Opinion - The Irrawaddy
After Border Bombing, What’s Next for Burma and China?

Burma is under major Chinese diplomatic, military and political pressure to deal with the bombing death of four civilians in Yunnan.

Public opinion is a critical force in shaping and transforming society. But how can we know what public opinion is? The Open Society Foundations supported a study of the ability to measure public opinion in Burma as the country changes and transitions towards democracy. I was honored to chair the expert committee, and I was […]

Public Polling is Essential in Burma’s Democratic Transformation

The Burmese government needs the ability to measure public opinion, a critical force in shaping and transforming society.

Our Rivers Are Not for Sale

Burma needs to rethink an energy policy based on dams, which threatens to see millions of local lives disrupted in order to satisfy foreign markets.

Police Training Is Wrong Prescription for Systemic Ill

Questions and a reevaluation are warranted after a police force receiving training from the EU brutally cracked down on peaceful protestors in Burma this week.

Burma Takes a Big Step Backwards

Government conspiracy theories over the motivations of student protesters fail to address the Burmese public’s genuine grievances or offer any viable solutions.

The More Things Change…

After violent crackdowns on student protests in Burma, many are no doubt wondering whether the country’s much vaunted political reforms are back to square one.

Violent Crackdown, Rise in Conflict Do Not Bode Well for Burma’s Transition

The crackdown on student protestors and a rise in ethnic conflict do not bode well for Burma’s democratic elections—how will the international community respond?

Young People, the Old Guard and Enduring Antagonism

Burma’s government has resown a seed of hatred between itself and the nation’s students by brutally cracking down on protestors demanding education reform.

RANGOON — Stateless Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State were dealt the latest blow to their prospects for obtaining recognition as one of Burma’s ethnic minorities when the government announced last month that their temporary identity cards would be rescinded. The revocation has prompted discussion on topics ranging from national sovereignty to human rights, but the […]

Throwback Thursday, Flashback Friday: Repression Redux in Burma

A violent crackdown in Rangoon and an Irrawaddy journalist’s near-detention conjure images reminiscent of similar repression in 2007 and 1988 under the former military junta.

Junta-Era Thugs Are Back on the Streets

The appearance of plainclothes vigilantes stirring tensions and aiding police in dispersing and arresting student protesters over the past few days has outraged many Burmese.

Living Next Door to China

How will controversial Beijing-backed development projects, recent border conflict and expanding political and economic ties between Naypyitaw and the West continue to shape Sino-Burmese relations?

A New Generation Takes to the Streets in Burma

The new student protest movement marks the first national grassroots movement in 25 years that stands outside the established opposition.

The debate over which electoral system is best suited to Myanmar seems to have been put on the backburner for now, but it is only a matter of time before the issue resurfaces, potentially ahead of crucial November elections. Those who are waiting in the wings to reignite the debate need not look very far […]

As Myanmar Weighs Electoral Prospects, Delhi Poll Offers Cautionary Tale

The results of an election this month in the Indian capital shows how electoral systems can grossly misrepresent voter sentiment.

Education Reform: Towards an Inclusive Approach

As parliament prepares to mull amendments to the National Education Law, The Irrawaddy contributor Khin Hnin Soe argues for an inclusive, bottom-up approach to reform.

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?