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Citizens worry over the energy crisis as the problem deepens, sending a sentiment of fear of economic collapse in Myanmar

Yangon (Chindwin): Despite repeated claims by the military junta’s spokesperson General Zaw Min Tun during regular press briefing, saying that the junta has enough reserves of oil and gas to supply the country for nearly two years, millions of citizens are not getting the gasoline or fuel to drive their vehicles in the reality for weeks.

For some, they have to take leave in order to squeeze in the long queue for gas and petrol, but return home emptied.

“I have lined up in the queue for fuel in Yangon under the rain for the last two days but could not get even a litter, and I did not work yesterday to go for the queue at the petrol station. Thousands like me in Yangon are now facing a shortage of fuel supply. This worries everybody that the country is facing energy collapse like Sri Linka,” said Mr Steven in Yangon who gives us a pseudonym name for security reasons. 

Mr Steven points out several media reports on the fuel crisis in recent times, with many petrol stations in the commercial capital – Yangon closed as their fuel runs out for days and weeks for some stations.

The military junta says it is facing supply chain issues and will be solving the problem soon. But it has taken weeks now.

In the countryside, as the energy crisis deepens, many towns in northern Kachin and western towns of Sagaing and Chin do have not enough fuel for citizens to buy. It is not strange to face the situation like this in rural ethnic areas, while the cities are struggling to get the fuel.

Our contacts in Kalaymyo, who requests anonymity for security reason, say, “What is worse is that the junta army and police can go and get all the fuels when needed and do not care whether citizens are left emptied handed. This is the real situation on the grounds in many places in the war-torn country.” 

One picture of people lining for fuel in Yangon cannot cover the entire situation of what is happening in regional and ethnic areas. At some places, there is no fuel at all. The petrol stations are completely closed off indefinitely, said our source from Sagaing region. 

Several media reports about the energy crisis and prolonged fuel shortage in several townships in Rakhine. 

For the last 20 days, no oversea oil tankers have arrived at the seaport of Yangon.

With all factors contributing to this energy crisis combined, the country economy’s collapse is, in fact, looming.

Other unconfirmed sources suggest the military regime is seeking energy assistance from China, and there is no official announcement of the Chinese government coming to the junta’s rescue, although China largely supports the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The ongoing war in the Karen state effectively prevents the junta regime from getting urgent oil supplies from neighbouring Thailand. 

With the energy crisis that has remained prolonged in Myanmar for months now, the total collapse of the economy is imminent as war has no sign of abating at sight. 

A litter of 92 standard unleaded petrol is now paid Kyats 2,230 and 2,250, which was only paid Kyats 900 before the coup. Even with that price, there is no fuel to buy in several cities across Myanmar.

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