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Myanmar’s Youth Fleeing to Thailand Over Forced Military Conscription

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Myanmar's Youth Fleeing to Thailand

Following the Myanmar junta regime’s announcement that it will call up conscripts for forced military duty, young people are lining up outside the Thai embassy to apply for visas and find other means to leave the country.

Starting in April, approximately 5,000 civilians each month would be registered in the military to conduct “national defence duties,” according to junta spokesman Maj. Gen. Zaw Min Tun in an interview with the BBC.

On Thursday, aw Min Tun informed multiple junta-affiliated media that the military, which has suffered numerous battlefield setbacks and large-scale surrenders in recent months, will recruit up to 50,000 men this year.

According to Radio Free Asia, young people in Yangon have already begun to make their way to the Thai border, which is approximately 420 kilometres (260 miles) away.

At 5:30 a.m., some 50 people, the majority of whom were young, had formed a lineup in front of the Thai embassy, according to one Yangon resident who declined to be named for security reasons.

Because of the recent surge in visa applications, the Thai embassy said in a statement that only 400 applicants would be accepted per day.

Thailand’s has warned that Myanmar nationals who enter Thailand illegally will face legal consequences.

“They are welcome to enter the country legitimately. However, if they attempt to enter the nation illegally, they will face legal consequences. “I’ve already discussed the matter with security agencies,” Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin stated.

He also stated that Thailand’s unemployment rate is currently less than 1% and that Thailand still requires many more labourers from nearby countries, but they must follow proper procedures to work in the country.

According to Anusorn Tamajai, chairman of the executive committee of the Pridi Banomyong Institute at Thammasat University, the conscription of young people in Myanmar will also include workers entering Thailand under bilateral memorandums of understanding, resulting in labour shortages affecting some businesses.

As a result of the conscription, an increasing number of Myanmar residents will enter and work illegally in Thailand, he stated.

Myanmar’s military conscription comes as anti-junta forces and ethnic armies have won important successes over the military in the country’s civil war, which erupted in October 2023 when rebel groups banded together and started new offensives, resulting in considerable losses.

According to Min Aung Hlaing’s decree, Burmese men aged 18-35 and women aged 18-27 might face up to five years in prison if they refuse to serve for two years. Doctors, engineers, and technicians (ages 18-45 for men and 18-35 for women) must also serve for a maximum of five years.

Myanmar's Military Coup Means Huge Losses for Thailand Investment

In February 2021, the Myanmar Junta overthrew the civilian government and detained important political personalities.

The coup sparked huge protests and civil disobedience campaigns throughout Myanmar, with residents seeking a return to democracy and the end of military rule. The military’s violent crackdown on dissenting voices exacerbated tensions, sparking an increase in bloodshed and armed resistance.

To resist the military rule, many ethnic minority groups, long marginalised by the central authority, joined forces with pro-democracy movements. This convergence of interests has altered the political environment, resulting in a complex dispute with no obvious conclusion in sight.

The United Nations has expressed worry over Myanmar’s worsening humanitarian situation, with millions of people in need of immediate aid.

The military’s actions have sparked broad international condemnation, with calls for targeted sanctions and diplomatic pressure to restore democracy and human rights.

As Myanmar struggles with internal unrest and external pressures, the path to peace and security remains unclear. The tenacity of the Myanmar people in the face of suffering demonstrates their unwavering dedication to democracy and justice.

The international community’s ongoing support and solidarity will be critical in moulding Myanmar’s future and directing it towards a peaceful and inclusive transition.

On Monday airstrikes from the Junta military in northern Myanmar killed six civilians, including children and injured 13 others, rescue workers told reporters. Junta troops responded after united rebel groups attacked a regime base in Kachin state.

The Myanmar military blasted the village by air over two days on Saturday and Sunday, forcing over 1,000 residents to flee, according to neighbours. On Saturday alone, forces unleashed 20 bombs on four towns, they said.

Junta airstrikes and artillery killed 1,429 civilians and injured 2,641 more between the coup on February 1, 2021 and January 31, 2024. According to a UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs projection, more than 2.6 million people will have been displaced as a result of fighting by the end of 2023.

The CTNNews editorial team comprises seasoned journalists and writers dedicated to delivering accurate, timely news coverage. They possess a deep understanding of current events, ensuring insightful analysis. With their expertise, the team crafts compelling stories that resonate with readers, keeping them informed on global happenings.

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