In the March 2014 print edition of The Irrawaddy magazine, we visit Inle Lake, where efforts are afoot to protect one of Myanmar’s most popular tourist destinations. As drought and pollution continue to take their toll, there are hopes that the right kind of investment in tourism could make a difference.
In our opinion section, we look at how twisting the truth to suit those in power has become almost second nature in Myanmar after decades of brutal authoritarian rule. If the country’s people want real democracy, we argue, they will have to break themselves of the habit of settling for their leaders’ lies.
In business, we find out the latest on plans to establish a stock market in Yangon, and hear from one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs. We also try to figure out what’s behind Myanmar’s odd obsession with crisp, clean dollar bills.
We also examine the sensitive subject of educating the young about sex. Despite cultural hurdles, our reporter finds that there is a growing awareness of the need for frank discussion about a topic that remains a taboo for many in Myanmar.
Also on the subject of education, we look at efforts to help boys working in teashops catch up on lost years of schooling with a program that brings classrooms to them.
“Federalism” is one of the most discussed words in Myanmar politics these days, but not much has been said about what form best suits the country’s needs. A veteran observer of Myanmar affairs offers a model that may come as a surprise to many.
This issue also takes in some of Myanmar’s famous and not-so-famous travel destinations, from the majestic temples of Bagan and the intriguing caves of Pindaya to the beaches of Ngwe Saung and the remote back roads of the Myanmar-India frontier. Along the way, we also visit Chin State to learn about the dying practice of tattooing women’s faces.
Closer to home, we have a review of a new Shan restaurant in Yangon that sets a new standard for this popular ethnic cuisine, and visit Maha Bandoola Park for a day out that doesn’t involve leaving downtown.
If you want to know what makes Myanmar tick, read The Irrawaddy, the monthly newsmagazine that gives you in-depth reporting and a fresh take on the country’s many attractions.
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