Biden threatens sanctions, weighs 'coup' label for Myanmar military's takeover

Myanmar coup in backdrop; aerobics teacher stops at nothing [watch viral video]

An incredible video appears to show a woman in Myanmar doing her regular aerobics class, unaware that a military coup is happening behind her.

Indonesia called for all parties to adhere to the "principles of democracy and constitutional government", with some interpreting this as being exclusively directed at the Myanmar military. State Department officials said Tuesday they were satisfied the move met the legal definition of a coup.

On Monday, Myanmar's military announced that it was declaring a state of emergency and was taking over control of the country for one year.

Myanmar was plunged back into direct military rule when soldiers detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders in a series of dawn raids on Monday, ending the country's brief experiment with democracy.

The military said they enacted the coup in response to what they claimed was widespread fraud in the country's November 2020 election.

As Myanmar continues to see tensions rise in the midst of a coup, one dancer seems to have caught the world's eye.

"It's not a program that was negotiated, there isn't conditionality and there aren't forward-looking reviews with disbursements tied to those reviews", said Stephanie Segal, a former IMF economist and U.S. Treasury official now with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Whatever penalties the US decides on will spare direct humanitarian aid to the country's people, the State Department said.

In a statement, he said: "The United States removed sanctions on Burma over the past decade based on progress toward democracy".

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As to what Biden will do next in dealing with a radically changed situation in Myanmar is likely to be laid out in the coming week.

"The key is to hit precisely where you want to leverage and not hurt the people of Burma".

The country's position on the Indian ocean would help China bypass a potential future USA military shipping blockade in the Malacca Strait for oil and other resources.

"Myanmar's tumultuous transition to democracy in the past decade has greatly impacted China's economic interests in the country", said Li Mingjiang, associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Min Aung Hlaing is an global pariah, having been banned on Facebook and under USA sanctions for a military campaign against Myanmar's Muslim Rohinyga community that the United States has described as ethnic cleansing. -Burmese engagement since Myanmar's military began its violent campaign to drive out the Rohingya in 2017.

One of the key concerns for United Nations diplomats is the fate of Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minority groups who have endured years of harsh treatment at the hands of the military. But the economic wasteland they wrought forced millions of Myanmar's poorest to seek work overseas. The case is pending now before the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

She spent almost 15 years in detention between 1989 and 2010 after organising rallies calling for peaceful democratic reform and free elections.

"We are deeply concerned by the detention of political leaders and civil society activists, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint, and targeting of the media", it added. While some called it the most "emblematic video of the year", another user called it a "revolutionary workout". "I was pretty shocked", he said.

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