Myanmar ambassador to UK has post terminated after being locked out of embassy for denouncing coup

Myanmar’s ambassador to UK has had his post terminated after being locked out of his central London embassy for denouncing the country’s military coup, the Foreign Office has confirmed.

It comes after Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, condemned the “bullying actions” of the military regime as reports emerged that staff inside the embassy refused to allow Kyaw Zwar Minn to re-enter the building on Wednesday evening.

The country’s top diplomat in Britain was reportedly forced to spend the night in his car, and has since denounced what he described as a “coup” on the streets of London that he insisted was “disrespectful to all of democratic society in the UK”.

Mr Zwar Minn, who was appointed as ambassador in 2013, had earlier called for the release of Myanmar’s elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi after she was arrested in February, saying: “Ms Suu Kyi appointed me and I will take her orders.”

Boris Johnson has also criticised the “unlawful imprisonment of civilians” and the deadly crackdown on civilian protests that have erupted in recent weeks in response to the military coup.

But on Thursday, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) emphasised that the UK government had a longstanding policy of recognising states, rather than governments.

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After communicating with the country’s regime on Wednesday evening, it also understood the government received formal notification of the termination of the ambassador’s position which has since been accepted by authorities.

No formal notification of Mr Zwar Minn’s replacement has been provided to the FDCO as diplomats communicate with the charge d’affaires, or deputy.

After being denied entry to the embassy on Charles Street in Mayfair, a statement read out on behalf of Mr Zwar Minn said he stopped following instructions of the country’s foreign ministry since being recalled by the military regime in March.

“Due to his stance, the Myanmar embassy in London has been seized by the military attache yesterday evening,” it added. “The ambassador has been locked out since then.

Police officers stand guard outside the Myanmar Embassy in London

Police officers stand guard outside the Myanmar Embassy in London

(REUTERS)

“There has been a coup in Myanmar in February and now the same situation in central London. This is unacceptable and disrespectful not only to the people of Myanmar but it also clearly disrespectful to all of democratic society in the UK”.

Reacting to the scenes on Wednesday evening, Mr Raab said the UK government condemned the “bullying actions of the military regime” as he paid tribute to the ambassador. “The UK continues to call for an end to the coup and the appalling violence, and a swift restoration of democracy,” he added.

Photographs on Wednesday evening showed the ambassador getting out of a car that bore a large image of Ms Suu Kyi. He attempted to unsuccessfully enter the embassy where flowers and posters are attached to the railings to commemorate victims of the coup.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “We are aware of a protest outside the Myanmar embassy in Mayfair, London. Public order officers are in attendance. There have been no arrests.”

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