Washington/Dhaka, Feb 1 (PTI) Myanmar's military on Monday seized power after detaining de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other top members of her governing party, triggering an avalanche of condemnation and a demand for the restoration of democracy in the coup-prone country from leaders and organisations across the world.
The announcement on military-controlled Myawaddy TV came after an earlier declaration that because national stability was in jeopardy, all government functions would be transferred to military chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.
It was also announced that the military had taken control of the country for one year and Myanmar's leader Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the ruling party have been detained in an early morning raid, the spokesman for the governing National League for Democracy (NLD) was quoted as saying in the media.
Here is how the governments and other organisations reacted to the military takeover in Myanmar: 'The United States is alarmed by reports that the Burmese military has taken steps to undermine the country’s democratic transition, including the arrest of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian officials in Burma,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Burma is the former name of Myanmar.
'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,” Psaki said in a statement.
US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken also expressed “grave concern” in a statement and urged the military to “reverse” its actions immediately.
'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 on November 8. The United States stands with the people of Burma in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace, and development. The military must reverse these actions immediately,' Blinken said.
Top UN leadership strongly condemned the coup.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “strongly condemned” the detention of Myanmar’s civilian leaders on the eve of the opening session of the country’s new parliament.
Guterres also expressed “his grave concern regarding the declaration of the transfer of all legislative, executive and judicial powers to the military,” UN chief's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, adding, 'These developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar.” 'Attempts to undermine #democracy & rule of law are unacceptable. Military leaders must adhere to democratic norms and respect public institutions & civilian authority,” President of the UN General Assembly Volkan Bozkir said in a tweet.
India said it “noted the developments in Myanmar with deep concern”.
'We have noted the developments in Myanmar with deep concern. India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld. We are monitoring the situation closely,' the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the coup.
“I condemn the coup and unlawful imprisonment of civilians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in Myanmar. The vote of the people must be respected and civilian leaders released,” he said in a tweet.
'The UK condemns the state of emergency imposed by the Myanmar military on 1 February, and the detention of members of the civilian government and civil society, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint,” said a UK government spokesperson.
'We call on the military to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through lawful mechanisms and to release immediately all civilian leaders and others who have been detained unlawfully…This is a direct attack on Myanmar’s ongoing democratic transition,” Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said.
Bangladesh called for peace and stability in Myanmar and said it hoped that the Rohingya repatriation would not be affected due to the latest development in Myanmar.
“Bangladesh firmly adheres to and promotes democratic ethos. We hope that the democratic process and constitutional arrangements will be upheld in Myanmar,' the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
'We have been persistent in developing mutually beneficial relations with Myanmar and have been working with Myanmar for the voluntary, safe and sustained repatriation of the Rohingyas sheltered in Bangladesh,” it said.
'Singapore expresses grave concern about the latest situation in Myanmar. We are monitoring the situation closely and hope all parties involved will exercise restraint, maintain dialogue, and work towards a positive and peaceful outcome,' the foreign ministry said.
“Amnesty International calls for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi & all those arrested by the Myanmar military today,” Amnesty International tweeted.
Brad Adams, the Asia director at HRW, called for the immediate and unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi and “all others unlawfully detained”.
'The military’s actions show utter disdain for the democratic elections held in November and the right of Myanmar’s people to choose their own government,” he said in a statement.
Myanmar has been ruled by military regimes for most of its history since independence from colonial Britain in 1948. General Ne Win ran the country for 26 years before stepping down in 1988. PTI MRJ AKJ MRJ MRJ