Sri Lanka

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.

Sri Lankan workers’ inquiry presents findings on Meethotamulla garbage disaster

By our correspondents, 12 April 2018

The Meethotamulla disaster, which claimed at least 32 lives, was a social crime, created by capitalism and its political servants.

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.

Halt the thuggery of non-academic union bureaucrats against WSWS reporters

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 4 April 2018

A WSWS journalist and photographer was violently attacked by union officials at a meeting of striking non-academic employees in the Colombo suburbs on March 27.

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.

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.

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.

Striking non-academic workers picket Sri Lankan universities

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 15 March 2018

While the strikers have shown their determination to expand their industrial action, the University Trade Unions Joint Committee is limiting the strike.

Sri Lanka: Muslims explain how the organised violence occurred

By Rohantha De Silva and K. Gamini, 13 March 2018

Successive governments have promoted anti-Tamil and anti-Muslim chauvinism in order to divide the working class and defend the power and privileges of the Sri Lankan ruling elite.

Oppose Sinhala racist violence against Muslim community in Sri Lanka

By the Socialist Equality Party, 10 March 2018

The government and the ruling elite are using anti-Muslim communalism to divert and divide the working people.

Sri Lankan president declares emergency rule amid violence against Muslims

By K. Ratnayake, 7 March 2018

The national unity government, which is in a sharp crisis, is exploiting the racist provocations to strengthen its hand by imposing the state of emergency.

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.

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.

Australian government to deport Tamil refugee despite torture warnings

By Max Newman, 22 February 2018

Thangalingam is a victim of anti-refugee and geo-strategic policies pursued by successive Australian governments.

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.

Sri Lankan president threatens to end ruling coalition

By K. Ratnayake, 23 January 2018

Sirisena’s cabinet walkout demonstrates the government’s crisis and points to preparations for dictatorial rule.

Sri Lanka: SEP holds first local election meeting in plantation area

By our correspondents, 19 January 2018

Speakers explained that growing social unrest in Sri Lanka, including strike action by key public sector workers, was part of an international radicalisation of the working class.

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.

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.

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.”

Australian government returns refugees to Sri Lanka

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 December 2017

Successive Labor and Liberal-National governments have forcibly deported asylum-seekers to Colombo, where they face imprisonment and torture.

On the 30th anniversary of the death of Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya

By David North, 19 December 2017

Keerthi’s death on December 18, 1987 was an irreplaceable loss to the International Committee of the Fourth International and its Sri Lankan section.

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.

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.

Sri Lankan students and workers oppose Google censorship of the WSWS

By our correspondents, 22 November 2017

“It’s very important to organise the working class on an international basis.”

Sri Lanka: Racialist attack on Muslims in Gintota

By Ratnasiri Malalagama and Nandana Nanneththi, 21 November 2017

Extreme-right Sinhala-Buddhist groups are operating under the patronage of the Sri Lankan government.

Sri Lankan government bans Lanka e-News web site

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 20 November 2017

The ban on LeN is a direct attack on basic democratic rights and a warning to all sections of the media that the Sri Lankan ruling elite cannot tolerate any criticism.

Successful public meeting in Colombo marks the Russian Revolution centenary

By our correspondents, 18 November 2017

About 150 workers, students, youth, professionals and housewives attended the event and around 300 watched it live via the Internet.

Sri Lankan SEP and IYSSE commemorate Russian Revolution at Peradeniya University

By our correspondents, 11 November 2017

SEP/IYSSE members campaigned extensively at the university and in neighbouring areas prior to the meeting provoking animated discussions on the political lessons of the October Revolution.

Global Hunger Index highlights South Asia’s social misery

By Saman Gunadasa, 3 November 2017

While millions of people lack basic food security, governments are cutting social spending and allocating billions to the military.

US, India push anti-China campaign at Sri Lankan maritime conference

By Naveen Devage and K. Ratnayake, 30 October 2017

Senior military figures from Washington and New Delhi warned against any threat to the US-dominated “rules-based order” in the Indo-Pacific.

The Sri Lankan garbage disaster: A crime of capitalism

By Vilani Peiris—convenor of the Committee of the Independent Workers Inquiry, 28 October 2017

The Meethotamulla disaster was the result of criminal negligence by successive Colombo governments and finds its parallels in similar catastrophes around the world.

Sri Lankan SEP/IYSSE calls public meetings to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution

27 October 2017

The Colombo meeting will discuss the political and theoretical lessons of the October Revolution for workers, students and young people being propelled into social and political struggles today.

Sri Lanka: Phony moves toward democratic constitutional change

By K. Ratnayake, 24 October 2017

For all its claims to be establishing a democratic constitution, the government is taking repressive measures against workers and preparing dictatorial rule.

Sri Lankan government enforces UN sanctions against North Korea

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 14 October 2017

Colombo has increasingly integrated Sri Lanka behind Washington’s war preparations against China and North Korea.

Sri Lankan academics oppose Google censorship

By our correspondent, 7 October 2017

Google’s actions are “a gross abuse of monopolistic power” and related to its close links to the US state apparatus and the Pentagon.

US pushes for closer Sri Lankan involvement into war drive against China

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 3 October 2017

The US is planning to slash foreign aid to Sri Lanka this year apparently to underscore its displeasure about the Colombo government’s recent investment deals with China.

Sri Lankan president presents rosy picture at UN General Assembly

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 September 2017

Behind hypocritical statements on democracy, reconciliation and poverty-alleviation, Sirisena’s government is preparing a dictatorial regime.

Sri Lankan unions betray power workers’ strike

By W.A Sunil, 28 September 2017

The JTUA leadership surrendered to the government’s threats, pledging not to take future industrial action over outstanding demands.

Sri Lanka: JVP leader assures business that it defends capitalism

By K. Ratnayake, 25 September 2017

The JVP played a key role in the regime-change campaign to remove Rajapakse as president and promote Sirisena’s so-called “good governance movement.”

Sri Lankan plantation workers protest job cuts and new productivity demands

By M. Thevarajah, 23 September 2017

The protests are another indication of growing working-class opposition to government and company attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.

Sri Lankan government passes IMF-backed tax bill

By Kapila Fernando, 22 September 2017

The tax act is part of a series of social assaults by the government on the directives of the International Monetary Fund.

Sri Lankan free trade zone and harbour workers denounce Google censorship

By our correspondents, 21 September 2017

“We oppose exploitation and inequality. We oppose world war and Google censorship of the WSWS.”

Sri Lankan power workers on strike

By W.A. Sunil, 19 September 2017

The ongoing stoppage is against the government’s austerity measures being imposed at the behest of the International Monetary Fund.

Sri Lankan president desperately tries to rally support

By W.A. Sunil, 12 September 2017

Factional conflicts deepen within the ruling class amid an explosion of popular opposition to government attacks on living conditions and democratic rights.

Australian High Court sanctions deportations of Sri Lankan refugees

By Mike Head, 11 September 2017

The ruling is an indictment of the last Greens-backed Australian Labor government.

Sri Lankan SEP Jaffna meeting discusses political bankruptcy of Tamil parties

By our reporters, 11 September 2017

The speakers explained the necessity for Tamil and Sinhalese workers to build a revolutionary party based on an internationalist socialist perspective.

US and India use Indian Ocean Conference to reinforce their strategic interests

By Pradeep Ramanayake and K. Ratnayake, 8 September 2017

The geo-strategic conference gave another indication of US and Indian preparations for war against China.

Sri Lankan university workers defeat union attempts to victimise SEP member

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 5 September 2017

SEP member Dehin Wasantha has a three-decade record of fighting for the rights of Sri Lankan workers, students and the poor on the basis of socialist internationalism.

Sri Lankan students oppose Google’s censorship of the World Socialist Web Site

By our reporters, 5 September 2017

Members of the SEP and IYSSE in Sri Lanka campaigned this month to gather support among students and youth for the WSWS’s campaign against Google’s censorship of the Internet.

Sri Lanka’s port deal with China increases concerns in US and India

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 30 August 2017

The US has been pursuing a military and strategic buildup against China and wants Sri Lanka kept in its orbit.

Sri Lankan president sacks justice minister

By K.Ratnayake, 25 August 2017

Wijedasa Rajapakse’s dismissal is a calculated move by the government to posture as opponents of corruption and undermine political opponents.

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.

SEP meeting in Jaffna: Reject Tamil bourgeois nationalism. Build the Socialist Equality Party!

19 August 2017

The meeting will discuss the degeneration of the Tamil bourgeois nationalist parties in Sri Lanka and the necessity for a revolutionary party based on socialist internationalism.

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.

The road forward for Sri Lankan workers after the betrayal of the CPC strike

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 12 August 2017

The struggle against privatisation and to defend jobs can be waged only through a political fight against the profit system, on the basis of socialist policies.

Public meeting in Chennai, India: Oppose the US-led imperialist war drive!

7 August 2017

The Modi government has effectively transformed India into a “frontline” state in the US-led military war drive against China.

Sri Lankan Tamil leaders back suppression of oil workers’ strike

By S. Jayanth, 5 August 2017

The TNA’s anti-democratic and anti-working class statements demonstrate the reactionary character of Tamil nationalism.

Sri Lankan government to impose IMF dictated taxes

By Saman Gunadasa, 4 August 2017

The new tax regime will increase the economic burden on workers, small businesses and the self-employed while providing more concessions to big business.

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.

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.

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.

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.

NSSP leader denounces Sri Lankan doctors’ strikes as “medical terrorism”

By K. Ratnayake, 22 July 2017

NSSP leader Wickremabahu Karunaratne is backing the police repression of protests and strikes by Sri Lankan workers and youth.

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.

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.

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.

Australian government summarily deports more Sri Lankan refugees

By Max Newman, 11 July 2017

Six asylum seekers were captured by the Australian Navy and forcibly deported to face possible torture and imprisonment.

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.

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.

Sri Lankan police attack protesting students

By Kapila Fernando, 24 June 2017

On the orders of the government, police severely beat and baton-charged demonstrators inside the health ministry building.

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.

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.

Sri Lankan plantation unions help companies impose “share-cropping” system

By M. Thevarajah, 17 June 2017

The so-called revenue-sharing system will slash plantation workers’ already poverty-level living conditions and hard-won social rights.

Sri Lankan government calls for police “action” against anti-Muslim violence

By K. Ratnayake, 16 June 2017

Muslim-owned shops, houses and places of worship have been attacked by extreme-right Buddhist formations for two months.

Sri Lankan government to tighten police-state laws

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 12 June 2017

Colombo’s planned “anti-terror” laws are even more repressive than the country’s notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act.

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.

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.

Over 200 killed in Sri Lankan floods, now cyclone hits Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 2 June 2017

Thousands of Sri Lankans face the threat of dengue fever, cholera, diarrhea and dysentery due to the lack of basic sanitary and health facilities.

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.

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.

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.

Sri Lanka in a balancing act over China’s One Belt, One Road project

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 25 May 2017

At last week’s Beijing forum, Sri Lanka’s prime minister Wickremesinghe tried to appease Washington and New Delhi by declaring that Colombo is only interested in the project’s “economic benefits.”

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.

Sri Lankan plantation workers support campaign to release framed-up Maruti Suzuki workers

By M. Thevarajah, 20 May 2017

Sri Lankan plantation workers in the hill country spoke to the WSWS, condemning the frame up of Maruti Suzuki workers and describing their own increasingly difficult working conditions.

Indian prime minister visits Sri Lanka to strengthen ties

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 19 May 2017

Modi arrived after India and the US expressed concerns about the Colombo government’s economic ties with Beijing.

Sri Lanka: IMF orders government to speed up austerity measures

By Saman Gunadasa, 17 May 2017

The IMF has delayed a scheduled loan payment until the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government fully implements the bank’s austerity demands.

Sri Lankan prime minister strengthens ties with US allies

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 11 May 2017

Despite seeking Chinese investment, the government remains committed to the provocative US-led military build-up in the region.

SEP (Sri Lanka) calls for workers’ inquiry into Meethotamulla garbage dump disaster

By the Socialist Equality Party, 9 May 2017

The Socialist Equality Party will initiate an independent working class investigation into the April 14 catastrophe that killed 32 people and displaced over 150 families.

Media pundits, pseudo-left back Sri Lankan president’s call for authoritarian rule

By K. Ratnayake, 6 May 2017

The government’s proposal for Field Marshal Fonseka to “take responsibility for disciplining the country” is a recipe for a police state to suppress working people.

SEP Sri Lankan May Day meeting discusses threat of world war and lessons of Russian Revolution

By our correspondents, 4 May 2017

The central theme of the Colombo meeting was the struggle to mobilise the working class on the basis of socialist internationalism against the drive to war.