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Myanmar's Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who leads the country, is facing resistance from a fractured -- and increasingly armed -- populace.   © Nikkei montage/Source photos by Reuters and Getty Images
Asia Insight

Yangon calm masks Myanmar's pain 1 year after military takeover

Disparate forces meet along Thai border as strange 'new normal' sets in

GWEN ROBINSON, Nikkei Asia editor-at-large | Myanmar

MAE SOT, Thailand -- As life in Yangon settles into a surreal "new normal," a savage military campaign against dissent is feeding the growth of people's defense forces and generating fallout on the commercial capital and in rural areas extending to the country's borders -- and well beyond.

There is a curiously calm feeling in downtown Yangon that at first glance belies the fear and violence gripping much of Myanmar. The shopping malls are crowded by day while at night stylish restaurants and cocktail bars with names like MadameEm's and Olive & Twist have become the latest hot spots for dating and mingling -- but only until the 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. curfew kicks in.

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