Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) and international community condemn the military coup in Myanmar and arrested Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of National League for Democracy party that lead the country - Photo by EPA

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Association of Southeast Asian Countries (ASEAN) and international community condemn the military coup in Myanmar and arrested Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of National League for Democracy (NLD) party that lead the country. The arrests came amid tensions between the civilian government and the military, sparking fears of a coup.

Suu Kyi and other senior figures from the ruling party and the regional government leaders were arrested today in early morning raids. A number of ethnic party and student leaders, as well as prominent activists and human rights defenders were also reported have been arrested.

Later in the morning, a military-owned television station announced that a one-year state of emergency was being imposed under the authority of the commander in chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing. This followed days of reported mounting tensions between NLD officials and military representatives ahead of the first session of the newly-elected parliament scheduled on Monday.

The military and its affiliate party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, have alleged widespread irregularities and misconduct by the Union Election Commission in the Nov. 8, 2020 election, which saw the NLD increase its parliamentary majority. On Nov. 15, 2020, the Union Election Commission confirmed Suu Kyi and the NLD’ victory in the general elections, taking 396 of the 498 seats up for election in both chambers of parliament.

Amid the early morning arrests, internet and phone outages were reported in several parts of the country, including in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, the largest city, Yangon, as well as Shan and Kachin States and the Mandalay and Sagaing regions. Commented a development, ASEAN members stated that have been closely following the current developments in Myanmar.

“We reiterate that the political stability in ASEAN Member States is essential to achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous ASEAN Community. We encourage the pursuance of dialogue, reconciliation and the return to normalcy in accordance with the will and interests of the people of Myanmar,” wrote the statement.

Responding to the arrest of State Counsellor and others amid reports that a military coup is underway in Myanmar, Amnesty International’ deputy regional director for campaigns, Ming Yu Hah, commented the arrest of Suu Kyi, senior officials, and other political figures is extremely alarming.

“Unless those detained can be charged with a recognizable criminal offense under international law, they must be immediately released. The Myanmar military must clarify on what legal basis they have been detained. They must also guarantee that the rights of those arrested are fully respected, including against ill-treatment, and that they have access to lawyers of their own choice and to their family. They must confirm their whereabouts and grant them access to medical care,” he asserted.

Then, he commented, this is an ominous moment for people in Myanmar, and threatens a severe worsening of military repression and impunity. The concurrent arrests of prominent political activists and human rights defenders sends a chilling message that the military authorities will not tolerate any dissent amid today’ unfolding events.

“Previous military coups and crackdowns in Myanmar have seen large scale violence and extrajudicial killings by security forces. We urge the armed forces to exercise restraint, abide by international human rights and humanitarian law and for law enforcement duties to be fully resumed by the police force at the earliest opportunity,” said Ming.

While, ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights and alliances, noted, the undersigned groups today denounced an apparent coup in Myanmar, and associated violence, which has suspended civilian government and effectively returned full power to the military.

“The military should immediately and unconditionally release all detained and return to Parliament to reach a peaceful resolution with all relevant parties,” said the groups.

The man now in charge of the country, the army chief, stands accused of committing the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, raising alarms for the human rights situation, in particular for ethnic minority and Rohingya communities. Military rule also reverses the emerging political openness that occurred in recent years.

The military has remained an influential force in the government, despite changes in the previous decade. “How the military has acted has proven it has never been committed to any democratic change. It has always been interested in preserving power,” adds by the groups.

The groups also made the following demands the United Nation Security Council to convene an emergency meeting to respond to the situation including sending a delegation to Myanmar. Then, ASEAN leaders, to use all diplomatic leverage to ensure the rule of law is upheld and the will of the people are respected.

Written by Editorial Staff, Email: theinsiderstories@gmail.com