China And Russia Rule Out Security Council Action On Myanmar – AP

From AP, via International Herald Tribune:

China and Russia ruled out any Security Council action on but gave strong backing to efforts by U.N. envoy Ibrahim Gambari to help promote national reconciliation and moves toward democracy in the military-ruled Southeast Asian nation.

Gambari briefed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and senior U.N. officials on his four-day visit to Myanmar soon after he arrived in New York on Thursday. He was scheduled to meet privately with General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim Friday morning and then brief the U.N. Security Council at an open meeting.

China and Russia said their positions on Myanmar has not changed: the crackdown on democracy protesters is an internal matter that does not threaten international peace and security and therefore does not fall under the Security Council’s mandate. But they support Gambari’s efforts. [Full Text]

Read also The Road To Myanmar Passes Through Beijing by Jamie F. Metzl, executive vice president of the Asia Society:

Three hard facts set the boundaries for the talks that negotiator Ibrahim Gambari is undertaking as he shuttles between Myanmar’s ruling generals and the detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

First, despite the heroic leadership of the Buddhist clergy and the prodemocracy community, almost 50 years of military misrule and terror tactics have worn down Myanmar’s people, who will likely find it hard to maintain their defiance unless there are obvious splits among the ruling generals or widespread desertions among ordinary soldiers.

Second, Myanmar’s generals know that they face a stark choice: Either maintain power or risk imprisonment, exile, and possible death. In their eyes, this leaves them with virtually no choice but to hold on to power at all costs.

Finally, as long as China provides political, financial and military support for Myanmar’s rulers, it will be all but impossible for any meaningful change to occur. Until China decides that it has more to gain from a more legitimate government in Myanmar than it does from the current incompetent military regime, little can happen. [Full Text]

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