On February 2, the Norwegian Nobel Committee issued a statement condemning the military coup in Myanmar. The committee also condemned the detention of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. While mentioning the work done by Aung San Suu Kyi for her struggle for democracy in Myanmar, the committee weighed in for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other arrested politicians.
The statement was shared in the official website of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Statement by the Norwegian Nobel Committee
The Norwegian Nobel Committee is appalled by the military coup in Myanmar and the arrest of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other political leaders. Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1991 in recognition of her brave struggle for democracy in Myanmar. She has continued to be a leading figure in developing democracy, both during the years when she was kept captive by the military and after her subsequent release. Now, 30 years after she was awarded the Peace Prize, the military has once again pushed democracy aside and arrested leading representatives of the legally elected government. The Norwegian Nobel Committee asks for the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other arrested politicians, and for the result of last year’s general election to be respected.
The military coup in Myanmar
On February 1, the Myanmar Army staged a coup and declared it had taken control of the country for one year under a state of emergency. They also detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior members of Myanmar’s ruling party amidst rising tensions over a recent election. As per reports, 75-year-old state counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other members of the National League of Democracy were arrested at their residences in the capital Naypyidaw.
Reaction from the world leaders
The military coup has attracted sharp criticism from world leaders. Indian foreign ministry said, “India has always been steadfast in its support to the process of democratic transition in Myanmar. We believe that the rule of law and the democratic process must be upheld. We are monitoring the situation closely.”
The United States has warned of action against those who are responsible for the coup if it is not reversed. Similarly, Australia also expressed its concern saying that the military was “once again seeking to seize control” of the country and asked them to respect the rule of law.
Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, has strongly condemned the military coup. Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General said, “The Secretary-General strongly condemns the detention of State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President U Win Myint and other political leaders on the eve of the opening session of Myanmar’s new Parliament.” He further said that these developments represent a serious blow to democratic reforms in Myanmar.
It is notable here that in the past few years, certain left-liberal sections in many countries have been advocating for stripping Aung San Suu Kyi of her Nobel Prize over the Rohingya issues. However, the military coup and Suu Kyi’s detention has been widely condemned all over the world.