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.
Bankers say they are facing threats of nationalisation or forced reopening as the military regime grapples with an industry-wide strike, but a lack of physical cash also looms as a potential crisis point.
Residents say life has become too terrifying to stay in Yangon, where martial law has been declared over six townships and police and soldiers have begun pulling people from their homes and forcing them to clear roads at gunpoint.
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.