Myanmar's UK envoy 'locked out of embassy'

·1-min read

Myanmar's ambassador to the UK has told Reuters he has been locked out of the embassy, with sources saying his deputy had shut him out of the building and taken charge on behalf of the military.

The military seized power in Myanmar in a coup in February and have cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

London ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn has broken ranks with the ruling junta in recent weeks, calling for the release of detained civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"I have been locked out," he told Reuters outside the embassy in central London on Wednesday.

"It's a kind of coup, in the middle of London ... you can see that they occupy my building," he said, adding he was talking to Britain's foreign ministry about the situation.

Four diplomatic sources with knowledge of the matter said that deputy ambassador Chit Win had taken over as charge d'affairs and he and the military attache had locked the ambassador out of the building.

Kyaw Zwar Minn spoke next to the embassy, where police were standing guard. He spoke to protesters on the street outside.

Last month, ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn had called for the release of Suu Kyi and ousted President Win Myint, drawing praise for his "courage" from British foreign minister Dominic Raab.

"This is my building, I need to go inside. That's why I'm waiting here," Kyaw Zwar Minn told Reuters.

Britain has sanctioned members of Myanmar's military and some of its business interests following the coup, and has demanded the restoration of democracy.

British officials were talking to representatives from both sides and the police, with the aim of resolving the stand-off at the embassy quickly and calmly.