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Brown calls for more EU sanctions on Myanmar

The head of United Kingdom Burmese Buddhist monks U. Uttara prays outside 10 Downing Street in London after meeting Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a global day of action for Myanmar, October 6, 2007. REUTERS/Stephen Hird

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on Saturday for international pressure to be increased on Myanmar’s ruling generals and tougher sanctions from the European Union.

Brown was meeting a delegation of Myanmar democracy campaigners as part of a global day of protests.

“I want the EU to impose further sanctions on the regime to make it absolutely clear we will not tolerate the abuses that have taken place,” he told the delegation.

“I want all the other leaders of the world to work with us to achieve the progress that all of you here want ... an end to abuse of human rights, we want the violence to stop against the people of Burma and we want to move forward with the process of democracy and reconciliation as soon as possible.”

Myanmar’s ruling junta has come under international pressure after it suppressed pro-democracy protests led by Buddhist monks, the biggest anti-government demonstrations in nearly 20 years in the main city, Yangon.

On Friday, a draft statement from Britain, the United States and France circulated to the UN Security Council condemned the junta’s “violent repression”. It called for political detainees to be freed and talks opened with the opposition.

The junta has said 10 people were killed in the protests. Brown said Britain disputed the figures.

“We believe there have been many more killings than the regime admit,” he said in a statement.

“And we have very grave concerns about hundreds, possibly thousands, of monks, nuns and others who have simply disappeared.”