Scant Condemnation of Myanmar Coup — Radio Free Asia

Neighboring international locations gave a tepid response to a coup in Myanmar on Monday, with no nation coming ahead to sentence the army’s seizure of energy, amid a normal erosion of democracy within the area.

Thailand, which shares a border with Myanmar and has its personal historical past of army coups that toppled democratically elected governments, had little to say in response.

“It’s their own business, it’s their internal affair,” Thai Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan instructed reporters in Bangkok.

Prawit has had a lead function within the Thai authorities since a 2014 coup overthrew the elected administration of Yingluck Shinawatra. Gen. Prayuth Chan-o-cha Prayuth turned prime minister after the coup and retained the submit in a 2019 normal election broadly seen as rigged.

In current months, the Thai authorities has cracked down on youth-led pro-democracy protests, charging dozens of activists on suspicion of violating a royal defamation legislation.  

In the Philippines, a spokesman for President Rodrigo Duterte supplied an analogous response in regards to the coup in Myanmar.

“This is an internal matter,” spokesman Harry Roque mentioned, preferring to debate the greater than 1,200 Filipino expatriates in Myanmar.

“The primary concern is the focus is the safety of Filipinos … we can offer repatriation and temporary shelter in the embassy,” Roque instructed reporters.

Opposition leaders within the Philippines say that Duterte has elevated the facility of the army and police since taking workplace in 2016. By 2020, practically 8,000 suspected drug addicts and sellers had been killed in Duterte’s so-called battle on medicine, in accordance with police. Human rights activists say the dying toll is probably going 1000’s extra.

Both the Philippines and Thailand are founding members of the 10-state Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which incorporates Myanmar. The bloc’s core rules embrace a coverage of non-interference within the home affairs of member states.

The sultanate of Brunei, which chairs ASEAN this 12 months, famous that its Charter requires “adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms,” in an announcement on the coup on behalf of the bloc.


Aung San Suu Kyi [Reuters]

Myanmar chief arrested

Early on Monday, Myanmar’s army arrested Aung San Suu Kyi and different senior leaders, then declared a one-year state of emergency to take care of allegations of voting fraud tied to the final election in November, BenarNews, a sister entity of Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy get together received 396 seats in parliament whereas the army-affiliated Union Solidarity and Development Party received 33.

Internet and telecommunications companies within the capital metropolis have been shut down within the capital metropolis, Naypyidaw, RFA reported.

“In order to execute the necessary actions including the re-examination of voter’s lists … all legislative, administrative, and judiciary powers have been transferred to the military commander-in-chief,” mentioned an announcement issued by Interim President Myint Swe.

Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing can be in cost of the nation, the Associated Press reported, citing a Myanmar army TV report.

The normal, who has been Myanmar’s commander-in-chief since 2011, is below U.S. sanctions for his function within the 2017 crackdown towards Rohingya that led tons of of 1000’s to flee to neighboring Bangladesh.

Malaysian and Indonesian leaders expressed considerations in regards to the army motion.

“Malaysia calls on the Myanmar military and all relevant parties to give utmost priority to the maintenance of peace and security in Myanmar, uphold the rule of law, and resolve any electoral discrepancies through established legal mechanisms and dialogue in a peaceful manner,” the international ministry mentioned in an announcement.

“Malaysia reaffirms the strong support for Myanmar’s democratic transition, peace process and inclusive economic development.”

Malaysia at present has an unelected authorities, after the earlier administration collapsed in February 2020, and is below its first nationwide emergency in additional than 5 a long time to sort out rising coronavirus infections.

After the Malaysian king declared the emergency final month, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin assured the nation that the transfer was not half of a coup, however mentioned parliament and state assemblies can be suspended by means of Aug. 1.

In neighboring Indonesia, the Foreign Ministry mentioned it was “deeply concerned” by the newest developments in Myanmar, and known as for election disputes to be resolved by means of obtainable authorized mechanisms.

“Indonesia calls for the implementation of the principles contained in the ASEAN Charter, including the commitment to the rule of law, good governance, democratic principles, and a constitutional government,” the assertion mentioned.

Indonesia is the most important democracy in Southeast Asia, however a Brookings Institute report in late January claimed that “there is now scholarly consensus that Indonesia’s democracy has not just stagnated but is regressing.”

The report mentioned President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had presided over a interval of growing army involvement in public life, with figures linked to the dictatorship of former President Suharto now again in politics.


A Rohingya in a refugee camp at Teknaf, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, checks his mobile phone for information of the army coup and arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar, Feb. 1, 2021. [Abdur Rahman/BenarNews]

Rohingya, rights teams react

The authorities of Bangladesh, a South Asian nation that shares a frontier with Myanmar, known as for peace and stability for its neighbor, noting that it remained centered on the repatriation of Rohingya refugees.

“It’s my belief that we’ll be able to achieve our goal,” Foreign Minister A.Okay. Abdul Momen mentioned.

About 1 million of the minority Muslims, together with 740,000 who fled after the August 2017 crackdown within the Rakhine state, have settled in camps in and round Cox’s Bazar after being pressured from Myanmar. The two international locations signed a repatriation settlement in late 2017, however efforts since have failed.

Syed Ullah, chief of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights, a camp-based Rohingya group, mentioned the army coup is likely to be good for the Rohingya.

“Aung San Suu Kyi supported genocide of the Rohingya in 2017 out of greed for power. Today she has become a prisoner of that power,” he instructed BenarNews. “The military needs international support, so, politically, the military could focus on the Rohingya issue.”

But Mostafa Kamal, a frontrunner on the Leda refugee camp in Teknaf, was pessimistic.

“[I]f the situation in the country is turbulent, the issue of Rohingya return will not be discussed,” he instructed BenarNews.

Suu Kyi, an icon of Myanmar’s pro-democracy motion, was broadly criticized after she led Myanmar’s authorized protection in 2019, when the African nation of The Gambia sued Myanmar over allegations that its army had carried genocidal acts in the course of the 2017 offensive towards Rohingya insurgents in Rakhine state.

In Washington, U.S. President Joe Biden led Western nations in condemning the coup.

“The military’s seizure of power in Burma, the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian officials, and the declaration of a national state of emergency are a direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the rule of law,” he mentioned, utilizing the outdated title for Myanmar.

“In a democracy, force should never seek to overrule the will of the people or attempt to erase the outcome of a credible election. For almost a decade, the people of Burma have been steadily working to establish elections, civilian governance, and the peaceful transfer of power. That progress should be respected.”

In Beijing, Chinese international ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin known as Myanmar “its friendly neighbor” in commenting on the coup.

“We hope that all sides in Myanmar can appropriately handle their differences under the constitution and legal framework and safeguard political and social stability,” he mentioned.

Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated on-line information service.

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