Author Archives: admin

Reporting from Myanmar: ‘The future has never been darker’

Two journalists reflect on the danger, fear and uncertainty that now characterise life in the country – and the risks people are taking to access information ‘It is strange to write about joy amid the daily killings’ It started with people nervously waiting outside a KFC for the first brave activists to shout “let the […]

Myanmar’s besieged resistance dreams of ‘people’s army’ to counter junta

On the barricades and in border hideouts there is a growing mood to take the fight to the military after the coup that has left more than 200 dead. As an adolescent, Aung, 27, wanted to enlist in the Myanmar military until his family spelt out the horrors of the institution. Now, he has seen them firsthand. […]

Myanmar coup: witnesses describe killing of protesters as unrest continues

Witnesses have described the moment Myanmar’s security forces opened fire on protesters, killing two people, as tens of thousands of people took to the streets again on Sunday in defiance of the military. A young man and a teenage boy are believed to have been killed in Mandalay on Saturday when police, supported by frontline […]

‘They want division’: on patrol with Myanmar’s civilian night watch

Since the coup, people in Yangon have been patrolling the streets to protect neighbours from overnight military raids and criminals by Lorcan Lovett Sitting next to a makeshift barricade of bamboo and recycled metal, Aung Than, 30, a tour operator, says he is ready to die for his street. “A life on this street is worth […]

‘I did what I thought was right’: a Myanmar protester voices her fears for the future

In previous years on Union Day – the Myanmar public holiday marking the agreement between ethnic leaders on 12 February 1947 to forge a unified country – Khin* had worn her traditional htamein, a snug maxiskirt. But since it would prevent her from running away if the police opened fire, this year she opted for loose trousers, large […]

‘We all know what we’re facing’: divided Myanmar unites against coup

The Myanmar military took power last week on the promise of “restoring eternal peace” to a country riven by seven decades of ethnic conflict. Since the takeover it has made remarkable progress in uniting the deeply divided country against a common enemy: itself. In Myanmar’s biggest city, Yangon, strangers greet each other with the three-finger salute – a symbol […]

The nights of pots and pans are back, on Myanmar’s fearful streets

In Myanmar, if you want to drive evil from your home, you bang pots and pans. Yangon’s streets were filled with the din of clashing metal in 2007, when monks called for an end to military rule, and before that, in 1988 when the former president Sein Lwin, or the “butcher of Rangoon”, ordered troops to shoot […]

‘I have to do this’: Myanmar garment workers forced into sex work by Covid

When Hla, 19, tried to go back to work seven months ago after having a baby, there were no jobs. Hundreds of garment factories in Myanmar had closed after western fashion brands cancelled orders due to the pandemic, leaving thousands of women jobless. As lockdown gripped Yangon, her marriage broke down, her husband left, and her father […]

Street vendor builds Yangon’s top seafood chain

(Nikkei Asian Review, June 2020) In 1987, when Khin Khin San was 13, she began selling bowls of mont ti fish soup under the shade of a tamarind tree in the western Myanmar state of Rakhine, where the rice noodle dish is fishier and fierier than elsewhere in the country. Sometimes she would hawk mont ti with […]

No sex education please, we’re Burmese: new school textbook exposes ignorance

(The Sunday Times, May 2020)   Burma is historically familiar with ethnic strife. But now the land of maroon-robed monks is confronting discord of a different kind, as politicians, doctors and spiritual leaders turn on each other in a ferocious row about sex. The trouble erupted over a plan to update sex education in schools, […]