Myanmar: Voters queue to cast ballots in 2020 election
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Protestors have been killed in the Asian country of Myanmar which is currently embroiled in a political crisis following a military coup earlier in the year. Mass protests are currently taking place across the country following a general election in which incumbent leader San Suu Kyi’s NLD party won by a landslide.
UN special envoy on Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, said in New York: “Today it was the bloodiest day since the coup happened on the first of February.
“We had today 38 people died. We have now more than over 50 people died since the coup started, and many are wounded.”
Crowds have taken to the streets, most with homemade protection, in defiance of the military coup.
They are demanding democracy be restored to the country and for elected leaders to be released from detainment.
What has happened in Myanmar?
The military seized control of the country on February 1, overthrowing the election result.
San Suu Kyi is currently under house arrest and has been charged with possessing illegal communications equipment, violating Covid-19 restrictions and publishing information that may cause “fear or alarm.”
Military commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing has taken power.
He has been widely condemned internationally and sanctioned for his alleged role in the military’s attacks on ethnic minorities.
According to the United Nations, more than 50 people have been killed in unrest since February 1.
Where is Myanmar?
Myanmar is a country in South East Asia, formerly and sometimes more commonly known as Burma.
Some 54 million live there, and the main religion is Buddism.
Myanmar gained its independence from Britain in 1948, and was ruled by the armed forces from 1962 to 2011.
In 2011, a new Government came in to power, returning the country to civilian rule.
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Is it safe to travel to Myanmar?
International travel is currently prohibited by the UK Government due to the coronavirus lockdown, unless travel is absolutely necessary.
The current FCDO advice for travelling to Myanmar reads: “As of February 1, the Myanmar military has declared a state of emergency and assumed control.
“There are reports that figures in the Civilian Government, civil society and a foreign national have been detained by the military. Political tension and unrest is widespread since the military takeover.
“The British Embassy is following the situation carefully and will continue to update our Travel Advice.
“The military has shut down access to various internet platforms and reports of disruptions to wider internet, phone networks and ATMs are widespread.
“You are advised to stay home and stay safe.
“If you do need to collect essential provisions, you should do so quickly, avoiding crowds.
“There is a nationwide curfew imposed between 8pm and 4am until further notice.”
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