Opinion - The Irrawaddy
More Questions than Answers in Kokang Dilemma

After more than two weeks of intense fighting between Kokang rebels and the Burma Army around Laukkai, a number of questions remain unanswered.

The Kokang Conflict: How Will China Respond?

With the Chinese government seeking to protect its political and economic relationships with Burma, Peng Jiasheng’s forces are unlikely to find backers in Beijing.

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.

Toward a More Perfect Union

The legacy and continued dominance of the ethnic Bamar in Myanmar, and enduring chauvinism, are major obstacles to national reconciliation in an immensely diverse country.

Of Teachers and Tea Shops

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

Who’s Responsible for Reining in Rogues?

The Irrawaddy contributor Khin Zaw Win says it takes both individual and collective will to combat the poisonous words and ideas of a few extremists.

Child Soldiers: An Ongoing Battle in Burma

The Burmese government must prioritize allocation of resources for awareness, age verification and disciplinary action to end the use of child soldiers, advocates say.

Time to Stamp out Hate-Speech

After yet more hate-filled invective from controversial Buddhist monk Wirathu, the government should show it is serious about tackling all forms of incitement to hatred.

The Guilty and the Innocent: China and Illegal Logging in Myanmar

Illegal extraction of natural resources is fueling armed conflict in northern Myanmar, and the Chinese government’s inaction is partly to blame.

Light at the End of the Tunnel?

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

Flawed Scrutiny Process Leaves Political Prisoners Languishing

As the government retools its purported efforts to release all of Burma’s political prisoners, past experience and lingering shortcomings of the process must be addressed.

A Collective Search For Answers

Contributor Khin Zaw Win finds both heartening hospitality and stark environmental realities during public consultations on the draft land-use policy in Shan State’s Mongmit.

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.

Letpadaung Shooting Changed the Game

After the deadly shooting of a villager near the Letpadaung copper mining project, it won’t be business as usual, says Irrawaddy contributor Khin Zaw Win.

Keeping Burma’s ‘Reformers’ Honest in 2015

To many Burmese who had looked to 2014 with cautious optimism, the year has hardly been inspiring, leading to the question: Where are we heading?

The Shape of Things to Come

Hope deferred may be the legacy of 2014, but desire for a just society in Burma will not be diminished by this year’s unfulfilled promises.

US Congress in the Driver’s Seat on US–Burma Military Cooperation

Recent action by US Congressmen on National Defense Authorization Act related to US-Burma military relations limits—rather than expands—future cooperation.

RANGOON — TheMinistry of Information has indicated that it will not accept our publications’ use of the English spelling “The Irrawaddy,” a trademarked and registered company in Burma, as we apply to renew our publishing licenses this month. An MoI statement, published in state-run dailies in Burmese and English on Tuesday, said use of The […]

Civilian Justice Trumps Military Impunity in Myanmar

The rare conviction of a soldier in civilian court shows how the criminal justice system is slowly taking a stand against the country’s still-powerful military.