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.

International media have misconstrued Suu Kyi’s necessarily cautious policy as collaboration with the generals, but the need for inclusive dialogue in Arakan State remains urgent.

Parliament Proves Conflict-Averse, to Ethnic MPs’ Dismay

With the ruling party deferring on parliamentary deliberations of the recent conflict in western Burma, some say ethnic minorities’ constituents are being robbed of a voice.

Aung San Suu Kyi has had frosty relations with Japan because of Tokyo’s support for previous regimes. Now that she’s in charge, will that change?

Under Thein Sein’s leadership, the USDP expels 17 key members including Shwe Mann, but perhaps cannot remove him as easily as they had wished.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s diplomatic knowledge and skills will be tested by the complexity of both internal issues back home and current Southeast Asian politics.

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