Sydney, Sep 27 (UNI) Australia today imposed targeted economic sanctions against Myanmar's military junta, including a freeze on funds transfers, in response to a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
Announcing the imposition of sanctions, Prime Minister John Howard said in a written statement, ''Our objective remains to maximise the pressure on the regime while avoiding harm to the Burmese people.
''Like all Australians I am deeply concerned by the Burmese regime's heavy-handed attempt to suppress peaceful pro-reform protests in Burma, and moved by the demonstrators' courage and commitment.
''Reports that the security forces have killed a number of protesters and arrested many others, including Buddhist monks, are of particular concern,'' he added.
Visa restrictions on Myanmar officials are to be further tightened and Australian embassies in Asia, including Beijing, will seek increased diplomatic pressure on Myanmar to end repression, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Earlier today, the Prime Minister asked China to use its influence over the military junta to put an end to the crackdown on pro-democracy protestors.