UK Envoy Right To Deny Junta Credentials Despite Expulsion

July 16th, 2022  •  Author:   Burma Human Rights Network  •  2 minute read
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16 July 2022 — London/Yangon — BHRN applauds the decision by the head of the UK embassy, Pete Vowles, to refuse to provide his credentials to the Burmese Military. As a result of this and the UK’s downgrading of its diplomatic ties with Burma, Mr. Vowles was expelled from the country abruptly on 14 July. BHRN denounces the decision of the illegitimate junta to impose its will on embassy staff in the country, as they have no rightful authority to do so.

“This should be yet another wakeup call to the UK Government, that the junta behaves however it pleases despite having no authority to do so. This is how they are trying to rule the entire country, forcing their will onto citizens with the threat of violence against those who do not fall in line. Now, more than ever, the UK should put its full support behind the anti-coup movement”, said BHRN’s Executive Director, Kyaw Win.

Since the February 2021 coup, many nations have downgraded their diplomatic status with Burma but maintained some footprints in the country. The Junta has tried to exploit this by seeking ways to legitimise their authority, such as by requesting credentials from embassy staff. Mr. Vowels’ refusal to do just that was a clear refusal to lend any credibility to the junta and should be applauded.

BHRN calls on all nations to downgrade their diplomatic ties in Burma while the junta maintains power. Those nations opposing the coup must lend their full support to the anti-coup movement in Burma. At the same time, international community should put benchmark to the National Unity Government that it must demonstrate progress towards creating an inclusive government that grants equal rights and protections to all Burma’s citizens, without exception for race, religion, or ethnicity. This inclusion must extend to the Rohingya, who suffered at the hands of the Burmese Government, even under the leadership of the National League for Democracy.

Organisation’s Background

BHRN is based in London, operates across Burma and works for human rights, minority rights and religious freedom in Burma. BHRN has played a crucial role advocating for human rights and religious freedom with politicians and world leaders.

Media Enquiries

Please contact:

Kyaw Win, Executive Director

Burma Human Rights Network (BHRN)

E: kyawwin@bhrn.org.uk

T: +44(0) 740 345 2378