Kim Aris, the youngest son of Myanmar’s ousted pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has called on the country’s military to free his mother. In an exclusive interview given to the Burmese version of the BBC in London, he said, “I cannot allow my mother to remain in jail like this.” Aris also called on the international community to take stronger measures in this regard.
In 2021, the government led by Suu Kyi was ousted in a military coup in Myanmar. Then Suu Kyi was arrested. After that, in one case after another, the military court announced a total prison sentence of 33 years against him.
British citizen Kim Aris said that the Myanmar army was withholding all information on his mother’s whereabouts. He tried to contact the Myanmar Embassy, the British Foreign Office, and the International Red Cross in this regard. But none of them could cooperate.
This is Kim Aris’ first interview with international media. Suu Kyi was previously detained for 15 years from 1989 to 2010. Aeris didn’t say anything about it then.
In an interview given to the BBC, Aris said, “Before I didn’t want to talk to the press, I didn’t get involved much in this matter.” It seems better to stay away from politics. Mom never encouraged me to get involved in politics.
But now a prison sentence has been announced against him. Army is not behaving rationally. I think it is necessary to express what I want.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Suu Kyi was released in 2010 after being under house arrest for almost 15 years. His release was celebrated in Myanmar and around the world. However, he was later criticized for remaining silent on the military’s crackdown on Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar during his government’s tenure.
Suu Kyi drew criticism from around the world for her defense of her country during the genocide trial against Myanmar at the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ).
However, Aris did not respond to the BBC’s questions about these criticisms against Suu Kyi before the military coup.
After the military coup in 2021, Suu Kyi was initially placed under house arrest. He was held in solitary confinement in a prison in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw last year. Nothing is known about him for almost two years. There were rumors that he was physically ill, but the Myanmar army denied the news.
Suu Kyi lived in the UK with her British husband and children until 1988. He returned to Myanmar in 1988 to serve his sick mother. Since then, Aries and his brother have spent most of their time separated from Su Chi.
Suu Kyi, the daughter of Myanmar’s independence hero General Aung San, started a pro-democracy movement against the military dictatorship in Myanmar and formed the National League for Democracy (NLD). He was put under house arrest in 1989.
After receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, Suu Kyi could not go to receive it. There was fear that once you leave Myanmar, you will not be able to return. Aris was 14 years old at the time. He then accepted the Nobel Prize on behalf of his mother. Suu Kyi could not visit her husband who is suffering from cancer. Her husband died in 1999. Aris finally met her mother after Suu Kyi was released in 2010. He then gave his mother a puppy he had bought from a market in Yangon as a gift.