'Help me, help me': Ousted Myanmar ambassador to UK urges British Government to intervene

Patrick Sawer
·3 min read
The Myanmar ambassador is facing eviction from the official London residence along with his family and remaining staff - Jamie Lorriman 
The Myanmar ambassador is facing eviction from the official London residence along with his family and remaining staff - Jamie Lorriman

The ousted Myanmar ambassador to the UK has urged the British Government to help him as he faces being evicted from his residence by the country’s military regime.

Kyaw Zwar Minn, who was last week forced out of the Myanmar embassy at the orders of the junta, was told to leave by Thursday the London house where he has lived with his family since his appointment in 2013 or face prosecution.

The military regime – which seized power on Feb 1, paving the way for a bloody suppression of all civilian opposition – appears determined to extract revenge on the ambassador for daring to criticise the coup.

Now he has urged Boris Johnson’s government to intervene and offer protection to him and his family.

Speaking outside his residence in Hampstead he said: “I say to the British Government help me, help me, help me. I am hoping they will do so over the next few days.”

The ambassador and his supporters say they will not leave the building voluntarily and have vowed to resist any attempt by officials loyal to the military junta to force him out.

Kyaw Zwar Minn told reporters gathered outside the padlocked gates of the residence: “I will be staying here. I am not going anywhere. Last time they seized the embassy and locked me out, so I am not going anywhere.”

Supporters of the ousted ambassador have been sleeping with pepper spray by their beds in anticipation of regime loyalists breaking into his residence to evict him and are only letting those they trust through the padlocked gates.

One, who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals against his family in Myanmar, told The Telegraph: “We are all terrified they will try to force their way into the residence to evict the ambassador. We are staying here to support the ambassador and his family. The regime is illegitimate and has no right to take this building, which belongs to the people of Myanmar.”

Outside the residence the Myanmar flag was being flown at half mast as inside the ambassador’s staff anticipated the prospect of regime loyalists attempting to break in and seize control.

“We’ve lowered the flag to express our sadness at what’s happening to our people at home,” said one of the ambassador’s staff. “They are suffering under the military regime. It is terrible.”

At one stage the ambassador sent coffee and biscuits to reporters and photographers gathered outside, in a gesture intended to thank the British media for highlighting his plight and that of Myamnar’s people.

A small police presence was seen around the residence throughout the day with police cars, bikes and mounted officers patrolling the area periodically.

By the afternoon preparations were under way to add fencing to the low walls surrounding the property in a bid to secure the perimeter of the property.