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Reviewed: 26 March 2013, 14:50 NZDT
Still current at: 23 May 2013
There is high risk to your security in the townships of Meiktila, Mahlaing, Tharzi, Wundwin and Yamethin (Mandalay Division, Central Myanmar) due to communal violence which has led to a number of deaths. We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to these townships.
There is high risk to your security in the state of Rakhine where the government has imposed emergency measures following serious civil unrest and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel.
There is high risk to your security along the borders with China, Laos and Thailand and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel. Military activity, ethnic militias, armed drug smugglers, and the presence of landmines pose a particularly high risk to your safety. Travel restrictions are in place in most border areas and there are only a limited number of legal crossing points.
There is some risk to your security elsewhere in Myanmar due to the unsettled political situation and threat from terrorism and we advise caution.
Civil unrest / Political tension
On 22 March 2013, the Myanmar government declared a state of emergency in Meiktila and the nearby townships of Mahlaing, Tharzi and Wundwin due to an outbreak of communal violence between the Buddhist Burman majority and Muslim minority in Myanmar’s central region. Violence has also affected Yamethin, south east of Meikhtila.
New Zealanders who are in these townships are advised to avoid areas of unrest and sites of religious significance, monitor the media for any developments that may affect the security situation and follow the advice of local authorities. We recommend reconsidering plans to transit (e.g en-route to Inle Lake or on the Yangon-Mandalay route) through the areas affected by the violence until the situation has stabilised. If transiting via these townships you are advised to remain in your bus or train.
If you are in an area affected by violence, you should find a safe location, remain indoors, heed any local advice and leave the area as soon as it is safe to do so.
The political situation in Myanmar has improved following elections in November 2010 and April 2012, but tensions could resurface with little notice. New Zealanders in Myanmar are advised to avoid all protests, marches and demonstrations and comply with any instructions issued by the local authorities.
Myanmar shares with the rest of Southeast Asia a threat from terrorism. Small scale bombings resulting in fatalities do occur and further attacks cannot be ruled out. Past targets have included commercial interests, public transport and tourist areas. New Zealanders in Myanmar are advised to be security conscious in public and crowded places.
General travel advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Myanmar, the ability of the government to assist New Zealanders who require consular assistance is limited.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Myanmar should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders visiting or living in Myanmar are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Contact details are
Street Address: M Thai Tower, 14th floor,
All Seasons Place, 87 Wireless Road, Bangkok
Postal Address: PO Box 2719, Bangkok 10500, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Telephone:+66 2 254 2530 Facsimile: +66 2 253 9045 or +66 2 253 0249
Website: New Zealand Embassy Thailand [external link]
Office hours: Mon - Fri 0800-1200, 1300-1630 hrs