Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Burma to threat list
The Sidney Morning Herald
The National League for Democracy (NLD) spokesman Nyan Win said putting Burma on the UN Security Council's agenda could help the push for national reconciliation of the country, ruled by the military in various guises since 1962.
"It surely is a step towards finding political solutions to our problems," Nyan Win said on Saturday.
Ms Suu Kyi has been in prison or under house arrest since May 2003. "We believe it will certainly help pave the way for the national reconciliation in our country."
A divided Security Council voted on Friday to add Burma to its agenda, deeming it a threat to regional and international peace and security.
Ten nations, including the US, voted in favour of the addition, while China, Russia, Qatar and the Democratic Republic of Congo voted against it. Tanzania abstained.
The vote cleared the way for the US to follow through on a promised push for a resolution on human rights in the isolated South-East Asian nation. But the US ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, told reporters none was immediately planned.
Despite the opposition's welcome, some Burma analysts were cautious about the next move by other countries with the permanent seats in the council.
"The pragmatic ones will welcome it very, very cautiously. I think we need to wait to see what the Security Council will continue to do," said a political analyst, Win Naing.
"If Russia and China continue to veto further steps, there won't be any progress."
China's ambassador to the UN, Wang Guangya, told reporters after the vote that it was "preposterous" to argue any nation threatened international peace and security simply because of its illegal drugs trade, high HIV infection rate and poor human rights record.
The Council's decision came as Burma's rulers are preparing to resume a constitution-drafting convention on October 10, the first of the seven steps in the political "road map to democracy" laid down by the ruling junta.
The NLD led other major opposition parties to boycott the convention.