Myanmar’s ambassador to Great Britain, a declared opponent of the military junta in his country, has been locked out of his own embassy in London. As a spokesman for Kyaw Zwar Minn announced on Thursday, he was denied access to the building in the center of the British capital on Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, several demonstrators were shot dead by security forces during protests in Myanmar.
The military attaché has taken control of the representation. Through his spokesman, the ambassador called on the British government not to recognize a successor named by the military government. From circles of the British Foreign Office it was said that a formal recall of the ambassador had in the meantime been received. However, a successor has not yet been named.
Kyaw Zwar Minn told the Telegraph: “They said they had received an order from the capital, so they would not let me in.” “This is the UK, we are not in Myanmar.” The British government will not allow that. This is a “coup” by the “Myanmar military”. According to the Metropolitan Police in London, people gathered outside the embassy to protest the ambassador’s lockout. According to media reports, he spent the night in his car in front of the embassy building.
Kyaw Zwar Minn had positioned himself in March as an opponent of the military coup in the Southeast Asian country. He demanded the release of the disempowered Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi. The 75-year-old is under house arrest.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described the events in London as “chicane” and praised the ambassador for his courage. “Great Britain continues to call for an end to the coup and the appalling violence and to restore democracy quickly,” said Raab on Twitter.
In Myanmar, numerous people have been taking to the streets for weeks to protest against the generals’ coup in early February. Several demonstrators were again killed by security forces on Wednesday evening. At least eleven people were killed in violent clashes in the city of Taze in the northwest, local media reported on Thursday. Soldiers fired at demonstrators. They fought with hunting rifles, knives and incendiary devices. There are around twenty injured. Initially, there was no information about possible victims among soldiers.
Taze is near the town of Kale, where at least 11 people were killed in similar clashes on Wednesday. In the economic metropolis of Yangon, too, numerous people again protested against the military coup and for a return to democracy. Numerous people placed shoes with flowers in them to commemorate the victims of the protests.
According to estimates by the prisoners’ aid organization AAPP, more than 580 people have died since the overthrow, and 2,750 are currently still in custody. It is feared that the number of victims could be much higher.
After the coup on February 1 in former Burma, the military had taken the de facto head of government Aung San Suu Kyi into custody and imposed a one-year state of emergency. The protesters are calling for a return to democratic reforms and the reinstatement of Suu Kyi’s civilian government.