Features - The Irrawaddy
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.

Me and My Language

With Mon National Day commemorated this week, ethnic Mon reporter Yen Snaing delves into Myanmar’s complicated linguistic heritage and the legacy that lingers on.

Brides for Bachelors

Lured by false promises of employment, women and girls from Myanmar, including ethnic Ta’ang, continue to be trafficked to China.

On Chinese Border, Local Activists Lead Fight Against Drug Crime

Faced with staggering addiction rates and inaction from the Burma Army, villagers in Shan State have begun their own battle against the drug trade.

Mon IDPs Concerned About Lack of Aid in Halockhani

Nestled between lush green mountain tops and surrounded by spectacular scenery, Halockhani has been a home for thousands of Mon internally displaced persons for decades.

Opium Turns Hillside Town Into ‘Widow Village’

Opium addiction has claimed the lives of almost every male villager in Kanzam, northern Chin State.

Amidst Ancient Temples, Golf Grows in Burma

The sport suffered from lack of investment under military rule in Burma, but that is changing as foreign funds flow into the country.

The Kola of Cambodia

A Buddhist pagoda and an elderly woman are among the last traces of a group of mysterious Myanmar migrants.

‘A Living Hell’ for Slaves on Remote South Korean Islands

Kim Seong-baek, a disabled South Korean, was trafficked into slavery on a remote island salt-field. He ran the first chance he got.

10 Years After Tsunami, Burmese Victim’s Mom Learns Body Wasn’t Lost

For almost a decade following the devastation wrought by the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, Aye Pu thought her daughter’s body had been lost at sea.