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U.S. Wants U.N. Resolution On Burma

The United States is preparing a resolution on Burma to introduce in the United Nations Security Council. The resolution will express concern over the human rights violations in Burma, including the continued detention of democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners.

In late May, Burma imposed another year of house arrest on Aung San Suu Kyi. She has been held at her home in the Burmese capital of Rangoon since May 2003 and has spent ten of the past seventeen years in detention.

U.S. State Department spokesman Tom Casey said the proposed U-N Security Council resolution would call upon Burma's government to ensure an inclusive and democratic political process:

"We put out a statement indicating that we intend to move forward with a U-N Security Council resolution on Burma, largely to express our continued concern about the ongoing situation in that country, including the continued and now extended detention of Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as other political prisoners and also the lack of a real open and transparent political process that involves all the people in the country... We believe the situation there warrants action by the Security Council, certainly an expression of concern and the desire to see the Burmese government do the right thing, release political prisoners and move forward with a national reconciliation process and political process that would ultimately make a move towards democracy."

Mr. Casey said that in addition to cracking down on its political opponents, Burma's government has taken economic decisions that have made life "increasingly difficult" for many Burmese citizens.

Refugees International, a U.S.-based monitoring group, says a half a million people have been internally displaced in Burma and more than a million have fled to neighboring nations. Other human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have also called on the U.N. Security Council to act in response to Burma's deteriorating human rights situation. They have noted in particular the flight of thousands of ethnic Karen in the eastern part of the country trying to avoid persecution.

U-S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that as long as the "proud people" of Burma remain oppressed, "there can be no business as usual in Southeast Asia."

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.