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.
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Voters in the affluent Yangon township remain enthusiastic about the ruling party, but the insurgent People’s Pioneer Party is pouring resources into the election race.
A township in the low-lying, humid centre of Kayah State is a magnet for parties and candidates looking to splurge cash on a tiny electorate in exchange for an easy win.
People’s Pioneer Party chairperson Thet Thet Khine says the National League for Democracy is “autocratic” and plagued by an overriding fear of offending party leader.
Officials say the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is decreasing in Rakhine State, but residents are struggling under stay-at-home orders and other restrictions that are pushing up commodity prices.
As COVID-19 cases mount in Yangon, the government has ordered townships to open quarantine centres but is not providing any financial support.
By AFP Rohingya groups around the world displayed a rare show of solidarity on Thursday with Myanmar’s ethnic Rakhine, who they say are suffering “horrifically.