Some of the shipyard workers from Denny’s in Dumbarton who built boats in Burma.

By Rory Murphy

There has been a swift reaction from the Church of Scotland about the military coup in Myanmar, formerly Burma, with which Dumbarton still has strong links from the days last century when Denny’s built ships there.

The Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, below right, convener of the Church of Scotland’s Faith Impact Forum, has made the following comment about the military coup in Myanmar:  “We were saddened when news broke on Sunday night of the military coup in Myanmar. State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, President Win Myint and other senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party have been detained in the capital, Naypyidaw.

“Along with others of goodwill we want all communities in Myanmar to be able to live in safety and freedom.

“The military have declared a state of emergency that will be in place for a year, and handed power to Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the armed forces. They say that elections will be held in due course.

“Myanmar was under military rule for nearly 50 years from 1962-2011 and no-one wants to see a return to those days.

“Our concern is that the intervention of the Myanmar military goes against the will of the people of Myanmar. That will was expressed in last November’s election where the NLD won a landslide victory, the issue that seems to have prompted the coup.

“The Church of Scotland has a strong partnership with Presbyterian Church in Myanmar, a small church of some 35,000 members mainly found in Chin State. Communication is difficult at this time but we understand travel and communications are curtailed at the moment.”

A number of local soldiers, including Major Robert Findlay, of Boturich on Loch Lomondside, served in Burma during the war and a number of them were taken prisoner and put to work on the notorious Burma railway.

Dumbarton shipyard workers were employed with local craftsmen to build the Irawaddy fleet of low draft boats which operated in the shallow waters off Burma.




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