tirsdag 28. september 2021

Bertil Lintner: Myanmar on a military-made road to disaster

What began as carnival-like protests against Myanmar’s military takeover on February 1 has since morphed into a vicious nationwide insurgency that has hit areas of the nation that had seen no armed confrontations between rebels and state forces for decades. Brutal repression and massive atrocities committed by the military, known as the Tatmadaw, have underscored its reputation as the nation’s most loathed institution at a time when it has seized absolute power and appointed a new, non-elected government.

At the same time, the country is being ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and a faltering economy the World Bank this month predicted will contract by at least 18% in 2021. The percentage of the population living in poverty is expected to rise to 48.2% by 2022, nearly double the 24.8% recorded in 2017.

And while a darling of the Western aid community after introducing political and economic reforms beginning in 2010 and resulting in historic 2015 elections, Myanmar has resumed its previous pariah status. By any measure, the country appears to be heading for a disaster of unparalleled proportions.