New Zealand is largely abandoning relations with Myanmar

New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern announced that her country is largely ending its relations with Myanmar.

Ardern told a news conference that there would be no more high-level talks with the Southeast Asian country. The military connection was also cut off and the leaders of the Myanmar army could no longer travel to New Zealand.

coup

The severing of diplomatic relations came in response to the coup that took place last Sunday in Myanmar. Soldiers took power in the country shortly before the opening of the new parliament.

The coup was the height of escalating tensions after the November elections. Government Leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won an absolute majority in Parliament. During and after the coup, the military arrested at least 150 people, including Suu Kyi.

Protests across the country

In recent days, protesters have taken to the streets in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, to demand the release of Suu Kyi.

Demonstrations continued across the country today, despite the army warning via state television that “action” would be taken on issues “that would disrupt, prevent or destroy stability in Myanmar.” The army has banned gatherings in certain places and imposed a curfew.

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