BANGKOK, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- Human rights activists said it's important to keep an international spotlight on Myanmar even if the United Nations refuses to punish its military junta.
Military authorities in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, have arrested thousands of monks and activists since a violent crackdown last month on anti-government protests. Four leading activists were arrested in the last week in a major blow to the pro-democracy movement, the Voice of America reported Monday.
Speaking from Bangkok, U.N. Envoy Ibrahim Gambari called on Myanmar's junta to stop its "extremely disturbing" actions. Gambari is to visit Indonesia, India, China and Japan to build support for political reconciliation in Myanmar and the release of all political detainees, the VOA reported.
Gambari's work is crucial, even if he isn't able to convince the U.N. Security Council to sanction Myanmar's leaders, Sean Turnell, who monitors Myanmar from Australia's Macquarie University, told VOA. The key, for the time being, is to ensure international pressure remains focused on Myanmar, Turnell said.