The UN Security Council has condemned Myanmar’s crushing of recent pro-democracy protests. The UN ruling has no legal power, but, given the inclusion of China, it effectively isolates the military regime. The Security Council President, Dumisani Kumalo said: “The UN security council strongly deplores the use of violence against peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar”
The hard-fought-for statement demanded political dialogue and the freeing of all political prisoners. Countries who’d hoped for a stronger message, like the US, individually warned the Myanmar junta that, if ignored, the matter would not be left there.
America’s ambassador to the UN, Zalmay Khalilzad said: “My message to the government in Burma (Myanmar) is do what we demand, otherwise in two weeks or so we will be back.”
China’s response, whilst rather lukewarm, marked the first time it has joined criticism of its neighbour. China’s deputy ambassador to the UN, Liu Zhenmin said: “Myanmar and the Myanmar people must resolve this issue, and we tell the people of Myanmar “good luck”.
It took six days of wrangling to agree the wording. The final version dropped demands for a full accounting of what happened to arrested demonstrators. Thousands are believed to have been rounded up, many detained while the UN’s own envoy was in the country.
Ibrahim Gambari is expected to return to Myanmar for more talks.
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