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E. Timor PM Regrets Failed Security Council Resolution on Burma


East Timorese Prime Minister and Nobel peace laureate Jose Ramos-Horta says he is disappointed that the United Nations Security Council failed to pass a resolution last week criticizing Burma's military-led government.

In a statement Thursday, Mr. Ramos-Horta said that some Security Council members may be right when they say Burma is not a threat to regional security because it does not possess biological or nuclear weapons capability.

But he said Burma's human rights situation, rampant drug trafficking problem, unchecked HIV rates, and high internally displaced populations do pose a threat to regional, if not, international security.

Mr. Ramos-Horta also argued that the inability of the U.N. Human Rights Commission to address the problem should also be a wake up call to the Security Council.

A U.S.-drafted resolution failed last Friday because of vetoes by China and Russia.

If it had passed, the resolution would have urged Burma's military government to release all political prisoners, speed up progress toward democracy, and stop attacks against ethnic minorities.

Burma's military has ruled the country since 1962 and ignored a 1990 landslide election victory by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Since then, Aung San Suu Kyi has spent most of her time in prison or under house arrest.

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