Myanmar: Statement by PEN Myanmar condemning the Tatmadaw’s seizure of the state power against the people’s desires, February 2, 2021

1. It is the fundamental principle of democracy that from the people descends the sovereignty of the state. In line with this principle the multiparty General Election was successfully held in Myanmar on 8 November 2020. With the strong support of the people, the National League for Democracy made a landslide victory in the election.

2. The Tatmadaw, however, denying the outcome of the multiparty democracy General Election after the democratic process of electing representatives of the parliament according to the free and fair voting system, declared on 1 February 2021, that the state power had been handled over to the Tatmadaw, which is against the people’s desires, putting to a halt to the otherwise ongoing task programmes of the parliament.

3. This military coup of the Tatmadaw must be considered as signalling the dismissal of the people’s desires. We condemn the Tatmadaw’s military coup, which would lead to delaying the democratization process in Myanmar and wielding a severe damage on the peace building process, which has for decades been implemented with endeavours of all citizens.

4. We claim for the immediate release of the elected representatives of the parliament, who have been detained by the Tatmadaw under lawful imprisonment since the military coup that took place on 1 February 2021.

5. We also call for the immediate stop of any kind of actions that choke the freedom of press, stop the normal functioning of the press releases and put hinderances to the flow of information to the citizens of Myanmar.