“It is time for the army to immediately relinquish power and release detainees,” he said. “We will continue to fight for a government that is of the people, of the people, for the people.”
Tun’s surprise statement elicited not only applause but also praise from speaker after speaker at the assembly meeting, including ambassadors representing the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the new US Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield, who joined others in calling it “brave.”
She said the United States was “in solidarity” with the people of Myanmar who were on the streets protesting the coup, and reiterated President Joe Biden’s warning to “show the military that their actions have consequences” and his appeal to the military to “give up power immediately.”
The assembly meeting was convened to hear a briefing by UN special envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener, who said it was time to “sound the alarm” over the coup, ongoing constitutional violations and a reversal of reforms initiated by Suu Kyi, who had previously was de facto head of government.
She pointed to the limitations of the Internet and communication services, the detention of about 700 people according to the Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners in Myanmar.
Huge protests in the country are not due to fighting between the Suu Kyi party and the military, she said, “it’s a people’s fight without weapons.”
Addressing diplomatic representatives of the General Assembly by video link, Schraner Burgener called on “all of you to collectively send a clear signal in support of democracy in Myanmar.”
The military takeover in Myanmar on February 1 shocked the international community and turned the years of slow progress towards democracy. The Suu Kyi party was due to be appointed for a second five-year term that day, but the military blocked Parliament from convening and detaining her, President Win Myint and other top members of her government.
The Myanmar military says it took power because the November elections were marked by widespread voting irregularities, a claim refuted by the state election commission, whose members have since been replaced by the ruling junta. The junta said it would rule for a year in a state of emergency and then hold new polls.
Schraner Burgener told the General Assembly that “democratically elected representatives could have been sworn in under the constitution on February 4 and formed a Committee representing Pyidaung Hluttaw known as the CRPH” and sought to “fulfill their obligations to serve the people who voted for them.” “
Thun, the ambassador to Myanmar, began his address to the assembly by reading a CRPH statement stressing the legitimacy of the election results, saying the military had overthrown a democratically elected government, calling for mass opposition and stressing that “now is not the time for the international community to tolerates war crimes ”and coup.
“We ask the international community to take action,” the parliamentarians said in a statement.
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