Suu Kyi and other top officials were detained the day before the newly elected legislature was due to take office in November.
“Do not accept this, you must respond and protest wholeheartedly against the military conspiracy,” according to a statement bearing Suu Kyi’s name, but not his signature. “People only matter.”
A handwritten note at the bottom of the report Posted on Facebook Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, or NLD, said it was written in the hope that the military would seize power on Monday.
The NLD won 83 percent of the vote in the November election, and the country’s election commission has denied the allegations. The military has declared a state of emergency for a year, after which elections will be held.
Army chief Miang Aung-hliang will now head the government, according to the military-controlled Miyawati TV. The military said it had seized control in response to “election fraud”.
It then removed 24 ministers and named 11 alternatives to oversee the ministries, including finance, defense, foreign affairs and home affairs, Reuters reported. NBC News could not immediately confirm the report.
Troops and riot police stood in Yangon, where residents rushed to markets and stored goods, while others lined up at ATMs to withdraw money.
Koki Nakajima, a 34-year-old restaurant in Yangon, told NBC News that he saw Burmese military supporters celebrating the coup in flat-bed lorries in the city and played loud music.
The military, which wrote Myanmar’s 2008 constitution, holds 25 percent of the country’s parliamentary seats, as well as controlling the ministries of defense, interior and border.
The announcement on military-owned television cited the country’s constitution, which allows for military takeovers in times of emergency. The announcer said the corona virus crisis and the government’s failure to postpone the November elections were reasons for the emergency.
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The military drafted the constitution in 2008 and retains power under the constitution at the expense of democratic, civilian rule. The New York-based International Campaigner Human Rights Watch described the rule as a “waiting coup mechanism”.
The acquisition was quickly condemned outside the country. The United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia and Singapore have all called for Suu Kyi’s release.
“America stands with the people of Burma in the aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace and development.” Secretary of State Anthony Blingen said, Used the country’s name until it was replaced by the ruling military junta in 1989.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has expressed “grave concern over the announcement of the transfer of all legislative, executive and judicial powers to the military.”
On Monday, pro-Suu Kyi protests took place in Bangkok, where protesters launched a lengthy campaign against military influence in Thai society.
Bill Robertson, deputy Asian director of Human Rights Watch, called the military’s justification for the acquisition a “prepared excuse.”
“Our nightmare came true,” he said.
Suu Kyi, 75, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, won a landslide election victory in 2015 after 15 years under house arrest.
His reputation was tarnished after hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled Military harassment in 2017, But she is popular at home.
Dinsar Shunli Yi, a human rights activist in Yangon, said he was happy to see history repeat itself, marking the NLD’s 1990 landslide election.
“The military has used the same tactics when they disagree on the outcome of an election,” he said.
“We are concerned about how long this conspiracy will last,” he added. “Before they did this in 1962, it lasted for decades.”
Patrick Smith from London, Riya Mogul reported from Hong Kong.
This article was contributed by Reuters.
Correction (Feb. 1, 2021, 9:25 am): An earlier version of this article misrepresented the capital of Myanmar. This is Naypyidaw, not Yangon.
Don Liu and Eric Baculino Contributed.