In this file photo taken on 14 March 2016, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi (R) is accompanied by Lower House speaker Win Myint (L) after a meeting of National League for Democracy (NLD) members of parliament in Naypyidaw.
In this file photo taken on 14 March 2016, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi (R) is accompanied by Lower House speaker Win Myint (L) after a meeting of National League for Democracy (NLD) members of parliament in Naypyidaw.
AFP

The United States expressed alarm on the reports of a coup in Myanmar and urged the military to adhere to democratic norms and the rule of law, and release those detained today.

Myanmar military has declared a state of emergency in the country for one year, hours after detaining civilian leaders, including State Councillor Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint. Telecommunications in the capital city of Naypyitaw and some other regions and states are also being cut off.

A statement issued by the White House said the US expressed alarm at the reports that the Burmese military has taken steps to undermine the country’s democratic transition, including the arrest of Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian officials in Burma.

"President Biden has been briefed by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan. We continue to affirm our strong support for Burma’s democratic institutions and, in coordination with our regional partners, urge the military and all other parties to adhere to democratic norms and the rule of law, and to release those detained today," the statement by White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

"The United States opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed. We are monitoring the situation closely and stand with the people of Burma, who have already endured so much in their quest for democracy and peace."

In the early morning raids, Aung San Suu Kyi, U Win Myint, and other senior officials were detained by the Myanmar military.

Myo Nyunt, spokesperson of the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) told Xinhua: "I received internal reports about our state councillor and the president being taken by the military. As far as I was informed, Shan State's Planning and Finance Minister U Soe Nyunt Lwin, Kayah state's NLD chairman Thaung Htay, and some NLD representatives of the Ayeyarwady region's parliament have been detained."

"Two members of Central Executive Committee of the party were taken, and I am also waiting to be detained as I was informed by our members that my turn will come shortly," he added.

This comes in the wake of tensions between the government and military, stoking fears of a coup. The country was under military rule till 2011. Aung San Suu Kyi spent many years under house arrest and returned to power as state councillor following an election.

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