A senior U.S. lawmaker has called on the United Nations Security Council to push for democratic reforms in Burma.
In a statement issued Friday, Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (Republican from from the state of Kentucky) condemns the crackdown on democracy activists in Burma and calls for the ruling military to be punished.
A Senate Whip is an asistant to the Majority Leader responsible for majority party unity during voting in the chamber.
The statement deplores the fact that Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and supporters of her National League for Democracy remain under arrest a year after they were attacked by a government-supported mob during a political trip.
Mr. McConnell calls on UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to take the matter to the Security Council and says the United States government should advance the initiative as a member of the Council.
The U.S. State Department on Friday also criticized Burma for the continued detention of opposition leaders.
Earlier this month, the United States extended sanctions against Burma for another year, saying the constitutional convention called by the military government lacks legitimacy. In response the Burmese government insisted it is committed to reforms, but at its own pace.