Myanmar’s UN envoy Kyaw Moe Tun: ‘I’m proud to have been charged with high treason’ by junta
On February 26, Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, made a sudden and unexpected move in declaring his employer – the military junta – the illegitimate ruler of Myanmar in front of the UN assembly. In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, the diplomat describes what went through his mind before making the fateful speech, and why targeted sanctions are needed against a junta he says is “committing crimes against humanity”.
Kyaw Moe Tun said that he decided to denounce the military junta and its February 1 coup because it derailed Myanmar’s already fragile democratisation process.
Although the act immediately led to the army dismissing him and charging him with high treason, the career diplomat says he is “proud” to have spoken out against a regime which cracks down so brutally on “helpless” civilian protesters. He also accuses it of committing crimes against humanity, citing both killings and cases of torture. Kyaw Moe Tun is now calling on the UN Security Council to act strongly against the junta, and for targeted sanctions by the international community, saying they would be an effective tool to force the military to stop the bloodshed.
He says the only way to open a meaningful dialogue between the military and the protesters is for the junta to first release Aung San Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners.
Although the army may have dismissed him from the job, Kyaw Moe Tun refused to give up his post and the diplomat who was supposed to replace him then quit. The UN, meanwhile, declined to recognise his dismissal. The diplomat says he does plan to resign, however, and will continue to support the peaceful protest movement in Myanmar.
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