Indian subcontinent

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka intensifies as opposition takes control of parliament

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 24 November 2018

The UNP-led opposition has submitted a motion to suspend funds to Rajapakse’s office of prime minister.

Sri Lankan parliament adjourned amid ongoing political crisis

By K. Ratnayake, 20 November 2018

While claiming to be champions of “democracy,” the rival factions of the ruling class are both committed to implementing the IMF’s austerity demands and suppressing any opposition from working people.

Sri Lanka: Second no-confidence motion passed as violent clashes erupt in parliament

By W.A. Sunil, 17 November 2018

While the UNP and Sri Lanka’s parliamentary speaker claim victory for another no confidence vote, nothing is resolved.

In another anti-democratic act, Sri Lankan president dissolves parliament

By K. Ratnayake, 10 November 2018

Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament exposes the degenerated state of parliamentary democracy and the Sri Lanka ruling elite’s moves towards dictatorial forms of rule.

Tamil nationalists support US-backed factions in Sri Lankan political crisis

By K. Nesan, 10 November 2018

The TNA is pursuing the same pro-imperialist course that led it to back the US-led regime change operation, that brought President Sirisena to power in 2015.

The kiss of death: Stalinists seek to tie Tamil Nadu auto strikes to right-wing parties

By Arun Kumar, 10 November 2018

Opposing all attempts to broaden the struggle, the Stalinists convened an “all party” meeting, where they touted the leaders of opposition parties and their affiliated unions as the strikers’ allies.

Indian Trotskyists to hold meeting on 80 years of the Fourth International

6 November 2018

The meeting in Chennai, which will also mark 50 years of Sri Lanka’s SEP, will outline the lessons of the protracted struggle for Trotskyism in South Asia and internationally.

Sri Lankan crisis: Washington intervenes to maintain its political influence

By Deepal Jayasekera, 3 November 2018

The Trump administration, which is preparing for war against China, does not want to lose political domination in strategically-located Sri Lanka.

Infighting deepens between rival factions of Sri Lankan elite

By Deepal Jayasekera, 30 October 2018

The government’s ultimatum for Wickremesinghe to vacate the prime minister’s residence has set the stage for bloody clashes and political violence.

Sri Lankan President Sirisena sacks prime minister

By K. Ratnayake, 28 October 2018

The coup is an expression of the huge political crisis confronting the Sri Lankan ruling class amid a profound economic crisis, rising geo-political tensions and a resurgence of the class struggle.

Thousands of youth demonstrate in Sri Lanka to support plantation workers’ wage struggle

By our correspondents, 27 October 2018

The protest in Colombo was the first time that Sri Lankan workers have conducted such a campaign via social media.

Pakistan caught up in intensifying US-China rivalry

By Pradeep Ramayake, 27 October 2018

Amid a worsening balance-of-payments crisis, Pakistan desperately needs an estimated $12 billion, but is under pressure from the US to distance itself from China.

Indian police detain thousands of striking Tamil Nadu auto workers

By Arun Kumar, 25 October 2018

Stalinist union leaders have sought to isolate the strikers, fearing that their struggle could become the focal point for a broader movement of the working class.

Indian court dismisses Maruti Suzuki workers’ bail application

By Keith Jones, 23 October 2018

There is incontrovertible evidence the Maruti Suzuki workers have been jailed for life as the result of a crude frame-up, but the judge callously refused to hear any of it.

India seizes “shadow bank” to avert potential “catastrophic” impact on financial system

By Kranti Kumara, 20 October 2018

Financial observers have said the collapse of IL&FS could have been India’s “Lehman Brothers moment”—a reference to the September 2008 bankruptcy that triggered the global financial meltdown.

Nineteen sentenced to death over 2004 grenade attack in Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 20 October 2018

The harsh sentences dovetail with a broader crackdown on political opposition by the Awami League-led government.

Divisions erupt within Sri Lankan government

By K. Ratnayake, 20 October 2018

Allegations that President Maithripala Sirisena told a cabinet meeting that “Indian intelligence” was planning to assassinate him, have brought deep rifts within the government to the surface.

Striking Tamil Nadu auto workers face dismissal

By Moses Rajkumar and Nanda Kumar, 17 October 2018

The unions have refused to mobilise workers to defend strikers at Yamaha, Enfield and MSA, and instead are making futile appeals to the courts and state government.

As Pakistan seeks IMF bailout, US intensifies pressure on Islamabad

By Sampath Perera, 16 October 2018

Washington has served notice that it intends to leverage Pakistan’s current account crisis to disrupt Islamabad’s economic and strategic partnership with China

Sri Lankan tea estate workers step up demands for higher pay

By M. Thevarajah, 13 October 2018

Demonstrations by estate workers underscore growing working-class opposition to the attacks of the government and employers.

Tamil Nadu police arrest hundreds of striking Indian autoworkers

By Arun Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 11 October 2018

Strikes and protests have broken out in Tamil Nadu companies that employ the majority of India’s 7.6 million auto manufacturing workers.

Sri Lankan plantation workers demonstrate for higher wages

By M. Thevarajah, 29 September 2018

The union-controlled protest was organised to promote illusions that the companies and the government will grant a “reasonable” pay rise for estate workers.

India cancels talks with Pakistan, threatens military action

By Keith Jones, 24 September 2018

India’s army chief said “pain” should be inflicted on Pakistan, while applauding New Delhi’s scuttling of foreign ministerial talks with Pakistan.

India: Police charge pro-Dalit activists under anti-terrorism laws

By Kranti Kumara, 6 September 2018

With the aim of muzzling opposition to the BJP government and its noxious Hindu supremacist ideology, police arrested five left-wing activists after conducting warrantless searches of their homes.

India: Kerala floods death toll climbs to 445

By Sathish Simon and Deepal Jayasekera, 27 August 2018

Although water levels are receding, flood survivors have been virtually abandoned by government authorities.

Bangladesh jute mill workers demonstrate; Paradip port workers strike in Orissa

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

25 August 2018

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

Unprecedented monsoonal floods kill over 370 in southwest India

By Sathish Simon, 20 August 2018

While heavy monsoonal rain is normal at this time of the year, the disastrous levels of flooding in Kerala are unprecedented and not a “natural” event.

Amidst Turkish crisis Indian rupee falls to all-time low

By Deepal Jayasekera, 18 August 2018

The decline of Indian rupee is a part of a global rush by investors away from so-called emerging markets.

Indian government threatens to end citizenship for millions of Assam residents

By Rohantha De Silva, 9 August 2018

The Bharatiya Janata Party is whipping up Hindu chauvinism, not just in Assam state, but throughout India.

Bangladesh: Police and government thugs attack protesting students and teachers

By Rohantha De Silva, 3 August 2018

The Awami League-led government has encouraged the ruling party’s notoriously violent youth movement to assault demonstrators.

Indian government backs mob lynchings targeting Muslims and minorities

By Pradeep Ramayake, 26 July 2018

These attacks are the result of provocations by Hindu extremist groups, supported by the BJP government.

Sri Lankan SEP member Mohamdiramlage Chandrasiri (1955–2018)

By Wimal Fernando, 19 July 2018

Retired bank worker Chandrasiri will always be remembered for his selfless dedication to Trotskyism, the rights of the working class and the building of the SEP.

Former Pakistan PM Sharif arrested in run-up to election

By Sampath Perera, 17 July 2018

Pakistani state authorities banned all public gatherings in Sharif’s home town prior to his arrival, suspended mobile services, and deployed thousands of police and paramilitary Rangers.

India: Victims of police attack on Tuticorin protests speak out

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 5 July 2018

WSWS reporters interviewed survivors of the police assault on demonstrators demanding the closure of the Sterlite copper smelter.

Sri Lankan unions betray national postal strike

By W.A. Sunil, 28 June 2018

The unions called off the indefinite walkout after accepting vague promises from government authorities.

SEP anniversary meeting in Sri Lanka denounces anti-immigrant attacks

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 27 June 2018

The following resolution was unanimously endorsed at the Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party’s 50th anniversary meeting, held in Colombo this month.

Sri Lanka: Striking postal workers criticise the trade unions

By our correspondents, 26 June 2018

While postal workers are determine to continue their fight, the trade unions are seeking ways to sabotage the campaign.

Sri Lankan artists, translators and workers endorse international campaign to defend Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 25 June 2018

More Sri Lankan academics, writers and workers have spoken out in support of the International Committee of the Fourth International’s campaign in defence of the WikiLeaks editor.

Bangladesh government intensifies “anti-drug” crackdown

By Wimal Perera, 25 June 2018

The crackdown is being used to target political opponents and suppress the mounting popular opposition to Hasina’s big business policies.

Pickets in Sri Lanka and India demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 20 June 2018

The campaign to free Assange “is inseparably bound with the struggle for the defence of democratic rights and against the repression of the basic rights of the working class.”

Nine million truck drivers across India strike over increasing fuel prices

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 19 June 2018

Although fuel price hikes are affecting working people as a whole, the union bureaucrats are blocking any united struggle against this and other government austerity measures.

Indian workers and students demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 June 2018

Indian Trotskyists campaigned last week in Kolkata and Sriperumbudur as part of the international struggle to defend the WikiLeaks editor.

Free Julian Assange rallies called in Sri Lanka and India

7 June 2018

The SEP and supporters of the ICFI will demonstrate in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, and Sriperumbudur, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Sri Lankan workers and students defend Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 7 June 2018

Many of those who spoke to the WSWS compared the attacks on WikiLeaks to the Sri Lankan government’s measures against journalists.

Sri Lanka SEP files fundamental rights case against Colombo Municipal Council

By our correspondent, 6 June 2018

The legal action against the May Day meeting ban seeks to further expose the government’s anti-democratic attacks on working people.

Fearful of widening mass anger over police shootings

Indian authorities shut down polluting copper plant in Tuticorin

By Deepal Jayasekera, 25 May 2018

Sections of the ruling elite fear the police attacks in Tuticorin will fuel already volatile social tensions across India.

India: Varanasi flyover bridge collapse kills 18

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 May 2018

The tragedy is a further indication that government authorities and construction companies are endangering the safety of workers and the public as a whole.

India’s BJP government creates new category of workers who can be fired at will

By Kranti Kumara, 16 May 2018

Even the appellation “fixed-term employment” is a misnomer, since an employer can terminate a worker’s contract at any time and without providing a rupee in severance pay.

Machines: An unflinching look at an Indian textile mill

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 May 2018

Rahul Jain’s austere but effective documentary focuses on one of the hundreds of textile plants in Gujarat state on India’s west coast.

India: Tamil Nadu government arrests hundreds of protesting teachers and public sector workers

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 10 May 2018

The demonstrators’ main demand is for the scrapping of a regressive new pension system.

The Maruti Suzuki workers and the re-emergence of class struggle across South Asia

By Wije Dias, 7 May 2018

Wije Dias, general secretary of the Sri Lankan section of the ICFI, and a veteran Trotskyist of more than 50 years standing, spoke from Colombo to the ICFI’s International Online May Day Rally.

Despite government ban, Sri Lankan SEP and IYSSE hold successful May Day meeting

By our correspondents, 3 May 2018

Workers, youths, professionals and housewives, as well as Tamil-speaking residents from Jaffna and plantation workers from the central hills, attended the meeting.

International Monetary Fund demands Sri Lankan government cut fuel subsidies

By Saman Gunadasa, 2 May 2018

Despite rising discontent, the IMF has threatened to stop a scheduled loan payment.

Income inequality worsening in Bangladesh

By Sujeewa Amaranath, 1 May 2018

Official statistics contradict World Bank and the Bangladeshi government claims of “remarkable progress in poverty reduction.”

Indian Stalinist congress opts for alliance with big business Congress Party

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 30 April 2018

The corporate media has almost universally welcomed the CPM’s overture to the Congress, calculating that it will strengthen the ruling elite against the working class.

SEP and IYSSE demonstrate against Sri Lankan government’s May Day ban

By our correspondents, 30 April 2018

Almost one hundred SEP and IYSSE members and supporters participated in Friday’s picket, denouncing the government ban and other anti-democratic attacks.

India’s BJP government imposes death penalty for child rape

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 24 April 2018

The BJP ordinance is an attempt to divert attention from the role its leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have played in shielding those who raped and murdered an eight-year-old Muslim girl.

BJP leaders’ cover-up of rape and murder of Kashmiri Muslim girl provokes outrage across India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 20 April 2018

Asifa Bano was repeatedly raped, then killed in what police now concede was a conspiracy aimed at terrorizing and forcing the semi-nomadic Bakkarwal from Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua District.

SEP (Sri Lanka) calls May Day meeting in Colombo

By the Socialist Equality Party, 19 April 2018

In holding its public meeting on May 1, the SEP is opposing the government’s efforts to sabotage May Day celebrations.

Indian Stalinists at loggerheads over what right-wing course to follow

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 18 April 2018

At issue in the factional struggle is how to align with the Congress Party, until recently the Indian bourgeoisie’s preferred party of government.

Indian Trotskyists hold public meeting in Chennai against Internet censorship

By our correspondents, 16 April 2018

Speakers explained the connection between the attack on free speech, the drive to war and the rising struggles of the working class.

India: Modi government accelerates anti-worker privatization drive

By Kranti Kumara, 9 April 2018

A key aim of the privatization drive is to cut jobs, impose speed-ups, and further erode wages and working conditions, making India more attractive to investors.

Bangladesh garment workers jailed on bogus attempted murder charges

By Wimal Perera, 9 April 2018

The charges follow a series of provocations against workers at the Ashiana Garments plant, south of Dhaka.

Maldives president ends state of emergency

By Rohantha De Silva, 7 April 2018

President Yameen withdrew the draconian emergency law a day after trumped-up terrorism charges were filed against his chief political opponents.

Sri Lankan prime minister narrowly survives no-confidence resolution

By K. Ratnayake, 6 April 2018

The principal concern of the ruling elite is a growing financial crisis and the mounting working-class opposition to austerity measures.

April 8, public meeting in Chennai, India

Oppose Internet censorship! Defend freedom of speech!

By the supporters group of the ICFI in India, 3 April 2018

The supporters group of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) in India will hold a public meeting in Chennai on April 8 against Internet censorship.

Sri Lanka records lowest economic growth in 16 years

By Saman Gunadasa, 28 March 2018

The IMF is insisting on an austerity program to further slash social and living conditions.

Maruti Suzuki workers hold protest demanding release of 13 framed-up colleagues

By Saman Gunadasa, 21 March 2018

The demonstration marked one year since Maruti Suzuki workers’ leaders were sentenced to life in prison on politically-motivated charges.

Facebook and Sri Lankan government collaborate on social media censorship

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 20 March 2018

The Sri Lankan government is working with the giant social media corporation to establish greater political control of the Internet.

A travesty of justice that must not stand!

One year since India’s courts condemned framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers to jail for life

By Keith Jones, 17 March 2018

The thirteen’s only “crime” is to have rebelled against the sweatshop conditions that prevail in India’s new, globally connected auto industry.

Sri Lankan workers’ inquiry meeting to announce findings on garbage disaster

By the Independent Workers Inquiry Committee, 17 March 2018

The meeting will discuss the political reasons for last April’s tragedy that killed more than 30 residents from Meethotamulla, a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Colombo.

Sri Lankan government continues to use draconian terror laws

By Minusha Fernando, 17 March 2018

A Human Rights Watch report reveals that torture and other brutal methods are still in use in Sri Lanka under President Maithripala Sirisena.

Social media giants work with Indian government to censor Internet

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 8 March 2018

The Modi government’s measures are part of escalating efforts by governments around the world to silence political dissent.

Sri Lanka university workers maintain indefinite strike as union backtracks

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 March 2018

The trade unions were compelled to call the industrial action as workers’ unrest grew.

India’s highest court upholds life sentences for framed-up Pricol workers

By Kranti Kumara, 28 February 2018

There are striking parallels between the company-state frame-up of the Pricol workers and the victimization of Maruti Suzuki workers—13 of whom have been jailed for life.

Amid continuing crisis, Sri Lankan government leaders continue fragile coalition

By K. Ratnayake, 27 February 2018

The ruling coalition was on the point of breaking up before the US and India intervened to demand that the national unity government continue.

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.

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.

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 factory fire kills 17 workers

By W. A. Sunil, 24 January 2018

Women and children were trapped inside the building because illegal constructions blocked their escape.

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.

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.