The Myanmar envoy at the United Nations called on the international community Friday to reject the military coup in his country and “use every means necessary” to protect the people.
“We, the committee, represent CRPH [Committee Representing the Pyidaungsu Hluuttaw], asks the United Nations, the UN Security Council and the international community who aspire to build a peaceful and civilized global society to use all means necessary to take action against Myanmar’s military and to provide safety and security to the people of Myanmar, “an emotional Kyaw Moe Tun to the General Assembly.
The CRPH is a committee representing elected MPs from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
Popular protests have been staged across Myanmar every day since the military detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the civilian government on February 1, claiming widespread rigging in last November’s elections, which Suu Kyi won by the NLD by a landslide.
The envoy said he represented the NLD, which is the “legitimate and properly elected” government – not the military leaders seizing power. He said the coup was illegal, unconstitutional and “unacceptable in this modern world.”
“It is clear that we all don’t want to go back to the system we used to,” said Kyaw Moe Tun 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 methods of violence” to attack ethnic minorities, and that “these acts are undoubtedly a war crime and a crime against humanity.”
Kyaw Moe Tun said the military continued to act with impunity for spreading violence against peaceful protesters demanding a return to civilian rule and democratic norms.
“The Myanmar military overthrows a democratically elected government, shoots to kill peaceful protesters on the streets, commits crimes targeting civilians, attacks ambulances and health workers, arrests democratically elected members of parliament using unfair laws, issues The arrest warrant is without legal basis and violates the human rights of the Myanmar people, ”said Kyaw Moe Tun.
“The Myanmar military has become an existential threat to 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 democratically elected members of parliament.
“We will continue to fight for a government consisting of the people, by the people, for the people,” said Kyaw Moe Tun, his voice hoarse. He then spoke briefly in his native Burmese to speak to his fellow citizens who were listening in Myanmar, also known as Burma.
“I want to ask all of you to keep fighting,” he urged his compatriots, according to the translation of his remarks. The revolution must succeed.
The US condemned the coup, praised its envoys
Speaking at his first UN meeting, the new US ambassador condemned the coup and praised the Myanmar envoy’s “bold and courageous statement”.
“Like a permanent representative [Kyaw Moe Tun], the people of Myanmar make their voices heard, ”said Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield. “Doctors and civil servants, grocery store cashiers and milk tea maids, delivery drivers, oil rig operators and artists – they line the streets. They lifted red balloons, and hit pots and pans, and they demanded their democracy back. “
He said the United States stood in solidarity with the protesters as they called for a return to peace and democratic governance.
“The military has tried to silence the calls with social media and internet blackouts, but we still hear the Myanmar people loud and clear,” he added.
Former US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power also praised the Myanmar envoy in a tweet, saying it was “impossible to overestimate the risk that UN #Myanmar ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun took at the @UN General Assembly when (voice cracked) he just asked the world to oppose a military coup. “
Whoa. It’s impossible to overstate that risk #Myanmar UN Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun just received @A General Assembly when (votes broke) he had just asked the world to oppose a military coup. See the photo below of him saluting the three finger salute of the protesters. https://t.co/qnmr0RMY0S
– Samantha Power (@SamanthaJPower) 26 February 2021
The British ambassador to the United Nations also praised the Myanmar envoy’s “bold and strong statement” in a tweet.
I commend my colleague Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun today for his bold and strong statement to @A General Assembly today.
– Ambassador Barbara Woodward (@BWoodward_UN) 26 February 2021
The UN Special Envoy to Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener briefed the General Assembly on the situation. He said he “rang warning bells”, condemned the military action and said it had to be canceled.
“Despite attempts by the military and appointed officials to justify ongoing abuses, including the killing of peaceful protesters and the continued detention of political leaders, civil servants and others, let us be clear that there is no ‘business as usual’ under the circumstances. at this time, “he said.
Schraner Burgener said he had spoken with military commanders and sought permission to visit the country to assess the situation.
“Unfortunately, the current regime asked me to postpone the visit,” he said. “It looks like they want to continue making large-scale arrests and forcing people to testify against the NLD government. It is cruel and inhuman. “
Meanwhile, in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, police and security forces fired warning shots on Friday as they moved to disperse about 1,000 demonstrators who had gathered at a popular shopping center in the Tamwe neighborhood overnight to protest against a military-appointed official.
Protesters held banners and chanted slogans condemning the military coup, despite an increased security presence with water cannon trucks stationed in the area.
According to state media and eye witnesses, around 50 riot police acted against the protesters and arrested at least one demonstrator.
The junta has declared a state of emergency for one year. Its commander, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, had promised that new elections would be held to bring about “a true and disciplined democracy,” but did not say when they would take place.
Myanmar’s election commission has denied the military’s claims of election fraud.
The United States and other Western countries are demanding the release of Suu Kyi and her lieutenants, who have been detained since the coup, and are asking the junta to return power to the civilian government.
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