Biden calls on Myanmar military to relinquish power, release detainees

Published: February 5,2021 09:21 AM

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February 5, 2021: US President Joe Biden, on Thursday called on the military in Myanmar "to relinquish seized power "and free all officials and advocates detained.

February 5, 2021: US President Joe Biden, on Thursday called on the military in Myanmar, that took control of the country earlier this week through a coup, "to relinquish seized power "and free all officials and advocates detained.

Biden, speaking at the US Department of State also called for the restoration of telecommunications in the Southeast Asian country and to refrain from violence.

"We have been in close cooperation with our allies and partners in bringing together the international community to address the military coup in Burma (Myanmar). I have also been in touch with (Republican) leader McConnell to discuss the shared concerns about the situation and we are united in our resolve," Biden said during an address at the State Department.

He added, "There can be no doubt a democracy should never seek to overrule the will of the people or attempt to raise the outcome of a credible election. The military should relinquish the power they have seized, release advocates and officials they have detained lift the restrictions on telecommunications and refrain from violence."

The President further reiterated that Washington would work closely with its allies for the restoration of democracy and the rule of law "and impose consequences on those responsible".

Biden in a statement on Monday the United States may re-impose sanctions on Myanmar and that Washington will "stand up for democracy wherever it is under attack."

Myanmar Army has temporarily blocked Facebook and other messaging services in the name of public interest and state stability, Xinhua reported citing a statement issued by Telenor, one of the four operators running in the country.

The statement said all mobile operators, international gateways and internet service providers in the country received a directive from Myanmar's Ministry of Transport and Communications to block social media platform Facebook. This comes days after the country's army wrested control of the democratically elected government and detained several civilians leaders.

Myanmar's military launched a coup on Monday morning and detained Aung San Suu Kyi, Win Myint and other National League for Democracy (NLD) members.

The military announced a one-year state of emergency in the country, vowing to "take action" against alleged voter fraud during the November 8 general election, which saw Suu Kyi's NLD party win resoundingly.

The military also said it was committed to the democratic system and vowed to hold new and fair elections after the state of emergency ends.