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INTERVIEW | Myanmar’s UN Envoy Wants Japan to Cut Ties with Myanmar’s Military

“We don't want to go back to the system that we used to be in before,” says Kyaw Moe Tun referring to rule by military autocracy. Yet, China and Russia stand in the way of Myanmar’s return to democracy.



Ambassador to the United Nations Kyaw Moe Tun, appointed by the Myanmar National League for Democracy, in an interview with The Sankei Shimbun.



Myanmar’s ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun (51), has told The Sankei Shimbun he wants Japan to cut off any economic and diplomatic ties with Myanmar’s military, following the military’s coup d’etat earlier this year.

The ambassador’s interview on April 12 came in the wake of the Myanmar military’s crackdown in the town of Bago on April 9, in which more than 80 people were killed. Kyaw Moe Tun wants immediate action to be taken.

“We need further the strongest possible action from the international community to immediately end the military coup…and to restore democracy,” the envoy said before the UN General Assembly on February 26 – referring to the military coup d’etat on February 1.

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun

RELATED: EDITORIAL | Coup in Myanmar Defies Will of the People, Setback for Democracy

Kyaw Moe Tun was appointed as ambassador to the United Nations in October 2020 by National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was detained as part of the coup d’etat.

Myanmar’s military subsequently announced that Kyaw Moe Tun had been dismissed from his post. However, he is still in the post today.

On the military’s crackdown in Bago, the ambassador commented that it showed to the international community the extent of “the terrible atrocities committed by the military”. Kyaw Moe Tun added that such incidents are common in Myanmar and asked the United Nations Security Council to take more robust action.

In a press statement released in February, the Security Council demanded the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

In March, the Security Council President issued a statement saying, “the Security Council strongly condemns the violence against peaceful protestors, including against women, youth and children.” Yet, in the end, it was not possible to impose any economic sanctions due to opposition from countries such as China and Russia.

Ambassador Kyaw Moe Tun

In his interview with The Sankei Shimbun, Kyaw Moe Tun expressed his gratitude to the UN Security Council for “their unified voice” on the issue of the coup.

The ambassador added: “I stand with the people of Myanmar. Because we don't want to go back to the system that we used to be in before.”

“We need you to look at the situation from the bottom of your heart, as well as your brain. The people do not accept any kind of illegal or arbitrarily detaining of any person,” he also said.

On the decision of countries such as China and Russia to send representatives to Myanmar’s military parade on March 27, Kyaw Moe Tun said: “Each and every country has their own interests. So that is the reality.”

But he also said: “You are aware that the reaction from the people of Myanmar are really very strong with regards to this participation,” hinting that the people of Myanmar were firmly against the move. 


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(Find access to The Sankei Shimbun interview article in Japanese at this link.)

Interview by: Yusuke Hirata, New York bureau chief, The Sankei Shimbun