Opinion - The Irrawaddy
To End Sexual Violence, British Government Can’t Avoid Elephant in the Room

If the British government is serious about ending sexual violence in Burma, difficult choices will have to be made.

Human Rights Defenders Continue to Suffer in Burma

Despite recent political reforms, activists frequently remain the target of violence, torture, abuse, and sometimes even enforced disappearance and extrajudicial killing.

Burma’s Draft Prison Law is Too Vague to Protect Inmates

The draft Prison Law currently being debated in Naypyidaw dampens hopes that the prison system is about to undergo the substantive reforms it urgently needs.

Many locals are not pleased by the release of 155 Chinese loggers, claiming that while the sentence was extreme, so is exoneration.

Another Sordid Chapter in the History of Karen Factional Conflict

Violence once again flared between rival Karen groups this month, adding another chapter to an ignominious history of factional strife and power struggles.

A Deceptive Peace?

Will a nationwide ceasefire pact lead to genuine peace in Burma, or prove as transitory as Sri Lanka’s agreement with Tamil fighters more than 10 years ago?

An Appeal to the Keepers of the Keys in Burma’s Drive to Democracy

Burma’s upcoming election must be different, in that unlike the country’s previous two nationwide votes, it must respect the will of the people.

RANGOON — Burma’s upcoming election must be different, in that unlike the country’s previous two nationwide votes, it must respect the will of the people. Such an outcome, perhaps contrary to conventional wisdom, would ultimately benefit all stakeholders, including the ruling party and military establishment. At stake is the credibility of the succession of generals […]

The Dangers of Chinese Interference in Illegal Logging Case

China should recognize and respect the legal nature of the trial proceedings instead of politicizing the case of the illegal loggers in Kachin State.

Please, General, Keep Your Promise

Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has promised the military will abide by the results of the election. The nation can’t afford otherwise.

Following months of equivocation, the National League for Democracy (NLD) has firmly ruled itself in for the November election. After struggling to survive decades of political repression, the unlawful detention of its leaders and the extrajudicial killing of its members, the party can reasonably expect the year’s end to mark their finest hour—should the poll […]

Love of the Union or Love of the Party? The USDP Must Decide

While the USDP is intrinsically linked to the objectives of the Burmese Armed Forces, a faction within the party tries to form a distinct agenda.

RANGOON — There is a Burmese phrase that has long been used by the country’s leadership, yielded with particular power by the military even today, roughly meaning “national politics.” The concept is more complicated than it sounds, evoking a sense of essential nonpartisan rule by uniformed men. Amyotha nai ngan yay conjures a sense of […]

Burma’s Peace Process: Matching Words with Deeds

Political dialogue and national reconciliation should not be deferred in lieu of a nationwide ceasefire agreement, writes contributor Sai Oo.

Speaking Out Against the Shwedagon Highrise Projects

The president’s decision to terminate the controversial highrise projects near Shwedagon Pagoda offered relief for many Burmese who treasure their cultural heritage.

The Rise and Rise of the Ma Ba Tha Lobby

The Buddhist nationalist organization is proving to be one of the most effective groups in Burma at extracting concessions from the quasi-civilian government.

Time to Set the Kyat Free

The recent fall in value of the Burmese kyat should not mean a return to the command and control monetary policies of the past, writes Sean Turnell.

Military Opposition to Charter Change Could Entrench Public Trust Deficit

The military’s opposition to constitutional amendments may harm efforts to conclude a nationwide ceasefire and undermine trust at home and abroad.

Making All-Inclusive Peace a Reality

It would be ill-advised for the government to dismiss negotiating with the newly formed ethnic negotiating committee, writes contributor Saw Kapi.

In Burma’s Conflicts, Both Sides Betray Children

The Burmese military and the Kachin Independence Army should take urgent steps to stop recruiting and using children, says contributor Charu Lata Hogg.