Global Insight: Tackling Myanmar's military coup

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A little-used international agreement is a potential weapon against Myanmar's violent military coup, Professor Robert Patman says.

Calls are increasing for the international community to bypass the United Nations Security Council and authorize intervention in Myanmar based on the Responsibility to Protect, a 2005 UN-backed convention that says a government's legitimacy is based on a social contract to protect its people.

"According to that view of sovereignty . . . the military authorities in Myanmar have forfeited the right to exercise responsibility," Prof Patman says.

"It is a potential weapon that could be used . . . We are at something of a crossroads internationally, because I think many people are outraged by what is happening in Myanmar." 

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