Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Governments around the world condemn Myanmar’s military coup

The United States led governments around the world in calling for the restoration of Myanmar’s democracy on Monday after the military staged a coup, arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians.

United States

The United States “will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed”, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

She added that the US opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of the November elections, which handed Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) an overwhelming landslide, but sparked allegations of vote irregularities by the routed military-backed party. 

Newly appointed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also called on Myanmar’s military “to release all government officials and civil society leaders and respect the will of the people of Burma as expressed in democratic elections on November 8.”

Before the coup, Washington, alongside several other Western nations, had urged the military to “adhere to democractic norms” in a January 29 statement that came as the commander-in-chief threatened to revoke the country’s constitution. 

Britain

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the coup and Suu Kyi’s imprisonment. 

“The vote of the people must be respected and civilian leaders released,” he tweeted.

China

China, which regularly opposes UN intervention in Myanmar, called for all sides to “resolve differences.”

“China is a friendly neighbour 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,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing.

United Nations

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres “strongly” condemned the military’s detention of Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders.

“These developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Japan

Japan urged Myanmar’s military to free Suu Kyi and to restore democracy.

“We request the release of stakeholders including state counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi who was detained today,” Japan’s foreign ministry said in a statement urging “the national army to quickly restore the democratic political system in Myanmar.”

European Union

European Council President Charles Michel strongly condemned the coup.

“The outcome of the elections has to be respected and democratic process needs to be restored,” the former Belgian prime minister tweeted. 

Australia 

“We call on the military to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through lawful mechanisms and to release immediately all civilian leaders and others who have been detained unlawfully,” Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said.

India

“We have noted the developments in Myanmar with deep concern. India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

Turkey

The Turkish government, itself the target of a military coup in 2016, condemned the takeover and called for the politicians’ release.

“We strongly condemn the seizure of power by the Myanmar army. Turkey opposes all kinds of coups and we expect the immediate release of elected leaders, political figures and civilians who have been detained,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

ASEAN

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “grave concern about the latest situation in Myanmar,” adding hopes that all parties would “exercise restraint.”

Indonesia’s foreign minister likewise expressed “concern” while also urging “self-restraint.”

But Philippine presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the situation is an “internal matter.”

“Our primary concern is the safety of our people, he said. “Our armed forces are on standby in case we need to airlift them as well as navy ships to repatriate them if necessary.”

Bangladesh

“Bangladesh firmly adheres to and promotes democratic ethos. We hope that the democratic process and constitutional arrangements will be upheld in Myanmar. As an immediate and friendly neighbour, we would like to see peace and stability in Myanmar,” Bangladesh’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Scandinavia

Norway, Sweden and Denmark condemned the military’s seizure of power. 

“We urge military leaders to adhere to democratic norms and respect the outcome of the elections,” Norway’s Foreign Affairs Ministry tweeted.

Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said civilian leaders  and others “unlawfully detained must be released immediately and unconditionally.”

Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said “military under civilian control is a key democratic principle.”

Canada

Bob Rae, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted that Myanmar’s military “wrote the Constitution this way so they could do this.”

“The Constitution of 2008 was specifically designed to ensure military power was deeply entrenched and protected,” he said.

© Agence France-Presse

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Agence France Presse
Agence France Presse works from worldwide. AFP Photo's official Twitter account. Tweeting news and features from Agence France-Presse's global photo network Agence France Presse has over 120540 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Capitec Bank flies high above Viceroy’s arrow

The bank took a knock after being labelled a loan shark by the short seller, but this has not stymied its growth

Zondo may miss chief justice cut

The deputy chief justice is said to top Ramaphosa’s list but his position as head of the state capture commission is seen as too politically fraught

More top stories

How Alpha Condé overthrew Alpha Condé

Since the coup d’état, Guinea’s head of state has been in the custody of the military officers. But it was the president who was the primary architect of his own downfall

‘The Making of Mount Edgecombe’: A view of history from...

Indian indentured labourers’ lives are celebrated in a new book, Sugar Mill Barracks: The Making of Mount Edgecombe

Case of men arrested with 19 rhino horns is postponed

Alleged rhino kingpin and a Mpumalanga businessman appeared in court on charges of the illegal possession and selling of rhino horns

Zuma’s rescission application dismissed with costs

Former president Jacob Zuma fails to meet requirements in his application to set aside his contempt order and prison sentence
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×