US warns of curbs on Myanmar amid calls for Suu Kyi’s release
US President Joe Biden has threatened to reimpose sanctions on Myanmar following a coup by the country’s military leaders and called for a concerted international response to press them to relinquish power. Biden condemned the military’s takeover from the civilian-led government on Monday and its detention of elected leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi as “a direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the rule of law.”
The Myanmar crisis marks the first major test of Biden’s pledge to collaborate more with allies on international challenges, especially on China’s rising influence.
Meanwhile, Myanmar’s National League for Democracy called for its leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s immediate release. The Nobel Peace laureate’s whereabouts remained unknown more than 24 hours after her arrest by the military. A senior NLD official said he had learned that her health was good.
Myanmar’s coup leader Min Aung Hlaing said it was inevitable the army would have to take power after its protests over alleged election fraud last year which the electoral commission had dismissed, the army information service said. “Despite the Tatmadaw’s (army’s) repeated requests, this path was chosen inevitably for the country. Until the next government is formed after the upcoming election, we need to steer the country,” Min Aung Hlaing said.
Meanwhile, Japan Minister of Defence Yasuhide Nakayama warned that Myanmar coup could increase China’s influence in region.