By Arun Kumar and Ganesh Dev, 22 April 2010
Within hours of 300,000 BSNL employees beginning an indefinite strike on Tuesday to defend jobs and conditions, the unions reached a deal with the telecommunications minister.
By W.A. Sunil, 22 April 2010
In a bid to quell public anger, Pakistan’s army chief was forced to issue a public apology last Saturday over the recent killing of more than 70 civilians near the Afghanistan border.
By Vilani Peiris, 21 April 2010
While nominally directed against the separatist LTTE, the call for new security powers foreshadows a broader attack on the democratic rights of working people.
By Kranti Kumara, 21 April 2010
India’s Congress Party-led government has been thrown into serious crisis following a deadly ambush by Maoist guerrillas on April 6 that killed 76 security personnel in the forests of the eastern state of Chhattisgarh.
By Arun Kumar, 20 April 2010
Around 300,000 workers employed by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), are due to start an indefinite national strike today against the government’s plans to restructure and part-privatise the state-owned telecommunications corporation.
By Kapila Fernando, 19 April 2010
The University Grant Commission recently issued a circular that revives legislation aimed against political protests by students, just as the government prepares to slash social spending.
By K. Ratnayake, 17 April 2010
The record low turnout in last week’s general election in Sri Lanka highlights the extent of popular hostility to the entire political establishment.
By Shree Haran, 17 April 2010
The storm struck the Indian states of Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam, as well as Bangladesh on Tuesday night, destroying an estimated 100,000 homes and killing at least 136 people.
By Arun Kumar and Ganesh Dev, 15 April 2010
Unions representing 450,000 public sector workers in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) bowed Wednesday before an escalating campaign of state repression and called off a militant twelve day-old strike.
By Kranti Kumara, 14 April 2010
Narendra Modi, the Gujarat Chief Minister and a leading figure in India’s official opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was interrogated for nine hours late last month about his role in the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in the west Indian state.
By Kalyana Amaranayake and Panini Wijesiriwardena, 13 April 2010
In a blatantly anti-democratic move, Sri Lanka police arrested Sarah Malini Perera on March 20 over her two books detailing her conversion from Buddhism to Islam.
By Sujeewa Amaranath, 12 April 2010
Just before last week’s general election, the government prevented three opposition MPs from taking their seats. While apparently a minor issue, the incident underlines President Rajapakse’s contempt for parliamentary norms and the country’s constitution.
By K. Ratnayake, 10 April 2010
The ruling coalition won an overwhelming majority in Thursday’s parliamentary poll. But the historic low turnout points to widespread discontent.
By W.A. Sunil, 9 April 2010
A low turnout points to widespread alienation among broad layers of working people toward the entire Colombo political establishment.
By Sampath Perera, 8 April 2010
The Stalinist-led Left Front is today mounting a nation-wide agitation to protest the pro-big business economic policies being implemented by India’s Congress Party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
the Socialist Equality Party, 8 April 2010
The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) calls on workers, young people, intellectuals and the rural poor to vote for its candidates in the general election being held today.
By our correspondents, 7 April 2010
The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) and the International Students for Social Equality (ISSE) in Sri Lanka held a public meeting in Colombo on Sunday evening to conclude the party’s campaign for the April 8 general elections.
By K. Ratnayake, 6 April 2010
The ruling coalition is campaigning for a “strong government” that will use police state methods to impose the burdens of the country’s economic crisis on working people. What is taking place in Sri Lanka is an advanced expression of the agenda of the ruling elites around the world.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 April 2010
Eighteenth months after Pakistan was forced to seek emergency support from the IMF, the country remains mired in economic crisis.
Vilani Peiris and SEP candidate for Colombo district, 5 April 2010
The ruling coalition’s central aim in the April 8 election is to gain a two-thirds majority so it can change the constitution and establish “a strong government”.
By Panini Wijesiriwardena, 3 April 2010
WSWS reporters visiting tea plantation areas found deep hostility toward the Rajapakse government and widespread disgust with all the parties and trade unions that have dominated Sri Lankan politics for decades.
By Wije Dias, 2 April 2010
The Tamil National Alliance has issued a manifesto for the general election that fails to raise the obvious question: how was it that the LTTE was defeated last May?
By W.A. Sunil, 1 April 2010
Just one week from the April 8 general election in Sri Lanka, political violence is on the rise.
By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 31 March 2010
Two tragedies this month underscored the plight of poverty-stricken families in Sri Lanka. Two mothers, seeing no way out of their intractable financial problems, each drowned a child in a local river.
By Priyadarshana Meddawatta, 30 March 2010
Government and opposition candidates for the Colombo district in the April 8 general election have been rushing to the shanty areas of the capital appealing for votes with promises of good housing.
By Arun Kumar and Palash Roy, 30 March 2010
Despite several cease-fire proposals from the Communist Party of India (Maoist), the Indian government is continuing a massive, multi-state military offensive aimed at stamping out the tribal-based Maoist insurgency.
By Sujeeva Amaranath, 27 March 2010
A protest against a rap singer has become the latest pretext for a pro-government mob to attack the media, in this case, the head office of the MTV/Sirasa media network.
By Athiyan Silva and Antoine Lerougetel, 27 March 2010
The Global Tamil Forum held its inaugural meeting at the British parliament last month. This venue was no happenstance. The meeting had the blessing of the entire British political establishment and of the US government.
By our reporters, 26 March 2010
Around 100 people attended the meeting, where speakers explained the global dimension of the capitalist debt crisis and the struggle facing the working class.
By Sampath Perera, 25 March 2010
The enduring character of the US-Pakistan relationship is exemplified by the leading role that General Ashfaq Kiyani, the current head of Pakistan’s armed forces, is playing in the talks. Even the New York Times had to concede that Kiyani “has driven the agenda for the talks” and “will be the dominant Pakistani participant.”
SEP manifesto for the 2010 Sri Lankan general election
the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 25 March 2010
The SEP calls on workers and youth to support our candidates and actively participate in the party’s campaign for the April 8 general election.
By Panini Wijesiriwardena, 24 March 2010
In further election violence, an armed gang associated with the Ceylon Workers Congress attacked the homes of five members of a rival union at a tea plantation on March 17.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 23 March 2010
A short visit by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to India on March 12 resulted in a slew of bilateral agreements and improved strategic relations.
Nanda Wickremesinghe and SEP candidate for Jaffna, 22 March 2010
The existence of such a list is particularly menacing as government critics have been targetted for detention or physical violence since President Rajapakse first took office in late 2005.
the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 20 March 2010
The SEP urges all workers and youth to oppose the physical attack and threats by EPDP thugs on our members in Jaffna, northern Sri Lanka, on March 19.
By Sarath Kumara, 19 March 2010
A diplomatic row has erupted between the Sri Lankan government and the UN over plans to investigate human right violations in the last stages of the country’s civil war.
By K. Ratnayake, 18 March 2010
The courts martial of retired general Sarath Fonseka, the opposition candidate in the January 26 presidential election, began behind closed doors this week.
18 March 2010
The SEP and ISSE will hold public meetings across the island as part of its campaign for the April 8 general elections.
16 March 2010
The WSWS has opposed the Telangana agitation. But this does not mean that we are indifferent to how the Indian state deals with this movement and to the fate of the students and others who have been caught up in it.
By our reporters, 16 March 2010
Karainagar Island is part of the northern district of Jaffna. The whole area was placed under the control of the Sri Lankan navy in the protracted war against the LTTE. It is home to about 5,000 fishing and farming families.
By our reporters, 15 March 2010
Many people voiced concerns about President Mahinda Rajapakse’s dictatorial agenda when an SEP team visited an irrigation workers’ housing scheme during the party’s campaign for the April 8 general election.
By Panini Wijesiriwardane and Parwini Zora, 13 March 2010
M.F. Husain, India’s best known and most celebrated visual artist, has accepted an offer of Qatari citizenship—a poignant protest against the Indian state’s and political elite’s complicity in his harassment and victimization by Hindu fundamentalists and supremacists.
By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 12 March 2010
President Rajapakse retains his extraordinary powers to ban public meetings and protests, censor the media, outlaw strikes, sack workers, detain people without charge and mobilise the military in strike-breaking operations.
By Sujeewa Amaranath, 11 March 2010
An ILO workshop in Colombo last week underlined the degree to which the government and corporate elite depend on the unions to suppress growing anger among workers over falling living standards.
By Arun Kumar, 10 March 2010
A tragic incident near the town of Kunda in the state of Uttar Pradesh last Thursday again highlighted the abject poverty facing tens of millions throughout India.
By our correspondents, 8 March 2010
The Sri Lankan SEP launched its campaign for the April 8 general elections with a public meeting in Colombo on March 5.
By Sampath Perera, 6 March 2010
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and the country’s Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition government have suffered a further blow to their power and prestige as the result of a clash with the Supreme Court over judicial appointments.
the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 6 March 2010
The SEP warns that the emergency powers will be used to suppress the opposition of workers and the rural poor to the austerity measures the government will impose after the April 8 parliamentary election.
Vilani Peiris and SEP candidate for Colombo, 5 March 2010
The campaign for Sri Lanka’s parliamentary election next month has thrown up an odd political marriage of convenience—between the JVP and the country’s former top general Sarath Fonseka.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 March 2010
India’s budget included a raft of tax concessions and “reform” measures demanded by native and foreign big business. It also imposed punishing price increases on petroleum products and fertilizer for workers, and a real reduction in social spending.
By Wimal Perera, 4 March 2010
The deplorable lack of safety standards in Bangladesh’s garment factories is a direct product of the drive for profit.
By Shree Haran, 3 March 2010
The talks held between India and Pakistan last week ended with no more than a promise that the rival South Asian powers will “keep in touch.”
By W.A. Sunil, 3 March 2010
The April 8 parliamentary election in Sri Lanka has accelerated the break-up of the TNA, which functioned as the political mouthpiece of the LTTE prior to its military defeat last May.
2 March 2010
The Sri Lankan SEP will launch its campaign for the April 8 parliamentary election at a public meeting at the Public Library Auditorium in Colombo on March 5 at 4 p.m.
the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 2 March 2010
The SEP is contesting the parliamentary election on April 8 to mobilise the working class on the basis of a socialist program against the deepening assault on living standards and democratic rights.
By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 27 February 2010
The International Monetary Fund has delayed the third installation of its $US2.6 billion loan, blaming the government’s failure to meet its budget deficit reduction target.
By K. Ratnayake, 26 February 2010
Media commentators are calling for improved parliamentary standards, but the degeneration of bourgeois democracy is bound up with the incapacity of the ruling elites to address the aspirations and needs of working people.
By Kranti Kumara, 25 February 2010
The Indian Supreme Court issued an extraordinary ruling on February 20 giving legal sanction to the continuing deployment of paramilitary police on the campus of Osmania University in the capital city of the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.
By K. Ratnayake, 24 February 2010
Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court yesterday turned down a request for an interim order to release defeated opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka, who was detained by military police on February 8.
By Sujeewa Amaranath, 23 February 2010
Defeated opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka filed a petition in the Supreme Court on February 16 to overturn the result of the presidential election.
By Sarath Kumara, 22 February 2010
A magistrate’s court unconditionally released 14 supporters of opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka who had been detained over an alleged coup attempt.
By our correspondent, 20 February 2010
The Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka held a press conference in Colombo on Thursday to oppose the government’s anti-democratic crackdown, including the arrest of opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka.
By Arun Kumar and Palash Roy, 20 February 2010
Indian unions in the state of West Bengal called off a two-month strike of around 250,000 jute mill workers on February 12 without any of the basic demands of the strikers being met.
By Subash Somachandran and Kamal Rasenthiran, 19 February 2010
Tens of thousands of Tamil civilians, who fled the fighting during the military’s offensive against the LTTE, remain in squalid detention camps.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 19 February 2010
Last Saturday’s terrorist bombing in the west Indian city of Pune was clearly aimed at inciting communal enmity and derailing any rapprochement between India and Pakistan.
By Saman Gunadasa, 18 February 2010
Despite the efforts of the Sri Lankan government to paint a picture of a vibrant economy on the brink of a historic expansion, the island confronts a worsening economic crisis.
By Wije Dias, 17 February 2010
Amid waning support for her government, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed is cynically exploiting the hangings of her father’s killers to exhort supporters to strengthen the ruling Awami League.
By K. Ratnayake, 16 February 2010
The rapid moves by the Sri Lankan government towards a police state not only spell danger for the working class on this island, but are a warning to workers around the world.
By Sarath Kumara, 15 February 2010
As part of an escalating assault on basic democratic rights, Sri Lankan authorities are preparing new measures to censor web sites critical of the government.
By Wije Dias, 15 February 2010
Sri Lanka’s defence secretary has accused the US and Norway of financing the defeated opposition candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, in the January 26 presidential election.
By K. Ratnayake, 13 February 2010
The Supreme Court yesterday overruled objections by government lawyers and allowed a fundamental rights case challenging the arrest of defeated presidential candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, to proceed.
Under US pressure
By Deepal Jayasekera, 13 February 2010
India and Pakistan will soon hold high-level talks for the first time in fourteen months. But New Delhi is still balking at the resumption of the “composite dialogue” set in place after the two countries almost went to war in 2001-2002.
By Sarath Kumara, 12 February 2010
The arrest of opposition candidate Fonseka has set the stage for an election in which the government will use every means at its disposal to intimidate and suppress political opposition.
By our correspondents, 11 February 2010
Sri Lankan police and pro-government thugs attacked protestors demonstrating in central Colombo yesterday against the arrest of retired General Sarath Fonseka, the defeated opposition presidential candidate.
the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 11 February 2010
Fonseka’s detention is a fundamental attack on democratic rights that foreshadows the consolidation of a police-state regime under President Mahinda Rajapakse.
By Saman Gunadasa, 10 February 2010
International tensions over Sri Lanka were highlighted last Friday when the EU moved to suspend tariff concessions to the country, citing ongoing concerns about human rights abuses.
By K. Ratnayake, 9 February 2010
The arrest is a marked escalation in the government’s crackdown on political opponents and foreshadows widening intimidation and repression.
By Sarath Kumara, 8 February 2010
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse is purging the military and police hierarchies of supporters of his rival, General Sarath Fonseka.
By Wije Dias, 6 February 2010
President Rajapakse delivered the annual independence speech on Thursday, outlining his government’s agenda. In the name of rebuilding the nation, he is preparing an economic offensive against the working class.
US jury convicts Aafia Siddiqui
By Bill Van Auken, 5 February 2010
Thousands of Pakistanis took to the streets in angry protests Thursday after a New York jury convicted Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, a neuroscientist subjected to rendition and torture, on frame-up charges of shooting at US soldiers.
By our correspondent, 5 February 2010
Sri Lankan opposition parties held a rally in Colombo on Wednesday to demand the annulment of the January 26 presidential election results.
5 February 2010
The SEP has converted its presidential election web site into a permanent party site in the country’s three main languages—English, Sinhala and Tamil.
By Wije Dias, 4 February 2010
While the USP boasts that its “united front” with the right-wing UNP defended democratic rights, the SEP insists that the USP’s class collaboration undermined the ability of workers to defend their rights through independent action.
By our correspondents, 4 February 2010
Pro-government management, union officials and thugs have extended President Mahinda Rajapakse’s post-election campaign of intimidation and violence to a number of workplaces.
By Bill Van Auken, 3 February 2010
CIA drone missiles attacks claimed the lives of 123 civilians last month alone in Pakistan, while on the other side of the border, US Special Forces have launched an assassination campaign against alleged leaders of Afghanistan’s Taliban movement.
By Deepal Jayasekera, 3 February 2010
Since Mahinda Rajapakse won a second presidential term in Sri Lanka last week, India’s dilemma over how to pursue its interests in the island has intensified.
By W.A. Sunil, 2 February 2010
The attacks are part of a broader government crackdown against supporters of the defeated opposition candidate General Fonseka, who faces unsubstantiated allegations that he attempted to mount a coup.
Pakistani victim of rendition and torture
By Ali Ismail, 1 February 2010
The case against Aafia Siddiqui, charged with the attempted murder of US personnel in Afghanistan, is rapidly unraveling. Her trial in New York is aimed at covering up the torture and rendition to which she and her children were subjected.
By Sarath Kumara, 1 February 2010
Having won a second term in last week’s election, President Mahinda Rajapakse is widening a witch-hunt against political opponents, journalists and critics.
the the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 1 February 2010
The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) condemns the attacks of pro-government Eelam People Democratic Party (EPDP) thugs on villagers on the island of Kayts following the government’s poor local showing in the January 26 presidential election.
By Sarath Kumara, 30 January 2010
Despite winning re-election by a substantial margin, President Rajapakse’s position remains weak amid continuing divisions in ruling circles and popular resentment over declining living standards.
By Peter Symonds, 29 January 2010
Following Tuesday’s presidential election, Colombo has become a hotbed of rumour and intrigue. Far from ending the campaign brawling, the election has set the stage for deepening political instability.
By K. Ratnayake, 28 January 2010
A tense political situation continued in Sri Lanka yesterday as Mahinda Rajapakse was declared the winner in Tuesday’s presidential election. Opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka announced he would challenge the result.
By K. Ratnayake, 27 January 2010
The prospect of a bitter legal and constitutional feud following the Sri Lankan presidential elections heightened after the government threatened legal action to disqualify opposition candidate General Sarath Fonseka.
By Athiyan Silva, 27 January 2010
In Sri Lanka’s just concluded presidential election, much of the LTTE exile movement and the Tamil National Alliance supported the main opposition candidate, General Sarath Fonseka, over the incumbent, Mahinda Rajapakse, on the grounds that he is the “lesser evil.”
By K. Ratnayake, 26 January 2010
Sri Lanka’s presidential election, which culminates with today’s national vote, has been marred by violence and bitter charges and counter-charges from the two principal candidates—the incumbent Mahinda Rajapakse and his rival, the former army chief Sarath Fonseka.
By Wije Dias, 26 January 2010
The Sri Lankan presidential election has underscored the unbridgeable class gulf between the Socialist Equality Party, and the Nava Sama Samaja Party and all other former radical organisations.
By our correspondents, 25 January 2010
The Socialist Equality Party concluded a powerful six-week campaign in Sri Lanka’s presidential election with a meeting last Saturday in Colombo. The main speaker was the party’s general-secretary and presidential candidate Wije Dias.
By Saman Gunadasa, 23 January 2010
Hundreds of Sri Lankan Tamil political prisoners recently mounted an 8-day hunger strike to demand their release or at least an end to their indefinite detention without proper legal recourse.
By our correspondent, 23 January 2010
The executive committee of the Central Bank Employees Union has passed a resolution urging workers to vote for Socialist Equality Party candidate Wije Dias in the January 26 presidential election.