Myanmar military coup: Nordic and Asian reactions

Foreign Minister Ann Linde condemned the coup, calling on those detained to be released. Credit: Marko Säävälä/TT and AFP/TT

As most of the world woke up to the news about the Myanmar military coup yesterday morning, reactions from state leaders and foreign ministers from around the world are slowly coming in. Nordic government condemns the military coup, Fortify Rights urges the U.N Security Council to act now and Thailand, Vietnam, and The Philippines regard the situation as Myanmar’s internal affairs.

The Nordic Region including Norway, Denmark and Sweden condemn the military’s seizure of power and Norway’s Foreign Affairs Ministry tweeted that Norway urge military leaders to adhere to democratic norms and respect the outcome of the elections. Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod has stated that military under civilian control is a key democratic principle. According to Radio Sweden, Ann Linde, Swedish Foreign Minister also condemns Monday’s military coup in Myanmar saying that the rule of law must be respected. The Myanmar military overthrew a democratically elected government and imposed a year-long state of emergency. The Swedish Burma Committee, an aid group based in Stockholm, commented that the coup was a setback for the fledgling democracy.

Ritzau reports that Charles Michel, EU President also strongly condemns the military coup in Myanmar and demands that the military respect the democratic elections and release all arrested in the coup. Charles Michel says on Twitter that the outcome of the election must be respected, and the entire democratic process must be restored.

EU President Charles Michel condemns the strongest military coup in Myanmar. Michel demands that the military in Myanmar respect the democratic elections and release all those who have been arrested in the military coup.

Matthew Smith, co-founder, and CEO of Fortify Rights has stated that the time for the U.N Security Council to act is now. Forty Rights, non-profit, nongovernmental organization working to strengthen and protect the human rights movement has documented genocide against Rohingya in Rakhine State, war crimes against Kachin civilians in Kachin State, and other ongoing violations by the military throughout the country. In August 2018 a U.N. Fact-Finding-Mission (FFM) concluded that Myanmar’s top military generals should be prosecuted but the U.N Security Council has yet to take any definitive action to follow up on the FFM’s recommendations. Matthew Smith urges the U.N Security Council to react saying, “This coup only further cements the impunity enjoyed by the Myanmar military for the crimes it has committed, but it doesn’t have to be that way”.

Several of Myanmar’s neighbors in the region are also distancing themselves from the coup. China, which regularly opposes UN intervention in Myanmar, called for all sides to “resolve differences.” Wang Wenbin, foreign ministry spokesman said at a press briefing, that China is a friendly neighbor of Myanmar and hopes the various parties in Myanmar will appropriately resolve their differences under the constitutional and legal framework to protect political and social stability. Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed grave concern about the latest situation in Myanmar, adding hopes that all parties would exercise restraint.

According to a statement from Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry, Malaysia supports an ongoing discussion between all parties in Myanmar so that disagreement over the election results can be resolved peacefully, not least in light of the serious situation surrounding the covid-19 pandemic. Japan calls for the release of Suu Kyi and the reintroduction of the military. The government in Tokyo says it is against steps that are pushing the country back.

Other countries in the region are failing to comment on the situation in Myanmar and Prawit Wongsuwan, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister stated that the matter is, “Myanmar’s own business,”. Similar reactions came from Cambodia and the Philippines.

Soldiers stand guard on a blockaded road to Myanmar’s parliament in Naypyidaw on February 1, 2021, after the military detained the country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the country’s president in a coup. (Photo by STRINGER / AFP)

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