11 Myanmar diplomats in US, Switzerland refuse to return home

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Naypyitaw [Myanmar], June 29 (ANI): Eleven Myanmar diplomats in the United States and Switzerland have refused to return and are creating a united front as they seek to remain in their host countries in protest against the country's military junta.

Myanmar Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun told Kyodo News that 11 are among around 20 diplomats in seven countries who have joined the civil disobedience movement amid the continued use of violence against protestors by Myanmar security forces since the February 1 military coup.

Kyaw Moe Tun chided the Myanmar junta, using the three-finger salute shared by opponents of the military takeover.

According to the envoy, four Myanmar diplomats in Washington and three in Los Angeles are applying for temporary protected status as their diplomatic status is set to end, while four in Geneva are also asking Swiss authorities to enable them to remain there.

Asked about his own situation, Kyaw Moe Tun indicated he will also seek an extension of his stay in the United States with temporary protected status or in some other form.

"The military (has) already charged me high treason...So I definitely cannot go back (to Myanmar)," the envoy said.

Recently, Myanmar national soccer goalkeeper Pyae Lyan Aung applied for refugee status in Japan on Tuesday after he expressed fear for his life for making a three-finger salute in protest at the military coup in his country during a recent World Cup qualifier near Tokyo, according to his lawyer.

Pyae Lyan Aung, who refused to return home with his teammates last week, submitted an application with the Osaka Regional Immigration Services Bureau, Kyodo News reported citing his lawyer's statement.

Since the February military coup in Myanmar that ousted the democratically elected government led by civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who turned 76 on Saturday, she and other prominent politicians have been detained and hundreds of civilians have been killed by security forces.

As of Sunday, 883 people had been killed by the military junta since the coup, with around 5,100 others in detention, according to the AAPP. (ANI)

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