Myanmar-Thai Bridge Bombed, Interrupting Trade

Thai-Myanmar Bridge Bombed
Thai-Myanmar Bridge Bombed (Photo: The Nation).

A concrete bridge between Myanmar’s Myawaddy and Thailand’s Mae Sot was bombed on 11 March by an anti-junta group.

The Nation Thailand reports that severe damage to the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge has led to a decrease in the number of Thai cargo trucks able to enter the country with imports.

While a temporary bridge has been constructed, it is not able to hold the same weight as the original structure.

Myanmar has deployed troops to the area, which has also seen attacks on Burmese cargo trucks, although reportedly no Thai trucks have been targeted. 

Meanwhile, a Thai firm has taken over a Myanmar gas field after French and American firms pulled out of the country following pressure to do so from human rights groups. The Yadana gas field accounts for about half of Myanmar’s gas demand and about ten percent of Thailand’s. 

Myanmar has also recently decided to officially accept Thai Baht for border trade

The U.N. has also reported that Myanmar is the source of much illegal trade in the region, with military groups on both sides of the Burmese conflict funneling amphetamines (or “yaba”) through Laos and Thailand, especially as China has tightened its border control.

Reportedly, these drugs have made their way from Myanmar, through Laos, and as far as Australia, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand.

It is unclear whether this illegal trade has also been affected by the bridge bombing.