Boris Johnson caught on camera reciting Kipling in Myanmar temple

The foreign secretary has been accused of “incredible insensitivity” after it emerged he recited part of a colonial-era Rudyard Kipling poem in front of local dignitaries while on an official visit to Myanmar in January. Boris Johnson was inside the Shwedagon Pagoda, the most sacred Buddhist site in the capital Yangon, when he started uttering […]

Why the US Election Matters for Myanmar

The next president will determine whether Obama’s interest in Myanmar was aberration or precedent. In January, U.S. President Barack Obama will leave office and presumably begin work on his highly anticipated memoir. As Obama reflects over the past eight years, he will most certainly meditate on his engagement with Myanmar, and how it became such […]

Myanmar’s golden pearls outshine rivals

NAYPYITAW — Hillary Clinton wears them, and so does Aung San Suu Kyi. They nearly disappeared for decades under military rule, but the world’s most sought-after pearls are once again to be found in Myanmar. Two international auctions this year — in Hong Kong in March and Naypyitaw in late June — saw traders bid […]

NLD to look West, but not ignore its tough neighbours

  Revered in the West almost as much as at home, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi may steer Myanmar’s foregin policy to a westward pivot to some degree, although the Nobel Peace Prize winner has already shown she understands the realities of dealing with powerful Asian neighbours. The importance of relations with Beijing was emphasized […]

Myanmar’s US Lobby Link Enters the Spotlight

This week, several media outlets reported that Myanmar had hired the Podesta Group, a powerful US lobbying firm, to represent its interests in Washington. Connections between governments and other influential actors in Washington are far from unique to Myanmar. And speculations about links between the Myanmar government and the Podesta Group – a firm founded […]

Myanmar, ASEAN, and the China Challenge

As Myanmar gears up to host this weekend’s ASEAN Regional Forum, it may find that its role is both a blessing and a curse. While Myanmar welcomes its chance in the spotlight as ASEAN Chair, that role is increasingly difficult to play. Maritime disputes in the South China Sea threaten to turn each ASEAN meeting […]