Category Conflict

Inside the rebel-held jungle camp concealed from Myanmar’s junta

It was a long month. As Htay Mo trekked through rivers and across mountains thick with jungle, sleeping rough and relying on handouts, the word of a haven kept her going. The 26-year-old – who navigated landmines, snakes and soldiers as she carried her disabled son to safety – was forced out of her village […]

Sun, sea and civil war: holidaying in Myanmar

In the grand lobby of a Yangon hotel, a senior Myanmar tourism official told me she was meeting government officials to “rebrand” the country to focus international attention on pristine beaches instead of conflict and military atrocities. It was March 2018, and Myanmar was governed by an elected civilian administration. But instead of standing up […]

‘We are not afraid’: anti-junta groups rail against Myanmar executions

On Monday night at 8pm, the familiar, defiant sound of clashing pots and pans returned to the streets of Yangon. In the aftermath of last year’s coup, the same din was heard nightly as people demanded the return of democracy – until the military launched brutal crackdowns against any such acts of dissent. Anyone suspected […]

Guns, not monks, at monastery on Myanmar’s Thai border

CHIANG MAI PROVINCE, Thailand — In a different world, Wat Fah Wiang Inn would symbolize the power of faith to transcend the borders between two largely Buddhist nations. Trust and tolerance, not guns, would hallmark this monastery straddling the Myanmar and Thailand border in the hazy Shan Hills, which stretch from Yunnan in China through […]

‘All I can do is pray’: the Ukrainian women going home despite the danger

To be with children, to care for elderly relatives, to find work: civilians tell why they are leaving safe countries for a war zone As the war crept closer to Odesa, Ann heeded the pleas of her friends abroad and fled to Holland. A month later, as she tried to calm her son over the […]

‘The darkest days are coming’: Myanmar’s journalists suffer at hands of junta

Journalism has been outlawed in all but name since the coup, with reporters and editors fleeing the country or leading double lives to survive As a cyclone rolled over the Bay of Bengal on 24 May, American journalist Danny Fenster, 37, contemplated the brooding skies near a terminal window at Yangon international airport. For a […]

‘People were going crazy’: Myanmar detainees recount military’s cruelty

Freed protesters and a journalist detained by the junta describe beatings and squalid conditions Released from detention in Myanmar, protesters and journalists have described beatings, squalid conditions and cruelty under the military dictatorship that is opposed by most of the population. Hnin, 23, was arrested along with 400 other young people in a haze of stun […]

Fear turns to fury in Myanmar as children shot by military

From soldiers randomly shooting passersby in the street to imminent economic collapse, anxieties have been plentiful in Myanmar since its military seized power on 1 February. But unease was surging ahead of Armed Forces Day on Saturday when the military was expected to meet protesters with a brutal crackdown. These expectations were more than realised. A one-year-old […]

Reporting from Myanmar: ‘The future has never been darker’

Two journalists reflect on the danger, fear and uncertainty that now characterise life in the country – and the risks people are taking to access information ‘It is strange to write about joy amid the daily killings’ It started with people nervously waiting outside a KFC for the first brave activists to shout “let the […]

Myanmar’s besieged resistance dreams of ‘people’s army’ to counter junta

On the barricades and in border hideouts there is a growing mood to take the fight to the military after the coup that has left more than 200 dead. As an adolescent, Aung, 27, wanted to enlist in the Myanmar military until his family spelt out the horrors of the institution. Now, he has seen them firsthand. […]