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.
Mandalay is struggling to balance virus containment with the economic impact of stay-at-home orders, which added another layer of hardship this month to the lives of casual day labourers already struggling to support their families.
It may be a long time, if ever, before the country can fully account for the loss of life during the COVID-19 pandemic, and anecdotal evidence from cemeteries and hospitals in Yangon shows a muddled picture.
David Arnott, who died earlier this month in Thailand, was at the vanguard of online activism targeting Myanmar’s regime and spent the last two decades of his life building the largest online collection of material about the country.
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.