Myanmar’s junta has relaxed its nighttime curfew in the capital Naypyitaw, according to sources from the General Administration Department, in a further attempt to show the outside world that the country is returning to normality over one year after the military’s coup.
The military regime imposed a nationwide evening curfew in February last year after the country erupted in anti-coup protests.
From Monday night, the 10pm to 4am curfew in Naypyitaw will be reduced to midnight to 4am. However, the rest of the country will still be under a 10pm to 4am curfew. The change in the curfew hours comes ahead of the annual Armed Forces Day parade in the capital on March 27.
“We think the junta believes that it can control Naypyitaw, so they have relaxed the curfew,” said officials from the capital’s General Administration Department.
However, the regime is still unable to control large swathes of the country. The north, northwest, southeast and south remain anti-regime strongholds where armed resistance against the junta is fierce. Naypyitaw, though, has seen only relatively few attacks against government offices in the last year.
As well as relaxing the capital’s curfew, the junta is trying to hold the traditional New Year Water Festival — the most important event in the Myanmar calendar — in some major cities, including Naypyitaw.
But Myanmar people have criticized the attempt to do so, saying it is just part of the junta’s campaign to show that the country is getting back to normal. Last year, people largely boycotted the festival in protest at military rule.
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