Archives for posts with tag: Yangon

Nyi Nyi Aung was the person who got me interested in Burma in the first place. He’s a democracy activist who’s spent most of the past 25 years living in exile in Thailand and the U.S. He was arrested trying to enter Burma in 2009. I covered his trial and imprisonment, and met him for the first time a few days after he was released and returned to his home outside of Washington, D.C.

It was a bit surreal to, four years later, spend a day with him openly exploring Yangon, seeing spots important to the story of the 1988 uprising and talking about what’s happening in the country today. Here’s the article I wrote for Al Jazeera America about that day.

Nyi Nyi Aung outside of a childhood home in Yangon in July, 2013.

Nyi Nyi Aung outside of a childhood home in Yangon in July, 2013.

42 members of the National League for Democracy won parliamentary seats in April’s by-election in Myanmar. You’ve probably heard of at least one of them. I got to sit down with another one of them while I was in Yangon in December. Phyu Phyu Thin is a longtime HIV/AIDS activist, and now an MP representing Mingalar Taung Nyunt in Yangon.

Here’s the profile I did for The World.

Phyu Phyu Thin on the campaign Trail. (Photo: Htoo Tay Zar/Wikipedia)

Phyu Phyu Thin on the campaign trail. (Photo: Htoo Tay Zar/Wikipedia)

A trishaw driver association parading down Pansodan Street in Yangon, on their way to deliver offerings to a Buddhist monastery.

A trishaw driver association parading down Pansodan Street in Yangon, on their way to deliver offerings to a Buddhist monastery.

U Pyinya Zawta, a Burmese Buddhist monk I know here in Brooklyn, told me that tazaungdaing was happening the day I arrived in Myanmar. I was all “tazaungwhat?” and he explained that it was a big deal–the end of a month of offerings people make to monasteries. Kind of like a Burmese Buddhist Christmas, he said, only giving stuff instead of getting stuff.

So when I got to Yangon on November 28, I fought off the jet lag and went out to see what I could see. Here’s an audio slideshow I produced for The World.

A few small things I wrote for The World‘s blog while I was in Myanmar–

One on chasing rumors of demonstrations, and finding only a scrum of reporters.

One on international ATM cards finally being accepted in the country, and my failed attempts to make use of this fact.

And one on Yangon’s lovely quality of being a bit trapped in time, a quality that I think it’s now quickly shedding.

AGD

Asia Green Development Bank seen through spires at Sule Pagoda. AGD is owned by Tay Za, who Forbes called “one of Burma’s richest tycoons.”