Indian subcontinent

Sri Lanka: SEP/ISSE meeting to demand release of political prisoners

By the Socialist Equality Party, 24 January 2012

The SEP and ISSE will hold a public meeting in Jaffna on January 29 to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners.

Sri Lanka’s defence secretary targets workers and youth

By K. Ratnayake, 23 January 2012

Gotabhaya Rajapakse warned of the “threat to our national security” posed by social unrest and political instability, as in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.

Sri Lanka: Support the struggle of plantation workers against higher workloads

the Socialist Equality Party, 18 January 2012

Workers at the Welioya and Bogawantalawa tea estates are engaged in a fight against an attempt by management, assisted by the unions, to increase productivity targets.

Indian economy buffeted by mounting crisis

By Deepal Jayasekera and Kranti Kumara, 17 January 2012

The Indian economy has been buffeted by a sharp decline in economic growth, falling domestic and foreign investment, a depreciating currency, large trade and current accounts deficits, huge stock market losses and near double-digit inflation.

Pakistan faces creeping military coup

By Ali Ismail and Keith Jones, 13 January 2012

Relations between Pakistan’s civilian government and its military establishment have deteriorated sharply, leading to press speculation that the military is preparing to oust President Zardari and the PPP-led government.

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank chief calls for more IMF aid

By Saman Gunadasa, 12 January 2012

The government’s renewed turn to the IMF reflects deepening economic and balance-of-payments problems.

US resumes drone missile attacks in Pakistan

By Keith Jones, 12 January 2012

The US carried out a drone missile strike in Pakistan Tuesday, killing four people. It was the first drone attack since US forces killed 26 Pakistani soldiers in late November.

TNA drops opposition to Sri Lankan war crimes whitewash

By Wije Dias, 9 January 2012

Having initially rejected the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report, the Tamil party has effectively withdrawn its call for an international inquiry.

Bitter dispute among Indian elites ignores vital dam safety issues

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 7 January 2012

A long-running dispute over a century-old dam has led to increased national-ethnic frictions in southern India.

Sri Lankan ex-lefts boost rightwing UNP

By K. Ratnayake, 3 January 2012

The ruling class desperately needs a political safety valve to defuse growing social unrest and the NSSP has stepped in to promote the UNP as a progressive alternative.

Britain deports Sri Lankan asylum seekers

By Athiyan Silva, 3 January 2012

British authorities deported 55 Sri Lankan refugees back to Sri Lanka, disregarding their safety and warnings by human rights groups.

Sri Lankan commission whitewashes war crimes

By Wije Dias, 29 December 2011

The LLRC report is designed to deflect international pressure over war crimes and human rights abuses by the military during the country’s protracted civil war.

Mass opposition rally heightens political crisis in Pakistan

By Peter Symonds, 28 December 2011

Backed by sections of the ruling elite, Imran Khan is functioning as a useful safety valve to defuse mounting popular anger over the US-led Afpak war.

US admits partial blame in deaths of Pakistani soldiers, but defends airstrikes

By Keith Jones, 24 December 2011

The US military has grudgingly conceded its mistakes played a role in the November 25-26 NATO attack that killed 26 Pakistani soldiers. But the US continues to defend both the violation of Pakistani sovereignty and the deadly airstrikes themselves.

Sri Lanka: Protest in Jaffna over “disappearances”

By our correspondents, 24 December 2011

Hundreds of Tamils “disappeared” in the months leading up to the end of the island’s civil war in May 2009 and have not been seen since.

Sri Lanka: SEP and ISSE hold meeting on political prisoners

By our correspondents, 23 December 2011

The meeting in Colombo was part of the campaign for the release of all political prisoners held by the Rajapakse government.

Sri Lanka: Thousands of farmers protest against new law

By our correspondents, 21 December 2011

The protests revealed not just the mass discontent over the new law, but broad disenchantment among the rural poor with the government.

Pakistan continues to halt the supply of US forces occupying Afghanistan

By Sampath Perera, 21 December 2011

Pakistan is continuing to blockade shipments of fuel, food and other supplies to the US-NATO forces occupying Afghanistan in protest of a Nov. 26 US attack that killed more than two dozen Pakistani troops.

Sri Lankan opposition party backs Colombo slum evictions

By Vilani Peiris, 19 December 2011

The latest removals are part of a broader government plan to evict about 75,000 families in a bid to transform Colombo into a South Asian business hub.

Australian government pursues anti-China relations with India

By James Cogan, 16 December 2011

Closer ties between Australia and India are inseparable from the escalating US agenda of containing China’s influence throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Indian hospital fire death toll rises to 92

By Palash Roy, 12 December 2011

The high death toll among the 160 patients in the private hospital points to the violation of elementary fire and safety standards permitted by successive state and national governments in India.

Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage supports SEP campaign for release of political prisoners

By Panini Wijesiriwardena, 9 December 2011

“The military machine and repressive laws developed during the war are being used against people throughout the whole country.”

Indian government puts retail sector restructure on hold

By Deepal Jayasekera, 8 December 2011

Big business groups and financial analysts have denounced the announced suspension as a missed opportunity to press ahead with a broader pro-market agenda.

West Bengal government orchestrates murder of top Maoist leader

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 December 2011

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has justified the killing of a top leader of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) in what has all the earmarks of a summary execution.

Pakistani elite plunged into crisis over reputed secret offer to US

By Ali Ismail, 3 December 2011

Pakistan’s government has been shaken by allegations that its former ambassador to the US composed a memo pledging compliance with Washington’s demands, in return for help preventing a military coup.

SEP-ISSE meeting to demand release of Sri Lankan political prisoners

2 December 2011

The Sri Lankan SEP and ISSE is holding a public meeting in Colombo on December 8 on their campaign for release of political prisoners.

Pakistan protests mount as Obama rejects apology for US strike

By Bill Van Auken, 2 December 2011

Thousands of students in Lahore and other cities staged protests as it was reported that President Obama has rejected a proposal that he issue a formal apology for the US raid that killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers.

Australian government to end ban on uranium sales to India

By Peter Symonds, 1 December 2011

Gillard’s announcement dovetailed with Obama’s concerted drive to bolster US security alliances throughout Asia in order to undercut China’s economic and political influence.

Cricketer Imran Khan’s party: A dead end for opposition to US war in Pakistan

By Sampath Perera, 1 December 2011

The major Pakistani parties’ record of subservience to the US “war on terror” has left Imran Khan’s conservative-nationalist PTI party able to posture as the only representative of opposition to the war.

Sri Lankan government imposes austerity budget

By Saman Gunadasa, 30 November 2011

Amid a worsening global crisis, the budget has inflicted new burdens on working people, while giving tax breaks to business.

Sri Lankan SEP/ISSE holds public meeting on JVP crisis

By our correspondents, 29 November 2011

In a well-attended meeting in Colombo, the SEP and ISSE explained the roots of the JVP’s political break-up and the necessity for a Trotskyist party.

Outrage spreads in Pakistan over NATO bombings

By Alex Lantier, 29 November 2011

US and Pakistani officials held intensive talks as outrage grew in the Pakistani population and army over the NATO bombing of two Pakistani border posts on Saturday.

NATO raid kills two dozen Pakistani soldiers

By Keith Jones, 28 November 2011

Relations between the United States and Pakistan are near breaking point after a US airstrike early Saturday morning killed more than 25 Pakistani soldiers stationed at two army posts located near the Afghan border.

Joint military exercise highlights growing Pakistan-China relations

By Vilani Peiris, 28 November 2011

The joint military exercise by Pakistan and China began as US-China rivalries in Asia intensify.

Former Sri Lankan presidential candidate jailed for three years

By Wije Dias, 26 November 2011

The Rajapakse government, which instigated the court case, is determined to stifle any opposition to its rule, no matter how limited.

JVP dissidents in Sri Lanka: a new political trap

By K. Ratnayake, 19 November 2011

The JVP critics are desperately attempting to prevent a further erosion of the party’s standing among workers and youth disgusted with its repeated betrayals and foul communal politics.

India: Maruti Suzuki union leaders given huge payouts after ending strike

By Deepal Jayasekera, 12 November 2011

Within days of the October 21 deal between the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union and the company, MSEU President Sonu Gujjar and Secretary Shiv Kumar received large cash payments from Maruti Suzuki for resigning their jobs.

US, UN snub Tamil National Alliance delegation

By Wije Dias, 11 November 2011

The TNA trip was not aiming at securing the rights of ordinary Tamils but at making a grovelling appeal for help from Washington to elevate the political status of the Tamil elites in Sri Lanka.

SEP campaigns at J’pura University for release of political prisoners

By our correspondents, 9 November 2011

The SEP and ISSE warned that the detention of Tamil youth by the Sri Lankan government is part of a wider assault on the democratic rights of workers and youth.

The JVP crisis and the SEP’s struggle for Marxism in Sri Lanka

By the International Students for Social Equality, 8 November 2011

The ISSE will hold a public lecture in Colombo on November 17 on the internal crisis of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna and its implications for workers and youth.

US again threatening to take military action inside Pakistan

By Vilani Peris and Ali Ismail, 5 November 2011

US threats to mount cross-border raids into Pakistan have prompted the country’s military to warn that Pakistan will repel any force that violates its sovereignty.

Sri Lankan government boosts military spending

By Saman Gunadasa, 2 November 2011

Facing a deep financial crisis, the Rajapakse government is preparing for violent confrontations with working people.

Sri Lankan SEP campaign to release political prisoners: Plantation detainee and relatives speak to WSWS

By M. Vasanthan, 29 October 2011

Political prisoners and their parents in the central plantation areas of Sri Lanka denounced the parliamentary parties and trade unions for doing nothing to free detainees.

Sri Lankan Supreme Court rejects petitions against new anti-democratic laws

By Panini Wijesiriwardane, 28 October 2011

The judiciary’s rejections of petitions against the Prevention of Terrorism Act regulations courts will strengthen the Rajapakse government’s police-state measures.

India: Maruti and Suzuki workers discuss their two-week strike

By a WSWS reporting team, 26 October 2011

Maruti workers described the brutal conditions prevailing in India’s new industrial zones, which are triggering explosive struggles.

Riots erupt over Pakistan’s chronic electricity cuts

By Vilani Peiris, 26 October 2011

Popular anger over chronic electricity load-shedding erupted earlier this month, producing violent clashes in many Pakistani cities.

Sri Lankan NSSP repudiates socialism and the October Revolution

Socialist Equality Party Sri Lanka, 25 October 2011

The NSSP of Sri Lanka has declared its hostility to Trotskyism and socialist revolution.

India: Unions scuttle Maruti Suzuki strike again

By our correspondents, 24 October 2011

The unions at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar, Haryana car assembly plant and other nearby Suzuki plants ordered an end to a militant two-week-long strike last Friday, after the newly formed independent union at the Manesar plant made a rotten deal with management and Haryana state Labour Department officials.

Sri Lankan SEP campaign for release of political prisoners:

Released detainees speak to the WSWS

By Subash Somachandran, 22 October 2011

WSWS reporters held discussions with several recently released detainees and their relatives, who extended their support to the SEP campaign for the immediate release of all political prisoners.

India: Maruti Suzuki workers’ struggle must spearhead working-class political offensive

By World Socialist Web Site, 20 October 2011

To defeat the combined assault of big business, the government, police and courts, the Maruti Suzuki workers must make their strike the spearhead of an industrial and political offensive of the entire working class against sweatshop conditions.

Indian government seeks to lower official poverty line to 50 cents per day

By R.V. Singh and Colleen Redcliffe, 19 October 2011

India’s Planning Commission has recommended that those spending more than US 64 cents per day in urban areas and 52 cents per day in rural areas are not to be considered “poor.”

Neglected Pakistan flood victims left to survive on their own

By Sampath Perera, 19 October 2011

While the Indus Valley floodwaters have started to recede, the threat of famine and diseases is mounting for millions forced from their homes.

India: Maruti strike continues after occupation ends under police threat

By Deepal Jayasekera, 17 October 2011

Striking workers at Manesar car assembly plant of Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) ended their eight-day occupation of the plant Friday night, under threat of a police crackdown.

Sri Lanka: JVP heading for another split

By K. Ratnayake, 14 October 2011

Amid signs of developing struggles of the working class in Sri Lanka and internationally, the emergence of a dissident faction in the JVP is a desperate attempt to breathe life back into a political corpse.

Lockout at Bosch plant in Bangalore, India now two weeks old

By Arun Kumar and Sasi Kumar, 14 October 2011

German-based Bosch Limited has locked out 2,500 unionized workers at its plant at Adugodi in Bangalore, India, so as to break resistance to the contracting-out of jobs of workers employed in 19 different departments.

India: Maruti Suzuki and Congress government prepare police attack on occupation

By Arun Kumar, 13 October 2011

Maruti Suzuki India is plotting with the Congress Party-led Haryana state government to use police violence to smash the six day-old occupation of its Manesar car assembly plant.

Sri Lankan ruling party defeated in Colombo local election

By W.A. Sunil, 12 October 2011

The central election issue was the government’s plan to evict 70,000 families from shanties in Colombo in order to transform the capital into a major commercial hub for South Asia.

Obama ramps up pressure on Pakistan

By Peter Symonds, 11 October 2011

The protracted US-led war in Afghanistan has transformed that country into a hornet’s nest of political intrigue and profoundly destabilised the entire region.

India: Wildcat strike erupts anew at Maruti-Suzuki plant, thousands walk out in sympathy

By Kranti Kumara, 11 October 2011

The 3,500 workers at the sprawling Maruti-Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) complex in Manesar, Haryana recommenced their 6-month-long agitation last Friday afternoon by occupying the car assembly plant. Eight thousand other workers at auto industry-related plants have since walked out in sympathy.

India-Afghan pact further poisons Afghan-Pakistan relations

By James Cogan, 6 October 2011

The agreement is a clear threat that India, in conjunction with the US and its allies, will continue to build its political and economic influence in Afghanistan at Pakistan’s expense.

Sri Lanka: IMF demands currency devaluation

By Saman Gunadasa, 5 October 2011

Warning of another foreign reserves crisis, the International Monetary Fund has delayed the final two instalments of its $2.6 billion loan to Sri Lanka.

SEP launches campaign to release Sri Lankan political prisoners

Statement Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 4 October 2011

The SEP’s campaign is inseparable from the broader struggle to defend the democratic rights of the working class and rural masses from the attacks of the government.

Unions, Stalinists force Maruti Suzuki India workers to accept company’s demands

By Rajesh Tyagi, 4 October 2011

Working in conjunction with state government officials, the unions have prevailed on the workers at the Maruti Suzuki India plant in Manesar, Haryana to return to work on the company’s terms, after a bitter month-long struggle.

French president’s associates charged in “Karachigate” scandal

By Kumaran Ira, 3 October 2011

Close associates of French President Nicolas Sarkozy have been accused of using kickbacks from submarine sales to Pakistan in 1994 for illegal party funding.

Devastating floods threaten famine, disease in Pakistan

By Sampath Perera, 1 October 2011

The continuing floods in a condition of little or no assistance to millions of affected and displaced people have worsened a public health crisis and risks of malnutrition has intensified.

US-Pakistani relations worsen following accusations and threats from Washington

By Ali Ismail, 1 October 2011

The crisis in US-Pakistan relations continues to escalate more than a week after chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, accused Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency of supporting the Haqqani network.

Sri Lanka: Book launch honours the life of Piyaseeli Wijegunasinghe

By our correspondents, 28 September 2011

Piyaseeli Wijegunasinghe –A Tribute was launched on the first anniversary of the death of the lifelong Trotskyist and Marxist art critic.

India: Stalinist union works to impose company demands on locked-out Maruti Suzuki workers

By Arun Kumar, 27 September 2011

The Stalinist leadership of the All India Trade Union Congress is urging locked-out workers at Maruti Suzuki’s Manesar car assembly plant to surrender to the company’s demand that they sign a “good conduct bond” that reinforces an oppressive, dictatorial work regime.

Sri Lankan military attacks Tamil villagers

By Subash Somachandran, 26 September 2011

The Sri Lankan army has carried out its first major assault on Tamil civilians since the war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) ended in May 2009.

Maruti Suzuki India workers challenge cheap-labor regime

“We are determined this time to fight to the end”

By Rajesh Tyagi, 22 September 2011

With the grass-root workers determined to win their rights, the carmaker MSI and the Congress Party government are looking to diffuse the crisis and subjugate the workers through the mediation of the Stalinist union leaders.

Public anger mounts as floods again engulf Pakistan

By Ali Ismail, 21 September 2011

Popular anger is spreading throughout Pakistan over the PPP-led government’s pitiful response to the massive floods that are ravaging the country for the second year in succession.

Maruti Suzuki India lockout: After talks fail, union leaders arrested

By Arun Kumar, 20 September 2011

Police arrested the leaders of the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union late Sunday evening when they emerged from failed talks with representatives of the carmaker and the Haryana labour department. Maruti Suzuki has locked out 3,000 workers at its Manesar assembly plant since August 29.

India: Maruti Suzuki struggle escalates as company hires more strikebreakers

By Arun Kumar, 17 September 2011

Big business, the Congress Party-led Haryana state government, and the police are all supporting Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) in its drive to subjugate the workforce at its Manesar car assembly plant.

Indian government to hang men convicted over Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination

By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 September 2011

The use of the death penalty, particularly in political cases, is a sharp warning to the working class of the methods that will be used to suppress the class struggle.

Maruti Suzuki India sacks workers, hires strike breakers

By Arun Kumar, 15 September 2011

Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Ltd., the country’s largest car maker, has intensified its threats against locked-out workers at the company’s Mansard plant, moving to replace them with strike breakers.

Sri Lankan government revives emergency powers in a new guise

By K. Ratnayake, 15 September 2011

The Sri Lankan president has imposed new regulations and revived old police-state laws to ensure that the security forces continue to have extensive repressive powers.

Sri Lankan government holds belated local council elections

By Vilani Peiris, 13 September 2011

The ruling coalition has mounted a campaign to win the Colombo council as part of its plans to transform the city into a major financial hub and evict thousands of shanty dwellers.

Indian prime minister visits Bangladesh

By Sarath Kumara and Wimal Perera, 10 September 2011

The much-anticipated visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to produce the desired transit and water-sharing deals.

India: Police support Maruti Suzuki lockout, occupy plant

By Sathish Simon, 10 September 2011

Haryana’s Congress Party-led state government is working in tandem with Maruti Suzuki to crush worker resistance at its Manesar plant.

Five million ravaged by floods in Pakistan

By Ali Ismail, 8 September 2011

Flash floods brought on by monsoon rains have killed over 130 people in Pakistan in recent weeks and forced millions to flee their submerged villages.

India: Comstar workers’ strike in fourth week

By Arun Kumar and Sasi Kumar, 5 September 2011

For almost four weeks, workers have struck the Comstar Automotive Technologies’ plant in Sriperumbudur, south India, to win union recognition and improved wages and benefits.

Sri Lankan SEP meeting discusses rising class struggles

By our reporters, 3 September 2011

The SEP and ISSE held a public meeting in Colombo on the need for a socialist perspective to address the growing wave of struggles by workers in Sri Lanka and internationally.

Indian Stalinists and the anti-corruption Lokpal movement

By Sarath Kumara and Peter Symonds, 2 September 2011

The CPM’s response to the Hazare movement has demonstrated its complete integration into the Indian political establishment as a staunch defender of bourgeois rule.

Pakistan: KESC security guards and Karachi police open fire on protesting workers

By Ali Ismail, 2 September 2011

Karachi Electric Supply Company workers demonstrating against nonpayment of their salaries were brutally attacked on Monday when KESC security guards and Karachi police opened fire on them, injuring at least eight.

Sri Lankan government ends emergency, but police state continues

By Deepal Jayasekera, 1 September 2011

President Rajapakse announced the lifting of the state of emergency in a bid to deflect international pressure over his government’s war crimes and abuses.

Uneasy truce between Indian government and anti-corruption campaigner

By Sarath Kumara, 29 August 2011

Nothing has been settled in the deal with Hazare, whose focus on “corruption” has been to the exclusion of the economic and social crisis facing the vast majority of working people.

Stand-off continues over Indian anti-corruption bill

By Sarath Kumara, 27 August 2011

Sections of the corporate elite, while continuing to exploit the Hazare protests, have become increasingly nervous about the present parliamentary logjam and the potential for escalating political instability.

Karachi torn by mounting political-ethnic violence

By Ali Ismail, 24 August 2011

A wave of ethnic-killings arising from turf wars between Karachi's establishment parties and the rival gangs they patronize has sparked calls for the army to be deployed.

Indian government seeks compromise with anti-corruption campaigner

By Sarath Kumara and Peter Symonds, 23 August 2011

Big business latched onto the Lokpal campaign as a means of deflecting attention from its own practices and pressing the Singh government to push ahead with pro-market reforms.

India’s government uses authoritarian measures against self-styled anti-corruption crusade

By Keith Jones, 18 August 2011

India’s coalition government is in disarray after using preventative detention and mass arrests in an unsuccessful attempt to block a protest led by self-styled Gandhian and self-anointed anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare.

A socialist perspective for Sri Lankan workers

18 August 2011

The SEP and ISSE will hold a public meeting in Colombo on August 22 to discuss a socialist program for the rising wave of working class struggles.

Sri Lankan talks for a “political solution” reach dead-end

By S. Jayanth, 18 August 2011

Negotiations between the government and TNA for a power-sharing deal following the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war are on the brink of collapse.

One million Indian bank workers take strike action

By Arun Kumar, 18 August 2011

The bank workers’ strike is part of the emerging class struggles in India and internationally triggered by the deepening crisis of the global capitalist economy, of which India is an integral part.

Sri Lankan defence report whitewashes war crimes

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 16 August 2011

Far from being a comprehensive refutation, the paucity of the defence ministry report demonstrates that the government has no answer to the evidence that it is responsible for horrific war crimes.

Indian government under renewed pressure for pro-market reforms

By Sarath Kumara, 13 August 2011

The international financial turmoil, together with the prospects of recession in the US and Europe, has prompted a nervous response in Indian business circles and demands for further restructuring.

Pakistan: Report lifts veil on military and intelligence apparatus’ repression in Balochistan

By Ali Ismail, 11 August 2011

A recent report on the “disappeared” in Balochistan is a devastating exposure of the brutal tactics Pakistan’s military and security agencies are using to suppress Baloch ethnic-nationalists in the country’s poorest province.

Sri Lankan ex-left justifies betrayal of university pay campaign

By K. Ratnayake, 10 August 2011

Professor Liyanage, who led the FUTA negotiating team, opposed any political struggle against the Sri Lankan government on the basis of a socialist perspective.

A socialist program for public sector workers in Sri Lanka

the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 8 August 2011

Thousands of workers have started protests in Sri Lanka, demanding higher wages and better working conditions.

Brutal assault on senior journalist in northern Sri Lanka

By S. Ramesh, 5 August 2011

The attack on the Uthayan news editor took place in Jaffna, just one week after the government’s defeat in local elections in the Northern Province.

Sri Lankan ruling party fails to win local elections in war-torn north

By Subash Somachandran and S. Jayanth, 1 August 2011

Despite campaigning heavily in the northern district and using violence against its opponents, the UPFA won just 3 of the 20 local councils.