Taking a closer look at the bigger Thingyan picture 

04 May 2023

In Arakan State, this year’s Thingyan was more than an annual celebration. Both Myanmar’s military regime and the United League of Arakan/Arakan Army (ULA/AA) organised their own Thingyan parties. The festival was politicised as both sides used this opportunity to gauge public support for them.

In Myanmar, Elections and Coups Go Hand-in-Hand

Admin 20 Apr 2023

In Myanmar history, elections have often been followed by coups. In the latest instance, the military seized power from the democratically elected National League for Democracy (NLD) government on the day the newly elected parliament was set to convene.

Resource-Cursed Arakan State

25 Jan 2023

Arakan State’s lengthy coastline supports a majority of livelihoods in the state, which are tied to the fishing/aquaculture and shipping industries. Inland, Arakan State’s fertile soil is relied upon by hundreds of thousands more who farm for a living.  

China Casts Long Shadow Over Myanmar’s Political Crisis and Peace Process

07 Jan 2023

Myanmar’s neighbour China, a global superpower, has neither publicly criticised the coup nor imposed sanctions against the regime. It has been tight-lipped about junta atrocities against its civilians as the regime continues to torch villages, arbitrarily detain people, and commit extrajudicial killings.

Letter From a Son to His Mother

18 Dec 2022

Mom, I wrote this letter from somewhere in the forest. How are you? Are you worried about me? Do you miss me? Do you pray for me before you go to sleep every night? Are you losing sleep over me? Are you sad that I am not at the dining table with you? Do you miss me whenever my friends visit you?

Job Scarcity, Low Pay and Insecurity Among Factors Triggering Arakan Brain Drain

13 Dec 2022

Many young people today hold the view that they would at least still be able to support their family by doing manual labour abroad rather than stay under dehumanising military rule. They are not reluctant to leave their native towns and villages because there is no sense of the safety or security that “home” should provide.

What ‘Wa State’ Can Teach Myanmar’s Other Ethnic Armies

06 Dec 2022

The UWSP says it wants to cooperate in the peace and stability of the Union with complete self-determination. UWSP leaders have said that Wa State will not secede from the Union, but the UWSP will manage their state independently except for national defence and diplomatic relations.

Myanmar Regime Losing Its Grip on Power

18 Nov 2022

There are reportedly more than 600 People’s Defense Force (PDF) battalions in Bamar-majority areas fighting the regime since it seized power on February 1, 2021. PDF groups are gaining increased control over territories in their regions, and the regime has had to rely on old, exhausted soldiers to fight them. With its ground troops increasingly weakened by the continuous fighting in many parts of the country, the regime has had to rely increasingly on the Air Force.

A Dicey Political Landscape Prevails in Arakan State

Maung Tun Kyaing 15 Nov 2022

A key factor is the support of Arakanese people. It is the Arakan Army (AA) and its political wing, the United League of Arakan, which currently enjoy popular support in Arakan State.

Resurgence of Two-Digit Lottery Takes Heavy Toll on Lives in Military-Ruled Myanmar

Rammar Kyaw Saw 09 Nov 2022

Usually, police and administrative officials are bought by illegal lottery dealers. Myanmar Gabling Law carries three years’ imprisonment for selling two-digit and three-digit lottery tickets, but dealers are barely punished due to widespread corruption at the lower levels of the administration and law enforcement.

Kyaukphyu Deep-Sea Port Poses Challenges for Maday Islanders and Local Fisheries

Min Htee 31 Oct 2022

The project is to be developed by the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone Deep Seaport Co. Ltd, a joint venture between the Chinese consortium CITIC Myanmar Port Investment Limited and the Kyaukphyu Special Economic Zone management committee, with CITIC taking 70 percent of the ownership stake and the Myanmar government taking the other 30 percent.

Confederate Dreams and Political Realities in Arakan State

Min Htee 15 Oct 2022

ALP spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Khaing Kyaw Soe said in an interview with Voice of Myanmar that the ALP is heading to federalism through peace talks, and that the ALP’s ambition is federalism. The ALP has criticised the AA’s demand for confederate status, and its principle of a single army in Arakan State shows that the AA does not understand politics, the ALP has said.

Easing Arakanese Rivalry, Fostering Ethnic Unity to Tackle Shared Challenges

Nay Myo Lin 03 Oct 2022

When the Arakanese Kingdom collapsed due to the invasion of the Bamar, Arakanese revolutionaries like Taung Min Kyaw Htwe fought back against mainland rule. When Myanmar fell under British colonial rule, Prince Shwe Bann, Daewun Aung Kyaw Shue, chieftain Aung Kyaw Zan, Buddhist monk Sayadaw U Seinda and others fought back against colonial rule.

Sittwe Beach Besieged by Wanton Sand Mining 

Rammar Kyaw Saw 06 Aug 2022

DMG has learnt that the township General Administration Department issues permits for sand mining at Sittwe Beach. The Arakan State administration council, the Myanmar military regime’s state-level governing body, is also turning a blind eye to beach theft, without regulating the business. 

Exploring the Possibilities of Self-Determination and Self-Government

Gaung 03 Aug 2022

Self-administration is government and policies under the control and direction of the inhabitants of a political unit, rather than by an outside authority. Both self-determination and self-administration have long been desired by Myanmar’s ethnic minority groups. 

The Way of Rakhita Amid Tense Times in Arakan State

Min Thuta 24 Jul 2022

With 25 percent of seats in Parliament guaranteed by the 2008 Constitution for the military, the military-proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) will likely be able to form the government under a PR system. It is still too early, however, to tell if the regime will be able to hold the voting as it plans. More than one year after the coup, the regime still can’t control many towns in central Myanmar, not to mention the ethnic areas, which have been contested for decades. 

Above the Fray, Behind the Scenes of Myanmar’s Spring Revolution

DMG 15 Jun 2022

Today, the Arakanese people and the Arakan Army are inseparable. The Arakanese people are walking in the “Way of Rakhita” set out by the Arakan Army, and showing that they are united. While the fighting has largely stopped, the Arakan Army is consolidating its administrative machinery in Arakan State and even advancing a judiciary independent of the pre-existing court system. This self-governance is one component of the Way of Rakhita. 

Diagnosing What Ails Arakan State’s Political Economy

Myo Nyein Naing 26 May 2022

We can say that Arakan State has been generously endowed with natural resources. However, everyone should bear in mind that natural resources are depletable, and the problem of scarcity must factor into every economic calculus.   

When Rounds of Beer Fund Rounds and Fear

Rammar Kyaw Saw 15 May 2022

Myanmar’s military is undoubtedly at or near the top of the table if we are to make a list of nation-state armies globally that run businesses for profit. It controls around 150 businesses ranging from beer and cigarette production to banking and media, many of which are reaping huge profits. 

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