Myanmar’s pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi says she is still “very fond” of her country’s army, founded by her father, though it had done “terrible” things in the past and kept her under house arrest for 15 years.
The 67-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, who spent most of two decades under house arrest until recent reforms, said her Buddhist faith had helped her defy Myanmar’s dictatorship, and later face them when taking a seat in parliament.
Suu Kyi’s father, Aung San, is considered the father of modern Burma, and founded its army.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ programme, which was recorded at her home in December, Suu Kyi admitted: “It’s genuine, I’m fond of the army.
“People don’t like me for saying that. There are many who have criticised me for being what they call a poster girl for the army - very flattering to be seen as a poster girl for anything at this time of life - but I think the truth is I am very fond of the army, because I always thought of it as my father’s army,” the BBC quoted her as saying.
She explained that while the army had done “terrible” things in Myanmar, she hoped “it would redeem itself.”
Suu Kyi, who studied in India, entered politics to work for democratisation, helped found the National League for Democracy on 27 September 1988, but was put under house arrest on 20 July, 1989.
She had returned to the country from the UK to nurse her mother, and was held after giving a speech to crowds of half a million during protests and political unrest.PTI