USDP Member Khin Shwe Defends His Support for Suu Kyi

Khin Shwe, a distinguished member of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), has disavowed rumors that he is facing expulsion from the party over his support for the opposition in a Nov. 8 general election. Speaking to The Irrawaddy on Friday, Khin Shwe confirmed that he was summoned by party officials for questioning a […]

In Myanmar on cusp of change, former junta ‘crony’ sees business as usual

Aung San Suu Kyi’s landslide election win might be bad news for Myanmar businessmen like construction magnate Khin Shwe, who lost his parliament seat and remains barred from doing business with U.S. nationals due to his ties to the former junta. Or maybe not. Sitting comfortably on a beige leather sofa in his plush Yangon […]

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 […]

A nation in a chrysalis

Paranoia surrounding security isn’t palpable in Yangon. Passing the immigration counter at Yangon international airport, and with it the completely unfounded fear of being deported on arrival, I reach the Telenor counter for a SIM card. I am ready with my photo and ID-proof documents, but all that the teenaged boy at the counter takes […]

A special zone on Myanmar’s border

DAWEI (Myanmar) • It has been eight long years since engineer Suphap Satthathum first set foot in the tropical scrub jungle by the immense curve of beach near the port town of Dawei, in Myanmar’s southernmost Tanintharyi state that borders Thailand. But today, as he strides on the jetty his construction company has built, he […]

Lower great expectations of Myanmar general election

Great expectations from Myanmar’s first general election in decades on Nov 8 are unlikely to be met, analysts caution. But despite much uncertainty over the shape of the country’s future leadership, potential flashpoints in Rakhine and Shan states and a risk of renewed conflict if a ceasefire accord with armed groups is not reached, a […]