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.
Since the February 1 coup pushed Myanmar’s economy off the edge, residents living in informal housing on the urban fringe – already battered by the COVID-19 pandemic – are being pushed to the brink of starvation.
Instability and anti-Chinese sentiment are endangering Beijing’s plans in the country, but rivalry with the West and its own domestic problems may prevent it from engaging the democracy movement, which remains wary of China.
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.