Diplomats loyal to Myanmar’s junta have seized the country’s embassy in London, leaving the Ambassador locked out in the street after he called for the release of ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The Ambassador, Kyaw Zwar Minn, said Wednesday the defence attache had taken over the mission in “a kind of coup”, an extraordinary diplomatic standoff that comes two months after the military seized power in Myanmar.
Zwar Minn added that the embassy staff were asked to leave the building by a representative of Myanmar’s military in the UK and he was told he was no longer the country’s representative.
“They are refusing to let me inside. They said they received instruction from the capital, so they are not going to let me in,” he said.
Zwar Minn had declared his opposition to the coup and issued a statement demanding the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the ruling party the National League for Democracy (NLD), and civilian leaders.
Daily protests demanding a return of democracy have rocked tthe country and brought a brutal response from the armed forces, with almost 600 civilians killed according to a local monitoring group.
At least 581 people in Myanmar have been killed since the country’s military seized control, said a Myanmar-based civil rights group.
The coup prompted several high-profile diplomatic defections including the country’s ambassador to the country’s ambassador to the United Nations.