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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A ban on commercial pandals brought subdued celebrations in Yangon for the traditional New Year, and contributed to a boost for the domestic travel industry.
Police say they will take action against organisers of Thursday's protest, which denounced a reference to Myanmar's Rohingya population in a statement expressing condolences to victims of a marine tragedy.