Thursday, 18 June 2009


More than 2,000 delegates at the UNISON national conference in Brighton today donned masks of Burma pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in protest at her continued detention by the Burmese military.

It was a show of solidarity and support for the National League for Democracy leader on the eve of her 64th birthday. During the masked protest, UNISON Vice-President, Angela Lynes, read out a message calling for Suu Kyi’s immediate release and for the Burmese Government to end the “repression” of its people and respect human and labour rights. Angela Lynes read out the following statement:

“On the eve of your 64th birthday, UNISON condemns your continued imprisonment at the hands of a brutal military dictatorship who have no respect for human rights, international law, democracy or the welfare of their own people, and who use every odious means at their disposal to cling on to power.

“We call on the United Nations to work tirelessly for your release and that of the more than 2,000 other political prisoners, many of whom are fellow trade unionists.

“We will continue to protest your loss of liberty and campaign for your release. We will continue to remember you and all those who are suffering in Burma. Your suffering will not be in vain.

“Happy birthday, Aung San Suu Kyi”.

The National League for Democracy won the elections in 1990, the result of which was overturned by the military. Aung San Suu Kyi is on trial for “violating” the terms of her house arrest after a man uninvited swam a lake to her home. She is an honorary life member of UNISON and the union has been campaigning with Burma support groups in the UK and overseas for her release.