LONDON - Myanmar’s opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi remains “fond” of her country’s army despite claims that it has recruited child soldiers and used rape as a weapon, she said in an interview broadcast Sunday. The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who was herself held under house arrest by the military for most of the last two decades, told the BBC radio show “Desert Island Discs” she hoped the army could redeem itself for “terrible” things it has done. She confirmed that she wants to become Myanmar’s president after elections in 2015 - but she will not be eligible for the post without constitutional reforms that need military backing.
“It’s genuine, I’m fond of the army,” the 67-year-old told the show, which was recorded last month at her home in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw. “People don’t like me for saying that. There are many who have criticised me for being what they call a poster girl for the army... But I think the truth is I am very fond of the army, because I always thought of it as my father’s army.” Suu Kyi’s father Aung San, considered the father of modern Myanmar, created the army and led the struggle against British colonial rule. “I was taught that my father was the father of the army, and that all soldiers were his sons - and therefore they were part of my family,” Suu Kyi told the BBC. “It’s terrible what they’ve done and I don’t like what they’ve done at all. But if you love somebody, I think you love her or him in spite of and not because of, and you always look forward to a time when they will be able to redeem themselves.”