The Burmese army staged a coup on February 1 after the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi won elections in November. The military arrested members of the civilian government and charged Aung San Suu Kyi and his party with electoral fraud, among others.
Ambassador to London Kyaw Zwar Minn has broken with the junta in recent weeks and called for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. Yesterday, the ambassador told Reuters news agency he had been locked out. “It’s kind of a coup in the heart of London,” he said right outside the embassy building. “You can see they’ve occupied my building.” The ambassador said he was in consultation with the British Foreign Office.
Four diplomatic sources claim that Deputy Ambassador Chit Win has taken over the management of the embassy and that he and the military attaché have expelled the ambassador. The ambassador spoke with protesters outside the embassy building. When Kyaw Zwar Minn called for Aung San Suu Kyi’s release last month, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab praised his courage.
“This is my building. I have to go in. That’s why I’m waiting here,” the ambassador told reporters last night. Britain’s Foreign Office said it is currently investigating the situation at the Myanmar embassy.
Kyaw Zwar Minn is not the first Burmese diplomat to face the military junta. UN Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun also spoke out against the military coup. He called for international sanctions against the military regime. When the army wanted to replace him, Kyaw Moe Tun refused to give up his post, saying he represented the democratically elected government of Myanmar.