The U.N. Security Council on March 24 held closed-door talks on Myanmar with Britain and China clashing over whether it was appropriate for the 15-member body to weigh the military-ruled country’s electoral affairs. The consultations, called by Britain following Myanmar’s new electoral laws that disqualify detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, marked the first time the council took stock of developments in the country since last August. They came on the eve of a meeting of the so-called Group of Friends of Myanmar at U.N. headquarters. Britain’s UN envoy Mark Lyall Grant said many council members voiced concern about Myanmar’s new electoral laws “which fall well short of what the international community expected in a free and fair process and fell short of the expectations set up in previous (council) statements.” Myanmar’s new laws relate to the registration of political parties and bar anyone serving a prison term from being a member of an official party. (AFP)

About the author