West warns Burma junta

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The Independent Online
BRITAIN pressed for tougher European Union sanctions against Burma yesterday in response to the massive new crackdown by the military regime in Rangoon against the banned pro-democracy opposition, in which more than 300 people have been detained.

The steps outlined by Derek Fatchett, the Foreign Office minister, include sending an EU ministerial team to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy, and other opposition figures, a freeze on trade and investment and active discour- agement of tourism to Burma. They could be given the go-ahead by senior officials in Brussels within 10 days.

Pressure for action also came from Washington, which is examining how to "ratchet up the pressure" on Burma, in the words of James Rubin, the State Department spokesman.

The human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are demanding action by Japan and the Association of South East Asian nations when their foreign ministers meet in New York this month during the United Nations General Assembly.

Ms Suu Kyi's party said yesterday that 108 more of its members had been arrested in the past 24 hours, while several newspapers had urged that she be deported.