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 Karen National Union’s foreign affairs chief says only since the Tatmadaw’s brutal crackdowns on protesters are the majority of people changing their views about armed groups, and seeing them as partners and allies instead of “rebels”.
A frontline medic describes the dangers of trying to save lives at a time when the regime regards many health workers as criminals for serving at protests and participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement.
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.