Myanmar’s military stages coup, detains Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar coup: Aung San Suu Kyi calls for a protest after military seizes power and detained her

Myanmar announces a state of emergency for up to one year after the Military seizes power today.

Today morning, State counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were detained in the capital Naypyidaw. NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt told AFP, just hours before parliament was meant to resume for the first time since the elections.

Commander-in-Chief of the Defense Services Min Aung Hlaing is now in the power of the state for the duration of the state of emergency. Vice President U Myint Swe will now serve temporarily as President.

Myanmar’s military staged a coup today, detaining de facto leader Suu Kyi and declared it had taken the control of the country for one year under a state of emergency.

The military ruled the country for nearly five decades. The intervention came after weeks of rising tensions between the military and the civilian government over the allegations of fraud in November’s election. 

Last week Military signaled that it could seize the power to settle its claims of fraud in the polls, which Suu Kyi’s National League of Democracy (NLD) party won in November.

San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were detained in the capital Naypyidaw, NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt told AFP, just hours before parliament was supposed to resume for the first time since the elections.

He said, “We heard they were taken by the military… with the situation we see happening now, we have to assume that the military is staging a coup”.

The later military declared a one-year state of emergency, via its channel.

The city hall, in Yangon the former capital and Myanmar’s commercial hub is also sized by the military.

The chief minister of Karen state and several other regional ministers were also detained on the same day, according to a party source.

Restricted communication

In the hours after the seize the communications network was restricted all over Myanmar, with several mobile phone networks down.

Phone numbers are unreachable in the capital.

NetBlocks, a non-government organization that tracks internet shutdowns, reported several disruptions to web-connection.

World leader’s take on the news

The news triggered a quick response from the United States and Australia asking for the release of the NLD leaders and the restoration of the democracy.

Australia said, “Military was once again seeking to seize the power of the country”. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said, “We call on the military to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through the lawful mechanism, and to release immediately all civilian leaders and others who have been detained unlawfully.”

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement, “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”.

In 2011, Myanmar emerged from the 49 years of military ruling. November’s elections were the only second democratic elections since then.

The NLD won the elections and was expecting to renew Suu Kyi’s lease on power with a new five-year term.

The military had claimed for several weeks that the election was riddled with irregularities and they have found over 10 million cases of voter fraud. They asked the government-run election commission to release the voter list so they can cross-check. But election commission declined any such claim.

Last week, the country’s most powerful person, military chief General Min Aung Hlaing said the country’s 2008 constitution can be revoked under certain circumstances. His comments raised tensions further within the country and several warnings were issued from more than a dozen foreign embassies and the UN.

This is Myanmar’s third Military coup. The country has already seen two military coups since independence from Britain in 1948, once in 1962 and the other in 1988.

Suu Kyi is a Nobel Prize winner. She is a popular figure even after her image tatter internationally over her handling of the Muslim Rohingya crisis.

She spent 20 years off and on under house arrest for her role as an opposition leader, before she was released by the military in 2010.

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