Naypyitaw: Elected leader and Noble laureate Aung San Suu Kyi along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) were arrested by military after it toppled the government in the pretext of ‘election fraud’.
According to Reuters, the civilian leadership was arrested in early morning raids soon after the military staged a coup and imposed a state of emergency for one year.
Army’s statement on a military-owned television station said that the power had been delegated to military chief Min Aung Hlaing and detention of civilian leadership carried out in response to ‘election fraud’.
The military spokesman confirmed the one-year state of emergency but did not answer phone calls seeking further comments.
Telephonic communication system to the capital Naypyitaw and the main commercial centre of Yangon was inaccessible while the state TV also went off air few hours before parliament was to sit for the first time since the NLD’s landslide election win in November. The parliament session was viewed as a referendum on Suu Kyi’s fledgeling democratic government.
Residents said that mobile internet data and phone services were disrupted and soldiers took up positions at city hall in Yangon, adding that internet connectivity also had dramatically fallen.
NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt told Reuters through telephone that Suu Kyi, Myanmar President Win Myint and other leaders had been ‘taken’ in the morning.
The spokesman said that he wanted to tell the people not to respond recklessly and act according to law, adding that he was also expecting his arrest.
The coup and detentions came as a result of tensions between civil-military leadership that increased amid fears of a coup in the aftermath of the election.
A spokesperson for White House said that President Joe Biden had been briefed about the prevailing situation and developments in Myanmar.
According to spokeswoman Jen Psaki statement, the United States opposed the attempt to alter the results of recent elections or impeding democratic transition. The US warned that it would take action against responsible if Myanmar military’s steps were not reversed.
The Australian government expressed concerns on the development that Myanmar military once again seized control of Myanmar. The Australian government has called for the immediate release of the unlawfully detained leaders.
Meanwhile, Japan said it had no plans to repatriate Japanese nationals from Myanmar but it was closely watching the situation.
Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, 75, suffered decades of house arrest in the struggle for democracy that turned her into an international icon and she came to power after 2015 election win.
Despite she remained popular but her international reputation was compromised after millions of Rohingya fled from Myanmar’s western Rakhine state in 2017 after atrocities and brutalities by Buddhist extremists and army operations.
Last week, tensions between civil-military relations increased when a military spokesman refused to rule out a coup ahead of the new parliament.
Tanks were deployed in some streets and pro-military demonstrations took place in some cities ahead of the first assembly of parliament. The military seemed to be backtracking on the weekend, stating that it would take every possible step to adhere to the democratic norms of free and fair elections. Myanmar’s constitution was published in 2008 after decades of military rule. The constitution reserves 25% shares in Parliament seats for the military and control of three key ministries in Suu Kyi’s administration.