Myanmar ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn ousted from London embassy

Minn urges UK government not to recognise junta's envoy and to send them back to Myanmar

Myanmar's ambassador to the UK, who is locked out of his embassy by representatives of his country's military, urged the UK government on Thursday not to recognise the junta's envoy and to send them back to Myanmar.

"The ambassador has been recalled by the Myanmar military regime – since then he has stopped following instructions from the Myanmar foreign ministry," ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn said through a spokesman.

"We believe the UK government would not back those who are working for the military junta and we also would like to urge the UK government to send them back," the ambassador said.

Mr Minn said he was locked out of the embassy on Wednesday by military regime loyalists, a move condemned by the British government.

Mr Minn broke ranks with the ruling junta in recent weeks, calling for the release of detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The military seized power in Myanmar in a coup in February and cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

"I have been locked out," Mr Minn told Reuters outside the embassy in central London.

"It's a kind of coup, in the middle of London ... you can see that they occupy my building.

"This is my building, I need to go inside," Mr Minn said. "That's why I'm waiting here."

Britain's foreign secretary condemned Myanmar's junta on Thursday.

"We condemn the bullying actions of the Myanmar military regime in London yesterday, and I pay tribute to Kyaw Zwar Minn for his courage," Dominic Raab said on Twitter.

"The UK continues to call for an end to the coup and the appalling violence, and a swift restoration of democracy."

Diplomatic sources said that deputy ambassador Chit Win had taken over as charge d'affairs and that he and the military attache had locked the ambassador out.

Mr Minn spoke next to the embassy, where police were standing guard. He also spoke to protesters on the street outside.

"We are aware of a protest outside the Myanmar embassy in Mayfair, London," police said.

"Public order officers are in attendance. There have been no arrests."

Last month, Mr Minn called for the release of Ms Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint, drawing praise for his courage from Mr Raab.

Britain has imposed sanctions on members of Myanmar's military and some of its business interests after the coup, and has demanded that democracy be restored.

Updated: April 8, 2021 01:27 PM

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