The popular opposition leader in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has been found guilty of violating the country’s security laws and has been given 18 months house arrest. The court in the country formerly known as Burma originally sentenced her to three years in prison but the military regime reduced it and said she could serve the time at home.
This verdict was expected by many, including Suu Kyi herself, believing the regime invented the charge to keep her out of the way for next year’s election. Aung San Suu Kyi was already under house arrest when an American man, John Yettaw, swam uninvited to her lakeside home, breaching the terms of her detention. He said he was on a mission from God. Yettaw was given seven years hard labour for immigration offences and “swimming in a non-swimming area”. The verdict on Suu Kyi has enraged human rights campaigners and governments the world over. She has spent 14 of the last 20 years in detention. Next year’s multi-party election will be the first since her National League for Democracy won in 1990 after which the military refused to give up power.