Aris, Michael


Aris, Michael
   (1946-1999)
   Scholar of Tibetan studies and Oxford University professor, he married Aung San Suu Kyi in 1972 and, after she became prominent in the 1988 prodemocracy movement, played an important role in conveying her messages to the outside world and editing her collection of writings, Freedom from Fear. He had few opportunities to meet her after 1988, however, and the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) turned down his request for a visa to see her in Rangoon (Yangon) when he was dying of cancer. According to reliable accounts, even telephone communication between the two was cut off by the SPDC. He passed away on March 27, 1999. Daw Suu Kyi's marriage to Dr. Aris provided the military junta with a pretext to brand her as a bogadaw (an old term meaning the Burmese wife of a British colonial official) and an "axehandle" of Western neocolonialists, using racist images in the New Light of Myanmar and other media outlets that were astonishing for their crudity.

Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). . 2014.

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