An envoy for Myanmar’s overthrown government has called on the United Nations to use “any means necessary” to stop a military coup, as police cracked down on anti-junta protesters on Friday with rubber bullets and stun grenades.
The Southeast Asian country has been in crisis since the army seized power on February 1 and detained government leader Aung San Suu Kyi and much of her party leadership after the military complained of fraud in a November election her party won. The election commission said the vote was fair.
Speaking on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi’s government, Myanmar’s UN ambassador appealed to the United Nations on Friday “to use any means necessary to take action against the Myanmar military and to provide safety and security for the people of Myanmar”.
“We need further strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup, to stop oppressing the innocent people, to return the state power to the people and to restore the democracy,” Kyaw Moe Tun told the 193-member UN General Assembly, receiving applause as he finished.
During a special meeting on Myanmar, the envoy called on all member states to issue public statements strongly condemning the coup.
He appealed for countries not to recognise the military government or cooperate with it and asked them to demand that the military respects last year’s democratic elections.
Kyaw Moe Tun also urged nations to “take all stronger possible measures” to stop violent acts committed by security forces against peaceful demonstrators.
“We will continue to fight for a government, which is, of the people by the people, for the people,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UN special envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, pushed the world body for a collective “clear signal in support of democracy” and told the General Assembly no country should recognise or legitimise the military rulers.
“There is no justification for the military’s actions, and we must continue to call for the reversal of this impermissible situation, exhausting all collective and bilateral channels to restore Myanmar’s path on democratic reform,” she told the General Assembly via video link.
The diplomat said she had been blocked from visiting Myanmar by the military.
“It seems they want to continue making large-scale arrests. This is cruel and inhumane,” she said.”If there is any escalation in terms of military brutality – and sadly, as we have seen this before in Myanmar – against people exercising their basic rights, let us act swiftly and collectively,” Burgener added.
Uncertainty grew over Aung San Suu Kyi’s status on Friday as the independent Myanmar Now website quoted senior officials of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party as saying she had been moved this week from house arrest to an undisclosed location.
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