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.


Removing Burmese tycoons from the US sanctions list doesn’t necessarily mean they are clean, writes The Irrawaddy’s founding editor Aung Zaw.

Washington Conference Foreshadows Lifting of Sanctions

Activists following the event decry a lack of concern for issues they feel should have taken precedence over an accelerated economic agenda. 

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 that he is facing.

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.

Despite Criticism, Suu Kyi Offers Hope to Rohingya

After traveling to Rohingya IDP camps for years, veteran reporter Lawi Weng reflects on the causes of discord.

Those calling for the NLD government to prioritize the Arakan State crisis should consider the wider suffering caused by conflict across Burma.

Natural Resources Can Pay for Burma’s Needs

The government should smooth out year-on-year spending, upgrade tax collection and channel the wealth of state-owned enterprises into social programs.

The United Nationalities Federal Council has been invited to the upcoming nationwide peace talks, but concerns over inclusion may keep it on the sidelines.

The Burma Army’s refusal to halt its offensive campaigns has fueled skepticism and undermined the trust required for peace with ethnic armed groups.

Disunity among ethnic armed groups may result in irreconcilable demands, frustrating Suu Kyi’s plans for a ‘21st Century Panglong Conference.’

Burma’s Right to Information Movement Can Learn From India

A grassroots movement started in rural India in the 1980s overturned a decades-old policy of government secrecy. Burma could learn a lot from this process.

Why is Min Aung Hlaing, the Burma Army’s Commander-in-Chief, cozying up to Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy? And will it work?

The National League for Democracy risks losing the support of ethnic groups if it continues to ignore their demands and engaging in petty party politics.

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