The military has seized power in Myanmar and detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected leaders including President U Win Myint from the ruling party. These disturbing developments have put the country earlier known as Burma in deep crisis. Following the coup, Myanmar military declared a state of emergency in the country for one year and the state power has been handed over to Commander-in-Chief of Defense Services Min Aung Hlaing, while Myanmar’s first Vice-President Myint Swe will serve as the acting president of the country.
Alleging the recent landslide election win by Ms Suu Kyi’s party was marred by fraud, the Myanmar military said on Monday the new election in the country will be held after the end of the one-year emergency. Suu Kyi urged her supporters that the military’s actions would put the country back under a dictatorship. Many pro-democracy supporters took to the streets of the main city, Yangon and expressed their fear of feeling that their hard-fought battle for democracy had been lost.
US President Joe Biden said on Monday the United States may re-impose sanctions on Myanmar in connection in response to the military coup. Biden called out these developments as a direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the rule of law and said that Washington will “stand up for democracy wherever it is under attack.” Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi rose to international acclaim after she spent nearly 15 years in detention between 1989 and 2010.
The United States had earlier removed sanctions on Burma over the past decade based on progress toward democracy. However, following the coup Biden suggested there might be an immediate review of sanction laws and authorities which would be followed by appropriate action. Hailed as a beacon of democracy Suu Kyi received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. But the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar made her expose to criticism worldwide as she was unable to condemn the actions of the military towards the linguistic indigenous community.