AN AUSTRALIAN academic who served as an economic advisor for Aun San Suu Kyi’s government in Myanmar has been detained following Monday’s coup.
Dr Sean Turnell is believed to be the only foreign national detained in Myanmar following the military coup that took over the southeast Asian country on Monday.
The Australian national serves as an associate professor at Sydney’s Macquarie University and was an expert in the economics of Myanmar – serving as an advisor to ousted leader Aun San Suu Kyi.
He has reportedly been visited in detention by Australian diplomats, who say that the academic has not been subjected to mistreatment. Hundreds of politicians and officials have been detained as Myanmar’s powerful army seized power of the troubled country.
Shortly after the coup broke out and before he was arrested, Turnell tweeted: “Safe for now but heartbroken for what all this means for the people of Myanmar. The bravest, kindest people I know. They deserve so much better”.
Turnell’s colleagues have described the married father as a devotee to helping Myanmar’s struggling economy, who was not involved in any form of political intrigues in the developing country.
Thousands have taken to the streets of Myanmar to protest the coup, while the country experiences a near-total internet blackout. International observers are closely monitoring the situation, with fears that human rights and democratic freedoms may be endangered by the military insurrection.
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