Overview of the 2021 Myanmar Coup

On February 1, 2021, Myanmar’s military—known as the Tatmadaw—seized power after detaining elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party in a coup d'état. The military declared a year-long state of emergency and Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing has taken power. 

The coup occurred after Ms. Suu Kyi NLD party won the general election by a landslide. The military had backed the opposition, who were demanding a rerun of the election and made baseless claims of widespread fraud. 

In total, 24 ministers and deputies had been removed. In turn, 11 replacements were named in various sectors of the government, from health and finance to foreign and interior affairs. 

Since the coup, Ms. Suu Kyi has been held in an unknown location. She faces various political-related charges. 

Gen. Hlaing claims the takeover was in the best interests of the people. He also promised to hold a “free and fair” election after the state of emergency ends. 

The coup has led to the largest protests in the country since the monk-led Saffron Revolution in 2007. Protesters include students, teachers, lawyers, government workers, and bank officers. 

The Tatmadaw has imposed restrictions, such as curfews and limits to public gatherings. They have also used rubber bullets, water cannons, and even live ammunition to disperse protesters. 

On March 27, more than 100 protesters were killed by armed forces. All in all, hundreds of people, including children, have been killed. 

Myanmar—also known as Burma—was ruled by the military between 1962 and 2011, until a new government established a return to civilian rule. Ms. Suu Kyi spent almost 15 years in detention, sparked the democratic movement in the country, earned the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, and led the NLD to victory in Myanmar’s first openly contested election in 2015. 

However, Ms. Suu Kyi’s international reputation was negatively impacted by Myanmar’s treatment of the Muslim Rohingya minority. In 2017, an army crackdown resulted in thousands of Rohingya deaths and more than 700,000 fled to Bangladesh. 

If you are a Burmese national and resident who has continually been living in the United States as of March 11, 2021, you may qualify for TPS designation with the help of our experienced immigration lawyer. Contact Gambacorta Law today for immigration services in Illinois, Texas, and Arizona.