US lawmakers are proposing additional sanctions against military ruled Burma that target the country's lucrative trade of gems, and government officials who were involved in the recent bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.
Republican presidential candidate, Arizona Senator John McCain and Tom Lantos, a Democrat from California, introduced two separate bills on Wednesday.
Both McCain's legislation (Saffron Revolution Support Act) and the Lantos bill (Block Burmese Junta's Anti-Democratic Efforts (JADE) Act) seek to ban the import of Burmese gems to the United State through third countries, and financial sanctions for government officials.
The Lantos bill seeks to freeze the assets of Burmese officials and their families, and prevent them from having access to US banks. McCain's bill focuses on a visa ban for Burmese officials and authorizes aid for democracy activists in Burma.
Separately on Wednesday, a US State Department official urged India and China to do more to pressure Burma's military government.
Deputy Assistant Secretary (for East Asian and Pacific Affairs) Scot Marciel welcomed India's statements on the recent crackdown. But he told a Congressional subcommittee Wednesday that India's words are undercut by its actions, such as large investments in Burma's infrastructure.
He did praise China's efforts in facilitating a recent meeting between UN special envoy Ibrahim Gambari and the head of Burma's military government.
But he said China also must do more, such as pressing Burma for an early return visit by Gambari and for the release of political prisoners.
China says it will not interfere on what it says is an internal affair of Burma.
Information for this story is provided by AP, AFP, and Reuters.