Asia

EU and Japan sign trade deal

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2018

The deal was five years in the making but the impetus to have it finalised was increased by the US trade war measures that have targeted both parties.

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.

Former Pakistan PM Sharif arrested in run-up to election

By Sampath Perera, 17 July 2018

Pakistani state authorities banned all public gatherings in Sharif’s home town prior to his arrival, suspended mobile services, and deployed thousands of police and paramilitary Rangers.

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.

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.

US provocatively sends two warships through Taiwan Strait

By Peter Symonds, 10 July 2018

The naval transit coincided with the escalating trade war between the US and China, marked by the implementation of the Trump administration’s 25 percent tariff on $34 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Floods and landslides in Japan leave more than 100 dead

By Ben McGrath, 10 July 2018

Natural disasters in Japan are increasing as a result of climate change, but nothing is being done to address this crisis.

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.

After nuclear talks, North Korea denounces Washington’s “gangster-like” demands

By Peter Symonds, 9 July 2018

The lack of progress towards any agreement between Washington and Pyongyang threatens a rapid slide back towards confrontation and war.

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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India: Victims of police attack on Tuticorin protests speak out

By Sasi Kumar and Moses Rajkumar, 5 July 2018

WSWS reporters interviewed survivors of the police assault on demonstrators demanding the closure of the Sterlite copper smelter.

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.

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.”

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.

Tensions deepen between Beijing and Taipei

By Robert Campion, 3 July 2018

The growing conflict over Taiwan is the result of a US campaign to step up direct economic and military pressure on Beijing.

Trump under pressure from US intelligence agencies over North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 2 July 2018

The Washington Post, citing unnamed US intelligence officials and undisclosed “evidence,” claimed that North Korea was planning to deceive the US over its pledge to denuclearise.

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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Tensions continue as US defence secretary visits China

By Peter Symonds, 28 June 2018

While both sides sought to put a positive spin on the trip, relations have deteriorated as a result of Washington’s confrontational stance toward Beijing.

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.

Bangladesh government intensifies “anti-drug” crackdown

By Wimal Perera, 25 June 2018

The crackdown is being used to target political opponents and suppress the mounting popular opposition to Hasina’s big business policies.

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.

US cancels military drills, but maintains sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 21 June 2018

The tentative moves toward ending the confrontation on the Korean Peninsula could rapidly fall apart if North Korea fails to meet all the US demands.

Nine million truck drivers across India strike over increasing fuel prices

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 19 June 2018

Although fuel price hikes are affecting working people as a whole, the union bureaucrats are blocking any united struggle against this and other government austerity measures.

Indian workers and students demand freedom for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 15 June 2018

Indian Trotskyists campaigned last week in Kolkata and Sriperumbudur as part of the international struggle to defend the WikiLeaks editor.

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.

Trump and Kim prepare for Tuesday’s unpredictable summit

By Ben McGrath, 11 June 2018

No matter the results of the meeting, it will only exacerbate the underlying US conflict with China.

Japan’s ruling party calls for a doubling of military expenditure

By Kurt Brown, 9 June 2018

Tokyo’s agenda increases the danger of war and the suppression of democratic rights at home.

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 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.

US ramps up threats to China and North Korea

By Mike Head, 4 June 2018

Whatever the outcome of a Trump-Kim summit, the US confrontation with China will escalate.

Indian garment workers demand higher pay, teachers demonstrate in China

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

2 June 2018

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

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.

Rohingya refugees face catastrophe in Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 31 May 2018

Despite hypocritical statements of concern by the major world powers, Rohingya are at risk from landslides, floods and epidemics this monsoon season.

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.

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.

War danger remains despite North and South Korean leaders holding second summit

By Ben McGrath, 28 May 2018

Trump’s cancellation of his summit with Kim was designed to wring further concessions from Pyongyang, while sending a warning to China.

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

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

Trump calls off summit with North Korea

By James Cogan, 25 May 2018

Even as it threatens nuclear war, the Trump administration has not given up on trying to draw North Korea into a rapprochement.

Fearful of widening mass anger over police shootings

Indian authorities shut down polluting copper plant in Tuticorin

By Deepal Jayasekera, 25 May 2018

Sections of the ruling elite fear the police attacks in Tuticorin will fuel already volatile social tensions across India.

Trump offers North Korea “incremental” denuclearisation ahead of planned summit

By James Cogan, 23 May 2018

Trump and the South Korean president both exuded optimism that talks would ultimately proceed on US terms, even if not on June 12.

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.

Bangladesh students demonstrate over job quota system

By Wimal Perera, 19 May 2018

Protesting students face government repression, severe unemployment and lack of facilities.

US blames China for renewed tensions with North Korea

By James Cogan, 18 May 2018

Citing the “Libyan model,” Trump implied that North Korea would face “total decimation” if no agreement is reached.

India: Varanasi flyover bridge collapse kills 18

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 18 May 2018

The tragedy is a further indication that government authorities and construction companies are endangering the safety of workers and the public as a whole.

Japan maneuvering to prevent being left out on North Korean negotiations

By Ben McGrath, 17 May 2018

Japan is trying to justify ongoing military pressure on North Korea, and ultimately China, in the event of an agreement between Pyongyang and Washington.

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.

North Korea denounces US “provocation” and threatens to cancel talks with Trump

By James Cogan, 16 May 2018

The Trump administration has, to a great extent, boxed both itself and North Korea into a corner.

Union sellout facilitates South Korean General Motors restructuring plans

By Ben McGrath, 16 May 2018

The KMWU isolated workers and forced through the approval of an agreement enabling a pro-business restructuring by the auto corporation.

India’s BJP government creates new category of workers who can be fired at will

By Kranti Kumara, 16 May 2018

Even the appellation “fixed-term employment” is a misnomer, since an employer can terminate a worker’s contract at any time and without providing a rupee in severance pay.

Machines: An unflinching look at an Indian textile mill

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 15 May 2018

Rahul Jain’s austere but effective documentary focuses on one of the hundreds of textile plants in Gujarat state on India’s west coast.

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.

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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Japan, China and South Korea hold talks on North Korea and trade

By Ben McGrath, 11 May 2018

While North Korea dominated the summit, concerns over US protectionist measures may result in improved relations between the three Asian neighbors.

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.

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.

Chinese construction workers and crane operators protest on May Day

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 May 2018

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

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.

Income inequality worsening in Bangladesh

By Sujeewa Amaranath, 1 May 2018

Official statistics contradict World Bank and the Bangladeshi government claims of “remarkable progress in poverty reduction.”

Trump to meet North Korean leader in “three or four weeks”

By James Cogan, 30 April 2018

Any talks could entirely break down over the definition of “denuclearisation” and a “nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”

Indian Stalinist congress opts for alliance with big business Congress Party

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 30 April 2018

The corporate media has almost universally welcomed the CPM’s overture to the Congress, calculating that it will strengthen the ruling elite against the working class.

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.

Trump lauds “declaration for peace” on Korean Peninsula

By James Cogan, 28 April 2018

The political shift in barely two months—from ominous threats of war to the Korean leaders hugging each other—is a measure of the volatility produced by growing US-China tensions.

North and South Korea hold “peace” summit

By James Cogan, 27 April 2018

Any concrete development toward a rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula on US-dictated terms will be viewed with immense concern in Beijing.

Seychelles opposition alliance rejects India’s plans for military base

By Rohantha De Silva, 25 April 2018

India’s move to establish a military base in Seychelles is part of its drive for strategic dominance of the Indian Ocean.

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.

India’s BJP government imposes death penalty for child rape

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 24 April 2018

The BJP ordinance is an attempt to divert attention from the role its leaders in Jammu and Kashmir have played in shielding those who raped and murdered an eight-year-old Muslim girl.

Australian and Chinese navy ships reportedly face off in the South China Sea

By Gary Alvernia, 24 April 2018

International media outlets gave the incident prominent coverage, depicting it as a “Chinese challenge” to Australian warships.

BJP leaders’ cover-up of rape and murder of Kashmiri Muslim girl provokes outrage across India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 20 April 2018

Asifa Bano was repeatedly raped, then killed in what police now concede was a conspiracy aimed at terrorizing and forcing the semi-nomadic Bakkarwal from Jammu and Kashmir’s Kathua District.

Trump’s secret diplomacy with North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 19 April 2018

The Trump administration senses the possibility of advancing US imperialism’s interests in Asia against its chief rivals, Russia and China, and potential competitors such as Japan.

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.

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.

Indian Stalinists at loggerheads over what right-wing course to follow

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 18 April 2018

At issue in the factional struggle is how to align with the Congress Party, until recently the Indian bourgeoisie’s preferred party of government.

Indian Trotskyists hold public meeting in Chennai against Internet censorship

By our correspondents, 16 April 2018

Speakers explained the connection between the attack on free speech, the drive to war and the rising struggles of the working class.

US and North Korean officials discuss Trump-Kim summit

By Peter Symonds, 14 April 2018

The cynical character of Trump’s decision to meet with Kim Jong-un is underscored by the fact that two militarists—Pompeo and Bolton—are in charge of preparing the summit.

Thousands of oil tanker drivers in Odisha, India to strike next week for higher pay

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

14 April 2018

The Odisha tanker drivers are employed by contractors for the state-owned oil corporations and are only paid about $US115 per month.

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.

Japan activates first Marine brigade since World War II

By Peter Symonds, 10 April 2018

The new Marine brigade is not simply defensive in character but could be used during a Japanese war of aggression far from its shores.

Trump administration officials try to calm trade war fears

By Nick Beams, 9 April 2018

White House National Trade Council director Peter Navarro underscored the crucial importance of hi-tech development, both for US economic and military supremacy.

India: Modi government accelerates anti-worker privatization drive

By Kranti Kumara, 9 April 2018

A key aim of the privatization drive is to cut jobs, impose speed-ups, and further erode wages and working conditions, making India more attractive to investors.

Bangladesh garment workers jailed on bogus attempted murder charges

By Wimal Perera, 9 April 2018

The charges follow a series of provocations against workers at the Ashiana Garments plant, south of Dhaka.

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.

Russia-Japan dispute over Kurils reflects mounting tensions in North East Asia

By Gary Alvernia, 5 April 2018

Russia is placing warplanes in the Kuril Islands in response to the Japanese government’s remilitarisation and US threats of war against North Korea.

April 8, public meeting in Chennai, India

Oppose Internet censorship! Defend freedom of speech!

By the supporters group of the ICFI in India, 3 April 2018

The supporters group of the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) in India will hold a public meeting in Chennai on April 8 against Internet censorship.

Hundreds of Korean shipyard workers strike against wage and job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

31 March 2018

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

North Korean leader holds unannounced talks in China

By Peter Symonds, 28 March 2018

Facing mounting threats from the Trump administration, China and North Korea are under pressure to mend an increasingly frosty relationship.

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.

Scandal surrounding Japanese prime minister deepens

By Ben McGrath, 26 March 2018

The affair highlights the intimate connections between the government and far-right extremist groups like Nippon Kaigi.

Chinese president expounds on his nationalist “dream”

By Peter Symonds, 22 March 2018

Xi’s consolidation as China’s political strongman takes place amid growing US threats of trade war and war, as well as intense social tensions at home.

Maruti Suzuki workers hold protest demanding release of 13 framed-up colleagues

By Saman Gunadasa, 21 March 2018

The demonstration marked one year since Maruti Suzuki workers’ leaders were sentenced to life in prison on politically-motivated charges.