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.
The business community has welcomed interest rate cuts and other stimulus measures aimed at cushioning the impact of the coronavirus, but there’s consensus that more needs to be done to avert business closures and massive job losses.
To prevent an outbreak of COVID-19, prison authorities have focused on providing handbasins for visitors and feeding inmates ginger water – a popular but discredited remedy – but more radical measures are being considered.
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.