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Suu Kyi's house changes with campai
Subject: Suu Kyi's house changes with campaign (The Asian Age, 6/1/97)
Suu Kyi's house changes with campaign
The Asian Age, 6/1/97 (New Delhi)
BY DEBORAH CHARLES
Rangoon, Jan. 5: Life at Aung San Suu Kyi's lakeside residence has
changed drastically past 18 months.
In appearances alone, 54 University Avenue scarcely looks like the place
which served as the Nobel Peace laureate's prison for six years.
When Ms Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in July 1995, journalists
saw a run-down house in dire need of a new paint job surrounded by
waist-high creepers that had been allowed to grow wild during the years
Ms Suu Kyi was forced to remain at home. After her release, Ms Suu Kyi
joked she was worried the media would be attacked by snakes living in the
Now the once-sleepy home on the shores of on the democracy movement in
May 1996 just Inya Lake has a sharply different atmosphere. The grass is
trimmed and a small garden is planted at the back of the main house. A
huge, thatched-roof meeting hall that can house up to 1,000 people has
been erected right in the middle of the compound, where Ms Suu Kyi and
her National League for Democracy party held an Independence Day
celebration on Saturday.
In addition, several makeshift buildings have come up near the front
gates to house the military intelligence officers who guard the entrance
and carefully scrutinise all visitors. Several other brick structures are
being built, to house the several dozen people who have been living at Ms
Suu Kyi's residence over the past year.
When the government renewed crackdowns as a party Congress was due to be
held, several NLD members sought refuge in Ms Suu Kyi's house to avoid
being arrested. Many of them have not left, and consider Ms Suu Kyi's
house as their own.
"I live here," said one man proudly wearing a T-shirt with Ms Suu Kyi's
face on the front and a slogan calling for democracy on the back.
"This is my house now. 1 cannot go home,,, said another NLD member who
works closely with Ms Suu Kyi. In the past, bodyguards and some of Ms Suu
Kyi's advisors have been arrested after leaving the compound in what is
seen as part of a continuing effort to intimidate people from getting
involved in the democracy movement. (Reuter)