Myanmar‘s military seized power on Monday in a coup against the democratically elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was 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.
ANTONY BLINKEN, UNITED STATES, 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 Nov. 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.”
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.”
ROHINGYA COMMUNITY LEADER, DIL MOHAMMED, IN DHAKA:
“We Rohingya community strongly condemn this heinous attempt to kill democracy,” he told Reuters by phone.
“We urge the global community to come forward and restore democracy at any cost.”
INDIA, FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT:
“We have noted the developments in Myanmar with deep concern. 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.”
MARISE PAYNE, AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER:
“The Australian Government is deeply concerned at reports the Myanmar military is once again seeking to seize control of Myanmar and has detained State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint.
“We call on the military to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through lawful mechanisms and to release immediately all civilian leaders and others who have been detained unlawfully.
THANT MYINT-U, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR:
“The doors just opened to a very different future. I have a sinking feeling that noone will really be able to control what comes next. 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 … They never really submitted to civilian authority in the first place, so today’s events in some sense are merely revealing a political reality that already existed.
“The U.S. and other countries with sanctions regime should send a strong message today, by immediately revoking sanctions relaxations and imposing strict and directed economic sanctions on the military leadership and its enormous economic conglomerates; and pressing other key counties — including South Korea and Japan — to force businesses to divest. The Burmese junta doesn’t want to go back to being China’s vassal.”
MURRAY HIEBERT, SOUTHEAST ASIA EXPERT AT CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, WASHINGTON:
“The U.S. as recently as Friday had joined other nations in urging the military not to move forward on its coup threats. China will stand by Myanmar like it did when the military kicked out the Rohingya.
“The Biden Administration has said it will support democracy and human rights. But the top military officers are already sanctioned so it’s not clear immediately clear what concretely the U.S. can do quickly,”
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, DEP. REGIONAL DIRECTOR, MING YU HAH:
“The arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi, senior officials and other political figures is extremely alarming.
“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.”