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.
Although Omicron is thought to be less severe than Delta, public health experts warn Myanmar could still face a deadly fourth wave due to low vaccination rates, a reliance on less effective Chinese-made vaccines, and a weak public health system.
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.