Democracy Dies an Untimely Death

Myanmar military seizes control and detains leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Disturbing vignettes of the demons of democracy within!

The BBC has reported that Myanmar’s military has taken control of the country after detaining de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians in the early hours.

 

Military TV said a state of emergency had been declared for one year and power transferred.

The coup comes after tensions rose between the civilian government and the military following a disputed election.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the military until democratic reforms began in 2011.

The military said on Monday it was handing power to commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing because of “election fraud”. Soldiers are on the streets of the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, and the main city, Yangon.

In November’s election, Ms Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won enough seats to form a government.

What has the reaction been?

The United States has condemned the coup, saying Washington “opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for the release of all government officials and civil society leaders and said the US “stands with the people of Burma in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace, and development. The military must reverse these actions immediately”.

In Australia, Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne said “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 other who have been detained unlawfully.”

Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said it was deeply concerned about the situation in Myanmar, after the military staged a coup and declared that it had taken control of the country for one year under a state of emergency. The country’s top leadership, including de factor leader Aung San Suu Kyi, have also been detained, according to reports from Myanmar.

“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,” the MEA said in a statement.

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