Contributors - The Irrawaddy

Author Nilanjana Sengupta waxes philosophical about what nationalism means in Burma through an examination of Suu Kyi’s literary preferences.

Failing to Protect Women, In Burma and Beyond

A new report by the Karen Women’s Organization examines the results of legal cases related to sexual-and gender-based violence in Thailand’s refugee camps.

Over the election period, there has been an obvious focus on Aung San Suu Kyi and her future political role in Burma. Many articles and comments have been very critical of both her style of leadership and her statements, or lack of, on many of the most serious human rights issues facing the country. In […]

RANGOON — The outcome of the Nov. 8 elections will shape the direction of Burma’s democratic transition. It has been billed as the first “free and fair” election in decades. Burma’s quasi-presidential system means commanding a ruling majority in Parliament isn’t necessary to enact legislation. What is crucial for the major political parties is that […]


As election day approaches, it is worth remembering what happened 25 years ago, the last time Burma had a free and fair poll—and by regional standards, that election was astonishingly free and fair. But the euphoria of May 27, 1990, when the National League for Democracy (NLD) scored a landslide victory, turned into dismay and […]

The Peace That We Envision

The international community may be able to help Burma achieve peace, but only if they can learn to listen to the voices of ethnic minorities.

Posthumous Award Revives Memories of a Shan Prince

The late Sao Kya Seng, the last Shan prince of Hsipaw, is honored with a Distinguished Achievement Medal commending outstanding professional achievements.

The durability of the Burmese military establishment can be explained in reference to several key bulwarks. In military parlance, these might be referred to as ‘defensive lines,’ employed to ensure the army’s preeminent position. The first key attribute of power is its monopoly of force, selectively applied both in actuality and through intimation. But even […]

Ringed by police and army checkpoints, Aung Mingalar in Sittwe is a stark ongoing reminder of the deadly communal violence that rocked Arakan State in 2012.

Asean members are still struggling to surrender any political sovereignty, the key to becoming the powerhouse regional community they say they want to be.

Tie a blindfold around a man’s eyes, spin him around three times, hand him a dart and tell him to hit the bull’s-eye. This is the picture that comes to mind when one considers the ongoing effort by Union Election Commission (UEC) officials to correct the lists enumerating Burma’s eligible voters. What was presented as […]

It has became a deceptive routine to describe Thein Sein as a well-intentioned and bold reformer who has made peace and development his priorities; he released political prisoners, kicked off a reform agenda, initiated dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and lifted a ban on the opposition. After the removal of Shwe Man from the […]

It was a sunny afternoon on Bo Ba Htoo Road, located on the outskirts of Yangon. As soon as I hailed the old Toyota, I noticed the vehicle’s company logo—Parami Taxi, a subsidiary of a major business conglomerate run by the military. Parami taxis are an increasingly rare sighting on the streets of the commercial […]

While election campaigns get underway in Myanmar, government authorities are waging their own campaign to round up and silence activists and political opponents. The law is on their side. Myanmar’s legal code provides the necessary tools to harass, arrest and imprison those who threaten the status quo. Myanmar has a long history of undemocratic governance. […]

The sudden ouster of Shwe Mann from Burma’s ruling party reconfirmed that the military is not about to relinquish power, writes Bertil Lintner.

The sudden removal of one of Myanmar’s most powerful men sent shockwaves through the diplomatic community in the old capital of Yangon, where foreign embassies are still located. It seemed more like a midnight coup than an ordinary leadership reshuffle—security forces in the new capital, Naypyidaw, entered the headquarters of the de facto ruling party, […]

As prospects for a Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement loom large, the question of what will happen in the aftermath of an accord becomes ever more important.

Fukuyama’s Flawed Take on Burma

Contributing writer Jared Naimark challenges neoliberal recommendations made by political theorist Francis Fukuyama during a recent interview with The Irrawaddy.

Is Burma’s Opposition Ready for the Post-Suu Kyi Era?

National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has soured relations with the 88 Generation, ethnic political parties and civil society groups.

An Open Letter to Ma Ba Tha

How can adherents of a religion that teaches loving kindness and compassion for all living beings be people who preach hatred?

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