Indian subcontinent

Sri Lankan government moves to criminalise “hate speech”

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 January 2016

The planned new laws are an attack on the democratic rights of the working class, directed in particular against any person or party fighting for a revolutionary socialist perspective.

Indian prime minister visits Russia to consolidate relations

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 January 2016

While supporting the US “pivot to Asia” against India’s regional rival China, the Modi government is maintaining New Delhi’s longstanding ties with Russia.

India’s Modi makes surprise visit to Pakistan

By Sampath Perera, 29 December 2015

Modi’s Pakistan trip was a pragmatic maneuver aimed at placating Washington and shoring up the increasingly embattled Indian government domestically.

Tamil People's Forum sets a new nationalist trap for Sri Lankan workers

By V. Gnana, 29 December 2015

The formation of the TPF is a shabby political maneuver to give a facelift to Tamil nationalist groups discredited by their support for the Sri Lankan government.

Sri Lankan farmers protest against budget cuts

By W.A. Sunil, 24 December 2015

Farmers marched to the prime minister’s office, denouncing cuts to fertiliser subsidies and rice prices.

Japanese premier forges ties with India to counter China

By Deepal Jayasekera, 19 December 2015

While currently proceeding under the aegis of the US “pivot,” Abe’s push for a closer partnership with India is driven by Japanese imperialism’s own substantial military-strategic and economic ambitions.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 December 2015

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

Sri Lankan trade unions call off one-day stoppage

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 17 December 2015

From the outset, the unions sought to scuttle the strike, even as opposition mounted among workers to the government’s budget cuts.

India: Government negligence responsible for flood disaster

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 15 December 2015

Tens of thousands of people in the capital Chennai and across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu are yet to be rescued and properly assisted.

Tamil party complicit in detention of Sri Lankan political prisoners

By K. Nesan, 9 December 2015

The Tamil National Alliance functioned throughout the prisoners’ hunger strike as a servant of the government, deceiving the prisoners and their families.

Mounting tensions between India and Nepal over blockade

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 30 November 2015

The detention of Indian border guards and protests in Kathmandu are the latest incidents in the unresolved standoff between the two countries.

India: Modi announces new wave of pro-investor reforms

By Kranti Kumara, 27 November 2015

In an attempt to kick-start India’s languishing economy, the BJP government has raised or outright eliminated foreign investment caps.

Nepal turns to China for fuel to counter Indian blockade

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 2 November 2015

The conflict engulfing the small Himalayan state is another illustration of the sharp geo-political tensions building up across Asia.

Sri Lankan plantation companies to tear up workers’ rights

By W.A. Sunil, 31 October 2015

The proposed “revenue sharing” wage formula is a major attack on the already low incomes, jobs and working conditions of plantation workers.

Sri Lankan government boosts spending on security forces

By Saman Gunadasa, 30 October 2015

President Sirisena’s government is preparing an austerity budget that will make deep inroads into working-class living standards.

Mounting humanitarian crisis in wake of Pakistan-Afghanistan quake

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 October 2015

The lack of government assistance and aid in both countries is creating mounting discontent amid deteriorating conditions.

NSSP leader backs US cover-up of Sri Lankan war crimes

By K. Ratnayake, 29 October 2015

At every point, the NSSP has followed in the footsteps of US imperialism, justifying Washington’s actions and giving credence to its bogus “human rights” posturing.

Hundreds dead in Afghanistan and Pakistan after 7.5 magnitude earthquake

By Oscar Grenfell, 27 October 2015

The devastating consequences of the natural disaster will be compounded by 15 years of US-led neo-colonial occupation.

Indian trade unions shut down Kerala plantation workers’ strike

By Arun Kumar, 27 October 2015

There is growing anger among plantation workers across the southern Indian state of Kerala over the unions’ wage betrayal.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 October 2015

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

Tamil political prisoners in Sri Lanka launch hunger strike

By S. Jayanth, 17 October 2015

Hundreds of detainees, some of whom have never been charged, have vowed to fast until death to demand their release.

Sri Lankan and Japanese prime ministers declare “comprehensive partnership”

By K. Ratnayake, 15 October 2015

The Colombo government is enmeshing Sri Lanka in the geo-political interests of the US and its allies, including Japan, directed against China.

“Artists have the capacity to expose the reality of war”

Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage speaks with the World Socialist Web Site

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 13 October 2015

Vithanage discusses With You, Without You and the political difficulties facing contemporary Sri Lankan filmmakers.

New constitution triggers political turmoil in Nepal

By W.A. Sunil, 9 October 2015

Pressure from India is compounding conflicts in Nepal, wedged between India and China.

India joins trilateral “dialogue” with US and Japan

By Deepal Jayasekera, 7 October 2015

As part of its anti-China “pivot”, Washington has long been pressing India to join US-led trilateral and quadrilateral initiatives with Japan and Australia.

Sri Lankan president moves to implement death penalty

By Sanjaya Jayasekera, 7 October 2015

The agitation for the return of capital punishment is seeking to divert public concern from the real social problems and further strengthen police powers.

Sri Lankan president boasts at UN of “new era of democracy”

By K. Ratnayake, 5 October 2015

Sirisena’s democratic posturing is designed to enhance his government’s international standing and strengthen links with the US.

SEP/IYSSE meeting in Colombo: Why is the US whitewashing Sri Lankan war crimes?

5 October 2015

The meeting will discuss the implications for working people of the US-sponsored resolution at the UN Human Rights Council on Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka: Seven killed in central hills tea estate landslide

By our correspondents, 2 October 2015

Successive governments, the plantation companies and the tea estate unions have refused to take action to prevent landslide disasters.

US-Sri Lankan resolution to UN human rights body to cover up war crimes

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 September 2015

Washington’s willingness to countenance a largely domestic “human rights inquiry” is a payoff to the new pro-US government in Colombo.

Bangladeshi government confronts rising popular discontent

By Wimal Perera, 25 September 2015

The Awami League-led government’s imposition of austerity measures is provoking unrest among students, teachers and workers.

UN report on Sri Lanka details atrocities during the civil war

By Rohantha De Silva and K. Ratnayake, 22 September 2015

If the report is “milder” than it might have been, it is because the US wants no disruption to the new pro-US government in Colombo.

Sri Lankan currency falls sharply

By Saman Gunadasa, 21 September 2015

The floating of the currency to depreciate its value is the first major austerity move by the new “national unity government” in Sri Lanka.

UN releases war crimes report on Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 17 September 2015

While the inquiry confirms that war crimes occurred, the UN human rights commissioner’s remarks echo the shift in US policy.

India: Over 80 killed in Madhya Pradesh explosion

By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 September 2015

Saturday’s tragedy resulted from the widespread practice of storing explosives in residential areas to maximise profits.

Sri Lankan president warns against “toppling” the government

By W. A. Sunil, 14 September 2015

Sirisena is desperate to shore up the new “national unity” government as it prepares to implement austerity and integrate the island into US war plans.

India and Pakistan exchange war threats

By Sampath Perera, 12 September 2015

For months, India and Pakistan have been regularly exchanging artillery fire across the Line of Control that separates Indian and Pakistan-held Kashmir.

Sri Lankan defence seminar reflects pro-US foreign policy shift

By Rohantha de Silva, 11 September 2015

This year’s seminar was held in the context of escalating moves by the US to integrate countries in the Asia-Pacific region into its strategic build-up against China.

Tamil nationalist appointed opposition leader in Sri Lankan parliament

By K. Nesan, 10 September 2015

The aim was to install a political flunkey of Washington who will support any austerity measure or pro-US foreign policy.

US probes former Sri Lanka president’s alleged assets

By Saman Gunadasa and Deepal Jayasekera, 8 September 2015

Washington’s investigation seeks to further marginalise Rajapakse and his supporters and block any challenge to the present pro-US government.

India invites Japan for naval exercises with US

By Arun Kumar, 5 September 2015

The decision by Prime Minister Modi to hold trilateral naval games involving India, the US and Japan has been encouraged by Washington as part of its aggressive “pivot” against China.

Sri Lankan prime minister appoints huge cabinet

By K. Ratnayake, 5 September 2015

The new US-backed government is trying to cement its position and prepare to ram through harsh austerity measures.

Millions of Indian workers strike against Modi government’s pro-market reforms

By our correspondents, 3 September 2015

While workers are determined to defend their jobs and living conditions, the unions used the strike to let off steam and keep workers tied to the political establishment.

Sri Lankan president announces “national unity government”

By K. Ratnayake, 2 September 2015

The new coalition government is an attempt by the ruling class parties to close ranks in order to impose savage austerity measures on the working class.

US shift on Sri Lankan war crimes probe exposes Tamil nationalists

By K. Nesan, 1 September 2015

By supporting the US-backed government, the Tamil nationalists are complicit in allowing the crimes of the civil war to go unpunished.

Indian unions to hold one-day national strike

By Deepal Jayasekera, 1 September 2015

The unions have called the September 2 strike not to mobilize workers and the rural toilers against the Modi government and its neoliberal policies but to contain the growing opposition to them.

Sri Lankan political parties hail US shift on war crimes probe

By Saman Gunadasa, 31 August 2015

This stance not only exposes the pro-imperialist character of these parties but their involvement and complicity in the Sri Lankan human rights atrocities.

US announces shift on Sri Lankan war crimes investigation

By K. Ratnayake, 27 August 2015

The announcement confirms that Washington has cynically exploited “human rights” in Sri Lanka to advance its interests, particularly against China.

India reaches into the South Pacific to counter China

By John Braddock, 27 August 2015

The summit was part of Indian efforts to build defence and strategic ties in the Asia-Pacific, designed to counter Chinese influence.

Britain’s Financial Times hails Sri Lankan election result

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 26 August 2015

The Financial Times editorial is a damning indictment of the Sri Lankan pseudo-left organisations that sided with the pro-US UNP in the election.

Sri Lankan corporate elite demands “tough” economic decisions from new government

By Saman Gunadasa, 24 August 2015

The “national unity government” will impose severe austerity measures and will not hesitate to use police-state measures against any resistance by working people.

Sri Lanka: “National unity government” to implement harsh austerity measures

By W. A. Sunil, 21 August 2015

During the election, the SEP alone warned that all the capitalist parties were united in their determination to impose the burden of the economic crisis onto working people.

The significance of the SEP’s vote in Sri Lankan elections

By Deepal Jayasekera, 20 August 2015

The support for the SEP indicates a turn by an advanced section of workers and the oppressed masses towards the perspective of socialist internationalism.

Pro-US United National Party to form government in Sri Lanka

By Saman Gunadasa, 19 August 2015

While the UNP win has blocked a comeback by former President Mahinda Rajapakse, the political turmoil in Colombo will only continue and deepen.

Sri Lankan election results foreshadow political upheavals

By K. Ratnayake, 18 August 2015

Whichever party—the UNP or SLFP—finally forms the next government will accelerate the austerity agenda being demanded by the IMF.

Sri Lankan general election signals deepening political instability

By our correspondent, 17 August 2015

Today’s election is being held in the wake of a US-backed regime-change operation in January that ousted former President Rajapakse because of his ties with China.

Paris public meeting discusses world significance of Sri Lankan elections

By our reporters, 17 August 2015

International Committee of the Fourth International supporters held a well-attended meeting to discuss the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) election campaign.

Sri Lankan election: 110 unions and NGOs back right-wing, pro-US UNP

By Saman Gunadasa, 12 August 2015

The organisations are not only campaigning for the United National Party but are also a “colour revolution” in waiting if the party loses.

Sri Lankan election: Pro-US UNP appeals to big business

By Rohantha De Silva, 11 August 2015

The promotion of the UNP, the country’s oldest bourgeois party steeped in crimes against the working class, as a champion of democracy is a complete fraud.

SEP campaign receives support in northern Sri Lanka

By our correspondent, 10 August 2015

The Socialist Equality Party held its second northern Sri Lankan election meeting at Karainagar, where SEP campaigners held lively discussions with local residents.

Flooding across South Asia affects millions of people

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 August 2015

Monsoonal downpours have created a humanitarian disaster, with the most impoverished and oppressed people among the worst affected.

Sri Lankan irrigation department residents discuss SEP policies

By our correspondent, 6 August 2015

Irrigation department and other local workers in Ratmalana, near Colombo, voice their anger over rising poverty and increasing exploitation.

Tamil National Alliance presents pro-imperialist manifesto in Sri Lankan elections

By K. Nesan, 5 August 2015

The election manifesto aligns the TNA with the policies of Washington and the Colombo government installed in a US-engineered regime-change operation.

Sri Lanka: JVP election manifesto woos big business

By W. A. Sunil, 4 August 2015

Under conditions of widespread alienation from the two main capitalist parties, the JVP is trying to show the ruling elites that it is a viable alternative.

Manifesto of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) for the 2015 general election

Against war and austerity! Fight for a workers’ and peasants’ government and a socialist program!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 3 August 2015

The SEP’s campaign aims to mobilize workers and youth in opposition to war and attacks against democratic rights, on the basis of socialist internationalism.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalate despite Modi-Sharif meeting

By Sampath Perera, 1 August 2015

India’s 15-month-old BJP government continues to integrate New Delhi ever more completely into Washington’s anti-China “pivot.”

Sri Lanka: SEP campaigns against evictions in Colombo

By our correspondents, 31 July 2015

SEP candidates spoke in Wanathamulla, where residents have been the target of government “slum eviction” operations.

Witch-hunt continues against Sri Lankan tea estate workers

By M. Thevarajah, 30 July 2015

The victimisation of Ingestre workers is part of an escalating offensive by plantation companies to slash costs and drive up productivity.

The international significance of the Sri Lankan general election

By Peter Symonds, 28 July 2015

The political crisis in Sri Lanka is an acute expression of the breakdown of global capitalism, which is fueling bitter geo-political rivalries and social counterrevolution against the working class.

Socialist Equality Party campaigners win support in Sri Lanka’s plantation district

By our correspondents, 27 July 2015

SEP supporters spoke with workers and youth in the Nuwara Eliya district who expressed deep opposition to the establishment parties and the trade unions.

Sri Lankan plantation workers must oppose wage struggle betrayal

By M. Thevarajah—Socialist Equality Party election candidate and group leader for the Nuwara Eliya district, 24 July 2015

The unions are collaborating with the plantation companies and the government to drive up productivity and slash workers’ living standards.

Japan competes with China over port investment in Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara, 22 July 2015

In line with the US “pivot,” Japan hopes that its Bangladesh investments will boost its political weight in South Asia and undercut Chinese influence.

Socialist Equality Party fields 43 candidates in Sri Lankan general elections

By our correspondent, 16 July 2015

The SEP’s election slates are headed by leading party members with long-standing records of fighting for socialist internationalism.

Sri Lanka: SEP meeting defends victimised plantation workers

By our correspondents, 15 July 2015

Central hills plantation workers attend SEP public meeting in defiance of ongoing union and police harassment.

SEP to stand in Sri Lankan general election

By the Socialist Equality Party, 13 July 2015

The SEP is the only party advancing an internationalist and socialist program against war, austerity and attacks on democratic rights.

Support grows for victimised Sri Lankan tea estate workers

By our correspondents, 1 July 2015

Plantation workers denounce frame-up charges against Deeside estate workers.

Sri Lanka SEP calls public meeting to defend victimised plantation workers

30 June 2015

The Glenugie tea plantation workers were victimised for playing a leading role in a three-day strike in February against an arbitrary increase in workloads.

Sri Lankan president dissolves parliament amid political uncertainty

By K. Ratnayake, 29 June 2015

Since the January 8 presidential election, Sirisena and his minority government have faced one crisis after another.

The Apu Trilogy: “Art wedded to truth must, in the end, have its rewards”

By Richard Phillips, 29 June 2015

Indian director Satyajit Ray’s cinematic masterwork, The Apu Trilogy has been meticulously restored by Janus Films and is currently screening in North American cinemas.

SEP/IYSSE public meetings to discuss Sri Lankan political crisis

25 June 2015

The Socialist Equality Party and the International Youth and Students for Social Equality are holding public meetings throughout Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s Punguduthivu: An island devastated by war

By Subash Somachandran and M. Kalaimaaran, 24 June 2015

Unbearable social conditions and de facto military rule continue after nearly three decades of war in Sri Lanka’s north.

Bangladesh budget: More concessions to investors, increased austerity for poor

By Wimal Perera, 23 June 2015

The Awami League-led government’s attempts to create more profitable conditions for business are deepening the attacks on the living conditions of the workers and poor.

Indian military raid in Myanmar escalates regional tensions

By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 June 2015

India’s pro-US, Hindu chauvinist government was quick to tout the cross-border raid against anti-Indian separatists in Myanmar as a warning to Pakistan.

Sri Lanka: Reinstate victimised Deeside plantation workers!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 15 June 2015

What took place at the Deeside division is a rehearsal for broader attacks by government and the corporate elite on all sections of the working class.

Indian prime minister visits Bangladesh to strengthen ties against China

By Deepal Jayasekera, 12 June 2015

Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart declared that bilateral relations had entered a new phase.

Sri Lankan government facing deepening financial crisis

By Saman Gunadasa, 8 June 2015

The government is raising commercial loans to cover payments on existing loans, heightening the political uncertainty in Colombo.

US defence secretary boosts military ties with India

By K. Ratnayake, 5 June 2015

As Washington ratcheted up its confrontation with China over the South China Sea, Carter’s trip to India emphasised greater naval cooperation.

Sri Lankan plantation company victimises strike activists

By M. Devarajah, 3 June 2015

The punishment of the seven workers is designed to send a message to all workers that the employers will ruthlessly impose higher workloads.

Indian heatwave kills more than 2,200

By Sujeeva Amaranath, 1 June 2015

Most of the victims in the worst heatwave since 1998 are construction workers, homeless people, street dwellers and the poor.

Sri Lankan president postpones parliamentary election

By K. Ratnayake, 29 May 2015

Sirisena has refused to set a poll date, breaking his promise to dissolve parliament on April 23 and call an election.

Sri Lankan president pledges to strengthen the military

By Rohantha De Silva, 26 May 2015

Sirisena postured at “war victory” events as a crusader for “peace and reconciliation” while vowing to increase military resources.

India’s Modi woos and warns China

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 21 May 2015

Overshadowing Modi’s entire visit was the heightening of tensions across the Indo-Pacific region as a result of Washington’s “pivot to Asia.”

India: CPM General-Secretary Sitaram Yechury’s right-wing record

By Arun Kumar, 30 April 2015

The new leader of the Stalinist CPM has for years functioned as a member of the political establishment, helping stitch together and prop-up a series of rightwing governments.

Modi bears strategic “gifts” to Seychelles and Mauritius

By Deepal Jayasekera, 14 March 2015

With Washington’s backing and encouragement, India is seeking to counter China’s growing influence by harnessing key Indian Ocean island states.

India’s “growth” budget coddles business while punishing working people

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 3 March 2015

Big business has lauded Jaitley’s budget as good for investors and profits,

Obama to press India for economic and strategic concessions

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 24 January 2015

In a gesture meant to underline that Washington and New Delhi are enhancing their strategic partnership, Obama will be the guest of honor at Monday’s Republic Day celebrations.

India: Open rift in Stalinist CPM

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 28 November 2014

The debacle the CPM suffered in last May’s national election has brought to a head longstanding differences over what right-wing course to follow.

India: Open rift in Stalinist CPM

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 27 November 2014

The debacle the CPM suffered in last May’s national election has brought to a head longstanding differences over what right-wing course to follow.

Sri Lankan SEP anti-war campaign receives support among workers

By our reporters, 11 October 2014

The SEP and IYSSE are holding public meetings tomorrow in Hatton and Gampaha against the drive to war.

Sri Lankan SEP/IYSSE public lecture series: Fifty years since the LSSP’s betrayal

4 October 2014

The lectures will discuss the vital political lessons of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party’s entry into a bourgeois coalition government in 1964.