Mounting calls for the United Nations Security Council to action in taking up rights abuses in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma have been backed by
Humans Rights Watch. The United nations is currently divided in deciding whether they have a mandate to intervene in the countries horrific political
scene with Russia and China signalling their opposition to putting the issue onto the security council agenda. USA has said they support the call for
action and Britain, France and Romania are expected to follow suit. The calls come less than a month since Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former Czech
president Vaclav Havel also requested that the security council take steps to bring Yangon into line with reform.
"There is ample precedent for the Security Council to take up the human rights and political situation in a country with as horrific a record as
Burma, especially when suffering spills across borders," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
"After years of inaction while the military government has decimated the political opposition in Rangoon and targeted ethnic groups in border areas,
there is no longer any excuse for the Security Council to duck this problem," he added.
"The initiative must come from here (the UN), or from Europe or from America," said AIPMC's chairman, Malaysian MP Zaid Ibrahim. "I think the
secretary general (Annan) should do that."
He urged Europe and the United States to engage with China to find a solution "in the way they did with North Korea" on the nuclear issue.
And UN special envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, in a report to the UN General Assembly, detailed serious human rights violations against the country's
ethnic minorities and demanded the release of the 1,100 political prisoners in Myanmar.
That number includes Aung San Suu Kyi, whom Myanmar military rulers have placed under house arrest for much of the past 16 years, the world's only
imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
Her party won 1990 elections but was never allowed to govern. Its offices have been shut down by the military junta.
For the Security Council to discuss a country situation, nine members must agree to put it on the agenda. Unlike with resolutions, permanent Security
Council members cannot exercise their right of veto over this process.
China has close political, military, and economic ties to the military junta in Yangon, while Russia opposes such discussions because of its record in
Chechnya, HRW said.
"China is trying to portray itself as an emerging and responsible global power," said Mr Adams. "But continuing to offer unconditional support to
one of the world's most odious regimes makes it impossible to take such claims seriously. Now is the time for China to set a new course for itself in
its foreign policy."
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This is a situation that has the potential for a volitile outcome. Russia and China both oppose action with the other main players pushing for action
Although I agree the atrocities are horrendous I do question the security council right and methods.
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[edit on 14-10-2005 by Mayet]