Britain offers shelter to ousted Myanmar ambassador

LONDON (AFP) – Britain said it is willing to offer shelter to Myanmar’s Ambassador to London after he was ousted from his embassy by pro-junta diplomats.

Mr Kyaw Zwar Minn on Thursday (April 8) met Mr Nigel Adams, Britain’s Foreign Office Minister for Asia, after his hosts said they could no longer recognise him as ambassador, in line with the junta’s decision to terminate his posting.

“I pay tribute to his courage and patriotism. We will support him to ensure his safety and security in the United Kingdom,” Mr Adams said in a tweet above a picture of the two men looking sombre at their meeting.

Britain said it condemned the envoy’s barring from the embassy on Tuesday, after which he was forced to sleep in his car overnight as anti-junta protesters gathered outside, watched by the London police.

“Given the bullying behaviour towards Mr Minn, we are seeking to ensure he can live safely in the United Kingdom, while he decides his long-term future,” a Foreign Office spokesman said.

“We continue to call for an end to the coup in Myanmar and a swift restoration of democracy.”

Mr Kyaw Zwar Minn had appealed for UK help, and raised the prospect that he could die if he is returned to Myanmar.

Asked if he thought he would be killed if he accedes to the military leadership’s demands that he returns, he said: “Who knows?”

Daily protests demanding a return of democracy following the February military coup have rocked Myanmar and brought a brutal response from the armed forces, with at least 614 civilians killed according to a local monitoring group.

Mr Kyaw Zwar Minn, a former colonel of 30 years standing in the military, had spoken out against the coup and expressed support for the ousted civilian government of Aung San Suu Kyi.

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