South Asia

State of siege in Kashmir: A warning to the international working class

By Bill Van Auken, 17 August 2019

Western governments and media have maintained virtual silence over the police state crackdown against 13 million Kashmiris.

India’s unprecedented lockdown of Kashmir in eleventh day

By K. Ratnayake, 15 August 2019

India’s Hindu supremacist BJP government has imposed a brutal lockdown to suppress mass opposition to its subjecting Indian-held Kashmir to permanent central government domination.

Persecuted Sri Lankan writer released on bail

By Vimukthi Vidarshana, 13 August 2019

Although Shakthika Sathkumara is out on bail, the threat to his freedom of expression and that of other artists remains.

New Delhi’s assault on Kashmir and the fight against communal reaction, imperialism, and war

By Keith Jones, 10 August 2019

With the aim of inciting communal reaction against mounting social opposition and strengthening its hand against Pakistan and China, India’s BJP government has illegally stripped Jammu and Kashmir of its special status.

Indo-Pakistani conflict sharpens with New Delhi’s assault on Kashmir

By Keith Jones, 9 August 2019

In response to India’s aggressive and patently illegal moves to tighten its control over disputed Kashmir, Pakistan has taken a raft of retaliatory measures and issued thinly-veiled war threats.

To enforce Monday’s constitutional coup

India dramatically intensifies repression in Kashmir

By Keith Jones, 8 August 2019

India’s ruling elite has rallied behind the BJP-led state assault on Jammu and Kashmir, even while conceding that it is a “roll of the dice” fraught with domestic and geopolitical “risk.”

Sri Lankan parliamentary parties back extension of emergency rule

By Saman Gunadasa, 7 August 2019

The endorsement came four days after President Sirisena declared that the railways and public transport were essential services, effectively banning strikes in those sectors.

India’s Hindu supremacist government abrogates Kashmir’s autonomy

By Keith Jones, 6 August 2019

Yesterday’s actions will enflame tensions with Pakistan, and constitute a further stage in the Indian ruling elite’s turn toward authoritarian forms of rule and promotion of Hindu communal reaction.

Sri Lanka: Colombo University students call for release of Julian Assange

By our reporters, 6 August 2019

“American imperialism is now seeking its revenge against Assange because he told the truth.”

Jailed Sri Lankan writer Shakthika Sathkumara defends Julian Assange

By our reporters, 6 August 2019

“The system that has put Assange behind bars is the same system responsible for putting me behind bars in Sri Lanka.”

Bangladesh primary school teachers demand government nationalise schools

By Wimal Perera, 5 August 2019

Even if non-government primary schools are taken over by the Hasina government there is no guarantee that teachers and school staff will be regularly paid.

Indian doctors hold national 24-hour walkout; Chinese auto workers strike; Australian railway workers vote for industrial action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

3 August 2019

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

Millions displaced and hundreds killed by monsoonal floods in South Asia

By Rohantha De Silva, 31 July 2019

South Asian governments have responded with apathy and indifference toward the poverty-stricken people severely impacted by the floods.

Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka intensifies the campaign to free Julian Assange

By our correspondents, 22 July 2019

The Sri Lankan Trotskyists held a well-attended public meeting in Colombo and a powerful rally in Jaffna.

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna calls for removal of Sri Lankan government

By K. Ratnayake, 18 July 2019

Under conditions of political crisis, in which the main parties of government are widely discredited, the JVP is proposing itself as the party capable of saving the capitalist system.

Sri Lankan prime minister promotes US defence agreement

By Vijith Samarasinghe and K. Ratnayake, 15 July 2019

Although Wickremesinghe has tabled a planned Status of Forces Agreement with the US, its contents and political implications remain a secret for millions of Sri Lankans.

Tamil Nadu government bans strikes in auto component industries

By Arun Kumar and Kranti Kumara, 6 July 2019

The ruling class's major goal is to transform India into a premier center of global auto manufacturing by imposing brutal working conditions.

Sri Lankan railway unions cave in to government’s strike ban

By Saman Gunadasa, 1 July 2019

The RTUA’s betrayal has once again demonstrated that workers cannot defend their democratic rights and fight for jobs and decent working conditions through the trade unions.

Sharp downturn in Sri Lankan economic growth

By Dilruwan Vithanage, 27 June 2019

International credit rating agency Moody’s revised down its prediction for this year from 3.4 percent to 2.6 percent.

Severe water shortage afflicts Chennai, India’s fourth-largest metro area

By Arun Kumar, 25 June 2019

While the authorities have sought to blame the crisis on the failure of the monsoon, the real cause of the acute water shortage is the criminal indifference of successive central and state governments to people’s basic needs.

“Water has been made a commodity for profit”—Chennai residents speak out on city’s water crisis

By a WSWS Reporting Team, 25 June 2019

WSWS reporters spoke with workers and other impoverished residents of Chennai about the severe water crisis afflicting India’s fourth largest metropolitan area.

Sri Lankan government moves to criminalise “fake news”

By Naveen Dewage, 19 June 2019

Colombo’s new laws to censor and control the internet and social media are moves towards the establishment of dictatorial forms of rule.

Sri Lankan workers need a socialist program to defeat Colombo’s police-state preparations

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 12 June 2019

All factions of the warring Sri Lankan bourgeoisie are united in the use of communalism to divide the working class and in moves towards police-state rule.

Sri Lankan Trotskyists win strong support for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

By our correspondents, 7 June 2019

University students voice their concerns about the US-led assaults on Assange and Manning and speak out in defence of free speech.

Sri Lankan Muslim ministers resign amid growing threats of anti-Muslim violence

By K. Ratnayake, 6 June 2019

Every faction of the ruling elite is systematically using Islamophobia to divide the working class along ethnic and religious lines as part of its preparations for autocratic forms of rule.

Arch-communalist Modi sworn-in as India’s prime minister for second time

By Deepal Jayasekera, 1 June 2019

Big business, reports the Economic Times, wants the government placed on a “war footing” to rapidly implement “investor friendly reforms.”

Pakistan government prepares savage austerity following IMF “bailout”

By Sampath Perera, 31 May 2019

Washington is seeking to exploit Pakistan’s fiscal and economic crisis to disrupt Islamabad’s growing economic and strategic ties with China.

Why ISIS launched a terror attack on Sri Lanka

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 29 May 2019

The US has, over the past four years, taken steps to transform Sri Lanka into an important base for its military operations throughout the region, including the Middle East.

Stalinist CPM and CPI suffer meltdown in India’s national election

By Deepal Jayasekera, 27 May 2019

The Stalinists’ electoral debacle is the outcome of their decades-long political suppression of the working class and key role in implementing a “pro-market,” “pro-investor” agenda.

Germany continues deportations to Afghanistan

By Marianne Arens, 25 May 2019

Just days before the European elections, the charter flight to the war-torn country exposes the deadly practice carried out by both the federal and state governments.

Indian big business propels Modi and his Hindu supremacist BJP to a second term

By Keith Jones, 24 May 2019

For decades the Stalinists have justified their support for right-wing governments by claiming this would block the BJP’s path to power, but the end result is that the BJP and Hindu right are a greater menace than ever.

Tamil nationalists support anti-Muslim witch-hunt in Sri Lanka

By V. Gnana and K. Nesan, 24 May 2019

The bourgeois Tamil National Alliance is joining hands with the government as it sets up a police state targeting the entire working class.

The Indian elections and the fight to free the Maruti Suzuki class war prisoners

By Saman Gunadasa, 23 May 2019

Completely blacked out from the election campaign has been any discussion of the plight of the 13 Maruti Suzuki workers who have been jailed for life on frame-up murder charges.

Indian Elections:

Stalinist CPM faces debacle in its West Bengal “bastion”

By Deepal Jayasekera, 22 May 2019

Much of the CPM’s apparatus has defected either to the right-wing Trinamool Congress or the Hindu supremacist BJP of Narendra Modi.

Ten years after civil war ends, Sri Lankan ruling elites prepare for class war

By Pradeep Ramanayake and K. Ratnayake, 22 May 2019

The entire political establishment is preparing another bogus “war on terror” which is targeting the island’s Muslims, but will also be used to suppress the opposition of the working class.

Muslim victims of violence in Sri Lanka speak to the WSWS

By our reporters, 17 May 2019

WSWS reporters visiting Minuwangoda, a bustling town in the Gampaha district of Sri Lanka, discovered a ghost town.

Defeat the government’s police-military dictatorial plans

SEP/IYSSE public meeting in Colombo on Sri Lankan emergency declaration

17 May 2019

The meeting will discuss the revolutionary socialist perspective needed to defend the democratic and social rights of working people.

ICFI supporters hold rally in India to demand freedom for Assange and Manning

By our correspondents, 16 May 2019

The rally in the capital of the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu attracted the attention of workers and youth.

Washington uses terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka to strengthen ties with Colombo

By Rohantha De Silva, 11 May 2019

The “assistance” in the terror investigations is to bind Sri Lanka ever-more closely as Washington steps up its aggressive confrontation with China.

Imperialist war, the working-class upsurge in the Mideast and North Africa, and the strategy of Permanent Revolution

By Keith Jones, 10 May 2019

We are publishing here the text of the speech to the 2019 International May Day Online Rally delivered by Keith Jones.

Anti-Muslim witch-hunt after terrorist bombings in Sri Lanka

By our correspondents, 8 May 2019

Alongside a vicious campaign of anti-Muslim propaganda, hundreds of people have been arrested in house-to-house police operations.

India’s election and the revolutionary program to oppose austerity, war and communal reaction

By Keith Jones, 8 May 2019

The BJP’s turn to militarism and unabashed communal reaction is animated, above all, by its fear of growing social opposition.

SEP (Sri Lanka) holds successful May Day meeting in Colombo, despite government efforts to bar celebrations

By our reporters, 3 May 2019

Some 200 workers, students, youth, professionals and housewives from areas throughout the island attended the meeting.

Sri Lankan SEP denounces political parties’ support for President Sirisena’s police state measures

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 2 May 2019

The SEP warns that the main target of the repressive measures is not Islamic extremists, but working people and their struggles against the government’s austerity agenda.

Tea plantation workers need a global strategy

By Saman Gunadasa, 1 May 2019

Tea plantation workers in India, Kenya and Sri Lanka can end their brutal exploitation only by breaking from the unions and fighting for a unified socialist and internationalist strategy.

As class struggle sharpens,

Indian Stalinists stump for right-wing bourgeois government

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 1 May 2019

India’s Stalinist parliamentary parties have redoubled their efforts to subordinate the working class to the parties and putrid state institutions of the Indian bourgeoisie.

Sri Lankan president steps up military crackdown

By K. Ratnayake, 27 April 2019

The all-party conference convened yesterday in the wake of Sunday’s terrorist bombings rubberstamped the draconian police-state measures being rapidly brought into force.

Sri Lankan president calls “all-party conference” to rubberstamp emergency powers

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 25 April 2019

Following Sunday’s terrorist bombings, the conference has been called to shore up capitalist rule amid an acute political crisis.

After terrorist bombings, Sri Lankan government imposes draconian national emergency

By K. Ratnayake and Peter Symonds, 23 April 2019

The World Socialist Web Site condemns the horrendous bombings, which indiscriminately killed innocent men, women and children, and have already provided the pretext for sweeping anti-democratic measures.

At least 290 killed in terrorist bomb attacks in Sri Lanka

By K. Ratnayake, 22 April 2019

Despite an intelligence alert 10 days before, both the government and police failed to warn the public and took little or no action to prevent the terrible bombings.

Sri Lankan bomb survivors and local residents denounce terror attacks

By our correspondents, 22 April 2019

“The aim of this attack could be to instigate communalism and turmoil. It must be totally condemned.”

SEP and IYSSE in Sri Lanka rally to defend Assange and Manning

By our reporters, 17 April 2019

Sri Lankan media outlets, including Veerakesari, Sri Lanka’s main Tamil-language daily newspaper, covered the SEP and IYSSE demonstration in Colombo.

SEP (Sri Lanka) calls urgent picket to defend Assange and Manning

16 April 2019

The protest called by the SEP and IYSSE will be held at 4 pm today at Fort Railway Station, Colombo.

Communalist taunts, bellicose threats, phony promises

India’s election descends into the mire

By Keith Jones, 16 April 2019

With each week, the election campaign in the world’s “largest democracy” grows more toxic.

Sri Lankan writer imprisoned at instigation of Buddhist extremists

By our correspondents, 13 April 2019

The SEP and the IYSSE condemn the arrest of award-winning Sri Lankan author Shakthika Sathkumara and demand his immediate release.

Arbitrary wage cuts imposed on Sri Lankan estate workers

By W.A. Sunil, 12 April 2019

The Thomson Reuters Foundation research report shows that illegal pay deductions and high workloads are widespread in the plantations.

Samjhauta Express bombing:

Indian Court allows violent Hindu supremacists to go scot-free

By Kranti Kumara, 9 April 2019

In what is a consistent pattern in cases involving Hindu communalist violence against Muslims, an Indian court has exonerated four Hindu extremists implicated in a 2007 bombing that killed 68.

Sri Lankan government prepares new anti-terrorism laws

By Dilruwan Vithanage and Saman Gunadasa, 9 April 2019

The new bill surpasses the hated PTA measures and will be used to suppress the upsurge of opposition against Colombo’s harsh austerity measures.

Office workers killed in building fires in Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 6 April 2019

Hundreds of residents have been killed or injured in recent years by the regularly occurring fires in the city.

UNHRC ignores Sri Lanka’s failure to investigate war crimes

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 3 April 2019

The UNHRC resolution bogusly praised Colombo’s “positive steps” on human rights and gave it two more years to implement previous unfulfilled pledges.

Sri Lankans driven to suicide by exorbitant debt repayments

By Saman Gunadasa, 28 March 2019

Most of those who committed suicide were from the war-ravaged Vavuniya and Jaffna districts in the island’s north and Batticalao in the east.

Amidst mounting social opposition

Indian elite nervously prepares for national elections

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 27 March 2019

Among India’s workers and toilers there is deep-rooted anger against not only the ruling BJP, but against the ruinous outcome of three decades of “pro-investor” reform.

Sri Lankan think tank warns about growing levels of social inequality

By Dilruwan Vithanage, 26 March 2019

In 2016, the richest 10 percent earned the equivalent of the total amount earned by 70 percent of all households per year.

Plantation workers demand freedom for Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning and for jailed Maruti Suzuki workers

By our correspondent, 21 March 2019

Last Sunday’s conference in Sri Lanka’s central hills district endorsed resolutions condemning the persecution of Assange, Manning and Maruti-Suzuki workers in India.

Reports underscore how close India and Pakistan came to all-out war in late February

By Keith Jones, 20 March 2019

Just three weeks ago, India and Pakistan became the first nuclear-armed powers to ever attack each other with warplanes.

Sri Lanka: Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee and SEP hold powerful conference

By our correspondents, 20 March 2019

Over 100 people participated, including estate workers, workers from a diverse range of trades, students and a delegation from Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged northern province.

Victimized Indian autoworker and leader of fight to free framed-up workers speaks to WSWS:

Jailing the Maruti Suzuki workers for life “is meant to encourage the capitalists to further enslave the working class”

By our reporters, 18 March 2019

Jitender Dhankhar—a victimized Maruti Suzuki worker and leader of the fight to free the 13 of his former co-workers at the Manesar car assembly plant who have been jailed for life on frame-up charges—has provided the following interview to the World Socialist Web Site.

Support grows for Sri Lankan plantation workers’ conference

By our correspondents, 16 March 2019

Campaign teams hold discussions with workers on estates across the country’s central hill district.

The US reinforces political and military relations with the Maldives

By Rohantha De Silva, 15 March 2019

The foreign minister’s US trip illustrates how far the new Maldivian government is distancing itself from China.

IMF endorses Sri Lankan government budget

By Saman Gunadasa, 14 March 2019

In line with the IMF’s austerity demands, the government budget contains new taxes and rate rises as well as increased spending on the military and the police.

India: Modi government suppresses disastrous unemployment report

By Kranti Kumara, 13 March 2019

According to the government’s own Labour Force Survey, India’s unemployment rate is the highest in 45 years.

Indian Trotskyists hold Kolkata public meeting to celebrate 80th anniversary of the Fourth International

By our correspondents, 13 March 2019

Sunday’s event was held against the background of intense political and military tension and the danger of war between India and Pakistan, with deadly consequences for millions of people in the region.

SEP in Sri Lanka wins strong support for plantation workers’ conference

By our reporters, 9 March 2019

Plantation workers welcomed SEP and IYSSE campaigners while angrily denouncing the plantation unions’ betrayal of their wage strike.

Demand the unconditional reinstatement of Sri Lankan plantation worker S. Balasubramaniyam!

By M. Thevarajah and W.A. Sunil, 7 March 2019

Balasubramaniyam’s sacking is part of a broader attack on estate workers by the plantation companies and the government.

Days after coming to the brink of all-out war

India and Pakistan stoke chauvinism, exchange threats

By Deepal Jayasekera, 6 March 2019

Although cross-border shelling has reportedly declined since Sunday, continuing tensions between South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed states have left the region on the brink of a catastrophic war.

SEP meetings launch Tamil edition of The Russian Revolution and the Unfinished Twentieth Century

By our correspondents, 6 March 2019

The meetings at Hatton in Sri Lanka’s central plantation district and Jaffna, in the war-ravaged north, attracted important layers of workers and youth.

India-Pakistan war tensions escalate

By Deepal Jayasekera, 4 March 2019

At least six civilians and two Pakistani soldiers have been killed as a result of cross-border shelling from both sides along the Line of Control.

India and Pakistan tobogganing toward a catastrophic war

By Keith Jones, 2 March 2019

India and Pakistan are teetering on the brink of what would be the first-ever war between nuclear-armed states.

India and Pakistan issue fresh war threats

By K. Ratnayake, 1 March 2019

Even as Islamabad agreed to release a captured Indian pilot as a “peace gesture,” India and Pakistan continued their war preparations.

Nuclear-armed India, Pakistan on brink of all-out war

By K. Ratnayake, 28 February 2019

Pakistan announced Wednesday that it had struck targets in India after India carried out a large-scale bombing raid deep in Pakistan on Tuesday morning.

US naval chief denounces China and calls for stronger military partnership with Sri Lanka

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 28 February 2019

Sri Lanka’s strategic location alongside the world’s busiest shipping route is vital to increasingly aggressive US geo-strategic and military manoeuvres against China.

Sri Lankan plantation companies reap huge profits while attacking workers’ wages and conditions

By Saman Gunadasa, 27 February 2019

Plantation workers’ wages are being lowered while giant tea industry corporations and local companies alike thrive through the ruthless exploitation of their workforce.

Frontline Socialist Party prepares political trap for Sri Lankan plantation workers

By K. Ratnayake, 21 February 2019

The FSP is attempting to prevent plantation workers from breaking with the unions and developing an independent struggle against the employers and the government.

The Progressive Revolution: Modern Art for a New India

Modern Indian art at the Asia Society Museum in New York

By Josh Varlin and Evan Cohen, 20 February 2019

The Progressive Artists’ Group brought together remarkable artists whose works express the democratic and anti-imperialist sentiments of millions as the British Raj ended.

Indian government intensifies retaliatory threats against Pakistan

By Deepal Jayasekera, 19 February 2019

Any Indian military strike could easily lead to a tit-for-tat escalation and rapidly cascade into an all-out war between South Asia’s rival nuclear-armed states.

Sri Lankan tea plantation workers protest victimisations

By our reporters, 19 February 2019

Demonstrators denounced the unions’ betrayal of recent wage strikes and demanded management immediately end the frame-up of militant Annfield Estate workers.

Indian government seizes on Kashmir attack to ratchet up tensions with Pakistan

By Deepal Jayasekera, 16 February 2019

New Delhi’s denunciations and blood-curdling threats are all but an announcement of an impending Indian military strike on Pakistan.

Sri Lankan president denounces opponents of the death penalty

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 15 February 2019

Sirisena not only wants reinstatement of executions but the endorsement of all human rights organisations.

Sri Lanka: SEP and Abbotsleigh workers’ committee organise picket to oppose witch hunt in plantations

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

The fight against the witch hunt in the plantations is bound up with the defence of the democratic rights of the working class from the onslaught of the capitalist class.

Sri Lankan plantation companies rule out further wage increases after union sellout

By W.A. Sunil, 13 February 2019

The unions’ betrayal of protracted industrial and political action has cleared the way for further attacks on workers by the plantation companies.

“It is necessary to base our struggle not on one company or on one nation, but by mobilizing the workers of the world”

Maruti Suzuki workers in India send greetings to February 9 protest

12 February 2019

Jitender Dhankar, a member of the provisional committee of the Maruti Suzuki Workers Union (MSWU) in India, sent a message of solidarity to the workers and young people who participated in the February 9 demonstration against the factory closures and mass layoffs by General Motors.

The way forward to win wages and social rights

Workers Action Committee in Sri Lanka calls plantation workers’ conference

By the Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee, 12 February 2019

The conference will discuss the lessons of the recent plantation workers’ struggle and the political strategy needed to win their demands.

Sri Lankan president’s Independence Day speech exposes deep crisis of rule

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 9 February 2019

Sirisena bemoaned the failure of successive governments but offered no solution, amid ongoing infighting in ruling circles and mounting opposition by working people to the worsening social crisis.

Over 7,000 Bangladesh garment workers sacked after wage protests

By Wimal Perera, 8 February 2019

While the garment trade unions publicly bewail the mass sackings and arrests, these organisations have created the political conditions for the crackdown.

Sri Lankan SEP public meetings to launch Tamil edition of The Russian Revolution and the Unfinished Twentieth Century

7 February 2019

The book is critical in exposing the many lies perpetrated about the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the subsequent degeneration of the Soviet Union.

India and the Maldives strengthen military ties

By Rohantha De Silva, 5 February 2019

In a clear jab against China, the two countries agreed not to allow their territories to “be used for any activity that is hostile to each other’s interest.”

Sri Lanka: 16 families homeless after fire at Bogawantalawa tea plantation

By A. Suresh and M. Thevarajah, 4 February 2019

The disaster again highlights the difficult and dangerous conditions facing Sri Lankan plantation workers and their families.

India: Unions betray Tamil Nadu teachers’ and government workers’ strike

By Arun Kumar, 1 February 2019

The unions have cynically claimed that the shutdown of all industrial action is “temporary.”

IMF to resume Sri Lankan loan program discussions

By Saman Gunadasa, 31 January 2019

The Sri Lankan government has assured the IMF of its commitment to “strong” austerity measures.

Indian state government fires hundreds of teachers as Tamil Nadu strike faces a crossroads

By Arun Kumar, 30 January 2019

By isolating striking teachers and government workers, the JACTTO-GEO, which has hundreds of thousands of members, has allowed the state government to intensify its anti-democratic attacks.