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Tatmadaw Meets with Kachin Religious Leaders After Military Coup

The day after the Burma Army arrested National League for Democracy (NLD) leaders, the military met with Kachin religious leaders in an apparent bid to justify why it staged a coup d’etat against the democratically elected government.

Rev Magi Bawk La, who is chair of Myitkyina Christian Council, told KNG that high ranking officials from Burma Army’s Northern Military Command Region told them “they seized power from the government because it failed to solve the issue of election fraud.

“They wanted to explain it to our members,” he said.

The meeting was held at the Awng Nan Catholic Church in the Kachin State capital city, Myitkyina.

After arresting Burma’s president, Win Myint, and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi this Monday, the Tatmadaw—as it’s locally called—temporarily appointed Myint Swe, the military’s vice president appointee in the NLD government, as president. He declared a state of emergency and handed power of the country to Army Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing.

The military takeover happened before the first session of parliament could be convened to enshrine the 2020 general election results.

Many NLD parliamentarians are still being detained in Kachin State and the other states and regions in Burma.

Civil disobedience campaigns have been started to pressure the Tatmadaw to restore power to the civilian government. Health workers in 70 hospitals across the country have refused to work under the military government.

While the Kachin Independence Organization/Army has yet to release a statement condemning the military coup, the Karen National Union and Restoration Council of Shan State have each issued statements against the Tatmadaw’s actions.

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