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.
Outbreaks of communal violence have captured significant attention in recent years but less well known are the actions of monks and laypeople who protected those targeted by angry mobs – and saved countless lives in the process.
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.