The Myanmar community in New Zealand is reeling from news of the country's military takeover on Monday, described by academics as an attack on democracy just as important in Myanmar as it was in the United States.
Everyone is devastated about the situation, says Ye Aung, a representative of Myanmar Gon Ye or pride, an Auckland community group.
"We were at the monastery for a function on Monday when people suddenly looked at their phones, and the calls started," he said, describing the moment news broke.
Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi and senior members of the civilian government were detained in the early hours of Monday morning local time.
The Myanmar military, known as the Tatmadaw, declared a one-year state of emergency on national television the same day, claiming widespread voter fraud in the country's November 2020 elections.
"Some people started crying. Many of us have families back there," said Ye, a 36-year-old mechanic and driving instructor whose parents are in Yangon.
"It's high anxiety, my mother can't sleep at night."
Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) had won the November election in a landslide, and the election commission had said there was no evidence to support claims of voter fraud.
"We are very concerned about the safety of family and friends in Myanmar, and fearing we may not get to see or talk to them again," says Christalin, chair of the NZ Myanmar Ethnics Council, a national community group based in Wellington.
The group is calling on New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to apply pressure on Myanmar to release Suu Kyi and other detained leaders.
The council was set up in 2015 to help former refugees from Myanmar settle in New Zealand.
Its database shows a 6000-strong community, more than double the official tally of 2475 in New Zealand's 2018 census.
Many in the community are dismayed at the prospect of history repeating itself.
Myanmar saw nationwide democracy protests in 1988, quashed by a crackdown and followed by decades of military rule.
"Are we going back to a dictatorship for another 30 years? 50 years? And with the Covid impact on the economy, people don't have jobs, it's a double-down," Ye said.
New Zealand released a statement on Monday saying it is "deeply concerned by the military's seizure of power in Myanmar".
Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta also called for the release of Suu Kyi and a "rapid return to civilian rule".
The US has threatened sanctions, with newly elected US President Biden saying the US will stand up for democracy wherever it is under attack.
"I believe they [the army] looked to the US playbook and the recent - inaccurate - comments around electoral fraud," said Dr Sharon Bell, a researcher on international development cooperation in Myanmar.
However, she sees an opportunity for the international community to apply diplomatic pressure and persuade the Tatmadaw that a coup is not in the army's long-term interests, that it is possible to "shift their approach without losing face", she said.
But there is a high level of uncertainty on what happens next.
"It's equally possible to see more arrests. It's hard to say how the army will respond to international pressure," Bell said.
New Zealand has bolstered diplomatic ties with Myanmar in recent years, setting up a representative office in 2013 that was upgraded to a full embassy in 2014.
Trade with the developing nation was valued at NZ$52.6 million in 2018, the majority of it dairy exports to Myanmar.
"It's not vast but it's a growing sum, and instability in that region is bad for business," said Alexander Gillespie, professor of international law at the University of Waikato.
He points to a risk of refugee flows if conflict breaks out in Myanmar, and warns that the country could once again become a pawn in a geopolitical tussle between western powers and China.
New Zealand should care about democracy under threat anywhere in the world as a matter of principle, he says.
"As much as we should speak out when protesters stormed the Capitol and their affront on American democracy, we should speak out here [on Myanmar] as well."
The Myanmar community in New Zealand is planning to hold a rally outside Parliament in Wellington to condemn the military takeover, but a date has not been confirmed.