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.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing has attracted ridicule for airing grand development plans at a time when the economy is in crisis, but even the regime’s more rational economic goals are unlikely to be achievable.
Economic turmoil and government measures to curb the coronavirus have dealt a cruel blow to workers in the informal sector, where layoffs go unrecorded and people out of work lack access to social security.
The government has so far done little to prevent a mass departure from Yangon in advance of the holiday, which could result in COVID-19 spreading from the country’s largest city to other areas of Myanmar.
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.