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.
Myanmar’s new military regime is striving to present a business-as-usual approach to the economy in the face of daily street protests, but even a normally pliant private sector is crying foul at some of its initial steps.
Among the throngs of demonstrators on the streets over the past couple weeks have been savvy street entrepreneurs selling revolutionary merch and inspired artisans and samaritans offering alms to protesters.
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.