Myanmar’s military have seized power in a coup against the democratically elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been detained along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in early morning raids.
The army said it had carried out the detentions in response to “election fraud”, according to a statement on a military-owned television station.
Politicians and advocacy groups around the world have been responding to the fast-developing situation.
ANTONY BLINKEN, US SECRETARY OF STATE
“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.”
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY
“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,” US President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.
ANTONIO GUTERRES, SECRETARY-GENERAL, UNITED NATIONS
“These developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms,” Guterres’ spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
“All leaders must act in the greater interest of Myanmar’s democratic reform, engaging in meaningful dialogue, refraining from violence and fully respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
INDIA FOREIGN MINISTRY
“We have noted the developments in Myanmar with deep concern,” India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
“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.”
SINGAPORE FOREIGN MINISTRY
“Singapore expresses grave concern about the latest situation in Myanmar,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“We are monitoring the situation closely and hope all parties involved will exercise restraint, maintain dialogue, and work towards a positive and peaceful outcome.”
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, DEPUTY REGIONAL DIRECTOR, MING YU HAH
“The arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, senior officials and other political figures is extremely alarming, Amnesty’s deputy regional director said.
“Reports of a telecommunications blackout pose a further threat to the population at such a volatile time – especially as Myanmar battles a pandemic, and as internal conflict against armed groups puts civilians at risk in several parts of the country. It is vital that full phone and internet services be resumed immediately.”
THANT MYINT-U, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR
“The doors just opened to a very different future. I have a sinking feeling that no-one will really be able to control what comes next,” the historian, author and former UN official tweeted.
“And remember Myanmar’s a country awash in weapons, with deep divisions across ethnic and religious lines, where millions can barely feed themselves.”
JOHN SIFTON, ASIA ADVOCACY DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
“The military junta that ruled Myanmar for decades never really stepped away from power in the first place … so today’s events in some sense are merely revealing a political reality that already existed,” Sifton tweeted.