First Minister to Welcome Burmese Democracy Leader at FMQs
A senior colleague of the jailed Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will attend First Minister’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 25th October and be welcomed by the First Minister. He will then meet with Europe and External Affairs Minister Linda Fabiani, and other MSPs, to provide an update on the current situation inside Burma and urge Scottish politicians and civil society to keep up the pressure on the country’s military regime.
The Burmese visitor, Moe Zaw, was a leader of the “88 Generation” of students who led protests against the Burmese dictatorship in 1988. He has continued his campaign for democracy in exile ever since. Moe Zaw (pronounced ‘Mo Saw’) is travelling to Scotland as a guest of Amnesty International, as part of an ongoing campaign to address the appalling human rights record of the Burmese regime. The visit to the Scottish Parliament has been arranged by Rob Gibson MSP, whose motion expressing support for Burmese protestors has received the backing of nearly 40 MSPs.
Earlier in the day Moe Zaw, along with Burmese educationalist Dr Thein Lwin, will address a full meeting of Edinburgh City Council, which made a Freedom of the City award to Aung San Suu Kyi in 2005. The Council will then debate a motion calling for continued support for the Burmese people. He will also visit a local school as a guest of the Scottish-based charity Burma Educational Scholarship Trust (BEST). The visit will also see him speaking to the Parliament’s Cross Party Group on International Development.
John Watson, Programme Director, Scotland, for Amnesty International said: “We have all seen images of the brave protestors who took to the streets in cities across Burma, and of the violent response of that country’s military regime. It is clear that the support of the international community will be necessary if the situation is to change.”
He continued: “On Wednesday 24th October Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi completes her 12th year under house arrest. Her words ‘please use your freedom to defend ours’ have never been more poignant.”
Rob Gibson MSP said:
"It's crucial that we don't forget the travesty of justice which is happening in Burma each day.
The persecution and brutal oppression of peaceful protestors should not be tolerated by the international community. As parliamentarians we have a duty to provide whatever assistance we can to further raise the plight of the Burmese people, that is why I am only to happy to host Moe Zaw’s visit to the Scottish Parliament."