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What is the situation down there right now, foreigners?


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As we all know from the news, the situation is pretty serious, with many areas and infrastructure totally shut down.

 

Any foreigners still there? I can imagine, in some aspects, it must be even more difficult for a foreigner to be trapped inside the country with banks shutting down, food shortage, limited to no internet, etc. 

 

Anyone knows anything about the situation first hand so to speak? 

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Posted (edited)

Dawn is breaking. The eastern skyline is lighting up before 0530, these days. Clear with a few stray clouds. Should be excellent, bright blue sky in the morning, white cumulus building up to a potential afternoon thunderstorm. Rainy season arrived early. Best hot season, smoke season upcountry for at least a decade, likely two.

 

Situation is developing, but looks promising. Coffee is up, life as we know it, goes on.  

As for the wuhan 19 pandemic. The Thai governments vaccination program is under extreme criticism. As it should be. The so called 3rd wave fueled by the Thonglor hi so variant hit a soft spot, with the Indian variant on the horizon. The government has responded by issuing contradictory bulletins every twenty four hours. Outstanding gaslighting of the populace, BTW.  

Looks like we are ready for the morning market run. Besides the usual I think we will pick up some jok mu, with either cerebow dang, or pla tong go. (transliteration spelling f'd as usual, sorry).

 

Hope your situation is good too.

Aloha 

 

Edited by LomSak27
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I mistakenly thought the question was about Thailand.

 

I was working in Naypyitaw until just a couple of years ago, so am still in touch with colleagues there, and am aware of the situation - thanks.

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5 hours ago, simon43 said:

I mistakenly thought the question was about Thailand.

 

I was working in Naypyitaw until just a couple of years ago, so am still in touch with colleagues there, and am aware of the situation - thanks.

 

So how do they view the situation?

 

Is it as bad as media reports? 

 

Any of the colleagues foreigners? 

 

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10 hours ago, zzzzz said:


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If ur interested since then end of jan i have been following the situation in various publications, twitter an fb>>

https://cambodiaexpatsonline.com/the-rest-the-world/headlines-burma-yes-aung-san-says-you-can-say-burma-t43145.html

 

Yes I know situation is really bad, do you have any personal experience? Or know someone who is down there now? More interested in personal experiences than public written articles or statistics

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Nojohndoe said:

Does the "Free Press" come seeking  material ?

 

 

Not sure what you mean, but no, I am not looking for "material" for anything, lol. 

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Argus Tuft said:

Didn't appreciate the lol response to that question above,

It was a stupid question.

 

There? Where!?

 

Okay, you get a pass from sympathetic people having posted in the Myanmar thread but still!

 

Where? Yangon? Mandalay? Pagan? The border? As point of fact nowhere in your post do you even mention Myanmar. So a person clicking from the bottom link on the website not the Myanmar thread will be entirely lost.

 

That's what I found funny. The simplemindedness of it all.

Edited by kynikoi
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1 minute ago, Argus Tuft said:

Try reading past the first sentence before making an emotional response to something you didn't like

 

There is nothing in your post that indicates where you are talking about. Please quote it. Maybe I missed it AGAIN, it's late.

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Just now, kynikoi said:

 

There is nothing in your post that indicates where you are talking about. Please quote it. Maybe I missed it AGAIN, it's late.

Yes its late - can we agree not to go at it tonight? If its a misunderstanding then all good. Peace.

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On 5/8/2021 at 2:27 AM, kynikoi said:

It was a stupid question.

 

There? Where!?

 

Okay, you get a pass from sympathetic people having posted in the Myanmar thread but still!

 

Where? Yangon? Mandalay? Pagan? The border? As point of fact nowhere in your post do you even mention Myanmar. So a person clicking from the bottom link on the website not the Myanmar thread will be entirely lost.

 

That's what I found funny. The simplemindedness of it all.

Clearly stated in my post where I was. I mean it could not have been any more clear

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/7/2021 at 9:45 PM, Argus Tuft said:

Yes, there are foreigners still here. Didn't appreciate the lol response to that question above, but there has been a mass exodus since Feb and into March - this includes Burmese too, not only Foreigners.

And the situation, while not as dire as it was up to late March - is still nowhere near good. But that goes for locals as well as expats

I am in Yangon and a long term expat here (as well as working in Thailand for many periods in the last 10 years). SVB ring a bell to anyone?

Summary:

Let's do the day-to-day stuff (commerce/banking/Internet/Living) first, going over the questions above. I will leave the suppression/violence and what people have been seeing here until last.

 

- Mobile Internet: mobile data for limited services was restored last week (local banking apps 26th April, Microsoft suites then some food delivery services on Monday just past). Mobile data had been 100% blocked from February, as well as public WiFi hotspots and mobile broadband. Mobile broadband & public WiFi is still totally blocked.

- Fixed/cable internet connections to home or office - had been blocked every night from 0100-0900 from February until last week 28th April. It is now on 24 hours again.

-  Social media/messaging apps. Blocked since Feb without a VPN. Since the mobile data started being relaxed last week and more this week - some users can access certain platforms, but most rely on a VPN
- Banking Feb-March. Since the CDM movement kicked off in early Feb - all banks were closed. The military ordered the re-opening of some branches of the 4-5 major banks here since late March/early April, but with the majority of staff opting to protest under CDM - this didn't happen.
- Banking now. Since early April, branches have been re-opening but limited services, meaning long queues. ATM's were mostly empty since March so any time an ATM was filled there were huge queues (going to repeat that phrase a few more times now). After Thingyan (Myanmar's New Year, think Songkran) banks have re-opened but with huge queues. The CBM (Central Bank of Myanmar, under military control) ordered opening of banks and a new account system, but this has led to a run on the banks. As of this week, daily queues at branches reach to hundreds of people and last all day.
- The heads of the major consumer & service corporations were hauled in by the army in late March (Think: Grab, City Mart, Restaurant chains etc). Not kidding about the 'hauled in' phrase - they were taken away and questioned. CMHL is like Tesco or Big C here - they were ordered to get back to normal hours of operation, get their supply chains and staff back in (they were ALL out protesting under CDM) and get back to work. Grab head was asked why they had shut down taxi/transport and food delivery services. Anyone want to guess what the reply was, given there was zero mobile internet availability?
- Local shops? Virtually all closed. The whole city was shuttered. I have photos of the main CBD, neighbourhoods, street intersections and it looks like a warzone. Which is exactly what it was.


Moving on  - on the ground:

- Have been through 2 decades + here. This is the worst its been. Saffron Revolution was bad - but for context that was a country still under military control, and a suppression by the military, which I witnessed. In terms of now - as if Covid hadn't hit Myanmar hard enough last year (yes I know every other country has suffered also) - 1st Feb the Military took control here and it was a text book coup. The context this time is different - there is a democracy here and has been for some years, so imagine 55 million people who have had a few years of freedom and couple of free elections suddenly having it taken away by one guy in an hour.
- The first few weeks, everyone got out en masse. I saw tens of thousands in the streets, hundreds of thousands in the city and millions across the country who were <deleted> off. For weeks, apart from a visible police presence and blockades around notable/strategic locations - it was peaceful and MASSIVE
- I have always held a 3 week view here when <deleted> kicks off. People get confident when protests kick off and there is no response. Then it goes bad. By late Feb - the police started retaliating with teargas, percussion rounds, rubber bullets and the odd live round. Protestors adapted and moved to more dynamic responses. They would surge on the main roads, then retreat into the back streets when the <deleted> hit the fan. We were outside washing teargas off kids with water bottles and buckets, keeping them fed and supplied. It was *** mad.
- Police began raiding the protestor groups by day, and local suburbs (& houses/apartments) after dark. The populace began building makeshift barricades on the entry streets to local townships. No car/taxi was able to get in or out of my suburb (any suburb) for nearly 2 months
- Raids intensified - Whole platoons/squads would run down our local streets, stopping to fire up at balcony windows if they saw anyone watching or (especially) filming on mobiles. 
 But this was still all the police....

On the 29th March - the army made a massive move from Naypyidaw (the capital) overnight in long convoys and by the next morning they were all over the streets in Yangon.

The protests were suppressed more brutally from there. The aim was to stop the mass demonstrations before Thingyan and it worked.

Now, getting back to the question of what is it like here now?

Local neighbourhoods have re-opened, barricades gone, no daily mass groups protesting, local shops and street stalls open, even some bars and restaurants.
People are out on the streets every day.

But they (the guys with the weapons, and a lot more and newer/upgraded tech than before) are still here and everywhere. There are a few with some serious guns sitting smoking on chairs in the small lane behind my apartment as I write this. And I am in a small neighbourhood (think like off one of the Soi's up off 71 in Pra Khanong)

Google Pots and Pans Myanmar - that still happens, without fail, at 8pm EVERY night

This has been a bit of a catharsis for me tonight, so I am grateful to @andApples for the question. First time I have logged into TV for a long stretch. I used to mod the Myanmar forum lol

Happy to field more questions but if its anything political or inflammatory then go to **** we're dealing with that here already

Stay safe, and hope you are all well in Thailand with the Covid stuff - watching it closely so respect.

 

 

Thank you very much for the information. Been to Myanmar plenty of times over the years.

 

I feel very sorry for Myanmar and it's people, in a journey to open up and catch up with things it missed out on for so many decades, and now it is like 10 steps back and then some. 

 

Stay safe man! 

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On 5/15/2021 at 8:03 PM, Argus Tuft said:

Update, a week on.

Banking has gotten far worse. Huge queues from before dawn each day. The main banks have restricted which branches can be attended, cut off most 'token' systems for in person withdrawals, and the ATM lines from pre-dawn to late afternoon are the main topic here.

Shops, F&B, delivery services and local street vendors are getting back to normal in local suburbs.

The fighting between the military forces and the border ethnic groups had grown this week especially in Chin State today, with the Karen areas heavily active last week

Army presence on the ground in Yangon kicked up a notch since the PDA announcement a few days ago. Several incursions last night (tonight)

 

 

What about the violence on the streets in Yangon right now, better or worse? 

 

I imagine people are limited to withdraw only a certain amount of money at the ATM? 

 

Shops and local vendors getting back to normal, so there is no problem with food and water shortage?

 

You say you have lived in Myanmar for many decades, and been trough lot of development and also political tension, what makes you want to stay? Yes, a personal question so no need to answer of you don't want to.

 

 

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Managed to transfer funds to a KBZ bank account in Rangoon from Chiang Mai and only took 3 days to clear which is good considering.

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12 hours ago, Mahseer said:

Managed to transfer funds to a KBZ bank account in Rangoon from Chiang Mai and only took 3 days to clear which is good considering.

 

Yes, and hopefully no problem withdrawing it later.

 

 

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On 5/7/2021 at 10:08 AM, simon43 said:

I mistakenly thought the question was about Thailand.

 

I was working in Naypyitaw until just a couple of years ago, so am still in touch with colleagues there, and am aware of the situation - thanks.

 

What is your colleagues experiences, are they still there? Naypyitaw seems like a very strange place, how was it like working there?

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1 hour ago, andApples said:

 

What is your colleagues experiences, are they still there? Naypyitaw seems like a very strange place, how was it like working there?

My colleagues teach at a school where many of the students are sons and daughters of the police and military.  You can't choose your parents, but I'm happy under the current circumstances not to be teaching there anymore.

 

Naypyitaw was a very clean and safe place to live and work - sterile really is the best descriptive word.

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