Commentary - The Irrawaddy
Saving the Spirit of Shwedagon

Numerous critics have expressed concern about five development projects in the vicinity of the country’s most famous religious icon. Planning reform in Rangoon is long overdue.

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Unity Needed in Karen Cause

The Karen pride themselves on their commitment and their patriotism, and yet there have been many setbacks in their struggle for greater autonomy.

Intrigue and an iPad

A recent photograph on social media is the latest source of speculation over former junta leader Than Shwe.

In Panglong, ‘Union Spirit’ Monument Lies in Chauvinistic Shadow

A towering pagoda dwarfs a monument celebrating the sense of national unity enshrined in the Panglong Agreement, but the story doesn’t end there.

Death of an Activist Reporter

To commemorate World Press Freedom Day, The Irrawaddy looks back at reporter Par Gyi, who was shot dead in military custody late last year.

Note to Washington: Use Your Blacklist Wisely

When the United States removed Win Aung from its blacklist last week, other tycoons surely sent silent prayers that they would be next in line.

With news that prominent tycoon Win Aung has been removed from the US sanctions list, The Irrawaddy looks back at the efforts of other business leaders to rehabilitate their public profiles.

Win Tin: Burma’s Revolutionary Journalist

One year to the day since Burma lost one of its leading intellectual figures, Win Tin, The Irrawaddy looks back on his enduring legacy.

Can Burma Buy Happiness in Washington?

Burmese activists were outraged to learn last week that the government entered into a year-long public relations contract with a Washington-based lobbying firm worth US$840,000.

Win Tin’s Lessons for Burma

One year to the day since Burma lost one of its leading intellectual figures, Win Tin, The Irrawaddy looks back on his enduring legacy.

Win Tin, Suu Kyi and the Perils of Trust

The late veteran journalist and activist Win Tin was always concerned about the consequences of granting legitimacy to a dubious status quo.

An Uneasy Alliance

Rhetoric around the brotherly bond between Myanmar and China masks recurrent tensions.

Amid a Fragile Peace, Uncertainty and Enduring Scars

Tamalar Paw and Thar Doh are desperate to see peace in their ethnic Karen State—more so, they say, than those tasked with achieving it.

In Thein Sein’s BBC Interview, the Apology That Never Was

With the public still angry over police brutality against students protesting northwest of Rangoon, Burma’s President Thein Sein misses a chance to make amends.

Suu Kyi, Singapore and the Ties That Bind

Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, has died. In this 2013 article, Editor-in-Chief Aung Zaw reflects on the enduring ties between Burma and Singapore.

A Shadow of Deceit Hangs Over Info Ministry

A curious shadow sheds light on the ethical moorings of a ministry that makes a point of lecturing Burma’s young press corps on scrupulous journalism.

KIA, Govt Meeting Could Signal Shift in Peace Process

Naypyidaw appears to be changing tack as the Kokang conflict escalates and is reaching out to the Kachin rebels in order to stem the fighting.

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.

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.

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