Myanmar's ambassador to Britain said that he was 'locked out' of London embassy, in what he described as another 'coup' blaming the country's military. Ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn, who last month broke ranks with his country's military junta, said that he tried to access the embassy on Wednesday for several hours but was unable to enter.
According to sources, Minn's deputy had shut him out and took charge on behalf of the military. He also said that several of his staff members were still inside the building, and were not being allowed to move out. The military seized power in Myanmar in a coup in February and have cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.
Thrown Out from His Office
According to CNN, a source told the outlet that Myanmar's military attachÃ© in London had taken control of the building. At least four diplomatic sources said that deputy ambassador Chit Win had taken over as charge d'affairs and he and the military attachÃ© had locked the ambassador out of the building. They added that a group of at least seven people are inside, of which one is a child.
"It's a kind of coup, in the middle of London... you can see that they occupy my building," he said, adding that he was talking to Britain's foreign ministry about the situation. In fact, several media outlets have been trying to reach out to Myanmar military for comment but phone calls made to the embassy have so far gone unanswered.
Minn, last month had issued a statement last month, calling for Aung San Suu Kyi's release from detention and had pledged to keep the embassy open following a call from UK's foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Understandably, Wednesday's move to lock him out of the embassy is in retaliation to Minn's decision to break ranks with his country's military junta.
When Minn issued the statement last month, Raab had said in a tweet that he spoke to the ambassador and "praised his courage and patriotism in standing up for what is right." But it didn't go down well with Myanmar's military and responded by recalling him. "Since he did not conduct himself in accordance with given responsibilities, an order [is issued] to summon and transfer him back to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," MRTV reported.
A Facebook live stream on Wednesday showed several people showing their support for Myanmar's UK ambassador and expressing confusion with the events of the day.
Although the UK has sanctioned members of Myanmar's military and some of its business interests following the coup in February, and has demanded the restoration of democracy, the British foreign office had no immediate comment on Wednesday's incident.
Myanmar's military seized power in the country on February 1, deposing civilian leader Suu Kyi's elected government. Non-violent protests against the coup have since broken out across the country, and several Myanmar diplomats posted abroad have also made statements of resistance.