Myanmar’s ambassador to Britain accused the military of occupying the embassy and barring him access, in an extraordinary diplomatic standoff a month after the envoy called for the military to release deposed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The latest development comes as the violence in Myanmar continues with at least 20 more people killed in the Sagaing and Bago regions, bringing to more than 600 the death toll from the military crackdown on protesters, the Myanmar Now news agency reported on Thursday, citing figures compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).
In London, protesters gathered outside the building in the Mayfair neighbourhood with the ambassador, Kyaw Zwar Minn, as reports emerged he had been locked out. When asked who was inside, he replied: “Defence attache, they occupy my embassy.”
The ambassador told the AFP news agency that he would stay outside the embassy “all night”, explaining “this is my building”.
Myanmar has been in turmoil since the army removed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi on February 1 ignited protests and international condemnation.
The military government recalled its ambassador to the UK last month after he issued a statement urging them to release Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint.
“Diplomacy is the only response and answer to the current impasse,” Kyaw Zwar Minn said in the statement that was shared by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on social media.
Britain’s Foreign Office, which has been a strong critic of the coup, said it was “seeking further information following an incident at Myanmar’s embassy in London,” and the Metropolitan Police said they were aware of the situation.
Kyaw Zwar Minn told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that “when I left the embassy, they stormed inside the embassy and took it.
“They said they received instruction from the capital, so they are not going to let me in,” he added, calling on the British government to intervene.
So apparently the police can’t enter the embassy as it counts as foreign (Burmese) soil.
They’re telling people to leave or they’ll fine them for breaking Covid regs.
— MiMi Aye (မီးမီးအေး) (@meemalee) April 7, 2021