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With Its Economy in Free Fall, Myanmar Braces for the Worst

Investors are fleeing and businesses are teetering close to the financial edge as the junta’s crackdown worsens.

Protesters taking part in a candlelight demonstration against the military coup in Yangon's Tamwe township on April 3.

Protesters taking part in a candlelight demonstration against the military coup in Yangon's Tamwe township on April 3.

Source AFP/Getty Images

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With a tea shop right next to key protest zones in Myanmar’s biggest city, Soe is never quite sure whether he should keep the business open.

If protesters enter to evade authorities, the 43-year-old risks getting shot, arrested or having his property destroyed as the military and police hunt them down. But if he turns away fleeing demonstrators, he may face a backlash on Facebook and a boycott of his tea shop, among hundreds in Yangon that have long served as de facto community centers.