Old photos of Aung San Suu Kyi shared in false posts about her ‘showing support for Thai pro-democracy protesters’
Two photos of Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been shared thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook alongside a claim they show her raising a three-fingered salute in support of Thai pro-democracy protesters. The claim is false; the photos actually show Suu Kyi meeting with Myanmar’s national scouts in 2019, almost one year before major pro-democracy protests began in Thailand.
The photos were published on Facebook here on October 24, 2020.
The post includes two photos: both of them show Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi raising a three-fingered salute.
The post's Thai-language caption states: “Aung San Suu Kyi gave motivation to Free Youth Movement.
“It shows that she is a real activist for freedom, like students and the people in our country”.
Since July 2020, Thailand has been rocked by youth-led protests demanding a redrafting of the constitution, reforms to the monarchy, and for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, AFP reported here.
The claim is false.
A reverse image search on Google followed by a keyword search found the original photo published by the European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) here on July 20, 2019.
The photo's caption reads in part: “Myanmar State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi (C) wearing a Girl Scout uniform during her swearing-in ceremony as chief of Myanmar scouts at the Yangon University Diamond Jubilee Hall in Yangon, Myanmar, 20 July 2019.”
Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading Facebook post (L) and the EPA photo (R):
The same image was also published here in a report by the Myanmar Times on July 30, 2019.
The caption reads: “State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi wears a Girl Scout uniform as she is sworn in as chief of the country’s scouts in Yangon on July 20.”
Part of the post's Burmese-language caption translates to English as: “State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, arriving in Mandalay, attended a meeting with Burmese scouts at Mandalay City Hall on 16 August, and gave a speech.”
Below is a screenshot comparison of the image in the misleading Facebook post (L) and the Irrawaddy photo (R):
As of November 25 2020, Suu Kyi has not made any public comments on the recent protests in Thailand.