Family of Aung San Suu Kyi's husband toast her release

13th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

The family of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's late British husband held a toast Saturday to celebrate her release and said they would love to visit her at long last, if possible.

Adrian Phillips, the icon's brother-in-law, told BBC television he had not spoken to her since her husband Michael Aris died in 1999 as communication had been restricted.

Phillips' wife Lucinda is Aris's sister. Aris and Aung San Suu Kyi had two children, Alexander and Kim.

"We've had a family toast today: to a free Suu and a free Burma," Phillips said.

"Absolutely delighted. I hope that for the first time in 10 years or more we'll be able to communicate with Suu.

"When her husband died was the last time I spoke to her on the telephone.

"It's been very difficult because there has been all sorts of family news and problems that we haven't been able to share with her at all. She hasn't seen one of her grandchildren ever.

"She was completely cut off. She had no telephone, no fax, no email and very rarely the occasional letter was delivered, that was all."

Myanmar's most famous dissident had been under house arrest since 2003 and spent 15 of the last 21 years in detention.

Phillips, 68, said he had followed the developments on television and now hoped to be able to reunite the family.

"We'd love to if she wants to see us. I've no doubt in the next few months she's going to be extremely busy and taken up with things but I'd like to very much."

He said of her 33-year-old younger son Kim: "I hope that the regime will give Kim a visa to allow him to go and see her now but that depends on the regime."

Phillips added: "There are still well over 2,000 political prisoners in Burma and Suu, the symbol, if you like, of Burma, I'm sure that's something that she will address."

© 2010 AFP

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