Release of Aung San Suu Kyi

It was nothing short of uplifting to hear earlier today that Aung San Suu Kyi, who has campaigned for democratic change in Burma through dialogue and not violence, has finally been released from house detention.
She was granted the Freedom of the City of Dundee in 2008, a small part of a huge international campaign to see Aung San Suu Kyi released and to recognise her courageous stance in defence of freedom.
Great challenges, however, still lie ahead for Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma.    As Nick Clegg said at PMQs earlier this week :
“I strongly agree that those elections were a complete and utter sham. Their conclusion was already decided well before they took place, with reserved seats for the military, and reserved seats for parties that were put up by the military. They are simply swapping their military uniforms for civilian clothing, but keeping their iron dictatorial grip on the people of Burma.”

As her attorney said today – Release Doesn’t Equal Change :


I spoke this morning with the Lord Provost about the deteriorating situation in Burma and this is a matter of great concern to both of us and millions of others across the world.

I asked the LP if he can make a public appeal locally for the people of Dundee to help the people of Burma. He is very willing to do so. Dundonians always rally to help in circumstances like this and the Disasters Emergency Committee has a website where donations can be made :

Also on the subject of Burma, I received this yesterday :

Dear Councillor Macpherson,

Your blog about the crisis in Burma has been widely read and appreciated here in HelpAge International’s (HAI’s) office in London. You may wish also to be aware of our response to this tragedy. (Click on headline above to view website)

HelpAge International produces a wide range of publications and briefing documents on matters relating to older people overseas. In particular, we produce two newsletters – ‘Ageways’ and ‘Ageing and Development’.

Ageways exchanges practical information on ageing and development, particularly good practice developed in the HelpAge International network. It is published twice a year for project staff, carers and older people’s groups.

Ageing and Development discusses news and analysis highlighting ageing as a mainstream development issue. It is published twice a year for policy makers, programme planners and researchers concerned with development and poverty reduction.

With best wishes

Anne Grant


The Communications Team

HelpAge International

HelpAge International has a vision of a world in which all older people fulfil their potential to lead dignified, healthy and secure lives. HelpAge International is a global network striving for the rights of disadvantaged older people to economic and physical security; healthcare and social services; and support in their caregiving role across the generations.

Help the Aged : Please give to the DEC Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Appeal

From Help the Aged :

On Friday 2nd May winds up to 150mph struck Myanmar (Burma). Cyclone Nargis created a 3.5 metre high storm surge, inundating coastal areas.

Tens of thousands of people have died and up to 1 million are believed to be homeless. We urgently need your help.

A state of emergency has been declared and there is a desperate need for food, water, shelter and basic healthcare.

An estimated 170,000 older people are affected, many of whom have lost their homes, families and livelihoods.

Cyclone Nargis has created unprecedented damage in Myanmar (Burma), and aid agencies are only just reaching the worst affected areas to provide relief.

Older people are particularly vulnerable during emergencies, but are often sidelined during relief efforts.

Help the Aged and HelpAge International are co-ordinating an emergency response team to ensure that older people across the worst affected areas are not forgotten by the aid effort.

We are often the only organisations focusing on the needs of vulnerable older people. We have the staff and expertise to help, but need your donation to help save lives.

How you can help?

Please donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Appeal. Click on the headline above to do so. Any amount you can spare will help.

  • £25 could provide mosquito nets for ten people protecting them from malaria in the aftermath of the cyclone

  • £50 could pay for clean water and water purification tablets for one family for three months

  • £100 could provide Household Kits for ten families, giving them the basic items for survival

Hundreds of thousands of older people are without food, shelter or medical supplies.

Please take the time to help them today.

Thank you.


As raised by Nicol Stephen in the Scottish Parliament today, the Cyclone Nargis disaster is a tragedy for the people of Burma.
Already suffering from the lowest living standards in Asia and years of misrule and mismanagement, the people of Burma have now been struck by this terrible natural catastrophe.
Our differences with the Burmese regime are well known, but our most urgent task now is humanitarian. The latest figures report more than 22 000 dead, probably many more.
As of today Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained for a total of 12 years and 197 days. Please click on the headline and help the people of Burma.