Interviews


The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has long had an office in Myanmar that focused on ending forced labour, a practice used by the former military regime, but the ILO’s work also includes supporting freedom of association, safe labour migration and ending child labour.

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Dr. Ma Thida has served as a dissident author, editor, publisher, physician, political aide and activist—often at the same time. It is well known that she spent nearly six years in prison in the 1990s for “distributing unlawful literature”—among other charges—as an active member of Burma’s student-led democracy movement in 1988. In prison, she suffered a myriad of health issues, including tuberculosis. Her release on humanitarian grounds was not in small part due to international pressure from organizations like PEN International, of which she is now a board member.

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On a recent visit to Myanmar, Mr Adriano Campolina, Chief Executive of the international development agency, Action Aid International, has a chance to observe activism and social welfare programmes in action and check up on his NGO’s progress.

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Aung Myo Min is the executive director of Equality Myanmar, an NGO that promotes human rights, gender equality, and the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

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In November 2014 US President Barack Obama announced that Peace Corps would open a program in Myanmar – the 141st country to work with the US government-funded organisation, established in 1961.

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The Australia-Myanmar Chamber of Commerce Responsible Investment Working Group has launched a Position Paper: Incentivising Shared Value at the Asian Forum on Corporate Social Responsibility in Naypyidaw on 19 September.

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The landmark 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference that concluded in Nay Pyi Taw on September 3 was hailed as a major step forward towards ending decades of civil conflict.

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Shin Thant is an activist working with Colors Rainbow, an NGO advocating for the rights of Myanmar’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

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Earlier this month, the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) was roiled in controversy when it dismissed five executive members in Shan State, including the party’s state chairperson, Khin Moe Moe, in what some observers regarded as a heavy-handed manner. The move was carried out under orders from Win Htein, a senior NLD member close to party leader Aung San Suu Kyi who has often been faulted for his handling of sensitive matters. DVB spoke with him recently about this latest incident.

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The Irrawaddy speaks with veteran Burma scholar David Steinberg about burgeoning US-Burma relations, an anticipated easing of US sanctions, and the prospect of military-to-military engagement between the two countries.

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The Irrawaddy asks Swedish journalist, author and Burma expert Bertil Lintner about the changing US-Burma relationship, as Burma’s State Counselor and Foreign Minister Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visits the US this week.

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Five months after the transfer of power to the new government in April, former Minister of Information (2014-16) U Ye Htut became a senior visiting fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. While in Burma conducting research for a book to be published later this year, he spoke to The Irrawaddy about his past experiences in government and views on the current administration.

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As Burma’s Union Peace Conference began in Naypyidaw in late August, fighting resumed in Karen State’s Myaing Gyi Nyu and Mae Tha Waw between a splinter group of the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA) and the Burma Army-backed Border Guard Force (BGF). The DKBA splinter group, named after its late commander Maj Na Ma Kyar, claimed the Burma Army used the BGF to chase them because their leader, Maj Saw San Aung, is on the BGF wanted list. Irrawaddy reporter Saw Yan Naing spoke to Maj Saw San Aung about the fighting.

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New Telenor Myanmar CEO Lars Erik Tellmann speaks to Frontier about improving data speeds in urban areas, aggressive promotions and the factors that will drive future growth.

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More than a month after initial reports of a deadly outbreak of measles in the Naga Self-Administered Zone started reaching people outside of this remote region of northern Burma, people there continue to die from the disease, despite efforts to contain its spread. To find out about the response to the health crisis hitting one of the poorest parts of Burma, DVB spoke to Naw Aung Sann, the general secretary of the Council of Naga Affairs.

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Aye Thada Hla is a communications coordinator of the Gender Equality Network comprising more than 100 local and international civil society organisations, all of which are committed to improving women’s rights and addressing gender inequality in Myanmar.

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Visiting UK Minister Rory Stewart has expressed his optimism over Myanmar’s future and called for patience as the Myanmar government attempts to deal with a raft of challenges.

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Three ethnic armed groups—the Ta’ang Nationalities Liberation Army, Arakan Army and Kokang’s Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army—currently involved in active conflict with the Burma Army in northern Shan State issued a statement on Thursday announcing their readiness to join the Union Peace Conference, scheduled to begin on August 31 in Naypyidaw.

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UK-based author Joe Studwell made a list of recommended reads by Bill Gates with his influential book “How Asia Works,” an analysis of success and failure in Asian economies.

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It’s complicated: In an interview with The Irrawaddy, longtime Burma expert Bertil Lintner assesses the many interests at play during State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit to China on Wednesday.

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