Photo: on the way to Naypyidaw parliament on the 1st, soldiers were stationed in armored vehicles. /Reuters
[Ta Kung Pao] according to Reuters, associated press and China News Agency, Myanmar reported a military coup on February 1. Dissatisfied with the results of the 2020 general election, the military detained senior officials such as state councilor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Wen Min in the early hours of the morning, and then declared a one-year state of emergency in Myanmar. The state power is transferred to the commander in chief of the national defense forces, min Aung Lai, and vice president min Rui is the acting president. Many countries around the world have expressed concern about the incident. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that he hopes all parties in Myanmar can properly handle their differences and maintain political and social stability within the constitutional and legal framework. The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar also urgently reminded Chinese citizens and Chinese funded institutions in Myanmar to take good security precautions.
Recently, the Burmese military and the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) have disagreed over the results of last November’s general election. In the general election, the NLD led by state minister Aung San Suu Kyi won 83% of the seats, while the military led USDP (United States consolidation and development party) suffered a disastrous defeat. Subsequently, the military repeatedly questioned the existence of fraud in the general election and asked the election commission to investigate and postpone a new session of the Federal Parliament, but it was rejected.
The military is dissatisfied with the results of last year’s election
Just before the first formal meeting of the newly elected people’s house of the Federal Parliament (lower house) on the morning of the 1st, there was a coup in Myanmar. NLD spokesman Miao Niu said that the military launched a surprise attack in the early morning of the same day and took away high-level NLD officials such as Aung San Suu Kyi and President Wen Min, as well as some local officials and members of Parliament with guns in the capital Naypyidaw. At the end of last month, the military has repeatedly threatened to “act in accordance with the law” on the issue of election fraud, but said on January 30 that it has no intention of launching any action to take over the government or similar coups.
Hours after the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, the military declared a one-year state of emergency in accordance with the constitution. State power was handed over to the 64 year old commander-in-chief of the national defense forces, min Aung Lai, with Pro military vice president min Rui as acting president. The military promised to hold a new general election after the end of the state of emergency and hand over power to the winning party. In its latest statement on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi, the NLD said that the military had put the country back under dictatorship and urged the people to refuse to accept the coup launched by the military.
In the evening of the same day, the military announced that it would remove 24 ministers and deputy ministers from the Aung San government and appoint 11 new ministerial posts, involving finance, health, information, foreign affairs, national defense, border and internal affairs departments. Political upheaval may have an impact on epidemic prevention. Although the epidemic situation in the country has eased recently, there are still more than 300 new cases per day in a week.
Some analysts have pointed out that Min Aung Lai, who has been the commander-in-chief of the military since 2011, will be forced to retire this year. He planned to take office as president by relying on the pro military Gong FA party and the 25% fixed seats of the military after the general election. But with the NLD’s overwhelming victory, min Aung Lai’s plan failed. At the same time, the victory of the NLD made the military feel crisis, launched a coup, and the NLD continued to use its ruling position to expand its influence.
Soldiers drive armored vehicles to the streets
According to reports, after the coup, the military took control of Naypyidaw and Yangon, and soldiers with guns and armored vehicles could be seen on the streets. Many major cities were cut off from the network in a large scale, and state TV stations such as mrtv were also controlled by the military, so the public could only listen to the military radio. Myanmar’s Civil Aviation Authority announced to airlines on Monday that Yangon airport will be closed until the end of April, and all domestic and international flights will be cancelled.
Myanmar’s coup shocked the world. The United States, Australia and other countries expressed their condemnation one after another. UN Secretary General Guterres also issued a statement condemning the incident as a “serious blow to democratic reform.”;. Guterres called on the Burmese military to resolve any differences through peaceful dialogue and urged the military to respect the will of the people. In Bangkok, Thailand, 400 people protested outside the Burmese embassy, holding high a picture of Aung San Suu Kyi and demanding that the Thai government refuse to recognize the Burmese military government. At least two people were injured and three arrested in clashes between the protestors and riot police.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that China is Myanmar’s friendly neighbor, and we hope all parties in Myanmar can properly handle their differences and maintain political and social stability within the constitutional and legal framework. The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar reminds Chinese citizens and Chinese funded institutions in Myanmar to pay close attention to the development of the situation, enhance their awareness of risk prevention, strictly abide by local laws and regulations, and do not participate in any political activities. At the same time, it is suggested that they should properly reserve daily necessities, stay at home as far as possible, and avoid going to crowd gathering places.