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Suu Kyi reunited with her son
Myanmar's pro-democracy leader meets her youngest son for the first time in nearly 10 years.
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2010 08:11 GMT
Aris, right, had been repeatedly denied visas in the last decade by Myanmar's military government [Reuters]

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's pro-democracy leader, has been reunited with her son, Kim Aris, who she last saw in December 2000.

The emotional meeting took place on Tuesday at the Yangon airport, 10 days after Suu Kyi was released from detention.

Kim Aris, 33, had arrived in Bangkok, the Thai capital, a few days ahead of his mother's release on November 13, but had to wait for several weeks for a visa to the military-ruled Myanmar.

A smiling Suu Kyi slipped her arm around her son's waist as the two posed briefly for photographers.

Suu Kyi thanked the authorities for issuing the visa to her son, who resides in Britain and has repeatedly been denied visas in the last decade by Myanmar's military government.

Suu Kyi, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace prize for her nonviolent struggle for democracy, was first arrested in 1989 when Kim was 11 and Alexander, her elder son, was 16. 

Alexander, who reportedly lives in the United States, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on her behalf while she was serving an earlier term of house arrest.

The 65-year-old leader has spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention and has never met her two grandchildren.

'Consequences'

In an interview last week, Suu Kyi acknowledged the difficulties that her family has had to face because of her politcal work.

"I knew there would be problems. If you make the choice you have to be prepared to accept the consequences," she said.

Suu Kyi, who was largely raised overseas, married Michael Aris, a British academic, and raised their two sons in England.

But in 1988, at age 43, she returned home to take care of her ailing mother as mass demonstrations were breaking out against military rule.

She was quickly pushed into a leadership role, mainly because she was the daughter of Aung San, the country's martyred founding father.

Suu Kyi's husband died of prostate cancer in 1999, and he was denied visas to see his wife for the three years leading up to his death.

While her family supported her, she said her sons had suffered particularly badly. But she added that she always had their support.

"My sons are very good to me," she said. "They've been very kind and understanding all along."

Al Jazeera's special correspondent in Myanmar reported that "she is reported to have received only one letter in the past seven years from her sons".

He also said that now that she has been reunited with her son, "they may take a trip up country to a religious site together. He has a month long visa so he can stay here for that period".

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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