onsdag 3. februar 2021

Bird’s eye view of Myanmar’s bloodless coup

On February 1, Myanmar’s powerful military seized power in a coup against the democratic government of Aung San Suu Kyi, right before newly-elected lawmakers were set to convene in the capital of Naypyidaw. In early morning raids, soldiers detained the Nobel laureate along with Myanmar’s head of state president Win Myint and other government and National League for Democracy (NLD) party officials. Heads of regional and state governments were also locked up.

As news of the takeover emerged on social media, life remained largely normal in the commercial hub Yangon, the nation’s former capital. Alongside the shimmering waters of Yangon’s Kandawgyi Lake, cars were driving past and residents were jogging as the sun rose, while taxi drivers could be heard chatting about the political storm unfolding in Naypyidaw.

Around the same time, Naypyidaw was plunged into a mobile network blackout, followed by the rest of the country. Telenor, one of Myanmar’s four telcom operators, confirmed that the mobile network was down. Its spokesperson said Telenor Group was “greatly concerned” with the situation.