Opinion - The Irrawaddy
Disquiet on the Western Front

Tensions between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in Rakhine State have long existed, stoked by a complex legacy dating back to British colonial rule.

A Burmese Reggae Album for Love and Country

Burma’s leaders would do well to pick up a copy of reggae artist Saw Poe Kwar’s newest album, a musical manifesto in defense of love.

Burma’s Looming Power Struggles

Why are there protests against coal-fired power projects when most of Burma’s rural population is off the grid, living in darkness?

Saving the Spirit of Shwedagon

Numerous critics have expressed concern about five development projects in the vicinity of the country’s most famous religious icon. Planning reform in Rangoon is long overdue.

Unity Needed in Karen Cause

The Karen pride themselves on their commitment and their patriotism, and yet there have been many setbacks in their struggle for greater autonomy.

Submarines on the Shopping List

The top brass has shown a particular interest in improving the country’s moribund naval fleet.

Intrigue and an iPad

A recent photograph on social media is the latest source of speculation over former junta leader Than Shwe.

In Panglong, ‘Union Spirit’ Monument Lies in Chauvinistic Shadow

A towering pagoda dwarfs a monument celebrating the sense of national unity enshrined in the Panglong Agreement, but the story doesn’t end there.

Death of an Activist Reporter

To commemorate World Press Freedom Day, The Irrawaddy looks back at reporter Par Gyi, who was shot dead in military custody late last year.

Note to Washington: Use Your Blacklist Wisely

When the United States removed Win Aung from its blacklist last week, other tycoons surely sent silent prayers that they would be next in line.

With news that prominent tycoon Win Aung has been removed from the US sanctions list, The Irrawaddy looks back at the efforts of other business leaders to rehabilitate their public profiles.

Win Tin: Burma’s Revolutionary Journalist

One year to the day since Burma lost one of its leading intellectual figures, Win Tin, The Irrawaddy looks back on his enduring legacy.

Can Burma Buy Happiness in Washington?

Burmese activists were outraged to learn last week that the government entered into a year-long public relations contract with a Washington-based lobbying firm worth US$840,000.

After 19 Years Behind Bars, Journalist Win Tin’s Fiery Spirit Is Far From Broken

On the anniversary of Win Tin’s death, The Irrawaddy revisits this archived article wherein another former political prisoner, Kay Latt, pays tribute to his resilience.

Win Tin’s Lessons for Burma

One year to the day since Burma lost one of its leading intellectual figures, Win Tin, The Irrawaddy looks back on his enduring legacy.

How One Father’s Letters to the Government Got Him Convicted

Members of Harvard’s International Human Rights Clinic write that shortly after his daughter’s death, Brang Shawng wrote two letters that would eventually be deemed criminal.

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.

An Uneasy Alliance

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

While the government relishes its accomplishments, Burma’s ethnic groups must prepare for what will still be a long and thorny path to peace.

The Students Too Deserve an Olive Branch

With this week’s historic peace deal, another gesture toward national reconciliation is in order: the immediate release of students in Burma jailed for peacefully protesting.