Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan unions sell out railway workers and call off strike

By W.A. Sunil, 13 August 2018

Railway workers must reject the unions’ betrayal of their longstanding salary demands and build action committees of rank-and-file workers on an alternative socialist program.

Striking Sri Lankan railway workers need a political perspective

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 11 August 2018

Over 4,000 workers, including engine drivers, guards, station masters and supervisory managers, walked out on Wednesday to demand higher pay.

UK: Ian Paisley suspension exposes efforts to assist cover-up of Sri Lankan bloodbath

By Steve James, 28 July 2018

Paisley has been suspended for 30 days for omitting to register holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government in the aftermath of the 2009-11 massacres of Tamils.

A reply to a comment on the obituary of Sri Lankan filmmaker Lester James Peries

By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 24 July 2018

Our basic objective was to examine Peries’s general contribution to Sri Lankan cinema and how he came to be known as its father.

Australia: Tamil refugee deported, separated from his wife and baby daughter

By Max Newman, 23 July 2018

The treatment of Gnaneswaran and his family is akin to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy by which children have been ripped away from their parents.

Sri Lankan SEP member Mohamdiramlage Chandrasiri (1955–2018)

By Wimal Fernando, 19 July 2018

Retired bank worker Chandrasiri will always be remembered for his selfless dedication to Trotskyism, the rights of the working class and the building of the SEP.

Millions of refugees face harsh conditions across South Asia

By Rohantha De Silva, 13 July 2018

The plight of millions of refugees in South Asia is a damning indictment of the imperialist powers and the regional ruling elites.

More support from Sri Lanka for WikiLeaks editor

By our correspondents, 4 July 2018

“WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange courageously exposes the criminality of the US, its machinations, lies and cover-ups.”

Australia: Biloela residents continue protests against deportation of Tamil refugee family

By Max Newman, 2 July 2018

A campaign by the people of a small rural Queensland town has brought to light the horrors of Australia’s anti-refugee regime.

New York Times restates Washington’s anti-China agenda in Sri Lanka

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 29 June 2018

The article is a warning to the politically divided Sri Lankan ruling elite not to deviate from Washington’s military-strategic script.

Sri Lankan unions betray national postal strike

By W.A. Sunil, 28 June 2018

The unions called off the indefinite walkout after accepting vague promises from government authorities.

SEP anniversary meeting in Sri Lanka denounces anti-immigrant attacks

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 27 June 2018

The following resolution was unanimously endorsed at the Sri Lankan Socialist Equality Party’s 50th anniversary meeting, held in Colombo this month.

SEP in Sri Lanka holds powerful 50th anniversary meeting

By our correspondents, 27 June 2018

The meeting began by paying tribute to the party’s founding general secretary Keerthi Balasuriya, Wilfred Pereira and all those who gave their lives to the fight for Trotskyism in Sri Lanka and South Asia.

Greetings from David North to the 50th anniversary meeting of the Sri Lankan SEP

By David North, 27 June 2018

For a half century, the party that was founded in 1968 by an extraordinary group of young revolutionaries has upheld the banner of the International Committee of the Fourth International.

Sri Lanka: Striking postal workers criticise the trade unions

By our correspondents, 26 June 2018

While postal workers are determine to continue their fight, the trade unions are seeking ways to sabotage the campaign.

Sri Lankan artists, translators and workers endorse international campaign to defend Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 25 June 2018

More Sri Lankan academics, writers and workers have spoken out in support of the International Committee of the Fourth International’s campaign in defence of the WikiLeaks editor.

Postal workers defy Sri Lankan government and continue national strike

By our correspondents, 23 June 2018

Four thousand postal workers protested in central Colombo on Monday to oppose government-imposed salary cuts and changes in recruitment policies.

Pickets in Sri Lanka and India demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 20 June 2018

The campaign to free Assange “is inseparably bound with the struggle for the defence of democratic rights and against the repression of the basic rights of the working class.”

Sri Lankan artists speak out in defence of Julian Assange

16 June 2018

Lakshman Mendis, Bertie B. Kudahetti, Ratnasiri Paranawithana and Bartholameuse Wimalaratne endorse the international campaign to free Julian Assange.

Fifty years of the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka

Arm the working class with the program of socialist internationalism and with revolutionary leadership!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 16 June 2018

The fulcrum of the 50-year struggle of the RCL/SEP has been the fight for the political independence of the working class and the program of permanent revolution.

Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) to hold lectures to mark its 50th anniversary

By our reporters, 14 June 2018

The SEP lecture series will discuss the significance of the party’s half-century struggle for Trotskyism.

Free Julian Assange rallies called in Sri Lanka and India

7 June 2018

The SEP and supporters of the ICFI will demonstrate in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, and Sriperumbudur, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Sri Lanka: Filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage and author Aruna Premarathne endorse Julian Assange campaign

7 June 2018

“Only those who are anti-democratic or against humanity could say what Julian did is a crime.”

Sri Lankan workers and students defend Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 7 June 2018

Many of those who spoke to the WSWS compared the attacks on WikiLeaks to the Sri Lankan government’s measures against journalists.

Sri Lanka SEP files fundamental rights case against Colombo Municipal Council

By our correspondent, 6 June 2018

The legal action against the May Day meeting ban seeks to further expose the government’s anti-democratic attacks on working people.

One million Indian bank employees and thousands of Sri Lankan railway workers strike

By our correspondents, 1 June 2018

Industrial action has erupted across the subcontinent against government austerity measures.

Remembrance Day in Sri Lanka exposes dead end of Tamil nationalism

By K. Nesan, 1 June 2018

Tamil National Alliance officials were thrown out of the memorial of the May 18 massacre that ended of the Sri Lankan Civil War, as mass anger rises against the TNA.

Ex-Sri Lankan defence secretary calls for brutal big business regime

By Pani Wijesiriwardane, 29 May 2018

Gotabhaya Rajapakse is appealing to the ruling elite in preparation for the establishment of an even more authoritarian government.

Sri Lankan president showers praises on the military

By K. Ratnayake, 26 May 2018

President Sirisena used his addressing to an official celebration of the 2009 defeat of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to eulogise the military and issue Sinhala chauvinist appeals.

Sri Lankan filmmaker Lester James Peries dies at 99

By Pani Wijesiriwardane and Gamini Karunatileka, 23 May 2018

Peries’s best films, like the great dramas directed by India’s Satyajit Ray and Japan’s Akira Kurosawa, have left their mark on Asian and world cinema.

A sweatshop for Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein

Sri Lanka: Kilinochchi garment workers denounce harsh working conditions

By R. Sudarshan and Vimal Rasenthiran, 22 May 2018

The MAS Holdings factories are sweatshops, established after the government’s bloody war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tami Eelam.

Nine years since Sri Lankan civil war ended in massacre of Tamils

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 18 May 2018

Thousands of people around the world are gathering today to mark the anniversary of one of the most infamous massacres of the 21st century.

Sri Lankan government imposes IMF-dictated increases on essential items

By Saman Gunadasa, 17 May 2018

The deeply-divided government has become a virtual prisoner of the IMF and its social austerity demands.

Thousands of Sri Lankan fishermen protest over fuel price rises

By our correspondents, 17 May 2018

Boycotts and strike action by fishermen are another expression of a growing anti-government movement of Sri Lankan workers and the poor.

The JVP’s empty posturing over Sri Lanka’s executive presidency

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 14 May 2018

The campaign is a ploy to divert the growing social opposition of workers, rural poor and youth to the government and the capitalist system.

Sri Lankan president makes anxious calls for political unity

By K. Ratnayake, 9 May 2018

Sirisena’s speech was a response to deep divisions within his unstable government and deepening working class opposition to its social austerity measures.

Oppose Sri Lanka’s National Defence University Act! No privatisation of education!

By the International Youth and Students for Social Equality (Sri Lanka), 8 May 2018

The legislation is a further move toward the privatisation of higher education and increased militarisation of the country.

The Maruti Suzuki workers and the re-emergence of class struggle across South Asia

By Wije Dias, 7 May 2018

Wije Dias, general secretary of the Sri Lankan section of the ICFI, and a veteran Trotskyist of more than 50 years standing, spoke from Colombo to the ICFI’s International Online May Day Rally.

Despite government ban, Sri Lankan SEP and IYSSE hold successful May Day meeting

By our correspondents, 3 May 2018

Workers, youths, professionals and housewives, as well as Tamil-speaking residents from Jaffna and plantation workers from the central hills, attended the meeting.

International Monetary Fund demands Sri Lankan government cut fuel subsidies

By Saman Gunadasa, 2 May 2018

Despite rising discontent, the IMF has threatened to stop a scheduled loan payment.

SEP and IYSSE demonstrate against Sri Lankan government’s May Day ban

By our correspondents, 30 April 2018

Almost one hundred SEP and IYSSE members and supporters participated in Friday’s picket, denouncing the government ban and other anti-democratic attacks.

Workers and youth denounce Sri Lankan May Day ban

By our correspondents, 27 April 2018

SEP and IYSSE members are winning important support for their campaign against the government’s prohibition on celebrations of the international workers’ day.

Oppose the Sri Lankan government’s ban on May Day celebrations

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 25 April 2018

The SEP calls on all workers, oppressed people, youth, students and intellectuals to join it in protesting against this blatant attack on the democratic rights of the working class.

Five die after exposure to ammonia gas at Sri Lankan latex factory

By our reporters, 23 April 2018

The number of industrial accidents across South Asia has grown substantially over recent decades as a result of lax safety practices and super-exploitation.

SEP (Sri Lanka) calls May Day meeting in Colombo

By the Socialist Equality Party, 19 April 2018

In holding its public meeting on May 1, the SEP is opposing the government’s efforts to sabotage May Day celebrations.

Sri Lankan workers’ inquiry presents findings on Meethotamulla garbage disaster

By our correspondents, 12 April 2018

The Meethotamulla disaster, which claimed at least 32 lives, was a social crime, created by capitalism and its political servants.

Sri Lankan prime minister narrowly survives no-confidence resolution

By K. Ratnayake, 6 April 2018

The principal concern of the ruling elite is a growing financial crisis and the mounting working-class opposition to austerity measures.

Halt the thuggery of non-academic union bureaucrats against WSWS reporters

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 4 April 2018

A WSWS journalist and photographer was violently attacked by union officials at a meeting of striking non-academic employees in the Colombo suburbs on March 27.

Sri Lanka records lowest economic growth in 16 years

By Saman Gunadasa, 28 March 2018

The IMF is insisting on an austerity program to further slash social and living conditions.

Facebook and Sri Lankan government collaborate on social media censorship

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 20 March 2018

The Sri Lankan government is working with the giant social media corporation to establish greater political control of the Internet.

Sri Lankan workers’ inquiry meeting to announce findings on garbage disaster

By the Independent Workers Inquiry Committee, 17 March 2018

The meeting will discuss the political reasons for last April’s tragedy that killed more than 30 residents from Meethotamulla, a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Colombo.

Sri Lankan government continues to use draconian terror laws

By Minusha Fernando, 17 March 2018

A Human Rights Watch report reveals that torture and other brutal methods are still in use in Sri Lanka under President Maithripala Sirisena.

Striking non-academic workers picket Sri Lankan universities

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 15 March 2018

While the strikers have shown their determination to expand their industrial action, the University Trade Unions Joint Committee is limiting the strike.

Sri Lanka: Muslims explain how the organised violence occurred

By Rohantha De Silva and K. Gamini, 13 March 2018

Successive governments have promoted anti-Tamil and anti-Muslim chauvinism in order to divide the working class and defend the power and privileges of the Sri Lankan ruling elite.

Oppose Sinhala racist violence against Muslim community in Sri Lanka

By the Socialist Equality Party, 10 March 2018

The government and the ruling elite are using anti-Muslim communalism to divert and divide the working people.

Sri Lankan president declares emergency rule amid violence against Muslims

By K. Ratnayake, 7 March 2018

The national unity government, which is in a sharp crisis, is exploiting the racist provocations to strengthen its hand by imposing the state of emergency.

Sri Lanka university workers maintain indefinite strike as union backtracks

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 March 2018

The trade unions were compelled to call the industrial action as workers’ unrest grew.

Amid continuing crisis, Sri Lankan government leaders continue fragile coalition

By K. Ratnayake, 27 February 2018

The ruling coalition was on the point of breaking up before the US and India intervened to demand that the national unity government continue.

Australian government to deport Tamil refugee despite torture warnings

By Max Newman, 22 February 2018

Thangalingam is a victim of anti-refugee and geo-strategic policies pursued by successive Australian governments.

US and India intervene to avert Sri Lankan government collapse

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 17 February 2018

The US and Indian ambassadors met the president and prime minister to reverse a publicly-announced termination of the coalition agreement that underpins the Unity government.

Opposition party wins Sri Lankan local council elections

By K. Ratnayake, 12 February 2018

The vote is another indication of the mounting opposition of workers, rural poor and the youth to the country’s coalition government.

Sri Lankan local elections: SEP holds public meetings in island’s north

By our correspondent, 9 February 2018

SEP candidates explained why an international socialist program is necessary to fight the government’s social austerity measures and attacks on democratic rights.

Seventy years after Sri Lankan independence: The record of capitalist decay and the necessity for socialism

By Vijith Samarasinghe and K. Ratnayake, 3 February 2018

Throughout the Indian subcontinent, there is no real independence from imperialism and the ruling classes have failed utterly to provide democratic rights and decent living standards for all.

Sri Lankan president threatens to end ruling coalition

By K. Ratnayake, 23 January 2018

Sirisena’s cabinet walkout demonstrates the government’s crisis and points to preparations for dictatorial rule.

Sri Lanka: SEP holds first local election meeting in plantation area

By our correspondents, 19 January 2018

Speakers explained that growing social unrest in Sri Lanka, including strike action by key public sector workers, was part of an international radicalisation of the working class.

Local government election in Sri Lanka: Support SEP campaign against austerity and war! Fight for a workers’ and peasants’ government!

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 9 January 2018

The SEP is campaigning for the international socialist program needed by workers, youth and the poor, who are increasingly coming into struggle against the government’s attacks on their democratic rights and living standards.

US and India pressure Sri Lanka over port deal with China

By Saman Gunadasa, 30 December 2017

Mounting government debt has forced the Colombo government to turn to China for financial help.

Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) stands for local government elections

By our correspondents, 23 December 2017

The SEP is the only party contesting the elections on an internationalist and socialist program against the looming threat of a world war, social counter-revolution and dictatorial rule.

SEP in Sri Lanka pays tribute to Keerthi Balasuriya

By our correspondent, 20 December 2017

Balasuriya’s untimely death in December 1987 “cut short an invaluable and devoted service to the cause of international socialism.”

Australian government returns refugees to Sri Lanka

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 December 2017

Successive Labor and Liberal-National governments have forcibly deported asylum-seekers to Colombo, where they face imprisonment and torture.

On the 30th anniversary of the death of Comrade Keerthi Balasuriya

By David North, 19 December 2017

Keerthi’s death on December 18, 1987 was an irreplaceable loss to the International Committee of the Fourth International and its Sri Lankan section.

Sri Lankan unions betray railway workers’ strike

By W.A. Sunil, 14 December 2017

Rail unions axed the strike because it represented a direct challenge to the government’s austerity policies and threatened to draw in other sections of workers.

Sri Lankan railway workers defy government ban on strike

By W.A. Sunil, 12 December 2017

The government’s intervention against the stoppage is part of a broader crackdown on social and political opposition.

Sri Lanka: IMF-dictated budget deepens austerity and privatisation

By Saman Gunadasa, 25 November 2017

Colombo’s socially regressive budget, which will heavily impact on the working masses, is to repay debt and interest to global finance capital.

Sri Lankan students and workers oppose Google censorship of the WSWS

By our correspondents, 22 November 2017

“It’s very important to organise the working class on an international basis.”

Sri Lanka: Racialist attack on Muslims in Gintota

By Ratnasiri Malalagama and Nandana Nanneththi, 21 November 2017

Extreme-right Sinhala-Buddhist groups are operating under the patronage of the Sri Lankan government.

Sri Lankan government bans Lanka e-News web site

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 20 November 2017

The ban on LeN is a direct attack on basic democratic rights and a warning to all sections of the media that the Sri Lankan ruling elite cannot tolerate any criticism.

Successful public meeting in Colombo marks the Russian Revolution centenary

By our correspondents, 18 November 2017

About 150 workers, students, youth, professionals and housewives attended the event and around 300 watched it live via the Internet.

Sri Lankan SEP and IYSSE commemorate Russian Revolution at Peradeniya University

By our correspondents, 11 November 2017

SEP/IYSSE members campaigned extensively at the university and in neighbouring areas prior to the meeting provoking animated discussions on the political lessons of the October Revolution.

Global Hunger Index highlights South Asia’s social misery

By Saman Gunadasa, 3 November 2017

While millions of people lack basic food security, governments are cutting social spending and allocating billions to the military.

US, India push anti-China campaign at Sri Lankan maritime conference

By Naveen Devage and K. Ratnayake, 30 October 2017

Senior military figures from Washington and New Delhi warned against any threat to the US-dominated “rules-based order” in the Indo-Pacific.

The Sri Lankan garbage disaster: A crime of capitalism

By Vilani Peiris—convenor of the Committee of the Independent Workers Inquiry, 28 October 2017

The Meethotamulla disaster was the result of criminal negligence by successive Colombo governments and finds its parallels in similar catastrophes around the world.

Sri Lankan SEP/IYSSE calls public meetings to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution

27 October 2017

The Colombo meeting will discuss the political and theoretical lessons of the October Revolution for workers, students and young people being propelled into social and political struggles today.

Sri Lanka: Phony moves toward democratic constitutional change

By K. Ratnayake, 24 October 2017

For all its claims to be establishing a democratic constitution, the government is taking repressive measures against workers and preparing dictatorial rule.

Sri Lankan government enforces UN sanctions against North Korea

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 14 October 2017

Colombo has increasingly integrated Sri Lanka behind Washington’s war preparations against China and North Korea.

Sri Lankan academics oppose Google censorship

By our correspondent, 7 October 2017

Google’s actions are “a gross abuse of monopolistic power” and related to its close links to the US state apparatus and the Pentagon.

US pushes for closer Sri Lankan involvement into war drive against China

By Nanda Wickremasinghe, 3 October 2017

The US is planning to slash foreign aid to Sri Lanka this year apparently to underscore its displeasure about the Colombo government’s recent investment deals with China.

Sri Lankan president presents rosy picture at UN General Assembly

By Saman Gunadasa, 29 September 2017

Behind hypocritical statements on democracy, reconciliation and poverty-alleviation, Sirisena’s government is preparing a dictatorial regime.

Sri Lankan unions betray power workers’ strike

By W.A Sunil, 28 September 2017

The JTUA leadership surrendered to the government’s threats, pledging not to take future industrial action over outstanding demands.

Sri Lanka: JVP leader assures business that it defends capitalism

By K. Ratnayake, 25 September 2017

The JVP played a key role in the regime-change campaign to remove Rajapakse as president and promote Sirisena’s so-called “good governance movement.”

Sri Lankan plantation workers protest job cuts and new productivity demands

By M. Thevarajah, 23 September 2017

The protests are another indication of growing working-class opposition to government and company attacks on jobs, wages and conditions.

Sri Lankan government passes IMF-backed tax bill

By Kapila Fernando, 22 September 2017

The tax act is part of a series of social assaults by the government on the directives of the International Monetary Fund.

Sri Lankan free trade zone and harbour workers denounce Google censorship

By our correspondents, 21 September 2017

“We oppose exploitation and inequality. We oppose world war and Google censorship of the WSWS.”

Sri Lankan power workers on strike

By W.A. Sunil, 19 September 2017

The ongoing stoppage is against the government’s austerity measures being imposed at the behest of the International Monetary Fund.

Sri Lankan president desperately tries to rally support

By W.A. Sunil, 12 September 2017

Factional conflicts deepen within the ruling class amid an explosion of popular opposition to government attacks on living conditions and democratic rights.

Australian High Court sanctions deportations of Sri Lankan refugees

By Mike Head, 11 September 2017

The ruling is an indictment of the last Greens-backed Australian Labor government.

Sri Lankan SEP Jaffna meeting discusses political bankruptcy of Tamil parties

By our reporters, 11 September 2017

The speakers explained the necessity for Tamil and Sinhalese workers to build a revolutionary party based on an internationalist socialist perspective.

US and India use Indian Ocean Conference to reinforce their strategic interests

By Pradeep Ramanayake and K. Ratnayake, 8 September 2017

The geo-strategic conference gave another indication of US and Indian preparations for war against China.

Sri Lankan university workers defeat union attempts to victimise SEP member

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 5 September 2017

SEP member Dehin Wasantha has a three-decade record of fighting for the rights of Sri Lankan workers, students and the poor on the basis of socialist internationalism.

Sri Lankan students oppose Google’s censorship of the World Socialist Web Site

By our reporters, 5 September 2017

Members of the SEP and IYSSE in Sri Lanka campaigned this month to gather support among students and youth for the WSWS’s campaign against Google’s censorship of the Internet.