Myanmar’s embassy in London was tonight seized by loyalists of the country’s new military regime, according to the ambassador who has been locked out.
Ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn has been a vocal opponent of February’s armed coup and the imprisonment of overthrown civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Diplomatic sources told Reuters his deputy Chit Win led the takeover and has assumed charge of Myanmar’s UK outpost on behalf of the ruling junta.
Speaking outside the Mayfair building tonight, Kyaw Zwar Minn, who has served as Naypyitaw’s man in London since 2014, said he felt ‘betrayed’ by his colleagues.
He added to the Daily Telegraph: ‘When I left the embassy, they stormed inside the embassy and took it. They are from the Myanmar military.
‘They are refusing to let me inside. They said they received instruction from the capital, so they are not going to let me in. This a coup.’
Police officers were scrambled to the Charles Street site but have not entered the building, which diplomatic protocol means is technically on foreign soil.
Protesters also gathered on the street outside to rally against the military’s takeover of the embassy.
Kyaw Zwar Minn said he was in contact with the British Foreign Office, and Whitehall sources confirmed the Government was speaking with the Myanmar regime.
Myanmar’s state broadcaster reportedly said the ambassador had been summoned back to Naypyitaw after making an unauthorised statement.
Kyaw Zwar Minn has been a thorn in the military’s side since the February coup and has called for the release of Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint, drawing praise for his ‘courage’ from Dominic Raab.
Britain has sanctioned members of Myanmar’s military and some of its business interests in wake of the coup, and has demanded the restoration of democracy.
An FCDO spokesperson said: ‘We are seeking further information following an incident at Myanmar’s embassy in London.’
Scotland Yard said in a statement: ‘We are aware of a protest outside the Myanmar embassy in Mayfair, London. Public order officers are in attendance. There have (been) no arrests.’
Source: Thanks msn.com