Nations across the world call for restoration of democracy

Soldiers standing guard on a road leading to Myanmar's Parliament building in Naypyitaw yesterday, after the military detained the country's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. Above: Myanmar soldiers seen inside Yangon City Hal
Above: Myanmar soldiers seen inside Yangon City Hall yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS
Soldiers standing guard on a road leading to Myanmar's Parliament building in Naypyitaw yesterday, after the military detained the country's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. Above: Myanmar soldiers seen inside Yangon City Hal
A pro-democracy protester facing riot police in Bangkok yesterday, near where Myanmar migrants in Thailand were holding a demonstration after the military coup in Myanmar.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Soldiers standing guard on a road leading to Myanmar's Parliament building in Naypyitaw yesterday, after the military detained the country's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. Above: Myanmar soldiers seen inside Yangon City Hal
Soldiers standing guard on a road leading to Myanmar's Parliament building in Naypyitaw yesterday, after the military detained the country's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JAKARTA/WASHINGTON • Governments around the world called for the restoration of Myanmar's democracy yesterday after the military staged a coup, arresting civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians.

The 10-nation Asean bloc called for Myanmar to pursue "dialogue, reconciliation and the return to normalcy".

"We reiterate that the political stability in Asean member states is essential to achieving a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asean Community," the Asean chairman's statement said.

The statement said the principles enshrined in the Asean Charter include "the adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms".

Brunei is the current Asean chair.

Indonesia's Foreign Ministry urged all parties in Myanmar to adhere to democratic principles and constitutional government.

"Indonesia also underscores that all electoral differences be addressed in accordance with available legal mechanisms."

Malaysia's Foreign Ministry said: "Malaysia supports the continuation of discussion among Myanmar's leaders to avoid adverse consequences to the people and state of Myanmar, especially in the current, difficult Covid-19 pandemic situation."

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the military's move.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns the detention of State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other political leaders on the eve of the opening session of Myanmar's new Parliament," spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement. "These developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar."

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter condemned the military's seizure of power and called for the "immediate and unconditional release" of all those detained.

In Washington, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: "We call on Burmese military leaders to release all government officials and civil society leaders and respect the will of the people of Burma as expressed in democratic elections on Nov 8.

"The United States stands with the people of Burma in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace, and development. The military must reverse these actions immediately."

The White House warned of a response from Washington. "The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar's democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed," White House spokesman Jen Psaki said in a statement, adding that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the situation.

China called for all parties to "resolve their differences".

"China is a friendly neighbour of Myanmar and hopes the various parties in Myanmar will appropriately resolve their differences under the constitutional and legal framework to protect political and social stability," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said at a press briefing.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2021, with the headline 'Nations across the world call for restoration of democracy'. Subscribe