© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Myanmar Ambassador Kyaw Zwar Minn gestures outside the Myanmar Embassy after he was locked out of the embassy and sources said his deputy banned him from the building and on behalf of the military in London, Britain, April
By John Geddie and Poppy McPherson
(Reuters) – Myanmar has appointed a new temporary head of its embassy in London, the UK Foreign Office said on Friday, replacing the previous ambassador, who was deposed after breaking with the military government during the February 1 coup.
The election of the new "charge d’affaires ad interim" did not require the approval of the British government, a spokesman for the State Department told Reuters, which first reported on the move on Friday.
More than 900 people who opposed the junta have been killed by security forces since the coup, leading to international condemnations and sanctions, including from the UK.
"The consent of the receiving state is not required," said the spokesman, citing the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The new representative was not named in the declaration.
A spokesman for the military-controlled government in Myanmar did not respond to calls from Reuters for comment.
The Myanmar Accountability Project, a UK-based rights group, said the appointee for the London job was Htun Aung Kyaw, who served as a fighter pilot during a long army career. A source familiar with the matter also said Htun Aung Kyaw was Myanmar's new pick, but Reuters couldn't confirm this.
In a statement this week, the Myanmar Accountability Project urged the UK not to recognize the military-appointed representative on the grounds that it was "a gross double standard and a moral outrage".
Former ambassador, Kyaw Zwar Minn, was locked out of the London embassy in April after demanding the release of detained civil leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Kyaw Zwar Minn remains in Great Britain and has urged the British government not to recognize envoys appointed by the junta and to send them back to Myanmar.
After the coup, Britain imposed sanctions on members of the Myanmar military and some of its business interests, and called for the restoration of democracy.
The military junta said it took power because last year's elections were fraudulent, a claim that was rejected by the electoral commission.
The UK on Friday appointed a new ambassador to Myanmar, Pete Vowles, who previously held diplomatic and international development roles in Africa and Asia.
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