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Myanmar coup: Sri Lanka abstains from voting on UN resolution

Sri Lanka has abstained from voting on the United Nations General Assembly's (UNGA's) resolution for an arms embargo against Myanmar.

On Friday (18), the 47-member Geneva forum unanimously passed a resolution brought by Britain and the European Union (EU) without a vote.

The UN's resolution called "upon the Myanmar armed forces to respect the people's will as freely expressed by results of the general election of November 8, 2020, to end the state of emergency, to respect all human rights of people of Myanmar and to allow the sustained democratic transition of Myanmar, including the opening of the democratically elected parliament, and by working towards bringing all national institutions, including the armed forces, under a fully inclusive civilian government that is representative of the people's will."

Belarus called for a vote on the resolution in the 193-member UNGA but supporters of the resolution had hoped that it would be passed unanimously by consensus.

The resolution was finally passed with 119 countries voting 'yes', Belarus voting 'no' and 36 countries abstaining, including Myanmar’s neighbors China and India, along with Russia, according to the news agency AP.

The violence used by Myanmar's armed forces against unarmed opponents since the coup in February has shocked the world with more than 800 people reported to have been killed.

Meanwhile, senior journalist and former Director General of the Sri Lanka Press Complaints Commission and Director General of the Government Information Department, Dr. Ranga Kalansooriya questioned the government on its decision to abstain from voting.

"Will the Foreign Ministry explain to the taxpayers of this country why Sri Lanka had abstained from voting in the UN resolution against the military junta in Myanmar? Did China say not to vote?," he said on Facebook.



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