Asia

Sri Lankan government establishes phony Office on Missing Persons

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 21 August 2017

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

US pushes ahead with provocative war games in South Korea

By Peter Symonds, 21 August 2017

By proceeding with the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises, the US is once again deliberately inflaming its confrontation with North Korea.

IMF sharpens its warning on “dangerous” Chinese debt growth

By Nick Beams, 18 August 2017

According to the IMF, the increased Chinese debt, resulting from government efforts to stimulate the economy, could lead to a financial crisis.

China accelerates privatisation of state-owned enterprises

By Gary Alvernia, 18 August 2017

The conversion of SOEs to joint-stock companies is a form of back-door privatisation that will intensify the attacks on Chinese workers’ jobs and conditions.

Earthquake in China kills 25

By Robert Campion, 18 August 2017

Since the devastating quake in Sichuan Province in 2008, little has been done to address the quality of building materials in the countryside.

A temporary step back in US-North Korean tensions

By Peter Symonds, 17 August 2017

The confrontation on the Korean Peninsula remains on a hair trigger and a mistake or miscalculation could plunge the world into war.

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

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 17 August 2017

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

Sri Lankan foreign minister resigns amid intensifying government crisis

By W.A. Sunil, 16 August 2017

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

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

By K. Nesan, 16 August 2017

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

Seventy years since the communal Partition of South Asia

By Keith Jones, 16 August 2017

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

New Zealand government would “consider” joining US war against North Korea

By Tom Peters, 15 August 2017

For the government and opposition parties alike, the threat of war has been the great unmentionable in their campaigns for the September 23 election.

As Trump initiates hostile trade inquiry against China

US defence secretary threatens war with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 15 August 2017

Mattis’s remarks came in the aftermath of bellicose threats by President Trump last week to engulf North Korea in “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 August 2017

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

Danger of India-China border war grows

By K. Ratnayake, 10 August 2017

The standoff between Indian and Chinese troops on the Doklam Plateau is continuing, amid growing warnings of an impending military clash.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 August 2017

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

China rejects Trump’s accusations over North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 2 August 2017

Beijing’s determination not to be bullied into tougher action against North Korea sets the stage for an escalating US confrontation not only with Pyongyang, but also China.

Indonesian government bans Hizbut Tahrir

By John Roberts, 1 August 2017

The Widodo government fears that growing political instability will generate a social movement from below and is adopting draconian anti-democratic measures.

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

By our reporters, 1 August 2017

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

Trump slams China over North Korean missile

By Peter Symonds, 31 July 2017

Trump’s tweets are another sign that the White House is actively considering far more aggressive methods, including military strikes against North Korea.

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

By Sampath Perera, 31 July 2017

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

Maldives president mobilises military and police against opposition MPs

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 31 July 2017

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

Japan’s defense minister resigns in wake of scandal

By Ben McGrath, 29 July 2017

Inada’s resignation is an attempt to reverse the drastically falling support for the Abe government.

US generals discuss “military options” after North Korean missile test

By Peter Symonds, 29 July 2017

Yesterday’s launch of a long-range missile will only heighten the clamour in Washington for action, including military strikes and regime-change operations.

Indian Stalinists support Modi government in military standoff with China

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 29 July 2017

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 July 2017

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

US military declares “time is running out” before war with North Korea

By James Cogan, 28 July 2017

The situation is rendered even more volatile and dangerous by the besieged character of the Trump presidency.

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

By Jai Sharma, 28 July 2017

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

Sri Lankan government deploys army to break oil workers’ strike

By Shree Haran and W. A. Sunil, 27 July 2017

The government’s turn to military repression is aimed at intimidating the entire working class.

US accuses China of unsafe mid-air encounter

By Peter Symonds, 26 July 2017

The incident involving a US spy plane and Chinese fighters highlights the acute tensions generated by Washington’s repeated threats to attack North Korea.

Independent Inquiry Committee holds meeting on Sri Lankan garbage dump collapse

By our correspondent, 26 July 2017

The Independent Workers’ Inquiry called by the SEP will expose the class roots of the Meethotamulla disaster and the culpability of successive governments.

In landslide vote, Philippine legislature extends martial law

By Joseph Santolan, 25 July 2017

The wholesale embrace of martial law by the Filipino ruling elites is a sharp expression of the crisis of class rule around the globe amid intensifying class tensions.

India: Stalinist-backed “common opposition” candidate crashes out in presidential election

By Deepal Jayasekera, 25 July 2017

The Stalinists parties have responded to the Indian ruling elite’s embrace of social reaction by redoubling their efforts to subordinate workers to the political establishment.

Rampant dengue epidemic in Sri Lanka

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 25 July 2017

Public health service cuts have resulted in poor sanitation and preventive measures, creating breeding grounds for dengue fever and other diseases.

South Korea extends deadline for talks with the North

By Ben McGrath, 24 July 2017

Seoul has reassured Washington that its proposal is not meant to undermine the larger demand for the complete denuclearization of North Korea.

Top leadership contender in China abruptly ousted

By Peter Symonds, 20 July 2017

Sun Zhengcai was removed as party boss of Chongqing and replaced by a trusted protégé of President Xi Jinping.

Three months after the Meethotamulla disaster in Sri Lanka

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 19 July 2017

The government’s callous disregard for the plight of thousands of victims of the Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse is a sharp warning to the working class as a whole.

Indian-US-Japanese naval exercises in Indian Ocean target China

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 July 2017

India’s hosting of the Malabar exercises is part of its integration into the US military-strategic offensive against China.

South Korea proposes military talks with North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 18 July 2017

Seoul’s offer is likely to aggravate differences with Washington, which were largely papered over during the summit between the leaders of the two countries last month.

China establishes military base in Djibouti

By Peter Symonds, 17 July 2017

China’s military involvement in Africa takes place amid rising geo-political rivalries that threaten its considerable investment in, and trade with, Africa.

Police kill young worker in northern Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 14 July 2017

The shooting is not an accident but another manifestation of the ongoing police and military repression of Tamil residents in the war-torn northern region.

US threatens China over North Korean sanctions

By Peter Symonds, 13 July 2017

The Trump administration is preparing secondary sanctions against Chinese companies and individuals even as it demands Beijing’s support for far tougher UN bans on North Korea.

Modi visit consolidates Indo-Israeli military-strategic partnership

By Deepal Jayasekera, 13 July 2017

Modi’s visit, the first by an Indian prime minister to Israel, was capped by an agreement to expand military-security cooperation.

Sri Lankan government appeases Buddhist hierarchy

By K. Ratnayake, 11 July 2017

The government is resorting to Sinhala Buddhist supremacism amid a deepening political crisis stemming from widespread opposition to its austerity measures.

US strategic bombers conduct provocative drill near North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 10 July 2017

The military exercise involving US B1-B bombers just before the G20 summit, was aimed at pressuring all countries, especially China, to take tough action against North Korea.

Japan’s ruling party trounced in Tokyo regional election

By Ben McGrath, 7 July 2017

The election is regarded as a barometer of national political sentiment, showing falling support for the Abe government.

Ahead of G20 summit

US exploits North Korean missile test to threaten war and isolate China

By James Cogan, 6 July 2017

The Trump administration is returning to the bellicose anti-China stance that characterised his campaign in the presidential election.

North Korean missile launch intensifies war danger

By Peter Symonds, 5 July 2017

Washington, not Pyongyang, is primarily responsible for creating the explosive situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Japanese PM plans to submit constitutional revisions this year

By Ben McGrath, 5 July 2017

Prime Minister Abe’s plan has upset some within his party who feel the changes do not go far enough in removing restrictions on the military.

Socialist Equality Party holds public meeting on Sri Lankan floods disaster

By our correspondents, 5 July 2017

The meeting discussed the recent catastrophe, which killed at least 300 people, and the other social disasters created by the capitalist class.

India and China trade war threats amid border stand-off

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 4 July 2017

India and China have rushed troops to a remote border region, in what is widely being described as the worst stand-off between the two countries since they fought a war in 1962.

Trump’s frosty phone call with Chinese President Xi

By Peter Symonds, 4 July 2017

Trump is adopting a more confrontational stance toward China in an effort to pressure Beijing to force North Korea to bow to US demands.

US warship intrudes into Chinese-claimed waters in South China Sea

By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2017

The US naval provocation, following the approval of a large arms deal with Taiwan and US sanctions on Chinese companies, heightens the risk of war with China.

South Korean president aligns with US war plans against North Korea

By Ben McGrath, 3 July 2017

With his election out of the way, President Moon sought to reassure Washington that he remained committed to the military alliance.

Photo Essay—Sri Lanka: The housing crisis and Colombo’s poor

By Shantan Kumarasamy and Panini Wijesiriwardane, 3 July 2017

A photo essay on the conditions of life for the many thousands living in makeshift housing around Colombo.

US threatens war with North as South Korean president arrives in Washington

By James Cogan, 30 June 2017

Moon Jae-in, far from seeking to curb Washington’s threats, has fallen into line with the steady build-up toward confrontation with North Korea.

Trump and Modi trumpet Indo-US “strategic convergence”

By Deepal Jayasekera, 28 June 2017

India is increasingly serving as a frontline state in US imperialism’s strategic confrontation with China.

Over 150 people die in oil tanker explosion in Pakistan

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 27 June 2017

In an exercise in political damage control, the prime minister expressed his “sympathy” for the victims and announced compensation for the families of the dead and injured.

Lawyer for framed up Maruti Suzuki workers: The court “committed violence” to the “principles” of law

By our correspondents, 27 June 2017

Rebecca John, who represented the Maruti Suzuki workers in the final stages of their four-and-a-half-year-long court case, spoke with the WSWS last month as she completed work on an appeal.

Ex-CIA chief calls for “firm” Australian action against China

By Mike Head, 26 June 2017

David Petraeus’ appearance at the Liberal Party dinner was the latest intervention into Australian politics by visiting senior figures within the US military-intelligence complex.

Floods devastate Bangladesh and parts of India, killing more than 185

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.

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.

US demands “much greater” Chinese pressure on North Korea, or else

By Peter Symonds, 22 June 2017

While continuing to press China over North Korea, the Trump administration is warning that the US will resort to other measures—including military action—if there are no results.

South Korean president tries to smooth disagreements with Washington

By Ben McGrath, 22 June 2017

Seoul has suggested reaching out to Pyongyang as the US ramps up pressure on North Korea.

Trump takes another step towards war with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 21 June 2017

By declaring that Chinese pressure on Pyongyang has “not worked out,” Trump is left with few options but to launch reckless military attacks on North Korea.

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.”

South Korean president offers phony welfare pledges

By Ben McGrath, 20 June 2017

The new government’s promises are a smokescreen to obscure its pro-capitalist policies, counter mounting discontent and prevent the eruption of social unrest.

US ex-basketballer heads to North Korea to “open door”

By Peter Symonds, 15 June 2017

Given the accelerating US confrontation with North Korea, the chances that Rodman’s visit can open meaningful talks between the two countries appear remote.

China, Japan take tentative steps to revive relations

By Kurt Brown, 14 June 2017

China’s top foreign policy official held three days of talks with senior Japanese officials, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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.

South Korea delays THAAD battery installation

By Ben McGrath, 13 June 2017

Washington is concerned that the new government in Seoul is pursuing closer relations with China.

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.

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.

Following new UN sanctions, North Korea tests more missiles

By Peter Symonds, 8 June 2017

A US nuclear-powered attack submarine docked in South Korea on Tuesday—the latest step in Washington’s military build-up near the Korean Peninsula.

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.

Political lessons of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in China

By James Cogan, 5 June 2017

Each year, the Stalinist regime mobilises its police state apparatus to prevent any commemoration of the massacre, which was aimed at suppressing a potentially revolutionary movement of the Chinese working class.

Shangri La Dialogue: US Defence Secretary, Australian PM threaten North Korea, China

By Peter Symonds, 3 June 2017

The premier Asian strategic conference is taking place as the US threatens war against North Korea and continues its relentless military build-up.

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.

Terror scare inflames martial law crisis in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 2 June 2017

Over 22 million Filipinos on the southern island of Mindanao have been living under conditions of military dictatorship for the past week.

Germany turns to Asia

By Johannes Stern, 1 June 2017

In the midst of a historic crisis in transatlantic relations, Berlin is working systematically to expand political and economic ties with Asia.

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.

Senator John McCain visits Australia to reinforce US alliance

By James Cogan, 31 May 2017

McCain issued appeals and warnings to the Australian ruling class not to deviate from its strategic alignment with the US.

US anti-missile test sends warning to North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 31 May 2017

The successful interception of a dummy ICBM demonstrates to North Korea and also China that the US can launch a nuclear attack and counter any attempt to retaliate.

Thousands of workers on strike at Freeport mine in Papua

By Oscar Grenfell, 31 May 2017

The industrial action at the second-largest copper mine in the world reflects mounting social unrest in Indonesia.

Japanese government pushes “anti-conspiracy” laws through lower house

By Gary Alvernia, 30 May 2017

Defying public opposition, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing ahead with the bill that defines 277 types of crimes to which criminal conspiracy can apply.

North Korea tests missile as US deploys third aircraft carrier

By James Cogan, 29 May 2017

The test follow steps by the US and its allies that would have heightened fears in the North Korean regime of the possibility of attack.

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.

War clouds over South Asia

By Keith Jones, 27 May 2017

South Asia is becoming more and more geo-politically polarized between an India allied with US imperialism and a Pakistan backed by Beijing.

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.

Political tensions in Indonesia after jailing of Jakarta governor

By John Roberts, 27 May 2017

Basuki has withdrawn an appeal over his jail sentence in line with ruling elite concerns about possible unrest generated by intense social divisions.

US warship carries out “freedom of navigation” exercise in Chinese-claimed waters

By James Cogan, 26 May 2017

China’s foreign ministry said the move “undermined China’s sovereignty and security,” and risked causing “unexpected air and sea accidents.”

Moody’s downgrades China’s debt rating

By Nick Beams, 26 May 2017

The sharp reaction of the Chinese finance ministry to the Moody’s downgrade decision signifies that that economic and political contradictions facing the Xi Jinping regime are increasing.

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.

UN Security Council to meet again after North Korea missile test

By James Cogan, 22 May 2017

The test followed actions by the US and its allies that would only have heightened the North Korean regime’s fears about an imminent military assault.

Another undercover report of super-exploitation in China’s iPhone factories

By Robert Campion, 22 May 2017

A student exposes some of the horrendous working conditions enforced by the Beijing regime, on behalf of conglomerates such as Apple.

Japanese government exploits Korean crisis to whip up war scares

By Gary Alvernia, 20 May 2017

Post-war Japanese governments have attempted for decades to find ways around the limitations on military force in the constitution.