'State of emergency' in Myanmar

'State of emergency' in Myanmar

LATEST UPDATE: February 24, 2021 - 6:40pm
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1 day ago

The Department of Foreign Affairs raises the alert level for Myanmar to Alert Level 2, which means "restriction of non-essential movements, avoiding of places of protest and preparation for possible evacuation."

The alert level also includes restrictions on travel from the Philippines and only returning workers with existing travels will be allowed to travel to Myanmar, DFA also says.

The department says the measures are meant to protect the 1,273 Filipinos still in Myanmar. The government earlier repatriated workers from Myanmar, where the military has taken control and declared a year-long "state of emergency."

2 days ago

Indonesia says Wednesday it was in talks with both sides in Myanmar's political crisis and its foreign minister may visit to help find a solution, but she had no plans for an immediate trip.

The statement comes after a leaked Myanmar government document showed Indonesia's foreign minister Retno Marsudi was to visit the coup-hit nation on Thursday. 

The trip was not confirmed by Indonesia — a key diplomatic player among Southeast Asian nations — and it says Wednesday that no visit had been scheduled. —  AFP

2 days ago

Staying in different lodgings each night to evade arrest, the lawyer representing Aung San Suu Kyi says her trial will help determine whether Myanmar's people again become "slaves" of the military.

Soldiers raided the civilian leader's residence and detained her in pre-dawn raids three weeks ago, effectively ending Myanmar's 10-year experiment with democracy. 

The new military regime has pledged to hold elections in a year, but for now the junta wields power over all the country's political institutions -- including its courts. — AFP

3 days ago

The United States announces sanctions against two more leaders of Myanmar's junta and warned of further action as hundreds of thousands defiantly rallied for the restoration of the nation's democracy.

The United States said it was blocking any US property and suspending the entry into the country of two members of the newly ruling State Administrative Council — General Maung Maung Kyaw, who commands the air force, and Lieutenant General Moe Myint Tun.

"We will not hesitate to take further action against those who perpetrate violence and suppress the will of the people. We will not waver in our support for the people of Burma," Secretary of State Antony Blinken says, using Myanmar's former name. —  AFP

3 days ago

The EU on Monday warned Myanmar's military rulers it was ready to impose sanctions over this month's coup, as foreign ministers also prepared to target those behind Russia's crackdown on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The ministers from the 27-nation bloc met in Brussels for a packed agenda that includes a wide-ranging videoconference with new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Shortly after the start, they issued a statement on Myanmar, saying "the EU stands ready to adopt restrictive measures targeting those directly responsible for the military coup and their economic interests".

They called for "a de-escalation of the current crisis" triggered by the February 1 military coup in Myanmar and demanded that the overthrown civilian government be restored. — AFP

February 22, 2021

Tens of thousands of anti-coup protesters rallied across Myanmar again on Monday despite a clear threat from the junta that it was prepared to use lethal force to crush what it branded "anarchy".

The warning came after three demonstrators were shot dead over the weekend, and the funeral on Sunday for a young woman who died from bullet wounds at an earlier rally.

Massive street demonstrations have taken place since Myanmar's military staged a coup on February 1 and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, ending a decade-long experiment with democracy.

A civil disobedience campaign has also since choked many government operations, as well as businesses and banks, and the junta late Sunday gave its most ominous signal yet that its patience was nearing an end.

"Protesters are now inciting the people, especially emotional teenagers and youths, to a confrontation path where they will suffer the loss of life," said a statement on state-run broadcaster MRTV. — AFP

February 21, 2021

UN chief condemns 'use of lethal force' in Myanmar — AP

February 20, 2021

Washington urges the leaders of Myanmar's new military regime to refrain from violence and relinquish power, after the death of a young anti-coup protester sparked new anger against the junta.

Much of the country has been in uproar since troops deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1, with large street demonstrations in both urban centres and isolated villages.

Security forces have responded with increasing force, deploying troops against peaceful rallies and firing tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets. — AFP

February 18, 2021

Hackers attack military-run government websites in Myanmar Thursday as a cyber war erupted after authorities shut down the internet for a fourth straight night.

A group called Myanmar Hackers disrupted multiple government websites including the Central Bank, Myanmar Military's propaganda page, state-run broadcaster MRTV, the Port Authority, Food and Drug Administration.  

The move comes a day after thousands of people rallied across the country to protest against a military coup that toppled Aung San Suu Kyi's civilian government from power earlier this month.

"We are fighting for justice in Myanmar," the hacking group says on its Facebook page. —  AFP

February 17, 2021

Myanmar's anti-coup protesters return to the streets in force, staging the biggest demonstrations since troops fanned out around the country to quell opposition to the new military junta.

Much of the country has been in open revolt since the military deposed Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's government at the start of the month and charged her under an obscure import law. — AFP

February 17, 2021

The UN special rapporteur for Myanmar on Tuesday issued a stern warning about the potential for an escalation of violence in the country as protests continued following a military coup. 

Myanmar was largely cut off from the world for a third night running, after the generals who deposed and detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 shut down the internet.

With anti-coup protesters expected to gather again Wednesday in major cities, as they have done for days, the UN envoy, Tom Andrews, sounded the alarm. —  AFP

February 16, 2021

Myanmar's military regime has hit deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi with a second charge, this time under the country's natural disaster management law, her lawyer says Tuesday. 

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged with an extra (violation)... under the Natural Disaster Management law," lawyer Khin Maung Zaw tells AFP. 

Since she was ousted from power, she has already been charged under the country's import and export law for having walkie-talkies in her home. —  AFP

February 16, 2021

Myanmar's military regime has hit deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi with a second charge, this time under the country's natural disaster management law, her lawyer says. 

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged with an extra (violation)... under the Natural Disaster Management law," lawyer Khin Maung Zaw tells AFP.

Since she was ousted from power, she has already been charged under the country's import and export law for having walkie-talkies in her home. 

February 16, 2021

Myanmar's generals imposes a second straight overnight internet shutdown, ignoring international condemnation as they worked to grind down a popular uprising against their coup.

In the two weeks since troops ousted Aung San Suu Kyi and took the civilian leader into custody, big urban centers and isolated village communities alike have been in open revolt.

Security forces have used increasing force to quell huge nationwide street protests and a disobedience campaign encouraging civil servants to strike. — AFP

February 16, 2021

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi will appear in court via video conference this week over charges brought against her by the new military junta, her lawyer said Monday.

Army chief General Min Aung Hlaing has justified the February 1 coup by alleging widespread voter fraud in November's elections, which Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party swept.

Two days after the putsch, the 75-year-old Nobel laureate was hit with the unusual charge of violating Myanmar's import and export law, after a search of her house found walkie-talkies. —  AFP

February 15, 2021

Fresh protests erupt in Myanmar's largest city of Yangon on Monday following an overnight internet blackout and the deployment of troops on the streets, according to an AFP photographer.

Hundreds of engineering and technology students gather in the north of the city, two weeks after the military seized power, ending a decade-old fledgling democracy following generations of junta rule. —  AFP

February 15, 2021

Myanmar's generals will be "held accountable" for any suppression of a burgeoning civil disobedience campaign, a UN rights envoy says on Monday.

"It's as if the generals have declared war on the people of Myanmar," Tom Andrews, the UN special rapporteur for Myanmar, writes on Twitter. "These are signs of desperation. Attention generals: You WILL be held accountable." —  AFP

February 15, 2021

Myanmar was experiencing its third nationwide internet blackout in two weeks on Monday, a monitoring group said, after troop deployments around the country in signs of a crackdown on anti-coup protests. 

"A near-total internet shutdown is in effect in #Myanmar as of 1 am local time; real-time network data show national connectivity at just 14% of ordinary levels following state-ordered information blackout," NetBlocks wrote on Twitter. —  AFP

February 14, 2021

Otherworldly forces are displeased with the generals behind Myanmar's coup, according to the ornately dressed spirit mediums joining street protests to denounce the country's sudden turn back to army rule.

A group of the clairvoyants this week marched alongside civil servants, garment factory workers and students in the commercial capital Yangon to call for the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

They channel the 37 great "nats" — or deities — venerated in Myanmar, a Buddhist-majority country where animist worship and superstitious beliefs are part of everyday life for some.

"Nats do not want military rule," insisted Achaintan Man Gay Oo, 48. "They also want the release of Mother Suu."

It has become apparent to the mediums that the spirits are "unhappy" with the sudden end to Myanmar's nascent democracy, the 48-year-old told AFP. — AFP

February 13, 2021

Opposition to Myanmar's new military regime intensifies as spontaneous neighborhood watch groups mobilized to thwart arrests of anti-coup activists and the UN demanded the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The army takeover that brought a decade-old democracy to an end last week has unleashed a storm of anger and defiance, with huge daily protests bringing urban centres around the country to a standstill.

Since taking Suu Kyi and her top allies into custody, troops have stepped up arrests of civil servants, doctors and others joining strikes demanding the generals relinquish power. — AFP 

February 12, 2021

Myanmar's military regime braces for a seventh straight day of street protests after Washington announced sanctions on leaders of the coup that ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

A torrent of anger and defiance has brought tens of thousands of people out in nationwide rallies demanding the country's generals relinquish power. 

Demonstrations have so far largely been peaceful, but police have used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets on protesters -- with isolated reporters of live rounds being fired at crowds. — AFP  

February 12, 2021

Myanmar's military regime orders the release of more than 23,000 prisoners, following a week of fresh arrests targeting allies of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and election officials.

Mass amnesties to empty the country's overcrowded prison system are common on significant local dates. Friday was a public holiday in Myanmar.

"The State Administration Council... has remitted the punishment of 23,314 prisoners from the respective prisons, jails and camps," says an announcement in the state-run Global New Light of Myanmar, using the official name of the new army administration. — AFP

February 11, 2021

Anti-coup protesters on Thursday took to the streets of Myanmar for a sixth consecutive day, after US President Joe Biden announced sanctions against the Southeast Asian nation's generals and demanded they relinquish power.

There has been an outpouring of anger and defiance since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last week and detained her along with other senior figures of her National League for Democracy party.

Security forces have used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets against the protesters, with isolated reports of live rounds also being fired. Police also ramped up their harassment of the NLD with a raid on its headquarters.

But demonstrators again marched peacefully on Thursday in Naypyidaw — the capital and military stronghold — as well as Yangon, the largest city and commercial hub, which saw tens of thousands flood into the streets. — AFP

February 11, 2021

Anti-coup protesters take to the streets of Myanmar for a sixth consecutive day, after US President Joe Biden announced sanctions against the Southeast Asian nation's generals and demanded they relinquish power.

There has been an outpouring of anger and defiance since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi last week and detained her along with other senior figures of her National League for Democracy party.

Security forces have used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets against the protesters, with isolated reports of live rounds also being fired. Police also ramped up their harassment of the NLD with a raid on its headquarters. — AFP

February 10, 2021

security forces broke into its Yangon headquarters.

They sounded the alarm on Facebook late Tuesday, announcing that "the military dictator had raided and destroyed" the NLD's premises. 

The move comes over a week after its leader was deposed in a coup, returning Myanmar to military rule after a brief 10-year dalliance with democracy. 

The party has been left rudderless — with the detention of Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and top NLD executives, its fate is now in the hands of lower-ranking MPs and members.

"We wanted to go to the headquarters immediately, but because of the curfew, we knew there might be problems," Soe Win, an NLD member in charge of the Yangon headquarters, told AFP Wednesday. — AFP

February 10, 2021

The Myanmar military raided ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party headquarters in Yangon late Tuesday, the National League for Democracy says.

"The military dictator raided and destroyed NLD headquarters at around 9:30pm," the party announces on its Facebook page. —  AFP

February 10, 2021

The United Nations on Tuesday condemns the use of force against anti-coup protesters in Myanmar, after police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse rallies.

"The use of disproportionate force against demonstrators is unacceptable," Ola Almgren, the UN resident coordinator and humanitarian coordinator in Myanmar, says in a statement. —  AFP

February 9, 2021

Police fired rubber bullets at anti-coup protesters in Myanmar capital's on Tuesday as demonstrators around the country defied a military ban on rallies and international condemnation of the putsch grew.

Protests erupted for a fourth straight day against last week's coup to oust civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, despite a warning from the new junta that they would take action against demonstrations that threatened "stability". 

In Naypyidaw, the remote capital purpose built by the previous military regime, witnesses said police fired rubber bullets at protesters after earlier blasting them with water cannon.

"They fired warning shots to the sky two times, then they fired (at protesters) with rubber bullets," a resident told AFP, adding that he saw some people injured. — AFP

February 9, 2021

The Department of Foreign Affairs says it is finalizing a repatriation flight on February 15 for Filipinos in Myanmar.

February 9, 2021

The UN Human Rights Council says it will hold a relatively rare special session this Friday to discuss the ongoing political crisis in Myanmar.

The move was officially requested on Monday by Britain and the European Union, with enough backing from countries to automatically trigger the meeting.

The call comes a week after Myanmar's generals conducted a coup in the country. 

"The Human Rights Council will hold a special session to address the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar this Friday," the UN's top rights body says in a statement. —  AFP

February 8, 2021

Britain and the European Union requested Monday that the United Nations Human Rights Council hold a special session in response to the ongoing political crisis Myanmar.

"The UK would like to inform all colleagues that together with the EU, we have submitted a request for a special session on the human rights implications of the crisis in Myanmar," Julian Braithwaite, Britain's ambassador in Geneva, told an organizational meeting ahead of the body's next session. — AFP 

February 8, 2021

Pope Francis on Monday called for the prompt release of political leaders imprisoned following a coup in Myanmar, in a speech to ambassadors to the Holy See.

"The path to democracy undertaken in recent years was brusquely interrupted by last week's coup d'etat. This has led to the imprisonment of different political leaders, who I hope will be promptly released as a sign of encouragement for a sincere dialogue aimed at the good of the country," the pope said. — AFP

February 8, 2021

Police use water cannon on anti-coup protesters in Myanmar capital, AFP reports

February 7, 2021

Thousands of anti-coup protesters in Myanmar poured back onto the streets Sunday, as an internet blackout failed to stifle growing outrage at the military's ouster of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The fresh rally followed the largest protests to date on Saturday, when tens of thousands came out in cities across the country to condemn the coup that brought a 10-year experiment with democracy to a crashing halt.

Thousands of chanting protesters marched in Yangon, backed by a din of car horns. They held up banners — including some saying "We do not want military dictatorship" — and the signature red flags of Suu Kyi's National League of Democracy (NLD) party.

"We will move forward and keep demanding until we get democracy. Down with the military dictatorship," said protester Myo Win, 37. — AFP

February 6, 2021

An Australian economic advisor to Myanmar's deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi says he had been detained in the country following a military coup. 

"I'm just being detained at the moment, and perhaps charged with something. I don't know what that would be," Sean Turnell, a Macquarie University professor, tells BBC. — AFP

February 6, 2021

An independent monitor says Myanmar was plunged into a new nationwide internet shutdown on Saturday, days after a military coup that coincided with an earlier blackout. 

"#Myanmar is now in the midst of a second nation-scale internet blackout" beginning around 10:00 am local time (0330GMT), says NetBlocks, a group that monitors internet outages around the world. — AFP 

February 5, 2021

A key aide of Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested in the early hours of Friday, a press officer from her National League for Democracy (NLD) party said. 

Win Htein "was arrested from his daughter's house where he was staying, at midnight", Kyi Toe wrote on his verified Facebook page.

The NLD stalwart is a close aide of Suu Kyi, who was detained on Monday in a lightning coup. — AFP

February 4, 2021

Myanmar's coup has left its younger generation bunkered down at home, obsessively tracking arrest rumours on social media and weighing whether to defy the military on the streets.

Since the dawn army raids that took Aung San Suu Kyi and her government's top ministers into custody on Monday, outrage has simmered behind closed doors over the sudden end to a fledgling democracy.

A generation too young to remember the last military takeover say they are unlikely to confront the troops now patrolling the streets without a clear signal from the country's deposed leaders, or guidance from veterans of earlier civil strife. 

"We have the readiness, the anger, the anxiety," said Aye.

But the spark for whatever comes next "needs to come people who can lead", she added. — AFP

February 4, 2021

Facebook on Thursday said some of its services were being restricted in Myanmar, days after the military seized power in a coup.

"We are aware that access to Facebook is currently disrupted for some people," a company spokesperson told AFP. 

"We urge authorities to restore connectivity so that people in Myanmar can communicate with their families and friends and access important information."

The social media platform is wildly popular in Myanmar and the primary method for communication. It is also frequently used by government ministries to issue statements. 


February 3, 2021

The foreign ministers of the G7 group of some of the world's wealthiest nations said Wednesday they are "deeply concerned" by the military coup in Myanmar.

"We are deeply concerned by the detention of political leaders and civil society activists, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, and targeting of the media," they said in a joint statement issued from London.

"We call upon the military to immediately end the state of emergency, restore power to the democratically-elected government, to release all those unjustly detained and to respect human rights and the rule of law." —  AFP

February 2, 2021

The party of Myanmar’s toppled leader Aung San Suu Kyi demands her immediate release Tuesday, after a military coup that triggered international condemnation and sanctions threats from the new US president.

Armed troops patrolled the capital, Naypyidaw, where Suu Kyi and other National League for Democracy party leaders were detained in pre-dawn raids on Monday just ahead of the scheduled resumption of parliament.

Soldiers were also stationed Tuesday outside the dormitories for parliamentarians in Naypyidaw, with one NLD MP describing it as "an open-air detention centre". —  AFP

February 2, 2021

The Philippines is following the situation in Myanmar "with deep concern", the Department of Foreign Affairs says, adding it is "especially concerned" for the safety of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whom the Myanmar military has detained.

"Myanmar has made substantial and important strides toward democratization in recent years," the DFA also says, saying the Philippines has supported those efforts.

The DFA also advises Filipinos in Myanmar to exercise due caution.

February 2, 2021

Myanmar's military coup marks an early test case of President Joe Biden's determination to advocate democracy but, unlike a decade ago when the United States nurtured a transition there, he has limited options.

The rise of democracy in Myanmar had initially been hailed as a key achievement of former president Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as number two, representing an opening of a long-closed nation that had been in rival China's orbit.

But Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's civilian leader who was detained with others Monday, had been rapidly losing Western support as the Nobel laureate stayed reticent -- some argue so as not to antagonize the military — about a brutal campaign against the mostly Muslim Rohingya minority.

Biden in a forceful statement Monday warned of a return of sanctions and steadfastly backed the principle of democracy — in line with his campaign promises as he vowed to turn the page from his predecessor Donald Trump, who praised autocrats and unsuccessfully tried to overturn his own election defeat. — AFP

February 1, 2021
Statement of Akbayan Chair Emeritus Etta Rosales on the Myanmar coup
Akbayan stands with the people of Myanmar against the military coup that threatens its democracy. We challenge Mr. Rodrigo Duterte and his government to join the world in condemning the detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and calling on the Myanmar military to abandon its power grab and submit to civilian rule.
This coup is a vile attempt by the military junta to cling to power, and mirrors the attempts of other authoritarian leaders to discredit the voice of the people. We too in the Philippines face threats to our democracy with the use of authoritarian force. But the people of Myanmar have spoken: no threat to their democracy will silence their desire for peace.
We call on the military of Myanmar to respect the popular will and commitment for a democratic civilian government. We call for the immediate release of all wrongly arrested government officials, civil society leaders, and other leaders of the National League for Democracy
February 1, 2021

Myanmar's military declared a one-year state of emergency on Monday and appointed a general as acting president, after arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior officials.

An announcement on military-owned Myawaddy TV said the move was needed to preserve the "stability" of the state, accusing the country's election commission of failing to address "huge irregularities" in the November election. — AFP

February 1, 2021

Internet connections in Myanmar were severely disrupted Monday as the country's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi was detained by the military in an apparent coup, according to an independent monitor. 

"The telecommunication disruptions, beginning approximately 3 a.m. Monday morning local time, have significant subnational impact including the capital, and are likely to limit coverage of events as they take place," said the Netblocks civil society group. — AFP

Follow this thread for updates on the situation in Myanmar, where a coup may be happening after de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other officials have reportedly been detained by the military.

Photo: Military officers wearing facemasks who serve as members of Myanmar's parliament leave after a session at the Assembly of the Union (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw) in Naypyidaw on March 10, 2020. AFP/Ye Aung Thu

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