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Myanmar Crisis

Myanmar junta reaps millions in gem sales as economy crumbles

New data highlights potential for country to slide even deeper into poverty

Buyers look at pieces of jade at a market in Mandalay, Myanmar, in March 2019.   © Reuters

BANGKOK/YANGON -- Fresh economic data from private research groups suggest that Myanmar's economy is deteriorating more sharply than feared after the Feb. 1 coup, with heightened risks of soaring inflation, collapsing trade and increased poverty.

At the same time, recent days have seen a remarkable display of the military's grasp on Myanmar's natural resources, with a multi-million dollar, 10-day auction of gems, jade and pearls in the capital, Naypyitaw.

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