Aung San Suu Kyi’s son visits her in Myanmar

Monday, November 22, 2010

YANGON - The youngest son of Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi arrived Tuesday at Yangon airport for a reunion with his mother for the first time in 10 years.

After making it through Myanmar immigration, Kim Aris was met with a hug from Suu Kyi.

Aris, 33, took off his jacket to show well-wishers and reporters that he had red tattoos of the fighting peacock, the emblem of Suu Kyi’s opposition party, on both of his biceps.

“I feel very happy. I can stay for two weeks,” Aris said before departing with his mother to her home in Yangon which has served as her prison for the past seven years. Suu Kyi was released from house arrest Nov 13.

“Of course, I’m happy, very happy,” Suu Kyi said at the airport.

Aris, a British citizen, was last allowed to visit his mother 10 years ago, when he was permitted to stay for three weeks.

Suu Kyi, the daughter of independence hero Aung San, married the late British professor Michael Aris in 1972, while she was studying at Oxford. They have two sons, Alexander and Kim, whose Burmese names are Myint San Aung and Htein Lin, respectively.

Suu Kyi’s husband died of cancer in 1999 in London, while she was under house arrest in Yangon. Aris had been denied a visa to visit her despite his failing health.

Her sons have seen little of their mother since she returned in 1988 to Myanmar and got caught up in the struggle for democracy.

Suu Kyi helped found the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), which won the 1990 general election but was not allowed to form a government by the military.

Myanmar held its first election in two decades Nov 7. Despite international calls for her release before the polls, the junta kept Suu Kyi detained and excluded the NLD from participating.

She was first placed under house arrest in the family’s Yangon lakeside home in 1989, and has spent about 16 of the last 21 years under detention.

In July 2009, a court sentenced Suu Kyi to 18 months for breaking the conditions of her house arrest by allowing a US citizen to stay in her house after he swam across the lake uninvited.

Filed under: Politics

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