Myanmar’s military has arrested leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s president, and state ministers in an apparent coup against the ruling National League for Democracy government on early Monday morning following rising tensions over disputed 2020 election results, an NLD spokesman said.
“We have heard that the military has been arresting people from our party, and that it has detained the State Counselor and the President,” NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt told RFA’s Myanmar Service.
Picked up in detentions launched hours before the new parliament was slated to convene Feb. 1 were State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and the state ministers from the region of Yangon, the country’s largest city, and Shan, Kayin, and Mon states, he said.
“Han Thar Myint and Thein Lwin, members of the NLD CEC are detained, too. I am waiting for their arrest now,” said Myo Nyunt, referring to the party’s Central Executive Committee. He did not elaborate on the grounds for the arrests.
”They will give the excuse that they have arrested us over the alleged voting fraud case. We want everything to be in line with the law. Since they are an armed group, they can do whatever they want,” the spokesman added.
There was no immediate statement from the military, while the number and whereabouts of the detained politicians were not immediately clear.
The military, which had called on the government to postpone the convening of parliament and refused to rule out the possibility of a coup in response to allegations of election fraud, also arrested MPs, political activists and student leaders, sources told RFA.
“I am detained,” Mya Aye, a 1988 democracy movement activist and leader of the group Federal Democratic Forces, posted on his Facebook a few minutes before his account was deactivated at dawn on Monday.
RFA reporters observed soldiers on the streets of the capital, Naypyitaw, and Yangon, and said telephone and internet lines in Naypyitaw have been cut, while some mobile carriers in Yangon were also out of service. Citizens of Yangon rushed ATMs to withdraw cash, causing some machines to run out of money cash, sources told RFA.
Monday’s detentions followed a string of veiled threats of a coup by Myanmar’s military last week over claims of voting fraud in the Nov. 8 elections, which the NLD swept in an outcome confirmed by electoral authorities.
Aung San Suu Kyi, a 75-year-old Nobel laureate who has spent nearly two decades under house arrest, was set to launch her second five-year term in late March. The NLD won 396 parliamentary seats in November, while the army-affiliated Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), took only 33 seats.
The military and the USDP have contended for weeks that there was widespread voter fraud and have increased pressure on the Union Election Commission (UEC) to investigate. Neither the military nor the USDP have submitted any evidence of actual voter fraud, but they have raised questions about outdated voter lists and other problems.
In response to talk about a coup, the UEC issued a statement on Thursday insisting that elections were devoid of fraud as alleged by the military, despite some voter list errors which it said it would investigate.
Intervention by the military is troubling to many in Myanmar, which endured brutal, corrupt military rule and international pariah status from 1962 to 2011, when it began a transition to democratic rule.
Writer Htin Lin Oo, an NLD member, described military men closing in on his house and waking up neighbors.
“I think they will enter my home soon. If they detain me, I will have to go with them,” he wrote on Facebook.
“Now our country is under a military coup for the third time. The democracy we arduously built has been crushed,” added Htin Lin Oo.
“I want to pass this message to our citizens: If we all are thrown into jail again, don’t give up.”
Former U.S. ambassador to Myanmar Derek Mitchell, who was Washington’s envoy when Myanmar began its transition from decades of junta rule in 2012, called for the immediate restoration of democracy.
“Democracy in Myanmar must be restored immediately without conditions for good of country. Myanmar military’s detention/arrest of civilian leadership is indefensible, whatever the pretext, and must earn global condemnation,” Mitchell, now president of the National Democratic Institute, wrote on Twitter.
“The doors just opened to a very different future,” said Thant Myint-U of the NGO Burma Campaign UK. “I have a sinking feeling that no one will really be able to control what comes next.”
The apparent coup “needs to be met with the strongest international response. The military need to be made to understand that they have made a major miscalculation in thinking they can get away with this,” he said on Twitter.
Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by by Ye Kaung Myint Maung. Written in English by Paul Eckert.
Copyright © 1998-2020, RFA. Used with the permission of Radio Free Asia, 2025 M St. NW, Suite 300, Washington DC 20036. https://www.rfa.org
- Police in China’s XUAR Question Uyghurs For Attending Eid Prayers Without Permission
- UN General Assembly Debates the Fifth UN Conference on Least Developed Countries
- Aggression is Denounced by Salvadoran Journalists
- The Inside Story: The United States’ Military Withdrawal from Afghanistan
- COVID Effect:Aid to Burkina Faso is Being Cut
- Israel’s NSO is Being Criticised for Spyware that Targets Journalists and Dissidents
- Many Hurdles on the Way to Accountability for Rohingya and Uyghur Atrocities, Experts Tell US Hearing
- Press Briefing by the President of the UN Security Council
- Israel Archaeological Recent Findings
- Basketball in Nigeria at the Olympics
- Cryptocurrency Farmers in Kenya
- Illegal Migrants from Belarus are Increasing in Lithuania
- Blinken Meets Tibet Exile Government Representative in India
- UN Security Council Convenes to Discuss Middle East Situation, Including Palestinian Issue
- Terrorist Recruitment in Kenya by Al-Shabab
Subscribe Our You Tube Channel
Fighting Fake News
We as Professional Journslists with experience over 15 to 20 years offers Copy Editing Services for small or mid sized publication/digital publication around the World with effordable prices.We have a capable team to support you.For details contact us Shanthanu Bhattachaarya
Consulting Editor crimeandmoreworld.com Email:editor
@crimeandmoreworld.com or Whatsapp +916289017966 or Telegram User Name: @crimeandmore