The act passed not due to an old guard tainted by anti-Rohingya prejudice, but thanks to a new coalition of ethnic minorities and youth, who made strategic alliances with US institutions and told the right story.
Is it time to arrest U Aung Min? Well, no. That would be stupid. But civil society actors are regularly imprisoned under the Unlawful Associations Act for contacting non-state armed groups – a fate that has yet to befall the government’s peace negotiator-in-chief.
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.