Burma will need the full cooperation of its security forces in order to contain the perfect storm of events unfolding in northern Arakan State.
The first anniversary of the ceasefire signing is commemorated in Naypyidaw by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, amid ongoing fighting to the north.
The failed peace policies of previous military regimes have been continued under the present government, with the aid of foreign “peacemakers.”
Critics of Burma’s military generals understand that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s US visit will bring business, wealth and amnesty to many powerful people who remain out of favor.
Activists following the event decry a lack of concern for issues they feel should have taken precedence over an accelerated economic agenda.
Removing Burmese tycoons from the US sanctions list doesn’t necessarily mean they are clean, writes The Irrawaddy’s founding editor Aung Zaw.
Even if the popular State Counselor were in Kofi Annan’s position and visited Arakan State—speaking openly about what she saw—it is likely that she would receive the same criticism
The purpose of keeping sanctions is to advance democratic reform in Burma, ensuring that the military fully withdraws from politics in the future.
A vortex of vested interests runs up against the state counselor’s consolidation of decision-making power, in an increasingly complex peace process.
Aung San Suu Kyi’s diplomatic skills will be severely tested on her trip to China, as she attempts to set a new tone in Sino-Burmese relations.
If one were to ask who is ultimately in charge in Burma—State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi or army chief Min Aung Hlaing—they might find no clear answer, writes Lawi Weng.
Preparations to enable the return of refugees on the Thai-Burma border raise concerns of indirect ‘pressure’ in light of unsafe environments for return.
To achieve peace, Aung San Suu Kyi must find common ground with army generals as well as ethnic leaders, and the events of last week have been encouraging.
The new government is being given the benefit of the doubt by the public, despite apparent shortcomings, but such tolerance should not be taken for granted.
After traveling to Rohingya IDP camps for years, veteran reporter Lawi Weng reflects on the causes of discord.