Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations will remain in office for the time being. The diplomat Kyaw Moe Tun had turned against the military who have seized power in his home country. They then tried to fire him for “high treason”.
Kyaw Moe Tun’s resignation had created confusion about who represents Myanmar at the UN in New York. The new military regime is not recognized internationally. The UN ambassador had condemned the coup in an emotional speech and then raised three fingers. Protesters use that gesture.
The junta reacted furiously to the speech and ordered Kyaw Moe Tun to be replaced by his second man, who then resigned. Myanmar’s UN mission has now announced that Kyaw Moe Tun will continue to represent his country.
The coup also puts other Myanmar diplomats in a difficult position. Myanmar’s embassy in Washington condemned the deaths of civilians protesting against the coup. Indeed, a diplomat has resigned, and several colleagues stated on social media that they support the demonstrators.
In Myanmar, there have been large-scale demonstrations against the seizure of power by the army for weeks. That arrested government leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1. Police, according to witnesses, opened fire on Friday against civilians demonstrating in Mandalay, the country’s second city. Indeed, one person died.
Not all police officers support the crackdown on protesters, which has so far claimed dozens of lives. At least nineteen agents have fled to neighbouring India. They feared they would be prosecuted if they refused to obey orders, a senior Indian police official said.