Myanmar coup: Fitness instructor unwittingly captures military seizing power as she records workout routine

A fitness instructor recording an aerobic workout unwittingly captured the first moments of the military coup in Myanmar.

The young woman had staged her video outside the parliament complex in the capital of Naypyidaw, unintentionally capturing the moment Myanmar's military swept in to seize power by detaining state counsellor, Aung San Suu Chi.

The young woman, clad in activewear and a mask, appears completely oblivious to the events unfolding behind her as she performs the elaborate exercise routine.

The extraordinary footage has since gone viral on social media. 

On Monday, Myanmar's military seized power in a coup against the democratically-elected government of Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate who was detained in the early morning raids along with other leaders of her National League for Democracy (NLD) party - derailing the nation's tentative progress towards full democracy.

According to a statement on a military-owned television station, the army said it had carried out the detentions in response to "election fraud", handing power to military chief Min Aung Hlaing and imposing a state of emergency for one year.

The party of the detained leader has called for her immediate release and for the military junta to recognise her victory in November's election.

The Nobel Peace laureate's whereabouts remain unknown more than 24 hours after the takeover. However, a senior official from the NLD said he had learned Suu Kyi was in good health and was not being moved from the location of her detainment.

The New Zealand Government has called on the military to release Suu Kyi.

"Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the military's seizure of power in Myanmar. New Zealand is a long-standing supporter of Myanmar's democratic transition," Minister for Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta said on Tuesday.

"We call for the swift release of all those political actors detained, including State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi and President U Win Myint, and for a rapid return to civilian rule.

"An election has taken place and the democratic will of the people must be respected. We confirm our support for Myanmar's democratic institutions and the rule of law."

Kiwis have been warned not to travel to Myanmar amid the current coup.

"New Zealand officials continue to closely monitor the situation in Myanmar. Consular advice is for New Zealanders in Myanmar to avoid any unnecessary travel for the time being and to monitor media reporting for the most up-to-date information."

US President Joe Biden has threatened to reimpose sanctions on Myanmar's military leaders, condemning the takeover as a "direct assault on the country's transition to democracy and the rule of law".

"The international community should come together in one voice to press the Burmese military to immediately relinquish the power they have seized, release the activists and officials they have detained," Biden said in a statement on Monday (local time).

"The United States removed sanctions on Burma over the past decade based on progress toward democracy. The reversal of that progress will necessitate an immediate review of our sanction laws and authorities, followed by appropriate action."