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DEMOCRACY
Suu Kyi reunited with her youngest son

by Staff Writers
Yangon, Myanmar (UPI) Nov 23, 2010
After a decade of separation, Myanmar's released democracy advocate Aung San Suu Kyi has been reunited with her youngest son, Kim Aris.

Suu Kyi and Kim met at Yangon airport after he flew from Thailand where he was awaiting confirmation of a visa.

His arrival was greeted by several dozen well-wishers who crowded around Suu Kyi and Kim as they briefly embraced.

Suu Kyi briefly spoke to the crowd, saying she was happy to be with her son again. They then left the airport in a car.

Last week, Kim, 33, had had an "emotional" telephone conversation with his mother on the evening of her release, according to the British Embassy in Bangkok, a BBC report said.

Kim's visit is a private and non-political affair, the embassy said.

Suu Kyi, the winner of Myanmar's general election in 1990, has spent around 15 of the past 20 years under some form of arrest. She had neither telephone nor Internet access during her recent detention that lasted for most of the past seven years.

She was released Nov. 13 from more than a year under house detention only days after the ruling junta held national elections -- the first since 1990 when Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy Party won a landslide victory.

Suu Kyi, 65, has another son, Alexander, also whom she hasn't seen in a decade. Myanmar's ruling generals repeatedly denied visas to both her sons and her late husband Michael Aris, a British Oxford University academic, who died from cancer in Britain in 1999.

Suu Kyi was barred from participating in the latest election in which the military reserved itself one-quarter of the seats in Parliament. In protest, her party refused to register to run.

The winners are likely to be a junta-backed party consisting of former senior military leaders who resigned to run as civilians.

The head of the Nobel Institute in Oslo has invited Suu Kyi to Norway because her sons collected the Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf 1991.

But with the generals remaining nominally in control of Myanmar, many fear that if Suu Kyi were to visit family overseas, the military wouldn't allow her back into the country.

The elections were condemned by many Western leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, as not being free and democratic because of the large number of political prisoners in Myanmar, including Suu Kyi.

The generals have been in power for most the years since independence from the British in 1948. Their control is tightest in cities and larger towns and they operate in some rural areas under loose agreements with rebel leaders who want more autonomy from the military government.

Just after polls closed this month, an exodus of up to 10,000 refugees crossed into Thailand ahead of fighting between government troops and Karen separatist rebels in southeastern Myanmar.

At one point the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army seized a police station and a post office in the town of Myawaddy in Karen state. Unconfirmed reports said that at least 30 people, mostly rebels, died in the fighting.



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