Myanmar defiant after UN rebuke
( AFP ) - Military-run Myanmar on Tuesday vowed that it would "march on" unaffected by a UN Security Council statement condemning the junta's bloody crackdown on dissent last month.
The regime, under global pressure after its violent clampdown on peaceful protesters, instead blamed foreign media and exiled dissidents for fabricating news and causing public panic, state media said in a commentary.
"We are confident that the presidential statement is not a matter of concern," said the official New Light of Myanmar daily, referring to the UN statement, which was unanimously adopted on October 11.
"The situation in Myanmar does not constitute a threat to the regional and international peace and security. It is obvious that there is no reason for the UNSC to take action against Myanmar," the paper said.
"We will march on. There is no reason to change the course," it said.
The UN statement condemned the junta's use of violence against demonstrators in the streets of Yangon in late September, which killed at least 13 people, including a Japanese journalist, and saw more than 2,100 people jailed.
The Security Council called for the release of all political prisoners and urged the regime to open a dialogue with Myanmar's detained opposition leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
The 62-year-old leader has been under house arrest in Yangon, Myanmar's main city, for most of the last 18 years.
A group of key pro-democracy activists have been sent to Myanmar's notorious Insein prison for organising an August rally, which later snowballed into the biggest challenge to the iron-fisted regime in nearly 20 years.
Nearly 1,000 people are still being held over the protests, including six arrested last weekend, according to Amnesty International, which has voiced fears that the prisoners are being tortured.
But the official paper said the country, formerly known as Burma, has no political prisoners.
"In reality, there is no one in Myanmar who is in prison for political reasons," it said.