Burmese Military Must Show Compassion for Ailing Husband of Aung San Suu Kyi


The International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development is urging the Burmese military regime to allow Dr. Michael Aris, the British husband of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to visit her in Rangoon.

Montreal, 18 March, 1999 The International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development is urging the Burmese military regime to allow Dr. Michael Aris, the British husband of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, to visit her in Rangoon.

There are reports that Dr. Aris is gravely ill. Despite repeated requests for a visa to visit Burma, he has not seen his wife for the past three years.

In a letter sent today to the Ambassador of Myanmar in Ottawa, the President of the International Centre, Warren Allmand, urged the government of Burma to issue Dr. Aris a visa on humanitarian grounds.

Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her courage in standing up to the military rule, has not left the country since 1988 for fear of not being allowed to return. As leader of the country’s main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, she has been the biggest thorn in the military government’s side. There have been repeated calls in Myanmar’s state media in the past year for her to leave the country or for the government to expel her.

Mr. Allmand also urged the Canadian government to join other countries in pressuring the Burmese government to grant a visa to Dr. Aris.

In a letter sent today to Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister, Lloyd Axworthy, Mr. Allmand reminded him that Aung San Suu Kyi is in a no-win situation, forced to choose between husband and country.

The military government is refusing to grant her husband a visa to see her. However, if she visits him in England, she will not be allowed to return to Burma.

“Burma must show compassion and allow the visit of Dr. Aris as soon as possible,” Mr. Allmand said.

The International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development is an independent Canadian organization with an international mandate. It works with citizens’ groups and governments in Canada and abroad to promote human rights and democratic development through advocacy and institutional capacity building.