LDS Vietnam Veteran Arrested In Myanmar

2

May 14, 2009 by Gsmith

The American intruder described by one member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s staff as “a nutty fellow” was John Yettaw, 53, a Mormon who reportedly told Burmese exiles in Thailand he was writing a “faith-based” book on heroism.

Before he set out, he photographed himself wearing homemade flippers, which he used along with lashed-together plastic containers as flotation aids, to make the mile-long swim across Inya lake.

He was identified by US media as a Vietnam veteran – he would have been 19 at the end of the war in 1975 – and a Mormon who said he had come to her house to pray with her.

The Washington Post said little was known about Yettaw but reported the official Burmese government newspaper, the New Light of Myanmar, which gave his home as Falcon, Missouri, and said he had arrived in Burma on a tourist visa on 2 May.

Among possessions confiscated by the authorities were a black flashlight, folding pliers, a camera and Burmese and US currency.

A Burmese opposition magazine, Irrawaddy, reported that he met with exiles in Thailand before entering Burma and told them of his plans to write a book.

Time traced a John W Yettaw residing in the Ozarks whose son, also described as a Mormon, died two years ago.

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2 thoughts on “LDS Vietnam Veteran Arrested In Myanmar

  1. Tod Robbins says:

    This is really unfortunate for everybody involved. He apparently attempted the same thing last year, but was not allowed entrance to her house. Yettaw surely made a mistake but one “positive” aspect of all of this is more press for perpetually charged and imprisoned Suu Kyi.

  2. theradicalmormon says:

    Sorry to hear of this incident for Yettaw and his family’s sake, but mostly for Suu Kyi who is now in danger of 5 additional years of imprisonment. The US is so hypocritical of the whole Burma situation (I refuse to call it Myanmar). During the last administration when there was a call for a boycott on companies doing business with the Junta, noone in the US press talked about the massive business deals between oil corporations and the Junta. Let’s pull that rug out from under their feet.

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