Myanmar's military regime has asked China for help implementing a new electronic identification system, state media reported on Wednesday, for a census that critics say will be used to increase surveillance of its opponents.
Militaries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations began their first-ever joint exercises on Tuesday in Indonesia, with a Myanmar junta representative present despite the bloc's ban on its senior leaders.
The regime's sudden decision has hobbled Myanmar citizens seeking better lives overseas and risks depriving migrant workers of legal protections, with rights groups suspecting a ploy to target dissidents.
Myanmar’s parallel government is funding weapons and public services through a digital currency in a bid to break the junta’s grip on the banks. But progress is slow and the system has weaknesses that could limit its uptake.
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.