Sri Lanka’s election commission shocked and dismayed over detention of Myanmar election officials

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ECONOMYNEXT – The Election Commission (EC) of Sri Lanka, expressing its shock and dismay over Monday’s coup d’état in Myanmar, has urged that country’s military to immediately release election officials that were detained along with other civilian leaders and officials.

In a media release signed by EC Chairman Nimal Punchihewa urged “all forces that value democracy” to press for the release of Myanmar’s election officials including Union Election Commission (UEC) Chair U Hla Thein.

“It is very unfortunate that the officials of the Election Commission of Myanmar who carry out a legitimate duty entrusted upon them by the law have been imprisoned for carrying out the very duty,” the EC statement said.

The commission went on to say that it considers the detention of UEC officials prejudicial and detrimental to democratic rule and urges the relevant authorities to release them immediately.

Myanmar’s military has handed over power to army chief Min Aung Hlaing, hours after detaining civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, international media reported.

Following her detention, the military declared a state of emergency for one year, according to the BBC.

Reuters reported that in an address on military-owned television Myawaddy TV, the military said it had detained key political leaders in response to election fraud. (Colombo/Feb03/2021)

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