Biden calls on Myanmar’s military to step down

BanglaPress Desk
February 5, 2021

Staff Reporter: Biden has called on Myanmar’s military to “relinquish power” by releasing political leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi, who were detained following a military coup. President Biden made the call in his first foreign policy speech on Thursday (February 4th) afternoon, local time. Biden called for the lifting of telecommunications controls in Myanmar to avoid conflict.
Biden said the United States was working with its allies and partners to address the generals’ takeover on Monday, which was confirmed hours after they arrested the country’s elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the government and her party in a series of early morning raids.
“There can be no doubt in a democracy force should never seek to overrule the will of the people or attempt to erase the outcome of a credible election,” Biden said.
“The Burmese military should relinquish power they have seized and release the advocates and activists and officials they have detained, lift the restrictions on telecommunications and refrain from violence.”
The military, which controlled Myanmar for decades before the country’s transition to democracy a decade ago, staged a coup on Monday arresting leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian politicians [Nyein Chan Naing/EPA]
Myanmar’s troubled transition to democracy was derailed on Monday when army commander Min Aung Hlaing seized power, alleging irregularities in an election last November that Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won in a landslide.
On Monday, Biden threatened to reimpose sanctions on the government, arguing that the US had removed previous sanctions on the nation in an effort to nurture democracy.
Former President Barack Obama began lifting US sanctions on Myanmar in 2011. By 2016, most had been removed. Biden was Obama’s vice president.