Govt welcomes UN censure of Myanmar rulers
( AFP ) - Foreign Secretary David Miliband welcomed the UN Security Council's unanimous decision on Thursday to adopt a non-binding statement deploring the recent crackdown in Myanmar.
"I very much welcome this," Miliband said in a statement released by the foreign ministry, which noted that the Security Council document "strongly deplores the use of violence against peaceful demonstrations in Myanmar."
The council also called for "the early release of all political prisoners and remaining detainees," in the statement drafted by the United States, Britain and France, but considerably watered down to placate China and Russia.
Miliband noted that it was the first time that the Security Council had issued a formal statement on Myanmar, and said that "represents a very significant shift in global politics from just a few weeks ago."
"It is proof that the recent brutal crackdown upon and ongoing persecution of peaceful protestors has completely isolated the Burmese regime. They must now respond to these growing global calls for them to work with others in building a better future for the people of Burma."
The foreign secretary said that the signal being sent to Myanmar's rulers and its people was "very clear".
At least 13 people died and more than 2,100 were detained when the ruling military junta cracked down on thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators led by Buddhist monks in September and early October.
The crackdown sparked worldwide outrage and brought demands for the country's military to give up or at least share power with civilians.