The Border Guard Force’s support for the Tatmadaw in fighting the Karen National Union appears to have paid off, with the group getting the green light to resume its controversial businesses along the Thai border.
Myanmar's Buddhist monkhood led an earlier struggle against military rule but is split on the February 1 coup that ended the country's nascent democracy, with some prominent religious leaders defending the new junta.
Since the February 1 coup pushed Myanmar’s economy off the edge, residents living in informal housing on the urban fringe – already battered by the COVID-19 pandemic – are being pushed to the brink of starvation.
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.
With an entire academic year already lost to the pandemic, the junta says schools will reopen on June 1, but teachers, students and their parents are refusing to attend or enroll in schools administered by generals and policed by soldiers.
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.