Danish Ambassador in Myanmar: We are shocked

Danish ambassador to Myanmar is shocked over the recent situation in the country and calls the coup a big step back after the country had embarked on a democratic path.

Ritzau spoke to John Nielsen, Danish Ambassador in Myanmar, who despite a shutdown of telecommunication services in the country, managed to express his concerns through a phone call from the embassy where he is still connected to the outside world.

He says the situation is still very new and very worrying. “We are shocked by what has happened. There was no one who had imagined that this would happen.” He continues, “Myanmar had embarked on a democratic path despite all the problems that already existed. This is a big step backward for the country.”

He explains that the situation leading up to Myanmar’s new parliament convening on Monday was tense over the past week. Among other things, this prompted Denmark and the rest of the EU, as well as the USA and Australia, to call for a calm transfer of power on Friday. He calls it a huge step backwards for the democratization process that was underway that the military is returning after being in power for 50 years before retiring in 2011.

The Ambassador reports that the situation in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city is still fairly calm, but Nay Pyi Daw, the government city is completely closed, access to the international airport is closed, and there is a lot of military in the streets.

As demonstrations against the military are expected in the coming days, all Nordic embassies and consulates in Myanmar encourage their citizens in the country to remain calm, stay home, avoid public gatherings and to contact friends and family in the Nordic Region to confirm that they are safe.

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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