New Zealand announced, Tuesday, February 9th, the suspension of its high-level military and political contacts with Burma, becoming the first country in the world to take a decision on removing the junta in response to its coup.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, when introducing these measures, called on the international community to do so “We strongly condemn what we are witnessing unfolding in Burma.”. “After years of hard work building democracy in Burma, I think every New Zealander must feel devastated to see what the military has been doing in recent days.”The leader of the Labor Party told reporters. “Our strong message is that we will do what we can from here in New Zealand.”, She continued. “In the wake of the military coup, New Zealand suspended all high-level political and military contacts with Burma.” Jacinda Ardern specifies that this will include a travel ban for senior Burmese military officials.
The Burmese military junta ended a decade of civilian rule last week, arresting de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as dozens of members of her party, the National League for Democracy (LND).
Jacinda Ardern added that her country wants the UN Human Rights Council to meet on Burma. She said, however, that New Zealand aid programs in Burma – which amount to about 42 million New Zealand dollars (25 million euros) – will be maintained on the condition that they do not benefit members of the junta, or are not under their control.