The Most Popular Stories of 2019
By The Irrawaddy 28 December 2019
YANGON—As the year draws to a close, The Irrawaddy takes a step back and presents a compilation of the year’s most noteworthy stories as chosen by you, our readers. The following articles were the most read among the many features, commentaries, analyses, interviews and lifestyle pieces we published throughout 2019. The topics are as diverse as Myanmar itself—The Irrawaddy’s readers showed a strong curiosity about everything from a one-on-one interview with the Arakan Army chief to a review of a Yangon café that lets patrons dine in the company of exotic animals. Throughout the year, topics like the parliamentary fight over charter change, the uncertain impacts of Chinese investment and tourism, the plight of civilians caught up in the country’s ethnic armed conflicts, and Myanmar’s lively art scene were all consistently popular. We hope you enjoy this in-depth look at the year gone by, and extend our best wishes for the year to come.
The NLD had no choice but to force the military to engage with constitutional reform in Parliament
In this pre-election year, defenders of democracy must remain vigilant against any development that could disrupt preparations for the 2020 vote.
A look at those articles of the Constitution the NLD is most likely to target for amendment first—and why.
Under the 2008 Constitution, if the USDP and its allies win 26 percent of Parliament seats, the army chief could become president without even running for office.
As Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing grooms his juniors, who is likeliest to take his place when he steps down, and what do recent military shake-ups mean for the 2020 elections?
Court and police procedure questioned in defamation case against Myanmar Now editor brought by follower of ultranationalist monk U Wirathu
Politicians, Kachin activists, environmentalists join displaced villagers in taking a stand against the BRI project on the Irrawaddy River.
In 2015 many farmers in Irrawaddy Region voted for the NLD expecting the party to win them their stolen land back. More than three years on, they have little to show for it.
Amid constant threats to their security, Rakhine civilians are treated with suspicion by the military, while police and state officials are unable or unwilling to help.
With no quick fix in sight for intrusive hotels and tourism-related accommodations, the legacy of years of mismanagement continues to be felt in the ancient city.
Declaring a state of emergency or inserting more troops will not solve the root causes of the conflict.
The NLD’s move to amend the Constitution is a first small step in what will surely be a difficult journey.
As she leads Myanmar’s legal team to the ICJ, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi returns to the international spotlight, playing a new role: defender of the national interest.
On the Rohingya crisis, the government must prepare to work with ASEAN and others, but ultimately the solution will have to come from within.
As the commander-in-chief visits India, New Delhi and Naypyitaw have much to gain from enhancing mutual ties.
Overlooked in favor of foreigners since colonial times, local photographers left a rich legacy of images, Austrian photographer and historian says
National Museum show is the best-attended it has ever put on
‘The Art of Hearing Heartbeats’ to start filming next year in Myanmar, U.S. and Thailand
Be sure to bring your smartphone and earphones to the punk rocker and painter’s second solo show, ‘Micro’
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi presents democracy as a moral value, author Michal Lubina argues in his analysis of the State Counselor’s political thought.
A press conference on Saturday heard the military saying they would step back from politics when there are no ethnic armed groups and the country is in peace.
A closer look at the facts and figures behind expanding China-owned tissue culture banana plantations causing havoc for locals and lawmakers in Kachin State.
Players and experts in a variety of business fields spoke to The Irrawaddy on their predictions for Myanmar’s economy in 2019, with more positive than negative views overall.
Ten major projects currently planned with powerful neighboring countries promise to address Myanmar’s infrastructure needs, but have the social, environmental and other costs been fully assessed?
Maj-Gen. Htun Myat Naing denies links to ARSA, says he doesn’t underestimate the abilities of the Tatmadaw. He welcomes China’s role as peace broker, and foreign investment if it
“If they want to destroy our land [Rakhine State], we should destroy their [the Bamars’] land. If they offer peace, we will welcome it as warmly as we can,” said Tun Myat Naing.
The Irrawaddy spoke with businessman and government adviser U Htun Htun Naing about the current investment climate, foreign interest, and how to revive the state’s poor image.
In a wide-ranging interview, the US envoy gives The Irrawaddy his thoughts on the many domestic and international challenges facing Myanmar, and the state of the bilateral relationship.
KIA triggered clashes in Shan by moving beyond agreed boundaries; road construction in Karen State to continue, says Brig-Gen. Zaw Min Tun
Yo Ya May supports 200 weavers in the remote hills of Chin and Rakhine states by selling their handwoven textiles in Yangon and beyond.
Artist Htein Lin’s bold new exhibition, ‘Skirting the Issue’, invites participants to question whether and why they follow discriminatory customs.
Known for his modernist paintings of cityscapes, street scenes and depictions of Myanmar traditions, Zaw Mong exhibits his first collection of nude paintings this week.
Photographers from Dhaka and Yangon come together to create a book of visual narratives discussing cultural, societal and identity realities on both sides of the Naf River.
Mingalarpar 104 will showcase more than 50 works about the independence hero by artists MPP Ye Myint and Han Kyaw Moe at the We Creation gallery through Sunday.
Photographer Ko Myo, three-time winner at Yangon Photo Festival, risks his life to document the illicit elephant trade in Myanmar through touching photo essays.
A selection of infographics to illustrate all Chinese investment projects in Myanmar between 1988 and 2018, including those proposed, underway, completed and stalled.
The Irrawaddy takes a critical look at the major infrastructure projects which are part of China’s BRI efforts in Myanmar due to get underway this year.
A graphic guide to the work of the joint parliamentary panel set up to draft changes to the 2008 Constitution, which submitted a list of 3,765 proposals on Monday.
The Irrawaddy’s infographic gives a rundown of the 80 sweeping development projects set to change the lives of 8.2 million citizens of Yangon city and region forever.
A detailed breakdown of the chapters and articles most likely to be targeted for reform by the government
The Irrawaddy sits down with NLD lawmaker U Aung Kyi Nyunt to discuss the long road to democracy, and the merits of Myanmar’s ‘obligation-based’ society.
Dateline and guests discuss the 2020 elections, ethnic parties and the NLD.
The Irrawaddy talks to Muslim faith leader Haji U Aye Lwin and political analyst Maung Maung Soe about the State Counselor’s move to lead Myanmar’s defense at The Hague.
The Irrawaddy discusses the forced closure of a temporary Islamic prayer site in Yangon by a crowd of Buddhist nationalists.
The Irrawaddy talks to one of the NLD’s point men on charter change about the party’s objectives for the process, and what’s at stake for the country.
Would you like a Burmese python with your order? Lizzo and Mammo is a bizarre new pet café where you can get up close and personal with a range of fierce and furry animals.
These six bars may be just the ticket for those looking to pair their drinks with some live music at the end of a long day.
The glamorous awards event disappointed many who were hoping for the makers of Myanmar’s new wave of modern and creative movies to finally get the recognition they deserve.
Chef Ko Padang Laroi has added two combination meals to the menu at this award-winning ethnic eatery in Kamayut Township.
Ditch the chocolates and roses and give your loved one goose bumps with some unexpected, unique, creative, do-it-yourself and locally made gifts.