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By The Irrawaddy 30 December 2017

As the year comes to an end, here are The Irrawaddy’s picks of our incisive commentaries, definitive data journalism and analytical news stories that can help you learn more about Myanmar today. If you missed them, now is the time to catch up. Happy reading and Happy New Year!

 

Myanmar Army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing with the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, Lt. Gen. Xu Qiliang, in Beijing on Thursday. (Photo: Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing / Facebook)

Big Brother to the Rescue

With the Rakhine crisis strengthening China’s hand and limiting Western influence here, the government must plot a new strategic course.

 

Col. Keiji Suzuki. / Public Domain

The Man Behind the Burma Independence Army

Col Keiji Suzuki and Japan’s direct involvement in Myanmar’s independence movement has had far reaching consequences, writes Aung Zaw.

 

Overview of the Pledging Conference for Rohingya Refugee Crisis in Bangladesh at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland October 23, 2017.(Photo: Reuters)

Collaboration is Key to Solving Rakhine Crisis

Important players in the crisis need to establish a common understanding.

 

Myanmar journalists staged a ‘Stop Killing Press’ campaign in Yangon in 2014. (Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Press Freedom and the Invisible Line

Do we have press freedom in Myanmar? Yes, we do, but with an invisible line…. When you touch or cross it, you’re finished.

 

Myanmar Army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing (center) with President U Htin Kyaw, State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, vice presidents and house speakers on Oct. 15, the day marking the second anniversary of the signing of Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement. (Photo: Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing / Facebook )

Reassessing the Role of Myanmar’s Powerful Military

The Tatmadaw is still at the epicenter of politics. No understanding of it will prevent world and domestic leaders from achieving their goals.

 

A road in downtown Yangon in 2013.(Photo: The Irrawaddy)

Yangon: My City at Breaking Point

Once a jewel of Southeast Asia, uninhibited development, crumbling infrastructure, and unintuitive transport policies have pushed Yangon to the edge.

 

U Lwin, U Aung Shwe, U Kyi Maung and U Tin Oo.

The Khaki Guardians of The NLD

Four ex-army men moved the NLD forward while former military regimes attempted to suppress the party.

 

United Wa State Army soldiers parade through the Wa regional capital of Panghsang.(Photo: Soe Zeya Tun / Reuters)

The Rule of the Wa

The United Wa State Army recently weighed in on Burma’s process as never before, but what part will it really play, asks Lawi Weng.

 

The recently named General Aung San Bridge between Moulmein (Mawlamyine) and Chaungzon townships on the Salween River in Mon State. (Photo: Nyein Nyein / The Irrawaddy)

What is Wrong With the NLD’s Policy?

The top-down naming of a Mon State bridge—despite local objections—shows how the NLD government is wavering in its bid for national reconciliation.

 

Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar wait to be let through by Bangladeshi border guards after crossing the border in Palang Khali, Bangladesh October 16, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)

Rakhine Crisis in Numbers

The Irrawaddy illustrates the casualties and carnage of the latest Rakhine crisis in infographics.

 

About 1,000 students from Yangon’s University of Nursing protested against the Ministry of Health and Sports’ policy of issuing nurse license certifications to graduate nurses only after three years of working in government hospitals. March 15, 2017. (Photo: Myo Min Soe / The Irrawaddy)

Challenges Impede Development of Myanmar’s Public Health

Data shows that the health system has improved under the civilian government, but remains hobbled by a lack of manpower, poor funding and an urban/rural divide.

 

Supporters celebrate as they watch official results from the Union Election Commission on an LED screen in front of the National League for Democracy Party (NLD) head office in Yangon, Nov. 9, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Two Years After Election, a Mixed Report Card for NLD

As it marks the 2nd anniversary of its historic victory, the party can point to progress on health and rights, but democratic, economic development is slow.

 

Members of parliament attend a meeting at the Lower House of Myanmar’s Parliament in Naypyitaw March 10, 2016. (Photo: Soe Zayar Tun / Reuters)

What has Parliament Done so far?

Parliament draws praise for targeting oppressive laws, but some say lawmakers are not going far enough.

 

U Thet Nyunt at his home in Rangoon.

Father, Son and Granddaughter Art Exhibition

A family with three generations of artists hosts a show featuring around 200 acrylic and watercolor paintings.

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