Asia

COVID-19: Military steps up repression in war-ravaged northern Sri Lanka

By Subash Somachandran, 16 May 2020

The government and the military are nervous about the growing unrest among workers and poor against the draconian social conditions.

Worsening conditions at Hirdaramani garment plants in Sri Lanka

By our reporters, 16 May 2020

Sri Lankan apparel manufacturers have responded to the COVID-19 crisis with a wave of wage and job cuts and the imposition of increased working hours and productivity targets.

Thousands of migrant workers demonstrate across India; Tamil Nadu cleaners demand COVID-19 protection

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

16 May 2020

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

Belgian bus drivers’ wildcat; South African bus drivers walk out over conditions; daily protests in Israel over government response to pandemic

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

15 May 2020

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

Japan’s PM exploits pandemic to push pro-war constitutional revisions

By Ben McGrath, 11 May 2020

Abe is pressing ahead with his long-held agenda of revising the country’s constitution to remove barriers to remilitarization and to tear up democratic rights.

Strikes and workers’ protests mount against “back to work” campaign

By Shannon Jones, 9 May 2020

The incompetence and callous disregard for human life by the capitalist authorities in country after country is fueling an upsurge in the class struggle.

Number of COVID-19 cases hits 4 million worldwide

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 May 2020

The number of deaths has exceeded 275,000 and infections are growing. Yet, the stock markets continue to rise, despite unprecedented job losses.

India: Toxic gas leak in Visakhapatnam kills 11 people and puts thousands in danger

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 9 May 2020

The deadly leak began as employees were about to resume work at the LG Polymers plant, following the Modi government’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

Tamil National Alliance backs Sri Lanka’s Rajapakse regime on COVID-19

By Athiyan Silva, 9 May 2020

TNA leader M.A. Sumanthiran declared that he does not “allow political opinions or differences…not only in our country but throughout the world.”

The COVID-19 pandemic and global imperialist war

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2020

For all of the vapid talk about us all being in it together, the US ruling class views the pandemic as an instrument of war.

Workers in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan strike to demand coronavirus-safe working conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia

9 May 2020

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

Blaming China, Trump says COVID-19 “attack” worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11

By Nick Beams, 7 May 2020

The war rhetoric is being intensified because the Trump administration knows that its return-to-work policy is going to result in tens of thousands more deaths in the US.

Modi government punishes officials for urging increased taxation of rich to fight coronavirus

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 4 May 2020

Even as India’s workers and toilers face the COVID-19 pandemic and mass hunger, the Modi government is opposed to imposing even one additional rupee of tax upon the capitalist elite.

US trains Sri Lankan naval elite forces during COVID-19 lockdown

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 4 May 2020

US combat training of Sri Lankan navy personnel forces is part of Washington’s military preparations throughout the Indo-Pacific against China.

Devastating fire in South Korea kills at least 38 workers

By Ben McGrath, 4 May 2020

The government and big business will do nothing to address safety and the working conditions that led to this latest disaster.

Trump escalates attacks on China over COVID-19

By Peter Symonds, 2 May 2020

US President Trump has stepped up his propaganda war and threats against China, blaming it for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has cost the lives of more than 230,000 people internationally.

Australian government places country on frontline of anti-China witch hunt

By Mike Head, 2 May 2020

Australia unilaterally called for an international inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, boosting the Trump administration’s unsubstantiated accusations against China.

Thousands of Assam tea workers demand lockdown wages in India; Protests continue in Bangladesh over wages, factory closures and safety

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

2 May 2020

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Why Gotabhaya Rajapakse wants Sri Lankan election held as soon as possible

By Vilani Peiris—Socialist Equality Party election group leader for Colombo district, 27 April 2020

Rajapakse wants a quick election before the full brunt of the economic meltdown hits and there is a social explosion by the working class and the poor.

India’s BJP and its Hindu-right allies scapegoat Muslims for spread of pandemic

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 25 April 2020

The manifest failure of the Modi government to protect the population from the ravages of the pandemic and its economic fallout have led the BJP to vilify and scapegoat Muslims.

Sri Lankan president says military to impose “discipline” when lockdown ends

By K. Ratnayake, 25 April 2020

Rajapakse’s threats have nothing to do with enforcing “social distancing” and the spread of COVID-19 but are in preparation to suppress mass unrest in the working class.

Hong Kong arrests prominent pan-democrat activists

By Ben McGrath, 25 April 2020

Washington is attempting to exploit the arrests to further whip up tensions with Beijing and paint China as a threat.

Bangladeshi and Cambodian garment workers strike against COVID-19 job cuts; Pakistani medical workers demand safe working conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

25 April 2020

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Japan’s medical system collapsing as COVID-19 cases surge

By Ben McGrath, 24 April 2020

As many as 400,000 people could die in Japan without serious preventative measures as many lack access to tests and treatment.

Erdogan opposes lockdown as Turkey’s COVID-19 pandemic overtakes China

By Ulas Atesci, 22 April 2020

Overtaking China and Iran in terms of the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, at 90,000, Turkey has emerged as the country in Asia with the most cases.

Mass COVID-19 infection among migrant workers in Singapore

By Gustav Kemper, 21 April 2020

The number of COVID-19 infections is exploding in the Singapore workers’ camps.

Chinese economy contracted by 6.8 percent in first quarter

By Nick Beams, 18 April 2020

The announcement of the plunge in China came just days after the IMF forecast that the world economy will experience a $9 trillion loss of output over 2020-21.

Bangladesh garment workers strike against COVID-19 job and wage cuts; Australian maritime union ends strike over COVID-19 at Hutchison Ports

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

18 April 2020

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South Korea’s Democratic Party wins general election in landslide

By Ben McGrath, 17 April 2020

The supposed success of the government’s response to COVID-19 benefited the Democratic Party, but the attacks on the working class will grow as the economy declines.

South Korea to hold general election

By Ben McGrath, 13 April 2020

This week’s election is seen as a barometer of the public’s feelings towards the government’s COVID-19 response and the declining economy.

Three years since Indian court ordered 13 framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers jailed for life

By Kranti Kumara, 13 April 2020

The World Socialist Web Site urges workers around the world to redouble their efforts to free these class war prisoners, whose only “crime” was to challenge a brutal work-regimen, cheap-labour and precarious contract jobs.

Sri Lankan SEP holds online meeting on COVID-19 pandemic

By our reporters, 13 April 2020

SEP General Secretary Wije Dias exposed the Rajapakse government’s reactionary response to the disaster and outlined a revolutionary socialist program for the working class.

Japanese PM imposes coronavirus state of emergency

By Peter Symonds, 11 April 2020

While the number of cases in Japan is low compared to the US and Europe, poor levels of testing are masking the real extent of the virus.

Against rising social opposition, Sri Lankan prime minister calls for “unity” against COVID-19

By K. Ratnayake, 11 April 2020

Hundreds of thousands of workers have no income and poor farmers in the rural areas have no means of selling what they grow.

India: Punjab health workers and poor farmers protest over inadequate COVID-19 supplies; Queensland public health workers demand promised wage rise

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

11 April 2020

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US military calls for another $20 billion to counter China

By Peter Symonds, 7 April 2020

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, an Indo-Pacific Command report to the US Congress sets out plans for a further military build-up in the region directed against China.

Indian medical staff speak to WSWS on COVID-19 pandemic

By Yuan Darwin and Nanda Kumar, 6 April 2020

Indian medical staff are struggling to fight COVID-19 under conditions of a run-down public health system and high-population densities without basic facilities.

Amid India’s calamitous lockdown, Modi seeks to censor coronavirus reports

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 4 April 2020

India’s Supreme Court has ordered media outlets to publicize “official” government-authored coronavirus reports, and threatened prosecution if they disseminate “fake news.”

Nepal: Masses confront enormous hardships from coronavirus pandemic

By Rohantha De Silva, 4 April 2020

Nepal’s government has made no serious effort to ensure that the country’s overwhelmingly poor population will have daily essentials, medicine and health safety equipment.

Tea estate workers in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, as well as medical workers in India and Papua New Guinea strike over COVID-19 dangers

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 April 2020

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An interview with four Chinese physicians at the epicenter of the pandemic in Wuhan

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 April 2020

Four doctors who went through the worst of the COVID-19 epidemic in China recently spoke with the WSWS about their experiences and the lessons for the wider world.

India: Maoist-led union alliance betrays Sanmina workers

By Yuan Darwin, 3 April 2020

The Sanmina workers walked out on strike on March 3 to demand a pay rise and reinstatement of victimised militant workers.

Indonesian government declares “national emergency” after downplaying coronavirus threat

By Owen Howell, 2 April 2020

A University of Indonesia report has warned that 240,000 people may die in the pandemic this month without a substantial government intervention.

Sri Lankan medical experts demand mass coronavirus testing

By Naveen Dewage, 2 April 2020

The dangerous conditions facing millions of Sri Lankan workers, farmers and the poor are the result of decades of government cuts to the health system and other vital services.

Modi government represses desperate migrant workers amid calamitous coronavirus lockdown

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 2 April 2020

People across India and around the world have been shocked and outraged by the pictures of poor migrant workers caught up in the Indian government's ill-conceived and socially reckless 21-day nationwide coronavirus lockdown.

19,000 ambulance workers strike in Northern India to demand protective gear

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 2 April 2020

The strike by Indian ambulance workers is part of the militant class response by the working class against the capitalist governments that have endangered the lives of workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh: Garment workers strike over safety amid COVID-19 crisis

By Wimal Perera, 1 April 2020

The anger of Bangladeshi factory workers is mounting because they are unable to practice “social distancing” in their plants or during transit.

China: COVID-19 hospital construction worker’s protest blog goes viral before being deleted

By a correspondent in China, 30 March 2020

The worker described the wage theft and repressive conditions suffered by thousands of construction employees who build hospitals in Wuhan at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

India’s calamitous lockdown punishes poor while undermining efforts to halt spread of coronavirus

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 30 March 2020

The Modi government’s ill-prepared, three-week lockdown has resulted in chaos, including large disorganized movements of desperate poor people, thereby providing conditions conducive to the rapid spread of COVID-19.

Duterte reacts to COVID-19 with military repression

By Joseph Santolan, 30 March 2020

The Duterte administration has responded to the pandemic not with the deployment of masks, testing and treatment, but heavily-armed military checkpoints, armored personnel carriers and police state repression.

Japanese government planning attacks on democratic rights on pretext of pandemic

By Ben McGrath, 30 March 2020

Health experts are warning that Japan could see a wider COVID-19 outbreak, in part due to the complete lack of preparation by the Abe government.

Sri Lankan president grants clemency to war criminal

By Vimukthi Vidarshana, 30 March 2020

By releasing a war criminal Rajapakse has declared that the military will have the immunity for past and future crimes against the masses.

Coronavirus crisis in Sri Lanka: A program for the working class

the Socialist Equality Party, 28 March 2020

The Rajapakse government is exploiting the pandemic to prepare a presidential dictatorship and impose even deeper attacks on the working class and the poor.

Sri Lankan doctors speak out over coronavirus dangers facing health workers

By Sakuna Jayawardena, 28 March 2020

Hospital workers are making a huge effort to treat the rising number of patients, but they lack the protective gear they need.

Big business in South Korea exploits pandemic to carry out massive assault on jobs

By Ben McGrath, 28 March 2020

The trade unions are aiding the government and corporations use the health crisis to implement deeper attacks on the working class.

Pakistan: District government workers strike over unpaid wages; New Zealand plastics workers strike over COVID-19 concerns

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 March 2020

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

East Timor records first confirmed coronavirus case amid floods

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 March 2020

A Dili worker told the WSWS: “With the inadequate condition of public hospitals, I fear that the spreading of the virus… could be like a wildfire.”

After downplaying COVID-19 pandemic, Japan forced to postpone Olympics

By Emiri Ochiai, 26 March 2020

Facing a growing public outcry over his indifference to public health, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the Olympics had been moved to the summer of 2021.

Warnings that hundreds of thousands of Indonesians may already have COVID-19

By Owen Howell and Oscar Grenfell, 26 March 2020

There are fears that the archipelago may become “the Italy of south-east Asia,” with experts warning that 135 million may be infected by mid-May.

Indian prime minister’s coronavirus lockdown threatens social disaster for millions

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 26 March 2020

Modi has not outlined any comprehensive program to deal with enormous difficulties that millions of workers and rural poor will face.

Sri Lankan Trotskyists begin election campaign with online meeting

By our reporters, 26 March 2020

The rally attracted the attention of a politically enthusiastic and significant audience in Sri Lanka and internationally.

Sri Lankan workers and young people endorse SEP’s election program

By our reporters, 26 March 2020

“The coronavirus pandemic has proven that the nation-state system is irrational.”

Nepal declares one-week coronavirus lockdown

By Rohantha De Silva, 25 March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic will have dire consequences in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in Asia.

Two Sri Lankan prisoners killed and six injured amid national coronavirus lockdown

By Saman Gunadasa and K.Ratnayake, 23 March 2020

Reports indicate Sri Lankan prisons are so congested that, in some cases, 5,000 inmates are crammed into facilities meant to accommodate 800 people.

Chinese worker writes on the coronavirus pandemic: “Disaffection is growing among the masses”

By a correspondent, 23 March 2020

“The working class has made huge sacrifices in the fight against the epidemic. The epidemic has increased the pressure on their lives, and made workers want a more resolute voice for labour rights.”

Medical expert warns India could be next coronavirus hotspot

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 March 2020

The Indian ruling elite’s response to the unfolding disaster has been criminally negligent, with only 14,175 tests conducted in a country of 1.3 billion people.

As coronavirus cases surge in Pakistan, its prime minister preaches “no need to worry”

By Sampath Perera, 21 March 2020

If the rapid spread of the deadly virus is not halted, it will prove catastrophic for millions of people in Pakistan, an impoverished South Asian country of more than 200 million.

Fight for an international socialist program against war, social devastation and dictatorship

Vote Socialist Equality Party in the Sri Lankan general election

Manifesto of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 21 March 2020

The working class needs a revolutionary leadership in its struggle against capitalist reaction and the preparations for a presidential dictatorship.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 March 2020

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

Washington imposes new sanctions as Iran’s COVID-19 death toll tops 1,000

By Bill Van Auken, 19 March 2020

The global pandemic is viewed by US imperialism as a weapon in its war for hegemony in the Middle East.

Working class in China bears brunt of Beijing’s COVID-19 response

By Ben McGrath, 19 March 2020

The police state measures used by Beijing to curtail the COVID-19 outbreak make clear the necessity for the working class to take control of the response of the pandemic.

Sri Lankan government responds to COVID-19 by mobilising the military and helping the financial elite

By Saman Gunadasa, 18 March 2020

There are concerns in ruling circles that the lack of health facilities and job security, along with wage cuts, will lead to major social struggles.

Modi feigns concern for regional cooperation to fight coronavirus, as pandemic spreads across South Asia

By Wasantha Rupasingha, 18 March 2020

The poverty to which capitalism has condemned the majority of South Asia’s 1.9 billion people makes the region exceptionally vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sri Lankan SEP to launch election campaign with live streamed online public meeting

18 March 2020

The SEP is fighting for the independent mobilisation of the working class for international socialism and against deepening social inequality, imperialist war and the threat of dictatorship.

Coronavirus spreads to Turkey, risking a rapid outbreak

By Ulas Atesci, 16 March 2020

On Sunday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Turkey rose from six to 18, while at least 3,000 people are reportedly under quarantine.

Bangladesh government downplays COVID-19 threat as job losses mount

By Wimal Perera, 16 March 2020

While the Awami League government is seeking to aid industry owners, workers are bearing the brunt of the health crisis.

Global auto industry in downward spiral as coronavirus spreads worldwide

By Jessica Goldstein, 14 March 2020

Even prior to the outbreak, automakers had announced hundreds of thousands of layoffs and many plant closures.

Collapse of quarantine building in China exposes public anger over Beijing’s COVID-19 measures

By Ben McGrath, 14 March 2020

Beijing is attempt to ward off the social discontent in China as well as the aggressive denunciations coming out of Washington.

Coronavirus pandemic threatens to overwhelm India’s dilapidated health system

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 14 March 2020

Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party government are stubbornly refusing to mobilize state resources to stem the spread of the virus.

Tamil Nadu sanitary workers demand permanent jobs; Sri Lankan plantation workers strike; New Zealand bus drivers resume industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 March 2020

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

Modi government shields instigators of Delhi anti-Muslim violence

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 12 March 2020

The Delhi police, in line with their actions during last month's riot and the ruling BJP’s communalist policies, are targeting Muslims, the riot’s victims, rather than the true perpetrators.

Amid protests and crises, Lebanon defaults on Eurobond

By Jean Shaoul, 12 March 2020

The default comes amid a spiralling economic crisis, protests, increasing poverty and other signs of social disintegration, along with the first coronavirus deaths.

Italy emerging as the new epicenter for the Covid-19 pandemic

By Benjamin Mateus, 11 March 2020

Italy’s health care system is being overwhelmed by the growing number of serious respiratory illnesses that are filling the emergency rooms and hospitals throughout the Lombardy region.

As US coronavirus cases top 500, Italy initiates mass quarantine

By Benjamin Mateus, 9 March 2020

The World Health Organization has emphatically stated that the international community needs to take immediate action to curb the impact of the pandemic.

India restricts drug exports due to coronavirus impacts, threatening global drug supply

By Kranti Kumara, 9 March 2020

As India is a major global supplier of generic drugs, there are widespread fears that the export restrictions will lead to pharmaceutical price-hikes and shortages in countries around the world.

Modi government leaves millions of Indians vulnerable to coronavirus

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 9 March 2020

Given India’s high population density and dysfunctional public health system, its population is threatened by any rapid spread of the coronavirus.

Oil price war set to trigger new financial storms

By Nick Beams, 9 March 2020

Trading this week began with a fall in the price of Brent crude from $45 a barrel to $31.52, one of the biggest single-day falls in its history.

World Health Organization warns of need for urgent response as coronavirus cases surpass 100,000

By Bryan Dyne, 7 March 2020

If the current trends continue, the total number of cases outside China will surge past the number of cases within China by the end of the month.

Sri Lankan government withdraws from UN resolutions in order to boost the military

By W.A. Sunil, 7 March 2020

Rajapakse’s government is moving toward dictatorial rule amid mounting economic problems and social tensions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 March 2020

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

Sri Lankan president dissolves parliament, calls national election

By K. Ratnayake, 6 March 2020

Rajapakse and his Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna hope to win a two-thirds majority in order to reinstate, and expand, the president’s anti-democratic executive powers.

Capitalism’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic

By Andre Damon and David North, 4 March 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed, once again, the disastrous consequences of a social order that subordinates all human needs to private profit.

Record fall in key China production index

By Nick Beams, 2 March 2020

China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced over the weekend that the manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 35.7 in February, down from 50 in January, hitting an all-time low.

Malaysia’s political crisis deepens as King declares new prime minister

By Joseph Santolan, 2 March 2020

Muhyiddin, who was instrumental in the collapse of the government motion, now stands at the head of an ethnic Malay alliance that brings the widely detested UMNO back to power.

Sri Lankan government, companies and unions conspire to impose harsh wage deal on estate workers

By M. Thevarajah, 2 March 2020

A scheme is being prepared behind the backs of workers to impose exploitative new work models.

WHO says coronavirus danger is “very high”

By Benjamin Mateus, 29 February 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has upgraded its assessment of the danger posed by the coronavirus to “very high,” but stopped short of calling the outbreak a pandemic.

Working class in South Korea bears brunt of Covid-19 outbreak

By Ben McGrath, 29 February 2020

The majority of the cases of infection have been in Daegu, but the virus could rapidly spread in the country’s other densely populated cities.

Over 200,000 teachers strike in Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 29 February 2020

Thousands of teachers marched to the education ministry in Colombo as public school teachers across the island struck to defend free education and demand better salaries and conditions.

Sri Lankan teachers denounce the government and unions

By our reporting team, 29 February 2020

“It’s time for all workers—teachers and workers from the railway and the banks—to fight together and not be divided by their professions or trade unions.”

The Trump administration’s incompetent and criminally negligent response to the coronavirus outbreak

Joseph Kishore—Socialist Equality Party candidate for US President, 29 February 2020

The disastrous state of preparedness for the coronavirus is the product of decades of ruling class policy that has subordinated the most basic social needs to war and the endless accumulation of wealth.