As Suu Kyi heads home, solving dam deadlock remains key to improving ties between China and Myanmar

The improvement of ties between China and Myanmar still hinges on a deadlocked dam project despite Aung San Suu Kyi’s largely successful visit to China as Myanmar’s de facto leader, according to diplomatic observers. The suspension of the US$3.6 billion Myitsone project on the Irrawaddy River by Suu Kyi’s predecessor Thein Sein in 2011 plunged […]

Myanmar’s new dawn: timeline of a troubled nation

YANGON – Myanmar entered a new era on Wednesday as the first civilian-led government took over with the swearing in of Aung San Suu Kyi’s proxy president Htin Kyaw, officially ending decades of brutal and isolationist military control. Here is a timeline of a nation that went from colony to military dictatorship, but has begun […]

Kyaiktiyo hotel zone to receive electricity, road renovation

The Myanmar government will install electrical supply infrastructure and renovate the roads in the hotel zone near the Kyaiktiyo Pagoda starting in 2016, according to the Myanmar Hotels Association. The Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC) designated 100 acres for the hotel zone. “Currently, a land plot measuring 100 acres wide has been designated for the hotel […]

From icon to politician – As Myanmar changes, so does Suu Kyi

When Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi spoke warmly on a recent radio show about a critical meeting that followed her landslide election victory, she was referring to talks with the very man who had detained her for 15 years. Listeners might have been surprised by the Nobel peace laureate’s gentle tone towards Than Shwe, former […]

Myanmar’s former junta leader sees Suu Kyi as country’s ‘future leader’

Myanmar’s former junta leader sees Aung San Suu Kyi as the country’s “future leader” and has pledged to support her even though she is currently barred by the constitution from becoming president, his grandson said on Saturday. Than Shwe, who headed a military junta until he stepped down in 2011 and who many believe remains […]

Burma’s capital: a super-sized slice of post-apocalypse suburbia

Driving through Naypyidaw, the purpose-built capital of Burma, it could be easy to forget that you’re in the middle of one of south-east Asia’s poorest countries. On either side of the street, a seemingly endless series of giant detached buildings, villa-style hotels and shopping malls look like they have fallen from the sky, all painted […]

Myanmar’s Royal Legacy

When you visit the home of the long-lost heir to the Burmese throne, you’re not supposed to sit on a chair. Nor are you to sit on the wooden bench, above which hang black and white family portraits, including an image of Queen Supalayat and King Thibaw, the last in a line of absolute rulers. […]

Myanmar workers prefer to work in Thailand

Large-scale commercial building projects in Rangoon are reportedly being delayed by a shortage of skilled labor because Burmese workers still prefer jobs in Thailand. More than 2 million migrant workers remain in Thailand, where there are frequent reports of abuse and cheating by employers and job agents, and thousands of Burmese also choose to endure […]

From General to Politician: A Conversation with Shwe Mann

Shwe Mann was once one of Burma’s most powerful generals, ranking third in the hierarchy of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the military regime that ruled until 2011; today, he is the speaker of the Union Parliament, and a key player in the country’s ongoing political transition. Until Thein Sein was named president, […]

Japan Interest in Dawei Industrial Zone Seen as Unlikely

Efforts by the Thai government to attract Japanese investment in a port-industrial complex at Dawei on Burma’s southeast coast are doomed, a prominent regional economist said. “I don’t think the Japanese are at all interested in Dawei. To the extent their name keeps cropping up, I expect it reflects the desire of the zone’s promoters, […]