Dictatorial paranoia Myanmar | 05 May 2023

Myanmar: Civil war and the ‘road to nowhere’

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In one of the largest attacks in the civil war so far, on 11 April 2023 government forces killed more than 100 people, half of them children and youths, as reported by Radio Free Asia on 12 April 2023.

World Watch Research analyst Thomas Muller comments: “This attack, which drew widespread condemnation from most observers (including the UN), took place in Sagaing region and was not aimed at any particular ethnic or religious group. However, it is very clear that the regime is increasingly fighting a war against its own people. In March 2023, it decided to dissolve Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party, underlining that any moves towards elections either later this year or in 2024 can only be described as a “road to nowhere” (International Crisis Group, 28 March 2023).

Thomas Muller continues: “Recent events in southern Shan state illustrate that the regime is using ethnic and religious tensions to sow discord in society. After a massacre in a Buddhist monastery on 11 March, in which evidence clearly pointed to the regime (and affiliated fighting groups) as the perpetrators, the government has portrayed the incident as proof of the danger Christian Karenni pose to the mainly Buddhist Pa-O ethnic group (USIP, 27 April 2023).  Christians remain firmly on the regime’s radar, as the sentencing of the well-known Baptist pastor, Dr Hkalam Samson, shows. He was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for alleged terrorism and related charges (UCA News, 10 April 2023).”


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