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UN Panel Criticizes Burma's Crackdown on Protesters


A United Nations General Assembly panel has passed a resolution condemning the Burmese government's recent crackdown on pro-democracy and anti-government protesters.

The resolution passed Tuesday by a vote of 88 to 24, with 66 abstentions. The non-binding text strongly condemns the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators who, it says, were exercising their rights to freedom of expression.

The resolution is expected to pass a vote by the 192-member General Assembly.

Also Tuesday, U.N. special envoy Ibrahim Gambari met with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Tuesday in Singapore. Her spokesman said Gambari sees some small progress in Burma so far, but more needs to be done.

The United Nations says Gambari also met with Burma's prime minister and foreign minister Tuesday.

The U.N. envoy was scheduled to address a gathering of Southeast Asian leaders in Singapore this week. But his briefing was abruptly canceled after Burma voiced its objection.

Gambari said he was disappointed about the decision, noting that the reason why he traveled to Singapore was to deliver a briefing on Burma.

Information for this news is provided by ap, afp, reuters, un news service.

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