Myanmar army seizes power in coup and declares state of emergency for Annually

Army-run TV said a state of emergency in the Southeast Asian nation was announced for a single year.

01 February 2021 Monday 04:59
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Myanmar army seizes power in coup and declares state of emergency for Annually

Why now?
The coup follows a contested election in November the Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party won by a landslide. The major opposition party, the army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, claimed the vote was marred by fraud. Myanmar's election commission rejected the allegations but tensions between the two sides were climbing for months. The army made its movement hours prior to Myanmar's parliament had been due to sit for the first time since the National League for Democracy's win in the Nov. 8 general election. The vote was the second democratic election in Myanmar, also known as Burma, since military rule ended in 2011.

What is the situation on the ground?
Power was transferred to General Min Aung Hlaing, commander of Myanmar's armed forces. Thomas Kean, the editor of Frontier Myanmar, an information and business magazine based in Yangon, the nation's largest city and former capital, said the nation awakened to widespread communications blackouts and individuals were uncertain if they should go to work. Soldiers were patrolling the roads. Banks have halted all services. The army supported Suu Kyi was detained for alleged voting irregularities in November's election. Cabinet ministers, lawmakers and a few notable writers and activists also have been reported missing by their own friends and loved ones. Myanmar's President U Win Myint -- that has a largely ceremonial character -- has been also arrested.

What has the response been?
The White House said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the circumstance. In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken voiced"grave concern and alarm" over the coup and called on government to launch government and civil society leaders. "The United States stands with the people of Burma in their aspirations for democracy, liberty, peace and growth," Blinken said. He called on the army to"reverse those activities immediately." Rights group said the coup is a significant blow to Myanmar's transition from military rule to democracy, which began about a decade ago.

Who's Aung San Suu Kyi?
Suu Kyi spent almost 15 years under house arrest by Myanmar's military rulers before her launch in 2010. She was widely hailed as political hero. Back in 1991, she was given the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle for individual rights. In 2015, Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy party to success in Myanmar's first openly contested election in 25 decades. However, Suu Kyi's global reputation has been seriously tarnished lately due to her defense of Myanmar's treatment of its own Rohingya population, a Muslim minority group. Rights groups say Myanmar's military has committed genocide against the Rohingya. Myanmar denies the allegations and has long claimed to have been targeting terrorists. Suu Kyi remains widely popular inside Myanmar with the country's Buddhist majority.