Britain, EU seek session of UN rights forum on Myanmar

Britain's envoy said on Monday (February 8) it had submitted a request for a special session of the U.N. Human Rights Council to address the crisis in Myanmar, where the military seized power a week ago.

Myanmar's new military leader said on Monday the ruling junta would hold a fresh election and hand power to the winner, saying that campaigning in a vote last November had not been fair.

Police warned protesters to disperse or face force to stifle the demonstrations against the coup.

Ambassador Julian Braithwaite told an organizational meeting of the Geneva forum that it was making the request together with the European Union.

"Madam president, we must respond to the call of the United Nations secretary-general, who has condemned the actions of the Myanmar military, and called on its leadership to listen to the will of the people and to refrain from violence and to fully respect human rights and fundamental freedoms. We must react to the call of the High Commissioner for human rights, who has expressed her great concerns about the removal of the civilian government, and the arbitrary detention of dozens of political leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, activists, and others by military."

The United States embassy in Myanmar said on Monday it had received reports that a curfew had been imposed in the country's two biggest cities, Yangon and Mandalay, after a third day of big protests over last week's coup.