Three senior U.S. lawmakers are urging that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice call on the United Nations Security Council to hold an emergency meeting on Burma.
In a letter to Rice Wednesday, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (of Kentucky) and leading Democrat Dianne Feinstein (of California) wrote that Burma's human rights situation merits a "strong and meaningful response" from the United States.
They and the head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Lantos (of California), criticized Burma's military government for its tough response to recent non-violent demonstrations in Burma.
The U.S. State Department says the Burmese government is using the protests as a basis to confront the country's dissident movement.
State Department spokesman Tom Casey said Burma should free the latest detainees as well as longtime political prisoners.
He said Washington will continue working with the U.N. to get the political prisoners released.