Lawmakers denounce large defense budget

Defense budget spending under the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government remains high and still lacks transparency, members of Parliament told The Irrawaddy. “Every year, the defense budget is the highest, we’d like to know why it has... More

State Counsellor’s office issues announcement on protest camps

The State Counsellor’s Office has issued an announcement thanking people for not joining protest camps in Yangon, Mandalay and Taunggyi. This announcement was issued on August 6 under the title ‘Thanks to People’. Some monks calling themselves ‘Myochit’ (patriots)... More

MoU on Kyaukphyu SEZ likely in August

An MoU between China and Myanmar relating to a national-level framework for the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is likely to be signed by August, a spokesperson of Kyaukphyu SEZ Management Committee told The Myanmar Times. Currently, the equity and terms... More

Aung Sang Suu Kyi touts peace efforts in visit to Myanmar heartland

Myanmar leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi told villagers at the heart of the country on Monday that talks with ethnic rebels must be a priority, after putting peace negotiations ahead of economic reforms in her first months... More

Myanmar govt probe finds no campaign of abuse against Rohingya

A government-appointed commission on Sunday cleared Myanmar security forces of systematic rape, murder and arson against Rohingya Muslims, dismissing United Nations' (UN) allegations of widespread abuses during a recent crackdown. The commission examined the deadly violence which began... More

Violence follows confrontation between villagers, police in Rakhine

Hundreds of people from Outt Nan village in Myanmar’s Rakhine State’s Rathedaung Township resisted security forces on Friday when policemen attempted to arrest men suspected of being militants, according to the State Counselor’s Office and locals from... More

World Islamic body OIC tells Myanmar to protect rights of Rohingya minority

Myanmar must protect the rights of its Rohingya Muslim minority, the chief of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said on Thursday, urging the southeast Asian nation to join hands with Muslim-majority neighbors in tackling a refugee... More

China in talks to sell electricity to Myanmar amid warming ties

Energy-hungry Myanmar is in initial talks to buy electricity from China, according to officials and documents reviewed by Reuters, in the latest sign of warming ties with Beijing under leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Since taking office in... More

Myanmar sign agreement on establishment of Asian Forest Cooperation Organisation

Agreement on the establishment of Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) was signed by Union Minister for Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation U Ohn Win at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul, the... More

Chinese troops sent to Myanmar border, says TNLA

Chinese troops are positioning along the China-Myanmar border in preparation of further conflict between the Tatmadaw and rebels, according to an ethic armed group. Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers have been deployed along the border areas near... More

US firms lobby for removal of Myanmar trade restrictions

American businesses based in Myanmar are urging their government to remove sections 311 and 312 of the USA Patriot Act which prohibit US banks from trading in Myanmar. The American Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar (AMCHAM) led 13... More

‘Myanmar Now’ editor arrested

U Swe Win, chief editor of Myanmar Now news agency, was arrested at Yangon International Airport at about 7 p.m. on Sunday. Airport police told The Irrawaddy that a person who is facing an ongoing lawsuit is usually... More

Court considers bail for detained journalists

Hsipaw Township Court (Shan State)  will consider the bail request of three detained journalists and rule next week, the judge presiding over the case announced on Friday. “The judge accepted the submission of a bail appeal,” said Daw... More

Police arrest man over deadly Rohingya attack

Myanmar police on Wednesday arrested a man in the stoning death of a Rohingya Muslim during an attack by a mob of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in Sittwe earlier this month, RFA reported on 26 July. The mob threw... More

New Chair for UN Fact-finding Mission

The UN Human Rights Council has replaced the chairwoman of a team investigating allegations of killings and rape by Myanmar’s security forces, it said on Thursday, amid concerns over her perceived bias. Indian Supreme Court advocate Indira Jaising... More

Myanmar: Army resists article 66(d) reforms

A military representative in the Upper House argued against granting bail for controversial Article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law during a parliamentary debate on Tuesday. In amending the law, Maj. Thet Min Oo said consideration should be given... More

Mandalay Court rejects lawsuit against 2008 constitution of Myanmar

The Mandalay Region high court refused to accept a lawsuit on Tuesday in which five organizations urged the government to declare the 2008 Constitution illegal. A spokesperson from the court told The Irrawaddy that the case goes beyond... More

Limited links sink Myanmar’s potential

Despite its 2,000 kilometer-long coastline, reaching from Bangladesh to the west and Thailand to the east, Myanmar is home to only nine functioning ports, most of which are lumped together in the commercial capital of Yangon. The... More

US presses Myanmar to cease military ties with North Korea

Myanmar’s military has maintained ties with North Korea, even though the civilian-led government denies any cooperation, and the Trump administration is pressing for a complete break-off of remaining links, current and former US officials said. Washington made its... More

German government provides US 2.1 million for health care in Rakhine

The German government has granted subsidies worth 1.85 million Euros (about 2.1 million US-Dollars) for humanitarian aid in Rakhine State, according to a press release July 21. It will be used to improve strengthening and improving access to... More

UN envoy ‘strongly urges’ Myanmar to accept fact-finding mission

UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar Yanghee Lee told reporters on Friday that she would “strongly urge the government” to allow an international independent body to investigate allegations of rights abuses particularly in Rakhine State,... More


Trump’s melodrama vis-à-vis Pakistan meets ground realities

The Trump administration's renewed push to seek Pakistan's help in bringing the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table comes as a striking contrast to what the US president had only very recently said in one of his interviews about Pakistan not doing anything in Afghanistan to help the US win the war, or even get out of it. Coming from a president who is famous for his unpredictable habit of... More

Imran Khan needs better advisers

One of the central problems of Imran Khan’s government is the quality and commitment of his range of advisers, not only for day-to-day politics but for short and long-term decision-making processes. The PM has been more than once given the perception of taking off-the-cuff decisions through speeches and interviews. Even good advisers do not matter until there is a due process for diligence and analysis to not only sort... More

In Bangladesh, a poor politician is of no use to anyone

In Dhaka’s swirling political speculations and gossip, the latest is about who among the electoral candidates is wealthy and who is not. On paper, many have declared their wealth and almost none have been found credibility among the public. They know that to survive in politics you need to make and spend a lot of money which, going by wealth levels, would be impossible. Politics is not just about power... More

Hunt with the hound, swim with the crocodile

On the sidelines of the G20 conference in Argentina, there were two very important summits. One involved US President Donald Trump, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This was the first trilateral that brought Modi and Trump together. “The relationships between our three countries is extremely good, extremely strong. I think, with India, maybe stronger than ever. And with Japan, I think, stronger than ever,” Trump said, as... More

India’s dead-end Afghan policy

While India has been investing in Afghanistan for several years, the changing dynamics of the Afghan war indicate that this economic, political and diplomatic investment may not yield the desired results after all. First and foremost, India’s Afghan-policy has been driven by the imperative of having a strong presence on Pakistan’s western border, which India has been able to pursue—and aims to continue—with the help of Kabul. But the... More



The fourth summit of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), held in Kathmandu on August 30 and 31, was “not fruitful” because of the inherent “weakness” of the regional inter-state institution,... More


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