The Southeast Asian bloc is considering stronger measures against the Myanmar military but a range of factors may preserve the unproductive status quo.
In Sagaing Region, local people linked to resistance groups risk death to document the conflict, providing media outlets with a vital – if inevitably partisan – source of information from the ground.
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The warning comes after the junta issued arrest warrants for veteran democracy activists who have voiced support for anti-coup protests and the Civil Disobedience Movement.
The Arakan National Party’s decision to work with the new military regime has exposed divisions in a state where many regard the National League for Democracy with contempt.
The State Administration Council says it has remitted the sentences of more than 23,000 people to "please the public" but is continuing to arrest activists and dissenting civil servants.
Draft law would require ICT companies to keep data onshore and provide it to the government on request, while users deemed to have spread “misinformation” or “disinformation” would face a potential three-year prison term.
Across Myanmar, staff are walking out of government offices to oppose military rule, despite pressure from their superiors and threats of punishment from the junta.
The junta has not yet arrested journalists en masse, shut down media houses or re-imposed censorship, but Myanmar’s media workers are bracing for the worst.
The world can help Myanmar by offering long-term support to civilian efforts to build peace and democracy, not by cutting all ties with the country.