Myanmar, a neighboring country with a civil war

Myanmar Spring Chronicle – July 21 Scenes

MoeMaKa, July 22, 2023

Myanmar, a neighboring country with a civil war

From Mae Sot, the Thai-Myanmar border town, the mountains of Karen State on the Myanmar side are green, and the orange clouds and black mountain edges match the figures and colors of a sunset landscape painting. In the distance, low and high figures of the mountains, and in the nearby landscape, the lights of Mae Sot city on the Thai side, the streets, rows of shops, and cars, motorcycles, and large cargo trucks moving around, are the scenery of Thailand’s border town.

While seeing these sights, the sound that is often heard is the sound of a large cannon called “Ohn” echoing through the sky and the ground. For the residents who live in the city, such sounds are often heard from the Myanmar side, so they do not seem unusual. They seem to be treating it as a symptom of the civil war that has been going on for decades in places not far from the border in neighboring countries, and for the Myanmar people who have been living and taking refuge in Thailand for a short time or an unknown period of time, it is a sense that they are listening to the fight going on in their own homes from outside. Thoughts like how many people were injured and died, who had to flee again, and which roads connecting which cities have been blocked often appear.

After the military coup on February 1, 2021, there has been a resurgence of armed conflicts in Karen State. After December 2021, widespread fighting has been going on in the areas of Karen State such as Myawaddy, Kyainseikgyi, and Kawkareik, Nyaunglebin in Bago Division, and Bilin and Thaton in Mon State. In all 3 seasons of summer, rain, and winter, the battles were taking place regardless of whether it was dry or wet. Armed forces have also been formed in areas such as Karen State and the border with Thailand, and they have strengthened considerably compared to decades ago.

For those who live in this armed conflict area, families, local residents of each village, and those who support the armed forces, the area around Mae Sot and Tak Province is a place of temporary refuge near the border in case of war. Since then, Mae Sot has been a city where migrant workers, with or without official certificates, live and work. After the coup, the internal instability and political crisis forced more migrant workers to work there, as well as those fleeing from political arrests and killings, and the population of Mae Sot suddenly increased.

For those who have been sheltered in Mae Sot for economic or political reasons, it is similar to having to watch and listen sadly to the events that are happening outside their own homes.

When they hear the sound of heavy weapons from the far side of the mountains and the Thaunggin River, most Myanmar people feel sad, like they are hearing a fight going on in their homes. In this fight, when will the side they support win, and how can they defeat the villain, the Military Council? These are the things that appear in their thoughts almost every day.

If you look at the situation in Thailand, you will see that it is a country where the political system is enacted so that generals can manage the majority of the country’s power, and to benefit the military and businessmen close to the military.

However, Thailand has a different historical background with no armed conflicts, and Myanmar is a country with a different historical and political backgrounds where there have been armed conflicts for more than 7 decades.