Ma Ba Tha’s new political party denounces NLD govt

The chairman of a new political party formed by supporters of banned ultra-nationalist Buddhist association Ma Ba Tha has accused the National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government of failing to support Buddhism. “The government banned the use of... More

SNLD leaders: Govt insistence on ‘non-secession’ deprives Shan of dignity

The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), the biggest ethnic political party in Shan State, has asked the government to remove term “non-secession from the Union” from any future peace accord concerning the political sector. At the most... More

State Counselor’s office to probe allegations of army abuse in viral video

The Office of State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said in a statement on Wednesday that it had set up a probe into Burma Army abuses depicted in a video that went viral on Facebook over... More

UN names fact-finding mission members

The UN named a trio of independent experts on Tuesday to investigate widespread allegations of killings, rape and torture by Burma’s security forces against Rohingya Muslims in Arakan State. The international fact-finding mission will be chaired by Indira... More

State Counselor: Peace conference agreements ‘A significant step’ for Myanmar

The stakeholders’ negotiations at the Union Peace Conference (UPC) “mark a significant step” toward future democratic federalism, said the State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the closing ceremony of the second 21st Century Panglong in... More

Ma Ba Tha Lay members announce plan to form political party

Leading laypersons from Burma’s biggest Buddhist nationalist group, the Association to Protect Race and Religion—commonly known as Ma Ba Tha—have announced that they will soon form a political party. Maung Thway Chon, one such Ma Ba Tha member,... More

Peace conference to end ‘without good result’: Govt

The second session of the 21st Century Panglong peace conference is likely to end without major agreement after the issue of “non-cessation” from the Union caused a deadlock, according to a government spokesperson. State Counselor office spokesperson U... More

Myanmar’s hardline monks gather despite ban

Hundreds of monks and supporters of Myanmar's ultra-nationalist Ma Ba Tha movement gathered in a Yangon monastery Saturday, in a defiant meeting days after Buddhist authorities banned their network, which has been accused of stoking Islamophobia. The monk-led... More

EU launches photo exhibition in Yangon

A unique photo exhibition showcasing the European Union's work in Myanmar is now live and moving! It can be seen on and in 10 buses on the Yangon Bus Service routes 6, 39 and 57, as well... More

China-backed militia new powerbrokers in Myanmar peace process

Branded as Asia's most heavily-armed drug dealers, the China-backed ethnic Wa rebels have emerged as key players in Myanmar's peace process, a development seen as strengthening Beijing's influence over its violence-wracked neighbour. When Myanmar's new civilian leader Aung... More

Northeastern alliance optimistic about future peace talks with govt

The northeastern armed groups that met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday in Naypyidaw said that further talks with the State Counselor appeared to be possible. The seven-member alliance includes the United Wa State Army (UWSA),... More

Religion minister seeks banks’ help to track nationalist funds

Religious affairs minister U Aung Ko is grappling with the Central Bank of Myanmar for cooperation in order to trace the funds used for the activities of hardline nationalists that include a protest against him last week. About... More

Wirathu urges followers to persevere after govt moves to curb ultra-nationalism

Burma’s infamous firebrand Buddhist monk U Wirathu urged his followers to find a solution to the struggles of the nationalist movement in a video published on his Facebook Tuesday night. His move came hours after the State Buddhist... More

Portrait of Myanmar’s ‘Buddhist Bin Laden’ chills Cannes

'The Venerable W', his chilling portrait of the monk who has been accused of preaching hate and inciting attacks on Myanmar's Muslim Rohingya minority, has been hailed by critics at the Cannes film festival as a "stirring... More

Myanmar seeks to kick start stalled peace process

Hundreds of representatives from Myanmar’s ethnic insurgent groups gathered in the capital on Wednesday for talks aimed at reviving Aung San Suu Kyi’s stuttering peace process after months of heavy fighting. The discussions are the de facto leader’s... More

Myanmar’s Defense Services leader meets Chinese special envoy

Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar's Defense Services Senior- General Min Aung Hlaing met with Special Envoy for Asian Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry Sun Guoxiang in Nay Pyi Taw Tuesday (23 May). The meeting took place on the eve... More

State Buddhist Authority Bans Nationalist Organization’s Name, Signboards

The state Buddhist Sangha authority, Ma Ha Na, imposed further restrictions on Burma’s biggest religious nationalist group, the Association for Protection of Race and Religion, better known as Ma Ba Tha, banning the organization from operating under... More

Myanmar army clears itself of Rohingya atrocity claims

Myanmar's army on Tuesday (May 23) cleared itself of allegations that troops may have carried out ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims, but said a soldier had been jailed for taking a motorbike. More than 70,000 members of the... More

Govt invites non-NCA signatories to Panglong peace conference as ‘special guests’

The government invited nine ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) that have not signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) to the upcoming Union Peace Conference as “special guests,” The Irrawaddy has learned. Tar Hla Pe, a secretary of State Counselor’s... More

China, Myanmar conduct naval drills

The Chinese navy on Sunday conducted its first joint exercise with Myanmar's navy as its fleet concluded a four-day visit to the country. The People's Liberation Army (PLA) navy fleet, composed of three domestically made ships: missile destroyer... More

Anti-Muslim militant Buddhism on the rise in Myanmar and Sri Lanka

Militant-political Buddhism is on the rise in Myanmar and Sri Lanka, both Buddhist-majority countries. It is exploiting the political vacuum existing in these countries due to weak governments, to build a strong political constituency with the aim... More


Hybrid warfare: Strategic coercion against Pakistan

While a globalised world was a cherished goal to bring people together, globalisation is increasingly used by one or the other country or group of countries to dominate the rest of the world by a violent process. Looking around we see wars in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen where the powers that be are trying to bend the power game towards themselves. Conventional wars are now more often not... More

Bangladesh’s Hercules syndrome and rule of vigilante law

A rapist was killed and his body was left with a note that said the death meted out to him was punishment for his crime. It was signed Hercules. A couple of other reports have appeared with such declarations and they have aroused considerable interest in media, particularly social media, the motherland of speculations. Who could be the possible vigilante killer? Long history Extra-judicial killings are nothing new and last... More

India key to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, says former Portuguese...

“This has less to do with geography than with history,” Macaes writes in his insightful book Belt and Road: A Chinese World Order. “As two rising giants, China and India will play a disproportionate role in shaping the new world political and economic order, but like every claim on the future, their role remain ambiguous. In China's case, the question is whether it will eventually measure up to the task... More

BJP has communalised process of awarding Indian citizenship?

Political realities have temporarily halted the BJP’s brazen attempt to communalise Indian citizenship requirements to the advantage of the majority Hindus and to the detriment of the minority Muslims. Evidently, there is also a bias in favour of the north Indian majority and against the Tamil minority in the matter of giving citizenship. But this has not been brought to light in a major and sustained way yet, because the... More

Amid peace talks, India and Ghani flog the dead-horse of elections...

Last week, Moscow hosted delegations from the Taliban and Afghanistan’s political opposition in a bid to establish sound political contacts between the two actors. The delegation of the opposition parties included Afghanistan’s former president, Hamid Karzai, and at least two female members, including a human rights activist, Hawa Nooristani, and a former parliament member Fawzia Koofi. The meeting in itself underscored the new political dynamics that would probably be at... 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