UN fails to reach decision over Myanmar
( RIA Novosti ) - The UN Security Council failed to adopt a draft resolution on Myanmar, after China and Russia blocked international calls for sanctions against the country wrapped in anti-government protests.
President George W. Bush said the United States has imposed further sanctions on the South East Asian nation, and called on the international community "to help the Burmese people reclaim their freedom," in a speech to the 62nd General Assembly Wednesday.
China and Russia vetoed the U.S.-backed resolution indicating that sanctions would not be effective.
China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said, "We believe sanctions are not helpful for the situation down there," while Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN envoy said that the country needed first a "return to security."
The White House has called on China, as Myanmar's biggest trading partner, to talk to the military leadership to bring pressure on the country to exercise restraint.
UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon dispatched special envoy for Myanmar, Ibrahim Gambari, to Myanmar, although there are doubts as to whether he will be allowed into the country.
Security forces launched a crackdown in Yangon, Wednesday following large-scale demonstrations by Buddhist monks nine days ago. Streets were blocked off as police fired tear gas and beat protesters with batons.
The Myanmar government confirmed one person was killed in the clashes, but independent reports suggest the figure is higher.
The protests, which are the biggest for more than two decades, began last month when the junta drastically raised the price of fuel, leaving many people unable to afford even a journey to work.
The last anti-junta demonstrations in Myanmar were led by students in 1988. Security forces opened fire on crowds, and around 3,000 people were killed.