Friday, October 12, 2007

Burma-UN Security Council in a shameful abdication of responsibility

The UN Security Council has “strongly deplored” the use of violence by the military junta against peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators. In a compromise wishy-washy statement, the Council called for “genuine dialogue” between the Burmese junta and Opposition, including detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi. But the formula of words was much watered down from the one proposed by the United States, Britain and France after opposition from Russia and China. It reeks of insincerity.

According to the statement “The Security Council strongly deplores the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators in Burma.” The statement also emphasised “the importance of the early release of all political prisoners and remaining detainees”. The US and others endeavoured without success to include the word condemn in the statement and sought the immediate release of all political prisoners, including Aung San Suu Kyi. China and Russia refused to accept the word condemn so this was replaced in the statement with the words “strongly deplore”. A reference to “immediate release” of political prisoners was dropped.

The milk and watery statement is a graphic illustration of the relative powerlessness of the UN Security Council. It could not even condemn the slaughter and brutality in Burma. Russia and China have combined to protect the butchers of Rangoon. The junta can continue the crack down on the pro democracy group happy in the knowledge that its worst excesses will go unpunished in the short term. The UN is a toothless tiger. It is a waste of tax payers money. Russia and China continually abuse the veto at the UN and allow war criminals in Burma and Darfur to murder and torture with impunity.

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