Asia

Indian government foreshadows harsher internet surveillance and censorship

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 January 2019

The planned laws are part of vast array of anti-democratic measures being introduced by governments internationally to target and spy on internet users.

Amid stalled US-North Korean talks, second Trump-Kim summit mooted

By Peter Symonds, 16 January 2019

The unstated aim of Trump’s diplomacy has been to “flip” North Korea—that is, to induce Pyongyang through threats and bribes to reorient away from Beijing and towards Washington.

Indian transit workers in Mumbai defy authorities, continue strike

By Kranti Kumara, 16 January 2019

As soon as the strike began, Maharashtra’s BJP state government invoked essential services legislation, threatening the strikers with mass incarceration, fines and dismissals.

Sri Lankan workers must oppose the witch-hunt of militant plantation workers

By M. Thevarajah, 16 January 2019

Plantation bosses, with the backing of the government, police and the unions, are attempting to intimidate estate workers and suppress their wage demands.

Bangladesh government oversees police attacks on protesting garment workers

By Wimal Perera, 16 January 2019

The Awami League-led government is seeking to suppress the wages movement with threats, police violence and victimisations.

Sri Lankan government proposes pay “formula” to end plantation workers’ struggle

By W.A. Sunil, 15 January 2019

The aim of the suggested three-year wage plan is to impose the burden of the crisis in the plantation industry onto workers.

Mine collapse in northern China leaves 21 dead

By Robert Campion, 14 January 2019

China is the largest producer of coal in the world and notorious for its poor safety record.

The political significance of India’s two-day general strike

By Keith Jones, 12 January 2019

This week’s general strike in India, one of the largest strikes in history, is part of a growing upsurge of the world working class.

Indian fireworks workers protest over layoffs, Pakistan water treatment workers walkout; New Caledonia nickel miners extend strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 January 2019

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

Sri Lankan president issues bogus promise to fulfil election pledges

By K. Ratnayake, 11 January 2019

Sirisena is attempting to cement an alliance with former President Mahinda Rajapakse against the United National Party-led government.

Mounting social anger seen in two-day strike against Indian government

By our correspondents, 10 January 2019

While the capitalist media tried to black out the strike, it was supported by broad sections of the working class.

Worker killed as Bangladesh police attack striking garment workers

By Wimal Perera, 10 January 2019

The re-elected Hasina government is mobilising heavily-armed police to suppress protests by garment workers over wages.

India’s “rise” and the savage exploitation of the working class

By Kranti Kumara, 10 January 2019

India’s rapidly expanding working class is condemned to poverty wages, Dickensian working conditions and precarious employment, and this in a country in which public services, if they exist at all, are dilapidated.

US-China trade talks extended, amid continuing obstacles

By Peter Symonds, 9 January 2019

Washington’s aggressive stance was underscored by the provocative dispatch of a US destroyer to challenge Chinese claims in the South China Sea on day one of the trade talks.

Sri Lankan plantation workers oppose company-union attempts to impose sell-out

By our reporters, 8 January 2019

There is widespread hostility to the plans for a new collective agreement that would reject workers’ demand for a 100 percent wage rise.

Indian Trotskyists in Kolkata to celebrate 80 years of the Fourth International

7 January 2019

The Kolkata meeting will review the essential political lessons of the protracted struggle of the Fourth International and their relevance to the fight for socialist internationalism today.

India’s unions to hold two-day “general strike” next week

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 January 2019

While millions of workers will join the protest strike to oppose Modi and his class-war policies, the Stalinists and their union allies are intent on channelling social opposition behind the Congress and other rightwing parties.

Fifteen Indian coal miners trapped, likely killed, in mine disaster

By W. A. Sunil, 5 January 2019

Rescue efforts after the “rat-hole” mine flooded have been hampered by inadequate equipment and the indifference of the government authorities.

US-China tensions to rise over Taiwan

By Peter Symonds, 4 January 2019

New US legislation calls for regular arms sales to Taiwan and urges top US officials to engage in exchanges with their Taiwanese counterparts.

Sri Lankan JVP postures as a saviour of “democracy”

By Sakuna Jayawardana and K. Ratnayake, 4 January 2019

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s response to the country’s political crisis is to promote illusions in parliamentary democracy.

Slowdown in China’s manufacturing growth sets tone for New Year

By Nick Beams, 3 January 2019

A key Chinese economic index has indicated lower growth as talks on US-China trade tensions are set to begin.

Sri Lankan plantation union discussing sellout deal with companies

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 3 January 2019

The back-room negotiations between the unions and employers are part of a broader attack on the living conditions of all workers.

India: Stalinist unions suppress Tamil Nadu auto strikes, promise “industrial peace”

By Arun Kumar and Yuan Darwin, 31 December 2018

The strikes’ outcome is further proof that the Stalinist-led CITU serves as an industrial police force for big business, containing and suppressing working-class opposition.

Amid widespread violence, Bangladesh’s ruling party re-elected

By Vimal Perera, 31 December 2018

The opposition parties have condemned the election as “farcical” and demanded a “fresh election under non-partisan administration.”

University authorities suppress student protest in China

By Peter Symonds, 29 December 2018

The CCP regime, which has all but abandoned its previous socialistic phrase-mongering, is terrified at the prospect of students politicizing the struggles of workers.

Japan plans for massive military build-up aimed at China

By Ben McGrath, 29 December 2018

In clear violation of Japan’s constitution, the Abe administration is proceeding with a pro-war agenda which will only further exacerbate tensions in the Asia-Pacific.

One million Indian bank workers strike; tens of thousands of Korean taxi drivers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 December 2018

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

The 50th anniversary of the founding of the SEP (Sri Lanka)

The RCL/SEP’s political struggle against the LSSP’s betrayal

By W.A. Sunil and Deepal Jayasekera, 27 December 2018

The RCL waged a consistent struggle, under difficult conditions, against the second coalition government, particularly against the LSSP, which continued to dishonestly trade on its previous Trotskyist record.

New postings in Urdu on capitalist breakdown and war, France’s Yellow Vest protests

27 December 2018

Four recent WSWS Perspectives are now available in Urdu, Pakistan’s national language.

Malaysia files charges against Goldman Sachs over 1MDB scandal

By Peter Symonds, 22 December 2018

The 1MDB scandal was a significant factor in ousting the long-reigning UMNO government and reorienting Malaysian foreign policy away from China.

Factional acrimony continues as Sri Lankan president appoints new cabinet

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 22 December 2018

Sirisena’s delay in appointing the new cabinet makes clear that bitter factional infighting is continuing within Colombo’s political elite.

Land record officers strike in Indian state of Punjab; Bangladesh garment workers strike continues; Australian ferry drivers walkout again in Brisbane.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 December 2018

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

Sri Lanka: Abbotsleigh tea plantation workers speak out against harsh living and working conditions

By our reporters, 21 December 2018

Sri Lankan plantation workers, like their international counterparts, are being ruthlessly exploited by the giant corporations that control the industry.

The New York Times targets McKinsey for doing business with China and Russia

By Peter Symonds, 20 December 2018

The article’s overriding purpose is not to expose the collusion of American companies with autocrats, but rather to ensure that they march in lockstep with the US war drive against China and Russia.

The US hails Wickremesinghe’s reinstatement as Sri Lankan prime minister

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 20 December 2018

The US was concerned that the ousting of Wickremesinghe would jeopardise the close military relations developed with Colombo under his government.

Canada’s media foments anti-China campaign after Meng arrest

By Roger Jordan, 19 December 2018

The Globe and Mail and National Post have welcomed the increased tensions with China that the arrest of the Huawei CFO has provoked.

Bangladesh to relocate Rohingya refugees on remote island

By Rohantha De Silva, 19 December 2018

Nervous about criticism of its plans, the government is attempting to hide information about the new detention facilities and has placed the island under naval control.

Sri Lanka: Action committee of Abbotsleigh Estate workers holds inaugural meeting

By our correspondents, 18 December 2018

The meeting passed resolutions calling for independent action committees to fight for decent wages and conditions, and pledged support to “yellow vest” protesters in France, US auto workers and jailed Maruti Suzuki workers in India.

Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court refuses to hear SEP’s legal action against May Day meeting ban

By our correspondent, 18 December 2018

The government’s intention was to sabotage May Day demonstrations and rallies, a tradition established by workers before the end of British colonial rule in 1948.

The international significance of the Sri Lankan plantation workers’ strike

By Deepal Jayasekera, 17 December 2018

In the midst of the strike, workers at the Abbotsleigh Estate turned towards revolutionary politics and forms of organisation, establishing an action committee independent of the unions, under the political guidance of the Socialist Equality Party.

Sri Lankan plantation workers end strike action under protest

By Saman Gunadasa, 15 December 2018

Sri Lanka plantation workers denounced the unions and returned to work on December 14, after a nine-day strike for a doubling of their daily wage.

China’s economic slowdown: The political issues confronting the working class

By Nick Beams, 15 December 2018

The China slowdown is part of a global process, exposing the fraudulent claim that the global economy had finally “turned the corner” after the deep recession produced by the financial crisis a decade ago.

“Five Eyes” intelligence agencies behind drive against Chinese telecom giant Huawei

By Nick Beams, 14 December 2018

An Australian Financial Review report details an “unprecedented campaign” by the members of the network to prevent Huawei supplying equipment for their next-generation wireless networks.

Sri Lankan Supreme Court rules against President Sirisena’s decision to dissolve parliament

By Deepal Jayasekera, 14 December 2018

The court’s decision will further intensify the infighting within the ruling elite.

Indian state elections show mounting social anger against ruling Hindu-supremacist BJP

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 14 December 2018

The BJP lost power to the Congress Party in three states that are part of the “Hindi heartland,” its traditional power-base—Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

Hyundai, Kia workers strike in South Korea in opposition to attacks on wages

By Ben McGrath, 12 December 2018

The imposition of a new tier of low-paid workers in Gwangju is just the precursor to broader attacks on workers’ conditions.

Sri Lankan plantation companies reject workers’ wage demand

By W.A. Sunil, 11 December 2018

Despite an indefinite strike, the employers are insisting that profits must be defended by subjecting workers to super-exploitation.

Japanese government rams through new immigration law

By Gary Alvernia, 11 December 2018

While portrayed as a “liberalisation” of existing policy, the law reflects concerns within ruling circles over the economic impact of Japan’s declining workforce.

China summons American ambassador over detention of Huawei executive

By Peter Symonds, 10 December 2018

The highly provocative actions of the US are part of the Trump administration’s wider campaign to prevent Chinese corporate giants from challenging American technological supremacy.

Canada-China relations sour after Ottawa kidnaps Huawei executive

By Roger Jordan, 10 December 2018

At the express instructions of the federal Attorney-General, the Crown is arguing Meng Wanzhuo must remain in captivity pending the adjudication of her extradition to the US.

Indian workers face slave-like conditions in Sri Lanka

By R. Shreeharan and Ivan Weerasinghe, 10 December 2018

Young men recruited from a Jharkhand village to work on a high-voltage power-line in Sri Lanka have not been paid for three months.

The kidnapping of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou

By Andre Damon, 8 December 2018

Meng’s arrest and confinement—without bail and on tendentious and opaque charges potentially carrying a sentence of 60 years—amount to little more than a kidnapping.

Sri Lankan plantation strike: Abbotsleigh workers march to demand action committees and socialist policies

By our reporters, 8 December 2018

Yesterday’s march was organised by an action committee of Abbotsleigh Estate workers, following political interventions by the Socialist Equality Party.

Pakistan municipal workers protest for outstanding wages; Sri Lankan housing workers fight layoffs; New Zealand teachers reject new pay offer

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 December 2018

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

At Washington’s behest

Canada arrests top Chinese executive for “sanctions busting”

By Keith Jones and Roger Jordan, 7 December 2018

The arrest and impending extradition to the US of Meng Wanzhou is a diplomatic and geopolitical provocation that has effectively blown up the US-China trade-war “truce” after less than a week.

Sri Lankan president uses executive powers to run government

By W.A. Sunil, 7 December 2018

Sirisena’s autocratic actions are another dangerous sign that dictatorial forms of rule are being prepared in Sri Lanka.

Japanese police detain Zengakuren activists for nearly three weeks

By Ben McGrath, 7 December 2018

The police measures used against this student group are part of a broader attack on basic democratic rights.

Jaffna (Sri Lanka) meeting celebrates 80th anniversary of the Fourth International

By R. Shreeharan, 6 December 2018

People from all over the Jaffna district heard Socialist Equality Party leaders explain the contemporary relevance of the Trotskyist movement’s historic struggle.

The Maldives: Pro-US President Solih sworn in

By Rohantha De Silva, 5 December 2018

Tolih’s administration will bring the Maldives into line with Washington’s military preparations for war against China and reorient the island-nation towards India.

Sri Lankan court blocks functioning of Rajapakse cabinet

By K. Ratnayake, 4 December 2018

An appeals court temporarily ordered that Rajapakse and his ministers cease exercising their powers—intensifying Sri Lanka’s political crisis.

While Modi touts India’s growth rate,

Four jobless youths commit suicide

By Kranti Kumara, 4 December 2018

There are more than 10 million annual entrants into India’s labor market. Yet a recent study found that less than a million new jobs were created in the first three years of the Modi-led BJP government.

Sri Lanka: Factional deadlock remains in lead up to Supreme Court ruling

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 3 December 2018

President Sirisena has failed in his attempts to secure a parliamentary deal with the opposition UNP and TNA aimed at ending the country’s continuing political crisis.

India: Contract health workers remain on strike in Bihar; South Australian teachers strike over pay and conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 December 2018

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

Taiwan elections reveal widespread hostility to the ruling DPP

By Robert Campion, 30 November 2018

The results reflect discontent over deteriorating living standards and fears about the rising tensions between the US and China.

Colombo court detains Sri Lankan defence chief over civil war crimes

By Rohantha De Silva, 30 November 2018

The court magistrate said the military chief had to be denied bail because he could influence witnesses or disrupt ongoing investigations into the abduction of Tamil youth.

Around 100,000 Sri Lankan plantation workers walk out again for pay rise

By our correspondents, 30 November 2018

The plantation unions are determined to prevent industrial action by estate workers that could trigger mass action by other sections of the working class.

Rajapakse-aligned MPs boycott Sri Lankan parliament

By W.A. Sunil, 28 November 2018

The ongoing crisis has shattered the carefully cultivated image of parliament as an august and democratic assembly, engaging in serious discussion on issues of public interest.

US-South Korean tensions over stance towards North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 28 November 2018

US ultimatums to Pyongyang to denuclearise are threatening South Korean efforts to reduce tensions and engage with North Korea.

Amid Sri Lanka’s political crisis, the USP sets “left” trap for the working class

By Vilani Peiris and K. Ratnayake, 27 November 2018

The pseudo-left United Socialist Party’s call for a left alliance is aimed at promoting the illusion that one or other ruling faction can be pressured to defend the rights of working people.

Political turmoil in Sri Lanka intensifies as opposition takes control of parliament

By Pani Wijesiriwardena, 24 November 2018

The UNP-led opposition has submitted a motion to suspend funds to Rajapakse’s office of prime minister.

Ten thousand taxi drivers end protests in India; 1,600 rubber plantation workers strike in Bangladesh; New Zealand secondary teachers vote to strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

24 November 2018

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

Chinese president visits the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 22 November 2018

Xi Jinping visited Manila in the midst of Washington’s escalation of economic warfare against Beijing and advanced preparations for direct military conflict.

SEP (Sri Lanka) holds successful public meeting on political crisis

By our correspondents, 22 November 2018

The speakers stressed the necessity for the working class to adopt a socialist and internationalist program, in opposition to all factions of the ruling elite.

Sri Lankan political crisis exposes bankruptcy of Tamil nationalist parties

By K. Nesan and V. Gnana, 22 November 2018

After four years of a US-backed “Good Governance” government that collapsed last month, not a single issue facing the Tamil workers and poor has been resolved.

Sri Lanka: UNP demands Facebook protect identity of party supporters

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 November 2018

UNP allegations that state authorities could be collaborating with Facebook to target its supporters came amid escalating infighting within the Sri Lankan political elite.

At APEC, PM puts Australia on frontline of US confrontation with China

By Peter Symonds, 21 November 2018

Australian Prime Minister Morrison lined up with US Vice President Pence at the recent APEC meeting, as China’s policies were denounced across the board.

Pakistan prime minister visits Beijing amid heightened US-China tensions

By Pradeep Ramanayaka, 21 November 2018

If Khan was hoping for an immediate financial bailout from China, he was disappointed as Beijing offered no specific aid and signed no significant agreements.

SEP (Sri Lanka) to hold lecture on “Lessons of History and the Fight for Socialism Today”

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 21 November 2018

The lecture in Jaffna will focus on the political lessons of key strategic experiences of the 20th century for the working class and their contemporary relevance.

US vice president beats war drums in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 20 November 2018

Mike Pence in effect issued an ultimatum to China: either accept a subservient, semi-colonial status, or confront the full force of US diplomatic, economic and ultimately military weight.

Sri Lankan parliament adjourned amid ongoing political crisis

By K. Ratnayake, 20 November 2018

While claiming to be champions of “democracy,” the rival factions of the ruling class are both committed to implementing the IMF’s austerity demands and suppressing any opposition from working people.

Sri Lankan president’s “all party conference” fails to overcome political crisis

By Rohantha De Silva, 19 November 2018

Sirisena’s meeting followed three consecutive days of bitter and violent fighting in the parliament between the Rajapakse and Wickremesinghe factions.

Sri Lanka: Second no-confidence motion passed as violent clashes erupt in parliament

By W.A. Sunil, 17 November 2018

While the UNP and Sri Lanka’s parliamentary speaker claim victory for another no confidence vote, nothing is resolved.

Trump manoeuvres ahead of US-China trade talks

By Nick Beams, 17 November 2018

The central demand of the Trump administration is that Beijing scrap its “Made in China” program and adopt a subservient economic position in relation to the US.

Indian chrome miners strike over safety; Western Australian mine workers walkout over “wage theft”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 November 2018

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

The political crisis in Sri Lanka: Its lessons for the international working class

By Keith Jones and K. Ratnayake, 16 November 2018

Only the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) fights for the working class to assert its own class interests, independently of and in opposition to both rival bourgeois camps.

Sri Lankan parliament rejects Rajapakse as prime minister

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 November 2018

The major global powers are monitoring the developing political and constitutional crisis and firing off warning signals.

Sri Lanka crisis escalates as Supreme Court overturns Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament

By K. Ratnayake, 14 November 2018

The Supreme Court made its ruling after hearing 12 fundamental rights petitions challenging Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament on November 9.

Chinese regime cracks down on student labour activists

By Robert Campion, 14 November 2018

The repression is another sign of growing unrest in the working class and fear in the CCP regime that the involvement of students will politicise the strikes and protests.

Sri Lankan political crisis deepens: Prime minister splits from president

By W.A. Sunil, 13 November 2018

None of the factions of the ruling class will defend the basic rights of working people, but will ruthlessly impose the austerity dictates of the IMF and big business.

Fire at workers’ apartment in South Korea leaves seven dead

By Ben McGrath, 12 November 2018

Public safety continues to be ignored under the South Korean administration no less than under previous conservative governments.

Imelda Marcos convicted on seven counts of graft in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 12 November 2018

The ruling handed down against Marcos after three decades of delays is an expression of the sharp crisis of political rule under President Duterte.

US-China talks signal worsening confrontation

By Peter Symonds, 12 November 2018

For years, first under Obama, then under Trump, the US has been engaged in an aggressive effort to undermine China economically, and encircle it militarily in preparation for war.

In another anti-democratic act, Sri Lankan president dissolves parliament

By K. Ratnayake, 10 November 2018

Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament exposes the degenerated state of parliamentary democracy and the Sri Lanka ruling elite’s moves towards dictatorial forms of rule.

Tamil nationalists support US-backed factions in Sri Lankan political crisis

By K. Nesan, 10 November 2018

The TNA is pursuing the same pro-imperialist course that led it to back the US-led regime change operation, that brought President Sirisena to power in 2015.

The kiss of death: Stalinists seek to tie Tamil Nadu auto strikes to right-wing parties

By Arun Kumar, 10 November 2018

Opposing all attempts to broaden the struggle, the Stalinists convened an “all party” meeting, where they touted the leaders of opposition parties and their affiliated unions as the strikers’ allies.

US, Japan conclude massive war games targeting China

By Ben McGrath, 10 November 2018

The Keen Sword exercises have placed additional pressure on China while further militarizing the western Pacific.

Thousands of Indian contract workers remain on strike; 29,000 New Zealand primary school teachers to take national strike action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 November 2018

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

Safety questions emerge after 189 people die in Indonesian plane crash

By Oscar Grenfell, 9 November 2018

Indonesian authorities said the plane had suffered mechanical issues on the four flights before it crashed in the Java Sea.

Sri Lankan political coup: Rajapakse makes bogus promises to ease social crisis

By Saman Gunadasa, 8 November 2018

In a bid to deflect the opposition of working people, the newly installed prime minister announced token measures to assist workers, peasants and the poor.

Plantation unions move to shut down wage struggle amid Sri Lankan political crisis

By W. A. Sunil, 7 November 2018

The long-running plantation workers’ pay dispute has won powerful support from young people and other sections of the Sri Lankan working class.