South East Asia

Indonesia records over 1,000 COVID-19 cases every day for three weeks

By Owen Howell, 14 July 2020

The government’s aggressive back-to-work policy has accelerated the spread of the virus.

Duterte signs draconian anti-terrorism law in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 8 July 2020

The new law authorizes surveillance and arrests without warrant of anyone the administration terms ‘a terrorist’

More than 170 killed in accident at Myanmar jade mine

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 July 2020

The disaster has highlighted the perilous conditions confronting oppressed miners in the industry, which provides large profits to sections of the country’s military-dominated regime.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

4 July 2020

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Reopening in the Philippines causes coronavirus surge

By Owen Howell, 30 June 2020

While overseeing a woefully inadequate response to the pandemic, the Duterte administration is expanding police-state measures to suppress mounting discontent.

Indonesia passes 50,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases

By Owen Howell, 27 June 2020

Indonesia’s coronavirus crisis is accelerating disastrously, even as the government pursues its criminal plans to reopen businesses and risk workers’ lives for profit.

India-wide protests by military armament and power industry workers; Australian airport workers demand JobKeeper pay

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

6 June 2020

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Philippines begins lifting lockdown despite rising infection rates

By Owen Howell, 5 June 2020

President Duterte is seeking to suppress any opposition to the premature reopening through the extension of his emergency powers and a new anti-terrorism bill.

Indian autoworkers strike for COVID-19 safety measures; Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers demonstrate

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

30 May 2020

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Indonesia experiences major surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases

By Owen Howell, 27 May 2020

The Indonesian government is blaming the sharp rise in confirmed cases on ordinary workers and peasants for not adhering to social distancing measures.

Thousands of migrant workers demonstrate across India; Tamil Nadu cleaners demand COVID-19 protection

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

16 May 2020

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Workers in India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan strike to demand coronavirus-safe working conditions

Workers Struggles: Asia

9 May 2020

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At least 1,245 Philippine health workers test positive for COVID-19

By Owen Howell, 5 May 2020

The WHO said that the rate of infection among health workers, which is now 13 percent of all cases in the Philippines, is likely linked to the shortage of personal protective equipment.

Thousands of Assam tea workers demand lockdown wages in India; Protests continue in Bangladesh over wages, factory closures and safety

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

2 May 2020

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Coronavirus deaths go unrecorded in Indonesia

By Owen Howell, 30 April 2020

A review of the data from 16 Indonesian provinces shows more than 2,200 people died with symptoms of COVID-19, but were not counted in the official death toll.

Mass COVID-19 infection among migrant workers in Singapore

By Gustav Kemper, 21 April 2020

The number of COVID-19 infections is exploding in the Singapore workers’ camps.

Indonesian authorities announce limited restrictions, despite the alarming spread of COVID-19

By Owen Howell, 14 April 2020

On Sunday Indonesia reported its largest daily jump in coronavirus cases and fatalities, with 399 new infections and 46 more deaths.

India: Punjab health workers and poor farmers protest over inadequate COVID-19 supplies; Queensland public health workers demand promised wage rise

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

11 April 2020

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Thai government introduces lockdowns amid criticisms of its pandemic response

By Owen Howell, 8 April 2020

Within a month, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Thailand has leapt from a few dozen to over 2,000.

US military calls for another $20 billion to counter China

By Peter Symonds, 7 April 2020

Even as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, an Indo-Pacific Command report to the US Congress sets out plans for a further military build-up in the region directed against China.

Indonesian government declares “national emergency” after downplaying coronavirus threat

By Owen Howell, 2 April 2020

A University of Indonesia report has warned that 240,000 people may die in the pandemic this month without a substantial government intervention.

Duterte reacts to COVID-19 with military repression

By Joseph Santolan, 30 March 2020

The Duterte administration has responded to the pandemic not with the deployment of masks, testing and treatment, but heavily-armed military checkpoints, armored personnel carriers and police state repression.

Pakistan: District government workers strike over unpaid wages; New Zealand plastics workers strike over COVID-19 concerns

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

28 March 2020

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East Timor records first confirmed coronavirus case amid floods

By Patrick O’Connor, 27 March 2020

A Dili worker told the WSWS: “With the inadequate condition of public hospitals, I fear that the spreading of the virus… could be like a wildfire.”

Warnings that hundreds of thousands of Indonesians may already have COVID-19

By Owen Howell and Oscar Grenfell, 26 March 2020

There are fears that the archipelago may become “the Italy of south-east Asia,” with experts warning that 135 million may be infected by mid-May.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

21 March 2020

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Tamil Nadu sanitary workers demand permanent jobs; Sri Lankan plantation workers strike; New Zealand bus drivers resume industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 March 2020

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Modi government leaves millions of Indians vulnerable to coronavirus

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 9 March 2020

Given India’s high population density and dysfunctional public health system, its population is threatened by any rapid spread of the coronavirus.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 March 2020

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Tamil Nadu public transport workers demonstrate; Sacked Sri Lankan government workers protest; Jetstar baggage handlers on strike in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

22 February 2020

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India: Punjab government teachers protest against privatisation; Sacked Sri Lankan government workers demonstrate; New Caledonia miners strike against long hours

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 February 2020

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India: 10,000 Karnataka midday-meal workers strike indefinitely; Tahiti workers strike against Macron’s pensions “reforms”

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

8 February 2020

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Indian midday-meal workers strike for higher wages; Australian rail workers strike again

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

25 January 2020

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Mumbai hospital workers demand outstanding wages; South Korean car workers strike; Australian tram drivers vote to walk out

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

18 January 2020

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Catastrophic floods hit Indonesian capital

By Owen Howell, 14 January 2020

The floods, which have killed 67 people and displaced hundreds of thousands, demonstrate the government’s utter indifference to the plight of ordinary people.

India: Haryana public transport workers strike against outsourcing; Pakistani journalists oppose salary and job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

11 January 2020

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Killing of two Indonesian journalists points to criminality in palm oil industry

By Owen Howell, 27 December 2019

According to police, the two men were allegedly murdered by hired killers paid by a plantation owner.

Honda motorcycle and Kerala state transport workers strike in India; Pakistan health workers oppose privatisation

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

9 November 2019

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Newly-inaugurated Indonesian president appoints notorious ex-general as defence minister

By Peter Symonds, 24 October 2019

Former special forces general Prabowo Subianto has a long history of human rights abuses and was intimately connected to the bloody Suharto dictatorship that ruled Indonesia for three decades.

Student protests in Indonesian Papua suppressed by police violence

By Owen Howell, 9 October 2019

As social tensions in the West Papua region continue to escalate, authorities are trying to conceal the true nature of the state violence used to quell protests.

Indonesia: Student unrest continues as tens of thousands of workers set to strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 October 2019

Police have responded to the largest student demonstrations since the movement that toppled the Suharto dictatorship in 1998 with violent repression and mass arrests.

Widodo plans to move Indonesian capital to Borneo

By Owen Howell, 17 September 2019

The government’s move to relocate the country’s administrative centre is aimed at removing itself from the social disaster of Jakarta, but will potentially create an environmental disaster on Borneo.

Eight-hour power blackout hits Indonesian capital

By Owen Howell, 12 August 2019

The Indonesian government has failed to meet the basic infrastructure demands of the rapidly growing Greater Jakarta, a megacity of 30 million people.

Plastic waste from foreign nations dumped in East Java village

By Owen Howell, 20 July 2019

With China blocking imports of recyclable waste, developed countries have now resorted to illegally smuggling plastic into Indonesia and other parts of South East Asia.

Indonesian factory fire claims lives of 30 women and children

By Owen Howell, 6 July 2019

The tragic deaths of factory employees is yet another example of the national government showing its indifference for the working poor.

Widodo predicted to be re-elected as Indonesian president

By Peter Symonds, 16 April 2019

Tomorrow’s election involves carefully vetted candidates backed by rival factions of the Indonesian ruling class, none of whom represents the interests of workers and the rural poor.

Thai military junta holds rigged election

By John Roberts and Peter Symonds, 1 April 2019

After seizing power in 2014, the regime has repeatedly delayed any poll, fearing a voter backlash.

Sri Lankan president praises Philippine-style “war on drugs”

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 23 January 2019

Sirisena’s support for Duterte’s death squads and police-state violence points to Sri Lankan preparations for dictatorial methods of rule.

Duterte allies dominate Philippine midterm election campaign

By Joseph Santolan, 21 January 2019

The unanimity of Duterte’s coalition is based on its endorsement and expansion of state violence.

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.

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

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 December 2018

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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.

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.

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.

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.

Anwar Ibrahim wins seat and returns to Malaysian parliament

By John Roberts, 5 November 2018

Anwar’s re-entry into parliament will only heighten tensions in the unstable ruling coalition currently headed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Indonesia’s earthquake catastrophe

By Tom Peters, 6 October 2018

The disaster has been made immeasurably worse by poverty, social inequality and the refusal of the Indonesian and international ruling elites to ensure the protection of the population.

Anger grows as Indonesian tsunami disaster worsens

By Mike Head, 4 October 2018

Because of the lack of government and international assistance, desperate residents have been reduced to scavenging for food in wrecked houses, shops, farms and orchards.

Indonesian tsunami relief grossly inadequate as death toll tops 1,200

By Tom Peters, 2 October 2018

Among survivors, there is growing outrage over the lack of assistance and the absence of a functioning tsunami warning system.

More than eight hundred dead after earthquakes and tsunami strike Indonesia

By John Braddock, 1 October 2018

Fourteen years after the 2004 tsunami killed up to 230,000 people, governments throughout the region and internationally have done nothing to prevent a similar mass tragedy.

Typhoon Mangkhut kills dozens in the Philippines, leaves trail of destruction in China and Hong Kong

By Oscar Grenfell, 18 September 2018

As in previous natural disasters, the poor and workers in low-paid precarious industries have been the hardest hit.

Political showdown erupts in the Philippines

By Joseph Santolan, 14 September 2018

The battlelines between President Duterte and Senator Trillanes express the twin pressures upon the Filipino ruling class of geopolitical tensions and mounting social unrest.

Cambodia’s autocratic regime desperately tries to legitimise its rule

By John Roberts, 1 September 2018

The opposition CNRP undoubtedly has ties to the US, but Hun Sen’s politically bankrupt regime is resorting to blatantly anti-democratic methods to retain power.

Sri Lankan fishermen demonstrate to demand fuel price reductions

By Naveen Dewage, 30 August 2018

The MVOA appealed to the government to lower fuel prices, but it responded by police armed with batons and water cannons, who set up barricades to block the march.

Malaysian PM in China criticises “new colonialism”

By Peter Symonds, 28 August 2018

Prime Minister Mahathir has suspended key Chinese-based infrastructure projects, dealing a significant blow to China’s signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Manila moves toward major arms purchase from Russia

By Joseph Santolan, 25 August 2018

The Pentagon, which has been systematically escalating military tensions with Russia, has not taken kindly to Washington’s former colony improving relations with Moscow.

Death toll rises to almost 400 after another Indonesian earthquake

By John Harris, 13 August 2018

Residents of Lombok have expressed mounting frustration over the inadequate government response to a series of deadly quakes.

US aggression on Korea, trade overshadows Southeast Asian meetings

By Mike Head, 7 August 2018

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used the occasion to warn Russia, China and others against any breach of US-led sanctions that North Korea still faces.

Almost 100 confirmed dead after Indonesian earthquake

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 August 2018

Many of the flattened structures on Lombok were not earthquake resistant, and the rescue effort has been hampered by a lack of equipment.

Death toll continues to climb from Laos dam disaster

By John Harris, 7 August 2018

Survivors in Attapeu suggest that hundreds of people could have been killed when the dam collapsed late last month.

More than 20 killed and hundreds missing from dam disaster in Laos

By John Harris, 26 July 2018

An earth-filled dam collapsed on July 24, sending around 5 billion cubic metres of water into the valley below.

A quarter century since the Thai toy factory fire

By Richard Phillips, 14 July 2018

The Kader fire exposed the rapacious character of global capitalism, which was not improving factory conditions but further undermining them.

The Thailand cave rescue and the humanitarian hypocrisy of imperialism

By Bill Van Auken, 10 July 2018

The outpouring of human solidarity, international cooperation and the employment of unlimited resources in the efforts to rescue 12 Thai boys and their coach from a flooded cave complex stands in stark contrast to the routine treatment of youth by global capitalism.

Another Indonesian ferry disaster, 34 confirmed dead

By John Harris, 9 July 2018

The tragedy is the third in a month, highlighting the woefully inadequate maritime infrastructure and regulatory apparatus that is the responsibility of successive governments.

Delhi Metro rail threatened with India’s essential services laws; New Zealand teachers vote in favour of strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

7 July 2018

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Former Malaysian prime minister arrested and charged

By Peter Symonds, 5 July 2018

The 1MDB corruption affair is bound up with tensions fuelled by global economic instability and geo-political conflicts, especially between the US and China.

After a protracted delay, full Malaysian ministry sworn in

By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2018

The fact that it has taken nearly two months to assemble a full ministry is a sign of the deep, underlying divisions within the five-party ruling coalition.

Thousands of West Bengal textile workers locked out; New Zealand nurses union cancels planned strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 June 2018

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Over 193 feared dead in another Indonesian ferry disaster

By John Harris, 23 June 2018

The wooden ferry was reportedly carrying over five times its legal capacity of 43 passengers and there were only 45 life jackets on-board.

New Malaysian government formed amid internal and global tensions

By John Roberts, 30 May 2018

Mahathir’s cabinet highlights the potential for conflict in the new coalition government.

Indian port workers to walk out, 30,000 municipal workers remain on strike in Haryana state

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

26 May 2018

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Delivery drivers strike in China, Korean Airline pilots and workers demand dismissal of company chairman

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

12 May 2018

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Malaysian election: A political shock in South East Asia

By John Roberts, 11 May 2018

The ousting of the 61-year UMNO-led government will have ramifications beyond Malaysia.

Trump and Abe meet amid war and domestic crisis

By Peter Symonds, 18 April 2018

The two longstanding military allies—the US and Japan—are united in their determination to contain and confront China, but are increasingly at odds over the means for doing so.

Malaysian parliament dissolved for snap general election

By John Roberts, 11 April 2018

The government is using every means at its disposal to undermine the opposition and reverse its poor results at the 2013 elections.

Aircraft carrier visit cements Vietnam’s alignment with Washington

By James Cogan, 10 March 2018

Vietnam’s strategic importance to US imperialism stems primarily from how it can be used against China.

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

10 March 2018

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Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 February 2018

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India strengthens ties with ASEAN countries

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 5 February 2018

Modi’s manoeuvres with ASEAN are part of India’s transformation into a frontline state in Washington’s strategic offensive against China.

Surat terbuka untuk Google: Berhentikan penyensoran Internet! Berhentikan blacklisting politik terhadap World Socialist Web Site!

15 January 2018

Google memanipulasi mesin pencariannya untuk membatasi kesadaran umum dan akses ke situs internet sosialis, anti-perang dan golongan-golongan kiri.

Malaysian opposition chooses autocratic Mahathir as top candidate

By John Roberts, 15 January 2018

The “reformasi” opposition’s endorsement of Mahathir as its prime ministerial candidate underscores its utterly opportunist politics.

Typhoon ravages southern Philippines

By John Roberts, 28 December 2017

A significant factor in the deaths and injuries was the failure of the authorities to evacuate people from the most vulnerable areas.

MSF survey provides clear evidence of the Burmese military’s mass murder

By John Roberts, 19 December 2017

Médecins Sans Frontières conservatively estimated that 6,700 Rohingya were killed in Burma’s Rakhine state in the month August 25 to September 24.

Thai junta uses arms find to justify political repression

By our reporter, 9 December 2017

Without a shred of evidence, the Thai military has immediately linked the arms cache to its political opponents.

Over 100 killed after typhoon batters Vietnam

By Kayla Costa, 10 November 2017

Typhoon Damrey, the biggest storm to have hit Vietnam in two decades, led to widespread suffering and the destruction of infrastructure.

Trump begins 12-day visit to Asia to build war coalition against North Korea

By James Cogan, 4 November 2017

The visit symbolically began with a visit by the president to the Pearl Habor naval base, where war between the US and Japan for dominance over Asia began in December 1941.

Indonesia: At least 47 dead in Jakarta factory fire

By John Roberts, 1 November 2017

The deadly blaze at a fireworks plant in Tangerang was the product of sweat shop conditions imposed by the company and Indonesian authorities.

Burmese government continues persecution of Rohingya minority

By Kayla Costa, 31 October 2017

The US is backing the Burmese regime, as it commits “killings, torture, rape and arson” against the Rohingya ethnic minority.

Cambodian government expels opposition party from parliament

By John Roberts, 30 October 2017

The measures will effectively wipe out the results of two elections and give the Cambodian People’s Party unchallengeable control of every level of government.

Australian troops sent to the Philippines despite end of Marawi siege

By Mike Head, 27 October 2017

Another far-reaching military commitment has been made without any parliamentary debate, let alone any approval by the Australian population.