Myanmar’s Military Holds Key to Further Reform

What does Myanmar need to push through a successful democratic transition? It must build strong institutions, transform the economy, and end decades of conflict between ethnic armed groups and government forces, among numerous other challenges. Yet, these enormous tasks seem trivial when compared to what is probably the biggest obstacle to further democratic reform: the […]

China Showers Myanmar With Attention, as Trump Looks Elsewhere

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar — When Myanmar’s leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, wanted to hold a peace conference to end her country’s long-burning insurgencies, a senior Chinese diplomat went to work. The official assembled scores of rebel leaders, many with longstanding connections to China, briefed them on the peace gathering and flew them on a chartered […]

Sustainability is Key to the Future of Tourism in Myanmar

Destination management is needed to achieve sustainable tourism, which will contribute to jobs and long-term growth in Myanmar. “This is Burma and it will be quite unlike any land you know about,” celebrated novelist, Rudyard Kipling, wrote over a century ago. Even today, his thoughts hold true, with Myanmar offering a unique experience to the […]

The Kra Canal that cuts Thailand into two – will it become a reality?

The ancient dreams of constructing a canal across the Kra Isthmus had been rekindled. A few weeks ago, there was a news item in the local media in Thailand related to the revival of the idea of building a canal across the narrow strip of land, geographically known as the Malay Peninsula, in Southern Thailand. […]

Rangoon Taxis Need Reform

Rangoon has around 70,000 taxis plying the city’s streets, many owned and run by individuals. There are two local pioneering app-based cab service providers—Hello Cabs and Oway Ride—cultivating a culture in which apps are used to hail taxis in the city since 2016. The two are now set to compete with foreign brands: Singapore-based firm […]

Villagers in Myanmar Describe the Destructive Power of China’s Building Frenzy

Kyaukphyu, Myanmar — President Xi Jinping of China is hosting a conference in Beijing this weekend to showcase one of his biggest gambles: a planned investment in pipelines, ports, trains, roads and other projects to link China to much of the rest of the world, including Europe and Africa. Called One Belt, One Road, the multibillion-dollar initiative seeks to generate business for China’s state-owned enterprises […]

Rangoon MP: Owners of Unlawful Game Centers Should be Punished—Not Employees

RANGOON — A lawmaker has called for clearer definitions of illegal gambling machines sometimes found in “game centers” in Rangoon and more accountability for the owners of such firms. MP U Than Naing Oo of Panbedan Township asked Rangoon Mayor U Maung Maung Soe in a divisional parliamentary session on Monday to specify illegal gambling […]

Yangon University is modelled on Oxford, but there are no dreaming spires

Walking around Yangon, though there are the affluent areas and fast food restaurants that exist in nearly all big cities, these areas are few and far between. Poverty pervades in this former capital city to a greater extent than in many of its Southeast Asian counterparts. The military regime, though removed in 2013, has had […]

Adviser: Actually, the Government Has Made Significant Strides on the Economy

Government economic adviser Sean Turnell has hit back against a barrage of recent criticism over the performance of the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led administration during its first year of office. The government’s achievements on the economy were “considerable” and “too often overlooked” the adviser said. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s government has been bruised […]

Yangon and Hong Kong: A forgotten tale of two cities

To many people in Hong Kong, Myanmar might sound exotic and unfamiliar. The fact remains, however, that the country, formerly known as Burma, and our city both used to be British colonies and have close ties with each other. Yangon (also known as Rangoon), Myanmar’s largest city and former capital, was once a key trading […]