Myanmar arrests US citizen for visiting Aung San Suu Kyi

May 7th, 2009 - 12:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Yangon, May 7 (DPA) A US citizen arrested while swimming in a Yangon lake is under investigation for having spent three nights at the compound of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s state media reported Thursday.
John William Yeattaw, 53, was arrested at 5.30 a.m. Wednesday at Inya Lake, which rims Suu Kyi’s family home, where she has been kept under house arrest for the past six years.

Yeattaw arrived in Yangon Saturday and managed to enter Suu Kyi’s compound Sunday night, where he secretly stayed until swimming away early Wednesday, the government mouthpiece New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.

Authorities found in Yeattaw’s bag a flashlight, a camera, pliers and $100 in cash plus kyat currency notes.

“The government is investigating what Yeattaw’s intention was in entering a prohibited area,” the newspaper said.

Suu Kyi’s compound is under heavy guard and constant surveillance. She was last arrested May 27, 2003, and has been kept under house arrest in near-complete isolation.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate has spent 13 of the past 19 years under detention in her family’s Yangon compound.

Suu Kyi is the daughter of Aung San, an independence hero who was assassinated in 1948. She returned to Myanmar in 1988 to tend to her ailing mother and became caught up in the country’s nascent pro-democracy movement, of which she swiftly became a leading figure.

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