By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Myanmar's UN envoy called on the international community Friday to act using "any means necessary" against the military junta in order to restore the democratically-elected government.
Kyaw Moe Tun told the General Assembly the military, formally known as the Tatmadaw, "has become the existential threat for Myanmar," recounting its violence against demonstrators demanding the restoration of democracy following the coup d'etat.
"Now is not the time for the international community to tolerate the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Myanmar military," said Tun.
“We, the committee representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, CRPH, duly ask the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community -- that aspire to build a peaceful and civilized global society -- to use any means necessary to take action against the Myanmar military and to provide safety and security for the people of Myanmar,” he added.
The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw is the body comprised of elected lawmakers forcibly ousted by the military during the coup. It is also known as the Committee Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH).
Myanmar's military declared a state of emergency on Feb. 1, hours after detaining de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and senior members of the ruling NLD. The coup took place hours before the country's new parliament was set to convene following November elections in which the Suu Kyi's party made sweeping gains.
The military claimed it launched the coup due to "election fraud," which it said, resulted in the NLD's dominance. The allegation has been roundly rejected, including by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Shortly after the coup began, the junta declared martial law imposing a nightly curfew and a ban on gatherings of five or more people. The military's action, however, failed to quell popular protests and civil disobedience initiated by the elected government.
The plea from Myanmar's UN envoy comes as several people were injured and dozens arrested on Friday in major cities in Myanmar when police tear-gassed and fired live bullets at anti-coup protesters.
Warning shots, tear gas, and stun grenades were fired at two major street junctions in Yangon as police used much tougher means of cracking down on anti-coup demonstrators, witnesses said.
Unlike previous days, without advance warning the police clamped down on the demonstrators, said Lynn Myaing, a resident of Yangon's Hlaing Township. “They seemed to want to make people afraid,” he added.