Protests have erupted across the capital Yangon after Aung San Suu Kyi was detained on Monday morning (Feb 1) and MPs were arrested. Army chiefs seized power in a military coup.
The military said in a statement that ‘all authority has been given to the top army commander and a one-year state of emergency has been declared’. Reacting to events, The White House said it was ‘alarmed’ by the developments in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma. Spokesman Jen Psaki said: ‘We continue to affirm our strong support for Burma’s democratic institutions.’
America called for Aung San Suu Kyi to be released and threatened to ‘take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed’.
Burma was governed by Britain from 1824 to 1948, during which time it became the second-wealthiest country in Southeast Asia but following independence was ruled by the military until 2011 when democratic reforms began.