Asia

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.

Fire at workers’ apartment in South Korea leaves seven dead

By Ben McGrath, 12 November 2018

Public safety continues to be ignored under the South Korean administration no less than under previous conservative governments.

Imelda Marcos convicted on seven counts of graft in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 12 November 2018

The ruling handed down against Marcos after three decades of delays is an expression of the sharp crisis of political rule under President Duterte.

US-China talks signal worsening confrontation

By Peter Symonds, 12 November 2018

For years, first under Obama, then under Trump, the US has been engaged in an aggressive effort to undermine China economically, and encircle it militarily in preparation for war.

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.

US, Japan conclude massive war games targeting China

By Ben McGrath, 10 November 2018

The Keen Sword exercises have placed additional pressure on China while further militarizing the western Pacific.

Thousands of Indian contract workers remain on strike; 29,000 New Zealand primary school teachers to take national strike action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 November 2018

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

Safety questions emerge after 189 people die in Indonesian plane crash

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 November 2018

Indonesian authorities said the plane had suffered mechanical issues on the four flights before it crashed in the Java Sea.

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.

Anwar Ibrahim wins seat and returns to Malaysian parliament

By John Roberts, 5 November 2018

Anwar’s re-entry into parliament will only heighten tensions in the unstable ruling coalition currently headed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Trump manoeuvres in lead-up to talks with Chinese President Xi

By Nick Beams, 3 November 2018

The aim is either to extract major concessions from China or, failing that, create the best conditions for pressing ahead with trade war measures.

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.

Mass strikes by transport workers and government employees in India

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 November 2018

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Falling growth rate sparks concern in China’s ruling circles

By Nick Beams, 2 November 2018

A Politburo statement reflected the growing anxiety in Beijing over the economy and the impact of US trade war measures.

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.

Japanese PM visits China in bid to improve relations

By Peter Symonds, 1 November 2018

Abe’s efforts to end bitter exchanges with China come after both countries have been hit by the Trump administration’s trade war measures.

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.

Chinese president tells military to prepare for war

By Peter Symonds, 30 October 2018

Xi Jinping’s speech was a response to the Trump administration’s aggressive actions in intensifying trade war and overtly readying for military conflict with both China and Russia.

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.

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.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Strikes in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan

27 October 2018

The stoppages are part of an emerging movement of the working class the Indian sub-continent.

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 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.

Another US provocation against China: Two warships sail through Taiwan Strait

By Peter Symonds, 23 October 2018

The naval operation follows an inflammatory speech by US Vice-president Mike Pence earlier this month criticising China on all fronts.

Sharp decline in numbers in latest China Rich List

By Robert Campion, 23 October 2018

The fall reflects the impact of a slowing Chinese economy, the impact of the US trade war measures and sharp falls in China’s share markets this year.

China growth slows to lowest level since financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 22 October 2018

While the trade war launched by the US has yet to make a significant impact on growth, the official Chinese statement referred to what is called the “severe international situation.”

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.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

Police attack striking workers in India and Bangladesh

20 October 2018

Police opened fire on garment workers demanding unpaid wages in Bangladesh, while Indian authorities attacked protesting health workers.

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.

Indian sanitation workers union shuts down month-long strike; Western Australian bus drivers strike over pay

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 October 2018

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

US places alleged “Chinese spy” on public trial

By Mike Head, 12 October 2018

The timing of the unprecedented extradition points to a new stage in the US drive to prevent China from becoming an economic or military threat to US global hegemony.

The struggle for socialism and the importance of history: David North interviewed on Radio Sri Lanka

12 October 2018

David North, chairman of the international editorial board of the World Socialist Web Site, was interviewed at length on Radio Sri Lanka’s “Coffee with Dan” program early this week.

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.

Pompeo visit heightens US-China rift

By James Cogan, 10 October 2018

Testifying to the fraught state of relations, China’s foreign minister publicly lambasted the United States.

Indonesia’s earthquake catastrophe

By Tom Peters, 6 October 2018

The disaster has been made immeasurably worse by poverty, social inequality and the refusal of the Indonesian and international ruling elites to ensure the protection of the population.

Indian police arrest 600 striking Yamaha workers; Pakistan teachers, municipal employees and other workers demonstrate for unpaid wages

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 October 2018

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

US vice president issues bellicose diatribe against China

By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2018

Pence’s speech came amid reports that the Pentagon is preparing massive and provocative military exercises as a show of force against China.

David North’s lecture at Peradeniya University in Kandy attracts significant support from students and workers

By our reporters, 5 October 2018

The 200-strong audience responded enthusiastically to the lecture marking the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Fourth International.

Anger grows as Indonesian tsunami disaster worsens

By Mike Head, 4 October 2018

Because of the lack of government and international assistance, desperate residents have been reduced to scavenging for food in wrecked houses, shops, farms and orchards.

US and Chinese warships narrowly avoid collision in South China Sea

By Patrick O’Connor, 3 October 2018

Any misstep or accident in East Asia’s sea and airspace now threatens to trigger a full-scale war between the rival nuclear-armed powers.

After North America trade deal, Trump to escalate trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 3 October 2018

In a manner recalling a Mafia don, Trump made clear that the threat of auto tariffs was central in securing the trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

David North outlines contemporary relevance of Trotskyism at Colombo media briefing

By our reporters, 3 October 2018

North’s address provoked thoughtful questions from Capital Radio and Independent Television Network reporters.

Indonesian tsunami relief grossly inadequate as death toll tops 1,200

By Tom Peters, 2 October 2018

Among survivors, there is growing outrage over the lack of assistance and the absence of a functioning tsunami warning system.

Text of David North's remarks to Sri Lankan press conference on Trotskyism

By David North, 2 October 2018

These remarks were delivered by David North, chairman of the WSWS International Editorial Board, at a press briefing in Colombo on October 1.

Sri Lankan students discuss upcoming anniversary meetings on the history of the Trotskyist movement

By our reporters, 2 October 2018

University students in Kandy and Colombo outline their financial difficulties, concerns about unemployment and voice support for David North’s forthcoming lectures.

More than eight hundred dead after earthquakes and tsunami strike Indonesia

By John Braddock, 1 October 2018

Fourteen years after the 2004 tsunami killed up to 230,000 people, governments throughout the region and internationally have done nothing to prevent a similar mass tragedy.

Beijing university threatens Marxist student society

By Peter Symonds, 1 October 2018

The university has reacted to fears that not only politically radicalised students, but also China’s exploited working class, could threaten the CCP’s police-state regime.

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 police attack striking auto workers in Tamil Nadu; New Zealand bus drivers walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 September 2018

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

BJP government pushes Air India into financial morass to hasten privatization

By Kranti Kumara, 28 September 2018

The Indian government is determined to sell off what is among the country’s most identifiable companies internationally, so as to underline its commitment to the fire sale of public assets.

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

The RCL/SEP’s political struggle against petty-bourgeois radicalism

By Kapila Fernando, 28 September 2018

The past five decades have confirmed the far-sightedness of the RCL/SEP’s political analysis and exposure of the petty-bourgeois radicalism of the JVP.

US sells arms to Taiwan, confronts China

By Peter Symonds, 27 September 2018

The $330 million arms sale comes as the Trump administration is intensifying the US confrontation with China on all fronts—diplomatic, economic and military.

Pro-US candidate wins Maldives presidential election

By Rohantha De Silva, 26 September 2018

Yameen’s electoral defeat will be used by the US and India to boost their political and strategic influence in the Maldives which will heighten regional geopolitical tensions.

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

From the LSSP’s Great Betrayal to the founding of the RCL

By Wije Dias, 26 September 2018

This is the second in a series of articles published by the Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka to mark the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation in June 1968.

Japanese space agency lands two rovers on surface of asteroid

By Bryan Dyne, 26 September 2018

Although an asteroid was first landed on in 2001, the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission is the first to successfully deploy rovers on the surface of one.

UN expert advises Sri Lankan government about social impact of austerity measures

By Saman Gunadasa, 25 September 2018

The statements are a warning to the government and international finance capital that the worsening living conditions of the working people in Sri Lanka will produce a social explosion.

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.

Financial Times expresses concerns over Sri Lanka taking Chinese loans

By Naveen Dewage, 24 September 2018

The US, with the backing of India and Japan, is increasingly putting pressure on Sri Lanka not to deviate from its efforts to undermine and encircle China.

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

The lessons of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party’s Great Betrayal

By Rohantha De Silva and Vilani Peiris, 24 September 2018

This series of articles published by the Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka marks the fiftieth anniversary of its foundation in June 1968.

Beijing cancels trade talks with Washington after US sanctions China for weapons purchases

By Nick Beams, 22 September 2018

The moves mark a further escalation of trade and military tensions between the US and China.

Rajasthan bus drivers strike in India; New Zealand Ministry of Justice workers walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 September 2018

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

80th anniversary of the Fourth International and 50th anniversary of the SEP (Sri Lanka)

David North to address meetings in Sri Lanka on the lessons of the history and contemporary struggle for socialism

19 September 2018

Understanding the historic fight waged by the Fourth International and the SEP for the revolutionary leadership of the international working class is vital for the emerging class struggles.

Typhoon Mangkhut kills dozens in the Philippines, leaves trail of destruction in China and Hong Kong

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 September 2018

As in previous natural disasters, the poor and workers in low-paid precarious industries have been the hardest hit.

South Korean president in Pyongyang for summit on denuclearization

By Ben McGrath, 18 September 2018

Whatever the result of this week’s talks, it will do nothing to resolve the dangerous tensions in the Asia-Pacific.

Japanese prime minister seeks improved relations with Russia

By Ben McGrath, 17 September 2018

Japan is coming under increased pressure as a result of Washington’s protectionist measures, which are compounding instability throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Political showdown erupts in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 14 September 2018

The battlelines between President Duterte and Senator Trillanes express the twin pressures upon the Filipino ruling class of geopolitical tensions and mounting social unrest.

China and Russia strengthen ties to counter US threats

By Peter Symonds, 13 September 2018

After their meeting, neither Xi nor Putin named Trump but they left no doubt that their closer ties are a reaction to Washington’s punitive measures.

Washington and Pyongyang in talks for second summit

By Ben McGrath, 13 September 2018

Trump is under pressure to ramp up the offensive against the targets of US imperialism.

Japan and China improve relations in face of US trade war measures

By Ben McGrath, 10 September 2018

The apparent thaw in what has been a frigid, and at times hostile, relationship underscores the destabilizing impact of Trump’s aggressive America First drive.

Police suppress protest over schools in debt-ridden Chinese city

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 10 September 2018

The immediate reason for the protest was a local government decision to cut costs in government schools by relocating all fifth and sixth grade students to private schools.

Sri Lankan prime minister threatens increased internet and social media censorship

By Saman Gunadasa, 10 September 2018

Wickremesinghe’s comments are part of the escalating global censorship of the internet and social media, and other attacks on democratic rights.

Many Japanese schools fail to meet earthquake-resistant standards

By Gary Alvernia, 7 September 2018

Schools in earthquake-prone Japan, which have endured decades of spending cuts, will receive no new funds for safety from Tokyo.

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.

US push for sanctions of China over treatment of Uyghur minority

By Peter Symonds, 4 September 2018

Washington’s spotlighting of abuses has nothing to do with defending democratic rights but is aimed at stirring anti-Chinese sentiment and encouraging separatist movements in China.

Trump hits out at China over North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 3 September 2018

Trump’s criticism of China comes amid growing signs that talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear programs, following his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, have stalled.

US and Japan increase efforts to undercut Chinese influence in Sri Lanka

By Rohantha De Silva, 3 September 2018

The US, Japan and India are continuing to publicly voice their concerns over Colombo’s relations with Beijing.

Cambodia’s autocratic regime desperately tries to legitimise its rule

By John Roberts, 1 September 2018

The opposition CNRP undoubtedly has ties to the US, but Hun Sen’s politically bankrupt regime is resorting to blatantly anti-democratic methods to retain power.

Reserve Bank of India employees to walkout over pensions; Alcoa workers still on strike in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 September 2018

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

UN condemns Burma’s persecution of Rohingya minority

By Oscar Grenfell, 30 August 2018

The release of the UN panel report coincides with calls for tougher US sanctions against Burma, aimed at pressuring it to scale back its ties with China.

Sri Lankan fishermen demonstrate to demand fuel price reductions

By Naveen Dewage, 30 August 2018

The MVOA appealed to the government to lower fuel prices, but it responded by police armed with batons and water cannons, who set up barricades to block the march.

US threatens North Korea with resumption of war games

By Peter Symonds, 29 August 2018

Trump’s decision to halt talks with North Korea and resume joint military drills with South Korea could rapidly lead to the renewal of extreme tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Malaysian PM in China criticises “new colonialism”

By Peter Symonds, 28 August 2018

Prime Minister Mahathir has suspended key Chinese-based infrastructure projects, dealing a significant blow to China’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Workers Struggles: The Americas

28 August 2018

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

China-US trade talks: The divisions deepen

By Nick Beams, 27 August 2018

The Chinese Commerce Ministry stated there were “constructive and frank” talks, but gave no indication of any further discussions in the future.

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.