Myanmar’s permanent representative to UN removed for opposing military regime, hundreds of protesters arrested

After Myanmar’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Kyaw Maung Tun claimed to represent Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s democratically elected government and called on the UN to “use any means necessary” to work toward restoring democracy in the country, the military government subsequently announced that it was removing Kyaw Maung Tun from his post as ambassador to the UN, and the military stepped up its crackdown on demonstrations across the country.

Myanmar’s military staged a coup on February 1, arresting elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and many senior members of her party, the National League for Democracy, in a coup that triggered hundreds of thousands of people to take to the streets in protest. AFP reports that Myanmar authorities have stepped up their forceful crackdown on anti-coup protests, using tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators and, in some cases, live ammunition.

We need the international community to take further and strongest action to immediately end this military coup, stop the crackdown on innocent people and restore democracy and return power to the people,” Kyaw Moe Tun, Myanmar’s permanent representative to the United Nations, told the 193-member General Assembly on Friday. Kyaw Maung Tun also implored his “brothers and sisters” in Burma to continue their struggle. Kyaw Maung Tun concluded by raising his three fingers in salute to the protesters, saying, “This revolution must be won. The three-finger gesture has become a symbol of resistance to the military government.

Myanmar’s state-run television announced Saturday night that Kyaw Maung Tun “is no longer Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations. Myanmar Radio and Television also said, “Kyaw Moe Tun’s disobedience of state orders and instructions and his betrayal of the country are the reasons for his removal from his post as of today.”

Anti-coup demonstrations in Burma reportedly continued, with local media reporting the death of a woman shot in Monywa city. The junta and made mass arrests of protesters. Rights groups say hundreds of people have been arrested, mostly from Monywa city, and taken to prison by dozens of buses.