Friday 24 March 2017

AIDS patients evicted from shelter after Suu Kyi's visit

Ian MacKinnon in Bangkok

Burmese authorities ordered more than 80 Aids patients and staff to leave a shelter hours after they gave Aung San Suu Kyi, the freed democracy leader, a rapturous welcome.

The 82 patients and staff, who need permits that are renewed monthly to live at the shelter on Rangoon's outskirts as they are not from the former capital, were evicted after the Nobel laureate's visit.

Few are in any doubt that the notification was a result of Ms Suu Kyi's trip last Wednesday and the regime's efforts to stymie her.

"We have been allowed to renew our permits in the past," said Zeyar, who is a member of Ms Suu Kyi's disbanded National League for Democracy party.

"I think the authorities want to pressure us because of (Ms Suu Kyi's) visit."

A throng of about 600 people turned out to see the democracy leader (65) at the clinic in the city's eastern suburbs, where she called for more medical assistance for the shelter's inhabitants, which include children.

It came four days after she was freed from seven years of house arrest, when she pledged a "peaceful revolution" while seeking dialogue with the ruling generals.

The clinic, a wooden shelter, was set up by Phyu Phyu Tin, a member of the NLD's youth wing who wanted help some of the estimated 240,000 Burmese living with Aids.

Htin Aung, a patient at the clinic, said: "I don't think we can move out. In our home towns we see all the patients die. Here we have medicines." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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