Opinion - The Irrawaddy Magazine
More than a Wedding Gift

The president shows support as a famous Burmese activist ties the knot, but has the government actually moved past PR?

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A Tip for Dealing With Burma’s Government

As the reform process loses momentum, foreign diplomats and donors should not be fooled by political manipulation or the progress of three years ago.

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Finding Freedom With a Fake Passport

For many Myanmar dissidents living in exile, forged travel documents were the only thing standing between them and prison.

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On Divided Societies, Democracy and Federalism

As discussions about constitutional reform and a more federated political system for Burma heat up, a look at nine theses on challenges the country faces.

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When Religious Diversity Was Embraced in Burma

Religion in Burma has been besmirched by an opportunistic few who seek to exploit it, but interreligious tensions have not always plagued the country.

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Why Burma Is Heading Downhill Fast

Rivalries among the political elite are exacerbating divides and allowing urgent problems to fester. Can anyone stop the rot?

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Shine’s Off the Apple as Burma Govt Marks Three Years

An increasingly skeptical public sees a “new Burma” where power remains in the same old hands, and “problems of the past” are still present-day realities.

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Will Armed Forces Day Bring Burma’s ‘Big Four’ Together at Last?

On the eve of Armed Forces Day, speculation swirls that a meeting among the “big four” in Burma’s politics may be nigh.

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The Census: Another Complexity in Burma?

The inclusion of a question on ethnicity in the country’s first census for 30 years is causing consternation among Burma’s many ethnic groups.

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Managing Naypyidaw: Ensuring the Success of Transition

Does President Thein Sein embody the “paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional will” that is said to be the recipe for truly great leaders?

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Can ASEAN Respond to the Chinese Challenge?

China continues to alter the status quo in Southeast Asia through unilateral actions, but ASEAN claimant nations fail to unify on process for pressing claims.

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Burma Clampdown Gathers Pace as Legislation Passed

In a step backwards for press freedom in Burma, new legislation will give the government censorship powers and the authority to issue news publication licenses.

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A Transition Under Threat

As Myanmar nears much-awaited 2015 national elections, persecution of the Muslim minority Rohingyas is casting shadows on the prospect of restoring democracy in the country.

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New Hurdles for an Already Hobbled Press

Despite ending official censorship, Burma’s government is still firmly in control of the media, and is now making it even harder for journalists to do their job.

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Finding a Federal Model that Fits

There are many forms of federalism in the world, but only one really matches Burma’s needs: India.

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Myanmar: A Nation Living a Lie

Self-deception is a way of life in this country, and it’s up to all of us to find the courage to finally tell the truth.

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The Doubly Disastrous Legacy of Ne Win

Burma’s former dictator didn’t just destroy Burma through his own misrule, but also by appointing a successor who was as bad or worse.

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Is Asean Ready to Take a Stand on Domestic Issues?

It remains to be seen whether Myanmar will be more open to discussing internal affairs with fellow member states as chair of the regional grouping.

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Is Burma Serious About Media Freedom?

Recent setbacks in media freedom are threatening the success of Burma’s reforms and gains it has made in improving its international reputation.

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Time to End an Era of Disastrous Development

Peace and prosperity will only come to Myanmar when its economy is based on something other than the ruthless exploitation of its people and resources.

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