Thank you to those who have contacted me about the recent military coup in Myanmar.
The November 2020 elections in Myanmar were a significant milestone on Myanmar’s path from military dictatorship to democracy, despite being far from perfect. The seizing of power by the military in early February 2021 and the subsequent violent treatment of protesters is a grave development.
The Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the international community are right to have condemned these events.
They also called for Myanmar’s military to:
- hand back power to the democratically elected government;
- release those arbitrarily detained;
- protect the rights and freedoms of the people of Myanmar, including their right to protest peacefully;
- ensure unobstructed humanitarian access; and
- to stop attacking and killing their own people.
The UK’s Minister for Asia, Nigel Adams MP, summoned the Myanmar Ambassador to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) twice in February to condemn the coup and the arbitrary detention of civilians, and to call for the peaceful return to democracy.
The UK has led a strong, coordinated international response to the coup, and has reaffirmed this message repeatedly, including in joint statements of the Foreign Ministers of the G7, of which the UK is President, on 3 and 23 February; at an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council, convened by the UK; and at a Special Session of the UN Human Rights Council on 12 February, co-led by the UK.
It is essential we see the peaceful reconvening of the National Assembly, respecting the results of the November 2020 general election and the expressed wishes of the people of Myanmar.