These photos have been manipulated -- they do not show Aung San Suu Kyi in her youth

Copyright AFP 2017-2021. All rights reserved.

Photos of Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been shared hundreds of times in multiple posts on Facebook alongside a claim they show her in her youth. The claim is false; the photos have been manipulated from recent photos of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The photos were posted on Facebook here on September 15, 2020.

The Thai-language caption translates to English as: “Aung San Suu Kyi when she was young, level 10++++ beauty, after this age there were no more photos as she was always imprisoned.”

The photos have been shared alongside a similar claim on Facebook here, here, here, and here.

Comments from some Thai Facebook users on the misleading post suggested they believed the images really show Aung San Suu Kyi as a young woman.

One person commented: “Myanmar skin, indian eyes are beautiful as they say. Even today her beauty remains as she ages.”

Another person wrote: “Beautiful and strong”.


This claim, however, is false. The photos have been edited.


First photo

A reverse image search on Google found an unedited version of the first image posted here on Facebook by the National League for Democracy’s Facebook page.

"ကိုယ့်စည်း၊ သူ့စည်း" #nldquote

Posted by National League for Democracy on Wednesday, October 14, 2020


Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo from the misleading post (left) and the unedited image from the NLD’s Facebook post (right):


Second and fourth photo

A reverse image search for the second and fourth photos found near identical images in the photo gallery section of the State Counsellor’s website.

The description at the top of the page reads: “STATE COUNSELLOR JOINS 72ND KACHIN STATE DAY”

Below is a screenshot comparison between the photo from the misleading post (left) and a similar image on the Myanmar State Counsellor Office’s website (right):


Another similar image was published here on an article by Yangon based media Burma News Group. According to the January 14, 2020 article, Aung San Suu Kyi attended the Kachin State Day in the Myanmar city of Myitkyina.


Third photo

A reverse image search of the third photo found an unedited version in the photo gallery section of the State Counsellor’s website.

The description at the top of the page translates to English as: “Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, chairwoman of the Central Committee for Border Areas and National Races Development, meets with local people in Kachin State”

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo in the misleading post (left) and the unedited image from the Myanmar State Counsellor Office’s website (right):


Fifth photo

An unedited version of the fifth image in the misleading Facebook post is published here in this article by the Myanmar Times. The headline translates to English as: “The State Counsellor of Myanmar didn't contact with COVID-19 patient.”

The photo’s caption reads in English as: “The State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi attended the Myanmar ethnic culture festival. photo: Myanmar State Counsellor office”

Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo from the misleading post (left) and the original image from Myanmar Times’ article (right):