Opinion - The Irrawaddy
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.

Progress, Yes, but Not at Any Price

Burma needs to act boldly to build prosperity, but if we want to succeed in the long run, we need to remember that our heritage is our most precious asset.

Deeds and Peace

When it comes to ceasefire negotiations between the government and ethnic armed groups, an ethnic Karen activist believes words are not enough.

Words and Peace

An official at the Myanmar Peace Center says it is crucial to agree on the meaning of controversial words to reach a nationwide ceasefire agreement.

We Called Her ‘Mummy’

A Burmese anthropologist mourns the death of Dr. Daw Myint Myint Khin—a doctor, writer and pioneering feminist who inspired women at home and abroad.

We Will Not Back Down

Prominent women’s rights activist Zin Mar Aung says that despite threats, she and other activists will continue to campaign against the interfaith marriage bill.

After three years of war, fighting continues and recently distrust between the sides deepened. Both sides should build up trust and resume negotiations in earnest.

A Thai Junta Vs a Burmese Junta—Spot the Differences

Many Burmese can’t help think it’s ironic that Thailand and Burma have traded places as military-run countries, yet they are concerned over the Thai coup.

Govts Must Support Survivors of Sexual Violence

British Ambassador to Burma Andrew Patrick calls on governments around the world to support a new international protocol to investigate sexual violence in conflict.

The Search for a Buddha without Borders

The Buddha set out to transcend the constraints of his time and place, but efforts to claim ownership of his legacy are creating new barriers.

Reforms for Whom?

While the government of President U Thein Sein has won accolades overseas, few at home see much reason to celebrate.

The Lady Rallies the Masses Once Again

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi wants to change the Constitution, but will Burma’s military really go along with her goal?

Myanmar’s Labyrinthine Peace Process

For the country’s peace process to succeed there needs to be an understanding of just how complex resolving Myanmar’s long-running ethnic conflict is.