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Myanmar's Military Arrests Parliamentarians


A military vehicle stands on the road to Parliament in the Myanmar capital on Feb 3, 2021. (AFP)

The military detained hundreds of Myanmar MPs in the Parliament building. The armed forces have filled the cabinet with members from their ranks.


Following the military coup in Myanmar and the ousting of Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, the armed forces have placed hundreds of members of parliament under house arrest. One MP reported that he and more than 400 other MPs were detained in a building in the capital, Naypyidaw. They were not allowed to leave the house, but could speak to each other and communicate with their constituencies by phone. There were police officers in the building. Ms. Suu Kyi is also under arrest, the Myanmar Times reported.

Ms. Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy, called for the release of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and all other appointed politicians. Immediately release all those arrested, stated the author of the post on the NLD Facebook page. The whereabouts of some other people wee unknown. The daughter of a human rights activist posted a video on Twitter showing her father being taken away by soldiers. We still don't know where he and other activists are being held or how they are doing, she wrote.

The military had reverted to power on Monday night. In the meantime the cabinet was re-appointed. The posts went to generals, former high-ranking soldiers and politicians from a party supported by the military. Some of them failed in the general election in November, as reported by the Irrawaddy newspaper. The 75-year-old Suu Kyi and her party NLD had clearly won the election.

The EU and the USA are threatening sanctions

The armed forces have imposed a one-year state of emergency. The airports have been closed. In the megacity of Mandalay in the north of the country, armored military vehicles drove through the streets on Tuesday, as photos on social networks showed. So far, there have been no reports of violence.

The USA and the EU threatened with sanctions after the coup. The UN Security Council in New York, however, was initially unable to agree on a common position. The statement put up for debate by Great Britain condemns the coup and calls for the release of those arrested. China and Russia had pointed out that they had not yet received any instructions from their governments. The negotiations were to continue.

In Myanmar, numerous people protested against the military coup with car horns and self-made drums. The action, which initially only lasted a few minutes, ended up taking more than a quarter of an hour in parts of Rangoon. It is the first known act of public resistance to the coup. There were calls to be heard in which the de facto Prime Minister Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, who was under house arrest, was wished good health. Many citizens demanded her freedom.


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