Myanmar Envoy Who Critiqued Coup Is Locked Out of London Embassy

Myanmar’s Ambassador to the U.K. Was Locked Out of London Embassy

Myanmar’s Ambassador to the U.K. Was Locked Out of London Embassy

Myanmar’s Ambassador to the U.K. Was Locked Out of London Embassy

LONDON — Myanmar’s ambassador to Britain was locked out of his own embassy on Wednesday, apparently in retaliation for having criticized Myanmar’s military, which seized power in February and has since launched a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

The embassy said in a statement that the envoy, Kyaw Zwar Minn, had been recalled to Myanmar on March 9, that his appointment had concluded at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, and that his deputy, Chit Win, had replaced him.

The episode drew a small crowd of protesters outside the Myanmar Embassy in London on Wednesday. And on Thursday, Mr. Kyaw Zwar Minn returned there to denounce the government for which he once worked.

“There was a coup in Myanmar in February. Now there is the same situation in central London,” said a spokesman for Mr. Kyaw Zwar Minn who read out a statement outside the embassy as he looked on, the BBC reported.

Embassy staff members were threatened with “severe punishment if they don’t continue to work for the military general,” the spokesman said, urging Britain’s government to send back the newly appointed ambassador.

Diplomatic sources confirmed that Mr. Kyaw Zwar Minn had been excluded from the embassy and that they had received formal notification of his removal from the role.

“We condemn the bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime in London yesterday,” Britain’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, said on Thursday. “The U.K. continues to call for an end to the coup and the appalling violence, and a swift restoration of democracy”

Last month, Mr. Kyaw Zwar Minn broke ranks with Myanmar’s military rulers by issuing a statement that called for the release of the detained civilian leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. “Diplomacy is the only response and answer to the current impasse,” he wrote in comments that remained on the embassy’s website on Wednesday night.

Mr. Raab praised “his courage and patriotism in standing up for what is right.”

“We join his call for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, and for a return to democratic rule,” Mr. Raab added.

The U.S. and British governments have announced financial sanctions against Myanmar’s military leadership and demanded the restoration of democracy. The Biden administration also suspended a trade pact with Myanmar after recent actions by the Tatmadaw, the country’s military, during the bloody suppression of protests.

Since February, thousands have been injured and more than 550 killed in the demonstrations, including many young protesters.

Mr. Kyaw Zwar Minn was not the first Myanmar diplomat to voice concern at the military takeover. In February, the country’s ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, criticized the country’s military rulers in front of the General Assembly. The government then said he no longer represented the country.

On Wednesday, London’s Metropolitan Police confirmed that a protest had taken place outside the Myanmar Embassy and that officers were on the scene to keep order, but said that no arrests had been made.




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