NEWS AND VIEWS: Nobel Prize winning Aung San Suu Kyi is in the news for the wrong reasons. She restored democracy to Myanmar in the 2010s and is the former State Counsellor of Myanmar (equivalent to a prime minister). She is an icon in the fight for democracy.
Sadly, she’s been sentenced to 4 years in prison for what appears to be for political reasons. The senior general who has been her adversary for years and who is currently leading the Myanmar government wants her out of the way. He wants her permanently destroyed as a politician to allow him to get on with being a dictator.
Aung San Suu Kyi is 76 years old. There are more, allegedly, trumped-up criminal charges against her which could well lead to further consecutive prison sentences and the end of freedom for the rest of her life.
So, she is in the news which got me thinking about whether she likes cats and dogs. Her appearance and her demeanour give me the impression that she is an animal lover. Also, for many years she was held captive under house arrest. This would have surely encouraged her to adopt an animal companion.
She did have or perhaps still does have an animal companion; a small dog. The dog’s name is Tai Chi Toe. Her son gave her the dog in 2010. Tai Chi Toe accompanied her at the 2016 festivities called Thadingyut which marks the end of the Buddhist Lent.
I mention her dog because a Myanmar citizen with the name Yin Myo Su has a mission to preserve Burmese cats in Myanmar (formerly Burma hence the cat breed’s name). I wrote about the lack of Burmese cats in their country of origin many years ago. Yin Myo Su, who is a hotelier, gave a Burmese cat, it is reported, to Aung San Suu Kyi as a gift. There were probably two intentions behind the gift: to raise the profile of the breed and to be nice to this world-famous Nobel prizewinner, Aung San Suu Kyi.
Unfortunately, her dog took offence to the presence of the new cat. Her dog is described as being notoriously possessive and was apparently jealous of the feline and therefore Aung San Suu Kyi had to return the cat.
That, to my knowledge, is the only connection I can find between this well-known woman and domestic cats. It’s timely because if she had adopted the cat, she would have lost him when imprisoned. I don’t know what will happen or what has happened to her dog.
It’s a great shame that Myanmar suffers from the destabilising influence of a military which believes they are above the law.