Opinion - The Irrawaddy

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

A Power-Sharing Alternative for Burma’s Political Elites

To avoid a highly volatile situation in 2015, the country’s ruling and opposition politicians would do well do strike a cooperative pre-election deal.

The Spoils of Aid in Burma: Transition a Boon for Former Dictators

Rather than enriching the people responsible for the country’s situation, doesn’t the international aid industry have an obligation to help Burma break from dictatorship?

A harsh sentence handed down to journalists for reporting on an alleged chemical weapons factory serves as a reminder that Burma is still an “enemy of the press.”

Expect Skepticism as Thein Sein Pledges to Act Against Riot Instigators

Recent inter-communal violence is just the latest event to distract attention in Burma from the real problems the country should be tackling.

Does the West Really Want a Suu Kyi Presidency?

Western powers pay homage to the opposition leader but would likely prefer that Burma’s next government is similar to the present one.

Preventing Religious Violence Is a Task for All

The government and security forces have primary responsibility for controlling the violence, but preventing it is a task for all.

Violence Gives the Lie to Burma’s ‘Reforms’

As Burma burns, the rest of the world continues to act as if it believes the country’s rulers are sincere about bringing democratic change.

In Burma’s Young Democracy, Vote ‘No’ on Proportional Representation

There are many reasons why Burma’s electoral system should not be changed, at least for now, in a country just emerging from decades of dictatorship.

Myanmar Needs Independent Media, Not ‘Public Service’ Propaganda

If the international community wants to help achieve democracy, it will support independent journalists, not the “new and improved” state media.

What Australian FM Bishop Must Do in Burma

The visiting Australian foreign minister should show Burma support for genuine reform, but stress that it needs to end hatred, violence and exclusion of minorities.

A Broader Vision of Education for Burma

A longtime Burmese educator reflects on the purpose of schooling in Burma, calling for less emphasis on exams and more emphasis on critical thinking.

Introducing a proportional representation system could help the Burma Army establish itself as a cohesive legislative block in the face of a more fractured opposition.