Stories: Myanmar

  • Myanmar Violence Between Buddhists, Muslims Threatens Reforms

    U Abdul Samat spent his life farming the rice paddies that stretched, brilliant green, in all directions. Now he was nearly 90 years old, a great-grandfather who walked with a cane. He was also a Muslim, and the men who stormed his village with machetes were Buddhists looking for Muslims to kill. As the mob set fire to more than 100...

  • Myanmar Talks With Kachin Rebels Yield Agreement But No Cease-Fire

    One day after a seven-point agreement was signed between ethnic Kachin rebels and the Myanmar government, analysts and members of the Kachin community expressed skepticism that this represented much of a breakthrough. The two sides failed to agree on a cease-fire over three days of talks that ended Thursday in the Kachin state capital, Myitkyina, instead signing a pact...

  • Amid Traffic and Flowers, Myanmar Lays Guru S.N. Goenka to Rest

    Downtown Yangon’s famously snarled traffic came to a halt Tuesday morning to let a truck wreathed with pink lilies pass. It was carrying the ashes of S.N. Goenka, the noted meditation guru who died last week in Mumbai, India, at the age of 90. Goenka, whose signature 10-day silent retreats drew tens of thousands of people each...

  • Myanmar Villages Burned in Deadly Religious Violence

    At least five people have been killed and hundreds displaced in the latest wave of religious violence in Myanmar. Muslims near the coastal town of Thandwe said they spent Tuesday night hiding in forests as mobs of Buddhist men armed with machetes stormed a string of villages, burning mosques and any home not marked with a Buddhist flag. By...

  • Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Living “Never Free From Fear”

    Burmese activist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke calmly and deliberately, elegant in her silk sarong, red flowers in her black hair. But as she addressed an audience of nearly 700 in Sprague Hall and an overflow audience in the Yale Law School’s Levinson Auditorium, what she spoke of was the unremitting anxiety of life during five decades of...

  • Renewing Ties to Myanmar

    Burma was an up-and-coming democracy in 1954 when Johns Hopkins established its Rangoon-Hopkins Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Rangoon University. Burma had been independent from Britain for only six years, but it had already emerged as a leader in the Non-Aligned Movement, and Rangoon University’s medical school was perhaps the best in Southeast Asia. Founded by the newly...