February 1 (Reuters) -Myanmar’s military seized power on Monday in a coup against the democratically elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in early morning raids.
The army said it had carried out the detentions in response to “election fraud”, according to a statement on a military-owned television station.
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE SPOKESWOMAN:
“The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed.”
MARISE PAYNE, AUSTRALIAN FOREIGN MINISTER:
“The Australian Government is deeply concerned at reports the Myanmar military is once again seeking to seize control of Myanmar and has detained State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint.
“We call on the military to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through lawful mechanisms and to release immediately all civilian leaders and others who have been detained unlawfully.
THANT MYINT-U, HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR:
“The doors just opened to a very different future. I have a sinking feeling that noone will really be able to control what comes next. And remember Myanmar’s a country awash in weapons, with deep divisions across ethnic and religious lines, where millions can barely feed themselves.”
JOHN SIFTON, ASIA ADVOCACY DIRECTOR, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH:
“The military junta that ruled Myanmar for decades never really stepped away from power in the first place … They never really submitted to civilian authority in the first place, so today’s events in some sense are merely revealing a political reality that already existed.
“The U.S. and other countries with sanctions regime should send a strong message today, by immediately revoking sanctions relaxations and imposing strict and directed economic sanctions on the military leadership and its enormous economic conglomerates; and pressing other key counties — including South Korea and Japan — to force businesses to divest. The Burmese junta doesn’t want to go back to being China’s vassal.”
MURRAY HIEBERT, SOUTHEAST ASIA EXPERT AT CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, WASHINGTON:
“The U.S. as recently as Friday had joined other nations in urging the military not to move forward on its coup threats. China will stand by Myanmar like it did when the military kicked out the Rohingya.
“The Biden Administration has said it will support democracy and human rights. But the top military officers are already sanctioned so it’s not clear immediately clear what concretely the U.S. can do quickly,”