Alarmed by the reports that the Myanmar military has taken steps to undermine the country's democratic transition, including the arrest of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and few other civilian officials in Burma, the United States on Sunday 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. President Joe Biden has also been briefed by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
The statement issued by the White House Speaker read, "The US is alarmed by reports that the Burmese military has taken steps to undermine the country's democratic transition, including the arrest of State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian officials in Burma. President Biden has been briefed by NSA."
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 from Burma's democratic institutions and in coordination with its regional partners, it will urge the military and all parties to adhere to all rules. This statement by the White House comes hours after it was informed that Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint, and other senior officials of Myanmar have been detained by the military on Monday morning.
The White House said, "The US 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 aren't reversed. We're monitoring the situation closely and stand with the people of Burma."
Reports say a military coup has taken place in Myanmar and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained under house arrest. 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.
Suu Kyi captured 396 out of 476 seats in the combined lower and upper houses of Parliament, far above the 322 needed to secure a majority. But the army-drafted constitution of 2008 grants the military 25 per cent of the total seats, enough to block constitutional changes. Several key ministerial positions are also reserved for military appointees.
The 75-year-old Suu Kyi is by far the country's most dominant politician and became the country's leader after leading a decades-long nonviolent struggle against military rule. The military, known as the Tatmadaw, charged that there was massive voter fraud in the election, though it has failed to provide proof. The state Union Election Commission last week rejected its allegations.