Security advisor Ross Milosevic has just returned from Thailand’s northern border regions, where he met a wide range of rebels who have sided with the National Unity Government (NUG) and its armed wing, the People’s Defense Force (PDF), in opposing Myanmar’s military takeover.
His arrival coincided with more killings and increased politicking as the junta moved former leader Aung San Suu Kyi out of solitary confinement and then went on a public relations drive, a renewed offensive in justifying the carnage of the last 18 months.
Milosevic witnessed air force bombardments targeting civilians and internally displaced people, which destroyed a recently built medical clinic and left several dead and many wounded. It was an attack that went largely unreported by the international media.
Milosevic also spoke with The Diplomat’s Luke Hunt about the NUG’s need to groom a younger generation of leaders and formulate a cohesive political policy, which can dovetail with a unified command structure, one without Aung San Suu Kyi as leader.
He says the Nobel Laureate’s fall from grace over the alleged genocide of the Rohingya has been too great, and that she does not resonate with many of the youth who are backing the rebels.
Another issue is the media coverage. As Milosevic notes, the scale of attacks within Myanmar would rate highly with the international broadcasters had they occurred in Ukraine but instead much of the coverage emerges from a handful of online publications run out of northern Thailand.