Myanmar military declares one year emergency after detaining Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar military declares one year emergency after detaining Aung San Suu Kyi

Nobel Peace lottery winner Ms Suu Kyi, 75, came to power after a 2015 landslide election win that followed decades of confinement during a struggle for democracy that turned her into a world icon.

Her international standing was damaged after many thousands of Rohingya fled army operations into refuge from Myanmar’s western Rakhine state in 2017, but she remains hugely popular reception .

Political tensions soared last week when a military spokesman declined to rule out a coup before the new Parliament convening on Monday, and military chief Min Aung Hlaing raised the prospect of repealing the Constitution.

Myanmar has seen two previous coups since independence from Britain in 1948, one in 1962 and one in 1988.But the military seemed to backtrack on the weekend, issuing a press release on social media on Sunday saying it might "do everything possible to stick to the democratic norms of free and fair elections".

Tanks were deployed in some streets last week and pro-military demonstrations have taken place in some cities before the primary gathering of Parliament.

Myanmar’s military had said on Sunday it might protect and abide by the Constitution and act consistent with law after comments earlier within the week had raised fears of a coup.Myanmar’s committee has rejected the military’s allegations of vote fraud, saying there have been no errors large enough to affect the credibility of the vote.

The Constitution reserves 25 per cent of seats in Parliament for the military and control of three key ministries in Ms Suu Kyi’s administration.Mr Daniel Russel, the highest US diplomat for East Asia under President Barack Obama, who fostered close ties with Ms Suu Kyi, said another military takeover in Myanmar would be a severe blow to democracy within the region.

"If true, this is often an enormous setback – not just for democracy in Myanmar, except for US interests. It’s yet one more reminder that the extended absence of credible and steady US engagement within the region has emboldened anti-democratic forces," he said.

Mr Murray Hiebert, a South-east Asia expert at Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies think factory , said the event was a challenge for the new US administration of President Joe Biden.

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