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Myanmar Regime Recalls Over 100 Staff From Foreign Missions


Anti-coup protesters hold placards demanding civil servants join the Civil Disobedience Movement against the military regime. / The Irrawaddy

YANGON—Myanmar’s military regime has recalled at least 100 staff from missions in at least 19 countries, according to leaked documents.

The move came after a speech by Myanmar’s UN envoy U Kyaw Moe Tun to the General Assembly in New York on Friday in which he broke ranks with the military regime to condemn the coup and plead for the international community’s help in restoring democracy to his country. Following the speech, the junta dismissed the envoy and accused him of “high treason” for insisting that he represented the democratically elected government led by the National League for Democracy (NLD).

According to the leaked documents, the military regime on Sunday ordered home officials including minister-counselors and secretaries, as well as other embassy staff, at missions in the US, the UK, Italy, Austria, Brazil, France, Norway, Belgium, Serbia, China, Japan, India, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Cambodia, South Korea and the Philippines.

Moreover, the documents include orders transferring more than 50 staff from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Naypyitaw to vacated positions in those countries.

A staffer at the Myanmar Embassy in the US told The Irrawaddy, “U Kyaw Moe Tun’s action at the UN sent a signal to MOFA staff in foreign countries that they should participate in the Civil Disobedience Movement [CDM] openly.”

Thousands of civil servants in Myanmar have joined the CDM, showing opposition to the military coup and refusing to work under the military-appointed cabinet.

The staffer said some employees of the mission in the US are reluctant to accept the coup, after having worked under the leadership of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, adding that many dislike the idea of working under the military regime.

Detained Myanmar State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi served concurrently as the foreign minister after the NLD-led government took office in 2016.

Early last month, the military regime recalled Daw Kay Thi Soe, Myanmar’s first ambassador to the Czech Republic. She said she had been recalled for revealing which party she voted for in the Nov. 8 general election.

On Saturday, Daw Kyi Thi Soe wrote on Facebook that she condemned the unjust military takeover and added that as a mother, she shared the sadness of the mothers of those killed and injured during security forces’ crackdowns on protesters.

She said she would return to Myanmar in early March.


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