Features - The Irrawaddy
In Pathein, Old Parasol Craft Struggles With Rising Demand

After producers reverted back to 100-year-old crafting techniques demand for the iconic Pathein parasol soared; they now struggle to keep up with its rising popularity.

Fishermen making port calls in Rangoon offer a gritty portrait of life at sea, where they spend most of their year on a meager salary.

A small enterprise is busting barriers for people living with a disability.

Since inter-community clashes broke out in the northern town almost two years ago, a group of religious leaders and youth has worked hard to rebuild good relations.

Photojournalists in Burma Weigh Duty Against Dangers

Local photojournalists endeavoring to tell the story of Burma in transition balance embracing a newfound freedom with the personal risk this entails.

Burma’s army has forcibly recruited teenagers for decades. The practice is slowly ending, but many former child soldiers live with the scars of their experiences.

A Burmese Publisher Turns the Page on an Era of Repression

At 17, San Mon Aung left school and stumbled blindly into the world of publishing, a world still stifled by censorship and trying economic circumstances.

Built by hundreds of local artisans for the anniversary of Shwe Taung Sar Pagoda in Dawei, the gigantic bell’s donors include Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing.

Penniless and Prosecuted, a Veteran Soldiers On

Eking out a meager pensioned existence, veteran Thein Hla Aung finds that the army he served for 24 years is intent on confiscating his home.

On a Mission: Destruction of Opium

In the remote mountains of northern Shan State, a small ethnic armed group is taking on the drug trade.

Saving Yangon: Heritage on the Line

The clock is ticking on efforts to ensure a beautiful, livable city.

Secret Historians Preserve Past in China Amid State Amnesia

For China’s secret historians, who risk personal security to unravel a past concealed by the state, truth-telling is nothing less than an act of defiance.

Knowledge Vacuum and Conflict Plague Salween River

Caught up in a web of international energy demand and supply, the fate of Burma’s free-flowing Salween River is still unclear.

Letter From the Jungle: Hours in Hiding After Letpadan Crackdown

Senior reporter Lawi Weng recalls fleeing a violent scene and seeking shelter in the surrounding jungle as police violently dismantle student protests in Letpadan.

Families Mourn the Fallen Soldiers of Laukkai

Amid surging support for the Burma Army in the wake of the Kokang conflict, who provides for the families of the fallen?

Mogok Miners Hold out Hope for Remaining Rubies

Mogok, a rich valley in central Burma known for fine rubies and sapphires, is peppered with valuable stone, but some say deposits are thinning.

Letpadaung: Fields of Fire

As officials trade blame, local opposition simmers around the Letpadaung copper mine near Monywa, where a villager was fatally shot by police late last year.

On Chin Day, Bittersweet Reflections on a Fading Culture

An ethnic Chin dialect fades from use in Irrawaddy Division, taking knowledge about traditional songs and literature with it.

On the Bus with Linda McDowell

Linda McDowell, the wife of the first Canadian ambassador to Burma, rides Rangoon’s notoriously chaotic buses to promote mass transit in a changing city.

Jade Trade Bedevils Burma’s Transparency Aspirations

Burma’s lucrative jade trade remains hidden behind a wall of army checkpoints and official government secrecy.