UNISON statement on the coup in Myanmar

The government must move quickly so that no UK company can do business with the military

After a landslide victory for the National League for Democracy (NLD) party in November 2020, Myanmar’s military has staged another coup.

Today was supposed to be the day when newly-elected MPs convened to choose the president, who would then form a government. Instead, the military has falsely claimed election fraud and justified the coup by saying that it will only take power for one year.

Having already got away with genocide against the Rohingya and repeated human rights violations in other ethnic states, it cannot be trusted.

UNISON stands in solidarity with the people of Myanmar, trade unions and others attempting to uphold democracy in the country.

All political prisoners must be released and a robust international response including sanctions against military companies and a global arms embargo is required.

The only sanction imposed by the UK government after the Rohingya genocide was to ban 16 members of the military from taking holidays in the UK.

UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said: “The people’s voice was heard loud and clear during fair and democratic elections in November.

“Now the UK government must move quickly to sanction military companies, join the genocide case at the International Court of Justice, and work with other countries to impose arms embargoes.”

UNISON is asking members and the wider public to support Burma Campaign UK’s call on foreign secretary Dominic Rabb to immediately impose sanctions on military companies so that no UK company can do business with the military.