Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Urges Myanmar People to Resist Coup

By The Irrawaddy 1 February 2021

Myanmar’s leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has called on the public to fully oppose the military coup staged on Monday.

In a statement released on the “Chair NLD” (National League for Democracy) Facebook page hours after she and others were detained by the armed forces, she said the military’s action completely disregarded the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and was an attempt to reimpose dictatorship upon the country.

“I urge people not to accept the coup by the military, and resist it resoundingly,” Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said in the statement.

It appeared the statement had been prepared in advance as a message to the public in the event of a military takeover.

“At the time [you are] reading this [statement], the military has abolished the elected Parliament and government for which the public unanimously voted, ignoring the Constitution they themselves drafted,” she said.

Saying that previous coups had impoverished the country, NLD patron U Win Htein said the coup would take the country “back to zero”.

“Oppose it as much as you can in a nonviolent way, as called for by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Object through civil disobedience, speak up against their action and do not collaborate with their program,” he said in a video, repeating the party leader’s message.

U Win Htein, a former military captain, condemned the coup as the result of military chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing’s personal ambition for power.

The military hinted at the possibility of a coup in statements last week over the government’s inaction on the armed forces’ claims of electoral fraud in the November general election, in which the military’s proxy party experienced another defeat at the hands of the NLD.

After the military announced its seizure of power early Monday morning, many people including taxi drivers, shop owners, pedestrians, older residents and company employees could be seen on the streets of Yangon’s townships voicing their shock at the military’s actions. After internet access was restored in Myanmar’s towns in the afternoon, many netizens took to social media to show their support for the elected government.

The military has announced it will rerun the election and hand power to the winner after implementing emergency measures.

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