‘Help me’: Ousted Myanmar envoy pleads with UK over eviction from London residence

Former diplomat says he has been ordered to move out of home by Thursday

Conrad Duncan@theconradduncan
Thursday 15 April 2021 23:00
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‘Help me’: Ex-Myanmar ambassador pleads for UK government help over eviction

The ousted Myanmar ambassador to the UK has pleaded with the British government for help as he faces eviction from his London residence.

Kyaw Zwar Minn was locked out of his own embassy last week and forced to sleep in his car after the office was seized by a military attache on apparent orders from the country’s military regime.

Mr Minn said on Thursday that he “needed to be careful” following the seizure of the embassy, which he said had come “without warning”.

The former diplomat said earlier this week that the military regime, which seized power in a coup on 1 February, was furious at his refusal to acknowledge their authority.

He has called for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s elected leader, who was detained after the coup - which has led to weeks of protest and a violent retaliation from the regime, resulting in hundreds of deaths.

Mr Minn also told the Guardian that his former staff delivered a letter ordering him to move out of his London residence by Thursday.

However, speaking to reporters at his home in Hampstead, northwest London, this morning, he said he would not be leaving the property yet.

“I’m not going to go today. Today is the last day, I need to stay here,” he said.

When asked what he would do over the next few days, Mr Minn replied: “Who can tell? The last time they seized the embassy without warning, so I need to be careful.”

He then addressed the UK government directly, adding: “Help me, help me, help me.”

On Wednesday, Mr Minn said some of his friends and relatives had been forced into hiding due to fear of retaliation from the military regime.

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office made an offer of safe haven to the former ambassador last week and condemned the move to bar him from entering the embassy.

“We pay tribute to the courage of Kyaw Zwar Minn in standing up for the people of Myanmar,” it said in a statement.

“Given the bullying behaviour towards Kyaw Zwar Minn, we are seeking to ensure he can live safely in the United Kingdom while he decides his long-term future.”

Additional reporting by PA

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