As the US government discusses whether the military’s seizure of power in Myanmar on Monday (1st) will be seen as a coup – which would result in further sanctions against the Asian country – the general who took over the country after arresting its civilian opponents said, in his first statement on duty, that the point reached by the country was inevitable.
“Despite repeated requests from Tatmadaw [Exército de Mianmar], this path was inevitably chosen for the country, “said General Min Aung Hlaing.” Until the next government is formed after the next election, we must run the country. “
According to the general, holding a new election and fighting the coronavirus pandemic will be the priorities of the military junta which began to rule the country after declaring a state of emergency for at least a year.
The coup has been severely criticized by the international community. Political leaders of different nationalities have called for the restoration of the democratically elected government and the release of all civilian prisoners. The Brazilian government has so far not commented on the case.
Folha requested a position from the Foreign Ministry, but the ministry said the issue was being analyzed by the technical sector and there was no deadline for a definition.
Among those detained by the Burmese military are State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other leaders of the National League for Democracy (LND), the party that won the November elections in receiving 83% of the vote.
US President Joe Biden called the takeover a direct attack on Myanmar’s democratic transition.
“We will work with our partners in the region and around the world to support the restoration of democracy and the rule of law, as well as to hold those responsible for reversing the democratic transition,” said on Monday. American leader in a statement.
Biden also said the Burmese people “have worked hard to establish elections, civilian governance and a peaceful transfer of power” and that “these advances must be respected.”
“The United States Withdrawn Sanctions Against Burma [antigo nome de Mianmar] over the past decade on the basis of progress towards democracy, “the US president continued.” Reversing this progress will require an immediate review of our sanctions laws, followed by appropriate action.
Prior to Biden, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki and Secretary of State Antony Blinken had voiced the U.S. government’s position, but none of the three called the takeover a coup.
The designation goes beyond a simple choice of words, however, precisely because it may be a deciding factor in the resumption of the sanctions referred to by Biden.
Officials interviewed anonymously by the US press said the State Department’s legal sector still conducts legal and factual analysis, but the events in Myanmar “have all the makings” to be considered a coup.
There is no legal obligation for the United States to officially declare a military coup, but the government can make this decision if it sees fit in the interest of national security.
If this happens, the Biden administration is also legally prevented from maintaining assistance programs for the Burmese government, but it can continue to send humanitarian aid which, in theory, does not go through the military.
In its Twitter profile, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said on Monday that it “is carefully monitoring and evaluating the potential impacts [do posicionamento oficial dos EUA] on agency programs as the situation evolves. “
“The safety of our teams and partners is our top priority,” continued USAID.
Along with the European Union, the United States first imposed sanctions on Myanmar in 1997, in response to allegations of human rights violations and failure to recognize the outcome of the 1990 election. At the time, the LND won the first multiparty election in 30 years but was prevented from taking power, taken by the military from 1962 to 2011.
In 2019, the Donald Trump administration imposed new sanctions on the Commander of the Myanmar Armed Forces, the same general who has now taken power in the country. Aung Hlaing and other Burmese officials have been barred from entering the United States in response to human rights violations against the Rohingya, a Muslim minority concentrated in the west of the country.
The Biden government’s stance could also end up opening the door to China’s growing influence over Myanmar. Beijing is already the main regional ally of the Burmese and, according to the spokesman for Chinese diplomacy, the Xi Jinping regime is “in the process of better understanding the situation” in Myanmar.
Chronology of Myanmar’s political history
1948: Former British colony, Myanmar becomes an independent country 1962: General Ne Win abolishes the Constitution of 1947 and establishes a military regime 1974: Beginning of the first post-independence constitution 1988: The violent repression of demonstrations against the military regime generates international critics 1990: National League for Democracy (LND), in opposition to the regime, wins the first multiparty election in 30 years and is prevented from coming to power 1991: Aung San Suu Kyi, of the LND, wins the Nobel Prize in peace 1997: US and EU impose sanctions on Myanmar for human rights violations and disrespect for 2008 election results: Assembly approves new Constitution 2011: Thein Sein, retired general, is elected president and the military regime is dissolved 2015: The LND obtains the majority in both houses of Parliament 2016: Htin Kyaw is elected the first civilian president since 1962 coup and Suu Kyi assumes the post of State Councilor, equivalent to that of Prime Minister 2018: Kyaw resigns and Win Myi nt assumes the 2020 presidency: in the legislative elections, the LND receives 83% of the vote and defeats pro-military party 2021: army alleges election fraud, arrests LND leaders, seizes power with new coup