In the April 2014 print edition of The Irrawaddy magazine, we look at efforts to give Yangon’s electricity supply a much-needed boost. As the city heads into its hottest season of the year, there are hopes that new gas-fired power plants could help make the annual power drought a thing of the past.
In our opinion section, we examine one of the less well-known legacies of decades of military misrule: the thriving trade in fake Myanmar passports. Although false documents helped to protect many exiled dissidents, there is now a growing danger that they could end up in the wrong hands.
In business, we speak to one of the country’s leading property developers about Yangon’s chronic shortage of affordable housing, and look at the impact of a ban on the export of raw timber. We also check in on the shady business of parasol-making.
Our features section includes stories on forgotten aspects of Myanmar’s past. In one, we visit a remote corner of Sagaing Region to learn about the fate of the Bayingyi, descendants of Portuguese adventurers who first arrived in the country around 500 years ago. In another, we explore a museum in Shan State that seems more intent on erasing the past than preserving it.
Also in this section, we ask whether today’s Tatmadaw is really the same army that Bogyoke Aung San created to help Myanmar achieve independence from colonial rule.
This issue also offers an adventure on wheels, with a story about how to see the country by bicycle. Also in our lifestyle section, we profile a successful fashion designer who is bringing a bit of SoHo to Yangon, and learn about an artist who captures the beauty of the city by night.
To mark the start of the traditional Buddhist New Year, we also have a story on how the festive season has changed over the years. Despite its reputation for wet and wild good times, we find that Thingyan is still also a time for more traditional observances.
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