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Aung San Suu Kyi urges people to protest against military coup

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Aung San Suu Kyi urges people to protest against military coup
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Yangon: Myanmar's ousted State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has called upon the people to protest against the coup staged by the military on Monday, hours after it detained her and other senior members of her ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

On Monday morning, Myanmar military announced that it has taken control of the country for one year.

National League for Democracy released on statement on behalf of the arrested leader saying that people should not conform to the coup and should agitate.

The state which was purportedly written before Monday's coup had taken place, said that the actions of the military were actions to put the country back under a dicatatorship.

The coup came after days of escalating tension between the civilian government and the powerful military that stirred fears of a coup in the aftermath of an election the army says was fraudulent.

NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt told Reuters by phone that Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders had been "taken" in the early hours of the morning.

Phone lines to Naypyitaw, the capital, were not reachable in the early hours of Monday. Parliament had been due to start sitting there on Monday after a November election in which the NLD had won in a landslide.

A military spokesman has not answered phone calls seeking comment.

A witness said soldiers had been deployed outside city hall in the main city of Yangon.

State-run MRTV television said in a Facebook post that it was unable to broadcast due to technical issues.

Another of those detained was Han Thar Myint, a member of the party's central executive committee, an NLD lawmaker, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, said.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi, 75, came to power after a 2015 landslide election win that followed decades of house arrest in a struggle for democracy that turned her into an international icon.

Her international standing was damaged after hundreds of thousands of Rohingya fled army operations into refuge from Myanmar's western Rakhine state in 2017, but she remains hugely popular at home.

Myanmar's military had said on Saturday it would protect and abide by the constitution and act according to law after comments earlier in the week had raised fears of a coup.

Myanmar's election commission has rejected the military's allegations of vote fraud, saying there were no errors big enough to affect the credibility of the vote.

The constitution reserves 25% of seats in parliament for the military and control of three key ministries in Suu Kyi's administration.

Murray Hiebert, a Southeast Asia expert at Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, said the development was a challenge for the new US administration of President Joe Biden.

"The US as recently as Friday had joined other nations in urging the military not to move forward on its coup threats. China will stand by Myanmar like it did when the military kicked out the Rohingya," he said.

"The Biden Administration has said it will support democracy and human rights. But the top military officers are already sanctioned so it's not clear immediately clear what concretely the US can do quickly."

"Myanmar's military had never submitted to civilian rule and called on the United States and other countries to impose "strict and directed economic sanctions" on the military leadership and its economic interests, John Sifton, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, said.

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TAGS:Aung san suu kyi Myanmar 
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