Myanmar’s Military Takes Over The Country.
Myanmar’s military staged a coup and has seized power after detaining de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of her governing party. All authority has been handed over to the top army commander and a one-year state of emergency has been declared, a statement on military TV said.
The coup follows a landslide election win by Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD). She urged her supporters “not to accept this” and “protest against the coup”. In a letter written in preparation for her impending detention, she said the military’s actions put the country back under a dictatorship.
In the early hours of this morning, Monday, the military said it was handing power to commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing because of “election fraud”. Soldiers are on the streets of the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, and the main city, Yangon. Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the armed forces until 2011 when democratic reforms spearheaded by Aung Sann Suu Kyi ended military rule.
The military’s actions were already receiving international condemnation this morning. First to comment was the U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken who issued a statement expressing “grave concern and alarm” over the reported detentions.
“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,” he wrote, using Myanmar’s former name.
The office of the U.N. secretary-general was also among those to issue a statement condemning the developments as a “serious blow to democratic reforms.”
The detention of the politicians and cuts in television signals and communication services on Monday were the first signs that plans to seize power were in motion. Phone and internet access to Naypyitaw was lost and Suu Kyi’s party could not be reached. Phone service in other parts of the country was also reported down, though people were still able to use the internet in many areas.
This is a breaking news story, please check back throughout the day for updates.
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