Over the past seven months DKBA and SPDC patrols have repeatedly breached Thai sovereignty in their war against the Karen, Shan and Karenni rebels. They terrorise local Thais they suspect of harbouring sympathies. The SPDC’s latest offensives, which began in Karen State but have now pushed into Shan and Karenni States, are part of an outright bid to force armed insurgencies into submission before the 2010 elections…the SPDC would pressure insurgents weakened by the current extreme military offensives to sign ceasefire deals before next year’s poll.

– An extract from Daniel Pye, “Burma: Last Stand for Democracy?“, The Morung Express, 17 March 2009.