Protesting envoys in Japan sacked


Show of defiance: A Buddhist monk taking part in a protest against the military coup with others in the northwestern town of Kale. — AFP

TWO officials at the Myanmar embassy in Tokyo have become the latest diplomats dismissed by the junta after protesting against the military coup in their country, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported.

Administrator Aung Soe Moe and a junior colleague were fired after they went on strike, the agency said yesterday.

Citing a leaked document, Kyodo said some 100 Myanmar diplomats around the world have been dismissed after opposing the coup.

Myanmar’s military ousted civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi in February, triggering a massive uprising that authorities have sought to quell with lethal force.Kyodo said the two diplomats left the embassy compound on March 11, days after posting on Facebook in support of peaceful anti-junta protests. They did not resign but had their diplomatic status and passports revoked, and were living in Tokyo with the help of other Myanmar nationals, Kyodo said.

The Myanmar embassy had informed Japan’s foreign ministry that diplomatic visas for the pair would no longer be valid, Japanese government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told reporters yesterday.

“The foreign ministry is studying what kind of response is appropriate, giving consideration to Myanmar’s current situation, ” Kato added.Japan has criticised the coup in Myanmar and called for the restoration of democracy, but it has faced pressure to stake out a stronger position on the crisis.

In April, pro-junta diplomats seized the country’s embassy in London – leaving the ambassador locked out after he called for the release of Suu Kyi.

Other Myanmar diplomats, including at the United Nations and in Berlin, have faced similar threats or oustings over their protests.

Japan has strong economic ties with Myanmar and long-standing relations with its military.

Last week, a Japanese journalist arrested while covering the aftermath of the Myanmar coup was released in a diplomatic gesture and returned to Japan.

Japan, a top aid donor to Myanmar, announced in March that it was suspending new assistance in response to the coup, but stopped short of the sanctions imposed by some nations on military and police commanders.

Meanwhile, France yesterday called for an urgent delivery of humanitarian aid to people taking refuge in camps in northwest Myanmar to escape the fighting between the army and insurgents.

India said this week that over 15,000 people had crossed the border to seek refuge there, but residents in Chin State said many of the most vulnerable were sheltering in camps around the town of Mindat.

“Children and the elderly make up a big proportion of the groups. Some didn’t have sandals. They trekked through the forest barefoot for days, ” said a resident helping look after the displaced.

He said villages around Mindat were looking after about 2,000 displaced people in camps and churches, while access to the town that was once home to more than 40,000 people had been blocked.

“We will face food shortage in a week, ” said the resident, adding that petrol supplies were running out.“The restoration of access to water and electricity, as well as the delivery of humanitarian aid for population in need are an immediate necessity, ” the French Embassy in Myanmar said. — Agencies

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In Aseanplus News

IS-linked terror group leader shot dead
Divers clear trash from coral reef on World Clean-up Day
Show about abuse in army sparks calls for change
Pacquiao to run for presidency
Philippines' Manny Pacquiao to run for president in 2022
Asean News Headlines as at 9pm on Sunday (Sept 19)
Indonesia extends tax discount for motorised vehicles till December
Hong Kong Election Committee polls go smoothly
UK's COP26 chief says ball in China's court on making it a success
Covid-19 death toll rises to 17,016 in Myanmar with 72 more deaths

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers