Yettaw Says Guards Let Him Enter Suu Kyi Compound
John Yettaw, the American man who made international headlines after he swam to the lakeside home of detained Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in May, said in an interview published on Friday that guards did nothing to prevent him from entering her compound.
“I don’t know why they [security guards] didn’t stop me,” Yettaw said in a telephone interview with Newsweek magazine. “The man with the AK-47 shook my hand and let me in.”
In his first public statement on the circumstances of his visit to Suu Kyi’s home since leaving Burma, Yettaw appeared to lend credence to suspicions that the incident was part of an effort by the Burmese junta to extend Suu Kyi’s detention, which was due to end just weeks after Yettaw’s sudden appearance on the scene.
Although Yettaw declined to explain why he decided to return to Suu Kyi’s home after an earlier intrusion last November, during which her live-in aides told him to leave, the Newsweek report cites a Western diplomatic source who said that he may have been lured back by agents posing as members of her political party.
The source, citing intelligence reports, said that around a week before Yettaw’s second swim, two men claiming to be members of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy allegedly approached him in the Thai border town of Mae Sot and told him that Suu Kyi was ready to meet him.
According to the source, the intelligence reports also showed that senior Burmese officials had been instructed to find a pretext to keep Suu Kyi incarcerated as her May 27 release date approached.
On August 11, she was found guilty of violating the terms of her house arrest for allowing Yettaw to stay at her home overnight. She was sentenced to a further 18 months under house arrest—long enough to prevent her participating in elections slated for next year. Continue reading ““I don’t know why they [security guards] didn’t stop me,” Yettaw said in a telephone interview with Newsweek magazine. “The man with the AK-47 shook my hand and let me in.”” →
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