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.
Instability and anti-Chinese sentiment are endangering Beijing’s plans in the country, but rivalry with the West and its own domestic problems may prevent it from engaging the democracy movement, which remains wary of China.
Volunteer networks and cross-border ethnic and family ties have ensured a refuge for thousands who’ve fled overland to India’s Mizoram state, but some long to return to Myanmar to rejoin the anti-coup struggle.
The Karen National Union’s foreign affairs chief says only since the Tatmadaw’s brutal crackdowns on protesters are the majority of people changing their views about armed groups, and seeing them as partners and allies instead of “rebels”.
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.