The military regime’s snap closure of the border with Thailand reflects its poor handling of the COVID-19 response, migrant rights groups say, but the Thai government and employers are also making life difficult for workers.
As tensions peaked between Karen and Bamar in early 1949, Burmese irregular forces committed a series of mass killings on the outskirts of the then-capital that have never been officially acknowledged.
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Frustrated by the disruptive success of the Civil Disobedience Movement, the military regime has resorted to legal threats and forced evictions in an attempt to coerce striking civil servants back to work – but it doesn’t seem to be working.
The Central Bank of Myanmar has started issuing weekly fines ranging from K2 million to K30 million to local private banks that continue to keep branches shut, as reopening slowly gathers pace.
As people crowded onto streets to chant down military rule, the Civil Disobedience Movement quietly dismantled the junta’s ability to test, treat, and inoculate against the coronavirus; many call that a success.
The Karen National Union said it expects as many as 7,000 to flee to its territory along the border with Thailand in the next month, where it says hundreds of activists and MPs have already decamped to since the February 1 coup.
A senior official at Insein Prison said 360 men and 268 women were released from the Yangon facility on Wednesday, the same day a "silent strike" against military rule closed down shops and quieted the streets of cities across the country.
A Tatmadaw spokesperson said he's "sad" over the deaths of pro-democracy protesters slain by his military, but also called them "terrorist people", as more nations pile on sanctions over what the UN said may constitute "crimes against humanity".
Despite ever-growing violence from police and soldiers, an alliance of monks, youth and workers continues to gather each day to demand democracy while keeping its members largely safe.
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.