NAY PYI TAW – Myanmar is in the midst of nationwide communication blackouts, as the military launched a coup and declared a state of emergency following the detainment of their leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the rest of the seniors of the government, on Monday, February 01.
Myanmar woke up to news about the detainment of the Burmese leader. This is followed by communication blackouts, closing of banks, and military patrolling across the streets of the city of Yangon in their fatigues. Other television networks are reportedly off-air, with only the military-owned network Myawaddy TV still operating.
The November National Election
As per the results of the November 2020 elections, Suu Kyi’s party—the National League for Democracy (NLD), has won at least 83% of the polls against the opposing party, the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (UDSP). The election was claimed to be rigged, reported to be the reason behind Suu Kyi and her colleagues’ detainment in Nay Pyi Taw, the nation’s capital. In a statement, Suu Kyi told her supporters to ‘not accept this,’ and to ‘protect’—Myanmar—‘from the coup.’
Min Aung Hlaing, who is now running Myanmar as of the moment, has been in US Sanctions since 2019 due to his human rights violations with regards to the Rohingya Crisis. Hlaing addressed the nation saying that the results of the previous election are now under investigation.
Situations on the ground
Banks are reportedly closed while people line up behind ATMs to withdraw cash. Essential supplies such as medicine, rice, and cooking oil are expected to be in short supplies in the coming days. Internet-powered services such as Grab and Foodpanda are unavailable as of the moment.
Reactions from global leaders
Global leaders have expressed concern over the unfolding events in Myanmar.
“The United States expresses grave concern and alarm regarding reports that the Burmese military has detained multiple civilian government leaders, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and civil society leaders,” said the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a statement. “The military must reverse these actions immediately” he added.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, in a statement said “The Secretary-General reaffirms to the unwavering support of the United Nations to the people of Myanmar in their pursuit of democracy, peace, human rights, and the rule of law.”
READ our other stories on Myanmar:
- In defense of the lady: Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi
- Myanmar 2020 Election Shows A Promising Future; Suu Kyi’s NLD Party wins big over military-backed USDP