Myanmar’s Generals tighten control after seizing power

Iron fist: Military personnel at a checkpoint on a road leading to the Parliament building on Tuesday.  

Myanmar’s Generals were in firm control on Tuesday after a surgical coup that saw democracy heroine Aung San Suu Kyi detained, although her party issued a defiant demand she be released and global outrage built over the power grab.

Armed troops patrolled the capital of Naypyidaw, where Ms. Suu Kyi and other National League for Democracy (NLD) party leaders were detained in pre-dawn raids on Monday just ahead of the scheduled resumption of Parliament.

Soldiers were also stationed on Tuesday outside the dormitories for parliamentarians in Naypyidaw, with one NLD MP describing it as “an open-air detention centre”, though by nightfall some lawmakers said they were free to leave.

Ms. Suu Kyi and President Win Myint remained under house arrest, the lawmaker told AFP.

Explainer | Why did the Myanmar military stage a coup?

By afternoon, a party officer said they still have not had direct contact with Ms. Suu Kyi, though a neighbour sighted the de-facto leader in her Naypyidaw residence.

‘Suu Kyi in good health’

“According to her neighbour we contacted, she walks sometimes in her compound to let others know she’s in good health,” NLD press officer Kyi Toe said.

Despite the intimidation, a statement was posted on the NLD’s verified Facebook page on Tuesday, calling for the release of Ms. Suu Kyi’s and others. “We see this as a stain on the history of the State and the Tatmadaw,” it added, referring to the military by its Burmese name.


It also demanded the military “recognise the confirmed result of the 2020 general election”.

The military justified its seizure of power by alleging widespread fraud in elections held three months ago that the NLD won.

The military announced on Monday that it would hold power under a state of emergency for 12 months, claiming it would then hold fresh elections.

U.S. President Joe Biden led the chorus of global outrage, calling for a quick restoration of democracy and warning that Washington could reimpose sanctions. “The international community should come together in one voice to press the Burmese military to immediately relinquish the power they have seized,” Mr. Biden said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the EU and Australia were among others to condemn the coup. Britain summoned Myanmar’s envoy in formal protest.

The United Nations Security Council scheduled an emergency meeting on the situation for Tuesday.

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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 3:02:48 PM |

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