Stories: Burma

  • Gay and Undocumented, Burmese Refugees Struggle in Thailand

    “Queer migrants” or LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex) refugees from Myanmar – called as such because they had to leave their countries and go somewhere else to be able to live safely as themselves – have looked at Thailand as the ideal destination, with its louche, gay-friendly lifestyle. But in too many cases, in the...

  • Who Bears the Brunt of Thailand’s Crackdown on Migrant Workers?

    It has been more than 10 years since Aye Min fled Myanmar amid the fighting between the military and the Karen nationalist forces. With nothing but the clothes on her back, Aye Min boarded a boat in 2006 and crossed the Moie river to Mae Sot, a district located at the border of Thailand and Myanmar. Now 43, Aye Min lives in a...

  • Rohingya Left Behind in Myanmar’s Power Transition

    Abdul Rashid, 47, watched helplessly as his wife Rukia's body stiffened and began to shake uncontrollably - her face contorted in pain as the convulsions raked her emaciated frame. His eldest daughter applied a wet compress to her mother's head, trying to hold her steady, while the younger siblings huddled together in a corner, whimpering silently. Minutes later, the...

  • Burmese Buddhist Monks Love Muslim-Hating Trump

    He has been called a “xenophobic fascist,” compared to Adolf Hitler, andaccused of stoking Islamophobia across America, but U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump is finding admirers in an unlikely corner of the world, among Myanmar’s extremist Buddhist monks. “As long as the Quran exists there will be terrorists, and like...

  • Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi Denied Myanmar’s Presidency

    She is the iconic face of democracy in a country crushed by more than a half-century of military rule — a former political prisoner, Nobel laureate and the head of the National League for Democracy party, which saw a landslide victory in November. But of all the titles granted to Aung San Suu Kyi in recent years, the president...

  • Myanmar Parliament Enters Democratic Era After 54 Years of Military Rule

    As Aung San Suu Kyi's party assumes control of Myanmar's parliament Monday and ends more than half a century of military rule, who will lead the government and what its priorities will be remain shrouded in secrecy. Video: Bloomberg After more than five decades of isolation and repressive military rule, Myanmar on Monday swore in hundreds of...

  • Indonesians Got Help After the Tsunami. Now They Want to Help Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugees.

    Refugees are not always met with open arms, but when some 1,800 Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants came ashore in the Indonesian province of Aceh three months ago, villagers brought them food and clean clothes. The popular singer Rafly even held a welcoming concert. In fact, Rafly, who is also a lawmaker, has been lobbying colleagues in Jakarta to let them stay. ...

  • Burma’s Other Silent Struggle: Malaria

    A Google search for "Burma" brings up the following result: There you have it. A BBC one-sentence description of the entire country features the phrase, "appalling human rights record." This is often the prism through which the country is viewed, especially in the context of its ongoing silent struggle to wrest power from the...

  • The Knowledge Gap of Research Ethics

    It seems an obvious thing to do, right? I mean why shouldn't research be used to help alleviate the struggles of some of the world's most vulnerable people? Well, as it turns out, researchers do not exactly have the greatest ethics track record when it relates to working with those most vulnerable. Much of our collective spirit in...

  • Myanmar’s Historic Buildings Imperiled by Modern World

    Over cappuccino at a crowded conference on real estate in one of the world's last frontier markets, one investor turned to another and said breezily, "I'm here to get rich." They had paid more than $2,000 each to attend panels with titles like "Futurescape in Myanmar" and "Opportunities in Hotels and Resorts." The seminar's sponsors, which included...