South Asia

Indian government seizes on Kashmir attack to ratchet up tensions with Pakistan

By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 February 2019

New Delhi’s denunciations and blood-curdling threats are all but an announcement of an impending Indian military strike on Pakistan.

Sri Lankan president denounces opponents of the death penalty

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 15 February 2019

Sirisena not only wants reinstatement of executions but the endorsement of all human rights organisations.

Sri Lanka: SEP and Abbotsleigh workers’ committee organise picket to oppose witch hunt in plantations

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

The fight against the witch hunt in the plantations is bound up with the defence of the democratic rights of the working class from the onslaught of the capitalist class.

Sri Lankan plantation companies rule out further wage increases after union sellout

By W.A. Sunil, 13 February 2019

The unions’ betrayal of protracted industrial and political action has cleared the way for further attacks on workers by the plantation companies.

“It is necessary to base our struggle not on one company or on one nation, but by mobilizing the workers of the world”

Maruti Suzuki workers in India send greetings to February 9 protest

12 February 2019

Jitender Dhankar, a member of the provisional committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) in India, sent a message of solidarity to the workers and young people who participated in the February 9 demonstration against the factory closures and mass layoffs by General Motors.

The way forward to win wages and social rights

Workers Action Committee in Sri Lanka calls plantation workers’ conference

By the Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee, 12 February 2019

The conference will discuss the lessons of the recent plantation workers’ struggle and the political strategy needed to win their demands.

Sri Lankan president’s Independence Day speech exposes deep crisis of rule

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 9 February 2019

Sirisena bemoaned the failure of successive governments but offered no solution, amid ongoing infighting in ruling circles and mounting opposition by working people to the worsening social crisis.

Over 7,000 Bangladesh garment workers sacked after wage protests

By Wimal Perera, 8 February 2019

While the garment trade unions publicly bewail the mass sackings and arrests, these organisations have created the political conditions for the crackdown.

Sri Lankan SEP public meetings to launch Tamil edition of The Russian Revolution and the Unfinished Twentieth Century

7 February 2019

The book is critical in exposing the many lies perpetrated about the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the subsequent degeneration of the Soviet Union.

India and the Maldives strengthen military ties

By Rohantha De Silva, 5 February 2019

In a clear jab against China, the two countries agreed not to allow their territories to “be used for any activity that is hostile to each other’s interest.”

Sri Lanka: 16 families homeless after fire at Bogawantalawa tea plantation

By A. Suresh and M. Thevarajah, 4 February 2019

The disaster again highlights the difficult and dangerous conditions facing Sri Lankan plantation workers and their families.

India: Unions betray Tamil Nadu teachers’ and government workers’ strike

By Arun Kumar, 1 February 2019

The unions have cynically claimed that the shutdown of all industrial action is “temporary.”

IMF to resume Sri Lankan loan program discussions

By Saman Gunadasa, 31 January 2019

The Sri Lankan government has assured the IMF of its commitment to “strong” austerity measures.

Indian state government fires hundreds of teachers as Tamil Nadu strike faces a crossroads

By Arun Kumar, 30 January 2019

By isolating striking teachers and government workers, the JACTTO-GEO, which has hundreds of thousands of members, has allowed the state government to intensify its anti-democratic attacks.

Sri Lankan plantation workers protest unions’ sellout wage deal

By M. Thevarajah and W.A. Sunil, 29 January 2019

The unions, having suppressed an indefinite strike last month, are imposing an agreement in line with the demands of the plantation companies and the government.

Oppose the Sri Lankan plantation unions’ sellout agreement!

Resolution of the Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee, 29 January 2019

The following resolution, calling for the establishment of action committees at all estates and the rejection of a union sellout deal, was passed at a meeting of plantation workers on Sunday.

India: Striking Tamil Nadu teachers and government employees defy state repression

By Arun Kumar, 28 January 2019

In an attempt to break the strike, the state government has arrested hundreds of teachers who face charges of unlawful assembly and other bogus allegations.

Indian Trotskyists campaign for Kolkata meeting to mark the 80th anniversary of the Fourth International

By Arun Kumar and Ritwik Mitter, 26 January 2019

Indian university students discuss the rising danger of war and the betrayal by the Stalinist parties of the working class.

Indian teachers, government workers launch indefinite strike in Tamil Nadu

By Deepal Jayasekera, 25 January 2019

Defying mass arrests, 700,000 workers have been on strike since Tuesday, part of a growing global working class upsurge.

Striking Tamil Nadu teachers denounce state and central governments

By Sasi Kumar and Nanda Kumar, 25 January 2019

Protesting teachers told WSWS that all the parliamentary parties have inflicted similar attacks on pay and conditions.

Sri Lankan president praises Philippine-style “war on drugs”

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 23 January 2019

Sirisena’s support for Duterte’s death squads and police-state violence points to Sri Lankan preparations for dictatorial methods of rule.

Following strike, Bangladesh employers sack hundreds of garment workers

By Rohantha De Silva, 22 January 2019

The workers were not given any warnings and have not been paid outstanding wages and benefits in direct violation of Bangladesh’s limited labour laws.

Maldives president launches “anti-corruption” campaign to undermine Chinese influence

By Rohantha De Silva, 21 January 2019

The purpose of the government’s investigation is to witch hunt former President Yameen and other pro-Chinese factions of the Maldives ruling elite.

Indian government foreshadows harsher internet surveillance and censorship

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 January 2019

The planned laws are part of vast array of anti-democratic measures being introduced by governments internationally to target and spy on internet users.

Indian transit workers in Mumbai defy authorities, continue strike

By Kranti Kumara, 16 January 2019

As soon as the strike began, Maharashtra’s BJP state government invoked essential services legislation, threatening the strikers with mass incarceration, fines and dismissals.

Sri Lankan workers must oppose the witch-hunt of militant plantation workers

By M. Thevarajah, 16 January 2019

Plantation bosses, with the backing of the government, police and the unions, are attempting to intimidate estate workers and suppress their wage demands.

Bangladesh government oversees police attacks on protesting garment workers

By Wimal Perera, 16 January 2019

The Awami League-led government is seeking to suppress the wages movement with threats, police violence and victimisations.

Sri Lankan government proposes pay “formula” to end plantation workers’ struggle

By W.A. Sunil, 15 January 2019

The aim of the suggested three-year wage plan is to impose the burden of the crisis in the plantation industry onto workers.

The political significance of India’s two-day general strike

By Keith Jones, 12 January 2019

This week’s general strike in India, one of the largest strikes in history, is part of a growing upsurge of the world working class.

Sri Lankan president issues bogus promise to fulfil election pledges

By K. Ratnayake, 11 January 2019

Sirisena is attempting to cement an alliance with former President Mahinda Rajapakse against the United National Party-led government.

Mounting social anger seen in two-day strike against Indian government

By our correspondents, 10 January 2019

While the capitalist media tried to black out the strike, it was supported by broad sections of the working class.

Worker killed as Bangladesh police attack striking garment workers

By Wimal Perera, 10 January 2019

The re-elected Hasina government is mobilising heavily-armed police to suppress protests by garment workers over wages.

India’s “rise” and the savage exploitation of the working class

By Kranti Kumara, 10 January 2019

India’s rapidly expanding working class is condemned to poverty wages, Dickensian working conditions and precarious employment, and this in a country in which public services, if they exist at all, are dilapidated.

Sri Lankan plantation workers oppose company-union attempts to impose sell-out

By our reporters, 8 January 2019

There is widespread hostility to the plans for a new collective agreement that would reject workers’ demand for a 100 percent wage rise.

Indian Trotskyists in Kolkata to celebrate 80 years of the Fourth International

7 January 2019

The Kolkata meeting will review the essential political lessons of the protracted struggle of the Fourth International and their relevance to the fight for socialist internationalism today.

India’s unions to hold two-day “general strike” next week

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 January 2019

While millions of workers will join the protest strike to oppose Modi and his class-war policies, the Stalinists and their union allies are intent on channelling social opposition behind the Congress and other rightwing parties.

Fifteen Indian coal miners trapped, likely killed, in mine disaster

By W. A. Sunil, 5 January 2019

Rescue efforts after the “rat-hole” mine flooded have been hampered by inadequate equipment and the indifference of the government authorities.

Sri Lankan JVP postures as a saviour of “democracy”

By Sakuna Jayawardana and K. Ratnayake, 4 January 2019

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s response to the country’s political crisis is to promote illusions in parliamentary democracy.

Sri Lankan plantation union discussing sellout deal with companies

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 3 January 2019

The back-room negotiations between the unions and employers are part of a broader attack on the living conditions of all workers.

India: Stalinist unions suppress Tamil Nadu auto strikes, promise “industrial peace”

By Arun Kumar and Yuan Darwin, 31 December 2018

The strikes’ outcome is further proof that the Stalinist-led CITU serves as an industrial police force for big business, containing and suppressing working-class opposition.

Amid widespread violence, Bangladesh’s ruling party re-elected

By Vimal Perera, 31 December 2018

The opposition parties have condemned the election as “farcical” and demanded a “fresh election under non-partisan administration.”

One million Indian bank workers strike; tens of thousands of Korean taxi drivers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 December 2018

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

The 50th anniversary of the founding of the SEP (Sri Lanka)

The RCL/SEP’s political struggle against the LSSP’s betrayal

By W.A. Sunil and Deepal Jayasekera, 27 December 2018

The RCL waged a consistent struggle, under difficult conditions, against the second coalition government, particularly against the LSSP, which continued to dishonestly trade on its previous Trotskyist record.

New postings in Urdu on capitalist breakdown and war, France’s Yellow Vest protests

27 December 2018

Four recent WSWS Perspectives are now available in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language.

Factional acrimony continues as Sri Lankan president appoints new cabinet

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 22 December 2018

Sirisena’s delay in appointing the new cabinet makes clear that bitter factional infighting is continuing within Colombo’s political elite.

Sri Lanka: Abbotsleigh tea plantation workers speak out against harsh living and working conditions

By our reporters, 21 December 2018

Sri Lankan plantation workers, like their international counterparts, are being ruthlessly exploited by the giant corporations that control the industry.

The US hails Wickremesinghe’s reinstatement as Sri Lankan prime minister

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 20 December 2018

The US was concerned that the ousting of Wickremesinghe would jeopardise the close military relations developed with Colombo under his government.

Sri Lanka: Action committee of Abbotsleigh Estate workers holds inaugural meeting

By our correspondents, 18 December 2018

The meeting passed resolutions calling for independent action committees to fight for decent wages and conditions, and pledged support to “yellow vest” protesters in France, US auto workers and jailed Maruti Suzuki workers in India.

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court refuses to hear SEP’s legal action against May Day meeting ban

By our correspondent, 18 December 2018

The government’s intention was to sabotage May Day demonstrations and rallies, a tradition established by workers before the end of British colonial rule in 1948.

Sri Lankan president reinstates sacked prime minister

By K. Ratnayake, 17 December 2018

Sirisena’s decision to reappoint Wickremesinghe will not end the crisis but is just a temporary pause in the ongoing political conflict within Sri Lanka’s ruling elite.

The international significance of the Sri Lankan plantation workers’ strike

By Deepal Jayasekera, 17 December 2018

In the midst of the strike, workers at the Abbotsleigh Estate turned towards revolutionary politics and forms of organisation, establishing an action committee independent of the unions, under the political guidance of the Socialist Equality Party.

Sri Lankan plantation workers end strike action under protest

By Saman Gunadasa, 15 December 2018

Sri Lanka plantation workers denounced the unions and returned to work on December 14, after a nine-day strike for a doubling of their daily wage.

Sri Lankan Supreme Court rules against President Sirisena’s decision to dissolve parliament

By Deepal Jayasekera, 14 December 2018

The court’s decision will further intensify the infighting within the ruling elite.

Indian state elections show mounting social anger against ruling Hindu-supremacist BJP

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 14 December 2018

The BJP lost power to the Congress Party in three states that are part of the “Hindi heartland,” its traditional power-base—Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

Sri Lankan plantation workers defy union and continue to strike

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 13 December 2018

Expressing their determination to fight, workers held protests throughout the plantation district on Wednesday, the day after the union announced the end of the stoppage.

Sri Lankan plantation companies reject workers’ wage demand

By W.A. Sunil, 11 December 2018

Despite an indefinite strike, the employers are insisting that profits must be defended by subjecting workers to super-exploitation.

Indian workers face slave-like conditions in Sri Lanka

By R. Shreeharan and Ivan Weerasinghe, 10 December 2018

Young men recruited from a Jharkhand village to work on a high-voltage power-line in Sri Lanka have not been paid for three months.

Sri Lankan plantation strike: Abbotsleigh workers march to demand action committees and socialist policies

By our reporters, 8 December 2018

Yesterday’s march was organised by an action committee of Abbotsleigh Estate workers, following political interventions by the Socialist Equality Party.

Sri Lankan president uses executive powers to run government

By W.A. Sunil, 7 December 2018

Sirisena’s autocratic actions are another dangerous sign that dictatorial forms of rule are being prepared in Sri Lanka.

Jaffna (Sri Lanka) meeting celebrates 80th anniversary of the Fourth International

By R. Shreeharan, 6 December 2018

People from all over the Jaffna district heard Socialist Equality Party leaders explain the contemporary relevance of the Trotskyist movement’s historic struggle.

The Maldives: Pro-US President Solih sworn in

By Rohantha De Silva, 5 December 2018

Tolih’s administration will bring the Maldives into line with Washington’s military preparations for war against China and reorient the island-nation towards India.

Sri Lankan court blocks functioning of Rajapakse cabinet

By K. Ratnayake, 4 December 2018

An appeals court temporarily ordered that Rajapakse and his ministers cease exercising their powers—intensifying Sri Lanka’s political crisis.

While Modi touts India’s growth rate,

Four jobless youths commit suicide

By Kranti Kumara, 4 December 2018

There are more than 10 million annual entrants into India’s labor market. Yet a recent study found that less than a million new jobs were created in the first three years of the Modi-led BJP government.

Sri Lanka: Factional deadlock remains in lead up to Supreme Court ruling

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 3 December 2018

President Sirisena has failed in his attempts to secure a parliamentary deal with the opposition UNP and TNA aimed at ending the country’s continuing political crisis.

Colombo court detains Sri Lankan defence chief over civil war crimes

By Rohantha De Silva, 30 November 2018

The court magistrate said the military chief had to be denied bail because he could influence witnesses or disrupt ongoing investigations into the abduction of Tamil youth.

Around 100,000 Sri Lankan plantation workers walk out again for pay rise

By our correspondents, 30 November 2018

The plantation unions are determined to prevent industrial action by estate workers that could trigger mass action by other sections of the working class.

Rajapakse-aligned MPs boycott Sri Lankan parliament

By W.A. Sunil, 28 November 2018

The ongoing crisis has shattered the carefully cultivated image of parliament as an august and democratic assembly, engaging in serious discussion on issues of public interest.

Amid Sri Lanka’s political crisis, the USP sets “left” trap for the working class

By Vilani Peiris and K. Ratnayake, 27 November 2018

The pseudo-left United Socialist Party’s call for a left alliance is aimed at promoting the illusion that one or other ruling faction can be pressured to defend the rights of working people.

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.

SEP (Sri Lanka) holds successful public meeting on political crisis

By our correspondents, 22 November 2018

The speakers stressed the necessity for the working class to adopt a socialist and internationalist program, in opposition to all factions of the ruling elite.

Sri Lankan political crisis exposes bankruptcy of Tamil nationalist parties

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 22 November 2018

After four years of a US-backed “Good Governance” government that collapsed last month, not a single issue facing the Tamil workers and poor has been resolved.

Sri Lanka: UNP demands Facebook protect identity of party supporters

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 November 2018

UNP allegations that state authorities could be collaborating with Facebook to target its supporters came amid escalating infighting within the Sri Lankan political elite.

SEP (Sri Lanka) to hold lecture on “Lessons of History and the Fight for Socialism Today”

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 21 November 2018

The lecture in Jaffna will focus on the political lessons of key strategic experiences of the 20th century for the working class and their contemporary relevance.

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 Lankan president’s “all party conference” fails to overcome political crisis

By Rohantha De Silva, 19 November 2018

Sirisena’s meeting followed three consecutive days of bitter and violent fighting in the parliament between the Rajapakse and Wickremesinghe factions.

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.

The political crisis in Sri Lanka: Its lessons for the international working class

By Keith Jones and K. Ratnayake, 16 November 2018

Only the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) fights for the working class to assert its own class interests, independently of and in opposition to both rival bourgeois camps.

Sri Lankan parliament rejects Rajapakse as prime minister

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 November 2018

The major global powers are monitoring the developing political and constitutional crisis and firing off warning signals.

Sri Lanka crisis escalates as Supreme Court overturns Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament

By K. Ratnayake, 14 November 2018

The Supreme Court made its ruling after hearing 12 fundamental rights petitions challenging Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament on November 9.

Sri Lankan political crisis deepens: Prime minister splits from president

By W.A. Sunil, 13 November 2018

None of the factions of the ruling class will defend the basic rights of working people, but will ruthlessly impose the austerity dictates of the IMF and big business.

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.

Factional conflict in Sri Lankan elite underscores dangers facing working class

By K. Ratnayake, 9 November 2018

All sections of the ruling class are preparing a major onslaught against the social and democratic rights of the working people and the poor.

Pakistan’s government bows to Islamist right, victimises anew woman in blasphemy case

By Sampath Perera, 9 November 2018

Pakistan’s PTI government has ordered the Supreme Court to review its decision vacating the blasphemy conviction and death sentence imposed on Asia Bibi.

Sri Lankan political coup: Rajapakse makes bogus promises to ease social crisis

By Saman Gunadasa, 8 November 2018

In a bid to deflect the opposition of working people, the newly installed prime minister announced token measures to assist workers, peasants and the poor.

Plantation unions move to shut down wage struggle amid Sri Lankan political crisis

By W. A. Sunil, 7 November 2018

The long-running plantation workers’ pay dispute has won powerful support from young people and other sections of the Sri Lankan working class.

Sri Lankan crisis: SLFP holds rally to defend political coup

By K. Ratnayake, 6 November 2018

Sirisena and Rajapakse appeared on the same platform, praising each other to the hilt, as major global powers press for the reconvening of parliament.

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.

Wigneswaran’s Tamil People’s Alliance: A trap for Sri Lankan workers

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 6 November 2018

Amid an international radicalization of the working class, the TPA aims to divide workers along ethnic lines and block the growth of the Socialist Equality Party.

Sri Lankan political crisis: Pseudo-left NSSP promotes UNP campaign

By K. Ratnayake, 5 November 2018

NSSP leader Karunaratne is desperately attempting to tie workers to the pro-US UNP and prevent the development of an independent movement of the working class.

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.

The JVP’s fraudulent attempt to capitalise on Sri Lanka’s political crisis

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 2 November 2018

The JVP, a Sinhala supremacist party of the political establishment, is posturing as an opponent of both competing factions of the ruling elite.

Sri Lankan crisis: UNP rally demands reconvening of parliament

By our correspondents, 1 November 2018

The demonstration was part of a campaign to regain power after President Sirisena sacked UNP leader Wickremesinghe as prime minister.

Fight for a socialist solution to the political crisis in Sri Lanka

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 31 October 2018

The SEP calls on the working class to reject the cynical manoeuvres of all factions of the ruling elite and to mobilise independently to fight for its own class interests.

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’s cynical justifications for his political coup

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 29 October 2018

Sirisena’s self-serving speech was to justify his anti-democratic actions as well as appeal to layers of the population opposed to the government’s attacks on living standards.

Under US pressure, Maldives president accepts election defeat

By Rohantha De Silva, 29 October 2018

The pro-US shift in Maldives will only intensify geopolitical tensions, particularly between Washington and Beijing.

Indian state government arrests at least 14 union leaders

By Kranti Kumar, 29 October 2018

The Hindu-extremist BJP government in the northern Indian state of Haryana has arrested union leaders after 200,000 workers took action in solidarity with striking public transport workers.

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.