The former Myanmar ambassador to Britain, Kyaw Zuar Min, spent the night in his car after the embassy doors were locked without him, he said.
Kyaw Min visitors said that the Myanmar military attache in Britain had asked staff to leave the building on Wednesday night and was told that he was no longer representing the country.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned what happened, describing it as a “thug.”
The Myanmar military seized power on 1 February, leading to weeks of protests and an escalation of violence.
Kyaw Min’s visitors called for the release of Leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
So far more than 500 people – including dozens of children – have been killed in protests as pro-democracy protesters demand the return of elected leader Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party to power.
Kyaw Min’s visitors described Wednesday’s events as “a kind of coup in central London,” according to Reuters news agency citing him.
“I was removed from my position … and this kind of coup will not happen,” he added.
The ambassador was photographed standing on the street outside the embassy headquarters in Mayfair, London, talking to officers from the Metropolitan Police.
According to reports, the police were called in to prevent the employees from entering the building again. Demonstrators gathered outside the embassy, after news of the embassy’s doors being closed to the former ambassador.
And Reuters news agency, citing diplomats familiar with the matter, reported that the deputy ambassador, Chet Wynn, had assumed the position of Charge d’Affairs to London.
In March, Kyaw Min visitors called for Suu Kyi’s release. He told the BBC that Myanmar was “divided” and could be at risk of civil war.
He stressed that his statements were not “betrayal of the country,” adding that his position was “centrist.” The Myanmar government subsequently issued a statement saying it had recalled it.
BBC News editor Mark Lobell says some of the expelled embassy officials are looking to support the Foreign Office, so they can return to their posts.
A few days after the Myanmar army seized power, overthrew the government and declared a state of emergency, a protest movement began to emerge, and it quickly intensified, leading to the participation of hundreds of thousands of citizens in street protests.
Last week, Suu Kyi was charged with violating the Colonial Eras Official Secrets Protection Act, which carries a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
Information about Myanmar
- Myanmar, also known as “Burma”, gained its independence from Britain in 1948. For most of its modern history it was under military rule.
- Restrictions began to ease from 2010 onwards, leading to free elections in 2015 and the inauguration of a government led by veteran opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi the following year.
- In 2017, the Myanmar military responded to attacks by Rohingya militants on the police with a crackdown, prompting more than half a million Rohingya Muslims to flee across the border to Bangladesh, in what the United Nations later described as “a perfect example of ethnic cleansing.”