Features - The Irrawaddy
Displaced Families Face Hardship in Kachin ‘Model Village’

A ‘model village’ built by the government offers little improvement in living standards for several hundred displaced families in Kachin State.

A Story of Modern Slavery in Thailand

Hoping for a brighter future, Maung Htay left Burma when he was just a teenager. He is now 42, but his dream is still far from realized.

As Elections Draw Near, Fate of Myitsone Dam Remains Uncertain

With Thein Sein’s term of office soon to conclude, the future of the moratorium on one of Burma’s most controversial developments is far from clear.

The Swan Arr Shin had not been seen since the military installed a nominally civilian government in 2011. In March, the plain-clothed thugs appeared again.

Tikka Hun: Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

Tikka Hun, a graphic facilitator from Malaysia, is an artist who has become well known for her skill, speed and comprehension.

Sayadaw U Nayaka’s achievements on free and progressive education are matched by his determination to accomplish even more.

On Martyrs Day, One Man’s Tale of Tragedy Revisited

Nai Ngwe Thein, 93, is one of probably only a few people alive today to have witnessed the immediate aftermath of Gen. Aung San’s assassination.


RANGOON — Though it happened more than six decades ago, Nai Ngwe Thein still remembers what he saw on that rainy Saturday. Now 93 years old, the ethnic Mon leader of the Mon National Party is one of probably only a few people alive today to have witnessed the immediate aftermath of a tragedy that […]

The rapidly expanding Muse trade hub is falling prey to the scourge of Burma’s other proposed SEZs: skyrocketing land prices and loss of tenure rights.

TAUNGGYI, Shan State — Political parties representing Burma’s ethnic minorities could pick up a sizeable number of seats in a general election later this year, presenting a stumbling block for the ambitions of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and her party. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) is looking to become a dominant […]

Saw Mra Razar Lin: A Woman Warrior-Turned-Peacemaker

As a soldier, an exile and a mother, Arakanese rebel Saw Mra Razar Lin brings a lot to the negotiating table.

Time to Return Home?

With nascent political changes taking place in Myanmar, dissidents in exile face a tough choice on whether to return.

Love of the Lingo

Renowned Myanmar language teacher John Okell is still inspiring students, five decades on.

Malaria Battle Set to Ramp Up

Drug-resistant malaria may be “jumping” from place to place, or “popping up” independently—either way the strategy to fight it in Myanmar is taking on a new urgency.

Why India’s Medical Schools Are Plagued with Fraud

Over one in six of India’s medical schools have been accused of cheating, while about 45 percent of those practicing medicine have no formal training.

Despite being a world away from their former homes, the Karen youth of San Diego vividly remember the poverty and privation of their childhood.

How the West Was Won

The Western policy of engagement with Myanmar has been touted as a success, but for whom?

At Wathann Film Festival, an Eye for the Independent

For half a decade, organizers of the Wathann Film Festival have been encouraging independent filmmakers to elevate the standards of Burmese cinema.

RANGOON — An increasingly assertive Organization for the Protection of Race and Religion, the prominent Buddhist nationalist group better known as Ma Ba Tha, risks running afoul of the law as elections approach later this year, according to a law expert, with some politicians questioning the group’s mixing of religion and politics. Local media last […]

A decidedly quiet spirit festival in Sagaing Division’s Thar Dun village honors a local deity with a very unusual offering.