Opinion


Myanmar is transitioning from military rule to democracy – a difficult project considering that the country has never been united. The difficulties of this transition date back to 1947 when the Panglong Agreement was reached, which formalised Myanmar’s independence from Britain. But while the Burmese military argued for a unitary state, ethnic minority groups wanted a choice of whether to remain or secede from the newly established Union of Burma.

(more…)

Over the past 20 years we have witnessed huge changes in the country. But this year, we have perhaps the biggest change of all with the move to a democratically elected government. There can be no doubt that the National League for Democracy earned a huge mandate from the people.

(more…)

Over 1,000 Karen refugees who fled from Mae Tha Wor in Karen State to Karen villages close to the border with Thailand after fighting in September face difficulties with food supplies, accommodation and travel.

(more…)

Following his initial announcement on September 14 alongside State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi during her US visit, US President Barack Obama on October 7 signed an executive order terminating the remaining US sanctions against Myanmar.

(more…)

Ever since I was able to speak and became conscious of my own actions, I remember telling my mom that I wished I were a boy. This wasn’t astonishing because you would always find me as the only girl among the boys, playing games only boys would play. Besides, most of my close friends and playmates were boys. My parents happily allowed this until I started middle school.

(more…)

A new investment law has been rushed through Burma’s Parliament, with the Upper House giving its approval on Oct. 6. According to the Myanmar Investment Commission, the law is expected to take effect soon.

(more…)

“Do not put your trust in man. Rather, trust the constitution that we will be drafting.” These were the very words that Bogyoke Aung San used to address the deep mistrust expressed by Shan, Kachin and Chin representatives about certain ethnic Bamar leaders when he persuaded them to sign the historic Panglong Agreement in February 1947.

(more…)

In the immediate aftermath of the October 9 attacks on security forces in northern Rakhine State’s Maungdaw township, rumours, accusations and outright propaganda quickly crowded out what little was actually known about the situation.

(more…)

Myanmar’s de factor leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is seeking to carefully balance relations with major powers as part of her commitment to revive the country’s tradition of employing a neutral foreign policy. Suu Kyi’s India visit this week follows trips to Beijing and Washington.

(more…)

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is recognised nationally and internationally as the nation’s de-facto leader. It’s time for the Tatmadaw to support the repeal of section 59(f) of the constitution and allow her to become head of state.

(more…)

One can make a strong argument that the ongoing insurgent violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State has been in the making for some time now.

(more…)

State media recently reported that the Yangon Region government had cancelled a plan to allow the import of frozen chicken meat from abroad. Several months ago, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein had proposed allowing imports in an effort to bring down the market price of chicken and make it more affordable.

(more…)

On Oct. 9, as many as 500 to 800 people armed with knives, slingshots and a small collection of firearms launched three separate, coordinated attacks on border police bases in northern Rakhine State, near Myanmar’s border with Bangladesh. Nine police officers and eight attackers were killed, and at least 50 weapons and 10,000 rounds of ammunition were looted. There have been several deadly clashes since, as the security forces attempt to capture the attackers and retrieve the arms cache, with at least 22 further casualties on both sides.

(more…)

A nightmare has become reality in this country: A Chimera has been born out of oppression, fear, deliberate provocation and complicit silence whose gestation has been surprisingly long but, having materialised, has already claimed dozens of lives.

(more…)

The Myanmar rural women’s network May Doe Kabar was created one year ago, on October 15, International Rural Women’s Day. The journey over the past year has been exciting. We have held talks on gender-based violence across the country, co-developed and launched a mobile phone application, and organised training to help women generate income. We have come a long way and we know we have a long way to go.

(more…)

On October 6, the President’s Office issued a notice saying the human rights commission had let four of its members, Zaw Win, Dr. Nyan Zaw, Mya Mya and Dr.Than New, voluntarily resign from their posts following the recent outcry over two abused teenage maids who were encouraged by the commission to accept compensation money from the perpetrators.

(more…)

As we move towards the end of the year, civil war continues to rage across the country especially in Kachin State. Numerous negotiations have taken places but to date, no quantifiable results can be seen.

(more…)

Last week Myanmar media and Facebook were ablaze with reports of clashes between the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), aka the Mong La group.

(more…)

The Burmese government’s peace parley, dubbed “the 21st Century Panglong”, in Naypyidaw at the end of August was hardly over before the Tatmadaw went on the offensive again.

(more…)

In the immediate aftermath of last Sunday’s attacks on security forces in northern Arakan State’s Maungdaw Township, rumours, accusations and outright propaganda quickly crowded out what little was actually known about the situation.

(more…)

Next Page »