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Historian Gives Inside View of Myanmar’s Bumpy Journey

As Myanmar embarked on an uncertain transition toward democracy after the flawed elections of 2010 there were relatively few people in the country who could offer advice on the process of change. One of them was Thant Myint-U, a former United Nations official with experience in the war-torn Balkans and Cambodia, and a grandson of […]

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 […]

Threatened treasures

Smart urban policy planning with an eye on preserving Yangon’s colonial-era and heritage buildings will determine the city’s future – and tourism appeal, writes Xinyi Liang-Pholsena In a region that has lost much of its architectural heritage, Yangon stands out for its intact colonial core, due to years of neglect and stagnancy under the military […]

New Chief Minister of Rangoon Looks to Improve Infrastructure

RANGOON — Rangoon’s new chief minister said Monday he will focus on using local and foreign investment to ramp up the development of infrastructure in Burma’s commercial capital. A lawmaker for Hlegu Township, Phyo Min Thein was appointed Chief Minister of Rangoon by the National League for Democracy (NLD) during a divisional parliament session on Monday. […]

Thant Myint-U: ‘The Number One Challenge is De-Isolation’

RANGOON — With a new government still almost six weeks from taking power, The Irrawaddy’s founding editor-in-chief Aung Zaw speaks with author and founder of the Yangon Heritage Trust Thant Myint-U on the country’s challenges and economic outlook, the peace process and relations with China. Following is an edited transcript of a longer interview, which […]

Yangon’s friendly shark and his secrets to cuisine success

For 16 years, Sharky’s has satisfied Yangonite’s cravings for delectable cheeses, breads, gelato and cured meats, to name but a few of its luxurious offerings. During the decades Myanmar spent as an isolated, pariah state under international sanctions, such items would have been virtually unobtainable. However few would have complained: Myanmar’s population happily consumes more […]

NLD looking to repeat 1990 landslide

Partial results released by the Union Election Commission up to 9pm yesterday showed that the NLD had won 289 out of 333 seats announced so far, including those for regional and state assemblies. The military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party plus an “independent” ally were on 27, while six ethnic minority parties won 17 seats […]

Developer quietly terminates project near Shwedagon

Marga Landmark has agreed to follow the government’s order to terminate the project Dagon City 1 luxury development. “While everything we have done is proper, legal and for the best interest of our customers and the public, we respect the public sentiment, particularly that of the Sangha members, and we are working with the government […]

China Looks to High-Speed Rail to Expand Reach

BEIJING — A favorite export from China to its neighbors these days are high-speed rail lines designed to make trade routes in the vast stretches of Asia more accessible and fortify Chinese dreams of turning its southern reaches into the capital of mainland Southeast Asia. But not everyone wants to be bound so close. A […]

British day out in Yangon

“See Bagan and live. See Angkor Wat and die,” says my guide Phaphophon Chantharawattanakul, quoting British historian Arnold Toynbee, as he leads me on a stroll through the streets of Old Yangon. “See Yangon and cry,” I retort, narrowly avoiding getting run over as we brave Yangon’s crazy traffic to reach Sule Pagoda. Founded and […]