Commentary - The Irrawaddy
Win Tin, Suu Kyi and the Perils of Trust

The late veteran journalist and activist Win Tin was always concerned about the consequences of granting legitimacy to a dubious status quo.

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An Uneasy Alliance

Rhetoric around the brotherly bond between Myanmar and China masks recurrent tensions.

Amid a Fragile Peace, Uncertainty and Enduring Scars

Tamalar Paw and Thar Doh are desperate to see peace in their ethnic Karen State—more so, they say, than those tasked with achieving it.

In Thein Sein’s BBC Interview, the Apology That Never Was

With the public still angry over police brutality against students protesting northwest of Rangoon, Burma’s President Thein Sein misses a chance to make amends.

Suu Kyi, Singapore and the Ties That Bind

Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, has died. In this 2013 article, Editor-in-Chief Aung Zaw reflects on the enduring ties between Burma and Singapore.

A Shadow of Deceit Hangs Over Info Ministry

A curious shadow sheds light on the ethical moorings of a ministry that makes a point of lecturing Burma’s young press corps on scrupulous journalism.

KIA, Govt Meeting Could Signal Shift in Peace Process

Naypyidaw appears to be changing tack as the Kokang conflict escalates and is reaching out to the Kachin rebels in order to stem the fighting.

Young People, the Old Guard and Enduring Antagonism

Burma’s government has resown a seed of hatred between itself and the nation’s students by brutally cracking down on protestors demanding education reform.

Throwback Thursday, Flashback Friday: Repression Redux in Burma

A violent crackdown in Rangoon and an Irrawaddy journalist’s near-detention conjure images reminiscent of similar repression in 2007 and 1988 under the former military junta.

Junta-Era Thugs Are Back on the Streets

The appearance of plainclothes vigilantes stirring tensions and aiding police in dispersing and arresting student protesters over the past few days has outraged many Burmese.

Living Next Door to China

How will controversial Beijing-backed development projects, recent border conflict and expanding political and economic ties between Naypyitaw and the West continue to shape Sino-Burmese relations?

Min Aung Hlaing’s Putsch

Burma’s Commander-in-Chief is no stranger to conflict near the China border. Did he foresee recent clashes that would kill dozens of his own men?

Peng Jiasheng’s Fall from Grace

Peng Jiasheng, the Kokang leader heavily involved in the drug trade, was once a darling of the military government—now he’s on its most wanted list.

Of Teachers and Tea Shops

A high school reunion in Rangoon sparks memories of life lessons from the classroom and on the streets.

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

There is no shortcut to a free and prosperous country, writes Irrawaddy founding editor Aung Zaw.

Burma’s Democracy: Just What the Generals Ordered

The international community must press the Burmese government to go further in its top-down program of democratic reform.

Walking the Walk

Whatever form the dialogue on constitutional change takes, what’s most important is that the discussion is substantive and its participants approach the matter genuinely.

Obama’s Second Burma Visit Falls Flat

As US President Barack Obama concludes his second visit to Burma, many in the pro-democracy movement slam his ringing endorsement of President Thein Sein.

Aung Thaung: Why Now, Why Him and Who’s Next?

Before receiving US President Barack Obama, Burmese pundits welcome his administration’s decision to blacklist one of the ruling party’s most powerful and notorious lawmakers.

From Top Brass to a Bureaucratic Class

Decades of military appointments to key positions in government have left Myanmar’s administrative apparatus in tatters.

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