Category Dictatorship

Sun, sea and civil war: holidaying in Myanmar

In the grand lobby of a Yangon hotel, a senior Myanmar tourism official told me she was meeting government officials to “rebrand” the country to focus international attention on pristine beaches instead of conflict and military atrocities. It was March 2018, and Myanmar was governed by an elected civilian administration. But instead of standing up […]

‘We are not afraid’: anti-junta groups rail against Myanmar executions

On Monday night at 8pm, the familiar, defiant sound of clashing pots and pans returned to the streets of Yangon. In the aftermath of last year’s coup, the same din was heard nightly as people demanded the return of democracy – until the military launched brutal crackdowns against any such acts of dissent. Anyone suspected […]

Guns, not monks, at monastery on Myanmar’s Thai border

CHIANG MAI PROVINCE, Thailand — In a different world, Wat Fah Wiang Inn would symbolize the power of faith to transcend the borders between two largely Buddhist nations. Trust and tolerance, not guns, would hallmark this monastery straddling the Myanmar and Thailand border in the hazy Shan Hills, which stretch from Yunnan in China through […]

‘The darkest days are coming’: Myanmar’s journalists suffer at hands of junta

Journalism has been outlawed in all but name since the coup, with reporters and editors fleeing the country or leading double lives to survive As a cyclone rolled over the Bay of Bengal on 24 May, American journalist Danny Fenster, 37, contemplated the brooding skies near a terminal window at Yangon international airport. For a […]