Indian subcontinent

Pakistan floods displace another million people

By Sampath Perera, 31 August 2010

Hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes in the southern Pakistani province of Sindh over the past few days as flood waters threatened cities and towns.

Pakistan’s floods, partition and imperialist oppression

By Keith Jones, 30 August 2010

The floods in Pakistan are a calamity of monumental dimensions. Yet for the rival national bourgeoisies of Pakistan and India, it is business as usual.

India to conduct caste census

By Arun Kumar and Keith Jones, 28 August 2010

Whatever form India’s caste census ultimately takes, the mounting of a caste-based census is a retrograde and reactionary step. It will contribute to the further caste-ization of Indian politics and life, serving to split the working class and oppressed toilers on caste lines.

Sri Lankan government evicts street hawkers and shanty dwellers

By Vilani Peiris, 27 August 2010

The cabinet recently approved a plan to evict 66,000 families from shanties in Colombo to clear the way for private developers. Street vendors are also being targeted.

Pakistan floods unleash desperate economic crisis

By Ali Ismail, 26 August 2010

The catastrophic floods spreading across Pakistan have dashed any hopes of an economic recovery in the poverty-stricken country.

Uttar Pradesh farmers latest victims of Indian business’ land grab

By Arun Kumar, 26 August 2010

Three protesting farmers were shot dead and more than forty others injured August 14, when police opened fire on a protest at Jikarpur, a village in the Aligarh District of Uttar Pradesh (UP).

Pakistan lacks adequate international flood aid

By Sampath Perera, 25 August 2010

Three weeks after floods inundated Pakistan, millions of people are still without basic assistance—food, clean water, shelter and medicine. While aid promises have increased, the UN reported on Monday that it had received only about 70 percent of its emergency appeal.

Millions of Pakistani flood victims face continuing crisis

By Vilani Peiris, 21 August 2010

After a two-day UN session ended yesterday, international aid pledged for Pakistani flood victims still fell well short of the UN’s emergency aid appeal for $460 million.

Sri Lankan government to evict 66,000 families in Colombo

By W.A. Sunil, 20 August 2010

The Sri Lankan cabinet approved a defence ministry plan last week to evict nearly half a million people from shanties in Colombo to release land for big business.

As Pakistan drowns, Washington focuses on security threats

By Patrick Martin, 19 August 2010

As the toll of death and destruction in Pakistan from unprecedented flooding continues to mount, US government officials and the American media are raising concerns not over the colossal human tragedy, but over the potential threat to political stability and US security interests in the region.

Mass protests continue in Indian-held Kashmir

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 19 August 2010

Despite savage state repression that has left at least 58 people dead in the past two months, protests continue to rock the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Sri Lankan military court convicts former army commander

By Sujeewa Amaranath, 18 August 2010

Former presidential candidate and army commander General Sarath Fonseka was found guilty last Friday of “engaging in active politics while in uniform” and stripped of his military rank, medals and pension.

Pakistan floods affect 20 million people as disaster worsens

By Vilani Peiris, 17 August 2010

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the devastation as the worst that he had ever seen. “In the past, I have witnessed many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this.”

Pakistan after the floods: “The situation is explosive”

17 August 2010

The World Socialist Web Site received the following letter Sunday from a supporter in Pakistan.

Canadian military detains Tamil asylum seekers

By Carl Bronski, 16 August 2010

Canadian military and security personnel boarded and seized a ship bearing some 490 Sri Lankan Tamil men, women, and children last Thursday evening shortly after it entered Canadian territorial waters.

Two Sri Lankan opposition MPs cross over to government

By M. Vasanthan and W.A. Sunil, 16 August 2010

Two opposition parliamentarians have joined the Rajapakse government, taking it a step closer to achieving a two-thirds parliamentary majority, which would allow it to make anti-democratic constitutional amendments.

Sri Lankan president forced to sack deputy minister

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 14 August 2010

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse sacked the deputy highways minister on Tuesday after his public humiliation of a government employee provoked widespread protests.

Pakistani floods affect millions, but level of international aid pitiful

By Vilani Peiris, 11 August 2010

With heavy rain continuing, the worst flooding in Pakistan in 80 years is still spreading. Pakistani relief organisations are stretched to the limit, yet the level of international aid remains pitiful.

Armed mob sets fire to Sri Lankan TV/radio station

By Panini Wijesiriwardena, 11 August 2010

The attack on the media network is part of a continuing campaign of violence by pro-government thugs, acting in collusion with the security forces.

Pakistani floods: A man-made not a natural disaster

By Wije Dias, 7 August 2010

The tragedy unfolding in Pakistan as a result of the country’s worst floods in 80 years is a devastating indictment not only of the present Pakistani government, but of its international allies—the US in particular—and the profit system as a whole.

Communal outburst from Kerala’s Stalinist Chief Minister

By Arun Kumar, 7 August 2010

V.S. Achuthanandan, the Chief Minister of the south Indian state of Kerala and a Politburo member of the Stalinist Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM, made remarks at a recent press conference that were widely recognized to be an appeal to Hindu communal sentiment.

Sri Lanka: Police oppose bail for arrested slum dwellers

By W.A. Sunil, 5 August 2010

A month after the mass arrest of more than 200 slum dwellers in northern Colombo, the police are continuing to detain 23 people without charge.

Garment workers in Bangladesh continue protests

By Sarath Kumara, 4 August 2010

Thousands of garment workers demonstrated in Bangladesh for a fifth day yesterday to demand higher pay, defying police repression and a sell-out deal between unions, employer groups and government on Sunday.

Hundreds killed in devastating Pakistani floods

By Vilani Peiris, 3 August 2010

While the Pakistani government has put the death toll in the current monsoonal flooding at around 800, officials in the worst affected, north-western region estimate a far higher figure of more than 1,500.

Half of India’s population lives below the poverty line

By Arun Kumar, 2 August 2010

According to an Oxford University study, 55 percent of India’s population of 1.1 billion, or 645 million people, are living in poverty. Using a newly-developed index, the study found that about one-third of the world’s poor live in India.

Sri Lanka: The JVP’s cynical posturing as a defender of democracy

By Vilani Peiris, 31 July 2010

The JVP’s campaign for “democracy” has nothing to do with defending the rights of ordinary working people, but is primarily concerned with preventing the growing hostility of workers and youth becoming a threat to the political establishment and capitalist rule.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold a public meeting against police-state measures

29 July 2010

The methods used against the Tamil masses during two decades of civil war are being turned against working people as a whole as the government wages its “economic war” to “build the nation”.

Sri Lankan students protest against police over university death

By Suranga Siriwardena and Kapila Fernando, 29 July 2010

Thousands of university students have taken part in protests for the past three days over the death of fellow student Susantha Aruna Bandara. He died last Friday, one month after a police attack on students at Ruhuna university.

Indian security forces crack down on Kashmiri protests

By Arun Kumar, 28 July 2010

Demonstrations and strikes are continuing in Indian-ruled Kashmir despite the deployment of Indian troops to the state.

Sri Lankan government enlists services of former LTTE leader

By Athiyan Silva, 27 July 2010

Further evidence has emerged in recent weeks of the LTTE’s continuing political disintegration with reports indicating that senior LTTE leader Selvarasa Pathmanathan is now actively collaborating with the government and military intelligence.

Leaked documents expose imperialist war in Afghanistan

By Alex Lantier, 27 July 2010

Nearly 92,000 military documents posted on the Internet by the WikiLeaks web site paint a devastating picture of US-NATO imperialist atrocities in Afghanistan.

Sri Lankan government pushes university privatisation

By Kapila Fernando, 24 July 2010

The growth of private education will be paralleled by the continuing rundown of public education creating a two class system—quality institutions for those who can afford to pay, and rundown, overcrowded and underfunded institutions for the rest.

Zardari's visit strengthens Pakistan-China relations

By Vilani Peiris, 22 July 2010

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s recent visit to China points to growing rivalry between the major powers. China sees Pakistan as its main ally in South Asia, while the US wants to keep Islamabad under its sway, supporting the war in Afghanistan.

Sri Lankan protest reveals discontent over wages

By Vilani Peiris, 22 July 2010

Amid growing unrest, NSSP union organisers have demonstrated their determination to block any independent political struggle against the government, which has suppressed real wages for the past four years.

India’s latest train crash kills 66 in West Bengal

By R. Shreeharan, 21 July 2010

Official efforts are being made to blame the train driver, who is among the three rail workers killed, for India’s fourth major train disaster this year.

Sri Lanka: Mattakkuliya slum dwellers denounce police-military repression

By our correspondents, 19 July 2010

Local residents recently spoke to the WSWS about the recent military-police operation in Mattakkuliya.

Indian Stalinists split over what right-wing course to follow

By Deepal Jayasekera, 17 July 2010

Last week’s one-day national bandh or general strike against central government-imposed fuel price hikes has exposed a growing rift within India’s principal Stalinist parliamentary party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Sri Lankan government uses emergency laws to charge former presidential candidate

By Sarath Kumara, 16 July 2010

President Rajapakse’s government has invoked draconian emergency regulations to lay serious criminal charges against the jailed MP and ex-Army Commander Sarath Fonseka, as it prepares to impose severe austerity measures on the working class and poor.

Mass roundup in Sri Lankan capital: a sharp warning to the working class

the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 13 July 2010

The recent military-police crackdown against impoverished slum dwellers in Colombo is a warning of the police-state methods being used to implement the Rajapakse government’s “economic war”.

Thousands of Colombo slum dwellers rounded up by Sri Lankan military

By W.A. Sunil and Panini Wijesiriwardena, 10 July 2010

Soldiers, police and security personnel in civilian clothes rampaged through a poor Sri Lankan neighbourhood last weekend and then rounded up thousands of residents.

US opposes Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline

By Sarath Kumara, 9 July 2010

Despite opposition from the US, Pakistan has signed an agreement with Iran for a major gas pipeline between the two countries.

Sri Lankan government speeds up slum evictions in Colombo

By W.A. Sunil, 9 July 2010

President Mahinda Rajapakse’s government is stepping up its “economic war”, with the capital’s shanty dwellers among the first casualties.

Indian Stalinists join BJP in one-day strike against fuel price hikes

By Deepal Jayasekera, 8 July 2010

A one-day all-India bandh, or general strike, protesting the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s recent fuel price hikes and associated decision to deregulate petrol prices shut down much of the country Monday.

Sri Lanka: Government-backed protesters besiege UN office over war crimes investigation

By K. Ratnayake, 8 July 2010

The Sri Lankan government openly backed a provocative protest, that laid siege to the UN’s Colombo office, demanding the abolition of a UN panel set up to investigate war crimes.

Sri Lankan nurses’ unions call off pay protest campaign

By W.A. Sunil, 8 July 2010

As anger builds among public sector nurses over poor pay and deteriorating conditions, the trade unions have sought to preempt strike struggles through a bogus protest campaign.

Bangladesh government cracks down on protesting garment workers

By Sarath Kumara, 5 July 2010

Sheik Hasina’s government has mobilised riot police in a bid to crush the eruption of a garment workers’ struggle against poverty wages.

Sri Lankan budget imposes IMF austerity demands

By Saman Gunadasa and K. Ratnayake, 3 July 2010

The Rajapakse government pledged to carry out measures to meet the deficit-reduction demands of the International Monetary Fund.

Fuel price hike hits India’s poor

By Saman Gunadasa, 30 June 2010

The Indian government last Friday slashed fuel price subsidies in a move that will boost already high inflation, impact heavily on working people and provoke unrest.

Sri Lankan authorities ban student group from Jaffna campus

By Subash Somachandran, 29 June 2010

Jaffna University’s ban has a broader aim: to suppress all political activity on the campus.

UN sets up limited inquiry into human rights in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 28 June 2010

The Colombo government has flatly rejected the UN’s appointment of an expert panel to review human rights violations in the final stage of the island’s civil war.

Bangladesh attempts to woo foreign investment

By Wimal Perera, 26 June 2010

This month’s Bangladesh budget seeks to address the concerns of big business while the masses continue to live in dire poverty.

Hyundai workers in India speak out against reprisals and poor working conditions

By M. Kailasam and K. Sundaram, 26 June 2010

reporters visited a Hyundai car assembly plant in southern India two days after an occupation by Hyundai workers was broken up by the police on the orders of Tamil Nadu’s DMK-led state government.

Sri Lankan government prepares major constitutional changes

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 24 June 2010

The Sri Lankan government is pressing ahead with constitutional changes designed to extend President Mahinda Rajapakse’s rule and enhance his autocratic methods.

Sri Lankan government holds victory celebrations

By K. Ratnayake, 22 June 2010

The president’s speech combined militarist triumphalism and a whitewash of his government’s war crimes with another call for “sacrifice” to build the nation.

Sri Lankan union bureaucrats prevent SEP member speaking

By Panini Wijesiriwardena, 19 June 2010

The unions were determined to silence Wijesiriwardane in order to block any discussion of the crisis of capitalism, the onslaught being prepared against workers and the necessary steps to defend their basic rights.

India: Stalinist Left Front routed in West Bengal municipal elections

By Arun Kumar, 18 June 2010

The Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front suffered a debacle in the West Bengal municipal elections as a result of mounting popular anger over its pro-investor reforms and rampant corruption.

Sri Lankan president visits India to improve relations

By K. Ratnayake, 17 June 2010

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse visited India last week in a bid to ease the diplomatic strains that emerged last year in the final months of the island’s protracted civil war.

France: Investigation of 2002 Karachi bombing implicates Sarkozy

By Kumaran Ira, 17 June 2010

Mounting evidence supports allegations that a deadly 2002 bombing in Karachi was linked to non-payment of kickbacks in submarine contracts linked to French political party funding, as the scandal threatens to engulf France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Austerity measures unveiled in Pakistan’s budget

By Sampath Perera, 16 June 2010

The Pakistan government this month announced a budget based on IMF dictates to slash social spending, setting the stage for deeper unrest.

India: Bhopal verdict provokes public outrage

By R. Shreeharan, 15 June 2010

The Bhopal judgment again demonstrates the contempt of the Indian establishment toward the thousands of victims and its commitment to defending corporate interests.

Sri Lankan government prepares for austerity measures

By Saman Gunadasa, 14 June 2010

The large allocations for debt repayments and defence indicate that savage cuts will be made elsewhere, in particular to social spending, when the budget is finally brought down on June 29.

Police break-up occupation at Hyundai complex in southern India

By Arun Kumar, 12 June 2010

Police broke-up an occupation at a Hyundai car assembly plant located on the outskirts of Chennai last Tuesday, arresting more than 200 workers.

Sri Lanka: Widespread malnutrition among women and children

By Sujeewa Amaranath and Kapila Fernando, 10 June 2010

Recent surveys reveal that malnutrition is rife amongst Sri Lankan children and women, highlighting the impact of the 30-year anti-Tamil war and endemic poverty.

Sri Lankan government plans extensive slum clearance evictions

By W.A Sunil, 7 June 2010

Thousands of shanty dwellers in Colombo face losing their homes and livelihoods as the government implements its city development plan.

More Colombo families targetted for eviction

By W.A. Sunil and R. Shreeharan, 7 June 2010

Government officials told shanty dwellers living near the Grand Pass canal in north Colombo on May 31 that all structures within six and a half metres of the canal bank would be removed.

Sabotage of West Bengal train leads to 148 deaths, sparks reactionary political furor

By R. Shreeharan, 5 June 2010

One hundred forty-eight people were killed and scores more injured in rural West Bengal last week, when a freight train struck a passenger train that had been derailed as the result of track sabotage. This tragedy demonstrates yet again the utter bankruptcy of individual terrorism as an emancipatory instrument.

Bangladesh fire kills more than 120 people

By Sarath Kumara, 5 June 2010

The toll from a huge fire in one of Dhaka’s poor districts on Thursday has highlighted the indifference of successive governments to the conditions facing the country’s working people.

WSWS reporters visit the devastated Sri Lankan town of Kilinochchi

By our correspondents, 2 June 2010

Tens of thousands of civilians who lost everything during the fighting a year ago have been “resettled” in the area with little government assistance.

Air India unions call off “flash” strike in face of state repression

By Kranti Kumara, 1 June 2010

A flash or wildcat strike involving about 20,000 workers at Air India ended May 26, after the unions bowed before a reactionary ruling of the Delhi High Court that proclaimed the strike illegal.

Indian air disaster kills 158

By Arun Kumar and Deepal Jayasekera, 1 June 2010

The Indian government and Air India management have attempted to blame the pilot for last week’s Mangalore crash even before conducting any investigation. This is a desperate attempt to deflect attention from the underlying causes of the crash.

Sri Lankan government exploits flood disaster to evict slum dwellers

By Sujeewa Amaranath, 28 May 2010

The Rajapakse government is using the extensive floods in Colombo as an excuse to remove poor slum dwellers from the capital and other parts of the country.

Sri Lankan military presses cases against Fonseka

By Sarath Kumara, 26 May 2010

The Sri Lankan government and military are proceeding with their political vendetta against former army commander General Sarath Fonseka—the failed opposition candidate in the country’s presidential election in January.

Sri Lanka: IMF insists on severe austerity measures

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 24 May 2010

After a 10-day inspection visit, the International Monetary Fund mission to Sri Lanka announced last Thursday that it was “encouraged” by the government’s planned measures to cut the budget deficit.

Half a million people affected by floods in Sri Lanka

By W.A. Sunil and Kapila Fernando, 22 May 2010

Floods in Sri Lanka have intensified the social misery of some of the country’s poorest families.

Jaffna: One year after the end of the war in Sri Lanka

By Subash Somachandran and Kamal Rasenthiran, 20 May 2010

Residents of the northern town of Jaffna continue to live in dire conditions under an intensified military occupation.

India’s government tables loophole-filled anti-torture law

By Kranti Kumara, 20 May 2010

The anti-torture legislation that was recently passed by the lower house of India’s parliament is a sham. The bill is full of legal loopholes thus ensuring that India’s police and security forces will continue to routinely torture people, frequently to their deaths.

ICG report exposes Sri Lankan government’s war crimes

By K. Ratnayake, 19 May 2010

The report puts the scale of civilian casualties far higher than previous UN estimates, and provides credible evidence that the military intentionally shelled civilians, hospitals and humanitarian operations.

Sri Lanka: One year after the LTTE’s defeat

By Wije Dias, 18 May 2010

One year ago today, the Sri Lankan military completed its seizure of the last scrap of land held by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, with the massacre of all the top LTTE leaders.

Sri Lanka: Residents protest against demolition of homes

By our correspondents, 15 May 2010

Residents held a protest at Slave Island in central Colombo yesterday, opposing the demolition of their houses by the military on the orders of the Defence Ministry.

India and Pakistan to resume long-stalled peace dialogue

By Deepal Jayasekera, 14 May 2010

Under pressure from Washington, India and Pakistan have agreed to resume a long-stalled peace dialogue. But the US’s efforts to harness Pakistan and India to its predatory geopolitical goals in Asia are themselves a major source of friction between Islamabad and New Delhi.

Sri Lankan military takes over urban development

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 13 May 2010

The Sri Lankan president’s self-proclaimed “economic war” took on a new meaning last weekend when the Urban Development Authority utilised soldiers and police to evict families from shanties in central Colombo.

US warns Pakistan of “severe consequences”

By Peter Symonds, 12 May 2010

The Obama administration has seized on the failed car bombing in New York’s Times Square on May 1 to insist that the Pakistani military step up its war on Islamic militants and extend its operations into North Waziristan.

In cynical gesture, Sri Lankan president pardons journalist

By Vilani Peiris, 12 May 2010

The Sri Lankan government announced last week that President Mahinda Rajapakse had pardoned previously jailed journalist J.S. Tissanayagam to mark World Press Freedom Day.

Stalinist union calls off Indian coal strike

By Arun Kumar, 10 May 2010

After just one day, the All India Coal Workers Federation last week ended its three-day strike against government plans to sell off a 10 percent stake in the state-owned Coal India Limited.

Sri Lankan defence ministry begins evicting poor in Colombo

By our correspondent, 10 May 2010

The newly re-elected Sri Lankan government has deployed the police and the military to evict poor families from Colombo, and begun removing street hawkers from cities to clear the way for business projects.

Sri Lanka: State-owned newspaper publishes death threat against SEP

By Wije Dias, 8 May 2010

The government-owned Daily News, on its editorial page on April 23, published a highly provocative article against the SEP that contained an explicit death threat against the party.

Obama widens drone attacks in Pakistan

By Bill Van Auken, 7 May 2010

The Obama administration has granted secret permission to the CIA to carry out more indiscriminate drone missile strikes in Pakistan, even as protests over civilian casualties caused by the attacks grow.

Sri Lankan government extends state of emergency

By K. Ratnayake, 7 May 2010

The government indicated there would be no end to emergency rule, which, with the exception of a few years, has been in force since the start of the civil war in 1983.

Indian coal workers to strike against privatisation

By Arun Kumar, 5 May 2010

Employees of the state-owned Coal India Ltd are due to start a three-day strike today against the Indian government’s proposal to sell off 10 percent of shares in the company and its subsidiaries.

Sri Lankan SEP holds May Day meeting

By our correspondents, 4 May 2010

The Socialist Equality Party and the International Students for Social Equality held a May Day meeting at New Town Hall in Colombo to mark the International Workers Day.

Sri Lankan workers face austerity measures

By Saman Gunadasa, 3 May 2010

The Central Bank annual report for 2009 is designed to lull working people as the government prepares to implement severe cuts to living conditions.

India: West Bengal government forms industrial security force

By R. Shreeharan, 1 May 2010

In collaboration with the national government, the Left Front government in West Bengal is forming a State Industrial Security Force to protect businesses against striking workers and protesters.

Sri Lanka: New government threat against the media

By W.A. Sunil, 30 April 2010

In his first press conference yesterday, Sri Lanka’s newly installed deputy media minister, Mervin Silva, warned the media to toe the government’s line.

Sri Lanka: The political decomposition of the LSSP

By Vilani Peiris, 29 April 2010

The April 8 parliamentary election has again underlined the putrefaction of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party.

Sri Lanka: Opposition parties unanimously back new parliamentary speaker

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 27 April 2010

One aspect of the proceedings in the first parliamentary session last week underlined the degree to which the entire political establishment supports the anti-working class agenda of President Mahinda Rajapakse.

Amid mounting popular anger over price rises

Indian Stalinists stage one-day protest strike

By Deepal Jayasekera, 27 April 2010

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its allies in the Left Front are joining today with nine regional- and caste-based parties in staging an all-India hartal—or national strike—to protest the recent decision of India’s Congress Party-led central government to raise gasoline, diesel, and fertilizer prices.

Indian writer Arundhati Roy threatened with prosecution under anti-terrorism law

By Kranti Kumara, 26 April 2010

Police in the east Indian state of Chhattisgarh are “exploring” laying charges under the state’s draconian anti-terrorism law against Arundhati Roy.

Sri Lanka: New cabinet installed to implement austerity program

By K. Ratnayake, 24 April 2010

Following the April 8 parliamentary election, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse appointed the new cabinet yesterday in preparation for what will be a far reaching offensive against the living standards of workers.

Sri Lankan SEP and ISSE to hold May Day meeting

24 April 2010

Sri Lankan SEP and ISSE will hold a public meeting in Colombo on May 1 to mark the international workers’ day.

New parliament opens in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 23 April 2010

While parliamentary forms were observed to the last detail, the proceedings contained unmistakable signs of the country’s political crisis and the growing irrelevance of the institution itself.