Updated Feb 27, 2021 - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Picture of a Myanmar protester holding a placard that says "United Nations, please stand with us"

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

The latest: Kyaw Moe Tun told Reuters later on Saturday, "I decided to fight back as long as I can."

  • Earlier in the day, Myanmar state television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."
  • Kyaw Moe Tun was outside Myanmar when the coup occurred, per the Times.

Catch up quick: The UN envoy was appointed under the civilian government that shared power with the military before the coup. He said he was speaking on behalf of the Aung San Suu Kyi's government and asked UN members to denounce the coup, not recognize the military regime, and take "all strongest possible measures" to stop the attacks by Myanmar law enforcement against protesters and end the coup immediately.

  • The "United Nations does not officially recognize the junta as Myanmar’s new government as it has received no official notification of any change," Reuters reported, noting that Kyaw Moe Tun remains Myanmar's UN ambassador for now.

Worth noting: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed his support for Kyaw Moe Tun's speech, saying, "The United States commends the courageous and clear statement made by Permanent Representative U Kyaw Moe Tun, and by those in Burma who are making their voices heard."

  • "We must all heed their call to restore democracy in Burma."

Go deeper: Myanmar's UN ambassador calls on world to condemn military coup

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Kyaw Moe Tun's comment to Reuters.

Go deeper