The United States is threatening to act against the coup in Myanmar as Australia calls for the release of detained leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Burmese military on Monday arrested the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other senior ruling party officials, seizing power in a coup less than 10 years after he handed over power to a civilian government.
The military said it carried out the detentions in response to fraud in last November’s general election, which Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won by a landslide.
A statement on military-owned television said General Min Aung Hlaing now controlled the country and a state of emergency had been imposed for a year.
“With the situation we are seeing happening now, we have to assume that the military is staging a coup,” Myo Nyunt, an NLD spokesperson, told the news agency on Monday. AFP press.
Here is how governments, human rights groups and others react.
Myanmar historian and author Thant Myint-U said that “the doors have just opened to a very different future”.
“I have a grim feeling that no one will be able to really control what comes next,” he said in a tweet. “And remember Myanmar is a country awash in weapons, with deep divisions between ethnic and religious borders, where millions of people can barely feed themselves.”
Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne expressed deep concern “reports that the Myanmar military is once again seeking control of Myanmar and has arrested State Councilor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint ”.
“We call on the military to respect the rule of law, resolve disputes through legal mechanisms, and immediately release all civilian leaders and others who have been unlawfully detained.”
Australia supports the peaceful convocation of the National Assembly, in line with the results of the November 2020 general election, she added.
A spokeswoman for US President Joe Biden said Washington was “alarmed” by reports of “measures taken by the Burmese military to undermine the country’s democratic transition” as well as the arrest of Suu Kyi and d ‘other civilian leaders.
“The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of the recent election or hinder Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these measures are not reversed. We are monitoring the situation closely and we are supporting the Burmese people, who have already endured so much in their quest for democracy and peace, ”Jen Psaki said in a statement.
Human Rights Watch
John Sifton, director of advocacy for Asia at Human Rights Watch, called on the United States, the European Union and other countries to re-impose sanctions on Myanmar’s military rulers.
“The military junta that ruled Myanmar for decades has never really strayed from power,” Sifton said in a tweet. “They never really submitted to civilian rule in the first place, so today’s events only reveal a political reality that already existed.
“The United States and other countries with a sanctions regime should send a strong message today, immediately revoking the easing of sanctions and imposing tough, economic sanctions directed against military rulers and its huge conglomerates economic; and pressure other key countries – including South Korea and Japan – to force companies to pull out. The Burmese junta does not want to become a vassal of China again. “