Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Myanmar ambassador ‘locked out’ of London embassy

Myanmar's military attaché in London allegedly told the ambassador he was no longer the country's representative.

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Myanmar’s ambassador to the UK says he has been locked out of his country’s embassy in London.

Kyaw Zwar Minn said he and staff were asked to leave the building by Myanmar’s military attaché and he was told he was no longer the country’s representative.

“I have been locked out,” he told Reuters news agency, describing Wednesday’s events as “a kind of coup, in the middle of London”.

Police were reportedly called to stop staff re-entering the building and the ambassador was pictured standing on the street outside the embassy in London’s exclusive Mayfair district speaking to officers from the metropolitan police force.

“This kind of coup is not going to happen,” he told reporters.

Protesters have since been gathering outside the embassy.

In March, the ambassador called for the release of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and told the BBC that Myanmar was “divided” and could be at risk of civil war.

He maintained then that his remarks were not “betraying the country”, adding that he was standing on “middle” ground.

The ambassador, who is a former military colonel, has been praised by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who commended his “courage and patriotism”.

Deputy ambassador Chit Win is said to have taken over as charge d’affairs in London, Reuters reported, citing diplomats with knowledge of the matter.

A spokesman for the UK Foreign Office told the BBC that it was “seeking clarification on the current status of the Myanmar ambassador in London, in line with diplomatic protocol”.

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