How Did Myanmar’s Reforms Change Its Relations With China?

I first visited Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) in February 2013, two months after then-U.S. President Barack Obama’s landmark visit to that country. One thing that has been inscribed in my fond memories of the visit is that many street vendors in Yangon (formerly Rangoon) were hawking T-shirts with Obama’s headshot and a caption above […]

Battling for Blood Jade: Inside One of the World’s Most Dangerous Industries

When the earth collapsed, as it does nearly every day in the jade hills of Myanmar, Ye Min Naing was poised on a steep slope of rubble and scree. It was a rainy night six months ago, at the tail end of the monsoons. A truck with wheels the height of a man had just […]

Myanmar media outlets enter new era

After more than a year of civilian rule in Myanmar, the country’s media has started to emerge from a climate of fear and suppression. But as the country’s media sector grows rapidly, there are still challenges facing the industry in this newly opened nation now embracing modern times. “[The] Press Freedom Index’s ranking said that […]

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 […]