THE MYANMAR military authorities have seized control of the embassy, leaving the ambassador out in the street and forcing him to sleep in his car overnight.
The ousted envoy said his defence attache, Chit Win, had taken over the mission in ‘a kind of coup’, two months after the military seized power in Myanmar.
Protesters gathered outside after news spread that the ambassador had been locked out.
In a statement read out on Thursday on behalf of the ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn said staff were asked to leave the building by Myanmar’s military attaché, and he was dismissed as the country’s representative.
Min Hein, a member of the Myanmar community made a statement outside the embassy in London on his behalf. He said they had been waiting for a formal response from the UK government.
‘The ambassador has been recalled by the Myanmar military, since then he has stopped following instructions from the Myanmar Foreign Ministries. He has been meeting with many members of the Myanmar community to discuss the current situation in Myanmar, hoping to find a peaceful solution.
‘Due to his stand for the people of Myanmar, the military on Wednesday locked the ambassador out of the embassy and has been locked out since then.
‘There was a coup in Myanmar, now there is a similar situation in central London. This is not only disrespectful to all the people of Myanmar but disrespectful for for all the people of the UK.
‘The embassy was taken over yesterday by defence attaché, Chit Win, who took control of the embassy with the assistance of the military attaché.
‘Since yesterday we have been waiting for the UK Foreign Office for their response. We have also learned that the military have threatened the embassy staff, if the embassy staff refuse to work for the military junta. Embassy staff were being threatened with severe punishment if they don’t continue to work for the military junta.
‘We are putting faith in the UK government not to recognise the embassy now it has been taken over by the military and not to follow the Myanmar military’s request to install Chit Win as head of the embassy, to stay with the democratically elected government of Myanmar and its people.
‘And we would also like to ask the UK government to stand by Min Hein who is the rightful ambassador and to recognise him as such, as they have done so in the past.’
However, the Foreign Office confirmed it received the notification, and that it ‘must accept the decision taken by the Myanmar government’.