Opinion - The Irrawaddy
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. 

The Right Kind of Generosity

Corruption isn’t just a moral issue. If good economics is about the efficient allocation of resources, then corruption tends towards the opposite.

Where Next in Burma’s Peace Process?

Burma’s ethnic armed groups should take a practical approach to peace negotiations or risk losing leverage in post-ceasefire political dialogue, says adviser Ashley South.

Norway’s Changiang Role in Burma: Driven by Peace or Business?

Norway’s role in Burma has significantly changed in recent years, transforming from a staunch supporter of pro-democratic forces to an important business investor.

Playing Ball in Burma’s Big Leagues

A political triumvirate in Burma maneuvers to stay on top amid a democratic reform process that continues to throw curveballs.

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.

Myths of Suu Kyi’s Mysterious Trip to China

As Burma’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, gears up for her first official trip to China, myths abound about her party’s motivations.

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.

US Must Address Rights Concerns Before Further Engagement

While the US should be commended for backing Burma’s democratic transition, future support should be conditional on further political reforms.

Obama’s Chance to Make Burma a Genuine Foreign Policy Success

If the Obama Administration wants to vindicate its decision to engage with the Burmese government, it must continue to demand human rights protections.

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.

Death of an Activist-Reporter

The killing of Aung Kyaw Naing in military custody in Mon State belies the government’s claim that “considerable progress” has been made on human rights.