US leads condemnation as Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi charged after coup

YANGON: The US on Wednesday (Feb 3) known as on Myanmar’s army to free Aung San Suu Kyi, as the ousted chief was charged after being detained in a coup, whereas requires civil disobedience opposing the putsch gathered tempo.

The Southeast Asian nation was plunged again into direct army rule when troopers arrested key civilian leaders in a sequence of daybreak raids Monday, ending the military’s transient flirtation with democracy.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who has not been seen in public since, gained an enormous landslide together with her National League for Democracy (NLD) final November, however the army – whose favoured events obtained a drubbing – declared the polls fraudulent.

On Wednesday, the NLD’s press officer mentioned the 75-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi was formally charged with an offence under Myanmar’s import and export law, with a court docket signing off on two weeks’ remand.

The uncommon cost stemmed from a search of her home following her arrest by which walkie-talkies have been found, based on a leaked police charging doc seen by reporters.

A equally unorthodox cost below the nation’s catastrophe administration legislation towards President Win Myint revolved round him allegedly breaching anti-coronavirus measures final 12 months by assembly voters on the marketing campaign path.

The United States mentioned it was “disturbed” by the costs.

“We call on the military to immediately release them all,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price informed reporters of Aung San Suu Kyi and different civilian leaders.

With troopers and armoured automobiles again on the streets of main cities, the takeover has not been met by any massive avenue protests.

But indicators of public anger and plans to withstand have begun to flicker.

Doctors and medical employees at a number of hospitals throughout the nation introduced on Wednesday they have been donning crimson ribbons and strolling away from all non-emergency work to protest against the coup.

“Our main goal is to accept only the government we elected,” Aung San Min, head of a 100-bed hospital in Gangaw district, informed AFP.

Some medical groups posted photos on social media sporting crimson ribbons – NLD colors – and elevating a three-finger salute, a protest gesture utilized by democracy activists in neighbouring Thailand, whereas some have chosen to bypass work altogether.

“My protest starts today by not going to the hospital… I have no desire to work under the military dictatorship,” mentioned Nor Nor Wint Wah, a physician in Mandalay.

Commentary: Myanmar’s coup – end of the power sharing arrangement between military and civilian forces?

Activists have been saying their campaigns on a Facebook group known as “Civil Disobedience Movement” which by Wednesday afternoon had greater than 150,000 followers inside 24 hours of its launch.

The clatter of pots and pans, the honking of automotive horns and the singing of democracy protest songs additionally rang out throughout the industrial capital Yangon on Wednesday night for a second evening in a row after calls went out on social media.

Late on Wednesday, the army issued an announcement rejecting rumours that 5000 kyat (US$3.70) and 10,000 kyat notes (US$7.40) could be demonetised.

Demonetising of financial institution notes was a key consider an 1988 rebellion.


Army chief Min Aung Hlaing appointed himself head of a brand new cupboard stacked with generals, and on Tuesday justified his coup as the “inevitable” result of failure to heed the military’s fraud warnings.

The army declared a one-year state of emergency and mentioned it might maintain new elections as soon as its allegations of voter irregularities have been addressed.

The transfer surprised Myanmar, a rustic left impoverished by a long time of army misrule earlier than it started transferring in direction of a extra democratic authorities 10 years in the past.

But protesting is fraught with danger.

During junta rule, dissent was quashed with hundreds of activists – together with Aung San Suu Kyi – detained for years on finish.


A convoy of military automobiles patrol the streets in Mandalay, Myanmar on  Feb 3, 2021. (Photo: AP)

Censorship was pervasive and the army often deployed deadly pressure, most notably throughout enormous protests in 1988 and 2007.

The new authorities has already issued a warning telling individuals to not say or submit something which may “encourage riots or an unstable situation”.

On Wednesday, the NLD introduced the army had dedicated “unlawful acts” within the coup’s aftermath, raiding its get together places of work throughout the nation and seizing paperwork and computer systems.


The military’s actions have been met with a rising refrain of worldwide condemnation – though the choices are restricted for these nations hoping Myanmar’s generals would possibly reverse course.

On Tuesday the United States formally designated the takeover as a coup, which means it can not help the Myanmar authorities.

Any affect will likely be primarily symbolic, as virtually all help goes to non-government entities and Myanmar’s army was already below US sanctions over its brutal marketing campaign towards the Rohingya minority.

The UN Security Council held an emergency assembly Tuesday however failed to agree on a statement condemning the coup.

To be adopted, it requires the assist of China, which wields veto energy as a everlasting Security Council member and is Myanmar’s principal supporter on the UN.

“China and Russia have asked for more time,” mentioned a diplomat requesting anonymity.

Both nations repeatedly shielded Myanmar from censure on the UN over the army’s crackdown on the Rohingya, a marketing campaign that UN investigators mentioned amounted to genocide.

On Wednesday a Chinese overseas ministry spokesman known as for the worldwide group to “create a sound external environment for Myanmar to properly resolve the differences,” based on state-run Xinhua information company.

With the UN assembly failing to challenge an announcement, G7 nations produced their very own – calling on Myanmar’s army to reverse course.

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