Myanmar UN Envoy Appeals to World to Stop Military Takeover

Myanmar’s U.N. envoy appealed to the international community Friday to reject a military coup in his country and “use any means necessary” to protect the people.“We, the committee representing CRPH [Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluuttaw], ask the United Nations, the U.N. Security Council and the international community that aspire to build a peaceful and civilized global society to use any means necessary to take action against the Myanmar military and to provide safety and security for the people of Myanmar,” an emotional Kyaw Moe Tun told the General Assembly.The CRPH is a committee representing the elected parliamentarians from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party (NLD).Anti-coup protesters raise their hands with clenched fists during a nationwide general strike near the Mandalay Railway Station in Mandalay, Myanmar, Feb. 22, 2021, to protest against the military coup.Popular protests have been staged across Myanmar daily since the military detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the civilian government February 1, claiming widespread fraud in last November’s election, which Suu Kyi’s NLD won in a landslide.The envoy said he represents the NLD, which is “the legitimate and duly elected” government – not the military leaders who seized power. He said the coup was illegal, unconstitutional and “not acceptable in this modern world.”“It is crystal clear that we all do not want to go back to the system that we used to be in before,” Kyaw Moe Tun said of the hundreds of thousands of people who have taken to the streets across Myanmar since the coup.The envoy accused the military of oppressing the people for decades, using “unspeakable, violent methods” to attack ethnic minorities, and that “these actions no doubt amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”Kyaw Moe Tun said the military continues to act with impunity as it deploys violence against the peaceful protesters demanding a return to civilian rule and democratic norms.“The Myanmar military overthrows a democratically elected government, shoots to kill the peaceful protesters on the street, commits crimes targeting civilians, attacks ambulances and health care workers, arrests the democratically elected parliamentarians using unjust laws, issues arrest warrants without legal basis and breaches the fundamental human rights of the people of Myanmar,” Kyaw Moe Tun said.”The Myanmar military has become the existential threat for Myanmar,” he said.He appealed to the international community to continue to pressure the regime, not to recognize it or cooperate with it in any way, and to support the democratically elected lawmakers.“We will continue to fight for a government which is of the people, by the people, for the people,” Kyaw Moe Tun said, his voice cracking. He then spoke briefly in his native Burmese to address his fellow citizens listening in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.“I would like to request to all of you to keep on fighting,” he urged his countrymen, according to a translation of his remarks. “The revolution must succeed.”US condemns coup, praises envoySpeaking at her first U.N. meeting, the new U.S. ambassador condemned the coup and praised the Myanmar envoy’s “courageous and brave statement.”New U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield speaks after meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations in New York City, Feb. 25, 2021.”Like the permanent representative [Kyaw Moe Tun], the people of Myanmar are making their voices heard,” Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said. “Doctors and civil servants, grocery store cashiers and milk tea servers, delivery drivers, oil rig operators and artists — they are marching in the streets. They are raising red balloons, and banging pots and pans, and they are demanding their democracy back.”She said the United States stands in solidarity with demonstrators as they call for a return to peace and democratic governance.“The military has tried to silence those calls with social media and internet blackouts, but we still hear the people of Myanmar loud and clear,” she added.Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power also praised Myanmar’s envoy in a tweet, noting “it is impossible to overstate the risks that #Myanmar UN ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun just took in the @UN General Assembly when (voice cracking) he just now called on world to oppose the military coup.”Whoa. It is impossible to overstate the risks that Police advance with heavy construction equipment towards protesters demonstrating against the military coup in Yangon, Myanmar, Feb.22, 2021.Protesters were holding banners and shouting slogans denouncing the military coup, despite the increase of the security presence with a water cannon truck stationed in the area.According to state media and eyewitnesses, about 50 riot police acted against the protesters and arrested at least one demonstrator.The junta has declared a one-year state of emergency. Its commander, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, has pledged that new elections will be held to bring about a “true and disciplined democracy,” but did not specify when they would take place.Myanmar’s electoral commission denied the military’s claims of election fraud.The United States and other Western nations have demanded the release of Suu Kyi and her lieutenants, who have been detained since the coup, and called on the junta to restore power to the civilian government.

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