Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) has expressed his concern and condemnation of the military coup that took place in Myanmar on Monday. (Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

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MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Pekka Haavisto (Greens) has denounced the coup d’etat that took place in Myanmar on Monday.

“Disrupting and suspending the democratic process is awful news for the development of Myanmar. It’s perfectly obvious that the country’s problems cannot be solved with a military coup,” he stated to Helsingin Sanomat on Monday.

“The country has wrestled with multiple problems before, but actions such as this don’t promote development. Finland will of course also demand that the parliamentarians suspended from their roles be released.”

Tatmadaw, the armed forces of Myanmar, on Monday announced on its television channel that power had been handed over to its commander-in-chief, Min Aung Hlaing. It proceeded to declare a one-year state of emergency, institute a night-time curfew and detain prominent members of the National League for Democracy (NLD), which won roughly 80 per cent of the popular vote in the elections held in November, including civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The armed forces and the opposition party it backed in the elections have alleged that the elections were marred by fraud. The allegations have been rejected by the electoral commission.

Haavisto told Helsingin Sanomat that 17 Finns have issued a travel notification of their visit to Myanmar to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Eight of them had been reached by yesterday morning, according to the newspaper.

“The situation is very serious. It appears that shops have been closed and a curfew has been announced,” he said.

Myanmar, he reminded, has a very dark history when under the rule of a military junta, as it was until 2011. “The situation is extremely disconcerting from the perspective of democracy and human rights,” he said.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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