Myanmar’s military has seized power in a coup in the early hours on 1 February and placed Myanmar’s state counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s President Win Myint, and other senior members of the country’s ruling party under military arrest.
Hours after the arrests, military TV confirmed that it had taken over the country and declared a state of emergency for one year. Currently, all internet connections in the capital Nay Pi Taw and other major cities are completely cut off, ATMs are not working, terrestrial television services are restricted to the military’s Myawaddy TV channel and streets are full of military officers and barricades.
NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt has confirmed that Ms. Suu Kyi, President Win Myint, and other leaders had been “taken” in the early hours of the morning. He said “I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law,” adding he also expected to be detained. Family members have also confirmed that soldiers visited the homes of chief ministers in several regions and took them away.
The coup in Myanmar comes after days of rising tensions between the civilian government and the military following a disputed election. Ms. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won in November’s election enough seats to form a government but the Myanmar army claims the vote was fraudulent.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, was ruled by the military until democratic reforms began in 2011. The military announced this morning that it was handing power to commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and had placed soldiers on the streets of Nay Pyi Taw, and the main city of Yangon.
The Military coup came hours before the newly-elected lower house of parliament was due to convene for the first time following the 8 November election and so far, several countries including the USA and Australia have condemned the military’s actions in Myanmar. The USA stated that they are ready for action against the people responsible if the political leaders are not released. The Nordic countries are yet to comment on the coup.