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 Border Guard Force’s support for the Tatmadaw in fighting the Karen National Union appears to have paid off, with the group getting the green light to resume its controversial businesses along the Thai border.
Myanmar's Buddhist monkhood led an earlier struggle against military rule but is split on the February 1 coup that ended the country's nascent democracy, with some prominent religious leaders defending the new junta.
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.