Myanmar’s military seized power and declared a state of emergency for a year after days of escalating tension over the outcome of the November parliamentary elections.
Aung San Suu Ky, the country’s de facto leader, President Win Myint and other senior officials from the National League for Democracy party were detained in the capital, Naypyidaw, on Monday.
A video broadcast on an army-owned television said power had been handed over to Chief General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces, citing “huge irregularities” in the November vote.
The takeover came as parliament – in which the military gets 25% of the seats – was due to open in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Hello, it’s Virginia Pietromarchi in Rome, Italy giving you the latest updates.
UK condemns ‘illegal’ detention of civilians
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson joined the chorus of voices condemning the latest developments in Myanmar.
“I condemn the coup and the unlawful imprisonment of civilians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in Myanmar,” Johnson said on Twitter.
“The people’s vote must be respected and the civilian leaders released,” he added.
I condemn the coup d’état and the unlawful imprisonment of civilians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in Myanmar. The people’s vote must be respected and the civilian leaders released.
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) February 1, 2021
Full text of the military declaration
The military declared a one-year state of emergency in a video broadcast on Myawaddy Television (MWD) citing a “ terrible fraud ” in the general election last November to justify the seizure of power.
Read the full statement Here.
China hopes all parties can handle the differences
China said it hopes all parties in Myanmar can properly handle their disputes under the constitution and legal framework and maintain stability, after the military seized power in a coup. .
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin made the comments during a daily press briefing in Beijing.
EU Council President Michel condemns military takeover
European Council President Charles Michel condemned the military seizure of power in Myanmar and demanded the release of all those it had detained in raids across the country.
“The election result must be respected and the democratic process must be restored,” wrote Michel, who heads the body representing the 27 national leaders of the EU, on his Twitter account.
I strongly condemn the coup d’état in #Myanmar and call on the military to release all those illegally detained in raids across the country.
The results of the elections must be respected and the democratic process must be restored.
– Charles Michel (@eucopresident) February 1, 2021
Human rights group calls for sanctions
Human Rights Watch’s director of advocacy for Asia, John Sifton, urged the United States and other countries to send a strong message to the military by imposing direct sanctions.
“The military junta that ruled Myanmar for decades never really strayed from power in the first place… It never really submitted to civilian rule, so today’s events only go on. revealing in a certain sense a political reality that already existed, ”Sifton said on Twitter.
“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, ”he added in another tweet.
“It seems like a military coup – but from another perspective, the military junta that ruled Myanmar for decades never really strayed from power in the first place.
– John Sifton (@johnsifton) February 1, 2021
Rohingya condemn attempt to ‘kill democracy’
The Rohingya community condemned the military takeover, according to its leader Dil Mohammed.
“We, the Rohingya community, strongly condemn this heinous attempt to kill democracy,” Dil Mohammed told Reuters news agency by telephone.
“We urge the global community to come forward and restore democracy at all costs.”
United States concerned about developments in Myanmar
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expresses alarm at the detention by the Burmese military of Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders.
“We call on the Burmese military leaders to release all government officials and leaders of civil society and to respect the will of the Burmese people expressed in the democratic elections on November 8,” Blinken said in a statement from Washington, DC.
“The United States supports the Burmese people in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace and development. The army must cancel these actions immediately. “
UN chief condemns military takeover
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned the detention of the country’s civilian leaders as the military announced it would take control of the country for a year.
He said he was “gravely concerned” by the statement that all legislative, executive and judicial powers have been transferred to the military. “These developments represent a blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar,” said a statement from the spokesperson for UN chief Stéphane Dujarric.
Guterres said last November’s election gave Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy a strong mandate to rule. The announcement of the military takeover came on the first day Myanmar’s parliament was due to meet after the November elections.
The military argued the vote was tainted with fraud, but the electoral commission last week dismissed the claims as lacking in evidence.
Malaysia calls for peaceful resolution
Malaysia called on all parties to resolve any electoral dispute peacefully.
“Malaysia supports the continuation of discussions among the leaders of Myanmar to avoid adverse consequences for the people and the State of Myanmar, especially in the current and difficult situation of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said its Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a press release.
Suu Kyi’s party urges Burmese people to oppose ‘coup’
The National League for Democracy (NLD) released a statement from its leader Suu Kyi, saying the military’s actions were unwarranted and went against the constitution and the will of voters.
A verified Facebook page from Suu Kyi’s party posted comments it said were written in anticipation of a coup, and which quoted her as saying people should protest the military takeover.
“The actions of the army are actions aimed at putting the country back under a dictatorship,” he said. “I urge people not to accept this, to respond and to protest wholeheartedly against the military coup.”