By Kantarawaddy Times
In the run-up to the so-called elections that the military dictatorship plans to hold in August, additional checkpoints are being set up around the town of Loikaw.
“The military is clearing the side roads leading to Loikaw of bush. In some areas, soldiers in civilian clothes are checking travellers on the road,” a man who wished to remain anonymous told Kantarawaddy Times.
According to locals, there are at least nine checkpoints on the way to the Karenni State capital: two in Mong Lon, one in Nawng Yar, one in Min Su, one in Chikel, one near the Kayah Day grounds, one in front of the Loikaw Myoma police station, one near the clock tower and one in front of Loikaw Artillery Battalion 356.
Soldiers and police officers have also stepped up impromptu checks at intersections.
“They check travellers every day at the Nawng Yar checkpoint,” said another another Loikaw man also requesting anonymity. He says the soldiers stop everyone to see how they react, and if they seem nervous, they look into their vehicle or the storage compartment of their motorbike.
Around the capital, however, it is the Karenni Army and Karenni Nationalities Defence Force, fighting against the military, that are in control of Demoso, Hpruso, Shadaw and Bawlakhe townships, where the regime has imposed martial law.