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.
Independent candidates in the recent Yangon municipal election blame their losses on the decision to allow political party logos during the campaign and on ballot papers, as the head of the election commission concedes to Frontier that the contest between candidates was not fair.
The Naga Self-Administered Zone on the border with India is poor and isolated, but a new bridge and upgraded roads carry promises of development. Meanwhile, its administrative autonomy is likely to remain limited.
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.