Myanmar’s ambassador to Britain accused a figure linked to the Yangon army of occupying the embassy and preventing him from entering it, in an extraordinary diplomatic standoff a month after the envoy called the army to free deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The latest development comes as violence in Myanmar continues with at least 20 more people killed in Sagaing and Bago regions, bringing the death toll from the military crackdown on protesters to more than 600, the Myanmar Now news agency, citing figures. compiled by the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners (AAPP).
In London, protesters gathered outside the building in Mayfair with Ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn as reports revealed he had been locked out. When asked who was inside, he replied, “Defense attaché, they are occupying my embassy.”
The ambassador told AFP news agency that he would stay in front of the embassy “all night”, explaining “it’s my building”.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 sparked protests and international condemnation.
So apparently the police cannot enter the embassy because it counts as foreign (Burmese) soil.
They tell people to leave or they will fine them for breaking Covid regulations.
– MiMi Aye (@meemalee) April 7, 2021
The military government recalled its ambassador to the UK last month after issuing a statement urging them to release Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.
“Diplomacy is the only answer and answer to the current impasse,” Kyaw Zwar Minn said in a statement shared by British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on social media.
The British Foreign Office, which sharply criticized the coup, said it was “seeking further information following an incident at the Myanmar embassy in London”, and the Metropolitan Police have stated that she was aware of the situation.
Kyaw Zwar Minn told the Daily Telegraph that “When I left the embassy, they broke into the embassy and took it.
“They said they received instructions from the capital, so they are not going to let me in,” he added, calling on the British government to intervene.
– Wa Lone (@ walone4) April 7, 2021
Abuse of rights case
Demonstrations calling for the return of democracy and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi have rocked Myanmar almost daily since the coup.
Officials, doctors and other key workers have stopped working as part of a civil disobedience movement aimed at preventing the military from ruling the country.
In response, security forces used rubber bullets and live ammunition to disperse the rallies and arrested thousands of activists.
International powers have expressed anger and dismay at the military government’s brutal approach and have imposed sanctions on key officials.
But while the UN Security Council condemned the deaths of civilians, it stopped before considering sanctions, with China and Russia against the move.
And so far diplomatic pressure appears to have little effect on the bloodshed.
A group representing the overthrown civilian government said on Wednesday it had gathered 180,000 pieces of evidence showing human rights violations by the military government, including torture and extrajudicial killings.
A lawyer from the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Representation Committee (CRPH) – a group of lawmakers from Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party – met with UN investigators on Wednesday to discuss the atrocities presumed.
“This evidence shows large-scale human rights violations by the military,” the group said in a statement.
They include more than 540 extrajudicial executions, 10 deaths of prisoners in custody, torture, unlawful detentions and the disproportionate use of force against peaceful protests, the statement said.
Nearly 50 of the dead were children.
With many protesters now in hiding to escape arrest, the military government is increasingly taking their family members hostage, according to the AAPP.
‘Destroy the country’
The head of the military authorities, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, insisted they had treated the protests “democratically” in a speech reported by state media on Wednesday.
He accused the protest movement of wanting to “destroy the country” and said only 248 protesters were killed, along with 16 police officers.
Robert Volterra, a lawyer for the CRPH – who claims the right to speak on behalf of the country instead of the military government – spoke to the UN Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar on Wednesday and said further meetings were scheduled for the next few days.
Human rights group Amnesty International reported last month that the military government used weapons on the battlefield against unarmed protesters and carried out premeditated killings orchestrated by their commanders.
The growing bloodshed has prompted warnings that Myanmar could slide into a larger civil war.
In addition to breaking down protests and making arrests, security forces have also sought to cut news of the crisis, limiting access to the internet and independent media.
In response, some activists launched a daily two-page newsletter called Voice of Spring, collecting reports from independent media and posting on Twitter.