Edward Michael Law-Yone
Born(1911-02-05)February 5, 1911
DiedJune 27, 1980(1980-06-27) (aged 69)
Other namesEd Law-Yone
Occupation(s)Journalist, government official
Known forFounder and chief editor of The Nation
SpouseEleanor Law-Yone
Children3 sons, 3 daughters (including Wendy Law-Yone)

Edward Michael Law-Yone (Burmese pronunciation: [lɔjòʊɰ̃], nicknamed Ed Law-Yone; February 5, 1911 – June 27, 1980) was a Burmese journalist and official of Burma and then of the Burmese government-in-exile, as well as an author.

He was born in Kamaing, Myitkyina District (now part of Kachin State), British Burma. Educated at Saint Peters' School (now Basic Education High School No. 9) in Mandalay, at 16 he went to work as a clerk in the Burma-China border frontier service. He joined the Burma Railways in 1930 as a probationer and by 1938 was in charge of the rates and commercial section, traveling in that year over the recently constructed Burma Road to survey the route proposed for linking the Burma and Yunnan-Indochina Railways. In August 1948, he founded The Nation, Burma's most influential English language newspaper, and served as its chief editor, until his 5-year detention, following Ne Win's coup d'état in 1962.[1][2]

In a 1957 interview with American news broadcast See It Now, he said:[3]

It will be realized that although we have a parliamentary form of government, Parliament is not, in fact, well-established in this country. There is a preponderance of a one-party rule, which to me, is in the long run, is as dangerous as having autocracy...I hold entirely with the view that power corrupts, that absolute power corrupts.

Law-Yone was one of the first recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts, in 1959. The Nation was shut down in May 1963, the first to be closed by the new government.[1][4][5]

In 1970, Law-Yone left Burma with his family.[6] In exile, he lived near Lumpini Park in Bangkok, Thailand before settling in Silver Spring, Maryland.[7] His daughter, Wendy Law-Yone, is a journalist and writer, and his granddaughter, Jocelyn Seagrave, is an actress.

Law-Yone was a member of the Executive Committee of the Union of Burma Boy Scouts, and was an active promoter of Scouting, taking the lead in fundraising activities and traveling to international Scouting meetings.


  1. ^ a b McCarthy, Stephen (2006). The political theory of tyranny in Singapore and Burma. Taylor & Francis. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-415-70186-0.
  2. ^ Bow, Leslie (2001). Betrayal and other acts of subversion: feminism, sexual politics, Asian American women's literature. Princeton University Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-691-07093-3.
  3. ^ "Burma, Buddhism, and Neutralism". See It Now. Youtube. 3 February 1957. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  4. ^ Skidmore, Monique (2005). Burma at the turn of the twenty-first century. University of Hawaii Press. p. 177. ISBN 978-0-8248-2857-8.
  5. ^ Wakeman, Carolyn; San San Tin (2009). No time for dreams: living in Burma under military rule. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-7425-5703-1.
  6. ^ Law-Yone, Wendy (3 April 2010). "My father's Burmese newspaper, the Rangoon Nation". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  7. ^ Thant Myint-U (2006). The River of Lost Footsteps--Histories of Burma. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-374-16342-6.