30 September, 2020

Chained Exhibit Of Democracy

A patient, painstaking recreation of the tensile strength of Suu Kyi's story, leavened with admiration

Chained Exhibit Of Democracy
In 1986, two years before she became the focus of national and international attention, Aung San Suu Kyi (henceforth Suu Kyi) and I had strolled in the Oxford Parks on a balmy spring evening, seamlessly moving from life with exasperating children to husbands, work and ageing mothers. The kinds of things women who have been through 25 years of bonding together talk about. But politics was nowhere on our agenda. Two decades later, Suu Kyi’s younger son, Kim, is the father of two, his own father is dead and his mother continues to be incarcerated in her once-beautiful home in Rangoon. Routine visa applications by Kim and older brother Alexander are equally routinely turned down by a military junta which rules a country that voted overwhelmingly for democracy in 1990, placing its faith in Suu Kyi.

The story of contemporary Burma is that of this unlikely leader, of an attractive, lively, articulate 40-plus mother who was looking forward to a life of writing and reflection—punctuated by visits to Rangoon to her ageing parent. It is one such...



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