Alarmed by the reports that the Myanmar military has taken steps to undermine country's democratic transition, including the arrest of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and few other civilian officials in Burma, Australia on February 1 expressed concern and called on the military to respect the law. Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne demanded Myanmar’s army immediately release de facto leader Suu Kyi, warning the military was again seeking to seize control of the country. Payne also added that Australia “strongly supports” the peaceful reconvening of the National Assembly.
Payne said, “The Australian Government is deeply concerned at reports the Myanmar military is once again seeking to seize control of Myanmar and has detained State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint”.
She added, “Australia is a long-standing supporter of Myanmar and its democratic transition. We call on the military to respect the rule of law, to resolve disputes through lawful mechanisms and to release immediately all civilian leaders and others who have been detained unlawfully. We strongly support the peaceful reconvening of the National Assembly, consistent with the results of the November 2020 general election”.
According to reports, a military coup has taken place in Myanmar and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained under house arrest. President U Win Myint and other senior officials of Myanmar have also been detained by the military. Online news portal Myanmar Now cited unidentified sources about the arrest of Suu Kyi and her party's chairperson early Monday and did not have further details. All communications to Naypyitaw appeared to have been cut and Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party could not be reached. Myanmar lawmakers were to gather Monday in the capital Naypyitaw for the first session of Parliament since last year's election, with tension lingering over recent comments by the military that were widely seen as threatening a coup.
Following the reports of the arrest, the United States vowed to take action against those responsible. White House Spokesperson Jen Psaki said that any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar's democratic transition will be opposed by the US. Urging the Myanmar military and all other parties to adhere to democratic norms and the rule of law and to release those detained, the US said that it continues to affirm its strong support for Burma's democratic institutions and in coordination with its regional partners, it will urge the military and all parties to adhere to all rules.