In the early morning of February 1st, 2021 the Tatmadaw (Myanmar Military) deposed the ruling party of Myanmar, the National League for Democracy (NLD).
The coup d’état occurred the day before the Parliament of Myanmar was due to swear in the members elected at the 2020 election, thereby preventing this from occurring.
A fallout from this event is that some have fled Myanmar seeking refuge in India. Since India is not a signatory of the UN Refugees Convention 1957, it cannot grant the refugee status.
Zoramthanga, Chief Minister of Mizoram on April 2nd 2021 had implored the government to change its stance regarding refugees from Myanmar.
This article will further give details about the Myanmar Coup d’état within the context of the IAS Exam.
Background of the Myanmar Coup
Myanmar has been under military rule ever since it seized power in 1962, except for brief periods of democratic rule in 1990 when free elections were allowed by the military, under the assumption that the military enjoyed popular support. Ultimately, the elections resulted in a landslide victory for the National League for Democracy.
However, the military refused to cede power and placed her under house arrest
The military remained in power for another 22 years until 2011, following the military’s roadmap to democracy, during which the 2008 Constitution of Myanmar was drafted. Between 2011 and 2015, a tentative democratic transition began, and elections held in 2015 resulted in a victory for the National League for Democracy (NLD). However, the military retained substantial power, including the right to appoint 1⁄4 of all parliament members.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the daughter of the country’s modern founder Aung San was elected as State Counsellor of Myanmar (State Counsellor is an equivalent of the Prime Minister in other nations).
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The 2021 coup occurred in the aftermath of the general election on 8 November 2020, in which the NLD won 396 out of 476 seats in parliament, an even larger margin of victory than in the 2015 election. The military’s proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, won only 33 seats. The Army claimed the results of the election were rigged and did not acknowledge the results.
On February 3 2021, Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest under charges for breaking COVID-19 laws. Additional charges included importing and using radio and communication devices from her security team which is prohibited in Myanmar and require clearances from intelligence agencies.
Aung San Suu Kyi received an additional criminal charge for violating the National Disaster Act on 16 February, and two additional charges for violating communications laws and an intent to incite public unrest on 1 March.
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Events of the Myanmar Coup
By March 31st 2021, at least 520 civilians have been killed by military or police forces and at least 3070 pope. At least three members from the NLD have died in police custody
About 400 elected parliament members were placed under house arrest. Following the coup, the NLD arranged for the MPs to remain housed in the complex until 6 February.
When the Myanmar ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, condemned the coup by the military, he was fired from his post the following day.
Civil resistance efforts have emerged within the country, in opposition to the. Numerous acts of civil disobedience labour strokes, military boycott campaign, and formal recognition of the election results by elected officials
Since the onset of the coup, residents in urban centres such as Yangon staged cacerolazos, striking pots and pans in unison every evening as a symbolic act to drive away evil, as a method of expressing their opposition to the coup.
Myanmar Coup – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here
India’s stance regarding the Myanmar Coup
Ever since the protests started, there have been reports of defections from the Myanmar Police Force. On March 11, 2021, 11 officers crossed the India-Myanmar border into the state of Mizoram with their families. The Myanmar government reached out to India to extradite them, with the Indian government replying that they would make a decision regarding that matter.
The Assam Rifles were given orders to tighten security along the India–Myanmar border. From 10 March, the border has been closed after 48 nationals from Myanmar have crossed it.
Officially, the Indian government has expressed its deepest concern regarding the developing situation in Myanmar. While supporting a smooth and transitional process towards democracy, it is also concerned that the instability in Myanmar may affect the northeastern states.
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