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Myanmar Leader Aung San Suu Kyi and rest of the ruling party detained after Burmese military declared a coup

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Liam Atienza
Currently residing in Manila, Liam Atienza is a student of BA International Studies in the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP). He enjoys writing poetry and prose and reading fictional and political narratives in his spare time. He hopes to be a drag artist and a foreign service officer/diplomat/International Relations scholar someday. For leads, you may email him at liamatienza@politixxx.today, or in Twitter via @theliamatienza.
Military personnel and vehicles found within the vicinity of state-owned Radio and TV station on February 1st, 2021. (c) CNN

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.

Residents of Yangon (and other cities) lining up as ATM are closing. (c) CNN

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.

Military personnel deployed to black road in Myanmar’s capital, Nay Pyi Taw. (c) BBC

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:

  1. In defense of the lady: Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi
  2. Myanmar 2020 Election Shows A Promising Future; Suu Kyi’s NLD Party wins big over military-backed USDP

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