By SAW YAN NAING
The confusing tale of an American man, John William Yettaw, and his secret, three-day intrusion into the lakeside compound of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon is still the talk of Burma.
The state-run newspapers The New Light of Myanmar and The Mirror have published no new information since the news of the man’s arrest last week.
However, state-friendly Web sites are spewing out damaging allegations that could hurt the pro-democracy leader’s image among her non-supporters, and—most dangerous of all—provide an unsubstantiated foundation to deny her release from house arrest, which is set to expire this month.
Several Burmese Web sites believed to be associated with the regime are having a field day reporting unverified accounts of the incident.
Most Burmese inside and outside the country that have access to the Web sites do not believe the tall tales, seeing it as propaganda, yet they monitor the reports and search for real news.
The People Media Voice, an online journal, quoting a pro-junta Web site, reported that the detained democracy leader could be sentenced to three-years in prison under Article 22 if she is convicted of failing to inform authorities that the US man entered her home and spent the night.
According to some reports, the prominent NLD politician Win Tin made a remark about the case during a meeting with party executives.
The incident, which can be interpreted in scandalous ways by Suu Kyi’s detractors, is not good for the party’s image, Win Tin reportedly said.
Another report claimed that Suu Kyi is now being criticized by some of her NLD colleagues and central executive committee members, including Win Tin.
However, NLD party leaders, including Win Tin, remain steadfast supporters of Suu Kyi, calling for her release from house arrest and greater access to regular medical care.
A Web site, peoplemediavoice.com, reported unsubstantiated details and included a photograph with no information about when or where it was taken. In the photo, a large man with short hair is identified as Yettaw and appears to be in his sixties. He is holding a camera while sitting at a table in a room.
The Web site alleged that Yettaw confessed to authorities that he had swam to Suu Kyi's house during a previous visit to Rangoon from November 7 to December 3, 2008, and spent a longer period there. No specific number of days was reported.
Suu Kyi’s housekeepers who live with her reportedly offered him food, the site reported.