Commentary - The Irrawaddy

There is a common misperception that even Burma’s first, 1947 Constitution, barred persons married to foreign citizens from becoming the country’s president or vice president. I first heard this from Rangoon-based foreign diplomats in the 1990s, and some of them also claimed it was Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, General Aung San, who had insisted […]


Officials of Burma’s ruling party will be forced to embark on some serious soul-searching if they wish to remain relevant in Burmese politics. The results of the Nov. 8 general election, in which the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) won only 41 Union Parliament seats, showed in no uncertain terms the depths of the […]


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 […]


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 […]

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 […]


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 […]

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.

Through various campaign speeches in recent weeks, the leader of Burma’s main opposition party, Aung San Suu Kyi, has demonstrated that she is the only politician in the country that can engage a large majority of Burmese voters. Her ability to tap into the hopes and desires of the electorate is a strength that should […]

RANGOON — With just 29 days to go before a Nov. 8 poll, Burma’s election fever is now in full pitch. Even on a short walk around downtown Rangoon, it’s clear which party is most popular. Miniature red flags bearing a fighting peacock and a white star—the insignia of Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League […]

The Karen National Union’s decision to sign a so-called nationwide ceasefire agreement is a bold step that has generated no small amount of controversy.

Government office building No. 37 in Naypyidaw was reportedly once at the center of plans for a Than Shwe-led council to oversee the country’s transition.

Remembering Saffron: Of Monks and Military Men

A look back at the legacy of the 2007 Saffron Uprising.

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