India took 180-degree turn in Myanmar policy: Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi: India took a “180-degree turn” in its approach towards Myanmar from being pro-democracy and anti-junta when Jaswant Singh was External Affairs Minister as it could not afford to surrender its influence on the country to China and Pakistan, former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor today said. He said that successive governments too followed the […]

The Burma road

Spend a day in Yangon, shuttling among new high-rises and bars before retreating to your boutique hotel, and you can almost believe that after decades of isolation, Myanmar is squarely on the road to prosperity. Spend more than a few days, however, and the cracks start showing: intermittent power cuts, ancient sewage systems, insufficient housing […]

Only Suu Kyi Speaks for NLD, Party Says After Speaker Slip

The National League for Democracy (NLD) announced on Friday that party chairwoman Aung San Suu Kyi is the only person authorized to speak publicly about the party’s policy decisions. In a statement shared on social media, the NLD said it has to “handle things delicately at present,” as the party prepares to assume power after […]

Uncertainty as political transitions loom in CLMV

  Mainland South-east Asia is set for a year of uncertainty and potential friction as sensitive political transitions loom, especially in Thailand and Myanmar, and external economic factors, like the slump in commodity prices and China’s slowdown, take the steam out of regional economies. Vietnam is set for a party congress early this year, which […]

Myanmar vote raises hopes for sanctions removal

As the National League for Democracy (NLD) looks poised to win Myanmar’s historic elections, western exporters hope that a democratic transition may bring further easing of the US sanctions regime. The first round of sanctions lifting occurred in 2012 after the military regime agreed to loosen its grip on power and establish a civilian parliament, […]

Experts warn Myanmar’s opposition victory could affect Japanese businesses

In the wake of Myanmar’s ruling party conceding defeat to Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition forces in the nation’s first free general election in 25 years, Japanese experts say it could have mixed repercussions for Japanese companies investing there. “We lost,” Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) leader Htay Oo, a close ally of President […]

Elections mean brisk business for Yangon printing shops

Business has been especially good for a cluster of shops in the Shwe Gone Daing area in Yangon city who provide screen printing services for posters and company T-shirts. For the past few weeks, they have been printing political party merchandise in preparation for the coming Myanmar elections on Nov 8. The two most obvious […]

A nation in a chrysalis

Paranoia surrounding security isn’t palpable in Yangon. Passing the immigration counter at Yangon international airport, and with it the completely unfounded fear of being deported on arrival, I reach the Telenor counter for a SIM card. I am ready with my photo and ID-proof documents, but all that the teenaged boy at the counter takes […]

Myanmar elections will ‘not loosen military’s grip on business’

The outcome of Myanmar’s forthcoming national elections will do nothing to reduce the military’s business control over natural resources, but the return of a USDP-led government should ensure a continuing pro-business outlook from Nay Pyi Taw, a study said. The opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) is expected to do well in the November elections, […]

Myanmar garment workers long for ‘manufacturing renaissance’

YANGON, Myanmar – Wearing an expression of intense concentration, Myanmar garment worker Htet Myat Nyein stitches jackets bound for wealthy foreign high streets, part of a booming industry fuelling much of the country’s modernization drive. “I learned to sew at this factory,” she tells the Agence France-Presse, her soft voice almost lost in the clatter […]