Opinion


A week ago as Aung San Suu Kyi and US President Barack Obama were meeting in Yangon, a piece of largely unreported news slipped out of the capital, Nay Pyi Taw. (more…)

In the silences as well as the speeches made during President Obama’s recent visit to Myanmar, attentive observers could glimpse a dramatic illustration of the tension between morality and amoral realism in the execution of US foreign policy. (more…)

The ASEAN Summit is finished. The international visitors have moved on, Naypyidaw hoteliers can adjust their room rates to reasonable levels again, and the Myanmar government can breathe a sigh of relief. (more…)

Last year, when I was in Ma Ja Yang in Northern Kachin State, Burmese fighter bombers, at the height of the peace process, had just flown low over the nearby IDP camp. Two terrified children dug themselves into an earth bank for refuge. In heavy rains the bank collapsed and they suffocated to death: two unrecorded deaths in a sixty year old war involving, arguably, the deaths of millions. But this year these two children may have surfaced, along with millions of others, in the most unlikeliest of places: the government’s 2014 census. Burma’s population, it turns out, is about nine million below what was expected. These two children, and nine million others, are not there. No one is commenting on this. No one is asking why. The most significant and extraordinary information to have come out of the country for decades, identifying 20 percent of Burma’s expected population is “Missing,” is disregarded. (more…)

Burma’s pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has conceded that she is unable to force through the constitutional changes that would allow her to run for the presidency, and has even gone so far as to acknowledge house Speaker Shwe Mann’s timetable for reform as “realistic”. (more…)

Myanmar is in the midst of changes unparalleled in our history. Expectations are high, but the needs of our people are even greater. We must succeed in our transition to peace, democracy and inclusive economic development. And for this to happen we need the rest of the world to appreciate the complexity of the challenges that the Burmese government faces. (more…)

US President Barack Obama’s reading of Burma’s current political situation is markedly different from what many Burmese people have perceived over the last two years. (more…)

President Obama was ebullient during his historic visit to Myanmar in November 2012, the first by an American president to a nation that appeared on the cusp of a democratic transformation after five decades of authoritarian rule. But, in the two years since, the military-dominated, quasi-civilian government in Yangon has moved far too slowly on the commitments to reforms it made to the United States when the two nations pledged to begin a new relationship. (more…)

As Barack Obama makes an unprecedented second visit by a U.S. president to Burma, the bad news just keeps rolling in. But he can still make the trip a success. (more…)

President Barack Obama’s visit to Myanmar this week once again puts a spotlight on the progress of the country’s opening up and political transition. But in a familiar refrain: it’s the economy, stupid. (more…)

US President Barack Obama’s visit to Burma in 2012 was a celebration of the nation’s historic shift from military rule. But as Obama returns this week, optimism over economic and political reforms has faded. Revered opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has questioned what’s been accomplished in the last two years. (more…)

United States President Barack Obama is making his second visit in as many years to Myanmar this week, a trip that comes under a growing cloud of concern that the reforms he so eagerly welcomed in 2012 have stalled or even reversed course. (more…)

Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate who leads Burma’s opposition, summed it up during her press conference last week. The country’s transition to democracy, she said, has “stalled.” She didn’t specify who was responsible for the failure to push through advertised reforms. But many of her compatriots didn’t find it hard to imagine whom she had in mind. (more…)

Myanmar is now hosting 25th Asean Summit and its related meetings held in Nay Pyi Taw, a new capital, starting from November 9. The heads of the States/Governments will attend the Summit. (more…)

Defying the odds in a country where most high-ranking positions are held by men, more women are slowly climbing the ladder in government service. But their path remains strewn with obstacles and women say that powerful relationships are often necessary for success. (more…)

President Barack Obama is in Asia for a week of summit politics. During this week of high-profile engagements, one small country will play an outsized role. This trip comes at an important moment for the U.S. relationship with Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. (more…)

The Nobel laureate’s refusal to condemn documented atrocities suggests that political calculation has trumped human rights in her thinking. (more…)

On Nov. 11, President Obama will travel to Myanmar for the ninth East Asia Summit, a meeting of leaders from across the Pacific Rim. It will be the president’s second trip to a country that, for decades, was seen as a pariah in Washington, run by a brutal and xenophobic military regime that gunned down protestors in the streets and jailed opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. In 1997, the Clinton administration signed a law barring new U.S. investment, and the George W. Bush administration made the sanctions even tougher. (more…)

The spotlight falls on the state of Myanmar’s political reforms next week when world leaders visit the country for the annual East Asia Summit. In recent months, discussions among the nation’s political heavyweights have focused on next year’s elections and the progress of the internal peace process. US president Barack Obama will probably raise concerns over the pace of democratic change. (more…)

When you choose to challenge gravity, the decision on who to trust is an important one, and in Myanmar not always one that remains in your hands. (more…)

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