America’s only Burmese language newspaper : Myanmar Gazette

Thakhin Kai Bwor has published America’s only Burmese language paper for nearly 15 years. He edits and lays out the monthly Myanmar Gazette. He is 54 years old. He also delivers it to large Burmese communities in Southern California. The paper and its popular online edition target around 3,00,000 Burmese speakers in the United States. It is also distributed in Canada. Its secondary target audience is the Burmese community in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Japan. The paper is usually 30 pages long. 

It is offered for free, largely supported by advertising from Burmese owned businesses. It is a monthly newspaper. More than 3,000 newspapers are distributed to the Burmese community in two days. An internet security specialist by day, Bwor works on the paper at night. He is helped by a dozen freelancers in Myanmar and his wife. The paper is highly critical of the February 1 military coup in Myanmar. Whatever happens in Burma, he writes out day by day. 

The main aim of the paper is to maintain Burmese art and culture. It lays significant emphasis to educate the Bumese community about their cultural heritage. It builds bridges of friendships and harmony between Burmese communities locally and internationally. It also creates a positive impact on other diverse communities as well. 

It covers community issues, including anti-coup protests organised in the US. Bwor arrived in the US in 2001 as a refugee, joining his two brothers. After editing a magazine that was censored in Myanmar, he launched the paper in 2006. As a student he had also joined the anti-government protests that shook Myanmar in 1988. Recalling the bloody crackdown that followed, he sees history now repeating itself.