Agence France Presse
Published — Saturday 29 December 2012
Last update 29 December 2012 12:47 am
YANGON: A colorful woolly jumper knitted by Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has fetched nearly $ 50,000 at a charity auction in Yangon, aides of the Nobel laureate said yesterday.
The red, green and blue V-neck was bought by private radio station Shwe FM late on Thursday as part of a fundraising event, organized by Suu Kyi’s opposition party, for education projects.
Those close to Suu Kyi gave conflicting views on whether she knitted the garment during her long years of house arrest in Yangon, or while overseas before she returned to Myanmar to embark on her freedom struggle.
“She made it more than 25 years ago in England,” Ko Ni, a close aide of Suu Kyi, told AFP.
“I do not know exactly when. Some of her belongings have arrived from England recently.”
But a member of Suu Kyi’s security team said she made it while under house arrest at the hands of Myanmar’s then ruling generals. The money raised from the sale will fund a series of education schemes, according to Phyo Min Thein, an auction organizer as well as lawmaker for Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party.
“We will use the money to help troubled Myanmar migrants in other countries, poor schools and those who live in areas where it is difficult to access the education,” he said.
Another item handmade by Suu Kyi will be auctioned on Friday, he added, without giving details of what it was.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner spent almost two decades under house arrest in Yangon during her democracy struggle, and has spoken of relying on meditation and the BBC World Service to help cope with the years of isolation.
She was released in November 2010 after seven straight years within her lakeside villa and is now a lawmaker after contesting elections overseen by Myanmar’s reformist leader Thein Sein.