COMMENTARY - The Irrawaddy Magazine
For Burmese, Little Hope for a Jokowi of Their Own

Burma’s political system is stacked against new faces, so a similar outcome to the Indonesian elections should not be expected next year.

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Burma’s Time Bomb

Seeds of religious prejudice were planted long ago—in part through government-approved, racist publications—and we are now living through the consequences.

Expect Skepticism as Thein Sein Pledges to Act Against Riot Instigators

Recent inter-communal violence is just the latest event to distract attention in Burma from the real problems the country should be tackling.

Violence Gives the Lie to Burma’s ‘Reforms’

As Burma burns, the rest of the world continues to act as if it believes the country’s rulers are sincere about bringing democratic change.

A Thai Junta Vs a Burmese Junta—Spot the Differences

Many Burmese can’t help think it’s ironic that Thailand and Burma have traded places as military-run countries, yet they are concerned over the Thai coup.

New European Residents in Ne Win’s Old Neighborhood of Villains

On Rangoon’s Ady Road, the EU Ambassador to Burma is renting an expensive, sumptuous villa from the family of former Burmese dictator Ne Win.

Unicef and the Extortionate Price of Saving Burma’s Children

Following Burma’s opening up, UN donor agencies have rapidly expanded operations, but they find themselves boosting an economy owned by ex-generals, drug lords and cronies.

Questioning Oslo’s Embrace of Burma

Few countries have reengaged with Burma’s government faster than Norway. But some democracy activists wonder how Oslo’s approach is advancing democratic reform and peace.

The Funeral of a Lion

Win Tin, whose funeral is held in Rangoon on Wednesday, remained unbroken despite nearly two decades in prison, and told his jailers to go to hell.

Don’t Be Afraid to Honor a Burmese Hero!

Today’s funeral for Win Tin will reveal much about the true feelings of the self-styled “reformists” in Burma’s government.

Win Tin’s Lessons for Burma

Burma has much to learn from the life of veteran journalist and pro-democracy activist Win Tin, a man of integrity who passed away on Monday.

More than a Wedding Gift

The president shows support as a famous Burmese activist ties the knot, but has the government actually moved past PR?

A Tip for Dealing With Burma’s Government

As the reform process loses momentum, foreign diplomats and donors should not be fooled by political manipulation or the progress of three years ago.

Shine’s Off the Apple as Burma Govt Marks Three Years

An increasingly skeptical public sees a “new Burma” where power remains in the same old hands, and “problems of the past” are still present-day realities.

Will Armed Forces Day Bring Burma’s ‘Big Four’ Together at Last?

On the eve of Armed Forces Day, speculation swirls that a meeting among the “big four” in Burma’s politics may be nigh.

The Census: Another Complexity in Burma?

The inclusion of a question on ethnicity in the country’s first census for 30 years is causing consternation among Burma’s many ethnic groups.

New Hurdles for an Already Hobbled Press

Despite ending official censorship, Burma’s government is still firmly in control of the media, and is now making it even harder for journalists to do their job.

The Doubly Disastrous Legacy of Ne Win

Burma’s former dictator didn’t just destroy Burma through his own misrule, but also by appointing a successor who was as bad or worse.

All the President’s Foul-Mouthed Men

Not for the first time in recent years, a minister is in the hot seat after comments made while meeting with villagers in central Burma.

Tatmadaw ‘Fearless and Blameless,’ Proclaims a Presidential Possibility

Comments from Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, the Burmese military’s commander-in-chief and a potential presidential aspirant, stoke fears among the country’s ethnic armed rebel groups.

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