Myanmar closes international airport in Yangon after military takeover

MANEND NEWS, Myanmar has closed its international airport in Yangon, its main gateway, the airport’s manager said on Tuesday, a day after the country’s army staged a coup.

Yangon airport manager Phone Myint told Reutersthe airport had closed until May but gave no exact date. The Myanmar Times newspaper reported permission to land and take off had been revoked for all flights, including relief flights, until 23:59 of May 31. 

Earlier, a senior official from the party of Mynmar’s detained Aung Suu Kyi said that he had learned that her health was good and that she was not being moved from the location where she was being held after a coup against her government.

The whereabouts and condition of Myanmar’s elected leader have not been made public since she was detained in the capital Naypyidaw by the military during the coup on Monday.

“There is no plan to move Daw Aung San Su Kyi and Doctor Myo Aung. It’s learned that they are in good health,” said Kyi Toe, a member of the National League for Democracy’s central information committee in a Facebook post which also referred to one of her allies.

Reuters was unable to contact Kyi Toe for further comment and clarification as to how he obtained the information.

He also posted that NLD members of parliament detained during the coup were being allowed to leave the quarters where they had been held.

‘Election fraud’

A day earlier, the army said it had carried out the detentions in response to “election fraud”, handing power to military chief Min Aung Hlaing and imposing a state of emergency for one year, according to a statement on a military-owned television station. 

Phone lines to the capital Naypyitaw and the main commercial centre of Yangon were not reachable, and state TV went off air hours before parliament had been due to sit for the first time since the NLD’s landslide election win in November, viewed as a referendum on Suu Kyi’s fledgling democratic government.

Soldiers took up positions at city hall in Yangon and mobile internet data and phone services in the NLD stronghold were disrupted, residents said. Internet connectivity also had fallen dramatically, monitoring service NetBlocks said.

Suu Kyi, Myanmar President Win Myint and other NLD leaders had been “taken” in the early hours of the morning, NLD spokesman Myo Nyunt told Reuters by phone.

“I want to tell our people not to respond rashly and I want them to act according to the law,” he said, adding that he expected to be arrested himself. Reuters was subsequently unable to contact him.

The detentions came after days of escalating tension between the civilian government and the military that stirred fears of a coup in the aftermath of the election.

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