Asia

Maoist union leaders isolate striking Motherson autoworkers in India

By Arun Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 5 December 2019

Union leaders are attempting to divert Motherson workers along reactionary Tamil nationalist lines.

Thousands of Sri Lankan estate workers strike over workloads and wages

By M. Thevarajah and K. Kandipan, 5 December 2019

Strikes have erupted already in tea plantations following last month’s presidential election.

Indian auto parts workers demand union rights; Bangladesh cargo workers on indefinite strike; French Polynesia hotel workers expand walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

30 November 2019

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

UK defies UN deadline to hand over Chagos Islands/Diego Garcia to Mauritius

By Jean Shaoul, 26 November 2019

The UN meeting in May condemned Britain’s occupation of the Chagos Islands and a non-binding ruling by the International Court of Justice calling on the UK to relinquish its hold on the territory within six months.

The lessons of the Hong Kong protests for the working class

By Peter Symonds, 26 November 2019

In the absence of a turn to the working class throughout China based on a socialist and internationalist perspective, the Hong Kong protest movement is being corralled behind various pro-capitalist organizations.

US puts new Sri Lankan president on notice

By K. Ratnayake, 20 November 2019

While Pompeo couched his message to Rajapakse in terms of “human rights,” Washington’s real concern is that the new president will re-orient Sri Lanka towards China.

Hong Kong police lay siege to university occupied by demonstrators

By Ben McGrath, 19 November 2019

The ramping up of police violence is a precursor to even more violent methods of suppressing the months-long protest movement.

Former top military official wins Sri Lankan presidential election

By K. Ratnayake, 18 November 2019

Gotabhaya Rajapakse’s election marks a sharp shift towards autocratic forms of rule, amid a deepening crisis of Sri Lankan capitalism and the rising resistance of the working class to austerity measures.

Former US Secretary of State Kissinger points to danger of “catastrophic” conflict between US and China

By Nick Beams, 16 November 2019

Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has warned of an inevitable “conflict” between the US and China that “will be worse than the world wars that ruined European civilisation.”

Sri Lankan presidential election: Workers must prepare to fight moves towards police-state rule

By K. Ratnayake, 16 November 2019

Calls by the major candidates for “strong government”—code-words for the development of dictatorial methods—are a response to the growing opposition of workers and the poor to government austerity.

Parasite: An unusual director with his antenna attuned to social class

The Lighthouse: A gothic horror film

By Joanne Laurier, 16 November 2019

Parasite is a dark comedy from South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho that concerns itself with income inequality and its implications. The Lighthouse is a pointless horror film set in the late 1800s in New England.

Indian Honda contract workers still on strike; West Bengal teachers demand pay rise; maintenance workers take industrial action at Australian paper mill

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

16 November 2019

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Hong Kong protests defy police violence and mass arrests

By Mike Head, 13 November 2019

Escalated police attacks appear to have reinforced the popular support for the protests, setting the stage for an even-more bloody confrontation.

Sri Lanka: SEP presidential candidate exposes pseudo-lefts’ pro-capitalist program at university debate

By our correspondents, 13 November 2019

Wijesiriwardena explained the underlying principles of the Socialist Equality Party’s socialist internationalism and the necessity for the independent mobilisation of the working class in every country.

Build a mass movement to free class-war prisoners Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

By SEP (Sri Lanka) presidential candidate Pani Wijesiriwardena, 9 November 2019

Assange and Manning are being persecuted because the US and its imperialist allies are preparing for war and want to silence all honest journalists and fighters for the truth.

Honda motorcycle and Kerala state transport workers strike in India; Pakistan health workers oppose privatisation

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 November 2019

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India: 48,000 striking Telangana transport workers defy back to work order

By Kranti Kumara, 7 November 2019

Over 48,000 drivers, mechanics, conductors and other workers at the state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation have defied a November 5 back-to-work order.

Sri Lankan SEP holds presidential election meeting in Hatton

By our correspondents, 6 November 2019

Estate workers, students and youth discussed the necessity for a socialist and internationalist program at a public meeting in the key tea plantation district.

Uncertainty hangs over US-China trade deal

By Nick Beams, 6 November 2019

There has been no agreement from Washington to withdraw any of the tariff measures already imposed because it wants to ensure China complies with US-dictated terms.

Why the Sri Lankan Tamil parties appeal to the UNP and SLPP presidential candidates

By Pani Wijesiriwardena--presidential candidate of the Socialist Equality Party, 4 November 2019

The Tamil parties, like their bourgeois counterparts in Colombo, fear the unity of workers across ethnic lines.

CIA death squads responsible for spike in Afghan civilian casualties

By Bill Van Auken, 2 November 2019

A Human Rights Watch report documents extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and attacks on medical facilities by militias trained, funded and directed by the CIA.

Bangladesh: Sixteen sentenced to death over brutal murder of student

By Rohantha De Silva, 2 November 2019

The Bangladeshi government is exploiting outrage over the brutal murder of a young woman to step up its law-and-order attacks on democratic rights.

New Zealand: Anti-China propagandist Anne-Marie Brady speaks at Victoria University of Wellington

By Tom Peters, 2 November 2019

Brady is demanding a full-scale witch hunt against Chinese “interference” in order to align New Zealand even more closely with US war preparations.

Thousands of doctors strike in Tamil Nadu, India

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

2 November 2019

While 16,000 Tamil Nadu doctors walked-out to demand salary increases and promotions, thousands of the state’s railway workers struck against privatisation measures.

Sri Lanka: SEP presidential candidate addresses meetings in war-ravaged north

By our reporters, 30 October 2019

The SEP presidential candidate explained that the democratic rights of the oppressed can be achieved only in the struggle for socialism.

More evidence of cover-up of Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 26 October 2019

The damning disclosures underscore why the government is intensifying its efforts to suppress media freedom.

Eightieth birthday tribute to Sri Lankan Trotskyist Nanda Wickremasinghe

By David North, 26 October 2019

Nanda Wickremasinghe, who turned 80 on October 15, is a founding member of the Sri Lankan section of the ICFI.

Sri Lankan SEP holds inaugural presidential election meeting

By our correspondents, 26 October 2019

Speakers explained that the Socialist Equality Party is the only one presenting an international socialist program for the working class and the poor.

400,000 bank workers strike across India

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 October 2019

While almost half a million Indian bank employees walked off the job, tens of thousands of teachers and healthcare workers across the sub-continent have engaged in strikes and protests.

Newly-inaugurated Indonesian president appoints notorious ex-general as defence minister

By Peter Symonds, 24 October 2019

Former special forces general Prabowo Subianto has a long history of human rights abuses and was intimately connected to the bloody Suharto dictatorship that ruled Indonesia for three decades.

Solomon Islands deal with Chinese developer highlights Pacific tensions

By John Braddock, 23 October 2019

Repeated claims that China wants a military foothold in the Pacific turn reality on its head to justify the aggressive build-up for war by the US and its regional allies.

Illegal forest fires send another lethal haze over parts of Indonesia

By Owen Howell, 23 October 2019

The haze is chiefly affecting Sumatra and Borneo islands, with air pollution in the city of Palembang reaching record levels.

Sri Lankan SEP and IYSSE hold successful meeting on India’s Kashmir lockdown

By our correspondents, 19 October 2019

“The Modi government’s anti-democratic moves are not just directed against the Kashmiri people, although they are the immediate target, but against the working class as a whole.”

Tens of thousands of Indian transport and aircraft manufacturing workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

19 October 2019

Some 49,000 transport workers in the state of Telangana walked-out in defiance of government threats to their jobs, while more than 20,000 employees of a state-owned defence company took strike action.

India: Thousands of Telangana transport workers strike; Darjeeling tea estate workers demand higher pay; New Zealand medical laboratory workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

12 October 2019

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US and China reach limited trade deal

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2019

The markets responded enthusiastically with the Dow finishing up by more than 300 points, but for all the celebrations, the agreement is very limited.

Hong Kong’s chief executive invokes emergency law against protest movement

By Ben McGrath, 5 October 2019

The use of this British colonial era law is a warning that the ruling class in the Hong Kong and Beijing are preparing to suppress the months-long demonstrations for basic democratic rights.

Thousands of Assam tea workers strike over bonus payments; 17,000 non-academic university workers remain on strike in Sri Lanka

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

5 October 2019

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Indonesia: Student unrest continues as tens of thousands of workers set to strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 October 2019

Police have responded to the largest student demonstrations since the movement that toppled the Suharto dictatorship in 1998 with violent repression and mass arrests.

Half a million Indian coal workers strike; New South Wales coal miners fight for higher pay; Fenner Dunlop strike continues in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

28 September 2019

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South Korean autoworkers join global fight against GM

By Ben McGrath, 26 September 2019

Workers in South Korea, the United States, and around the world face the same fight against GM and other corporations.

India’s top court greenlights New Delhi prolonging Kashmir state-of-siege indefinitely

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 September 2019

India’s Hindu-supremacist BJP government has imposed an unprecedented security clampdown to suppress mass opposition to the constitutional coup it mounted against Kashmir August 5.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

GM workers in South Korea strike over wages; Pakistan higher education teachers walkout; Psychologists continue industrial action in New Zealand

21 September 2019

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Thousands of Sri Lankan university workers demonstrate in Colombo

By our correspondents, 19 September 2019

In contrast to the efforts of the unions to shut down the strike, workers’ opposition is growing, not only to the government but also to the unions and capitalist parties.

Hundreds of thousands of Indian auto workers face sackings and wage cuts

By Saman Gunadasa, 18 September 2019

The assault on Indian workers is part of the escalating global attack on the jobs, wages and working conditions of auto workers in the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia.

Widodo plans to move Indonesian capital to Borneo

By Owen Howell, 17 September 2019

The government’s move to relocate the country’s administrative centre is aimed at removing itself from the social disaster of Jakarta, but will potentially create an environmental disaster on Borneo.

Sri Lanka: Tamil People’s Council calls rally to stir up Tamil nationalism

By M. Thevarajah, 14 September 2019

The reactionary “Rise up Tamils” campaign aims to divide Sri Lankan workers along ethnic lines as they are coming into struggle against Colombo’s austerity measures.

India: Kolkata students and workers demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By Ritwik Mitter and Arun Kumar, 11 September 2019

ICFI supporters spoke to students at Jadavpur University in Kolkata and workers from BSNL, the Indian government-owned telecommunication company.

As contract deadline looms in US, 8,000 GM autoworkers strike in South Korea

By James Cogan, 10 September 2019

The issues over which the Korean workers are striking are ones that their American co-workers will readily identify with.

Build action committees! Expand the strike!

A socialist perspective for the Sri Lankan university employees’ struggle

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 10 September 2019

Non-academic university staff, who are beginning an indefinite strike today, should expand their struggle by appealing to other sections of the working class.

Hong Kong administration seeks to split protest movement

By Peter Symonds, 5 September 2019

By withdrawing the extradition legislation, chief executive Carrie Lam is seeking the support of conservative protest leaders to pave the way for the suppression of more militant layers.

India labels 1.9 million Assam residents “foreigners” as prelude to their mass expulsion

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 5 September 2019

Almost all of the 1.9 million people who have been deemed “foreigners”—some 6 percent of Assam’s population—are Bengali-speaking, and more than 90 percent of them are impoverished Muslims.

Tens of thousands join first day of Hong Kong protest strike

By Peter Symonds, 3 September 2019

The union confederation is doing all it can to limit action by workers and confine their demands to those of the official pro-capitalist opposition in Hong Kong.

Two-day strike begins in Hong Kong following weekend of protests

By Ben McGrath, 2 September 2019

Fearful of the intervention of the working class, authorities are stepping up their repression of protesters.

Motherson autoworkers strike in India; Madhya Pradesh railway workers oppose privatisation; Melbourne tram workers walk out

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

31 August 2019

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Hong Kong mass rally banned as Chinese troops deployed in show of force

By Mike Head, 30 August 2019

Beijing is well aware that the protracted protests are being driven by underlying student and working class concerns about escalating social inequality.

US alarmed over end to South Korea-Japan intelligence sharing

By Peter Symonds, 30 August 2019

Seoul’s decision to withdraw from a key intelligence-sharing agreement with Tokyo is part of the deepening rift between Washington’s two military allies in North East Asia over economic and strategic issues.

Sri Lankan president “lifts” emergency but armed forces mobilised to “maintain security”

By W.A. Sunil, 29 August 2019

When emergency rule was imposed after the April terrorist bombings, the SEP warned that the real target of the government’s measures was not terrorists, but the working class.

The US announces provocative arms sale to Taiwan

By Peter Symonds, 27 August 2019

The $8 billion sale of 66 F-16V fighter jets is the first such deal since the administration of President George H.W. Bush approved the sale of 150 fighter jets to Taiwan in 1992.

Hong Kong protests continue into twelfth week

By Peter Symonds, 26 August 2019

Clashes with police took place involving for the first time the use of water cannon as well as tear gas and batons as police attempted to disperse protesters.

Wall Street falls as US-China trade conflict intensifies

By Nick Beams, 24 August 2019

Tweets by Trump in response to tariff measures by Beijing were his most belligerent to date, taking aim not only against China, but US corporations and the Federal Reserve.

Rift widens between Australia and Pacific Island states

By John Braddock, 24 August 2019

The Pacific Islands Forum has opened up a bitter dispute over the Australian government’s refusal to agree to urgent measures to address climate change.

How to fight for democratic rights in Hong Kong

By Peter Symonds, 22 August 2019

Hong Kong workers and youth need to reach out to their class brothers and sisters in China who confront the same class enemy—the Stalinist regime in Beijing that defends the interests of the corporate elite and the super-rich.

Japan-South Korea conflict intensifies

By Nick Beams, 17 August 2019

South Korea announced this week that it has removed Japan from a list of countries that qualify for accelerated supply of South Korean products, after Japan had imposed a similar measure against South Korea on August 2.

State of siege in Kashmir: A warning to the international working class

By Bill Van Auken, 17 August 2019

Western governments and media have maintained virtual silence over the police state crackdown against 13 million Kashmiris.

Indian chemical workers oppose privatisation; Bangladesh garment workers protest for unpaid wages; Australian rail and tram workers to take industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 August 2019

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Hong Kong protests met with denunciations and threats

By Peter Symonds, 14 August 2019

The muted response to the threats of Chinese intervention reflects fear in ruling circles internationally that events in Hong Kong could be replicated in cities around the world.

Protest sit-in shuts Hong Kong international airport

By Peter Symonds, 13 August 2019

The closure of the world’s eighth biggest airport, following on from last week’s general strike, marks a significant deepening of the political crisis in Hong Kong.

Eight-hour power blackout hits Indonesian capital

By Owen Howell, 12 August 2019

The Indonesian government has failed to meet the basic infrastructure demands of the rapidly growing Greater Jakarta, a megacity of 30 million people.

Indo-Pakistani conflict sharpens with New Delhi’s assault on Kashmir

By Keith Jones, 9 August 2019

In response to India’s aggressive and patently illegal moves to tighten its control over disputed Kashmir, Pakistan has taken a raft of retaliatory measures and issued thinly-veiled war threats.

General strike signals entry of working class into Hong Kong protests

By Peter Symonds, 7 August 2019

The mass protests in Hong Kong, which have continued for more than two months, are part of the resurgence of the working class internationally.

Sri Lankan parliamentary parties back extension of emergency rule

By Saman Gunadasa, 7 August 2019

The endorsement came four days after President Sirisena declared that the railways and public transport were essential services, effectively banning strikes in those sectors.

Tens of thousands of workers strike throughout Hong Kong

By Ben McGrath, 6 August 2019

The ruling class throughout the world is deeply fearful of the spread of social discontent as the working class moves into open struggle for its democratic and social rights.

US-China trade conflict escalates to currency war

By Nick Beams, 6 August 2019

Stock markets fell sharply around the world yesterday, amid fears of a currency war, after China allowed its currency, the renminbi, to pass through the benchmark of 7 to the US dollar.

General strike by Hong Kong workers against extradition law

By Peter Symonds, 5 August 2019

The strike signals the entry of the working class, on a class basis, into the mass protest movement, pointing to the underlying social and economic issues driving the opposition.

Bangladesh primary school teachers demand government nationalise schools

By Wimal Perera, 5 August 2019

Even if non-government primary schools are taken over by the Hasina government there is no guarantee that teachers and school staff will be regularly paid.

Indian doctors hold national 24-hour walkout; Chinese auto workers strike; Australian railway workers vote for industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 August 2019

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Trump escalates trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 2 August 2019

The decision to impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, covering a wide range of consumer products, represents the most significant intensification of the more than year-long trade war to date.

Millions displaced and hundreds killed by monsoonal floods in South Asia

By Rohantha De Silva, 31 July 2019

South Asian governments have responded with apathy and indifference toward the poverty-stricken people severely impacted by the floods.

Layoffs mount as slump in world auto industry deepens

By Shannon Jones, 30 July 2019

Continuing sales declines, led by China and India, are leading to massive job losses and attacks on autoworkers as transnational companies seek to maintain high levels of return.

Factory explosion in central Chinese city kills 15

By Robert Campion, 30 July 2019

Claims by authorities to address safety after such industrial accidents have proven to be empty words.

Amid growing signs of global slowdown

US-China trade talks to resume next week

By Nick Beams, 25 July 2019

The conflict has become more fraught since the US Commerce Department decided to place Huawei on its entity list, effectively banning it from supplies of US components for its operations.

Japan’s ruling party wins upper house election

By Ben McGrath, 24 July 2019

The opposition parties in the National Diet will not offer any real opposition to Abe’s efforts to revise Article 9, the antimilitary provision in the Japanese constitution.

Gang members attack Hong Kong protesters

By Ben McGrath, 23 July 2019

Beijing and local authorities are fearful that the Hong Kong protest movement will spread to the mainland and are employing increasingly violent means against it.

Indonesian court backs Widodo’s election

By John Roberts, 23 July 2019

With the presidency and parliamentary numbers settled for now, sordid deals are being made among the different sections of the ruling elite.

Fire at Japanese animation studio leaves nearly three dozen dead

By Ben McGrath, 22 July 2019

A man suffering mental illness is alleged to have ignited the inferno in a building that lacked basic fire safety measures.

Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka intensifies the campaign to free Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 22 July 2019

The Sri Lankan Trotskyists held a well-attended public meeting in Colombo and a powerful rally in Jaffna.

Plastic waste from foreign nations dumped in East Java village

By Owen Howell, 20 July 2019

With China blocking imports of recyclable waste, developed countries have now resorted to illegally smuggling plastic into Indonesia and other parts of South East Asia.

Thousands protest in central China against proposed waste incinerator

By Robert Campion, 19 July 2019

The Wuhan protests are an expression of the growing social discontent throughout China, occurring at the same time as the mass demonstrations in Hong Kong.

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna calls for removal of Sri Lankan government

By K. Ratnayake, 18 July 2019

Under conditions of political crisis, in which the main parties of government are widely discredited, the JVP is proposing itself as the party capable of saving the capitalist system.

China’s growth slows to lowest level since 1992

By Nick Beams, 17 July 2019

While the growth figure is still within the official target range, there are clearly growing concerns in Beijing that it could go lower in the months ahead.

Sri Lankan prime minister promotes US defence agreement

By Vijith Samarasinghe and K. Ratnayake, 15 July 2019

Although Wickremesinghe has tabled a planned Status of Forces Agreement with the US, its contents and political implications remain a secret for millions of Sri Lankans.

Indian aeronautic workers threaten national walkout; Pakistan power workers demand safe, permanent jobs; Taiwan union ends flight attendants’ strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

13 July 2019

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Hong Kong protesters appeal to mainland Chinese for support

By Ben McGrath, 9 July 2019

The unity of the Chinese working class as a whole is a prerequisite for the struggle for democratic rights and social equality.

Hong Kong protests continue amid Beijing’s veiled threats of military intervention

By Ben McGrath, 6 July 2019

In an unusual move, China’s military reported on drills the day after another mass rally.

Tamil Nadu government bans strikes in auto component industries

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 6 July 2019

The ruling class's major goal is to transform India into a premier center of global auto manufacturing by imposing brutal working conditions.

Indonesian factory fire claims lives of 30 women and children

By Owen Howell, 6 July 2019

The tragic deaths of factory employees is yet another example of the national government showing its indifference for the working poor.

Punjab Roadways workers strike for three days; thousands of Bangladesh municipal workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

6 July 2019

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

Hundreds of thousands protest on the streets of Hong Kong

By Peter Symonds, 2 July 2019

Mass protests have persisted, despite the suspension of the extradition legislation, pointing to a deeper social and political crisis.

Trump meets North Korean leader as part of broader anti-China agenda

By Ben McGrath, 1 July 2019

Washington’s approach to North Korea has nothing to do with peace on the Korean Peninsula, but is about drawing Pyongyang into Washington’s orbit.