The Guardian newspaper, UK, has published an obituary of David Arnott (1943 – 7 December 2020) who made an immense contribution to human rights in Myanmar. He had suffered with heart problems for several years.
David created a huge library of documentation of news and reports on Myanmar, some items dating back 130 years. An internationalist, he lived in the UK, Geneva, New York and Thailand. The library provided an immense resource for the people of Myanmar, researchers, journalists, universities and students worldwide.
Writer of The Guardian obituary, Colin Archer paid tribute to the work of David.
David and I met around 40 years ago, via retreats. I remember standing for Parliament for the Green Party in my constituency of Totnes in the mid-1980s. I asked David to be my campaign manager working out of my home. For several weeks, we worked together until the days after the vote. He was brilliant – organising public talks, door knocking campaigns, press releases, producing leaflets etc. A joy to work with despite our strong views on global issues.
We also met in his office/home, packed with papers, reports and books – a short walk from the UN in Geneva and in India. Through his UN contacts, David kindly made it possible for me to have a short meeting with Aung Sahn Suu Kyi in 1998 in her time of house arrest in Rangoon. I took with me packages for her handed to me by Myanmar students for democracy living in exile.
David always lived a minimalist lifestyle, often just scraping by with his finances including running costs of the Library.
People of Myanmar and internationals experience much gratitude for his dedication to compassionate and selfless service to others.