Trade between the once-thriving border towns of Muse and Ruili is restarting after nearly three years, but remains restricted to a trickle of trucks, with Myanmar wary of the COVID-19 surge in China.
The regime's sudden decision has hobbled Myanmar citizens seeking better lives overseas and risks depriving migrant workers of legal protections, with rights groups suspecting a ploy to target dissidents.
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Western-led state-building initiatives in Myanmar have long promoted a neoliberal model of development and democratisation that has inadvertently benefited the military over everyone else in Myanmar.
The Gambia dismissed arguments by the Myanmar military’s legal team, which claimed that the International Court of Justice does not have jurisdiction to rule on.
Unscrupulous factory owners have used the coup to cut wages and harass workplace unions, but successful strikes at two plants late last year have highlighted the determination of workers to resist exploitation and abuse.
Although Omicron is thought to be less severe than Delta, public health experts warn Myanmar could still face a deadly fourth wave due to low vaccination rates, a reliance on less effective Chinese-made vaccines, and a weak public health system.