Bangkok, Dec 7 (EFE).- Kim Aris, son of the jailed Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, has got himself a mythical naga snake tattoo as part of a campaign for humanitarian aid to help millions displaced by the 2021 military coup.
Launched in October, the campaign has successfully raised over 100,000 pounds (more than $125,000) to support victims of the “forgotten conflict” in Myanmar.
Aris told EFE in an interview that the campaign used the mythical snake as a symbol in tribute to the renowned kick-boxing fighter Too Too, who likely died under torture in a military junta prison in 2021.
“We are trying to raise awareness about what is happening in Burma (Myanmar). Very few people know of what is going on in Burma. They know what is happening in Ukraine and what is happening in Gaza, but no one hears about what is happening in Burma,” he said
He expressed concern for the millions displaced by the conflict and for his mother, who has been in detention since the military coup in February 2021.
Organized by the NGO Aid 2 Burma, the campaign promotes the naga tattoo, maintains a donation page on the GoFundMe website, and sells sweatshirts and T-shirts featuring the mythical snake’s logo.
The second son of Suu Kyi and the late British historian Michael Aris had a naga image tattooed on his arm two weeks ago in solidarity with the campaign and in memory of Too Too.
“(Too Too) represents what is happening to many people there. I felt it was easier for people to connect to one person and try to relate what’s happening to Burma,” the 46-year-old London-based activist said.
“It was said he was tortured while in prison, and his body was never returned to his family.”
Both Aris and Too Too were born on a Saturday, the day dedicated to the naga snake, according to the Myanmar zodiac signs.
He said the naga symbolized “a unifying force for good, and it brings peace and unity where only war was before.”
“So, in this context, it makes a lot of sense,” said Suu Kyi’s son, who has become more active in campaigning against the military junta and advocating for his mother’s release.
Aris has consistently remained away from the limelight compared to his older brother, Alexander, who previously represented their mother at international events.
Alexander even went as far as collecting the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Suu Kyi in 1991.
Aris has recently stepped into the forefront by increasing his media presence.
He actively campaigns against the military junta and advocates for the release of his mother, who is currently incommunicado, along with other political detainees in the country.
Suu Kyi, who spent 15 years under house arrest during the previous military junta (1989–2011), is currently serving a 27-year prison sentence on charges she has repeatedly denied.
The international community has called for her unconditional release.
Over two million people are displaced due to the conflict between the Myanmar military, various ethnic guerrillas, and new pro-democratic militias formed after the coup. EFE