Officers of the Shan State Army-North do not believe the current lull in the Burma Army’s two-month offensive is likely to last more than a few days.
MEIKTILA, Mandalay Division — In the sea of the National League for Democracy’s overwhelming victory in Burma’s Nov. 8 elections there was a small island of success for the ruling party. Victory for the NLD in Meiktila, a city in central Mandalay Division, had seemed assured. But at a polling station on the night of […]
CHIANG MAI, Thailand — While more than 33 million voters across Burma will be eligible to cast their ballots on Sunday, many of the 110,000 refugees on the other side of the Thai border are barely aware of the election at all. Few show any interest in the poll, and fewer still believe the result […]
RANGOON — When millions of Burmese citizens go to the polls on Nov. 8, many will be hoping their votes can help make the country a freer and fairer place after half a century of iron-fisted military rule that has impoverished a once-promising nation. An estimated 33.5 million voters will be electing 325 Lower House […]
MOULMEIN, Mon State — With just weeks before Burma’s landmark elections, a fleet of cars covered with stickers of the National Development Party (NDP) carrying flag-waving party supporters and Buddhist monks crawled through the streets of Moulmein, Mon State’s capital. The convoy was heading to the Strand Hotel on the banks of the Salween River. […]
TWANTAY, Rangoon — This time last year, the Burmese rocker known simply as “She” was on a tight schedule, with monthly performances across the country. But since early October, the singer has been forced to cancel up to 10 concerts she was scheduled to perform. Now, with Burma’s general election just around the corner, the […]
This November, several pro-government militia leaders elected in Burma’s widely discredited 2010 parliamentary poll are seeking a return to office on the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) ticket, a further reminder that guns still very much have a place in the country’s political arena. The recently finalized candidate list from the Union Election […]
RANGOON — On a recent hot afternoon on a bustling street in Hlaing Thayar Township, residents and stall keepers were shading themselves from the blistering sun, but a group of youth activists clad in blue T-shirts were undeterred in their efforts to motivate would-be voters. “Soon there will be elections that could change our future. […]
PATHEIN, Irrawaddy Division — Irrawaddy Division, the epicenter of Burma’s rice bowl and home to one in eight of the country’s citizens, has a political pedigree stretching back decades. It was the birthplace of both U Nu, the first post-independence leader of Burma, and U Thant, the revered former United Nations secretary-general. With less than six […]
Ja Nan, an ethnic Kachin peace facilitator, is one of only a handful of women privy to the inner workings of Burma’s ceasefire negotiations.
RANGOON — Faced with the emblems of five political parties, all of which featured a gold-colored peacock against a red backdrop, Myint Yi, a teashop owner in downtown Rangoon, was stumped when asked which of the parties they represented. After a few minutes of looking through different logos, she correctly identified the party logo of […]
RANGOON — As Burma’s President Thein Sein nears the end of his term, and amid an apparent pitch to portray himself as the architect of a successful reform agenda, questions have been raised about the true extent of his accomplishments. Since taking office in 2011 as the leader of a new quasi-civilian government following decades […]
Muslim businesses have become the target of anti-Islamic sentiment propagated by radical Buddhists who have found a powerful voice in Burma’s more open political landscape.
A campaign by members of Ma Ba Tha to shut down cattle abattoirs is not the first time Buddhist monks have tried to save cows from slaughter.
Zo Win thought he was about to strike it rich when he agreed to venture beyond northwestern Burma to retrieve automatic rifles for insurgents.
RANGOON — Amid a rash of criticism over Burma’s candidate vetting procedures, one minority does not seem to be suffering any setbacks: the rich. A number of so-called “cronies” have cleared the interpersonal and administrative hurdles that left many prominent pro-democracy activists, followers of Islam and other non-mainstreamers behind. US-blacklisted Htay Myint and Khin Shwe, […]
RANGOON — In late May, Ma Thida moved with her two children to Thalabaung village, a dirt poor slum in Mingaladon Township on Rangoon’s northern outskirts, where she built a small wood-and-thatch hut so they could live without having to pay rent. But only five days later, on June 3, all her efforts were undone […]
The Irrawaddy visits a few small towns in the remote state in northwestern Burma that have been ravaged by recent floods and landslides.
RANGOON — Until a few months ago, Mi Kon Chan was running a company that distributes skincare and other cosmetic products imported from Australia, Italy and Switzerland. But since Tuesday, the ethnic Mon woman has been on the campaign trail in Paung Township in Mon State, where she will contest the upcoming election on the […]
It was a late August night in Burma’s second largest city when Moe Moe Htet was whisked off a motorbike and dragged down a crudely paved boulevard.