Tense Calm In Burma After Army Coup

Burma has once again dawned under military command calmly and with no signs of an imminent popular revolt. In Yangon , the main city, internet and telephone services were still partially interrupted this morning,but banks had reopened and local press reports described similar activity as usual.

The military presence is most intense in Naypyitaw, the political capitalraised two decades ago in the middle of the jungle, where troops aboard trucks and armored vehicles or helicopters flying over the most sensitive areas are common. The tanks have been stationed in front of the Parliament and the soldiers guard the official residences where the 400 deputies remain locked up.

One of them, who has requested anonymity, has confirmed to the agency France Press that they cannot leave and, although life is going on with a certain normality, the complex has become “an open-air detention center.”

A member of the National League for Democracy (NLD) has assured that both its de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and its president, Win Myint , are in home confinement. “They have told us not to worry but we are worried. We would be calmer if we could see photos of them in their residences,” he added.

The NLD has issued a statement demanding the immediate release of all detainees “as soon as possible” and recognition of the results of the last elections in November, in which Suu Kyi’s formation overwhelmed with 83% of the votes . Those elections are behind the riot .

The military establishment, whose party achieved a humiliating result, had pumped accusations without any proof and yesterday, hours before the new Parliament was constituted, declared a state of emergency.

This will be extended, according to the military roadmap, for a year, until other “fair and clean” elections can be held. The coup, according to the NLD, “is a stain on the history of our country and the Tatmadaw,” in reference to how its powerful military establishment is known in Burma .

There is no trace of street belligerence in Burma even though Suu Kyi , revered as a demigoddess, yesterday called on her people to rise up against the latest military outrage. The military has dynamited a fragile democratic process that had begun a decade ago with the first elections in half a century and that has been weighed down by the easements that they imposed in the Constitution.

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