An escalation in fighting between the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army and the Tatmadaw near the town of Mong Ko on the China border has emptied villages, while inflaming longstanding tensions over who controls the area.
Civil society organisations proliferated with government encouragement after the transition to democracy got underway in 2011 but are struggling under a regime that is squeezing the life out of civic space.
Ethnic armed groups in Shan State have long used intimidation to recruit fighters, but the brutal tactics of the Shan State Progress Party are terrorizing villagers and prompting some to flee their homes.
A boycott of state schools under military rule has caused a spike in enrollments at ethnic community schools and created opportunities for ethnic armed groups to broaden and strengthen trust and understanding with the public.
Since being banned from Facebook, some of the most prominent spreaders of hate speech and disinformation have moved to Telegram, and fact-checkers say the messaging app is doing little to regulate its platform.
Some factory owners have been accused of exploiting and failing to protect their employees during the latest COVID-19 outbreak, and with unions lying low since the coup, workers are unable to seek redress.
The Kayin State Border Guard Force has come under intense pressure from the Tatmadaw over its extensive, controversial business interests and there’s concern the ultimatum could trigger fresh hostilities in one of the country’s most war-torn areas.