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Myanmar's UK envoy says military attache has 'occupied' embassy Myanmar's ex-UK envoy says military attaché has 'occupied' embassy
(31 minutes later)
Myanmar's ambassador to the UK Kyaw Zwar Minn speaks to a police officer outside the embassy in LondonMyanmar's ambassador to the UK Kyaw Zwar Minn speaks to a police officer outside the embassy in London
Myanmar's ambassador in London spent Wednesday night in his car after saying he was locked out of his embassy. Myanmar's ex-ambassador in London spent Wednesday night in his car after saying he was locked out of his embassy.
Kyaw Zwar Minn said staff were asked to leave the building by Myanmar's military attaché on Wednesday night, 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 dismissed as the country's representative.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has condemned the "bullying actions". British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has condemned the "bullying actions," but the UK has accepted the change.
Myanmar's military seized power in a coup on 1 February, sparking weeks of protests and escalating violence. Myanmar's military seized power in a coup on 1 February, sparking protests and escalating violence.
Kyaw Zwar Minn has criticised the military coup, and called for Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to be released.Kyaw Zwar Minn has criticised the military coup, and called for Myanmar's ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi to be released.
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
Through a spokesman out the front of the embassy, Kyaw Zwar Minn urged the UK government not to recognise the military junta's newly appointed ambassador, and to send them back to Myanmar. Through a spokesman out the front of the embassy on Thursday morning, Kyaw Zwar Minn urged the UK government not to recognise the military junta's newly appointed ambassador, and to send them back to Myanmar.
"There was a coup in Myanmar in February. Now there is the same situation in central London," he said, adding embassy staff were being threatened with "severe punishment if they don't continue to work for the military general"."There was a coup in Myanmar in February. Now there is the same situation in central London," he said, adding embassy staff were being threatened with "severe punishment if they don't continue to work for the military general".
Kyaw Zwar Minn (L) looked on as a statement was read out on his behalf outside the Myanmar embassy in LondonKyaw Zwar Minn (L) looked on as a statement was read out on his behalf outside the Myanmar embassy in London
Police were reportedly called to stop staff re-entering the building. Protesters gathered outside after news spread that the ambassador had been locked out.Police were reportedly called to stop staff re-entering the building. Protesters gathered outside after news spread that the ambassador had been locked out.
According to the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, an ambassador's job officially ends once the host country has been informed.According to the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations, an ambassador's job officially ends once the host country has been informed.
The Foreign Office confirmed it received the notification, and that it "must accept the decision taken by the Myanmar Government".The Foreign Office confirmed it received the notification, and that it "must accept the decision taken by the Myanmar Government".
We condemn the bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime in London yesterday, and I pay tribute to Kyaw Zwar Minn for his courage. The UK continues to call for an end to the coup and the appalling violence, and a swift restoration of democracyWe condemn the bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime in London yesterday, and I pay tribute to Kyaw Zwar Minn for his courage. The UK continues to call for an end to the coup and the appalling violence, and a swift restoration of democracy
Deputy ambassador Chit Win is said to have taken over as chargé d'affaires in London, Reuters reported, citing diplomats with knowledge of the matter. However, the Foreign Office said it has "received no formal notification of his replacement".Deputy ambassador Chit Win is said to have taken over as chargé d'affaires in London, Reuters reported, citing diplomats with knowledge of the matter. However, the Foreign Office said it has "received no formal notification of his replacement".
A chargé d'affaires serves as the head of a diplomatic mission in the absence of an ambassador.A chargé d'affaires serves as the head of a diplomatic mission in the absence of an ambassador.
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. In response, the Myanmar government issued a statement saying he had been summoned home, but he stayed in London.He maintained that his remarks were not "betraying the country", adding that he was standing on "middle" ground. In response, the Myanmar government issued a statement saying he had been summoned home, but he stayed in London.
"He's trying to work in the middle ground but there is no doubt which is the right side," the spokesman for Kyaw Zwar Minn said."He's trying to work in the middle ground but there is no doubt which is the right side," the spokesman for Kyaw Zwar Minn said.
It follows another day of deadly protests in Myanmar. In the northwest town of Taze, at least 11 anti-coup demonstrators were killed in clashes with security forces on Wednesday night. Local media are reporting the troops fired at protesters who fought back with hunting rifles and firebombs.
Myanmar's military seized power on 1 February after overthrowing the government and declared a state of emergency.Myanmar's military seized power on 1 February 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"