Opinion - The Irrawaddy
Failing to Protect Women, In Burma and Beyond

A new report by the Karen Women’s Organization examines the results of legal cases related to sexual-and gender-based violence in Thailand’s refugee camps.

RANGOON — Just over two weeks since voters turned out in droves for a peaceful general election that ushered in a conclusive majority in favor of Burma’s main opposition party, Burmese people still feel a lingering sense of unease. In a country where the military has long wielded political power, Burmese citizens’ remain concerned over […]

NAYPYIDAW — The overwhelming majority of Burmese voters spoke in one, clear voice on Nov. 8. They voted against “business as usual.” They lined up peacefully at polling stations around the country and, one by one, voted for change. Twenty-five years since claiming a resounding victory in the annulled 1990 vote, the National League for […]

RANGOON — In both Myanmar and abroad, the National League for Democracy’s landslide election win is seen as a victory of the people over the military and its ruling political elite. It’s a price the army had to pay after subjecting the population to decades of repression. The public’s message was a clear call for […]

RANGOON — The people of Myanmar are euphoric at the landslide victory won by the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) in a Nov. 8 general election deemed to be the freest and fairest since 1990. As Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi’s party has received more than enough parliamentary seats to select a president […]

In spite of not unwarranted fears over the conduct of Burma’s general election on Nov. 8, a peaceful, credible vote has given rise to new optimism. Millions of Burmese cast ballots, free of intimidation and fear, with the country’s main opposition party claiming a resounding parliamentary majority and the right to form a government in […]

RANGOON — Few trusted Burma’s Union Election Commission (UEC) Chairman Tin Aye when he first took up the role in 2011. As a former general, a former ruling party lawmaker and a close associate of President Thein Sein, many Burmese took it for granted that Tin Aye would be far from impartial in carrying out […]

RANGOON — It was a remarkable day in Burma’s modern history. Millions of Burmese people lined up patiently, many from before dawn, to have their say in choosing the new leadership of the country. As the results soon became clear, so too did the message to the old regime: enough is enough. But the road […]

Over the election period, there has been an obvious focus on Aung San Suu Kyi and her future political role in Burma. Many articles and comments have been very critical of both her style of leadership and her statements, or lack of, on many of the most serious human rights issues facing the country. In […]

To the extent that it is still possible, it is imperative that Burma’s Sunday general election must be free and fair in every respect. In less than 24 hours, more than 30 million voters across the country will cast votes that, they hope, will help bring change to their lives and to the country after […]

From the time polling stations close at 4 pm on Sunday, Burma will enter into a delicate, and mostly likely tense, political phase. Voters will be holding their breath as results filter through. Even after a full electoral picture begins to take shape in the days following the vote, a period of backroom horse trading […]

On Sunday, all eyes will be on Burma’s historic elections. We share the widespread hope that our country will take a decisive step away from decades of tyranny. But even if the government becomes more representative, popular demands for justice will continue to be blocked by a legal branch that serves entrenched military interests. Respect […]

RANGOON — The outcome of the Nov. 8 elections will shape the direction of Burma’s democratic transition. It has been billed as the first “free and fair” election in decades. Burma’s quasi-presidential system means commanding a ruling majority in Parliament isn’t necessary to enact legislation. What is crucial for the major political parties is that […]

It is now only days until Burmese voters head to the polls for a general election that could be a milestone moment for the country, provided it is free and fair. If the process runs smoothly, there may be many new faces when the Parliament convenes in early 2016. However, many Burmese are looking to […]

For too long the people of Burma have deserved a better existence—to live lives under a democratic government that would allow for them to enjoy liberty, peace and prosperity. These are things much of the world takes for granted but which have, for Burmese people, remained out of reach through successive eras of hardship and […]

In Rangoon’s Kawhmu Township, where thousands gathered on Saturday to greet wildly popular opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, not everyone is planning on heading to their local polling station on Nov. 8. Several locals who spoke to The Irrawaddy during an earlier campaign rally held by Suu Kyi in the township’s Ma Zwe Seik […]

In Burma these days, there are really only two colors that people are talking about: red and green. If you say “red,” you are no longer referring to Communism but rather to Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), which uses the color as backdrop for the party’s fighting peacock and star emblem. […]

It’s little wonder that the Nov. 8 election is largely shaping up to be a contest between the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) and Burma’s most popular opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), despite a total of 92 parties having thrown their hats into the ring. The personalities and backgrounds of […]

As election day approaches, it is worth remembering what happened 25 years ago, the last time Burma had a free and fair poll—and by regional standards, that election was astonishingly free and fair. But the euphoria of May 27, 1990, when the National League for Democracy (NLD) scored a landslide victory, turned into dismay and […]

It remains to be seen whether the signing of a so-called nationwide ceasefire agreement this week can further a peace process still far from complete.

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