In an e-mail to the Associated Press, Tutu called the vote on January 12th a betrayal of South Africa's "noble past."
The Security Council voted nine to three in favor of the measure, but it failed because of vetoes by Russia and China. The resolution urged Burma's military government to release all political prisoners, speed up progress toward democracy, and stop attacks against ethnic minorities.
Tutu was a leading voice in South Africa's anti-apartheid movement and headed South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He and former Czech President Vaclav Havel authored a report in 2005 that called on the Security Council to take action against Burma.
South Africa is a new member of the Security Council.
South African Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad defended the vote, saying that while South Africa was concerned about human rights in Burma, it felt the matter was better suited to the U.N. Human Rights Council.
Information for this report is provided by AP.