The smiling faces of Burmese voters demonstrate an exuberant nation prepared for a new era of democracy and political freedom. The smiling faces of Burmese voters, however, also hide the tragic reality for many in Myanmar -- the continued exclusion and persecution of Muslims, especially the Rohingya people.
Burma now has a hybrid system of military rule and democracy. It's democracy on a leash. The victims of human rights abuses can't wait for a hoped slow transition. They need genuine democracy, and they need it now. For them it is, quite literally, a matter of life and death. It isn't time to celebrate yet.
The subterfuges of the military, religious "leaders," and others seeking to influence the election, stand in stark contrast to Zaw's story. His efforts recount a simple tale of a fight for environmental justice against exploitation, with the goal of protecting a national treasure -- the Irrawaddy River.
YANGON, Myanmar -- It is in reference to the history of a cumulative campaign against the Rohingya by successive governments in Myanmar, not just recent events, that the charge of genocide is most cogently being argued. We can't just wait for the appearance of gas chambers -- it's precisely that mentality that contributed to our world's repeated failures to prevent atrocities.
Trying to predict the outcome of the election has been deemed by at least one Myanmar-based media outlet as "lunacy," however, three scenarios are emerging as the most likely outcomes of November 8.
Despite the respectable reforms the country has seen in recent years, Burma remains stuck in Orwell's 1984 as a state that governs with an iron fist and speaks in contradictions.
The US government is paying money to strategically 'advise and support' Myanmar's Union Election Commission (UEC), which is disqualifying Muslim parliamentarians, striking Muslims from the ballot in next week's parliamentary elections, and even blocking their right to vote.
How the nationwide ceasefire summit between the Myanmar government and the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) ended on Sept 29 will go down in the history of ethnic armed movement as a sad memory.
Inevitably, eating is an important activity. Patient queues wait for cones of Belgian French fries, cups of gelato, and table service indoors and out.
Should crimes against the environment and animals be addressed by an international criminal code and prosecuted by an international tribunal, particularly if national courts are unwilling, unable or deemed inadequate?
Photo courtesy of MTSobek When word got out I was thinking of taking a group to Burma this November, I received this email: Dear Mr. Bangs: I stro...
From the bespectacled to the bubbly, the daunting to the daring, Asia's Buddhas are among its most extraordinary cultural, artistic, and of course, spiritual attractions. With this in mind, the members of travel website Trippy.com offer their favorite places to pay homage.
The meeting between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President Obama made for a nice photo op for two Nobel Prize winners, but as Burma goes into election mode in late 2015, progress has been made on none of these promises and hopes.
In an attempt to find a common ground for signing the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA), representatives of 17 Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAO) met...
As nationalism may seduce the masses, so may vanity have the same effect upon individual diplomats engaged in conflict resolution. While some may debate what strategic interests, conspiracies or prejudices are at play in motivating policy, too frequently it may be the egos of the personalities involved.
All is not silent in Burma. There's malaria. Drug-resistant malaria, to be exact. It's the other silent struggle, and very few are talking about it.