Opinion - The Irrawaddy
Of Monks and Military Men

The Saffron Revolution showcased Burma’s monks at their best, but that moral standing has been eroded by a manipulative old guard that still holds power.

Why Tin Aye Put the ‘Bye’ in Burma’s By-Elections

The cancellation of by-elections slated for later this year is an ominous sign from an election commission chairman whose independence was already suspect.

In Burma, Student Unions Must Learn Their Place

By pursuing national causes ranging from land rights to ethnic reconciliation, Burma’s university student unions have lost sight of their primary purpose: ensuring students’ rights.

26 Years After Coup, Military Still in the Driving Seat on Road to Reform

Exactly 26 years ago the military seized power, and to this day former and active generals control the pace and extent of Burma’s democratic reforms.

From Berlin to Burma, Democracy’s Uneven March

While the Berlin Wall is long gone, barriers erected by Burma’s former military junta continue to impede the country’s progress toward genuine democratic governance.

Building an Egalitarian Economy in Myanmar

Well into the fourth year of Myanmar’s reforms, a major question remains: Can the country develop its economy on an egalitarian basis?

The Dangers of Reporting on Nepotism

After investigating a secret business deal between Rangoon’s chief minister and two relatively unknown Chinese cronies, The Irrawaddy finds itself on a new “blacklist.”

Rewriting the History of Late Prime Minister Soe Win

A new book on the late prime minister and top general Soe Win provides a misleading account of his career in Burma’s former military regime.

Suu Kyi Is Wrong to Support Tin Aye’s By-Election Decision

The chairwoman of the National League for Democracy met the Union Election Commission chairman before he announced that the polls expected this year were canceled.

In Ethnic State, Former Enemies Join Forces for Health Care

After decades of armed conflict, government and ethnic Karenni medics team up to provide health care to impoverished communities in eastern Burma.

Burma’s Sexist School Requirements Hurt Women—And Society

Universities seem to be systematically discouraging women from pursuing many leadership roles, and it’s a great loss for our country’s overall development.

The real lessons from the census were the blithe indifference by UNFPA and the Burmese government to the potential for violence the census could spark.

US Takes Steps to Restart Business Relations With Burma

A new investment in solar power and an initiative to improve labor conditions in Burma show the two countries are moving closer to each other.

Has the United States Forgotten Suu Kyi?

In the past, when the opposition leader said something, world leaders listened, but these days Washington seems to have shifted its priorities.

On Obama’s Foreign Policy Report Card, Burma Gets a Pass

As leader of the world’s sole superpower in tumultuous times, Barack Obama needs Burma as a foreign policy success story, but should it be?

Inequality and the Need for Redistribution

Myanmar will need the cooperation of its cronies if the country is to overcome the so-called “resource curse” and reduce economic inequality.

The Price of Peace

The government and Myanmar’s ethnic armed rebel groups will both need to make sacrifices if the country is to achieve a lasting peace.

In Defense of Proportional Representation

An electoral system of proportional representation for Myanmar is being wrongly vilified by some political stakeholders who would benefit from its implementation.

Rethinking State-Building in Myanmar

For more than 50 years, Myanmar’s generals have mistakenly believed that only with the military in charge could the country be stable.

Kerry Visits as Burma Backslides—What Will He Do?

US Secretary of State John Kerry faces difficult questions when he arrives in Burma this weekend amid negative media reports about backsliding on political reforms.