Newspaper 📰 front pages today February 2nd, 2021

Myanmar’s military has seized power in a coup d’etat for the first time since 1988, seemingly terminating a decade-long process of halting and tentative political reform. 

Myo Nyunt, a spokesperson for the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, said that State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi, the nation’s top leader, and the country’s president, Win Myint, were both detained in the pre-dawn hours of Monday.

According to local media reports, NLD lawmakers and members of its Central Executive Committee have also been taken into custody, in addition to other known critics of the military. 

(These include, according to one report, the Karen reggae singer Saw Poe Kwah.) Party officials and activists were also detained in other parts of Myanmar as lines of communication such as radio and the internet were cut.

The army swiftly announced a year-long state of emergency, with former General Myint Swe, current vice president and former head of the Yangon military command, to serve as acting president. 

Myint Swe has transferred legislature, executive, and judicial power to the army’s commander in chief, Sen. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing for the duration of the emergency.

The announcement, which follows days of swirling reports about the threat of a military coup and military denials to the same effect, came just as the country’s new parliament was to be sworn in for the coming five-year term. 

This meant that most of the NLD’s leadership were in Naypyidaw for the induction ceremony, while those not in the capital were detained in their home states, suggested a considerable degree of coordination and planning on the part of the military.

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