Burma

Military Tells Members of Myanmar’s Dissolved Parliament They Can Go Home

By Nyein Nyein & Nan Lwin 2 February 2021

Members of Myanmar’s Parliament elected in the 2020 vote who are currently confined in Naypyitaw’s government guesthouse following the coup on Monday were told by a military official on Tuesday afternoon that they can return home.

The MPs-elect arrived in the capital within the past two weeks to attend the Parliament, but it was dissolved when the military staged the coup hours before the Lower House parliamentary session was due to convene on Monday.

MPs told The Irrawaddy prior to the coup that they were ready to attend the parliamentary sessions in adherence with COVID-19 preventative measures.

The military detained senior NLD leaders, including President U Win Myint, and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday.

Security has been tightened in the capital, including at the government’s guesthouse where the soldiers and military trucks are patrolling outside the compound.

Sai Thiha Kyaw, the Lower House parliamentarian for Mai Yel Township in Shan State, representing the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, confirmed that the MPs were told to return.

But he said they would not go home yet because they still need to discuss it among themselves.

The ethnic Shan MP said, “We will also consult with our party’s leaders on what to do next.”

U Kyi Toe, a member of the National League for Democracy Central Information Committee, said the NLD MPs-elect have been told to wait for their party leaders’ decisions.

One of the NLD MPs also told The Irrawaddy that they will stay in Naypyitaw until Feb. 6.

On Tuesday, the military released the State and Regional Chief Ministers from military detention and ordered them to move out of their official residences, but will place them under house arrest.

U Kyi Toe posted on his Facebook that the government ministers and deputy ministers, dismissed by the military, have been ordered to move from their residences within three days. To allow that, the barriers at the entrance to the ministerial residences have been lifted, he said.

The NLD on Tuesday called for the immediate release of President U Win Myint, the State Counselor and others, and urged the military to respect the election results.

After the military announced it had taken control of the country and declared a one-year state of emergency, commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said the Tatmadaw would hold a new election as soon as it completed implementing emergency measures, and would hand power to the winner of the election.

MP Sai Thiha Kyaw said, “We did not expect that the military would do such a takeover of power in the country, and we didn’t want it to happen, either.”

“We want a stable country, which is free of conflicts,” he said, adding that the ethnic states, including Shan State, have had enough suffering from the previous military regimes and armed conflicts.

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