BURMA - The Irrawaddy Magazine
Burma Rebels, Villagers Destroy Poppy Crops

Rebel soldiers in eastern Burma are battling not with government forces, but against opium crops that are destroying communities as they succumb to drug addiction.

Burma Govt Says ‘Public Service,’ Journalists See Propaganda

Rangoon-based journalists say they cannot accept a public service media bill submitted to Parliament by the government this week, criticizing the proposal as self-serving.

Govt, Army and Ethnic Groups Closing Differences, Forging New Approach

“We were told the Tatmadaw is totally committed to peace,” says ethnic representative, as government, army and ethnic groups inch closer to forging joint ceasefire.

Upper House Approves Ban on Politics for Non-Citizens

Burma’s Upper House removed the right of temporary citizenship card holders to form parties, a decision that could further curtail the rights of Rohingya Muslims.

Jade Prospectors Face a Bumpy Road to Riches

A journey into northern Burma’s jade-mining town reveals a landscape scarred by years of exploitation, and hopeful miners trying to dig up a fortune.

Official Confirms Burma By-Elections Due This Year

A second by-election since President Thein Sein took power will take place this year for some 30 vacant seats in the Union and state-level parliaments.

President Signs New Media Laws, to Mixed Reaction From Journalists

The signing of two new laws marks the official end of a draconian 1962 press law, yet many journalists remain concerned over remaining media restrictions.

Kachin Children Separated From Parents, Brought Together by War

About 200 children living at a border IDP camp are—for the time being, at least—effectively orphans of the conflict in northern Burma.

Court Hears Witnesses in Case Against Unity Journalists

A court questioned witnesses in the case of the detained CEO and four journalists of Unity Journal, who are charged with revealing state secrets.

Spiritual, Political Leaders Question Need for Burma Religious Law

With a commission established to draft a law on protection of race and religion, President Thein Sein is accused of exploiting religion for political gain.

Festival Patron Suu Kyi to Meet Mandalay Writers Who Boycotted

The opposition leader will meet with writers from Mandalay whom she did not see during an international literary festival that the contingent boycotted last month.

Crackdown Under Way on Illicit Thai Passport Trade

After passengers on missing flight MH370 boarded with passports stolen in Thailand, authorities cracked down on the passport trade, which reportedly also involves Burmese migrants.

Burma Parliament Likely to Approve Electricity Price Rise

The President’s Office has proposed a plan to increase electricity prices for large-scale consumers, which could save more than $270 million in government spending.

Burma Will Allow MH370 Search to Continue in Its Territory: Official

An official at the Department of Civil Aviation says Burma is prepared to grant Malaysia permission to continue the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight in its waters.

Peace Brokers Lack a Mandate: Burma Expert

Journalist Bertil Lintner criticizes the peace industry forming in Burma, and says existing ceasefires with the country’s ethnic armed groups are fragile.

Dolphins Imperiled as Irrawaddy River’s Fisheries Decline

Researchers say environmental degradation and illegal fishing along Burma’s largest river are threatening a vital source of food for the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin.

Burma’s Thein Sein Pays Visit to Kachin State

Ethnic leaders welcome the president’s long-awaited, but brief, visit to the war-afflicted state in northern Burma.

Dawei Village to Sue Thai Mining Firm Over Environmental Impacts

Dawei District villagers will sue a Thai company and a Burmese state-owned firm over environmental damage caused by the Heinda tin mine.

Burma President Approves Consumer Protection Law

As a new law is passed to protect consumers from unsafe or improper products, observers say law enforcement must be more robust.

Wirathu Joins Arakanese Protest Against Census

Nationalist monk U Wirathu joins protests by Arakanese Buddhists, who oppose the upcoming census because it allows Rohingya to register their identity as they wish.