HR Watch slams arms sales to Myanmar | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 12, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 12, 2007

HR Watch slams arms sales to Myanmar

Nations such as China, Russia and India are helping prop up Myanmar's military junta by supplying them with weapons, Human Rights Watch said Thursday as it appealed for an arms embargo.
The New York-based watchdog called on the UN Security Council -- currently meeting in New York -- to impose and enforce a ban on the sale of arms to Myanmar, which it said used the weapons to commit abuses against its people.
"It's time for the Security Council to end all sales and transfers of arms to a government that uses repression and fear to hang onto power," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
"Instead of continuing to protect Burma's abusive generals, China and Russia should join other Security Council members to cut off the instruments of repression," he said. Myanmar was previously known as Burma.
At least 13 people were killed and about 2,100 arrested in a violent crackdown on rallies across Myanmar last month, which had posed the biggest threat to the junta's rule in nearly two decades.
The Security Council on Wednesday reached a broad consensus on a statement which "strongly deplores" the recent bloody crackdown, after pressure from Myanmar's allies China and Russia to water down a stronger draft.
"The nations of the world are arming and training the Burmese military at the same time that they condemn Burma's human rights violations," Adams said.
"These countries should back up their rhetoric with actions to avoid complicity in attacks on the Burmese people."
Human Rights Watch singled out India as one of the main suppliers, saying it had sold Myanmar maritime surveillance aircraft, tanks and artillery.
China, meanwhile, has supplied Myanmar with advanced helicopter gunships, fighter planes, naval vessels, tanks and small arms including mortars, landmines, and assault rifles, the group said.
Russia signed a deal to supply Myanmar with MiG-29 fighter planes in 2002, it added.
The statement said Myanmar had received technical assistance from South Korean company Daewoo, rocket systems from North Korea, and cited reports of Israel selling tanks to the regime.
The military used the arms bought from overseas to put down numerous ethnic insurgencies, but in the process destroyed villages and terrorised civilians, Human Rights Watch said.

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