Aung San Oo

Aung San Oo

Aung San Oo or U Aung San Oo, is the elder brother of Burmese democracy champion and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi; the two are the only surviving children of Burmese independence leader Aung San. Aung San Oo is an engineer. [ [ NNDB] quote: "Son: Aung San Oo (engineer)"] Aung San Oo has been described by the Burmese Lawyers' Council and the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma as a potential of the junta in an attempt to humiliate Aung San Suu Kyi and place her in an untenable position. Time magazine reports that, according to Burmese exiles and observers in Rangoon, the junta used the alleged surrogacy of Aung San Oo and his lawsuit as an act of against the Burmese Democracy leader.

The lawsuit

Aung San Oo is estranged from his sister. While Suu Kyi has become the leader of the Burmese democracy movement, Oo is close to the ruling military junta. In 2000, Oo brought legal action against Suu Kyi in the Rangoon High Court demanding a half-share in the family home, where she has been held under intermittent house arrest since 1989. There was widespread speculation among observers at the time that Aung San Oo would then sell his half-share to the junta, but the High Court ruled against Oo, much to the surprise of the same observers, who had assumed that it would bring down whatever verdict was preferred by the junta. [ "TIME" magazine, "Burmese Democracy Leader Faces New Threat", November 28, 2000] quote: "Talk about spite. First, Burma's military government told pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi that she couldn't leave Rangoon. Then they told her that she couldn't leave her house. Now, they want the house." and: "Late last year, former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto visited Burma and met with the generals. Burma's military is anxious for Japan to resume aid to their country, which it cut off when soldiers gunned down thousands of democracy demonstrators in 1988. Hashimoto gave the generals this advice when it came to dealing with Suu Kyi and her followers: Don't back her into a corner. The generals, it appears, aren't listening."] The Burmese Lawyers' Council describes the lawsuit as an attempt by the junta to publicly humiliate the leader of the Democratic opposition of Burma. [ LEGAL ISSUES ON BURMA ] JOURNAL No. 7, DECEMBER 2000 BURMA LAWYERS' COUNCIL quote: "This approach reeks of a sinister attempt to publicly humiliate the acclaimed leader of the National League for Democracy (NLD), which overwhelmingly won the one and only democratic general election conducted by the military junta."] The Burmese Government in exile claims that had Aung San Oo won his case, he would have put Aung Sun Suu Kyi in an extremely precarious position. [ NCGUB] quote: "If he wins the case, U Aung San Oo is expected to turn his share of the house over to the government, a result which would put Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in an extremely precarious position."] In the Time article it is also reported that the junta may have used this legal manoeuver to "back Aung San Suu Kyi into a corner," despite advice to the contrary by the visiting former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto the year before the lawsuit.

The mansion

Since 2005 Aung San Oo has been constructing a large mansion on a prime location within the exclusive Archaeological Zone in Bagan. Oo himself, as a U.S. citizen, cannot legally hold property in Burma (it was on this basis that the Rangoon High Court dismissed his claim for a half-share in the house in Rangoon), but his wife's family is understood to be acting as proxy on his behalf. His wife, Daw Le Le Nwe Thein, is rumored to harbor political ambitions for Oo through his connections with the junta, although, as is usual in Burma, there is no independent source to confirm these rumours. [ [ "Irrawaddy" magazine, "Suu Kyi's Brother Builds a Winter Retreat", October 12, 2005] ]

Citations and notes

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