By Rohantha De Silva, 26 June 2017
Those most affected are the rural poor, low-wage workers and rickshaw pullers living in flood- and landslide-prone areas, where living costs are relatively low.
Four years since the Rana Plaza disaster
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.
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.
By Sarath Kumara, 3 March 2017
Although some detained labour activists have been released, several workers are still in custody and the authorities are continuing to press unsubstantiated charges.
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.
By Wimal Perera, 13 January 2017
The repression is aimed at preventing a broader eruption by workers against their appalling living and working conditions.
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.
By Sarath Kumara, 5 November 2016
Xi’s trip was aimed at countering the efforts of India, backed by the US, to undermine Chinese influence in Bangladesh.
By Sarath Kumara, 16 September 2016
The Tampaco Foils disaster highlights the unsafe conditions and shoddy construction for which Bangladesh is now notorious.
By Sarath Kumara, 3 September 2016
The court delay further underscores the indifference of all sections of the ruling elite for the plight of garment workers.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 4 July 2016
Whoever the perpetrators of Dhaka hostage-taking, this type of terrorism has been fomented by the US-led wars in the Middle East.
By Sarath Kumara, 16 June 2016
In line with Washington’s “pivot” to Asia, India and Japan are attempting to undermine Chinese influence in Bangladesh and throughout the region.
By Sarath Kumara, 5 March 2016
Intense competition over infrastructure projects in Bangladesh shows that every country is being drawn into the maelstrom of war tensions created by the US drive against China.
By Wimal Perera, 9 February 2016
The government wants the land in order to expand the number of cheap labour Economic Zones.
By Sarath Kumara, 23 November 2015
The Awami League-led government revived the 1971 charges as a means of diverting working class and student discontent.
By Wimal Perera, 25 September 2015
The Awami League-led government’s imposition of austerity measures is provoking unrest among students, teachers and workers.
By Sarath Kumara, 22 July 2015
In line with the US “pivot,” Japan hopes that its Bangladesh investments will boost its political weight in South Asia and undercut Chinese influence.
By Wimal Perera, 23 June 2015
The Awami League-led government’s attempts to create more profitable conditions for business are deepening the attacks on the living conditions of the workers and poor.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 12 June 2015
Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart declared that bilateral relations had entered a new phase.
By Sarath Kumara, 5 May 2015
The brutal exploitation of Bangladeshi workers continues as profit-hungry global retailers demand lower-cost goods.
By Tom Peters, 18 April 2015
Documents leaked by Edward Snowden show that NZ’s spy agency, the GCSB, has supported Bangladesh’s notorious security apparatus for at least 12 years.
By Sarath Kumara, 15 April 2015
Nothing has been resolved in the protracted confrontation between the ruling Awami League and opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP).
By Peter Symonds, 13 March 2015
Nearly two years after the Rana Plaza disaster claimed more than 1,120 lives, shoddy and unsafe building standards remain the norm in Bangladesh.
By Wimal Perera, 9 March 2015
Ferry owners maximise their profits by violating safety rules and regulations in league with government authorities at the expense of passengers’ lives.
By John Lucas, 3 February 2015
An exploding gas cylinder is believed to have sparked a fatal fire in one of Dhaka’s many illegal factories.
By W.A. Sunil, 5 November 2014
A fault at a transmission station on Saturday left the entire country without power for 12 hours.
By Sarath Kumara, 3 October 2014
The ruling is in line with the Hasina government’s manoeuvres against the opposition Bangladesh National Party and other political rivals.
By Wimal Perera, 27 August 2014
In order to close down the factories and evade his outstanding liabilities to workers, the owner invoked the 2006 Bangladesh Labour Act.
By Wimal Perera, 14 August 2014
The government’s response revealed concerns in ruling circles that the Tuba workers’ struggle could become a rallying point for all garment workers.
By Wimal Perera, 24 July 2014
The jute mill protests point to rising class battles amid the deepening impact of the post-2008 global recession.
By Wimal Perera, 22 May 2014
Successive governments have failed to end dangerous overcrowding and the flouting of other safety regulations by ferry owners.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 8 May 2014
In the wake of the communal massacre of more than three dozen Muslims in Assam, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has amplified his communally-charged denunciations of Bangladeshi Muslim migrants.
One year after Rana Plaza collapse
By Sarath Kumara, 4 April 2014
A limited investigation shows that many garment factories are structurally unsound and lack basic fire protections.
By Sarath Kumara, 15 February 2014
The government’s immediate target is the official opposition, but its main concern is rising discontent in the working class.
By Sarath Kumara, 23 January 2014
The longstanding rivalry between the ruling Awami League and BNP is now intersecting with mounting tensions between the US and China.
By K. Ratnayake, 17 January 2014
The WSWS replies to criticisms by Bangladesh’s ambassador of an article detailing the plight of the victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse.
By K. Ratnayake, 7 January 2014
The election was marked by a low turnout of 25 percent, police violence and clashes between the two main rival parties.
By Wimal Perera, 3 January 2014
Many of the families have spent their limited compensation, leaving them in a desperate situation.
By Wimal Perera, 30 December 2013
Opposition parties are boycotting the January 5 national election and demanding a caretaker government to conduct the ballot.
By Wimal Perera, 21 December 2013
The government is cynically exploiting the issue of “war crimes” in the lead up to elections to divert public attention from its record in office.
By Sarath Kumara, 20 November 2013
The trial has been widely condemned by international legal and human rights organisations.
By Sarath Kumara, 20 November 2013
The Awami League government’s offer of a smaller wage rise backfired as thousands of workers demonstrated over the police shootings.
By Wimal Perera, 30 October 2013
At least 15 people have been killed and more than 100 injured since Friday in violent clashes with police.
By Sarath Kumara, 28 September 2013
Police used rubber bullets and tear gas against striking workers who had blocked roads and highways part of their protest.
By Sarath Kumara, 12 June 2013
Police shot guns, fired tear gas and used batons to break up a protest by survivors of the April 24 Rana Plaza building collapse.
By Sarath Kumara, 30 May 2013
Major European retailers have signed an Accord with global unions that will do nothing to end the unsafe conditions that led to last month’s tragic building collapse.
By K. Ratnayake, 21 May 2013
Police fired rubber bullets at tens of thousands of workers demanding higher wages and protesting the April 24 garment factory collapse that killed 1,127 workers.
By Sarath Kumara, 14 May 2013
Every aspect of the tragedy has underscored the culpability of the major retail corporates, as well as the complicity of the Bangladesh government and the country’s garment manufacturers.
By Sarath Kumara and Wimal Perera, 10 May 2013
The authorities’ main concern is to downplay the rapidly rising casualty figures in the textile factory collapse, to cover up the scale of the disaster.
By Peter Symonds, 8 May 2013
The world’s retailing giants are engaged in a cynical PR exercise to distance themselves from the tragedy that has taken the lives of more than 700 people.
By Sarath Kumara, 7 May 2013
Despite this unprecedented tragedy, the main concern of the government and international retailers is how to continue business as usual.
By Sarath Kumara, 1 May 2013
The government has ignored pleas from the relatives of victims who are still hoping that survivors will be found.
By Sarath Kumara, 29 April 2013
The total number of deaths may never be known in one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.
By K. Ratnayake, 27 April 2013
The tragedy is one of the world’s worst industrial disasters, but it will not be the last, as global corporations sacrifice workers’ safety to the requirements of profit.
By Patrick O’Connor, 26 April 2013
Hundreds of thousands of garment workers marched out of their factories yesterday, compelling plant owners to declare a day’s “holiday”.
By Sarath Kumara and Wimal Perera, 25 April 2013
At least 149 workers were confirmed dead as of Thursday morning, but the figure is likely to rise as more bodies are recovered.
By Sarath Kumara, 1 April 2013
Violent clashes between the Awami League (AL)-led government and the right-wing, Islamist-aligned opposition are continuing in Bangladesh.
By Wimal Perera, 27 March 2013
The masses have become increasingly alienated from the Awami League-led government, because of its failure to solve any aspect of the social crisis.
By Wimal Perera and K. Ratnayake, 4 March 2013
At least 62 people died in a state crackdown on protests against death sentences imposed on Bangladeshi Islamist politicians.
By Wimal Perera, 1 February 2013
The latest disaster again exposes the brutal conditions prevailing in the clothing industry.
By Oliver Campbell, 20 December 2012
The report covers up the responsibility of the government and the major international corporations that exploit cheap labour in Bangladesh.
By Peter Symonds, 7 December 2012
Corporations are desperate to deny responsibility in order to protect their public relations image and profits, and avoid potential legal action.
By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 1 December 2012
Workers were demanding justice for the victims, compensation for their families and improved safety standards.
By Peter Symonds, 28 November 2012
The conditions at the Tazreen Fashions factory where 112 workers died were not the exception, but the rule.
By Peter Symonds, 27 November 2012
The protesters demanded the punishment of those responsible for the Tazreen Fashions factory fire that claimed at least 112 lives on Saturday night.
By Peter Symonds, 26 November 2012
A blaze that gutted the Tazreen Fashions building near the capital of Dhaka on Saturday night killed at least 112 workers and injured another 150.
By Sarath Kumara and Wimal Perera, 20 September 2012
The latest protests underscore the seething discontent over deteriorating wages and working conditions.
By Sarath Kumara, 14 August 2012
The electoral ban has nothing to do with opposing religious fundamentalism, defending democratic rights or promoting secularism.
By Wimal Perera and Sarath Kumara, 23 July 2012
Amid fears of mass workers’ struggles, the government has given the green light for trade unions as another mechanism for suppressing workers.
By Sathish Simon, 16 July 2012
While torrential monsoonal rains produced the floods, their ruinous impact is the result of decades of official indifference and negligence.
By Sarath Kumara, 17 April 2012
Aminul Islam went missing on April 4 and his tortured body was found two days later, dumped by the roadside.
By Sarath Kumara and Wimal Perera, 17 March 2012
The right-wing BNP and the Islamists are seeking to exploit the rising disaffection with the government and divert it in a reactionary nationalist direction.
By Sarath Kumara and Wimal Perera, 10 September 2011
The much-anticipated visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to produce the desired transit and water-sharing deals.
By Simon Whelan, 7 January 2011
Cables released by WikiLeaks reveal how the British government provides training to a Bangladeshi government paramilitary force specialising in executing political opponents.
By Wasantha Rupasingha, 23 December 2010
At least 37 people—all women and children—have drowned after a ferry collided with a sand-laden cargo vessel and sank in north-eastern Bangladesh on December 19.
By K. Ratnayake, 21 December 2010
The killing of four textile workers is the sharpest expression of a global turn by employers and government to state violence amid the deepening international economic crisis.
By W.A. Sunil and John Chan, 16 December 2010
Tensions remain high in the Bangladeshi garment industry as a result of Sunday’s bloody crackdown by the Awami League government, in which police fatally shot four striking workers, followed two days later by a factory fire that killed more than 30 workers near Dhaka, the capital.
By Wimal Perera, 15 December 2010
Police mobilised by the Awami League government killed four garment workers and injured at least 150 after opening fire with live bullets and tear gas shells on striking workers in Bangladesh last Sunday.
By Sarath Kumara, 4 August 2010
Thousands of garment workers demonstrated in Bangladesh for a fifth day yesterday to demand higher pay, defying police repression and a sell-out deal between unions, employer groups and government on Sunday.
By Sarath Kumara, 5 July 2010
Sheik Hasina’s government has mobilised riot police in a bid to crush the eruption of a garment workers’ struggle against poverty wages.
By Wimal Perera, 26 June 2010
This month’s Bangladesh budget seeks to address the concerns of big business while the masses continue to live in dire poverty.
By Sarath Kumara, 5 June 2010
The toll from a huge fire in one of Dhaka’s poor districts on Thursday has highlighted the indifference of successive governments to the conditions facing the country’s working people.
By Wimal Perera, 4 March 2010
The deplorable lack of safety standards in Bangladesh’s garment factories is a direct product of the drive for profit.
By Wije Dias, 17 February 2010
Amid waning support for her government, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed is cynically exploiting the hangings of her father’s killers to exhort supporters to strengthen the ruling Awami League.
By Wimal Perera, 3 December 2009
For Bangladesh’s tens of millions of poor, ferries are one of the few affordable means of transport. The latest tragedy again exposes the callous indifference of authorities to their plight.
By Wimal Perera, 10 July 2009
Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina Wajed’s government has launched a sweeping crackdown on protesting garment workers after police and para-military Ansar forces shot dead two striking workers.
By Sarath Kumara, 5 March 2009
Despite promises of an amnesty, the Bangladeshi government has launched a massive manhunt for members of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) who mutinied last week and murdered their army commanders.
By K. Ratnayake, 28 February 2009
A 33-hour mutiny by the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), the country’s border guards, has shaken the government and the military. Having persuaded the mutineers to surrender, the government is ruthlessly reasserting its authority.
By Wimal Perera, 3 January 2009
An alliance led by the Awami League won national elections in Bangladesh on Monday with a landslide victory that expressed widespread popular opposition to the military-backed regime that has held power since early 2007.
By Wimal Perera, 19 July 2003
Hundreds of people are dead after one of Bangladesh’s worst ferry disasters. The badly overcrowded ferry, the MV Nazreen-1, sank in flood-swollen waters at the confluence of the Padma, Meghna and Dakatia rivers, some 170 kilometres southeast of the capital Dhaka, on the night of July 8.
By Sarath Kumara, 8 January 2003
The Bangladesh government has used a series of bomb blasts on December 7 to intensify a crackdown on its political opponents, including the arrest of prominent leaders of the opposition Awami League (AL). The bombs exploded simultaneously in four cinemas in the town of Mymensingh, 110 km north of the capital Dhaka, killing 19 people and injuring more than 200 others.
By Wimal Perera and Sarath Kumara, 20 November 2002
In the name of combatting crime, the Bangladesh government has mobilised some 40,000 soldiers alongside police in a huge nationwide dragnet that began on October 17 and has already resulted in the detention of more than 5,700 people. They include union officials, as well as politicians.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 8 May 2002
More than 300 people have died in one of Bangladesh’s worst ferry disasters. The triple-decked MV Shalahuddin-2 was caught in a storm in the Meghna River last Friday on its way from the capital Dhaka to Patuakhali. About 170km south of Dhaka, it capsized and sank rapidly at around 9.30pm. Most of those on board had little chance of escaping.
By Nishanthi Priyangika, 21 May 2001
The India-Bangladesh border remains tense following a major clash between the armed forces of the two countries in mid-April that claimed the lives of 19 soldiers. While the immediate cause is an outstanding dispute over territory, the incidents have fueled nationalist sentiments in both countries—particularly in Bangladesh, where the government and opposition have exploited the issue in the lead up to elections due in July.
By Nishathi Priyangika, 26 April 2001
At least two people are dead and 20 people have been wounded in the latest anti-government strikes and protests in Bangladesh this week. One person was killed by police gunfire and another activist from the ruling Awami League was shot dead while returning home from a pro-government rally at Feni, 150km southeast of Dhaka. Strikes on Monday shut schools, closed the stock exchanges in Dhaka and Chittagong and affected work at the Chittagong port.
By Nishanthi Priyangika, 5 January 2001
More than 165 people are dead in Bangladesh's worst ferry disaster and the figure could rise further as over 100 are still missing. Unofficial reports put the death toll at 188. At least 40 of the dead are children.
By Nishanthi Priyangika, 9 December 2000
Bangladeshi police shot dead four striking dock workers and wounded more than 100 on December 5 during a demonstration in the port city of Mongla, 160 kilometres southwest of Bangladesh's capital Dhaka. In defiance of their trade unions, the workers were striking for improved working conditions and the release of a co-worker arrested for campaigning for a hartal (strike and shop closures).
By Nishanthi Priyangika, 9 March 2000
Ongoing anti-government strikes, protests and agitation in Bangladesh organised by the conservative four-party opposition alliance led by the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) point to chronic political instability and breakdown for which neither the government, the opposition nor big business have any solution.
By Y.A. Dharmasena, 29 February 2000
Bangladesh President Shahabuddin Ahmed signed into law a Public Safety (Special Provisions) Bill on February 14 giving sweeping powers to the police. Under the pretext of dealing with criminals and terrorists, Prime Minister Sheik Hasina's government will use the new law to witchhunt the political opponents of the ruling Awami League regime and to suppress social unrest by workers and the poor.
By Nishanthi Priyangika, 3 November 1999
A UN Childrens Fund report published in September has found that more than 6.3 million children under 14 are working in Bangladesh. Children are labouring as maids and servants, in garment factories and engineering workshops, in the construction sector, as bus or tempo (three-wheeler transport) helpers, in the beedi (a kind of hand-made cigarette) factories, as roadside restaurant workers and street vendors, and in tea plantations and other agricultural sectors.