Top Myanmar civilian leaders including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint have been taken into military custody as its generals once again appeared to seize power.
On the back of its complaints of election fraud following its dismal performance in November’s election, the military has reportedly seized power and installed armed forces commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing.
Portions of the internet have become intermittently unavailable in Yangon and throughout the nation. Cellular service is widely disrupted in Yangon.
Thinzar Sunlei Yi, a television host and the 2019 winner of the Women of the Future Southeast Asia Award, posted at 9:30am that the coup had begun.
“[The] Democracy we witnessed over these past 10 years was FAKE,” wrote the host of the television program Under 30 Dialogue. “And we were largely in illusions dreaming of [being a] federal democratic nation under military-drafted 2008 constitution. So I am saying all these fake democratic shows and dramas drafted by Military is now revealing its own true color.”
Thinzar Shun Lei Yi is the winner of the Women of the Future Southeast Asia Award 2019. She, which is a TV show in Myanmar.
The U.S. government this morning said it was alarmed by developments.
“The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed,” a White House statement said.
The military had been demanding investigations into its allegations of voter fraud during the November election without offering any credible evidence.
In the election, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy trounced the military proxy Union Solidarity and Development Party in a landslide, winning 138 seats in the house to its seven. Within days of the poll, the military refused to recognize the results.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the military “release all government officials and civil society leaders.”
We call on the Burmese military leaders to cease their actions and release all government officials and civil society leaders. The democratically elected civilian government reflects the will of the people. https://t.co/CkOKYDsbyN
— Ned Price (@statedeptspox) February 1, 2021
Last night, the Tatmadaw said it was “pressing for adherence to democratic norms” saying it found the process of the election unacceptable.
It urged other nations not to react hastily.
“Clearly, some Diplomatic Missions in Myanmar have released a statement without a proper knowledge of what has actually happened, and we urge you to reconsider the facts, review the data and the implications of this statement,” it said.