World Exclusive: Myanmar U.N. envoy formally stakes claim as legitimate representative
Facebook removed the main page of Myanmar military as protests continue following a military coup
The military, known as the Tatmadaw, staged a coup on February 1, detaining officials over debunked claims of voter fraud during their election.Insider has reached out to Facebook for comment, but a spokesperson told Reuters: "In line with our global policies, we've removed the Tatmadaw True News Information Team Page from Facebook for repeated violations of our Community Standards prohibiting incitement of violence and coordinating harm.
By Michelle Nichols
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Myanmar's ambassador to the United Nations in New York formally staked his claim as the country's legitimate representative in letters - seen by Reuters on Tuesday - to the U.N. General Assembly president and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Myanmar state television announced on Saturday that Kyaw Moe Tun had been fired for betraying the country, a day after he urged countries to use "any means necessary" to reverse a Feb. 1 coup that ousted the nation's elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Killing of protesters fuels anti-coup demonstrations in Myanmar
Three people have now been killed by security forces defending the military's takeover, but the deaths are only adding fuel to the pro-democracy movement's fire.The massive show of people power has yielded images that have gone viral on social media around the world, as peaceful demonstrators defied a foreboding warning from the military junta that seized power early this month.
"The perpetrators of the unlawful coup against the democratic government of Myanmar have no authority to countermand the legitimate authority of the president of my country," Kyaw Moe Tun wrote on Monday to Blinken and Volkan Bozkir, president of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly.
"I wish therefore to confirm to you that I remain Myanmar's permanent representative to the United Nations," he said, adding that President Win Myint and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi appointed him last year and they remain lawfully elected to their roles.
Reuters was unable to reach the military authorities for comment.
The United Nations does not officially recognize the junta as Myanmar's new government as it has received no official notification of any change in government or U.N. representation.
Myanmar police deploy early to crank up pressure on protests
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — Police in Myanmar on Saturday escalated their crackdown on demonstrators against this month’s military takeover, deploying early and in force as protesters sought to assemble in the country's two biggest cities. Myanmar’s crisis took a dramatic turn Friday on the international stage when the country’s ambassador to the United Nations at a special session of the General Assembly declared his loyalty to the ousted civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi and called on the world to pressure the military to cede power.
"We have not received any communication concerning changes in the representation of Myanmar here at the U.N. in New York," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday. "And nor have our colleagues in protocol received any information from the Permanent Mission in Myanmar on any changes in the government."
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has pledged to mobilize global pressure "to make sure that this coup fails."
As the United States hosts United Nations headquarters in New York City, Kyaw Moe Tun also asked Blinken to "continue to support my work with the immunities customary to this role."
"We have not seen any official evidence or request that he be removed and for the time being he is the representative of the Myanmar government," U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, told reporters on Monday.
If the Myanmar junta, led by General Min Aung Hlaing, tries to seek international recognition by installing a new U.N. envoy it could set off a fight at the world body that could culminate with a vote at the General Assembly.
Myanmar protesters undeterred after deadliest day since coup
Killing of 18 pro-democracy protesters by security forces and new charges against Aung San Suu Kyi have done nothing to quell anger at military rulers in the streets.In Yangon, the country's most populous city and former capital, some demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at police. Others snuffed out smoking tear gas canisters fired by security forces. Videos posted to social media showed several people with bullet wounds being rushed away from protest sites to waiting ambulances in the southeastern town of Dawei.
The United Nations has previously had to address competing claims for representation at the world body.
In September 2011, the General Assembly approved a Libyan request to accredit envoys of the country’s interim government. The move came after the United States, Russia, China and European nations had all recognized the new authorities.
Elected lawmakers ousted in the Myanmar coup have formed a committee and Kyaw Moe Tun told the U.N. General Assembly on Friday that is the “legitimate and duly elected government of Myanmar and must be recognized by the international community as such.”
Thomas-Greenfield said on Monday she hopes to use Washington's presidency of the U.N. Security Council in March to push for more "intense discussions" on Myanmar. The Security Council has voiced concern over the state of emergency, but stopped short of condemning the coup due to opposition by Russia and China.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, Editing by Howard Goller)
Myanmar police who fled to India say they refused orders to shoot protesters .
When Tha Peng was ordered to shoot at protesters with his submachine gun to disperse them in the Myanmar town of Khampat on February 27, the police lance corporal said he refused. © Stringer/Getty Images Military soldiers walk down a street with weapons that contain live ammunition after clashes with protesters on March 3 in Yangon, Myanmar. "The next day, an officer called to ask me if I will shoot," he said. The 27-year-old refused again, and then resigned from the force.