Detained Suu Kyi Urges Myanmar To Protest ‘Dictatorship’ As Military Launches Coup
Aung San Suu Kyi has called on people to protest against Myanmar’s military coup.
Following an election in November, Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party took power in the country – however, the military claimed she had won as a result of fraud.
In light of the military’s unproven claims, Suu Kyi has been detained alongside other politicians today, February 1. All authority has now been given to top army commander Min Aung Hlaing.
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, was under military rule for nearly 50 years after a coup in 1962, but democratic reforms were enforced 10 years ago.
Suu Kyi is daughter of the late General Aung San. Described as the country’s ‘independence hero’, he was assassinated just before Myanmar gained independence from British colonial rule in 1948.
In the wake of her arrest, Suu Kyi is calling on Myanmar’s people to protest against military dictatorship.
She said in a statement issued by the party chairman Win Htein, as per Reuters:
The actions of the military are actions to put the country back under a dictatorship. I urge people not to accept this, to respond and wholeheartedly to protest against the coup by the military.
Promising that the statement was genuinely from Suu Kyi, Htein said, ‘On my life I swear, that this request to the people is Aung San Suu Kyi’s genuine statement.’
According to BBC News, the statement was written prior to Suu Kyi’s arrest in preparation for her impending detention.
Other world figures have also condemned the coup alongside Suu Kyi. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted earlier today, ‘I condemn the coup and unlawful imprisonment of civilians, including Aung San Suu Kyi, in Myanmar. The vote of the people must be respected and civilian leaders released.’
Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken commented, ‘The United States stands with the people of Burma in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace, and development. The military must reverse these actions immediately.’
Stephane Dujarric, spokesperson for UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, described Suu Kyi’s arrest as a ‘serious blow to democratic reforms’.
Suu Kyi in no stranger to detention. As per BBC News, the 75-year-old had spent years of her life under house arrest before being release in 2010.
Five years later, Suu Kyi led the NLD to victory in Myanmar’s first openly contested election for 25 years.
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