Rangoon municipal authorities have given the go-ahead for renovations on the house-cum-prison of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Her lawyer, Nyan Win, said that Suu Kyi’s representative, Htin Kyaw, was informed by the municipal department yesterday morning that the renovation had been approved.
He said that lawyers had requested a meeting with authorities to discuss the renovation. Suu Kyi’s estranged brother, Aung San Oo, had claimed part-ownership of the house, which was handed down from their mother, Daw Khin Gyi, and tried to block the work, but courts threw out his case.
Judges argued that his status as a US citizen made it illegal for him to own property in Burma.
“We sent a letter to the police’s Special Intelligence Department calling for a meeting between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, her lawyers and the architects regarding the house renovation,” said Nyan Win.
Work had already begun on the house last year after US citizen John Yettaw managed to enter her property after swimming across Inya lake. The work, aimed at boosting the security of the house, was temporarily delayed in December however after the intervention by Suu Kyi’s brother.
Her estranged cousin, Khin Maung Aye, had earlier last year also lodged a claim to ownership of the property. There had been speculation that the retired army officer would sell the plot of land to government cronies, although nothing came of it.
Suu Kyi has been kept under house arrest in the property along Rangoon’s University Avenue for 14 of the past 20 years. Her house arrest conditions mean that visits from anyone other than her lawyers and doctor are prohibited.