Looking Back at Military Rule in Myanmar in 2022: Way Forward for 2023
Dr Cchavi Vasisht, Research Associate, VIF

The year 2022 witnessed the second year of military rule and the compounding economic, social and political crisis of 2021. As compared to 2021, the resistance took more violent forms and spread mostly to the North and Western parts of the country. While the military, on the one hand, continued its attacks, the National Unity Government (NUG) strengthened its forces and claimed legitimacy internationally. Officially, the NUG has set up representative offices in eight countries. It has also urged the ASEAN to include itself in the meetings as a key stakeholder.

As the country marks the 75th Anniversary of Myanmar’s Independence on 04 January 2023, it is important to raise a question. Whether the 2023 election would be free and fair? Min Aung Hlaing announced that the elections would be held in August 2023, and the preparations for the same started in 2022. However, the elections have been declared as a sham or undemocratic both domestically and internationally. Furthermore, the ongoing conflict has resulted in widespread displacement within and outside the country, leading to the refugee problem in neighbouring countries, particularly India and Thailand. There have been mixed international responses, which are discussed in the article below.

2023 Elections

On the eve of the first anniversary of the military coup, 01 February 2022, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Chairman of the State Administration Council (SAC), extended the military rule for another six months, which was further extended for six months in August. Min Aung Hlaing announced his decision to conduct the elections in August 2023 as mandated by the military-drafted 2008 Constitution. In February 2022, he held the first cabinet meeting of the year and highlighted the three sectors that would be prioritised in 2022. These are - to improve the economy; set up a genuine, disciplined multi-party democracy and form an all-inclusive defence system. In July, Min Aung Hlaing outlined the five-point roadmap to implement a multiparty democratic system and to build a Union based on democracy and federalism.[1]

While he claimed to set up multi-party democracy, he vowed to “annihilate” all forms of opposition and stated on Armed Forces Day, 27 March 2022 that the military would not negotiate with “terrorist” opposition. However, the anti-coup protesters marked the first anniversary of the military seizure of power with a nationwide strike. On Armed Forces Day, the protestors came out on the streets with slogans such as “uproot the fascist military.” As a result, the year marked increased clashes and conflicts between the military forces and Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs) and People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) discussed in the next section.

The military-appointed Union Election Commission (UEC) started compiling voter lists, designating polling stations and purchasing polling materials. The regime planned to replace the current first-past-the-post electoral system with proportional representation to prevent a landslide victory of any one party. The change is seen as favouring the military and its allied political parties.[2] The regime has introduced further restrictions on political parties by barring them from speaking with international organisations or foreigners without permission from the electoral body. Earlier, it required foreign organisations to report to the regime’s foreign ministry through their embassies if they were to meet a political party in Myanmar.

The military-backed Union Solidarity & Development Party (USDP) started the preparations for elections in 2023. In October, the USDP chose Khin Yi, who is close to Min Aung Hlaing, as its new leader. The USDP also plans to include a large number of retired officers, either as candidates or to help with campaigns.[3] On the other hand, Duwa Lashi La, the acting President of the NUG, refused to recognise the elections. Even many EAOs have refused to recognise the elections. Moreover, Aung San Suu Kyi has been potentially kept out of politics for the rest of her life. A military court in December 2022 sentenced her to seven years in prison in the last set of cases against her. The court’s decision puts her with a total of 33 years to serve in prison.[4]

Even the international responses have not been encouraging. The UN special rapporteur on the rights situation in Myanmar, Thomas Andrews, warned that the election would be “fraud."Countries such as the United States and Malaysia have called the elections a sham and stated that the vote under military rule would be neither free nor fair. On the other hand, China reached out to the military for the conduct of the election. On 29 November, a consul from the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar, Lin Tao, paid a call on U Khin Yi, the new chairman of the military’s proxy USDP and focussed on cooperation.[5] The following section highlights the rise of NUG and its limitations as well.

The NUG its rise and limitations

The Special Advisory Council for Myanmar, an independent group formed by former United Nations Envoys to Myanmar, released a report that claimed the NUG and resistance groups have control over 52 per cent of the country and challenge the military in another 23 per cent whereas the military had control of just 17 per cent of the country. Out of the total 330 townships, the regime only has full control over 72, thereby indicating a decrease in their control. Further, the military has lost nearly 90 bases since the coup in fighting with resistance forces and EAOs.[6] NUG, in addition to increasing its territorial dominance, has also established public administration and judicial systems in 24 townships.

The year marked the one-year anniversary of the formation of the PDFs (06 May) and the declaration of a people’s defensive war (07 September). The NUG Ministry of Defence said the PDF has expanded to 257 units across 250 townships.[7] The resistance forces also used drone warfare to bomb military targets on both land and water. To counter these attacks, the military is installing anti-drone guns. In addition, the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH), the legislative body of NUG, enacted its People’s Police Force Law to regulate law enforcement in areas controlled by resistance forces. However, PDFs are facing cash and arms shortages. These groups have so far relied on donations from local people. Under such circumstances, they have called for international help to arm its resistance forces.

Conflict Continues

The clashes and fighting continue in 266 townships out of the 330 townships in Myanmar. The number and magnitude of clashes vary from place to place. The most conflicted areas are the western and southern regions of the countries.[8] Myanmar’s regime has stepped up atrocities in the second year of its rule and increased the use of airstrikes. Amnesty International documented 16 unlawful air attacks that took place between March 2021 and August 2022 in Kayah, Kayin, Chin States and Sagaing Region.[9] And lacking anti-aircraft missiles, PDFs have targeted junta air bases in Yangon, Mandalay and Magwe regions instead.[10]

But there are reports that the military is undermanned because of defections and, thereby, fielded firefighters, police and administrative employees as security personnel and forced villagers to undergo military training. The military is also accused of using antipersonnel landmines (which is prohibited) according to the Landmine Monitor Report 2022. Additionally, the military is vulnerable to mine attacks by resistance forces and therefore using air strikes.[11] Due to the indiscriminate use of airstrikes, Amnesty International urged the international community to prevent the supply of aviation fuel to the Myanmar military. Following the Amnesty International report “Deadly Cargo”, Canada became the first country to impose sanctions on military jet fuel suppliers, named Asia Sun Group, in December 2022.[12]

Furthermore, Myanmar’s military has extended its ceasefire agreement with Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs) until the end of 2023. In August, Min Aung Hlaing conducted Second Peace Talks in Naypyidaw. Myanmar has 21 EAOs, out of which ten have accepted the invitation to the peace talks. But the key ethnic armed groups such as the Karenni National Progressive Party, Kachin Independence Army, and Chin National Front rejected the offer. But there is scepticism that the talks will not do much to advance peacemaking because none of the groups attending Peace is currently in armed conflict with the military.

During the year, conflict resurged between the Arakan Army and the military after a brief ceasefire after the 2020 elections. However, in November 2022, the AA and the military reached an unwritten ceasefire. Further, the NUG also attempted to coordinate efforts with EAOs and formed an Alliance Relations Committee. The EAOs are also initiating talks amongst themselves to arrive at some understanding. Leaders of the United Wa State Army (UWSA) held meetings with AA, Ta’ang National Liberation Army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA).

Humanitarian Crisis

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) said that so far, more than 2,500 civilians have been killed and around 14,000 arrested unlawfully. Save the Children, an international aid organisation, estimated that a total of 267 children had been killed, and another 520,000 children had been displaced. Overall, the number of people displaced by the conflict has increased by 60 per cent since December 2021 to more than 1.4 million people. The Northwest region is the worst affected, comprising Chin, Sagaing and Magway, representing 68 per cent of all people displaced. The Myanmar Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) estimated that14.4 million people needed assistance in 2022.[13]

The conflict constrained the movement of assistance, supplies and people, along with heightened security measures and denial of travel authorisations. The safety and protection of humanitarian and front-line workers have also become a serious concern, as they are increasingly targeted and subject to arbitrary arrests and detentions. Besides, the military also issued new rules e.g. "Organization Registration Law,” requiring international and domestic aid groups to legally have a government-issued registration certificate to work in the country. The law bans "indirect or direct" contact between aid providers and groups blacklisted by the military. The implication of this law could restrict the flow of international aid into territory controlled by resistance forces.

The most appalling incident was the execution of four prisoners on 25 July 2022, after almost 30 years after the last execution.[14] Human Rights Watch and the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) appealed to the military to impose a moratorium on the death penalty. So far, the military tribunals have sentenced 138 people to death and are accused of failing to follow due process and fair trial standards. Amnesty International, in its report ’15 Days Felt like 15 Years’, reported how the prison authorities and interrogation centres subjected detained individuals to torture and other cruel or degrading treatment.[15] The military, though, released prisoners on amnesty; within these, a few important releases were Australian economist Sean Turnell; former British envoy Vicky Bowman and Japanese filmmaker Toru Kubota.

Media freedom was also curtailed, and the military is currently holding at least 62 journalists. The Information Ministry imposed pre-broadcast censorship on local and foreign television. Reporters without Borders (RSF) ranked Myanmar 176 out of 180 countries in World Press Freedom Index 2022. The military amended the Cybersecurity Law to include a punishment of three years in prison for using a virtual private network (VPN) to access the internet.[16] According to Access Now, at least 54 of Myanmar’s 330 townships have internet blackouts. The military is also expanding the use of facial recognition technology to increase its public surveillance capabilities.[17] The expansion of surveillance has raised fresh concerns about the safety of activists and resistance groups in Myanmar.

With the rise in the prices of medicines and shortage of supply of drugs, many in the country are left without treatments. According to the 2021 survey by the UK-based website Prosperity.com, Myanmar’s development status was ranked 133 out of 167 countries, with its healthcare ranking at 106.[18] Attacks on schools and hospitals have also continued at alarming levels.[19] Further, since the coup, 20 lawyers have been charged with terrorism and incitement for joining anti-regime protests and for having alleged links to the NUG. The incidents of drug trafficking and money laundering have also increased across bordering states, especially Thailand and India. Finally, drug consumption has surged within the country, deteriorating the health and potential of the younger population.[20]

There are also reports of Myanmar emerging as a human trafficking hub.[21] The environmental crisis also loomed over the country as the military regime was unable to take initiatives to address the problems of climate change. The military government cancelled tenders invited under the previous NLD government for 26 solar power projects. Furthermore, based on the report by the Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC), the country may be emerging as a key transit hub for illegal wildlife trade.[22]

Economic Crisis

By the end of the year, the military-ruled ministries portrayed a blissful picture with the increasing trade, investments, commerce, and tourism increased in the country. The following are the key figures reported for the first eight months of the financial year, starting April 2022 to December 2022. Myanmar’s exports rose by 15.09 per cent, and imports were higher by 26.19 per cent. Myanmar received 52 investments from foreign countries; with Singapore being the largest foreign investor, followed by Hong Kong and China. Data from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism reports that Myanmar attracted 170,357 international visitors.[23]

However, this is just one side of Myanmar’s growth trajectory, as stated by the military. On 27 August, the value of the Myanmar Kyat (MMK) to the US Dollar (USD) hit a record low at 3,400 MMK/USD1.[24] In order to reduce dependence on US Dollar, the military approved the use of the Thai baht as an official currency in border trade dealings. Earlier this year, Myanmar allowed direct currency settlements using the Chinese Yuan with its kyat. The military plans a similar arrangement for the use of India’s rupee.

The price of basic commodities increased.[25] In addition, as a result of the Russia-Ukraine war, there was a rise in the cost of fertilisers leading to a shortage in the production of food in Myanmar. Myanmar also faced fuel shortages because of the Central Bank of Myanmar’s change in regulations in April 2022.[26] Amid serious fuel shortages, the military regime formed a committee to import fuel from Russia. Since the coup, there have also been concerns over the shortage of electricity and frequent power cuts across the country.[27]

It must also be noted that the investments made by Singapore and China fell after the military coup, and many Multinational Corporations (MNCs) have either suspended or withdrawn their businesses from the country. Since December 2021, five major players in the energy sector announced their departure, including France’s Total, U.S.-based Chevron, Australia’s Woodside, Japan’s Mitsubishi and Malaysia’s Petronas.[28] While the investments are dwindling, Min Aung Hlaing spent more than seven billion kyats of public funds over the past year on titles and medals.

The banking sector has seen a slowdown, with a number of private bank branches closing due to armed resistance and instability, as well as Military Council guidelines that restricted fund transfers and limited cash withdrawals. The latest in line is the Myanmar Citizens Bank (MCB). Similarly, the Australian ANZ Bank announced that it would cease its operations by early 2023, making it the first international bank to withdraw from the country. The withdrawal follows the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) ruling in October 2022, which blacklisted Myanmar. Furthermore, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, divested its 4.5 per cent stake in Yoma Bank to First Myanmar Investment (FMI).

Mixed International Responses

The United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on 21 December 2022 that demanded an immediate end to violence in Myanmar and urged the military junta to release political prisoners, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. In the 15-nation Security Council, 12 members voted in favour, and India, China and Russia abstained. However, Myanmar’s military rejected the resolution passed by the UNSC. Further, despite the military government's efforts to remove Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun as the permanent representative of Myanmar to the United Nations; Kyaw Moe Tun continued to uphold his status after the UN Credentials Committee gave its decision in December 2022. Ms Noeleen Heyzer, Special Envoy of the UN on Myanmar, visited the country in August to meet General Min Aung Hlaing and requested the leaders to halt the air strikes. However, Min Hlaing dismissed the allegations and clarified that the military targeted the location of the insurgents only.[29]

One of the significant steps by the United States (US) was the passage of the 2022 Burma Act, which was part of the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), to provide non-military aid to the NUG and its affiliate organisations. The Burma Act also authorises measures to prevent the military regime from acquiring weapons and expands sanctions against military businesses. Earlier, in May, the US State Department officials met with the Foreign Minister of the NUG on the sidelines of the two-day US-ASEAN Special Summit. The US also included Myanmar on the list of 12 countries that are of “particular concern” for religious freedom violations. They reported that the Christian minorities now face persecution similar to what the Rohingya have faced. In March, Blinken announced that violence committed against the Rohingya by Myanmar's military amounted to genocide and crimes against humanity.[30] But Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs rejected both the statements.

The EU imposed several rounds of sanctions on both Min Aung Hlaing and military-controlled conglomerates and companies.[31] The EU also did not invite Myanmar to its meeting with ASEAN leaders. Furthermore, 55 British Parliamentarians joined the call for aviation fuel sanctions against the Burmese military and urged the Government to refer the Myanmar case to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to join the Rohingya genocide case at the ICJ.[32] But in response, the Myanmar military detained the UK's former ambassador, Vicky Bowmanand her husband, Htein Lin.[33] In addition, the EU allocated an additional one million Euros to the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar and around 6.5 million Euros to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to tackle the food crisis in Myanmar. While the European leaders were appreciated for their efforts, the Justice for Myanmar reported that the German Government was funding the training of Myanmar military personnel in violation of EU sanctions.[34]

Two countries in support of the Myanmar military regime are Russia and China. Min Aung Hlaing visited Russia thrice since the military coup. On the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF-2022), he met Russian President Vladimir Putin. There have been several visits by defence officials from both sides. The visit by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Myanmar in August was also the highlight of the year.[35] Myanmar signed an agreement with Russian state-owned nuclear corporation Rosatom to further atomic energy cooperation. The two sides also engaged in developing trade and commerce with the Russian trade delegation's visit to Myanmar.

China maintained close relations with the military by providing both defence and economic assistance. Myanmar Air Force procured six FTC-2000G Mountain Eagle fighter aircraft from China in November.[36] China is also believed to provide arms and ammunition to the Myanmar military via Pakistan. In 2022, Pakistan-Myanmar military-industrial link received attention. Pakistan Colonel Imran Khan visited Myanmar in November to discuss military cooperation. Other visits by military officials from Pakistan were also reported in September-October. Early in the year, Wunna Maung Lwin, Foreign Minister of the SAC, visited China and met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.[37] Later, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Myanmar in July to attend the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation group meeting, which reflected close relations with the military regime. Moreover, on 02 December, a forum on China-Myanmar economic cooperation was held, and during the year, China was Myanmar's largest trading partner.[38] However, China’s infrastructure has also been attacked since the military coup. In August, a bomb attack took place in Muse town, a Myanmar-China border town, which is also part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.[39] Furthermore, many Chinese-speaking people were being kidnapped from Thailand to Myanmar for scam activities.[40]

Finally, Myanmar, with its western neighbour, Bangladesh, has faced escalating tensions since mid-August. Bangladesh’s foreign ministry summoned Myanmar’s envoy in Dhaka, Aung Kyaw Moe, four times since August over her country’s repeated military attacks. Bangladesh deployed advanced drones to monitor its shared border with Myanmar concerning a potential renewed Rohingya exodus. Some 1,920 people, mostly Rohingya, travelled by sea from January to November 2022 from Myanmar to Bangladesh, according to the UNHCR.[41] The two sides also conducted the 8th Director General-level conference between Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and the Border Guard Police (BGP) of Myanmar after a gap of two years in November. The following section discusses the developments in India-Myanmar relations.

India - Limited and Cautious Approach

The highlight of the year was the visit of India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra to Myanmar on 21-22 November. They discussed the issue of border management and security issues amid escalating tensions between EAOs and the Myanmar army that could have an impact on India's northeastern states. Foreign Secretary also reiterated India’s commitment to continue with the projects under the Rakhine State Development Programme and Border Area Development Programme.[42] Furthermore, India raised the issue of human trafficking of its citizens in the Myawaddy area of Myanmar by international crime syndicates. Progress has also been made in the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport (KMMTT) project. The Indian government appointed IRCON as implementing and executing agency and earmarked a corpus of Rs 17.8 billion to complete the pending stretch of109 km road between Paletwa and Zorinpui.

Incidents of cross-border movements of people and transport of illegal goods were also reported during the year. At present, more than 30,300 Myanmar nationals have taken shelter in different parts of Mizoram. Two shocking incidents during the year were that more than 300 Indians were held hostage in Myanmar after they were lured to Thailand by a job racket, and two Indian citizens were shot dead in the Tamu area of Myanmar.[43] As a result, security was heightened, and the India-Myanmar border was closed temporarily. The Indian Government is also planning to fence a few spaces of the India-Myanmar border, but several local organisations from Manipur are raising objections against the scheme.[44] Further, unconfirmed sources have stated that the Myanmar military has been getting arms from India and transporting them through the Sagaing Region. However, when the Indian embassy in Yangon was contacted, they rejected reports that the country was involved in arming the Myanmar military.[45]

Economically, in a move to push forward India's Act East Policy, India announced that flights would soon begin between the two countries under the UDAN scheme. In addition, a Myanmar delegation led by its Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Minister Tin Htut Oo visited the Indian Agricultural Research Institute to acquire seeds for a variety of beans and pulses. The Indian Government also announced the import of 250,000 MT of Urad and 100,000 MT of Tur of Myanmar origin through private trade over the next five financial years (2021-22 to 2025-26).

ASEAN and its Divided Policies

ASEAN played a pertinent role in 2022, with two visits by Prak Sokhonn, Cambodian Foreign Minister and ASEAN’s Special Envoy on Myanmar and the conduct of ASEAN summits and Foreign Ministers meetings without Myanmar military representatives. However, the military representatives attended other intelligence and defence meetings. But in the latest 9th ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM+) held in November, Myanmar military representatives were excluded.[46] Sokhonn visited Myanmar in March and June to discuss Myanmar’s progress in implementing the ASEAN Five-Point Consensus. However, he was denied meeting with former civilian leader Suu Kyi due to unspecified “judicial procedures”. By the end of the year, Sokhonn cancelled his third announced trip to the country, displaying growing tensions between the regional bloc and the military regime.

The 40 and 41 ASEAN Summits were significant as the bloc decided to follow a timeline "that outlines concrete, practical and measurable indicators" to support the peace plan and also stated that the ASEAN would initiate talks with the opposition groups. However, the Myanmar military slammed the decision by ASEAN to engage with opposition groups. The 2023 chairmanship is handed over to President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, who announced the theme of ASEAN 2023 as "ASEAN Matters: The Epicentrum of Growth”.

It is important to highlight that the ASEAN members are themselves divided in the Myanmar question. Thailand hosted a consultative dialogue with ministers of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam along with Myanmar military representatives to “find pathways towards a return to normalcy”. Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin attended the dialogue along with his delegation.[47] But key members of the ASEAN – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines declined invitations to the meeting. This shows the differences in approaches of ASEAN members to interact with the military. Earlier, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah proposed that ASEAN engage informally with the NUG to discuss humanitarian aid in May. He also became the first minister from the ASEAN to publicly meet a NUG minister.[48]

Predictions and Way Forward for 2023
  • There is a possibility that the elections could be further delayed as the date for elections is yet not announced. Also, Min Hlaing earlier stated that the elections could only take place when peace and stability are restored. Given the increasing violence each day, it is possible that the elections could be postponed further.
  • On the other hand, if the military proceeds with the elections as planned, there could be more violence and attacks from both sides, i.e. the opposition forces and the military. Without any prior interaction and consultation, the election and its outcome would be a sham. Based on some indications, it is believed that Min Aung Hlaing wants to be “elected” President, which will only intensify the military rule.
  • There is also a possibility of a fractured democracy in the country, which might eventually lead to Balkanisation.[49] The NUG acting President has stated that there is room for negotiation and political dialogue but only when the military recognises its fault. But that is unlikely to happen. Therefore, the possibility is that the NUG will continue to strengthen its forces and try to gain legitimacy. And the EAOs, which have neither sided with the military nor NUG will continue to strengthen their administrative and defence control.
  • Indonesia is expected to usher Myanmar back into the ASEAN’s embrace. As the world’s third-largest democracy, Indonesia wants to contribute to democratisation in Myanmar as the new chair can refocus on the 5PC from the current trajectory to inclusive political dialogue.
  • India needs to maintain a close look at the situation at the borders to ensure security. The increase in violence could further lead to an influx of refugees, which could create an economic and social burden in the Northeastern states. Furthermore, the security of the border states is important given the increasing incidents of drug and arms trafficking.

As the country crisis enters its third year, it is important that all stakeholders are at the table to establish a peaceful and long-term solution. The victory of any one force would only create grounds for further conflicts. As Dr Zaw Oo says, there is a need for “good civil-military relations”. Therefore, the military should start negotiations with the NUG and other EAOs to ensure inclusive elections and usher in democratic forces again in the country.

Endnotes :

[1] https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/political-situations-have-arisen-due-to-improper-use-of-political-outlets-sacs-chairman
[6]The regime has lost at least 20 bases in Kachin State, three in Chin State, 19 in Kayah State, 12 in Karen State and 36 in Rakhine State. https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/resistance-groups-seized-nearly-90-myanmar-junta-outposts-since-coup.html
[12] https://www.mizzima.com/article/canada-sanctions-myanmar-jet-fuel-suppliers
[13]UNICEF Myanmar Humanitarian Situation Report No. 11, 30 December 2022
[14]The men put to death were Phyo Zeya Thaw, 41; Kyaw Min Yu, known as “Ko Jimmy,” 53; Hla Myo Aung; and Aung Thura Zaw. https://www.vifindia.org/article/2022/july/28/what-lies-ahead-of-the-military-executions-in-myanmar
[15]The organisation conducted 15 interviews in March 2022 with former detainees, lawyers of prisoners and experts, and also reviewed over 100 news reports and briefings. https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/08/myanmar-detainees-tortured-to-crush-opposition-to-coup/
[16] https://www.irrawaddy.com/specials/junta-watch/junta-watch-plans-for-facebook-substitute-unveiled-military-admits-coup-and-more.html
[17]In March 2022, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report warning serious threat to human rights with regard to Myanmar's use of Chinese-made facial recognition systems. https://www.business-standard.com/article/international/myanmar-s-junta-using-chinese-face-recognition-tech-to-eliminate-opponents-122080300096_1.html
[26] https://www.irrawaddy.com/news/burma/myanmar-fuel-importers-blame-shortages-on-junta-dollar-controls.html
[34]The upcoming Singapore workshop is the fifth in a series of six planned activities. Two in-person workshops were held in Vietnam (September 2022) and the Philippines (July 2022). The Max Planck Foundation’s project started in October 2020, with the objective “to strengthen preventive diplomacy and regional cooperation in SEA to improve maritime peace and security”. https://www.mizzima.com/article/german-government-training-myanmar-junta-soldiers-possible-eu-sanctions-breach
[39] https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3187518/myanmar-china-border-town-hit-bomb-blast-and-shootings?module=perpetual_scroll_0&pgtype=article&campaign=3187518

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