One of the most moving love stories is that of the daughter of Burmese General Aung San and a British scholar of Tibetan culture. Aung San Suu Kyi married Dr. Michael Aris and they had two children together. But this is not a fairytale and there is no happily ever after.
Suu Kyi went back home to Burma to take care of her sick mother. She was moved by her people’s fight for democracy and became involved in local politics, helping found the National League for Democracy. A year after returning to Burma, on July 20, 1989, she was placed under house arrest. She was offered freedom only if she would permanently leave the country.
Aung San Suu Kyi would never see her husband again. Michael Aris was denied an entry visa, even after he was diagnosed with cancer. He died in 1999. His wife continues the struggle for democracy. Her love of country and fight for freedom cost her the chance to spend her days with the man she loved.
Last week, thousands of Buddhist monks led tens of thousands of protesters, including members of the National League for Democracy, in cities across the country. Government troops fired automatic weapons into the crowd killing and injuring demonstrators. Several monks were severely beaten, some to death. Security forces have also raided several monasteries. The U.S. has tightened sanctions against Myanmar, the ruling party’s official name for the country, and the UN sent special envoys, which have met with both Suu Kyi and government officials.
A couple whose wedding I recently photographed is involved in documenting the struggles of the Burmese people. David (the groom), Brett (the bride’s brother), and two friends secretly filmed in Burma in 2006, sponsored by Invisible Children and Restore International. The Road is about genocide, persecution and the struggle to survive. David is trying to get a grant from Razoo to finish the film and needs to find people to sign up on Razoo’s site. If you’d like to help this project get funding, please go to: http://beta.razoo.com/groups/the_road_to_burma – sign up and VOTE for the film.