My Sons Sacrificed Most of All: Suu Kyi

By Saw Yan Naing 20 June 2012

Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi said that her choice to lead Burma’s democracy struggle most strongly affected her sons as they were apart from their mother while growing up.

The opposition leader said that she does not feel that she has sacrificed anything greatly, but it was her children and British husband Michael Aris who felt the brunt of her long isolation.

An interview with ITV News, the 67-year-old said, “It was a sacrifice for my sons and husband especially for my sons because … the children were young.”

“It mattered to them as not to have both parents near them. And I don’t feel good about it,” said Suu Kyi.

The National League for Democracy chairwoman also had an emotional moment in Oxford when she met her former classmates and visited several places including the city’s prestigious seat of learning where she once studied.

Suu Kyi talked with and hugged her old friends and posed for photos at a reception at Oxford University. And the former political prisoner was touched to be back where she lived with her family 24 years ago before returning to her homeland.

The parliamentarian will finally receive an honorary degree from her old university which was awarded in 1993. Suu Kyi was but unable to collect the award at the time due to the terms of her house arrest in Burma.

She also visited the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University on Tuesday. Suu Kyi met with Andrew Dilnot who is the Principal of St Hugh’s College where she graduated.

During her visit to the BBC World Service on Tuesday, Suu Kyi had her hand kissed by former Radio 1 disc jockey Dave Lee Travis.

In London, she was also given a picture of her father Gen Aung San as a birthday gift after taking part in a roundtable talk at The London School of Economics and Political Science. Suu Kyi is also due to address both houses of the UK Parliament on Thursday.

Suu Kyi spent 15 of the last 24 years under house arrest due to her prominent role spearheading the democracy movement in Burma. Until her current trip, Suu Kyi had not left the country since 1988 over fears that the former military junta would forbid her return.