UK Snubs Myanmar Junta Over King Charles Coronation

By The Irrawaddy 25 January 2023

Myanmar’s junta and its chief arms supplier Russia will not be invited to attend King Charles III’s coronation in London in May, according to the Star tabloid in the UK.

The event could be even larger than Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September, partly because world leaders will have more time to plan their travel.

Myanmar’s military was not invited to the funeral along with representatives from Russia, Belarus, Syria, Venezuela and Afghanistan.

Britain’s exclusion of Myanmar’s junta did not come as a surprise. London condemned the 2021 coup and downgraded its diplomatic relations with the junta. The British envoy to Myanmar, Peter Vowles, was forced to leave the country.

The UK has also imposed sanctions against military-linked businesses, including a company owned by Min Aung Hlaing’s son Aung Pyae Sone as well as his generals. Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advised against all travel to many parts of Myanmar, including Mon, Kachin, Chin, Kayah, Karen and northern Rakhine states and Sagaing and Magwe regions.

In December, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution on Myanmar that demands an end to violence and calls on the country’s military rulers to release all political prisoners, including civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The draft of the resolution was prepared by Britain.

The resolution is the first on Myanmar in 74 years.

Junta media reported that regime bosses signed books of condolence after the deaths of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin and former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe at their embassies in Yangon. But the regime was silent about the funeral of Queen Elizabeth.

The regime also detained former UK ambassador Vicky Bowman, who served in Myanmar from 2002 to 2006, and her husband, Ko Htein Lin, a renowned artist and former political prisoner, in August and handed one-yearprison sentences to the couple for allegedly breaching the Immigration Act. Observers said the regime was applying “hostage diplomacy” as it was desperate for international recognition. They were both released in November in a general amnesty.

Australia has downgraded diplomatic ties with Myanmar and other countries are in the process of downgrading their diplomatic representation to charge d’affaires, meaning “head of mission”, rather than appointing an ambassador.