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Myanmar ambassador to UK 'locked out' of London embassy Myanmar's UK envoy says military attache has 'occupied' embassy
(about 5 hours later)
Myanmar's ambassador to the UK Kyaw Zwar Minn (R) speaks to a police officer outside the embassy in LondonMyanmar's ambassador to the UK Kyaw Zwar Minn (R) speaks to a police officer outside the embassy in London
Myanmar's ambassador in London says he has been locked out of his embassy.Myanmar's ambassador in London says he has been locked out of his embassy.
Kyaw Zwar Minn said staff were asked to leave the building by Myanmar's military attaché and he was told he was no longer the country's representative.Kyaw Zwar Minn said staff were asked to leave the building by Myanmar's military attaché and he was told he was no longer the country's representative.
"I have been locked out," he told Reuters news agency."I have been locked out," he told Reuters news agency.
Myanmar's military seized power in a coup on 1 February, sparking weeks of protests and escalating violence. Kyaw Zwar Minn has called for the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.Myanmar's military seized power in a coup on 1 February, sparking weeks of protests and escalating violence. Kyaw Zwar Minn has called for the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
More than 500 people - including dozens of children - have been killed so far as pro-democracy protesters demand a return to power of elected leader Ms Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.More than 500 people - including dozens of children - have been killed so far as pro-democracy protesters demand a return to power of elected leader Ms Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party.
Myanmar coup: What is happening and why?Myanmar coup: What is happening and why?
Aung San Suu Kyi: Democracy icon who fell from graceAung San Suu Kyi: Democracy icon who fell from grace
Kyaw Zwar Minn described Wednesday's events as "a kind of coup, in the middle of London", Reuters reported. "This kind of coup is not going to happen," he added.Kyaw Zwar Minn described Wednesday's events as "a kind of coup, in the middle of London", Reuters reported. "This kind of coup is not going to happen," he added.
The ambassador was pictured standing on the street outside Myanmar's embassy in London's Mayfair speaking to officers from the Metropolitan Police force.The ambassador was pictured standing on the street outside Myanmar's embassy in London's Mayfair speaking to officers from the Metropolitan Police force.
Burmese community in London currently gathering at #Myanmar embassy over the news of the embassy being seized by the regime. The police are seen there. Ambassador is reportedly blocked from entering the building. Livehttps://t.co/qriPYPfY8J#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/uKS9UrATFOBurmese community in London currently gathering at #Myanmar embassy over the news of the embassy being seized by the regime. The police are seen there. Ambassador is reportedly blocked from entering the building. Livehttps://t.co/qriPYPfY8J#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar pic.twitter.com/uKS9UrATFO
Police were reportedly called to stop staff re-entering the building.Police were reportedly called to stop staff re-entering the building.
Protesters have since been gathering outside the embassy.Protesters have since been gathering outside the embassy.
In March, Kyaw Zwar Minn called for the release of Ms Suu Kyi and told the BBC that Myanmar was "divided" and could be at risk of civil war.In March, Kyaw Zwar Minn called for the release of Ms Suu Kyi and told the BBC that Myanmar was "divided" and could be at risk of civil war.
He maintained that his remarks were not "betraying the country", adding that he was standing on "middle" ground.He maintained that his remarks were not "betraying the country", adding that he was standing on "middle" ground.
The ambassador, who is a former military colonel, was praised by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who commended his "courage and patriotism".The ambassador, who is a former military colonel, was praised by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who commended his "courage and patriotism".
Deputy ambassador Chit Win is said to have taken over as charge d'affairs in London, Reuters reported, citing diplomats with knowledge of the matter.Deputy ambassador Chit Win is said to have taken over as charge d'affairs in London, Reuters reported, citing diplomats with knowledge of the matter.
A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office told the BBC that it was "seeking clarification on the current status of the Myanmar ambassador in London, in line with diplomatic protocol".A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office told the BBC that it was "seeking clarification on the current status of the Myanmar ambassador in London, in line with diplomatic protocol".
Myanmar's military seized power in the country after overthrowing the government and declared a state of emergency.Myanmar's military seized power in the country after overthrowing the government and declared a state of emergency.
Just days later, a protest movement began to emerge, which quickly gained momentum, leading to hundreds of thousands of people taking part in street protests.Just days later, a protest movement began to emerge, which quickly gained momentum, leading to hundreds of thousands of people taking part in street protests.
Last week, Ms Suu Kyi was charged with breaking a colonial-era official secrets law, which carries a term of up to 14 years in prison.Last week, Ms Suu Kyi was charged with breaking a colonial-era official secrets law, which carries a term of up to 14 years in prison.
Myanmar coup: How did we get here?Myanmar coup: How did we get here?
Myanmar in profileMyanmar in profile
Myanmar, also known as Burma, became independent from Britain in 1948. For much of its modern history it has been under military ruleMyanmar, also known as Burma, became independent from Britain in 1948. For much of its modern history it has been under military rule
Restrictions began loosening from 2010 onwards, leading to free elections in 2015 and the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the following yearRestrictions began loosening from 2010 onwards, leading to free elections in 2015 and the installation of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the following year
In 2017, Myanmar's army responded to attacks on police by Rohingya militants with a deadly crackdown, driving more than half a million Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in what the UN later called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing"In 2017, Myanmar's army responded to attacks on police by Rohingya militants with a deadly crackdown, driving more than half a million Rohingya Muslims across the border into Bangladesh in what the UN later called a "textbook example of ethnic cleansing"