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India votes against Myanmar resolution

India votes against the UN resolution condemning the recent crackdown on anti-government protests by Myanmar's ruling generals.

world Updated: Nov 21, 2007 13:44 IST

India has voted against the UN resolution condemning the recent crackdown on anti-government protests by Myanmar's ruling generals.

The resolution, adopted on Tuesday night by a UN General Assembly committee by a 88-24 vote with 66 abstentions, "strongly condemns the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators who were exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression and to peaceful assembly and association".

In a statement explaining India's negative vote, Kunwar Sarvraj Singh, MP and member of the Indian delegation to the UN, said: "By adopting a condemnatory, intrusive and unhelpful tone, this draft resolution will not contribute or strengthen the initiatives being taken (in Myanmar) by the UN and may, in fact, prove to be counter-productive."

Singh said India believes human rights in a country are better promoted and protected by the international community through dialogue, consultation and cooperation.

He said India's stand on the recent developments in Myanmar is that "all initiatives taken in this connection should be forward-looking, non-condemnatory and seek to engage the government of Myanmar in a non-intrusive and constructive manner."

Singh added that India has impressed upon Myanmar that the process of political reform and national reconciliation should be taken forward quickly and should include all sections of society.

He said the text of the draft resolution is not reflective of recent positive steps being taken by the government of Myanmar, including the visit of the UN Special Rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, and meetings between opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the specially appointed minister for relations.

Besides India, China and Russia too voted against the resolution, which was co-sponsored by western countries, including the US.

The resolution is expected to be endorsed by the full 192-member UN General Assembly next month.