Military coup in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi detained

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 00:00 |
Myanmar migrants hold up portraits of Aung San Suu Kyi as they take part in a demonstration outside the Myanmar embassy in Bangkok yesterday, after Myanmar’s military detained the country’s de facto leader president in a coup. Photo/AFP

Myanmar, Monday

Myo Nyunt, the spokesman for the governing National League for Democracy (NLD) said earlier on Monday, that Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders had been “taken” in the early hours of the morning.

Later on Monday, the NLD said Aung San Suu Kyi called on the public not to accept the coup and to protest.

“The actions of the military are actions to put the country back under a dictatorship,” the NLD said in a statement which carried leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s name.

“I urge people not to accept this, to respond and wholeheartedly to protest against the coup by the military.”

Myanmar’s Parliament, where the military is given a quarter of seats and wields more power through its proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), was due to open in the country’s capital Naypyidaw from Monday.

Politicians from states and regions, as well as prominent political activists were also detained, while mobile and phone networks were seeing disruption. State media was also taken off-air.

Monday’s developments drew immediate condemnation.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the developments were a “serious blow to democratic reforms” and urged all leaders to refrain from violence and respect human rights, a UN spokesman said.

“We call on Burmese military leaders to release all government officials and civil society leaders and respect the will of the people of Burma as expressed in democratic elections on November 8,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

Australia said it was “deeply concerned” at the situation, as did India.

Questioning election

“India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar,” a statement from the foreign ministry said.

“We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld. We are monitoring the situation closely.”

The NLD won November’s elections by a landslide, but the military has been waging a months-long campaign to discredit the outcome, despite no firm evidence of wrongdoing.

The Supreme Court is currently considering its claims, but the situation escalated last week when Min Aung Hlaing threatened to abolish the constitution. 

On Saturday, the military, also known as the Tatmadaw, appeared to backtrack saying media had taken the general’s comments out of context.

“The Tatmadaw will defend the 2008 Constitution and only act within the boundary of existing laws,” it said.

“The people of Myanmar had their say in November’s vote, and overwhelmingly sent the message that they reject army rule,” said Charles Santiago, the chair of ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights and a Malaysian MP.

“The military must respect the will of the people and allow parliament to proceed.” - AFP

More on World