance on China.

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.

“It is a frame-up and war on the working class”

Support grows for Maruti Suzuki workers

By our reporters, 13 April 2017

It has been nearly a month since an Indian judge condemned 13 autoworkers to life imprisonment.

Indian ICFI supporters to picket for release of Maruti Suzuki workers

12 April 2017

Workers in Sriperumbudur, Oragadam and other Special Economic Zones should join the April 17 protest and fight for the immediate freeing of the framed-up autoworkers.

Indian railway and transport workers denounce Maruti Suzuki frame-up

By our correspondents, 11 April 2017

Workers in Chennai spoke out in defence of the jailed auto workers.

The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers—Part 2: The factory fire and the death of Avineesh Dev

By Eric London and Keith Jones, 7 April 2017

The fire was the pivot of the prosecution’s case, but it provided not a shred of credible evidence tying any of the workers to the blaze.

The frame-up of the Maruti Suzuki workers—Part 1: A travesty of justice

By Eric London and Keith Jones, 5 April 2017

Careful examination and systematic refutation of the state’s legal case has always been a critical part of international defense campaigns.

Maldives opposition intensifies campaign to destabilise government

By Rohantha De Silva, 4 April 2017

Infighting between the Maldives opposition and President Yameen is bound up with geo-political manoeuvres by the US and India against China.

In the background of the Maruti Suzuki frame-up

Portrait of the Suzuki corporation, a ruthless transnational employer

By Shannon Jones and Saman Gunadasa, 4 April 2017

Suzuki is typical of the transnational auto corporations that scour the world in search of the cheapest labor and lowest production costs.

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.

Tensions erupt between the Philippines and China over disputed island

By Joseph Santolan, 30 March 2017

Sharp divisions emerged in the Duterte administration after a Chinese official announced plans for an environmental monitoring station on the Scarborough Shoal.

Indian auto workers demand release of Maruti Suzuki workers

By Moses Rajkumar and Yuvan Darwin, 30 March 2017

Indian auto workers voice their support for the ICFI campaign and demand release of the Maruti Suzuki workers.

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.

“The 13 workers are political prisoners”

South Asian filmmakers Rahul Roy and Prasanna Vithanage back campaign to free Maruti Suzuki workers

By our reporters, 27 March 2017

Raul Roy, the director of The Factory, the 2015 documentary on the Maruti Suzuki workers, and the Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage have demanded the freedom of the 13 framed-up autoworkers.

Join the fight to free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 25 March 2017

Workers in Sri Lanka, India and around the world must unite to defeat the imprisonment of these victimised workers

Sham character of Maruti Suzuki workers’ trial further exposed

By Keith Jones, 23 March 2017

The presiding judge had to admit police colluded with Maruti Suzuki and fabricated evidence, but even as he did so, he downplayed the significance of these crimes.

Support grows for framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers in India

By Jerry White, 21 March 2017

Opposition to the brutal life sentences meted out to 13 Maruti Suzuki workers is growing in India and around the world.

Thirteen sentenced to life imprisonment in India

Free the framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers!

By International Committee of the Fourth International, 20 March 2017

Thirteen Maruti Suzuki workers have been condemned to life in prison as the result of a monstrous frame-up mounted by the automaker, the police and judicial authorities, with the full complicity of India’s principal political parties.

Indian court to hear sentencing arguments against framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By Shannon Jones, 17 March 2017

Thirteen autoworkers could face the death penalty in a case that has seen blatant collusion between company management, police and Indian state officials

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.

BJP gains in Indian state elections leave opposition Congress reeling

By Deepal Jayasekera, 15 March 2017

The BJP exploited popular anger with the Congress and various caste-ist and regional parties that have implemented pro-investor “reforms” and presided over mass joblessness.

ICFI supporters in India hold public meeting on “World War and the Russian Revolution”

By our correspondents, 13 March 2017

The Chennai meeting was part of the ICFI’s commemoration of the centenary of the October 1917 Revolution and promoted its online lecture series.

India: BJP-backed student union unleashes violence at Delhi University

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 8 March 2017

The ABVP’s attack on left-wing students at Delhi University is part of a concerted, government-supported campaign to stamp out political dissent at India’s universities.

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.

South Asian nuclear arms race accelerates amid India-Pakistan standoff

By Sampath Perera, 28 February 2017

India and Pakistan are rapidly expanding their nuclear arsenals and proclaiming adherence to aggressive military strategies that increase the prospect of nuclear war.

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.

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.

Trump administration to expand India-US military-strategic alliance

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 15 February 2017

The Trump administration is intent on using India as a frontline state in a drive to thwart China through economic and military pressure and, if need be, all-out war.

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.

Bangladesh government continues repression of apparel workers

By Sarath Kumara, 4 February 2017

International retail corporations are concerned that the government’s actions will spark industrial struggles and impact on investor profits.

Indian budget tabled amid demonetisation shock, mounting economic uncertainty

By Kranti Kumara, 3 February 2017

Ignoring mass joblessness and plunging exports and business investment, Finance Minister Jaitley claimed India is the “bright spot on the world economic landscape.”

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.

India: Tamil Nadu police brutally attack Jallikattu protesters

By Arun Kumar and Yuvan Darwin, 1 February 2017

Indian authorities were taken aback by the mass character of the protests, which had erupted outside the traditional political parties.

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.

Nepal-China military exercises: Another sign of rising geo-political rivalry

By W.A. Sunil, 18 January 2017

India considers increased military cooperation between China and Nepal will further undermine its influence in Kathmandu and a threat to its strategic ambitions.

Government and employers attack striking apparel workers in Bangladesh

By Wimal Perera, 13 January 2017

The repression is aimed at preventing a broader eruption by workers against their appalling living and working conditions.

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.

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.

To target China, US further enhances military-strategic alliance with India

By Keith Jones, 15 December 2016

The last days of the Obama administration have seen a concerted, bi-partisan drive of the American political elite and the Pentagon to further cement the Indo-US “global strategic partnership.”

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.

Indian defence minister visits Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 8 December 2016

The visit underscores India’s growing efforts—backed by Washington—to bring Bangladesh into its orbit, undercutting China’s influence.

India rebuffs Pakistan’s “peace” overtures

By Keith Jones, 6 December 2016

India has demonstrably rebuffed Pakistan’s attempts to initiate a dialogue aimed at defusing the almost three-month-long war crisis between South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed states.

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.