Chronicle of a Cooked-up Crime
covering burma and southeast asia
Tuesday, July 23, 2019


Chronicle of a Cooked-up Crime



(Illustration: Harn Lay/The Irrawaddy)









As rumors swirled around the arrest and trial of Aung San Suu Kyi and her uninvited American visitor, The Irrawaddy pieced together the known facts of this bizarre case

Aung San Suu Kyi’s lakeside home on Rangoon’s University Avenue is one of the city’s most secure locations, with at least a dozen security men posted outside its high fence at all times.




In late 2008, an American citizen, Vietnam War veteran John William Yettaw, stayed for several weeks in the Thai-Burmese border town of Mae Sot and talked openly there about a visit he claimed to have made in November to Suu Kyi’s home. He reportedly told Mae Sot residents he had swum to her waterfront compound across Rangoon’s Inya Lake. According to National League for Democracy sources, Suu Kyi asked her personal physician to report the incident to the authorities, but they did nothing.


Yettaw returned to Thailand from his home in the US earlier this year after telling his family he was working on a book.  on May 2, he entered Burma again. Immigration officials at Rangoon International Airport, trained to spot suspicious visitors, issued him with a tourist visa. Yettaw booked into Rangoon’s Beauty Land Hotel.


On May 7, the state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar broke the news of Yettaw’s arrest, reporting that he had spent two days and nights at Suu Kyi’s home after swimming there across Inya Lake. The report said that Yettaw set off during the night of Sunday, May 3, and stayed at Suu Kyi’s home until late on May 5. At 5.30 a.m. On May 6, security officials spotted him swimming in the lake near the International Business Center on Pyay Road,
more than a mile from Suu Kyi’s home, and arrested him. Yettaw is 53 years old, suffers from asthma and diabetes and lives modestly in the US on an ex-serviceman’s disability pension. He allegedly strapped a pair of home-made flippers to his feet to help him swim to Suu Kyi’s home and back.


In 2003, Burmese authorities argued they were putting Suu Kyi under house arrest for her own safety. The lapse in security that allowed Yettaw to enter her home was not an issue, however, when Suu Kyi was transferred to Rangoon’s Insein Prison on May 14 and charged with violating the conditions of her detention order. Under the terms of the order, unauthorized visitors are banned. Yettaw’s fateful visit was clearly not authorized—and certainly not by Suu Kyi.

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Aung Aung Wrote:
The junta’s sun is near to setting!

Before, whatever tricks they made, people thought, “it may be true.” But when such lies continued, more and more people immediately knew they were “repeating the same story.” The junta should realize that entirely employing or depending on “lies” is not working any more. The current trick forced China and India to shut up their mouths is a good example. Before too late, why don’t you change to a sure success strategy: Give up!

Leaving at self-motivation is totaly differed being driven away in terms of complacency.

Yangonthu Wrote:
Your cartoon is excellent, Harn Lay, however, the fire is not high enough to burn the chef.

chom Wrote:
DASSK is under House arrest. The one who put her under arrest is 100% responsible for everything. She does not need to inform about her visitors to anybody as only the one who was allowed by the disgusting stinky regime can enter her compound.

M.M.Myint Wrote:
1 If daw ASSK was detained for her safety as the military government stated, then the breach of srcurity was solely the responsibility of the military government.

2.The American Yettaw's story smelt fishy so is his personality. Why don't the people living in US put their efforts together to do a real background check of his involvement and give a clear picture about him?

3. Is CIA involved in this dirty scheme to keep ASSK in shackle, for some of their bosses might be uncomfortable with Daw Suu for she is brave enough to fight them openly in international stage for their short comings too.

The whole thing looks extremely smelly and dirty.

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