The Irrawaddy

Parliament Mulls Extension of Martial Law in Kokang

Burma Army troops patrol in the town of Laukkai, capital of the Kokang Self-Administered Zone, in February, 2015. (Photo: JPaing / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON — Burma’s Ministry of Defense proposed an extension of martial law in Shan State’s war-torn Kokang, as “the situation in the region is not still back to normalcy.”

Defense Minister Lt-Gen Wai Lin submitted a proposal to the Union Parliament on Thursday recommending that lawmakers endorse a 90-day extension of the state of emergency declared on Feb. 17.

“Politics, security, business, judiciary and management in the area have still not [returned to] normalcy, so that requires the extension [of the state of emergency],” he said, according to state-run newspaper The Mirror.

The proposal was slated discussion on Friday, the report said.

Fighting in Kokang Special Region, which erupted in early February, has been among the fiercest in Burma in years. At least 200 people have died since the start of the conflict, according to government figures, while tens of thousands of civilians are believed to have been displaced.