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31 Jan, 2021 23:13

Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi & senior officials DETAINED amid fears of military coup - reports

Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi & senior officials DETAINED amid fears of military coup - reports

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and several high-profile officials have been detained amid rising tensions with the military, Reuters reported, citing spokesman for the ruling National League for Democracy party.

The 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner was reportedly “taken” and escorted away early Monday morning, Reuters reported, citing spokesman for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party,  Myo Nyunt.

Nyunt added that several other senior officials, including formal head of the state - Myanmar’s President Win Myint - were allegedly taken into custody.

Nyunt, who told Reuters that he expected to follow in their footsteps, urged the public to refrain from any response to the developments that could put them in violation of the law.

"I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law," he said.

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The reported detentions of high-ranking officials came as the civilian government of Suu Kyi has been increasingly at odds with the powerful military, alleging fraud in the county’s November general elections that Suu Kyi’s governing party said it won in a landslide.

The newly-elected bicameral legislature, where the Suu Kyi-led NLD secured 396 seats out of 476, was to convene on Monday for the first time. During its inaugural session, the lawmakers were set to elect the new president and the vice presidents for the next five-year period. The result of the November vote dealt a blow to the military-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party, which had to contend with 33 seats.

The military has since repeatedly cried foul over the outcome of the elections, urging electoral officials to review the final tally. The military insisted that the vote was riddled with fraud, claiming they’ve found evidence of as many as 8.6 million irregularities in voter lists.

There have been mounting concerns that the army could move to oust Suu Kyi out of power. The fears have been fueled by the recent statements from the military, known as the Tatmadaw, indicating they are not planning to give up on their election claims. 

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On Tuesday, military spokesman Brigadier General Zaw Min Tun said that the army would “take action” if the election row is not resolved. Asked if the dispute could potentially lead to a military takeover, Tun appeared not to have ruled out a possibility of a coup.“Wait and watch on that matter,” he added. The thinly-veiled warning came two days before the election commission rejected military's claims of wide-ranging election irregularities on Thursday. 

While she came to power in 2015, capitalizing on her image as a celebrated democracy icon and an international symbol of peaceful resistance, Suu Kyi has since drawn a torrent of criticism for downplaying accusations of mass killings of Rohingya Muslims by the military, that forced over 700,000 members of the ethnic minority to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh. Speaking at the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague in December 2019, Suu Kyi called the allegations of genocide “incomplete and misleading factual picture” of the situation on the ground.

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