U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken request reports that the Burmese military took control of the country and arrested senior leaders--including Aung San Suu Kyi, its de facto leader--also called for the military to"reverse these actions promptly."
Myawaddy TV, that is controlled by the military, announced the takeover and also cited a section of the military-drafted constitution which allows the army to manage in times of national crisis. A state of emergency has been declared for a year.
The National League for Democracy, which will be led by Suu Kyi, said in a statement obtained by Reuters that those in the nation should reject the army activities.
"The activities of the army are activities to put the country back under a dictatorship," the announcement read. "I urge people not to accept this, to react and wholeheartedly to protest against the coup from the army."
President Biden was briefed on the unfolding situation by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
"We continue to confirm our strong support for Burma's democratic institutions and, in coordination with our regional partners, advocate the army and the other parties to adhere to democratic norms and the rule of law, and to release those detained today," she said. She explained the U.S. will"take action against those responsible" when the measures"are not reversed."
The takeover is a sharp change of the partial yet considerable progress toward democracy Myanmar made lately following five decades of military rule and international isolation that began in 1962. It would also be shocking fall from power for Suu Kyi, who headed the democracy struggle despite years under house arrest and also won a Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts. The BBC reported that the country had been ruled by the army until reforms began in 2011. The report said that the army did poorly at the November elections and Suu Kyi's party did"better than in 2015."
The army, however, maintains its activities are legally justified, although Suu Kyi's party spokesman in addition to many foreign observers have said it is in effect a coup. The commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, is said to be in control of the country. ABC News reported that he is accused of human rights abuses against the Rohingyas.
Thant Myint-U, a historian of Myanmar, told the New York Timesm the doorways in the nation simply opened into a"distinct, almost certainly future."
"Myanmar is a nation already at war with itself, awash in weapons, with millions barely able to feed themselves, deeply divided along religious and ethnic lines," he explained. He continued,"I'm not sure anybody will have the ability to control what comes next."