OPINION - The Irrawaddy Magazine
Will the Karen Go Solo on the Nationwide Ceasefire?

A threat by the Karen National Union (KNU) to withdraw from a major ethnic alliance has raised concerns that the Karen rebels will move ahead to sign a nationwide ceasefire accord with the government before other armed groups are ready.

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Has the United States Forgotten Suu Kyi?

In the past, when the opposition leader said something, world leaders listened, but these days Washington seems to have shifted its priorities.

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On Obama’s Foreign Policy Report Card, Burma Gets a Pass

As leader of the world’s sole superpower in tumultuous times, Barack Obama needs Burma as a foreign policy success story, but should it be?

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Inequality and the Need for Redistribution

Myanmar will need the cooperation of its cronies if the country is to overcome the so-called “resource curse” and reduce economic inequality.

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The Price of Peace

The government and Myanmar’s ethnic armed rebel groups will both need to make sacrifices if the country is to achieve a lasting peace.

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In Defense of Proportional Representation

An electoral system of proportional representation for Myanmar is being wrongly vilified by some political stakeholders who would benefit from its implementation.

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Rethinking State-Building in Myanmar

For more than 50 years, Myanmar’s generals have mistakenly believed that only with the military in charge could the country be stable.

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Kerry Visits as Burma Backslides—What Will He Do?

US Secretary of State John Kerry faces difficult questions when he arrives in Burma this weekend amid negative media reports about backsliding on political reforms.

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Burma Struggles to Ditch Its Military Masters

To democracy advocates’ chagrin, Burma’s record of martial leadership is likely to continue through the next presidential election.

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For Businesses in Myanmar, Be the Change We Want to See

Myanmar is a market where opportunity lurks behind every challenge, a lesson telecommunications players would do well to heed as the country’s mobile revolution unfolds.

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More Work to Be Done on Child Soldiers in Myanmar

Friday’s release of 91 children and young people by the Myanmar military is a welcome step, but child recruitment remains ongoing and persistent.

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Calls for an independent medical council grow louder during the country’s period of democratic reform, but a new by-law on the issue is found lacking.

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Ethnically aligned political parties say proposals to change the country’s electoral system are not in their best interest.

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Rape Is Not Just a Crime; It Is a Weapon

President Thein Sein’s government can and must act to stop the acts of sexual violence committed by Tatmadaw soldiers in Burma’s ethnic states.

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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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US Turns Blind Eye on Burma’s North Korea Connection

Washington should be posing the same tough questions that Burmese journalists now sentenced to 10 years in prison for their reporting have dared to ask.

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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.

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Burma Military Facility Hides Secrets From the World

After journalists were imprisoned for writing about a secret military installation in Magwe Division, experts are concerned about what could be produced at the site.

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The World’s Least Scrutinized Head of State?

Given how much the international community has staked on President Thein Sein, it is surprising how little scrutiny of him there has been.

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An official from the Myanmar Peace Center says risk-taking in necessary for peace, but a risk-adverse mentality often overshadows peace processes.

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